Posted in Philosophical Musings, random, Uncategorized, tagged Art, books, Buffet Clarinet, Christian Evangelicals, Christian Television, Clarinet, coping, Culture, Depression, euthanasia, Fantasy writing, Gay rights, Goals, Good Omens, Ink, Israel, Italian Ink, METV, Neil Gaiman, painting, Procrastination, random, reading, science fiction, Star Trek, Star Trek TNG, Terry Pratchett, To-do lists, writing on December 20, 2012|
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My book of the week: talk about blasphemy!
Not great. My list seems so much more ambitious than I thought. Some things I’ve done:
- Because of a cold, for almost a week I drank endless cups and pots of herbal teas and infusions, meaning, I got plenty of water. Now, not so much.
- Sleep – still averaging 5-ish hours. Not good at all. The discovery of late-night Star Trek TNG on this odd Christian cable TV channel has me mesmerized. I love the show, it’s never on here, and I find it so incredibly strange that it’s METV that airs it. I’m sure it’s a “recruiting tactic” – they’re also the only channel broadcasting American football, and quite a lot of it – rare and popular pastimes for certain populations. I wonder if they actually know what they’re broadcasting – the futuristic Star Trek world is yes, quite an optimistic one, but the show regularly presents messages of tolerance (thinly veiled themes on gay rights and euthanasia come to mind) – basic respect for acceptance of the traditions and values of other cultures, whether or not we agree with them. Things I feel that evangelicals clearly oppose. It’s a very liberal show. Squeezed between shows like the 700 Club, Harvest, and Christian rock shows, it’s so entirely bizarre for me, a firm and unwavering atheist, to watch. This channel has these shows where a Christian “psychic” talks to spirits of dead family members in front of a studio audience. There’s even a show geared to converting Jews, with a host who is a formerly-Jewish, now devout Christian evangelical, spinning the gospel for the “chosen people.” Anthropology. All I can say. I’m happy for TNG. Not sure it’s OK that I’m patronizing them.
This kiss between Riker and the self-identified female “degenerate mutant” from a gender-less species.
- I have, however, been seeing friends – twice per week is realistic, and as it’s emotionally quite pressing, it seems to be a high priority for me.
- I went on a date. I thought it went very well, but I may have received the brush off. Waiting. It’s OK, life goes on. The effort is important.
- I read a whole novel in excellent speed – fantastic feeling. Though not really my cup of tea, I’d been putting off reading the cult-classic, Good Omens. Was a nice way to pass the weekend.
- Creativity and culture – I have made a concerted effort to stop and notice the art displayed in the windows of the galleries in my area, and I did actually attend a group exhibition opening a couple weeks ago. I’ve been thinking about pulling out my clarinet – back in high school I wasn’t a bad player, and I did bring my excellent Buffet Festival with me when I moved to Israel. AND I DID PAINT! Last week I got out a bunch of expensive Italian ink I purchased years ago, made lovingly with things like real gold flake, and I found a box of old thick “panda” oil pastels of my grandfather’s, a prominent Israeli artist until his death 11 years ago. All shades of his favorite color – blue. Here are some of the results, taken on a crappy camera phone.
A sort of water-soaked inky gouache, and a pointillism landscape made with an incomplete set of crayola markers, inspired by the “International Naive and Primitive Art Gallery” near me. You can’t see the gold flake on the left, but it’s pretty cool up close. And yes, the inks came complete with a quill – very difficult to use, hence I abandoned it.
- Bills – not being paid. Weird. I have the money. I can’t open the mail – it’s overwhelming. It’s quite urgent. And pressing on me. Psychological oddity with me, also keeps me from cleaning my room for months. Though I make a decent effort on the house, the kitchen, public things, some other tasks are near impossible to internalize.
- I’ve been pretty successful at shutting the computer at night and not thinking of work, so I’m proud of myself in that respect. I do need to move forward on expanding my professional goals.
So there is the update. A rather mundane blog entry, but as I felt I needed to keep up the writing momentum, here it is in all its glorious dullness.
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Posted in Philosophical Musings, random, tagged blogging, Cleaning, Discipline, Fountain Pen, Goals, Guides, Habits, Happiness, Health, Healthy Living, How to, journaling, Kindle Fire, life, Lists, random, reading, Schedules, Self-improvement, stress, Work, writing, Yoga on December 7, 2012|
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The forthcoming tips come from a journal entry from last week. Its fun to flip through a soft leather pocket-sized volume, reading bits in juicy blue fountain pen hand. I adore fountain pens, the quill gliding, feeling the shining liquid ink absorb into the paper. I relish writing in cursive, something Israelis find perplexing. Creating loop upon look feels a little like drawing, doesn’t it? They don’t write that way here, the boxy Hebrew characters aren’t built for it. Though everyone is fluent in English, they cannot read our connective writing. Shame.
In any case, a few facts.
1) I’m writing this post on my kindle fire – a
used new-to-me model given me by my mother incredibly thoughtful sister, which despite its first-generation-ness, has really improved the quality of my life. It’s a rudimentary tablet, and I have access to wifi like a smart phone, something I don’t have as its very expensive here. Though clunky, its so nice to have a browser and books (of which I’ve read a few) and newspapers (I read the Herald Tribune daily) and apps, though usually its just a few card games I use to distract myself to blow off steam. There is no camera and no mic so Skype and photos aren’t relevant. However I just downloaded this mobile wordpress app, seems easy to use, and here I am, writing! Brilliant. Thank you Ashley!
2) The following are guidelines I created for myself, very straightforward, things I know will vastly improve my daily existence. The moment by moment breathing in and out getting out of bed and being functional and happy kind of existence. The physical that should improve the metaphysical. Underneath the funky bookishness, I’m just an ordinary schmo. I’m very messy and unraveled at the edges. These are my goals. Maybe you guys would find some benefit too from reading this. Or at least you can check up on me. Or ask me out. Or publish my novel. Or do my dishes. Whatever floats your boat.
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night, preferably turning in before midnight.
- Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
- Create a daily work checklist and stick to it.
- Don’t dare to think about work after work, and really create a line, even if and when overtime is required.
- Always be reading a book.
- Read the newspaper every day.
- Attend or participate in (at least) one cultural activity per week, whether it be a night at the opera or digging out the colored pencils for a fun sketch fest at home.
- See friends twice per week or more.
- Write, blog, or otherwise work with words in some way every day.
- Clean something every day and maintain a clean (ish) home – i.e. sweeping, dishes, cat box, laundry, gardening, general tidying.
- Pay bills/rent/vaad bayit on time.
- Cook and generally eat healthy meals (and eat with people preferably), not in front of the computer or TV.
- Go to yoga once per week if not more.
- Go on one date per week.
How hard is this? Very hard! Well, not really, but really. It takes some self-conscious effort. Nothing on the list is difficult. Well, not too difficult – the cleaning is not easy for me. But doing every single thing, or at least many of them — that is discipline. I do some of these things, sometimes, and somehow I manage. I imagine if I could accomplish these tasks, and maintained it, my life would be less stressed and far more fulfilling. How often do I lose sleep over timing, running to keep up on deadlines, avoiding the disgusting kitchen sink, feeling guilty guilty guilty. The stress is physically and mentally unhealthy. So, while easier said than done, I must attempt this everyday Everest.
What do you think? Do you have a regimen? Any tips?
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