Saturday, January 28, 2012

Let's Talk: Going to Culinary School?, and Certain Disappointments

I'm terribly sorry to continue being irregular in my writing habits despite promising otherwise. How exactly to factor writing into my life is still confusing. I want to do it regularly since I find it relieving, soothing, and good for the mind, but it's difficult to construct that right practice where I can write well and often without it being unproductive. When I still maintained the notion that I wanted to be a professional writer it was easy to write almost everyday at length, keeping up with meticulous outlines and everything. When I lost that desire and didn't know what I wanted to be I kind of coasted from there, and since deciding to be culinary-oriented I tried minimizing it in order to make time for other things. But the desire persists, and when I restrain myself for too long it feel immensely satisfying to finally unleash the energy in a post. However, I must be constructive in my thinking and productive in my endeavors, so I should figure out a better way to incorporate writing into my life on a regular basis to take advantage of its wonderful effects while still not feeling burdened.

But while I contemplate that, let me ramble a bit. I secondarily apologize for being negative lately, but I have been having my energy build up a little too much, moving me to resort to this as an outlet.

Lately, I'll admit, I've been feeling a very odd, fundamental disappointment in life, odd in that it causing me to stare at the ground lately rather than hold my head, and chipping away at my self-confidence to push and make things better. In short, I'm unhappy with my career, my relationships, and my home life.

As per my new year's resolutions, my hierarchy of goals is to pursue a second job and then to search for my own apartment. I've been a dish washer for two years and have yet to get into even so much as prep work, so I want to at long last break into the fine dining industry in order to get started on my serious career ambitions, and to use that increased income to get away from my lousy landlord whom I detest and find is holding me back.

During the start of my job hunt is when this bleakness seems to have set in. After applying to my first kitchen I just got hit with this sense of hopelessness as if there's nothing I can do to succeed in life. Daunted by the caliber of the dining room, it feels almost unobtainable, and as if the confounding factors of my life make everything impossible.

I may go to culinary school, but the hierarchy as I've set it is important. Currently I cannot afford to live entirely alone and so live with an old lady whom I rent a room from, meaning when live in the same house. To do this, I need a second job. But perhaps that second job in fine dining is better sought with a culinary education? The problem here is that I sense my landlord is holding me back, as she has an uncanny and unwelcome similarity to the family members I worked so hard over a course of a year to get out of my life. It's downright absurd, almost as if she could actually be just another rotten family member.

Oh, I could do a laundry list of things, and will to vent things. For one, she's an alcoholic like my mother was -- one time she even got so drunk as to start yelling at one in the morning and act like a schoolgirl to me and my displeased roommate -- and tends to be driven by her whims and emotions as my mother was, as she fluctuates in her behavior and has irrationally fluid estimates of people. She's nearly as "Other People" obsessed as my grandmother is, as she's more concerned with appearance than she is with substance (for instance, she decorates the house despite the fact nobody partakes in it -- she rarely has visitors -- and lives an otherwise dull, idle life of largely watching T.V. and playing computer games), and crafts and fakes her emotions, never being sincere. She has lots of financial problems -- like my mother did -- that she's hiding from me, that affects me in the form of unpaid utility bills despite my having paid my share. She can be bossy and controlling like my grandmother too, and equally as evasive, as she's impolite in sharing her opinions, totally ignores what anyone says to the contrary, repeats her opinion verbatim in response, and sometimes won't let go of the issue and continue bringing it up in the follow weeks and months despite my clear disdain at going in those circles. And the worst of all similarities, like most of my family, she has deluded herself into believing that her problems are outside of herself and due to either other people or circumstances out of her control, so combined with her fundamental evasive nature she's in denial about her problems and continues coasting in her self-destruction.

Most contemptuously, she takes advantage of me and my roommate. She's a full-blown moocher in that his and I'sand qualifies as a thief since she takes my utility money and spends it on things unknown, as I find out when the utility bill is either unpaid, has a penalty on it, or she confesses to not paying.

Since our relationship is different than that of my family, she doesn't bother me as much as they did since I can go days without having to see her. Nonetheless, she is an interference since I've reestablished the temptation to stake out in my room when I hear her roaming downstairs, as I don't want to cross paths with her in the kitchen. Her evasion of my dislike of her leads her to ramble and try and shoot the breeze with me -- like my grandmother did -- even as I make clear I don't want to interact. This is really holding back my cooking practice and general improvement, since I'm tempted everyday to restrain myself just to have the luxury of avoiding her. My pantry space is dwarfish too, and am restricted in what kind of foods I can buy consequently.

As such, my primary goal this year is to get into an apartment of my own and live totally alone, free of any roommates. My dominant problem in life is that I've always been forced to deal with people who were toxic to my happiness, whether it be my mentally unstable mother, my grandmother who begs me to cater to her anxieties, or landlord who is an interfering pest. Additionally, she has another tenant across the hall from me who is a thug, as he got paranoid one evening that I went into his room and threatened me with a hunting knife. I'm simply tired of having to deal with these people, as they reduce my overall quality of life and keep me from performing at my best. One of the best periods in my life is when I had a house to myself for beyond an entire year, as I went on an outrageous self-improvement spree and was enormously satisfied with my life with nothing truly able to get in the way then. I love becoming the best human I can be, and I find it easiest and most productive to have my own living space to conduct myself that way. Having a room is not enough. I don't shun people in general, it's just that I dealt with far too many louses harmful to my well-being. I don't want to take the risk of getting in another bad situation by moving in another household, so my highest desire this year is to get into a good, safe apartment. My current room is pretty crowded since I have almost enough property to satisfactorily supply a small apartment, only I got desperate to leave Michigan and so rented a room in compromise, only to have to stuff everything in here.  I know having my own apartment would mean paying higher expenses in rent, but it's going to be too well worth it.

So the conundrum is that in order to be able to afford my own apartment I need to get a second job, but I want that second job to be in fine dining since I want to move forward with my career goals, and it may be best to get a culinary degree, even at a cheap community college, to have a fighting chance, but I find it unpalatable to have to deal with my landlord for that much longer, particularly since I think she's holding me back. Pickles. It feels like the factors are working against each other in a way that makes it impossible to resolve, making it seem hopeless. And on a practical note I view it as most reasonable to get out of here as soon as possible, as my landlord's astonishingly poor health practices make it so she could literally die any day, as her type 1 diabetes is too severe to be able to goof on a meal even once. If she goes the house goes too, and whatever money I gave her for the month.

So it's been dragging me down. I feel behind on my career, and like there's little I can do to really advance myself forth. Intellectual I already know better, that a little effort can prove me otherwise, so I just merely expressing my feelings here.

But that's not the only thing bothering me. I also feel fundamentally lonely, and unappreciated as a human being. This point feels hard to convey since I have difficulty expressing myself on this front. It's hard to connect to people often because all my life I've taught to bottle up my emotions -- my mother was freakishly unpredictable in her responses to my emotions (causing me to hide them from her), my grandmother would urge me to mystically make my bad emotions go away and to feel positive ones, as if I could change them by pulling levers; and my grandfather was scary since he threatened to hit me one day after school merely because I was sad. When I tried reaching out to my friends they often turned out to be spiritually mooching narcissists, as, after all the talking about them and dealing with their problems I would do, they would be totally disinterested and abandon me whenever I came to them a scant few times. I've tried to be open for a long time -- years -- but in the end I was treated like a turtle stuffed into his shell rather than voluntarily withdrawing. Consequently, when I get upset nowadays I frequently lie to others about my well-being even as I'm visibly not, and refuse to elaborate. I fear expressing myself like that will lead to explosive hostility like I received from my elders or the evasive refusal to deal with issues as I suffered from past friends, so I continue bottling things up to this extent since I don't trust people in general on this line. Again, I know better here, but the difficulty is that I've been keeping up the practice for so long that it's hard to break it since I don't know how. Exactly how should one conduct himself in expressing his troubles like this? I don't know how to initiate the conversation -- which is partly why I writing it out here -- and continue resorting to bottling it up and hiding.

I feel unappreciated as a human being because people have for long either expected values from me that they weren't willing to return (such as relatives who would ignore my suffering and yet expect me to comfort them) or valued me for trivial matters (such as women do of my looks, or certain friends of my personality aesthetics) or for things totally divorced some substance (such as the default love my family gave me, for no other reason than the fact I'm biologically related to them). God I just want someone to talk and connect to! My friendships don't go deep enough to satisfy, the women in pursuit of my looks don't stoke my fires, and all this becomes more frustrating by my current inability to convey these needs. Oh damnation to it!

The one thing I recognize right off that I need to address is that these feelings tend to make me act in a way that brings forth a self-fulfilling prophecy, where one acts irrationally in a way as to confirm a negative belief. I believe that other people will never become a deep value to me, I withdraw in personality, and when people logically get pushed away the prophecy gets fulfilled. Vicious circle.

Alright, having vented, how shall I address this?

Well, on the career and home front, I recognize that deal with my landlord isn't THAT horrendous. She incapacitates me in but a few areas, beyond which I am unhindered. It might not be so intolerable to delay the apartment so much as to be able to attend to a culinary education, especially since my primary cooking practice would be on that campus and not her kitchen, and I could always do my homework someplace else, like the library. But that doesn't exclude a continuing job hunt in fine dining; they can be done concurrently. Besides, I've hardly started my job hunt -- I've only seriously applied to one place so far -- so it's ridiculous, really, for me to get demotivated so soon. This week I'll continue doling up professional documents and applying, as well as looking into culinary schools and investigating financial aid. Most likely I'll consider a community college, as I merely want to get enough of an edge to get into the position I want, as I trust myself enough to engage in self-education beyond the classroom, life-long. Though, if I do get a fine-dining position I'll probably forgo the culinary education altogether and move on with my life from that standpoint. My landlord, in the meanwhile, can go to heck. When I can afford a safe apartment I'm out of here.

On the people front, I think I just need to nudge myself to be open and connect. In simple terms, one has to be a friend to have friends. I simply need to push through the temptation to shell up and push people away. Though, I could do well to find a better source of people to connect with, such as by attending more Objectivist events or culinary-related gatherings.

I'll get what I want somehow. I've never given up yet.     

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Your Personality in an Irrational World: Remaining Yourself

Ah! A powerful urge to write! I shall indulge, for I don't think I'll be able to concentrate on anything else until satisfied.

As some of you may know, the central theme of my new year's resolutions is mastering myself as a person. It's the year of Self-mastery as I've dubbed it. When I first discovered Objectivism and underwent my original, major change of character I turned out as a person with a very desirable and virtuous set of habits, such as being assertive in public, meticulously and laborious conducting self-study regularly, writing non-school essays for my own benefit, continually chasing ways to better myself, and so on. Ultimately, while I wasn't perfect I certainly was higher in character than I am now. When I got into my major conflicts with my family, which lasted for years, I devolved into a meeker, weaker, more mellow person, falling far from what I had attained (and will strive to reattain this year). What happened is that I was immersed deeply in an execruciatingly irrational set of connections, where at the slightest whim a person could be ignited to yelling. Simple, polite, civilized, and proper questions would be met with shouting. When asked for my opinion I would give it in a decent manner, and more often or not it would cause a person to have a tantrum, meltdown, freakout, and you name it. I was constantly harangued on both big and trivial matters to the point of bullying and harassment, and worse yet the discussions were often like tape recordings. Oh, it was miserable.

I think a lot of what I've lost, as such, is the result of my having had to adapt to a total saturation in this insanity. Given how consistent, over-the-top, and downright unpredictable it was, I watered myself down as much as possible in order to avoid these conflicts as much as humanly possible. The frustrations were just so damn consistent: I was dealing with it every single day. I've made incredible progress on recomposing myself, but I'm still far, far away from where I want to be.

While bartending today I realized that, while I may never have to deal with irrationality that thoroughly again, I will always have to deal with irrational people, and, at worst, that irrationality could at least be severe enough to take up a significant portion of my days. If that ever becomes the case again, then what can I do to resist and overcome that kind of pressure to be meek to avoid strife? Furthermore, how can I actually go on to continue developing my personality for the better when better people aren't around to aid in that process?

I ask this question and worry about it since I now realize that in order to fully go forward with my life I'm going to have to answer both of these so that I'm better equipped to fend off irrational influences. It's always a help to develop your set of ideal character habits in the presence of ideal people who won't irrationally punish you for that endeavor, so what do you do when you don't have those people and instead have to resist those who have temper tantrums, force their psychological problems (such as begging for your approval to make them feel better), constantly bring up dead and resolved subjects, and so on?

Overall, I want this consideration to tie into my emotional health goals, as my pursuit of emotional health will inevitably have some visible, concrete effects on how I act as a person, so I want to pursue this as a side of the mental health coin.

I'll write more when I have more thinking invested, but what say you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fighting the Coasting: Staying Alive

I crave to write this evening, yet not to construct any sort of outline, so I shall please myself with some rambling. Oh, don't I need to write more often . . . I so frequently write things in my head but never commit them to any sort of documentation, so I repressing my own desire for this hobby. Well, let's strive to make it more regular.

In thinking about my new year's resolutions I'm seeing more and more how my emotional goals are by far the most important of them all. As noted before, I suspect I have bipolar disorder, and I particularly think it's more inherent in the wiring of my brain rather than the setup of my psychology, as I've taken the care to repudiate the beliefs that underlie those emotions, and yet I still experience those negative swings. I think this indicates that I have yet to taken intensive enough steps for my new beliefs to have their full impact on my brain, so my brain is still firing off in old, bad ways. (Though, of course, don't mistake me as endorsing the mind/body dichotomy. I've explained my reasoning before, so check a post or two down for it. Another reason to write regularly: Habitual posting means a habitual audience, which means I can more easily build upon my writing.) So far I've done surprisingly well in practicing the interesting methods I've learned from The Brain That Changes Itself, but there's still so much work to do.

Overall, it's an interesting struggle. I've made rapid progress in controlling the swings, mitigating their intensity and frequency amazingly, and have even started building a semblance of contentment, but as I begin to change in these positive ways the bad habits fight back and I sometimes feel seized by them. While not a black depression, I sometimes feel hit by a sense of hopelessness, that no values are possible in this world and that nothing is worth doing except idling to calm the anxiety. This, as such, has become the biggest threat to my resolutions. When I get like this, I waste time. Lots of time. Consistently, from day to day. When I feel like this, I look at all my ambitious goals and strivings and see no point in them and have no inclination to pursue them as my teenage self would have been savage to do so. Despite getting up early in the morning, I often take such long walks and do other idle things to the extent that my day doesn't officially start until noon, sometimes two in the afternoon. And it always makes me feel guilty to have such a precious ability to get up so nicely as such early hours, only to waste them in this state of hopelessness. And, ack, my anxiety seems to be coming back to a minor degree.

So while I know that I have important resolutions such as doing cognitive exercises everyday, I see at root that healing myself mentally is going to be the most important root for all these endeavors and beyond. If I don't nip the problem in the bud, then I'll just maintain a self-defeating mentality that will continue to undermine all that I do.

Ultimately, what upsets me -- to vent and connect -- is what a difficult time I've had living my life out in this world. Oh, I detest it as it is and wouldn't mind crushing a few people. I grew up in a community with a bad philosophy self-esteem, so my speech impediment, caused by my bad hearing, made me a honed-in on target for bullying, which I was, constantly. The bad thing is that throughout all of these ordeals almost every single adult has failed me. The teachers, for whatever reasons I will not know, didn't really care about my fate, and didn't make any meaningful effort to stop the bullying that was done and would even side with the bullies on a consistent basis. Immense injustice. At home I had to deal with the psychological problems of my elders, which I naturally absorbed since I couldn't think for myself at the time. Worse yet, they were nearly impotent in aiding me in dealing with all the stressful schools dealings, as they either tried making me not have all this bullying affect me "somehow," without ever specifying any means to generating that effect ("Don't be angry; be happy!"). They even punished me once for actually taking their advice and fighting someone, even though they told me to do it.

After I've learned to think for myself and changed drastically as a person I find that my problems have not gone away, but rather changed in their nature. Now the once bullies who strove to stress me about my aesthetic failings now either shut me out totally or despise me for my explicit intelligence. Whenever I display my ambitiousness or enjoyment in improving myself I now tend to make people so uncomfortable that I continue to be held at a distance, and stuff like that is hurtfully disappointing when I admire the virtues I share in common with a person so that I desperately want to be their friend, only to have them avoid and neglect me for whatever discomfort they feel. And, of course, I've had to deal with the worst of surprises, my family becoming my number one enemy when, in my healing, I shut out some terrible people toxic to my happiness, only to be met with shocking, dishonest, and uncivilized disapproval.

I guess you could say I feel a terrible kind of loneliness. The kind that I not seem to be unable to meet people like me, but also that the world is somehow unfairly against me . . . culturally I mean, not metaphysically. In my old state of being I was shunned for my terrible speech; now I'm shunned for my bothering to pursue the best of my ability. Damned if you do, damned if you don't? Perhaps worst of all, I'm still aware of those people out there I so wish to be great friends with, and for whatever reason they keep the distance. There's no active dislike or disapproval on their part, so why can't we be friends? With all this, I feel emotionally dissatisfied and alone, and it intensifies when I reflect that I've always been in this position.

I believe in the benevolent universe premise. I know there are good people out there, and that a better world is possible. But I don't feel that way very often. It feels like the harder I push the more I shall provoke the evil elements in the world, and suffer more undue stress from it. When I can for a brief period indulge my ambition, this kind of thinking sends me back to that hopelessness. The stupor has grown so strong that I feel too guilty to search for a second job, for fear that I'm lying about my ambition on my resume.

And, truth be told, suicidal thoughts have come back. My, it's be a long time since those have visited me. It's strange since even in my more miserable periods in Texas they seemed to be absent and I was able to deal with the emotion on its raw terms. It's odd for it to come back since my current mode of stress is far weaker than anything else I've been dealing with, and yet I've been contemplating it intellectually.

Is this a good world to live it? Will I always have to deal with rotten louses, people I can't connect with, and ideal friendships that never get established despite my efforts? Will the obstacles indeed become more severe as I up the ante on my strivings? Intellectually, I know the answer to all is no, but I've got to work to start feeling like that, more often.

Oh, as much as I've ever thought about it I don't think I'll ever attempt it. Aside from all the current progress I've made to securing personal peace, I have tasted what genuine contentment, serenity, and satisfaction with life are like, before I plunged into the stress with my great family ordeal and the current Texas aftermath. That period in my youth was so great that I know life is worth living because of it, and desperately want to get over my current hangups so I can retain that state and continue on with my self-mastery beyond that point, like I was when I was a fresh Objectivist.

While I still have and maintain friends, I'll have to regain the understanding that it was ultimately I alone who overcame the stress last time in my youth, and it'll necessarily be me alone again to surmount this internal difficulties again. Friendly aid would be nice, but there are no people around me of high enough spiritual worth to be able to assist me with that, and I partially resent those ideal people which I held affection for, for withholding their friendship like that.

So I'll keep on living, don't worry. I knew I had that conclusion before I wrote them, and in the writing process worked to make to make it feel real. That one period in life, even just in memory, is enough to tell me in partial degree how satisfying life can be, so I'm justifiably anxious to see what degrees are beyond it. Ah, screw other people for the moment. The loneliness may be remedable with some good person out there . . . perhaps someone with a common virtue who wouldn't shy away this time . . . but for the moment I'll just have to tolerate it. The nasty aspects of the world too.

What shall I do to fight this coasting, which is inducing this terrible sense of hopelessness and suicide contemplation? Well, lately I've had a very interesting insight on how I tend to be prone to certain urges depending on how strongly they're associated with the environment, and with my habits. For instance, my habit of taking a walk every morning -- often very long walks -- has been established in my home neighborhood, and I've done it for so many months that it's my natural temptation almost every single morning I wake up. However, on days when I go to the gym I won't take my walk; instead, I go straight to the gym and start my day from that point. I don't miss the walk either. Also, I've noticed that my association of playtime with my room has made it so that I'm very often tempted to simply play around when in this environment, but if I'm in the library or bookstore cafe I have no other interest except for the work before me.

Therefore, while frustrating for a little while, it might be best to work to get away from these annoying urges' spatial location, and to get to an environment so strongly associated with work that it becomes the overriding mentality. I ought to do this first thing in the morning if possible, to squash any potential for the idleness urge to arise.

Deeper, I think this may be a problem with concentration. I have no ability to explain it, but I've noticed a very strong correlation between my ability to concentrate and my overall well-being. When I lax and daydream frequently, I'm often miserable and ashamed. When I take the effort to intensively guide myself and put my mind constantly to work at something, I feel very deeply pleased with not just myself, but life itself. With a powerful ability to concentrate I seem to take a heightened pleasure in every intellectual activity I engage in, from reading to writing to math exercises to thinking, and overall I feel more powerful a person. Powerful in that I have control over myself and can conquer anything. I'm sure that it's something deeper and broader than mere concentration, but since concentration seems to be the key to reaching this state I'm using it as a placeholder term for now. It will be sufficient.

Additionally, with impatience in dealing with all these vices, I went ahead and bought myself a computer tablet, which I should receive early next week. I have a very good way of managing to-do lists that are efficiently tracked through computer files, as they'd otherwise be a bastard to write down. However, that means my to-do lists are practically chained to my home, which makes my home the most productive place to be, to my displeasure. More difficult yet, my inability to carry my to-do lists with me, I think, has had a psychological impact in that I manage the lists to be dominated by things I can do at home while having access to my computer, so I may voluntarily limit my productive endeavors to my home consequently. Among other things, a tablet just seems priceless for the kind of lifestyle I'd like to live, where I could be equally productive in any location I choose, and wouldn't have to be chained to home. And hey, it'll probably lead to more writing on here, as one thing that drove me nuts about regular blogging before is that the long writing process too often meant staying in one place for much longer than I'd like, so I'd probably feel more free to write if I were able to do it in a library, at work during a break, in a park, etc. I should get it early next week.

Ultimately, to cure what ails me I just need to apply my mind to my efforts. It's nerdy, but the source of my contentment and happiness is how well I do to apply my mind. The more I tax it the better. Hard nights of study have often left me to have a vigorous sleep and to wake up in a good mood. In my adult life, I don't think anything else puts me in a good mood upon waking than a life of regular mental work. Oh, how I love to think and apply knowledge. One of my highest goals in life, you could say, is to max out the total intellectual capacity capable of me, applied to the culinary arts of course.

Well, see you around.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thoughts on Posting Things to Facebook and Other Social Media

[Cross-posted from OActivists]

I've been sitting on these thoughts for a few months, and since nobody
else seems to be doing this type of contemplation I'll share some
thinking I've been doing on performing activism on sites like
Facebook.

While a lot of it may be do to my own personal preferences and
psychology, I don't think people generally post content in the most
effective manner possible. After identifying what it is appeals to me,
I think a few changes in habits could make it so that social media
activism becomes more effective than I judge it's currently being.

1.) Quality over quantity: For one, I think people too often
concentrate on posting a lot of things rather than just honing in on
quality things. Sure, you may read ten articles a day, but how many of
your friends are going to read all ten of those articles if you link
to them, especially if you don't editorialize on them?

The main concern here is with burying a gem. If one of those articles
is truly great and tucked in between nine subpar pieces, then people
might pass up the gem by saying "too much; not going to read any of
it." While I don't follow this rule strictly, I try to make it a habit
to only link to the very best content I've purveyed in a single day,
usually just a single article. However, some exceptions can be made, I
think, if the second consideration is taken into account:

2.) Personalize it!: When I visit someone's Facebook page I want to
read about them, not some other people. I want to read about their
thoughts, their happenings, their actions, their habits -- not some
other person's. So on any particular Facebook page I tend to find I
have next to no inclination to click the links they post, since so
many either say very little about what they've posted or, worse yet,
nothing at all. If a link is posted, in order for me to be inclined to
click it I want to know that particular person's thoughts on it . . .
what *personal* worth they got out of it. Again, I visit a particular
person's page only to read about that person, so the only links I'm
remotely tempted to click are the ones people elaborated their
thoughts on: why they liked/hated it, what they got out of it, why we
should click it, and so on. Links without editorial content? Forget
it.

On a psychological note, I see this also applies to me when taking in
larger works such as essays. Whenever the author quotes someone it's
virtually a reflex of mine to just skip over it, because I came to
read what the author has to say and not some other people. As such,
when I construct links I editorialize on them, sometimes at length, so
that people can be motivated by the personal connection between me and
the material. When they visit my Facebook page they come to read about
me, after all.

3.) Be precise and humble: Don't overdo it and say that every other
article you've read is "great." Use your descriptives precisely and
with reserve so that they retain their emotional power. So often do
people read "great" articles that the word has become watered-down and
nearly negated in its persuasive power. Using words strictly garners
much more power.

Additionally, instead of saying an article is "good" or "great" try
resorting to other types of editorializing, such as how you
emotionally reacted ("I laughed myself breathless!"), how it's going
to alter your thinking and practices, and so on.

* * * * *

This type of reasoning applies to all social media, from Google+ to
Twitter. Hope it turns some thinking.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Personal Theme Music for Awhile

I still haven't come up with any solutions to my bar music problem, but stumbling upon this has reminded me how much I love jazz:



It's one of those songs that, at least temporarily, make you wish it were your personal theme that would play when entering a room. It makes me feel saucey and sexually aware, and I feel the urge to strut as some kind of obligation to dance.

Maybe I'll try some jazz at the bar.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Bartending Conundrum: Playing Music

In preparing for my bartending, I've been thinking of just about everything I'm going to do in order to become the best I can, from how I'll maintain the appearance of my shelves to what kind of equipment I'll bring with me. However, the one dead end I keep running into in my thinking is what I should put on the televisions behind me while I work.

It concerns me because I want them to be tuned to some channel that meshes along nicely with the atmosphere and aids in setting it. While I still lived in Michigan I once went to a somewhat upper-class gourmet food store that looked very attractive inside, but was playing modern music on the radio that clashed so greatly with the environment that I couldn't stop being distracted by it. It just didn't fit there and gave me an overall negative estimate of the place, since they did well with their shelves but became careless with their music. I don't want that to happen under my watch, so I'm trying to figure out the optimal channels.

Given that work is for working, I'm not going to be watching those televisions, especially since I hardly watch television at home but for one show I follow on the internet. In addition to not being distracted, I want to set some music channels on as my "default" whenever a costumer hasn't asked for something in particular to be turned on, and when popular sports games aren't on. The problem is that I can't decide upon exactly what type of music to put on. My taste in classical and jazz, I think, wouldn't be appropriate. And of course the issue does matter lest you think I'm being too seriously, for you'd know right away that death metal would be wrong for a family-appropriate dining establishment.

For the stronger musical lovers amongst me, I reach out for your opinion!

I don't know exactly what type of cable hookup with have, but it is Direct TV, and here are the packages. (Scroll down a little bit to see the channel options, then check "Satellite Radio" to see only the music options. Just look at the *Choice* options.)

I don't want to list my company here, so instead I'll say it's a middle-scale pizza restaurant that applies to all age groups and types, and has a good mixture of from-scratch cooking (such as making the dough and tossing it by hand) and preprepared stuff (such as the roasted red peppers). Just about everyone comes, from families to the single individuals having a drink at the bar.

Optimally, I want to figure out a good set of options that would be appropriate and rotate between them, and just change the channel at the costumer's request or when an important sports game is on, otherwise I want to concentrate on doing my work, doing on-the-job learning, or, most importantly, interacting and conversing with the costumer.

What do you think?