Friday Five – April 22

This week’s edition of the Friday Five is brought to you by Craig and Smokey.

In case you missed it last week, this is where I dump 5 things that have been rattling around in my brain onto your lap via the medium of written word. Try to imagine that in a good way.

Last week I failed PR 101 by launching the blog on a Friday afternoon, traditionally the point in the news cycle when companies/politicians/public figures release news that they want people to ignore because they’re already on their way home for the weekend. I’ll try to avoid that in the future.

What I’m listening to: Taking Back Sunday

I’ve always been on the Jesse Lacey side of things in the Brand New/Taking Back Sunday feud (“Seventy Times 7” > “There’s No I in Team”), but I’ve found myself getting drawn more toward TBS recently. Next Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of Louder Now. While not my favorite record of theirs, it is the one that launched Taking Back Sunday into another stratosphere. When I’m not jamming out to new music, I’ve been looking back 5 years, a decade, even 25 years for songs that once inspired me. So this could be a recurring theme on Fridays.

What I’m watching: I’ve been avoiding saying anything about the Capitals-Flyers playoff series for fear of jinxing it, which is patently absurd, of course. So, on the eve of Game 5, here is a quick-hitting dose of my thoughts on the series.

  • Poor Steve Mason. He has rather quietly become one of the NHL’s better goalies in Philadelphia, but his current legacy is as the guy who gave up this goal. I feel for Mason, as he appeared to injure himself earlier (making the save shown on replay in that clip). That injury might not have taken him out of the game, but I’d bet it affected his focus at the worst possible time.
  • Of course the Capital who scored that goal was Jason Chimera. Anytime the Caps score a strange or fluky goal, it always involves #25.
  • If the Caps blow this, Mike Richards will have the odd distinction of being involved in every series since 2010 where a team has come back from an 0-3 deficit. He was on the winning side in 2010 and 2014, though.
  • That being said, the Caps will win this series, but I’m not thrilled with their play so far. The Flyers have had the better of the shot attempts and scoring chances, at least while the games have been in doubt. Washington is too reliant on Braden Holtby and the power play, one of which is due to falter.

What I’m reading: Stumbling on Happiness (Amazon Link). It’s not about what the title might lead you to expect. Psychologist Daniel (what is it with the name Daniel in psychology?) Gilbert attempts to analyze what people mean when they say they are happy. An example from the book: how can conjoined twins claim to live richer, more fulfilling lives than the surgeons who recommend they be separated?

What I’m reading, Part II: A few of the articles that caught my attention this week.

  • I don’t watch Vikings, but I assume some of you do, and know who Kathryn Winnick is. This profile contains some great insights for finding a path to success. My favorite quote might be the last one: “Plan and prepare… but when the times comes, trust and let yourself go.”
  • I think this article misses that point. Change is inevitable, and the best way to take advantage of change is through preparation. How many great leaders have said they would take a well-executed bad plan over no plan at all?
  • Derek Sivers shared a number of short, actionable directives on his blog. If you don’t know who Derek Sivers is, I suggest getting to know him here and here. You could call him a hero of mine.

What I’m doing: It’s Fiesta! For those uninitiated, this is the time of year when San Antonio shuts down for parades, parties, and 2 weeks of general revelry. I had never heard of Fiesta before moving here, and I can say that it has been an unexpected gem of my experience in Texas.

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