31 May 2009

Blogger Distractions

I haven't really blogged in a while. Things around here have been a bit crazy. I'm someone that likes a bit of routine in my day; not where everything is scheduled and scripted, but a general routine to help the day move along nicely. This last week didn't have any of that. On top of that, my mind's been focused on other, more important things and my blog had to be put on the back burner. Other things like being on twitter and blip.fm have also been set aside for the most part.

Luckily, my other blog, Hoi Polloi Music, had posts scheduled for 1 1/2 week out so it just kinda ran on it's own.

Now that things have calmed down, somewhat, I can ramp back up again. I have made notes for several posts that I plan to do over the next few weeks, so will have a regular post starting up again tomorrow.

Thank you everyone who reads my ramblings and who find the time to comment.

28 May 2009

Thursday Morning Quote - May 28th

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular... it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre." - Uta Hagen

26 May 2009

Happy Memorial Day

I want to say Happy Memorial Day to all the men and women who serve in the US Armed Forces. You may not agree with sending them to war, the war itself, or the commander-in-chief who sends them. But, they are doing their job of protecting and defending us and for that I am grateful.

23 May 2009

No more "Yeah, But"

I don't get people that have a negative view of things in life. I call these people the "YeahButs" because this is the phrase many use to add their negative viewpoint to something. Let me give you an example (from a recent encounter with a YeahBut.)

Me : Supposed to be great weather for the 3-day weekend.
YeahBut: Yeah, but unfortunately it'll be wasted since I've got a lot to do around the house.

Ok, what was the purpose of that?

I would hate to go through life with this attitude. It seems so destructive and unhealthy. I struggled to figure out the reasons why some people see the world through this negative view. I think one argument has to do with age old debate nature vs. nurture debate. Some people just grow up in that environment and the behavior becomes learned. Others go through something in their lives, a divorce, death of someone close, or just a series of bad luck experiences which shapes their viewpoint. Still others just seem to be negative for no reason.

Whichever one it is, there are exceptions to this argument. How many stories do you read about or see on TV, where someone has gone through something traumatic and still maintains a positive outlook? This leads me to the final conclusion that some people have either consciously made a decision to reject the pull of the "Yeah, But" negative view and still look for the positives or are just predisposed to lean positive.

We need more people like this. We need people that more ready to jump on board, look at the positives and provide constructive criticism/insight. We need to not allow the YeahButs to make the rules, define our goals and control our destiny.

If you are a YeahBut, stop and look at what you are a doing. You're holding yourself and other back from achieving yours and their full potential. Life only give you so many chances, don't throw yours ways because of your negative view.

21 May 2009

Thursday Morning Quote - May 21st

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

18 May 2009

Monday Morning Quote - May 18th

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin.....
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." - Alfred Souza

17 May 2009

Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers

Watching this (which was done in a single shoot) reminds me how classy the old Jazz Masters were.

16 May 2009

Take My Junk, Please

Just had a garage sale this morning. Several things about garage/yard sales amaze me. First, it is amazing the junk that people will buy (shower curtain liners?). Second, people will walk away from a great deal because of $1. Someone would not buy a perfectly good DVD player for $20 and would only pay $19. But the same person paid $2 for a dirty stuffed animal. Third, why do people ask if I have anything else to sell? Ssh, I've got stuff in my house that I didn't want people to really know I was selling. Yeah, I'm sarcastic.

I actually like garage/yard sales for the pure fact that I can get rid of STUFF. I've become a person that does not want to keep things I don't use. I used to be a clutterer. Not dirty, but just stuff everywhere. Every book I owned, every receipt (organized in a file box for absolutely no reason what-so-ever) and old knick-knacks that I really didn't like, but someone gave it to me. But now, I purge. I like a clutter free dresser, nightstand, counter and table space. I like a closet that I can move the clothes out the way easily, I like... well you get the idea.

If I had my way, the driveway would have been filled with twice the amount of stuff. But like all good relationships, there is compromise.

So it's spring! Clean out those closets, garages, basements and attics. Open the space around you. You'll feel better for it.

14 May 2009

Thursday Morning Quote - May 14th

"What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things." - Unknown

12 May 2009

The price of ignorance

I can't stand ignorant people. Let me make a distinction to clarify this statement. I define stupidity as not knowing something. I define ignorance as willful stupidity or choosing not to know.

I believe ignorance is created completely by fear. A racist does not like African-Americans or Latinos for no real reason, except they do not and do not want to understand them. When I say "understand them", I mean they don't want to accept they are just the same as you with a different color wrapper. They love, feel, strive, are happy and sad just like you. A sexist wants to feel superior to women because they fear what women can do. We both have equal capacity, but women can do things men can't and men can do thing women can't. This does not make on sex the "stronger sex". Guys, let it go. We need each other equally.

Now ignorant people intellectually know their view is not correct, but make the choice to ignore that intelligence. It's so gratifying when the ignorant person gives into intelligence and lets go of the fear.

It's my view that no one is "superior" to another person. A person can be superior in a skill, in intellect or wealth. But that does not make you superior to the person.

We can only solve our local, national and global problem by getting past this fear and using our intelligence the way it was meant to be used. Otherwise, we'll focus our attention of things that don't matter while we neglect the things that do matter and end up destroying ourselves.

11 May 2009

Monday Morning Quote - May 11th

"Often the fear of one evil leads us into a worse." - Nicolas Boileau

10 May 2009

Thank you Mom!

A simple thank you to my Mom. You always believed in us kids even when we didn't believe ourselves.

08 May 2009

10 more things that drive me nuts

In March I posted 10 things that drive me nuts. Apparently, there are many more things that just get under my skin, too.

Things people say:
1) "Is so-and-so here? No? Well, then maybe you can help." Great, I'm your second choice.
2) "Bob and myself will do it". No, it's "Bob and I will do it".
3) When people say "Let me know if I can do anything to help" and then make excuses why they can't when you actually ask.
4) Mind if I interrupt, "OK, since you already have..."
5) People who say "you know" all the time.

Things people do:
1) Turn on their blinker as they are turning. It's as if they're saying, "Hey, just wanted to let you know I'm turning." Well, duh?
2) Leave a small trace of coffee in the coffee pot, so they won't have to make a new pot. You there at my work, you know who you are.
3) Don't wash their hands after going to bathroom. Didn't you mother teach you?
4) Always have to have the last word. These are the people that will always try to send the last text message, IM or email even when they don't need to. The most annoying was someone that would always respond to a thank you with "No, thank you."
5) Throw cigarette butts out the window. First, Don't Litter! Second, I live in Southern California and we have wildfires, so if you do that, you're an idiot.

07 May 2009

Thursday Morning Quote - May 7th

"Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets."- Unknown

06 May 2009

Hang in there! 9 life lessons from rock climbing

Veteran rock climber Matthew Childs shares nine pointers for rock climbing. I love how he takes these rock climbing rules and explains how they can be applied to life.

05 May 2009

Lifestyle Changes

I have two people very close to me who are experiencing big health issues. Now I've been blessed with very good health throughout my life, but this has made me look at me much closer. It hit me that I've let myself slide over the last six months or so. I've allowed myself to focus on helping others (not a bad thing at all), but have neglected helping myself.

Now, I don't have any health issue or problems, but I feel unhealthy. And when my body is telling me that, that's my wake up call. I am adding focus on me into every day. Getting back to my running/basketball/swimming shape and improving my spiritual focus. I'm not a religious person, so what I mean by spiritual is internal balance and harmony, not doctrine.

I am very motivated when I get it stuck in my head to do something, so I confident I can regain my old form. What I need to do is build in a structure so that I maintain that for the rest of my life. I've far too much still to do to let life wander on by.

If you are feeling the same way, then do something about. The Nike ad 'Just Do It' was brilliant becausejavascript:void(0) in those three word, it sums up what you need to do. Don't plan when you're going to do it, Just Do It. Don't make excuses why you can't. Just Do It. Well that is what I am doing. Thanks for listening.

04 May 2009

Monday Morning Quote - May 4th

"There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is imitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

03 May 2009

The power of "No."

"No" is very powerful word. It's a hard word for many to say since it's a negative. I've been slowly learning the power of this 2 letter word and am learning to use it judicially. Let me explain.

In the past, I was one of those people who would accept a job, project, etc. because of the the challenge and I didn't it to appear like I couldn't do it. But, I was only setting myself up for failure. When you accept everything that is sent your way, you can only handle it for so long. I've recently had much more on my plate than it could handle. Things fall off, things run together. In a nutshell, it's a mess.

After a process of several internal discussions (yes I do talk to myself), I saw the problem. I can't make the plate bigger, so I need to limit what is on it. Surprisingly, I have found that a "No" delivered with honesty and explanation is accepted pretty well.

I'm a work in progress and still trying to get through this maze of life, but I think I've found one the keys to a locked door.

02 May 2009

Fail, Fail Again.

Failure is not a bad thing. It's got a bad rap over the years. But if you look at failure from a different perspective, you'll see the power failure brings. President Barack Obama has a great quote about failure "Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere."

Use failure as a vehicle to perform better, to push yourself further or harder, or to overcome what was previous thought insurmountable. Edison failed thousands of time trying to perfect the light bulb. James Dyson failed thousands of times creating the Dyson vacuum. One of my favorites is Richard Branson (Virgin, Virgin Atlantic, etc.) He does not fear failure. When he fails, he uses what he has learned and applies it to his next venture.

Failure can be painful. But do not look at it like failure, instead look at it as a positive learning experience and motivation. That being said, you must handle failure intelligently. A fly banging against a glass window, failing to get through, banging again over and over until it dies is not a smart way to deal with failure. Look at the failure and learn from it. That is the key. Granted a fly does not have much mental facilities, but let's say we're the fly. Bang! We hit the window. We look at it, maybe try again. OK, we can't get through, let's look for an alternative - an open window or waiting for someone to open the door or window.

If you let failure lead you down the pity road; "I'll never do it", "I can't do it", "It's to hard", "I'm not good enough", then that is exactly what it will be. Surprisingly, your brain actually listens to you. Don't fall into that trap. Tell yourself "OK, what did I learn", "What worked and didn't", "What can I change", "Let me look at this from another perspective".

Then you are on the road to success. If success was so easy, everyone would be doing it. If something requires hard work and dedication, it's more meaningful and worth it. Someone once told me, "Do not let your failures define you". True, but add "Let the failures define you successes".

01 May 2009

Hey buddy can you spare an ear?

Recently a good friend lent me an ear. He was there to listen to me unload all the weight on my mind. He didn't just let me vent/release. He wouldn't take no, when I was hesitant to talk. He listened, unjudgmentally.

I needed it as I'm more inclined to internalize the stress and deal with it. But I need to get it out. It felt good to vocalize the stress and frustrations that had been building. You know who you are, so a big thank you for pushing me to sit down and talk.

I hope you all out there have someone that will be there for you.