Archive for the Fun Category

Better Late Than Never

Posted in Comfort Zone, Community, Fun, Relationships, Self Improvement, Social on August 14, 2012 by cklaslan

Ok, so it’s been a while since I posted to my blog… a long while.  I am definitely due.

Wow, it’s been 9 months and a lot has happened, so let me give you the Cliff Notes version.

1) The subject of the last blog turned out to be a liar, flake, and a complete fake who stomped all over my feelings and heart and has yet to even offer a single word of sorrow, regret, explanation, or made any attempt at anything close to an apology

2) I got a new job!

3) I moved to New York City!  Yup this Southern boy has transplanted to the Northeast.  Check back later to see how I survive winter.

I got a great job offer and moved up here in Apr and settled into Hell’s Kitchen in June.  I live on 42nd street just 3 blocks from Times Square!  NYC is an amazing city and I love it here.  My affection for coffee has increased since moving as there is obviously an abundance of Starbucks but also tons of quaint, local, coffeehouses as well.

I’ve been here only  4 months and I’ve already learned a few things :

1) There are fakes and flakes everywhere.  It’s not the city, it’s the human race, and in 4 short months I’ve already met my fair share of them!

2) NYC is very cliquish!! There are so many groups, cliques, and circles of friends that are already well established and they seem to resist new people.  Oh they will tweet you out the ass, but God forbid you actually want to meet them.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve added and have even added me on Twitter and Facebook and will tweet me daily and/or weekly but make no effort to put a real person to it.  I absolutely do not understand that.  I’d much rather meet someone for real.  That being said in a few cases, I have managed to break through the “no new people” walls and met a couple of cool people that are “keepers”.

3) If someone does say the want or will meet you, don’t you put ounce of stock into that until you actually seem them face to face.

4) Atlanta is hotter but you feel it more in NYC because you’re out in it longer.  Yes in Atlanta it gets
90/100 in Aug/Sept but let’s face it you are only in the heat the 3 minutes it takes to walk from your air conditioned office to your air conditioned car.  NYC may only be 85 in Aug but you have a 10 minute walk to/from the train, not to mention the 10 minute wait in the train station where its 90 degrees and 85% humidity.  Bring on the Fall !!!

5) I do amazingly well on my own.  Having had roommates/partners in house for the previous 13 years I adjusted fairly quickly to being back on my own.  I fill my time exploring the city, running, working out, and taking photos.  Yes, I’ve become an Instagram whore — you can see my photos at http://statigr.am/midtowncoffee.  The TV is hardly ever on.  Oh and I got my website back up too!  It’s at http://www.keithlowry.me/

6) I have a lot to offer someone.  Being back on my own, and having to meet people on my own made me realize I’m a very trusting, caring, enthusiastic, out going, funny, sensitive, romantic, honest, fun, adventurous person!  It’s amazing how all that comes out when you have to meet people on your own merits.  When you already have a circle of friends, it’s easy to meet people thru them (by word of mouth) and not have to do that much.  But when you’re on your own you have to work harder to meet people. and at least for me, that brings out more of my personality

I guess that’s all for now.  I do hope to blog more frequently as I explore the city, learn more about myself, continue to settle into this great and awesome city.

Stay tuned!

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Happy is as Happy Does : betterME_2.0

Posted in Encouragement, Fun, Happiness, Relationships, Social on November 16, 2011 by cklaslan
I apologize in advance for the random rambling of this blog, but hey blogs are meant to be random.  While it is all over the place there is one unifying theme behind all of it : Happiness.  Happiness has been on my mind the last few weeks.  If you follow me on Twitter you know that to be the case.  Also lots of things have been tying together and as a result I’ve been happier.
 
I saw a challenge today that was to identify my commandments for happiness.  The first few were easy and throughout the day I kept added to them and tweeting them as they came up.  I know there are supposed to be 10 commandments but I have 15.. for now.  I think this will be something I will add to over time.  These are not meant to be a series of rules or a to-do list.  I have a “happy list” that lists things I can do or think about to get back to a happy place.   Rather this is more the thoughts and process that guide me and direct me towards happiness.  They each could use their own detailed explanation but for now I will just list them.  Most should be self-explanatory.

  • Chances are temporary but regrets are permanent so remove the “what ifs” and live with no regrets
  • Enjoy the process
  • Be happiness, live happiness, & give happiness
  • Even though life is a journey, there is no road map, so enjoy the scenery
  • Smile, laugh uncontrollably, and have fun no matter who’s watching
  • There are no problems, just opportunities to learn, grow, & experience
  • It’s not the circumstances that matter, but how I choose to respond to them
  • Keep things in perspective and stay focused on what matters
  • Remember anything that made you smile and never, ever regret it
  • There is only love, so kiss slowly, love truly, and be passionate
  • Lighten up and enjoy the moment
  • Forgive, forget, and live as if it never happened
  • To be happier, you have to think about feeling good and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth
  • One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;  One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
  • Happiness is not a mood, it’s a decision

Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new,
marvelous, intoxicating.
” ~ Simone Weil

All my life I’ve been an optimistic person.  I’ve always been very positive-minded, open, focused, and happy.  Those that know me, know that rare is the time when something gets me down, bothers me, or gets to me.  Does it happen? Sure!  I am human and I am an emotional person.  But it takes a lot, and even when it happens, I am usually over it very quickly.  I just don’t like being sad, or letting something negative get to me.  You see to me, it’s a choice.  Yes, bad things happen.  Yes sad things happen.  Yes things don’t go right.  But to me how I chose to respond is up to me.

Happiness and being happy is contagious.  Smiles are contagious.  I know people says it’s bad to rely on others for your happiness.  I tend to disagree with that on some levels.  I’ve found that I am happier when those around me are happy.  I’m an empathetic being.  I can sense the mood of those around me, and if it’s someone I’m close to my mood/feelings tend to match them almost immediately – it’s how I can tell something’s wrong.  So with me, I am much happier if others are happy.

I’m a caring, loving, giving, nurturing person and it just makes me happy to makes others happy, to make them laugh, and to make them smile.  I’m not saying I can’t be happy on my own.  I can.  There are plenty of times where I am quite happy and enjoyable on my own, alone, reading a book, listening to the rain, napping, thinking, planning, dreaming, etc.  However more often than not, I am most happy when I can share my happiness with others.  Yes, I know that’s a Catch-22, but hey, that’s me.

I’ve learned that happiness is shared in many ways and I adapt to my friends ways of receiving and giving happiness.  Some like a joke, others encouragement.  Some like a hug, and others just like for me to be a smart-ass with them.  A few just like to swap stories or share things/people that interest them and some just like to talk silly.  I also like my friends to share and show off their talents and creativity because that makes them happy.  Some of them like the little things I do and some just value my honesty.  All of them like a smile, and of course they like to feel important.  All my friends know that I am incredibly loyal, supportive, and always give honest advice.  I feel happy when they feel happy and they know I’ll do whatever I can to spread cheer and joy.

One of my best friends will soon be moving to NYC.  This person has been a great source of happiness for me, for he too is very much like me, very level headed, very loyal, and one of the most even tempered, calming, people I know. We had some similar life experiences that helped us bond and get along well.  While his moving is indeed a sad moment, I choose not to be sad over it as I know its a great opportunity for him so I choose to be happy and to be happy for him.  It would be incredibly easy to be selfish and bitter, but that’s just not me.  Sure, I will miss his sage advice, his calm spirit, and his knack for knowing when I want to talk and when I don’t.  But I’m happy for him and I know he’s happy.

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile,
laugh as much as you breath, love as long as you live”

I am surrounded by happy, loving, good, kind, positive, open people.  Most of my friends are that way, and well, that’s why they are my friends.  However, in all my life I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone who was as optimistic, care-free, full of hope, and well, happy, as I am.  Until recently that is.

A few months ago I met an amazing person who’s come into my life who share’s the same outlook, philosophy, and is the most like me of anyone I’ve ever met.  You don’t know how cool that is!!  Words can’t describe how it is to be around someone who emits such a positive, happy energy that you just can’t help but smile in their presence.   Have you ever thought about someone then realized you’ve been smiling the whole time?  This person has been an incredible source of happiness, joy, and positive thoughts.  That in turn has made me even happier and in turn I think I’ve shared and given more happiness in return.  You see how this works now?  This person has become incredibly valuable to me and someone I care deeply about and someone I want to get to know even more.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m certainly enjoying the scenery.  The holidays are always a joyous, happy time for me.  But now I know it’s going to be even better!

When I think of the last time someone made me really feel good, made me really laugh, made me really happy… I was with you”  RAWR :3

betterME_2.0

Posted in Encouragement, Fun, Welcome on August 11, 2011 by cklaslan

So I know it’s been a while since I posted last.  Sorry about that.  I got busy with some out of town business trips and really wanted to re-focus betterME into something I could sustain.   I found that daily challenges are good, but to really be challenged I needed a better structure.  I will continue to do daily challenges as they pop up, but will also do challenges for longer periods of time, most likely for a week.

Here is the first challenge of  bM_2.0 : Someone asked me to tell them something about myself that no one else knows. To be honest this is really hard for me.  I am an open book and I tell pretty much everything to my closest friends.  So this is something I will have to think about for a day or two.  I won’t post the answer but I’ll let you know when I figure out what it is. 🙂

I am going to issue a challenge for the readers and here it is : Make a list of things that make you happy.  They can be small, little things that might seem silly.  Or they can be bigger more complicated things.  Just make a list so that when things don’t go the way you want, you can read your list and smile.

I made a “happy list” a few years ago and here are some of the items on them.  One of goals is to keep adding to the list.

  • Getting caught in the rain
  • Stargazing on a clear night
  • Watching the sunset
  • Picnics
  • Music
  • A broadway show
  • Walks in the park
  • Going hiking or camping
  • Taking a road trip somewhere
  • Skittles
  • Cooking
  • That line in “Princess Brider”… “Mawwridge is whut bwings us together”
  • Making someone laugh
  • Silly movies (Airplane,etc)

I don’t know if I will post daily, but I will at least post once or twice a week to update on the current weekly challenge.

Another reason for the delay in posting was waiting for the right timing and inspiration.  I’m a huge believer in fate and I think the time is right.  So here goes betterME_2.0 — More to follow tomorrow.

betterME Day 15 : Sucking it Up

Posted in Fitness, Fun on June 14, 2011 by cklaslan

So the challenge was to do something I think I’m bad at or I suck at.  It wasn’t hard to pick what I think I suck at.. what I know I’m bad at.

This morning for my cardio I hopped on the gym’s basketball court and attempted to “play” basketball. Never have been able to… Still can’t either 🙂  Dunno why.  I’m an athletic person.  I played soccer for 8 years, 1 year of football, and 3 years of baseball.  I swim, I run, and I jog.  I can play tennis and racquetball and some other activities.  But I can’t play basketball.  Can make a basket, can’t dribble, can’t dunk.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m short or just lack the skills necessary.

Nonetheless I played for about 20 mins, running around, throwing the ball up and missing badly, and attempting to dribble.  I think I made 2 baskets. There were people looking at me, no doubt snickering at me. That’s ok, I was laughing at myself too.  LOL  But I had fun and I got some exercise in and that’s what counts.   The message here is you don’t have to be great at something in order to enjoy it.  I was there for me and that’s all that counts.  (yeah I’m sure the clip-art is pretty much what I looked like).

Tomorrow’s mission is :

* Greet people by name (for example a barista or sales clerk, etc) as often as possible

No update on the weekly pay-it-forward challenge… yet.  I travel tomorrow and the airport might have some possibilities for a random act of kindness.  If so I’ll let you know.

Ok so today is day 15. Halfway!  16 challenges completed and I have a list with 110 items on it.  What a small dent I’ve made.  But now It’s my turn to challenge you.  If you’re reading this pick one of the completed challenges and do it yourself.  I dare you.  I challenge you.  And then report back 🙂  Simple, eh?  What do you have to lose?  Go for it!

 

betterME Day 10 : Going loco.. err umm.. Local.. with a price !

Posted in Community, Fitness, Fun, Social on June 9, 2011 by cklaslan

The challenge du jour was to support local business owners.  This was easier than I thought it would be.  My normal daily routine (at least on a work day) is LA Fitness for gym time, then Starbucks for coffee, perhaps Chick-Fil-A or Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast item (or even QT).  For lunch something at Kroger, Wendy’s or Zaxbys and then dinner at home, by Zifty, or eating out.

Today I visited my local community gym,Absolute Body Symmetry, which is less than a mile from me.  I actually pass it when I run.  It’s a small privately owned gym.  Small as in think the size of a convenience store.  Not all the amenities of LA Fitness, but not all the crowd either.  While they didn’t have a few pieces of equipment, I as able to finish my normal routine, all in the comfort of only 4 other people.  It’s normally $5 for a guest but the very nice lady at the front desk let me in for free to try the place.  Cost $0.00 🙂

After workout, I headed over to Joe’s Coffee Shop in East Atlanta, which is probably my favorite non-chain coffee house in Atlanta.  Ok, it’s one of my faves as I have many.  I got my normal iced skim mocha with an extra shot, which at Starbucks costs $5.20 — at Joe’s it was $3.24 🙂

For lunch I went to Quick Chik which is about as local as you can get.  Homemade Southern cooking made by…. the Vietnamese family that owns the place.  I had some grilled chicken, green beans, and black eyed peas.  Total for lunch $5.20 🙂

I wont two tickets to a showing of “Social Network” at The Fox Theater for tonight.  Despite the tix being free, the Fox is still a local business.  I’ve already seen the movie but hey, it’s free.  So I’m taking my friend Patrick and were off to see it in a bit.  Cost $0.00 🙂

We’ll grab dinner before at Vortex, which of course is a local place and the best damned burgers in Atlanta, IMHO.

So far my “local business” day hasn’t cost me much, in fact less, than the fancy national chains.

Oh yes, I did get a speeding ticket for doing 68mph on I-20 on the way to work in Conyers.  Yes, the limit is 55mph, but hey its O.T.P. and there were dozens of peeps rushing past me going 75mph and faster.  Oh well, I was the one that got caught.  So with that I firmly supported the local community of DeKalb County!

With that in mind the challenge tomorrow is :

* Drive the speed limit all day

Well that one should be interesting.

The weekly challenge to smile and say hi to everyone took a hit today because, well, I’m tired and it just wasn’t on my mind.  So that was kind of a washout today.  I’ve already works 41 hours this week but that’s no excuse.  I will make up for it tomorrow.

Comments, folks.  I live for your comments and suggestions.  Maybe I’m a far better person than I realize. HA Kidding 🙂

betterME Day 8 : Something Old

Posted in Fitness, Fun, Hobby on June 7, 2011 by cklaslan

So the challenge today was to do something I enjoyed in the past and haven’t done in a long time. The activity I picked I haven’t done in over 3 years but used to do it most every weekend for a while.  The activity ?  GeoCaching.

If you’re thinking WTF or WTH? Read on.

In May of 2000 a man in Oregon hid a small container that held small trinkets.  He posted the GPS coordinates on a website and asked whoever found it to log on and note the find.  The “GeoCache” took hold and today there are over 1.4 millions GeoCache’s hidden in over 200 countries.

The idea is to logon to the website, or use a mobile app (iPhone, Android, etc) to locate the ones near you.  The GPS gets you pretty close and then you just have to look around to find the container.  Once found you take something but if you take, you have to replace it with something else and you sign the log.  Items are usually fairly small and inexpensive but could be things like gift cards, coins, toys, small books, and even DVDs and CDs.  Some caches are very small (35mm film canister or magnetic key holder) and are more difficult to find.  The site contains hints and notes from others to help out.

So today I went GeoCaching for the first time in three years using only my Droid.  My Geo-senses were a little off so I only found 3 of the 6 I looked for.  Despite the heat, I liked getting back to it, got a little more exercise (I ran 2.5 miles this morning), drank a Frappuccino while I did it, saw some interesting things, had a good time, and enjoyed some relaxing, chilling “ME” time 🙂  And I did it just for me so I could have some fun.  Though I will say GeoCaching is also fun with a friend (and perhaps a bit easier).

If you’re still  thinking WTF or WTH GeoCaching is cool because:

  • It’s an outdoor activity!  What’s better than that?
  • All the walking around is good for you.  You can usually park in an area that has concentrated GeoCaches and walk to several of them (like in a park, urban area, or neighborhood).
  • It lets you find and discover new areas.  For instance did you know that in the Atlanta city limits there is a wildlife preserve complete with a boardwalk over a marsh/swap?  Yep there’s a GeoCache there.  There are GeoCache’s in historical places so if you’re into history you can learn more about the area you’re in.  I’ve been to parks, trails, PATH, the beltline, and many other places.

If you just like to hunt and find things, like solving puzzles based on slim clues then you’d like GeoCaching.  You can learn more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocache and http://www.geocaching.com

And an update on the weekly challenge to smile and say hi to those I pass.  I’ve done this for two days now and I have a few observations :

  • It seems most people just don’t want to smile or prefer walking around with an empty blank expression on their face.
  • When you say smile at  someone in passing most people aren’t expecting it and don’t know what to do or say and will continue on their way.
  • You’ll get stranger looks if you say “hi” to someone in passing.  The verbal connection seems to at least get more reactions.  Some people will do the head nod as an acknowledge but a few have replied back, though most is something they mutter under their breath
  • I tried a few “How’s it going?” in passing and got no responses. LOL
  • Walking around with a perpetual smile, smiling at everyone, and greeting everyone has to put you in a good mood.  It did me.

I’ll keep this up for the rest of this week and see if I can get more than some ignores and a few head nods.  This is slowly working it’s way into the Social Skydiving challenge from earlier in the week that gave me some trouble.

Today I also left two more notes in random places.

Since today’s challenge was to do something old, tomorrow’s challenge is :

* to do/learn something new

OK folks, time for you to step up.  Send me some challenges that will betterME! — something that will force me out of my comfort zone, provide ways for me to grow as a person, or possibly even change a bad habit. I’d love for this weekend to include another challenge for the internet domain.  Happy Tuesday!