Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

A Monday ramble on planning and productivity

Having a much better day today productivity-wise. Got up without hitting snooze, did my goals, then 3 pages of notes for class, then exercise, do my piano, now I’m onto writing. There’s been very little dilly-dally today, I’ve been focused on getting my goals done as efficiently as possible.

Anyhoo, I think the key to a great day is to be productive first thing. If I can manage to get up and get going, then as my feelings follow my actions, I instantly feel more productive. And when I’m productive, I want to carry those feelings through me for the rest of the day, rather than just slack off. It’s like the snowball effect – doing just a little something in the morning to be productive will get me going for the rest of the day, like a snowball rolling down a hill.

After my writing, I’ll read my book for 30 minutes before working on my thesis. If I can manage to keep my head down while I do my math, and not watch tv or surf the net or anything, then it’ll be a nice and productive day. My math “to do” is to edit 4 pages of my thesis. But editing the thesis is somewhat tedious – so we’ll see what I do. My plan is to do head down math until 8:00pm, at which time I can relax. That’ll probably mean around 4 good hours working on my thesis. If I can get in a consistent groove on my non-teaching days, then I’ll be done this sucker in no time.

Actually, what I should be doing is spending as much time as possible on my thesis. I think I’ll uninstall Tinder and just focus on fitness and work for the next little while. I’d rather be in a better position career-wise before going on dates and getting serious with anyone. Of course, I could go out on dates just to practice going out on dates… so maybe I’ll hold off on deleting Tinder. But for sure, I’m going to try and spend a majority of my time on my thesis from now on, until it’s done.

And fitness – well, the only thing I really need to improve for fitness is my diet. I’ve been doing really well as far as exercising consistently, and doing around 4-5 workouts a week. If I could stick to a caloric ceiling on a consistent basis, I’d start losing all that pesky belly fat.

Yup. I think I’m going to focus on those two things for the next little while: thesis and diet. Of course, focusing on a diet just means “not eating whatever the hell I want”, which is my current diet. It’s all about prepping my meals for the week, measuring out my portions and counting calories. Thing is though, in the past when I’ve done this, I’ve felt great during the day. Good workouts, lots of energy – so there’s certainly benefits to eating well that I’m not enjoying. Another reason to focus on diet for the next little while.

I will say this though – I’m getting pretty darn good at piano. I need to start a new piano book, because as soon as I learn “Amazing Grace”, I’m done with Alfred’s Piano Book Vol 1.

What else? I was recently binge-watching House – but I’m somewhere near the end of Season 7 and getting pretty sick of it. House and Cuddy have this on-again/off-again relationship, and so I’m guessing Season 8 is all about their wedding and the final episode is one of them dying (or Wilson) at the wedding. Calling it right now. But we’ll see – I’ve no real appetite to watch that show again.

I’m currently catching up with the current season of Bob’s Burgers. I’ve got, like, 6 new episodes to watch, so I am stoked for this evening when I will be done all my goals and can veg out and watch some tv. Yeah!

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about piano and being tired

Oh man – draggy ass day today. I woke up at 3:00 and sorta tossed and turned until I had to get up. Needless to say, I’m pretty tired today – and when I get tired, stuff don’t get done.

Well, I shouldn’t say stuff don’t get done – I did do some good things today. But man am I ever goldbricking. I’m definitely not doing my leg workout – we’ll see if I get any let’s plays done. Whooo-eee, life is hard when you’re tired. I am drinking coffee, so that’ll perk me up a bit, I hope.

I remember reading a comic once about the different between being sleepy and being tired. Being sleepy is a cute thing – it happens at the end of the day, when you’re already sorta warm in bed, or snuggled up on the couch under a blanket. It might even be pronounced “sweepy”, because of how cute it is. When one is sleepy, it’s generally late in the day and bedtime is immanent.

But when one is tired, it’s usually early in the day, and you’ve got stuff to do. One is often tired at school, at work, in a business meeting, visiting great Aunt Hortense. Being tired is a chore, because it generally means you didn’t get a good enough sleep, and outrageous demands are being asked of you. What constitutes an outrageous demand when you’re tired? Anything that doesn’t involve lying down in bed and relaxing.

So I’m tired. And it’s sucking.

But in good news – I did manage to play the piano for 30 minutes today. I’m getting to the point where I’m looking forward to playing piano. I used to sort of not want to do it, because I wasn’t very good. But I picked up a better piano book – and now I’m really progressing. I’m starting to learn a few blues chords, which is basically one step away from being a rock star. After practicing piano, I’ll often have those pieces stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Which gives me more incentive to practice the next day, because I want to get better at those pieces. Yessiree, once you get passed the ‘sucking shit’ stage of a new hobby, it’s tremendous fun.

I'm just passed the sucking shit hump!

I’m just passed the sucking shit hump!

The non-fiction book I’m reading now is called “Drugs, Oil and War” by Peter Dale Scott. It’s an exploration of how drugs and oil work to shape America’s foreign policy. The basic premise is that America will go to work in order to monopolize or exploit an oil resource, and that they’ll increase drug production in those countries, and use those narco-dollars to line their pockets, slush their funds and how most of that money will end up in American banks. It’s pretty thoroughly footnoted – so anyone who thinks that any American war isn’t about drugs or oil, then you’ll be proven wrong by this book.

It’s an interesting book. Makes me appreciate just how corrupt the American system really is.

Anyhoo, that’s close enough to 15 minutes for my purpose. Until tomorrow, when I’m not as tired!

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grammaramble

Well… here we are again, Mr. Blank Page. What’s that, you’ve brought your friend Mr. Block? Well… I’d like to see him try.

I’m doing this new thing where I do all my goals before I surf the internet. But that means I have no idea what the news is or what happened after I went to bed. Generally, this isn’t a big problem, but the playoffs are going on, man! I need to know the scores of the Western games!

As it happens, I managed to catch a bit of the highlights of the Chicago (prounounced Chick-a-go) and Minnesota game, and I see that the Blackhawks knocked off Minnersota [sic] in OT. Wow, I sure am looking forward to watching those highlights.

That’s the whole reason I’m doing this, so that I’m motivated to accomplish all my goals. This way, I don’t spend all day dilly-dallying on the internet, looking at pictures of kitties in boxes instead of trying to achieve something worthy. This is definitely a habit I want to develop. The more good habits I develop, the easier it will be for me to achieve my goals.

The other habit I’m trying to develop is not starting every other sentence with the word, “So.” I read somewhere about how it subcommunicates that I lack confidence – or that it throws off the reader, as it announces that the narrator is “developing a gap.” 

Why’s this? From what I can remember of the article I briefly skimmed over, we use the word “So” to link together ideas. (Aside: After a quick Googling, I see that it is indeed used as a conjuction.) Or we use it as an adverb, meaning, to a great extent. (i.e. He is so late!) 

Thus, by starting a sentence with “So”, I’m immediately implying I’m using the adverb and not as a conjunction. But what’s the verb in that case? Usually, I’ll say something like, “So, after I went … ” which implies the verb in this case is “I”. However, it’s not properly used, since we could alternatively read the sentence as “To a great extent, after I went…” This makes no sense. Thus, my initial assumption must be wrong, and I must be using “So” as a conjuction – but poorly used, since it’s at the start of a sentence.

So, I’m trying to stop saying “So” so much at the beginning of a sentence.

Heh. I’m chuckling at my own cleverness. 

Moving on. It looks like I’m coming to the end of my time with my trainer. This is a bit of a bummer, since I’m loving these workouts he’s putting me through, and it keeps me going to the gym at least 3 times a week. However, it is pretty crazy expensive. And I do plan on moving out in September (or close to it), so saving money’s a plus.

Ha – I still love starting sentences with “And” though. It’s almost the same thing, except “And” is only used as a conjunction. And I know it’s bad form, according to every English teacher I’ve ever had, but I consider it a stylistic choice, so I’m sticking with it. But “So” at a beginning of a sentence is right out.

Anyhoo – what else? I tell ya, I’m having a fun time learning the piano. I got this book, “Teach Yourself Piano Visually”, which allows me to immediately start playing pieces with both hands. I previously tried to learn piano by first learning all the scales – and although it was good practice and taught me my fingering, it was a pretty boring practice. The funny thing is, these piano songs aren’t all that catchy, but I still get one stuck in my head for the rest of the day after I practice. 

The only cure, more Dopesmoker.

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stephen Harper and his pants-shittingly bad cannabis logic

When you’re writers blocked…

So I saw a report on tv awhile back about how Stephen Harper is against legalization of cannabis because if weed were legal, it would find it’s way into the hands of children.

What dumb fucking logic is that!? We don’t want this substance getting into the hands of our kids, so we’ll relinquish complete control of the distribution. 

Logically, the more control the government has over a substance, the more controls they can put on said substance, and thus the harder it would be for kids to get access. (Don’t be fooled, kids will still get access – except now it’s going to be just a smidge harder than before.)

Currently, the sale of cannabis is done through a black market. The only control mechanism the government has on this substance is that it’s prohibited. (As we’ve seen in the states in the late 20’s, prohibition doesn’t work.)

If the Harper government were serious about keeping cannabis out of the hands of kids, they should immediately legalize and place serious restrictions on who can buy cannabis. If they leave the sale of cannabis to the black market, then there’s certainly no restriction as to whether or not a kid can buy weed. If I’m a drug dealer and some 13 year old hands me $20 for a dime bag, well he gets a dime bag. ‘Cause $20 is $20.

If weed is legal, however, and I’m a certified cannabis salesman and some 13 year old wants to buy weed, well then I’m certainly going to pay much more attention to the penalties of selling weed to a minor. Similar to alcohol and tobacco now, if a retailer sells these substances to a minor, he’s hit with a heavy fine and could possibly lose the right to sell said substances.

Why does the government think a hands off approach is going to work? Why don’t they take this view with cigarettes, for example? (Answer: Because it obviously doesn’t fucking work and they know this.)

The government needs to end prohibition, eliminate the cannabis black market, reduce gang violence and welcome the BILLIONS in new revenue. 

With my few remaining minutes, I’ll talk about ME! And what’s new in my life.

I just bought a (music) keyboard today. I plan on learning how to play piano over the next… couple years. I dunno how long it’ll take to learn how to play piano – but since I’ve already played flute, saxophone, tuba, baritone and the drums, I figure it’ll be a short learning curve for me.

Oh yeah – school starts in earnest tomorrow. I’m looking forward to hitting on all the new 18 year olds in their sexy yoga pants.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment