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Running at Night

I've started running at night again, like I did at Fordham.  At least three or four times a week, I used to run sometime between 10 and 1... maybe about a mile and a half or two miles.  I didn't care how cold it was out...   I was out there in shorts and a t-shirt.  In fact, it was better when it was cold out.  I loved the feel of the cold.  It wasn't a jog.  I was running...  almost running away from the cold, or away from something, or after something.  The music set the mood.  My favorite song to run to was David Bowie's "I'm Deranged" from the Lost Highway Soundtrack.  I listened to that outside tonight.  I just looped it again and again.  Running around the campus at Fordham was great..  I'd run out the door of Hughes Hall, down towards Walsh Library and around the back of Martyrs.  When you ran past Martyrs, you could see the first floor suites and you'd get these little vignettes of college life...  mostly just people watching TV or sitting around chatting.  You'd catch sight of window decorations from the upper floors, too... neon beer signs, Christmas lights, banners on adjacent walls.  I ran behind South and then North, where the Rambulences parked, and past Fordham Prep.  Past the tennis courts and McGinley Hall, by Eddie's Parade, where you might catch someone else running just around the Parade path.  What a boring run that would be.. just around and around Eddie's.  Around Keating and past Millenium, Tierney, and back up towards Walsh Hall.  That was a sketchy stretch, because you had that parking lot where they kept Facilties vehicles and then JMH...  two places you weren't going to run indoors to, but you'd always bump into people along that stretch.  You'd be running at them for some part or behind them, and you could sence their uneasiness.  Right past I went, right by Finlay and instead of a right turn to Hughes, I'd go past it and back around Martyrs again, and not stop until the tennis courts.  Then I cut right and walk it off back to Hughes. 

The streets were empty and the wind was frigid tonight, but I felt great when I got back inside.  My arms were red from the cold and the water from the shower confused my skin.  I remembered showering in Hughes.  The bathroom was usually freezing b/c someone was always leaving the window open.  I couldn't figure out if the water it was cold or hot, because my body was so cold from the outside.  I felt great.  It makes me tired before bed and it gets rid of all the stress that my body unconsciously picks up even though my brain is pretty well trained to ignore it.  I think I'm going to make a regular habit of this again. 

Awful Timing

LiveJournal has been down for over 24 hours, not less than a week and a half after they got bought.  Of course, the two have nothing to do with each other, but you have to think that at least a few of the 2.5 million active LJers are having their doubts.  This has got to be extremely embarrassing for Six Apart.  Oh, and PS...  what's with the "9:12AM... We're back at it..."?   I think if you're going to be serious about capturing the innermost thoughts of millions of LJers, you call in the reserves and you find some people who can spell you and work through the night.  12 hours?  What kind of stamina is that?  I stay at work longer the day before our internal strategy reviews.  I'm sure there were plenty of LJers trying to post in the middle of the night who didn't shed a tear for the LJ team's 12 hour attempt.  Kind of reminds me of the day AOL went out.

This goes back to the question of what exactly Six Apart bought.  I would bet that free blogs are pretty far down on the stickyness list.  Perhaps the "community" aspect is what will keep everyone on... the same reason most of us are still using AOL IM... only because everyone else we care about is still on it. 

And what's going on here? apparently has 700,000 members.  I never even heard of them, but apparently they're using the LJ open source code.  I have to be honest, after I saw this, I thought to myself, "I know a lot of LJers, but I don't know anyone on GJ."  How easy would it be to put up a journaling site with LJ code, totally inflate the numbers of users, and try to get lots of people to donate to you?  You could even write some fake blogs to make people think that there were lots of other people on there.  Ok, maybe I'm just being cynical, but 700,000 bloggers seems like a big population to never hear of, especially when we were all commenting to death on the 6A-LJ merger.  I don't think I'll believe that number unless I get 700,000 individual comments from GJers.

Dodge This! Runs the Table in Scrimmage

Last night was our first ZogSports Dodgeball Game.  Not only was it a blast, but it turns out we're not too shabby either.   In fact, we went undefeated in the four game round robin at PS 191's gym.  (Yes, we actaully play in elementery school gyms.) 

Here are the pics...    The gym was sort of dimly lit, but Sue Yoo did an admirable job with the photography work while she sat out this week on the DL nonetheless.

Dod_ge_dodgethis Pastore came up with a great team cheer:

  D! O! D! G-E! DODGE-THIS!  [Run around like idiots and bump chests]

We've yet to get the whole team on board with the cheer, but we're working on it.

Dodgethis2Starting_lineDodgethis6Dodgethis_1Dodgethis7 Dodgethis8_1

I have to say, everyone up and down the lineup did a great job.  We worked together as a team and became a sweaty force to be reckoned with.  Extremely sweaty.  Ohhh...   memories of being nine.  One lesson we all learned well today...  Don't mess with Lindsey. 

More Gita

Back to the Gita again, which I’m still reading… I’m a terribly inconsistent reader. I pick up a book for like three pages at a time, in between two stops on the 6 train or for ten minutes right before bed. I think the only book I’ve ever really been hooked on to the point where I’d sit and read for hours on end was the Fountainhead.

Ok, so I’m sitting in DTUT at the moment and I can’t help but be distracted by one “open mike night” performer. I’m not sure if I can really explain the kind of… well… it’s a bit like a car accident. I don’t really want to keep looking, but I’m inexplicably drawn to it. This froggy looking dude has a deathgrip on his guitar and he’s bouncing back and forth between grindspitting his words through his mouth and lightly whispering. The material is touching a wide variety of areas, from violence to corporations. Its very uncomfortable to watch. The girl who runs it doesn’t seem like she’s exactly sure to take this, but I’m sure she’s hoping he doesn’t attempt to just go on forever. I wonder what would happen if he just continued singing this chopping corporate song all night. I’m pretty sure there are no bouncers at DTUT. Now the next guy is up, singing about “Maggots in the Eye of Love.” Oh brother. What ever happened to fuzzy pink bunnies?

Anyway… the Gita. The Bhagavhad Gita talks about two forces in your lives: “the upward thrust of evolution and the downward pull of our evolutionary past.” I agree with that and I’ll take it one step further by putting forth a derivative of that idea: We spend every moment of our lives either making more of ourselves or bringing ourselves down. What did you do today? Did you become something more by taking part in today, or are you less than you were for having experienced it?

DTUT ran out of green tea… in both of the brands that they carry. I didn’t know what else to choose. I picked oolong. Its garbage. I am a creature of habit, but my habits are thoughtfully chosen and they make me happy.

This is the fifth verse of the sixth chapter:

“Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.”

Basically, your life is what you make of it. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that the major influences on the outcome of my life were beyond my control. I believe in our ability to “reshape” ourselves out of sheer force of will. Without the ability to impact our lives in meaningful ways—for our own will to be the most meaningful influence in our lives, then we are just adrift. I don’t like the idea of being adrift.


Recently, I was at lunch with some private equity folks and they asked me an interesting question... well, rather, they revealed that they couldn't quite get a handle on what it was that I wanted to do.  They saw and appreciated the myriad of activities I had gotten myself into and couldn't quite paint a picture of how this was all fitting together and leading somewhere.

Its a legitmate point.

I also think its kind of interesting.  You have some people out there with no goals and no requiste activities and obviously that's not too admirable.  You have others who have goals but really don't do too much to actually pursue them, and to me, that's even less admirable, because they've identified targets, but out of sheer laziness or fear, fail to motivate themselves to reach them.  Then, you've got other people who have goals, and, in fact, start out with those goals, based on little to no experience whatsoever, and then fully commit themselves to those goals.  That almost reminds me of the "strong and wrong" concept.  How many people go into investment banking or accounting, do all the things they need to do to get hired by Goldman Sachs or KPMG, and then soon realize that they had no idea what they were getting into, because it doesn't match the kind of lives they want to lead?  Yet, by all measures, these were admirable and respected pursuits. 

And then you've got where I am...   pursuing, yet seemingly without goals.  By my own admission, I do not have a singularity that I can neatly point to as my "goal."  I have potential points of arrival, and each passing day collapses another Schrodinger wave function, narrowing the possibilities through my choices, even if I have no particular inclination towards a particular result.  I become, therefore the end result of a series of choices based on particular inclinations, yet without an overall guiding inclination.  Therefore, I am not "aimless" but I might be accurately called "without aim." 

What of it?  Does it matter?  Wherein lies the potential problem?  Well, if you were completely without an overarching plan around your activities, you run the risk of overextending yourself... committing to so much unrelated nonsense, all without synergy, that you fail to accomplish anything.  Therefore, you need to draw the line between what fits and what doesn't.  How to do this...   Well, one could conceivably use this "goal" concept, but I'm not entirely sure that's the most effective.  Most people will admit that there are many roads to Mecca, and so using a goal as your hard and fast line to figure out what belongs in your life doesn't seem like it would be devisive enough.  Too many things could potentially lead you to your goals.  There's no "one way" to be a banker.  Some people major in History at Dartmouth and become bankers, while others are Finance majors at NYU Stern with a minor in math.  No, what is really a much better way to draw the line on what makes it into your Palm pilot or not is your own natural affection for an activity.  "Do what you love."  While it may sound wishy washy, the average person doesn't love much of anything, if we're all honest with ourselves... I mean, real love... true passion.  I have passion for new ideas.  I have passion for working with people who love to learn.  Sometimes, I find that in students.  Other times, entreprenuers or VCs.  The best VCs are undoubtedly lifelong students.  So, while I might not have a definate end result in mind, pursuit of my passions have consciously and deliberately singled out certain activities over others.  I could theorize where they might lead, given potential trajectory analysis, but to put forth those potentials as the overarching guiding principals in and of themselves would not only be inaccurate, it would also taint my natural ability to let my passions discern for themselves what I should be spending my time on.  They would be tainted by my alligence to a "goal" and hesitation to readjust goals once they are chosen... for what is a goal that changes everyday?  So, while my lack of a clear goal statement might confuse others and prevent them from catagorizing me, it also keeps my life as sincere as it has the potential to be.  As long as I do what I love, I will love what I am doing... and with true love for something comes sincere motivation and the desire to excel (a word which has no cap, I might add), greatly over and above the desire to reach a goal, and then... well... stop.