Grandiose intentions sometimes are just grandiose intentions

Swinging back into a blogging routine has been more difficult than I imagined. Our work schedule has been unrelenting since May.

I’m hoping that by attempting to journal a bit this year and even blog a bit more will help me — at least in hindsight — identify the best way(s) to move into 2018.

Being a freelancer is both a fun and a challenging way to live a life. Achieving a circadian rhythm is something so many people seem to benefit from, and I can’t seem to ever get into any kind of consistent rhythm.

One thing I wanted to share quickly was this sheet of bullet points sitting in front of me since August. It’s kind of the prosperity gospel in secular form.

It describes the habits/thoughts of an abundance thinker versus a scarcity thinker.


  • Believe there is always more where that came from.
  • Share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
  • Default to trust and build rapport easily.
  • Welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
  • Ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
  • Are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
  • Think big, embracing risk.
  • Are thankful and confident.

In reverse, scarcity thinkers:

  • Believe there will never be enough.
  • Are stingy with their knowledge, contacts, and compassion.
  • Default to suspicion and find it difficult to build rapport.
  • Resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker.
  • Ask themselves, How can I get by with less than is expected?
  • Are pessimistic about the future, believing that tough times are ahead.
  • Think small, avoiding risk.
  • Are entitled and fearful.

And while I agree that the positivity of the first group is a good way to move through life, I didn’t get to where I am because I believed there will be more where that came from. If I did, I wouldn’t have made it through the 2007/2008 financial crash.

Being adaptive and realistic is what got me through.

Although, when I read the scarcity ideas, there is nothing worse than the thought: “How can I get by with less than is expected.” As an artist, I would almost give all my talents away. Charging money for what I do is so so hard. I am in love with what I do. So doing something and just getting by might seep into my mind if I’m way too busy … But even then, I wear myself out trying to do more than is expected.

In reverse, I expect that from others. But I’m constantly let down that so many people I associate with or know are okay with doing far less than expected.

Which in turn makes me pessimistic about others.

But sometimes I have to remember other people’s abilities don’t match my expectations.

There’s always that.

I have been doing more to be more optimistic. And to share my knowledge is really on top of my radar. I think that’s what my goal is when I think of trying to get back into the vLog game. I want to share with others our trials and tribulations. Whatever they may be. But I’ve gotten out of a routine. And routines are super easy to break and extremely tough to resume.

If you want to read the rest of the article about abundance thinking, go here.

Hopefully you’ll want to stick around and get more info out of the guy behind this blog. I’m getting there. I swear.



NRA disease is real … and it’s infecting your town, and yours … and YOURS


From Vox:

When the rest of the world looks at America’s gun problem, it’s often with bafflement.

Sunday with Lubach, which is sort of like the Dutch version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, looked at guns — specifically, the US’s love of firearms. And it’s very telling.

For one, the satirical Dutch video describes America’s love of guns as so bad that it is an illness: Nonsensical Rifle Addiction, or NRA — a reference to the biggest gun lobby group in the country.

More below the jump.

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With the horror of last night’s Las Vegas shooting comes a flood of responses

I don’t have time to properly respond with a personal reaction to the horrible terror shooting last night in Las Vegas.

I can say that: I hate violence. This stuff weighs on me. Hard. It makes me angry. It makes me emotional. It makes me sick. I’m sure I’m not alone.

The variety of responses though is sometimes awful on its own.

David Duke blames the Jews.

Alex Jones is claiming a liberal conspiracy by the Democrats and their Islamic allies.

Pat Robertson is blaming disrespect for president, flag and God.

President Trump sent his warmest condolences to those affected.

I spent about a minute reading the conspiracy nut blow jobs over at Breitbart on their thread about the shooting.

If the above five resources are any indication of the future, man, we’re fucked.

On the flip, I’m particularly drawn to bright minds like Jason Kottke, who wrote this morning:

America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen?

The whole post is worth a look. Link above.

If you read/saw some worthy responses to the shooting, please share them in the comments. If you read some particularly disgusting ones, hell, post ’em too.




Yay! Science programing worth a good goddamn!

Tina’s going to be excited about the above.

Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Then there’s this Blue Planet II delightfully created, produced and delivered beast of a show with an amazing sound track from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer. Dip below the fold for a behind the scenes look at the way the sound track was approached (amazing).

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The impossibility of translating Bienvenue back

On Wednesdays, I take a French class downtown Chicago at Alliance Française.

It’s an advanced class with other eight students all speaking at a variety of skill levels.

I love taking the class. It’s invigorating and I’ve become more and more comfortable interjecting and pushing my own limits in terms of constructing sentences and expressing thoughts.

I spent a college semester in France 20 years ago, and my biggest regret is not finding a way to continue classes once I got back. I could be so much further along in bilingualism.

I’m not entirely sure how the students are placed in the class. There are people who can barely string a sentence together. There are people like me who make sentences, but I often have trouble making a paragraph.

There are people who speak in broken conjugations.

But the point isn’t necessarily a criticism of each others French. The experience is one of self motivation and courage. If you don’t have the courage to try and speak, I believe you’re wasting your money.

Truth be told, I have a tough time speaking English, and it’s my first language. My second language is non-verbal communication. My third is anger and my fourth language is French.

Often, when someone asks me a question (in English), a rush of thoughts bottleneck at the back of my throat and I end up stuttering a bit.

If someone asks me a tough question in English, I often have a tough start. So you can only imagine that a question in French causes even more of a bottleneck.

This French class is primarily a discussion session with a few grammar lessons balanced in here and there. So if we’re talking about how to define “Digital Identity” or how to determine the difference between the French Penal Code on Identity Theft compared to the lack of Swiss Identity Theft laws, I find myself at a loss of where to start in English, let alone goddamn French.

I find these French discussions invaluable, though. The exposure to other ideas in my own language is valuable. The exposure in French is even more, because attempting to speak in French, topics become more salient. I have to give ideas more thought.

I find myself rethinking topics over and over, even more than when I’m thinking in English. How do I think of this in English and how does that then translate into French. French doesn’t translate directly in many cases.

For example, yesterday we were walking into school and just before I went into my class, Tina asked me how to say, “Welcome back” to her teacher who was gone for two weeks in France. I turned my head into my class and interrupted my teacher and asked, “Comment dit-on ‘Welcome Back’ en Français? … Est-ce que c’est ‘Bienvenue back’?”

I laughed. He laughed. We all laughed.

My teacher tilted his head and said, “Il n’y a pas un façon de dire ‘Welcome back’ en français.” (There’s not a way to say welcome back in french).

That’s only a small example, but it might illustrate that there isn’t always a direct translation.

Last night, my teacher was explaining to another student — who tried to explain something in a direct English to French translation — that three out of four times, direct translations don’t work. It’s not bad to try, but it’s usually not the case.


My point is that to speak French, you have to really learn French. When I was there in college, I remember wanting to make French cooler — if only in my head. I found the rules to be restrictive. Even the vernacular used more words than I thought was necessary. I thought that if I applied slang concepts from my English into French, I could make French cooler.

Said and done, this was a stupid idea, because my french friends didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about. Just like almost everything in the world, the most effective approach to challenging situations is the long road. It’s taking the time to attack a goal with that seemingly Sisyphean chipping away at a HUGE task.

Anything worth a good goddamn takes time, practice, repetition, comprehension, agility, creativity and honesty. You know, everything that this current president has not done in his approach to “be” president of the United States of America.

When class finally started and we got started into last night’s lesson, my teacher noticed a student who wasn’t there the previous week. He looked at her and said, “Bienvenue back, Victoria!”

And we all laughed.