Monday, June 25, 2012

New Goals and Re-Introduction

As I have recently become more goal and achievement oriented, I decided to start writing blog posts again to keep myself accountable for the things that I say I am trying to achieve. Among them are these goals:

1.) Become a great chef.

I recently started reading some material on cooking. I'd give myself a 3 in the kitchen, 1 being most of the youthful women I've met in the last few years, and 10 being the King, Bobby Flay. Needless to say, I've got some work to do. I can cook a mean steak, 'wok' some magic with stir fry, and make some pretty simple pastas as long as I don't have to cook the corresponding sauce. I'd say my main problem is that I'm not educated well enough on different foods and what goes good together - this leads to a lack of creativity in the kitchen for fear of ruining an otherwise delicious meal. While in LA, Brian, Ian, and I hatched the idea to start a dinner club. Twice a month (or more, depending on how popular it becomes) we'll get about 8 people to pitch in 10 bucks each, so we can buy some ballin' food. We will decide beforehand who is going to cook and assist (we don't want a power struggle while a steak is burning). I'd like my nights as master chef to be requested and appreciated by all who participate in it.

My goal will be complete when I can continually cook unique, delicious, high class, presentable meals, all without the assistance of a recipe or a culinary consultant.

2.) Weigh 185 by graduation (May 2013).

This is one of the more difficult goals I have set for myself, as I have been consistently gaining 10 pounds per year I have been enrolled in college. Weighing in at 165 now, I'll let you do the math.

There is an implication with my goal weight, however, that requires me to be lean in addition to massive. I'd like to be sub-8% body fat when I achieve my goal. This will require eating clean, eating a lot, and working out consistently. My goal roughly equates to gaining 2 pounds a month. Doesn't sound like much, does it? The most difficult challenge is eating, by far. I literally need to force food down my throat, because if I wait for hunger to motivate me, a.) my muscles are already experiencing a state of catabolic breakdown, and b.) I won't reach my caloric goals for the day.

3.) Maintain a healthier lifestyle.

I'd like to cook delicious and fresh meals for myself many times a day. This will save money, but certainly not time. I need to be able to plan ahead more effectively in order to avoid leaving my house to eat at a restaurant or fast food place. I'd also like to sleep less in the night. As I currently am, I tend to sleep 11 hours if left to my own schedule. My body seems to function fine with 9, but I think I should be able to comfortable operate on 7 or so. The most difficult challenge is always waking up. I have the willpower of a crack addict trying to quit when I wake up in the morning. This is mainly due to the fact that my circadian rhythm is set to "Sleep at 2, wake at 11" which I'd like to set back by 4 hours at the very least on both sides. Ideally, I want to sleep when I'm tired, whenever that might be, and wake up at 5. It's a bit of a necessity waking up early in Tucson, because it helps to work on cars when you're not in the dead 110 degree heat.

The first day is always the hardest. I suppose that's tomorrow.

I'd like to stop drinking. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially when most of the people in your life are college students. You can only say I'm not drinking so many times before friends stop calling you for anything, let alone parties and club gatherings. It's also difficult to exclusively stop because I'm not an alcoholic. There are no negative effects of drinking on my social life, I don't yell at my friends, smash stuff, or fight cops. When a person says "I don't like to drink" it's often interpreted by others, and society in general, it seems, as "I don't like to have fun." I'd rather spend an early Sunday morning rock climbing or working on my car than sleeping away a hangover. To each their own, I suppose.

4.) Learn more than all of my other classmates in college.

It's not about a grade. If you understand the material, grades will come naturally. I'm tired of being focused on how well of a grade I will get on an exam. If I understand what is taught to me, I am sure I will do well on exams and homework.

I'm hoping anyone who still reads my posts will be able to hold me accountable for the things I have said here, I don't want to let anyone down, and especially myself!

Live well, laugh much, and love often,

Donovan Morgan

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dream

There I was, staring at myself 5 years in the future. I couldn't find the words to speak, so he did first.

"You know the man you aspire to be every single morning you wake? That's who I am. I'm the you who changed every time he realized that there was something that needed improving. I'm the you who never gave up. I'm the you who is the ruler of his emotions. All it took was a single moment, like flicking a switch. When you wake up, are you going to be me, or you?"

Then I woke up.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I Hate New Years Resolutions

I think that it's great when someone decides to make a change for the better.

What I don't like is them waiting for a landmark event, such as New Years Day, in order to begin making those changes.

If you recognize that there is something about yourself that you want to change, CHANGE IT! Why wait?

In addition to that, making a change on a particular event or date during the year makes it easier for you to put it off until next year. Besides, whats one more year of smoking, drinking, partying, and being lazy? A lot. I saw a quote that struck a nerve with me: One year from now, you'll know why you started TODAY.

So do the rest of us people who actually want to change something a favor, and stay out of the gym unless you're going to stick with it for more than a month. I don't like waiting to use equipment for 20 minutes just so your fat ass can give up in 30 days anyway.

A lot of it has to do with self discipline. It is hard to say you're going to do something difficult and stick with it. Here are some tips that I randomly thought of in order to insure you stick with your goals.

1.) Tell your good friends and family about the goals you've set for yourself. Also, tell them to hold you to them. If they are true friends, they will want to make sure that you follow through with something that will make you a better person. For example, have someone go to the gym every day with you. This will make it so they will motivate you to go on days that you don't feel like it, and vice versa.

2.) Don't make New Years Resolutions, it's too easy to give up on them and wait until next year. Instead, set goals when they come to mind. Want to lose weight? Start as soon as you realize you want to. You will also feel gratification because you changed when you wanted, not when dictated by a holiday.

3.) Make sure that you have a clear goal or outcome. Set goals that you can achieve, not outrageous ones so you won't feel bad when you fail them. Instead of "I'm going to lose 20 pounds this year," It should be something along the lines of "I'm going to lose 3 pounds a month until I'm X weight, and maintain X weight."

Self improvement means nothing if you go back to your old ways when you've achieved your goal.

I've made no New Years Resolutions, not shall I.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Things About Myself I Didn't Know Until Recently and Random Thoughts

I do not like to have to justify my actions to anyone. Although as an engineer I might seem cold and calculated at all times, sometimes I do things simply because I feel like it.

I have recently realized how much I enjoy being alone. I had not realized until recently this quality about myself. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be a hermit and never talk with anyone, because I enjoy company as well, but I have been in twin turbo overdrive at 273.46 mph for the last week. Although I had plenty of time to myself when doing homework, I do not really consider that 'me time.' I always had somewhere to be, or something to do.

Oh, and remind me not to tell people what to do, or to give them advice unless they ask it. I absolutely hate when people think that they know more than me, or when they think they can do something better than me. Although in either case it could well be true, I could care less. So I'll do my best to return the favor to everyone I know. Just don't tell me that I'm doing something wrong unless it will lead me to serious injury later. If it's just a mild injury, then don't worry about it.

I do not like holding hands.

I do not like people taking care of me.

I guess this goes to show you how independent I really am.

Some of these qualities might seem unreasonable, and I suppose they are subject to change under the right conditions.

I strive to meet a person that is better than me in any and every way. It will inspire me to be as great or greater than they themselves are. Having people look up at me is fine, and I enjoy the feeling of being something to strive for myself, but if I had the choice to surround myself with followers or with leaders, the latter would definitely win.

I think that it is a good idea to end a relationship when it is causing you more stress and concern than it is happiness. People tell you that you should stay in it "for the experience" but what's experience without enjoyment? Oh, thats right. So you know not to do it again. Wow. I am either a total weirdo, or am far too wise for my age. Avoid relationships? It doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Focus on school. I need to think some more about this, and consult people who would like to give me advice.

As I previously stated, I do not like advice unless I ask for it. So this is me asking for it.

What would you do if a relationship was causing you more stress than enjoyment?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Test In Discipline

They say that it takes 40 days to make or break a habit. This is why the length of Lent in the catholic religion is of this length (Sundays they do not count because blah blah blah) so it's more like 45 days but whatever.

Anyway,

As an experiment in personal development, I will attempt to gain several new habits starting tomorrow morning.

1.) Wake up at 5AM every day. I did this for the last week or so but I let myself sleep in for the last few days.

2.) Refrain from weighing myself for 40 days. I am trying really hard to gain muscle mass, and I have been disappointed with the miniscule and fluctuating gains I have experienced in the last week. I'll go ahead and say that I will weigh 150 on October 8th, 2010. I am currently 145.

3.) Work out 6 days a week right after waking, and rest on the 7th. This is associated with weighing myself obviously, and also eating, which is below.

4.) Consume 3000 calories a day. I think this one might actually be the biggest challenge for me. I find it extremely difficult to consume that much food. It feels like I am eating non stop if I have that much on any given day.

That's all I can think of right now, but if anyone has any suggestions for good habits I should get into, feel free to comment!

If I Were God...

Suppose for a second that I am a particularly spiteful God, to the point at which I would allow only certain people into Heaven.

This raised the question in my mind: How would I decide whom to allow into my beautiful world? (This creates many assumptions, none of which I particularly feel like addressing, but feel free to ask what this “Heaven” is like, and I will answer to the best of my ability.) Who would I cast into hell?

Surprisingly enough, this decision required almost no thought at all. When I decided to write this blog post, I had just finished brushing my teeth, and I thought to myself, “If I were God, whom would I let into Heaven? And, being the vain, prideful, and decisive person I am, I followed that with a prompt answer. “I would only let people in who lived their lives to the fullest potential.” People who embraced all of the joy, love and happiness in the world would be allowed; who stood up for what they believed in, and became the best human being they could be. I could care less if anyone ever had "Faith" in me.

Then I came upon the realization. If I were to die tonight, I would not allow myself into Heaven. In other words, if someone were to come to me for judgment that had lived the exact same life as me until tonight, I would tell him to go to hell.

And he would.

Before I throw myself into an eternity of torture, I would ask my God self:

“Why?”

And I (God) would reply:

“Have you ever experienced love? Too far out of grasp? How about passion, true passion, for anything? Did you even attempt to find a passion? You’ve certainly thought about it, but never acted to advance the vision of your perfect life. You watched life pass you by, and who knew that the punishment for apathy would be eternity in hell?”

“I understand. I apologize. I am ready.” I say.

“Before you condemn yourself and accept your punishment, I’m going to send you back down. The meteorite will not crash through your roof and kill you while taking a dump, and you will continue living your life as though it never happened. You will remember this conversation.” God me says.

“I cannot expr—“ But I’m cut off.

“From this moment forward, every time you look in the mirror, instead of yourself, you will see me, judging you each and every day. And each time , stare at me in the eyes and declare: “I will not disappoint you.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Becoming Familiar With the Smell and Burn of Gasoline

If I give anyone a single guess as to why I am not at a destination on time, they would undoubtedly and unanimously answer: "Your car broke down." Those of you who know me are aware that I am very punctual. However, some of you may not know my deep seeded hatred for people who are late. In my mind, it is one of the rudest things you can possibly do to make someone wait on you when you had set a time in which you told them you would be "ready" or "there." More often than not, people who find themselves late typically are those who do not bother to call the people who are waiting on them either.

That's just a little something I'd like people to know about me - make me wait on you, and you will lose a whole lot of my respect. Regardless, this only minutely relates to what I will be talking about: my car.

To date I have driven five different cars that I would have at one time considered "mine." In chronological order, they are; 1988 Oldmobile Delta 88, 1988 Pontiac Firebird, 1985 Chevy Camaro, 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, and yet another Trans Am, a 1997. Now, there have been many a time that my cars have broken down. Few of the notable ones are: the 1985 Camaro across the street from the Bisbee Fire Station (Transmission finally let go) and again in the high school parking lot after my senior Prom (a starter problem), the 1997 Trans Am in the parking lot of Northpointe Apartments (fuel pump), and that same car again - today.

Today had began with me replacing the fuel filter, which I suspected was slightly clogged and was causing low power at the top end of the RPM range. I planned to make a trip to Tucson today from Bisbee in order to turn in some paperwork for the new pad I'll (hopefully) be moving into in mid-August. As I did not have a reason to do otherwise, I drove the Trans Am. I picked up my friend Cisco Corona, and proceeded to take the Tombstone route to Tucson. Shortly after Exiting onto the freeway from Benson, I passed an 18-wheeler. Only moments after accomplishing this, I felt 6th gear lose all of it's power. Putting the pedal farther down did nothing, so I suspected that there was a problem with the gear - and downshifted into 5th. Drove for a split second, then the same thing happened. 4th. 3rd. 2nd. At this point, I was barely rolling at 20 MPH and I managed to exit off at the intersection between I-10 and SR90. The car slowed to a crawl, and traffic began to pile up behind me. I hopped out of the car, and Cisco and I, pushing with approximately half of our lethargic, disappointed strength, shoved the car down the exit and onto the side of the road. Where we sat. I got out of the car and ran my hands through my hair and then down my face. Here I am, once again. Don't plan on going anywhere with me unless you've got a whole day to kill, because chances are, we aren't exactly going to make it to our destination in the fashion or time frame that is originally intended. I call my mom, who gave me the number to a tow place in Benson.

"But Don, aren't you a car guy? Why not just fix it?"

The short answer: I had an 18 inch car jack, and a simple box of regular tools. You cannot get the fuel pump out of a car with those parts unless you improvise. A lot. Like with rocks, and hammers, and those sort of things.

"The fuel pump? Didn't you just replace that in the... yeah... it says right up there - the Northpointe parking lot?"

Why yes, I certainly did. You can say that it happened because I drive that car like a Ferrari, but even so, it should have lasted a little longer than 8 months. To be sure that it was the fuel pump, I told Cisco to put his ear behind the back wheel and listen for any unusual sounds. Vrooom. AdadaAadada ah ah ah ahhhhh uhhh UHG. After the car died again, I said, "You hear that kinda "whaaaaaaa" coming from the tank?" Cisco replies, "Yeah... the thing that sounds like a dying cat?" Lol. Yes. That would be a pretty damn good description of the noise coming from that tank. So we sit for a while, sweating in the hot afternoon sun, and I try starting the car again. It runs for a while.... and keeps running, dying cat noise and all. At this point I had to make a split second decision: wait for the tow, or GO FOR IT. I chose the latter. I slowly pulled back onto the end of the exit, and got stuck behind a semi that had pulled up to the intersection only moments after my hopeful decision. It took all the time in the world to slooooooooowly m a k e t h e t u r n....... At this point I would say that I "gunned it" but I babied the poor car, accelerating evenly and not letting the RPMs above 2000 before shifting. I turn onto hwy 90, all the while believing with my whole heart that we were going to break down in the middle of the intersection, but we didn't. In hopes of getting as far toward home as possible in as little time as possible, I begin to speed, but not before, you guessed it, I see a highway patrol chillin' on the side of the road. I casually slow down to the speed limit and go unnoticed. As soon as we hit the edge of town and speed up to about 75. I called the tow company and told them I was miraculously back on the road, and that I'd call again when I broke down again in another 15 minutes or so. The lady laughed and said ok. A couple of minutes pass after I hang up, and the pump gives way once again. This time we're on a solid downslope, so I coast for a good mile or so before stopping. Confident that I will be able to limp home, I got out of the car and wandered around on the side of the road for a good ten minutes or so, then got back in and she started back up. I was once again on the road. With my masterful abilities as a driver and the mixed emotions of love and hate I felt for the car, I drove it all the way home without it dying again.

I backed it into the driveway, where it currently sits. I ordered a high performance pump after getting home in hopes that the car will not fail me again.

As I know all too well, the smell of gasoline is about as difficult to get out of your hands as the pungent aroma of onions after dicing a bunch of them without gloves.

What would you have done if your car broke down at 2:00 PM in the dry Arizona heat?
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