I #Love My #Dad (Father’s Day)

That’s right, we’re doing my first-ever reaction post to my own post. I’m sure it’s been done before, but this is exciting for me, because I get to refresh you memory about my Mother’s Day post, all while celebrating the fathers in our lives.

Even better for me, because Father’s Day is a very short 3 days away, so there is still time for you to reflect on this holiday before it happens, and hopefully do something meaningful for all the dads you know.

In anticipation of writing this post, I did basically nothing for research, and at first I thought maybe it was because I was tired from the work day, or maybe it was because my girlfriend is working out of town for the summer or maybe it’s because I was scared to write about Father’s Day because we don’t communicate with our dads very easily anymore.

I’m going to share a commercial with you dear readers. This time it won’t be a satire of Mother’s Day, because all of the comedy channels seem just as ill-prepared as I am for this holiday.

See, I promised something of a mirror post, and so far so good.

The ad we just watched explicitly pointed out how disconnected we are from our families, how little time we all appear to be spending on communication and teachable moments.

Dads have always been shown to be the solid figures in our lives, whether they are there for us or not, they are stoic in their presence and reliable. But this Gillette ad uses emotions to prove that all over the world children are leaning more and more on the internet for sage wisdom and less on one of their best real-world teachers, their dads.

I have a theory that the reason why the first few things that come up when you type “Father’s Day” into Google are gift ideas is that we don’t give our dads the real gifts that they would like communication and intimacy. When you go and ask your dad for advice, your giving him an opportunity to share knowledge with you and impart some of his own personality.

A poorly kept secret is that most everyone you and I know will admit that dads are hard to shop for, but while it’s true that many of them don’t want a gift, it’s because they would much rather have an experience with you.

Another reason why I personally think Father’s Day takes a backseat is because it was invented to complement Mother’s Day. And on top of that when Father’s Day initially took off, it only received attention through the promotion of it’s founder Sonora Smart Dodd. When she left to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1920s, the holiday faded away.

When Dodd returned to her home town of Spoke in the 1930s, she began to promote the holiday again, this time focusing her efforts and raising awareness at a national level, so that it finally stuck in the United States.

Because we never gave fathers a holiday that was uniquely theirs we assumed that they would figure out how the want to celebrate it. The problem with this logic is that both mothers and fathers are wired to give more than receive after they have children, assuming they are healthy. If we want to celebrate our fathers properly we might need to turn inward and focus on them as individuals, rather than as symbols.

But that’s just a theory.

What do you think? Have I finally gone over the edge? Leave some comments below!  Share! Subscribe! Otherwise, I’m out of theories for the week, I think I’ll take a break and wind down for my own fathers Father’s Day celebrations.

Tim!

 

 

 

You’re Gonna Love DiSSS (The 4-Hour Chef)

Believe it or not, a large part of becoming a better artist is incorporating skills into other areas of your life, one that make those areas more efficient, allowing you to focus your creative energy on making work, and the marketing of said work.

That means that health matters! It is essential to build good habits to maintain your greatest resource, which is in fact you, dear readers! By honing your diet, getting your sleep, caring for your mental state, and also your spirits, you’re on the road to success.

Today’s wisdom comes from James J. Lachard (real name John James Brown), an English writer who served in the military, worked as an editor, and then at a greeting card company before joining World Vision in the 1960’s. He never published the short story titled, An Interview with God, which the excerpt below is from, because it was rejected by publishers at the time, but I think it’s quite relevant for us today and I’m glad it escaped onto the internet, and will serve as an anchor for the rest of this post.

What surprises you most about mankind?

Many things.
That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up,
and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their
money to restore health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, and
live neither for the present nor for the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and die as if they had never lived.

– James J. Lachard

Whether you’re a monotheist, polytheist, henotheist or atheist, we can all recognize the value of those words in the quote above, dear readers. It’s important to take care of your health so that you can do the things you’re passionate to do. Which leads to a question I’ve continuously asked and pursued for the better part of my late teens and throughout my life since I started down the road of adulthood and career.

How the hell do you put everything you’ve got into your career if you also need to manage your health, your finances, and your relationships too?

Well we are definitely going to explore that question today, and down the road too! In future Wisdom Wednesday posts, of course! But for now let’s focus on one specific area to highlight the incredible acrobatics at stake here.

Let’s consider your diet. Diet is incredibly important to maintaining your energy levels.

I’ve been saying this for years, but if I could figure out a way to avoid food preparation and meal planning, I would be so much more productive at my art. Especially considering how hard it is to motivate yourself to do anything after a long day of work at a day job.

Supposedly you have to choose. Eat well and pay the bills or eat poorly and make your art. The reality is that neither leads towards fulfillment.

But that’s why today’s book, The 4-Hour Chef, just might be genius. A friend of mine recently recommended it to me, because I was talking with him about the incredible burden associated with building multiple businesses, holding a day job, having a relationship/family/friends, and fitting in the basics of health.

Designed as both a “cookbook” for people who don’t cook and also manual for accelerated learning of any subject, Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Chef provides you with 14 key meals to serve as a foundation in your culinary tool belt and get you spending less time on thinking about what to eat and more time on other things.

Is it perfect? Well no, because it does seem to cater to a certain kind of diet, which might not work for those who are vegan or vegetarian, but the concept of teaching you how to navigate a kitchen is what’s crucial here. And it’s not entirely a cookbook, it also is about 20% self-improvement on the subject of learning (explained via his DiSSS and CaFe principles), but learning to love learning is another part of it.

Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. Otherwise, I’ll see you tomorrow for something timely dear readers! Please comment! Please subscribe!

Tim!

Road Map (Find Your Mentors)

One of my favourite things about film is the great associations films can have with words and ideas (spoiler alert for today’s wisdom). For instance, whenever I think of taking a road trip, I can’t help but remember 2000’s road sex comedy movie of the same name, Road Trip.

That movie is chock full of references for me.

For instance, I can’t help but think of Austin whenever someone mentions Boston and vice-versa. Clip conveniently included if you don’t get the reference.

On the other side of levity, the consequences of absorbing this content meant that I had weird ideas about what a new adult should be and could be, and as I mentioned in a previous post, it created some strange ideas of what post-secondary (and in the larger picture, adult life) would probably be like. But that doesn’t mean Road Trip has no redeeming qualities. In fact, the eccentricities of it’s lead characters demonstrate reality far better than most college themed films, that and an amazing idea tucked into pop culture sensibilities towards the end of the film, is super important.

Specifically, the scene where one of the characters is able to teach the lead character Josh the ancient philosophy course material needed to pass a class and stay in university. This is achieved by using analogies of wrestlers from WWF (WWFE or WWE as it is known today).

Rubin: What class is that again?
Rubin: Ancient philosophy.
Rubin: Well I can teach you ancient philosophy in 46 hours.
Josh: Really?
Rubin: Yeah, I can teach Japanese to a monkey in 46 hours. The key is just finding a way to relate to the material. Like, OK… You like pro wrestling, don’t you?
Josh: Who doesn’t?
Rubin: OK. Socrates was like the Vince McMahon of philosophy. He started it all.

This might seem dumb on the surface, and just feel-good filler but it is incredibly profound – perception is reality. What this means is that if you believe something, no matter how untrue, you won’t be able to get past it unless you come at it from a place of understanding. Rubin was able to “teach” Josh about philosophy using a subject he loved and cared about.

That’s the first step to growth, moving forward in a way that you can understand, which means making the content relational to your current interests and understanding and engaging with enthusiasm.

On that note, I want to continue the self-improvement concepts we’ve been examining, by focusing on a fairly important point, one which I’ve avoided in previous weeks because I wanted you to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable. How sneaky of me.

Well here it is – the realization that change is difficult and sometimes feels impossible, is only one step of many steps you need to take in order to stick with whatever creative purpose you have in your heart. You have to do this in order to make something and offer it up to the world.

I struggle with it myself, dear readers.

But that’s why it’s so rewarding once you begin to see results, because these are hard won battles, and a lot of the time they are with old beliefs you didn’t realize you were nursing so hard. That means taking baby steps and slowly changing a little by little, and to always keep in mind the power of reinvention.

By moving forward and focusing on what is in front of you, you can begin to dissolve the past. But guess what? You can’t just figure it out on your own, that’s how you got to where you are right now. By simply sleep-walking through life and absorbing things in your dream state. And we all know how fucked up dream state can be.

And then you aren’t making your art, you’re struggling to figure out what it’s in front of you.

Which means you need to find a teacher; this can be accomplished with a person who already has done what you want to (quickest, most emotional), through resources like books and films (longer, how you get 3/4 of the info), and lastly through a change in perception. Ever heard the expression, when the student is ready, the teacher appears? That’s largely a mental thing, because everything around you is capable of demonstrating the ideology and passion you are striving for. Rocks can represent hidden art for instance, or tree roots can represent learned knowledge.

So please find a mentor. This can be challenging for sure, as covered already, but  there are levels of mentorship and you will need all of them.

But don’t take my word for it, read this article to get yourself started.

And that’s all the theories I have for today, my friends. Please leave some comments below, subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

 

High School Musical (Armin van Buuren, Embrace, review)

It’s really difficult for me to think of EDM and to not think of artists like House of Pain. It’s probably cause I was born in the 80’s and grew up in the 90’s and early 2000s. But whatever, ain’t no thing, but a chicken wing.

Feel it, funk it, amps it are junkin’
And I got more rhymes than there’s cops that are dunkin’
Donuts shop, sure ’nuff I got props from the kids on the Hill
Plus my mom and my pops
I came to get down, I came to get down
So get out your seats and jump around

I’ll just leave this link here, for your viewing pleasure.

For this week’s Melodic Monday, I AM going to fully expect you to jump around though.

 

 

 

Armin van Buuren – Embrace
released October 29, 2015
******** 8/10

armin-van-buuren-embrace

Listening to the sixth studio release of Armin van Buuren has taught me a few things. (Which always makes me happy!) The first thing is that house/techno/trance and all of their iterations are still quite alive and well. For some reason or another I had convinced myself that that particular kind of music had started to die down in the early 2000s. Nope, it is still alive and quite well – Thank you very much.

Second thing. This dude really knows what he is doing within his field and has progressed from an artist into a full-on entity.

Seriously though, you cannot become this successful at DJing and producing your own music and not have an entire team helping you to maintain your image and global reach.

Now, some people would argue that requiring a “team” and influencers is effectively selling out, but when you listen to Embrace, I can almost guarantee you will not experience that sense of loss. I attribute it partially to van Buuren’s vision and secondarily to his genre.

You see, synthetic music is naturally quite polished in it’s representation. We could fight about the truth of this statement for hours, and I say this to both the advocates and the haters.

But it definitely is true that the sound which van Buuren is crafting here is a-typical of strings, brass, and drums, and so there is a perception that it is less organic to the ears.

Great! Now that we can agree on that idea, I’m going to tell you what I thought of the album. That’s the third thing. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was a lot of fun and covered a wide range of emotions for me. Which is often something I want in a record. You see, I want my music to either cover the entire human experience or I want it to fit a particular emotional or ideological theme. Yes, dear readers, theme is important to me in an album as well as it is in fine art, film, and writing.

And Embrace fits that theme fairly well as I’ve mentioned already. Songs like Strong Ones assure it.

Tracks like the eponymous opener provide a powerful entrance into the world that van Buuren sets out to create. The follow-up song Another You and other inclusions Face of Summer, Hands to Heaven, and Gotta Be Love play their cards a little bit more close to the pop deck. But those songs aren’t all strung up one after the next. There is a sincere choice being made and then offered. The songs flow in and out of cadence in a sort of roller coaster of sound. Indestructible in particular fits nicely where it has been placed.

The emotion can definitely be felt as you listen to the whole CD (or digital if you prefer).

And this feeling permeates through to the instrumental songs as well. Embargo is probably my favourite. It brings me back to my high school years, when music compilations like Happy 2B Hardcore ran the marketplace.

Some of the reviews I read have stated that Armin van Buuren is still relevant, but he is no longer king of trance. I would argue that music doesn’t always have to fit so closely to a prescribed definition in order to be worth listening to.

But don’t take my word for it, give it a spin yourself!

 

 

 

Sometimes I wonder about all of this raving and trancing though. You would have to have a wicked bad headache after a night of dancing so consistently and so furiously. Maybe that’s why some people do hard drugs.

Hold up.

I am NOT advocating you do drugs dear readers. I sure don’t myself. But that’s your decision. Let’s awkwardly move away from that thought… Would love to read your thoughts and theories on the EDM scene. Haha, ha, err ha.

But that’s all I’ve got for a Monday night! See you tomorrow my friends.

Tim!