Tag Archives: Humor

Yard Sale

Self-Talk-Poster-2-15-13Self Talk.  I knew it would a good day today because I slept late and woke up with an attitude!  I don’t remember the last time that I did that.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever done it.  Typically, if I wake up at 8:30, my internal taskmaster screams at me with his loud voice, “YOU’RE BEHIND!”  But today, I’m talking back.  “Behind WHAT?”  “Behind WHO?”  Generally, if I wake up with that much of an attitude, it’s going to be a great day.
Today, what gives this self-talk credibility is that I am in a good place for being ready for next week.  Grading for the week is finished and posted.  Lesson plans still needed to be done and copies of quizzes and handouts still need to be made, and the “play chart” still needs to be made, but that only takes about 2-2.5 hours.  Domestic chores need to be done too, but again, the amount of work is far from overwhelming.
Daily Run.  I ran three miles today, continuing to listen to A Year of Reading Dangerously.  It’s still a compelling listen.  I love books about books, but it will truly do its job if it spurs me on to devote greater time and effort to reading.  However, heading south down the beach into the cold, driving rain, it may have been more enjoyable to listen to the cornucopia of sound provided by nature in the crashing of the waves against the shore, the swish-swish of my feet upon the sand, and the driving wind and pelting rain I headed out into.  Close call.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll opt for immersing myself in the echoes my surroundings instead of an audiobook.
Plato’s Republic.  The detailed reread of Plato’s Republic plus taking notes and outlining it is taking its toll on other books that I want to get to.  However, it’s well worth it as I’m getting much more out this read (I think it’s my eighth) than any previous reading.  Halfway through it and still going strong!
Paradise Lost.  I still need to make it through Paradise Lost with some degree of comprehension of the plot, structure, characters, allusions, and an informed opinion about what Milton is trying to do in this epic, which is no mean feat.  Right now, I’m having to trust our Puritan forebear with this.  I’m finding it the literary equivalent of finding a 32 oz. chateaubriand on my plate and being expected to at least make a dent in it to show gratitude to my host.  It’s about the richest work I’ve ever read outside of the Scriptures.  I feel like I’m missing so much every time I pick it up.  Maybe I need to think about what I’m taking away rather than what I’m missing.
What kind of self-talk do you give to yourself so that you can get through the day with “attitude”?  What are your strategies for getting through difficult tomes like Paradise Lost?
Tagged , ,

Internet Audio Recommendations

I’m a heavy consumer of audio.  I’ve always enjoyed radio, and much preferred it over visual media.  With podcasting, we are living in the golden age of audio.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have a commute that is about 35 minutes each way I’ve gotten some good listening in over the past couple of years. Sometimes, I’ll listen to audio when I run, but generally not.   I listened to 11 books on Audible in the past year. As far as podcasts, I tend to  binge listen to certain podcasts rather than trying to staying up with the latest episode  Lately, it’s been Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and his series on World War I, “Blueprint for Armageddon.”  Others I listen to are:  This American Life:  Ira Glass and his cohorts are some of the best storytellers I have found.  The production is of the highest quality. When I’m in the right mood, it’s the best podcast ever!.  However, I notice the ironic, melancholy air sometimes tends to have a depressive effect, so usually switch to something else when I start to notice this.
The Christian Humanist:  Three College English professors tackle a theme each episode.  The themes are wide ranging and the discussion is edifying and enjoyable.  These guys really make you think and don’t talk down to you.
Startup:  Alex Bloomberg, formerly of Planet Money and a contributor to This American Life, narrates the story of starting up his own business.  Great storyteller.  Self depicting.  Hilarious blunders.  I’m not up to date on this but get the feeling he’s going to make it despite his mistakes.
Third Coast Audio Festival:   A podcast that curates audio from both terrestrial radio and the internet, this podcast is rather eclectic.  It has a sort of radio drama feel, and is rather eclectic.
What do you listen to?  I’d love to hear your recommendations!
Tagged ,

Vegetarian? Vegan? Macro?

I made my post Christmas pilgrimage to Barnes and Noble a couple of days ago.  It’s a “pilgrimage,” because I enjoy the blessing of having raised a family of avid readers.  So, there’s no shortage of books in our home, and no shortage of enthusiasm for visiting bookstores.  Indeed, aren’t bookstores the real reason for shopping?

The object of my quest was to find a book that was a combination of personal journal/explanation/how to concerning making the change to a vegetarian, vegan, or macrobiotic diet.  The thought of making this change has been rattling around in the back of my head for some time now, and I wanted to read more than Wikipedia had to say about this.  I’m not exactly as svelte as I was in my 20’s, and realized that most likely I’ll never get there again.  But I’ve talked to people who have done this, and they seem happy that they made the change.  Those whom I’ve talked to feel better, report health benefits, and seem to be able to eat all they want within the range of their food philosophy.

I wanted to find the story of someone who “waded in the shallow end” of this journey and didn’t try to do it all at once — someone who would make me think that this might possibly be achievable for someone who includes friends and loved ones in their eating habits.  I also felt like I needed to be “sold” on the why of doing this, and read the words of someone who enjoyed and benefitted from making such monumental changes.

Alas, I found no such book!  I didn’t look at the books that were mostly scientific information– I’m just not going to read that.  The science seems pretty sound from what I’ve read — at least it’s more on the side of a plant based diet than what I’m eating now.   However, it just cannot be that there has never been anyone in the history of mankind who considered attempting this change one meal at a time.  I’m astonished that there is no one in the history of the planet who contemplated taking baby steps toward this.  The books I found were either straight-out cookbooks that assumed that I was sold on their particular philosophy, or “how-to” books.  Of the two varieties, the how-to books started out with advice such as “take everything out of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, and throw it in the garbage.”  No consideration whatsoever that person who may attempt to follow such advice may be married to a spouse who would advise reasonable, prudent steps toward a better diet, or more like exclaim, “you’re throwing hundreds of dollars of food into the garbage!”  No advice given on how to win over a skeptical spouse whose wisdom has been nothing short of life-saving.

So, my quest was halted in frustration.  However, I’m sure that there is at least one person in the history of the planet who has been in the circumstances described earlier who has written a book about their experience that’s worth reading.

I’d love to hear from you!  If you have researched transitioning to vegetarian, vegan, or macro and found a helpful book that is makes it sound fun encouraging, and achievable, let me know!

 

Tagged , , ,

Ideas For Writing Myself Out Of My Own Self-Preoccupied, Solipcistic, Navel-Gazing Corner

It’s Day Nine of My 500 Word challenge by Jeff Goins at goinswriter.com.  I have written myself into a self-proccupied, solipcistic, navel-gazing corner.  Here are some of the ideas that I’ve come up with to write myself out of it.

1.  Humor.  My humor tends to work pretty well.  But humor is difficult to write unless you and your audience share the same context.  On the other hand, I spend the majority of my hours at my day job with high school students.  It would be an understatement to say that there is a fair amount of absurdity in the high school world.  So there’s certainly some material there.

2.  Self-Improvement Kick.  Every January, I do some annual planning and set some goals.  While I reached about eighty percent of my goals last year, there is a certain folly in posting your own goals for public consumption, unless you are doing it for accountability and to show that any old schmo can make an annual plan, come up with some means to fulfill the plan, and improvise some checks and balances on the way to keep on track.

3.  The Folly of the Self-Improvement Kick.  This could be fun — and funny!

4.  Book reviews.  There are innumerable sites that write book reviews.  However, none write them for my audience, nor are they a combination of my tastes, interests, and personality.

What about you?  How do you write your way out of your own self-preoccupied, solipcistic, navel-gazing corners?

Tagged ,
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: