SPA v44.0 Launch is Live

Every birthday, I dust off this old gem, read over it, trim a bit here, add a bit there and repost it.  It is my way of keeping in check with what I have decided is who I want to be.  The whole process takes a week, I read and reread, I think about what is missing, how I want the words to read and what I want them to convey.  This year, along with the slight editing, I added a new “Exercise and Skin Care” paragraph.  I am very disciplined about both.  I have this one body and it needs to last at least another 50 years and hopefully run at peak performance for most of it.  Every year, I also take a current photo, I like how much I look like my bitstrips guy right now, so I split-screened it.20140119_125101“What I Have Learned So Far”

I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I want to continue to grow and change and progress until I die.  I do not ever want to rest on my laurels, get set in my ways, do something a specific way for no other reason that I have always done it that way.  I want to be routinely evaluating my choices to see if they still match with the person I am and the person I am on my way to becoming.  We can all do that, think about what is important to you and then reflect at the end of the day, as you drift off to sleep, to see if you accomplished it.  It is really less of a score card and more of a reminder for the next day.  Did you possess compassion whenever possible and applicable?  Did you express gratitude to your friends and family for being able to share each other’s life?

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.  The past is nothing we can control and it can color who we are, but we can make the decision to be anything we set our minds to.  Create your identity, do not let it be assigned to you.  The traumas of our childhoods can easily make us into “victims” or “survivors” and we can hide behind that identity for the rest of our lives if we desire.  That trauma happened a long time ago and is over, to continue the trauma is your choice, but it does not give you a free pass to poor behavior.  It is a long struggle to be able to recognize you are worth good things happening to you, once you allow that thought to enter your consciousness, you start to let go of the past.

I’ve learned that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change. Sometimes, our paths run right along each other at the same speed, seeing the same sights.  Then our paths may separate, but that does not erase our history and the reasons why we first became friends.  We all understand that we change, so thinking that our friends shouldn’t is unreasonable.

I’ve learned that money is a horrible way of keeping score.  Money does not make you better or worse than anyone, it is an instrument.  Like any other instrument, it can be used in a million different ways.  The most beautiful concerto can be played on an old piano just as easily as the keys of a Steinway can be smashed with a mallet.  Find something you are passionate about and devote your extra money to it’s promotion.  Make your money work for you as hard as you worked for it.  Keep the circle of energy flowing.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. “I say tomato, you say tomato. Let’s call the whole thing off. But oh! If we call the whole thing off, then we must part. And oh! If we ever part, then that might break my heart!”  The Gershwins were on to something.  Learning to not be so arrogant that your way is the right and only way will take you far in love and life.  The ability to see things from different perspectives, even if you disagree with those perspectives is a valuable skill.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm and looks for only so long.  After that, you’d better know something.  This does not always seem true and maybe the length can stretch out for years, but in the end the boys and girls will stop turning their heads when you pass, so you better at least have some good stories of your youth to retell.  There is nothing wrong with physical charm, but giving it any weight and worth as a way to judge yourself or others is a mistake.  It is just a roll of the DNA dice. It does not matter how attractive a person is if they are ugly on the inside.  Everyone has a unique talent or gift in life.  Personally, I have always been drawn to people that have an ability to tell a story, that have a talent of finding humor everywhere, and people that know that life is an ongoing journey of exploration.  It is a physical attraction, an attraction to a glow or fire or something that people possess inside.  Have you ever tried having a conversation with nice biceps and teeth? Exactly.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do. We all have our talents, we all have our accomplishments, and for the most part, they are unique to us. Comparing yourself to the best parts of others will of course cause you to feel inferior.  The exercise in being proud of and happy for your friend’s success is a hard one.  It is hard to remove your jealousy or envy.  When you are able to do it, however, you become a better friend and a better person.  If you still cannot remove yourself from the equation, think about how awesome you are for choosing such talented and successful friends.  We can be happy when our friend’s are successful, no matter what Morrissey says.

I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you can’t.  It applies to running, it applies to life.  It is always darkest before the dawn for a reason, so you appreciate the dawn all the more.  Heartbreak and disappointment are horrible and painful, they can tear you into pieces from which you think you can never reassemble.  You can, and in time, you will.  That ability is one of the most exciting and unique parts of being human: resilience.  Knowing that life right now is hard, but having the memory and perspective that none of it is permanent and situations will change.  “Don’t give up, I know you can make it good.”

I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.  Learning to understand their language may make the difference between feeling loved and feeling neglected.  Getting mad because someone doesn’t love you the way you want to be loved is like getting mad because the IKEA furniture assembly instructions are only in Swedish.  You can either try to translate and understand the IKEA instructions or you can shop somewhere with different instruction inserts.  Complaining will not bring you any closer to assembling that chair.

I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.  Every second of every day, we have the choice on how we are going to behave.  We can fly off the handle at the slightest things or we can choose to not let them ruin our day.  How we react and behave to every day situations is completely in our control.  Our past experiences may point us in a knee-jerk direction, but they have no actual power over us today.  Choose an attitude that would make you proud of the person you are.  If it does not feel natural to behave that way, fake it, eventually, it will become part of you.  I am a strong believer in the school of “Fake it ’till you make it.” I am a result of that philosophy.  I didn’t like something about me or recognized something about me that didn’t work, thought about how I could do it differently, and consciously did it that way going forward.  It did not immediately feel natural, but eventually, it became a part of me.  It is like diet and exercise for your character, it is hard and strenuous, but eventually, it becomes who you are.  Anger is ego, we all know this.  That person that cut you off in traffic did not do it to you because of who you are, they just did it.  It didn’t happen to you, it just happened, don’t take it so personally that it changes your mood.  Don’t hold onto it, that energy is undirected and wasted.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences. The title of “Hero” has been been attributed to so many people in so many ways that it’s meaning has been diluted.  For this, I mean a person whose courage and strength I admire.  Heroes are quite often not popular or even liked at the time, usually because their actions cause discomfort and disruption.  Heroes see how the world can be a better place and do their best to change it.  For the most part, actors, athletes, popular musicians, and politicians are bad choices as personal heroes, there are plenty of examples why.

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.  All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.  Learning and accepting that you cannot control how other people feel or react to your feelings is freeing.  I have learned to not withhold my feelings due to fear of them not being matched with equal strength from the other person.  Feelings are not discounted just because they are not returned.  Love and affection require expression to attain it’s full potential, they need air around them to grow.  It is crucial that you allow the organic nature of your feeling to exist and not squelch or play down them in any way. Washington Irving wrote, “Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.”  Take a chance, take a leap, the air rushing under your feet will do you good.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts. Everyone knows this.  Your job and your stuff you love will never give you a ride to the airport or love you back. Your things you have will not bring you love.  That BMW will get you attention that at first may seem a lot like love, but it is probably more like envy. The people you touch in your life may not sit impressively on your mantle or fill up your checking account, but they will hold your hand when you cry and bring you soup when you are sick. In life, the immeasurable out-values all. There are no price tickets attached to love, devotion, friendship, and loyalty.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back. None of this changes how I should feel.  Zelda Fitzgerald is quoted as saying, “I don’t want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally.”  I find myself thinking of this quote often and understanding it to mean that we need love to live, that we should approach life as a series of opportunities to love.  Everyone has been on both sides of this coin at one point in life: the lover and the loved.  It sucks and I hate it, but at the same time, there is a real rawness to heartbreak that is the purest of emotions.  That emotion has no ulterior motives, no hidden agendas that it hopes by creating one, another will follow.  It is pure loss, pure ache, and purely human. No matter how horrible it is, you feel so alive and wonderful knowing that you possess such capacity for feeling.

I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.  Bring everyone you meet a gift.  This obviously does not mean a physical item wrapped with a bow, it could be a compliment, a touch, a smile.  Do not leave things unsaid for fear of over exposing your heart.  Your heart functions best when exposed raw to the air, it expands and produces more than ever imaginable.  This applies too even if you were thinking about someone during the day, send them a text or email to tell them.  Keep communications open, don’t let too much time pass.

**New For SPA v44.0**

Move.  Motivate.  Moisturize.  Do your best to create and maintain healthy habits.  I know that when I am not physically active, running, lifting weights, I feel depressed.  My body feels depressed and out of sorts when I do miss more than a couple days at the gym.  It’s because it’s my body’s habit to be active, to experience an elevated heart rate, to stretch and push the boundaries of my musculature.  I feel so much better having gone to the gym.  That does not mean that I am always super excited about going to the gym.  My motivation for keeping a regular gym habit is elevated energy/mood, stress management, strength as I age, and vanity.  Do not underestimate the power of vanity, when harnessed for good, it can accomplish a lot.  Moisturizing falls under the Gym/Motivate/Vanity tab and plays a part in taking care of yourself.  I hope that I can live at least another 50 years (who knows what science will have done by then?) and I want those 50 years to be healthy active ones.  It is my job to keep myself in the best shape I can.


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Rules for Using the ‘Reply All’ Button – Self Help

It would be easier to just say “Reply All Makes You Look Stupid” and go on with something else, but sometimes, you gotta break it down to get it to really hit home.  But also, please stop, stupid.

Rules for Using the ‘Reply All’ Button

An email with a long list of recipients can be an easy way to accomplish tasks by electronic committee. It can also be an infuriating way to gum up your inbox for days. Let’s set some ground rules.

Although it is much maligned, the mass email can be a great way to disseminate information to a large group of people at once. This comes in especially handy when inviting people to a party, changing your address or phone number, or letting everyone on staff know when they can start taking summer Fridays (please, God, can we get that email?). It can also be helpful for group discussions when you’re working on a project with several co-workers at once, especially when some of them aren’t in the same office and physical meetings are impossible.

The problem isn’t the “reply all” button, of course. It’s the fcuktards who are far too quick to use it to let everyone on a given list know how hung over they are this morning, that Mary Jane in accounting does not wash her hands after using the bathroom, or that they “LOLed. Thanx ~~BYE!!~~” It’s enough to make you want to quit computers altogether and go back to drafting your correspondence with quills.

We don’t need to go that far. But we can drastically improve interoffice and interpersonal communications if everyone can agree to just a few simple guidelines.

Take a Minute and Evaluate: Before you hit “reply all” take a minute and ask yourself, “Does everyone need to read this?” The answer is pretty much always no. Sometimes all it takes is a split second for you to realize, “No one cares what I have to say on this topic, so I will keep it to myself.” Please click “discard draft” instead. This is especially true when the original mass email is one that’s intended to distribute information. If you get a message that the office will be closed on Saturday or the third-floor bathroom is closed for repairs, just read it, do what you want with the information, and then shut the fuck up. No one cares what you think about it, or whether this will make your life better or worse, so your two cents on the matter are entirely irrelevant.

Answer the Question: After a brief evaluation, sometimes the answer is, “Yes, I should reply to all,” especially if the email is asking a question. A friend sends out a missive that asks, “What should we do tonight, guys?” You should probably respond, but only respond by answering the question. In this instance, proper responses might include “let’s drink our faces off at [insert your favorite bar]” or “Shelly and I have to go to her stupid parents’ house, but I heard there’s a good concert at [insert place].” Those are good, solid, productive answers. If you waste space in our inbox by replying, “Hmmm…Good question,” or “I don’t know, I’m so lame now that I have a baby,” we are going to have to reach through the internet and punch you.

Keep the In-Jokes to Yourself: The great thing about mass emails is that you can communicate with a great number of people all at once. The problem is that there’s always that insecure asshole who feels the need to show just how close to you he or she is to the person who sent the email so he responds to everyone, “Just like that donkey that was wearing socks that we saw on the way to Mobile. AMIRITE!” We do not find this amusing. We don’t know you or get your jokes, and now if and when we finally do meet you—we do have mutual friends, after all—we are going to think that you’re an annoying jackass with bad taste in travel destinations.

Don’t Just Say Thank You: If your thoughtful coworker emails the office and says, “Hey everyone, I tried out my new recipe for Lemon Bars last night and brought them for you to enjoy. They’re on the table in the kitchen, help yourself,” please don’t email everyone just to say, “Thanks!” or “Yummy!” or “You da bomb.” This is now a whole separate email in our inbox that includes just one word, or maybe two or three. We have to delete that email and that takes effort we’d rather spend cruising the sales on Gilt Groupe while pretending to actually work. You aren’t telling us anything we don’t know and you’re not adding anything to the conversation, so just cram another Lemon Bar into your piehole and keep quiet. If you want to express your appreciation to the Betty Crocker wannabe in the next cube, then go over and say, “Wow, those were really good. Thanks so much,” with your mouth and lips and real, out-loud words. This person slaved over a hot stove for you, the least you can do is say thank you like a real person.

Your Silence Is Your Assent: When it comes to group email discussions, Roberts Rules of Order apply. If someone starts an email saying, “We will be doing trust falls at the corporate retreat on Thursday.” The first person possible should say, “That is a stupid idea.” And then someone should quickly say, “I agree.” This is like nominating something for a vote and then seconding it. There is no need for everyone on the thread to say that’s dumb (which trust falls are), because those two people spoke for the masses. At that point, saying nothing is agreeing with the naysayers. But if, on the other hand, you happen to agree with the first person, pipe up, by all means. Once something has been nominated and seconded, the person who sent the original email must either restate his/her position (“The guys at HQ are forcing us”), or back down (“You’re right. Let’s all do shots instead.”). Just like in a real meeting, you don’t have to say “I agree” in response to every email that goes around. Everyone knows you’re monitoring the conversation. Only share when you have something definitive or constructive to say.

Err on the Side of Replying to One: If you want to say something but don’t know if it’s appropriate for the whole audience, reply to the original sender only. This is perfect for in-jokes, statements that don’t answer any questions, and monosyllabic assertions of agreement. Just tell the person who started the thread. That person emailed the group to share information and/or get input, so they won’t care. It’s the rest of the people on the list you have to worry about pissing off. If what you have to say is profound enough, then the originator will share it with the group. Leave it up to their discretion (which is already a bit questionable since they included so many oversharers on the initial email list).

Avoid the Passive Aggressive CC: Sometimes you send an email to one person and they respond by CCing their boss, assistant, best friend, ex-girlfriend, or some random person they met Saturday night at a bar. Suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a group email you never intended. This is especially bad if you don’t know the third party. The only way to retaliate is to never reply all during this conversation. Just respond to the person who you originally emailed. This is the electronic equivalent of being at a party talking to someone and they say, “Let me introduce you to my friend, Joe.” But you hate Joe, so you just keep your eyes locked on the original person hoping Joe will just get annoyed and go away. Over email it’s even easier, because the original person will have to CC Joe again and again, which should hopefully send the signal that you don’t want to communicate with stupid asshat Joe. If they don’t get the hint, never email this person again. Even if it’s your boss.

Take Preventative Measures: We really shouldn’t have to tell you what the “Blind CC” function on your email is, but based on the countless communications we’ve received that could have benefited from its use, there must be more idiots in the world than we previously imagined. If you put all the email addresses in this field, they will stay anonymous and immune from the “Reply All.” Explaining this is like having to tell a 30-year-old where babies come from, but you made it necessary. Please, in the future, use this or we’re going to start giving your email address to Russian porn spammers in retaliation.

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Words To Live By – Ms. Taylor

Words from a woman who LIVED/LOVED/LAUGHED the hell out of life. You should do it too, in your own way.

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor

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Know Jack – Words To Live By

It is easy to say, difficult to try, and very hard to recognize in others, but it can be done, horizons can expand, thoughts can evolve, as long as there is life, there is potential for growth.

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” – Jack Kerouac

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Frankenstein Have Big Night Ahead Of Frankenstein


Frankenstein Have Big Night Ahead Of Frankenstein.

By Collin Nissan

Halloween happy time for Frankenstein. Very happy time. It one time of year no one scared of Frankenstein. Me fit in. Feel normal. All of sudden, giant forehead not grotesque. Neck bolts, cool. It total one-eighty. Frankenstein go to lot of parties. Halloween like magic, turn lady into hornball. Me think because everyone escape real world for one night. Become someone else. Frankenstein become someone else too—monster who get crazy amount of poontang.

Rest of year me sit in basement lab. Me outcast. No one want see Frankenstein, let alone see Frankenstein naked. But soon as costumes come out, it on like Donkey Kong. Me walk into party, people cheer. Frankenstein hero. Lady line up to get inside trouser. Sometime men want get with Frankenstein, too, but Frankenstein no go that way. One time, long ago, but not love it, honestly.

Lady-friend very happy after hump Frankenstein. Frankenstein like to take credit but truth is mad scientist very generous with Frankenstein johnson. He good guy. Really good guy. He do Frankenstein solid.

Whole year with no action no good for Frankenstein. Frankenstein have serious case of D.S.B. It acronym. Mean deadly sperm build-up. It make Frankenstein irritable. Me have no outlet for sex frustration. End up doing lot of knitting believe it or not. Have pile of scarf and sweater to prove it.

Over years, Frankenstein get with bunnies, nurses, cheerleaders. Put lot of notches in coffin. Last year, Frankenstein have three-way with two stewardess. Let’s just say Frankenstein tray table in upright position for like three hours. Frankenstein cherish sex memories. Each one go right into spank bank for twelve lonely month ahead.

This one time of year Frankenstein can do other thing, too, beside nasty boom-booms. Simple thing like sit in diner. Enjoy nice turkey club. Maybe cup matzo ball soup. No one stare or point at Frankenstein. Me can even pick up dry cleaning and go supermarket. Instead of run away, people high-five Frankenstein. It really nice. But morning after, it back to basement lab for Frankenstein. It bittersweet moment when Halloween over. On one hand, it so long before next year. Other hand, Frankenstein junk pretty raw and need big break.

Frankenstein always peek through basement window next day. See people back to regular life. No costume, no makeup. It make Frankenstein sad. Frankenstein freak again. And not good kind of freak like night before. This not costume for Frankenstein. This reality. Frankenstein just hideous monster. Hideous monster who get laid like total maniac every freaking Halloween!

Rear View Mirror – My Week In Review

planet of the apes kid

I honestly do not feel like figuring out what happened this week, documenting it in a quirky sort of digest with stats and bla bla bla.  I need distractions, not reflections.

Here is a picture of what I can only guess is from one of the Planet of the Apes films.  I yanked it off of Tumblr because it is funny how serious everyone is, primping what must be a child or little person in an ape mask.

Absolut Art – Not So Secret Obsession

Absolut Art Collection

It all started 1985

In the early 1980s, Absolut Vodka developed their classic style of advertising, making use of the iconic design of the vodka bottle itself. In 1986, Andy Warhol created the first of many commissioned artworks to be used in Absolut Vodka’s advertising campaigns. From 1986 until 2004, Absolut Vodka maintained and developed a tradition of working closely with artists all around the world. The 850 artworks commissioned by Absolut Vodka were deemed an important part of Sweden’s cultural heritage and so were entrusted to the care of Spritmuseum in Stockholm