Visiting Las Vegas and Los Angeles

I missed a blog post last week as I was both traveling plus starting my Nanowrimo challenge.  I usually feel guilty when I don’t make my weekly post, but since I’ve started the writing challenge it’s been maximum effort for me to get whatever writing I do towards my story.


As an aside I will eventually start doing some different type of blog posts, giving you my unasked for opinion on different topics like I used to do.  I realized my blog has turned into a pseudo-journal, but this month with my writing challenge (in addition to holidays and normal life) is cramped.


I visited Las Vegas for my friend Jeff’s birthday, and then we went to Los Angeles for the week.  I rarely don’t enjoy myself when visiting good friends, and this trip was no different. I’ve been going to Las Vegas since 2004 (my first trip was with Jeff in fact during a company event), and it’s enjoyable not being stressed by fomo/the feeling that I have to max out my time in Vegas.  I was able to do something new and interesting (attending a Phish concert on Jeff’s bday), I relived my nightlife days at the club XS, and it was fun having a night of drinking with friends.


In LA I stayed in Santa Monica at Jeff’s new place.  I lived in LA for 7 years, everywhere from Bel Air to Silver Lake, but I’ve never spent much time in Santa Monica.  Traffic/parking has always been bad, and I was paranoid of the foggy/cold winters on the Westside vs the rest of the city.  I was pleasantly surprised, and would happily live in Santa Monica/Venice if I found myself in LA again.


Jeff had to work 9-6 daily, and I got on his routine of waking up at 5:30 am, working out (it helps when your normal time zone is 4 hours ahead), and went to a coffee shop/co-working space until evening.  I really loved it. It reinforced (how many times do I need this to be reinforced??) that I enjoy a structured and productive routine. I have a few things that throw my schedule off every week, but I’m figuring out how to handle them and forget them without thinking that I need to have every hour available just in case.


Another big realization I had was that I’ve been becoming a bit cranky about spending money.  I think it’s a side effect of living in a cheaper place, and integrating some more frugal principles in my life.  I caught myself (too late sadly) complaining about how much things cost in Vegas/LA several times, even though I ended up buying/spending anyways.  I think part of it is that I’m making money, and there’s something in my brain that is trying to protect me from going into full baller-mode. All of the real money I’ve made in my life has come in 1-2 year bursts, followed by years of trying new things while living off my savings.  I suspect my current situation will be the same. I’m trying to live moderately now, but turn it off when I’m visiting LA/NYC/etc for a few days.


My writing challenge is going… challenging.  Not so much the writing itself, which has shocked me how easy it goes once I start.  Carving out the time has been tough though. I need mental breaks, need to read for inspiration, have to spend time on my research/trading, and normal life things.  This still leaves me pretty much all day, but I’ve been procrastinating nonetheless.


Now that I’m back in Puerto Rico for the rest of the month, and have some loose plans of things to help me (reporting to my co-working space like a model employee), I’m feeling optimistic about hitting 50k words in my book.  I shouldn’t be, I’m far behind the pace necessary at the moment, and I’m very unsure of what is going on in my story, but it feels like something that if I achieve I can look back on this during future writing escapades.  The worst case is I get a new book started, or perhaps just some practice writing, but neither of those are even bad.  It’s kind of like meditation: even if you are sitting and getting distracted most of the time that still beats not sitting at all.  I’m still going to give it a real shot though, even if it involves a flailing attempt at the end to put in huge sessions.


Going to leave you this week with a pic from a former poker comrade Mr. Chow’s art studio.  He wasn’t in LA, but was nice enough to allow his assistant to show my girlfriend and I around his studio.  He only got back into painting 6 years ago… at the then age of 73!  I guess there’s hope for me yet if I still keep procrastinating on my writing.


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