Wow, you’re 239 today. In the grand scope of countries, I guess that makes you an adolescent. Sure, you were prodigious as a youngster, taking that “know no better” attitude into battle with the Brits and defeating them. As a toddler, you were comfortable serving your selfish status quo, and there were those big tantrums like the Civil War and then Civil Rights, in which the process for neither was Civil. Now, you’re pubescent and growing. You think you know everything and also have a belief that you know what’s best for everyone, but that’s to be expected. In this democratic rearing of a republic, it is we who support and guide you, who are reflected in your current state, pimples and all. Whatever we love and loathe about you, we love and loathe in our collective selves. We are all like a family. We get along with some. With avoid others. We stick together when attacked. That’s how families, no matter their level of dysfunction, are designed to operate.
As you enter the final decade of your first quarter-century, I propose that “the village” present gifts that are suited for your growth. This has nothing to do with politics and certainly nothing to do with the destructive partisan wars we are experiencing. On your birthday, I look to our many subset collections of community that make up the mass and I ask participant citizenry, in the collections to affect that which surrounds them. Take care of the people and things that you have influence over. If a reasonable representation from the collective many, can do this, then the mass…the country…YOU, will grow into young adulthood, as an ever powerful nation.
Most of us have the practice of making and declaring goals, down pat. Where we falter is with success. Many people have written and said many things to motivate us towards success. On social media, I’m guessing that you can find an endless supply of memes, with inspiring quotes typeset atop awe-inspiring images. The one thing that I’ve heard through the noise, that resonates with me, is finding your “why”. The author and motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, speaks of this as an ingredient for success. He’ll ask you “what’s your why?”. Businesses do this with a “mission statement”. They know why they exist and what keeps them on their path towards success. Individuals can use some of that focus.
If we’re looking at the sacrifices that one must make to be successful in any pursuit, it’s no wonder that so many people give up. If you have a strong collection of reasons “why” you are sacrificing, it might just push to you succeed. What’s my why? Read on, my friends.
For those who do not know, Catalina Express has a deal for a free roundtrip boat ride to the island on your birthday. The Catalina Chamber of Commerce call the whole thing “Birthday Island” and there are other perks celebrating your first day of breathing and digesting on your own. You can read about those, but I have some treasures that can’t be printed into a guide, given away or even purchased.
My exposure to the island started 5 years ago with the Catalina Film Festival, of which I am now a board member. I had never been to the island before and now I’ve been several times and know people who live there. I’m still a “tourist”, but I know my way around. Check out my day in paradise!
Breakfast With An Island Star
I took the first boat in the morning, the 6:15 leaving Long Beach. On a side note, I met a teacher on the boat ride and we talked about our Catalina Kids (more on them later). When I arrived, I got a Happy Birthday singing phone call from Ron Truppa, the Executive Director and co-founder of the festival. He happened to be on the island that morning, so we had breakfast and I hung out with him for a bit. It was good times. Walking anywhere on the island I like planning on taking 5 steps and stopping for a chat. He seems to know EVERY SINGLE PERSON!
Story of Triplet Stars
One of the people that Ron knew was this man who had triplet daughters that were graduating high school and headed off to college. Interestingly the teacher that I met on the boat had told me how small the school was with an average graduating class of 40 and how difficult the transition can be when they move and either go to college or get jobs. Well, these triplets are ALL going to IVY LEAGUE colleges in New York. Two are going to Columbia…in Manhattan and the other is going up-state to Cornell. Crazy right? That’s a not so insignificant percentage of the class, from one family, headed to Ivy League.
It’s a Small World
So we left the man who raised three Ivy League daughters on a small island and met up with another man who is a supporter of the festival. I was telling them about volunteer “Catalina Kids” who help out the film crew and how I planned to catch up with them after they got out of school. Well, about 5 minutes later I was introduced to the mother of one of the kids as she was in the same coffee joint we were in.
Behind The Scenes of a Legend
I left them and ventured out on my own as I had an appointment to tour the Catalina Casino building. Fun Fact: Casino is taken from Italian and it means a place of gathering and entertainment. It does not mean gambling, but the popularity of Las Vegas has focused on that specific form of entertainment in real world use of the word. Well, the Catalina Casino has no gambling. It is a movie theatre and has the world’s largest circular ballroom dance floor. The history is rather amazing. I recommend the tour if you find yourself on Catalina.
After the tour, I had lunch with my friend Amy who works for the Catalina Island Conservancy. I met her the first year of the festival and she’s been a great friend ever since. Her family even comes to town for the festival now. Don’t worry ladies, she’s not eligible to be my next ex. We are firmly planted in the friend zone and she’s in love out there, in the back-country of the island. Anyway, we went to The Lobster Trap. She had chicken and I had fish & chips…with HALIBUT for the fish part. Amy informed me that he fishing friends get halibut a lot and they share it with her. Her life started sounding AWESOME. Oh yeah, after a battle back and forth, she “won” and paid for lunch. I know…island rules.
Get In Carts With Strangers
I had walked up one the streets and ended up pretty high up a hill. On my way down, the young lady in a golf cart (those are the cars on the island) asked where I was going and if I wanted a ride down the hill. I graciously accepted. I’m still in Los Angeles county, but definitely NOT in Los Angeles. On the ride, I find out that my new friend is on her way to China the next day because she’s a Red Bull professional cliff diver. Yup, she’s one of those people who jump off of really high cliffs into the water. I was kind of in awe….because that’s awesome.
My Island Kids!!
No, I haven’t reproduced any offspring on the island, but we have some high schoolers that help us out during the festival. Three off them help out the film crew and they are amazing. I met up with one after her softball game and she drove me around in her cart and showed me the “Field of Dreams”, which is now a big parking lot. L The Field of Dreams is where the Cubs used to have spring training back in the day. Yup…look it up. We then saw a second student after he came back from “overtown”. They are such fun and they are soooo talented.
Off Into the Sunset
I waved bye and got back on the boat that brought me to paradise, just for the day. Wow, what a day. When people asked me what I did, I had trouble really explaining it. I had no agenda or action items or a list. I kind of just wandered and connected with people and it was GREAT. I recommend it. Oh yeah, one more thing…
Good Fortune’s Gift
When I got back to overtown/mainland, I was heading to the parking structure and doing the ‘ole pat down in search of my keys. Um…searching…searching…oh no. I got to my car and unloaded my bag, very aware that I took the last boat back tonight and that it is a $75 round trip to go back and get my keys. I was also about an hour from home, so to ask someone to come fetch me on a weeknight to then go back to get my keys and then take me back to the car so they could then finally go home, was not a pleasant thought of an option. I emptied my bag on the trunk and started going through everything. I knocked my something to the ground and bent down to grab it and noticed my keys. They were IN the UNLOCKED door of my car and had been there the whole long day. THANK YOU, GOOD FORTUNE!
Happy Ending (Rated G Version)
You can see ALL of my trip pics in this Facebook album.
Today’s photography tip doesn’t require you to buy any special equipment of grasp any concepts or even practice to get it right. I just want you to slow down in life, notice what’s happening around you and find things you want to capture in your photography. Sometimes when you’re driving, you might want to pull over and park, because you see something that you want to take a photo of. You might want to walk a new area or even your own neighborhood, to seek out interesting subjects.
When you get in this mindset, you’ll see photo opportunities everywhere. While you’re doing that, you’re also training your “eye” and your photo framing will get better and you’ll find interesting perspectives. Don’t worry about any of that now, just remember: STOP. PULL OVER. PAY ATTENTION.
The past few days, I’ve been doing just that with my Lumia 1020. Let’s see what I found! :)
The world of dating has certainly changed. We live in the realities of the online dating paradigm. This world offers some amazing benefits to people looking for love, or other, less romantic pursuits. You have access to a massive audience outside of your work and social circles. This can be a great thing. Unfortunately, some negative side-effects seem to be happening, that I will evaluate, with the goal being to encourage us all to Date Better.
In the last week or so, Microsoft had some really big news with the announcement of Windows 10, HoloLens, and Surface Hub. They were showing true innovation on screens of all sizes and getting good press. The day before the Microsoft event and a couple of days after, something strange happened: Chase and BofA pulled their banking apps from the Windows Phone app store. Considering that they are the headline banks for ApplePay, something seemed a bit fishy to me.
I’ve never written the United States Department of Justice, but I honestly feel like something anti-competitive is being acted on here, with collusion between the banks and Apple. It bothered me so much that I sought out the email to contact the DOJ. Please find that email below.
It was a year, 2014. We had some victories together and we also left some challenges unfinished. As we rollover into 2015, it is a great time to reflect on where you’re at, envision where you want to be and how you plan to get there. There will be a lot of “enlightened” people calling resolutions by different names. I don’t care if you call them goals, intentions, plans, resolutions or wishes upon a star. There is value if you reflect, envision and plan (REP).
This post will feature my 2015 REPs for myself and apparently my IntimiDATER alter ego has decided to weigh in. This should be fun.
Let’s start with me. The real me. JD, El Jefe, The Great Jefferini or any of a host of nicknames you might know me as. I have some big stuff in store for 2015 and these are the highlights:
This is my Facebook profile video right now. You see the glasses and the goatee growing. The goatee was for MOvember 2014, male cancer awareness. The glasses are just giving my normally contact lenses covered eyes a break. The hat is just friggin cool, right?
The funny thing is that I have met people this month who only know me like this…and I usually don’t look like this. They’ll have to get used to the new, cleaner cut, glasses free version of me, soon. Not today though. Today is November 30th or what I’m calling, ‘Stache Appreciation Day. I opened up my package from Dollar Shave Club and I shaved off everything on my chin and just left the moustache.
Of course, I had some fun with it.
Like for a lot of people, music is a big part of my life. Living in West Hollywood, I walk a lot errands, so I have the headphones in. I workout to music. I teach Spinning class to music. I seem to cook and clean with a soundtrack playing to make chores bearable. I fall asleep to the Songza “Classical for Sleeping” channel. I’m not a music snob. I listen to the popular stuff, but I crave variety and I love when artists redefine themselves or their genre. I’m not loyal to the genre paradigm; I just love passionate and artistic expression.
OK, now that my rant is over, I’m going to pull some things from my current playlists that you may or may not be familiar with. These aren’t all “new”, but they are current in the JDE Soundtrack!