So long and thanks for all the food trucks


Orlando and I have officially broken up.

We had a good run and I’ll always think back on these 18 months fondly, but truth be told, it was doomed from the start.

I debated taking a 2 hour drive just to smell the ocean the very first night we spent together, alone, craving the sounds of a crashing shoreline. She just stared vacantly at her congested interstate, silently proud of the raucous and comfortably far from the beaches I so desperately missed, content in coddling her elitist hipster disciples into the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes, late at night, if you’re very quite, between Whiskey Dicks and Graffiti Junction, you can hear the city whispering to her occupants, reminding them to throw their skinny jeans in the dryer before leaving the house for optimal results in loss of circulation.

She had her moments, “The City Beautiful.” She did. These moments provided slivers of deliverance from the time spent basking in the arrogance of her daily achievements, manifesting the daily gatherings of intellectuals who desire nothing more than making their presence known at Stardust (an awesome little spot that just so happens to attract a certain breed, henceforth refered to as “Orlando Elitists”).

Ultimately, O-Town was just too far from everything I love and not nearly far enough from what I know to create the illusion of expanded horizons or new beginnings. A lesser version of home, really… and who wants a knock off when the real thing is just within reach.


So long, O-Town.

Thanks for having me.


Your Photograph in a Jar

This handy and nifty infographic from JAF Gifts gives you a step by step guide on how to create an instant vintage-looking keepsake for your most treasured photographs! Forget about photo albums and frames…the Mason jar DIY project is bound to become a hit with family, friends, and guests once you place it in a prominent location in your home.

The Mason Photo Jar is a also great idea for rustic, country-style wedding centerpieces and other special occasions honoring a certain person or group of people. Simply pick out some favorite photographs (preferably in black and white or sepia) and a few mason jars (available at JAF Gifts). Make sure the pictures fit in the jars! When you’ve wrapped the picture (image side showing outside of the glass, of course) inside the jar, pour some vegetable oil (olive oil gives a nice, greenish tinge) until it covers the entire picture.This will ensure that the photograph is suspended in the oil without ruining it.

Place a dried flower stalk at the other side of the jar the picture does not cover. Cover the jar tightly with the lid, and place the jars strategically on shelves, book cases, bedside tables, and just about anywhere you want to look and smile at memories that have been given a creative, vintage-y boost!

Source: JAF Gifts



A Gazette Gift via Lifefacker Author Adam Dachis, ‘How Self-Control…

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding It

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding It

Adam Dachis — If we were entirely logical, we’d be able to abandon our bad habits, curb temporary moments of insanity, and practice self-control. Our logic is paired with emotion, however, and sometimes our emotions motivate us to make poor decisions. That’s where self-control comes in. Here’s a deeper look into how self-control works, followed by several ways to more effectively exert your supply of self-control in order to make smarter decisions.

How Self-Control Works

Back when basic survival was difficult, practicing the kind of self-control we need today wasn’t always necessary. We’d have to hunt for our food if we wanted to eat, and we’d eat what we could find in order to live. Eventually we figured out that this isn’t the most efficient way to work and invented one of the biggest life hacks of all time: agriculture. Suddenly there was food when we needed it, and what was once a constant fight for survival became (relatively) simple. Readily-available food made it possible for a surplus of certain foods which made it possible to overeat. It took a long time for this to become a serious problem, but today we face a problem of excess consumption. Shifts such as this helped create a serious need for self-control in new aspects of our lives.

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding ItOf course we needed to learn to control ourselves before this point, as sex, wealth, and power are inherent desires, but the primary manifestations of these desires lead to immediate consequences. For example, if you go out and kill somebody to steal their property, you’re likely going to make an enemy who will want to kill you (and potentially succeed in doing so). On the other hand, more contemporary desires don’t have such immediate consequences (like being murdered), and so there isn’t necessarily anything scary to keep us in check. For example, computers and other personal technology made all kinds of work much easier, but their side effects include tech addiction, shortened lifespans from too much sitting, and even a few pesky etiquette issues. As technology continues to satisfy our desires—for anything from food to information—we have to practice self-control in new and different ways. The problem is, this isn’t easy to do.

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding ItSo why is self control so difficult to produce? A lot of things contribute to self-control issues, and we’ll get into them more below, but the main reason is that indulgence is much easier than the alternative. If you want to eat healthier, a meal you cook yourself and can control is often going to be the better option. That option requires work, however, and it’s easier to make a phone call to order takeout. Is this the smarter option? Probably not, but the short-term effect of fatty takeout is the temporary satisfaction of enjoying your meal—potentially the same effect as cooking—and so the long-term effects of frequent indulgence is easy to ignore. We are terrible at predicting the future, and we like to make decisions that will make us feel good right now because that result is more urgent. If you don’t enjoy doing something (like cooking), making yourself exert the energy required to cook is a lot harder and much more unpleasant than doing nothing. But this is obvious if you’ve ever tried to make yourself do something you didn’t want to do. The primary problem is stopping yourself from making a bad decision based on immediate desire and also motivating yourself to make the smarter choice. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible.

Practice, Practice, Practice

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding ItThe simplest way to get better at anything is to practice. As a weekly exercise, pick something you do in excess and stop for a week. Stop watching television, don’t eat out, or keep technology out of the bedroom so you can sleep better. While a week isn’t going to kick any particular habit, it’s pretty easy to stop anything for such a short period of time and making it through the week will give you the confidence that you can control yourself. After you’ve practiced for several weeks, try for longer. If you can make it a month, that’s often enough time to actually change your behavior (which is where the name of the movie 28 Days comes from). Googler Matt Cutts suggests that you can more easily improve your life 30 days at a time. It’s not a new concept but it can be a big help. Tell yourself you’re going try to cut out a particular behavior for a month and reassess once that month is over. Knowing you don’t have to stop can make a big difference, and by the time you get to the end of that month you may not care to go back at all.

Find Adequate Distractions

As we’ve learned from the fairly well-known kid’s marshmallow experiment, conducted by Walter Mischel, distracting yourself can be a good method of self-control. When temptation is in front of you, it’s hard to say no. If you can distract yourself and avoid thinking about that temptation, however, it’s often enough to keep you from making a bad choice. Simple distractions, such as sitting on your hands to physically restrict yourself or having a conversation to keep your mind occupied are both easy and effective. The idea is that the more your mind and body are tied up in other actions, the less bandwidth you’ll have available to try and indulge in a particular vice. Simply put: restrict and distract yourself to avoid making poor choices.

Take Care of Yourself

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding It
Photo by Lisa Aslund

You have a limited supply of self-control and exhausting it can breed aggression. You don’t want to deplete your reserves or you’re going to become very unlikable. Keeping yourself healthy on a daily basis, however, can make a big difference. Like with anything, proper diet, exercise, and sleep make it easier to do what you need to do. If you can manage all of those things to the point of perfection, you’re probably not reading this article. A more realistic trick is just having a snack. Keeping yourself nourished throughout the day—preferably with several smaller meals rather than a few big ones—is one of the easiest ways to keep an adequate reserve of self-control. You’ll still have to exert that control—perhaps when choosing what to eat—but it’s a fool’s errand without adequate energy.

Fabricate Disadvantage

It’s hard to become addicted to cigarettes if you can’t get cigarettes. People without the financial means to purchase a vice like cigarettes can’t participate in that vice. Additionally, people will more readily participate in a vice like smoking if the consequences are far off. If a single cigarette will kill you on the spot, and you know this, you’ll avoid it like you’ll avoid an electric fence. Putting yourself into extreme poverty or giving yourself a deadly nicotine allergy (if that’s even possible) are extreme measures you’d never actually want to pursue as a means to quit smoking. Still, they do offer some helpful clues: difficulty and fear.

If you have difficulty obtaining a cigarette, you don’t have to exert quite so much self-control. Often times this means keeping your cigarettes somewhere that’s hard to access so getting them requires additional effort. Basically, if exercising a vice is significantly easier than practicing self-control, you need to find ways to make it harder to make the wrong choice.

Introduce Fear

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding ItFear is also a great means of self-control. It’s easier to adjust your diet or kick a habit if you truly believe it’s going to kill you or cause immediate harm. If you have a peanut allergy, you don’t eat peanuts, no matter how badly you want to, because you know the immediate consequences are pretty dire. In order to use fear as a self-control mechanism, you need to be able to make the consequences of a particular action feel immediate. For example, I have no trouble controlling my intake of alcohol and I don’t have an interest in drugs because my family has a history of addiction. I’ve seen what it can do first-hand. Before I decide to drink or even take an over-the-counter drug I remember the consequences and it helps me avoid making bad choices. How you make the consequences feel immediate and influence your decisions is highly personal, but it should always be safe. You can eat donuts until you vomit so you’ll never want to go near another donut again, but that’s not really a harmless solution. What you can do is spend time with people who are the poster children for poor life choices and fearfully think of them next time you want to indulge.

(If you’re curious about the science behind fear being an effective method for self-control, read this article.)

Practicing self-control isn’t easy for anybody. It takes a lot of work, and you’ll get better at it the more you practice. With the right strategies, like the ones mentioned here, you can avoid temptation when doing so is in your best interest. If you’ve got any other great strategies for controlling yourself, be sure to share them in the comments.

You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to contact him, Twitter is the most effective means of doing so.

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