Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Naysayers Suck...

Alright, the results of the Broadway Play poll are in!  And it looks like I am the winner!  That's right, I get to cross that particular item off my list.


It seems that the naysayers have planted a lil bug in my brain about the experience and how I won't really enjoy it unless I go to Broadway and see it for myself.

You suck, naysayers.

So now I really wanna go to Broadway and really see a Broadway Play.  In person.  In the front row.

So I'll make a compromise with you.  I'll cross off the item but add a new one that says that I wanna really see a Broadway Play in person.

Will that make you happy?

But you know, I'm a freakin' barista at a freakin' Starbucks.  So you know I'm not making any money no matter how great the benefits are.  So maybe if you wanna donate to the cause I won't be so mad at'cha for making me change my mind.  

But do not worry.  I am no panhandler.  Even if you don't donate, I'm still gonna save up for a trip to New York.  But any donations will be gratefully accepted.

But naysayers...

You still suck.

How We Can Fix The Economy

In keeping with the Eliminating Debt issue there's a very good post at the Worldly Economic Thoughts blog that I, as well as everybody these days should keep in mind.  Also, thanks to Grace for the information she left in the comments here.  It's already helping, Grace, so thanks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What's On YOUR List? Four Life Lists Designed To Help You Discover What You REALLY Want Out Of Life

In my travels across the digital landscape we've come to know, love and be addicted to known as the internet I've come across a few people who have also realized the cleansing properties of the so-called "life list."  What people don't seem to know about, however is the existence of other forms of life lists that are just as good at self discovery.  In addition to the life list where you write down things you simply want to do before you die there is the following, to name only three...

  • The Amends List
  • The "What's Wrong With My Life" List
  • The "Who I've Harmed" List
Let's take a look at each of them.

The Amends List

Have you ever seen the show "My Name Is Earl?"  If you haven't it's about a man who was not living the best life.  After winning $100,000.00 from a lottery scratch off ticket he is hit by a car.  After some reflection he realizes that "karma" is telling him that if he does good things for people good things will happen to him.  He decides to make a list of all the people he has harmed and make amends to them.

The idea of an amends list is not a new one.  It has been a necessity of 12 step groups since the 1930's and before that it was a staple of the "Oxford Groups."  

By writing down a list of all the things you've done wrong to others (and to yourself,) and taking steps to make it up to those you've offended, you begin to learn that you are not evil.  You are not bad.  You've done bad and evil things, sure but by making amends, you learn to not identify with your misdeeds and furthermore, you learn not to make those same mistakes again.

The "Who I've Harmed" List

Of course, unless you know who you've harmed, you can't make amends to them.  By writing down a list of people you've harmed (once again, yourself included),  you can then write a list of what you've done to them.  

The "What's Wrong With My Life" List

Doing this list feels like a soul cleansing.  The idea comes from Bill Fergusons Mastery Of Life website.  What you do is write down everything you have wrong in your life right now and take steps to fix them.  It doesn't matter how big or how small.  Got a nail in your wall that's driving you crazy?  Write that down on the list.  Been in a hit and run accident that was your fault?  Write that down too.  Then get to work fixing the things in your list.

Imagine how you'll feel if you complete twenty five percent of your list.  How about 50%?  75%?  The more you complete the better you'll feel.

And of course the "Stuff You Wanna Do Before You Die" List.

You already know how to do that one.  I won't go into this one since you're watching me complete my list.

By doing any one of these lists, you will see a change in your life without even realizing it.  Sure some of it's hard.   If you have trouble, start with the small stuff first.  That'll make it easier to get done with.  And when you complete an item, celebrate!  You deserve it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Finally, My Crappy Math Skills Pay Off!

It seems that I miscounted my debts when I began the process of Eliminating Debt. I thought that I had about $1300 worth of debt when in fact it's a little more than $800. Who knew that more than one Credit Reporting Company had the same debts on their reports? So I'm a very happy camper right about now.

Maybe I was wrong...

Only four more days to vote on the Broadway Play issue. As it stands right now the naysayers are in the lead. After reading the comments I'm seriously considering not crossing it off the list and actually planning to go to Broadway to watch a play in person. Wicked actually sounds good. Maybe I'll start saving for it as soon as I'm done with the Eliminating Debt item.

My Greatest Weakness And My Greatest Strength

Remember item #35? About reflecting on my greatest weakness and realizing that it is my greatest strength? Leo over at ZenHabits has written an article that is right on. I was wondering how to do that. Since I don't believe in coincidences I think maybe a little divine intervention is at work here? What do you think?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How To Get Started Eliminating My Debt

I'd like to take a little time away from the Broadway Play issue to revisit the Eliminating My Debt issue. I've been wondering what I could do to eliminate my debt as quickly as possible since I only have around $1500 in debt. Heck, many people have $30,000 or more. I'm dang near rich as far as I can tell. Okay maybe not.

Anyway, this is what I have so far as far as some kind of checklist.
  1. Get my credit report
  2. Create a budget (#41 in the list)
  3. Make arrangements with the creditors in my credit reports for repayment.
  4. Begin paying the most expensive first.
That's about all I have now. I'm wondering if there's anything else I can try. You guys have any ideas? To me it feels like with the right kind of strategy I can get this small amount of debt taken care of in as little as 30-60 days. It's less than two grand for cryin' out loud.

Nothing Has Changed. I've Seen a Broadway Play!

So I've returned from the much disputed Broadway Play. Rather I should say that I've returned from viewing the broadcast of the Broadway Play and now I have what I consider to be a valid reason for sticking to my guns about crossing it off my list.

I've been to live plays before. I've just never seen one on Broadway. True, when I wrote it down on the list I fully intended to see it on Broadway but was open to other interpretations. Now let me tell you why seeing the play broadcast live from Broadway is just as valid as going to New York and seeing it there.

Having been to a live play I can say that often it's difficult to see whats going on. You don't get all the angles and close-ups you see in a movie. You have one angle of vision and that gets worse if you are sitting in the nosebleed seats. What I saw today was all of the emotion and joy and pain that I just wouldn't be able to see unless I was in the first five rows of an auditorium on Broadway.

Therefore, to those of you who left comments on my MySpace page saying that I wouldn't get the same experience as going to see it live, I say that not only was the experience as good as live it could have been interpreted as better. There, I said it.

But, like I promised, if the poll I've posted says that I don't get to cross it off, then I don't get to cross it off. It looks like all you naysayers might lose this one though, according to the results as of this writing. Heh heh heh.

P.S. By the way, Rent will never be shown on Broadway again since this was the last performance. If you get a chance to see it or if there's ever a DVD of the performance that I saw, I encourage you to check it out. It was much better than the Hollywood-ization of the play, even though I liked that too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Audio blog post, transcription...

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The poll updates are...

The poll updates are as follows, 50% yes, 50% no. listen

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Broadway Plays. In New York or In Mira Mesa It Still Counts!

Okay, here's the deal. Number 83 of the list of things to do before I die states and I quote: "See a Broadway play." Not see a Broadway play on Broadway.

So tomorrow I'm going to go see a live broadcast of the Broadway play "Rent" at the local movie theatre here in Mira Mesa. It's being broadcast on screen from Broadway.

So it was my plan to cross off number 83 when I got back home since in my eyes I've seen a Broadway play broadcast from New York. I say it counts.

Kristina S., one of the more attractive baristas at the Starbucks I work at says that that doesn't count. She says I have to actually go to New York and see a Broadway play.

Even though I know I'm right I'm willing to hold off crossing off this item until my readers make the decision. If you look to the right of this post, you'll see that I've put up a poll. If you guys think that dumb ol' Kristina S. is right, well you can pick the wrong option which is no.

If you think that cool, groovy, extremely handsome me is right then pick the right answer, "yes."

I'll have the results of the poll on the 30th of September.

Okay. I got a new app...

Okay. I got a new app to help with blogging and keeping myself organized. It's called Jott and you can check it out for yourself at www.Jott.com. listen

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Revisiting Number 45

Today is a good day.

It's a good day because I got up before the alarm went off a second time. It's a good day because I got laundry done. And it's especially a good day because I was able to cross another item off of the list of things to do before I die.

Moving away from the eliminating debt item that I'm in the process of completing right now I was able to retry item #45: the perfect omelet.

According to Esquire.com, cooking the perfect omelet is one of the things that every man should know how to do. I'm inclined to agree since I've grown accustomed to one pot meals like spaghetti and chicken and rice. I say accustomed to but the right word is stuck. Three meals a day of spaghetti or chicken and rice is... well it just ain't right.

So having a big ol' stuffed omelet was a personal triumph for me. Not just the omelet itself but also the actions involved in creating the omelet. The searching of the ingredients in my refridgerator. The beating of the eggs to perfect yellow-ness. The waiting for the right time to add the turkey and ham and tomato and avocado (yes, avocado).

The moment of completion when I'm able to slide the gigantic egg burrito out of my non stick electric skillet onto my plate and sit down with a cup of coffee reading my email. If you haven't done this or something similar, you should. Do it. That's an order.

Before we begin with our culinary masterpiece, let me tell you the basics:

  1. Beat two eggs
  2. In a separate pan, saute the ingredients you want in a pan. Don't wait to do this when the eggs are in a pan because it'll be too late.
  3. When the eggs have set add your ingredients and fold it over. Turn it only once and serve.
A word about perfection:

Perfection is not what you think. There is no such thing except subjectivly. Perfection is in the process, the journey. For example, when I began this morning I realized that I had no idea what sauteeing was. I thought it was heating up stuff in a pan. It isn't.

Also, my omelet was just the right color for me but it might not have been for you. Take a look:

This is how it looked in the skillet:

Actually this isn't a very good picture as I'm still learning how to use my camera phone but it's very yellow and it's really overstuffed, which is waht I wanted.

Some people however like a little more brown and not so filled up. In fact my next attempt will be with less fillings and I won't forget to add the cheese this time. :-)

Cheese or no cheese, it was an example of the perfect omelet. It was incredibly delicious and the process of making it and serving it and sitting at my laptop gave me a feeling of accomplishment. It gave me a feeling of what it's like to be a grown up.

Not to mention that now I can cross it off.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Eliminating Debt in Spurts

Since we're on the subject of eliminating debt, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has written a great article about paying off the debt owed in big spurts instead of gradually. You can check it out here.

Fixing my Credit

I've begun in ernest the item numbered 102 in the list of things to do before I die. I didn't really have any sort of plan so I figured it'd be good to at least get a copy of my credit report. FreeCreditReport.com isn't really free and I didn't want to wait for a credit report to come through snail mail... okay, I'm lying. I'm lazy and didn't want to spend time working on myself.

But I'm doing that now so I went to AnnualCreditReport.com and wasn't forced to buy anything before I was able to see my reports. Oh sure they offered but took no for an answer when I said that I didn't want an embossed leather folder for my report.

So the good news is that I only owe about $1400. That is very easy to do. I don't have it but with persistence I can get it.

What Does Regret Have To Do With Personal Development?

One thing about personal development that I have realized is that regret of past actions is what is helpful in developing a new life.

Seamus Anthony over at PickTheBrain.com has written an excellent blog post about just that. Check it out. You'll love it and you'll learn why your regrets are necessary to personal development. We all need to learn how to leverage our regrets to make us better people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When Personal Development Gets Personal

The difference between this blog and other personal development blogs is this: This personal development blog is about my personal development. Not yours or anybody elses.

Seems a little selfish and egotistical does it? That's because I subscribe to my grandfather's way of looking at the world which was: Don't complain about your neighbors porch until you clean out your own house.

Okay, Grandpa never said that to me but I tried to adopt that into my life anyway. It's not that I don't care about anybody elses personal development but how can I teach unless I learn? As selfish as it sounds, in my life, my personal development comes first.

Having said that, I certainly don't mean that I won't post either in text or video form what I've done and what I've learned. If somebody else gets a lesson from the lessons I've learned then bravo! I am not against anybody taking care of their own personal development. That's would just be dumb on my part and would actually prove that I haven't learned a thing.

The reason I created my list of things to do before I die is because personal development is just that. Personal. However to consider myself some sort of island would make me very lonely indeed. That is why I cruise other Personal Development blogs like Steve Pavlina's and Tim Ferriss' who know stuff and can teach me stuff. Eventually I'd like to teach people stuff too but now I'm still learning.

By keeping my personal development personal, maybe I can show you, rather than tell you, how to live your life.

New Item

I've added a new item to the list of things to do before I die. #102: Be 100% debt free. I can't imagine why I haven't put that at the top of the list to begin with. Seeing how I'm in so much debt anyway. Actually I'm pretty sure that I've got less than two grand debt to take care of but when you don't have any money, anything you owe is too much.

So I'll be working on this one quickly because I'm too tired of bill collectors calling me. It stops now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Timeline - 101 Goals in 1001 days

Keeping with the theme of not having an original thought for myself I've decided to give myself a timeline to complete the list of things to do before I die. The reason for this is because according to The Simple Dollar who in turn found this idea at Get Rich Slowly (who in turn found it at Triplux), setting a list of goals in a longer period of time gives a more realistic end than say, creating a list of resolutions to be completed in a year.

I gotta tell you, I don't expect to complete all of these items but imagine what it'll feel like to get most of them done. How about even some? If I get 25% of this stuff done I'll feel awesome if only for the fact that I rarely finish what I start.

Besides, success isn't about finishing, it's about participating. By creating a list of stuff to do before I die I'm participating in life instead of moaning about what life's doing to me. I figure after over forty years of letting life do stuff to me, it's only fair that I spend my remaining years doing stuff to life.

Update: Unless my math is incorrect and it may be, the deadline for this list to be completed is July 17, 2011.

Giving credit where credit is due.

It should be noted that many of the things I've written on the list of things to do before I die are not my original ideas. Many of them were found on this webpage and a few more were found on Esquire.com. That's right, I'm a copier. A few things I did think of on my own of course. I both do and don't want to Bungee Jump. In other words I want the experience but my innate sense of survival definitely does not want to wind up a stain on the ground below.

Same with the skydiving deal. Fortunately my weight keeps me from that so far. Aw dang, I have getting in shape as a list item.

Anyhoo, I wanted to give those websites the credit for me creating my own list. You should check them out. Really.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

#10. Audience member.

I just realized that I've already been a member of the audience in a tv show. Once I got free tickets to a show in Atlanta filmed at CNN center. I can't remember the name of the show but it was a talk show and it was pretty fun. I even got a free 10 minute phone card for being there.

I did some research and the name of the show was "TalkBack Live" and I even remember what I wore that day. A muscle shirt and some jeans with weird patches on them. Looking back I realize how gay I looked. Thank God I have no pictures of me in that outfit.

Further research has revealed that TalkBack Live is off the air. Too bad. But whatever, I get to cross off another item on my list of things to do before I die.

The perfect omelet

I thought I'd be clever and try to make the perfect omelet. It came out terrible. I wish I'd taken a picture of it with my camera phone before I ate it. Oh yeah. I still ate it.

It sure tasted good though. I added turkey and ham from some sandwiches that I got from work. Some pepper jack made it awesome. If I only cared about the taste then I would consider this the perfect omelet. Unfortunately, looks matter. So no cross off.

Next time I'll take a picture.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Me and my Crappy Memory

Okay, so I was told that numbers 22 and 24 were the same item... Grow a Garden. Not to worry, it's been fixed and I have added to the list.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Working on the List.

I figure that since I've posted the list on this blog, I had better get started on it. One of the items on the list is to create a webcast (#30) so I'm starting on that.

The site is going to be hosted on another blog called Things Tadoo. Think of it as arts and crafts for adults. It's definitely not for kids so keep the little larva in their bedrooms until they turn eighteen.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Life List

I know it's damn near cliche these days but this is a list of things I want to do before I die.


  1. Make a list of 100 things to do before I die.
  2. Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open whatever.
  3. Throw a huge party and invite every one of my friends
  4. Skydive
  5. Have my portrait painted
  6. Learn to speak a foreign language and make sure I use it.
  7. Be an extra in a film.
  8. Tell someone the story of my life sparing no details.
  9. Give my mother a dozen red roses and tell her that I love her.
  10. Be a member of the audience in a TV show.
  11. Write the novel I know I have inside me.
  12. Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill.
  13. Teach someone illiterate to read.
  14. Write down my personal mission statement, follow it and revise it from time to time.
  15. Experience weightlessness.
  16. Forgive my parents.
  17. Learn to juggle with three balls.
  18. Find a job that I love.
  19. Overcome my fear of failure.
  20. Buy my own house and then spend time making it into exactly what I want.
  21. Go to a hookah bar
  22. Own a profitable business.
  23. Grow a garden
  24. Spend three months getting my body into optimum shape.
  25. Drive a convertible with the top down and the music blaring.
  26. Accept myself for who I am.
  27. Learn to use a microphone and give a speech in public.
  28. Go up in a hot air balloon.
  29. Put a web cast on the internet.
  30. Give to a charity anonymously.
  31. Create my own website.
  32. Learn to think for myself.
  33. Make myself spend a half-day at a concentration camp and swear never to forget.
  34. Run to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
  35. Reflect on my greatest weakness and realize how it is my greatest strength.
  36. Collect and store my own DNA
  37. Have an article published in a major magazine.
  38. Keep my home clean for a month.
  39. Have a romantic relationship with a woman out of my league.
  40. Go skinny dipping.
  41. Create and stick to a budget.
  42. Learn to play
  43. Fast for three days, drinking only water.
  44. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible.
  45. Make a perfect omelet.
  46. Master the art of Conversational Hypnosis.
  47. Drive by myself from coast to coast.
  48. Leave myself a letter in a library book. Look for it twenty years later.
  49. Scuba dive.
  50. Learn three to four chords on the guitar until I can play one song.
  51. Play the guitar flawlessly at an open mike.
  52. Live in a hotel room suite for a week.
  53. Milk a cow.
  54. Live outside the United States for at least six months.
  55. Learn to overcome at least one fear.
  56. Get very good at a sport that isn’t a sport.
  57. Eat a six course meal that I prepared.
  58. Make a movie.
  59. Give a panhandler all of my money.
  60. Learn to roast coffee in a popcorn popper.
  61. Read “Lolita” to see what the big deal is all about.
  62. Walk twenty miles.
  63. Learn to defend myself physically and emotionally.
  64. Get a deep tissue massage.
  65. Put a hundred dollars on a long shot to win.
  66. Go to Paris and stay for two weeks without telling anyone.
  67. Raise a dog.
  68. Bungee jump.
  69. Go on a game show.
  70. Stand up to a bully.
  71. Unplug the TV for a month.
  72. Assemble a rock band. Be the lead singer. Pleasure the groupies.
  73. Audition for something.
  74. Give a panhandler a hundred dollars.
  75. Learn how to take a punch
  76. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  77. Pick the music for my funeral.
  78. Travel Route 66.
  79. Get a group of people together in Spaceball uniforms to annoy the 501st Stormtrooper brigade at ComiCon.
  80. See the Northern Lights.
  81. Go to Mardi Gras.
  82. Obtain a passport.
  83. See a Broadway Play.
  84. Go to Space Camp.
  85. Pick up girls in Tokyo
  86. Help the homeless without giving money to panhandlers.
  87. Take a stand up comedy class
  88. Take a Learning Annex class
  89. Write and sell a movie script.
  90. Read ALL of the Barnes & Noble Classics.
  91. Become a Voice actor.
  92. Be on the Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman.
  93. Learn Javascript.
  94. Learn how to master the Instant Software Builder.
  95. Go Indoor skydiving.
  96. Run a marathon.
  97. Be a millionaire.
  98. Gamble in Vegas
  99. Kiss a girl at midnight on New Years Eve.
  100. Design and sell a T-shirt.
  101. Own a really comfortable bed.
  102. Eliminate all of my debt.
  103. Join a writers community.
  104. See a Broadway Play in person on Broadway in New York City.