Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good Morning! and Bon Appetit!

Dab a little blush here, ma chère, a side of pronunciation with that Café Noir and croissant, and my day has officially begun. My morning routine now includes approximately 30 minutes of Rosetta stone language immersion, interspersed with Coffee Break Spanish/French when I have less time.

I'veI hooked my shower curtains together while taking a cab. I've studied GRE vocab while walking to lunch. I've plucked my eyebrows while riding the A train home. (OK, that last one isn't true...but I've seen this more than once. There's an apparent pandemic of people doing things in public that NO ONE needs to see).

Now that I think about it, maybe I've just deeply misunderstood the crazy people mentioned in previous posts....since I probably look like one about 50% of the time. It's okay, though, because the multi-tasking has given me even more time to further the crazy vibe into NYC.

Lesson #29: Become a master multi tasker, and basically create time for things. Just don't spend so much time strategizing, unless of course you're also listening to the new Roots album and furiously cooking dinner at the same time (which I highly recommend).

For me, the reason I'm able to multi-task effectively is that I choose one mindless, automatic function and pair it with something that requires some mental acuity. It's kind of like pairing wine with food. Some good pairings thus far: doing dishes and listening to NPR's All Songs Considered. Making to-do lists while trying to stay upright on the train. Blogging and reflecting on my time in NY thus far (har har), with a large glass of wine.

Of course, on the flip side, it feels unbelievable to do just one thing, and do it well. As I've mentioned, I often find chores to be therapeutic, especially when I allow my brain to wonder anywhere. Not to mention, to really learn something or do something well, full attention is absolutely necessary for hours on end! This harmonica isn't going to master itself.

But honestly, multi-tasking is inevitable and necessary to survival here. Just please, don't let me catch you clipping your toenails on the subway - wouldn't you rather have unruly nails than be subject to the wrath of 50 pissed off New Yorkers?


  1. Did you read the article in the times a few weeks ago on multi-tasking? It had to do with how technology has dulled our focus forcing us all to be multi-taskers, but that's not the important. What's important is the cool interactive test that was on the website that you should take to see just how serious a multi-tasker you really are:

    Let us know how you do.

    If it proves that you are indeed a heavy-duty multi-tasker I'll ask you to step your game up a notch. Instead of doing just your dishes while listening to NPR, how about doing your dishes, memorizing the entire all songs considered broadcast, and transcribing it for us from memory here on your blog. Instead of just making to-do lists while trying to stay upright on the train, how about making to-do lists while trying to play upright bass while trying to stay upright on the train. Instead of just blogging while reflecting on your life in NY thus far (a presence that i'm unspeakably grateful for), how about blogging while reflecting on your life while swimming and dodging large ships in New York harbor.

    It's all about constantly challenging yourself. Love the Roots plug, by the way :)

  2. I started taking that test, then decided to respond here while also tap dancing and flossing. Whoops. I also managed to simultaneously read (quickly skim and copy/paste from) another NYT article:

    "Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

    These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored."

    You're right, though, Ry - I need to set my ambitions higher. I'm also going to send this response to you via text/voicemail/email/messenger pigeon because I really like immediate feedback. Which brings me to a bigger point - oh shit, saw something shiny and lost my train of thought.

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  4. Third track on The Mystery Band LP: "Dopamine Squirt"

  5. I think a concept album is in the works.

  6. 人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................