Fri, 28 September 2007
This is really episode 25 since I skipped over 13, but it\\\'s still listed as 26, so enjoy.
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Here\\\'s today\\\'s transcript...
Brian Andreas created a painting for my house. It\\\'s a watercolor of a golfer and some goldfish and some other random visuals. The print also features this saying:
"The first time I played golf, I had the most fun throwing bread to the goldfish in the pro shop. It made as much sense as anything else."
That\\\'s how I feel this morning as I sit in my wing chair staring at the empty spot in my living room that should be full of Vespa. If I look to my left, there\\\'s another empty spot in my house that could also be a Vespa holding space - but it too is empty.
No, I haven\\\'t lost a couple of Vespa\\\'s, I have just failed to win them.
Last night at the Allston Village fundraiser, I sat anxiously with 13 tickets for the drawing. Those 13 tickets failed to jump out of the raffle bin and their corresponding numbers were not read aloud by the organizers.
I didn\\\'t leave the bar with a Vespa, a bike, a second bike, a Razor Scooter or a three-month gym membership. And I\\\'m irked.
But the feeling I have isn\\\'t one of abject disappointment and bitter, bitter, bitter, projected loss. No, it\\\'s actually an empty and aimless gnawing.
I was pumped up to win the Vespa scooter (NOT the Razor), but only because the act of winning makes for a great story and because it\\\'s representative of doing something right...especially in this society.
Where else in the world, other than the United States, do people get credit for having a lucky circumstance? People are applauded for finding a good parking space, finding a dollar on the street, winning a free small fries at McDonalds and even for getting a \\\'free\\\' phone when they reactivate their cell phone plan.
Are we insane? Where has this predominant feeling of having to please other people with our adventures and successes come from?
If I still want a scooter - and a Vespa at that - I can afford one and should just go out and buy it. But from a use perspective and a financial one, my time and money and energy is better spent working on my writing, breathing deeply and enjoying my free time, planning (and paying for) home renovations, and thinking about my next trip to Europe or Hawaii or Chicago or Florida or event Montreal.
Ultimately, I didn\\\'t chase this scooter because I wanted attention. I chased it because of what it represented...an easy way to acquire a bit of status. People might see me in a different way, especially when I put the vanity plate on the scooter to coordinate with the vanity plate on my car. I\\\'m not saying what it would be because I still might buy a scooter.
But the scooter I buy will be the one I decide will give me the most enjoyment as I ride it around town to get my mail and to the beach to take photos and maybe even to the golf course.
And while I\\\'m at the golf course I might even find some goldfish or geese or squirrels to feed. Because that does make as much sense as anything else.
More to come...
Thu, 13 September 2007
Wow. Jeff Cutler reaches 25 episodes. OK, really 24 because I think we skipped #13.
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Here's today's podcast...
For some people, setting goals is driven by their situation. They are less free - in my opinion - to make decisions that contribute to their happiness and more prone to choose 'tasks' or paths that others strongly influence.
If I were still married, I imagine that many of my decisions would follow the whims and wishes of my wife. I'd be less free to jump on opportunities like a free Six Flags Day from Scion or Podcamp Boston.
Doing tasks around the house would become a stronger focus and the me generation might face extinction.
Fortunately, I'm extremely easy-going and not at all obsessive. My journey through life is in no large way adjusted because of external drivers...it's essentially a live life and enjoy it philosophy.
That's why the cat decision is very difficult.
While I might joke about skinning and dining on cats, that isn't how I really feel about these cute creatures. From Rags to Nick to Huckleberry, all the cats in my life have been (or will be) full-fledged members of the family.
I can assure you I won't creating a Michael Vick-esque den of catfighting (I'll let the women in offices all over this great country of ours do that). But a new cat is definitely going to be a change for me.
Primarily, a cat is a little more needy than a goldfish or plant and slightly less needy than an infant. So dropping everything and riding my scooter to Florida for three months is going to be a little less realistic. And my penchant for shutting off the heat in the house will probably have to stop during the winter months.
But the things I gain will more than make up for the slight crimp in my lifestyle. My main concern is that my cat will want more attention than me or have an OCD mentality.
So prepare yourself. In this space you're soon going to hear about cute little kitten adventures and be subject to innumerable photos of kitten cuteness.
But while kittens are fun, this column is about goals. To that end, on Tuesday I listed out a few 2007-2008 goals and I'd like to share the majority of them here. The world-domination plan gets a little convoluted, so I'll save that for its own post.
1 - Invent a device that is similar to an iPhone but just plays music
2 - Write a joke for David Letterman
3 - Keep up with all my blogging and podcasting (this current post kills two birds...NO, there is no killing of pets in this blog)
4 - Cultivate some more clients who want me to write Dave Barry and David Sedaris type columns
5 - Win more cash via assorted lotteries (last night I hit Keno for $452, really!)
6 - Buy a scooter (you didn't see that coming?)
7 - Take some serious steps toward home renovations (would like to go from 923 sf to 2300 sf...maybe I just need to put some mirrors on the walls to open up the space)
8 - Land a writing assignment for the 2008 Tour de France
9 - Be more visionary in nature and convert that to billions and billions of dollars
10 - Pay a tiny bit more attention to the world around me (contrary to my miniature amount of self-focus, I would like to remember the birthdays of my nieces and nephews and siblings and parents and girlfriend as well as major holidays like Yom Kippur and July 4th and Talk Like a Pirate Day)
So, with those lofty goals in mind I'm off to play poker tonight and generate funds to help me achieve my dream. I urge you to do the same.
More to come...
Mon, 3 September 2007
I colored my hair the other day. Really. It’s a stylish and attractive red that is at once dashing and ‘interesting’. I was trying for blond, but the makeup of my hair and the worry that accompanied putting chemicals on my head probably conspired to limit the colorant’s effectiveness.
Needless to say, now I am supporting the home-town team with the color of my hair. But that’s not the topic of today’s post…sharing time is.
Directly related to the hair-color experiment was my anticipation of the reaction to my new hair by people and work and by family. Right now I’m safe because Mum doesn’t read this blog so she won’t know about my hair until she sees it this Friday at dinner. And that will be in front of lots of dinner guests so I’m predicting she won’t make a scene.
Continuing, I really thought people at work would be vocal and demonstrative when they saw my hair. They weren’t.
Maybe this comes from my persona at the office (I’m freelancing for Brookstone right now, but have other clients regularly where the same image is projected), one where I’m friendly and open-minded and sharing. People may have stopped being surprised by my stories or actions…or maybe my hair is hideous and they’re too afraid to say anything because they care about my feelings.
It’s probably none of the above. They probably didn’t even notice. In the same way it takes people about three months to realize a coworker is pregnant, a simple hair-color change isn’t that significant.
Furthermore, people are self-focused to an extreme. They project their feelings and thoughts on others and infrequently stop to take in the whole picture. I’m trying to be different. It’s not some sort of kharmatic change, just an occasional reminder to myself that life is going on all around us and we should take notice.
In an effort to do so, I stopped at the beach today and took this photo…
And better than just taking the photo, I stood and breathed in the sea air and just smiled. I thought about the sun and other people and perceptions and our busy lives. Then I realized that it wasn’t the color that I had outside my head that mattered, it was the spectrum of thoughts that were going on inside my skull. And those I choose to share.
More to come…