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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How I Found My Favorite Video Game

My online friend Ryan Cooper asked me to write about a topic that we both have in common. Videogames. Ryan wanted to know how I found my favorite videogame Creativerse.
I had just gotten a Steam account in October of 2015. Then I downloaded some of the free games. I played when I could for the first 4 of 5 months. Summer of 2016, I went looking for Minecraft type games (I am not a fan of Minecraft and I could not get it to work). All of my searches came up with games that cost money. On Steam, there were two free games that looked promising.
Unturned and Creativerse. I downloaded Unturned in January of 2016. At first it was really fun, but then something awful happened. Over the summer I began making a base high up in the sky. I even got an admin to help me out. One day I was putting away supplies and three players began looting the server. They somehow found my base, built a ladder up to where I was and surrounded me. One of them threw a grenade at my feet and it blew up the floor below me, sending me to my death. I did alert the server owners but it was too alte to spend time gathering more material. So I left that game for a while. I do go in every now and then to mess around in the singe player server but the zombies are way over-powered. I get bored when I die over and over.
Four Months later I downloaded Creativerse. I immediately fell in love with it. The grind was not too bad and there was always something to explore. The grassy overworld with multiple biomes, caves in the stalagtite layer, the firely lava zone, and finally the dreaded corruption zone. Don't be fooled by the beautiful purple hue of the lowest zone. A dangerous Thing lives down there. All in all, there are many items to unlock and some you find by exploring or special events. With every update there is always something new to keep you excited and interested. There is a Pro DLC (which costs money) and an in-game store where you can purchase coins to spend on various bundles. For every major holiday there are events and new items and blocks to aquire. Right now there is a Halloween event where you have to battle for candy that you give to the Halloween Miru in exchange for beautiful chests that contain various Halloween items. This years theme is Day of the Dead. I absolutely love it!
I need to go get ready for the next event!
-Melody

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Am I Really Making the Right Choices? Part 3

Ok so I did a lot of research for this one. That's why it took me so long to get my thoughts together.
A few things come to mind when it comes to the choices I have made in my life. Most of them financially based. This is because I spend a lot of time thinking about living on my own and how expensive it can get. My biggest dream is to have my own place and be able to live on my own but that is a thought for another post.
In general, my finances are pretty well balanced. At the beginning of the month I pay various bills. Car payment and rent payment ( to my mom ) come first. Then there are expenses for gas, food and student loans. At the moment, I can't pay student loans as I do not have stable work. I will eventually get to that. I think I am doing pretty well making sure it is all taken care of. This is Adulting 101. Pay your bills and pay your taxes. But what about tithing? Isn't that important? God says to give him 10%. What does that really mean?
Tithing came from biblical days when the people of a city gave 10% of everything they had to the priests. Back then it was mostly cattle and crops and some money. Then the priests turned around and gave 10% to the government. Back in biblical days, tithing was a way to support to temple. What does this mean for todays synagogues and churchs? Same thing. Tithes go to support the religious establishments and to pay thier staff. In turn those workers give 10% of thier income to the church. It works kind of the same way.
Here's the issue. Currently, I do not tithe. I'll tell you why. I believe that tithing is very important as a family unit. As I am single and live with my family, I do not tithe. I think there are scriptures about this somewhere in the Bible. Let me tell you a little story. I was in my 20s and someone in my congregation got word that I do not tithe and told me that it was a sin not to tithe. I immediately bought it to the rabbi and he said that its okay. I live in my parents home and do not live on my own and cannot tithe due to small income. The scandal was put to rest right then and there. I have even had someone tell me that I should tithe what little I have. I am pretty sure that God does not want me to starve. I dismissed that suggestion. I do, however, tithe of my time.
I am a firm believer in tithing of my time in service to the Lord. I also believe that this is one of my callings. Ever since I could remember, I loved being the helper. Its like what Mr. Rodgers used to say, "In times of trouble, if you look around, you will always find helpers". I have been a servant for over 15 years for various synagogue functions. I even have my ears pierced in the cartilage as a symbol of servitude to God (Deut 15:17 and Exod 21:6).  I recently joined a church and I plan to be actively involved there too.
I believe that my life has progressed slower that average but it all happened the way it did for a reason.
Melody

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What Does My Future Hold?

Well no one can predict the future.  I do have a vague idea of what the next year will look like. This is not set in stone or anything but I have had to make some serious decisions.

After this year I will no longer be doing the Alive After 5 events. There are many reasons. The main reason is that no one I invite shows up to these events because they are in the middle of the week and parking is confusing if I do not explain what to do. I just have no support for it anymore. This alone is very heartbreaking to me. One of the other reasons is that I only make about $10-$15 a night most nights. I used to make $50 a night on a good night. Many of the events this year were rained out also.

I may also do another search for orchestras that need flutists. I have auditioned for many orchestras but they just don't need flutists. Many up and coming high school kids are taking positions in community orchestras. I am not sure what is out there but hopefully I can look into other groups.

Starting the beginning of next year I will begin to record videos once a week (I am nearly done cleaning my office and nearly ready to make a recording space here). I may not put any of them out for a while but I want to get back into recording things. I am still wrapping my mind around the fact that Youtube is just not a career for me. I am turning it into a passionate hobby instead.

This blog will remain a huge part of my hobby and I will continue to write updates here as I go. I also plan to make a trip to Canada next year. I have always wanted to visit my friend there and enjoy Niagara Falls.

There is so much I want to do but I never seem to follow through or even get the opportunity to try. I am on a constant journey of self discovery. I think this blog is an excellent hobby for me to keep up with.

See you all in the next post,

Melody

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Quick Update

Well as you probably noticed, I published my last post about a month ago. I am currently writing my next blog posts in batches.

I have a folder where I keep a bunch of blog brainstorms and then sit down and write them in further detail. Part 3 of Am I Really Making the Right Choices? will come out very soon. There is also some information about Jealousy that I want to write about too. Some of the things I am planning to write about do require some minor research, so bare with me on that. The Writing Prompts are also in my folder. I have not forgot about those. I will likely be ordering more of the same series to continue.

Today I want to talk about what is happening on YouTube and the in-depth reason that I will not be returning to that platform for a while. The Ad Sense issues are literally non-sense (pun intended).

I have not worked out a way to monetize my videos and I likely will not for a long time. The only ones that are eligible are the Teatime series and any vlogs that I do. None of those contain any copyrighted music so they should not be flagged at all. I do review some products and do un-boxings. Those are not sponsored and I do purchase them with my own money. These should not be flagged by the system either. On top of this, those videos do not get very many views at all so there is no sense in monetizing at this time. The only video on my channel that has over  1000 views is The Scientist by Coldplay that I did on the Flute. It has over 8000 views but the song is copyrighted so I can't monetize it for fear that I will be removed from YouTube. AdSense has a lot of issues but the main one is that advertisers are saying that some content is not advertiser friendly. For this reason, thousands of videos have been demonetized on all size channels. I do not want to fight an uphill battle with this problem. Until it is resolved, I can't return to YouTube. There may be other platform options but until then I am going to stick to this blog.

While on my 6-month hiatus, I did some serious introspection. I came to the stark realization that I was doing YouTube for all the wrong reasons. For me personally, it will never be a career like it is for the lucky few with millions of subs. This is a reality and not just me bashing myself. So as a result I have a new goal for the channel. It is a hobby that I enjoy doing on the side. I still have a regular job and everything but I still want to share music with people.

Lastly, I want to share with you all that I do have a new job. I am my own boss and have my own office. I work for someone but mostly I am free to think and do what I think is best for the business. As a result I do have a spare room that I can use as a recording space. When we get the suite cleaned up and organized, I will make the space a storage room with a recording corner. My gear will be kept in a plastic suitcase or trunk that I can get in and out of my car when I need my gear for practicing and recording. For the time being I plan to have regular practice sessions here in the office after work. We are nearing to the holiday season so I may be pretty busy but I plan to stay in the office some late nights regardless.

--Melody


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Am I Really Making the Right Choices? Part 2

The other day I began to think about my current situation. I live with my family.

Is that a bad thing? Not really and I will tell you why.

Financially it is difficult to live on your own and with the present economy, good work is hard to come by. I would have to be married and combine incomes with my spouse to survive. That is the reality of today's economy.

Don't get me wrong. I do not live in my parents home for free. I do help out around the house and I pay rent. I also have a car payment but still I make things work out while I'm here. This brings be to my next dilemma.

Would I move out with a boyfriend if he asked me to? No. I do not believe in this living arrangement(See part 1 for that explanation). Also, I would not be in a relationship with someone that does not believe in marriage. My romantic relationships, or lack thereof, is the only thing that seems to be difficult with my present arrangement but I believe that the right guy will understand my situation, not judge me for it,  and we can still go out and have fun.

Do I want to move out? Yes. Eventually
Is that feasible right now? No.
Is that a bad thing? No.

-Melody