February 12, 2013

Fiery Red Hair

I just want to be out in the world tonight.

The book I’m reading has transformed me so much, that I want to take the evening to immerse myself in it.

I have under 100 pages to go, and I want to share with you a few quotes that bring me a great deal of peace before I get back to it.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Men have talked about the world without paying attention to the world.

The present is an unknown. It has never been here before, and neither have you.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced.

If you love it enough, anything will talk to you.

It has often been said that we carry the sea around with us, as evidenced by the percentage of saltwater in our blood…

Our potential for harmonizing with the natural world is obscured by our instinct to dominate it.

If you put three grains of sand inside a vast cathedral, the cathedral will be more closely packed with sand than space is with stars.

Is not all art a celebration of loss?

I may or may not finish this book tonight. I may read it more slowly. Part of me never wants it to end.

It’s true. It’s officially been 5 days since I last stepped foot inside of a Starbucks, which means even though my new year officially started today, I have been making good on my promise to not spend as much money on my coffee habit.

Of course, the year is young.

Maybe one day I will get to a point where it will have been five days since my last glass of wine as well, but let’s not get excited.

On a high note, I did work out tonight. And this guy says if I work out 30 minutes, 4-5 times a week, I will get maximum results.

We’ll see what he can do for me.

On a business school note, I have finally finished my admissions essays for USC, but the revision process is hardcore. I thought I would only need a couple of hours for polishing, but after two solid hours tonight, it looks like I’ll need at least 3-4 more.

But this is the final week, the week of all weeks, where I will finally finish and submit my essays for review, finish up my resume, send my transcripts out, and fill out the information sections for each application. My letters of recommendation will be done by Friday, and once both applications are submitted…well, let’s just say you’re going to be seeing a lot more of me. And hearing a lot more of me. Yes folks, the video bloggin will be BACK IN EFFECT. I can’t wait.

Till then, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Alan Watts. His zen lectures align a whole lot with this book I’m reading called New Self, New World by Philip Shepherd. It’s all about how we cannot exist outside of our relationships with the world, and how we are brought up to live inside our heads, rather than our body. At least, that’s what it’s about in a nutshell. Anyway, I’m digging it. And it leaves me feeling more confused and perplexed about life than ever, and the way I should be feeling. But at 174 pages in, I’ve come to realize that I was never meant to understand what I am feeling. I was only meant to feel it.

It’s trippy shit.

I’m going to post a review on Examiner once I’m done with it, but I’m about 278 pages away from being done with it, so it probably won’t happen until the end of the month.

Also, I started watching Weeds. I’m about 8 years late, but God I love that show. And now for a little parting message from Sir Alan Watts before I go.

“Where there are rocks, watch out.”

I woke up so lazy this morning, I didn’t even bother putting the toothbrush away. The art of whiskey is a slow, drippy one, that sometimes blends in with the colors of the day after you’ve already had a whole day to recover. The beauty of coffee, however, reverses this. It makes you sharper, more alert, smiling even at the people you do not wish to see.


On my lunch break I felt alive again. I went to Trader Joes and spent nearly $100 on food (and a bottle of Pinot) that I am hoping will last me 2+ weeks. After work I even got a frame for my Jack London quote, nails to hang it up, and a full tank of gasoline. When I got home I polished up my admissions essays. And I mean really buffed those fuckers. I did a little research to find a good admissions consultant to edit them, and it’s going to cost me close to $300 an hour for them to make them really shine.


Where do people get money.


As far as I’m concerned, the essays for my top school are done. Even though I’m still waiting on last minute critiques, I’m crossing them off my list, and moving on to getting my transcripts sent, polishing my resume, and requesting my letters of recommendation. Wednesday I start in on the next school I’m applying to, but now that I’ve gotten these first essays out of the way, my goals for business school are a little more fine tuned, and it shouldn’t take me too long to churn those out.


For the last hour I edited and polished a landing page one of my teammates started, that had to be submitted for the online Stanford class I’m taking on Technology Entrepreneurship. I wish I had more time to be creative with it, but it’s due tonight at midnight, and currently, we’re 1 minute away from that deadline.


Every time I wanted to quit tonight, I looked up at my little London quote. I love it so much. Apparently it is from a poem called Credo. When I see it, I’m reminded of what little space I occupy in this world, and that my time here is finite. Whatever number of days I have left, I’m going to use them.


Ask me if I’ve unpacked yet.



November 3, 2012

They say when you drink, your true feelings start coming out, or average things start to look and feel incredibly satisfying. Take double-doubles for instance. Cheeseburgers. They always taste great, but after a couple of beers, there isn’t a single thing that could stop me from going after one of those cheesy, melted pieces of divine light.

I realized this evening, first hand, something quite novel about my love for writing. I stayed in tonight to do some laundry and work on my admissions essays for business school. I was pretty successful. I finished one of them, and was fairly pleased with it. Halfway through the second one however, I was stuck and decided to have a beer. This helped me relax, and ultimately un-stick myself.

Then I decided to have another beer, because golly this stuff was really working well! But halfway through that, something odd happened. My writing turned…fictional. It started to turn a little too ‘story-time’ and a little less ‘here’s why I want to go to your business school’. Before I knew it, I was opening up a new Word document and starting a story, a short one. (I’ve been working on a short compilation of stories in my copious free time).

I couldn’t help myself. It was like, writing is the one thing that I am 100% passionate about, and after a beer and a half I found myself flocking to it, in much the way drunk people flock to IHOPs and Dennys after a night on the town. They go for what they crave. They don’t think about it, they just decide it’s time for a treat, and they boogie the fuck down there and score themselves some Moon over my Hammy. It’s simple logic.

And that’s what I did. I was completely unprepared for that distraction, but it happened. And after it did I realized that writing was my Moon over my Hammy. My juicy double-double. My living end. My humble companion when all things turn sour and dank. My Rhett Butler to that one chick in Gone With the Wind who was in love with him, but he was in love with Scarlet (and yes, I spelled Rhett Butler right on the first try).

So my advice to you this Friday evening, or any evening if you’re struggling with figuring out what to do with your life, is to watch a couple of inspirational videos by Lady Gaga, start writing an admissions essay and have a beer. I’ve heard good things.

August 15, 2012

You know when you get feedback about yourself and it sucks? Like those beastly performance reviews at work. Your boss goes over your progress thus far, filling in the gaps of time with ‘you’re awesome at this’ and ‘you could use some work’ at that.

Those suck. Monique gets nervous about those.

But that wasn’t what happened. She wasn’t being ‘reviewed’. She had a simple conversation with a coworker this morning, in which she received feedback about herself she didn’t want to hear. Or maybe it wasn’t that she didn’t WANT to hear it, and more that she NEEDED to hear it.

He (the coworker) walked into her office to ask how her applications to business school were going. Monique went into a rather long diatribe about her status, one she’ll not touch upon here because it isn’t all that relevant. All you need to know is that she is working on them, and she told her coworker about her progress.

Let the record show that this coworker is rather high up in the ranks, and is one she is approaching to write one of her letters of recommendation for business school.

After a few minutes of exchanging stories, and good, stimulating conversation, (the kind she usually enjoys with said coworker), Monique asked him if there were any good sites or magazines that he regularly read, which contained useful information for a budding business school applicant. Monique admired the intellect of said coworker, and wanted to know if there was any good reading he could suggest.

He said, “Well, what topics are you interested in pursuing when you get into grad school?”

Monique had thought long and hard about this on her run this morning, and realized the four areas she wanted to learn about in business school were entrepreneurship, product development, project management, and marketing. She had barely decided on these four areas in her head that morning, and spoke of them to said coworker, happy that she had finally nailed her areas of interest.

He nodded his head and said a few things Monique does not remember, but she could tell he was leading up to something, and she had a sinking feeling.

He replied with “…entrepreneurship…(something, something)….and right now, I don’t think you have it in you. I’m not going to sugar coat anything, and I’m going to give you my honest opinion. You know who has it in them?” (She forgets here, who he mentioned, because her first thought was this, and everything after that was mush and she started to feel hot).


It hurt in her chest. This feeling has been described as ‘the heart skipping a beat’. She usually feels it when she misses a step on the stairs, in that atrociously long second when she feels like she is going to fall.

Her sad response was, “I know, that’s why I want to go to school. To learn.”

But that wasn’t what she really meant. What she really wanted to say was:

“I do. I think I have it in me. I don’t think you’ve really seen the day-in and day-out of what I do here or the projects I have outside of work. Not your fault. But I think I have it in me. If it’s not visible, then it’s my responsibility in the coming weeks to make it more so.”

And she will. She has to. This person, this wonderful coworker she enjoys chatting with every so often and absolutely adores, is the one who is writing her letter of recommendation. If he thinks she can’t do it, why should he tell the admissions committee of USC, UCLA, LMU, and Pepperdine that she can?

Of course, he didn’t say she wasn’t ready for business school, he said she wasn’t ready for entrepreneurship, and that very well may be the case. And to this day, not one person has told her she wasn’t cut out for something she wanted to do.

So while this stung like FUCK, it lit a firecracker under that little ass of hers, and now she’s completely lost her shit, and won’t look up to see the light of day until she proves that she has the it.

Has anyone ever told you you didn’t have the it?