Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Way I Feel

Wrote this as a Facebook update status sometime ago...

It seems I value pursuing personal interests to no end more than mulling over tasks that tear away any sense of individual worth or motivation. That may go against practical wisdom in a time when financial security is at a premium. But, for me, free pursuit of purpose is worth more than any weight in silver. I like my pockets fat too. But I'd rather stand on, not hunch under, the weight of my worldly possessions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Johnny, Jack, & A Book

Nassau Inn Yankee Doodle Tap Room
Ten Palmer Square
Princeton, NJ

The Power of Pause

Last night's Lakers-Suns game was entertaining, a throwback to late-80's/early 90's run-n-gun NBA.  For all there was to watch, it's what LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn't do that warranted admiration.  When a Phoenix jumpshot capped a run putting the Suns up 44-34, the camera immediately panned in on Jackson, anticipating reaction.  The "Zen Master's" face remained in place - calm, stoic, leaning forward into steady eyes. He called a time out, presumably so the players could join him in collecting themselves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Breaking Again

 I have some things to tend to.  Posts will come infrequently if at all for a bit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Well Said

"I will not trouble myself to acknowledge the air."

From the comments section of Ta-Neishi Coates' blog post, "One Last Thought On iPads and Xboxes."  More impressive than Coates' argument, was how he fit so much context into so few words.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars Interview

For a Fader-maniac whose early bylines came from niche outlets like Nu-Soul Magazine and Underground Soul, things don't get much better than writing for National Geographic.  I read the Fader music blog religiously, but don't have enough time to lurk the hipster underground for the next best thing in alternative what's-its-face.  Nat Geo Music is a worldy, timely, diverse, and classic alternative that I assume will mean something to me from now until my golden years.  This time around I had a short chat with Reuben Koroma of the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.  As always, I learned a little something about music and the world at large.  Check out the interview at NatGeo World Music.

AOM Is Top Notch

"It is a transitional time for the culture of manhood. The idea of proving one’s manhood has certainly not disappeared and is very much still with us. But at the same time, there are few outlets for men to be tested. There is no tribe of men to judge one worthy, no rites-of-passage, no proving grounds to make one’s stand. And thus we see a source of modern male anxiety: the ancient desire to prove one’s manhood meets with a world where opportunities to do so are practically non-existent."

Evolution in context. At Art of Manliness.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hard Graft 3 Fold Bag

Making the transient life a little easier.  At NotCot.

Friday, May 7, 2010

McPhee on Nonfiction


"I decided that I would work in the big world by day and learn how it worked, then write about it at night."

"Structure is not a template. It's not cookie cutter. It's something that arises organically from the material once you have it."

"All these labels - I've been called an agricultural writer, an outdoor writer, an environmental writer, a sportswriter, a science writer. And so you just grin. I'm a writer who writes about real people in real places. End of story."

"But some people think I should be writing with my cudgel. They think that I don't have the temerity to express these opinions. That's just the exact reverse of what's going on. I'm trying to lay things out for the reader. Not to take the reader and rub his nose in it, and say, This is how you should think. I want the reader to do his own thinking. And why do I do that? Because I think it's a higher form of writing."

John McPhee on nonfiction writing - Paris Review, Issue 192

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Summer Evening In Stamford

488 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06901

Subtly Ridiculous Job Ad Of The Month

Occasionally, I come across job descriptions that make me go "huh?"  Pointing out double standards probably won't do much for my career.  But I couldn't help myself.

This particular job practically lists three different positions in one and requires a myriad of "expert level" soft and hard skills obtained in as little as three years.  It's a serious job for a seriously talented, disciplined, and motivated candidate.  Apparently, anyone hired should forget that the moment they enter the lobby.
Job Ad Excerpt: "Above all, no candidate should take life, the details of a job description, or him/herself too seriously."
Translation: "We plan to milk you for all you are worth, soul included. Although our job requirements hint at sky-high standards, you'd be a fool to try to hold us as accountable as we will you.  Forget that anyone who is serious enough to take on this kind of responsibility would comb through the job description to see if it meets what they are looking for.  Don't even expect to do the job you applied for. And stop taking your life and career so seriously.  You can be sure we never will. Slavery is progress. We are your father. "
Notice the "above all," as if succumbing in full were more important than the actual job or "life" itself. The ad neglected to mention candidates should not take the company seriously either.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cutting Through The Clutter

" The New Yorker is all about cutting through the noise and telling people about the few things they should know. Our Twitter philosophy is very much the same: You put a couple of things out there a day, and only when they’re really important."

"For a 55-year-old reader, the idea that someone might both be interested in reading a 15,000-word piece about a shooting in Zambia and also be an active user of Foursquare is kind of anathema. But there are a lot of 25-year-olds who don’t see a contradiction between those things."

- Blake Eskin on The New Yorker's digital brand

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is There Balance In Fair?

Slate's "Escape From The Echo Chamber" attempts to measure online reading habits according to political affiliation.  Some of the more interesting insights from the comments section:

Charles Sarau:
THis is a major problem with U.S. politics in general . There is no home for socially liberal and fiscally conservative voters. Nor is there a home for socilly conservative and fiscally liberal voters ( although I am not sure that they exist ?) . Sometimes in spite of it's very visible flaws I wonder if the European Parliamentary form of governemnt might not be more representative then the U.S. model. Certainly when it comes to the U.S. Senate , which is a travesty of misrepresentation , the European system is superior.