Tag Archives: United States

(SHORT NOTES) Last-Minute Strategies for Highly Effective New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to turn over a new leaf.

This is something people say or Tweet right before they make a grandiose New Year’s resolution that they definitely, maybe won’t keep. I’m going to exercise every day for 30 minutes. Just stop it. Those high-flown New Year’s resolution things, and the mental burden induced by all the resolutions you haven’t kept over the years.

Here’s the thing about them. The changes resolutions require you to make involve a whole lot of commitment, and without instant results, most people are deterred from following through. “New Year’s resolutions are based on the fallacy that if only you can find sufficient motivation, you can achieve everything,” writes Oliver Burkeman in Newsweek. But motivation isn’t easy to maintain.

Pessimism is an ugly color on anyone. Let’s turn this sad, sinking ship around, yeah?

  1. Target the source. Resolutions usually stem from the feeling that something about you and/or the world is off kilter—unemployment, health care, self-image issues, Justin Bieber’s wardrobe! In any case, it’s easy to worry when there’s always somebody there to tell you that harm is near. (I was reading  “The Week” today and learned that sleeping in on the weekends can make you fat, breathing city air is bad for you, and breathing inside air is bad for you because exposure to carbon dioxide can make you dumber. Summary: We should all just hold our breath. Always.) So, put on your Perspective Helmet and zero in on the positives of the year. In 2012, for one, we’ve become increasingly gay-friendly! And drug-friendly, too! Breathe easy, you weed-smoking homosexuals.
  2. Step small. Don’t say you’re going to run 30 minutes every day. Instead, try running for five minutes and work your way up from there. Read the news for five minutes every morning. Go through your belongings and donate the excess to a local Goodwill shop. Trying being good people, ya dig?

K sorry for the preaching. Gotta get back to memorizing all the lyrics to the latest Bieber album. For now, I think I’ll just start with “Beauty and a Beat.”

It’s all about the baby steps, Baby.

Biebs 4 lyfe,

Jono

(LISTS) 20 Things That London Taught Me

1. Discussions about the differences between British and American English never get old. Fries are “chips” and chips are “crisps,” whaaaaat?!

2. Cabs are much cooler when they look like they’re from the 1960s.

3. We (Americans) talk too much. Especially about our feelings.

4. Catherine Tate is a comedic goddess. Case Study #34:

5. The statement “Americans don’t get irony” isn’t true. We do get irony. But, as Simon Pegg always says, Americans just feel the need to call it out every time we use it as to avoid damage (“…oh but I’m just kidding!), whereas the Brits just go for it. Enter amazing British cringe humor.

6. No matter where I am in the world, my hair will routinely evolve into a Jew fro after three months.

7. David Attenborough is a TV commentary G-d. (Don’t know who he is? He’s like the UK Morgan Freeman except smarter and better.)

8. Europe is neat because its proximity to so many neat cities makes traveling incredibly easy. By comparison, America is kinda sorta stuck in its own little world.

9. “Loo” is “restroom,” which makes more sense because the restroom isn’t really the premiere place for relaxation.

10. Gay clubs, no matter where you are in the world, are the scariest places in the world when the lights go up at 5 AM.

11. Bieber Fever is ubiquitous.

12. In a similar vein, the Boy Band is very much alive and far-reaching. Case Study #1,234,567:

13. “Sorority Girls” is the worst TV show I’ve ever seen. (Or is it the best?)

14. New York City is Heaven.

15. Heaven, London’s most popular gay club, is Heaven on Monday and Saturday nights.

16. The ideal seat on a double-decker bus is the front right seat on the top deck.

17. Queens are dope.

18. Everything sounds better in a British accent.

19. Nobody does grab-and-go sandwiches like Pret a Manger.

20. Dinosaurs are real:

(SHORT NOTES) A Little 9/11 Animation

Around this time of year, the Internet and TV shows and people turn up the volume on an ongoing 9/11 discussion that permeates our nation’s consciousness. I’ve been debating whether I was going to write about it, but I’ve ultimately decided to keep it short and to share something that’s inspired me over the past year.

It’s called StoryCorps.

As their website explains, they’re an “independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” My interest lies mainly in their animated shorts, which are directed by the brilliant Rauch brothers.

Through these shorts, they do what I hope to do in my future through the mediums of animation and writing. In just a few short minutes, each video teaches you about what it means to be human. And that’s some powerful stuff. I had the privilege of seeing them speak in New York, and I’ve been hooked on their work ever since.

So, whether you talk about 9/11 with your friends and family or keep thoughts, if any, to yourself, watch this video called “John and Joe.” It’s important that you do.

 

(THE LONDON CHRONICLES) #1: Batman, Brighton, and The Night That Shall Not Be Named

Dear Reader,

There’s something very sexy about getting a handwritten letter in the mail, so I’ve decided to get all 21st century on your arses and reflect on my London semester via the next best thing: a digital blog post written in the form of a letter. Addressed to whom, you ask? You, of course! Yes, you. Please accept these in place of pretty postcards boasting Photoshopped images of London’s most famed tourist attractions. You’re welcome. I know we’re both so green these days.

Forgive me for being short, but there’s a lot to say about my first week but not a lot of time in which to discuss it because I must figure out how to access Netflix and Hulu immediately.

My trip here was relatively uneventful. I took a nonstop flight from Washington, D.C. to London Heathrow, during which I sat next to a woman who smelled like an old-woman fart. I caught the end of this excuse for a movie called “Source Code,” fell asleep, and then proceeded to be both financially and emotionally robbed at the London airport by the international conversion fee.

Beauty.

In short, my first couple days required very little adjustment because living in one city makes it easier to get settled in another. Also, London isn’t terribly different from New York. It’s just a lot more expensive and a lot more architecturally schizophrenic. I easily navigated to my first few days of orientation in a building that was used in the Batman movies. Moreover, I survived these few days of orientation by pretending I was an extra in these aforementioned Batman movies. This made things more exciting, as at any moment I could’ve been spontaneously attacked by the anarchist yet wickedly awesome Joker! I was also tricked into being cooked on a hot bus for five hours while visiting London’s big touristy sites, but the upside to the trauma is I got to go through all the pictures on the iPad of my new friend, Kelly. Then we became best friends.

This is Kelly. She likes striped pouches.

After an unsurprisingly otherworldly meal at IKEA, we had our first night out. We went to a club called G-A-Y. It was a gay club. As we arrived, I was quickly ushered to the metal detector on the right side like a celebrity while my female friends got held up on the left side. This was sexual discrimination in action, but I liked it. Then I danced around like a drunk girl and befriended Michael, the security guard outside who introduced me to my new favorite show, “The Only Way Is Essex.” (Think “The Hills,” but in the UK and with a pig named Mr. Darcy.)

Heaven.

My second night out was…well we don’t talk about this night. It’s lit-ra-lly [said in a British accent] a non-memory. The next day I took a redemptive day trip with my Kelly and my new BBC friend Juan. We took the train to Brighton, where it was grey and rainy and so “Never Let Me Go.” I loved it. We survived a roller coaster,

"It's Turbo Time!"

jumped on trampolines, and got to see the bachelor pad of 21-year-old King George IV. He had dragons on his ceiling like a pimp! We also enjoyed an Italian dinner with profiteroles that were otherworldly but not of the same other world as the IKEA meal because the IKEA meal was better.

Melancholy.

Then classes started. So far I’ve only had Writing For TV, which is taught by a wonderful British man named Archie. Today we pitched our ideas for the pilot of an original TV show. It was bullets of fun. I’m also in a class called Arts and Theater in London. In addition to going to a museum and a theater performance each week, we attend lectures about lots of things and stuff. Today we received a packet about the Normans and the Plantagenets! What a funny name!

Calm down, you. I know what you’re thinking. So, as a person, how have I grown since moving across the pond? Good question. Kelly took me to the local grocery store and taught me how to buy food, so basically I won ten Maturity points. I can now make a salad out of spinach leaves, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and two teaspoons of anxiety.

Anxiety.

My apologies for composing this blog post (read: sexy old-fashioned letter) with the literacy of an elementary school child.

Until next time…

Humbly yours,

Jono

(SHORT NOTES) New York, I Love You?

On June 3 I wrote a post professing my love for New York City. Then, on August 12, I wrote a post breaking up with New York City. And today I’m writing a post to officially declare that the aforementioned New York City is mindf-ing the living kittens outta me. (Sorry for the strong language, Grandma.)

En route to the city last week I tweeted the following: NYC bound. Expecting to flip-flop once again while writing a blog post about how I’ve re-fallen in love with the city. I did so because I know myself well enough to know that the adage The grass is always greener plays on a continuous loop in my brain place. When I’m in Manhattan, I crave space and quiet. When I’m in a place like, say, Chicago, I crave New York City’s hustle and bustle. That said, this tweet makes sense within the mental frame I’ve built for myself over the last couple years.

But walking around felt different this time around. I think it’s because I was released from Manhattan’s self-inflicted misery when I learned to enjoy Chicago and California this summer. It’s also because I went to a Beyoncé concert (Beyoncé post coming soon.) and Molly’s Cupcakes (Cupcake post coming soon.).

And so, as I sadly leave the city once again, my last week here has got me thinking about the bigger picture: Happiness isn’t a place. Happiness is something from within that you have to carry with you wherever you go. So as I struggle to decide whether I’d like to live in New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles upon graduation this year, my fears are somewhat assuaged by this realization. I’ll be just fine (almost) wherever I go because I can always pick my shit up and move once again.

But for now, London here I come. Prepare yourselves, dear Brits, for my offensively obnoxious British accent.

Until next time…Cheerio!

(Homework: Type the word “cheerio” into the Google search bar and click the little speaker to hear Google Man recite it aloud. Why does he sound so utterly surprised? LOL.)

(LISTS) You Know You’re a New Yorker When….

You know you’re a New Yorker when:

  1. Your career takes priority over…everything.
  2. You think New York is the center of…everything.
  3. You realize it’s totally uncool to say you live in “Manhattan” or the “Big Apple.”
  4. You hate Times Square.
  5. You get bumped and immediately check your pockets to see if you’ve been mugged.
  6. Central Park becomes your excuse when people say, “But Manhattan doesn’t have nature.”
  7. You accept that movies cost as much as (or more than) a meal.
  8. You carry exact change in your pocket to buy a quick snack or coffee from food carts.
  9. Pizza and falafel for lunch becomes standard.
  10. You write your thoughts and ideas down in a Moleskin. Like everyone else below 14th Street with a camera around their necks.
  11. The smell of trash and Chinese food unites into an unimaginable combination of sorts and then pops up randomly while walking. Anywhere. Anytime.
  12. You begin understanding the intercom elves on the subway.
  13. $20 taxi rides that deliver you late to your destination never fail to piss you off.
  14. You begin developing a mental list of why subways piss you off that includes, but isn’t limited to:
  • The annoying kids who flood the subways while on school breaks or field trips.
  • People who sit in between two seats.
  • People who appoint the seat next to them the royal sitting spot of their beloved shopping bag or purse or both.
  • People who block the turnstiles.
  • People who stand in the middle of the doorway so you can’t get on.
  • People who hold the doors for friends. Fact: Yelling “BETTY GET YOUR ASS DOWN THOSE STEPS!!!” at the top of your little lungs will not, in fact, get Betty’s ass down those steps before those doors promptly shut.

And last but certainly not least, you really know you’re a New Yorker when you make a list about how you know you’re a New Yorker and it looks just like the ones made by thousands of other New Yorkers. 🙂