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Archive for July, 2008

Best Feelings

This post will be a little bit different.  Usually, I just talk about what I think, how I feel, etc.  That can be boring, and although many of us share common life experiences and perspectives, why would you want to read about me?

So, my brother has this website called What Makes Us Happy (plug) – http://www.whatmakesushappy.com. On it, people can post their happy thoughts for the day, everyday, and basically just journal about all the good things in life, large and small.

As a contrast to my last post about “worst” feelings (some of which may lead to subsequent happy feelings when they don’t happen to you), I’m going to post some random What Makes Us Happy entries.

I hope you enjoy and visit my bro’s website.  Its cool.

Here’s a few people’s happy thoughts…my comments are in “()” just cause I feel like sneaking some in there:

  • Watching my dogs chase squirrels (kinda cruel, but amusing none the less.)
  • Peace and quiet! (its nice every once in awhile)
  • Beach Weather (this is why San Diego is so enticing)
  • The first sip of bottled water when you are really thirsty
  • Reester Bunnies…YUM!
  • Genuine smiles from strangers
  • Two more days of work, then vacation next week! (I wish this was me)
  • Watching commercials that are funnier then the actual shows
  • Eating a banana (chocolate covered and frozen?)
  • Rainbows
  • A (relatively) clean apartment (relatively is a key word there)
  • Butterflies (the kind that fly outside of your stomach)
  • Laughing
  • Remembering to never forget to tell someone I love them
  • Having someone else wash my car (I’ve owned my car for 4 years and never have had it washed once…I think its probably due)
  • Starting the day feeling down, but ending it remembering who I am (this ones a keeper)

There’s a ton more where that came from.  Visit the site, you really should, it will make you smile 🙂

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Worst Feelings

I just arrived back home after an incredibly relaxing, envigorating vacation at the Delaware shore.  It was a wonderful time, at a place that holds many memories from the 20 or so years I’ve been going there with my family.  Its always sad to come back home, and the week always goes by so quickly…which brings us to today’s topic:  List of “worst” feelings

  1. Running out of gas in the middle of Wisconsin
  2. Feeling a drop of water on your head on a bright sunny day…then realizing its not water
  3. Running out of hot water in the shower
  4. Realizing that there’s no toilet paper…after the deed is done
  5. Getting incredibly excited about the 100 emails in your inbox, then realizing that 98 of them are spam, and 2 of them are from work
  6. Writing the final page of a 20 page paper when suddenly, out of no where, the power goes out
  7. Falling asleep at 4:00 AM and knowing you have to get up at 5:00 AM
  8. Realizing Santa Claus is not real
  9. Dropping your newly purchased, fancy schmancy cell phone…then stepping on it
  10. Stepping in a large wad of gum
  11. Going back to work after vacation 😦

I can think of worse feelings, but these are up there and are all rather daily occurences that we can laugh at…after the fact

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A List for Lists

I’ve decided to start posting some lists. I think lists are good for several reasons and have advantages and disadvantages over the more commonly used paragraph formed ideas that circulate the internet and popular media. As my first list, I will describe how lists are, in my opinion, often superior to general writing. Here goes:

  1. Lists are concise, to the point. There’s no rambling in lists
  2. Lists are visually attractive (sometimes even kissable)
  3. Lists make for great companions on roadtrips. They fit into pockets and are easily transportable
  4. Lists cut the BS out and tell it like it is…they should be required formats for term papers
  5. Lists are great for brainstorming when your brain’s only at a drizzle
  6. Lists make remembering things easy (I wonder if, when paper was invented, they thought lists would be harmful to your brain like calculators)
  7. Lists make cakes (and meals in general) taste good
  8. Lists make putting things in order fun!
  9. “Lists” is one of those words if you say over and over again, it loses meaning (If anyone knows what thats called let me know!)
  10. Lists are deceivingly hard to write considering the fact that they are shorter…
  11. Lists usually end on 10, so this is just an extra one to defy that natural law.

We’d probably save a ton of trees if we just went with lists…but this world has a lot to say

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Where Are We Again?

We’re going to do a bit of a thought exercise. Ready?

OK. Think of your grandparents. Those kind folks who gave birth to your parents who, in turn, gave birth to you.

Now, think of their parents. Got that? Some of you may, some of you (like me) may not be able to. If you can, think of their parents, or if you’re daring, their great grandparents.

Do they think they ever imagined you? Generations down a seemingly infinite line of people you and I will never meet, but who meant so much in the process of you.

Another experiment. Think of the millions of possible combinations that go into making a baby. The chances that you came out you were actually pretty slim. Now, multiply that by how many humans came before you down the line…maybe another few million. It is absolutely crazy to think you are you after all this.

In a world of so many problems and hardships, we often forget the fact that the likelihood of being here in the first place was oh so small. Our hardships are minimal compared to those of the little spermies we beat out getting to that egg. They don’t even exit, and will never exist. Imagine that!

Its easy to feel small and unappreciated in such a big world, but think of how lucky you are just to be here and take it in. We are all brothers and sisters on a mission that we were lucky enough to receive. That mission? Just be happy, and make the most of what you have. Help others and give yourself a big pat on the back for just being. Cherish the moments you are living and remember the past for all it is. I really don’t know where exactly we are, or what we are doing here, but I know we are each one in a billion, and to only be here is a gift.

We should all just look at ourselves and smile. We did it, we made it to this amazing and wonderful and confusing and crazy place called life, and we should all be thankful for that.

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Writing on the Wall

My usual writing process tends to consist of some variation of the following:

1.  Many arduous hours of thinking about a topic
2.  Several more hours of thinking about what to write about a topic
3.  Thinking of words that accentuate the details of the topic I’m writing about (taking several more hours).
4.  Writing some ideas that revolve around how I want to express my thoughts about the topic I’m writing about.
5.  Looking for words in the theasarus to replace words I’ve already used or to sound smarter.
6.  etc.

As you can see, much of my writing process revolves around anything but writing.  This may be conducive to professional, peer reviewed journal writing on complex topics, however, it unfortunately does not help to further the creative process.  I often find that, after many hours of “thinking” I forget about what it was that I first conceptualized as the topic. 

Anyway, the purpose of this blog, in part, is for me to work on writing over thinking, expressing myself through processing thoughts as the arise. 

Which brings me to another thought, and the last of this current rambling.  Writing on bathroom walls intrigues me.  The ease at which individuals seem to ramble off bits of amazing knowledge and creative images of humanity is something that I would like to be able to acheive myself.  Aside from the mispellings that are so rampant in the world of “stall scribblings,” a lot can be learned from restroom walls, and especially from the reasons why people write on them.  Other than from boredom and lack of the ability of most Americans (myself included) to sit still for even 10 minutes, I think this behavior delves deeper into the human psyche, allowing an individual to scribble his or her thoughts permanantly into the public domain.  Think of how many times you’ve looked at the same writing on stalls, day after day, and might even be able to recite some of the sayings.  There’s even a secret language that has developed over the years from these scribbles, some of which I can encode for you right now:

pictures of penises = generativity of human beings
mispelled curse words = creative interpretations of the annunciation and rhythm of forceful language
stickfigures = reflections on the primitive root of humankind
marijuana leaves = the oneness of nature and an individual attempt to connect with it

As you can see, these words and drawings are so much more than mere scribbles on the wall.  They are indications of humanities attempt to connect to others for generations, if not centuries to come. 

Today, I saw a bathroom stall that was draped with brown packing paper in an attempt to curb such expressions.  Not suprisingly, it was blank.  I think it is safe to say that the answer as to why this paper was blank is, at this point, quite clear.  Obviously, the wall writers who gazed upon the paper understood its fleeting existence, its frailty and the probability of it being torn down.  This was not the place to impart lasting bits of knowledge and teaching.  That should be saved for another stall, one with clean, hard walls capable of holding words for decades to come. 

And so, my friends, the next time you see a bathroom wall with writing, look upon it not as a means for undereducated individuals to express themselves with childish phrases in unreadable fonts and characters.  No.  Look upon it as a glimpse into the human mind, a canvas for human communication and development.

Although this is probably illegal, I’ve decided to display a collection of a few of these works of art that I have come across on the amazing internet (thanks google images, for being such an amazing friend who will do work for me for free)

Stall from the land of Middle Earth

Primitive Creature from the Jurassic Period

The Birth of a Nation

 

And as always, remember to flush. 

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