I bought a yoga ball the other day, to replace my chair with. I had heard they are good for posture, core strength, and kind of fun. So I got it, and I noticed on the box it was labeled “Burst Resistant” and I simultaneously thought “Awesome” and “Fooey”. Because I have the ability to think many things at the same time, which does get a little confusing.???
So when I got home and inflated it with the handy dandy little air pump that came in the box, I was overcome with the smell of the thing. I mean, it didn’t smell bad or anything, but just weird mix of rubber, mothballs, and something else. I suspect the makers package it with the gym smell pre-imbedded, so people who buy them for installation in a workout area aren’t wierded out by something that doesn’t smell terrible. In short, it’s a blast to sit on when doing anything, and I recommend it to anyone who sits at a desk for an extended period of time. I never knew that sitting down could be so exhausting. You can bounce on it, roll around, topple off it hilariously and giggle in a heap afterward. I’m not saying I did that, but I can vouch that it’s possible.
Then, while rummaging around my closet the other day, I spied the box the ball came in. The “Burst Resistant” labeling stood out at me again, and as I stared at the box, for about 10 minutes (I can neither confirm nor deny mind altering substances were in use) I took it as a challenge. “Alright, Bally Total Fitness 75 centimeter exercise ball,” I muttered, “we’ll see about this.” I threw a book at it, which bounced back onto my foot, which hurt. It was a big book.
One of my tools to destroy the ball
And from there I began to whale on the damn thing. When before I would absently bounce up and down when watching TV or writing or surfing the Internets, now I began to bounce as high as I could. I began to use it as a large soccer ball. Incidentally, it’s amazing how far the ball bounces, and how much destruction it can cause. In a short time I had broken a light, a small terra cotta warrior, three glasses, and nearly knocked my TV off the box it sits on like eight times. I’ve thrown it out the window a couple times, but all that happened there was I hit a bird on the bounce, which was kind of impressive. I’ve contemplated poking it with stuff, but that feels like cheating, right? I feel like only concussive force can be used in this “science” quest. But the damn thing continues to not break. I am impressed with these Bally’s people. I must call their scientists, because this strangely scented polymer they’ve made the ball out of is seemingly invincible. Maybe a fat guy could help me.
I’ve tried rolling over sharp stuff, because that’s just incidental action when it comes to rolling around, but the thing is amazing in its resiliency. I even used it as a weapon against my little brother, but again its bounciness struck back at me, hitting me in the belly. Perhaps if I knew karate, I could chop it in half. But alas, I don’t have the time to spend years in the Orient learning from the Shaolin masters. I have a yoga ball to pop. I hit it with a hammer a couple times, but nothing. Really, I am at the end of my rope. I’ve been throwing playing cards at it the last couple hours in hopes paper cuts will wear away at it, but so far nothing. Maybe if we lived somewhere near trains, I could put it on a train track. But I have a sneaking suspicion it would just make the train derail, and I’d be back to square one. Maybe even square zero, because I’d have to deal with a derailed train.
If you have suggestions for me, email them to email@example.com. Together we can find success, and kick this stupid, core solidifying, good time creating, son of a bitch back to where it came from, or at least assert our dominance as human beings over it. I’ll not be stopped by this inanimate object. I’m better than that. Maybe I’ll try running it over with my car.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, part of the problem
A couple months back I watched A Law Abiding Citizen, with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. Butler plays a character whose wife and daughter are raped and murdered by a couple of criminals during a home invasion, then he exacts a disturbingly brutal revenge on them after they were sentenced to only a couple years of prison. He also focuses his vengeance on the system that let them get out early, meaning the judge, arresting officers, prosecutors, etc., killing them in cinematically spectacular fashion apparently you learn he was an assassin for the Defense Department who used complex techniques to kill Taliban, Al Qaeda, whatever the enemy du jour was for the US government. Foxx is the prosecutor from the case that got a plea bargain so as not to fuck up his conviction record in court, so he could be more electable as district attorney, or mayor or something. In all, a fantastic movie, but something bothered me about it, or at least triggered neurons in my brain to start firing. I didn’t really have a grasp on it till recently, which made that movie much more eye-opening when seen like that. Without getting too wordy right off the bat, the character Butler plays in that movie is an embodiment of popular disgust with the system as its set up now, sort of the Tea Party prior to its astroturfing by the right wing, with Foxx as the Obama character, the one trying to make it right and get Butler to stop what he’s doing. It’s a movie not unlike Network, somebody snapped and said “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
Art is a liberating process. Apart from influence of the exterior world, you connect with the task at hand, engage and everything else fades to black. Artist and pen, the mic and the spotlight, paintbrush and canvas, teacher and class, athlete and opponent, actor and character, board and wave, body and mind. Passion drives all of this. When we’re driven, we realize everything connects. Thoughts are lost without action so find yourself empowered through progress. Prepare yourself, our reactions are a clear indication of where we’re at mentally.
As a writer there always comes a time when you feel there’s nothing to write about; you’ve run out of topics. You don’t know where to begin and that’s really where the problem began all along. If you find yourself searching for a topic then you’re not reflecting what you’re actually thinking about. Shouldn’t have to look for what’s on your mind because it already is. Truly great writings and real expression come on their own terms, at their own time. They show up when you least expect them. You’ll find harmony in your art once you avoid letting your mind get in the way of what your heart really has to say.
When I find myself at this place its often not that I don’t know what to write about, but what I’m capable of writing won’t properly explain what really needs to be said. Sometimes I’m just not ready to write about certain things. The key here is to not let excuses perpetually serve as a solution.
“Excuses are a list of self imposed obstacles that prevent you from having a better life.” – Tony Horton
This is one of the great beauties of life, art, poetry and music. Sometimes we need to speak about things indirectly, allowing conclusions to be determined by the observer. Through messages, color, delivery, metaphor, tone of voice, vibe, body language and emotion we can portray what we feel aside from words or picture; the harmony of it all does the talking for you.
I’ve always enjoyed writing as it allows time for preparation. I can work ideas out in my head then present them once I’m ready. What I’ve learned is when applying your art to the present, live in-person and on the spot is when real talent has the opportunity to shine. You could write hundreds of rough drafts, plan hundreds of routines, rewrite songs or speeches, rebuild things and “correct” your work countless times over; but being thrust into the moment shows us three very important things. One; we’re more prepared and talented than we lead ourselves to believe. Two; even if you were to make a mistake, its not a big deal so long as you refuse to give up when you stumble. Three; pressure can trap you, don’t doubt yourself. Remember, you’re doing what comes naturally.
I tend to perk up whenever I hear any mention of life lessons, the big picture or more specifically a perspective on success and its attainment. Especially from someone who appears to have it. This isn’t the guy with the biggest house on the block, but rather somebody who is happy, enjoys life and shares good stories of their times. Someone who surrounds themselves in laughter and positivity, friendship, kindness, family and sunshine of their own. Nobody can tell you how to be rich if you determine what your valuables are.
What is the key to life? Passion for everything you do. You don’t need money to be a millionaire.