never shop hungry

INTP In a Supermarket

Who people think you are: Weird geeky person with large glasses shopping in alphabetical order in an effort to be as efficient as possible. 

Who you actually are: The person dancing around in PJs to the jam on the loudspeaker indiscriminately buying whatever looks good because you came shopping hungry.  You will then get home and realize that you bought nothing that can be made into a real meal and proceed to order pizza and watch The Food Network. 

Guide to TV Tropes, Part 2: Navigating the Site

Know what you’re looking for before you go in

Pylon @constablewrites again! Last time, we discussed the various benefits to cultivating an understanding of tropes. TV Tropes is a phenomenal resource for that, but the site can be a bit, well, dangerous. It’s a sprawling web of intriguing titles, fascinating discussions, and in-jokes; it’s no exaggeration to say that I have lost weeks of my life at a time to that site.

(That’s setting aside the other way it’s dangerous: once you start to see these patterns, you see them everywhere and become much harder to surprise as a reader/viewer. Can’t help you with that one. Welcome to Media Studies, kids.)

That said, you don’t have to learn the site inside and out to find it useful. Here are a few tricks that can help you get in and out and back to your writing.

You know how they tell you never to go grocery shopping hungry because you’ll just wander and toss a bunch of stuff in your cart you don’t actually want or need? Same concept applies here. This, beyond anything else, is the golden rule for research, especially on TV Tropes. We’re gonna be referring to this a lot.

Are you writing a film paper and just can’t remember in which movie James Bond has a nice dinner with the bad guy so you can reference it properly? Are you starting to dip a toe in a new genre and want an idea of some of its prominent works? Are you trying to determine if there’s a historical basis for a certain trope? Set a goal before going in, even if that goal is just, “I have an hour to kill and want to read something interesting.”

When researching, you have to continually ask yourself, “This is fascinating, but is it relevant?” If the answer is no, set it aside.

A few site-specific techniques for doing just that:

-> Don’t read the examples. I recently directed an asker to the page on The Masquerade (where there’s a magical world hidden within the mundane one). The description and discussion of the trope is about 850 words. The entire text of the page including examples is 20,000 words. Obviously this represents a very different level of time investment! The first section of a trope page will usually give you a pretty good grasp of the concept and how it relates to other tropes.
If you do need examples, observe the Golden Rule. The examples are organized by medium and collapsed under headers, so only open up the headers relevant to you. For instance, if you want to find a real world example of a trope, just click the Real Life header and leave the rest alone.

-> Set a timer. This is critical for if you’re just poking around, because it is appallingly easy to look up and discover that about eight hours have passed. But even if you’re going in on a mission, still determine how long you’re willing to give yourself on a session and set some sort of reminder to bump you out when it’s done.

-> Be wary of tabbed browsing. I’m not saying I’ve crashed my computer with the combination of TV Tropes and “Open link in new tab”, but I’m not not saying that, either.
Here’s my trick: I open up the site in a separate window, so it’s easier to tell which tabs are TV Tropes and which aren’t. Then, if I still have tabs I haven’t hit by the end of my session (or if my tabs have just spiraled out of control), I’ll go to Bookmarks > Bookmark open pages… (this is for Chrome, other browsers likely have similar functionality). This lets me create a new folder in which I can dump all those tabs, and then I can close that window without fear of losing something potentially important. Along those lines…

-> Use bookmarks. I find bookmark folders extraordinarily robust for organizing information for later reference, especially if I’m juggling a couple of different projects. It’s particularly helpful for all those “fascinating, but not relevant” chestnuts, so you can peruse them at your leisure when you’re not on a mission.

-> Look for definitions. So you’re reading up on a trope that’s relevant to you, and it references some other trope you’re not familiar with and you don’t quite understand the point they’re making without that knowledge. Congratulations, you’ve just rolled out the red carpet to the entrance of the rabbit hole.
If all you need is a quick definition and want to avoid tangent temptation, look for a bubble at the top of the page that says Laconic. This provides a 1-2 sentence description, which may be all you need. If that bubble’s not there, the first paragraph or two usually provide a general overview, so you can read those and bounce back to what you were doing without getting into greater detail.
If you’re brand new to the site, I’d recommend looking over the Tropes of Legend page, which provides brief definitions for many of the most commonly referenced tropes. Otherwise you might find yourself making a whole lot of detours just to be able to finish one sentence in an article!

Assorted other tricks

Individual works usually have their own pages! The level of detail can vary (because wiki), but popular ones usually have a plot synopsis and a listing of tropes used in the work. This can serve as a sort of reverse lookup for trope names; if you don’t know what a trope is called but can think of an example, you can check the page for that movie/show/game/what-have-you and see if you can find the trope listed there. (You can also try the You Know That Show… link in the sidebar to get help from other site users.)

Many pages have a bubble at the top that says PlayingWith. This leads to a page that discusses variations on a trope: the different ways it can be subverted, invoked, deconstructed, reconstructed, and more. Can be very helpful in getting the creative gears going.

Like many other wikis, pages usually belong to various indexes, which are listed at the bottom. Indexes provide a bare-bones listing of related tropes without additional descriptions, so they can be useful for trying to navigate quickly.

Finally, if you create an account on the site, you can utilize the default display options in the sidebar. I’m particularly fond of night vision, especially if you find yourself in the rabbit hole at 3am.

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There we have it! Now you can go forth and explore with confidence and pride. If you need further advice/help on using TV Tropes, feel free to drop me an ask on my personal blog. Happy troping!

yesterday i was checking this woman out and she was talking about how she “only came in for a few things” and now had a cartful of goodies and how she should never shop hungry bc she overbuys and i was like “well you know they always say to go with your gut :)” and she laughed for like 5 solid seconds, really loudly, at my goddamn dumb joke, like she was genuinely tickled and thought i was clever, but at least she was having a good time

Healthy Living On A Budget

Living a healthy lifestyle. This sentence scares some people because they think “not only do I have to give up junk food and sweets but I also have to spend a fortune!” Whilst there are a lot of fancy health foods out there nowadays, most of the time these foods are super expensive because you are paying for the tons of costly ingredients used to make them, and their pretty packaging. People have this misconception that eating healthy means your shopping list has to be full of foods you can barely pronounce and you need at least ten different ingredients to make one meal. Trust me you aren’t the only one intimidated by those recipes where you can only recognise one ingredient, and that is oats! What a lot of people forget is that eating healthy and on a budget really comes back to basics, eat wholesome, clean, natural foods. These are things such as fruit and vegetables in their natural form, lean meats, legumes and healthy fats. It can be so fun to experiment with new recipes every once in a while that require a few more unusual ingredients, but if you are on a budget it is good to recognise the difference between a splurge and necessity. Here are some of my favourite tips to eating on a budget:

Always Meal Plan

I bet you are getting sick of hearing this! I honestly cannot stress enough just how important it is to meal plan when you are trying to eat healthy and stick to a budget. Meal planning allows you to recognise what you can afford to eat weekly, and it also takes the hassle out of wondering what to cook every night. You are more likely to fall off the wagon if you don’t meal plan because if you are hungry and caught off guard, I bet you the first place you will look is your refrigerator for a quick frozen meal or the nearby takeaway shop. My tip is to write down all your favourite recipes on cards and quickly calculate how much the meal will roughly cost, each week you can pick out your favourite meals and use the prices to guide your budget.  Meal planning also gives you more time to do other things you wouldn’t normally have time for such as getting in that 30 minute walk or catching up with family and friends. There is nothing better than sticking the slow cooker on before you leave for work and coming home to a ready made meal! 


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Buy Foods That Are In Season

We should be doing this all the time, it makes so much more sense to buy fruits and veggies that are in season because they are usually so much cheaper! I love to print out a list of all the fruits and veggies that are in season each month in Australia and stick it on my fridge so that I don’t forget. Buying in season will also mean your meals taste better as the foods are at their peak. With things such as fruits I love to buy more when they are in season and then freeze them so I can use later on in smoothies. I love to freeze strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, peaches, mangos and similar. 


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Buy In Bulk

This is another handy tip, if you think about it spending money every few days on foods can really add up! It is a great idea to buy non-perishable foods in bulk such as all different kinds of flours, coconut and olive oils, teas etc. Another great tip is to buy your meat in bulk - you can portion this out and freeze until you are ready to use it. I recommend to write a list down of the foods that are recurring on your grocery list every single week and see if you can find ways to buy in bulk. It may cost you a bit more up front but it will definitely save you money in the long run!


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Shop At Your Local Markets

Hop onto the internet and Google a farmer’s market near you, you may be surprised at how many there are! Shopping at farmer’s markets helps you to save money because you are paying direct to the grower meaning you miss the middleman and the food is usually fresher. Keep in mind that the produce is not always organic and you might have to pay a little more to buy organic if that is important to you, however it still usually works out a lot cheaper than a big chain supermarket. The best thing about going to a farmer’s market is that it is a great day out and you can usually score some fresh treats while you are there!


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Use Your Leftovers

I always tend to make a bit more than I need for dinner, that way I can use it the next day for lunch. This usually is a piece of protein with some good carbs and tons of veggies. For instance I love grilling salmon and will make more than I need so I can use it the next day, usually switching up what I serve it with for added variety. Eating proteins for lunch will also help to keep you fuller for longer. The moral of the story is be creative with your leftovers! Throwing food in the bin is unnecessary and just wastes money from your budget. 


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Shop Smart

When at the supermarket my number one rule is to never shop when you are hungry! Seriously, the amount of times I have walked into the grocery store on an empty stomach and literally had to stop myself devouring that chocolate bar then and there. We all know shopping hungry will lead to unnecessary purchases and choosing tempting unhealthy options. My tip is to shop when you are satisfied and only go into the aisles you need to. That means don’t even think about wandering into that chips and soft drink only aisle. Nope, don’t even go there! Even small things such as picking the checkout line that doesn’t have a chocolate or lolly display can help you shop smart. 


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Stop Eating Out

This is a no brainer if you are trying to eat healthy, but especially when you are sticking to a budget! Even small things like buying a coffee here or there or purchasing a sandwich for lunch a couple of times a week can make a huge difference to your budget. Instead think ahead and plan ahead, make your lunches a couple of days in advance and buy a really good travel mug that keeps its contents hot for hours so you don’t have to keep purchasing hot drinks. If you have room in your budget allow yourself one purchased meal per week, however make sure it is also healthy for you.


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I hope these tips have helped you, once you start planning ahead and falling into a routine you will be a budgeting pro!

Kayla xx


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Submission. What if...

…You had just moved into your new apartment in the infamous town of Cincinnati. Not only that, but you had just finished unpacking everything. You finally got to sit down for a break from your tiring work, but then your stomach growls so loud that you could have sworn the neighbors should have heard. Not necessarily thinking, you rise back up and walk over to the kitchen to hopefully find something in your fridge. However, it wasn’t until you saw the empty and bar shelves inside that you realized there was one last thing to do before you are officially moved in. With an aggravated sigh, you shut the fridge and return the the living room. In a swift movement, you grab you cell phone and keys, and then head out the door.

When you finally arrived in the supermarket, you realized a big mistake you were making. You are supposed to never shop when you are hungry, because you are tempted to buy all of this bad things for you. However, once you made eyes with the chip aisle, you forgave your mistake and hurried to grab your favorite flavors of Lays.

As you are going down the other aisles to efficiently stock your home, you start to think yourself crazy. For you could have sworn that everyone once in awhile you heard a quiet, yet deep voice, whisper, “Yams.”. It never seemed to be directed towards you. No, that certainly would have been crazy. Instead, it sounded more of a determination; however, you couldn’t seem to get ahold of why you seemed to be the only one to hear it. Feeling anxious you slyly checked all of the cans, until you came across the yams. With a strange urge, you grab a van and set it in the now opened, children’s seat in the cart. Finished in that aisle you move onto the frozens, where are apprehended by a dark haired man with chocolate brown eyes that seemed to sparkle behind the glass of his spectacles.

“Where in the heck did you find those?” he asked you in urgent whisper.

“I’m sorry, but find, uh, what?” you asked, slightly frightened, yet relieved. His whisper seemed identical to the one she had heard, only more urgent this time.

“The yams,” he whispered, however, in a more menacing sense. It had frightened you, yet drew you in at the same time.

“They were just in the canned aisle. You can have my can if you wish. I don’t even know why I grabbed it. I must have thought I grabbed something else,” you said to him as you pick up the can. He looked at you with a surprised expression as you held the yams out to him.

“Oh, um…thanks,” he said, speaking to you in a normal tone. As he goes to take the can from your hand, his fingers brush against yours. Your heartbeat seemed to pick up its pace as a tingling sensation coursed through your arm.

“May I ask why you are so eager to get yams?” you asked as you gripped the handle of the cart. It was in hope the sensation would pass and your heart would relax. However, the longer you looked into his eyes, the more excited your heart seemed to be.

“My friend and I are going to do this sort of challenge. Each time either of us dies, then the death punishment is take a bite out of a yam. Straight from the can. It sounds stupid, but that’s kind of what we are,” he explained to you, bouncing the can a slight bit. You chuckle and then smirk at the still unnamed man.

“And may I also ask what the reward is for winning in the end?” you questioned him. His eyes widened and he stopped the bouncing of the can.

“I-I have no idea. I guess there should be huh? What do think, uh…” he trailed off. That was when you realized you haven’t given your name either.

“It’s _____. And how about a nice soda to wash out the taste of yams, and then a delicious choice of… I don’t know, let’s say a donut,” you suggested. The light in his eyes seemed to brighten.

“That is a brilliant idea. I’m Mark, by the way,” he said, holding out his hand to you. Forgetting what had happened just a few minutes before, you taking his hand to shake it. The sensation returned and seemed to further spread throughout your body. You looked at Mark, as neither of you released your grip. He, in turn, was staring at your locked hands that have ceased their shaking. Yet he seemed to mesmerized by something, for it took him a second to realize you were letting go, and he let go as well.

“I should should go finish shopping to stock my kitchen,” you said to him, before grabbing the cart once again. As you pushed on to pass him, he seemed to just stand there, watching you with a mesmerized gaze.