Jun 26, 2012

Impossible Goals and Epic Searches

Impossible Goals

If you've ever read anything about goal setting, you've no doubt heard about SMART goals.

SMART stands for Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. Basically, if the research is to be believed, all of your goals should meet this criteria. For example, your goal shouldn't be "I want to loose weight" because it's not simple, there's no time frame for accomplishing it and how do you measure it? When do you know if you've accheieved this goal? How do you know when you're done? You don't. A better goal would be, "I want to loose 10 pounds by August 30." See how much better that is? You know when you're done and you can measure your progress along the way, which keeps you motivated. Studies have shown that you are much more likely to succeed.

Now, SMART goals have their place. In fact, 99% of your goals should be SMART goals. But there is also a place for impossible goals. I believe everyone should have at least one impossible goal. Something unattainable, but no less worth the pursuit of it.

My impossible goal is to Know Everything.

Knowing everything is, of course, impossible. But my quest for infinite knowledge will make me an overall better and more interesting person. So why shouldn't I strive for that?

It's not simple, there's no time line, I can't measure it and by it's very nature it's not attainable. That's no reason not to try.

Epic Searches

There's probably a better name for this, but I can't think of it, so I'm going with Epic Searches.

So I'll start with a story that's not really all that interesting, but best explains what I'm getting at here.

As I'm sure I've mentioned, I work in a call center. One day, we got an e-mail that that informed us right in the subject that there was a Fun new Contest!!! going on. This prompted me to explain to my cynically like minded co-workers one of the things in life that I completely love - Things That Have to Tell You They are Going to be Fun.

If something has to tell you it's going to be fun, chances are it's stupid. There is a 99% probability that you are going to roll your eyes at it. And do I ever love a good eye roll.

My favourite part of it, though, is that this fact goes completely over the head of marketers who slather the word fun all over the packaging of their new awful product or managers that assure their underlings that this contest/meeting/holiday party/team building retreat will, in fact, be fun.

Guys, you are not fooling anyone.

This all lead to a discussion on a related thing I love: Foods that, on the label, have to assure you they are in fact a food. Often, I'm sure, there is some kind of legal reason for this distinction, but still, it makes me laugh. Take for instance, Potted Meat Food Product. I first head about this product years ago on The Sneeze, when Steve Reviewed it (sort of?). The word Meat and the fact that it's likely located in the food isle should be enough to alert you to the fact that this is a food product and not some kind of horrifying joke. But there it is, right on the label, in case you weren't quite sure.

Now, I've never eaten Potted Meat Food Product, so I'm not making any judgements on it's tastiness or about the people that choose to eat it. I just don't think I want to put anything into my body that has to tell me explicitly that it is food. Unless society has collapsed and/or there are zombies. In the choice between eating a Food Product and starving to death...well, you know.

Now, on to the epic search. I am on a quest. Maybe not a quest. I don't know. Anyway. I am in search of the ultimate product label - One that both proclaims that it is Fun and a Food Product. It is my dream that some day I will find such a product, and it will be glorious. My life wont be complete or anything, but it will make me furiously happy. And isn't that what life's all about?

Let's attempt to tie this all together, shall we?

The thing about impossible goals and epic searches is that they ensure that your life always has meaning and direction.

...that's not really worded well. Life always has meaning and direction, but we can't always see it. Maybe you work in a job that you hate, and although you've been working hard to change this fact it hasn't been going great and now you're depressed and just want to hide in bed. Or maybe you have real problems that I can't even begin to comprehend. Even the mildest of depressions can make regular goals seem pointless and impossible. The very point of impossible goals is that, while impossible, they are still worth pursuing. And your epic search gives you hope that, possibly, just around the next corner is something so epic that you can't help but jump for joy.

And when life is good? Working toward impossible goals and searching for things that make this weird world of ours a more wonderful and perplexing place just make things even better. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Jun 25, 2012

Jun 22, 2012

How To Live to Be 100

Living is awesome, it's it? I've never tried the alternative, but I'd be willing to bet it's not more awesome than living.

...Ok, some of these tips aren't practical. Like, if you're not a man and you already married someone who isn't 17 years younger than you. But something we can all do? Floss our teeth. So get it.

Jun 21, 2012

My New Favorite Thing and A Way to be Awesome

I have recently been spending way too much time on youtube watching Vlogbrothers videos. I justify this by reminding myself that I'm not only being entertained, but I'm learning something at the same time.

So who are Vlogbrothers?

Hey look, more videos!

...I want an inflatable, helium filled fort now.

And now, for a way to be awesome.

Giving to charity not only helps people, it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Kiva is an interesting one. It's a Microfinance site wherein you give a small amount to a borrower who would otherwise not have access to a loan, and then they pay you (and the other people who gave them small amounts of money) back. Look, this video will explain it better.

I've known about Kiva for awhile, but never actually contributed because...well, I don't exactly have a reason. While there is some risk of not getting your money back, Kiva has a 98.97% repayment rate (to date). Those are pretty good odds. And although I don't have a lot of money, I can afford $25. But facts are facts, and I've never tried it.

HOWEVER, because of my new obsession with Vlogbrothers, I was able to try Kiva out for free. How excellent is that? What's even more excellent is that I can pass the awesome on: Sign up for Kiva using this link, and you too can give $25 to someone in need at no cost to you. Maybe this will inspire us to all give a little bit of our own money too.

Jun 19, 2012

President's Choice Loads of Smokin Habanero Tortilla Chips

I have this thing for trying strange flavours of chips. Not like, I only eat strange flavoured chips. I completely enjoy many regular flavoured chips (favourite chip flavor: Sour Cream and Bacon. What's yours?), but if I see a strange new kind on the shelf, I am drawn to it. Even if it sounds terrible.

Sometimes this works out well (see PC World of Flavours Sweet Chili Thai Flavour Rippled Potato Chips - that's an excellent chip. Then again, I've never met something Sweet Chili Thai flavoured that I didn't like), other times...less so (see Doritos all nighter Cheeseburger - I'm mostly opposed to these because they taste too much like a cheeseburger - seriously, it reminds me of Dairy Queen - but the texture is wrong and that's weird. It's the same reason I don't like buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys).

On a recent trip to the grocery store, some chips caught The Husband's eye - President's Choice Loads of Smokin' Habanero Tortilla Chips (which oddly I can't find on the President's Choice website, but you can but them here*). They sounded interesting and snackable, so we bought them.

Now, I like spicy food, but not overly spicy. I don't want to be uncomfortable and I want to actually taste the food, not just feel the heat. The Husband likes spicy more then I do, but I would say not in any kind of extreme way. I wasn't home when he tried them, but he told me he stopped after five chips and that they "might be a little much."

This made me a somewhat scared to try them.

In this review, I'm not going to talk about appearance and texture - they're chips. If you've ever eaten any kind of tortilla style chips (like Doritos), you know what they're like.

I was quite surprised when I ate my first chip. It really wasn't that spicy. In fact, I didn't feel any burn. They had a smoky, salty, slightly tangy taste. All around quite pleasant. I couldn't really understand what The Husband was talking about, too much.

...then I ate two more.

These chips have a slow burn. It sneaks up on you. After three chips, I could totally get why you would want to stop at five. It wasn't uncomfortably hot at three, but the heat builds pretty quickly. Which is good for portion control, I supposed. I couldn't imagine sitting down and mindlessly eating a whole 250 g bag of them, that's for sure.

Later on I tried eating one chip and waiting to see if the same slow burn effect happened, and surprisingly it didn't. It must have something to do with, like, residual flavour particles layering in your mouth. Or something. I don't know. I do know that if you don't like spicy foods, you probably would enjoy eating one of these chips, but likely not two.

Overall, Loads of Smokin Habanero Tortilla Chips were tasty, but I probably wouldn't buy them again. They were, indeed, a little too much.

*this is just some random website I found. I have no idea if they are trustworthy. Buy at your own risk.

Jun 17, 2012

I Don't Have One True Calling...And That's Ok

This photo really doesn't have anything to do
with this post. It's just awesome. Or Maybe it's
a metaphor...for something. I don't know.
Finding your calling in life is hard.

Only sometimes it isn't. I have a friend that I've known since practically forever who has, for as long as I remember, knew what she wanted to do with her life. And then she did it. It's inspiring and kind of annoying, because I still haven't figured out what I want to do with mine.

For most people it's not easy to find their calling, and for some - it's impossible.

Some people - and I would even argue a lot of people - just don't have that ONE THING that they want to be or do with their life.

From the time we're children we're asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" as if there is always an answer to that. It makes those of us who never really have a good answer to that feel bad, so do everyone a favour and stop asking. It is bad for children.

If you also don't have a true calling - it's time to celebrate, because you're not alone.

What does this mean exactly? It means stop trying to fit into a box that isn't the right size for you. Even if you have a great job that made you happy for awhile, it's ok to leave it for something different. Even if it'll make you less money or it's silly or it's hard. It means that you don't have to sit around waiting to decide what to do with your life - just get out there and do it, don't be afraid to change your mind later on. 

On a similar (or possibly the same) note, I'm beginning to hate the phrase "Find your passion". I'm what you'd probably call a personal development junkie. I spend a lot of time - probably too much time, if I'm being honest - reading self improvement blogs and filling out work sheets to help me realize all the things that are wrong with my life so I can fix them. One of the phrases that pop up over and over is find your passion. Once you find your passion, you then somehow turn it into a career. The whole process seems so alien to me. I just can't comprehend what it feels like to be so passionate about something that you could call it My Passion. As if there is one thing in life that you love so much that you can hold it above all other things as the best thing.

Maybe I don't like Find Your Passion because I just haven't found mine yet. Maybe I don't like it because it makes assumptions about who we are or at least who we should be, and that if you can't find your passion there is something wrong with you or maybe you're just lazy.

There is nothing wrong with you.

It's ok not to have a calling. It's ok to not know what you want to do with your life, whether you're 7 or 17 or 37 or 70. It's ok not to have one big passion. Embrace it, because once you do, that opens up whole new ways that you can be awesome.

And, really, isn't that what life is all about?

Jun 15, 2012

Happy Friday! How About Some Insane Gratitude?

There are things in my life that generally make me happy. Things like, My husband. And my kitty. And my hound. And other excellent things.

This is not a list for those things. 

This is a list for little things that have made me Over the Top Insanely Happy this week.

1. Right now I am using a Booze Popsicle as ice cubes in my rum and cola. Because I forgot to make ice today. But this is better than ice! Even though it's flavoured like fruit punch (and rum) and my Rum and Cola is flavoured like Rum and Cola...it's a little odd, but totally fun. 

2. Two people in the last week found my site by searching 'difference between alpaca and llama'. I hope they took my mom's advice to heart. It was, after all, excellent advice.

3. I saw a deer out back of my house the other morning. Deer are awesome!

4. That I'm feeling like writing again. As of just today. I just have not been able to piece words together into sentences recently. Seriously, I wrote a cover letter yesterday and it was the worst cover letter I've written since I learned how to properly write cover letters. It was horrifyingly bad, as opposed to my regular style that is just...hopefully not terrible. But still. Writing is good, not writing is bad.

What little things made your week brighter?

Jun 14, 2012

Something Awsome

Hey, wanna see something awesome?

Of course you do.

This is Hank Green of Vlogbrothers (who are awesome in general) singing an original song that is in reference to The Oatmeal.

...He also rants about the titanic, and teenagers and the American Public school system. Good times.

ps: this is the comic

Jun 10, 2012

The Evolution of Human Intellect

The Evolution of Human Intellect: Discover the Information that Schools and Religions Aren't Yet Teaching by L.N. Smith

I had signed up to attempt to receive this book through Goodreads First Reads, however the Author contacted me and offered me an ebook version instead. I jumped at the chance, naturally, because I love my kindle and I love free things.

Book Description:
Why did women lose their facial hair during evolution? Where did the notion of God come from? Why did self-awareness arise in the torso before migrating behind the eyes? What transition sparked the feud between science and religion? These are the sorts of questions answered in this 70-page book. But lest you think the reading might be boring, the material is presented in the form of two amusement park attractions. So, quick -- the lines are short -- hop on and enjoy the rides.

I didn’t like the first 13% of this book. Not even a little bit. I couldn’t figure out the point that was trying to be made. I know that you can’t really know the point until it’s finished being made, but I kind of like to know what direction I’m being lead in, you know? Then 14% happened. Things came together, and I finally realised where this whole thing was going.

This book has many things going for it. The subject matter is intensely interesting and it's written in a way that is easily digestible, without being overly simple. It's a quick read, but you're still learning something along the way.

That all being said, I didn't exactly enjoy it all that much. I found the way it was presented - as if you're on an amusement park ride - gimmicky and silly. Had this been an actual ride, I would have loved it, but I just don't want to learn something while pretending I'm doing something else. Maybe this says more about my imagination than the book.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it an Interesting but Flawed. I'd like to read more from this Author, as long as I don't have to pretend I'm at Disney World.

Jun 8, 2012

What Will You Do Today to Protect Our Oceans? It's World Ocean Day!

It's World Oceans Day! Today people around the planet will celebrate and honour our oceans, for what they provides humans and what they represent. Be a part of this global celebration!

What's the big deal about the oceans? Aren't they just a bunch of water?

 The oceans aren't just anything. That bunch of water helps regulate the temperatures here on planet earth. Without them it would be really, really hot. And, I know, some days in the middle of January that might sound like a good idea, until you consider that we would all die. Not just die, we'd die slowly from dehydration. That sounds pretty not fun to me.

The oceans are huge food source and filled with potential medicines. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe and clean the water we drink. On top of that they are damn pretty to look at. Have you ever sat on a beach - sun shining, cool breeze in you hair - staring out into the ocean? I know, it's a little cliché, but there really is nothing quite like it.

I live in a place more or less surrounded by ocean

The oceans have always been important for Nova Scotians, but they should be important to everyone. The oceans are what link us together. Believe it or not, our everyday actions affect the ocean, even if you're no where near them. We can all take steps to protect our oceans. A few good ways are to reduce your carbon footprint, lessen your trash output and make sustainable choices when eating seafood.

I know I'm not perfect - not even close. In fact, I'm not even good most days. But I try my best, and that all I'd really ask of anyone. Today is as good a day as any to start working towards making our world a better place for everyone.

Jun 6, 2012

Wednesday Pick Me Up

Feeling a little down? Here's a little cuteness jolt to shake those Wednesday blues.

Jun 4, 2012

Music Monday: Illegal Smile

Today is my Dad's birthday! To celebrate, I'm posting a song by one of his favourite Artists - John Prine.

Jun 1, 2012

Happy 80th, Apple Blossom Festival!

The Apple Blossom Festival Turns 80 this year! But, if you're from anywhere that isn't the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, you might be asking - "What is The Apple Blossom Festival?" I mean, other than a festival to celebrate apple blossoms. Duh.

It has a long history,  but it began as a way to make the Valley's apple industry better known throughout North America and Europe; to bring tourism to the area;  and to provide an opportunity to foster and develop local talent through participation in Festival events.

Now it's more just an excuse to party. As if we need an excuse in the valley.

And by party, I don't necessarily mean get drunk in public. Although that is certainly an option if you're into that sort of thing. I mean get together with friends and family and have a generally good time.

The three big events are the concert and fireworks, the children's parade (which is full of cuteness - little kids and dogs in costume, mostly) and the main street parade. If the weather's good, Kentville is packed full of people from all over the place. 

Sadly, if you come this year, you wont see any actual apple blossoms. Due to odd weather, they were really early this year and are all gone. Good for the farmers, less so for the festival. 

Still, if you're not too far away and you're looking for something to do this weekend, maybe you might want to come visit us this weekend?

A full list of this year's events can be found here.

Apple Blossom tip for first time visitors: Give yourself lots of time to get home...traffic gets pretty insane after the fireworks and main street parade. It doesn't take too awful long to clear, if you don't mind sitting and waiting it out. Just don't jump right in your car and expect to get home. You're not going anywhere.