Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's rael

Thanks to anyone who gave me positive feedback this week. The calls/emails/mentions that you got something one of my blogs was validating. There are things that buddies have said that stuck out in my mind as indications that they figured something important out. Especially as our friendships have started to adjust to youngadulthood and it seems like people are wandering in and out of our lives, so I'm happy if I'm able to make any meaningful mark I can. I'm not sure if this blog adds depth or takes it away from my relationships. Probabaly neither, maybe both. As long as we're sharing something offline this can only add.

Last week's positive re-inforcement meant a lot because I too often feel like I'm jamming my business down peoples throats. Still that seems like the better alternative to calling people up and saying (Insert incoherent rant that ends "Why doing you love me!" and contains unwarranted verbal abuse here)
I'll try to keep those projections more positive. For starters- I think some of the people in my life are the best kind of crazy- the awe inspiring hugworthy kind of funk.

I'm happily writing this post on my first morning of vacation. In an hour I grab a train to New York then I'm meet my Birthright group at JFK. Despite trying to keep this trip expectation free (other than NOT joining the Israeli military) I've been very much looking forward to it. I want to get inspired but I'm not sure in what way. Maybe that starts by trying to do things as differently as possible (except perhaps for July 4th- if somebody offers me a cheesburger I will eat it. America!) Is inspiration too much to ask for? Do other people look for that? If you look everywhere and take in what the world offers you, you'll find whatever you need. We're so young and so lucky yet we stare at adulthood and put an ostentatious pressure on ourselves rather than trying to be youthful and curious. They should open SA for people addicted to stressing themselves out. Or maybe just more yoga studios and hookah bars- yeah, lets go with this option.

So if you need me this next week: I'll be hiking a mountain or riding a camel or trying to tap into something spiritual. I will take pictures and will be safe (yes dad, I'll wear sunscreen) and I'll try to email you back if you send me something.

Thank you for reading- keep doing that and I'll keep writing.
With much love,
JP



Context Free Book Preview #7:
This brick building used to be be home to his favorite bar, now he walks by is a bohemian coffee shop. Fucking gentrification he would mutter if he understood the concept, instead he wonders where all the scumbags and their scumbagginess had gone to hide. Where would he score some grass? Around the corner out  South 8th street was a sleazy dive bar where, before he went away, he used to try to trick women into thinking he was successful or at least that he had a job. Walking in to see brand new barstools and a shiny tile floor where there used to be wood chips over cracked cement, Mick felt like the city was playing some sick practical joke on him. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Falling (and starting to figure it out)

A three-pack of thoughts on falling from the sky:
1) Sensory overload makes you feel alive.
2) When you know something will turn out fine, don't overthink it.
3) Do things/be places that make you feel good as often as possible.
    3a*) A lot of people seem to have the attitude "I'm going to make some money and that will make it easier to then (then=later than now) be able to figure out what makes me happy and develop a career that uses all the best parts of me."
        3a-i) Take a moment and rank these in order of which would make you happiest: Freedom, laughing until you cry, creativity, getting to sit on the beach and drink a mojito, waking up and realizing you get to sleep for two more hours, reading something that helps you make sense out of your world, money.
    The idea of waiting until you're financially comfortable to figure out what else is out there is sneaky procrastination. Money can wait. It might not come. If you found something that makes you truly happy- hang on to it and be grateful. If you haven't- try to figure it out ASAP, money or not. 
On that note: Anna Springer (who leaves today to travel across the country) is going to be having a much more productive summer than anyone else I know. No one can tell her what she's in for or about to learn, but it's going to help her figure something big out about herself. In my opinion that is more productive than making $10k or taking a seminar on the history of native cultures on post-war art or being able to quote Hemmingway. J.S.*


    3a-ii) Most things come easier than they seem if you let them.



Abstract thought on falling from the sky:
She's sitting across from me as I wonder if this all happened through her eyes the say way that it looks in mine. We need to be careful not to treat ourselves or any other people as things. Is the Aussi man I'm strapped to just another version of me?


*The author of this blog recognizes that a lot of people will have the opinion that comfort > financial stress. If you have ever considered taking out a loan to make rent, my point isn't intended for you. If you've considered not going on vacation because it will interfere with investing in the stock market or saving for a house you might want eventually, c'mon.
*Does J.S. work as an acronym for "Just Saying"? I'm going to keep trying it out.

F***, I really gotta start doing yoga again.

Sorry this is preachy, wanted to put it up quickly before I get to work.
Hanging in there for a week until vacation, I'll throw another blog in before I leave.
-JP

C.F.B.E. #6

      The opening act plays a few decent albeit slowly quiet original songs. The crowd gets restless and packs the bar. They close with a punk-pop cover of Britney Spears that both steals the $2 gin and tonic’s credit for taking the serious edge off the room, and sells a few of the band’s t-shirts. The main act themselves- Chicago band Barely Sweetened- was like a dance hall version of the Rolling Stones that never quite made it.
To no surprise after her brag-laiden-admittance, Beth could dance her way into trouble. She had free-moving hips and an effortless sense of rhythm. She moved, albeit mechanical, quickly and gracefully. At the halfway point of the band’s set Sam started dance-flirting. He stood behind her and led her hips with his. Sam was a social dancer at best but he knew if Beth thought of dancing as a litmus test he was almost certainly passing. 
After the show they wander, Beth looking for a world off guard. For tourism’s sake Providence was supposed to look a certain way during the day and another certain way during the evening and a particular certain glow around the waterfires. This late in the night they could see the bedraggled face of the city before it put on it’s morning make up. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Multiple Choice

Thoughts for the day written in middleschool quiz form (The answer to every question was D, I went 6/10 which isn't very good considering I wrote this #honestanswersFTW)

1: I'm grossly overshadowed by my  _______
A) Stories
B) Bullshit
C) Ambition
D) Insecurity

2: Life Capital _____ Financial Capital
A) ~
B) >
C) <
D) > right now, =in our 30's, <when we need to retire (but what do I know I'm 25)

3: Health is _______
A) Everything
B) Overrated
C) Debatable
D) Important

4: _________ should be ________
A) Creativity, Mandatory
B) Pleasure Reading, Required
C) Cynicism, Discouraged More Seriously
D) All of the above

5: It's ok to _______ about _______
A) Worry, your friends being happy
B) Fret, dem mecs and ladies
C) Cry, nothing in particular
D) A and C
E) Forget, Dre

6: Style should be considered
A) Something the hipsters are ruining
B) Chameleon-like
C) Repetitive
D) Indicative of personality

7: Instead of worrying about Kim Kardashian's divorce, we should focus on
A) The incoming LSD driven Zombie apocalypse
B) Gun Control
C) Politicians that spend more money promoting themselves than they do helping anyone
D) There are plenty of important things going that people (and I mean "people" holistically) can beat if they get young, smart, intelligent, motivated attention. Pick one or make your own.

8: "Nerd" is a/an
A) Insult
B) Compliment
C) Word best used affectionately
D) Growing trend of awesome



9: Season 5 of Mad Men was:
A) ZOMG Television
B) ZOMG Look How Pretty Everyone Is
C) ZOMG (Spoiler Alert) that's racist, I can't believe they killed the goofy british guy
D) A work of art*

10: When I ______ I want to be _________
A) get hungry, near a taco stand
B) figure it out, everything that you expect out of me 
C) have more money, over-proportionally altruistic
D) I'm not exactly sure
E) need help, surrounded by people who notice

*Seriously- that was one of the more moving, well done seasons of TV ever. And at the end? Playing a James Bond theme song; "You only live twice, or so it seems: One life for yourself, and one for your dreams" while we fade away from new Don as he gets back to being old Don. So so good, I'm glad that the show has gotten embraced the way it has. 
-JP

Context Free Book Excerpt #5:

Inside the entrance to The Water Cooler is a dark, narrow hallway that dissolves back into a cloud. House music booms from the far end and vibrates down the wall giving the entire structure a pulse whenever a beat pumps through the long veins of the building. Off the hallway, a railing surrounds a pit that opens several floors downward. Fog pours up from the pit and briefly makes the room seem on fire before it then turns to steam under lasers and strobe lights that dance and beat and drop. Ted slows down and turns left down a hallway with soft velvet walls. Sam follows him, running two fingers hip-high, but turns back abruptly when he seems that Mike and Clay were shuffling in a trance towards the balcony. He yells but they don’t turn to him.



Friday, June 8, 2012

Fuel (TWID)

Did the rainy week get you down? Snap out of it- summer's coming and there's lots to look forward to.
Over Memorial day I went camping (it was most excellent.) The combination of waking up in a tent and having just caught up on Dan Adler's Blog re-instilled in me the sense that I want to be spending more time traveling, taking chances, and going on adventures. With a nature-induced clear head I was driving back to Boston and reflecting on what has been a really good Spring. In the last few months I've acheived a pace that's pretty close to how I'd ideally want to spend my free time. Unfortunately, I still want more of everything (going out, playing cards, athletic activities, writing/reading way more, time to cook and travel, some leisure) and have completely maxed out my free time. The obvious solution is to work harder at everything-which requires more energy than anyone is realistically give in every moment of an 18 waking hour day. This led me to thinking about alternative fuel sources: the nonphysical things that keep people animated or excited/vivant. Some people are fueled by being the center of attention. Other people need to blow of steam and keep their endorphins pumping. Many people just keep the kinship of friends- seeing his/her buddies once a week can keep them going. The outdoors, or the excitement of upcoming activities can create a bidge over stressful cubicle time. Masochists can be too easily pushed along with schadenfreud. A lot of people get off on money.

The WSOP just started. Last November Kev asked me if playing in the Main Event was a dream of mine (it is) and then saying I should do it. That very simple encouragement struck home enough to make me embarssed I didn't even try. It won't be this year, but 2013? Book it.
I need things that I'm looking forward to and working towards. Sometimes- even when I take notes so I can watch the progression towards something big- I still feel stuck.
This is something worth working on post-Israel: balancing immediate and long term goals. Too much short term attention- spending all your time going out with friends- is a huge leak in self control. It inhibits the ability to build towards some ultimately more fulfilling long term goal. On the other hand, too much attention on things impossibly far away cheats yourself out of the current moment that is yours. That future won't come the way you picture it. It all comes back to balance.

3 general thoughts on writing:
-I enjoy writing as an expression. Someone told me recently I should put a portfolio together to try and write professionally. Why? Sometimes I want to use as many run on sentences as it takes to suffocate the reader.
Plus I take my poems/short stories way too personally to have them rejected (#insecure) I once submitted a poem to a contest and didn't get published- it hurt. Covering a story and then being told that my vision isn't valid because it's different than what my boss had pictured? Yikes.
- I wasn't the biggest 451 fan, but RIP Ray Bradbury nonetheless. Bradbury has great nuggets of wisdom hidden in his chapters of fiction, like:
"If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down."



Context Free Book Excerpt #4:
The east facing balcony off of the living room has a row of shrubs for privacy and a small herb garden for the kitchen (just in case someone eventually learns to cook) a thatch tent-covered hammock, a glass table with wire chairs. The view due East at the budget rooms of Hilton Miami is prime for people watching. Looking to the left finds the ocean quickly, but the sightline straight to the ground reveals a desolate alley of service entrances and hotel dumpsters. Ocean-trash-ocean-trash-ocean-trash-people fucking on the balcony. The view off the north piazza is the one listed in the real estate brochures: beach, blueish water, sandbar with a hint of coral reef.
From one to the other- the walk between his balconies is egregious and showy, but from his boat Sam’s apartment is unidentifiable- a pocket in a honeycomb. Like the women heading to the glitzy clubs on Monroe, every apartment on each anonymous building shows the same balcony to the ocean. The boat doesn't care that Sam’s balcony has a built in gas grill with marble barstools. It will never know what the balcony looked like naked before it was modestly covered with a 10'x'5 exercise floor.