It's Never Been Easier to Start Your Life Over

Rick Manelius opening his arms up to the sky.

No matter which way the wind blew, there was always the subtle hint of cow manure in the air. This is what happens when you live directly between two dairy farms, which is where my family was situated for the first 17 years of my life. It was sort of a metaphor for the otherwise beautiful scenery of Glen, NY: namely that life never changed much and it was difficult to get a “fresh” start (pun intended).

Perhaps this is why my math teacher was so adamant about me going to college out of state. He even went as far as driving me out to MIT, probably to make sure I didn’t chicken out. This same teacher would lament about the fates of students that couldn’t quite make a clean break from the hometown and move far enough away. Inevitably, a large percentage of them would return to their parents homes within 6 to 12 months, staying only long enough before setting up permanent residence in the old hometown. And to further solidify the pattern, many would start living the same types of lives and lifestyles as their parents instead of creating their own.

"Interesting" is a Boring, Overused, and Lifeless Word

I love poetry. There is something extremely satisfying about creating unique snapshots of the human experience while using the fewest number of words possible. And a single word change, usually discovered after a thesaurus exploration, can completely alter the meaning and mood of a piece. So it’s not unlike a game of chess, where a person must place each piece into position with precision in order to prevail!

"Oh Dear Muse"

She shoos me up the staircase
while smiling
while encouraging
while prattling on
like a proud mother

“I don’t think I can”
Yet she pays no attention
and rushes past me
stopping only to point intensely
at the small X mark upon center stage

One spotlight
Exposing one, lonely microphone
(the focal point)
of a million eyeballs

One Moment
To stand my creation up
in front of the masses
will they judge?
Of course!

The Great RSS Feed Unsubscribe Experiment of 2012

Weed your feeds - RSS Logo

35476 unread links. How in God’s name did I let my information hoarding tendencies get me this far in to the never ending pit of internet information overload (or IIO for short). But like a drug addict that hits rock bottom, I knew that the only way to knock out this habit was to be bold, and go cold… turkey that is.

And so here we are at milestone #2 towards my goal of a low information diet: the great RSS feed unsubscribe experiment of 2012.

What Exactly is a "Blessing in Disguise"?

Tree Grows After Forest Fire

Often, the greatest miracles that occur in our lives initially show up as something ominous, dangerous, and negative. But we are but one set of eyes among 7 billion and an almost infinite number of moving parts that make up our universe. From our vantage point, who knows what’s really good and bad? If only we could peer over the shoulder of God and see the great cosmic game of chess from his perspective. Maybe then we’d realize what is good and bad can change in an instant, depending on the contextual lens we are using in that brief moment in time.

Your Thoughts Can Paralyze You

People often equate power with the physical plane of existence. If you have enough money, you’ll be safe from a life of poverty. If you can bench 400 pounds, you can win any physical confrontation and be safe from harm. If you are in perfect health, you’ll outwit mother nature and live to be 120+ and be safe from a loss in your quality of life. Yes, our physical possessions, strengths, and health can give us a tremendous sense of power in shaping the life we live.

But all this "physical power" pales in comparison to the power we derive from our emotional and mental states of being.

Announcing My First eBook: Never Forget, Never Regret

“You should write a book.”

Although I always appreciated the compliment, but I could never tell if it was sincere or not. Was I really that good or creative at writing? Or was it simply like the words of a mother, who’s unconditional love was so strong that even a finger painting of a blue dog would land itself on the fridge.

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. We all have things to share (thoughts, pictures, stories, laughs, hugs) and it gets boring to sit on the sidelines and let everyone else have the fun. Sure, we can be self depreciating and claim that no one will care or our actions won’t mean anything. But I disagree. Sometimes the seemingly insignificant things we in life can completely change the lives of someone else, whether we know it or not. And so what if it doesn’t? I’m not willing to take that chance!

The Great Bookmark Burning Experiment of 2012

Book Burning

I used to abhor the idea of book burning. It represents censorship, the repression of thought, and the destruction of knowledge that took years to obtain, distill, package, and transmit. And I still detest information purging when done with such ill intent.

Bookmarks, however, are a completely different story. Content is being generated at an almost incomprehensible level. Just today alone (March 12th, 2012), there were over 184 million words published on hosted blogs. That is 2.5 bibles worth of content produced in a single day on one web service. Multiply that by thousands of sites around the world (and in other languages) and you can see it’s literally impossible to keep up.

And yet we try…

Want to Go from Beginner to Pro? Then Trade In Your Ego for Some Training Wheels

Bike jump - Flickr - sgym@622

Let’s face it, we live in a culture that craves, expects, and outright demands instant gratification. We want to lose weight in 30 days in one day NOW. We see an amazing gadget on the internet and we want it delivered to our door by 8 am tomorrow morning. And heaven forbid if the movie we want to watch isn’t already on demand and queued up in our Netflix/Comcast account, because that means we may actually have to drive to one of those archaic brick and mortar stores to pick it up!

I wish I was being facetious. But if I am brutally honest with myself, I fit this pattern in various aspects of my life. You probably do as well.

Will You Actually Read All Those Bookmarks You're Hoarding?

Pile of Books by ailatan (Flickr)

It started like every other day (queue the ominous background music). And yet somehow a software synchronization went awry and I lost over 1200+ bookmarked links in my Safari browser. I was livid. All those articles I meant to read, all those useful reference materials, and all those things that I thought were important… all gone. And all I could think about was how many days it worth of time it would take to find and reorganize them all. It was a hoarders worst nightmare (e.g. to lose all the precious nothings that one worked so hard to collect, even if they offered no real value to one’s life).