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“You love me. Real or not real?”
Every single weekend for the last month I have been consumed by The Hunger Games. Four weeks ago the movie came out and I bought the book. I devoured it that Saturday before going to see the movie the next day. The following Saturday I read the second book. The Saturday after that I finished the third book of the series. With that, I thought my obsession was over and I could get on with my life.
This past weekend I inadvertently found myself in Asheville, North Carolina, where much of the movie was filmed. We were road tripping our way to a conference in Raleigh, when my own hunger struck. I consulted Yelp, (a must-have app for roadtrips), read a few reviews, and decided on Rezaz in Asheville for lunch. The odds were oddly in my favor. The seven vegetable couscous was a different flavor in every bite: here a chickpea, there the sharp crunch of fresh ginger, and everywhere the ruffley texture of grilled kale intermingling with couscous and cilantro. It was a real Capitol meal. The Devil had a pizza that rivaled his own devious creations. The pizza alone warranted another visit to the restaurant on the return road trip: a crisp cracker crust, lightly grilled and topped with marinaded mushrooms that finished with a hint of pepper. Creamy gellato for dessert – chocolate for her, vanilla for him, each topped with a flakey sugar cookie. Hunger games, indeed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books. I’ve started, abandoned, restarted, and reabandoned an embarrasing number of books the past several months. Nothing has been able to compete with the flying colors of life experienced moment-to-moment in its bold and beautiful unfurling. Until this. What a pleasure to finally find a series to keep me captivated and wanting more.
Across from Rezaz sits the Grand Bohemian Hotel. It was filled with interesting things – a stuffed boar wearing a fishing hat, for instance, and other dead things surrounded by unusual lighting. The decor was overwhelmingly antlered. There are fine lines to be drawn between rustic and classy and creepy. The hotel decorators played hopscotch with those lines.
There were all sorts of fancy people milling about in the lobby doing all sorts of fancy things like sitting around in their fancy hair and shoes drinking fancy drinks while having fancy conversations. What a strange scene to take in against the backdrop of skulls and skins, hides and horns.
The hotel I learned offers a Hunger Games package for a few hundred dollars. Apparently trips to the setting are all the rage.
I enjoyed my brief adventure and I definitely want to go back to explore.
Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
As promised in my last post, here are a few of the apps I have found helpful in managing, organizing, and simplifying my work-life:
Pocket Informant HD. ($12.99). This app complements the organizational methods described in David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. It includes a calendar, project manager, and list of tasks to keep each project moving along. The calendar can be organized by day, week, or month and will show your events accordingly. It also allows you to set alarms for reminders. You can organize your task list by context, folder, due date, priority, action, tags, project, etc. It syncs with Google calendar, Outlook, or Toodledo if you need to do that sort of thing. It has eliminated my need for any other planner or calendar. This only scratches the surface of the app’s features. There are tutorials on youtube to help you get it set up.
Dropbox. (FREE). Dropbox allows electronic files to be stored, synchronized, and shared. Weekly reports from multi-users can be uploaded and processed in batches instead of cluttering up an e-mail box. You can update, access, and upload files from a mobile device, laptop, or PC without the use of a USB drive. Here’s a little video that explains a bit more about what dropbox does: What is dropbox?
SmartNote. (FREE/$2.99). With this app you can create notebooks and take notes in your iPad. Your notes can typed, written (with your finger or a stylus), or audiorecorded. You can also highlight and bookmark your notes. It allows you to export your notes as a pdf or toss a copy in dropbox. There is no “search” option, so you have to be organized on the frontend if you are taking a lot of notes and make good use of the bookmark. The free version suits my needs and it is the right price. In the free version you will have ads along the top of your screen and your pdf files will have a SmartNote “waterstamp.”
iAnnotate PDF. ($9.99). I highly recommend this for graduate students and researchers who must read and organize mass quantities of journal articles. You can download pdf copies of documents, organize them in files, highlight them and add notes. You can also perform searches through your articles for certain keywords. This app has drastically reduced the paper clutter in my world and saved me tons of time hunting through filing cabinets or electronic folders for that elusive article I read just the other day.
GContact Lite. (FREE/$2.99). This one is a contact file with group capabilities. It is helpful when I want to send e-mails to groups of people.
My LessonPlan. ($3.99). This has been a great way to capture and organize my ideas, websites, goals, materials, etc. as I have been prepping a new class for next semester.
Prezi Viewer. (FREE). This gives me access to my prezi collection on my iPad, which has been pretty cool for impromptu presentations with smalls groups. Unfortunately, you cannot create the presentations with the app, but if they already exist, you can access them. If you’re not familiar with prezi.com, check it out! It’s a fun platform for creating the visual component of your presentations.
What apps have you found helpful for work?
What apps do you love for just chillin’ ?