Monday, November 16, 2015

My favorite D.C. area things:

1.  Favorite brunch: The Source
2.  Favorite cafeteria: Mitsitam Native Foods Café in the National Museum of the American Indian
3.  Favorite cheap brunch: Murphy's Grand Irish Pub
4.  Favorite coffee shop: Killer E.S.P.
5.  Favorite festival: Smithsonian Folklife Festival
6.  Favorite fountain: Fountain in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on the National Mall
7.  Favorite fountain in Alexandria: The fountain in Dulany Gardens in front of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office at night
8.  Favorite French fries: Eammon's: A Dublin Chipper
9.  Favorite French restaurant: Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar
10.  Favorite lobster roll: Hank’s Oyster Bar
11.  Favorite local burger place: Ray’s: To the Third (formerly Ray’s Hell Burger)
12.  Favorite pizza: Pizzeria Paradiso
13.  Favorite deep-dish pizza: District of Pi
14.  Favorite place for coffee: Portico Café at the National Portrait Gallery (mainly for the view)
15.  Favorite place to eat after a night of drinking in Alexandria: Stage Door Deli
16.  Favorite presidential memorial: Thomas Jefferson Memorial
17.  Favorite restaurant: Restaurant Eve
18.  Favorite restaurant in Alexandria: Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant
19.  Favorite Indian restaurant: Rasika
20.  Favorite Italian restaurant: Palena
21.  Favorite Mexican restaurant: Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
22.  Favorite park: The Yards Park
23.  Favorite room: Main Hall of Union Station
24.  Favorite view: View from the top steps of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial looking towards the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument when the cherry blossoms are blooming
25.  Favorite view from a restaurant: Windows facing the fountains at the Mitsitam Native Foods Café in the National Museum of the American Indian
26.  Favorite war memorial: National World War II Memorial

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3851.  If you have no cash reserves, what happens when you pay down your loans, but then experience an unexpected cash flow crunch?  You simply increase your loan balances again or even worse, miss payments and hurt your credit score, therefore, getting charged more for future loans;
3852.  You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him;
3853.  Success and likability go hand in hand for men; however, a woman’s likability goes down as her success goes up;
3854.  Shirley Manson (the lead singer of “Garbage”) likes to dance onstage only when she’s in D.C.;
3855.  “Garbage” has played in D.C. every time they’ve gone on tour;
3856.  Apparently, Shirley Manson had her first orgasm at the age of 13 thanks to a sex book;
3857.  The drummer from “Garbage” (i.e., Butch Vig) produced Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album;
3858.  A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine proposes that while marriage can make you healthier, a less-than-happy – but not actually unhappy – union might be taking years off your life, thanks to higher blood pressure and the cardiovascular problems that come with it.  Researchers at Brigham Young University studied a group of married people and found that the quality of your marriage might matter more than being hitched in and of itself;
3859.  Research has proven that exposure to cold water – either through taking a shower or by drinking a glass of ice water – can activate the sympathetic nervous system and boost your adrenaline;
3860.  How do you blow up a pumpkin?  The answer is: Dry ice in a Gatorade bottle;
3861.  (I can say) I’ve been hit by pumpkin shrapnel;
3862.  The universal consensus seems to be that airfares tend to be lowest for flights that depart on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Some sources, including Fodor’s, add Thursday, and others, add Saturday;
3863.  Expedia concludes that, for long-haul flights, leaving on Thursday and returning on Monday costs around 20 percent less than leaving on Friday and returning on Saturday.  The lowest in-and-out combinations tend to include outbound flights on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday with return flights on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.  For short-haul trips, Expedia’s lowest-fare groupings are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday both ways;
3864.  Several sources publish data on the correlation between advance purchase period and airfares.  The ideal time to buy a domestic ticket is 54 days in advance, says CheapAir, or seven weeks ahead, says Expedia, which are essentially the same findings.  For international trips, the ideal period is 171 days ahead of departure, according to the same Expedia report.  CheapAir refines the estimates: 96 days before trips to Europe and 96 days prior to Latin America trips.  Both sources indicate that you can come close to the absolute lowest price over a wide range of dates: CheapAir’s “window” for good deals on domestic tickets is 27-114 days in advance; Expedia’s window is 50-100 days;
3865.  Avoid booking too early and too late.  Too late is especially bad; you pay a huge premium for buying within a week or two of departure – even on airlines that nominally assess no advance-purchase limits;
3866.  Many airlines tend to announce sales on a Monday, leading other airlines to match certain fares the following day, but this is not a hard and fast rule;
3867.  With almost all U.S. airlines, you can cancel your ticket within 24 hours of booking at no charge.  Even if you’ve already bought your fare, you can keep looking for a better offer within that 24-hour window;
3868.  Popular metasearch agency Fare Compare is pretty sure that the best day of the week to book airfare is Tuesday (and to be even more specific, Tuesday around 3:00 PM EST);
3869.  Joshua Radin lived one summer in Foggy Bottom (during college);
3870.  Joshua Radin is a whiskey drinker;
3871.  Joshua Radin doesn’t own a CD player only a record player;
3872.  You can look to others for inspiration and guidance, but you must define your own path to success;
3873.  Success requires soul searching and learning what you need to be happy;
3874.  Try your best each day, but don’t chastise yourself for having an imperfect day;
3875.  Your definition of success can evolve as you evolve.  Wanting different things at different points in life is part of being human;

Monday, October 26, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3801.  Education doesn't stop at books, you need to take action and apply what you've learned.  That is when the most powerful learning happens;
3802.  That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do it is increased;
3803.  That which we resist in doing becomes harder for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do it is decreased;
3804.  We can try to change the system or we can change ourselves;
3805.  The way to win is to learn to play the game a better way.  Better not to worry about trying to change the game – just learn to play it well;
3806.  Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference;
3807.  Ultimately, blaming and complaining will not improve your situation.  You may have a valid point and your complaints may be justified, but complaining will not help fix your problem;
3808.  (The) parking at the Birchmere ( is weird;
3809.  It’s (kind of) weird going to a concert and sitting at a table next to strangers without any seats between you;
3810.  Some pretty famous musicians (i.e., Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, etc.) have sung at the Birchmere;
3811.  Matt Nathanson has 13 guitars. . . . He doesn’t name them;
3812.  Matt Nathanson shops at Whole Foods (Market), including the store in (Old Town) Alexandria;
3813.  Hope is what we stand on when we have no control;
3814.  When you marry, your credit report stays the same.  The only information on both spouses’ reports is joint accounts and accounts where the other spouse is an authorized user;
3815.  It’s a terrible thing in life to wait until you’re ready.  Actually no one is ever ready to do anything.  There is almost no such thing as ready.  There is only now.  And you may as well do it now.  Now is as good a time as any;
3816.  Fear is just an illusion.  It’s not real;
3817.  Once you figure out what is keeping you in fear, you can take action to produce real results.  Identifying what makes you afraid should help you to release it.  If this is not the case, consider that you may not have identified the root of the fear or it may be layered;
3818.  Once you figure out what is keeping you fearful, the trick is to turn that feeling or emotion into an act of courage.  Think of one step or a series of steps that you can take rather than stay paralyzed in fear.  Make a list.  Ask yourself, if I had no fear, what would it look like?  What would the actions of a brave person be?  Write them down and pick one.  It can be baby steps;
3819.  Without fear, there would be no bravery;
3820.  Allow fear to occur as an opportunity for bravery.  Consciously choose actions that would be brave.  If you’re not totally buying it, just do it anyway.  Fake it until you make it.  Courage is measured in actions.  It all looks the same from the outside;
3821.  Life is a mirror: Things show up based on how you are vibrating.  You cannot attract what you don’t reflect.  Say you find yourself dating a partner who can’t commit to you; I would ask, where in your life are you not all in?  Your job?  Why is this showing up?  You get what you put out in the world;
3822.  In the U.S., 47 percent of women over the age of 50 are single;
3823.  I can say I’ve taken a class taught by the Director of the F.B.I. (i.e., James “Jim” Comey);
3824.  Scientists at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina found women need more sleep than men;
3825.  Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, England found women need 20 minutes more shut-eye because of the “female multi-tasking brain;”
3826.  Women tend to multi-task – they do a lot at once and are flexible – and so they use more of their actual brain than men do.  Because of that, their sleep need is greater;
3827.  Women’s health is compromised more than men from lack of sleep too.  They have a higher risk of heart disease, depression and psychological problems, including extra clotting factors in their blood, which can lead to stroke;
3828.  If you find it impossible to get enough sleep at night, then sleep expert, Dr. Mchael Breus suggests taking strategic naps of either 25 minutes or 90 minutes long; anything longer than this will make you feel worse when you wake up;
3829.  Some experts estimate that the average American consumes 350 to 440 calories of added sugars – the equivalent of 22 to 28 teaspoons – every day.  And pretty much every medical professional agrees that it’s contributing to our weight gain, high blood-sugar levels and record-high diabetes rates;
3830.  According to recent research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a sugar-filled diet can increase your risk of death by heart disease – even if you aren’t overweight;
3831.  Eating significant amounts of sugar from any source – be it table sugar, honey or orange juice, can compromise your immune system’s ability to fight viruses, bacteria and parasites, according to Debra Nessel, R.D.N., C.D.E., a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with the Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California;
3832.  A 2015 study from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (funded by National Honey Board) found that honey, table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup all have similar effects on the body;
3833.  Some research has linked high sugar intake to cancer;
3834.  In one Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience study, rats that consumed the popular artificial sweetener saccharine for 14 days ate more food and gained more weight than rats that ate sugar.  Plus, their core body temperatures actually dropped and their metabolisms slowed. That may be because artificial sweeteners are up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, which cannot only trigger your body to crave more of the sweet stuff, but also damage your body’s ability to gauge how many calories you’ve consumed – and how many more you should crave, according to the Harvard School of Public Health;
3835.  Current research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that people who consume two or more diet drinks daily are 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes and are 50 percent more likely to die from heart disease compared to those who never or rarely drink diet drinks.  The bottom line is that even small amounts of artificial sweeteners can play tricks on your body, causing it to over respond to signals from your taste buds, in many cases leading to weight gain;
3836.  Apparently beet juice contains a molecule that provides a “dramatic boost” to your muscle power. . . . . Nine people with heart failure were recruited for a recent study, which appeared in the September issue of Circulation: Heart Failure journal.  Each subject was given 140 milliliters or about two thirds of a cup of concentrated beet juice.  The upshot was that the subjects’ muscle power was boosted by an average of 13 percent almost immediately after drinking it.  According to Andrew Coggan, a study coauthor and assistant professor of radiology at Washington University, this improvement is equivalent to what a person can expect after two to three months of resistance training.  The magic element is nitrate, also found in high densities in spinach, which is converted into nitric oxide when ingested;
3837.  Your thoughts control your feelings, and in order to become a happier person, you need to think happier thoughts.  While it seems simple, it actually takes a lot of practice because you need to retrain your brain.  A good example that a lot of people can relate to is the thought or idea of not being enough – not skinny enough, rich enough, smart enough and the list goes on. When you begin to tell yourself – and realize – that you are enough, you can experience abundance;
3838.  Whether you need to forgive yourself or someone else, it’s important to recognize that until you can forgive, you’ll never be fully liberated and able to live life to its fullest;
3839.  Money is going to come and go your entire life.  You’ll make it, spend it, lose it and invest it.  What is the thing in your life that’s only going to go?  Time.  When you’re retired and looking back on your life, you’ll wish you spent your brief time on this Earth as preciously as you’ve spent your money.  Be responsible in preparing for the future, but don’t overlook the importance of enjoying the present while you’re at it;
3840.  Not only is traveling physically harder as you age, but logistically it becomes more difficult the older you get.  Growing more established in your career, buying a home and starting a family are all things that won’t make travel impossible, but will certainly make it more complicated than it is when you are young and untethered;
3841.  Apparently, they do give out gift cards for filling out (restaurant) customer surveys;
3842.  A recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition found that athletes who consumed 4.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight before exercise burned about 15 percent more calories for three hours post-exercise than those who ingested a placebo.  For a 185-pound man, that comes out to about 378 mg of caffeine – roughly the amount in about 16 ounces of brewed coffee;
3843.  A 2008 study, conducted at the University of Illinois, found that consuming the amount of caffeine found in two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute, high-powered workout actually reduced muscle pain.  Less pain means a greater ability to push yourself, leading to better gains;
3844.  A Japanese study from 2013 had participants drink five-ounce cups of either regular or decaf coffee, then tested blood flow (via the finger) to gauge the effect on small-blood-vessel function.  Researchers found that the people who drank caffeinated coffee experienced a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period.  When it comes to exercise, that’s a significant advantage because better blood flow means more oxygen for your muscles – meaning an ability to get more out of your workout;
3845.  Sports scientists at Coventry University found that caffeine consumption can help to protect muscles from deteriorating, which means it could also help to prevent age-related injuries while exercising;
3846.  Running around in a “bubble ball” is (rather) tiring;
3847.  Researchers followed people who lifted weights once a week, twice a week or not at all for a year and then compared their brain scans.  They found that the twice-per-week group had less of a type of brain lesion that is a common sign of aging;
3848.  I hate buttery caramel corn;
3849.  Do not borrow to consume.  Use cash for luxuries and only borrow for productive assets and resources or necessities;
3850.  It doesn’t make any sense to start paying extra on loans until you have at least three months of income, and ideally six months, in a liquid savings account.  This creates safety;

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3751.  Apparently, I wear a size 6 ½ ring if it’s a thin band and a size 7 if it’s a thick one;
3752.  Apparently, if your ring has a thick band, you should go half a size bigger than if your ring has a thin one;
3753.  Mike Isabella (i.e., former contestant on “Top Chef”) (and his wife) eat(s) (brunch) at Del Campo in D.C.;
3754.  According to a 2015 study conducted at the Netherlands Centre for Human Drug Research, men who drank the equivalent of just two drinks (i.e., 20 grams of alcohol) increased their subsequent food intake by 19 percent;
3755.  People tend to prefer high fat, savory and salty foods after consuming alcohol;
3756.  If you’re set on having a bottled juice or smoothie, first check the ingredients label and make sure it contains no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.  Ideally, it should only contain one serving of fruit.  The rest should be vegetables;
3757.  Many veggie chips are just as fattening as the potato chips you’re likely trying to avoid;
3758.  When you remove the gluten out of a food product, you’re taking away the ingredient that provides that delicious, chewy texture in breads, muffins, cakes, pasta and more.  To make up for the loss of flavor and texture, food manufacturers often add in other fillers, including sugars, fats and other chemical additives.  Ultimately, your gluten-free snacks end up with more calories and sugars and don’t even taste as good;
3759.  Far too often, “smart,” “whole grain” and “healthy” cereals aren’t all that different from the sugary stuff you ate as a kid.  On average, foods displaying the yellow “Whole Grain Stamp” contain more sugar and calories than do whole-grain foods that don’t sport the label, according to research from Harvard University.  Instead of looking at the front of the box to make your selection, you should look at the back.  The cereal should contain fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving, at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and contain bran in the ingredients;
3760.  The fiber in bran has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugars and contain beneficial antioxidants.  However, commercially produced fiber like resistant starch, polydextrose, indigestible dextrins and inulin may not provide the same benefits of plant-based fibers like wheat and oat bran;
3761.  Many protein bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar but with a few extra grams of protein;
3762.  Many quinoa pastas contain more corn flour, a cheap gluten-free flour, than anything else.  The result: It contains just as many calories, more carbs and fewer grams of protein than if you just stuck with wheat pasta.  Before buying any quinoa pasta, flip over the box.  Look for brands that contain one ingredient: quinoa flour;
3763.  Multigrain breads only indicate that the bread contains multiple grains.  It says nothing about their degree of refinement.  Refined grains have been extensively processed, and their bran and germ, the fiber-, vitamin- and mineral-containing part of the grain, have been removed, leaving only simple carbs that spike your blood sugar and promote weight gain.  Look for breads that have some sort of whole grain – whole wheat, whole rye, whole oats – as their first ingredient;
3764.  Some nut butters, even those labeled as natural, contain added sugars or trans fats, harmful fats that increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol.  Before you buy, make sure the only ingredient is nuts.  And even if your nut butter doesn’t contain additives, you still need to limit serving sizes.  A single tablespoon contains nearly 100 calories;
3765.  A typical six-ounce fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt container contains 29 grams of carbs and 24 grams of sugar.  That’s the equivalent of a candy bar.  Opt for buying plain yogurt and adding in fresh fruit;
3766.  Many prepackaged salads you’ll find at restaurants, airport terminals and supermarkets contain upwards of 1,000 calories.  Meanwhile, the cheese, croutons and meats pack a ton of sodium, which is used both as a preservative and to boost the salad’s flavor.  Unfortunately, many prepackaged salads don’t come with ingredient or nutrition labels.  If that’s the case with whatever salad you’re eying, don’t buy it.  Look for ingredient labels and make sure neither calories nor sodium is through the roof;
3767.  Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, the people around you have nothing to do with you, just do your own thing and stop.  Everyone has this tendency to mark themselves against other people and the world just does not work that way;
3768.  The Friday night concert series at Yards Park (in D.C.) is like “Jazz in the Garden” (at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden) except there’s more space . . . and you can still bring your own booze;
3769.  Unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind.  It’s just as crushing and just as thrilling.  You love someone purely because you love them and not because you think you’ll ever have your affections reciprocated.  You are admiring something for its beauty without needing to own it;
3770.  The Shakespeare Theatre Company hires some (pretty) accomplished actors/actresses;
3771.  Sara Topham (of the Shakespeare Theatre Company) is rather attractive in person;
3772.  Apparently, they had carni(val) food (i.e., funnel cakes, pie on a stick, smoked turkey legs, etc.) during the Renaissance;
3773.  Smoked turkey legs taste like ham;
3774.  Smoked turkey legs are rather tough. . . . They’re (really) chewy with a lot cartilage and gristle;
3775.  Apparently, there’s no tax for groceries in D.C.;
3776.  Apparently, I’m not as clever as I thought. . . . I wouldn’t make a very good assistant for Sherlock Holmes.  Just ask Cuba, Ireland and New Zealand;
3777.  Sun-kissed is a good look . . . sun-scorched, not so much;
3778.  Strength training primarily works your fast-twitch fibers, which is contributed to high-intensity, short-duration exercises.  In response to training, the fibers get stronger by becoming bigger and growing in number – which is to thank for any size gains in your biceps;
3779.  Endurance exercise primarily trains your body’s slow-twitch fibers, which are responsible for fueling low-intensity, high-duration exercises like running, swimming, and biking.  They are tiny, and while they are vital to sticking with any cardio class or endurance event, they don’t really add to your body’s muscle bulk;
3780.  While strength training largely leaves slow-twitch fibers alone and lets them do their thing, there is some evidence that cardiovascular exercise can convert fast-twitch fibers into slow-twitch fibers;
3781.  Cardio can also disrupt the growth of fast-twitch fiber through what’s called the interference effect.  During exercise, your body sends out both anabolic (muscle-building) and catabolic (muscle-breaking) signals, and it’s believed that aerobic exercise can promote a more catabolic environment;
3782.  On Mondays( all day), you can get a Black Angus steak (with mashed potatoes and a side salad) for $10.95 at Overwood Wood-Fired American Kitchen ( in (Old Town) Alexandria;
3783.  If you want to roast a pig, Seth’s your man;
3784.  Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing;
3785.  If you follow the herd, you’ll end up stepping in shit.  The shit is living with yourself when you ignore what you know to be right and true and instead follow the instructions of others who are afraid to leave the herd and want you to be just like everybody else;
3786.  A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that subjects who drank both water and beer after an hour-long run were equally as rehydrated as those who drank just water, suggesting that beer isn’t quite as dehydrating as previously thought (probably due in part to the drink's, well, high water content).  That said, if you’re trying to lose weight, water is still the better option;
3787.  Research shows that sports drinks aren’t any more effective than water at preventing dehydration and most varieties are also high in calories and sugar (some contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons);
3788.  It turns out stretching before a workout won’t keep you from pulling a muscle after all; in fact, one 2004 study found that stretching before activities such as cycling, jogging and swimming actually did nothing to prevent injuries;
3789.  According to one 2012 study by McMaster University, muscle protein synthesis may continue for 24 to 48 hours after exercising (as opposed to one hour, as commonly believed), but you don’t want to wait too long after working out to eat, as this will cause your body to go into starvation mode;
3790.  Stopping doesn’t mean apologizing.  Stopping doesn’t mean you can’t do something else or try again later (unless that’s what s/he’s asking you to stop);
3791.  The measure of love is not in saying you love, the measure of love is the time that you take toward the showing of love and the actions of love;
3792.  Money buys comfort; comfort is not happiness or satisfaction.  While it is good to be comfortable, it is more satisfying to be happy;
3793.  According to a study, rich kids have a higher risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse than their less affluent peers.  Financial abundance usually provides more security, assets and opportunities, but research by professor Suniya Luthar of Arizona State University, published in the Journal of Development & Psychopathology, shows that young people whose parents have a combined income of $160,000 per year or more experience twice the standard national rate of depression and anxiety than those from less well-to-do families;
3794.  Most people could increase their happiness by devoting less time to making money and more to non-pecuniary goals, such as family life and health;
3795.  According to Orbitz, the best time to book holiday flights is the week of October 5th.  That’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve travel;
3796.  When to book Thanksgiving flights: Orbitz says the best day for those who haven’t booked yet will be October 6th;
3797.  When to book Christmas flights: Because it’s the holiday with the greatest number of people taking to the skies, the sweet spot to book cheap Christmas flights is much earlier than the actual travel date: October 9th, to be exact.  You may also get a second chance at a reasonable (though slightly higher) fare if you book on November 6th or 7th;
3798.  When to book New Year’s Eve flights: Solidify your New Year’s Eve plans by October 10th – the best day to book flights averaging in the $362 range for the last holiday of the year.  The latest you can book and still expect to see some savings is December 2nd.  If you end up booking after Thanksgiving, you’ll be competing with half of all travelers;
3799.  Education that is not put into action is a waste.  Knowledge without action is pointless.  To achieve anything, you must take action;
3800.  Education is key, but remember that part of your education should be doing;

Monday, September 7, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3701.  Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it because nobody else will;
3702.  Apparently,( according to Kim,) I should pass on my genes;
3703.  A traditional calzone uses the same amount of dough as an entire pizza . . . and that it’s meant to serve four people;
3704.  Motivation comes from action; action and motivation are simultaneous;
3705.  Sunscreen is expensive;
3706.  Roy Rogers makes the best, fast food (restaurant chain), roast beef sandwiches;
3707.  People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding.  People do not get scared when you’re failing.  It calms them.  But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should’ve tried to do something too, but now it’s too late.  And since they didn’t, they want to stop you;
3708.  You choose to decide what you take away as your design to life.  Ultimately, you decide what influences you;
3709.  It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble.  It's the things we know that just ain't so;
3710.  Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way;
3711.  Most of the labels are from other people who need to describe what you are not because they feel safer predicting what can't be than what can be;
3712.  Any step in the direction of expressing creative impulses is a step in the direction of actualizing the genius that resides within you;
3713.  Don’t dwell on your troubles, difficulties or illnesses.  The subconscious mind by its very nonselective nature accepts all your feelings associated with troubles as your request – and worst of all, proceeds to make them your experience in the world of your material reality;
3714.  The subconscious mind responds to suggestions.  You can reprogram your subconscious mind so that it goes on its accustomed role of autopilot with mental images and feelings from yourself.  Talk to this automatically receptive component of yourself, telling it that you are unlimited and that you believe all things are possible.  Fill it with images of you being all that you dare to become.  Go to a quiet place and feel in your body what it would feel like were those thoughts in your imagination your present reality;
3715.  The subconscious mind possesses the power to manifest physical reality from thought.  Every object and circumstance in this world is representative of a mental thought.  All that now exists was once imagined – such is the power of the subconscious mind.  But in order to partake of this incredible powerhouse of creation that you are, you must be able and willing to experience within your self – in your mind – that which you wish to manifest.  Thoughts become things when you feel them and are able to impress them upon the subconscious mind, which will then take over;
3716.  To attract appropriate and healthy prosperity or abundance into your life, you need to place all of your attention on what having what you want feels like.  You need to be able to feel what that is like even before it materializes to your satisfaction.  By feeling those pleasant sensations in your body, you reprogram your segment of subconscious mind to harmonize with the infinitely prosperous universal subconscious mind where all manifestation originates.  Your ability to wholeheartedly align with this energetic field means that you simply never again produce thoughts like, I hope someday to become prosperous;
3717.  Air Canada has a decent amount of legroom . . . even in economy;
3718.  I should (really) bring a pen (with me) when I fly/travel internationally;
3719.  They have a Wal-Mart in Montréal . . . and a Home Depot . . . and a Five Guys;
3720.  It’s (probably) not a bad idea to bring U.S. dollars to exchange for foreign/local currency.  You might get a better exchange rate than at an international ATM and you won’t get hit with an international (ATM cash) withdrawal fee;
3721.  Natalie likes her back massaged/pinched;
3722.  Another day that’ll go down in ignominy: August 15th, 2015;
3723.  Nuru is hard to get/wash off;
3724.  Getting whipped isn’t so bad. . . . I could take it or leave it;
3725.  “Sasha” (i.e., Alexandra) said I have nice eyes . . . cat eyes;
3726.  You can’t pull a women’s hair (by the scalp) if she has a weave;
3727.  “Jessica” said I have nice eyes (too) . . . and that I’m a “nice” guy( . . . boo);
3728.  It’s a flat rate of $40.00 (i.e., Canadian) to take a taxi from Montréal to the (Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International) airport;
3729.  What’s a not so good feeling?  The answer is: Getting on a plane . . . falling asleep . . . waking up . . . landing . . . realizing you only have ten minutes to make your connecting flight . . . deplaning . . . thinking the terminal looks strangely familiar . . . and realizing your plane got diverted and you’re at the same airport you started at;
3730.  Apparently, landing in fog is a problem in Ottawa;
3731.  Poutine is overrated;
3732.  Apparently, there are a lot of tall, thin, blonde women in Toronto;
3733.  Whatever you fear the most is usually what you need to address first;
3734.  Apparently, I can’t recognize an English accent;
3735.  Apparently, Bilbo Baggins Restaurant ( in (Old Town) Alexandria has a letter from Chris(topher) Tolkien (i.e., J.R.R. Tolkien’s son) allowing them to use the name( . . . that is, as long as they don’t advertise outside of the restaurant);
3736.  What does “Budweiser” stand for?  The answer is: Because yoU Deserve What Every Individual Should Enjoy Regularly;
3737.  What does “Budweiser” stand for backwards?  The answer is: Remember Every Soldier In Every War Deserves Unlimited Budweiser;
3738.  The cocktails at Restaurant Eve ( in (Old Town) Alexandria are very smooth (specifically the “Sweet Meat” and the “Gin & Tonic”) . . . and very dangerous;
3739.  Garlic scapes are kind of like green beans;
3740.  You have to keep putting yourself in situations where you feel slight discomfort, to feel like you are a little bit alive and a lot like you are learning something;
3741.  At the bottom of every one of your fears, is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you;
3742.  Accept that fear is simply a fact of life, rather than a barrier to success;
3743.  “Power posing” – standing in a posture of confidence, even if we’re feeling less than confident – can affect our brain chemistry and improve our chances for success;
3744.  What you think about before entering a stressful or demanding situation impacts how you act, even though it may be subconscious;
3745.  A study published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that subjects who wore white coats they thought belonged to doctors performed better on tests than those who wore regular clothes.  They found that the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the experience of wearing them impacted the psychology and confidence of the wearers;
3746.  The way you enter a group and first interact with those around you shapes your enduring status among these people;
3747.  Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that the secret to achieving any goal requires confidence and confidence is bolstered by recalling times you succeeded in a similar endeavor or simply felt genuinely powerful and respected.  The catch, researchers found, is to not recall too many of these instances or else you might become complacent.  So, focus on a time you felt truly powerful, respected and/or charming and that feeling will likely be replicated;
3748.  According to research led by Professor Dennis Y. Hsu of Northwestern University and published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, music, especially bass-heavy music, makes us feel powerful – and also behave powerfully!
3749.  If you want to feel confident throughout your entire life, never stop learning.  Research by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has found that learning boosts self-confidence and raises an individual’s aspirations;
3750.  According to Psychology Today, swearing gives us a greater sense of power and agency.  Feeling empowered boosts our self-esteem and confidence;

Monday, July 27, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3651.  Contemplate yourself surrounded by the circumstances you are seeking and they will appear;
3652.  When you see what you contemplate as if it’s already here, the universe will ultimately offer you experiences that match what you’re contemplating;
3653.  Zikrayet Lebanese Restaurant & Lounge ( in (Old Town) Alexandria is actually a pretty nice hookah bar;
3654.  Levant Restaurant & Lounge ( in Tysons Corner is a really nice hookah bar;
3655.  The red in the American flag stands for hardiness and valor, the white for purity and innocence, and the blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.  The original American flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes to represent the original 13 colonies; today the official flag, which was ordered by President Eisenhower and adopted in July of 1960, has 50 stars for the 50 states and 13 stripes;
3656.  Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going;
3657.  According to Stephanie (i.e., “Skyler”), I’m “trouble;”
3658.  “Becca” said I smelled good;
3659.  Kaitlan said I was adorable;
3660.  When (you’re) tubing, watch out for the (jagged) riverbed rocks;
3661.  A Moscow mule (i.e., vodka, ginger beer & lime juice) with simple syrup and crushed mint is really tasty;
3662.  Having two to three orgasms a week will help you live longer.  Why?  Sex reduces stress, boosts the body’s immune system, allows you to connect with another person and can even control one’s appetite;
3663.  Sipping a cup of coffee decreases your risk of many chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  The key here is not to drink too much.  Overdosing on caffeine can trigger insomnia and anxiety;
3664.  In a study performed by the Annals of Internal Medicine, the adults with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon, trout and tuna) lived more than two years longer than those with lower blood levels;
3665.  When you’re fueling up at the gas station, don’t be confused about which side of the car has the gas tank ever again.  Look at the gas indicator on your dashboard and you’ll see a small arrow beside it; the arrow points to the side of your car where the tank is;
3666.  If you think you’re about to cry, rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth.  The activity disorients your brain and prevents you from tearing up;
3667.  Eat the healthiest foods on your plate first.  Especially if your portions are large, the healthy foods may fill you up and you’ll eat less of the unhealthy stuff;
3668.  The best and worst booze to drink if you want to lose weight: The best: 1.  Wine; 2.  Vermouth; 3.  Straight liquors; and 4.  Light beers; The worst: 1.  Sugar-packed cocktails; and 2.  High-alcohol craft beers;
3669.  Five foods that are adding years to your face: 1.  Sugar (i.e., excess sugars can undergo a process called glycation, in which they collide with proteins or fats to form damaged proteins, aptly called AGEs (“Advanced Glycation End Products”) throughout your body.  Not only do these proteins function poorly, but they are less elastic than nature intended.  Plus, glycation produces inflammatory proteins in the body, which can lead to accelerated skin aging); 2.  Charbroiled burgers (i.e., foods that have been heated at high temperatures have also gone through the process of glycation.  What’s more, direct exposure to temperatures above 300 degrees can trigger the production of pro-inflammatory heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)); 3.  Fried foods (i.e., fried foods’ trans fats set off inflammatory pathways in the body, leading to the breakdown of collagen, your skin’s main structural protein); 4.  Alcohol (i.e., boozy beverages affect the function of your body’s No. 1 detoxifying organ: your liver.  When the liver is damaged or slowed in its ability to function well and flush toxins from your system, you just might see the effects on your skin.  What’s more, alcohol consumption can prevent you from entering into the deepest, most restorative stages of sleep.  And when you’re skimping on sleep, your skin is missing out on important repair time); and 5. Packaged foods (i.e., in countries that consume little to no processed foods, people have remarkably healthier skin than in countries that eat from boxes and jars.  While nitrates may spur inflammation, salt dries the skin and can damage its capillaries.  The result: Everything from age spots to acne to rosacea);
3669.  Five foods that’ll make you look younger: 1.  Sweet potatoes (i.e., beta-carotene, which makes these tubers orange, balances your skin’s pH, helps combat dryness and promotes cell turnover, all resulting in smoother skin); 2.  Wild salmon (i.e., the pigment that makes the fish pink, astaxanthin, is a powerful foe of free radicals, rogue molecules that damage cell membranes and DNA and cause skin to age.  A study found that eating one serving every five days can prevent actinic keratosis – ugly rough patches that are precancerous); 3.  Tomatoes (i.e., the fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant that shields skin from sun damage – like sunscreen, but from the inside out.  To best absorb lycopene, eat tomatoes with olive oil); 4.  Citrus fruits (i.e., vitamin C is essential to building collagen, a vital component of young-looking skin, which starts breaking down in your twenties.  Citrus also contains bioflavonoids, which protect skin from UV rays and help prevent cell death); and 5.  Leafy greens (i.e., spinach, kale and other greens contain lutein, which protects skin from sun-induced inflammation and wrinkles);
3670.  Nothing says “classy” like heading down to the (Old Town) Alexandria waterfront on the King Street Trolley with a hip flask in your back pocket;
3671.  Nowadays, I can’t eat a (single) cupcake or a doughnut without getting a sugar headache/rush;
3672.  Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again;
3673.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear;
3674.  A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination;
3675.  The greatest glory in living lies not in ever failing, but in rising every time we fall;
3676.  It always seems impossible until it’s done;
3677.  According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus (Christ) visited the Americas after his resurrection;
3678.  Apparently, you can have maggots in your scrotum;
3679.  “Hasa diga eebowai!” (i.e., Fuck you, god!);
3680.  “The Book of Mormon” is like a long, rated R episode of “South Park;”
3681.  It’s funny how some things can be so politically incorrect, yet fly under the radar, while others are (totally) lambasted by the media;
3682.  Tia is 5’10;”
3683.  It’s better to have a few things you really love than tons of stuff you don’t care about;
3684.  Sometimes people are just jerks, but sometimes they’re being jerks because you’re accidentally pushing their buttons.  The point is to take a moment, think about why someone is reacting to you in an extreme or aggressive way, and take responsibility for your role in it.  Yes, there will be times when you truly didn’t do anything, but those moments are rare;
3685.  Comparison is the death of happiness.  When your friends are having life experiences that you’re not – whether it’s hitting career goals, getting married or buying their first place – it can be hard to step outside the situation and just be happy for them.  But one thing is for certain: Measuring your life against someone else’s is a recipe for disaster.  And let’s be real: You never really know what someone else’s life is like.  There are plenty of people in unhappy marriages and loads of people who are successful at work, but don’t love what they do.  Simply put, the grass is always greener and appearances can be deceiving, so just focus on living your best life instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing;
3686.  You’ll always be happy in your dream job, but the truth is that even the greatest gig on the planet has its ups and downs.  Some days your job will drive you nuts and that is okay.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have a good thing going.  Furthermore, every great job should challenge you in some way.  If you’re not feeling challenged – by people, your workload, a project, what have you – you’re not growing.  You’re not learning;
3687.  There’s only one right path for each of us.  The truth is that we all have countless skills – and the ability to learn more – and there are an unlimited number of jobs and career paths that we can thrive in.  You’re selling yourself short if you think you’re only good for one role;
3688.  When your dreams are too specific, they can crush you because your chances of achieving them are so slim.  Sure, shoot for the stars, but don’t put all of your eggs in one tiny basket because life rarely works out the way you plan it;
3689.  Dreams are adjustable.  Yours are always going to be affected by what you’ve achieved.  You don’t have to settle for complacency and you certainly don’t have to stick to the plan.  There’s always another career goal you can set – or you can calibrate and focus your time and mind on personal or other pursuits;
3690.  If you’re in pursuit of happiness, then working toward a high-salaried job isn’t necessarily the best strategy.  A recent study conducted by Princeton economist Angus Deaton and famed psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that making more than $75,000.00 per year has no measurable impact on your contentment.  But do you know what does?  Experiences.  Another study out of Cornell University found that experiences deliver more long-term happiness and contentment than material possessions.  According to science, making less (but enough to cover our basic needs), in a position that allows us to pursue our passions and spend more time with people we love, could be a key to contentment;
3691.  The Echostage bus sucks;
3692.  Apparently, on weekdays, the Echostage bus doesn’t run until the venue opens;
3693.  Donald Cumming’s voice (to me) sounds like a mix between Bob Dylan and Tom Petty;
3694.  Brandon Flowers (the lead singer of “The Killers”) watches “Lost.” . . . He’s (only) on season 3;
3695.  Kaitlan doesn’t mind a little biting (on the wrist);
3696.  Checkout lanes at Wal-Mart are the worst;
3697.  The checkout lane nightmare: You’re at Wal-Mart on an early Saturday afternoon.  You’re in the regular checkout lane instead of the express (lane) because you have 21 items and not 20.  There are some people ahead of you.  A few people have half a cart’s worth of stuff and there’s a couple just getting a few things.  It’s been 20 minutes and, finally, there’s only one person in front of you.  She unloads half a cart’s worth of stuff.  What happens next?  She walks past the register and wheels around another (shopping) cart that’s filled to the brim with stuff.  You decide to help her unload her cart, thinking it’ll get you through the line quicker.  After 45 minutes, you finally get through the line yourself and check your receipt.  You notice you’ve been overcharged $.40 for your bread.  You go over to customer service to get your money back.  The line is 10 people deep with only 1 register open.  You wait in line and you haven’t moved in 5 minutes.  You say, “Fuck it!” (to yourself) and decide to go home;
3698.  Nina Gordon (of “Veruca Salt”) was born in D.C. at the G(eorge )W(ashington University) hospital. . . . She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz.;
3699.  Veruca Salt opened for Prince at the 9:30 Club in D.C.;
3700.  Apparently, Prince serves corn chowder at his dinner parties;