Saturday, November 20, 2010

..

Standing on the side of the road with my thumb outstretched in the 110 degree heat index, I wanted nothing more than to wash the soup-like mixture of dirt, sweat, and sun block off of my skin. We’d been standing there for nearly three hours and my backpack had become sufficiently glued to my body with sweat. It was only the second day of our hitchhiking adventure.

We were stuck in a small village outside of Hagerstown, Maryland; 85 miles from where we started, but still 330 miles from where we wanted to be - Columbus, Ohio. Another hour passed without a ride, and as the sun rose higher, our moods sunk lower. Searching my mind for a boost of morale, I remembered something a friend of mine told me just before I left, “Think of hitchhiking as a walking trip with the possibility of getting rides,” he said, “not the other way around.” While this statement held some truth to it, it didn’t stop me from being upset. The first day we never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride; but now we were waiting twelve times that!

I told my friend Jon I was taking a break, sat down, and closed my eyes. Whenever I start to get upset, I try to think through the problem logically rather than emotionally. I was obviously upset because we covered any distance yet today, but then I asked myself why not covering distance upset me in the first place. Cars continued to zip by, and I couldn’t think of an answer. We didn’t have to be in Columbus by a certain time, nor was there any real reason for us to go there at all. I was getting upset over nothing at all. The entire basis for this trip was to experience true freedom and live without any worries, even if just for a week. To quote Robert M. Pirsig from his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, “We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on “good” rather than “time.”” The destination didn’t matter; the emphasis was upon the journey alone. Ten minutes later, someone picked us up.

I look back on that trip and I realize that I try to look at everything with focus on the adventure and not the result. I don’t want to go to college to get a degree just to make a six figure salary later in life; I want to go to learn everything that I can and meet new people and experience everything I never thought possible. The same way that I don’t want to work all my life just to be a rich old man; I want to make a difference in the world and overall be happy with my life.


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Monday, August 9, 2010

.

oof .
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Monday, July 26, 2010

No Shoes


Haven't posted for quite some time; though it would seem that I can't pinpoint the reasoning as anyones fault in particular, but more as something that just happens with no one to blame.

I could, for instance, say that not posting is because I've been traveling, though that would be a lie because while true - what is better to blog about than travel stories.

I might also blame being an american teenager. Why sit on the computer and talk when I could be enjoying one of my last free summers?

I could drop girls, jobs, family, or the feeling that no one wants to read what I say all as valid excuses; but what it boils down to is not why I haven't been posting, but that I haven't been posting at all.

Now I can't promise I'm going to be posting on any sort of regularity, but I can promise that if the thought even crosses my mind, no matter how stupid or worthless the idea is, I will be sure to stop by.

Okay.

So since the start of summer, I haven't really worn shoes at all. I've been kicked out of 27 public places, suffered 2 minor gash wounds, and been gawked at an incomprehendable number of times. The bottoms of my feet are pretty ridiculous now (a friend and I actually picked the hottest day to walk laps around the Walmart parking lot), and I'd be willing to bet the callouses on my feet are stronger than most of your shoes. Rocks, glass, thorns; it ain't shit now, I just brush it off and keep walking.

I would also go as far to say now that I'm a master at hiding it from store employees. Here are a few tips:

1 - There's a certain distance that makes your feet widely visible; 10-30 feet. If you can avoid being in this range, whether inside 10, or outside 30, you should be solid.

2 - Side entrances are your friend. Speaks for itself really; less people = less eyes.

3 - Avoid shorts. Bare feet are much more noticable with shorts. I prefer to have long pants that are centimeters from scraping the ground, for the extra cover.

4 - Walk quickly and use obstacles like people or clothing racks or any other type of merchandise to seperate yourself from employees and the death spot - cash registers. Be a ninja.

5 - If you ever have to enter any sort of food establishment, get as close to the counter as you can as quickly as you can and use it to block the lower half of your body.

6 - Be confident. Make eye contact and act like you know what you're doing. They can't look at your feet if they are looking at your eyes. Be the alpha male.

7 - As a general rule, most people just won't care. They'll either think your crazy and not want to mess with you, or generally just not notice because they are too wrapped up in their own robot bullshit. The people who do care, only do so because its their job. Avoid them.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 2-3.5

Insight

"I want to dig a hole. A monstrous crater, smack dab in the middle of a high school lawn, or public park. When people stop and ask me why I'm digging, I'll look up and reply 'You gotta put your problems somewhere, bro,' and continue to dig. Maybe if I dig long enough I'll eventually find treasure." - Tee Engelke

I've never read a biography of any great man whose life has been a continual uphill progress. Every great man has been shit on numerous times, whether his fault or others, before coming out on top. It's important to remember this always. This last month, hell, the last 6 months, have not been very fun. Once the shit starts piling up, it becomes an arduous task to stick to your beliefs and goals. However, this is the time when it's most important. Everyone relapses, but what separates people from others is where they go from there. Giving up is not an acceptable option. Ever.

Week 2,3,3.5


Physical:Learn to Juggle

Messed around with this quite a bit this month. 6 Flashes, or 18 consecutive catches is my current record. I'm pretty proud of that, to be honest. I want to continue to work on this. I don't see myself ever being very serious about it, but it is fun to pass the time.

Structural:Wake up immediately
The few times I did experiment with this, I found myself tired and cranky throughout the day. There could be other factors in this, like not getting enough sleep, or just having a shitty day, but I would not recommend this to anyone else. Enjoy the little escape from reality that sleep is.

Mental:Read 2 book/week from a different literary period
Only have finished two books this month. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac and The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy.
Both are excellent reads. I plan on picking up some more of Keruoac's more popular work, like On the Road soon.
Dharma Bums - Buddhism, climbing mountains, drinking wine, hitchhiking, writing poems, living in the woods, parties, meeting new people every day, self-exploration.
"
See the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn't really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures. " - Kerouac
The Kreutzer Sonata - Society's views on women, morals, debauchery, capriciousness, modern 'love', corruption of the mind, reasons for having kids and families.
"The way she saw the situation was like this: she'd been giving some extremely weak and fragile creatures [kids] to look after, creatures that were susceptible to an infinite number of disasters. For these creatures, she felt a passionate, animal devotion. What was more, although these creatures had been delivered into her care, the means by which they could be preserved from danger had been concealed from us, but revealed instead to complete strangers, whose services and advice could only be obtained for large sums of money, and even then not always." - Tolstoy 72


I want to continue to read daily for the rest of my life. There is a feeling I wish I could describe better that happens when you come across a profound new idea in a book. Your brain stops for a moment, then rewinds and forces you to go back and read it again, if only to ingrain what you just learned. A wave of relief washes over and you suddenly feel enlightened.

Social: Create and maintain a Facebook
Done.
http://www.facebook.com/bryan.augstein

Musical:Play the Sax (20 mins daily)
I probably played sax about 13 days this month. I do enjoy playing, I enjoy creating all kinds of music, it just isn't as important to me as it once was.

Creative:Learn a new origami creation daily
Did not get to work on this very much. I made about five creatures early this month, and then tried to recreate them today from memory and failed terribly. Strangely, I'm okay with that.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't Think

Today I encountered an interesting dilemma. This isn't the first time I've encountered it, but the first time I've noticed it and been able to pull some thoughts from it.
While talking with two different friends, about two different, but somewhat serious topics, I found myself drowned in a sea of "I think."
"I think this. . ."
"Not trying to attack you, but I think. . ."

I aim to remove this word from my vocabulary. With think, comes uncertainty in what you speak, and with uncertainty, comes doubt in your ability. I find this stems from two main ideas -the desire to not be wrong, and the desire to not offend.

Firstly, you can never be wrong in your beliefs. When new evidence comes along, you may change your belief, but you were never wrong to begin with. You will always have time to correct yourself later. Speak what you know, but be open to learn.

Secondly, the desire to not offend is just silly. Nothing that is said cannot be mended or clarified, which is most cases, is all that is needed.

Don't think. Know and believe. Be confident in your beliefs - years of experiences is what has brought you to them, and they can never be wrong. Don't ever doubt them.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adaptation

While training with Dim from Montreal he taught me "if you know you can make a jump, you have to." Of course safety is always in mind, but there are so many things besides safety that can turn us away from something we know we can do. If we can better observe the situation with the goal to better understand what we are capable of then we allow for further gains in the process of adaptation.

It's this process of adaptation to our environment that is a key element of Parkour. We take things that are hard and train them until they are easy, and in this way we grow. This method is not exclusive to parkour, it can be applied to all aspects of our lives. The goal of this experiment is to modify the mental environment to encourage adaptation.

It goes to say that these mental jumps, the ones that we know we're capable of, should be taken in stride. If we seek challenge, and do only things that make us stronger, and understand that we can learn from all things and so become stronger, we become infinitely capable. The only risk is that we might learn something.

"You only learn when you're uncomfortable." We can grow from this constant search for challenge, to bring discomfort towards our understanding. The adaptation is what we've achieved when we overcome confrontation, wherever we may find it. The goal is to (paradoxically) seek peace in chaos.



Let us become adept at adaptation,
to look for opportunities to leap in any direction
(and understand that every moment is an opportunity)
and in so to always strive

to find peace in chaos .



Stay Positive
Be Proactive

Love

-Jesse
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Week 1

Insight
"'This thinking has stopped' but because I had to think it no thinking had stopped, but there did come over me a wave of gladness to know that all this perturbation was just a dream already ended and I didn't have to worry because I wasn't 'I' and I prayed that God, or Tathagata, would give me enough time and sense and strength to be able to tell people what I knew (as I can't even do properly now) so they'd know what I know and not despair so much." - The Dharma Bums pg 34

Knowledge is truth - seek it and share it with others.

Physical:Learn to Juggle

Haven't made any serious moves on this yet. Messed around for a while a few days ago but that just left me with ruined fruit. I've been attempting to not use any outside sources/advice for this, but to just use my memories of Zac and Pyro and all they've said about it over the last 3 years.

Structural:Wake up immediately
I feel as though this goal needs a little explanation. Everyday when my alarm goes off I hit snooze 3 or 4 times, clinging to a bit of mindless dreaming before I'm ready to start my day. In an attempt to see what effect it will have on my body, physical and mental, I'm going to get up and start my day the second my alarm goes off, not 20-30minutes later.
Today was the first day I've actually had to set an alarm, due to spring break. I woke up, but then found myself wasting time doing nothing because I wasn't used to being up 20-30minutes early. Need to experiment with perfect timing for success.
Mental:Read 2 book/week from a different literary period
So the first week is almost done, and I'm only about 1/3 of the way through my first book. 2 books a week is a little unrealistic, but as long as you learn something, failure is completely acceptable.
I've been reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. I've never read Kerouac before, though he's been recommended many times before to me. I like this book a lot so far. A big side topic in it is Buddhism, something I've never really encountered before. Will give a more indepth write up when I finish it.
Social: Create and maintain a Facebook
I hate facebook. And all social networking sites for that matter, but maybe I can learn something from this experience.
http://www.facebook.com/bryan.augstein
Musical:Play the Sax (20 mins daily)
I've only been able to play 1 day so far. It's difficult finding time that won't disrupt someone else in a small apartment with a baby, but I will be trying harder. On days I am unable to play I have been making an effort to be more musical in some sense, either whistling or writing a quick lyric or two.
Creative:Learn a new origami creation daily
The only thing I've been able to make up until now is cranes. The first day I decided to learn to to make a star wars fighter plane. Waaaaayyy out of my range. Spent hours confused at how to do it, and then eventually realized I needed to start smaller. So I made tiny little pig. That's all I've made though, definitely need to devote more time to this.

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You're great, this is easy!

You: are great. This: is easy

DSCF0575

So in talking with Bryan about some aspects of my previous mindset I mentioned the self-degradation as a means of encouragement, essentially telling myself that I sucked, that whatever I was doing was too hard, and then I would strive to prove myself wrong.

Through the search for eternal energy I now believe the answer is in proactive positivity. Instead of proving myself wrong, I now believe in proving myself right. Just saying this in the middle of a tough time brings a smile to my face, so I hope this message can spread to everyone.

Be proactive
Stay Positive

Love
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Jesse week 1

Insight
Slow start but I'm moving in to some perfect days for it.

Physical:Learn to Juggle
I've only messed around with this so far, but it's growing in my mind.

Structural:visualize/meditate nightly
I've been meditating, trying to focus in and focus out. Looking to talk to Rick about the techniques he's learned.

Mental:Write left handed
I've been writing left handed, funny enough the handwriting looks the same or better than before I tried to improve it with my right hand the first month. It's so counter-intuitive though, it's mentally jarring just thinking about it, so I try not to.

Social:Don't be late
I had chosen for this to be a daily letter, and that is symbiotic with learning to write with my left hand, but I decided today while I was on my way to being ten minutes late or so that I would make it a point this month to be on time to all appointments.

Musical:Get video of my songs/words
No videos yet, but I did write a new poem, so I'm looking to get that up

Creative:Draw something daily
Drew plans for obstacles today, left handed!
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools

This month The Change Experiment will be thinking differently by becoming a collaborative effort between Jesse Danger of New York and Bryan Augstein of Baltimore. We will be challenging each-other to pursue our respective challenges, and using the collaboration to push each other to challenge our paradigms.

Jesse's Challenges:
Physical:Learn to Juggle
Structural:visualize/meditate nightly
Mental:Write left handed
Social:Write 1 letter daily
Musical:Get video of my songs/words
Creative:Draw something daily

Bryan's Challenges:
Physical:Learn to Juggle
Structural:Wake up immediately
Mental:Read 2 book/week from a different literary period
Social: Create and maintain a Facebook
Musical:Play the Sax (20 mins daily)
Creative:Learn a new origami creation daily
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Marching Along

Insight:
There is no peace you can find anywhere you go that was not with you to begin with.

More insight to come to sum up the month, soon : )

Challenge Wrap-up

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

Tried some spiced Loaf, but didn't pay too much care:


Left this in the oven for about an hour too long:


Getting back into the groove with it:


Good spread:


Soggy Oggy with some fresh bread:


Probably my best tasting loaf yet:


This is something that I will be taking with me through my life, with a little time, not many ingredients and not too much attention paid I can make a damn fine loaf of bread now. This is a great example to me of something that seemed daunting becoming almost effortless.

Musical: Listen to 5 new bands

kitsunenoir - Great weekly mixes every Friday

The Antlers

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Miike Snow - good trying on clothes music

Goddamn Electric Bill

Nujabes His music lives on

These are some of the ones I've enjoyed^. I need to continue to try to listen to new music, but really listen to it, give it a chance.

Physical: No shoes
Trying to remove shoes when possible.

Shoes are evil, our feet are tremendously receptive to the world.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Some good workouts with it.


When I work out early in the morning it gives me a jump start to the day, I have energy through it.

If I make myself a nice breakfast and tell myself I've got to workout before eating it then it becomes a lot easier to make it happen.

Creative: Create one thing
Leap Shirt:


My message to you:


This month with this challenge I've created more than I have in a long time. Perfectionism masked as 'standards' stops creation. We've all got a certain amount of bad art in us, we need to get it out to get to the good stuff!

Mental: Watch a TED talk


Ken Kamler
speaks about the 1996 Everest Disaster. I've read this from Krakauer's and Visteur's point of view but his is different, and more than incredible in it's own respect

I've learned some amazing things, and it's always important to remember that we can change the world, the people out there are solving problems that wouldn't be thought possible to solve.

Social: Random Acts of Kindness
Started adding (Pass it on) to the notes I hand out.

Handed out "You're Beautiful, never forget it" and "You're great, this is easy"

How can we positively effect the world in our everyday life, how can we let others now that the world cares, that there is good and truth and beauty.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Subject to Change"

Insight
If there's good in all things then it's our job to find it!

This goes further to say that it's healthy to look for it places we haven't, and keep looking until we know for sure it's there. The world is an amazing place.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Rye Flour and Caraway seed with some dill, needs to be refined, not the flour but the loafmaking



Musical: Listen to new bands
The Welfare Poets
A couple of Cornell students that came together to rhyme for a good cause. I stumbled across this in my search for do good fun events around NY. They rhyme for a reason.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Crumby workout then good bread, will be looking to scratch that and reverse it.

Creative: Create one thing

I've been making some ambigrams, they need work but I kind of like them.
"ENDUr3"


"LOVE HATE"


"LEAP"


I think the Leap one turned out the best.


Mental: Watch a TED talk
Woody Norris talks about the amazing things he's invented and his interesting approach to invention. It's really pretty cool, and he's a good talker.

Social: Random Act of Kindness
I've taken to folding cranes again, I don't know if anyone sees them and smiles, but to me this is nondestructive graffiti, only positivity turning just a piece of paper into something that enriches the beauty of our world.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catsup

Insight




This says it ^

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.




Dramatic Loaf:


Musical: Listen to new bands
Nice sound:
Phoenix: electronic up-beat,kind of kooks-y

A couple I really liked the lyrics:
Ghost Mice: A bit of an annoying voice but an amazing message

Andrew Jackson Jihad: Kind of Paul Baribeau-y


Physical: No shoes
Nothing really extensive with this

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Making sure that not following this doesn't stop me from working out.

Creative: Create one thing
Actually I've been working past while on creating just one thing, I hope to have it out and ready soon.

I've got a couple other creations that just need to be photographed.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Watched quite a few ted talks that didn't do all that much for me, then today I stumbled on this one, absolutely amazing. Dan Barber talks about how he fell in love with a fish, but really, about how we can make a better world, people are doing it already!

Social: Random Act of Kindess
The note handed out has inspired further such action. Giving away a train ticket or a nice note is just a great way to tell someone that the world cares.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Act of Kindness

Gave someone a note that said "you are beautiful, never forget it!"
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ketchup

Insight:
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

Here's to trying new things, and to doing things you don't want to because you don't want to.

I've fallen behind on most of these. I'm trying to better understand that we do have the time and energy for the things we care about and to better understand how to tap that to push forward into the unknown.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Hectic schedule makes for hectic bread. The last loaf I made rose for too long both times and baked for the wrong amount of time, but it ended up delicious. As my mom says, bread is very forgiving, maybe we can learn something from that.

Musical: 5 new bands
Thanks to excellent response on my facebook post I've got a whole mess of bands to check out.

Physical: No shoes
Trying to see opportunities for not wearing them when I normally would. Took them off on the walk home.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
This has become more of a "if I've got the time" issue, and whether I plan on doing anything physical that day.

Creative: Create one thing
I'm going to have to catch up.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
I just haven't been keeping up with this, I'm going to try to remember to put one on while I'm doing other things. Bread time is usually good for this.

Social: random act of kindness
This keeps slipping my mind, I'm going to write on my hand to remember.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wet Paint


Art is something that makes you think.

It's not about you liking it, especially if it isn't trying to sell you anything. If it makes you think, if it makes you feel something, that is what's beautiful about it. If it musters up disgust or dislike that proves it's worth, and what you can take from that is only up to you. There is a comfort in complacency, but in that we lose our adventurous spirit. We must be unafraid to take a step outside of the norm and to embrace those that are doing just that.




How much did that blank wall ever make you think?

Graffiti is amazing. It puts the power in the paint covered hands of every person in the world. You look on a wall and see ugly writing ruining good paint, I see someone not afraid to express themselves. You see a misled youth, I see someone who is visibly modifying the world. You see someone disrespecting property laws, I see someone challenging the concept of property.

I hear a lot of people say that they like the good stuff, "the stuff that's art". That's not how it works. The art is in the action, and whether you like it is not of their concern. Someone going outside the system to show that they have an impact on this world, unafraid to memorialize the places they've been, the nights they've had, the gas masks and the running. Every mark, from quickly scribbled scratch to elegantly mapped mural is a masterpiece of human potential, a tribute to truth and beauty, and a reminder to all of us that we can change the world.



MovesNotExcuses

Make Moves Not Excuses .


Think Different.


Love .
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3.13-15.2010

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Weekend Loaf

This weekend has been a rough one with keeping up with the bread. I was on a morning rise and I decided to try and switch over to an evening. I ended up losing a day in the process and had to get up early. I'm not worried, 7 a week means I can make a couple loaves in a day, but altering my current schedule really knocked me off the baking flow.

This bread I bake is a buddhist loaf, that is to say, no knead.

Musical: Learn Guitar
I'm going to alter this permanently to "listen to 5 bands I haven't before". I'd really like to know how to play guitar, and what's more I'd like to learn from someone I know. I think that condition is one I would have to lift in order to make progress on it this month, so with no further justification, I'll be opening my ears to some unheard tunes.

Physical: No shoes
This one is a tough one for me to fully wrap my head around. No shoes is explicit but there are times when it's hard to make the call for whether it's necessary. For now if I'm walking somewhere outside I've taken to not wearing shoes, maybe carrying a pair of sandals to slip on, but if I've got to make it to a train or I'm going inside somewhere or I'm just trying not to be that guy I've taken to wearing them. I've pushed it a bit, and I've talked about it a bit too.

What I'm worried about here is the social aspect, putting up a barrier. I'd like to always to be approachable, I don't want my outward appearance to put anyone off or make anyone uncomfortable but at the same time I want to be able to encourage people to think different.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
This has encouraged me to make some good breakfasts to encourage me into working out. I've had some good workouts so far, the idea I'm using now is really just grease the groove for eating, it becomes a way to earn the meal, or in the words of the warrior diet, to 'simulate the hunt'.

Creative: Create one thing
LoveOverMoney

Charlie suggested that I try and write some articles so I'm going to textually represent some of my opinions.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about doing what you love. This is an absolute must see.

Do what you love, no excuses.

Patience and Passion.

Social: Compliment 5 people
I really want to believe in this as a way I can grow but I think in it's current form it doesn't allow for much challenge. I keep thinking to myself that I say enough compliments, but I don't like the idea of not trying to better myself because I already believe myself adequate at it.

Rick suggested that I do one random act of kindness a day, and I think that's a beautiful idea, I didn't change to it because I had already chosen this as my challenge but as a further experiment in thinking different I'll be using that from now on.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

3.12.2010

Insight:
Not all who wander are lost
Not all who wonder are lost

Peace.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Modified my recipe and technique to make a Challah Loaf today, so good! Will be making French toast with it for sure. I need to refine it a bit though so I can get a deeper brown and a smarter braid.
Challah

Musical: Learn Guitar
I had a little meditation session with the guitar, trying to make things that sounded nice. I think this is going to need a rededication

Physical: No shoes
No shoes, no shoe blues, rainy today.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
My new strategy is make a delicious breakfast and just set it there until I work out. Doesn't take long.

Creative: Create one thing
Just some late night spraying, camera needs to be charged though, will upload it tomorrow.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Lauder has a very short talk about one sign that could make a big change in our traffic patterns. He goes in to say some pretty startling numbers for how much needless stop signs cost us.

Social: Compliment 5 people
frustrated
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3.11.2010

Insight:
“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” Thoreau

There is value to be found in all things in life, and anywhere you go you can find happiness.

Stay Positive. Be Proactive.

Love.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

Made a round loaf brushed with olive oil:
Round Loaf

and a couple questionable rolls:
Rolls

and Made some great toast:
Jesse's Toast

Musical: Learn Guitar
Didn't do anything for this today.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Another day of sporadic training and meals, I think I need to refocus.

Creative: Create one thing
This has been a long time in the making but finally saw it's fruition. I think I might still work a little on it, but I'm glad to have it done:
Collage Proj

A poem I wrote:
The young cling to the old to find comfort in the unknown,
The old clutch to the young to find comfort in their energy.

Let me grasp you,
with all that I am,
for all that you are.

Let me get lost in the forest of your thoughts
to climb on every branch and hang on every word

Let us take solace in the shadows of our unanswerable questions

And for just this moment, let us be
without trying to be someone

Because everything that has passed is until now
and in this moment
we are as young as we will ever be.


Mental: Watch a TED talk
Eric Mead talks about the magic of the placebo. It's a short talk, but it was interesting to find out that a needle placebo is more effective than a capsuled placebo is more effective than a little blue placebo is more effective than a white placebo.

Placebo is real.

Social: Compliment 5 people
Haven't been giving out as many in person, not sure whether that should be the requirement.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

3.10.2010

Insight:
My thought to random insight is that all things are relevant.

so sometimes people do things that we don't understand
probably even more often than we think
because if you can't really know a person
then you don't really understand
but sometimes these things are
a few steps removed from anything we understand
that's frustrating
sometimes we rationalize, or we justify, oh that person is this way or that way
but that concept is actually kind of alien, because we can only really understand people with perspective
and this or that is a floating term
it's an easy way to write it off
but if we understood we wouldn't have to write anything off

seek truth

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
I shaped the double into four loaves and folded in some fresh rosemary from the garden.
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Four loaves became one, started another double batch so I'm going to try bake some rolls separate from the main loaf tomorrow.

Musical: Learn Guitar
Watched a video, not all that informative, this might not be practical by the end of the month, or as a part of the project.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes all day. Got some weird foot cramp after taking my shoes off last night.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Just gtg working out and gtg eating

Creative: Create one thing
This means some form of artistic expression to me. I worked on a couple things, neither are done yet though, but should have both done tomorrow.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Watched John Hodgman talk about encounters with aliens. Not his best work but kind of funny. I really enjoy this guy usually.

Social: Compliment 5 people
Got my five compliments sweet talking today.
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3.9.2010

Insight:
Here's some Thoreau as part two of the weekend insight:
"I have learned that the swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot"

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till the other is ready"

Immediacy

how many days spent saving and planning and waiting

when do we travel the path to our dreams.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Started a double batch today, not sure what it will shape up into tomorrow

Physical: No shoes
Got some nice shots of my shoes today, so I had to be wearing them. My feet have started to become uncomfortable in shoes though.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Training day today at Roosevelt with Pyro and Ludovic. I'm not sure whether this is a good excuse or not.

Creative: Create one thing
Started working on a poem, thought it would be up but it's not quite done yet.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Eric Lewis : an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist. Parts are amazing and other parts I really don't understand. Definitely talented, but it gives insight to a genius misunderstood.

Social: Compliment 5 people
A couple compliments, but I've actually been at a stasis with this, Zac had suggested I instead 'talk' to one person, or one new person. This ended up clouding my hierarchal needs. I wasn't sure which was more important, the thing I said I would do or the thing I thought I should do. So I ended up not doing either. Not a good solution. 5 compliments this month.

Musical: 5 New Bands
This is actually a similar problem as compliments, but with a different hierarchy. I'm relying on someone else for guitar lessons, but when those aren't possible (they haven't been yet this month) I've decided that my day to day should be listening to 5 bands I haven't yet.

Ra-ra-riot: I can dig it
Tokyo Police Club: Not bad
The Stranglers: Not a fan
The Scene Aesthetic: kinda whiny, but some nice sound and good lyrics
Eric Lewis: See TED
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3/5-8/2010

Insight
I got a lot of time for quiet reflection up in the woods this past weekend, to make it better I've been rereading Walden and pawing through Laotse.

Some good thoughts have come of that, here are some passages from Laotse I thought were worthwhile:

One who considers himself great can not be considered great 32:1

To know truth and not be able to follow it is called disease

If you have a lot of money - share it with others. Then what business will you have to attend to? A sage lives like a partridge (without a constant abode) and he eats like a young bird (contented with whatever the mother bird gives him) he goes about like a bird (without definite destination) and does not declare himself. Whe the world is in order he prospers with all things, and when the world is in chaos he cultivates his character and leads a leisurely life.


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The fam at the summit.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
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baked this the day I left and this the day I came back

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Got a little rusty, will start a new loaf tomorrow morning.

Musical: Learn Guitar
No music learned

Physical: No shoes
Ski Boots

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Worked out plenty, breakfast was always amazing too.

Creative: Create one thing
Just journal writing

Mental: Watch a TED talk
no technology until the 8th, then I watched Bonnie Bassler talk. Pretty good, she goes into cellular communication and how we can use it to our advantage to fight off diseases and strengthen our immune systems.

a thought to leave you on - of all the cells that are a part of us, 90% are bacteria

Social: Compliment 5 people
Quiet weekend. I have endless compliments for the place I stayed though. Stump Sprouts is something I really believe in.
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

3/4/2010

Insight
I'm going to head up to the mountains for a couple days, will seek good insight there.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Started tomorrow's loaf to make early in the morning.

Musical: Learn Guitar
Broseidon lord of the Brocean

Physical: No shoes
Caught myself with shoes on a couple times, didn't do this too well.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
A bit of jogging and juking with Bella but pretty much a rest day.

Creative: Create one thing
Here are my creations so far:
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Let it light the whole world

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Flake: is Pivot a turning point for web exploration?

He talks about a new method of navigating the web, it's a little daunting but pretty interesting. It changes the way we can maneuver with data, which in the right hands I'm sure can be used for great things.

Social: Compliment 5 people
A few here or there, no meaningful convo.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3/3/2010

Insight:
sow a thought, and you reap an act;
sow an act, and you reap a habit;
sow a habit, and you reap a character;
sow a character, and you reap a destiny.

make moves
Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Whole wheat loaf today
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Musical: Learn Guitar
No moves on this, my friend said that she would help on Monday so until then I'm going to listen to five new bands every day.
Physical: No shoes
I walked to the train station and trained in Central Park. In the snow it's relatively impractical to not wear shoes, but I try to do it as I can.
Structural: Workout before breakfast
Big training days are going to be an exception.
Creative: Create one thing
Nothing created.
Mental: Watch a TED talk
Daniel Kahneman talks about the riddle of experience. (Put Link Here) It was pretty interesting, he talked about the difference between the happiness and well being. Essentially he was saying the difference between experiencing and remembering.

money doesn't money buy you happiness, but lack of money does buy you misery
Social: Compliment 5 people
I complimented people during the day, it's really about just making the connection between thinking something and saying it. I think I'm going to change this to Zac's suggestion of "Start a conversation with someone you haven't yet"
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3/1&2/2010

Insight:
Off to a bit of a slow start this month.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
So far I've baked a couple of no knead loaves, they've come out lovely. The loaf rising now is whole wheat. I'll be expanding my repertoire through the month but for now this is a simple routine I can add daily.

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Musical: Learn Guitar
Cristal dropped off her guitar, someone else suggested I do this, and I've really always wanted to know how to play. If I'm around someone who plays I'll ask for a little lesson, something I can practice, but that hasn't happened yet so I've just been pawing at it.

Physical: No shoes
On the first I went to a convenience store and the supermarket, one guy there said "you're cool" with sarcastic undertones. Last night I went out an an adventure with Zac. About a mile from my house my feet started getting pretty numb so I ended up caving on it there.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Light workout before breakfast, dips and pullups, with weighted toe to bar and some good mornings (It was only a few but feel I them this morning).

Creative: Create one thing
I've been makings some light renovations in my room, I'll take some pictures of them.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
I haven't watched a TED talk yet : (

Social: Compliment 5 people
When I say this people always say something along the lines of "they should be genuine compliments". This is an experiment in thinking different, and change requires emulation, so at least for some period of time I will be complimenting when I otherwise wouldn't. To me that's not genuine, but perhaps I can learn something from lowering my high standard of acceptable times to compliment.
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Monday, March 1, 2010

February Conclusion

Insight:
"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer"
- Albert Camus

There is an eternal positive energy source, I definitely haven't tapped it yet but I'm starting to grasp the concept. Negativity was a powerful force in my life, and I saw times when I could use it for this project. I used to rationalize and say that negativity redirected to positivity was a good thing, and in a situation where you don't know what to do, if you're angry or sad and you want to go train to get it out, this is a good solution, but I feel now that the best thing to do is find your invincible summer.

When I say negativity was a powerful force in my life, what I mean is when it came to me I tried my best to redirect it positively. This harbored a destructive relationship though. My training was laden with self denigration. There was no desire to be stronger, it was only a desire to not be so weak. I used it similarly elsewhere, and feel as though I could have used it a lot in this experiment, to potentially better results.

Strictly speaking I didn't succeed at my experiment this month. In the end I fell short of all of my goals, but what I did came from positivity, a desire for growth. My goal was to take a step into the unknown to see what I could see, I may have only gotten one foot out the door, but I know I'm on my way.

I know what I've learned this month will continue to help me, I look forward to next month and a new array of interesting challenges!


Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
This is probably what I've stuck to best, waking up early definitely has it's perks and over time you adapt to a specific sleep cycle.

On the positive I found myself waking up naturally when I wanted to, I felt well rested and it was generally easier to be on track the days that I stuck to this plan.

On the negative if I stuck to this a lot I would miss out on key interaction hours.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
I have stretched more this month than probably the rest of my life combined.

On the positive I see how inflexible I am in some areas, and that will help me to better fix this.

On the negative I see how inflexible I am.
Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
I am about 70 short here, which is rough, I've got some others that I couldn't verify to some extent online or that I wrote only as phonetic so I didn't put them up.

On the positive I learned a bunch of phrases, some I'm inclined to use at times, others I've already used. More than that I realized how much different language is all around, I believe I'm one step away from an incredible wealth of language.

On the negative I'm one step away and yet I didn't make it. I know that if I had asked everyone I knew I would have more than come up with the 100 phrases necessary.

SPANISH
Cuidese: Take care [Spanish] (Xian)
Que hubo: What's up [Spanish] (Xian)

GERMAN
Fleischwurst: Bologna [German]
Schweinhund: Pig-dog [German](Borga)
Dumkopf: Dumbass [German] (Borga)

RUSSIAN
Na zdrovyeh: To Health [Russian] (Community)

PORTUGUESE
Nao fode nem deixa foder: Does not and does not let %^*& [Portuguese] (Cristal)
Tudo Bem: "Wuz poppin" [Portuguese] (Cristal)

LATIN
Semper Ube Sub Ube: always wear under wear [Latin] (Zac)

TIBETAN
Tashi Dele: Hello [Tibetan] (Eva)

ARABIC
Busa: A kiss on each cheek [Arabic] (Janine)

POLISH
Prosze: Thank you/Please [Polish] (Borga)
Jak tam stary: What's good pimpin [Polish] (Borga)
Dobra Noc: Good Night [Polish] (Borga)
Daj Mi Wodka, Albo Cie Zabije: Give me vodka, I'll kill you [Polish] (Borga)

FRENCH
Peut-etre: Maybe [French] (Claire)
Peut etre: May be [French]
Bizou: A kiss on each cheek [French] (Janine)
Zut Alors: Well %^&* [French] (Janine)
Je pense que tu es belle: I think you're beautiful [French] (Janine)
J'ai la fievre: I have a fever [French]
Raison d'etre: reason to be [French]
Decouper: Cut out [French]
Je t'aime mon petit ami: My boyfriend, I love you [French](Pyro)
Mon petit Chou Chou: My little cabbage [French] (Janine)

IRISH
An scannán is fearr ariamh: the best film ever [Irish]

CZECH
Miluješ ho: Do you love him [Czech] (Once)
miluji těbe (milyu tay: I love you [Czech] (Once)

JAPANESE
Oishi: Tasty, delicious [Japanese] (Xian)
watashi wa neko otabi mas: I eat cats [Japanese] (Justin)
Watashi no meishi desu: This is my namecard [Japanese] (Justin)

ITALIAN
Ci vediamo: We'll see eachother [Italian] (Janine)

Musical: Listen to only classical music
This was a combination of learning a little bit about classical and a lot about not listening to music.

On the positive I learned that classical makes for good whistling music, and that watching parkour videos or action scenes from movies with classical music on makes for a very epic feel.

On the negative I miss my tunes. I've been craving them

Creative: Practice better penmanship
My handwriting is better, and I feel with that goal in mind it will continue to improve.

On the positive I learned that writing lists is really good for remembering things.

On the negative I didn't have a strict goal here so I have no way to gauge success. I did decide I was going to write a letter every day, and I'm yet to complete any of them so far.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Hugs are everywhere.

On the positive I learned that there are people out there looking for hugs, that everyone needs them, they are a healthy part of this complete life.

On the negative, I didn't get my quota, I should continue to work towards meeting it.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2/23/2010

Insight:
If at any time I find myself with free time there's a couple of these things I can just do, they just need to pop up in my head with enough force for me to notice them.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
went to bed at two, woke up at 6 to head to Ihop for some free pancakes. Didn't sleep the rest of the day even though everyone else passed out.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
Did a full routine before bed now, it's like a requirement to passing out.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Tudo Bem: "Wuz poppin" [Portuguese] (Cristal)
Cuidese: Take care [Spanish] (Xian)
Oishi: Tasty, delicious [Japanese] (Xian)
Jak tam stary: What's good pimpin [Polish] (Borga)
Que hubo: What's up [Spanish] (Xian)
Je t'aime mon petit ami: My boyfriend, I love you [French](Pyro)

I've got to get a lot more by the end of the month so I'm going to try to hit it double time.

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Musical: Listen to only classical music
listened to more Beethoven and also a lot of Bach's Mass.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
Wrote notes with a bigger focus to handwriting.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Long day, I think I got them, especially if you count the dog. (Dog's are people?!)
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Monday, February 22, 2010

2/22/2010

Insight:
practice active truthfulness
actively seek truth

There's a big difference between practicing active truth and being as honest as you have to. True too is that it's different to seek truth than to accept it as it comes.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
went to bed at 11 woke up at 7 on my own. was surprised to be up so early because I felt as though I had slept quite a lot.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
Right before bed I stretched out, full routine now, starting with tennis ball on the feet and moving up.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
J'ai la fievre: I have a fever [French]
Raison d'etre: reason to be [French]

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Beethoven piano sonatas today. Pathetique and Moonlight, no tears shed though.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
I wrote a few notes and worked on a letter.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
0 Hugs : (
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2/21/2010

Insight:
I updated the past few days today. I was realizing that some things were slipping and didn't want to be honest with it about myself. Part of this is the thought that if I'm honest with myself about failure then I've got to be hard on myself about it too. Looking back over the past few days logged though I can see I did do some things and slacked on others, I learned things and I should apply that to the future.

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. - Soren kierkegaar

Staying positive is such a part of my methodology now, but in situations where I don't know how to be anything but negative I enter into a bit of a stasis. I know that previous to any shift, my old self would have abandoned this project for that reason.

I had a talk with a friend a couple weeks ago about taking pride in your work, doing things the best you can do. I believe that, but right now would be a good example of when strictly thinking that way is detrimental to progress. I know that if I wanted to I could do all of the things in this project without failure. I could go door to door selling hugs, set aside time for writing, go to free yoga near St. Marks every day to stretch. These are all good ideas even, but the goal isn't just to do these things, it's to find a positive way to have them enter my life, and dealing with conflicts is important for resolving them.

How can I make things that don't necessarily perfectly fit into my life, fit into my life.

How can I better see something as objectively beneficial, emulate change, and create a shift.

sow seeds of knowledge and let them grow organically.

if they grow strong harvest their bounty and if they are weak nurture them.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Fell asleep late, 5 or so and woke up around 11.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
I stretched during the classes a couple times when I was participating.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Dunno if this should be considered cheating, but when I looked it up it said they are not to be confused with each other.
Peut-etre: Maybe (French) [Claire]
Peut etre: May be (French)
Fleischwurst: Bologna (German) [Just remembered this, was told it meant meat sweats a few years ago]

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Didn't listen to any music. I've been whistling quite a lot now, and singing along to songs that are definitely not classical. I almost bumped some tunes last night, I've been aching for it really. Even though I've listened to some music that wasn't classical through the month I haven't played the music I've wanted to hear, the stuff I listen to invokes an emotional response that brings me closer to how I want to feel all the time.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
I've written some haphazard notes on the tiny moleskine. My handwriting is abysmal but I did decide that I want to be able to write notes and letters in good pen. I've always just excused the bad handwriting when writing something out instead of realizing that something well written is a nice touch. The handwriting should be reflective of the extra time, care, and thought put into something.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Had my hug me sign on and got a couple of hugs at the classes today. That easily topped my five. I think I could have gotten more if I was a little more bubbly, despite the hug me sign I don't think I was all that approachable.
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2/20/2010

Insight:
I'm still not sure where the experiment should fall into priorities, but if I don't put some value on these things many just don't happen.

Thought of this while in a slightly altered mindstate:
It's not the grass might be greener, it's that it couldn't possibly be so brown.
apparently inebriation brings out the cynic in me.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Stayed up late after poker and went to the diner. Then listened to some Rashid Ansari and passed out around 4:30, woke up around 10.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
stretched some problem areas that I remembered to, likely didn't get 20 minutes.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Didn't learn any new sayings.

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Went to Pyro's, he apologized for not having classical to bump, listened to other things, felt the music a bit.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
Started writing a song, handwriting no good but I've got a little moleskine with me now to bring everywhere.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Got plenty of hugs at the party.
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2/19/2010

Insight:
I went to Irish's today to do some art. I realized I haven't been expressing myself creatively enough. It was a ton of fun, we went out and looked around for some found objects underneath an apartment building, digging through garbage to find something from years past that invoked some response and thus had some worth. I ended up finding a quote book that I'm just in love with at the moment, I'm gonna be cutting it up and decoupaging a sculpture with some of my favorites.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Woke up early but started wasting time before productivity. I need to get better at getting things that need to get done done.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
No stretching.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Decouper: Cut out (French) [decoupage is derived from]

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Irish bumped a classical station from his computer and later switched to an audiobook, so no cheating today.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
didn't write much.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Got my five, but not entirely sure where: Sonya, Irish, Xian, Borga, Erik?
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

2/18/2010

Insight:
I'm slacking. Other Excuses.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Went to bed at 2, woke up a little after eight naturally, had alarms but they didn't end up doing anything.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
Stretched briefly a couple times during the day, corrected my posture when I remembered to.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
I didn't learn any new phrases.


Musical: Listen to only classical music
I listened to Chopin and Beet again.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
Wrote a couple lists, didn't write any more of a letter but did think about what I want to write.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
4 hugs. borga, xian, cristal sonya.
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2/17/2010

Insight:

Maybe it's the change that we're afraid of, not because we might find something bad, but because we might find something good that's been there all along.

It's scary to think that all this time spent could have been better.

Better to think of that spent time and those saved memories collecting interest paying off in a hefty dividend.

Keep looking for the good!

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
I went to bed at 4 or so, much more tired than I've been before. Definitely late, but woke up at 9 naturally and wasn't tired, which leaves me hopeful that a lasting change has happened in my sleep cycle. I didn't hit my six hours, but I think this will lead me to being more tired tonight, I should be able to catch up fine.


Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
Stretched after my shower before going to bed, definitely needed it.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
This is coming along nicely, I've got a few bilingual friends so it works out nicely.
schweinhund: Pig-dog (German)[Borga]
Na zdrovyeh: To Health (Russian) [Community]
Prosze: Thank you/Please (Polish) [Borga]
Nao fode nem deixa foder: Does not and does not let %^*& (Portuguese) [Cristal]

Musical: Listen to only classical music
I've come home, I've got a long classical playlist that I can become much better acquainted with. Beethoven's 9th and Chopin's Nocturne 1, 2, and 3 were the stars today.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
I started my first letter, my script needs a lot of work. I've been writing a lot of lists too, definitely keeping me on track with a lot of other things by doing that.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Didn't get my five hugs, but that didn't stop me from getting a couple real quality ones.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update

I haven't been updating as I've been away from a computer for a few days now. I just got back home from staying with my uncle in Pennsylvania.

I'm home now, I've been neglecting the experiment and in part this was because I told myself that some things in my environment were out of my control. Now that I'm back in my natural habitat I don't have the luxury of that excuse. While hindsight may be 20/20, I did see this coming, I just didn't do anything to stop it. This is a priority now, high on my list of hierarchal needs.

The halfway mark has come and gone, I haven't been active enough some things while others have made a graceful transition into my life. Last night I decided that as I was back I could stay up a little later, until 4 or so and still woke up at 9 naturally. I feel it when I haven't stretched, I notice when I'm not listening to classical, I try to pick up the phrases in other languages that I hear around me and I'm never getting enough hugs.

As to penmanship I've gotten a little self conscious. To say it better: I've gotten good enough to realize how bad I really am. This isn't a productive feeling though, I've got to be proactive. From now on I'll be scribing a letter a day. If writing only sometimes has only shown me that I'm not writing well and by realizing that I write less I'm not attacking the problem at the root. With daily writing assignments I'll have to learn to write better.

I have other ideas, but they should show through in the coming days.

In the wise words of Bon Iver (I miss ya buddy)
"Everything that happens is from now on"
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Friday, February 12, 2010

2/12/2010

Insight:
I realized that in the past while I've looked to improve myself by removing some weaknesses I have overlooked others.

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"

Grow and learn from all experiences and no pain will be for nought

No longer looking to be a little groggy in the morning, as best I can from now: once I'm up I'm up.

I told Nikkie I would E-mail her earlier this week, I'd started it but hadn't sent it out. For the most part with the lists I've been able to keep up with who I need to contact with E-mail and Phone, I need to get better still. She told me to break more promises. It's a hard balance between wanting to be a man of my word and the desire to take on more responsibilities, If I try and pick up a whole lot of things a few may slip, but this may be the best way, I'll give it a shot.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
fell asleep around 1, woke up at 7:30 and snapped out of bed. Was productive. Ended up falling asleep in the car to avoid listening to the wrong kind of music.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
Periodic stretching of problem areas from the hill runs, calves, stretching out my forearms too. Until stretching with Justin I didn't realize how inflexible my shoulders were laterally, so I've been trying to focus on that too. As kind of a stretch I've decided I need to improve my posture while sitting, it definitely has led towards shorter hamstrings.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
I learned a couple in the car ride to DC:
Semper Ube Sub Ube - always wear under wear (Latin) [Zac]
Zut Alors - Well %^&* (French) [Janine]

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Slept and moved away from the wrong kind of music, Mr. Cohn played the piano a bit but otherwise no classical today.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
Started writing, my project seems more daunting now as I have plans to leave, I hope to find the time to do it.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Back to the "Hug Me!" sign. I hugged all the regulars in the gym and got a few from some of the waitresses at hooters. They need hugs too! Probably somewhere around 10 different people altogether so I'm starting to make up for the deficit.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

2/11/2010

Insight:
I had a dream about listening to all sorts of music I shouldn't have. I was rolling down quaint rocky streets in New Orleans, critiquing Danny Devito's latest scheme of turning Staples into a tiny gift farm, all the while headed to a Mason Jennings concert. This was after I had spent a while on the schoolyard making mix CDs for the pretty girls, with all the songs I had grown to appreciate, I remember thinking in hindsight that I hadn't even thought of the songs that had always made a strong connection with me. Those girls got rubbish CDs, I know it.

Today was great, for a workout we played Bananagram, if you aren't familiar with the game you take 7 letter tiles out of a bag, flip them simultaneously, and whenever someone has used all of their tiles to make connected words, scrabble-like, they say peel and everyone takes another letter. We put the bag at the bottom of the hill by the water at Zac's house, and played in his dining room. Ended up being a bit more than 40 hill sprints through two and a half feet of snow. Always great to give yourself a reason to stretch.

If the task at hand looks too daunting just keep your head down and keep going forward, it's only another lap through the snow before you find a place for that Q tile.

Keep moving forward: you'll reach your goal.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Went to be at 1, woke up at 8:15 naturally, a good balance I might be getting closer to falling into my natural rhythm


Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
After a hardy bout of snow-nana-gram Zac and I stretched it all out, went through a pretty good lower body routine. Well over 20!

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
I learned a lot of new ones today just by asking the people around me. Eva gave me Tashi Dele which is Hello in Tibetan. Janine handed over a slew of french and arabic phrases. Some of my favorites were "Je pense que tu es belle" which is I think you're beautiful in French and "Busa" which means a kiss on each cheek in Arabic.

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Listened to soft Classical through stretching and in the background during dinner. These are good times for it.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
I've been writing a lot more in my book, trying to write my best more and more, proper with the arm. Wrote up a contract for Snow-nanagram making Zac agree to no foul play. Signed it and realized I should probably work on my signature.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Hugs on hold but should be back in DC tomorrow to collect what I'm owed, with interest.
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2/10/2010

Insight:
I've lost some gusto so I'll be doing my best to rededicate. I don't think it's entirely uncalled for, between bedrest and lots of snow other things have become more important, at least for the time being. In the end though I hope to be able to bring a balance between what I need to do and what has to be done.

Stay positive.

Sometimes you are in an inescapable unpleasant situation, do your best to fight negativity with positivity and show no cracks in your indomitable spirit.

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
Right on time into bed and up a little later, I'm thinking this is a good thing though, when it feels right to cut back I will.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
I stretched for a couple short sessions through the day, will become better friends with the tennis ball tomorrow. I noticed while running in the snow outside that my hamstrings were really tight, It's been true in the past, but I'm starting to think now that the only way to really get that to change is to stretch a lot more often.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Didn't touch on this today.

Musical: Listen to only classical music
Cheated a bit, I recall one instance where it would have been easy to switch to classical music but I didn't. I've got to get some CDs and immerse myself proper.

Creative: Practice better penmanship
I'm writing more notes, and decided today to undergo a pretty serious penmanship project, it's on the DL for now but I'm excited to make it happen.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
I'm going to refer to the 4 person dilemma again.
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2/9/2010

Insight:
Lot's of snow.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Stay positive, stay proactive.


Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly

I've been a little sick and have just been sleeping like a brick, not snapping right out of bed and feeling like for now that's probably a good thing, definitely getting my 6 hours in a night, usually more, a couple days ago (the blank post) I think I got 14.


Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)

Zac and I stretch for a bit after swimming and hitting the hot tub, nice and relaxed, felt great!


Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages

I've changed this to be 100 total phrases in at least ten different languages, with no more than ten in a language. I started writing out my list and I feel like I'm closer than I may have realized. The goal here would be more than just writing it in a list though, I'd be looking for retention and appropriate usage when possible.


Musical: Listen to only classical music
I need to rededicate some classical time, it's on in the car but I've been cheating a lot by purposefully overhearing or paying attention to other genres.


Creative: Practice better penmanship

I've been writing more notes, and generally keeping better track of things because of it. I can tell people that I'll do something and know because it's on a list that I will remember to do it.

Practice writing lists, better remember what's on them.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
I think this is more realistic in a social environment that has more than 4 other people. I'll be doing my best to catch up once my environment shifts.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2/8/2010

Insight:
Ego has no place in a discussion of truth.
Pay it no mind as it comes and goes.
Otherwise it can only serve to do the opposite of it's original intent.

Spent a lot of this day in bed.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

2/7/2010

Insight:
I am not free. I never was, but now I know it; that makes it different. - Electric ant

Between a little sick and a lot of snow haven't had much time for this
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

2/6/2010

Insight:
"Always do right, it will gratify some and astonish the rest" - Gandhi

shallow says a bird while gazing into a river, for how much he can see it is surely the truth.

The second line there spoke to me through the first, because what Gandhi said is powerful, and conceptually beautiful, but it's moments like we had today where we put aside differences and put other peoples needs before our best interests that we can realize how deep this river really is. I gotta learn to be a better swimmer, or maybe learn to dive.

A ton of snow today, everyone had to pull together and we ended up able to do some great things. It was made more apparent that in times of crisis it's really important to keep a good attitude (maybe that all the time!). With everyone forced to deal with eachother and to come together to accomplish a very hard thing it's easy for tensions to arise over trivialities. In the end though the deck and the driveway were shoveled out, a lot of trees were shaken so the weight of the snow didn't permanently damage them, we probably shoveled out a football field length path of snow into the street so that cars could get out. No plows down this road in Severna Park. On top of that we helped a man and his children shovel out a neighbor, who's wife insisted she pay us and we insisted (we won) that she keep the money or donate it.




Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly

Went to bed just about right on time, woke up to see about two feet of snow outside and headed out to shovel. Was able to clear the driveway and head in to start a fire before everyone was really up. Lots of energy, we all shoveled through the day, to lay still in bed at the night felt like an alien experience.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
After all the shoveling my muscles were just about doing everything they could to beg to be stretched. I had decent session with a tennis ball, where a lack of energy to move really worked to my advantage. If I realize I haven't stretched now I'll try to find something physical I can do, otherwise I'll subscribe to Justin's pure movement warm up. If I attach it as a necessary end to being physical I'll start doing it more.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
Watched once, picked up a couple new phrases

what a beautiful movie

Miluješ ho - [Czech] Do you love him
miluji těbe (milyu tay)- [Czech]I love you

An scannán is fearr ariamh - [Irish] the best film ever


Musical: Listen to only classical music

While we were making breakfast Eva brought a CD she had with the 100 greatest melodies of all time, a good amount of them were classical and it was cool to realize that they were mostly pretty recognizable. I'm still in music withdrawal though, I miss all my tunedudes.

Creative: Practice better penmanship

Just one note writting, we spent most of the day outside working so i'm not too concerned about missing this.
Emotional: Hug 5 people
snow hugs for me
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Friday, February 5, 2010

2/5/2010

Insight:
"We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on "good" rather than "time" and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes." -Pirsig

I read that and realized I hadn't been making good time with the right emphasis, and I realized how great walking places really is.


Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly

I went to bed a little late but still woke up early and had energy all through the day.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
I haven't stretched nearly as much as I should have been. I'm thinking now that I should stretch after training or doing something physical and just make sure to do enough of that to get my stretching in. I stretched before bed but really only a bit.

Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
My Idea here is to write out all one hundred phrases in my notebook, to keep track of how many I've learned along with telling me how many I need to learn. That should help my handwriting also!

Musical: Listen to only classical music

No classical music today, and a bit of music withdraw. I find myself singing to myself songs I didn't see any importance to before. Yesterday I sang "brush that dirt off my shoulder" and today I was singing Willy Mason and Paul Baribeau on a walk I took.

Creative: Practice better penmanship

I've been writing more notes, keeping better track of things with my notebook. I also figured out that if I write with my arm and keep my hand on the paper then my penmanship does improve. Writing with the arm off the paper makes it pretty silly. I also started writing my best for some notes, I'm thinking that will eventually effect my fast writing. For now it's similar to my methodology with Parkour: do it as slow as you have to to do it right.

do it write.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
I gave myself a bye on this today, I got a fair amount of hugs yesterday and since I'm not in or around a city I'm not in contact with as many people. It's not a great excuse but it's also not the situation I've adapted to for hugs, yet.
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