Monday, May 14, 2007

The Five Best Ways To Immediately Improve Your Life EVER!

This blog is nothing if not an indulgent waste of time, and I feel guilty about that. I think I feel guilty about that, but I'm not all the way sure. My rural sensibilities of modesty tingle a little at the wastefulness of time and resources devoted to the blogosphere. When I hit publish, I feel a thousand eyes staring at me from the unfortunate souls of Earth who are more worried about finding their next bowl of rice as opposed to the next friendly person to kiss their cyber-ass and give them eProps or something else equally vacuous.

I forget where I was going with this. Ah yes, making the world a better place. We will hand down, all Prometheus-like, some easy methods of making your life instantly better. Listed in the normal fashion and reached by the normal methods (fallacious fabrication and thoughtless speculature), are this week's Five:

The Five Best Ways To Improve Your Life Ever!

1. Listen

Specifically to Mike Watt's In the Engine Room (1a. Don't worry if you're citing sources correctly). This bass line makes me happy. I like major/minor key ambiguity almost as much as music nerd obscure references. Vapor lock, clock stop, time hangs limp. Yes, Mike Watt's healthy bass causes time to stop. What finals? What paper due in two hours? I don't care. A voice from the tube says the boat's gotta move/Can we dot it?/We can do it. When you're the left hand man of the boilerman, who gives a shit about anything, really? You know she's running true.

The removal of stress has to be an improvement. I feel like bobbing my head along with the steady 4/4 beat of this beautifully chaotic song. In the Engine Room! Hey-O!

What whimsy! What happiness! My life is not so bad now. And the song ends in the sounds of surf and shore birds. Thank you Mike, my life is better. Hopefully all twelve of our readers' lives will be better too.

-You know I'm not going to disagree with you when it comes to music. I only have limited experience with Mike Watts, and you've already got me ready to download more. The only thing I can add to Casey's advice of "Listen," is that it will also be worth your time to check out some early Ben Harper. I suggest Live From Mars, Disc 2. It is all acoustic, and if it doesn't help you relax and drift off to a better place you should seek help from a higher power. Or a bottle.

2) Read

In case you haven't noticed, Casey and I like the written word. I can't stress enough how important reading has been (and is) to me. The biggest reason why I am a reader is that books allow me to experience characters and situations that I will never meet in my every day life. At the same time books show me people/places that remind me of my family and fondest memories.

If you are looking for some specific books that might grab a hold of you and not let go, let me recommend:

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera

-Dude, you like to read, too? Awesome!

I would agree with this one whole-heartedly. In fact, I would expand it in two ways: 1. Read something you've read a hundred times already, or 2. Read something you'd never even try.

I started reading Uncertainty by David Lindley. While science fascinates me, I rarely delve into the more complicated aspects of physics without having a paper due. This one is kind of hard to explain. Imagine a twentieth century physicist soap opera. My life is better.

For the next one, I'll get even simpler:

3. Dip

Pretty simple, really. On a hot day, find a couple extra minutes along the pedal commute. Remove your helmet. Dip it into the flowing water. Replace helmet. That's pretty much it. My life is now better.

-Dude, I thought you were talking about tobacco here for a moment. I was prepared to strongly disagree. Little did I know you were referring to what I believe some people call "outdoor activities." I've heard of these. They sound interesting. I'm not sure how to get into them and keep my job right now, but I am pretty sure I'll try one sometime in the '08.

4. Drink

Yeah, that's right. Another "GSR is talking about drinking" moment. But in this case I'm not advocating going out and getting drunk (note: I do advocate going out and getting drunk). Instead I am referring to finding a nice cold drink that suits you for the summer. I've recently had iced-cold Lemonade mixed with Gin recommend to me (Awesome). Others have suggested a glass of gin garnished with watermelon or cucumber (Interesting). My personal preference will always be a bottle/can of beer that is so cold that I can barely hold it, but not cold enough that it has started to freeze. Honestly, at the end of a long day in the summer, walking home from the D.C. metro, there are few things better (my wife being one of them) that I would rather have greet me at the door. And sometimes that one cold drink is all you need (note: By "you" I actually mean you, since I need more than just that one drink).

-Sorry about the outdoor activity reference, I forgot who I was working with. Of course, you just talked about public transportation and I only vaguely recall what that entails. Smelly people and diesel fumes, I believe. Either way, gin reminds me of smelly people. And puking. I would recommend something more along the lines of good vodka, i.e. Stoli, mixed with lemonade. Also, grind some mint into the bottom of a glass, mix a standard vodka martini, pour onto mint. Add a splash of Cointreau. I usually throw some ice cubes in it. Seeing as how you're drinking a bitch drink, remember to hold pinky aloft.

Should you want to drink like a man, there is the glug down a good summer brew method. Around here, we have no less than six breweries, so I am a pretty lucky guy. Throw down a Palisade Red Truck if you're in Colorado, or if you're not, try and find a Springboard Ale by New Belgium (Fat Tire). It's good stuff. Beer makes me happy. So do bitch drinks. So does PBR. Or, well...anything.

So, there you go, the secret to happiness is to not be picky about alcohol. You would never have guessed without our little corner of the Internet. For five, same as always, you recommend something, we ignore you. I would nominate Hiking, Camping, or Fornicating (with protection). Possibly all three at the same time.

Either way, comment on how much you agree with us.


heather said...

please tell me that lemonade was fresh squeezed and that you used a really good gin. *sigh* if only all this rain would stop and summer would get started already. i could so go for a gin and lemonade. acctualy i think i want lime and gin. either or sounds good.

Lord Chimmy said...

Let go.

You want your life to be better then simply remember to let go. That's it. You hold onto things and they just end up holding you back.

Oh, but don't become a Buddhist.

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I, too, am a midwestern-bred person and understand the guilt. So, let me assure you that I know from where my next bowl of rice comes. I hope this helps.

That said, you guys have pooped out another excellent list. Sweet liquor does, indeed, ease the pain. I learned how to appreciate really good whisky during a few extended stays in Scotland, so yay for that. As for bitch drinks, I'm partial to the espresso martini, which forces your body into a "Stimulant! Depressant! AAAAAAAHHHHHH! WHAT'S HAPPENING?!?" sort of situation. It's also magically delicious.

#5 would have to be water-based, i.e. fly-fishing or tubing. While tubing enables you to float next to a cooler full of the aforementioned alcohol, fly-fishing is just plain awesome and relaxing. Trout is also magically delicious.

Megarita said...

I'd have to include something along the lines of "laugh your ass off, frequently." It's a little bit Kundera--recognize the ridiculousness/absurdity, embrace it, and release.

And only use the good vodka if you're not mixing it with sweet, girly things. Give those folks the shitka.

Casey said...

Heather: Lime and gin sounds much better than lemonade and gin. Something about sugar and gin makes my stomach crawl.

Chimmy: I was a Buddhist once. Not the crystal and incense BS Western version, but the full on Theravada method. It was great, it's like being an Atheist who deosn't evangelize.

Sir: Expresso martinis are fun. Nothing really compares to being cracked out and drunk. Hydration is the key. As far as fishing, I love spending a good day up in the alpine pulling in trout. They make me happy.

Megarita: If anyone's hitting the bitch drinks around here it's gonna be me and it better be the good stuff in there. I don't want to smell like window cleaner the next day.

Claven said...

Live From Mars is now considered "early?" Gawd I'm getting old in a hurry.

5. Get the hell out of dodge

fringes said...

Fun and light-hearted post. I see you two are complying with the conditions of the lawsuit. I may consider dropping the others since you're being so cooperative.

mysterygirl! said...

I agree with all of these things. The whole laughter thing is good advice, and running (or some kind of intense physical exertion) works for me.

Chimmy's "let go" might be the secret to happiness. Too bad I'll never know. :)

Momentary Academic said...

Casey, I saw Mike Watts when that album came out. It is amazing. You have officially, officially received the super seal of approval.

I think that playing guitar makes everything better. Trust me. ;)

Grad School Reject said...

Claven - I should have been clear that Live From Mars is fairly recent (6 years ago...7?), but the songs that great songs on disc two mostly come from Welcome to The Cruel World. Both are awesome - which is more than I can offer for his more recent quasi-gospel turn.

Fringes - Anything you say. I swear. You know I can't say "no" to you.

MG! - You are inviting raised eyebrows with an ambiguous statement like "some kind of intense physical exertion." Well done.

MA - You are inviting raised eyebrows when you say playing guitar makes EVERYTHING better. I'm impressed.

Casey said...

Thanks for the seal. I would say my top-awesome dream jam of all time would be Mike Watt on bass and Ginger Baker on drums.

Guitar helps unless you have a broken pinky, then having a guitar around is like being horny in a topless bar. You know the potential is there, but you just can't touch. At least not without a lot of pain.

Claven said...

Casey, I turned away from a bachelorette party group last Saturday night for the same reason. I went as far as to tell them I have a personal and long-standing rule against bachelorette parties and buying drinks for strippers.

Airam said...

I've recently discovered a way to recently improve my life.

A trampoline.

I swear to you it's addictive.

Airam said...

Scratch that second "recently".

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