I have the predicament of wanting to do everything before I die. Number 234,220 on that list is writing a novel, so we're going to get that one knocked out this month.
Why November? Because it's NaNoWriMo, the unfortunately acronymed National Novel Writing Month. You can go sign up at the web site and pledge to write a 50k word novel in one month. Usually 1 out of 6 people actually finish it. I'll be one of those people. Will you?
I have a pretty cool idea for a story, and I think I'm already a pretty good storyteller. What's really exciting, though, is that writing 50k words apparently makes everyone who completes it a much better writer. Remember the practicing thing from yesterday? Let's practice being good writers. Get ready for some kick ass stories up in this piece.
I was sitting around this weekend thinking about practice. I had just read an article that said that to get good at something one had to spend ten years practicing. Studies show that practicing is the one strong predictor of success in nearly any field.
Then I thought, "what am I practicing?". I'm practicing eating healthy. That's good. I'm practicing rapping. Good too. After a nice long pat on the back I thought of a more important question. What am I not practicing?
I realized that every time I practice a bad habit, I'm enforcing it and making it harder to break. I guess that's obvious, but for some reason it hit me like a ton of bricks. I see myself, down the road, being someone who keeps his living space really clean, pays bills as soon as they come in, gets ready fast in the morning, and doesn't procrastinate. Every day I continue to not do those things I'm making it harder to start doing them.
I've been wanting to write this story for a while, but I can't find the one picture I have of it. Oh well, when I find it I'll just add it on to the end.
Full from dinner, we get into the elevator as we always do. The rumor is that the more likely one is to cause trouble, the higher in the dorm you're assigned. The first year I was put on floor four. The next, floor 24. I guess you could say that we became acquainted.
As the elevator brings us closer to our dorm we notice that the hatch in the roof of the elevator appears to be unlocked. We push the hatch open and stare at the dark above us.
Today is a big day for btyb. Why? I have an actual advertiser besides google. Actually, google has recently been paying me about twice what I used to get. I have no idea why. My best guess is that they're getting better at figuring out what sorts of ads are appropriate for my site, and people are clicking them. Either way, between my advertiser and google, I now make enough to justify the time I spend writing. What a cool feeling!
Here's how I got my advertiser:
Steve, my boss / compadre, belongs to a group called "Hill Country Outdoors". It's a group that you can join for $15/month or something and they plan cool trips and activities. One such activity was hang gliding, which he invited me along for.
Instead of writing a million more posts about Japan, I'm going to finish it off here so that I can start writing other things. When you boil all of my experiences in Japan down, you're left with one common theme - Japan is way better than the US.
In America we're all so proud that we're such a tolerant society. We tolerate each other's differences because that tolerance is passed on to us and we get to do whatever we want.
Japan is different. More than tolerance, they have an overwhelming underlying respect for everyone and everything. It's almost crazy. The best example is the subways. In the subways there are advertisements hanging from the ceiling of every subway car. They aren't plastic, tyvek, or even laminated paper. They're just paper like a poster.
A monday afternoon some time ago, she texts me with, "Call me. It's important."
Strange. I'm in the car, so I ponder what's so important as we drive back to the office. I can't figure it out.
We get to the office and I step into the echoey stairwell for some semblance of privacy. I sit down on the stair and dial her number.
Man... I just had an awesome jaunt through Japan. I misunderstood a web page I read and thought that we had to pay $280 for a week long subway pass. I knew Tokyo was really expensive, so I didn't question it. The only problem was that this mysterious train pass could only be bought in certain cities, none of which are in Japan. One such city was San Jose, where our stopover was, so we picked up two passes then. As it turns out they only work on some of the subways, but they do work in almost all of the trains that take you between different Japanese cities. Once we realized this, we planned the Ultimate Japanese Day Trip (tm).
- First we took an overnight train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Once we got out of the train we saw a huge mass of school kids going to school. Naturally, we followed them. Their walk to school includes walking through a shrine every day. How cool is that? Here's a picture of me at the shrine :
And here's another one.
So, I'm in Japan right now. I stayed up all night packing, laundering, and cleaning the kitchen so that it would be pleasant when I got back. Jonah and Evan hung out with me to keep me awake. The best part was that I miscalculated the time and had to race to the bus station at top speed on my electric skateboard with my suitcase on my back. Luckily it's the best suitcase ever, so that was doable.
Todd and I made no plans prior to our day of departure. No hotel. No tours. Nothing. We didn't really even read about Japan. Early that morning, though, I scrambled and wrote some posts to craigslist looking for a place to stay. One guy responded, offering a very cheap room with bunk beds near Tokyo. With no better alternatives, we agreed.
Our flight went without incident. I spent it learning Mega Memory, watching Survivor Season 3, and sleeping just enough to get adjusted to Japanese time. Todd took a video of me sleeping, snoring, and tossing my head left and right as I tried to stay situated on the tiny little headrest.
I know that you think your other blogs love you like I do, but seriously - who brings you stories like this besides me?
Evan and I were hanging out at my place last night. The neighbors were having a party, as they often do, and we could hear it in my room. For some reason I can never hear the blaring music, but it sounds as though the "clip clop" of the hot girls' stilletos are in my place.
I normally don't really like parties, but my neighbor has transformed his condo into a high end club, complete with hot tub on the roof and large granite bar. He always has at least two girls to every guy, and the girls are always pretty. It's tough not to like that party.
I enjoy reading but I it's difficult to find really great books to read. Here are six non-fiction books that have had a big impact on my life. You should definitely buy them, read them, and have your life changed too. Don't worry if they don't address issues that you care about - simply reading them will make you care.
How it changed my life : I stopped eating sugar, flour, bad fats, and other things like that.
I just read this one two days ago and now I've gone vegan. It represents the largest and most comprehensive study of human nutrition and disease ever, and the findings are incredible. If you read this you will want to be vegan. Don't be scared off, thinking, "I love meat, I don't want to change!". The information is there and it makes you not WANT
to eat meat.