Elevator

The Elevator by Hot Hot Heat

The track that drew me in: Goodnight Goodnight

The track I discovered: Middle of nowhere

The track best enjoyed with headphones: Island of the honest man


Upstream Color

It’s been almost a decade since I was entranced by a small film, made almost entirely by a recluse story teller and filmmaker. That film was called ‘Primer’. I have since watched that film many times over trying to solidify my understanding of the story line and perhaps come across new aspects of the story line that I had missed.

Since the release of Primer I have waited for another story and I have hoped that it would captivate me as much as the first…

Apparently my wait is over.

 


L.A. Vibe

This is the kind of randomness you can find when you are denizen of ‘The City of Angels’. This is my favorite cover of this song and you can hear why…

 


Out of hibernation

When I first considered the idea, I didn’t think I’d be able to actually follow through. To be truthful, I knew that letting the blog sit for a year would be the easier of the two but I also knew that I would miss it. Sometimes being in this industry lends itself to cementing the introverted traits that I already own and I knew that I needed to push back a little and force myself to grow in other areas. A couple of years back I had come up with the idea of tweaking the traditional New Year resolutions idea a bit and I’ve had a pretty good run with my implementation.

I realized that reaching goals should not only be about achieving them, but also learning from the incremental steps along the way. My solution was to focus my efforts and try to bring a minimalistic approach to goal setting. So I implemented the “Do 1 thing a Day” mantra. At first it seemed too small of an idea to make any kind of a difference and it did take a bit or boundary creation to make it effective. After some thought it basically sounded something like this:

In the midst of the normal responsibilities and tasks that make up a life, find and complete an additional item that falls outside of that.

From humble beginnings, this way of thinking manages to get well above 200 things done a year. So think of it this way, all those extra things (fixing things around the house, personal development and community outreach), sometimes with a little bit of planning, become a reality. And after a year of pushing yourself to fix the hook in the laundry, or replace the broken sprinkler head, or make cards for friends and family instead of sending an email or text, makes for a long list of accomplishments that might otherwise have been put off or neglected.

Now the roadblock that I had was to try and find a way to reduce my digital footprint and increase my real life one in a new way. It seemed that my 20 year old self had been caught up in a routine of being more of a homebody and less of an adventurer. I decided to change that… I looked at my ongoing idea of the ‘1 a Day’ plan and built on it with a more “intentional” approach, and in 2012 I embarked on quarterly goal setting. Every 3 months I would focus on an existing or new interest and spend one hour a day with it – just to see what would happen. All the while I promised myself that unless it involved work and possibly a small amount of Facebook, I would stop things like gaming, pointless web surfing, my blog, my smart phone and other miscellaneous ‘computer stuff’. I chose my 4 activities and started my journey…

Now that the year is over I look back and I’m happy with the effort. Did everything work out as planned? No. I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t perfect but I also have a year’s worth of memories that involve a lot more personal development and greater connection with friends, family and my wife. I did manage to improve my freehand drawing skills, the meager guitar skills I have, my skills as a DJ and my grasp of French. In my eyes, that alone was worth it the effort and the upside is now I’m hooked on living a more experiential life.

This year, I want to balance some things but continue to include my new plan and either revisit some things or learn some new things. I’d love to tackle Italian or possibly Portuguese and if I could find a way to learn ventriloquism or sailing, I’ll make it happen this year.

And so I’m back. For better or worse and even if it’s just for myself – I’m dusting off this part of my life and seeing if I can find a compromise with my digital self. Maybe I’ve got another decade of things to say, maybe not – I guess I’ll find out…


The eye of the beholder

Zebra (WWF)


Mandatory time off

This year my company decided to make everyone enjoy some time off in between Christmas and New Year’s. I usually take the time off anyway, but it is rather annoying. I’m doing my usual miscellaneous and left over projects in and around the house. Spending time with friends that we don’t see all that often and of course, taking in the assessment of this past year and making plans for 2012.

Last.fm reports another 2,132 tracks listened in 2011. My Nook reports that I’ve read 23 books this year. I’ve slogged through 7 video games and Netflix reports another 52 movies under my belt. I managed to keep my New Year’s resolution of doing just one thing a day (think of it as a task list type of endeavor) but I think I’m going to add some more constructive things to the matrix for 2012.

This next year I’ve decided to tackle 4 projects each quarter and devote 1 hour a day to the activity and see what happens. So, for 2012 here are the plans – along with all the aforementioned madness and my ongoing martial arts training I will be doing the following: First Quarter will be more time behind my NS7. Second quarter I will be focusing on my freehand drawing skills. Third quarter, I’m going to pick up my guitar again and actually take some lessons. Finally, for the last quarter of the year, I will be busy making my way to conversational French.

I like the idea of spending an hour a day and focus on one thing and I’m already planning for 2013… Ventriloquism, Sign Language, Golf, Target Shooting… the list goes on and I think it will be interesting to track my progress and see how well I managed to keep to my goals. 2011 was a good year but it’s time to take it up a notch…


Sinterklaas

Christmas is here. It’s good to be around family and friends. I hope you all have the best holiday season yet. Cheers.


I trust you to kill me

I trust you to kill me by Rocco Deluca and The BurdenThe track that drew me in: Dope

The track I discovered: Speak to Me

The track best enjoyed with headphones: Favor


Field Trip

Today we ventured over to the Dutch store to get our annual collection of chocolate letters for everyone to have at Christmas Dinner. It’s been long enough for me now that this tradition has become a permanent fixture in my Christmas celebration. Much like the mandatory Pisco Sour shot at New Year’s, the chocolate letters are one of the things I look forward to. This year things are a little better during the holidays and we even managed to take mom to the store with us. As the week winds down there are Pierogies to be made and of course, one of my favorites: Borscht soup. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, but just like weddings, it all falls in to place at the last minute – you just gotta hang on long enough. Here’s me hanging on.


The Illusion of safety

The Illusion of safety by The HoosiersThe track that drew me in: Lovers in my head

The track I discovered: Glorious

The track best enjoyed with headphones: Who Said Anything (About Falling in Love)?