May 2009

On Solo Travel

My friend Sloane just wrote a blog post directed to her sister about traveling alone that really nails my feelings about it as well. She writes:

“Travel is your chance to take ownership over your life – every decision you make today is yours and yours alone. Where you go, what you eat, how you deal with situations – I’ve found travel to be the one thing that picks me up when I’m down and rebuilds confidence in my ability to trust my instincts, make plans and follow through with them and yet also throw caution to the wind and abandon all plans and just go where the day take you.”

I couldn’t agree more. If you know anything about me you know I travel a lot and I love traveling with friends, as well as traveling and meeting up with friends, but there is some serious gold in traveling by yourself that is like nothing else in the world. Especially to places you’ve never been, though places you’ve been just enough to not feel totally lost are equally amazing. I’ve done it through out my life but often as more of a compulsion and never really thought out why, though Sloane kind of nails it here. When you are out in the world on your own, and only have yourself to rely on, you get to trust yourself completely and nothing builds your own confidence in yourself like that. I’ve been to cities and sat in a hotel room the entire time, and also wandered the streets aimlessly. I’ve seen great sights and also just sat on a bench and watched people. There is something about being the only one you have to think about and doing whatever whim you have that is magic.

If you haven’t been on a trip somewhere by yourself recently I highly recommend it. I always come back with new found faith in myself. I bet you will too.

Pair Down June

A friend once told me of a plan to reduce the build up around their house by picking a month each year and making a rule that any time he/she left the house that month they had to take something that required two hands to carry out of the house with them. I can’t recall whose idea this was or I’d give them credit for it. I also recall when Cory was moving from LA to London he had a policy not to take any new physical items into his possession and just about anyone who visited he and Alice walked out with something they’d given them. Of course his plan was he didn’t want to move anything extra across the world, but it was interesting none the less.

I’m still trying to reduce things myself an the other day while selling back a box of DVD’s to Amoeba came up with this idea. For June I’m going to practice a morphed combo of the two practices above. Of course I can’t be as cut and dry but my plan is as follows: For the entire month I’m not going to acquire any new physical objects with a few noted exceptions. Anything I’ve bought previously but hasn’t yet been delivered (amazon preordered books for example) don’t count because they are out of my control. Additionally, consolidation is a step in the right direction even if it required new things to replace the old – however the new thing must take up less space than the old, and can only be bought with funds obtained by selling the old stuff. For example if I had 5 jackets and sold them each for $50, and replaced them with a new jacket that cost $100 this would be OK as the end result would be 4 less jackets than I previously had, as well as extra cash from the reduction.

Admittedly this is going to be hard, but I’m committed to it and really want to put a dent in my stuff by the end of the month and for some accountability I’m going to post the results here as I go. Starting with the thing that sparked the idea.

SOLD: 25 DVDs

links for 2009-05-25

  • "To create economic value, journalists and news organizations historically relied on the exclusivity of their access to information and sources, and their ability to provide immediacy in conveying information. The value of those elements has been stripped away by contemporary communication developments. Today, ordinary adults can observe and report news, gather expert knowledge, determine significance, add audio, photography, and video components, and publish this content far and wide (or at least to their social network) with ease. And much of this is done for no pay."

All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

Whew! Now that the move to Venice is complete and unpacking is mostly complete I’ve gotten back into the swing of things and am cranking things out as much as I can. If you follow me on twitter you are likely up to date on some of these things but I thought I’d go ahead try to collect them all here if for no other reason then so I can point to it over the next few months when people ask me what I’ve been working on. Here are the things that are currently taking up space on my plate:

Metblogs.com still running the day to day on this as my main and primary focus. We recently launched San Diego and are are still kind of in soft launch mode for Global Conspiracy. We’ve brought in a bunch of new authors recently too and I’m excited to see where things are headed the rest of this year. We’ve also just hit 700 members on the hub which continues to be an interesting experiment.

Urbanjournal.com is a kind of exciting new project both because it’s a topic I’m very interested in these days and because it’s the first not locally focused site Jason and I have built as Bode Media. If you haven’t checked it out yet please do. I’m really happy with the immediate positive feedback on this and rather pleased with how the forums there are complimenting the main site so well.

Catworkout.com Tara and I thought of, built, filmed, edited and launched this site in about 3 hours. People liked it so we spent some more time on it and filmed a few more shorts. People liked those so we’ve got some more planned. Please to enjoy!

TSPN1 (Top Secret Project Number 1) This is really exciting and I can’t wait to brag about it. A bunch of us spent some time in front of and behind the camera last weekend filming a bunch of episodes of a soon to be announced series. We’ve got some editing to do, but I think it’s going to turn out amazing. Hopefully I’ll be pimping this in the near future.

There are also TSPN2, TSPN3, TSPN4, TSPN5 and TSPN6 but they are even way too top secret to mention here but with any luck they won’t be for long.

I’ve also done a few speaking and consulting gigs in the last few months and am trying to do more of them for various reasons. More about that can be found here including info about booking me if you are interested in such things.

You know how when you load up a giant plate of food at a salad bar and rush back to your table and eat the best stuff right away but still have some stuff on your plate that you thought looked really delicious but are now kinda full and while you probably can’t eat it with the same vigor you did with the first stuff but you don’t want to just throw it out either so you are kinda slowly picking at it and hoping you get some kind of second wind so you can polish it off? Yeah…

Irish Whiskey Forums I bought this URL a few years ago when I stumbled across the rabbit hole that is Irish Whiskey and realized there was no good place for people to trade info and tips online. I never did anything with it and since then more folks have gotten interested so I decided I’d finally install some forum software and see what happens. It’s currently a ghost town but I haven’t really tried to promote it much. I should probably work on that.

Culver City Art Galleries Since I’ve gone ahead and brought up old URLs that haven’t had much done to them let me direct your attention to culvercityartgalleries.com. As you can see, it’s not anything like what it should be. I want to change that and make it something actually interesting and useful. Ideally I want to include some twitter results as a cool way to show what people are saying about the area. Also maybe a googlemap that people can add locations to. Want to help out with this one? Let me know.

Fixedr.com Speaking of neglected projects, my test social network for fixed gear bike fans using Ning is still live and *slowly* growing. I need to spend more time on this one as well but I’ve been off my bikes a lot due to the move and traveling so I haven’t had a lot to chime in about. Hopefully that will change this summer because I really do think the site could be something cool.

Finally there are a few things that I wish were on my plate but for one reason or another they are firmly off to the site of it. If I have my way they will get kicked and prodded until they are right on there and then I’ll tell you all about them.

It’s late and I’m rambling, can you tell?

Thorns of Life Rumors

thornsIf a few random sources are to be believed then it’s official Thorns of Life’s debut album Legislators and Prophets will be released on June 30th by Desoto Records. Desoto of course is run by J Robbins from Jawbox who recorded the Thorns album, and even more rumors have him actually playing base in the band now. There is no confirmation about any of this on the Desoto Records site, the bands MySpace or Twitter so who knows. The album songlist that has been circulating is as follows:

1. The Black Arts
2. Kryptonite
3. My First Time
4. Ribbon Head
5. Available
6. Anti-Song for Barthelme
7. Not a Track Bike
8. Mont Blanc
9. I Hate New York
10. Oh Deathly Death
11. Gemini
12. Vivid Green
13. Building Al Qaeda in Washington
14. Tuning Out

If you haven’t grabbed the live set from Gilman yet then you are on crack because it rules. One thing that that is blowing my mind right now is that “Gemini” is listed on this track list, which Jawbreaker fans will recall was one of the super bad ass Dear You era songs that existed only in live recording format. I’ve been dying for a recorded version of it for years and if Thorns is doing that, whoah….