“Desert”

Desertย – Daily writing prompt

Verb – abandon in a way considered disloyal or treacherous.

Nounย – uninhabited, desolate

“Some would say deserting a deserter in a desert is giving him his just deserts”

This doesn’t sound like a very fun word.

 

Dessert – sweet food eaten after the main part of the meal

Dissert – to speak or write at length

“The desert deserter decisively displaced himself daringly, despite his dessert dissertation documents accidentally discarded on his desk.”

Now this is getting fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

“Dominic, the despicable Duke of Doom, dashed into the dorm with decreasing disregard for Darren’s dissertation discussion hosted downstairs. The dastardly deed was later described as disrespectful to doubters of Dominic’s dark and distasteful disposition. Daisy defended the debacle by disclosing Dominic’s downward duel with depression.”

 

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“Glass”

Glass

Half empty or half full?

-Your perceived reality deals a lot with what you focus on.

What is it filled with?

-Context is always important.

Why are you holding onto the glass?

-Your reason/”why” you do something can be one of, if not the most important, things you can figure out. There’s a huge difference between a ship with a captain who has an unbreakable resolve to find treasure, and a ship without a captain wandering aimlessly in the ocean.

A glass of water might be easy to hold for a couple seconds, but several minutes can make the weight of the glass feel like hundreds of pounds.

-The longer you hold onto something, the greater affect it has onto you. Similar to a grudge you can’t let go of, it’ll keep weighing down on you more and more. Your resentment and bitterness doesn’t affect them, only you.

Our reality is affected by the lense (glass) through which we see the world.

-Changing the lense and shifting the paradigm will produce different responses to the same stimuli, and therefore create different results. The lense through which a lower class youth from a marginalized population will be vastly different from the same aged youth from an upper class background with racial privilege. This will in turn drastically affect how they see, respond to, and create results in their lives.

Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

-being quick to condemn someone for their actions when the condemner has just as much fault. Nobody likes a hypocrite or double standards. Forgive others because you have also done unforgivable things.

Be careful with glass, it’s fragile.

-Those who are most transparent leave themselves vulnerable to others. And although it’s scary to be vulnerable, it’s that same vulnerability that produces the beauty. Think of a glass prism when it reflects and reveals the many colors of light. The glass shows the beauty ย hidden within the light that we did not initially see.

 

“False” and relationships

False

Why can’t I find a nice guy/girl? Why don’t my relationships last longer than 3 months? There are no more good people out there.

False.

The common denominator in all your failed relationships is YOU. Sure, you might go through some genuinely bad people, but if you’re always blaming someone else, you’re playing the victim and remove your own power.

Think, are you the type of person you would want to date?

I see cultivating a great relationship is like developing a successful career or building a business. Those who take responsibility and are proactive in creating the results they want usually get them.

Those who do nothing but complain and argue for their excuses will stay in the same place.

The grass isn’t greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it and put effort into keeping it healthy.

Theres no difference between your grass and your relationship, or your life.

You’re not going to “find your soulmate” and then live happily ever after. You’re not magically going to find that knight in shining armor that will sweep you off your feet.

Why the heck would the knight in shining armor want to be with you? What are your merits?

It’s a fundamental principle of the universe that you attract what you are. Great people find other great people. Are you working to become that knight in shining armor so you can find your princess? Are you working to be an amazing wife for your future husband?

You cannot control the other person, you can only control who you are.

And this is more apparent once you’re in a relationship. Whether or not the relationship is great, it’s not on them. It’s on YOU. The sooner you adopt this, the sooner you will empower yourself to create the amazing relationship you really want.

 

Darkness and Light

Darkness

Several ideas pop into my head:

-You cannot drive out the darkness with darkness, only light can do that (pretty sure this is a quote from somewhere)

-sometimes the darkness makes the makes us appreciate the light

-having gone through the darkness, we can now show others the way

-In Star Wars, we often think of the Dark Side of the Force as bad. Conversely, the Light Side of the Jedi is thought to be good. However, I read somewhere that the darkness could actually be more representative of PASSION and the light could be more identified with PEACE and acceptance/tranquility. I wouldn’t discard either side, but rather both need to be used together in balance.

-If your life feels like a dark room with the lights off, once the light is turned on, it doesn’t matter how long the light has been flipped off. Instead, we should just focus on the fact that we’ve escaped and now live in the light. Too many times people tend to ruminate on their past and how terrible it was without being able to move forward and focus on what’s different. What you focus on is what expands, right? Where focus goes, energy flows (as Tony Robbins says)

-In the book “Relentless” by Tim Grover, he discusses how Cleaners (an elite level performer) taps into their darkness, the side of them that isn’t restricted or held back. Think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One lives in the light with all the societal restrictions. One lives with raw, animalistic instincts, not bound by any rules. One can easily see which one is more powerful given their different positions. High level performers can tap into the “zone” by utilizing their dark side and achieving a state of flow and focus. It’s a really fascinating concept. The most prominent Cleaner he discusses is Michael Jordan, the legend.

 

Forbidden

Forbidden

“For Bid Den” said the sign.

“I guess that den is up for a bid!” exclaimedย Johnny.

Johnny and his wife Rebecca have been in the market for a good den. Their old den had caught fire last week. The summer heat has been known to cause wildfires.

Fortunately for the young couple, they were the only ones bidding on the den. All in all, they were able to walk away with their new den for $10. What a steal!

 

“For Biden” said the sign.

“Is that Joe Biden’s new campaign slogan?” asked Michael.

“I thought the two candidates were that Hilary and that racist guy?” Ashley replied.

“Thanks, Obama.”

 

 

 

 

Layers

Trying out these writing prompts just to keep the creative writing juices flowing…

Layers

Layers can be good, but they can also be bad.

Parfaits have layers and I love parfaits. Its like a salad but a bit more organized. But requires some excavating to get some of the goods.

Layering your clothes can make you look fashionable. Unless you’re on a beach in Miami during mid-day in the summer heat.

More layers on a cake are awesome. Unless you’re the one making the cake and you don’t have enough time to finish it.

Onions have layers and onions are delicious. But the bad breath might not be worth it if you plan on being in small rooms or elevators with coworkers.

More layers on your skin could mean more protection for your vital organs. But then people might also call you fat.

The ozone has multiple layers. And as far as I know, the ozone is pretty cool. But if its closer to the sun, wouldn’t it be hotter?

The earth’s crust has multiple layers. I’m told these layers represent different time periods. So living underground might be another way of living in the past.

Some people have many layers to their personality. Or maybe that’s just an excuse for them to be inconsistent.

If I can lay myself down to sleep, does that make me a Layer?

 

How To turn $7 into $19 and beat Starbucks

When the Starbucks rewards program came out years ago, I never followed the trend because I hardly ever spent money at Starbucks. To me, it was a waste of money to pay for overpriced coffee and frappuccinos.

But when I lived in D.C., my mom opened up a Starbucks account for me online. She wanted to able to add money to it occasionally for whenever I wanted a drink (my mom is so sweet like that ๐Ÿ˜).

Seeing the stars add to my account with each purchase eventually got me hooked. Damn it, Starbucks!

Before the most recent revamp of the rewards program, it used to work like this:

Every purchase you make, you get 1 star. After you’ve earned 12 stars, you get a free reward. This allows you to buy any menu item. The most expensive things, like a Trenta sized drink or their snack pack, will cost you about $6

If the average order price is around $4, Starbucks is banking about $48 for every free item they give away, which is a net profit of $42 for them.

Side note: as a Gold level member (getting 30 stars in a year) you also get a “birthday reward” on your birthday. Who can argue with free stuff? (Well, almost free. But you know what I mean.)

Now, I think I’m a smart guy ๐Ÿค” so given these figures, there’s no way I’d get suckered into giving away $42.

Soon, I started to notice these promotional emails they would send out. They would have offers like, “make 4 purchases, earn 10 stars” or ย “visit 5 days in a row, get 12 stars”.

So I thought, this could be a way to cheat the system. Instead of spending $4 to get 1 star, I could average 2 or more stars per dollar if I bought one of the cheaper items (bagels – $1.50, vanilla bean scone -$1.25, banana -$1.00) through these promotions.

Here’s the math:

4 purchases x $1.50 (bagel) = $6 for 14 stars (4 regular + 10 promotional)

14 stars / $6 = 2.33 stars per dollar.

If costs me a little over $5 to get a free reward, that means I’m just about breaking even. Except I get a free reward plus the 4 bagels so that adds a bit more value.

And yes, I understand the whole “if you get 30% off your $10 purchase, you don’t save $3, you just spent $7” logic. But the instant gratification of the sweet, empty calories of a double chocolate chip venti frappuccino and the fallacious rationalization that I’m getting a great deal is irresistible.

This system, however only works if you only buy when there are good promotions. If the promo doesn’t give me at least 2 stars per dollar spent, I won’t use it. $6 spent = 12 stars = free item. Anything less than that and I’m losing money.

Although I guarantee there are tons of other people who have figured this out, I’m certain the majority of people will just get Starbucks whenever they feel like it, regardless of the promotion. This means Starbucks will make their generous $42 net more times than not.

These promos are to get you to making a habit out of going to Starbucks everyday, hence the “6 consecutive visits” promo. People with less mental discipline to go only during promotions will understandably fall for the trap.

With this new program, they seemed to fix the ย loopholes I’ve been exploiting. Now they award 2 stars for every dollar ($0.50 / star) and it takes 125 stars ($62.50) to earn a reward item. Though it prevents me from cheating, I admit it is obviously more fair for the average person.

With this new program not allowing me to cheat, I vowed not to participate in it anymore.

Until they sent another promotion to my email:

image
Damn you, Starbucks.

Quick calculations: 4 visits x $1.00 banana = 104 stars (26 stars per dollar spent)

With this system, I could turn $1 into $13!

A week later, they rolled out another promotion: 1 visit for 50 stars!

7 bananas later, I had 250 stars (2 free items).

I felt victorious. I had cheated this new system again. $7 to get 7 bananas + $12 worth of free Starbucks food items, a $19 value!

Sometimes I’ll just save these rewards for a rainy day, or split a venti frap into two grande fraps for with my girlfriend and me, essentially making it an $8.50 value (2 grande fraps run about $4.25).

image
Sweet victory.

There you go. That’s how I beat Starbucks. Having my frap and drinking it too.

But once my sugar high wears off, I realize I just bought seven overpriced bananas that will probably over ripen before I can eat them all, consumed 3 days worth of sugar in 10 minutes, wasted $2 worth of gas driving there,ย added 1 plastic cup to the landfills of our dying earth, and I bet you Starbucks isn’t crying over the $12 they lost on me as everyone who hears this story will probably want a frappuccino now.

Damn you, Starbucks.