Monday, June 29, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Okay, so I recently read Malcolm Gladwell's most recent book, Outliers. I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell, and although I often disagree with what he says, I find his books very interesting and thought-provoking. I've read all of his books (The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers), I've definitely agreed the most with Outliers. It's worth reading. It's all about success and what makes some people successful. "Oh no!" you probably are saying. "Not another book about being successful!" Actually, this one is really good. I'm not going to go into much that he says, so you should just read it.
Anyway, a couple things that he says is that to be successful in your field, you need 10,000 hours of experience, and you need opportunity. So basically, you really just need a lot of hard work to make you an expert, and you need opportunity.

Thats all I'm going to say for now, because I'm tired, just had a full day of auditions (from the other side of the table! Ahh!) and I want to go to bed now. Good night!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dan needs book suggestions!

Okay, blog buddies,

Daniel needs a summer reading list! Suggest a few books that you think I
should read over the summer. I need your suggestions!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

I think that one of the most important things that I've ever learned is to be proactive. If you are familiar with Steven Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Or his son Sean Covey's book The 7 Habits of highly effective teens, which is more interesting, haha), then you should be familiar with this already. Being proactive is all about the idea that you are in control of your reactions. In the entire universe, you are the only thing that you can completely control. The weather, traffic, your dog and other people are completely out of your control, yet we spend so much time and waste so much energy thinking about them! Bad things happen to everyone and the only difference between people lies in how they deal with them. Think of it this way (this is my favourite analogy): A reactive person is like a can of soda. Shake them up a bit and open them and they'll explode. A proactive person, however is like a bottle of water. You can shake them up as much as you like, but you aren't going to get a reaction out of them. Being reactive is like handing you remote control to somebody else and say "Here, change my mood anytime." You aren't in control anymore. Somebody can say something rude to you and you'll react, just like that. Reactive people are easy to manipulate and control.
Being proactive though, is a lot safer and gives you the power. People can insult you, but you get to decide if you are going to be affected by it or not.
Being proactive is harder at first. What something bad happens, it’s so easy to retort, fight back, explode, give the finger or insult them. What I do, is take a deep breath, and ask myself "Do I want to let this affect me? Am I going to let this wreck my day?" Then I respond diplomatically and let the issue float on by. It’s not a weak thing to do, it’s the opposite. You’re choosing to be in control of your emotions. And it shows strength, big time.

I'm not sure whether that post made sense or not, so comment if it was unclear and I'd be happy to clear anything up!

No, wait, comment whether it made sense or not!

Friday, June 26, 2009

What does it mean to be an artist? This is something that I’ve been thinking about for quite a long time. It's important to me because I've always been attracted to the arts and I'm not sure why. Is it actually important to have artists in society? If so. what is their purpose? And by the "artist", I mean the very broad term describing actors, painters, dancers, writers, musicians, sculptors, directors, composers, etc.

I think that an artist is anyone who creates. In my opinion, artists should constantly be challenging our perceptions and ways of seeing things. If we aren't constantly challenged, we'll fall into one way of thinking, but forget why we actually think that. I think it's good to be offended every now and then. If we aren't offended every now and then, how will we know what we like of not? I think that artists are so important to society. Wars destruct, artists create. As long as there is war and people destroying ideas, we need artists to recreate. I think that art is a way of expressing ideas and challenging perceptions.

What do you think? Do you think society needs artists? Why? Comment!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A few days ago, Nicole started a blog-every-day-for-a-week challenge and encouraged others to join her. I did, figuring that at the very least, it would make my blog a bit more active even just for a week.
I have decided that I am going to continue blogging every day. It's tough, but worth it for many reasons. Firstly, it gets me writing regularly, which is a good thing. Secondly, and more importantly, it gets me writing my thoughts in a legible fashion and posting what actually could be of some use to somebody else. It can be tough to think stuff up everyday, but it's important. Ideas don't just come to you. You have to actively seek them out. There are so many wonderful, interesting things around me and so many strange, exciting, cool and bizarre things floating around my head, that it helps me to pinpoint them and express them. And the more ideas you express, the more will come to you. Blogging everyday will push me to find at least one noteworthy thing in my day!

I also want to
increase the quality, raise the bar and raise my standards of this blog. Not that there is anything wrong with with sites that are about "ZOMG MY DOG POOPED!1!!11", but this isn't one of them.


Michael Jackson 1958-2009

Michael Jackson passed away today in Los Angelos. Although I was never a fan of his music, and personally found him pretty creepy, I can respect and appreciate the affect and influence he had in the music world and in our culture. Apparently he is the world's best selling pop artist. He is refered to as the King of Pop.

You can read all about him here.

Or here:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My domain

So, in case you didn't know, I absolutely love climbing trees. I am fortunate to have 4 big spruce trees right in our front yard and so I climb them a lot. We don't have a particularly big property, nor a big house, so to compensate, we have expanded our living area to outside.

Haha, okay, not really, but we did build a platform in one of the main trees. I'm the only one that really climbs it, but it's my favorite place to go to just be alone. You can climb the tree about twice the height of the treehouse and you can see over the whole neighbourhood. It's incredible.

There is another tree that you can climb that I just made climbable last year. Its fun too, but it doesn't have the view. I built a little ladder to get up.

Also using this tree is our swing.

The only other climbable tree is this one. And it is only climbable as of today. I cleared a bunch of dead branches out and now you can climb it. It still needs a bit of work.

All the branches I broke off!

So thats my domain. I love my trees. My parents are under very strict orders that they must not ever take down any branches without my permission. They might remove a branch that is essential for climbing!

Comment! Discuss! Share the love!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daniel, what are you going to do with your life?

Daniel, what are you going to do for a career?
Daniel, what are you going to be when you grow up?
Daniel, what are you going to do with your life???

I get that question quite a lot. It seems to be an extremely common question for people to ask youth. I don't complain though, I'm more than happy to tell them.

For me at least, I've never had a problem with coming up with stuff I want do with my life. The tough part is narrowing it down! I love music (piano, flute, voice, composition), theatre (acting, directing, design) and the outdoors especially. Besides the outdoors part, the rest of them really fit together well. Being in theatre and being a musician is very useful. I've done some composing for theatre, and I've really enjoyed it. And I have some more coming up for me in the future!

Currently, I'm leaning towards doing something that combines a lot of the above. My ideal job would be to be an actor, director and sound designer/composer and set/costume designer in a theatre community (not necassarily all at the same time!) and then have a side job as a concert pianist or concert flautist, and do some touring that way.

Thats the plan.

I expect it will change, and I'm prepared for that, but whatever I end up doing, it will be something that I love.

Sorry for the hasty post. I expect do another post about this topic soon when I have a bit more time.

Comment! Discuss! Share the love!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dan on Dating

Yep, you read that right. I really am going to post about dating.

Why? Well, because:
a) Its something I've been thinking about lately,
b) I'm sixteen and *gasp* still single, which is something that in our culture seems to be socially unacceptable, and
c) I want to.

Currently, my relationship status would be "Single" and "Not Looking". Period. I'm really not interested in any kind of relationship at this time. Call me old-fashioned, but I really see dating as preparation for marriage, and seeing as I'm sixteen, I doubt I'll be getting married any time soon. It really weirds me out when I see boys my age (or younger) with girlfriends. I just want to ask them, do you actually love your girlfriends, or do you just pick a random attractive girl and ask her out so you can just be like the rest? Is your girlfriend really someone you're attracted to emotionally, or do you just go out with her so you can be more "socially acceptable" and be able to say that you have a girlfriend?

Now, I don't want to come across as preachy (and I expect that I probably am), but I just have a problem with dating for the point of dating. I think that dating should ultimately lead to marriage and I highly doubt that most 14 year olds are planning to get married at that age. So whats the point of dating?

Comment! Please! ;)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The best cold/flu remedy

This is what I always drink when I have a cold. I think it's the best remedy.

Honey/Ginger/Lemon Tea
About 1 heaping generous teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice (or to taste)
1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
1 cup boiling water

Makes one cup of tea.

Put the chopped ginger in your mug, and add the water. Stir in the lemon juice and honey. Thats all there is to it.

It's the best. It's great for sore throats and everything else.

I'm posting this now because I have a cold and have been drinking massive amounts of this lately.