Tag Archives: History

02/09 Saturday Quote


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When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen, you often learn something.

~ Jared Sparks

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Cleaning the ‘KonMari’ Way


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Last week felt like the longest week ever here in Massachusetts.  There was the snowstorm on Sunday then came the frigid cold on Monday.  The cold got to be too much that I get sick yet AGAIN, causing me to avoid everyone like the plague (including my own laptop).  With that, its been quiet here in MakeSandcastlesNotWar being that I spent some time resting rather than cranking out more ridiculously awesome blog pieces.

To be honest, it wasn’t all bad being cooped up inside the house.  Spending more time indoors just meant searching for more great content on Netflix.  There was one popular TV series that actually got me moving and thinking differently about cleaning up.  This is Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

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Tidying Up with Marie Kondo stars Marie Kondo, world-renowned organizing consultant and author who helps clients in the realm of tidying up.  Each episode features Marie helping out different types of audiences clean up their apartment or home.  Some were expecting a baby on the way while others wanted make their home feel more sophisticated for their guests.  These clients learn how to apply the KonMari Method when tidying up.  The KonMari Method involves gathering together all of your belongings (based on certain categories) and keeping only items that ‘spark joy’ in your life.  This way of cleaning/organizing shifts the focus from throwing items away to thing you truly want to hold onto for the future.

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Watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo influenced me to conduct some cleaning and organizing around my bedroom/office and bathroom.  I collected so many things these past few years, what with the amount of traveling I do in Boston and Salem almost every week, that I decided to clean out the clutter and only keep items that still ‘spark joy’.

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First off I started was my closet, I took out all of the clothing and organized them based on different categories.  My blue jeans and khaki pants are shelved on top as well as my winter clothes.  Near the left corner are where I stored my hats.  The right corner is where put my bicycle helmet.

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The middle section is where I hung up the shirts, a few pants, suits, and winter coats.  Less clothing meant more space, as well as easy access to any item I need for the day.  In this case, less IS more because the shirts look a lot nicer than before.

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On the bottom are my shoes neatly placed on this light shoe rack.  Boots, shoes, slippers, and even my sandals are all snug within its place.  There is no scrambling for finding the right pair of shoes because every pair is right there.  No scrambling means no frustration, which only means more piece of mind.

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Next we move onto the drawers.  I folded up the socks (through KonMari Method, of course!) neatly around the space.  Every pair can be seen all around the border for every kind of occasion.  No more fumbling for the right pair on a special day!

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Not only did I tidy up the sock/underwear drawer, but I also worked on the shirts as well.  The KonMari Method involves folding in thirds so that the shirts make up as less space as possible.  Better yet, it gives me a better idea of what shirt to wear for the day.  Two amazing benefits through just one small activity.

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This even goes for long-sleeve shirts as well.  All of my short/long sleeve shirts, neatly stacked around yet another drawer.

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Last drawer shows yet more shirts as well as some pajama pants.  Through the KonMari Method, I rolled up the pants instead of folding to make them look smaller than they are.  Rolling the pants helps to create more space for your clothing.  Really its all about working with the space you have in front of you.

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After cleaning up most of my room, I moved onto the bathroom.  I looked through my cabinets to throw away items that didn’t ‘spark joy’ (they were pretty much expired anyways!).  Next step was to organize the last remaining items.  The shaving products went together just like the medicine and so on.  There has been much more space in the bathroom cabinets, making everything that much easier to find.

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One last thing I cleaned out was my business card collection.  I have collected hundreds of business cards throughout the years.  Ever since starting college, I received a wide range of business cards from different people in various industry.  From PRSSA to the cannabis industry, these cards come from all over the country.  Cleaning out my business cards was truly a rewarding and positive experience because I looked back on who I enjoyed connecting with.  These connections could further my career in the near future if I use them right.

Cleaning the Marie Kondo way was a truly amazing and philosophical experience.  It taught me something about value and appreciation in this world.  I haven’t been feeling much appreciation in life, so I started cleaning up in my room and bathroom.  Sure enough, it actually helped out in a major way.

Conducting this modern self-help craze made me realize… in order to receive appreciation in life, you have to start with appreciating yourself first.  It isn’t something you get right away.  Appreciating yourself is the first step in truly getting what you want out of life.  Cleaning up and organizing your possessions help clean up not only the physical clutter, but the mental clutter within your mind  That’s the best type of self-help you could ever get.

With that, Marie Kondo’s method helped me clear out the clutter – both in my room and in my mind.

Reading Series #6 – The Normal Heart


Happy MLK Day readers!  We have frigid cold temperatures here in Massachusetts after yesterdays snowstorm.  What was supposed to be nearly a foot of snow ended up becoming a sleet and rain mix.  Halfway through January and the first snowstorm of 2019 finally arrived.

For the record, it has been very cold these past few weeks.  I have been hunkering down in warmer spots indoors to escape the brutal cold.  It definitely helped to have a riveting play in my hands, which is the topic for the latest Reading Series.

Today’s episode is about a play.  It revolves around a tragic health PR nightmare around New York City during the 1980s.  One man fights for his partners life, as well as his friends around him, in a time of darkness.  This is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.

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The Normal Heart is an autobiographical play by Larry Kramer about the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981 to 1984.  It takes us through the mind of Ned Weeks, a writer/activist who established the prominent HIV activist group.  Weeks preferred the loud, public confrontations over the latter; this causes various memorable arguments among the characters.  One of those supporters is Felix Turner, who becomes Ned Weeks’s love life.

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Reading The Normal Heart was truly an emotional journey.  Ned Weeks’s violent confrontations with both his enemies and friends truly showcased his passion throughout the play.  He wanted to solve the cure for AIDS so badly that he was willing to go any lengths to get to it.

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It wasn’t just about finding the cure for AIDS – Ned Weeks was looking to become the true savior to all the gay men in the country.  He wanted all of them to keeping living the life they truly wanted.  This widespread germ warfare only dampened their lives even further.  Getting this information out to the public would be the first step in eradicating the disease.

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Interestingly enough, I saw the film version of The Normal Heart by Ryan Murphy back in 2014.  The film starred Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina, and Jonathan Groff.  I thought the film version was amazing, even though I watched it BEFORE I read the play.

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In the end, The Normal Heart was truly an emotional, yet amazing play.  Ned Weeks fought tooth and nail to solve the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City.  He couldn’t stand to see any more of his friends dies from this horrific disease.

Definitely check out The Normal Heart this year.

 

How Hard Did Aging Hit You Challenge


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People do a lot of random things on Facebook.  They “wave” at random strangers they become friends with, poke their family and friends, and even share content all over their page (or better yet, OVERSHARE).  There’s no shortage of ways to make the most out of your social media experience.

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In some cases, users follow a particular theme that is trending around the site.  Events like the Ice Bucket Challenge or games such as Farmville became popular for quite a while.  Here in the beginning of 2019 lies a whole new challenge involving your own photos.  The latest challenge on Facebook is How Hard Did Aging Hit You?

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The challenge goes like this – you upload your very first profile picture and your most recent picture.  It’s creative way to compare how much you have changed over the years.  As the name goes, users find out how exactly hard aging has hit them.

Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I’ve decided to showcase the challenge on this very blog.  It’s been 11 years since my picture was take.  Time to compare that with the most recent one today.

October 2008

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October 2008 – Here I am at 17 years old, kicking it in my bedroom.  I was a junior in Ipswich High School at the time, just one and a half years away from college.  Just being a regular teen, chilling in my bedroom in Ipswich.  Pretty sure I finished up my homework (or not!), so I played around on my laptop for a bit.

That grey trucker CKY hat was one of my favorites.  CKY was my favorite band and I collected all the albums through Itunes.  I still have their music locked within my portable hard drive.  YouTube really changed since 2008.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school, being that I was being the typical care-free teenager.  College was looming around everyone’s mind and the only main thing on mine was what was on VH1 or MTV.  There were many times where I was browsing through the Ed Hardy catalog rather than searching for colleges around Massachusetts.  Only thing I did know was that I loved being in the swarm of entertainment around me.

January 2019

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Fast-forward to January 2019 – 11 years later.  Completely done with both high school and college.  I have been busy working within the cannabis industry and keeping up with an entertainment PR blog five days a week.  While I haven’t been hanging with my friends I knew in high school, I have more friends in Boston these days.  Almost three years out of college and I reach even closer to my dream career.  It’s been quite a wild ride since high school and I have been enjoying every minute of it.

To think that I have gone from this rebellious teenager browsing through Ed Hardy apparel while listening to CKY to becoming a young professional in the cannabis industry is simply beyond shocking.  Time has an intriguing way of completely reshaping who you become.  Not only do you physically age over time, but both your mental and emotional state become altered as well.  Your whole identity itself gradually progresses each year.

What seems like another social media trend is actually a mind-blowing step into the past.  Eleven years later and lots has changed since that picture I took in high school.  I was in the midst of a ever-growing trend of a new industry that would soon blossom over time.

With that, the ‘How Hard Did Aging Hit You’ challenge was quite entertaining to complete.  I can certainly say I aged well since I was 17.

Reading Series #5 – The Nature of the Physical World


Welcome back readers!  Here we are in the new year at 2019.  We said goodbye to 2018 and kicked things off to celebrate the new year.  It was worth staying up all those hours to be with friends and family alike.  This only the beginning of many new adventures to come.

To kick off the first blogpost for the year, I’d like to start with another novel for this year’s Reading Series.  The title comes from a series of lectures He gave for the University of Edinburgh.  His course is a combination of science, philosophy, religion, classics, history, folklore, and mythology.  It brings about complex lessons of physics with various examples to back up his findings.  This is The Nature of the Physical World.

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The Nature of the Physical World was written by Arthur Eddington in 1927.  It comprises from a series of Gifford Lectures that he delivered to the University of Edinburgh in January to March.  His teachings include ideas about time, gravity, relativity, the quantum theory, reality, and many others.  Eddington refers to many famous scientists when explaining his ideas.  Not only are the ideas complex, but the language itself can be tricky for some.

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Nevertheless, The Nature of the Physical World is full of mind-blowing concepts within each chapter.  One such concept was about the arrow of time.  The arrow increases as time goes on in the future when more unforeseen events happen.  In the meantime, the arrow decreases when you experience more events you already had happen before.  This was truly shocking to me, putting an intriguing perspective on how time works.

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But to be honest, what truly got me hooked was through Jonathan Blow’s The WitnessThe Witness featured audio logs scattered all across the island.  Some of these audio logs were from Arthur Eddington.  I conducted research on where the passages came from and the answer turned me to Eddington’s The Nature of the Physical World.  Interestingly enough, all of the passages can be found in chapter 15 titled ‘Science and Mysticism’.

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            It amazes me to think that I found this magnificent novel from a game like The Witness.  To think that a complex puzzle game could turn me to a philosophical book like The Nature of the Physical World is truly breath-taking.  You never know what you can discover until you look deep into the media you are into now.

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With that, The Nature of the Physical World was an excellent novel to kick off this year’s Reading Series.  Arthur Eddington provides deep philosophical insight with some clear examples.  Albert Einstein is one of many scientists referenced in the novel.  He brings it all back to a bigger concept in the later chapters.

Arthur Eddington’s The Nature of the Physical World should definitely be on your reading list this year.