AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

2010 Checklist

December 29, 2009

Here’s some wishful thinking.

  • Listen to new music
  • Go to more concerts
  • Write more about the things that I care about
  • Say “I love you” when I mean it, even if it sounds gay
  • Say “I’m sorry” before it’s too late
  • Be original
  • Eliminate the clutter in my life
  • Let go of the past and start something from scratch
  • Travel somewhere nice
  • Do something I feel passionate about
  • Show my true colors even if it gets me in trouble
  • Appreciate the little things more
  • Do something of Value
  • Accept my mistakes and learn from them
  • Make as many mistakes as I possibly can
    .
    .
    .

  • Repeat again next year.

Happy Holidays.

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Today’s quote →

December 09, 2009 |

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

Don Marquis (1878 - 1937).

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December 06, 2009 |

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.

Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988).

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You are not done yet

December 05, 2009

Today we will be focusing on something important: Perspective.

How easy it is to lose it sometimes. It is actually mind-boggling how most of us can feel lost and abandoned over the most trivial of things.

I’m not saying that it’s not OK to feel down on occasion, after all we are only human. We all have problems to face in our daily lives, and these things matter. When something you put your time, dedication and effort into comes crashing down, it’s natural to feel the blow. It means you care. And, in an era where personal relationships are often defined by something as lame as your choice of social network (yes, the Twitter Defenders Vs the Facebook Advocates, stuff like that), it’s good to care about things. But you also have to put those things in their place. While they may add value to your life, they do not, cannot and should not define who you are.

Let me illustrate my point. Say your good friend Larry is going through a crisis. He goes to the office every day, 9 to 5, then hits the gym for an hour, and then goes home. By the time he gets there he is exhausted, and he doesn’t really have the energy to meet his friends for a drink, so he just stays in, watching whatever crappy show is on. Later on, when he is about to fall asleep, he realizes he doesn’t know why he keeps doing the same thing over and over again. He has no purpose. His life isn’t exciting, he is not meeting new people (i.e. women), and this means his weekends are also filled with monotony and routine. It sucks, doesn’t it? Even more, the worst part of it is that he can’t see a way out. He is stuck.

Well, apparently Larry really actually is Screwed.

You sure about that? Let’s engage for a moment in a simple exercise of Perspective.

Larry is a nice guy. He is likeable, he can produce and maintain an interesting conversation about a wide range of topics, and he has a certain aura of honesty that is perceived almost immediately by those who interact with him. He is, simply put, a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get kind of guy.

Furthermore, he has a good job. It may not be very exciting, like an Indiana Jones of computers or whatever, but it is intellectually challenging, and forces him to actively find solutions and create original ideas every day. And, he’s really good at what he does. He is appreciated by his peers, and his work is valued by his coworkers as well as his superiors. Plus, the brunette in HR has had an eye on him for a while now, and she keeps giggling at him every day at the coffee break, trying to let him know she’s interested (being a Professional Nerd, of course, it will still take him some more time to get the message).

My point is, when things don’t go as you hoped they would, you tend to focus on the things you don’t have, instead of focusing on the things you do have, of which there are usually many more, and that are usually more essential. In my example, Larry has a good job (something not to be underestimated in this economy), he has friends, family, and, most importantly, he has control over all of these things. He can choose what to do in life, and that privilege belongs exclusively to him. And still, he is depressed because of some weird notion that his life is not exciting.

The same thing applies to Love. The absolute first-ranked cause of depression (apart from terminal disease, that is), is Rejection. Whether it is because the person we want to be with doesn’t reciprocate, or when a long-term relationship ends, these are the moments when we feel almost required by society to be depressed. We are surrounded by literally millions of songs about Despair and Rejection, how in the world are we supposed to not feel bad when every song in the planet talks about us? Hell, people even kill themselves or others over this every day. The ultimate gesture of Love. Or of Idiocy, Egotism, Selfishness, Bastardy and Son-Of-A-Bitchness, depending on how you look at it.

The answer is, once again, Perspective. It is a powerful force at our disposal, and one that we should always remember how to use. Statistically, the chances of finding True Love in a fast-paced world are pretty low. That is the reason why most people simply get tired of looking and settle for a nice-enough relationship, one that makes them content with their lives. This can be a very wise choice, or a very stupid one, if taken for the wrong reasons. Some people are just not equipped to live in a relationship and, hello, Mr. Divorce or Mr. Affair will show up at the door sooner rather than later. Failing that, Lady Depression is always waiting behind the scenes, and she is a terrific performer once she gets on stage.

Perspective can help us navigate these waters. Perspective will show you with brutal clarity that there are very little things in this world that cannot be solved. There almost always is a way out, you just need to find it. And Perspective will lead you to Self-Confidence. So, you’re not in a relationship, so what? What’s the hurry? Thinking like that, chances are you wouldn’t be able to hold on to one if you had it anyway, so what are you complaining about? True Love, a Fulfilling Relationship, a Soul Mate, these are things that only a few very fortunate people have. And if one day you find them, they will bring immense Joy to your life. But the lack of them shouldn’t be viewed as a reason to feel bad. It should simply be the normal situation. And in that situation you can be Awesome, and you can be Happy. You have a million positive things going for you, let yourself feel the anticipation of Great Things To Come. You are just a work in progress, and you are not done yet.

You can’t skip to the end of the book, you have to read through every single page, and you never know which one will be the best. So, next time you are tempted to let yourself go, I want you to say the following out loud. Don’t just think it, SAY IT:

I am not done yet.

I want you to think about the three times you have felt most Screwed in your life. Screwed like there’s no tomorrow. Moments where you thought, “this can’t be happening”. I have no idea what they are because this is your life, not mine. It may be that crucial deadline you missed, that exam you failed, that time you let your parents down, or that time your girlfriend told you she’d rather you were just friends.

Got them? Good. And how did things turn out in the end? Are you still breathing? Is the sky still blue? Didn’t you still go on and live your life and get out of that trouble? And are you not smarter, better prepared, and stronger now?

Then what are you afraid of?

What you have to remember is this: Every single day you decide which kind of person you want to be. And every choice you make takes you a step closer or farther from that person. It is important that you choose carefully.

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Today’s quote →

November 26, 2009 |

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy Three for Girls and Four for Boys Five for Silver, Six for Gold Seven for a Secret never to be told.

Counting Crows, A Murder Of One (1995).

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London, Baby!!

November 26, 2009

It’s been a few days, and to be honest I was a bit worried that my old lazy self would make an appearance and turn this place into a mere sketch of an idea that could have been so much more.

But not to worry, at least for now he’s locked away and under control, and we are free to once again explore the world in all its beauty.

Before I get started though, I wanted to apologize for something I forgot in the previous post. Someone, to be exact. You see, when I was introducing my pals I left out one of them. In all honesty, I’m not surprised, Troy is the kind of guy you are not likely to notice if he doesn’t want to be noticed. He’s the stealth master of the group. If you need to find out something without other people knowing about it, Troy is your guy. If you want to know what the pretty girl with the low-cut top is drinking before you go over there and pretend to accidentally spill her drink (so that you can handsomely offer to buy her a new one afterwards), just send him over. He’ll be back with the name of the drink, her favorite color, the name of her pet and even the dates of her menstrual cycle… and she won’t even notice. Guaranteed.

Good old Troy. What a remarkable fella.

And now that we’ve settled that, let’s move on to the real reason behind today’s post. It is my pleasure to announce that today I will be traveling to London, to watch the ATP World Tour Finals. Remember I warned you about the occasional tennis-related post? well, here you have it.

I will be traveling with my brother. This is my birthday present for him, since he is just as big a tennis nerd as I am, if not more. We’ll be watching the two semifinal sessions on Saturday. On top of that, I made this video for him when I told him about the trip:

And tennis-wise, things are looking terrific in the World Tour Finals, with the only disappointment so far being the elimination of Nadal yesterday. Surprise? yes. Big deal? yes. Sad? Hell, no. As long as I get to see Federer play, and hopefully I will, everything will be fine. And the way he’s playing at the moment, I think he’s the overwhelming favorite to take the trophy for the fifth time. Djokovic and Davydenko are exhausted to the brink of injury, and Del Potro and Murray will have one heck of a thriller today if they want to qualify for the semis. Even Verdasco still has options, things couldn’t look any better. Soderling seems to be the only real threat to Federer, and the H2H record between the two is devastating, to put it mildly: 12-0 for the Swiss. No need to say more.

I’ll keep you posted, I am totally psyched about this trip ^_^

On a related note, this will be the third time I visit the capital of the United Kingdom. I had a terrific time on each of the previous occasions, and I hope to continue the streak this time around. I’ll let you know about it when I come back.

Cheers!

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Today’s quote →

November 18, 2009 |

Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.

Woody Allen (1935- ).

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Meet the gang

November 18, 2009

Today I would like to introduce you to some of my friends. Let me bring you up to speed: On occasion, I will need to make up a fictional story in order to prove a point. When that happens, it wouldn’t be nice of me to mention real people because well, chances are they wouldn’t be very happy with how the story ends.

To avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, these stories will be featuring a bunch of guys I’m very familiar with, but that are… let’s just say, slightly less than real. Fictional characters, if you will. They are my buddies, and I usually refer to them as the gang. Over the years they have become an inside joke between my friends and I (the actual ones, I do have some of those, too), and so I have gotten used to mentioning them in my stories.

Please, allow me to introduce you to the gang.

First up are three guys that do everything together. They’re practically inseparable, and whenever one of them is alone it is always because something incredible has happened. Meet Perry, Larry and Clifford.

For some reason, Perry is much more likely to be seen alone than any of the other two. You get the idea.

Then there’s another bunch of guys which are sometimes seen with Perry, Larry and Clifford, whenever the situation calls for it. Because sometimes three people are just not enough. They are McAllister, O’Brian and Numerov.

And finally, the latest additions to the gang are two awesome guys. They’re the players, the ladies’ men. The winners. Meet Elmer and Flanagan.

I do hope you guys get along. You’ll be hearing a lot from them, trust me.

I guess that is all for today, I will leave you now so you can get to know each other better.

Cheers!

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Today’s quote →

November 17, 2009 |

What we do in life echoes in eternity.

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator (2000).

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Scattered Thoughts

November 17, 2009

Hey,

After a weekend trip here we are again. We left off with you hurrying up to watch Lost In Translation so that I could fill your ears with how awesome the movie is, right?

Well, not quite. I mean, the movie clearly IS awesome, and produces what in my opinion is one of the greatest chemistries in a movie couple, but if you’ve seen it you already know that, and if you don’t, well you’re dead inside. Get used to it. Embrace your inner corpse, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Now go watch some Eddie Murphy masterpiece… oh, wait.

There’s no need to keep going about how unbelievably cool the movie is, or how much I wanted to go to Japan right after I first saw it (I had always wanted to go, but after watching it I SO needed to go…). Suffice it to say, it is one of those viewing experiences that just don’t come very often. Enjoy it, savor every frame of it, and then tell people about it.

Just a teaser. My favorite scene: the karaoke moment, with Bill Murray singing More Than This. A huge distortion of reality that for a brief moment just feels so right…

Anyway, moving on to other stuff. I’ll let you know when I think of something.

Lost In Translation - Murray by Álvaro Serrano, on Flickr

SO good.

Lost In Translation - Murray by Álvaro Serrano, on Flickr

And remember: Be Original. The true you is always good enough. In fact, it’s awesome. How haven’t you noticed before?

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