Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bicycles: transportation or leisure?

What is the function of a bicycle? Not surprisingly, the answer will vary depending on where you grew up. Over the past year I've noticed that most Europeans view them as another form of transportation - like a car or motorcycle. They get you from one place to another. Americans typically associate bicycles with leisure, not transportation. Most American children happily "play" with them until they're old enough to graduate to a car. Rarely will you see a adult American on a bicycle. It was pretty refreshing to see men in suits riding a bicycle to work.

Just a random thought....

Monday, November 19, 2007

The art of slowing down

Slow Dance
by David L. Weaterford

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast

Time is short
The music won’t last

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask: How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
Do you life in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your hast,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say, “Hi”?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower.

Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Drifting towards the easy

Did you ever know that you're my hero, and everything I would like to be? Those were the words that my 8th grade graduation class sung to our proud parents the night we received our diploma. Bette would have been impressed.

I used to love singing and did so at every opportunity. Unfortunately, everyone else around me hated it because, well, I'm fairly tone deaf. As a child, that never stopped me from singing. I knew I was bad, but didn't care because I loved it. Almost all children have this amazing gift. As we grow older, most people slowly lose this gift. We begin to neglect the things we love and drift towards things that we're naturally good at. Isn't this a recipe for unhappiness? I think so. Why does this happen? Perhaps it is because we care too much about what other people think. Maybe we believe that we're wasting our time. Whatever the reason, it's a pity.

Shouldn't our goal be to participate in activities that challenge us, even in the face of doubt, ridicule and opposition? Forget about finding work. That is only what you're good at. Forget about having a career. That will probably get your ahead and have prestige, but often lacks meaning.
Shouldn't our goal be to finding our calling? Your calling will bring you alive. I've been asking myself the following question recently: 1) what are you good at 2) what do you enjoy doing and 3) does it directly or indirectly better your community.

Maybe wanting all 3 is asking too much. Maybe I'm being young and idealistic. Perhaps the realities of life don't always allow this. I'm still searching and it's not an easy or quick process. I may never find the balance. Yet, I feel it is a goal worth believing in.

So, what do you suck at, but absolutely love doing? Me…well, I’ll just continue to sing in the shower.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My search for the perfect mobile phone ringer

I was on the Sprint website when I saw, “Get a free ringer on us” flashing in huge, bold letters. Simple enough, or so I thought. Personalized ringers have become extremely popular over the past few years. It’s a fun, quick and easy, but not so cheap way to add personality to what is normally a boring device. With rates starting at $2.50 per ringer, the carriers are making millions.

Playing with all of the features of my new Centro Smartphone has taken up more time than I’d like to admit. What’s not to like with features such as TV (yes, tv), radio, MP3 player, internet, email, text messaging, voice recorder, games, calendar, task list…ok, I’ll stop. I’ve had the phone for only 4 days and I’m already addicted.

I clicked on the link and my search for a free ringer began. The number of songs available was overwhelming. I started browsing in the pop music category. 20 minutes later I had not found a ringer and was browsing in the “what’s new” category. Then the “indie” category. Then I discovered the search functionality and searched for all of my favorite bands and songs.

An hour later, I was no where closer to finding a ringer that I wanted. It’s clear that I put far too much thought into a free ringer. I liked some of the R&B ringers, but thought there vulgarness may cause some to stare. Then I found "Soul Meets Body", one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, Death Cab For Cutie. I was temporarily elated – that is, until I gave it more thought. I was cautious to select a song that I really liked; fearing that hearing it every time I get a call would induce ambivalence.

Still, after more thought, I decided to select a ringer from the house music section. I figured it would be more difficult to become bored of a house song. The house genera offered many tempting selections. I could have selected "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit" by Fredde Le Grand, but I would have thought about my friend Keyan every time I heard it. Nothing against Keyan, but that would be too much Keyan. I found “Love Generation by Bob Sinclar, but I was not certain if I could handle the intense memories it would be sure to induce. I heard it live at Infinita during my trip to Madrid this summer. That trip was probably the peak of my summer and I didn't know if I could handle the intensity of reliving those feeling with every call, nor did I want to diminish the importance through boredom.

In the end, I settled on “Exeeder” by Mason. It’s neutral, yet makes me think of my amazing experiences in London It’s not perfect, but it works.

What ringer do you have on your phone, and what does that communicate about your personality?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I mean, seriously

Below is my list of 3 items that should be banned from all clubs/ discotheques. Everything else is fair game.

Sunglasses - I smell a douchebag
Glitter – I do not want your pink glitter rubbed all over me when you inevitable bump into me. Oh, and you look like a fool.
Glow Sticks – Does this one really need an explanation?

What items are on your list?