insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

In The LEGO Movie, during the scene where Emmet and his gang arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land, Unikitty, with her effervescent (bordering on psychopathic bi-polar) personality describes the appearing-like-a-circus, multi-colored, multi-styled, multi-use-of-drugs-infused-into-plastic society as being intolerant of negativity, which she …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
One 3D lego yellow block

Filed Under , , , on January 3rd, 2015

The LEGO Movie Way

By Seth Kabala

In The LEGO Movie, during the scene where Emmet and his gang arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land, Unikitty, with her effervescent (bordering on psychopathic bi-polar) personality describes the appearing-like-a-circus, multi-colored, multi-styled, multi-use-of-drugs-infused-into-plastic society as being intolerant of negativity, which she describes as follows:

“Here in Cloud Cuckoo Land, there are no rules. There’s no government, no babysitters, no bedtimes, no frownie faces, no bushy mustaches, and no negativity of any kind.”

“You just said the word ‘no,’ like, a thousand times,” Wyldestyle says.

“There’s also no consistency,” Unikitty says, conceding the point.

Consistency fails to exist in Cloud Cuckoo Land, but it successfully appears in The LEGO Movie in the form of humorous, unifying, veiled messages to adults, e.g. Batman’s exaggerated claim of having hit the button to unlock the gate into President Business’ office tower/lair on the “first try,” and when everybody writes off the double-decker couch, which ultimately saves their asses, as being “just the worst,” per Vitruvius. The LEGO Movie is a smorgasbord of life lessons.

Today’s appetizer is a compote of The LEGO Movie lessons and New Year’s Resolutions.

How does The LEGO Movie compare to setting New Year’s Resolutions? It compares on the basis of understated common sense–goals that are there enough to be noticed, but not so huge they smack you in the face with their presence, annoying you with the constant reminder of how tough they will be to accomplish and how far from achieving your goals you still are. The collection of simple, understated, and common sense is a better way to go than complicated, overstated, and illogical.

My list of 2015 New Year’s Resolutions looks similar to previous year’s lists: read x number of books, publish x number of pieces, have sex xxx number of times. The usual stuff. This year, though, I’ve decided to take a cue from the understated life lessons of The LEGO Movie and pare down the size and scope of my goals.

What do I mean by this? Instead of saying what I’d like to do, I’m saying what I believe is possible. For example, for years, I’ve wanted to buy a cheap suit, take it to a tailor, and see if it’s possible to achieve the $5,000 Armani look spending less than $500–and do this one time, taking what I hope will be a favorable result and parlaying that into a wardrobe Barney Stinson would be proud of, or in what would have been the words of Jessie Pinkman, if he had been into fashion, Suit, Bitch!  

Most of my writing concentrates on professional topics, academia, and humor. But I also love to write fiction. I believe fiction writing contributes to excellence in all areas of writing. The more we can stretch our abilities, reasonably so, the better honed and diversified our skills will be when considered in total. To this end, I’ve resolved to publish (not self-publish. Actually publish) one work of short fiction, not 50, which is a simple, understated goal, one that will be difficult to achieve, for sure, but one that I understand and can develop a plan to follow to success.

I am guilty of high crimes in the area of writing a to-do list 100 items long, accomplishing 37 (yes, exactly 37), and feeling like a failure for all the lost opportunity, failing to recognize my achievements. This year I pledge to live by The LEGO Movie example of understated presentation of adult life lessons, check off everything, and feel like the success I know I already am.

The LEGO Movie: self-help material redefined.

 

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Open and closed recycle brown carton delivery packaging box.

The Unboxing

Shortly after moving to Portland, I asked our office administrative specialist to order me a footrest. I asked for the footrest for a practical reason: lower back pressure relief. I have a stand-up desk. This works well to get my stand hours in during the day--Apple faithful, you know what I'm...

[ Swap Article ]

God character working on telemarketing vector illustration. Telemarketing, sales, business, marketing design concept

Let there Be Devices

We have over a dozen devices now, and the number is only going to grow from here. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Money eye bottle soda water isolated on mascot

Hydrating Water

Phil wasn't sure what caused his muscles to dehydrate and shrivel up into jerky encased in skin, but he understood the aftermath. His career was over. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Einstein - Think

You're Smart

We were talking around the dinner table about what it means to get a college degree. I said you pass a bunch of tests, and then they give you a piece of paper that says you're smart. I finished my explanation saying employers can rely on that piece of paper as evidence that you're smart. Anna, 11,...

[ Swap Article ]

Madre Greater than Padre

Madre > Padre

A couple weeks ago, Amy diagnosed and changed out all three fuses that controlled electrical flow to the outlets in our car. Super sexy. Super cool. When I say that Amy did it, I don't mean that I was standing on the sidelines, guiding hands and helping words coaching her to a successful solution. I...

[ Swap Article ]

Ben Comedy Main Headshot 2019 Lego Tshirt Hi Res_May 2019 Profile Piece

An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)

Acceptance and Current Events ...

[ Swap Article ]

Cartoon stick figure drawing conceptual illustration of angry man or businessman targeting with antique cannon ready to fire.

Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack

"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...

[ Swap Article ]

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

Time Traveling Titan

At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...

[ Swap Article ]

Grunge green accepted word round rubber seal stamp on white background

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #21

On Easter Sunday afternoon, we took our kids to a trampoline/obstacle course park, but not just any ordinary park. This wasn't a collection of four-feet-across questionable exercise equipment in the trailer park's social activities room. (If we cobble together a bunch of small trampolines, we could...

[ Swap Article ]

Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Ammo Arms (part one)

...

[ Swap Article ]

Set, collection of colorful socks icons with different ornaments isolated on white background.

Waiting for Sock

Think about stuff you need to get you through your day. Does coffee come to mind? Of course it does. For millions of Americans and billions of people around the world, coffee, in its various forms, is a daily ritual. Not just a daily ritual--an hourly fix, as in you need to grab more black sludge...

[ Swap Article ]

????????????????????????????????????????

Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]