Thursday, January 31, 2008

Minneapolis Is Cold

It is really cold here, uh-huh.
-Matt

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Leaving your city: A Guide

So, you want to leave your city, quit your job, and start a new life under the sea? It is possible! Everything except for the living-under-the-sea part has a chance of success, and even that is possible if you have gills and/or a ton of money to spend on some kind of underwater research station a la Sealab 2021 (and fortitude!)! Don’t fret! I’ve moved more times than most people have drunk 12oz cans of Pepsi purchased from vending machines for the reasonable price of $1.25!!!

This guide should help you in this endeavor. If you don’t find what you’re looking for or have any questions that weren’t answered, feel free to read it again. All of the answers are here; you just need to be brave enough to look for them more than once.

What you will find herein is a blog-i-fied version of my much longer tome, “Kickin’ The Habit! How I Learned To Leave, and Love Leavin’ Behind” and can be found at any respectable bookstore. Respectability is easily testable. Walk into a book store, ask for my book by name, if they don’t direct you to an enormous display of the books, kick their teeth in. If you have asked via email to some book-selling-web-site like Amazon (who doesn’t have any teeth) kick your own teeth in. Then take a picture of your gums and send it to me.

To leave your city, you need motivation, a plan of action, and the all-important ability to grow a pair and "Buy the tickets, already!"

Motivation:
The first thing you'll need to leave your city is a reason. Do you absolutely love the city you live in? If so, moving may not be the best option for you. If, on the other hand, you're not very fond of your city, job, family, or the smell of the paper factory down the street, moving could be a good thing.

Motivation isn't that difficult to come up with. People tend to hate everything from time to time. The question isn't "Do I hate it here right now?" The real question is, "If I were to rate every day on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being absolutely loathing hatred of the city and 10 being the feeling you get when you want to make wild, passionate love to your city, and add them up then divide by the number of days I've just added up I would arrive at a Motivation score. If the score is lower than 9.5, it's time for me to move!" Do that.

Plan of Action:
If you want to not do something, and you have the ability to not do it because of some excuse, you will never do it. The reason? Excuses are really easy to make up. Don't want to mow the yard and a simple excuse will allow you to skip the chore? Easy! Just say, "Lawn mowers make me anxious and grass is green... I don't like green." BAM! You don't have to mow the yard.

Let's say your house is on fire and you have a healthy, well-developed sense of self preservation. You couldn't really come up with an excuse to not get out of bed and leave the house. The fire would force you to do something: Leave, whilst flailing your arms about your body in a vain attempt to put out flaming head.

To leave your city, you need to burn it to the ground (metaphorically). You need to put yourself in a position where an excuse will have no effect on your leaving. Quit your job. Sell your house. Write to everyone you know and tell them you are leaving, and if you don't, they all get a chance to kick your teeth in. And don't just quit your job, find another one somewhere else with a starting date that you have to be there for. Put a deposit on an apartment in another city. Things will, in a sense, force you to leave. The only trick is forgetting that you willingly set the plan in motion, that way you can feel a victim of circumstance. And if people say, "What the hell did you just do, Trey?" You can say, "I have to." Ding!

Grow a pair:
Self-explanatory. If you're lost: Watch the following video



"Buy the tickets, already!"
This is an old saying that harkens back to my traveling days of yore. Whenever I was planning a trip with friends, we would always say "Buy the tickets!" Which basically meant, once you've bought the tickets, you're going. When we would plan to do something a few months out, if there was a way to buy a plane ticket or concert ticket or whatever, we would do it because it meant we had a fixed day in the future when we would be doing something.

My advice is to buy the tickets, already. Set an actual timetable with real dates and goals. Buy the ticket to fly to the place you're interested in moving to. Make plans with friends to visit the place. Look at events going on in the new city when you'll be living there and buy tickets to them. Etc.

If none of this helps, wait for the next installment, "Kicking your teeth in: A beginner's guide"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The science of cooking?

I am tired, so this will be short. Earlier this week I found this article on Discover and it totally blew my mind with strange possibilities so I thought I would pass it onto all of you too.

All I have to say is fried mayonnaise. It sounds gross, but what other ideas will they come up with?!?!?1

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dolphins Blowing Air Rings Underwater



(Possibly the most beautiful video clip I have ever stumbled across...)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

The sun may rise in the East, at least, it settles in a final location...

It's Californication...

The holidays went by in a flash, and we're back to the grind. My grind is the traveling variety and Mandy's is the testing variety. With the help (and by help, I mean doing-all-of-the-work) of Mandy's parents, we were able to accomplish quite a bit over the holiday. The kitchen and bathrooms have been painted, the gate in the back is working again, and we have all sorts of organizing and decorating paraphernalia to adorn the house. They have made it back to Grand Rapids, and we extend our love and thanks for their visit. It was great to spend time with family over the holidays, even if the majority of the family is far away.

A few quick updates:
1. The running club is still on. We've brainstormed a few names for it, and since we haven't gotten any responses from the name email Mandy sent out, we're going to name it ourselves. So there.

2. Nikki, the newest and only dog-member of the household is doing well. She is a bit melancholy due to Mandy's parents leaving, but she's doing better day by day. Mandy is looking into some training options for her, and we'll hopefully be implementing those before too long. The trick with the training is it's mostly for the owners, not the dog. So, it's highly recommended everyone who will be participating in the training of the dog attend the classes. The problem is, I never know what days I'm going to be in or out of town, so it's impossible for me be sure to attend all the classes.

3. I'm off to California this week (I'm in Santa Monica right now) and will be in DC next week. There are also possible visits to NASA, South Carolina, and some military installation in Minnesota on the horizon. I'll be fluttering here and there, but always reachable by email and cell.

4. The cats are adjusting better than we expected to the arrival of Nikki. They seem to be pretty intent on being friends, and Niki wants to play with them all the time, but whenever they run or do anything quickly, Niki takes that as a cue to jump around and chase them, which freaks them out, and hostility quickly escalates.

That's about it from us. Things have ramped back up to full steam, and the holidays are receding quickly into the past. I can't believe Christmas and New Years has come and gone already. It's so crazy.