Goals 2019: Week 21 in Review


Okay, here we are again, and we’re back to the proper schedule, at least for now.

So I already mentioned in my previous post about how I got a job, then kinda lost it, but it’s still going to happen in about a month. So in the meantime my overall goal is to get as much of the “home” stuff done as I can manage before I have to go. That means filming videos, taking pictures of things that I can later share on Instagram, and basically just planning for how I’m going to handle things while I’m gone. This upcoming job has the opportunity to last for a few months, during which I’ll be on the other side of the country, so I’ve got to get my nonsense in order by then.

So here we go. This is Tracey trying her gosh darnedest to learn how to adhere to a proper schedule. That’s not particularly easy when your current work schedule is an evening followed by an afternoon followed by a morning, etc, but I’m going to work my butt off to figure it out.

Okay, enough of that stuff, because that’s all I’ve been giving you guys for two weeks now. Let’s get into the actual goal stuff and see how outrageously horrible I’ve been doing! (Note: I wrote that last sentence with a smile, honestly.)

Goal #1: Write half a million words.

Since I didn’t do any actual, numerical reporting in my previous post, this report will actually be for two weeks, and let me say right now…it’s not a great report. Across those two weeks my Pacemaker.net account wanted to me to write a total of 23,035 words. That’s a lot, but not unreasonable considering my half-a-mill goal for the year. And hey, I’ve done NaNoWriMo multiple times! I should be able to easily crank out that many words, right?

WRONG! My epic grand total for those entire two weeks only clocked in at 4775 words. That’s not even a quarter of what I should have written!

Now, that said, I don’t to be too hard on myself, because when I thought I was going to be flying out to a job very shortly I spent nearly a week trying to get all my affairs in order. That involved driving into the city for a drug test, driving back again on another day for a full-day course I was missing, doing a bunch of online orientations that are required before I go out, etc etc. In other words, I had much more important things to worry about.

THAT said, I can’t really say anything for the prior week, during which I was simply very, very lazy.

  • Goal #1a: Write at least a quarter million fictional words. Oooooh….hmmm…yeah, see, the thing is…
    Yeah, I wrote absolutely nothing fictional over the entire course of those two weeks. Honestly? I’m quite disgusted in myself for this one. It should not have been too much to ask to jot down even a few messy scenes in a notepad or something. For Pete’s sake, I’ve got four different WIPs going. Surely I could have done something on one of them. But nope. Feel free to flog me now.

Goal #2: Read at least 50 books.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was intending to take a pile of books out to my job with me. The flights alone were set to take something like 28 hours out of my life, so I was planning to tackle Stephen King’s IT during that slog. And the work days themselves generally involve 20-40 minutes worth of being on a bus daily, plus break-times, so I figured I’d get a bunch of reading in there as well, if not also during my off-hours and days off. Now that that isn’t happening for another month, I’ve decided to take it a little easy until the time comes back around. Since I want to spend the month focusing on things I can’t do while I’m out at this job, I’m using my little bits of free time for now working through the Sailor Moon manga series. Currently I’m on book 10 of 12 in the main series, and after that I’ve got the 2-part Sailor V and the 2-part Short Stories books to read as well. I should be able to fly through those in no time, and by the time I do I’ll be ready to dive into the stuff I have set aside for while I’m working.

Goal #3: Build my social media communities…EVERYWHERE!

Lately my Twitter game has been pretty steady, but my Instagram game has fallen off considerably. As with the writing above, a good part of this is because I was too busy getting ready for the job that didn’t happen. But in the coming month I intend to take as many random photos as I can so that I can set them aside to share throughout my time away. Since I’m going to be on a work camp, after all, chances are there isn’t going to be much great for me to share on a toy/collector account during that time. Every so often, on my days off, I might take the bus into town and do some window shopping, which could result in some pics, but overall I have to run on the assumption that I’ll have very little to share aside from adorable selfies. (Ha ha)

As for the numbers:

  • The YouTube channel lost 4 subscribers
  • The YouTube Twitter account went up 10 followers
  • The YouTube Instagram account went up 1 follower
  • The Snapchat account’s score went up 29 points
  • The Author Twitter account gained 4 followers
  • The Author Instagram account lost 1 follower

They’re really not all that bad, all things considered. Twitter is obviously where I’ve been spending my time, and I’ve also actually been remembering to Snapchat every now and then lately. The two Instagram accounts are pretty stale though, as I already mentioned. I really have to up my game there. The YouTube channel, I’m not really worried about, because all YT channel sub counts seem to bounce between -10 and +10 on a daily basis. Watching those numbers too closely will actually drive you insane.

Goal #4: Play more (proper) video games. 

Games have not been first and foremost on my mind lately, for reasons that I’m sure I don’t have to repeat again in this post. I have picked up Tetris 99 a few times in the past couple of weeks, but generally only for a few minutes before I move on to something that needs doing. Aside from that, though, I did play a little bit of Smash Bros, a little bit of Kirby Star Allies, and a little bit of Mario Party with Adrianna and/or Jason over the past week or so. Because, come on…you’ve gotta play games with your family!

Goal #5: Put more time, focus, and energy into the YouTube channel.

Last but not least, we have the YouTube channel, and I can’t honestly say that I put a huge effort into it the past two weeks, but a lot of the effort has been behind the scenes. I did film, edit, and publish a vid that Adrianna and I did, unboxing a full case of Series 2 Cryptkins, and that was tons of fun because we both love those adorable little monsters. Everything else I’ve done has been more or less internal. I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve taken to carrying around a little notebook that I can jot down ideas and stuff in. That notebook now has several pages dedicated to vid ideas that I went asking some of my most trusted friend-followers for, as well as a list of ideas I have for posts for the website which could, theoretically, turn into voice-over videos down the line. See, wheels are turning. Things are happening. You just might not see them quite yet. 😛

And that is that! It wasn’t the most positive of updates, but I honestly do have high hopes for the future. Knowing that a good job is coming my way is definitely a big up toward keeping my spirits high, and if I’m being totally honest, I think that losing a bit of weight and feeling stronger has put me in a motivated kind of mood as well. Drink your water, people! Eat good foods! You’ll be surprised how much better it makes you feel in life!

How was your week? Did you accomplish any goals? Make any new ones? Do anything else that made you feel awesome and accomplished? Feel free to share in the comments!

Cryptkins Series 2 Blind Boxes – Full Case!

Cryptkins are positively adorable, miniature versions of mythical and legendary creatures from all over the world. They come in cute little blind boxes designed to look like crates, and every last one of them is as sweet as sugar! We previously opened a full case of the Series 1 line on the channel, but today Adrianna and I dove into a full case of Series 2 figures, and we had a blast uncovering more cryptid creatures.

Check out the video and let us know who you think got the better pulls, as well as which Series 2 Cryptkin is your favorite!

Goals 2019: Week 20 in Review


I considered saving this until Monday and just doing another double-week review, but there’s been so much going on lately that I figured I’d just go ahead and give you all an update.

So last time around my update post was pretty overwhelmingly depressing. There were a few ups, but a lot of downs. This one is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster that is related to one of my points from last time.

If you read my previous post you’ll know that I’ve been working at Walmart for quite a while now and it’s been weighing on me for a while, especially financially. So imagine my elation when, just a few days after I wrote that post, my father called to ask me if I was available for a few weeks of work his boss had available out in Fort McMurray. It would only be 2-3 weeks, but in those 2-3 weeks I’d make 2-3 MONTHS of what I’d make at Walmart. So of course I was extremely excited. I got everything all set up, did the required online courses, booked my flight, and was all ready to go.

Then, a couple of days ago, I got another call…letting me know that the job had been cancelled.

Clearly, my emotions were in a very twisty spot, especially since I’d already informed my Walmart bosses that I would be flying out to my new job soon.

Fortunately, while I had a bit of heartache to work through first, I found out that the job is still going to happen, just not as soon as it was supposed to. I’ll now be flying out (hopefully!) sometime in the beginning of July, and the job will (hopefully!) move right into a shutdown that should last a couple of months. This is all very, very good for my family. There are always downsides to working out in Fort McMurray, and this will the first time I’ve ever gone for an extended period like this, but it’s the kind of opportunity I’ve been waiting for for what feels like forever now, and I’m genuinely excited. FINALLY a chance to get our finances back in order so that I’m not a non-stop ball of stress who can’t find the willpower to focus on any of the things she enjoys in life.

Plus, now that it’s been delayed an extra month, I won’t have to miss going to see the new Godzilla movie with Jason and Adrianna! And also I can keep doing Keto for a while longer before work-camp food inevitably makes it impossible to survive a specialized diet! 😛

As for my actual normal goal reporting, I am going to save the majority of that for Monday since it’s so close now, but I will mention a few quick things:

  • Writing has been SO HARD lately, but I had a few thoughts about that, and I suspect that fixing my writing room back up (it’s been a wreck most of the winter) and relocating back into there might really help. Stay tuned for the results.
  • I’ve also been flirting with ideas for new stories lately, but I’ve been trying to tamper that urge because I really, REALLY don’t want to sit on The Other World any longer. So, for now, I’ve taken to jotting ideas down in a little notebook so I don’t forget them. Maybe it’ll even help me remember scene ideas I randomly get for current WIPs.
  • In book land, I was totally planning on taking a whole bunch of books out to work with me, and doing my best to murder Stephen King’s IT during my 9-hour layover in Toronto, but since that’s not happening now (/yet), that plan has been put on hold. In the meantime I’ve been plowing my way through the rest of the Sailor Moon series so I don’t have to stop at a random point when it’s time to go to work.
  • Social media, my goodness…I won’t get into it right now, but damned if it isn’t difficult to stick to a daily regimen with this stuff. I was doing a couple of Instagram daily prompt things, but I don’t think I’ve contributed to either of them in over a week. I need a schedule. Or a personal assistant.
  • Adrianna was helping me play some of The Witness earlier. She completed a bunch of puzzles by herself and now I feel totally inadequate as a human being. Just kidding, of course, but damned if the kid doesn’t actually come up with solutions before me about half of the time.
  • I FILMED A VIDEO! That’s enough about that for now because there will be another post up shortly to let you know all about it. 😉

And one last thing I wanted to bring up, just because it’s something that makes me happy and I want to share it…

As of this morning I’m down seven pounds! ❤ For those who haven’t been following me on social media, I’ve been doing a combination of Keto and the Beachbody P90 program, and the fat is just melting off. Those seven pounds (a few of them, admittedly, probably water weight) went in approximately three weeks, and I feel great. My energy has been higher, my skin is clearing up, my pants feel a little looser around the waist, and I’ve been noticing the change in my face and belly, which is awesome! If I can keep this up for the rest of the time I’m home, and then re-introduce carbs SLOWLY when I start back to work, I’ll hopefully be able to hold on to this change for the good. All the fingers crossed!

So that’s it for now; as I said, I just wanted to give a bit of an update since lots has been happening recently. But now it’s time to be off! I’ve got a delicious Keto supper to make (hot wings!) and a brand new video to promote! Thanks for reading! ❤

My Geek Box Unboxing (April 2019) DOUBLE-MUGGER!

It’s been a while since we unboxed a My Geek Box, and this one did not disappoint! When it came in the mail we were shocked by how ridiculously heavy it was, but we would soon find out why…this particular box is a DOUBLE-MUGGER! And you know what? Normally I grown when we get yet another mug in a subscription box, but both of these mugs are actually pretty awesome. AND there were some other awesome items in the box as well, so check it out and let us know what you thought!

Goals 2019: Week 18- No, wait…19? in Review


Okay people, let’s have a chat…

We all have a delicate balance in our lives. There’s the things we HAVE to do, the things we WANT to do, and the things we NEED to do and yet CAN’T manage no matter how hard we try. Meanwhile there’s also the things we’re ASKED to do, the things we’re EXPECTED to do, and the things that are THRUST upon us whether we like it or not.

Sometimes these things manage to even out in a way such that we’re able to stay the course easily enough. Other times they all bear down on us at once, to the point that we couldn’t accomplish them all even if we developed a magical pill that allows us to never require sleep again. And sometimes – more often than not if you’ve got the same kind of psyche as I do – you find yourself in a position in which you can’t even figure out which things need to be focused on at any given time, and so you end up doing none of them and just letting yourself get further and further behind.

I’ve been stuck in this particular mode for nigh on a year or so now. It’s getting old, it’s getting frustrating, and it’s definitely doing nothing for my stress levels, but it’s become my reality. There’s just too much work, not enough money, not enough time, not enough willpower, and even when I do manage to work myself into something resembling a functioning human being, some random new bout of bullshit appears to sidetrack me once again.

I don’t want this to sound like I’m whining or making excuses or anything like that. I’m just stating (what I, at least, believe to be) facts.

So what does this little rant of sorts have to do with this weekly (bi-monthly?) review post? Well, it’s the reason I missed an entire week, for one thing. It’s the reason this one, even after missing a week, is still late. It’s also the reason my goal points are going to be laughably pathetic, even though it’s a combination of two weeks worth of time I had to accomplish something.

So before I get into the really pathetic stuff, I thought I’d just give you a glimpse into what’s been happening with me lately, unrelated to the usual goal stuff.

For one thing, I’ve been working at Walmart for several months now. Now, I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who works at a Walmart, and I know many people who have worked at one their entire career and seem happy enough with that fact. I, personally, am more than a little depressed by it. Because, you see, the thing is that I spent 4 years of my life and approximately $40,000 (before the interest on my student loans) to get a Bachelor of Technology, and another decade of my life working in both the paper and oil industries, where I gained a multitude of experience and skills in my trade. So, you see…Walmart is a wee bit of a step down. That said, the major issue for me isn’t the fact that it’s something I’m so overqualified for, or even that it’s “retail hell”, because honestly, the job as a JOB hasn’t been that bad, and my coworkers are pretty great. The major issue is the pay. It’s…insubstantial, to say the least, combined with the fact that I’m technically “part-time”, and thus get no benefits. To make a long story short, it doesn’t pay the bills. Not even close. And as you can imagine, that’s a little bit stressful. Meanwhile I’ve been doing everything I can think of (and everything my friends and family can think of) to either get back into my trade or find another better-paying job in the meantime, but it just…hasn’t been happening. There’s been little to no work in my trade available, and everything else I apply to I’m either unqualified for, overqualified for, or there’s some other ridiculous stipulation that keeps me from being able to obtain it. Thus, Walmart it is.

In less depressing news, I’ve begun dieting and exercising again. I’ve found a new determination to not only lose weight (of which I definitely have some excess), but also to work on my body fat percentage (which is rather, rather bad), and get healthier overall. For this personal goal I’ve been doing the P90 exercise videos (NOT P90X, which is an awesome program but a little too extreme for me right now), and eating a low-carb diet. I have a sweet-tooth that borders on being some kind of eating disorder, and I’m overly obsessed with things like chips and bread-y foods, and that’s done me no little bit of badness over the years. Plus, much as I hate to admit it, I have no impulse control when it comes to these types of foods. A little turns into ALL OF IT because I can’t convince myself to stop once I’ve started. So cutting them out all together is honestly the best option. I’ve been doing the exercise and the diet for a little over a week now and I’ve already lost two pounds (probably mostly water weight at the moment, but still!) so no one can tell me I’m not on a decent track.

In scary news, I had a hell of a fright last weekend when my parents got in a pretty major car accident while on their way to visit us. To make a long story short, someone decided to change lanes without looking, therefore pushing the guy who was already passing HIM off the road, and the resulting confusion ended up with my parents – who weren’t even involved – getting t-boned, spun several times, and tipped off a 10-foot high embankment onto their roof. By some miracle they came out of it with only a few bumps and bruises, but their truck was completely written off, and they obviously got a hell of a scare. It was my father’s first car accident in the forty-odd years he’s been driving, and here’s hoping it’ll be the last, because god DAMN did it scare the hell out of me!

I think those are the main things that I wanted to mention, though some others may pop up throughout the actual goals’ talk, so let’s go ahead and move on. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to me moan!

So, what happened over the course of weeks 18 and 19?

Goal #1: Write half a million words.

You’d think, even with the kind of time I’ve been having lately, I would have managed to write a few words over the course of two whole weeks, but the results are disturbingly insubstantial. In 14 days I wrote just 2371 words. And to be perfectly honest? About half of those words were me working on the new Rules & Regulations for the Basement Geeks Facebook Group. Not exactly high quality writing right there.

  • Goal #1a: Write at least a quarter million fictional words. Aaaaand, absolutely none of those 2371 words were fictional ones. Not one. It was all those Rules & Regs, and a couple of blog posts. That was it. C’est fini.

Goal #2: Read at least 50 books.

The last time I wrote one of these posts (remember, two weeks ago), I mentioned I’d just read Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror. And I haven’t read anything since. Well, that’s a bit of a lie, because I have read about a third of a “Nova Scotia Ghost Stories” book I found at the flea market, but since it’s a very small book, that’s not exactly saying much. I really, really want to get into reading Stephen King’s IT, but with everything else that’s been going on lately I don’t know if I can dedicate any amount of time to a book that’s thick enough to beat a man to death with.

Goal #3: Build my social media communities…EVERYWHERE!

Over the course of two weeks:

  • The YouTube channel gained 18 subscribers
  • The YouTube Twitter account went up 1 follower
  • The YouTube Instagram account went up 9 followers
  • The Snapchat account’s score went up 28 points
  • The Author Twitter account gained 1 follower
  • The Author Instagram account gained 8 followers

I don’t really have much else to say about those numbers. It’s definitely quite nice that they’re all positive ones. I’m not sure my psyche could handle negative ones right now, just sayin’.

Goal #4: Play more (proper) video games. 

Video games have mostly only been popping up when I’m too overwhelmed to be able to focus on anything productive, but I did become a little obsessed with Overcooked last week. I only started playing it on the Switch after being reminded of it’s existence by the fact that it’s free on PS Plus right now, and I quickly got addicted. It’s both fun and infuriating, and GOD DAMMIT I JUST NEED ONE MORE STAR TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL WHY DO MY SOUPS HAVE TO GO AFIRE SO EASILY?!

Goal #5: Put more time, focus, and energy into the YouTube channel.

Two weeks ago I informed you that I’d actually managed to film a video. Shortly afterward I launched that video, and about a week later Jason and I filmed another one and got THAT one up. Unfortunately, since then, it’s been nigh on impossible to find the time and will to do more. We keep getting interrupted by things like visitors, shift changes, events that Adrianna has to go to, etc, and so now it doesn’t look like we’re going to really get a chance to film until the weekend at the earliest. But at least the wheels have begun to turn again, however slowly. Now, if I could just convince myself to sit down and write some posts for the most recent videos for TraceysBasement.com, that would be just peachy.

All in all, definitely not the cheeriest of blog posts, but to be honest, I just needed to get all of that out. Writing isn’t just a passion for me, it’s cathartic, and sometimes you just need to say, OMFG SO MANY THINGS ARE JUST SO CRAP RIGHT NOW, you know? Yeah. You know.

So now that I’ve got it all out, hopefully I can begin to turn around and work a bit toward the other direction. But I also refuse to feel bad if I don’t because, as you can tell from the first half of this post, I’ve not exactly been having the most excellent of times with life recently.

So, one day at a time, right? Right. One day at a time.

How was your week? Did you accomplish any goals? Make any new ones? Do anything else that made you feel awesome and accomplished? Feel free to share in the comments!