It's been quite a week for me. I spent most of it working (probably over-enthusiastically) on the big project for what will likely be my final class. I finished on Thursday. It's a guide to Internet resources for teens regarding mental health, and you can check it out here! (I learned a ton doing it.)
Then, yesterday, a new story for the chronic illness annals: I went to the dentist. I've been having trouble with bleeding gums and such, which I suspect is the result of my very restricted diet (which just keeps getting worse because my digestive system keeps deciding it's bothered by new things), so the hygienist was examining my gums. Suddenly she said, "Can I look at your throat?"
As she looked, pressing my tongue down with the little mirror tool, her expression went very serious and a little alarmed. "You've got pus spots on your tonsils," she said. "I think you have strep."
I was just as surprised as her. My throat had been hurting for about a week, and I was a bit more tired and headachy than usual, but it hadn't been enough to warrant concern for me. The pain was mild, at least for me, and of course I'm accustomed to feeling sick. The dentist looked and confirmed the spots, and I went to urgent care. I didn't really think it would turn out to be strep, but the doctor there tested and confirmed it. I have strep, and I didn't know it until the dental hygienist looked at my throat.
I had strep a lot when I was younger. I remember having a hard time with the pain even the one time I got strep after my fibro first developed. I suppose after everything I've been through with interstitial cystitis since then (it's an honestly torturous condition), my entire definition of pain has shifted. My tolerance has gone up enough that I perceive pain on a different scale. It happened with the fibro, and I suppose it happened with the IC, too.
Honestly, I'm actually quite pleased that I have a real excuse to sit in bed all day and watch TV. I feel crappy all the time, after all, and when you're chronically ill, you've got to work as hard as you can to live your life despite that. It's nice to take a break. Kind of like a little vacation.
Yeah, being chronically ill really distorts your perception of life, LOL.
Anyway. Today I'd like to finish up my series on Internet resources with a short list of websites and apps that I use just for fun! A lot of these were mentioned in earlier posts, but I figured I'd round them up here. I hope you enjoy them, too.
Streaming is the new TV, and I'm pretty sure all of you have heard about Netflix. It's pretty much an entertainment staple. If you can afford the subscription cost, I definitely recommend it. Though it wasn't a happy time, Netflix filled the hours I spent being extremely ill in 2016/2017, and it provided a much needed distraction. I've found many shows I like through this: Sherlock, Supernatural, Star Trek, The Good Place, Law and Order: SVU, and more. Honestly, it got me into TV and movies in a way nothing else has! And for any storyteller, it's a good idea to surround yourself with stories told in all sorts of formats. That's one the best ways you learn the craft.
Another modern entertainment staple, YouTube gives you access to suh. many. videos. Most of them for free, though there's a subscription option I've never felt the need to try. Some of my favorites to watch are the Try Not to Laugh videos from React, Buzzfeed Unsolved, Translator Fails, and How It Should Have Ended, but there are many, many more. I watch a lot of political show clips on here too, so, you know. Education!
Yeah, I mentioned it last time, but not only is social media a tool for socializing, marketing, and learning, but it's also a major entertainment source. (Again, don't do it if you don't like it.) I find so many hilarious posts through social media, including lots and lots of cat gifs, and there's also a lot of beautiful art, fanart included, and, just, it has so much. Tumblr is the place to be if you're looking for art and fandom stuff especially, but you'll find all kinds of entertaining content on all kinds of social media.
It's technically a kind of social media (as is YouTube), but I categorize it somewhat separate. Quora is a crowdsourced Q+A site. I joined it for an assignment for my library class, and I don't intend to be very active on it, but there are a lot of interesting threads to read with lots of entertaining or educational real-life experiences (though some of them are probably made up). You could probably get a lot of story inspiration from it!
This beautifully illustrated (but sometimes gruesome) web comic tells the story of a girl with the spirit of a powerful queen attached to her who must bring all the queen's warriors together to take down the ruler of their universe. It's very well-done so far, and as the story unravels, you can see more and more threads and lots of new worldbuilding appearing. I'm curious about where it'll all go!
I Waste So Much Time
I go to this website every day to see what new posts are up. The majority are funny or cute, but there's all sorts of random pictures that people put up. There's usually six or so new ones every day to check out, and they're mostly very quick to look through.
I Write Like
This is a fun tool that takes your writing, analyzes it, and tells you what famous writer your writing style comes closest to matching. I've put all my books through it at some point or another, and I've gotten a lot of different results, which either means my style is very scattered, or that it's very me. Not sure which. I don't know how accurate it is either, but I certainly enjoy it. CUCUY's latest draft, for those who are curious, was analyzed as being like Agatha Christie's writing.
Candy Crush Saga
It's a cliche, I know, but this game does so well for a reason. I've tried all the other Candy Crush versions, and thus far, I like the original the best. It's a good distraction if you're anxious, and it requires some clever thinking without being too terribly frustrating. Plus, the graphics are cute! I'm at level 1611 right now. (You can also play this game on your desktop, on their website, and on Facebook.)
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
This is a new adventure at Hogwarts, taking place after Voldemort attempted and failed to kill baby Harry, that you get to be the main character of. You're the sibling of a boy who vanished seeking out secret vaults at Hogwarts, each of which releases a different curse, and you've got to uncover the mystery while leading your regular wizarding life. I'll admit I don't like the time limit aspect to the tasks, especially the limited time events, as it makes it quite difficult to achieve them. But I do like the story so far, and I'm very happy to be playing a Harry Potter game where I can be mostly myself.
I've tried a lot of choose-your-own-adventure story apps, since stories are my thing, and this is the one I consider to be best. It has nice graphics and fairly well-written stories with a lot of diversity both in genre and in characters. The stories do lean towards gratification for your character, especially romantically, but that's to be expected for such an app. The lean isn't usually too ridiculous. I do wish they gave you more keys to play chapters with, and I'm hoping they'll include more disability rep in future stories, but otherwise, I'm quite happy with the app. I recommend the sci-fi/fantasy style stories the most, but of course, those tend to be my favorite anyway.
I'm still testing out other game apps. For the record, I enjoyed The Sims Mobile very much, but it was such a ridiculous timesuck I had to delete it, LOL.
So there are my recommendations. What are yours? Let me know, and I'll be back next week with "taking stock of my life."
Images via Amazon.com.
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