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Field Notes:

"Fielding The Field.."

Field Notes are journal entries designed to inform The Bluebird of Happiness "Field Guide," a self-help book I'm writing. Every day for a month, I went into the "Field" and performed "Set-Flight," a balancing act I busked in Philadelphia.

There were 3 rules:

1. Anytime, Anywhere
2. Tips in Fabric
3. Perch: Golden Ratio

I stuck to the rules and explored their boundaries, while fielding the field and discovering what those boundaries meant, my own boundaries, and maybe something about boundaries in general. The month is over. I have my material, which I'm processing and packaging now...Still, I miss the field. So I'm fielding still. Fielding the fields...

Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC





Forager (Prototype)

posted Dec 13, 2012, 9:35 AM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Dec 13, 2012, 9:36 AM ]

Field Guide: The Forager
Chapter 1

"How-To: Make-A-Bag"












Project Design and Organization
© 2012 SSEWARD LLC


THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
"Forager Prototype"
(Plastic sheeting, Packing tape)
© 2010 SSEWARD LLC

"Footbags"

posted Nov 22, 2012, 11:23 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Nov 22, 2012, 11:25 PM ]


THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
"Foot-bag"
(Plastic sheeting, packing tape)
©2012 SSEWARD LLC

For Filing Fabric (and other materials)



Project Design and Organization
© 2012 SSEWARD LLC

A Bird's Eye View With The Wills Eye Institute

posted Apr 13, 2012, 3:25 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Dec 13, 2012, 9:36 AM ]

*chalk drawing and passers-by on Chestnut St.

THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
"Wills Eye Institute"
(Chalk, Street, People)
© 2012 SSEWARD LLC

I challenged myself once to YELL out my window "I'm gonna be a billionaire" 

And I do...want to be a billionaire. I want to be Howard Hughes. Why not? Imagine jet setting around with all the resources and doing whatever you want. What one person can do, another person can do.

Today, i did it for free. I volunteered with the Wills Eye Institute and drew bluebirds on the street leading to a free eye exam tomorrow for "Give Kids Sight Day."

Kris was there with Artsphere. She'd been chalk drawing since noon. When I talked to her I remembered the last time I volunteered responding to a call for the GGC ("The Good Guys Club of Philadelphia") when Kelani of Little Berlin needed help moving the Soil Kitchen's windmill. 

That time I met the Future Farmers and Zach and Elissa (from Emerald Street Urban Farms) and we were all just kind of these "do-gooders" wondering how we got there but not really caring - just sort of facilitating what needed help.

So we helped.

And inconvenienced, I guess, I lifted and facilitated a few things and hung out with these people nevertheless whilst realizing despite the inconvenience that I didn't want to be anywhere else. I was in the presence of like-minded people--birds of a feather--and in that time that moment nothing else mattered. 

I felt that way today. I realized that this is where I meet a certain character and see certain behavior.....some kind of immediate value found in doing something for the sake of experience, "Tapping In," I like to call it (like Spenser Michaels did). 

My definition, in particular, is: "Keeping in mind: The good of the people." It's a political attitude. The good one. Neil Armstrong, Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross all tapped in. They got it, that value in that behavior that's immediate and I admit it: What's more immediate than all those zeroes. Though I still want the zeroes, I'll go volunteer and experience that oxymoron, selflessness. An invigoration, inherent and inexplicable. But, like my theatre teacher at NIDA said, "You don't have to know why it works, just that it works." 


GUIDE:

1. Volunteer
2. Meet someone and exchange information
3. Follow through and "Tap in"





Project Design and Organization
© 2012 SSEWARD LLC




The Brood

posted Dec 12, 2011, 9:51 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Feb 13, 2012, 5:00 PM ]

THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
"Not Doin' Nuthin'...
The Brood"
(Field Notes)
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

 
THE BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS...I'm someone who's always putting pressure on himself, wanting to do all these things and feeling the weight of that obligation. But it's important to take BREAKS! Just say to yourself, "Right now, I'm doing nothing." Just stop and lie down or get up, or whatever it was you were doing or going to do, don't do it. Just brood...

*Brooding bluebird
I learned this from my roommate in college. To be considerate, he put his weekly schedule up on the wall so I could see what he 
was doing (know when I would have the place to myself, schedule around him, etc.) Looking at this detailed calendar, I noticed two hours blocked off every day for "doing nothing." 
 
And he did...Nothing...He would just sit around and basically be lazy for two hours. He'd watch TV, wander down the hall, hang out with our neighbors, listen to music, space out, snack, whatever...He was and is very successful in life. 

Forced to reckon with all this anxiety recently about things I actually want to be doing, I remembered my roommate and how this "brood" worked for him. Usually I'll lie down and just kind of think on things, maybe doze off. Sometimes, though, I'll get up and move around, dance and sing...
 
Whatever it is, I don't have to do it. During a brood, I can do whatever. Ironically, I end up being more productive, in a way, and more active (even if it's just thinking about things and coming up with ideas and strategies). Like now, for instance, I'm in a "brood." I'm doing something I was supposed to do later but then I just felt like doing it now. 

Whatever the case, it's nice not having to do anything and feeling free...lying or flying around willy nilly with no weight...nestling with a feeling and nothing more...

 

GUIDE:

1. Give yourself a break
2. Designate an hour to "do nothing" 



Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC



Arranging the Nest (like Ben Frank)

posted Sep 12, 2011, 8:08 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Oct 1, 2011, 8:52 PM ]

"Put Things In Their Places.."

Franklin said this in his autobiography when he was talking about order. I say it now too. Developing the habit, I keep going, "Everything in its place," and laugh and then do it. It's nice, not really having to think. I just sort of designate a place for something and resolve to put it there. 

Having Foraged a few things, it's time to weave them into space sensibly. In order to perform you need a stage. You need things set up, facilitating your performance and productivity--maybe even that grain of sand, or a big CHUNK. Whatever prop or pulley it is, it feels right and arranged, and serving that show you resolved to put on. 

So put things in their places. Say it as you do it (in a silly way too), "Everything in its place..." And there it is, arranged and ready for you to find, your friend and facilitator...


GUIDE:

1. Set Your Stage (For :30min ONLY)
2. Put things in their Places
3. Play, Perform, and Produce




Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

Worms

posted Sep 4, 2011, 2:02 AM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Oct 1, 2011, 8:58 PM ]

Eating Vs. Feeding Your Guts: "All these things I gotta do..oh man..." 

Worms are what you want. They're a To-Do list; they're also a Reward. They're something to look forward to. You get to eat them. 

Today, I had a long list of worms. I got excited in the morning and thought of all these worms I had to eat...then I was feeling a little overwhelmed.

I kept reminding myself worms are a gift. You get to have things to do. You actually have something going on. Sure, worms are: All these things I have to do--that I haven't done yet, hanging over my head, wriggling my gut.

Then I eat one and feel better. I get to look forward to that. I get that relief, overcoming the obstacle, accomplishing something and getting the confidence that always comes from overcoming the fear/uncertainty/boredom/dread/anxiety or whatever it was I was feeling before eating that worm.

All these worms today were squirming in my stomach. Finally, I made a distinction between Baby Worms and Night Crawlers. The babies need to grow. The night crawlers are ready. 

So I found four big night crawlers and listed the biggest first. They were time sensitive, and what my gut was sensing was the juiciest and would make me feel best. I ate them and felt better (having defined What To Do, Doing It, and Feeling Done)

Doing what you say you're going to do is the ultimate. Make it a habit. Develop it constantly, and get ready for being the big bird, as your talk means more and more, and your walk speaks for itself, and you find yourself eating that worm you always wanted, and it tastes better than you thought, seasoned with experience, and whetting your appetite for a bigger worm!


GUIDE

"Eat Your Worms!"

Steps:
  1. Get excited and list all your worms
  2. CHOOSE four big ones*
  3. List the biggest first
  4. When you eat one, put an "8" next to it
*Let the babies grow or go..You'll do what you need to do.



Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

Livin' Without a Fridge

posted Sep 2, 2011, 4:09 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Sep 23, 2011, 12:59 AM ]

My Fridge Bit The Dust...

It was making some funny noises one night. The next morning I stepped in a puddle next to a soulless box. I put some of my perishables at my neighbors' for a little bit. Faced with the inconvenience of replacing a refrigerator, I questioned how I really needed one. I didn't really. There were all these alternatives I was picking up on in this fridge-less period. I could be the Frenchman with a baguette under his arm, fresh produce hanging out the bag. I could smoke meat. I could just get vinegar and pickle it! The produce is already growing in the courtyard. They have too much, they told me. Most gardeners do. Ask them questions. Make friends with them, and voila..produced!



GUIDE

1. Get a bunch of Vinegar
2. Eat things Today!




Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

2 Work Styles: 2 Ways To Be Productive

posted Aug 21, 2011, 11:46 AM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Sep 15, 2011, 8:34 AM ]

Regimented and Free...

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. There's a few things I want to do (which really means A LOT of things) and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do them. I've been looking at what's been working/not working, asking: When was I successful? What did I do then? 

I realized there isn't a best way. There's TWO!

Sometimes, I stick to "Time Rules," where I pay extra attention to the time, timing myself, using time constraints, and doing the thing AT THAT SCHEDULED TIME, no matter what, being there even if it means showing up with no shoes! I'll suffer the consequences so I'll learn for next time. 

Other times, I'm cramming or just letting go and losing the time entirely. I'm in or out of it, or whatever. In any case, I'm accomplishing at random, and flowing. I'm operating on a gut level, letting things happen, and just going with it.

Each seems capable of similar accomplishments. While one is regimented and the other free, the regimented can produce something free, and vice versa. 

For example, when I was painting a mural for NakedPhilly, I would set my timer for "ten minutes" and move on to the next intended task (even if I was mid-brush stroke!). Then, making the gift bags for the PIFA Fashion Show (100 bags, 100 nest, each with three eggs, 100 tags, etc.) I was in some kind of state the night before...into the morning...and the next day ha!


GUIDE

"2 Work Styles: Regimented and Free"

1. "Regimented"
  • Goal-Oriented
  • Use Time Constraint
  • Ask Before Task: "What exactly do I want to accomplish in this time?"

2. "Free"
  • Gut-Oriented
  • Letting Go, Getting in it, and Losing Time
  • Listen Before Task: "This is what I'm feeling"

APPROACH:
  1. Decide which style is appropriate
  2. Allot Period of Time (even with "Free" style. Free just needs looser subsequent scheduling, like going to bed. Still, allow for the all-nighter.)
  3. Assess what's working and consider incorporating the other approach if it helps



Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

Peanut Pasta

posted Aug 19, 2011, 11:39 PM by Scott Bickmore   [ updated Sep 23, 2011, 12:54 AM ]

Going grocery shopping I usually choose with my gut and get ingredients without really knowing what I'm going to make. I kind of just wanted peanuts and sugar. I ended up putting some salted peanuts (with the shells) in a blender with sugar and water. It was SALTY! I kept adding sugar, then half a banana, corn oil, cinnamon, and a little more sugar. It was too thin and I didn't want to add more peanuts and make it saltier, so I added this angel hair (which I had in the fridge in tupperware). It was good then, like peanut butter.

Then I felt like changing the texture, so I poured it all into a pan and baked a big crispy cookie!

Recipe:

Crispy Sweet Peanut Pasta*

1. Fill 1/2 Blender with Whole Salted Peanuts
2. Fill 1/4 Blender with Water
3. Add A LOT of Sugar
4. Sprinkle Cinnamon
5. Several Tablespoons of Corn Oil
6. About a Quart of Cooked Pasta
7. Bake

*Add sugar and water as needed




Project Design and Organization
© 2011 SSEWARD LLC

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