Creating content is fun. I’m grateful to have a career where I use my mind and virtual pen to express myself. Interesting enough with my journey into podcasting, it’s like building a retaining wall.
Developing the right amount content for a listening audience is akin to writing in the sense that material has to be… written. However, much like this blog, past posts are proving to be a foundation for what this page is all about (basically… my thoughts).
As I’m preparing to put out more episodes of the Friends+Experts podcasts (https://anchor.fm/friendsandexperts), I realize this project is much like the one in my yard. The little retaining wall I stare at from my office window reminds me of the work that most won’t see.
In order to keep the wall steady, I had to work to lay out the sand on the level and meticulously place each brick down. There was a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, the bricks were uneven. I stopped and restarted plenty of times. But once it was done, the rest was relatively easy. It was just a matter of putting each brick into its place.
I was relatively pleased with the first episode. I had a strong guest host and we didn’t get too caught up with our ums and long-paused ands. Most of all, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously although we touched upon some serious matters. However like the retaining wall, most won’t see (hear) it, and that’s okay. The process of doing this is rewarding enough.
It’s satisfying doing something that inspires myself and others. Plus, there’s more to come. Exciting times!
If it weren’t for work
the new child, the visit from family
I would be here
If it weren’t for fear of the truth
the effect it will have
I would be here
If it weren’t for that time
when I failed
miss my chance
I would be here
But here I am
It’s only because of a career change that I’m posting. I now have some free time.
I did it again. Procrastinating.
It’s been more than a year for new post. So much had changed since then. I have a son. He’s three months old. He’s getting big just like me.
Right now, I’m laying on my couch holding my son and laughing at YouTube videos with my wife while watching the Cavs play the Nets.
There’s no place I’d rather be.
I’ll post more. I promise.
Things are crazy right now. I have new opportunities to help me flourish and someone is coming back to Cleveland. There’s a lot of excitement in my home area of Northeastern Oho. It’s said that the most stressful moments come in a new career or situation such as new home or status like marriage or divorce.
The marriage of LeBron James and the city of Cleveland ended in a messy divorce known as “The Decision“. The separation united the city with a hatred hotter than 10,000 burning suns. Literally. But as with love, separation makes the heart grow fonder. More than four years later, James returns to a forgiving fan base and turns the alley of West 4th Street into Times Square (well… that might have been the ESPN booth).
There’s a lot of promise for the city that’s been lost for last several years. Cleveland’s relevant again and there’s hope. The sports nation looks toward the city to witness the beginning of something special or sports tragedy.
The people have been set up to endure failure for so long. The Browns beat the Steelers one week only to lose to the worst teams in the NFL. The Indians make a playoff run only to lose steam down the stretch.
It’s about time they get a chance to enjoy, at this moment, a chance. A real chance to compete for a championship is upon the fans. A chance to be a part of something special.
So here’s to the new season of hope. Here’s to a new beginning of a championship run for the city of Cleveland. Let the party begin in the streets. But not too late. I have to work in the morning.
(BYES: ATLANTA, BUFFALO, CHICAGO, DETROIT, GREEN BAY, TENNESSEE)
Last Week: 7-7
My winning streak had to end sometime…
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 8:25 p.m.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00p p.m.
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 1:00 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 1:00 p.m.
N.Y. JETS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 1:00 p.m.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 1:00 p.m.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m
ST. LOUIS RAMS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — 4:05 p.m.
DENVER BRONCOS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 4:25 p.m.
OAKLAND RAIDERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS * — 8:30 p.m.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 8:30 p.m.
The hospital where she was a nurse for more than three decades had many pharmaceutical drug salesmen who’d visit to give away their widgets to remind them of the new drug of the day, Zantac. Back in the 80s before stress balls and coffee mugs, the notepads were the go-to item. The doctors and nurses used them often and it was great promotion.
Through time, those notepads were collected en masse and used up plenty of storage space in my attic (i.e. my old bedroom). One day, my mother did some spring cleaning and offered me a box of my childhood belongings. Those Zantac tablets were staring me in the face. But what could I use them for? The green and white lines lent themselves to some list making. Since it was December, I thought I could set up some goals for 2014: Pay off a debt; repair the house and outside; Create savings and checking; Learn a new skill; Keep in shape; Maintain and focus on my relationship; and Kill bad habits.
That was one sheet. What could I do with the rest?
It was January 1. I thought, ‘What would I need to even begin to tackle my list of goals for the year?” The good news was that I arrived at the answer. It was STRENGTH. The bad news: It was January 2. Why was it bad? That’s when I’d thought of the idea that has now become a part of routine for this calendar year. That day, I took the first word, STRENGTH and wrote an appropriate passage below it. Then the word, POTENTIAL on another sheet for the next day, and only posted the second on Facebook. The third word, COURAGE was posted on my Instagram account.
The goal was to provide some encouragement for myself to conquer my goals list, but it’s slowly turning into daily goal in of itself. I wake up, think of a word and the first thing that came in my head I would write or draw. It would take me no more than 15 minutes of my time to complete. It became an exercise of positivity that was enjoyable and revved my engine for the upcoming day. Day Three turned into Four, then Day 80, Day 160, Day 250 and on and on.
I don’t get too many likes for these words, and that’s alright. I’m not trying to be famous. But it’s enjoyable to see strangers, some more famous than others, randomly stumble along their accounts and see a word. I’d get a “cool” or “That’s what I’m talking about.” and other notes of encouragement. Hey, if it gives them some motivation or inspiration to go about their day, that’s fine with me.
I don’t know what this will end up being, but all I know is that it makes me happy to pass along a message to whomever every single day. That’s it!
I do this everyday. Check them out here:
What are some of the daily things you do that inspire or motivate? Comment below!
Here are my NFL picks for…
Last Week: 5-8
“What the hell happened last week. Batting 500 again!”
PICKS ARE IN BOLD.
(BYES: MIAMI, OAKLAND)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS — 8:25 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5
CHICAGO BEARS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 1:00 p.m.
HOUSTON TEXANS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 1:00 p.m.
BUFFALO BILLS AT DETROIT LIONS — 1:00 p.m.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS — 1:00 p.m.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — 1:00 p.m.
ATLANTA FALCONS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 1:00 p.m.
ST. LOUIS RAMS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — 1:00 p.m.
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DENVER BRONCOS — 4:05 p.m.
N.Y. JETS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS — 4:25 p.m.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — 4:25 p.m.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS * — 8:30 p.m.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS — 8:30 p.m.
“You should smile more.”
This is what I hear often. I particularly don’t like my smile. I have two enormous, over-bitten front choppers that are uncomfortably separated. When I do smile, one might suspect a linebacker is coming to fill my A-gap for a tackle. Also, it doesn’t help I’m 6’3ish” 200-plus lbs. with eyes that pierce steel.
Although I’m a jovial person, my facial features tell otherwise. I’m mistaken for cruel or at least menacing at first glance. Hygiene-wise, I’m on top of my game with my teeth. My problem is conveying happiness to the initial stranger. There are several ways I’m trying to communicate my inner happiness for the whole world to see.
Practice, practice, practice
My smile is one of the original qualities I possess. If I’m going to perfect this train wreck, I got to practice in front of a mirror until I can’t get it wrong. At least I know what I’m working with, so I’m going with a lot of looks here.
The one on the right is known as the standard “Duchenne smile“. It’s the gold standard of smiles. When we do it right and with feeling, the only stressed parts of our face should be the cheeks and corners of our eyes. Although they’re easy to fake, it’s generally a tell of genuine enjoyment. Like this chick below. See how happy she looks…
The second shot known as “teeging” where my mouth is slightly open while my tongue is pressed against my teeth. I call it my “Yes, more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, please” look.
My third and “THERE’S MORE BP&J?!? I LOVE YOU!” pose is an example of the LOL smile where—at it’s maximum—my happy vein would pop out in the middle of my big forehead. In test driving these positions, one thing I’ve learned is to recognize how my face feels when I’m truly smiling and memorize it. Doing this, I figured out that I often smile with my eyes but the rest of my face doesn’t follow suit. In order to get the full effect, I often try to go for an “eyes-only” approach. It works well when you want to express pleasure without actually screaming “WOO-HOO!”.
I’m not saying cheese!
The exact origin of how this started is debatable, but understandable. When you say cheese, your cheeks expand and your pearly whites show, but the end result looks forced. I’ve found uttering words that end with an “uh” sound such as “yoga” and “mocha” work well.
But old habits die hard. So here’s a trick. When the person taking the pictures yells, “Say Cheese,” reply in a condescending manner “Nooo”. The slow motion of your diction will retract you cheeks back into the smile you’ve always wanted. Don’t believe me? Try it.
Find your happy place
While taking these three photos, I was thinking of how amazing it was when man first combined peanut butter and jam which made me all tickled inside, thus causing me elation. Thinking happy thoughts does lead to more smiling, but this could also be the case of the egg leading the chicken. Studies have shown that the mere act of smiling makes us happier humans which takes us to our happy place (and happy vein). But watch out… a frown can have the same effect.
Speaking of which, you know that adage “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile”? Well, someone may have been lying to you. On average, we use the same amount of muscles to do both. The difference is in our zygomatic major muscle. That’s the one we flex when we smile. Chances are, we humans are more smilers than frowners. With any muscle, the more we work it, the stronger it becomes. Thus frowning may appear to be a tad bit harder due to inactivity.
Learning to smile is so simple but becoming cognizant of how it’s perceived is just one of the many life-hackish improvements I’m undergoing. After all, it promotes trust and a better understanding of my fellow humans. It’s just one of those small things that can lead to big opportunities.
And that’ll put a smile on my face.
We start fresh. New Season: New Beginning
WEEK 1 – My predictions are in BOLD
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 1:00 p.m.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS — 1:00 p.m.
BUFFALO BILLS AT CHICAGO BEARS — 1:00 p.m.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 1:00 p.m.
TENNESSEE TITANS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 1:00 p.m.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 1:00 p.m.
OAKLAND RAIDERS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — 1:00 p.m.
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS — 1:00 p.m.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 1:00 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 4:25 p.m.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 4:25 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT DENVER BRONCOS — 8:30 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
N.Y. GIANTS AT DETROIT LIONS — 7:10 p.m.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 10:20 p.m.