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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now Playing #2

I guess I'm really taking this Semi-Weekly thing seriously. And by that I really mean the semi part. Ooops.


I'm currently juggling 5 books, but trying to move forward at a decent pace with all of them.

- On Writing - Stephen King

About three quarters of the way through now. Still good. King proposes a writing exercise to his readers - 5 to 6 pages based on a setting and situation he describes in the book. I'll try it soon, and perhaps post it here if it turns out well.

- Walden - Henry David Thoreau

One more chapter of this masochism. It'll be rewarding enough to finish it sometime tomorrow.

- Peak Learning - Ronald Gross

I'm more and more interested on "Learning How to Learn." Gross' book is supposed to be one of the best on the subject. Just barely cracked this one open, I'll keep you posted.

- Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki

Started this last night and I'm burning through it at a quick pace. Good stuff, so far mostly talking about how people have the wrong mindset about money - and how that mindset traps people in the "Rat Race."

- The 4-Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss

 I know, this book is fairly controversial and often downright hated. But I already own Ferriss' 4-Hour Body, and have enjoyed it. The 4-Hour Workweek (so far) is useful because it questions the status quo and asks the reader to step outside his/her comfort zone. I've heard enough about the book to know that upcoming sections will be a bit more in-your-face and possibly even unethical. I think I'll do a post on Tim Ferriss later - most people tend to love him or hate him, I tend to walk the line between the two.


- Pandora

Quick formula for an enjoyable Pandora station: Use Mae, Green River Ordinance, and OneRepublic as artist seeds. Sit back and enjoy.

- Tim Halperin

Tim's a great guy (and a graduate of TCU!) who had a short run on American Idol, and has ever since been a regular feature on Kidd Kraddick's radio show. Here's a couple samples for you:

Tim's funnier side - Awkward at the Clubs

Tim's New Baby - The Last Song


- For Your Consideration

Pretty rough, despite the star talent involved. Some funny moments here and there, but I think it is a movie best appreciated by people who act in/work on movies.

- Leaves of Grass

Edward Norton plays two twin brothers - one an academic, the other a marijuana grower (farmer?). Originally starts out as a comedy, but grows into a deep film about returning to your roots. Definitely recommended, if only for the sight of two Edward Nortons on screen.

- Invictus

Morgan Freeman: Check. Matt Damon: Check. Inspiring story: Check. You'll like it. You have no choice!

- The Road

Bleak, but good. Some may be disappointed by the end, but I think it suits the film perfectly.

- Bigger, Faster, Stronger

A pretty biased documentary about steroids, but it will make you question some things and it might even teach you a thing or two. What else could you ask for from a documentary?


Quantified Self on a Budget from Ernesto Ramirez on Vimeo.

Ernesto is doing what QS people often blitz past - improving the quality of his life. If you're a bit of a nerd, check it out. I think I might start using 750 Words myself.

Buckler, out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Fight Life's Problems As They Arise

I've been evaluating Where I'm At vs. Where I Want to Be a lot recently. This is due to a few things - romantic frustration, a quickly approaching fall semester, and a curiosity of where life will take me. One thing I've struggled with is grabbing life by the horns while still letting go of things sometimes. So, without further ado, here is my basic process for tackling problems in life while maintaining sanity.

1. Strength

As if you were filling out a Pros/Cons chart, look for one "Pro" (strength) of your current situation. Commons Strengths include: a lesson you've learned, an unexpected blessing, or something that's always been in your favor. Then amplify it. Write down that lesson and explore what it means. Express gratitude for the blessing and use it to your full advantage. Get over yourself and recognize your advantage, it's time to capitalize on it.

2. Weakness

The easiest step for most. Find ONE "Con" (Weakness) of your current predicament, and find a way to reduce or eliminate it. If it's something out of your control, recognize that fact and move on. You'll be better off accepting external influences for what they are than you will be trying to influence them.

3. Talk It Out

There's someone out there you can talk to about this. Find them and do so. Seeking advice is optional, but getting it off your chest is completely necessary. Depending on your problem, this could be a confession, a rant, or a bid for mentorship.

4. Get Away

Find someone else, and talk about anything under the sun - except for your problem. This may or may not be difficult depending on the issue at hand, but interacting with others will boost your mood - which will leave you in a better spot to hit your problem again AND also let you live your life without your issue's stress hanging on you so heavily.

I know this is all relative to what you're facing, but try it out. I bet you'll have an easier time resolving whatever troubles you.