The “Money Trap”

This is not going to be an overly extended post, but it is just a thought on how to control impulse spending and also how to spend less while attracting abundance. I recently bought these Moneybands from this great website, linked previously. They are very nice and keep both my money and my cards secure, so secure it is quite a challenge to get them out. This is the main reason I bought them. If you trap your money in a place where it is hard to get to, then you will be more reluctant to spend it. It even encloses all your credit and debit cards in the dead center of this pile of money so that there is no way that you could just put it on your card real quick. Now, when I carry it around, I am rather hesitant to make a purchase that would make my life so inconvenient as to take the rubber band off, sift through the bills for the right one, and then clumsily hand the bills to the cashier, while digging in my pocket for change. If I know I am going to be spending money for sure, I take the amount out of the trap and use that in another pocket so that if I overspend at all, I’ll need to go into the trap again.

Don’t get me wrong, spending money is a form of giving, but when you are spending on things you do not need and will probably not use, it helps to have a way to stop this impulse, or as Fight Club would call it, the Ikea nesting instinct. I had bought two Jimi wallets and a couple leather ones before I settled on these extremely inexpensive rubber bands. And if you want to go super low-tech, I recommend a celery rubber band. You know, the one that holds the celery together in the supermarket. It works almost as well as these longer-lasting rubber bands. But if you buy enough celery, you are probably better off just sticking with those.

And I have to say that this has helped me monitor my spending significantly. But if I really want something, and I mean really want it, I will go through the painstaking process of removing my money from this trap and fumbling around for the exact change. Sure, using a debit or credit card is so much easier, and that is the problem. I hope someday we go back to gold, so that way, in order to purchase something of great value, we would need a pickup truck. Anyway, just a thought I was having while not buying a tempting item. I hope you got something out of this. If not, I’ll have another article soon.

http://andrewbrunelle.com/2008/02/11/a-raw-food-diet/

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Another Excerpt From my Book

I woke up today and started working on my novel, and then realized I still hadn’t written a blog entry today, so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and combine the two.  This excerpt is what I worked on today and it was something like what my blog entry was going to be like anyway.  It may be a little dark, but the book I’m writing is extremely dark, so bear with me.  Here it is:

They say we’re put on this earth to learn a lesson, but after you learn it, what do you do? Just stagnate until the day you die? After you’ve learned what you were put here to learn, how come you still have to keep going? There is nothing else left to do, except pay bills. Eat, sleep, go to the market, hang out with nature. That’s it. Maybe go on a trip or two. Life is so repetitious, but I think it’s because we’ve made it that way. There is no more real excitement. There is no more real anything. It’s all a mundane overture, a façade we tell ourselves is normal. There is no more harmony, but a bunch of cells going in all opposite directions. It’s the lies we tell ourselves to be happy. Every animal we eat, we have to rationalize that it lives on a comfortable farm and not stuffed in a crate with one hundred other animals, fed antibiotics so it doesn’t die from the stressful and diseased conditions, and then burned alive. How the chickens are dangled upside down, still alive, and scalded to death as their feathers get burned off. But we’d rather not think of that. We’d rather think that the farm with the animals spaced out, free-range, living their lives in a peaceful manner until the farmer decides to end their lives peacefully, quickly, painlessly. It’s just like reality.

It’s always more convenient to deny the terrible truths than it is to accept them. To pretend you don’t know it’s going on. To brush it off like it doesn’t exist. That we’re all heading towards utter destruction, that the world doesn’t have much time left, at least human existence. That we can’t really sustain life like this. It is not possible. We have to stop consuming and start fixing. We need to stop. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all gone. And who will be left to pick up the pieces. Our children. I hate how we come into this world inheriting someone else’s problems. The people who made all these problems are long gone, but we have to correct them. We have to salvage what’s left. We can’t just pretend they don’t exist. They are here. They will consume us all if we don’t make moves towards correcting them. But it’s not even our fault that we have these problems in the first place. We aren’t the ones responsible, but we are the ones who are designated to fix them. It just doesn’t seem fair to me, the lack of accountability the previous generations have, so what’s to motivate this generation to repair, when they can pass off the subsequent problems to the next generation?

The reason we do not make these changes is it’s always easier to maintain the status quo than it is to change. Change is a hard and difficult process while remaining the same is just a habit. It’s easily perpetuated. It’s a simple process. It’s always easier to exercise every day once you’ve done it for years than it is to start a new exercise program from scratch. It’s the fact that being comfortable rules all. %f you’re comfortable, it’s always easier to accept inconvenient truths. I’m not saying these ideas are new and I’m not even taking ownership of these ideas. I’m like the Greeks, who said their ideas came from the gods. It would be foolish to say these ideas are original, because they’re not. I just feel that in all existence of man, at least one person has thought of these ideas before, so therefore it is futile to claim ownership of anything anymore. Getting this copyrighted would be a useless task, like running on a treadmill to get to the store. It’s not even purposeful. But I’m still here, living, in the flesh, but for what? Another meal? Another story to tell? To tell people that everything is okay because life really has no meaning. The only way to get by is to live as joyful as you can, to avoid big change, to isolate yourself from judgment, to live your life naturally? Is that what I’m here to tell people? Is that why I’m still here?

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Laughter as a Way of Life

Laughter is something you can either embrace or resist.  It’s so strange because there’s been studies done that shows the average child laughs about 200 times a day and the average adult laughs maybe five times a day.  What happened to all those laughs?  We all had to grow up and forget about our sense of umor or what?  I feel that having a sense of humor is the only thing that keeps some people sane.  Take that away from them and they’re a lunatic.

So why the hell don’t we laugh as much as we get older?  Society conditions us to take the world seriously, with all those threats to your survival, all those depressing news stories, and propaganda to keep us all in fear.  I remember when I was a kid, I would watch the news with my mom and I would immediately say how boring it was.  Always talking about dead people or explosions or massacres.  It was neve anything that made me want to ever watch it again.  How can you laugh when you are aware of so much suffering.  It’s a known fact that around 150,000 people die a day.  It’s a condition of the Earth.  So why do we need to be so depressed about it all the time?  Why does the news media have to shove it down our throats while not feeding us the good news most of the time?

Growing up means you have to get serious about your life.  You have to meet deadlines and all that.  There’s always something you have to do.  There’s not as much time to laugh.  You have more worries, more deadlines, more bills to pay.  But I don’t think that should stop you from laughing, at least on a semi-regular basis.  I mean, it’s not going to kill you.

So, my advice to you to to try what I call a laughter meditation.  It’s where you put all your problems aside, forget completely about them, and just laugh.  Laugh at the things you find funny.  Do it for five, ten minutes and just enjoy those moments like they’re solid gold wrapped in gold-plated silver.  It will allow you to relax yourself and feel good, at least for the time you are laughing.

Have a sense of humor, too.  You can joke about your financial situation, your car breaking down, or your house being repossessed.  Don’t take life so seriously.  I find the people with the best attitudes towards life have a sense of humor and they usually thrive because of it.  People are drawn to humor, not drawn to depression and angst, although those tools can be great for humor.  Humor and laughter are tension release.  Some comedians refer to stand-up comedy as their “therapy.”  And I agree, to a certain extent.  Having other people laugh at your life, which you think is also funny, is really just a wonderful way to feel good.

I’m sure you read my previous post on how I got through a brain tumor using laughter through the whole surgery process, the whole radiation process, the hair loss, everthing.  And I emerged victorious.  Not just because the treatment worked, but because I had a positive attitude through all the laughter I was getting frome everyday life.

So, when life gets rough, just put yourself apart of it for maybe ten minutes and laugh it off.  When you’re done, I’m sure you’ll feel much better.  I know I do.  If that doesn’t work then try yoga or something.
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The Tools of the Trade

People talk about how different careers have tools of the trade.  Things that help you succeed in different ways.  Hey, it’s only natural that people would wonder what the tools are when it comes to comedy.  Well, it is known for a fact that ideas come in all shapes and sizes.  They can come in the middle of a corporate boardroom or in one of your dreams.  The key question is:  Will you be able to record your ideas on paper or in some other “viewable” form to look at later when you’re not busy doing something else?  The answer is yes, if you prepare in advance.  Here are a few tips that I use that I hope will enter your “comedy life.”

Little Notebook:  You’ll want to buy a notebook that’s small and durable enough to fit into your pocket or purse, depending on your gender.  I’ve gone through very many notebooks because they weren’t durable enough to withstand the amount of activity I do.  So I decided to get a small, leatherbound notebook that works pretty well.  Sure, it’s an appointment datebook, but I just ignore the dates and write whatever comes to mind in it.  I also clip a pen to it so I always have something to write with.  If I get any other ideas that will be relevant later, I also use it for those tasks.

Little Tape Recorder:  This is another idea that worked well for me for awhile, until I realized I looked ridiculous talking into it in public.  I had it connected to my belt loop as well, in case I were to drop it.  It does help exceedingly well to get a rant on tape, but I had trouble using it in public settings because people would look at me like I was crazy.  But I am, so I tolerated it for awhile.  But I decided to eventually dump it because it caused problems, like the string that connected from my belt loop into my pocket would often get caught on things, which would in turn jerk it out of my pocket and have it dangling around my knee.  Awkward.  It has it’s good and bad points.

A newspaper:  You should always read the newspaper to get ideas.  You don’t necessarily have to carry one around with you, but staying current is a very good way to generate current event material.

A fanny pack:  If you want to look gay, even if you’re not, a fanny pack would be ideal to use to carry around everything.  But it’s so gay-looking, I can’t do it.  If it was part of modern culture, I could see myself doing it, but it’s so outdated that I feel ridiculous even bringing it up.  But it would be a great way to start your comedy act.  “Check out my fanny pack.”  If you’re a gay comedian and I offended you, then maybe this is an idea you should try.  Well, whatever floats your boat.

Those are just a couple of accessories you could use if you want to improve yourself at remembering things you think of.  It’s very helpful because sometimes you think of comedy gold at such inopportune times.  If you’re at a funeral, do you really want to have to ask someone for a pen and a napkin while they’re lamenting the loss of their husband of sixty years?  No, I’d hate to be in that stiuation, too.  Just do what’s suggested here and you’ll be fine.  Get these things, but the fanny pack is not necessary.

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