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Archive for January, 2011

Two of my favorite writers are Bill Simmons (Espn.com, “The Book of Basketball”) and Malcolm Gladwell (“Tipping Point”,”Blink”,”Outliers”). Today I was reading an article from Simmons and he had linked to a couple of articles that he had wrote with Gladwell. I’ve been reading Bill Simmons work since I was 16 when I would spend time between my classes at Big Bend reading his articles on Page 2, along with Jim Caple, Jason Whitlock and Hunter S. Thompson’s work. I didn’t start reading Gladwell’s stuff until this past year and I love it. So, I the time I read the Gladwell vs. Simmons articles I didn’t really know who Gladwell was so I decided to re-read them today and I came across some interesting stuff.

Simmons asks Gladwell how hard he works at writing and they begin to discuss athletes and their dedication to working at their profession. Gladwell writes:

This is actually a question I’m obsessed with: Why don’t people work hard when it’s in their best interest to do so? Why does Eddy Curry come to camp every year overweight?The (short) answer is that it’s really risky to work hard, because then if you fail you can no longer say that you failed because you didn’t work hard. It’s a form of self-protection. I swear that’s why Mickelson has that almost absurdly calm demeanor. If he loses, he can always say: Well, I could have practiced more, and maybe next year I will and I’ll win then. When Tiger loses, what does he tell himself? He worked as hard as he possibly could. He prepared like no one else in the game and he still lost. That has to be devastating, and dealing with that kind of conclusion takes a very special and rare kind of resilience. Most of the psychological research on this is focused on why some kids don’t study for tests — which is a much more serious version of the same problem. If you get drunk the night before an exam instead of studying and you fail, then the problem is that you got drunk. If you do study and you fail, the problem is that you’re stupid — and stupid, for a student, is a death sentence. The point is that it is far more psychologically dangerous and difficult to prepare for a task than not to prepare. People think that Tiger is tougher than Mickelson because he works harder. Wrong: Tiger is tougher than Mickelson and because of that he works harder.

Do you ever not work at something because it would be demoralizing to work hard and fail than to not work hard and fail?

I feel that this applies to me sometimes, especially with school. I rarely study and I get decent grades and I feel that sometimes I do this because what if I were to study as hard as I can and fail? I feel like that would be devastating to me. This also comes into play with the ladies. Isn’t it worse if I try to get a girl and I get rejected than if I don’t try and don’t get her?

Now, just so you know, I do work at some things and sometimes it happens to be school and at getting girls, but not all the time.

Also, here is the link to the article I was reading.

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Jack Lalanne

Jack Lalanne died yesterday of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. He was 96.

Do you people even know who this man is? I’m sure the older folks know him or have at least heard of him. Jack was born in San Francisco aka the home of the sitcom “Full House” starring Uncle Jesse and some other people. He said while growing up as a child he was addicted to sugar and it made his life hell. Paul Bragg, a pioneer nutritionist of sorts, gave a talk that Jack heard and in that talk Bragg talked about the benefits of brown rice, whole wheat and a vegetarian diet. Jack took it to heart and it changed his life.

Ok. So, basically this guy was an animal. A few years ago, I read about ole Jack and I was pretty impressed by some of the feats he accomplished. Let’s just start at when he was 66 years old. When he was 66 (1980), he towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour. Pretty crazy. At 66.

At 61 (1975), he (again) swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat.

In a world today where athletes supposedly have the best equipment, the best training, and and the best nutritional wisdom in the history of the world available to them, we tend to think that people back in the day could not be as superior athletically as our athletes today. For me, Jack proves the point that people “back in the day” could still be superior athletically while supposedly having less.

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You people ever see “Juno”? A couple of friends and I watched it tonight. I had already seen it a couple times, but someone hadn’t seen it so we put it in the PS3 (it was in blue-ray and teen pregnancy isn’t teen pregnancy unless it’s in hi-def). I think Ellen Page is pretty good looking, but Michael Cera can’t be good looking to chicks, right? I mean, righhhhhht?????? He seems to be hookin up with hot chicks in every movie and we all know that movies are the exact portrayal of what happens in real life.

What if my teenage daughter got pregnant? How would I react? I feel like this is gonna happen to me. I feel like every crazy thing that could happen to my kids will happen. I can almost guarantee my kids won’t be “normal”.

Also, Jennifer Garner is overrated on the hotness scale. Just saying. I mean, she’s kinda got manly features, like Hillary Swank. She’s obviously still out of my league though.

P.S. I reached 1000 friends on Facebook. I’ve been dreaming about this day for so long, and now it has finally come true. That was on my bucket list and I’m glad I get to check that off. Next thing to check off is to have 500 mutual friends with someone. My life is this sweet people.

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So, I got on here to read some blogs. I read through a couple and decided I’d like to type out a couple sentences too and see what I could conjure up thought-wise. I’m sitting here listening to some music. Every couple of weeks I take time to listen to classical music while I’m doing something else. On my iTunes I have about 3000 classical music songs which I probably won’t ever be able to listen to all the way through. I was able to download most of them off of Amazon when they got good deals like “99 Essential Mozart Masterpieces” or “99 Most Essential Classical Masterpieces”.

Anyway, you ever seen that movie “Mozart” from back in the 80’s? Goofiest serious movie I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I always think of this movie when I think of Mozart. Check this clip out.

What a horrible laugh. He sounds like me when I laugh.

Top 5 Favorite Classical pieces:

5. Suite Bergamasque, L 75: Clair de lune by Claude Debussy

You’ve probably heard this a lot in movies or whatnot. It’s a doozy. It was a favorite of a girl I knew so I kinda started to listen to it cause of her. Meh.

4. The Barber of Seville: Overture by Gioacchino Rossini

This one is a fun one. Lots of different things going on in this piece. Kind of makes me want to watch cartoons when I listen to it. Part of it is featured in this sweet Bugs Bunny clip (there is also a Seinfeld clip of it, but I couldn’t find it). You can find the full clip of this cartoon here (I recommend watching the full one. Thanks Christian Bond. Go to his blog here for awesomeness.)

3. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27:2, “Moonlight Sonata”: Adagio sostenuto by Ludwig Van Beethoven

This one really calms me down and makes me wonder how a deaf duder could write something so amazing as this. (This was finished in 1801 and he wasn’t completely deaf until around 1815, but still).

2. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 by Sergei Rachmaninoff

This is a piece written for various instruments, but I like the Violin-Piano combo. It was written in the early 1900’s and it always makes me think of like war torn Europe. It’s kind of a sad piece to me, but I find it lovely.

1. Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ (after T. Albinoni) by Remo Giazotto

This is just a super sad, yet, super powerful piece to me. Kinda gets me in a solemn mood. I love it though. Enjoy.

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Ramblings

Once again I write to say I will try to write more. Or maybe I won’t.

The other day I read an article at Slate.com (one of my favorite web sites). This article talked about how you are only supposed to use one space after a period instead of two spaces. Blew my mind. I remember taking typing class in 8th grade with Mr. Sandberg and he taught us to use two spaces. Or maybe it was in my 8th grade English class with Mrs. Frey. All I know is that some teacher lead my astray. To all you teachers and future teachers, don’t lead the poor kids down the wrong path! One day they will write a blog post about how you were wrong.

I’ve eaten approximately 15 grapefruits in the past 4 days. That is no exaggeration. I’ve also been eating a lot of peanuts. I cut my own hair. I had previously cut it myself, you know, buzz style, and so it was really long on the sides. I tried to cut the sides and leave the top long, but I failed and ended up buzzing my head again.

I watched “Dinner for Schmucks” the other day. It sucked. There were a couple of funny parts, but most of it was dumb. Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords is in it and he was weird, but funny. Chris King and Jordan Baker told me it was good so I guess you can say they have bad taste in movies. Here is a favorite clip of mine of Jemaine in “Eagle vs. Shark”. Enjoy.

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