How to Get Unstuck

Guy stuck in the ice doodle

The first thing to do is chill out. You need to overcome the panic so that you can deal with the problem.

Slow your breathing, plan your exit. If you flail and grab you’ll break all of the ice around you, making an escape that much more difficult.

Once you find your calm, it’s time to take definitive action.  Lay your torso out on the rim of the ice, spreading your weight over a wide surface area. Pull with your elbows and forearms as you kick with your legs – propelling yourself out of the hole.

Once you’re out, don’t stand up and run, but rather remain flat and roll toward solid ground.

Once you’re safe, take off your clothes.

 

 

It’s Your Show

 

Massive Selfie

The role of the audience is expanded. Or diminished. Whichever way you want to look at it.

The band plays from the crowd and the cameras sit on top of the screen filming.  It’s a massive selfie.

Instagram, Facebook, YouTube — the real success stories involve everyone. Everyone is the audience, everyone is the performer.

There may be stars and leaders, but ultimately, we’re all in charge of the show.

Skinny Mirrors

Mirror Salesman Doodle

“Esse quam videri” – To be, rather than to seem

“You’re giving the gift of self confidence and in return your sales will increase by 18.2%.”

“But won’t they feel duped when they look in their normal mirror at home?”

“Duped? No. Besides, the industry return rate is only 8%. Even if these mirrors increase returns slightly it’s still a net positive for your business.”

“Yeah… I guess… how do they work anyway?”

“Well, we take the glass and bend it slightly inward, not enough to give it the fun house effect, but enough of a curvature to make someone naturally appear 5 to 10 pounds lighter. All your customers notice is how good they look in your clothes. So what do you say? Should I put you down for an order of 10? One for each dressing room?”

The Girl & The Scalpel

The Girl & The Scalpel Doodle

She started with her face. That’s where she felt it most. Well, maybe, but it was too risky to cut into her chest.

The cage would sit an inch behind her skin like an internal cast.

The cage was meant to hold back the pressure. She couldn’t take any more of the pressure. Desire would slam into the inside of her skull and give her headaches. All of her blood would rush to the front of her body, driving her forward in a horizontal free fall toward god knows what. It had to stop.

She had tried giving into desire, obtaining what it wanted (when she knew what it wanted) but that only awoke stronger desires. Worse headaches.

Now, on the brink of insanity, she was cutting into her face. Building a cage to keep tomorrow at bay. Goals, worries, wants, all of it, quiet and contained an inch below the surface.

It would be painful. But if it worked. It would be worth it.

She couldn’t take any more of the pressure.

Skee Ball


My balls drop and I go for the tightest hole. 100,000. The coveted hole in the top left corner.

Aim, fire. Gutterball. Aim, fire. Gutterball. Aim, fire Gutterball. Hmmm…

The guy on my left is steady sinking the middle hole. 10,000 points a pop. 3 in a row.

I’m down, but whatever. With 7 more shots to go, it’s early.

I focus and pay attention to my technique for the next couple shots. None of them hit, but I’m getting closer.

Meanwhile, the guy on my left slipped up. Gutterball. Ha! Gutterball and he was shooting for that big wide 10,000 point ring. What a dope.

We each have 3 balls left.  I take aim and… awwww, in and out! Are you kidding me!? I couldn’t have come any closer. The guy on my left sinks another 10,000. 70,000 to 0.  What an asshole…

I shoot again and… wayyyy offf! Oughh. I’m down to one ball.

I wait and watch the guy on my left out of the corner of my eye. Let him take his last two shots before I skee my final ball. He makes no complaint about going twice in a row, because he’s unaware we’re competing.  I don’t even know the guy.

10,000. 10,000. Guy on my left finishes with a respectable 90,000.

“One shot left. Let’s see what you got man.” Says the guy on my left with a smile.

What a dickhead! Has he been tracking me this entire time? Treating this like some sort of competition. Who does that!?

My only chance of winning is to hit the 100,000. The hole I’ve missed on 9 previous shots.

The arcade lights and pop music fade from perception. I see nothing but that sweet little hole in the top left corner.

Ready… aim, fire. 100,000! Booya bitch.

The loser on my left walks away.  As I step back to take in my winning scoreboard a 7 year old swerves in front of me and wipes the slate clean, inserting his quarter to start a new game.

Despite my victory, I can only hope this newcomer aims for the big middle ring. It’s a more sensible way to play.

Funding Art on The Blockchain (Peatar)

*Update – On 4/20, 2 hours after placing Peatar Up for sale, he was bought for 1 ETH 🙂 – you can still buy him from the original patron using the link.

The Non-Fungibles is an experimental cartoon that experiments with the idea of digital collectibles as an additional revenue source for creatives.

Video: Free Peatar

Peatar is a verifiably scarce digital collectible who can be traded on open markets. You can buy him using Ethereum here.

In buying him, you hold the private keys to a time stamped contract that verifies you own “the official digital version” of Peatar. Which is an image hosted on IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) that looks like this…

In owning “the official digital version” of Peatar, others can still see the image. You receive no rights to change his character. No royalties. You really don’t get any power at all… except…

What if The Non-Fungibles becomes a cult success? What if this new way of funding art takes off, all thanks to Peatar, The Fearless Leader of The Non-Fungibles?

Imagine if you were able to buy the verified first digital version of Bart Simpson back in the day… probably would be worth something today. 

If Peatar becomes ‘famous’ more people would likely want to own the official digital version, and the owner of the digital collectible can sell Peatar on the free market when the price is right.

Digital collectibles enable a new relationship between creators and patrons:

Digital collectibles allow creators to focus on creating their primary creation – not creating rewards like t-shirts and thank you letters.

Patrons now receive something that makes them economically incentivized to support and spread the gospel of the creator. Their verifiable record that ‘they liked it before it was cool’ becomes more valuable with the success of that creation.

Ex:

Imagine a world where musicians can sell a “digital original version” of their song in addition to the normal release as an added source of revenue for the artist. For the patron, if that song became #1… official collectors proof that they liked it before it was cool + future profit.

“Sure anyone can download Abbey Road for free – but I’d still drop 100gs on the original vinyl.” – Peatar

Blockchain digital collectibles are better than other digital collectibles:

You’ve maybe seen those $5 limited edition stickers on Facebook. Well, those only work because they are controlled and ‘limited’ by Facebook, within the Facebook ecosystem. They must remain within the walled garden of Facebook.  Under Facebook’s rules.  If Facebook disappears – so do your stickers.

Blockchain collectibles live on a publicly owned blockchain that can track ownership of digital items – and create digital scarcity. Just like you can’t copy and paste a bitcoin, you can’t copy and paste the smart contract that says you own Peatar.

SuperRare & Secondary Markets

To link Peatar to the blockchain I partnered with superrare.co – however, Peatar doesn’t only live within superrare, he can be traded anywhere peer to peer. Superrare is a service provider (linking him to the chain) and a marketplace (hosting a sale page). But again, the Peatar contract is free to float around the internet, not confined to the superrare platform.

Why SuperRare:

I chose superrare.co for a number of reasons, but one thing I liked was that SuperRare codes their smart contract so that creators (in this case me) receive 10% of all secondary market sales.  Meaning if Peatar is traded for 100 ETH in 5 years – I’ll automatically receive 10 ETH as the creator. The secondary buyers and sellers don’t have to know me or send it to me. I don’t have to trust them. It all just happens automatically thanks to smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain.

Meaning blockchain based digital collectibles can enable an additional and perpetual source of revenue for creators.

That’s rad.

Free Peatar

Hi.

Thanks for visiting me on the internet. Here’s me in 3 bullet points.

Videos/Crypto: Head of Video Production at ConsenSys, the largest venture production studio building dApps on the Ethereum Blockchain:

Music: 1/2 of Mark & Miss, an acoustic duo represented by ROAR Management.

Fun: I live in Venice, CA and like to doodle, make cartoons, write kids books, and create stuff.  Find snippets on my instagram.

Say hello – mrs5148@gmail.com

Sometimes I blog things *see below*

Blockchain & Yoga

OnChain:

Before I unleash my own thoughts about blockchain, here are some of my favorite beginner friendly links.

  • Article: The Ultimate, 3,500 word, plain English guide to blockchain
    • This article takes you under the hood on how blockchain enables us to control our own data and still have a universal source of truth
  • PodCast: Nick Szabo on the Tim Ferris Show
    • Long, winding and interesting. Great for a road trip.
  • Documentary: Banking On Bitcoin (Netflix link)
    • This focuses only on bitcoin, but is entertaining. FYI: Bitcoin ≠ Blockchain
  • Starter Investment Platform: Coinbase
    • First off only put in what you would be comfortable losing. Second, understand what you’re buying and why you’re buying it. Third, what to buy, when to buy, and when to sell is the billion dollar question. Many have opinions, no one knows. This is absolutely not investment advice, but if you want to dip your toes into the water, the Coinbase app is the easiest way to get started.

OffChain:

Here is my favorite YouTube Yoga class. I’ve honestly done it 300+ times. It’s particularly good if you’ve done a few Bikram classes in a studio, and therefore already know how to do these poses. That way you can use it more as an audio rather than video track.  Between this, body weight exercises and running, I now no longer spend money on fitness memberships 🙂

New Job

I got a job and I like it a lot. Weird.

I found ConsenSys, when I was deep in a Wikipedia rabbit hole learning about Ethereum and blockchain technology. The company is completely remote and “flat” – meaning no one has a boss and you don’t have to go into an office. You’re basically just hired with a skill set and then you figure out what to do.  Weird.

Weird is awesome though, and that’s why I sent them a weird video on my first day. Co-workers liked it a lot and I’ve been continuing to collaborate and be weird ever since joining.

 

Can You Learn To Sing Online

I sang, but I never considered myself a singer. The reason I sang is because I’m a guitarist and songwriter – so who else was going to sing my songs?  I was skeptical you could learn to sing in the same way you could learn to play the guitar. You were either born a good singer, or you weren’t. I was even further skeptical that you could learn to sing online, a process that does not involve a high paid vocal coach watching and adjusting your every note.

However, with my folk duo booking more and more shows, I figured it was time for me to step up and take this “singing thing” seriously. So I bought Aaron Anastasia’s online course The Superior Singing Method and made a vow to the universe that I would stick it through until the end, 6 days a week for 8 weeks straight. I was surprisingly thrilled by the results – here is how it went down:

A Quick Heady Intro

As a previous non-believer, I now admit that you absolutely can teach yourself to sing. The 8 week course felt a little like learning a physical instrument, say guitar, where your hand positions can be literally explained, but also a lot like Yoga, or meditation. Singing is consciously shaping and releasing your breath to form certain frequencies – so no matter how you learn to sing there’s going to be a great deal of abstract internal understanding that needs to and will happen along your journey.

The Superior Singing Method (SSM), is designed to slowly build up your voice and ingrain good singing habits. In the first week, you’ll only do one or two exercises a day. You may feel like nothing is happening, or be a bit confused – but push on. I begin feeling, hearing, and believing in results at the end of week 2 and had another significant breakthrough around week 7.

Learn To Sing

Pt. 1 Technique

Each day Aaron gives a video introduction of a new exercise along with a piano track to guide you. The short videos explain the new exercise’s purpose and how/where you will feel it in your body. While Aaron’s descriptions are fantastic, at times when an exercise was first introduced I was confused and convinced I was doing it wrong, perhaps even causing more harm than good, but as I continued to do it everyday my body and muscles began to intuitively perform correctly. From a listener’s perspective, I comically butchered most exercises the first day they were introduced, but now I could perform nearly all of them in my sleep.

So yes, my singing technique did improve and because of that alone, I believe an outsider would consider my current voice 2x better than the voice I had before the 8 week program – but the improvements go deeper than that.

Pt. 2 Confidence

Confidence is a HUGE part of singing – and I know that’s cliché, but it’s cliché because it’s true. If you don’t feel confident and comfortable – the audience feels that. Purchasing the SSM and deciding to stick to its relatively demanding schedule, made me feel confident. Here is why:

By dedicating time and effort into learning to sing I convinced myself that I was taking singing seriously. Now when doubt crept into my head “What makes you think you can sing?” I could at least answer it with, “Well, I’m taking steps every day, and following a system to get better— so back off alright!”

Simply having an answer to your doubting voice is more than half the battle.

So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life. Which brings me to price…

Price Positive

The price of The Superior Singing Method (48+ lessons) is less than or equal to the price of one private voice lesson. On top of that, Aaron is a voice coach to big name acts – something you likely won’t find in your hometown.

It’s true, you are buying a lesson pack – made for the masses – rather than something specifically tailored to where you are and what you need at the moment – but what you need most is to start. To jump in, figure some of it out on your own, prove to yourself that you are dedicated and then worry about finding the “perfect fit.”  In fact, by taking this course before private lessons you’ll learn enough to evaluate different voice coaches and find the “even more perfect fit” when the time is right.

Doubts and Downsides

Most importantly – you have to do the exercises. I know that sounds silly, but buying the SSM isn’t going to improve your singing unless you do it. So whatever promises or pacts you have to make with friends, lovers, bandmates, or the universe to garner the self-discipline to complete these lessons – do it.

Me, I know if I give myself a little slack – I’ll break – so I promised never to miss a day (there is 1 day of built in rest each week).  I did these exercises at guest houses, in hotel rooms in Mexico when I had a stomach bug, at odd hours etc. Which leads too…

Singing Lessons Are Weird

At times you’ll feel and appear crazy.  Most of these exercises are loud, weird and annoying. Roommates and neighbors may look at you funny. You can explain it to them – and they’ll likely respect your desire to improve, or you can just not care what they think, because that’s another good lesson to learn as a performer.

Another thing, you may get a little over confident/excited about your new voice, and show up to a party, have a few drinks, and then get wayyyyy to into singing Justin Bieber songs… anyway….

So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life.

Thanks for reading!

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