Throwback Thursdays: The Polaroid Camera

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JZJT

You’re at that event that you’ve been waiting all year for. Game 7 of a championship series. The concert of your favorite artist. Maybe you’re on the vacation of a lifetime traveling across Europe. How about a relatives’ newborn that you can’t get enough of? Or, that INCREDIBLE meal you MUST document and share with all of your acquaintances.

carne asada fries

You pull out your smartphone, snap all the pictures and videos you want. You then crop, filter, upload, tag, post, tweet, and comment for the whole world to revel in. Easy, right?

Hmm…I wonder where all of these pictures/videos on social media are actually stored?

Polaroid-camera

Now tell me how you’re going to do that with this gem of a throwback…and how long it would take to do…and how you’re going to carry the thousands of photos you’ve taken…?

Throwbacks often remind meof the good ol’ days. In this instance, I’m wholeheartedly thankful for 2013.

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Um…Bonjour!?

As you know, this summer has become quite the adventure for me (and those close to me who have experienced it with me). I’ve traveled to new places, done new things, tried new foods, and met new people, I have learned so much about myself, my family, my friends, and just how priceless our time is.

Recently I visited Montreal for the first time (actually, it was my first time outside of the country…except for Mexico, but does that actually count for a San Diego, CA native?).

Quite literally, the second we got to the Canadian border (by car), I realized just how much I haven’t experienced!

“…Um? Bonjour!?”

As the weekend played its course, I realized how large this earth is. Transplanted to a culture of politeness, etiquette, and the acceptance of just how different we are all, I just sat back and reflected on how society has crippled the idea of being different.

I remember taking a course back in college where we talked about society’s view on beauty, and how as a society, it is not who stands out the most, but who is closest to “normal”.

To most, “different” scares us. We’re comfortable and safe in our bubble, and have no desire to venture out from it. We stay in the same city all our life, we scour at others who wear attire that doesn’t fit with ours, and we judge people before caring to understand them.

When walking through the streets of Montreal full of festivals, life size chess games, and some of the best food in the world, you cannot help but take in its welcoming acceptance for all walks of life. People are not afraid to bring out their imperfections and differences. I’m sure people have different views and experiences when traveling, but for me, seeing this difference in culture was refreshing.

It’s a living collage of cultural differences.

Instead of forcing others to break down our proverbial walls, let’s start with the door open and invite them in to amaze us.

“We believe that differences should enrich us rather than divide us.”

Sweat Is My Comfort Food

As I’ve gone through my transformation (accidental pun) physically and mentally, I’ve made many lifestyle changes. Gym sessions after the work day is done, “Can I get fruit instead of toast?” requests, actually doing things this summer, saying yes more than no to new things, and living in the moment as much as I can has made these last few months some of the best I’ve had.

However, we all know that life is not all roses. Some days are literally unbearable. Nothing goes well, everybody annoys you, and when there’s no way it can get worse, a child rams their door into your car…

LOVELY!

So how do you cope with these times? What is your drink of choice? What is your comfort food to “get you through these times”.

For me, one of the craziest changes I’ve noticed is what has become my “comfort food”…

Good ol’ fashioned sweat! Recently, I had one of those days. To cope, I did not eat a pizza, I did not devour a chocolate cake a la mode, nor did I inhale carne asada fries. Instead, I made a swift trip to the gym, and sweat ALL of it off.

The gym has become my happy place, my sanctuary, my reflection pool, my happy hour, and my dessert.

So next time you’re having one of those days we love to hate, instead of wondering if the day can get any worse, count down the minutes/hours/days until you can make it better (how ever you do it).

Breathe…

Hotel California

As much of a shock it is to admit, Jack got away.

*Dramatic pause*

In hindsight, the absolutely crazy part is how content I was with it. There were so many people to see, places to go, meals to be had, and beaches to enjoy, that Jack simply became an afterthought.

Throughout my vacation back to the homeland, one thing I kept thinking to myself throughout was how quickly and how vastly things have changed. From my food preferences, to siblings who are now in college (I feel so old!), to dear friends that are now engaged/married, to the horrendously Wall-E-esqe and incredibly enjoyable Cinopolis theatres that are now taking San Diegans by storm, it has all changed so rapidly.

Wading in the Pacific, soaking up the Dana Point sun, with all forms of communication cut off, I was able to reflect. On family…on friendships…on my career…my successes and failures…and how my life and I have changed since leaving California.

Change is refreshing. Change helps me wake in the morning. Change challenges me to not accept complacency. Most importantly, change helps me appreciate the journey and where it all started.

I’m Coming For You, Jack!

The last several months I’ve dedicated towards getting fit both mentally and physically. Chicken, veggies, cardio, and smiles have been my best friend. Like any friend you spend all of your days with, you learn something new from them every day. From how they like to dress, to where they like to go, to which friends they can tolerate, you study their habits and adapt to their personality. With my new wolf-pack, I’ve learned these same things, and the best part is they all can happily mingle!

However, this weekend (which for me officially starts tonight, I’ll be 3,000 miles away from them and reunited with some of my best friends from my past, and BOY am I excited to see them (understatement)!

Carl, Jack, Neapolitan, and Roberto, I’m coming for you! Your double western stories and animal styles are ridiculous. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you guys, but you know I have not forgotten you. How could I!? So many late night adventures filled with taco stuffed chicken sandwiches and carne asada fries!

The only sad part is how quickly I’ll be in and out of this vacation. But as we all know, all good things must come to an end eventually. But the memories will last a lifetime!

#DoubleDouble

#2For$.99

#Number4

#MexicanHeaven

Carne Asada, the Celtics, and the Little Rascals

Raised in Southern California (San Diego, specifically), I grew up with the luxury of a few things. The weather was almost always perfect, the Mexican food was almost always greasy (and equally as good I might add), and awful sports teams. The Padres are simply pathetic, the Chargers constantly underachieve, and there is no hockey or basketball team to disappoint us.

Do we call that a silver lining?

Anyways, since moving from West Coast to New England, and seeing how polar opposite the sports cultures are, I have a newfound appreciation for teamwork in sports. The Bruins win (and lose) as a team, The Patriots, as much as I despise them, are a team, and the Boston Celtics, whom I also despise (full disclosure, I am a depressed Lakers fan), are showing the very definition of team work.

Speaking of despising, I CAN’T STAND LEBRON JAMES (and therefore the Miami Heat). I love to see them lose. I’m not sure if I get more enjoyment out of my Lakers winning, or simply watching the Heat lose. Watching the Celtics and Heat series has reminded me why “Teams” win and lose. Teams with all-stars( understatement), drama queens, divas, gutless excuse for coaching (and closing for that matter), and a fan base that can’t even STAND UP and cheer their team on in the single most important game of their season will not win.

As much as the thought of my next statement gives me a queasy feeling inside, I will have to admit it:

I may be becoming a Celtics fan. *Vomit* I know… but let me explain. To clarify, I may be becoming a 2012 Celtics fan. They are a team full of injured older players, glued together by a young All-Star, a brilliant coach, and an overarching theme of grit, experience, and trust. They are the very definition of an underdog. What they lack in skill, they overcome with experience and trust in eachother.

So for the remainder of this season, I will be rooting for the has-beens. In a sense, it is a bit inspiring when you think about it. People may say you’re too old, too young, too slow, too big, too small, but if you work together for a common goal, the underdog still has a chance!

*Insert “Little Rascals” VHS*

Multi-tasking: “Got Nothing on You”- or Me!

One of the first things we as individuals need to do is understand ourselves and how we operate. We eat, we sleep, we are good at problem solving, math, and public speaking, and we are awful at wearing our emotions on our sleeves and keeping our mouths shut at times. We play to our strengths, and hopefully build on our weaknesses to turn them into strengths. “We” understand.

(Side note, what do you wish you were better at?)

Over the course of the last few years, one of the competencies I felt I was strong in was the ability to multi-task. I could walk and talk, talk and drive, sing and run (and shower), talk and surf the web, all pretty easily without any sort of stress, exhaustion, or dwindled execution.

I’ve quickly come to realize that up until recently, I’ve been experiencing the pre-school BABY GAP version of the term.

Multi-tasking (thanks to Dictionary.com):

  1. computing  the execution of various diverse tasks simultaneously
  2. The carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person

Now, at any given point during the day, I could be typing, speaking, reading, listening, sending, running, updating, tweeting, liking, RSS’ing (because that’s a word), spicing, pushing, calling, posting, blogging, eating, and breathing all AT THE SAME TIME!

It feels incredible. I’m forcing my brain to work harder than it ever has. I’m laughing more, getting more accomplished, and helping more people, and so far the only thing keeping me from more multi-tasking are the amount of monitors I can physically plug in, the speed in which the “refresh” button moves, and sleep.

As we all know, there is a fine line between productivity and diluted execution. I have made a pact (with myself and my company) that as long as I can execute at an optimum level, I will continue to push myself, but I cannot look myself in the mirror and think “I could have done more to help that person”.

So until then, cheers to you, Multi-task!

Can you do more? Should you do more? What’s your crazy multi-tasking story?

*Multi-tasking…commence.*