boston guy

In Fall 2009, I moved to Boston after three years in DC.
Some adventures, musings, and thoughts:

Knight News Challenge Round 3: Evening Edition →


1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

Evening Edition is a daily commuter-targetted synopsis of the day’s news, written and summarized by journalists, published every weekday at 5pm local time across several locations.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]

I enjoy Tumblr well enough, but - as of today - I’ve moved to Posterous

Posterous is still a microblog, but it seems more supportive of using a microblog like a regular blog.  Which is what I like to do.  If I want to truly microblog, I’ll use Twitter, thank you very much.

Plus Posterous has integrated comments.  Would comments (that aren’t confusing third-party add-ons) have been so hard Tumblr?  Hm? 

Anyway, come play!

Give Monday some love!

My good friend Lauren - who writes this amazing blog about searching for love in NYC  - just posted something I made 8 years ago on her blog.  It’s a sign I made her in Freshmen Year to remind her not to hate on Mondays. (Yes, I know the picture is sideways.  Life goes on.)

"Mondays are days too!  Cuz you can’t go thru life hating 1/7 of every week!" 

I look at Mondays as another day in the week.  Another part of the adventure.  But sometimes it’s hard to keep true to that philosophy, so I do “crazy” things on Monday — just something outside my normal routine.  These range from bringing in Munchkins to work, to making a point to have lunch somewhere different, to having something special to look forward to that night.  

Last night I made a point to watch a movie at home, and I rented Hot Tub Time Machine.  Not a great movie, but pretty good; it had its funny moments.  But the point was that it was really fun to watch and added a little pizzazz to my Monday.  

Do you do anything different on Mondays to make them more interesting?

Dude, that absolutely sucks.  That’s just lame.  MAYBE I can see having a law about that.  But $150!?  That’s ridiculous.  Start a petition!


I got pulled over today on my bicycle for listening to music.  I looked it up and it’s going to be a $150 ticket.  I’m trying to understand you LA…I really am.  I’m riding my bike through heavy traffic and poorly paved roads, so I can say i did my best not to contribute to the smog and pollution that bogs this city.  I pay every day with my seat and tears and still you want more.

I complain, but whatever.  It just seems a little harsh…so much for saving on gas money. 

Look.  Approximately from when I was three until I was six, I was *obsessed* with the Muppets.  (Ok, I still am.)  So, man, has it made me joyful that the Muppets have made a comeback in a huge way on YouTube. 

I’m sure you all know the absolutely phenomenal Bohemenian Rhapsody cover (or at least over 15 million people know it), but there have been some great other Muppet videos that they have put on YouTube. 

And because you can never have enough Muppets, or enough YouTube, here are some other recommendations:

1)  Stand By Me - The monster!? Or the bunny?

2) Beakers Ballad - Beaker sings a ballad.  Too bad YouTube doesn’t let him finish.

3) Ode To Joy - Beaker’s version of Ode to Joy.  Times six.

4) Pöpcørn - The Swedish Chef makes popcorn shrimp. Amazing.

Oh, and the world of Muppets gets better.  Jason Segel is writing and starring in 2011’s Muppet movie: The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made.  And the crew from this new Muppets film just went to Pixar to get feedback from the Pixar braintrust about their script. 

Pixar + Muppets + Jason Segel = win. 

In the meantime, I’m happy with YouTube. 

Okay, so clearly the Old Spice commercials are some of the best on television.  You know, the ones where the Old Spice Guy is riding a horse backwards?  The ones where the Old Spice Guy is seducing your lady? Or is just simply awesome?

These are the kind of commercials that are worth playing even when you have a DVR.  And this morning I discovered that it just got better. Old Spice just created the coup de grace of viral internet campaigns. 

Two days ago, Old Spice Guy started interacting with the internet.  Normal. 

Well, specifically, social media.  A little more cutting edge. 

But not just regular text interaction; he created individual video responses to fans’ questions on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, blogs, Yahoo, etc. 

Epic win.

These videos range from addressing Perez Hilton, to helping twitterer knitmeapony who wanted to use his voice on her answering machine, to some guy who wanted Old Spice Guy to propose to his girlfriend — which Old Spice Guy did.  (And she said yes.  For real.)

Unfortunately for those late-comers (like yours truly), the campaign ended today - as heralded by this hilarious goodbye:

Fortunately for the Realm of Procrastination and Hilarity however, there are dozens (if not a hundred or so) videos of Old Spice Guy addressing individuals in amazing ways on Old Spice’s YouTube page.

Talk about a great way to increase visibility for your brand. 

Recently, in the midst of a crazy (awesome) July, I moved into a new one bedroom apartment.  Moving into my own place is something that deserves a post of its own, as it’s a major milestone in my Boston adventure.  But this post isn’t about that.  This is about something I’ve taken to heart during my unpacking phase that has increased my happiness: the one minute rule.

The one minute rule is simple: if I see something that needs Ready? Set... Go!doing, and that thing will take one minute or less to do, I do it. 

Why have I been happier because of it?  Simple.  There’s less clutter, more things seem to get done faster, and - bonus! - I feel more moved in.

For example, Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work, normal routine.  As I was walking out of my bedroom, I didn’t like where my dresser was, and — since it was still empty from my move — I dragged it across the room.  Took me less than a minute, but boy did it increase my happiness.  And it enabled me to do another quick one minute project when I got home Tuesday night: unbox the pictures that sit on my dresser.  Just like that, another box gone! 

Sure, there are projects that will take more than one minute, like setting up my computer speakers (5-10 minutes), setting up my Wii and Playstation 3 (15 minutes), unboxing all my books (30 years).  But the little things!  The ones that usually get in the way of big projects — these I can accomplish in the midst everyday life.

I definitely recommend trying the one minute rule.  And experiment with expanding it too, when you have more time.  Maybe it could be the five minute rule one night!  It’s great for those things you see and you think “uggghhh, I’ve been meaning to do that forever" and then do something, letting it remain undone, because it’s too hard. 

I used to let forever go on way too long.  Not anymore. 

PS - Credit where credit is due!  The “one minute rule” originally came from a post on the Happiness Project blog.  Definitely check Gretchen out, she’s got great ideas. 

This is CRAZY.  And AWESOME.  This is not a photograph.
It’s a small-scale model made out of various materials.  This one is called “DIY Paradise” and is made out of cotton, salt, cooked sugar, tin foil, feathers & canvas.  
See more from the artist Matthew Albanese.  

This is CRAZY.  And AWESOME.  This is not a photograph.

It’s a small-scale model made out of various materials.  This one is called “DIY Paradise” and is made out of cotton, salt, cooked sugar, tin foil, feathers & canvas.  

See more from the artist Matthew Albanese.  

Each night, like the rest of the world, I go to bed.  And each night, before shutting off the light, I make sure to shut off my cell phone.   

(Nerdy note: I actually turn my iPhone to Airplane Mode.  This is a feature that disables iPhones from receiving phone calls.  Yes, I could just shut it off, but I also use my iPhone as my alarm, so I kinda need it on to wake up.)  

Anyway, leaving your cell phone on or shutting it off at night has been a cause of debate between me and some friends.  

Those of my friends who like to be as connected as possible leave their phones on.  They argue that if someone needs them enough to call in the middle of the night, they want to be available.  ”What if something really bad happened, and someone needed me?” “What if someone needed to talk?”

I say that if someone really needed me in the middle of the night, for something absolutely unthinkable, I’d probably be better equipped to handle it in the morning after a little more rest.  Plus, there are always those friends who might be out all hours of the night, enjoying one or five drinks, and think it would be great to call me at 3am.  Tipsy voicemails?  Hilarious.  Me being woken up to attempt to talk to you while your slur your speech?  Not so funny. 

Or, more likely (and a bit more innocuously), what about someone who is calling to catch up just a little bit too late on a weeknight I decide to go to bed early?   

Prior generations didn’t really even have the option to think about this.  The house phone was always on.  Now, as in many more areas of our life thanks to technology, we have more control.  How do you use that control?  

Postscript:  I’d like to dedicate this post to my girlfriend who silenced her phone last night, which prevented us from being woken up waaay too early this morning from a phone call.  

Post postscript: Also, if I know something is going on that might warrant an early or midnight phone call, I’ll leave my phone on.  I guess maybe it’s about expectations?

Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life.

— Seneca