Brain Dumper, ASSEMBLEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dude, tomorrow. It begins tomorrow. I’m going to finally workout for the first time in 2930302958 years. I’m going to walk 3 miles after work and it’s going to be awesome. I really know that I can do it and I’m stoked because I’ll be back on my diet tomorrow too and that will mean that I’ll be getting skinny! Fruck yeh. It’s going to be hot tomorrow so I better get myself mentally prepared. I’m going to sweat and I’m going to freaking kill it tomorrow. I can’t wait. I’m going to fureacking kill it.

Schedule tomorrow:

  1. 9am to 2pm – work
  2. 2:30pm to 3:30pm – walk 3 miles
  3. 4 pm to 4:30pm – play rudiments
  4. 5pm go to mom’s house and hang out and have dinner

Flurry Blurry Roiling Boiling

Howdy, Brain Dumpers,

I’m just gonna ramble.

I’m really trying to lose weight but I’m not really trying. I know that I need to find something other than eating when I’m bored or stressed out but I don’t know exactly what that is. I want to read instead of eating but I don’t know if I have the willpower to read. And also, I don’t know if I’ll always have a book available. I need to really take inventory of my current willpower and to see if I can really set myself up for success. But I don’t know if I can. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I know that I can.  I just don’t know how easy it will be. It is simple but not easy. I need to just eat one meal per day and have that meal be a can of beans. I did it last year and I lost 30 pounds. I can do it! And it can’t wait till next year. I might lose motivation if I wait till next year. I need to lose 35 pounds this year. Oh god oh god oh god oh god. I feel like I want to eat right now because eating consoles me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I also eat when I feel like I feel like I can’t do something, especially lose weight. But I can do it! I just need to remember my positive self-talk and adjust my strategy. I can definitely do it. It’s going to be hard but I can psych myself out by remembering that it’s just like passing a class. I’ve passed difficult classes by encouraging myself to study and I can encourage myself to lose weight and translate my motivation into actionable habits. I need to search for reasons why I can do it. Not reasons why I can’t. Now I feel like I want to eat because I’m proud of myself for coming to this realization. I tend to eat when I’m proud of myself because I feel like rewarding myself I think the real reward would be to be skinny. I can do it. I feel like I need to exercise as well. I think that if I walk 3 miles after work each day that I can significantly reduce my weight. Right now I want to eat again because I’m thinking about making that resolution. But I can’t. I can’t have that response to being proud of myself. I need to find some other way of rewarding myself. I think I should buy Magic: the Gathering cards instead. Maybe I can reward myself with money. How about, for each day that I stick to my diet, I get 5 bucks.

Activation Triggers

Hola, Brain Dumpers,

I’m reading Your Best Year ever and I’ve come across a section that talks about contingencies.  A contingency is defined as “a provision for an unforeseen event or circumstance.” In the context of the book, contingencies are planned responses to moments of weak willpower.

I’m trying to lose 35 pounds by the end of this year. I know that I can do it, but I have trouble staying disciplined with my diet. The major problem is that I end up drinking wine at the end of the day or that I eat before my “eat window.” So, I need some contingencies when hungry rears its fuggly head. Right now, I’m practicing intermittent fasting and only eat one meal per day -at least that’s the plan. I know that I tend to eat when I’m bored so I need to have a plan to alleviate my boredom. I’m going to try to read instead of eating.


Short post,

The End




Mid-year resolution

Hi, Brain Dumpers,

I’m reading Your Best Year Ever right now and it’s telling me to make 7 to 10 SMARTER goals:








According to the book, I’m supposed to set goals that would improve my scores in areas that are lacking. The book has you take an assessment. My scores are below:

LifeScore 5.29.2018.PNG

Since it’s already June, I’m only going to set 1 goals for this year.

Lose 30 pounds.

Specific: Weigh 150 by 11:59 12/31/2018

Measurable: This goal is already measurable

Actionable: I’m able to take action through diet and exercise

Risky: I risk my sense of accomplishment because I don’t know if I can do this

Time-Keyed: 11:59 12/31/2018 is deadline. I start 6/1/2018. That’s 5 pounds per month for 6 months

Exciting: This really has me excited because I will look and feel great

Relevant: I have a low score in “physical”


Second goal: Learn all 40 international drum rudiments

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.


I love you

Having T-robbley with Es-tuddey

Hi, Brain Dumpers,

I’m mildly stressed out right now because I’m having trouble understanding heap data structures. Heaps are just one topic on my exam next Wednesday and I still need to understand a lot more. Here are the items on my study list in no particular order (it’s all about trees):

  1. Tree terminology
  2. Array-based trees
  3. Link-based trees
  4. Binary search trees
    1. array implementation
    2. linked implementation
  5. Traversals
    1. array-based trees
    2. link-based trees
  6. Expression Trees
  7. Heaps
  8. AVL Trees
  9. Merge sort
  10. B-Trees

(Wow, I’ve been drinking wine while I write this and listening to Deadmau5 and my headache is not bothering me that much anymore. I should just give up and do that full time.)

So far, I’ve completed 5 out of 7 problems on my exam review. Once I finish that, I’ll need to flesh out the rest of my notes. Finally, I will redo all the assignments regarding trees.

I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find a reliable source that explained heaps simply. I’ll need to spend some time reviewing my class’s companion files or in the textbook. I’ll try looking online again to see if I missed anything but I will definitely check my textbook and the companion files.

Never give up, never surrender


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, 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.


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



1-Hour of Drumming Per Day

Dude, Brain Dumpers,

It’s been a while since I wrote. I’m sorry it’s been so long. I really just want to get some things off my chest so that’s why I’m coming back. I haven’t been steady with my drum practice. Ever since the beginning of summer, I’ve really had a lot of trouble keeping up the habit. And I’m seriously losing sight of my goal.

I first started drumming back in 2012 when I decided that I would finally pursue a career in music. I dabbled with drums, guitar, and piano and really got into guitar for a while. Fast forward to 2015, I just moved back in with my parents after graduating college and found that they had a drum set. I fell back in love. I started drumming almost 3 hours per day every day and I wouldn’t stop. I enrolled in lessons and developed a practice routine that I would stick with for about 2 years.

That brings us to the beginning of summer this year. I guess I don’t know exactly why I stopped drumming. Writing this so that I can discover why. So bear with me. I know I broke the habit when I was studying for finals in May. I skipped a day or 2 while I was studying and that made me think it was okay for me to skip more days. I was struggling over the summer because I had a shoulder injury and didn’t want to make it worse by drumming. Then the fall semester started and I changed my study schedule so that I could only practice 90 minutes per day and not even all at once. But I didn’t stick to plan because I wasn’t disciplined enough to stop and start practice multiple times per day. Then I started a new job that really choked me for time. By that time, I was so far out of the habit that I just declared that touching of the instrument as a victory. And now we’re here -out of the habit. I need to find a practice routine that allows me to work and study and yet still allows me to build my skills on the drums.

I think 1 hour per day should be good. After all, my goal is to be a career musician.


Day one without the Facebook app

Brain Dumpers,

I’m an effort to reduce distractions, I’ve delete the Facebook app. Instead of spending time on the app. I’m spending time with you on this blog. Most of these next posts will detail my feelings as I live without the app. I spent so much time everyday checking Facebook and getting distracted by it that I lose my train of thought. I would go on the app only to find that the information would linger in my mind even after closing the app. I anticipate feeling a little raw without the constant influx of information, but I hope that this rawness brings me closer to an uninterrupted stream of consciousness that I can hone into focused action. Right now, I’m feeling like I want to go on the app after I finish this blog post. I want to be distracted but I know that I should stay focused. Now, how to go to sleep? I can read. Or I can just lie in bed until sleep comes. I think I’ll try the latter. 

Goodnight, Brain Dumpers

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.


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.