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my NYC soundtrack

March 22, 2011 2 comments

No this isn’t a list of my favorite songs or songs that make me think of the Large Apple. It’s just an explanation of what I have thought about so many times, but never written about. Have you ever thought about the soundtrack to your life? If you could choose the music, what would it be? How loud it is pumping and is this music only for your ears or all of the world to enjoy?

I don’t know what the arrangement would be for the music to my life, but I know it would be loud and inspiring. As I stepped out of the office today and strutted my happy ass back home, I couldn’t help but think about the awesome day it had been. To this note, I put on an appropriate jam from “A Day to Remember” and played out my own music video while staring at the NYC buildings clawing at the sky. A huge, cheesing grin draped across my face, just playing this all out in my mind.

This thought brought me back to the feeling I get when I pop on the headphones and skate NYC. There is nothing like pushing to the music that shapes your life as you duck red lights, flow on open concrete, and dodge those yellow monstrosities. On a sunny day in the spring or fall, there are not many places in the world that I would rather be than penning the soundtrack to my life on the asphalt pad of the greatest city on the planet. Read more…

sunny side of the street

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, I do have to do this most times. "L is for left." Thanks for the reminder, Hand.

I think that title really speaks to who I am, but I had never thought about this before living in the NYC area. Apparently it rains more on average here than in Seattle (considered one of the most depressing cities in the country, though I loved it there. Great beer joints, the original Starbucks for what that’s worth, and flying fish.) but I feel like we get a good amount of sun as well for being in this weird weather zone. It’s not the 300 days of sunshine that Tucson can claim, I miss that weather, but I think NYC holds its own for being in the northeast. That being said, one flaw in New York’s majesty is the fact that the buildings are SO tall that many times you cannot even see or feel the sun while walking through the city. Many times you have to look straight up, literally, straight up to see the sky. But there are times of the day that the sun shines through the gaps in the skyscrapers and us city goers are allowed to walk in the sun.

I know this probably sounds weird to people reading this that live anywhere else other than NYC, but sunlight on your face comes at a premium unless you are in Central Park or in a gap between midtown and downtown, or you are out in one of the other boroughs. I realize that nearly everywhere else in the world, the sun shines and you can feel it any time, you can see it any time. But think about where you live versus where I live. Open sprawling urban areas of neighborhoods that house two-story domiciles, the open range of farmlands stretching across the bread basket of America, or you just live in a city that doesn’t hold the volume of people who NYC does. I get it and I don’t expect you to truly understand, but let’s just say this is a major detraction for NYC. Read more…

Review: “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

WARNING: Opening this book may cause you to rethink much of your everyday life. (that's a good thing)

This is the first book I have read cover to cover in nearly 4 years. The previous book, I actually read twice and it’s called “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. Because I read it twice means that it has some relevance to my up and down life, and to be quite honest, I feel as though I should read it again. I should probably read it once a year, every year for the rest of my life. For those that need an inspiring story with some of the greatest characters the real world has ever known (Abe Lincoln, Anne Frank, Winston Churchill, etc) this is an amazing story.

The Traveler’s Gift isn’t the reason for this post, but “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky is. I found this title while looking for something inspirational on Amazon. I needed something that would help me to organize parts of my creatively chaotic life while pushing me to new heights in others. I had been searching for a book like this for so long and then the title hit me like a ton of bricks. “Making Ideas Happen” is exactly what I was looking for. I have so many ideas floating around in this scattered brain of mine, but I needed to hear about others who are like me and that think like I do. I needed to know how they overcame this disorganization and achieved “something.” I’m not even sure I know what I want to achieve, but I know that it is something. I want to be successful like rapper Drake says. “I just wanna be successful.” I want to own companies. I want to make things for the world. I want to help those that can’t help themselves. I want to change/influence people’s lives in some way. Those are the things that I want to do. Those are the “somethings” that are always on my scattered mind.

I know that I have the creative mind. I believe I have the drive. BUT I need to organize, divide, and conquer. That’s what this book did for me. It opened me up to a new way of thinking and allowed me to see that only 1% of all ideas come to fruition. I don’t want my dreams to be flushed away or forgotten like the other 99%. I want to be a change agent, someone who is known for making things happen. Bringing ideas to life if only to see it through from concept to creation. I want to physically hold the things I dream in my mind and I want to see people’s reactions to the things my friends and I are capable of creating. Read more…

“laughing out loud?” Well as a man, I’m not and you shouldn’t be either

January 13, 2011 5 comments

If you read my ramblings than you may know how much I despise the advent of text shorthand. I can see its usefulness in some occasions like when a person is running late for a meeting and only has time for the fewest key strokes necessary to get the point across. Acceptable. Everyday use, not acceptable. In emails, not acceptable (especially in professional/formal/business emails). In your college papers, not acceptable! In your every day vernacular, you have got to be kidding me if I need to answer that for you.

Case and point, I recently read some papers from third graders in the NYC area. Their handwriting looked like what mine would look like if I stuck a pencil in my ass and scribbled away. EVEN THEN, my buttscratch may be better, no lie. Handwriting wasnt the issue I was addressing, text shorthand in third grade papers was. Instead of writing out the word “to” or “too” it became the number 2. Some kids even wrote sentences that were perfect and I smiled…until the end of the sentence said “LOL.” What the F are you laughing out loud about kid? Emoticon smiley faces don’t get you jobs, neither do the acronyms OMG, SMH, ROTFL. It’s all fun and games now, but wait until you’re sitting behind the cash register at Walmart placing blame on everyone else for your position in life. (I realize that not all Walmart cashiers should be lumped into this generalization, but you get my drift) Maybe you’ll think back to third grade and those buttscratch acronyms you were using. Read more…

warning labels

January 11, 2011 2 comments

seriously...beware.

After the day I’ve had, I cannot even begin to tell you the thoughts that run through my mind. BUT despite all this, it is time to stop looking back and get on with whatever is ahead. Though I would have imagined I deserved a little more than I got today, I can empathize because I must consider the source. Damaged goods are always damaged goods and that’s why you usually get the discount at the grocery store or they get thrown out with the trash. Too bad people dont come with visible warning labels or expiration dates upon introduction. Reviews like on Amazon or Yelp! would also be helpful as it would save all of us a great deal of time “investing” in people who would never return half.

Everyone has their problems and I am no stranger to this. I probably have more than the next guy or gal, but I know how to keep it at bay while still enjoying life and respecting the company I keep. RESPECT. I should have a warning label of my own. “Filled with confidence, sometimes of the false variety. Helpless romantic who can become co-dependent. Wears his emotions on his sleeve.” For all this and many more attributes that I am trying to grasp, I know there is good in me so I should probably not wish that we came with these labels. Read more…

whats in a resolution?

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

A resolution seems like a simple enough concept, but what do they really mean if no one adheres to them. What’s the point if there is no conviction involved? A resolution is usually an empty promise to ourselves, a way of making us feel better about the here and now. “A new start!” we shout from the mountain tops. But within days, however, our “resolve” has faded. The glimmer of the new year has been washed away and we are once again back to the grind of daily life. So why do we fill ourselves with false hope for change when we have no intention of really breaking from habit?

I don’t believe in the act of making New Year’s Resolutions. I find it to be an arbitrary concept that pressures people into lying to themselves. On one hand I can see that some people truly do start anew or have the conviction and self-determination to persevere, but this seems to be a very small percentage of the population. Most of the world uses the new year resolution as a plan to get to where they want to be, but through half-assed resolve. Half-ass doesn’t get you to where you want to be in any facet of life. Put in what you expect to come out of it. A resolution is a promise, a vision, a plan to make life better…so why would a person never fully commit to the promise of a better life? “Because the road is too tough, it’s the path less traveled and it’s not easy.” All these are shameful cop-outs used when our bodies are sore from a new workout, when we long for that “one” beer or cigarette, or set impossible goals filled with sweeping change.

On the other hand, a resolution shouldnt wait for a specific date or the dawn of the new year. If a necessary change is identified, than the resolution needs to be immediate. The decision to right the ship should never be placed on hold, but rather a solution should be set in motion once the problem has been identified. It’s like an unattended wound. It festers and worsens, then becomes so bad that it finally has spiraled out of our control and drastic measures need to be taken to remedy the situation. Ok, this may be a tad over-dramatic, but the analogy plays. Action is the only way to correct a flaw before it becomes truly costly and turns to habit. This applies to laziness, gluttony, mental and physical health, family, and friends. A resolution can be made at any moment regardless of the time of year and this kind of mindset needs to be instilled in all those that truly desire change. Read more…

“timely check-in” – a woman’s most devastating super power

December 14, 2010 4 comments

I started writing tonight about the amazing book I just finished, but then switched into a conversation with my roommate about much heavier topics. I feel like I have had an off week so far and decided to talk some of it out. Yes, I understand that its only Tuesday, but I have deviated from my routine and I have definitely had a couple curveballs thrown my way.

I’m a creature of habit. I feed off these habits, good and bad, so that I have some sort of organization in my life. I can be somewhat of a scatterbrain. Today I almost left the house without my keys or phone. If I am in the gym 4-5 times a week for a couple of weeks straight, I am stuck in the routine and feeling good about it. If I skip a week, I substitute rooting around in the fridge 10 times a night for a solid sweat. Then I veg out on the couch letting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) creep in. I hate not being able to be outside in the sunshine. YES, I get “SAD” AND I’ll put some LBs on because I feel the need to hibernate for the winter AND I’ll probably have more drinks than I should when we go out each time. I need positive routine or I fall off the wagon and get drug through the mud for a bit. I know this about myself, yet sometimes I can’t get passed it.

12-16 hours out of my day, I feel good about what I am doing and where I am at, but sometimes I cant help but creep back down. Blame it on the weather. There really is no justification for this because I am IN FACT living a great life full of opportunities and full of the things that make me happiest. Its only when I get thrown a curveball, do I tend to rethink about how truly “happy” I am. Case and point: women have several super powers. The most devastating super power is that of the “timely check-in.” Read more…