Monday, October 26, 2009
There is a serene sense of liberty that comes with casting off our anchors. Trimming the fat and clutter of life not only frees up capital and time to follow our dreams, but it also lets us evaluate the things we have and buy, and whether or not they were all that important in the first place. I am in the process of doing such things these days in preparation for an experiment in vagabond living and I must say it is getting more addictive by the minute! I've sold both of my cars, one officially and the other will be sold right before I leave. I've rented my home to a family member which will ensure that it is well taken care of and also provide me with some added income while I travel about. I'm consolidating bills, canceling all the home based bills, and budgeting my finances as we speak. All essential bills (cell phone and satellite card for laptop, credit cards, insurance...etc.) will be moved to online payment plans and will cost me less than $400 a month. This will help me to communicate with the world and operate my business while I romp about in the tropics! I've arranged a few great living situations that will cost me nothing but a few hours of work a day and the more research I do, the more options for free or really cheap living pop up. I have done most of this in the past week, with much time to spare and relax. This assumption smashing exercise alone has been worth its weight in gold!
The added mental space of getting rid of things has been the biggest surprise to me. I was totally freaking out last week when I decided to uproot myself from my home and really go for it and my mind was flooded with a ton of "oh shit" scenarios. ie: Oh shit, what about....(insert any task, expense, danger etc.)! I was starting to doubt myself. I was almost talking myself out of it... then I re read the timeless advice of Dale Carnegie who advised more that 60 or 70 years ago to: "Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that could happen. Mentally accept the worst case scenario and work out possible solutions that would better that situation." After much soul searching, I found it really wasn't a hard decision to make, the worst wasn't really all that bad. As a matter of fact, I can count two or three times in my life that were far worst than this "worst case" scenario, plus I still had a ton of friends, family, a house, and other places to go if need be. Ahhhh.... suddenly, relief came in the form of a weird sense of calm. Then, after the calm, came the solutions to my problems. The floodgates opened! So much so that I have resorted to carrying a notebook around so that I can write down whatever good idea comes to my brain. I'm far from finished, but I have an excellent starting point and most of what is left is fairly simple and straight forward. Now I am looking forward to my travels and feeling excited about life! My good friend Don offered this advice when I was having one of my doubting moments, he said, "Jeremy. I contemplated my divorce for two years before I went through with it. It was two years too long." He's never been happier since. So I urge you to purge some of the excess from your lives and sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself, "what's the worst thing that could happen if I follow my dreams?". I bet the answers to your problems are easier than you think. Until next time.... much love and peace, Jeremy.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"El Yunque", as the natives of the island call it, is where my second home and a big portion of my heart is! It is a fine, fine piece of Mother Earth and I am lucky enough to have a little casita smack dab in the middle of the jungle. It is a place of immense beauty, health and growth. Picture tall old growth trees with vines and epiphytes wrapped around them, beautiful flowers, orchids, and plants of every variety. Breathe the fine air that is thick with oxygen and moisture from the frequent rains and scented from the various fruit trees and plants that abide within. The temperature is tropical and warm, but the elevation and shade cover keeps us 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the island. It is very comfortable 65 or 70 degrees F and it is like stepping into a mini tropical heaven. There are no poisonous snakes or insects, and no large predatory animals. Of course you have the occasional mosquito and there are also the dreaded legends of the Chupacabra (a mythical jungle beast), but most of the other denizens are reptilian and amphibious by nature, and quite beautiful! One of my favorite are the tiny little tree frogs known as Coqui (ko-kee). They get their name from the famous whistle that sounds exactly the way it is spelled. They are found in many spots on the island in wet forest areas, but nowhere as plentiful as El Yunque. They flourish here by the millions and sing their lovely song all night long, making the jungle their joyous amphitheater. The first night I ever slept in the forest the sound kept me up most of the night. It wasn't annoying or uncomfortable in any way, just so completely different than anything I had ever heard, and beautiful to the ears that I couldn't stop listening. After that first night, it became a sound that comforted like no other and I quickly understood why the island had made this little critter its beloved mascot. I will be heading down for the winter shortly after Thanksgiving and will be living there until at least spring time. I will be working on a big project down there to help sustain an orphanage, plus handling my business with B.Lo via cell phone and internet. It is a dream come true and I sincerely welcome any interested parties to come down for a visit anytime. It is an experience you will never forget! Hope you are enjoying life today! If you are in the colder climates like myself, I hope the thought of the beautiful, warm forest will warm your heart and soul! Jeremy
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The consumption of alcohol is good and bad. We all know what I'm talking about. There are pluses and negatives to every endeavor in life and this is certainly no exception. While I am in no way a professional, I have had my share of nights where consumption has exceeded the legal limit. I'm on the fence though. I could take it or leave it. The alcohol I mean.... I know that sounds weird, but there are times that I go months and months without ever touching the stuff. Then there are times of the year, mostly around the Holidays, that the activity seems daily. I guess I'm a social drinker, and very moderate at that. I'm interested in the history of alcohol as a diversion tactic by those in power. It is a powerful weapon in society, especially when things are going sour. Hit me up with your thoughts and comments on the subject.... or just tell me to shut up and have another beer. Whatever your flavor, be responsible please!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My friend Brad is a crazy bastard! He works hard at everything he does. He is the most considerate person I have ever met... and he'll tell you, almost to a fault. He always makes sure everyone around him is having a good time and is comfortable. He loves to travel and get into new situations and he LOVES photography. I highly emphasize the LOVE there! The man always has a camera around his neck and is shooting candid shots of everything and everyone. It's so funny because the rest of us always bitch about him taking so many pictures, but when we sit down for dinner a few months after a trip, we practically get a play by play of what we did every day and everyone is drooling over the fine pictures he has taken. Brad has a great eye for design and aesthetic. He's almost gay about it... ha ha. Sorry Brad, but you know it's true! This man has more than once, made houses I've lived in look fabulous with very little money and supplies. He is an amazing landscaper and party planner, and I say this because I've worked for him on many occasions when he needed an extra hand. Letters pour into his mailbox after weddings and events that he has planned just gleaming with compliments on his attention to detail and elegance. Brad is a great friend and traveling compadre. We have spent many awesome moments together in many incredible locations around the world. Some of my best memories are the times we spent wading in the water at the beach just conversing about everything and anything. Anyone who knows Brad, knows the man loves to talk! Sometimes you have to pull the battery out of his back to shut him down, but mostly you don't, because he has a lot of interesting things to talk about! Brad knows something about everything and if you put him and I on a trivial pursuit team, we have never been beaten!!! Brad Zacek is kind and loving to all living things and has cared for thousands of animals in his lifetime. Birds, dogs, rabbits, and reptiles top the list. He has been caring for his elder grandmother and living with her for almost 10 years now as well, another example of putting others first. He loves adventure and is not afraid to do things that he knows he may not be physically ready for. Most times he jumps right in! Let him tell you about the crazy shit I have talked him into alone...(mention some of the hikes for extra laughs). Brad will never let a friend down and has many close friends who love him, myself included. My whole circle of friends and family have taken him in as family...that's what happens with him almost everywhere he goes! Brad is compassionate, trustworthy, caring, fair, humorous, empathetic, sympathetic, non egotistical, super creative, and whole. He is an amazing human being and I'm glad to call him my friend and brother! I hope you have some amazing friends in your lives and that you cherish them! Have a great day! Jeremy
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I have a funny story for my little brother's birthday today! He's such a shit head and has always been! I mean that in the most endearing of terms, but anyone who knows Benny knows he can really push buttons and he's been that way his whole life. I can't tell you how many times we nearly killed one another as children and teenagers, or better yet, how many times my mother has wanted to kill him! One time she chased him through the house with a cast iron skillet that she had every intention of bashing his head with! I said, "Mom! You are going to hurt him!" To which she said, "Hurt him? I'll F*cking Kill him!!!!". We still can't help but wrestle and mess around when we see each other now... it is quite pathetic!
Needless to say, nobody has successfully killed him, and to be quite honest we never would dare to dream about it, because he's a great man and a great brother all the way around. He's made it another year and has lived 28 years on this planet so far! Congrats brother! Ok, enough of the lovey dovey family ass kissing stuff... lets get to the dirt!!! Mu ha ha ha ha (evil laugh)
The story: When we were teenagers, oh let's say I was 17-ish and he was 15-ish, we used to fight every day. He was the kind of brother that would wait until mom left for work then sit right next to you and put his leg on top of yours, or steal the remote, or just do some amazingly annoying thing or another to get you pissed off. Then the mouth would start flapping, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, until all you wanted to do was make sure he didn't have a mouth to flap with! That was his button pushing... and he'd say the nastiest things to you until he could sense you were going to physically and violently hurt him....then he'd run for it! The funny part is that it happened the same way every time. I'd get a few good shots in on him before he ducked into the bathroom and put his feet against the bathtub and his back against the door. This position guaranteed him temporary safety because the only way you could get to him was by breaking down the door, which you didn't dare do. So he would sit in the bathroom like that for hours...still talking shit! Sometimes I'd leave the room for a while, then sneak back to the door and catch him off guard and scare him, but he would always make it back into barrier position! Eventually, he'd get tired of being in there, or hungry (most likely scenario) and he'd start making plea bargains so you wouldn't beat the crap out of him! Looking back at it now makes me laugh so hard! Despite the antics, we always stuck up for one another and always will. You are a great brother and friend! Happy Birthday! I had to call you out! ha ha ha. Love, Your always BIG BROTHER, Jeremy
Monday, October 5, 2009
No, they aren't having a half off sale at the Hostess factory! I'm talking about this fat guy right here! I have been slowly regaining my physical prowess through a daily repertoire of swimming, exercising and diet, but my diet mostly still sucks except for the fact that I don't eat at night anymore. This alone has allowed me to shed weight the past few weeks with non strenuous exercise. However, I have decided that "getting back into shape" isn't quite good enough for me because I am naturally athletic and I can cheat my way through losing 20 lbs pretty simply by adjusting my diet alone. This is what I always do. Problem is, it always comes back because I don't have a goal to keep me in shape. Well, this year all of that has changed! I've recently linked up with a long distance marathon runner who is training for a triathlon next year. He is my coach. He is also 60 years old and has been an endurance athlete all of his life. He's looking to shed some excess baggage and reverse a slight health condition through training for a triathlon (or at least triathlon level fitness, since we haven't picked one to race in yet). We spent the first month in the pool, adjusting and fine tuning our mediocre swimming techniques. Now we are running. Today was our first day. I ran 10, 110 yard sprints in a pair of two year old sneakers that have seen their day, some cargo shorts, and a hoodie! My counterpart showed up in new high tech running shoes, running shorts, running pants, running jacket, energy drink, and ointment for his legs.... and I forgot to bring water... what a dork I felt like. But alas, despite being close to 100lbs heavier than my coach and having no prior formal running training, I was able to outrun the bastard in pure raw speed! Well... enough pure, raw speed to beat a 60 year old... and only by a few seconds! This guy is intense! I kept waiting for him to shed his costume and expose the giant "S" on his chest. Needless to say, I am a hurting puppy dog tonight, but I can't wait to do it again Thursday! Hope you are having a healthy, happy, "pain free" evening! Jeremy
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Taken from the foreword of his book "Force of Nature", big wave surfing legend gives us some great advice on life and living! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! - Jeremy
"It's a big world. And we humans? Not so big. If you put yourself into a position where you realize that in your solar plexus, one thing I can promise is that you'll never feel more alive. For some of us, it doesn't take leaping off a cliff. It could be a high porch. It's all relative.
Our days are meant to be fun. Once you lose that thread, I think you've just lost the essence of the whole deal. If you build up a wealth of experiences, letting yourself be amazed by everything and everyone around you, then fun and its close relative, joy, will be the inevitable by-products. The last thing you want to do is to look back at the end and think coulda, woulda, shoulda.
The idea is to become an old wizard; to live a long and fruitful life and have family and be healthy and enjoy the ride. And speaking of the ride, why not let it rip, at least a little bit? Everyone I know who's really stoked about getting out of bed in the morning does that to some extent."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I love the deal! The push and pull, the negotiation, the fact finding, the nervousness of going into a new situation with new people who are all holding different cards... all of this gets my blood pumping! It's exciting as hell and it puts me in new situations all the time. I am quickly learning in life that if you want to have success in anything, you need to push your boundaries. Throw off the bowline and head out into unexplored territory! My expertise is in the deal itself. I like to find out what the need is and find the solution that involves a mutual benefit to all parties. I'm working on some great big things for the very near future! Life is good!