Guardians of the Galaxy

best-gifs-guardians-galaxy-trailerGuardians of the Galaxy is one of those movies made after a popular comic. Therefore, the standard statement from a devout fan will be “you don’t get it unless you read the comic.” Suffice it to say, I don’t read the comic. Despite that, the movie raked in well over 90 million dollars it’s opening weekend and that is nothing to sneeze at. The Summer of 2014 has been lackluster for movies and lower than projected in box office sales. Guardians of the Galaxy will probably fare better than anything, including my personal pick Edge of Tomorrow. But, does box office mojo equal entertainment value? Not always.

This is not specifically for kids. The cute raccoon had me thinking it would be good for young kids. While there is nothing abhorrent in it that might confuse kids, it has long stretched where nothing to engage children happens. It’s a comic book geek movie, not a family/children’s one. It has a goofy protagonist trying to make a living outside the norms of his society. He reminded me of Han Solo. There is a band of characters who are all out to make their own ends meet. They get together and battle an evil force who threatens to destroy all that is good. Comic book anyone? It has some fun throwbacks to 70’s and 80’s music which offsets the space war activity happening throughout. You’ll have to see it to see how they make that work. In conclusion, I was entertained but not blown away. This is another Green Lantern or other recent cgi space action movie. Nothing overly creative or innovative. The box office is being kind now but not so sure the march of time will remember this one so well. I give it 3/5.

Give Teenagers a Small Break

tumblr_mhq10vCxbb1qz6f9yo2_r1_500Teenagers are just big kids. They get a bad rap for their attitude but that can prove handy in adulthood. If you have no edge, some jobs will eat you alive. Adults find a way to get through difficult situations. Teenage attitudes are a budding form of that. I took my 16 year old son around to the stores today so he could get applications and talk to managers. He’s not very assertive and the firs place we went he texted me as I waited outside he was waiting to “go into the back” after a girl who was ahead of him in line. After an hour and a half, he emerged telling me he took a test on a computer. I was upset because he could have done that on his own time. I was there to encourage him in talking to managers. The whole time I kept thinking: he’s still just a big kid and he didn’t mean to be selfish in keeping me waiting that long.

At another place we went he froze up and couldn’t even think of what to say to the manager. This further reminded me that while he is physically larger than me he still has a developing brain. I had compassion for him. The next time your teen gets you frustrated just remember my story. They are growing and they will one day see the world as adults. Right now, the teenage view of the world is a very limited and often scary perspective.

Simple and Silly Wins the Crowd

tumblr_n97zzyoBI51r48zcwo1_500I hate to say this because it sounds really insulting but it’s true: people are by and large simple creatures. They don’t want a big discussion with words they don’t understand. People latch onto that which they know and what is familiar to them. If you watch Sesame Street or any Saturday morning kid show you will see this concept playing out. Puppets have simple dialog with easy to understand jokes interspersed. There is a reason this formula has made Sesame Street a world renowned program that is highly respected by scholars. Transfer that to comedy at an improv. The comedians are not taking us down a complicated path. Sex, food, relationship mishaps, … this is their mainstay. Guess what, people laugh at the simple jokes. Take Twitter as another example: jokes and thoughts that stay within the 140 character limit are easy to ingest and that’s why Twitter has become a billion dollar company.

As a father and husband, I am constantly trying to communicate effectively with my family. I should also include my work as a teacher as relevant. I am on a lifelong quest to communicate effectively. Like Sesame Street, I also use puppets in my classroom. I try to keep my metaphors simple with my kids because I want them to get what I am saying. I’m not saying other people around me are all simple but why not hit the target of communicating by being simple than trying to relate complicated ideas? There is a time and place for everything. Musicians that make a groove simple are also excellent communicators. Think about what it is you are trying to say to someone, or a group, and then break it down to be simple. THrow in a joke or two to make it silly and you’ve got them!

Make Time for Relaxation for it Solves Many Problems

This should be in a space travel brochure for Earth.Are you taking time to relax? The way I see it, there are two possible responses to the photo in my post: 1) I want to be that relaxed or 2) Those lucky sob’s are having a relaxing time unlike myself. Obviously the latter one is negative. Relaxation is not something that is handed to you, you have to plan it and even, yes, work at it! The good news is, if you develop a practice of relaxation in your life, your work, relationships, creativity, and more will improve beyond what you can imagine. The brain needs rest just like our bodies and yet we deny ourselves the relaxation it needs every day. challenge you to try to relax at least once every day. You will choose to do it more because it feels so good. Moreover, your life will improve so drastically you will be rushing to your planning calendar to make appointments to do it.

A lot of people think you have to get in the lotus position or take a yoga class to relax. Not. All you need is to get away from distractions in a quiet place, use calming music if you like, and take deep breaths. That’s the basic recipe for a relaxation session. I use calm.com to relax my mind. They give you an audible guided tour into a relaxed state. Perhaps you’d like to start there. For several years now I have made time for relaxation. I am to the point some days where I can feel my body relax when I start my session. This is a controlled thing, not luck. Don’t wait for physical sickness or mental fogginess to convince you I am right. Relaxation can solve most problems we face as humans. Start scheduling a block of time to do it today. What do you think of making a time for relaxation? How has relaxation affected your life?

Why Wonder When Your Life Will Begin?

Tangled-Rapunzel-TowerRapunzel up in her tower had an excuse: she was held captive. So many people I know (including myself) are held captive by imaginary prison bars. Our dreams aren’t coming, they are here! Be thankful for what you have now and don’t be afraid to make a list of what you want from your short years living. It takes a highly intelligent person to make that list. Of course there must be limitations of reality such as, I will never be the King of England. But look at what has worked for you in the past. Did you enjoying doing that work? What’s stopping you from doing it more? Look at the rewarding parts of your life and make them your path. On of my favorite quotes is by the rock band The Alarm: “As the road opens up in front of my eyes, the only limitation is in my mind.” I still have a blog after starting in 2005. To me, that has been enjoyable. My dream is to keep it going and make a little money as I do! Why Wonder When Your Life Will Begin? Do what you love the money will follow. Has this post encouraged you to make goals toward your dreams?

Some Inspiring Movies For Your Consideration

2732753049_1288b9707e_oI love movies that inspire me. After watching them I feel like I can take on the world. They say those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do. By that logic, movies change the world when they bring out that “craziness” in us that we can make the world better. If you look at history, inspired people have changed the world, even when thought crazy. Here are 14 inspiring movies that I really enjoyed and got inspired enough to write reviews. They are in no particular order or category. I’ve seen many more but these made the publish button. Here they are for your inspiration. For information on them, check out my reviews. For inspiration, I recommend watching them and you will be, guaranteed ;) Got a recommendation? Leave it in the comments, I’ll watch and review it.

Rewards Make the World Go ‘Round

We all work harder and feel better when we get rewarded. Pass on rewards to those who work for you and seek rewarding tasks in life. I’m convinced that rewards boost results. Teachers teach better when rewarded, real estate agents work harder as well. “Fill in career here” will work more efficiently for the big reward. It’s obvious but we don’t always think about it. You can get your kids to do more and be better people when you provide attractive compensation. You can get your spouse to hear you and work with you better when you make it “worth their while.” We start to get old and crotchety when we think everyone “ought” to do things.

Everyone should be rewarded for what they do, whatever the payload (great or small). An example: My wife needed ten documents scanned and offered it to me or my son as a task. She told my son he could have xbox time if he did it and he accepted. He was done in minutes and I didn’t even have to show him how to do it. What does this illustrate? We create and innovate solutions when we want the reward. In this case, the reward cost my wife nothing. She simply utillized a free reward system already in place. If people are more efficient when they go for rewards, why not seek tasks that offer them? What is it you want? Get to the business of that. The reward itself is not the only by-product. Along the way you will find the tricks of the trade to get the job done.
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The Universe Said No

I bought a keychain laser pointer at the 99 cents store planning to use it in my teaching. It worked great and I put it right on my keys. The set looked so bulky at that point. I had 4 rings from separate keys and a car alarm interlocked and all that was hanging from a lanierd from 2007. I decided it was time to lighten the thing up. I got rid of all the rings (except a cool hiking carabiner that is useful for belt loops) and put the remaining few keys on my car alarm ring. I stopped using the lanierd, after all these years it has shown no real purpose and I think it looks obtrusive. Did I mention I like to travel light through this world?

At any rate, once I got the keys set up minimal like I wanted, I attached the metallic laser pointer. It looked awesome, just the way I wanted. It was set up except for one thing. I had removed an ugly blue plastic whistle that I have used at work for years. It was marred and dirty. It looked too cheap. Of course the laser pointer looks cheap but at least it’s metallic and new. That’s when I got the idea to get a silver metal ref whistle at Dick’s Sporting goods. I share my mission with my son and then sped down there to get the mystic whistle. I got into the store, found the perfect one, got rang up by the employee and received my total. That was when I realized I had left my wallet at home. “Not now,” I heard the universe whistle as the wind blew.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will Says What?

article-2699905-1FD809D800000578-581_634x505Recently, trending and somewhat scandalous stories report that the late Philip Seymour Hoffman refused to create a trust fund for his three children who are all very young. What did he do with his reported 36 million dollar fortune and estate? Get ready for this folks: He gave it to their mother to raise them with! He also included a firm request that his son be raised in Manhattan. Oh, the inhumanity.

While that sounds a bit odd as a wish for a child, it must be noted there is nothing strange or selfish about not leaving his money to his kids in a trust fund. This is just another case of a hack reporter grasping at a headline, a name that will push her/his story to a trending status and assure them a pat on the head by her/his editor. Carry on! What do you make of this trending story? Should it be trending? Do you find it interesting?