I know it’s been a while. I’ve been pretty busy with work and traveling so I haven’t been in the same routine or method that I’m used to where I can schedule in my daily writing. It’s really important to me that I do at least some writing every day – even it’s typing a thought in the Notes section of my iPhone, or scribbling a list of random things on to a piece of paper, I feel more at peace and can let my mind stop mindlessly thinking things as soon as I put pen to paper, or whatever the digital version of that is on a laptop.
Since I wasn’t able to write at all I figured I would at least try some things that I could eventually write about. One was taking an impromptu trip to Portland, Oregon during Super Bowl week. The other was trying Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, which I actually just did this morning due to a drunken promise to a co-worker. I really have to thank him for inviting me to his Blue Belt class and taking the time to slowly teach me the fundamentals.
So, here is this week’s Rapport Box…
What I’m Giving Up for Lent
I’ve always wanted to rid myself of all social media entirely. I’m not religious whatsoever, but the two Catholic traditions I do keep are the ones that I think are morally valuable. One is Christmas, since it is the act of giving to others and celebrating family, and the other is Lent – testing your limits and what you’re capable of. Although giving up fries doesn’t quite reach Jesus-level of sacrifice, it’s still something and it’s building discipline in yourself. And don’t give me all that B.S. of not eating meat on Friday. Who made up that rule anyway? I want meat the most on Fridays. That’s like Chick-fil-A being closed on Sundays.
Sorry, wrong rant. Social media. I didn’t delete my accounts or anything, but I saw myself checking my phone way too often and tapping my pockets like a junkie looking for his next score. So on Wednesday I deleted all of the social media apps of my phone – Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and even the app I use to communicate with almost all of my friends – GroupMe. I’m only two and a half days in and I’ve been fine. I actually haven’t had the urge to check anything and I find myself reaching out to friends the more natual way – texting and making phone calls. Ya know, what a phone is supposed to be for… I’ve also been taking more natural pictures and videos of things I see on the street. For my own enjoyment, not yours. Not taking 10 second snapchats of the cool things in my life and showing off to other people and seeing who looked at it. You don’t realize it, but doing that gives you anxiety. I’m guilty of it myself. Give it up for a few days and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Also, if you’re wondering how I’m posting this to Facebook and Twitter – it’s all automated through WordPress… magic.
New Tech I’m Loving
I see a lot of advertisements for these new blue-screen-blocking eyeglasses by Felix Gray. Apparently they work and help you sleep better, but I heard about this app called f.lux maybe through a podcast or a Tim Ferriss interview. You download it through chrome and set the timezone based on sunrise and sunset, and your computers screen will automatically dim the blue-light throughout the day so gradually that you don’t even notice. By 5pm, your screen is almost orange and you can’t even tell. I’ve been using it for about two weeks and I really like it.
Crossed off the Travel Bucket-List
Like I said, I was able to go to Portland, Oregon by myself for work. Unfortunately I was swamped with work the whole time so I was a bit overwhelmed and didn’t fully get to enjoy my time, but I did get to enjoy the hiking, the great coffee, and the legal marijuana. I’ve never watched the show Portlandia, but I imagine it portrays Portland exactly the way I saw it. It fulfills any pre-determined stereotypes you probably already have about it. Always raining, hipsters with glasses and flannels, lots of white people, feminists, craft beer drinkers, bike riders, vegans, and righteous protesters. I probably would have liked it more if it wasn’t raining 24/7 and if there was a little more diversity.
My Newest Grooming Product
As my beard has become a mainstay on my face and I’ve let it grow out to longer lengths, beard oil has become an absolute must. I’ve experimented with a few but this one has gotten rave reviews from my girlfriend who encounters it most closesly so I trust her opinion. On the cheaper end too, as I’ve seen some ridiculous prices for the stuff.
Martial Art I’m Exploring
I found out through a conversation and a few drinks that a co-worker of mine is a blue-belt in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and trains at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City. For the last two years, I’ve written down in my notebook full of personal goals that I need to try some form of martial arts and I finally crossed it off this mornign. I went to my first class and it was not an introductory class for beginners. This was a blend of blue belts, purple belts, and like me, white belts – so I got my fare share of real life jui-jitsu with people who have been practicing for several years.
I loved it. I now understand why they call it Martial Arts. Even though I only did an hour-long class, I could feel the fundamentals of physical and mental warefare in motion. It is like physical chess. Every move you make is either giving or taking advantage to you or your opponent, and it is up to you to figure out the push/pull of getting them to submit. It was really cool and I especially loved the method of learning – which is the teacher demonstrates the move several times in slow motion. Then you practice each step of the move several times in very slow, deliberate moves until you master that first step – then you move on to the next step.
If you’ve ever learned an instrument it was very similar to the learning techniques applied there. Except in Jui-Jitsu, you learn how to physically man-handle someone. A little different.
Latest Book in my Collection
I’ve been recommended this book so many times by so many people that I had to finally give it a read. To be honest, I thought it was very bland. Considering all the positive things people had sad about it, I was a little bit let down. Maybe it was because I hyped it up too much due to other people’s sentiments, but I honestly thought it was a very average story.
To highlight, it’s the true story about two things – the architects who helped design and plan the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893, and also the story of a serial killer roaming the streets a la Jack the Ripper. Kind of cool from a historical perspective, and it is an interesting story – however, I thought the book itself was quite bland.
That’s it for this weeks Rapport Box, I hope you enjoyed. With less work, I should be back to writing a few posts per week so stay tuned for more, and have a great President’s Day Weekend.