Well this was our very first week of the Art of Manliness 30 Days to a Better Man Project. All in all, it looks like you men are off to a fantastic start. I’ve really enjoyed hearing about the different aspects of your lives and what’s really important to you.
Did you fall off the wagon this week? Get back on and recommit yourself to doing each task each day. Make the tasks a non-negotiable part of your life-whatever the task is, find a way to do it. The tasks that make you the most uncomfortable may be the most important to do. No pain, no gain. If you need to catch up, here’s a run down of this week’s tasks:
Day 1: Define Your Core Values. This was one of my favorite tasks of the week, as I personally found it helpful, and I enjoyed reading about your core values. If you haven’t already, go to the Community page and share your 5 core values with us.
Day 2: Shine Your Shoes. A few of you were initially a bit skeptical about the value of this task, but reading through your comments, I saw that most of you really ended up enjoying it and found it quite satisfying. If you didn’t report about doing this task yet, drop a line in the Community page, and tell us about the experience.
Day 3: Find a Mentor. For many of you, this was the hardest task of the week. But it was truly heartening to see everyone manning up and reaching out and finding mentors. Some of you left a comment in the Community page telling us how you set up a meeting with your new mentor. Give us an update about how it went!
Day 5: Cultivate Your Gratitude. Hopefully Day 5 made you feel a little better about your life as you took stock of all the good things you have going for you. And I’m betting you made 3 people’s days with your thank you’s. If you haven’t done so already, share with us the 10 things that you’re grateful for and who you thanked.
Around the Community This Week:
Would you be interested in buying a handmade Moleskine-type notebook? Christopher Teague is thinking about putting his mad book-binding skillz to work and making a batch. Let him know if you’d like one.
General Interest Links
The Sodastream (@Daily Grommet). The Daily Grommet is a site that posts about a cool new product every day. As AoM is a big fan of old fashioned sodey pop, one of the products they reviewed this week really caught our eye. Called the Sodastream, it’s a super cool apparatus they enables you to add fizzy effervescence to any beverage at home with the mere touch of a button. And they sell delicious soda syrups as well so you can manufacture your own soda at home without any of that HFCS we so despise. Plus, the thing will save you from wasting bottles or the hassle of recycling (it comes with reusable bottles). Pretty sweet indeed. Fizzy milk, anyone?
Where the Guys Are. (@the Boston Globe). This article explains why more and more men are forming their own book clubs. While some see book clubs at the purview of ladies who love Oprah, men are finding that they really enjoy the camaraderie that a book club can afford. As the article explains, reading the book is almost besides the point; the guys really just like having an excuse to get together and talk about their lives. (Hat tip: Quinn Lester)
Dudes Doing Vegas: Eating and Other Stuff (@nytimes.com). I found this move review of the new film “The Hangover” interesting simply for how succinctly it nails the way that men are portrayed in movies and television these days. To quote:
“The immaturity of ostensibly grown-up American men is an inexhaustible subject, or at least one that has yet to exhaust American movie audiences and the well-paid guys who cater to their entertainment needs. Todd Phillips, the director of “Old School,” “Road Trip” and an HBO documentary called “Frat House” as well as a writer of “Borat,” has shown himself to be an adept and tireless connoisseur of male boorishness and stupidity, though the crude humor he dispenses is frequently leavened by nuggets of inventiveness and wit………
Alan, in spite of his heavy beard, is almost literally a giant baby, his soft-bellied body appearing swaddled in a sheet and, most memorably, in a jockstrap that looks like a badly applied diaper. Until the end credits — which shuffle through still photographs from a harder-edged, more nastily and candidly adult movie — the on-screen nudity consists of male buttocks and a woman’s breast in the mouth of a nursing infant. This pretty much sums up the movie’s psychosexual condition, which old-school Freudians might identify as pregenital, more preoccupied with eating and elimination than with, you know, other stuff.
The tiny handful of women who have speaking roles in “Hangover” may at first seem to be conventional figures in the straight-male imaginary — the sweet and patient bride; the emasculating, hypocritical shrew; the friendly prostitute (a sunny Heather Graham) — but they are all really incarnations of mommy. There is a bad mommy who won’t let you play, a good mommy who cleans up your mess and kisses your boo-boos and an extra special mommy who offers you her nipple even when you don’t pay for it as most of the other kids do. What hangover? This movie is safe as milk.”