Category Archives: Observations

Fanciful Internal Conceptualization™ or: Let’s Get Visual

A couple years back I read an article about a mathematician who saw numbers as different colored shapes.  He’d see a nine as a red fuzzy sphere or a zero as a keen-edged pyramid.  These images allowed him to build upon his ideas and accurately compute in his head. Along with blowing my mind, this example helped me to strengthen my own thought processes through what I would call visual thinking.

Visual Thinking is a hard fit for what I’m trying to describe.  Visual Thinking is a concept already linked to disorders like Autism and Dyslexia, based on “picture thinking” and spatial skills exhibited by those who are Autistic or Dyslexic.  What I have experienced, or in the case of the mathematician read of others experiencing, seems so natural that its hard for me to link it to any kind of mental disorder.

Visual thinking also has close ties to Eidetic Memory. In no way am I advocating I have a superior “elephant” like memory. My memory is a unique animal in its own right. I can often remember ridiculous stats and facts that make me a master at Trivial Pursuit, but I routinely did (and would still) get my recognitive ass handed to me in a game of Memory by anyone ages 4 and up.

Memory is not centric to my interpretation of whats going on in my noggin. However I’d never rule out improved memory as a result of fanciful internal conceptualization. Can I trademark that phrase? (I should trademark that phrase)

Flow charts. Expansive, colorful, animated, funky flow charts are what I see in my head.  I cannot conjure up a better way to describe the imagery in my mind during brainstorming sessions.  If there is a hole or flaw in my thinking, which there often is (and I have no shortage of people to tell me so, M.P.) I see what resembles a white or grey cloud. When working on a project where I have my ideas developed and methods laid out, I’ll think in same composition of the application or software I’m using.  Which I’m sure Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Adobe are all working on copywriting.  These are just two ways in which I think visually, I’m quite sure there are many more.

There is no doubt in my mind that everyone has the ability to, or already does think in a manner that incorporates imagery into thought processes. I’ve just never heard anyone talk about it, except that one time with super smart math guy…or maybe he was a physicist.

RB

– Have you ever had an idea come to mind so suddenly that blurred your thought completely?

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We All Look Good On Paper

Happily and without hesitation I am helping a good friend of mine through the job search process. Cover letter, resumes, and what have you. To be honest with you, I kind of miss it. Sure it was exhausting, time-consuming, and stressful. At the same time it was fascinating to see just how different each organization was or was not, especially those in the same industry. It was fun, or at least challenging, to see what organizations wanted in a candidate (or thought they wanted). Many of the job descriptions I read were written for the optimal candidate, which I believe can hurt the job search. We can all look good on paper, how do you look after six months on the job?

Often I wondered “did I use the right keywords?,” “did I portray myself as the right person?” Truth be told a resume is just a piece of paper and you can put anything on a piece of paper. Somewhere along the line the Cover Letter replaced the hand shake and face to face introductions. The term “cover letter” leads people to believe if its read at all, it’s before the resume. Hardly. Could you imagine going to a job interview and formally introducing yourself after you have listed your experiences and accolades aloud? No? Good. Because that is ludicrous.

Most are cynical about the process, stating “Its all about who you know.” I always chime in after they’ve released this cliché and add “No, It’s more like who knows YOU.” Who is likely to reference you? Who is ready to battle for you? And with that, you have every reason to build a good network. Sure some people get picked because their dad is golf buddies with a VP, and you know what? That kid is probably going to be halfway decent at his job. He also probably had a Firebird in high school that ran on broken hearts and pheromones, AND it had T-tops! Sorry you had a gold Buick Somerset. It happens, move on.

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Holiday Rant No. 1.


From observing social media (“friendly, inadvertent stalking”) around the holidays the last couple years I have noticed a significant amount of people in my social circles celebrate multiple Thanksgivings and Christmases per year. Whether that comes from divorces, new relationships, and celebrating with specific groups (friends, co-workers, etc…).  Now if you ever met me or read any of my rants, you have more than likely deduced that I am a bit alternative. So it is probably not surprising that I have never celebrated a holiday multiple times in one year.

Obligatory turkey dinner picture

I have always been lucky enough (blessed really) to have large holiday gatherings.  Growing up my family was always willing and ready to incorporate anyone important to our friends and family into our holiday celebrations. Often eliminating the need for multiple events.  I’m not really up in arms about multiple holiday celebrations, it just does not seem that enjoyable to me*. You could say I was raised to believe holidays are so special and unique they are to be celebrated on the specific days in which they appear on the calendar**.  Believe me, I am not trying to sound sententious. (Or am I by using sententious instead of preachy or self-righteous?).

It should be noted I actively avoid weddings (of auxiliary individuals) and never went to prom. However I do describe myself as a social person. In fact sitting in my apartment all day today is sort of killing me, but a man can only eat out so many time by himself before he starts to feel awkward.

Perhaps the point that is taking so long to make is for people to openly embrace the reason for the season and open your homes and celebrations, even more, to family of family and friends of friends.

* The food is most likely delicious and seeing loved ones is always a plus, I understand these and other pleasurable experiences may exist.

**Really the build up to holidays has gotten a bit ridiculous. It seems there are more people telling me the feel the same, yet we still see Christmas trees weeks before

Thanksgiving.  As stated above, I’m a firm believer that everything has it’s time and place.  Often when I see a Christmas tree or the hear of Christmas music well before I am mentally prepared for the season I find it a bit unnerving. This is true for every holiday, except Flag Day***, I only use Christmas because it is easily the most flagrant offender.

***Flag day can never be celebrated enough.

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Divvied Up

As I’m sitting in my apartment on a rainy Friday evening I have two thoughts in my head. Number 1) Is it morally wrong to take my glass of whiskey into the shower with me? And Number 2) Graduate School, if nothing else, is a giant friendship making machine.  Lets focus on no. 2 shall we?

Of course many people may disagree with me (loners), but I have come to the realization (6 months removed) that grad school is a giant friend making network/machine.  It’s really easy to see why.  A collection of driven or semi-driven individuals, divvied up into smaller groups “classes” which focus on the same ideas.  Individuals in these smaller groups (again part of a larger population) are then randomized in to a collection of classes over a 1 to 2 year period. Upon graduation each individual now has a professional network.  Truly, the significance of an individuals network is based upon their ability to make and retain those contacts.  I believe it to be easier to make friends/a connection with someone when both parties are given a common denominator by a shared 3rd party.  Which is exactly the social aspect of grad school.

I’m not completely overlooking the undergraduate network, but lets just say it’s full of Andy’s. Sure Andy is a cool guy to hangout with and throw a few back, although it became increasingly less fun carrying him to the hospital when he was in his “lets drink on the roof ” stage. Definitely not the person I want to have consulting me on my budgetary reports.

RB

– There are other merits of grad school: jobs, knowledge, and so forth…

Song of the Day: Got You Where I Want You by The Fly’s: http://bit.ly/SOTD160

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At least I don’t read Vampire Fiction

I’ve notice lately that my life resembles that of a person in an entirely different demographic. In reality I’m a male, college graduate, in his mid 20’s. Right now, at this point in my life, I’m a 16-year-old girl. I CAN drive, but I’ve got nowhere to go. I’m almost always on my phone or the computer. When I get anywhere, I’ve got no money to spend so I’m just window shopping. My only source of income comes from child sitting, my cousins kids, every other weekend. I live with my parents, and currently I’m drinking a pink Mikes Hard Lemonade, that was bought for me.

I haven’t quite decided if its worse to be a “16 yr old girl” or a “61 yr old man” like my friend the accountant. Who, as a 26-year-old man, speaks constantly of retirement and vacation homes. He goes to bed at 9 pm, and is continuously injuring himself playing golf or doing odd jobs (he says “adding value to”) around his house.

He’s got money, but I’m cute and bubbly.

RB

...and for no reason, Bruce Willis in Moonlighting

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Fascination: The Beginning

This is the beginning. The beginning of a fascination. One that I pray to God doesn’t last long.  It is not that this fascination in particular isn’t interesting, but that it might raise some eyebrows.  Lets just say I hope it veers off before a room of my house becomes dedicated to…..to…Bruce Willis. Now Bruce and I go way back, I’m talking Blind Date Far. As a film buff we’ve had many run ins, but it struck me literally 10 minutes ago that I know nothing about Walter Bruce Willis.  What’s his favorite Beer? What baseball team does he root for? Does he like tomatoes? (I envision Bruce as a prolific tomato eater), Bruce….Stones or Beatles? I need to know. 15 minutes ago I was all well and good.  It wasn’t until my Bro-in-law mentioned steaks, beers, and the Guardian as how his, my sisters, and nephews night was most likely going to end.  Easily an above average evening.

I began thinking….Aston Kutchar. ASS-TON KOOTCH-AR….The Kootch. I’d be pissed if my ex married him. What kind of man lets that happen? Bruce Willis let that happen? What kind of world am I living in? I can only surmise that an actor in real life (if there is such thing as “real life” to an actor) is equal to their best “played” role. So  Aston, to me, is the not to far-fetched dimwit Kelso from That 70’s Show and Over eager television host on Punk’d. How can John McClane/Butch Coolidge take that lying down? That’s how it started. Now I am eager to watch all of his greatest hits in chronological order starting with Die Hard.

Timeline:

My Sister Was Born > Had a Son > Aston Kutcher “Stars” in The Guardian > Son contemplates a military career > Brother-in-law says ” let’s get cinematic, The Guardian” > Tells Me > I contemplate the bad decision, then Aston Kutchers Life. > Realize Bruce is either Magnanimous or Patiently Vengeful > Wonder if Bruce prefers Beefsteak over Plum tomatoes

Below is how I envision Bruce all the time.  My dream, today, is for Bruce and I to have some Guinness (?), a couple of BLT’s, watch the White Sox (?) hit the field, and if he wants to, open a serious dialog about our trip to vegas!

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Drunken Existentialism

So…I’m drinking at an Irish Pub by myself on Saturday night. It’s the kind of place where the semi-pretty girls feel like prom queens in capris. It’s got biker wannabes and hometown heroes, but over all the place is quite charming. There is no karaoke, free pool, and John Wayne embraces the bathroom. A cash only bar with no food, not even pretzels, this is where true drinkers drink. There is no target market. The jukebox blasts gaga, the kinks, and David Allen Coe. Right now Supertramp is telling me about Breakfast in America Lindsay a future barroom prom queen saunters over to tell me of her troubles. She seems nice but treats the bartender like dirt, so I’ve returned to narrating my experience.  Lindsay has found herself a nice welder and they’ve started what seems to be two different conversations, one existential and the other transcendental. I mutter some words of wisdom from Sartre as a test to their overall IQ and state of inebriation. I’m suppose to have one round and meet up with an old friend. I think I’ll have just one more and guess what’s going to play after Bohemian Rhapsody.

RB

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