Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekly Summary # 25

Not a packed week, but a satisfying one. Unfortunately, I have yet to learn of the specifics of my employment situation from my potential employers, so I thought it would be best to hold off on some of the goals for the sake of financial responsibility. Nonetheless, I was more intellectually active given more time and energy for writing and reading, and I feel more satisfied as a result. The list:

1.) Write blog post on my connection to cooking: So I have. This identification will be a massive help in determining future concentrations and endeavors.

2.) Get gym membership: No. Without a specified income I am refraining.

3.) Go to Master Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse: Same as above.

4.) Read 30 pages of What Einstein Told His Cook if it comes in the library: Done and then some. Unfortunately my closest libraries, even with their largeness, seem to seldom have the books on my wish list, so it's been a long time spent waiting for this item, and others, to ship from other locations. Nonetheless, it is good to be a part of the reading public again, making my mind once again feel whole and fed. I've easily been reading 20-30 pages per day, and in addition to that I've been reading 20-30 pages a day of Will Write for Food and anticipate taking on further books. I've been getting excited over the prospect of restarting my studies and gaining the confidence that I can learn much more efficiently now, what with hardly tested ideas and new thoughts about proper studying, and hope my job gets specified soon so I can tailor a curriculum around it. I also need to buy more notebooks for homework and notes, as right now I only have one down to its last two pages and two fresh ones dedicated to other pursuits. It's a pity, for there's lots worthy contemplating in writing for WETHC. I really really want to more thoroughly test the "Tell Me Everything You Know" method.

5.) Write a post about that emotional identification I made: Still hesitating. For now this will go on the back burner; I'll write about it when I feel in a more secure situation.

* * * * *

Beyond this, there was also some interesting learning experiences regarding self-improvement and ongoing problems.

For one, I've been almost ready to give up on my meditation practices due to its lack of effectiveness when a slight change in method suddenly yielded positive results. As a reminder, my form of meditation is to sit still and concentrate on extrospection as much as possible, refraining almost entirely from introspection ("almost" because I've found it impossible to go all the way). Since I've started I've been counting my breaths as my way of restricting introspection, but apparently that itself is introspective enough to defeat the calming effects. Out of irritation I just suddenly decided to do it the old way I once did when first starting: Just extrospect without any restriction methods. I tried a session, attempting only to maintain a clear head, and while the execution was imperfect, as I did cheat a little with a internal "concentrate!" here and there, hopeful results did come forth. After finishing the session I authentically felt relaxed, though it came on me only after finishing and not during the session. When getting on the computer I noticed I had a very intense and soothing state of concentration on my activities, so perhaps this is what I have been needing to do all along. Now there is more motivation to continue.

Continuing in the realm of relaxation and temperament improvement, I've rediscovered the pleasure of taking cold showers. I used to take them a while back as a health practice and always marveled at how great I felt afterwards, only I didn't sustain the habit since the process was so agonizing. In introspecting over the possible benefits -- not only in mental health, but physical health too -- I've decided it's in my best interest to try it once again. Happily, the shower at my new living place doesn't get as frigid as my old one, so it's much easier to stay in for longer periods, and my first session has brought a hopeful approximation of the pleasure I once felt. I meditated right afterwards and it seems to have deepen the effects, so perhaps doing these in combination will compound the benefits. I'm going to keep this up.

Finally, I think I may have solved my computer problems. A few weekly summaries ago I was complaining of my computer being atrociously slow and interfering with my movie watching by making the audio choppy, and I've been procrastinating on a solution. Frustrated with how my problems seemed to be worsening, I discovered two solutions which may have helped significantly. The first is CCleaner, a program that deletes wasteful files to clear up space and memory. The first run has eliminated five gigs worth of stuff on my computer, so that definitely should have an impact somehow. Secondly, I've downloaded Flashblock, which may be the most important of the solutions. It is par the norm for me to open up a great many tabs on Firefox while browsing, and I didn't realize that Flash content on each individual page still takes up memory even as the tab isn't selected. All that Flash must have been the memory hog, which will make this add-on a Godsend since I can pick and choose which flash to activate. I've yet to see the full results of both of these potential solutions, but so far things seem to be working incredibly more smoothly.

This week is yet another mystery week given my murky employment situation at present, so things will have to be open-ended again to be flexible for possible happenings. For the most part, I want to work continuing strengthening my reading and writing skills, which means keep up to pace with this blog and being diligent with my reading, especially as new books with limited borrowing dates come into my life. While I still pine for and daydream about returning to my work, this trend partially satisfies me in that I felt long deprived of intellectual work with my being without a library for so long and concentrating so intensely on writing cover letters. My brain feels back to full health and a much more amazing learning machine. Again, I can't wait to adopt my formal studies again to see what I'm truly capable of now. Anyhow, for this week I'd like to:

1.) Take notes on everything I taste: It may have failed last time when I was only tracking what foods I was eating, but absent was any detailed description of how the food tasted and felt to me. I feel limited in my taste memory and vocabulary, so I want to give this a shot to make me more keen and diverse.

2.) Take a cold plunge (i.e. cold shower) every shower session: Explained enough above.

3.) Get a gym membership: Maybe, given the income.

4.) Go to Master Grill steakhouse: Same as above.

5.) Read a chapter a day of two books: Right now they are What Einstein Told His Cook and Will Write for Food, but presently I have an unidentified book waiting to be picked up and it's possible others could come in.

That's it for now. Yes, pathetically short given my past ambitiousness, but my free time will not go to waste. There's plenty to write and plenty of additional reading to keep the mind fed.

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