I want to ride it where I like...
Friends like these...

Everything zen, everything zen...

I realized something last night that was equal parts disturbing and reassuring... I enjoy washing dishes.

Actually, I can't say I just discovered it last night. I've known this for some time. But last night it dawned on me that the time I spend washing dishes is almost like a bit of a Zen moment for me. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, right? Washing dishes? Zen-like? Seriously?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the concept of Zen. But here is how I understand it (with assistance from Urban Dictionary)... it's a time of reflection and inner thought when you are able to block out outside distractions and focus on a sort of inner peace. Does that seem like a reasonable understanding of "Zen"?

Well, this seems to happen for me when I'm washing dishes. The running water (yeah, so my method isn't entirely environmentally friendly) blocks out a lot of distractions around me. I cannot hear the TV, the neighbors, not even the train that rumbles through our backyard right outside the kitchen window. I stand there making repetitive motions while cleaning the dishes that tend to calm my mind and allow my thoughts to flow freely. I think the only time this state of calm is disrupted is if I have a particularly difficult cooked-on stain to get out and I've even found ways to remain calm while dealing with that.

During this time, though, I tend to really be able to think things through. Reason out any problems I may be having. Think through my issues and come to a sort of resolution.

That is kinda Zen, right?

I don't even achieve this state of peace in yoga, to be honest. I'm still so new to yoga that my mind is too concerned with getting the positions right and that keeps me from truly finding my center, my peace. Some moves I'm comfortable enough with that I can be relatively Zen-like, but then we move on to something I'm not so comfortable with and I worry about posture and hand/foot placement and balance, etc. Stupid downward-facing dog. I still hate that damn pose.

So what about you? What weird actions bring you inner peace? Please don't say "masturbation."

One of the things I loved most about Pitchfork was all the free music. Sure, there were plenty of vendors selling albums on CD and vinyl and even, *gulp* cassette and 8-track. But so many people were there giving away either free CD samplers of music from their record labels or codes for free online downloads.

And "free" is one of my favorite words!

Sadly, though, several had codes that were needed meaning that they are one-time downloads only. But there was one that just had a URL to visit and enter your e-mail address and you can get an 18-track sampler. That one was from Absolutely Kosher/Misra Records.

So, if you're interested in 18 free indie label tracks, head on over. No, not all of it is necessarily great stuff, but I found some really good tracks on the album.

Oh, and Eric? You still have my copy of that one sampler in your bag! Help! I need my muzik!