Mass amounts of turkey, stuffing, pies, cakes, collard greens, ham (honey baked if you’re smart), mac and cheese, and just about everything between isles 1-10 at the grocery store. There are a lot of things to think abaout on Thanksgiving, but hopefully, you take this time to reflect on your life. Call an old friend, text message a loved one, and most importantly, EAT!
Sorry corporate America, but the beard is back, and in case you haven’t noticed, it is officially ok to rock it between the hours of 9 and 5. After working for one of the most conservative corporations in the world, I’ve thought more than twice about sporting my beard around the office. Is it cool, is it not? Too long, or shave the beard and just keep the mustache, Ron Jeremy style? Who knows, but I’ve gone all in. And with the frost on my windshield every morning confirming that winter is actually here, I feel justified in keeping my beard around.
But don’t be confused out there, all beards aren’t created equal. Here’s a few AOI endorses, and others…not so much.
I’m pretty damn cheap. So much so that even after graduating and finding a job, I’ve resorted to living in my Mom’s basement to save a little extra dough. Cup of cereal for breakfast, $3 frozen Marie Callender for lunch, and hopefully Mom has a meal done when I get home. Ok, so I’m cheap and a little spoiled, but you get my point.
So to cut some corners, I’ve been holding off on buying a phone for quite some time now. My Blackberry was treating me ok but after getting lost for the 100th time because my Sprint Navigation wouldn’t refresh in time, I decided it was time for an upgrade. The only problem; leaving my BBM behind. See, after making the transition to BBM, I soon began to hate regular text messaging. It’s sort of one of those things you don’t realize could be so much better until something new comes along. (Sort of like iPods. Funny to think there was a day when we used to walk around with actual CD’s hoping our Sony Discman didn’t skip. Thank you Steve Jobs, thank you.)
But soon enough, the pain of my BB became too unbearable so I turned to the Evo. And what do you know, a Blackberry Messenger – like app that would hopefully suppress my BBM cravings. The key word being hopefully….
Just about everything that makes Kik attractive, also makes it annoying…
Almost as good as BBM, but not quite…
From an avid Blackberry supporter, Kik is a slight upgrade to text messaging, but too far from BBM with too many disadvantages to make me stay too much longer. I’ve been contemplating deleting my Kik profile since I’ve downloaded the app.
Look, in no way shape or form are we looking to turn this blog an avenue for suggesting stock picks, or telling you how to spend your money. But, one thing we can say that we believe in is living smart. And for our generation, that includes taking advantage of the opportunities that we have in front of us right now.
Many of us are fresh out of school with new jobs, no job at all, or still in school and very little responsibilites relative to the full grown adult. (Think house, spouse, and kids kind of lifestyle) There really won’t be another time in your life where our expenses will be as small as they are now. With a few small sacrificies here and there, some budgeting tools to start you off in the right direction, and taking advantage of your jobs retirement plans. I know, I know, did I really just say retirement plan? But really, now is this time. Now say it with me… retire-ment-plan… Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to it.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some small, simple things to get you at least thinking in the right direction.
If you’re looking for a quick way to get a better hold or your money, check out mint.com. Mint will download and categorize your balances and transactions automatically every day enabling you to make graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth. In addition to that, you’ll be able to use the tools to set goals and budget for them accordingly. To make it even easier, there’s also an app to make tracking your spending easier.
If this is too fancy for you, just try writing down how much money you spend where. Try it out for a week and you’ll be amazed at how much you blow on food and random stuff you could probably do without.
And because no post would be complete without a video… lol
“To choose art means to turn one’s back on the world, or at least on certain of its distractions.” –Melvin Maddocks
The ideal first hour of consciousness for me is the following: Bed. Bathroom. Kitchen for water. Black desk. Write.
Leave no time for distractions like checking email, lest I get lost and am unable to return to focus. Inevitably, I will give into laziness and the ever-present anxiety over what I’ll write about that morning and begin clicking away on the Web or lighting into something on the day’s to-do list.
My rationalizing begins: “Oh, I wanted to write but I started reading this very interesting article,” or “Well, at least I cleared out my inbox a bit. Can’t write with clutter on the brain!” The other distraction is more concrete. Knocking out something simple on my to-do list—say, folding clothes—is an act I can absolutely get done, as opposed to he hour I could spend at the black desk that may be fruitful or not. (Side note: Those hours are always fruitful, though I don’t always appreciate or recognize that.)
Detouring from my routine not only distracts me from my writing goals, but I miss out on other elements of usually amazing mornings Those two glasses of water, nourishing the mind with thinking and that vital nourishment. Easing into my day, having time to think while walking quietly from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen to desk, no other sound buy my forearm sliding across the notebook as I fill one, two pages, line upon line. Fruitful.
If the product isn’t something profound, it’s the seed of something that will be so. In good times, the session is like a work out. I drop the pen with gushing adrenaline, grateful to have in front of me the marble that will become my exacting sculpture.
That said, I did begin this day with a detour, the kind in which I warn myself not to engage. I checked email and bank transactions, but never did I sit down in front of the computer—far, far on the left side of the desk. I’d already poured my glass of water and slid the red Moleskin to the center of the desk, along with my writing prompts (yes, I do need them sometimes). Priority and commitment showing up when inspiration doesn’t. Now I can cross “writing session” off my to-do list.
How do you stay focused on daily habits to reach your goal despite life’s distractions?
Is it possible that this 2010 mid term election is even more important than the 2008 presidential election that put the first black president in office? I haven’t a clue, BUT thank God for the internet. During my frantic google search to remind myself (or more like figure out) why midterm elections matter, I came across a few non-biased resources to help sift through the political jargon that floods every major network.
Below is an AOI-FAQ Guide with links to the sources who did the actual research. All in an attempt to answer your not so burning questions surrounding the election.
Q- Why are the midterms so important?
A- In order for President Obama’s policies to be effective, we need local politicians in office who have a similar vision.
Q- Wait, what positions are we voting for again?
A- All 435 seats of the US House of Representatives and 33 0r 34 of the 100 seats in the US Senate are up for change during this election.
Q- I think I filled out a voter registration card some time or another, but how do I know if I’m actually registered to vote.
A- Canivote.org let’s you do a name search for your respective state to see if you’re registered. The polls are open so vote early to skip the lines!
Q- What are the issues impacting this midterm election?
A- The health of the economy, unemployment, and health care reform to name a few. About.com does a great job of summarizing the major issues.
The moral of the story here is simple. VOTE. Republican or Democrat, let your voice be heard.