All posts filed under: Journal

Road Rage

In the past week, I’ve been caught in a traffic jam, cut off, and made to wait behind someone just a little too long after the light turned green. In all likelihood, the traffic jam caused my blood pressure to go up the most. I honked at the stoplight because I figured the driver was texting. I didn’t lay on the horn or anything, just tried to get the traffic flow moving again. I shook my head when I was cut off but none of these things alleviated my aggravation. Therefore, it might be better if I learned to accept the travails of the road with a little more grace–if that’s possible. But, seriously, I’d like to reach a point when these minor inconviences don’t agitate me so easily. The best way to do this, I think, is first to recognize when I’m becoming aggravated. Then, redirect my behavior and turn my attention to something else. Finally, I want to recover by obtaining balance in my overall emotional state. If this were an actual system, …

Español

I feel like learning Spanish is my responsibility. Where I live there is a significant Hispanic population, and I’ve encountered at least a few occasions in which being able to converse would have been beneficial–not so much for communication as hospitality. I took a few semesters of the foreign language in college and high school. I’ve been to Guatemala and Peru but my grasp of Spanish is still pretty minimal. Of course, some people say the only real way to learn a language is immersion. But I’ve seen someone living in-country using flash cards. We share a hemisphere with South America, and Mexico is one of our closest neighbors. Español should be taught in every elementary school. After five years old, language acquisition can be difficult. I’ve tried apps and websites as well as a CD that I sometimes play on the way to work. I probably need to start using flashcards (digital or physical). However, I believe in limiting how much I take on at once, so my lessons in Español are currently on …

Galaxie 500

I have a dream where I’m driving around in an early 1960s Galaxie 500 (or Dodge Dart of a similar year). And I’m just cruising. Now, when I say dream, I don’t necessarily mean that it’s happening at night. It’s very much a daydream. I hate to sound like someone who says, “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” but that is kind of what I’m saying. I imagine myself wearing a straw fedora with a black band and a pair of Ray Bans. All the windows are down and I’m listening to Dick Dale play surf guitar… It’s a daydream. The reality of this dream is constant break downs and frustration. Sure, if I loved cars enough to spend every weekend working on one, it might be worth it. Perhaps one day I’ll be willing to do that. But then there’s the gas mileage. That’s the troubling part about dreams. When you wake up, you start to see that the impossibilities. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself to be a dreamer. But …

Hydrotherapy

Taking cold showers is something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my routine for a while. Because it’s summer, I thought it would be a good time to give it another try. If you do a quick Google search you’ll find that there are many benefits to taking cold showers, including: Increased vitality Decreased muscle soreness Stress management Enhanced weight loss I think I read a James Bond novel that described the famed spy getting up in the morning and starting out the day with an ice cold shower. It purportedly increased his alertness, which would be important for someone who is trying to achieve situational awareness. I may not be worried about Goldfinger or Dr. No, but I definitely want to reap the benefits of taking cold showers. But, to be honest, it’s been something that continues to be more or less out of reach. Maybe because it’s summer, I found out my water temperature won’t go below 70 degrees. And true hydrotherapy starts there, but this could be okay. I’ve found that 80 …

Diet

My diet goal is to find something sustainable. I’m looking for a balance between keeping fit and indulging in the occasional drink or dessert. For the most part, I steer clear of any extreme diet programs because they offer only short term fixes. I’m concerned with the long-term. I’m most likely not the target market for fad diets, anyway. I don’t need to lose excessive amounts of weight and I’m more or less okay with the last ten pounds. In other words, it’s not my goal to “get shredded.” Most people realize maintaining an extremely low body fat percentage is pretty unsustainable. And I believe there’s a medium that will allow me to perform activities like jogging or bouldering at optimum performance levels. The way I’ve approached my goal is by counting calories. The Mayo Clinic states that gaining or losing weight is a matter of simple mathematics. Addition and subtraction, to be specific. If you decrease the amount of food you eat, then you’ll lose weight. The most important thing I’ve done may be …

Slowing Down

After almost a decade of writing fiction everyday, I’ve decided to slow down. There are a number of reasons but I think it can be summed up best by something I heard at a family dinner recently: “If you hate it, why do it?” I don’t hate writing. Far from. In fact, I’m finding that my current writing is some of the best I’ve done yet. And I’m beginning to wonder if that’s not a direct result of slowing down. This is far from certain. It could just be that I’m continuing to improve over time. Regardless, I’ve gone from writing seven days a week to about four, which is allowing me to spend more time mulling over scenes while simultaneously leaving me a lot less frustrated. I can usually turn out a complete manuscript in a year (including four or so drafts). This new schedule means it’s going to take almost two and that delays my next shot at getting an agent. That’s the real crux of the issue. But I’ve started to think …

Morning Prep

About a year ago, I started prepping for my morning the night before. I follow a fairly simple routine. I place a bowl and a glass on the kitchen table. The glass is to remind me to have start the day with 8 oz. of water. The bowl is for my oatmeal. …

Bourdain

I’ve been inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s work for years. He was an award-winning writer and an extremely effective one but his travels might be the real reason I considered him one of my heroes. …

Surfaces

There are only a few reasons surfaces become cluttered. One of them is that things aren’t put away after they’re used. That one is fairly simple to remedy. At most, it requires redefining when tasks we begin are finished. …

Black T-Shirts

try to keep my style fairly simple. Solid colors, mostly. I don’t have a problem with stripes or primary colors but I typically try to cull my wardrobe down to what is absolutely necessary. …