Saturday, September 15, 2018

Step One : Write That Shit Down

My friend recently shared an Erykah Badu quote which sums up the purpose of my first step:

Image result for erykah badu quote write

And I don't know all of the specifics of the clockwork of the universe, but it just produces results; fast, efficiently, precisely. I used to think as long as I said it out loud future Kit would make it happen, but now I realize there were always notebooks full of notes and plans and calendars on how to make it happen... and that was probably the magic part.

So I got this here planner (InnerGuide 2018 Goal & Life Planner):

And I write down everything, every day.

On the left: trying to figure out vitamins. On the right: keeping track of how badly I fail at meeting new people (I can hardly even find famous people in the world to be inspired by...) My misanthropy runs wayyyy too deep.

I keep track of anything I hear or read that inspires me:

General plans and goals (and you can see at the bottom this particular planner has lots of inspirational quotes and visualization techniques along the way):

And more specific plans and lists to keep track of progress (This is a list of films I want to see - except, NOT Frances Ha, because I just tried watching it last night and it was stupid.)

Visual boards to look at to remind of how I want something to look (like my bathroom, or a vacation or here, this is my style aesthetic - equal parts Joan Jett/ Bjork/ Dita Von Teese):

The most important aspect is honesty, and I have to admit (and confront) the failures until I can figure out the puzzle. This planner (of course) puts  a lot of emphasis on spirituality - and I just....lag at getting to that part. Every month. But I at least admit it and think about and it's in there in the Rube Goldberg machine of my brain being worked on.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Blog Direction: How I plan to change the world by changing myself

Image result for dreams and reality 

The original reasons I began this blog no longer exist. In 2010 I felt I had much time to bide, as I focused all of my energy (mental and otherwise) on the raising of two other human beings.

I am currently in what feels like the last leg of this twenty year commitment I made (the boys will both go off to college by 2021) and I am using this time to prepare myself to launch into the world in a bigger way than I have previously ever attempted.

If I had to guess what people who know me think about my life choices up to now, I imagine I come across as a weird combination of stubbornly unstable (due to my lack of any risk-aversion and abbreviated tolerance for geographical locations) and rock solid (as I've very rarely said I was going to do something and then flaked/ failed/ flunked out*). *Marriages aside.

Routinely I come up with a cockamamie scheme that includes an enjoyable journey to the ultimate goal, usually in response to solving a problem. Once I moved somewhere, on a whim, that I'd never lived, knew no one, with no job - it got easier each time, until it is just the way I move along in the world. 

So - I designed a journey to get me to the Peace Corps (a lifetime goal). It involves completing a BA, that I have never had time to finish, and generally using the next three years to become a more useful person for the world. I believe we all have a responsibility to others to live up to our full potential. If there is a meaning to life, I think that using all of your resources to their maximum capacity to help shape things positively for others is a crucial component.

But my plan will be hard, and to accomplish my goals I need to change many things (because the person starting out on this quest isn't actually equipped to complete the journey as I am).

Real change as an adult is very tricky.  You have to start by understanding what makes a person what they currently are, and why it is so hard to change.

I am not a religious or spiritual person (I am a little on "the show me the data" side of things when it comes to the pursuit of enlightenment), but I do make a lot of important decisions based solely on intuition. Intuition to me is not magic; it is very fast-firing synapses coming to conclusions based on past experience faster than my mind can consciously follow. It is me trusting "non-thinking Kit", in the same way I implicitly trust "future Kit" and "past Kit". "Future Kit" has my back. "Past Kit" had her reasons. "Fly-by-the-seat-of her-pants Kit" has access to data I haven't had time to analyze. She is rarely wrong. Note: "Romantic relationship Kit" is defective and not to be trusted. She is on a forced moratorium.

Step one: Inspiration

I heard a radio interview with Drew Houston (co-founder of DropBox) in which he talked about the philosophy that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
This theory resonated with me, and I thought it really answered so many questions I had in my life about how people I had known seemed unable to change, despite them voicing their intention to. Imagine: you are married, have 3 children and visit with your mom several times a week. Your 5 influencing personalities are locked in - seemingly forever. That probably makes change extremely difficult, as those people will change very little over time. It's why it's so much easier to completely change your life after divorce, moving and changing jobs.

Step two: Implementation

I have the 2 kids and they're locked in, and there is a co-worker I spent most days with, and she's a fine person - but I still have 2 empty slots open to fill with personalities to help me change.
I am not a social person, and I do push myself to do things outside the house (like go see old movies, attend informational meetings on the Peace Corps or a local "Paint nite") but none were resulting in bringing an inspiring person into my life to a level that it would change me.

So I thought I might be able to find a public figure that inspired me; someone who blogged or vlogged enough each day that it would affect my decisions and actions.

I searched for inspirational and influential people and researched each to see if they inspired me. The first candidate I settled on was Tim Ferriss (an author of some self-improvement type books and a tech angel investor). I'm not recommending him for you- I just happened to relate to how he compiles data (mostly from interviewing very successful people), analyzes it, trouble shoots some real world routines based on that info and then recommends daily routines to emulate the results. I was inspired to very quickly change my diet and some bad habits based only on his ideas, so I think my experiment is definitely working do far.

I don't find his life particularly inspiring. I really prefer to find a humanitarian type with bigger ideals and less focus on financial success as a measure of life's success; but I do concede that it may be easier to be in a position of influential power in conjunction with financial power, so I'm not going to dismiss the idea that rich people have much to teach.

Anyway, that's the beginning of this thing and I thought I'd write it all down here as I go along. 


Monday, April 2, 2018

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

That reminds me of something...

I can't stand it when one song sounds like another song. It drives me bananas, and I go around searching the interwebs to see if other people hear it and are also angry - just to see if I'm crazy or not.

It doesn't matter if both songs are good - it just makes me unable to enjoy either until I know exactly what's going on. Because, despite what Nickelback would have you believe (when two of their hits were mashed to expose they were pretty much the same song,  the band suggested there may be a formula to hit songs and it was a coincidence) there's no such thing as coincidentally writing a song that already exists all on your own by mistake. You sir, ripped someone off. Even if it was yourself.

So, after years of being perturbed that Amerie's 1 Thing (2005), JLO's Get Right (2005) and Beyonce's Crazy in Love (2003) all sound the same I decided to investigate.

And I'm not crazy! Because guess what? All written (or co-written) by the same dude, Rich Harrison, who is also really only best known for these three songs, all of which were hits (written within 2 years of each other), and really - no other hits. Ever.

He wrote Crazy in Love first and says "I had it in the chamber, I had not really shopped it much, because sometimes you do not want to come out of the bag before it's right. People do not really get it and you will leave them with a foul taste in their mouth." Beyonce approached him about using it and together (With JayZ) they put the finishing touches on it in. It was released in May 2003.

In May 2004 Harrison started writing "1 Thing" using the sample from The Meters Oh, Calcutta!. Amerie helped finish it and recorded it but the label "didn't get it" and wouldn't release it. JLO was interested in using the song on her album - when Amerie and Harrison leaked it. When the studio couldn't squash it (and radio began playing it) it was released on Amerie's album

Harrison actually wrote "Get Right" first as "Ride" for Usher, but it didn't make it onto Usher's album. So Harrison reworked (c-o-u- jacked it -gh) it for JLO to sound even more like "1 Thing" and JLO released it.

Usher was not happy.

Rich Harrison found a formula with Crazy in Love in 2003, and then shamelessly duplicated it for JLO and Amerie (and Usher) at the same time.

All three songs are influenced by Go-Go (a regional style of funk originating in DC - where Harrison is from).

All three songs take samples from 70's albums (Chi-Lites (0:13) for CIL - 1970Maceo and the Macks (0:57) for Get Right - 1973/ The Meters (1:46) for 1 Thing - 1969).

Later, to make them all really mix and match, Fabolous is featured on versions of both JLO and Amerie's songs.

So, although Harrison is really only ripping off himself, it's still creating perturbing ripples across the universe which annoy me.

1 Crazy Thing Mash Up. 
1 Thing to Get Right Mash Up. 
Crazy in Love Get it Right Mash Up.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Monotone Master Bedroom Makeover on a Budget

 First; here is the Pinterest Board of all of my inspiration.

The objective was to create a room that feels like a vintage photograph. I'm not done, as I have  the master bath to finish, and I still need to figure out the paint (I want it to look like vintage concrete/ plaster).

I dry brushed matte grey paint over a black mirror frame, highlighted the details with chrome spray paint and distressed it using chrome spray paint (and over spraying vinegar). Tutorial Here.

I dry brushed a lighter grey over a black chair, and reupholstered the seat with a thrift store blouse.

I replaced the hideous 1970's recessed lights with pendants. First painting molded plastic medallions with dark grey, then dry brushing lighter grey over that. 

We built the small shelves from a salvaged teak patio table and new brackets (I white washed them for a soft look).

We picked up a free, composite sofa table circa 1983 (it used to be a creepy 1980's fleshy shrimpy color and had a missing glass top). We fitted the top with reclaimed planks of varying types of wood (creating a multi-color look). I stained the boards with a grey stain, and did about 5 coats of varying grey paints on the base to get to this look. You can't even tell it's not carved wood any more.

I dry brushed matte grey over an antique dresser that was black, and spray the drawer fronts chrome.

I used a super long charcoal burlap curtain set to create one medium length set and one cafe length set (9 bucks at Next Tuesday - or whatever that place is called - I always want to say Ruby Tuesday or 'Til Tuesday...). The thermal blanket covering the old recliner was also from there. The owl pillow was $3 from Goodwill.

I dry brushed a $3 Goodwill frame from Goodwill and filled it with romantic, vintage photos (from Pinterest).