My Distracktions: "Snow Is Gone" by Josh Ritter

So, yes I have written about Mr. Ritter before, but he is coming to the 9:30 club on December 1st and I feel the need to get as many of you to go as possible. Tickets are $20 plus the misc. fees. And, the show is very well worth it. So, if you like the music and live in the area, come on out for a Tuesday night of fun.

My Dysfunctions: Writing Papers

I am having one of those days where writing for class is not taking shape. I have a report due in the morning on a lecture that I attended this past Thursday and my mid-term for another class due by midnight tomorrow. I don't know what is wrong with me and why I can not focus, but somehow in the next 3 or 4 hours I have got to make that happen. I am giving blogging a go of it in hopes that if I start typing something, the mind will start flowing better and I can get down to business. For now, I am lost and distracted.

My Distracktions: "Yr Mangled Heart" by The Gossip

I find a lot of band's through NPR's All Songs Considered, my favorite of my podcast subscriptions. The Gossip has easily become my latest music obsession. This band from Olympia, Washington, kicked off its first U.S. tour in three years at the 9:30 Club here in Washington, D.C. this past Thursday. I, unfortunately failed to catch the show, but thankfully NPR recorded it. (The link is posted after the youtube clip.).

The Gossip's Beth Ditto owns the stage when she performs, pulling you through her emotional peaks and flows. I have been trying to come up with an appropriate description for the music, but instead have decided to just let the clip speak for itself. I am curious about what you think about them, so please comment away. As always, I hope you enjoy:

And as promised: 9:30 Club NPR Concert

"Details in the Fabric" by Jason Mraz

Of course, most of you (unless you live in a cave & somehow get my blog) know of Mr. A-Z. This great song is from his most current album: We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The man is a lyrical genius and his wordplay has been ever increasing with each album. This song features 2 answering machine messages, that I feel factor well into the song itself. Take a listen.

I hope you enjoy.


Details In The Fabric - Jason Mraz Feat. James Morrison

I'll Come Running (To Tie Your Shoes) by Brian Eno

What a ridiculously cute title for a love song. I don't have a super-long (yes, I know, I have an issue) post for this one. I discovered this song through NPR & Bob Boilen. If you haven't listened to All Songs Consided, for what are you waiting?

I hope you enjoy.

Anyone who knows me knows a few central facts:

I believe that happiness is a choice we make.
I believe that love is something to give freely.
I believe that trust is huge.
And I believe that a good cup of coffee can cure many of life's issues.

But, in this segment I am hoping to tackle one of those points and maybe touch on the others.

Happiness: A Matter of Choice

One of my least favorite phrases that I hear people say is: "[This] makes me unhappy," closely followed by "[This] makes me happy." I think of these people as the same people who believe that luck plays a central role in their life. I don't know about you but, I don't flip a coin or role a die EVERY time that I need to make a decision. Nor do I wait for things to unfold to start my actions (granted this some times get me in to unanticipated trouble, but that is another post entirely).

If something truly made you happy, wouldn't you always be happy? You would find the stimulus that caused your involuntary happiness and harness it. No need for puppies, flowers, a song, a smile, a hug, a kiss, a laugh, or affection. All you would need is bottled "Happy" & I don't mean: Happy. The Clinique people would love if that was the case & honestly, I think that may be easier.

Happiness is so hard for some because it is a choice. Well, partly. Research has shown that happiness is 50% genetic, About 10% to 15% is a result of various measurable variables, such as socioeconomic status, marital status, health, income, and others. The remaining 40% results from actions that individuals deliberately engage in for the purpose of becoming happier. However, these actions may vary between persons ( So, some people are predisposed to being less happy than others. But, at that same time, they also have a choice in increasing their happiness based on the control they have from actions in which they "deliberately engage."

Leo Tolstoy said: "If you want to be happy. Be." This has been a main component of my life and my life choices for the last decade or so. I stumbled across this quote on a day back then that I just needed to see that and as I am prone to do, I thought about it. I said, "Lonnie (because that is what I call myself), why are you unhappy?" And I put together a list of things that were "making" me unhappy and realized that all them came down to choice. Examples:

Your boyfriend cheats on you. Do you choose to be unhappy & stay with said boyfriend? Or do you choose to cut your loses, realize that this person is toxic to your life and move on to better happiness?

You are greatly in debt. Do you choose to be unhappy, cry about the unfairness of Capitalism & hope that something will miraculously change to make this situation better. Or do you choose to change your spending habits, take on an additional job, and set goals to eliminate the debt and be more happy.

Notice that the subject of both examples are derived from choices that have already been made. You decided what person to date & you decided on what to spend your money and how much. You make tons of decisions everyday and to say that something that happened effects you in anyway without taking ownership of those feelings is not fair. Not fair to you and not fair to who or what you assign the blame.

Is being happy easy? No, it takes work. It takes recognition of how your react to situations. It takes courage to get rid of things that are causing you to react unhappily. It takes trust in your friends to not bring you situations that are not ones that you want. But, overall, it takes a decision making and analysis of your emotions.

Think about it sometime when you are unhappy. Think about what is at the root of your unhappiness. Is it something that you can: 1) Eliminate, 2) Get over, 3) Unnecessary or 4) None of the above. Yes, there are circumstances that are not pleasant that happen to us all that we cannot eliminate or get over and are quite necessary. These are the times that we must focus on the necessity and there you will find something to be happy about. If you are suffering for a purpose, typically that pursuit will be for something that ultimately yields something that is positive.

Okay, now I am starting to get distracted, damn coffee shops. :-p But, remember, your life is under your control and happiness is a choice.

Some Arguments Are Not Worth the Time.

An economical approach to arguments, has made me better at recognizing times when it is best to either end an existing argument or when not to argue at all. There are some people that are so head strong that they stop listening to what you are presenting and claim it as invalid. They turn the argument to a fight and the healthy medium that you may have been aiming for is thrown entirely out the window. Fighting is futile, winning accomplishes very little if anything. Compromising on an idea, yields the best results for all parties.

But regardless, when presented with a wall, pushing against it is futile. It is not going to budge by being pushed. You need a wrecking ball and that is not a constructive thing to use if the owner of the wall is not willing to have it torn down. So, the correct approach at that moment is to cut the line and move on.

There are some arguments that are just not worth the cost. And in fact having them sometimes creates more cost: friendships, relationships, etc. But, of course, if that is all it takes to deteriorate a relationship that you have created; how stable was that relationship at the start.

Okay, now I am rambling. The point: I will not be trapped into fighting when I sought to argue & I will not argue when I am certain that it will lead to a fight or an impasse.

Blogger Templates by Blog Forum