Thursday, April 29, 2010

Restless

Today's word is restless. As in losing concentration and mentally wandering in and out of various subjects without the ability to focus. As in typing this entry while looking over to my work computer and the 14 open windows on the monitor. As in remembering that I had some chore or another to do before I pick up my wife from the metro but not jogging my memory of what exactly that chore was. As in returning my attention to this entry after thinking about Burt Bacharach songs that were on the television show Glee earlier this week. And so on and so forth.

I'm not sure what these feeling means for my well-being and ability to actually contribute something meaningful to the day at hand, but it is distracting at the least. At the most, it is debilitating, but of course, my restlessness would not allow me to focus on this comment long enough to understand the gravitas of what I just typed. Oh bother, I am too distracted to make sense of this anyway. Which is why the word is perfect - restless.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frenetic

I like the word frenetic. It perfectly describes the pace of a modern worker. I suppose each generation would call its activities frenetic in their own way. A mid-century worker would talk about how quick you could pick up a phone and call someone - it would have taken a letter before, or perhaps a telegram down the railroad lines, but the message would be hard to convey beyond a brief missive. A 21st century worker likely conveys the same amount of information within 60 seconds - text message, blog entry, twitter update, email, phone call, almost simultaneous - as a turn-of-the-century worker might convey within 60 hours.

Perhaps this word resonates because today, I feel the pace and rhythm of this word infiltrating my activities. I took a 5-minute break to whip up this entry and throw it out on the web before I answer a Google Talk response from my wife, text back a co-worker, send a few emails to project managers, schedule a meeting via phone with someone on the west coast, and eat lunch. This will happen in the next 15 minutes after I take my fingers off the keyboard before I open up the next conference call. So there you go - frenetic. The word applies perfectly today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Excited about an Expo

I'm going to the World's Fair this summer. When I told a good friend about my plans, he asked how this could be - does the world have fairs anymore? I suppose in a prior time when travel was more difficult (an Icelandic volcano can remind us of what we take for granted in our generation), an international exhibition would have been more exotic and special. But today, I suppose our exposure to other places and cultures makes a fair some more ordinary and routine, less spectacular and necessary to maintain as a tradition.

This does not change my mind - I'm going anyway. It helps that it is being held in Shanghai, which is special by itself since I have not been to that city before. It helps that the Chinese are promoting it in their own particular way, which turns into a touting of the largest world's fair ever. It helps that the theme of this year's expo is about "better city, better life" is all about imagining the world in which we will live in the future, according to our concerns for sustainability and maintaining harmony with our surroundings. And it helps that my visit will coincide with the World Cup, which will give added dimension to the global village (it helps to be outside the US to fully appreciate the grandeur that is the largest sporting event in the world).

I suppose that all the wonders of the modern world will conspire to minimize the joy we can experience in these sorts of cultural exchanges - but I'm not buying. I'm excited about an Expo and curious to join the millions who will find the same excitement too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Try Something New: 750 Words

If there is anything universally redeeming about writing, it is the ability to delve into the inner thoughts of one's own psyche and come back with perspective on feelings, motivations, and desires. In this way, journaling as the specific form of writing that provides this redemption can be a worthwhile pursuit. One might suppose that the internet world would offer various tools to make journaling simple, easy, and relatively painless, but that has not always been the case - until now.

I came across this from Lifehacker, who was promoting the site back in March: 750words. The site is run by a former Amazon product manager who has an interest in journaling for the creative process and data visualization. Mash those things together, and you have an interesting site that is built around the premise that creative juices get flowing by consistently writing 3 pages worth of stuff on a daily basis, which translates to roughly 750 words. Logging in by using your Google or Facebook username, and you get a blank sheet with a timeline across the top (for when you last wrote) and a word counter at the bottom (for what you have left today). In between goes your thoughts, emotional outbursts, story sketches, and anything else you might think to apply to 750 daily words. And when you get a streak going, you can earn points similar to how a game of bowling is scored. I just earned a turkey today, going three days in a row.

So for those who are not certain about the writing process, try out journaling for is therapeutic affects and 750 words to see what journaling can be in the digital age.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pause


I felt like I hit the pause button on the remote control. Over 90 days ago, I penned the last words in this blog, and those days have passed with scant realization as to the timeframe. I suppose this can happen in married life with career prospects, travel plans, and other commitments getting in the way. After a week in Chicago, New Jersey, and New York City, I am aware for the moment of what time passage means and can do. This used to be my typical travel pattern for work, for life, and for experiences. Punctuated by visiting with dear friends on a Friday night at the Met illustrated this only too plainly - the former life I lived no longer persists, and I am a creature of a new timeframe and a different set of objectives that govern my choices.

A strange way to re-emerge on a blog that has stayed dormant for longer than any time period I have encountered since 2003, over 7 years ago. Still, it is a start for reminding myself of what time has passed and what pause means to perspective.