Tarangela Mental Health Blog

The change is now complete. Yesterday, I wrote my first post on the new blog that is focused on mental health. The new blog is titled Tarangela Mental Health. Please check it out and I hope to see many of you there.

Because of this change, I will no longer be posting on this blog. I will keep it open, at least for now, but it will be inactive. Thank you to those of you who read this blog and those who wrote comments.

The Librariosphere Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that there were going to be changes coming to this blog. The first change is now up and running.

Now, everything I write about regarding books, writing, libraries, etc. will be on The Librariosphere blog. So if you want to read things regarding any of those things, you will have to go to that blog. The address for that blog is librariosphere.wordpress.com

As a result, this blog will go through a rebranding phase where it may lay dormant (no posts) for a while. I’m not sure how long this rebranding process will take, but I will try to keep posting while it happens.

Thank you to all my readers who have been here throughout the years.

Change in the Making

I am considering a change with my blogs. Right now, there is really no focus on this blog. Initially, this blog was created to promote my writing, but that has taken a back seat and I’m not sure if I’ll continue writing books or not.

The change that may be coming will be splitting my blog into two different ones. I will have one for book reviews and other things related to books and writing. The other one, will be focusing on mental health.

Mental health issues are something that is very close to my heart because of family and personal experiences.

This change may take a while to be implemented because I want to plan it out a little more and decide how I’ll do it exactly.

I’ll keep you up to date on the changes.

Importance of Grammar and a Grammar App Review

Contents of this Post

This is a longer post than I usually write so I’ve included a list of the contents to better navigate the post.

     Importance of Grammar
     Grammarly Infographic
     Grammarly Review
     What is Grammarly?
     My Review of Grammarly

Importance of Grammar

These days, proper grammar seems to fall by the wayside, in exchange for text language or slang. Despite what people seem to think these days, grammar is important. There have been numerous times where I’ve misunderstood someone online, simply because they didn’t include a comma where they should have.

One example of this happened on Facebook messenger. I was messaging someone who had reached out to me after my brother died. At one point in the conversation, she responded with “You absolutely are not my friend.” At first I was taken aback because I thought she was saying that I was not her friend, which didn’t make sense with how the conversation was going and she had a smiley face at the end of the sentence. It took me a couple of seconds to realize she was saying “You absolutely are not, my friend” which gives it a completely different meaning.

If I had taken the meaning of it without the comma, without realizing she meant it with a comma, that conversation would have ended a lot differently. I’ve had several other experiences like that, but that one sticks out in my mind because of how drastic the meanings changed.

Grammar is important to get the intended meaning across and help lower the chance of misunderstanding. Below is an infographic that a grammar app put out about the correlation between proper grammar and jobs.

People with Stronger Writing Skills Are Better at Their

Grammarly Review

Several weeks ago, I got the opportunity to try out Grammarly’s full app for free for two weeks. Right off the bat, let me tell you a little bit about the app before I go into my review of it.

What is Grammarly

Grammarly is a web application that goes beyond the standard spell checker. It checks for grammar mistakes and often gives a little explanation as to grammar rule is relating to the mistake.

Through the app, you can also upload documents and it will check them for you on the site for application.

They also have an extension for Microsoft Word which will check your document while you are typing it. The extension can check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, style, vocabulary enhancement, and plagiarism. You can also set the type of document you are writing so it can specialize what it is checking for. Unfortunately, this is only available with the premium account.

There is a free account and a premium account that you can get. The free account checks for basic mistakes, while the premium account checks for more advanced mistakes and enhancements.

My Review

For a two-week period, I was able to try out their premium account and I was, for the most part, pleased with it. It helped me improve my grammar, but also caught mistakes that probably would not have been caught if just using the standard spell checker.

The app works with any writing you do online, such as Facebook, Twitter, emails, even this blog post. If you have the browser extension and are logged in, it will check your writing without you doing anything. You do, however, have to accept or reject what they suggest for you to do because what they suggest isn’t necessarily what you were wanting to do.

I also really liked the Microsoft Word extension because I could change the type of document I was writing and have it give me specific suggestions based on the type of document, such as an academic paper. It also gave me suggestions for vocabulary enhancement, because sometimes I use the same words too much and the paper would benefit from using different words.

One problem I had with the Microsoft Word extension, though, was that I would have to have Word open already in order to open a document I had saved on my laptop. If I strictly went into the folder I had saved the document and double clicked on it, Word would open but an error message would come up and I would have to double click on the document again or use the file open command feature in Word. I know this was related to the extension because it never happened before downloading the extension. I also deleted the extension at one point and then I could open existing documents, no problem.

Since my two-week trial ended, I have tried the free account and despite not being able to get the more advanced issues checked, it still does a decent job with the basic grammar mistakes.

Despite the little glitch I experienced with the Microsoft Word extension, I was happy with Grammarly and I would suggest anyone who struggles with grammar or just wants to improve their grammar to get it, even if they just get the free account.

Waiting for the After

I’ve been doing this a lot in the last year, maybe even longer. I’ve been waiting for the after. After I graduate… After I get a job… After I move… After the memorial… After I get diagnosed…After…

My life has become a list of events that I’m waiting to be done. Once those events have happened, I can finally live my life or make changes in my life.

One of my “afters” was threatened this week and it derailed me this week a bit. The “after” was supposed to come in a week and now it probably won’t happen for another two months. Doubt has also crept into my mind that it might not happen then either because it is dependent on something that is very unreliable.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends time waiting for the after. Why do we do it? It’s not like it helps us achieve anything. Sometimes waiting is good, but other times we use it as an excuse not to do anything until after that event or that thing happens. Sometimes that thing never happens and often when that thing does happen, we don’t do the things we said or thought we would.

Yet, we still wait for that after moment. I know I do.

I try to live in the moment but I often find myself waiting for the after.

You Have Weddings, We Have Funerals

My brother with our aunt at his high school grad. Her hair had just started growing back after chemo treatments. Both were gone 1 1/2 years after this picture was taken.

My brother with our aunt at his high school grad. Her hair had just started growing back after chemo treatments. Both were gone 1 1/2 years after this picture was taken.

This has become somewhat of a saying in our family. Over 80% of my cousins over the age of 18 are married, with one recently engaged. That percentage lowers to around 70% if you include my brothers and I in that number.

I have attended 7 viewing services (a service the evening before a funeral), and 6 funerals for 8 different people and I’m only 23 years old. There are some other funerals I may have gone to if it worked with my schedule and on the location. In contrast, I’ve attended only 12 weddings.

This past week has made me aware of the divide between my life and the lives of those I graduated high school with about five years ago. Two people I know got engaged this past week and a couple people I know had children. On the opposite side, I found out that the mother of one of my best friends has been diagnosed with colon cancer, possibly stage 4. Right now they are saying it’s stage 3 but there are some spots on her liver that they’re not sure about. I’ve met my friend’s mom several times.

While people my age are getting married and having kids, I’m wondering when the next funeral I’ll be attending will happen and worrying about getting tests done to finally get diagnosed with a condition that will make me struggle with infertility if I ever decide to get married and try to have a family.

My life is so different from those of the people I graduated high school with, I don’t feel connected with them at all and I don’t know if I would go a class reunion if we ever had one.

While a lot of people my age go to weddings, I go to funerals.