a blog by sam christie. former home of "12 Months of Stuff"

A Farewell to 12 Months of Stuff

12 mos recap1-8-16

When I had the idea for 12 Months of Stuff, I initially wanted to start it in 2016. Thankfully my then-fiance, now-wife convinced me to just go for it and start in mid January. Looking back, I can’t believe that I almost passed up an entire year of new experiences. 2015 was undoubtedly the best year of my life. I got married. I released a split EP with a good friend. I worked on myself and I worked on tons of stuff. I have the beginning of what might turn into a 12 Months of Stuff book. Or it might not. But I don’t care. And I think that’s the best part. Writing it all was enough. Doing it all was enough. Recording the songs, revamping my routines, attempting and failing to code my own site. I think I’ve learned more in the past year than I did in the previous 5.

I’m not sure what 2016 will bring. But 2015 has set the bar.

Thanks for reading. I hope I wrote or did something that made you think. About the world, about yourself, and about your own goals and expectations. If you want to take on your own 12 Months of Stuff, the only thing holding you back is nothing. You just have to start. Somewhere. Anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you’re headed because your next stop will be something new. You’ll learn new things, meet new people, and before you know it, you could be looking back on the best year of your life. If you want to get where you want to be, it starts with that first step.

In love and stuff,

P.S. will probably stick around. It might redirect to whatever I do next, but I’ll make sure all the posts are in there.

My Christmas EP is live!

Late to blog about this but on time with the release. Just in time for the holidays, here’s “You Can’t Spell Sam Christie Without Christmas” featuring yours truly covering some true classics. 

4 Quick Steps To Make Pursuing Your Passions Easier

peanuts 12-22

I’ve discovered that I suck at recording. I’m good at writing, playing, and all that other music stuff. But I’m just god-awful at recording. It’s not that I can’t plunk down in a studio for 10 hours and come out with something great. It’s that I can’t spend 20 minutes here and there trying to get my garbage apartment studio operational and expect to create a masterpiece.

If you slog through the 9-5 and don’t have time for what you truly love, what are you doing with your life? When are you going to make a change? I’m lucky to have a job I enjoy, but that doesn’t mean I want to give up every other part of myself. I love everything about music and I need to create it, listen to it, and play it. Full stop!

I’m through feeling like I don’t have time to record, when maybe I do, but maybe I don’t. I’m through screwing up guitar tracks because I’m sliding off the edge of my bed trying to keep the spacing from the mic equal throughout the whole song. This month, I’m recording a Christmas EP, but I’m also going to crack the code on bedroom recording and figure out a way to make it less unbearable.

Here are the steps I plan on taking.

1. Write down the entire recording process, from turning on my computer, to tuning my guitar, to playing the tracks.

Each piece is a step toward the end goal of a completed song. If I can document each piece of the process, I should be able to figure out pieces that I can streamline to save myself time. And to re-iterate, it’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that these steps create the illusion of not having time.

Write down the process for doing what you love. What steps can you combine or what can you tweak to make it easier and less time consuming to get started?

2. Time the process, and write it all down.

What I think takes 15 minutes may only take 3. I’m going to time myself setting up, recording, and breaking down to see how much time I’m actually spending doing the things I feel like take up a lot of time. Then I’m going to write down those times to make them more ‘real’ in my brain. It’s easy to estimate “15 minutes for this, 15 for that, next thing you know an hour is lost”. But if those 15 min are actually 30 seconds, that’s a huge mental block that needs to be squashed.

Time and write down how long it actually takes you to set up your water colors, assemble your fishing pole, or do whatever it is that you feel is holding you back time-wise. What time have you gained by looking at the actual minutes taken vs. what you are estimating?

3. Make a new plan, and go for it!

After considering steps 2 and 3, I’ll have a general idea of what needs to be tweaked to be more successful at apartment recording. To put the tweaks to work I’m going to create a step by step list of the process so that I’m not running around from room to room looking for a pop filter.

Put your findings into action. What is the new process that will enable you to follow your passions without roadblocks (whether mental or otherwise)? Practice it, rinse, and repeat. 

Bonus step 4.

Meditate before and after the process. In other words, relax.

I can’t stress how much home recording bugs me out. It is such a pain in the ass. I need to meditate or relax and tackle the new processes with a calmer state of mind, or else I know the confusion and anxiety will come through on the recording, for better or worse.

Remember to stay cool throughout the process. What can you do to relax before taking on what seem like stressful tasks? 

I’m off to finish a Christmas EP for the final 12 Months of Stuff project. What can you do today, in the next 5 minutes, that will enable you to pursue your passions?

I’m Turning 12 Months Of Stuff Into A Book (Hopefully)

Me n’ my buddies

November is National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. So, I’m writing 1000-1500 words per day to attempt to turn this blog into a book. Or at least a nice li’l e-book.

I am not worrying about editing now, just writing. Hopefully I will have enough good stuff by the end to release something, but no promises!

Apologies for my brevity, but back to book writing. Just wanted to provide a quick update :). Happy NaNoWriMo boys and girls!

In love and stuff,

Million Dollar Ideas That I Want You To Steal From Me

This could be you, stealing these ideas and cashing them in for a poorly drawn treasure chest.

At the beginning of 2015, I set out to “get to where I want to be”. At its core, this meant a few different things to me.

  • I wanted to pursue things I was interested in
  • I wanted to take action on the ideas I had
  • I wanted to learn things along the way

So far, all of those proverbial boxes have been checked and the year isn’t over yet, so I’m feeling good. At the same time, for the entire month of October 2015 I have been coming up with 5-10 ideas PER DAY (a process inspired by James Altucher). It almost feels counter-productive. Except it’s not. Before, I felt stuck. I felt like I simply couldn’t pursue these ideas no matter what I tried or how I tried it. This blog has given me a structure to pursue my idea backlog.

But now, I have so many ideas that I know I will never take action on all of them. This isn’t a problem—a lot of them I don’t even want to pursue because I know someone else would be better suited to do so. Coming up with them has strengthened my idea muscle which was the goal.

Here are some of the ideas I came up with that I believe are million dollar ideas. If you feel passionate about any of them, feel free to make them happen, and if you cash out one day and buy your own island, feel free to throw me some extra cash (or at least invite me to the island).

1. An app that lets you know exactly where to find your food in the grocery store

This would be almost priceless to me. The Paradox Of Choice is real. And it is laughing in my face every time I enter the grocery store. There’s too much going on—complete sensory overload. Did you know there’s at least 7 different places to buy cheese in my local grocery store? It’s called Jewel-Osco, and it’s not a jewelry store, it’s a grocery store. It is the worst grocery store I’ve ever been to in my life. The cheese is not all in one “cheese” section. It’s not even all in one “dairy” section. If I could hook my grocery list into an app that tells me the aisle of each item, I would pay handsomely for it. If this existed I might even shed tears of joy. Please for the love of groceries, someone steal this idea from me and become rich from it. Feel free to adapt to other stores if you, like me, abhor grocery stores enough that you can’t stand to think of owning a grocery store-centric app.

Charlie Chip

If you’re looking for Charlie Chip and friends in Jewel-Osco you may want to put on a podcast first. You might be looking for a while.

2. A way to order, buy, and handle deli meat that isn’t mind-numbing or disgusting

Are you sensing a theme to this post? It’s not my fault that the grocery industry is ripe for disruption. But it could be the solution you’ve been looking for to start your next million or billion dollar company. Every time I go to the deli aisle and order fine meats and cheeses* (usually pepper jack and pastrami), any number of dis-pleasantries can occur. If this process was fixed, maybe a machine would measure out my 1/4 pound of pastrami so that the person slicing didn’t think 1/4 pounds is equal to .44. Maybe a machine would be able to have standardized thickness so that a deli worker didn’t have to hold up slices of meat for me to inspect to see if it’s the right cut, and then awkwardly ask me if I want to eat it in front of everyone else in line. I don’t want these people working the deli aisle to lose their jobs, I simply want a more consumer friendly way of ordering my weekly lunch items. Do you know that some people who work in the deli aisle don’t know that “pepper jack” is a type of cheese? I know, I was confused too. I hate having to awkwardly decide what turkey to choose when I ask for “turkey” and they read me a list of brands and ways it was spiced, etc. I can feel the soccer moms judging my lack of deli knowledge. It doesn’t feel good. And lastly, I hate getting the meat out to make lunch the next day and feeling the weird slimy paper that they put in the sticky plastic bag. There has to be a better way.

3. Go back to the mid-eighties through the nineties, look at the most popular kids’ toys and games and remake them.

Imagine the Skip-It with a companion app that counts your steps and performance. Imagine getting 5-8 pop stars to cover the Skip-It theme song and up-selling the collection as an EP inside the app. Any game that was popular around this time can be new again. You could even completely rip the idea, make a few tweaks, and change the name. After all, isn’t Words With Friends simply digital Scrabble? As 90’s kids grow up and have kids, there’s going to be a nostalgia goldmine to be made in these apps and games.

4. Create an oven sensor that can tell when you add and remove food so that it turns off by itself (according to the weight before and after its empty).

We don’t own a microwave, so I frequently reheat leftovers in the oven. Why can’t my oven tell when I put in food and take it out so that it can turn off automatically after 20 seconds or so of reduced weight? Because you haven’t made the Weighted Oven Sensor, sold it to Sears, made your millions, and given me a cut yet!

I know, these are all the epitome of “first world problems”. But that’s okay. In generating these ideas, I wasn’t trying to have every idea be a game-changer, I just wanted to get better at generating ideas. And the more ideas I come up with, the more likely one is to be something that sparks me to take serious action. Keep this in mind if you want to flex your own idea muscle. Don’t worry about the quality so much as the quantity. I have ideas on my list that probably can’t physically exist yet. I have ideas that are simply names of things without any back story whatsoever. But for each random product name and batch of current impossibilities, I get a little closer to where I want to be. And it’s certainly not in the grocery store.

The only reason I'll set foot in a grocery store is if I need guac ingredients.

The only reason I’ll set foot in a grocery store is if I need guac ingredients.

So please, take these spare ideas and use them to print money. If they don’t work out for you, I’m sure I can scrape some more together that may be up your alley.

In love and stuff,

How To Generate Ideas and Revamp Your Routines

 Promotional consideration provided by Louis the Lightbulb.

Promotional consideration provided by Louis the Lightbulb.

Time to go the way of the ol’ twofer, which is like a gopher that has a siamese twin. Just kidding. This month I’m focusing on generating 5-10 ideas per day and revamping my routines.
What’s that mean?

The Idea Generation
If you don’t have ideas, it’s impossible to take action. It’s literally impossible to do anything without them. The more you come up with ideas, the easier it is generate them in the future. Each day this month I am sitting down and consciously thinking of ideas. These range from wild start ups, to website hacks, to life hacks, to physical products that I wish existed. The point of this exercise isn’t necessarily to go and build all of these things, it’s simply to come up with them. The more you flex your idea muscle, the stronger it becomes. That is the overall goal of October’s idea generation. Don’t take my word for it. There are people who are much smarter, richer, and more successful than me who believe this too and have dug into this subject at length (like James Altucher). Give it a shot! It feels good to come up with dope ideas!

Here are some ideas I came up with this month so far. It doesn’t matter that they are vague. It doesn’t matter that some of them are impossible without some technology breakthrough. I’m still working out my idea muscles.

  • A pen-pal type website where you pay to get nice mail. People sign up to write letters and sign up to get letters, and they can be as personal or general as you want. (Who doesn’t like getting actual mail vs. bills, ads, and other papers that go straight into the gaping mouth of Trashy? [“Trashy” is what I call my trash can.])
  • A service to improve websites – automatically insert Skitch comments or draw on a page and send it immediately to the designers/founders/people who can make the change.
  • Food button. A button with a pre-set Chipotle or other fast food order for you to pick up. You set up the button for an order on the app, press it to order. You can change the order in the app if you are craving something else. Objective is to make it easy for people to order/pick up the same thing if they do “taco tuesday” etc. Wave your phone up to it and use Apple Pay.
  • An e-ink display that you can write on and syncs with Evernote and/or your computer. Bluetooth keyboard enabled. Objective is to avoid blue light at night and to be able to write at night.
  • Sync pics of books or movies or things I want to buy to Evernote in a “books” notebook or future purchase notebook

Revamping Routines and Hacking Processes
I’ve been wanting to truly discover a meaningful and powerful routine for a while, and stick to it. I’m determined to crack the code. Some of the ideas I’m coming up with are smaller life hacks —like having a “Books” notebook in Evernote and taking pictures of books I see in the store that I want to read. I’ve already started using that one. In settings routines, I’m trying my best to hack my way to the life I want to live. Setting a routine allows me to give my idea-generating muscles a break instead of flex them. Namely, my brain. (This is why I paired the month of routines with the month of ideas.) When I wake up, I don’t want to have to waste time in deciding what to tackle on my to do list. My routines and processes will do that for me and allow me to focus simply on getting things done.

Here is what my routine used to look like before I started 12 Months of Stuff. 
Alarm goes off. Pick up phone. Scroll through Facebook. Scroll through Twitter. Scroll through Facebook. See friends who are way better off than me doing rad things with their life. Feel like garbage. Realize I really need to be getting on with my day. Rush to brush my teeth, shower, etc. Walk back and forth from the dining room to the bathroom forgetfully until I remember where my meds are and that I need to put in my contacts. Stumble out the door to start my day.

 Me after revamping my routines and dreaming big with dope ideas. Jk, it's just a cartoon music guy under the stars.

Me after revamping my routines and dreaming big with dope ideas. Jk, it’s just a cartoon music guy under the stars.

Here’s what it looks like now (for the most part):
In the morning

Wake up. Try to avoid looking at email/social networks. Brush teeth, shower, etc. Use 5 Minute Journal app to set goals for the day and be grateful. Open blinds to let in the sun. Make the bed. If something’s bugging me, write it down and write down solutions to get it off my plate. If there are no solutions, that’s okay because writing it down still gets it out of my head. Tackle to-do list.

Time varies
If I find my mind is too cluttered, or I start spiraling into un-productivity, I’ve been trying to meditate. It helps me re-focus my day and keeps me from getting too off track.
If I haven’t written down what’s bugging me I’ll do that when I notice it bugging me.

Here is what I want to improve upon and enact:
In the morning
Before doing anything else, meditate.
Write down any thoughts I have that may get in the way of me tackling my to-do list.
Define success for the day and rework my calendar apps to be more digestible and less janky. Maybe use Zenlist or Trello or something, but it has to be intuitive and not get in its own way.

Time varies
If something is bugging me in my daily processes or workflows, make a note of it. Set up a time once a week or so to fix that stuff. (Example: My folder structure on my computer is all out of whack because of a few misplaced “New Folders” when I started 12 Months of Stuff projects. It bugs me every day and I need to revisit it and fix it once and for all.)
Figure out a way to process and listen to new music.

In the evening
Read before bed. Use 5 Minute Journal app to recap the day. Stop looking at my phone at least 2-3 hours before bed. Make a list of tomorrow’s to-do’s.

In looking at where I’ve been and where I am now, I am more confident than ever to make my perfect routine dream a reality. The keys have been tackling small tweaks in routines instead of trying to attempt a complete 180, and hacking my way around the things I want/need to do. If I tried to completely switch up the way I do everything tomorrow, it wouldn’t work. It didn’t work. I relapsed into the never-ending notification spiral pretty quickly when I tried that. For now, it’s one tweak at a time. To get myself out of the Facebook spiral, I uninstalled the Facebook app from my phone. What a glorious day that was. I still post things to my profile and pages on desktop, so I’m not missing any notifications. I still have Messenger installed in case people need to contact me. But I no longer have Facebook’s red badge of temptation calling me to endlessly, unproductively scroll through a news feed.

If you’re feeling “out of it” and want to tweak your own routines and get inspired here’s a few quick tips on where to start

  • For a few days, note the things that bug you the most. When you were feeling particularly “out of it” or “in a funk”, what were you doing and what would you rather have been doing?
  • Choose the one thing that has the most negative impact on you —the thing that makes you the least productive or the most unhappy. Try to replace that thing with something more on-track like meditating or goal setting, or simply something that will make you happier like your favorite hobby—knitting! (If knitting isn’t your favorite hobby, any non-thread based hobby will do as well.)
  • Designate a time every day when you dream up new ideas. These could be simple hacks like “Write a positive quote on the white board every day” or something crazy like “Umbrellas that turn rain into drinking water”.
 Umbrella that turns rain into drinking water diagram.

Umbrella that turns rain into drinking water diagram.

If you do this consistently, I’m confident you’ll be able to take steps to get to your perfect routine and inspire yourself out of any creative draught. Just keep one thing in mind: The goal isn’t hyper productivity. The goal isn’t turning your whole day into one routine. The goal is to empower yourself to do the things you love, and the things you need to do, while minimizing stress and frustration.

In love and stuff,

September’s Month of Stuff Changed My Life. Here’s How, What, and Why

Self Portrait, from August's month of drawing.

Self Portrait, from August’s month of drawing.

September was an interesting and amazing month. I ended up going rogue again and not blogging about what I’ve been doing until *looks at calendar* October. That’s not the greatest thing in the world, but I still have taken some huge positives out of September’s month of stuff. I didn’t know it or realize it, but September’s project ended up being “Get healthy”. Or “Get better”. You can take your pick.

A lot of the projects I’ve been working on have been a lot of fun — they’ve been projects that have brewed in my brain stew for months if not years. I quickly found that while I wanted to launch a bunch of products, shoot a bunch of videos, and do lots of generally complicated things, I would have more success if I simplified my projects. By  early September, I was feeling like garbage. I needed a complete life reboot. I needed to strip my projects down to the studs and figure out how to get happier and healthier. While I started September wandering aimlessly, feeling constantly cloudy and not “present”, by the end I was feeling better than I have in literally years. And I’m still feeling great.

Here’s how it went down — what I did, why I did it, when I did it, and the things I learned from getting healthy in September.

In July, I got married. It was hands down one of the best days, if not the best day, of my entire gosh darned diddly-do life. There were multiple moments throughout the day when I felt like time stopped. I tried to take a mental picture to never forget how I felt in those moments—I wanted to bottle up those feelings and take a swig first thing in the morning and right before bed every day for the rest of my life. Because in these moments, I felt the purest happiness I have ever felt in the history of Sam Christie.

Of course, the reasons for my happiness were multiple—all of my friends and family coming to celebrate, marrying my dream gal, the meaning behind the ceremony we had, the DJ’s set list was perfect, my dance moves were legit—it all combined into a supernova of jubilation.

So, it wasn’t necessarily surprising, but it was disappointing, when the post-wedding happiness hangover hit. I had been in a funk for a while, just not really feeling great, since well before the wedding. So for August’s month of stuff I took to something I really enjoy—drawing. Doodling to maybe be more precise.

 Self Portrait: Me prior to the end of September. (jk, it's just a weird alien.)

 Self Portrait: Me prior to the end of September. (jk, it’s just a weird alien.)

I tried to draw each morning before doing anything else. Productivity experts and all-star doers-of-things like Tim Ferriss and countless others will tell you to start the day with something that is NOT checking your email, or getting sucked into the social media notification trap. Instead, be grateful. Think of or otherwise celebrate the things in your life that are dope. Then set goals for the day—what would make today a “good” day, or a “successful” day. It helps put your day in perspective. I did a bit of that and tried to supplement it by starting the very beginning of my day out with drawing—something that I truly enjoy. By starting my day off with something that made me happy, I was attempting to set myself up for a solid, successful, happy day.

Sometimes it would work, but sometimes I got pulled in other directions. I wanted to draw every day in August, and I did draw a lot, but I didn’t hit my full 31 day goal. I continuously fell into the typical notification vortex. Countless things swirled around in my mind and I couldn’t focus. I’d often spiral in the beginning of the day and end up hating myself for it.

Before the wedding, my wife and I had been talking about “getting healthier”. This is a very nebulous term. What we meant was more specific. Something like this:

1. “We want to have energy instead of feeling lethargic”
2. “We want to eat healthier and plan our meals better”
3. (This one was mainly for me) “I want to be happy more often than feeling stuck, depressed, listless, cloudy, etc”
4. “We want to have rockin’ bods!” (Still working on this one).

We came up with the idea to do the “10 Day Master Cleanse”, and had been talking about it for a while, but we never really followed through or could find time to. 10 days doesn’t seem like a long time, but we had trips to take after the wedding—the honeymoon, visiting friends, family coming to visit (you think I’m going to be sitting out at an all-inclusive honeymoon feast? Don’t think so!). There was never a perfect time for it. But we realized that was an excuse. There’s never a perfect time for anything, whether you want to start blogging, start freelancing, or do a 10 day cleanse! So we made the decision to stop making excuses, and start the damn cleanse!

The gist of the cleanse was this (P.S. Don’t do this without the supervision of a doctor. It’s serious stuff. If you don’t do it right you can mess yourself up permanently. I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet!):

Step 1: Drink a concoction of lemon juice+maple syrup+cayenne pepper+water for 10 days. At night drink a laxative tea (don’t worry, not going into great detail on that one.)
Step 2: On day 11, eat/drink only fresh orange juice. (We ended up throwing 2 oranges in a Vitamix and drinking that. I’m not a pulp guy. Wasn’t too fun but I got through it).
Step 3: On day 12, eat only soup, preferable vegetable. Definitely no meat.
Step 4: On day 13, eat only soup (same veggie one from last night!) during the day, and salad for dinner.
Step 5: On day 14, return to semi-normal eating, but avoid fast food, starchy food, and a bunch of other foods I can’t remember.

Throughout the cleanse, your body is supposed to follow a certain pattern more or less, as it disposes of toxins and runs for 10 days on the good stuff in the maple syrup concoction.

Days 1 and 2 aren’t so bad. I was hungry, but I’m one of those people who eats to live. I don’t live to eat. Although I sure do enjoy a nice craft beer and a food truck burger or taco, I’m not the guy waxing eloquent about the wine and cheese pairing or ordering the lobster quiche. (I had to look up how to spell “quiche” here, which gives you an idea of my culinary prowess).

Days 3 and 4 are the worst. We planned to hit days 3 and 4 around the weekend, which was good because I felt like absolute garbage. I was cloudy, confused, and I felt like a shell of myself. It felt like I had been hit with flu symptoms—the kind that knock you out and make you exhausted.

Around day 5 you are supposed to clear up mentally, and from then on out you are supposed to feel better and better. This was true for me. From day 5 on, I felt sharper mentally, extremely clear-headed, and focused. Of course around this time I realized how much I missed food. The most brutal part of the second half of the cleanse was drinking the same drink for 5 more days. After we were done, we adopted cleaner eating habits and have been trying to eat out less, so as not to slip back into our old routines (and gosh forbid have to do another cleanse 😉 ).

Anyway, what I was most looking forward to at the end of this “experiment”, and the primary reason I wanted to do it, was for the alleged burst of clarity you are supposed get toward the end. I was expecting a glorious epiphany. I was expecting the clouds to part and for all the pillars of my life to align and point me in the direction I was supposed to go. Seriously.

That didn’t happen. But what did happen is much more interesting, and induces less of an eye roll.

By the end of the cleanse I didn’t have to fight myself to be happy. I set into a routine in a very matter-of-fact way that enabled me to do the things I wanted to do and needed to do to have more successful days than unproductive days, and more happy days than garbage days. It’s hard for me to explain why or how this happened, but I’m going to try. I attribute my newfound happiness streak to handful of noticeable changes, obviously brought on by whatever the cleanse did to me or changed in me:

1. I’m no longer mentally cloudy. My mind is very clear. I know the things I have to do for a “successful” day and I don’t have as much trouble doing them or getting started on them as I used to.
2. I’m more certain about things and more confident. I’m quicker to make decisions and the decisions seem obvious, where previously I was constantly hung up on things that caused me to burn out.
3. When I do start to slip into a notification vortex, or I feel a cloud of unhappiness coming over me, I’m able to pull myself out of it. I never used to be able to do this well. Now I can. This is the biggest game changer for me. I feel in control of my life again, and it rules.
4. I’m enjoying things more and appreciating them more. I don’t really know how else to word this at the moment, but think of it like this: When I eat food, it’s not just “okay”, it’s “SOOO GOOD”. When I read a book, I’m not just doing it casually, I’m obsessed with it. Food is bursting with flavor and my favorite Family Guy cutaways are gut-bustingly hilarious and the sky is bluer and you get the picture.

SO although I went rogue this month, barely knew what my month of stuff would bring, and am still getting used to subbing salads for fries, this may be my most important month of stuff yet.

 Me at the end of September, super stoked, as some weird squirrel viking

Me at the end of September, super stoked, as some weird squirrel viking

In January, I called 12 Months of Stuff a path “to get to where I want to be”. Around April or May I realized that destination was a bit nebulous. I reworked my future stuffs to directly contribute to my happiness, noticing that I needed some help in that department. And yet I still struggled. Come September, I somehow stumbled upon what feels like a goldmine of good vibes, happy times, and inspiration.

I’m only slightly scared that this happy streak won’t last, but I’m determined to make it last. Now that I feel this good, I don’t ever want to go back to how I used to feel. I don’t know exactly what October’s month of stuff will bring, but I know I’m looking forward to it. And I know this entire year-long endeavor has proved its worth with September’s project of “Getting Healthy”. This has been my most important month of stuff yet.  I’d say it changed my life.

Thanks for reading and for being interested in my journey towards good health (mental and physical), happiness, and rad stuff!

In love and stuff,

Drawing Every Day In August!

Toast with the most

Toast with the most

Onward to August! Last month I hashed out some good ideas, but life hit hard as I got married (!). Most of my July time was spent on wedding things.

So again, I’m finding it’s best to strip a project back to the studs. For July, I had aimed to set up an Etsy store for my random art projects, and sell a few prints. Between figuring out a shop name and getting married (!!) I realized it would be easier to focus on the basics. Instead of revisiting the Etsy shop in August, I’m simply going to draw every day.

I’ll post some stuff on Instagram here and there, and recap collections of drawings here on the blog. I may try to get crafty and make my own prints, but there’s no pressure to sell. Let’s just have some fun and draw some dope stuff (he shouts to himself in a void)!

I’m still aiming to write more about my processes and lessons learned, so stay tuned. Thanks for hanging around while I figure all this out!

In love & stuff,
Sam is Live!

It took basically the whole month, but I’m happy to be able to slide this release out into the world just before the end of June. I’m hoping to keep up with this blog and to continue to use it to house my opinions on the dopest tracks, albums, and artists I’m listening to. Here is an excerpt from the first post on Narcolepsy by Third Eye Blind:

Narcolepsy eases you in with the opening dream-sequence space-walk riff.

“I’m on a train / but there’s no one at the helm. And there’s a demon in my brain that starts to overwhelm” The last word echoes as you’d expect at the start of a movie montage, flashback, or otherwise hazy sequence.

At the end of this line, the guitar slides in, beckoning the demon, or signifying its subtle yet distinct entrance.


Follow the blog on Tumblr at for more updates on what I’m rockin’ out to, and be sure to keep an eye out for July’s announcement.

In love & stuff,

I’m Starting A Music Blog –

For June’s month of stuff, I’m getting into something I truly enjoy. A few things, really.

1. Writing
2. Music
3….Writing about music

Introducing, a medium-to-long-form music blog on my favorite tunes, how they make me feel, what I see when I listen to them, etc. The goal for this month is to write up four albums, songs, artists, or situations*, describing in detail what is running through my head as I listen or experience the music. 

In general, there’s too much negative garbage on the internet. This blog will be celebrating how awesome music is, and won’t focus much on controversy, criticism, or anything like that unless it’s framed in a positive way. 

Who knows, maybe some other people will want to jump in and we’ll have some guest posts.

Stay tuned next week for the first posts over on All images, styling, etc subject to change. 

In love & stuff,

*In the case of writing up a scenario, I would paint a picture with delicious words about a particular time when I was listening to a song, vibing to an album front to back on the beach, or I’d be recalling a music-related experience.

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