April 26, 2013
Lifehacking to pieces

Disclaimer: this is backlogged content, yo.

It’s been a lifetime since I’ve posted in this space, and I’ve inevitably become a more refined (read: greying - oh god, the grey) version of myself. That said, I still find it important to create a personal narrative that people can stumble upon instead of tarting it out at every opportunity. 

I’ve never been enchanted by the notion of life hacking, but jumped aboard the self-improvement metrics train when a tiny, suspiciously southern voice in my head started whispering “you gon die” on a semi-regular basis. Abiding the drawling death rattle, I started creating a food log, tracking vices (poorly…), obtained a solid healthcare plan and dietician, bought a digital fitness tracker, created a sleep schedule, a light cardio regime, an auxillary acitivities log, a…..you get the idea. It’s a part-time job in itself.

My findings ranged from insanely useful knowledge (you are alert an hour longer with vitamin D supplements, a 45 minute vs. 30 minute walk jumpstarts your brain when you’re stressed) to excruciatingly obvious banalities (poutine and bourbon depletes said alertness, watching Tenenbrae for the eighth time does not melt anxiety). Mostly, this has merely smothered that aforementioned tiny voice for good, which I suppose is one item off the 2013 bucket list.

The eyebrow furrow that magically appears when people mention lifehacking to me isn’t personal - I understand it’s a deeply engrained passion for some people, and mentoring on the subject is a hobby or charitable perogative for others.  We’re just living in a world after the advent of “The 4-hour Charlatan” and other bullshit tomes  that present us with one-size metrics on how to obtain profitability and happiness in one historically revisionist blow. 

My major beef with the subject is that it addresses a major symptom of the hyperattentive and chronically engaged - a lack of that ubiquitous work/life balance, abandoning play for profitability, health for engagement, and a host of other gaps a busy yet charmed life mercilessly consumes - but seems to abandon the reader at the end result. What does one do with the time and resources they’ve hacked for themselves after working themsleves into oblivion for years? It’s a vice in it’s own accord, and finding your way out of that wormhole can be a nightmare that is infrequently addressed.

My stumbling block right now is that my creativity has been stunted by two years of “reactionary management”, which thankfully began to ease at the commencement of the new year. As an essential precurser, I adore my work and my second “chosen” family that I share the majority of my waking life with, and have no doubt that we’ll take over a small piece of the universe together in the forthcoming year. I adore the two (very huggable) honcho’s of the record label I now advise more than co-instigate, as I had to scale my life back in that aforementioned struggle with health and well-being. I adore all the charity projects and community events I advise or lend facilitation skills to, and the graceful and generous characters within that make me feel better about this world I inhabit. A stumbling block is just that - a barrier in an otherwise happy and productive existence. 

The short-form biography I just voluntarily offered inhabits about 55-60 hours of my week, and the problem is that I misconstrued them as hobbies. They are in my marrow - I have to do them to both satiate my drive and need of sustinance, and I can’t fathom my life without them at this stage. This does not a hobby make, though, and my burgeoning record collection is more of a irresponsible RSP than an extracirricular at this point. 

That stated, the first time a friend suggested I “get a hobby”, I went haughty and indignant all over their face, and this tradition resurfaced each time someone alluded to it over a series of weeks - when you’ve lived in a state of high alert for several years, people can’t help but notice the deafening sound of your own boredom when it dissipates, and you still misconstrue your works as hobbies that incidentally are all-consuming and high-stress. 

Last week came the reckoning, though - I can no longer ignore my bass guitar and the cobwebs that are slowly consuming it (albeit they look like beautiful fractals, so I musn’t disturb them). The beautiful blank journals gifted to me, which are slowly accumulating in my cabinet (whose pages I would have readily devoured 3 years ago with short stories) are a constant reminder that I’ve misplaced my ability to conjure fantastic lies.  My unabashed loathing of group classes, urban excursions, and all varieties of recreationally-oriented societies are a flimsy masquerade for the fact that I’ve misplaced my ability to contribute any creative output to them. In short, I have been tooting my “creative facilitation” horn over the past 24 months while secretly regressing into a Dilbert cartoon (but only if he dug Nick Cave, was smug, and lived in Greenpoint). 

What lifehacking, life coaches et al. don’t tell you is how to get back on track with your ideal life after you’ve exhausted and remedied it’s pain points. At present, all advice offered by my loving compatriots oscillates between empty platitudes (“Paint! Play your guitar! Cookery! Write something! IT’S EASY”) and the more useful reminder that I am only suffering from a case of WASP plague, and it’s curable (this much is true). 

People are notoriously bad at figuring out what makes them happy - and there’s no point in being more efficient at being unhappy.  I think my character archetype leaves more to chance - all I need is time and patience in adapting to my new life, and being receptive to the cues of the universe around me. This sort of sustained hope is oftentimes always absent from the lifehacking lexicon, yet it is the exact thing I know will inevitably lead me down a happier and more creative path. 

December 22, 2011

Hüsker Dü - Something I Learned Today (Zen Arcade, 1984)

Warm-up before watching Bob Mould’s tribute show.

ALSO HI: I keep on posting stuff for my other tumblr here out of senility. Music archive: The Noise of Carpet.

December 2, 2011
“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the  detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose  presence his heart first opened.”
-Camus
I’ve been trolling my home thinking “invincible summer my ass”, but this is well and right.

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”

-Camus

I’ve been trolling my home thinking “invincible summer my ass”, but this is well and right.

November 20, 2011

How to euthanize a Saturday night.

Step 1 - While having a great hibernation weekend, get really wistful for music you first fell in love with 15 years ago.

Step 2 - Narrow it down to a top 10 listening party, including the ethereal majesty of Dead Can Dance.

Step 3 - Listening to The Host of the Seraphim, it dawns on you that it’s been a long time since you’ve watched Baraka. Proceed to download and viewing phase.

Step 4 - Acknowledge that both the earth and yourself are broken pieces of shit as you drink in your bathtub. Immediately call a moratorium on weekends wherein you have too much time for doleful nostalgia.

Step 5 - Download Encino Man.

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Filed under: Baraka Dead Can Dance 
November 18, 2011
“Rays from the sunrise drew forth the buds and  stretched them into long stalks, lifted up sap in noiseless streams,  opened petals, and sucked out scents in invisible jets and breathings.”
-Thomas Hardy.

“Rays from the sunrise drew forth the buds and stretched them into long stalks, lifted up sap in noiseless streams, opened petals, and sucked out scents in invisible jets and breathings.”

-Thomas Hardy.

November 9, 2011
"

The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn’t pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time.

The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don’t have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there’s a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There’s something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can’t see it, but you know it’s here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is.

There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There’s a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside.

Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn’t move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There’s only one day at a time here, then it’s tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you’re in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon’s generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you’ll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts.

"

— Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Vol. 1)

October 27, 2011
"Girls aren’t beautiful, they’re pretty. Beautiful is too heavy a word to assign to a girl. Women are beautiful because their faces show that they know they have lost something and picked up something else."

Henry Rollins, Smile, You’re Traveling

I’m not enamoured by his simian man-boy shtick, but he’s so careful at hitting the right notes.

September 19, 2011

gwenhwyfaraway:

 

A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits the planet at night.
It begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon.
Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy

 

September 7, 2011
"I imagine that yes is the only living thing."

— e.e. cummings
For a loving friend, who sent me a note to ensure I keep building with youthful abandon.

September 5, 2011
So long, summer. You always have us scrambling to create some past rendition of you, only to find out you exist exclusively in our collective nostalgia.

So long, summer. You always have us scrambling to create some past rendition of you, only to find out you exist exclusively in our collective nostalgia.

(Source: belle-de-nuit)

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Filed under: Summer Ciao 
September 4, 2011
"Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. The stars died so you could be here today."

- Lawrence Krauss

"Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. The stars died so you could be here today."

- Lawrence Krauss

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Filed under: Stars Physics 
September 4, 2011
Everyone wants this feeling.

Everyone wants this feeling.

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Filed under: love Culture 
July 14, 2011
Tina Winkhaus - Hope/Hoffnung Series.

Tina Winkhaus - Hope/Hoffnung Series.

July 13, 2011
vintagegal:

french postcard 1927

vintagegal:

french postcard 1927

(via venusessence)

July 12, 2011
"My dear, I have kicked more ass than you have sat on."

— Zotoh Zhaan, Farscape

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Filed under: Farscape Winning 
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