Antilogue

Dear Brain Dumpers,

I’m distracted right now because I’m thinking about how much my sister sucks. I shared a video of my recent drum performance and she said that I was rushing. I know my drumming needed work but rushing was not the problem. I told her that. If anything, the rest of the musicians were lagging because they use me as a reference for timing. Anyway, we both knew that I could’ve played better but we didn’t agree on what was wrong. She offered her opinion and I disagreed with her. When I disagreed with her she became very defensive and said, “OKAY, I’m just giving you my opinion,” as if I was attacking her by not agreeing with her. We had a very calm tone in the conversation before that statement and she escalated it into an argumentative tone when she said it. I didn’t respond, but I was reminded that she is very forceful with her opinions and can’t handle disagreement calmly. I just shrunk for the rest of the night and we devolved into our homeostasis of insulation from one another. I don’t know how to resolve this issue we have. My mom has the same issue with her, i.e., she doesn’t know how to deal with her opinion-forcing. My mom has resorted to limiting her time with my sister. I think I will do the same thing.

I already use her as an antilogue to teach myself how not to be.

Marcus

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Hi Brain Dumpers,

Today, I’m feeling anxious. Like I don’t know what to do with my time because nothing seems like it would rid me of this feeling. I guess that means I have a lack of priorities or discipline. I’ve written down what absolutely NEEDS to be done today, but I don’t know if any of it will make me feel like I’ve found any direction for the upcoming days, I guess I need direction.

It’s only been 5 days since I finished my semester and I feel like I need a goal to strive toward. I think I’m going to try to lose weight this summer. I think losing weight will occupy me and ultimately lead to greater self-confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. Losing weight also means exercise, which means that I will be increasing my serotonin output each day -putting me in a better mood each day.

Now I’m just going to brain dump . . .

I really feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions after seeing my old friends this weekend. I feel like I was acting unnaturally around them even though I was just trying to stay calm and act modestly.  Seeing my friend Travis really was weird. He’s really egotistical now and is really forceful with his opinions and I spent a long time listening to him trying to get me to go to a sweat lodge. I guess his heart is in the right place. He’s really confident now and makes things really intense. I think it’s okay to say that. Yes, it’s okay to say that because this is my brain dump page and I can say whatever I want without repercussion. I fuck midget dicks. . . See? No repercussions. Haha I fuck midget dicks and there’s nothing you can do about it. Midget dicks. Anyway, I feel like I was wasting time and that I wasn’t accomplishing anything by hanging out with them. Is the point of having friends just to hang out? I guess that’s the “duh” answer but I feel like just talking is a waste of time. I feel like socializing is better when the main focal point of the evening isn’t the conversation. I like going to shows or playing board games or going to the movies. I don’t like just hanging out. When I’m at a bar, I’m really just talking to people in between drinks – the conversation is secondary to getting drunk. Does that make me anti-social or a sociopath? Even when I go out to eat with people, I just like eating the food and leaving. It would be very enjoyable to just eat with a person in silence. Is that weird? I’m weird. I think this is the first time that I’ve put my ideal socializing situation into words so succinctly.

Wow, I really need to get better at brain dumping, I’m typing too slow.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need something to focus on right now and that I need to find something to focus on quick because I’m going crazy and feeling anxious without a goal. Today, I’m going to practice for my upcoming show and then I’m going to need to practice rudiments and make Facebook posts about my rudiments.

blah

I love you

Your Best Year Ever

Dear Brain Dumpers,

It feels good to be back in the site again after a long hiatus. Feels so good that I’m using this anonymously and that. Feels good that I can write about things without being judged.

So, I started reading this book called Your Beat Year Ever. The book says that people who talk or write about their negative experiences have report “improved life satisfaction and enhanced mental and physical health relative to those who merely thought about it.” Writing about my negative experiences is a big part of what I do on this blog. It helps me to process my emotions and, more importantly, to create actionable responses to the negative experience. So let’s do it, penises.

There’s a lot to complain about recently that I haven’t really processed. It’s mostly about my dad and my sister. Regarding my dad: I feel like he doesn’t support my weight loss plans. Every time I tell him that I’m not going to eat or that I’m trying not eat a certain thing, he pretty much scoffs. I guess it might be a chore to keep up with my Ever-changing diets . . . So I understand if he gets fed up. But, I’ve been losing weight for 1 year now and I’ve lost over 30 pounds. That means I’m doing something right. If I need to change the diet intermittently to keep my progress going, then I should be able to do that without facing resistance from him.

But

I don’t actually know why he scoffs, I’m just guessing that he’s getting frustrated with the frequent changes. It could be that he’s just a negative person that scoffs at any type of self-improvement goal. But I don’t know his position on self-improvement or weight loss because he doesn’t really stick to his positions or attitudes. He’s moody and his positions will change based on his moods. Like an emo kid running for office.

What can I do about it?

I can just get good at politely refusing food with deference. I’ll be really polite. My stepmom supports me so I think he’ll come around when I establish a pattern.

I’ll writer about my sister in another post.

Marcus

S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s Resolutions

Hola Brain Dumpers,

Welcome to another edition of Marcus Brain Dumps.

Today I’m going to talk about my New Year’s resolutions. I have 3 resolutions and I think that I can achieve them if I put in a little effort. Of course, there is the chance that I don’t achieve them. . . and that would suck. Considering the possibility of failure, I will create S.M.A.R.T. goals that will make success far more likely.  So, first let me explain what an S.M.A.R.T goal is. I hope this explanation of S.M.A.R.T. goals and it’s application to my own life will illustrate their usefulness and implementation.

This explanation is taken from Mindtools.com, and the original concept is attributed to George T. Doran.

S is for Specific

Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise, you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it.

M is for Measurable

It’s important to have measurable goals so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.

 

A is for Achievable

Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.

R is for Relevant

This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it’s important to retain control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward, but that you’re still responsible for achieving your own goal.

 

T is for Time-bound

Every goal needs a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

Marcus’ S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2018

This year, I’m focusing on 3 outcomes:

  1. Become a better drummer
  2. Lose weight
  3. Continue to excel in school

Let’s focus on drumming to see how to make our goals S.M.A.R.T.

Become a better drummer

  • Specific
    • “Become a better drummer” is an ambiguous statement and can be considered to be achieved with enough mental contortions and self-delusion. I’ll ask a question that will force a more specific outcome: What criteria if met, would mean that I had become a better drummer?
    • Meeting these criteria should obviously mean that I would have accomplished something that is beyond my current skillset. In my case, that would mean to play all the international drum rudiments. So we’ll adjust our statement to “Play all 40 international drum rudiments.”
  • Measurable
    • Now, we’ll need some method to measure our progress. Tracking progress means tracking incremental gains towards our overall goal. So what incremental outcomes can I track that would mean I’m making surefire progress towards playing all 40 international drum rudiments?
    • With drumming, you can play something fast and slow, with accents and without accents. You can play it on one specific drum, or you can play it across multiple drums. You can also play them for a long time or a short time. So we have to decide how fast we are going to play the rudiments, and with what accents, on which drums, and for how long. These decisions are somewhat arbitrary but they should still challenge us as we make progress. If we decide in the Achievable section that these decisions need to be adjusted, then so be it.
    • For now, we can adjust our statement to the following: “Play all 40 international drum rudiments and play each rudiment at 120 beats per minute (bpm) with the fastest notes as 16th notes, without accents, limited to the snare drum, and for 5 minutes.”
  • Achievable
    • The Achievable section is our checkpoint in the process of making S.M.A.R.T. goals, with every adjustment to our goals statement, we have to ask, “Is this achievable?” So let’s see if our current version is achievable.
    • First, we’ll make sure that our goal doesn’t our goal doesn’t break the laws of man or of physics. . . we’re good there.
    • Next, when checking to see the achievability of a goal, you have to be honest about your current skills and how far you’d have to stretch your skills to achieve your goals.
    • I can definitely play the 10 double stroke roll-based rudiments at 120 bpm with the fastest hits as 16th notes, without accents, and limited to the snare, and for 5 minutes but I can’t definitely say that I can play the other 30 rudiments with the same constraints.
    • One trouble spot is single strokes, which I can barely play at 90 bpm with each stroke as a 16th note. However,  since I’m almost there, I know that I can stretch my abilities until I can completely master single strokes at 90 bpm. After that, I can master the rest of the single stroke based-rudiment at 90 bpm including diddles which are a combination of singles and doubles.
    • Flams are also giving me trouble and I can barely play them at 45 bpm with each flam as a 16th note. So we’ll set our benchmark for flam-based rudiments at 45 bpm.
    • Our goal is becoming a little too long to be encapsulated as a single statement so let’s describe our goal as a list from now on.
      • Become a better drummer by playing all 40 international drum rudiments:
        • Maintain double stroke roll rudiments at 120 bpm
        • Play single stroke rudiments 90 bpm
        • Play flam rudiments at 45 bpm
        • Play all rudiments with the fastest hits as 16th notes, without accents, on the snare, and for 5 minutes
  • Relevant
    • In this section, we re-consider if the goal is actually important to us after having a clear understanding of the measures necessary to achieve it. Will this improve our lives somehow? Maybe our self-worth, or financial well-being, or relationships, or joy?
    • Drumming is important to my life in many ways.  It boosts my social worth, stimulates me intellectually, gives me “flow” which is important to maintaining happiness, provides an outlet to express myself, and gives me an immediate path to meeting and bonding with people through “jamming” and discussing music.  Increasing my skills as a drummer increases all these benefits so it is definitely worth it.
  • Time-bound
    • Without a time-frame, goals become nebulous desires that get pushed to “someday” and “never”. In our example, we’ll set a time-frame for the overall goal and a time-frame for the incremental gains that we outlined in Measurable.
    • My goal is to master all the rudiments by the end of 2018. There are 40 rudiments to master and I think to master 1 rudiment per week achievable. But what does schedule mean for daily time commitment? I think it is achievable with 25 minutes of practice per day, 6 days per week. On this schedule, I’ll finish with time to spare if I start on Sunday, Jan 7. In addition, we’ll add a few more bits of criteria to make our goal more focused
    • The final version of our goal becomes
      • Become a better drummer by playing all 40 international drum rudiments:
        • Play double stroke roll rudiments at 120 bpm, do this first
        • Play single stroke rudiments 90 bpm, do this second
        • Play flam rudiments at 45 bpm, do this last
        • Play all rudiments with the fastest hits as 16th notes, without accents, on the snare, for 5 minutes
        • Master one rudiment per week by practicing 25 minutes per day Sunday through Friday

We did it!

Our goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. I hope you enjoyed this example and that you have a clear grasp of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Let me know what your S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s resolutions are in the comments.

P.S.

Here are the S.M.A.R.T. versions of my other 2 resolutions:

  • Lose weight by dieting (same diet I used to lose 30 pounds in the first 6 months of 2017)
    • Start today
    • Eat 1 meal per day on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and have that meal be a can of Rosarita refried beans (under 500 calories)
    • On Tuesday, eat 1 meal and have that meal be Mexican food for 1000 calories or less
    • Starting from dinner on Friday, for 24 hours eat whatever I like
    • Lose 1 pound per week starting a 190 pounds
    • Weigh 170 at the end of the year
    • For holidays, see my other post, (adjust days according to 2018)
  • Continue to excel in school by maintaining a 4.0 GPA
    • At the very least, study 5.5 hours per day Sunday through Friday including breaks using the Pomodoro Technique
    • Take off work for the 3 days before each exam to study to 7.5 hours including breaks using the Pomodoro Technique

 

 

Things I️ Know About Self-Discipline

Brain Dumpers,

I’m not having a very productive night, but it’s bed time so I’m not going to let it bother me anymore. I’m here reminding myself about how to build self-discipline so that I️ wake up tomorrow ready to go.

  1. Control your environment. Sheer will power is no match for a distracting environment. Remove everything that sends your mind off into random thoughts. This includes your cellphone and the Internet. Turn off your phone while you need to work and turn on a website blocker.

2. Self-discipline is like a muscle. Use your self-discipline so that that it gets stronger, like a muscle. The one caveat is that you can deplete this muscle. Make sure tackle the most important tasks first so that you do your best work when your discipline is fresh. Decisions also deplete your discipline muscle so reduce the amount of decisions you make by automating your day as much as possible.

3. Your discipline transfers to other tasks. When you build your discipline in one task, you build your capacity for discipline in other tasks. You actually strengthen the discipline faculty.

4) Watch your diet. Drops in blood sugar decrease your ability to stay disciplined. Make sure to stay away from sugar because you will crash and lose your discipline. Eat slow carbs and plenty of fat. Eat brain food like fish oil and walnuts

5) Sleep is important. When you’re tired, you’re not disciplined. Get nine hours of sleep per night

6) Do something meditative each day to clear your mind and being yourself to the present. A mind-cleanse will prevent you from getting distracted with thoughts about the past and present

7) Encourage yourself. Keep yourself motivated by talking positively to yourself until you complete your goals

Facebook Again, and self-control

Hi, Brain Dumpers,

I just realized that deleting my Facebook app won’t work because I actually need to have the app in order to post Instagram photos to my Facebook timeline. I run an Instagram profile about food and I need my posts to reach Facebook too. So, I have to keep the app on my phone. Too bad.

This is actually a chance for me to work on my self-control. I’ll be trying not to go on the app. Instead, I’ll just have it sitting there so I can make Instagram posts to my timeline.

I’m trying to act less impulsively in general, so I’ll need to plan my moves ahead of time. I need a planner and I don’t do well with my iPhone calendar. It’s too cumbersome to schedule things and I just want to be able to write things down quickly. I need a planner. I have a small planner that I use right now that has been working but it doesn’t have the space I need to actually make a schedule. It works more like a checklist. I think I’m going to buy one today. I’ll check Wal-Mart.  I hesitate to make a commitment to use a planner though because I don’t like the idea of carrying it around. I guess I could just leave it in my car. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll keep the small planner in my pocket and take notes throughout the day and transfer those notes to my big planner that I keep in my car. Seems good. I think this will go a long way in helping me to be less impulsive. I’ll just plan out my weeks each week and stick to it.

Marcus

Holla at cha boi, Brain Dumpers,

I’m feeling super good right now. Almost too good. I spent about 3 hours today reading a book called The Magic of Thinking Big. The book talks about achieving success through managed thinking. For example, to have success-inducing thoughts, you must manage your memory.  It says,

Your memory bank automatically answers and supplies you with bits of information relating to this situation that you deposited on previous occasions. Your memory, then, is the basic supplier of raw material for your new thought.

Stuff like that. It’s all blowing my mind. Mind you, this is like the 3rd time I’m reading it. It still blows my mind.

The book is exciting me and has sparked new belief in myself. I’ve never thought I could be a manager, but now, a managerial position doesn’t seem out of reach. I believe I can do it.

However.

I want to make sure that I keep myself to true to my intentions even though I feel really good. In the past, I went through a period of really intense self-aggrandizement during which I bragged all the time about what I was going to do and how awesome I was. I had no substance though, no true belief in my abilities and no discipline.

Fast forward to now.

I now have a degree and a professional certificate; I have more discipline; I value keeping my mouth shut and getting to work.  I take this feeling-really-good thing with caution. I need to make sure that I don’t get back into my old habits of expounding endlessly about my aspirations while not doing anything.

Random segue.

I also had the thought that I’d like to be a father. But that’s not something that I actually want to do. I know that my overall goal is to be the best musician I can be and I can’t do that if I have to worry about having a kid. Besides, I don’t know how to raise a kid. I don’t even want to be married, that would suck. Yeah, it’s better for me not to have a kid. I need to focus on my music.

Brain dump ready set go.

All I want is to be a musician. I want to make millions of dollars, be in millions of people’s ears, inspire other musicians to play, and touch millions of lives. The book tells me to think big and think big I will. Except that I will not tell anyone about these aspirations. Only you guys know. I guess if I put in all my effort, there is a literal chance. If you’re talking about literal probability there is a literal chance that I will get this.  I’ll hang tight to this possibility and keep my mouth shut about it. It sounds ludicrous to any reasonable person, but people who actually did it will understand that these aspirations can be achieved. No one can know my crazy dreams. Seriously, no one can know. I can’t tell a soul. You will be my sounding board, my lovely Brain Dumpers.

Marcus

Reintroducing Myself to the World of Getting Shit Off My Mind

Salutations you sexy Salsbury steaks!

Welcome to another episode of Marcus Brain Dumps.

I’m sitting here wondering if can actually incorporate blogging back into my life. I know it’s good for me to work through my thoughts and I do that best when I write. I have little time during the day though.

Here’s my day most days:

  1. 7:00AM: Wake up. Wake up! Grab your clothes and put on a little makeup
  2. 8:30AM School and/or work till 1:30PM
  3. 1:30PM Eat on the way home (I’ve recently been trying to save time by eating in the car)
  4. 2:00PM Study
  5. 3:30PM Drum
  6. 4:00PM Study
  7. 5:30PM Drum
  8. 6:00PM Study
  9. 7:30PM Drum
  10. 8:00PM Study
  11. 9:30PM Get ready for bed
  12. 10:00PM Bed

I know what you’re thinking. Why the fuck would anybody watch Ace Ventura: Pet Detective when they could watch Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls? What you should be asking is why I can’t write a blog post instead of playing drums during one of those 30-minute blocks. Well, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. I really really really want a zig-a-zig ahhh. . .

My goal in life is to make money via music. All other goals are in service of attaining a lifestyle in which I make money playing or teaching music. Even if I don’t make a lot of money, I still want to do it. So skipping drum practice is out of the question.

So, how can I incorporate blogging? I’m thinking that I should cut my study hours down by 90 minutes per day and play drums all at once for 90 minutes right when I get home at 2:00PM. Then, I’ll be able to blog during one of the 30-minute blocks that I’m currently reserving for drumming. I think I’ll be able to handle it. . . I do have to take study time seriously as I’m getting my master’s degree. . . I think I can do it.

Marcus

I Feel Like I Accomplished Nothing Today

Brain Dumpers,

Welcome to another episode of Marcus Brain Dumps. I’m your host, Marcus. My last name shall forever be a secret.

I’m coming to you today in a state of unrest.  I feel uneasy because I feel like I didn’t really accomplish anything today -like today didn’t even matter. From an outside perspective, I accomplished several things:

  1. Got my blood drawn for lab tests. Kind of an accomplishment
  2. Played 90 minutes of drums
  3. Finished some extra credit for my programming class
  4. Read The 4-Hour Workweek

That’s a pretty good day I guess. But I’m upset because I didn’t do more. I should have practiced drums for 2 full hours. I should have studied for my test after finishing the extra credit. I should have gone to the gym. But I’m also having another thought: would it have really mattered if I had done all the things I was supposed to do? I guess I need to find purpose. I say that my purpose is to eventually help people. But I don’t know what that means. I also have a new thought that I need to express myself and make music or art. . . . I don’t know. I think I’m on the right path to finding purpose. My ultimate goal is to share music with people that they will enjoy. Something that gives them catharsis -like Dashboard Confessional. I’ll need to rethink the way I’m approaching music and really think about how I’m going to spend my time if I want to make the music that I want to make. I can feel myself getting excited by the thought.

But I want to do something interesting too. Funk screamo?

Idk

Marcus

Facebook Killing Time

Brain Dumpers,

Not doing well my dudes. Today started out with potential. I woke up later than usual because I went to sleep later than usual last night. But I woke up before 1PM which is when I play the drums. That didn’t happen because I told myself that I had already played enough this weekend. Then I went out to eat with my family instead of going to the gym. It wasn’t a special occasion or anything. Jesus. I started my scheduled study time late because I was reading a book. And then I didn’t study for long because I was getting tired. I think this whole day was ruined because I went to sleep late. I’m not making that mistake again today. I took 10mg of melatonin, a NyQuil, and a glass of wine. I’ll wake up on time tomorrow and I’ll be back to my normal schedule.

I’m having doubt about my ability to stay off social media. I stayed up really late because I was on Facebook looking at random shitake. I think I need to use the Self-Control app all the time. I think it’s going to be my nightly routine to just turn on the Self-Control app for 24 hours each night so that I can stay off of it until the next night when I need to make my regular daily post.