Thursday, February 14, 2013
Posted by MAnderson at 9:54 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Posted by MAnderson at 8:50 PM
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Posted by MAnderson at 10:30 PM
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Posted by MAnderson at 8:16 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
i want to know more. not about anything in particular....just about the world around me. it's a pretty incredible world...and is full of so much to explore. there is a lot that i just don't get...and beyond that, there is just a lot that exists that i don't even know about. so i can't even get it!
so part of my plan for a happier 2012 (which is going really well, actually...thanks for asking..) is to expand my mind. (please save the wisecracks!) i want to step off the path and explore more of the world around me - and find more of that happiness that comes through the process of learning.
so in january i started a project along these lines that i read about in a book last year. (i kind of took it and adapted it to my life and my plan for increased happiness in 2012...and it works for me!) i went to my local barnes & noble and i stood in the magazine section and i chose 3 magazines about things that i know nothing about. nothing. and i spent the rest of the month reading them...like i was a subscriber who just got their long-awaited new copy of that month's periodical. but aside from that, i spent the month telling people about this new project and not only talking to them about how it fits into my plan, but about the things i was learning in the magazines.
i am going to do this once a month...and thanks to the generosity of some friends as a birthday gift in january, i got a couple of gift cards to help out with the first couple months. (your average magazine is gonna run you $5-$8, so it's not a CHEAP plan to increase happiness...but i feel like it's a worthwhile investment.)(gift cards to B&N are always accepted here at the manderson report....)
so let me tell you about my january start. i had a couple of set backs when i first went to get my magazines, because the line was long and i was meeting people and couldn't wait...so i quickly replaced 'LaCrosse International' and 'Metal Jewerly Making'...and when i returned a couple of days later, i couldn't find them! (were they bought? cancelled? misplaced? I will never know!) so i stood and waited for something to speak to me, and eventually, i walked out of B&N with: Track and Field News, Moment - Jewish Politics Culture Religion, and Backyard Poultry. (you can see all 3 below.)
i don't really know what i expected to learn...so my bar was pretty low going into it. but this exercise of stepping off the beaten path of my life was a fascinating, informative and really happy experience.
-TRACK AND FIELD NEWS taught me all about the collegiate recruiting world of track around the country, as well as the argument in the sport of the 3-per-nation rule competing at world and olympic events versus the truest top athletes in the world (it's a HUGE debate!) i also learned who to watch on Team USA for this summer at the london 2012 summer games. AND i ended up with a poster of dwight phillips (triple jumper?) fold out, if anyone wants it.
-MOMENT was named by elie wiesel after a vibrant independent jewish magazine (Der Moment) in warsaw, poland from 1910-1093. It was the most fascinating find to me because of two articles i read in it: one that was an inside look into the lives of jews living in iran today (a photo essay that was so interesting) AND an incredible article/story about a catholic priest who has made it his "holy mission" to travel across eastern europe - mostly in the ukraine - to identify the unmarked and sometimes unknown graves of more than 1.5 million jews murdered during world war II. his story is remarkable, as he searches out people who lived in the area who are still alive and will finally, after 60 plus years, tell what they saw or know. amazing reading.
-BACKYARD POULTRY i decided would be a fun laugh...but was maybe more eye-opening than the other two. WHO KNOW this world existed? the sub-line on the magazine says it is "dedicated to more and better small-flock poultry." the edition not only gave owners tricks and helpful hints for winter egg production, but there was a fascinating look at the fight to legalize chickens in your community and what you can do. my favorite of these suggestions on the legalization article was tip #12: have a few gorgeous mellow hens that can go to neighborhood and community meetings to show off. sold. "my that's a gorgeous hen. and so mellow. i vote yes!"
january was full of lots of learning, in so many ways....but particularly with this journey. like i said, i didn't set out to LEARN anything specific...but was open to whatever came along. and in the process of doing this, i'm not looking to become an expert in any of these things. but i just wanted to step out of what i know to learn about what i didn't.
next time you're in a barnes & noble or a grocery store magazine aisle, take a look at the vast world represented there. vast amounts of knowledge exist...and many of it is printed on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule...and it is yours for the taking. just make sure to pay for it first!
up in february: VELO News 2012 Olympic Cycling Preview, Popular Communications (Shortwave Listening, Scanning, AM&FM, Radio History), and ODE Magazine - for Intelligent Optimists. feel free to join my magazine revolution!!!!
Posted by MAnderson at 9:36 PM
sneak peek of new ford's center for education and leadership
feeble attempt at winter, mother nature...
Posted by MAnderson at 12:16 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
yesterday, i was walking in georgetown and i stopped into a small candy store that had posted that they were closing and having a clearance sale. don't mind if i do.
as i stepped in, i found myself the only customer in the store, and got a quick hello from the woman in charge who was trying to keep track of her very active grandson, who seemed to be about 4 years old. he would run from the back of the store to the front of the store to the back again, on a never-ending loop, while grandma shouted warnings the entire time, "don't trip!" "watch out for that gentleman!" "not too fast!"
after what seemed like 100 trips back and forth while i scanned the gummis and clusters, the little boy stopped RIGHT beside me and i could feel him starting at me. i turned and said, "well hello there." and he said "you. look. like. BATMAN!" and took off running again.
now i think we can all agree that i look like a LOT of things, but BATMAN would be no where on that list. (and knowing how honest kids can be, i can only be thankful that something else didn't come out of his mouth.) i can't for the life of me think what would possess him to see Batman in me and my layers of black and brown winter clothes, but it was a delightful surprise, nonetheless.
as i left the store, with a new-found desire to fight injustice and protect the unprotected and this little man continuing his laps, i said "see ya, buddy!" and he replied without even missing a beat, "bye BATMAN!"
i'm happy being a superhero for a day...even if it is to just one kid, hopped up on sugar at his grandma's failing candy store.
now, to the bat bus! were did i put my farecard?
Posted by MAnderson at 9:54 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
i just might.
start walking...see what you find!
Posted by MAnderson at 9:09 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
part of my reason for re-starting my blog is because when i think back to things over the past 10 years or so that have made me happy, i realize that the time i spent blogging, both on my tour and after, was filled with a lot of joy. this year, i decided to focus on being happier in my life (which i think you will see is a common theme going forward.) that's not to say i'm unhappy now - i've had my ups and downs (and 2011 was rife was both), but all things considered, i'm happy and always have been. but i want to take the chance this year to harvest even more happiness in my day to day life.
this idea of happiness has been on my mind a lot this week because i was explaining this 'new outlook on being happy in 2012' to a friend last week and they asked, very honestly, "why is this so important for YOU personally? right now?" and at the time i didn't have the exact answer, but i found the answer earlier this week in the strangest of places.
i was on jury duty monday and tuesday at dc superior courts. now, if you live in washington dc, you know that it's not uncommon to get called to jury duty every 2 years or so. since moving into the city 8 years ago, this was my 4th time being called...but the previous three times, during jury selection, i was released and didn't have to serve. but my luck changed this time...and i was selected to sit on what turned out to be, as far as serving on a jury goes, a pretty light and easy case.
the issue at hand was one count of possession of an illegal substance (for those of you wondering....it was PCP....which does not stand for 'primary care physician' in this case.) the judge in the case was very specific when it came time for us to deliberate and laid out guidelines we were to follow when deciding the defendant's fate. the biggest thing he gave us was the definition of what 'possession' is, according to our legal system. breaking it down, there were 2 possible types of possession: either 'physical possession' which means the drugs are on your actual, physical person (in a pocket, in your hands, on your lap, etc.) at the time of arrest, OR 'constructive possession' which means the drugs are in your immediate area and you have demonstrated the power and intent to USE them at some point.
as we engaged in a rather spirited discussion about this case, i started to realize that in this legal definition of 'possession', i just might have found my answer for my friend. you see, i think that happiness is out there for all of us. we are all going to find it different ways, and it is going to mean different things to each of us, but i have a firm belief that it is one of the most basic, simple reasons we are here. to be happy. we have a father in heaven who loves us unconditionally, and has given us a life full of happiness all around us. the only thing we have to do to cash in on that happiness is to (excuse me for the borrow, nike) just do it. find that happiness in our day to day life and share it with others. it's a pretty basic tenet of living. and it's not a matter of 'physical possession' of happiness - you're not going to leave it in your pocket at night or have to water it to grow it so you can actually pick it - but it's more a case of 'constructive possession.'
to my friend who was wondering: it's important to me right here, right now in my life because i'm finally realizing in my mid-thirties that i can decide each day if i want to be happy, no matter what is going on in the world around me. it is my choice...i have the power and intent and i just have to decide to utilize what is there. and by doing that, by choosing constructive possession, i feel like i am strengthening my relationship with my father in heaven, in a very simple way that i was missing for 37 years. like the days in idaho falls, idaho when i was little, and my dad sat around our living room playing his guitar and singing and sharing his music with me, bringing me closer to him and making me want to be like him (and now having a career for the past 7 years where i have used that gift of music he gave me). music wasn't anything that i could physically possess, but it was around me, and the power of it has always made me think of my dad, and has made me want to be the kind of man he is. so it is with the power of happiness - i want to be happier because i want to be better. i want to be more like my father in heaven. when the time comes for me to return to live with him, i want to be found guilty of unfathomable counts of constructive possession of happiness.
so i am going to turn my mind more to the good. i want to explore more of what makes me happy and focus on sharing my happiness more with those around me. i want to love more, laugh longer, take more pictures, see more cities, catch up with more old friends, make new friends, write more things down, sing louder, dance more often, eat delicious things, and the list goes on and on and on.
in 2012, i want each of us have the power and intent to possess as much happiness as possible.
a pin...up close and personal.
Posted by MAnderson at 10:06 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
well hello there, 2012. looks like my old blog is still here...who knows if anyone still checks in here. but that's not what is important. what IS important is that we survived 2011...and i am back to kick my blog back into gear. low? middle? high? i guess only time will tell.
one of my new projects for 2012 is a picture a day. why? because i'm learning that it's making me look at the world around me more often and with new eyes. and after 9 days, i'm loving how the world is looking.
right now, i want to share MY first 9 days of 2012 with you through the pictures i've snapped on my iPhone. 357 photos left! if you're doing the math...remember...it's leap year!
and i'll be back soon to expand on my new year and new endeavors and new thoughts...and probably some old ones, too!
a lunch with emily levey is a perfect saturday.
sometimes, to find beauty, you just need to look up.
a perfect day with josephine block.
a new year...a new hobby....
Posted by MAnderson at 9:42 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
friends! family! random followers!
so it's kind of been a long time! last we met, i was traipsing around the vancouver 2010 winter games in canada, and you were all off on your various adventures. since then, a lot has happened - to all of us, i'm sure - but what has brought me back to the blogosphere is a new show i started working on a week ago. i thought it was something big enough and exciting enough to get the blog out of the closet and dust it off - and give you all a front row seat to this latest adventure.
so - remember THIS? in the summer of 2008, i worked on a workshop of a new musical that ford's theatre was developing and thinking about doing. fast forward to 2011, and that workshop has turned into a full-blown production, and that production is now in full-blown rehearsals, and we are slowly but soundly marching towards our first preview of this world premiere on march 23rd! opening night is march 30th! the show is called LIBERTY SMITH - and the quick explanation is that it's basically a character like forrest gump - who meets the american revolution. and hilarity ensues. naturally. and since you're dying to know, i play the role of that ol' statesman, sam adams - as well as a slew of other characters throughout the show!
it's been an exciting first week! on our first day, last friday the 11th, we did a read/sing through, and it was fun to see everyone - meet all the folks who are new to me and see the group of good ol' friends who are in the show - and hear the script with everyone reading it. a lot of the music is the same from when we did the workshop - and one of my favorite songs is still in place. i found myself especially touched by it that day, for i'm sure of a variety of reasons. the song is called 'i was here' - and is sung by the title character. part of that song says:
people will say i'm an innocent fool,
living my life for a dream.
i'll never listen to those who will doubt,
living a dream is what life's all about.
all i'm saying is that it struck a chord with me that day. that's all. it just reminded me of this crazy journey of being LTD - of living the dream!
anyway, since we started, there have been costume fittings, music rehearsals, marching with guns, sword fight staging, staircase rollings, homemade pop tarts, baby tossings, a really long country ball, and we are still just in the first week! the cast is fantastic, the creative team has an incredible vision of the show, and the ford's staff has been amazingly professional and so easy to work with! after a few....shall i say 'challenging' show experiences, this is a delightful and welcome change.
so come follow the process of watching this world premiere musical go up at ford's theatre - as seen from my perspective. i'm excited to be on this journey - and hope to bring you all a glimpse into the magic and excitement of it all....this Little Bit of History!!!!!
first day - cast around the table listens to the director and other designers explain the look of the production.
Top: our enthusiastic director, matt, explains the set. Bottom: my dear friend, donna, looks at the costume designs.
L: lauren gets her rehearsal skirt on with the coaching help of michael. R: gia shows off her marie antoinette skirt.
a couple of scenes from staging the opening number of the show. liberty (geoff) on his knee in the top picture.
Posted by MAnderson at 8:23 PM