Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Difference Between Broke and Poor

I spent the first half of 2010 living and traveling in South America, largely in Buenos Aires. Most of that time, I had no money. As in, I often had to stretch 10 Argentine pesos (about US $2.50) out for a week or two at a crack. I frequently walked five or ten miles across the city to get home for lack of a single peso (i.e. a US quarter) for bus or subway fare. I even went without meals of any kind for two to three days on more than one occasion. Yep, I was that broke. However...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Win at Connect Four

Today I and five other Acton MBA classmates volunteered to spend time hanging out with old folks in a rehab nursing home (i.e. old people who are sick or recently had major surgery). Specifically, we helped in the Alzheimer’s and dementia ward.

I’m really behind on my homework this weekend, and was up way too late studying last night. The “smart” thing to do would have been to sleep in a bit and tackle my homework all day. Plus, I’m usually more moved by environmental causes than social causes. That snooze button looked soooo inviting. I went anyway, because I knew at a gut level that this was important too, possibly more important than any single homework assignment ever could be. Important to me, to the residents, and to my classmates. I went, and I was right.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Superman Lives in Iowa

I just read an incredibly inspiring Des Moines Register article about my best friend John Craun's dad, also named John Craun. The man is 63 and, even though he only discovered the sport ten or twelve years ago, has literally become one of the world's best endurance kayakers, as well as possibly the world's finest custom kayak-maker.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Highly Leveraged Food

Below is a link to an excellent Grist.org article comparing GMOs to mortgage-backed-securities. Quite a compelling argument for anyone at all interested in, say, eating.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monster Attack!

Earlier tonight, I heard a bunch of insane banging and crashing in the hallway, followed by my flatmate, Jordan, shouting, "AAAAA! Ohmygod! There's a monster! Matt! Matt! AAAAAAAAAA!!!"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Conquering the Devil's Throat

Most people visit the natural wonders of the world and just take and take and take. What can this park do for me? Not me. I give back.

A couple weeks ago, I traveled up north to Las Cataratas, aka IguazĂș Falls, the world's biggest and most impressive waterfalls (depending on whom you ask), with a beautiful French woman named Sophie.

Foamy New World

A few days after I moved here to Buenos Aires, my brand new, extra-special, make-you-live-forever electric toothbrush broke. I hadn't brushed my teeth in a couple days, and I had a date. So, on the way to the date, I stopped at a kiosco (one of the ubiquitous, itty-bitty convenience stores found on every block) and bought a toothbrush.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Load 16 Tons and What Do You Get?

Another day older and deeper in debt. "Tennessee" Earnie Ford would probably agree with an article I just read in the US News and World Report about a study of how losing your job, having your job security threatened, or even having a secure but bad job can increase your stress and consequently decrease your lifespan. Kind of ties in with my prior post. Here's the link:

Dancing the Night (and My Health) Away

Last weekend, I had friends in town, and we ended up staying up late Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. We had a lot of fun, but it also ran down my batteries quite a bit. Add that to my already stressed out state, and, natch, I came down with a cold this week. I chalk this up as more anecdotal evidence supporting my theory that both stress and insufficient sleep weaken the immune system and, thus, age us faster.

Balls, Bones, and Bullets

Last night, I had two really disturbing dreams. In the first, I dreamt that I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and leukemia. A double whammy. I had to make the decision as to whether I would start chemo right away or wait a month or two and give all my alternative health methodologies and theories a try. You know, walk the walk and all that. Then I woke up and had to pee.

Puppy Power

Blog consolidation: I write other blogs with some interesting posts that fit this blog's themes. In the interest of simplifying my life and providing better and more consistent to my readers. I'm combining all my blogs here. This and the next few posts are oldies but goodies from my other sites.

I almost died on Wednesday. Well, not completely died, as in all the way dead, but I did get really worried that maybe I was about to die. I told you in the first post that I'd share some colossal failures, so here's the story.

My Eyes Will Smolder

Blog consolidation: I write other blogs with some interesting posts that fit this blog's themes. In the interest of simplifying my life and providing better and more consistent content to my readers, I'm combining all my blogs here. This and the next few posts are oldies but goodies from my other sites.

Just watched Twilight tonight, and finished the book yesterday. Yes, it's annoying and not that well-written. Yes, it's pretty un-feminist. Yes, it's addicting like crack, or as Edward Cullen would say "my own personal brand of heroin." Anyway, my review of the book and movie is not the point of this post. I'd rather examine the central question of the series, and the question most Twilight readers/viewers come to, which is: would you become a vampire?

I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, I'd get to live forever (as long as another vampire doesn't tear off my head and set me on fire). On the other hand, I don't like being cold. The thought of not having a heartbeat really creeps me out. I like my heartbeat. I also wouldn't want to have to eat that much meat, even if I could abstain from human blood and be a "vegetarian" vampire and just eat animals, like Edward and the gang do, though I could deal if I had to. Plus, as you've probably gathered if you know me at all, I don't believe I need to be a mythical creature in order to live forever. I'm convinced I can do that on my own.

So, is "no" my final answer? No, actually, it isn't. I would become a vampire, because of all the superpowers. Being that strong, fast, invincible, infinitely attractive, and psychic sounds pretty rad. A vampire's liiiiffffeee fooooorrrrr mmmeeeeeeeee.

False Idol

If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.
-Buckminster Fuller

I had an interesting day. I lost one hero, got to chat with another, and rethought my whole life story.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

I have a Kindle. I love my Kindle. I buy and read books on it all the time. It's completely changing the way I even think about reading, which is big, especially coming from me, a full-time writer and English Lit major.

That said, I'm very unhappy with my Kindle at this exact moment.

Roots

I have a theory: most anyone who leaves their hometown eventually comes full circle and finds, creates, or, at minimum, yearns for the best parts of what they had growing up, often with a slight twist. City kids return to cities, but live in better neighborhoods. Suburban kids find a nice quiet suburb to live in, perhaps near the mountains or ocean or a more interesting city. Hippie kids from California move to Boulder. Hippie kids from Boulder move to California. Nomads buy a new camel. And small town kids return to small towns, but ones near their favorite cities to get their occasional urban culture fix. Apparently, I'm no different.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wormholes: The Hidden Danger of Buying Local


I found a fold in the fabric of space-time today.

Go see this movie

Fantstic Mr. Fox

It's one of the best films I've seen in years. This enjoyable Grist review gave me a whole new perspective on it, specifically from a locavore/foodie's slant. Plus, who doesn't love Roald Dahl?

http://www.grist.org/article/2010-01-21-why-you-should-go-see-fantastic-mr.-fox/