Goo Goo Dolls and the smell of success

Goo Goo Dolls Dallas 2017

Drums: Craig McIntyre, Bass: Robby Takac, Lead singer: John Rzeznik, Keyboardist: Korel Tunador – Dallas Sept 2017

On a perfect night with the perfect weather in Dallas, I attended a Goo Goo Dolls concert outdoors at the Starplex Pavillion.  Phillip Phillips was first up on stage.  His show started before the sun went down.  When the first guitar note climbed from stage to rafters, there was the scent of beer, cotton T-shirts, and perfume in the air.  Plastic seats and concrete floors flavored the scene with their own background noise of aromas.

I have the eyes of a bat and the nose of a bloodhound.  Gifted with a preternatural ability to detect the seemingly smallest of scent particles,  my nose has given me the ability to experience the invisible.  I’ve detected infections in rodents, and the genders of people who have come to look at the house I’d put up for sale.  There was a time I knew when a friend had taken the same elevator as me hours before.  Yeah, it’s weird.  Bad smells keep me up at night the way noise bothers others.  The detergent aisle gives me headaches. Cheaply scented candle stores are my idea of hell.

When an injury took this gift away from me for about a year, it was like a psychic losing her abilities.  In many ways, this strong of a sense of smell is like being able to see around corners.  Losing that was hard.  Getting it back was gradual.  At the concert it was enlightening.

The first of the strong scents were the high school girls with their aura of candy and sunscreen. They created a witch’s brew of noxious smells. It was topped off with an apparently recent shower using drug store perfume.  I thought I’d have to move seats.  Luckily, they decided to go poach some open spots closer to the stage. The lights dimmed, the music started, the crowd stood up and the most familiar of all leafy smells instantly floated on the night air.

When people stand up, I like to stand up too.  For one, I can see better and two, it keeps me from smelling sweaty butts and damp jeans.  Soon, the cell phone army raised their collective devices overhead trying to get the best photos to share.  I wondered what it’s like for a band like GGDs, who started playing together three decades ago.  Back when cell phones were for drug dealers or the very rich, the landscape that bands perform in front of has absolutely changed.   As the night wore on, it was disappointing to me that more people were taking videos and photos than really moving their feet and dancing.  A decade ago, it was the other way around.   Probably because dancing and good videos don’t go hand-in-hand.

The average age of the audience appeared to be 30, give or take, with plenty younger than that.  Three-quarters of the way through the concert, the scent of Bengay hit my nose.  It was an eye-opening moment and one that changed my view of the night and what it means to be successful.  My disappointment in the lack of real dancing changed to amazement at what this group has accomplished.  Stretching across the age ranges of people like a finger across the octaves on a piano, the Goo Goo Dolls have an enviable mass appeal that few bands can claim.   In the photo above, lead singer John Rzeznik and keyboardist Korel Tunador are obviously sharing a moment of celebration.  Money isn’t the only measure of success. Enjoying what you do and impacting a wide range of people is. Candy to Bengay: That is the smell of success.


More Ideas

Over the past 7 months of using the Jibun Techo Planner, I have found it to be perfect for my needs.  This is the first planner I’ve used that hasn’t had me searching for a new one shortly after getting it.  Part of it is the flexibility of having the Idea Book.

I created an Index at the front of the book.  Then numbered the pages to keep track of where everything is.  It’s been valuable for documenting doctor appointments, travel plans, various types of activity trackers, etc.  In the next half of the year, my plans include creating a page for each of the remaining months in this year.  Those pages will be for creating goals and reflecting on what helped to advance those goals and what didn’t.

There are about 80 pages in the Idea Book. The number is a guestimate because some pages were used to jot down information on, then torn out and given to someone else. A quick game of tic tac toe with a niece here,  a list cool art supplies there, an impromptu ‘Honey Do’ list; you know…  despite that, the binding has kept it’s integrity.

There are two locations on each page where you can give it a page number.  Each page has a blank top corner and bottom corner square along the outer edge.  This is another way I find this planner to be flexible. When I’ve needed to turn the Idea Book sideways (binding at the top) to create an extra long tracker, I was still able to add a page number in my chicken scratch handwriting that could be easily read when holding it like that. Pretty nifty, huh?  It’s been a really good planner for me, thanks to it’s flexibility.


Jibun Techo Monthly Tracker Pages

Different examples of what to track and how to track.

The Year, the Month and the Days of the week in the Tracker section of the Jibun Techo.

After 2 months of using the Jibun Techo planner, I was trying to figure out how it could keep me on track with housework. I tried stickies and a number of other solutions before I realized that’s what this section could do.

How it works:

In the Diary, there are several pages dedicated to the months of the year, but not in typical calendar format. Above is a marked-up photo example of how the months of May and June appear.  What’s great about this section is that listed across the top line are all the days of the week labeled by number and day.  Down the left column is room for you to write up to 24 line items that you want to track.

You can choose any way you’d like to mark a task as finished, 3 of which I show in the photo above.

  • Example 1:  Using all 24 rows will require a small x (or colored square if you prefer.)  You can break this down by AM and PM if  you wish, since each day with this method gives you 2 tiny boxes to check.
  • Example 2: Using every other row, you can track 1-12 items.  Each day will give you a 2×2 square.  You can draw a nice-sized X to cover all four squares if you’d like.  This is also helpful for people who find writing small letters a bit difficult.
  • Example 3: Also for tracking only 1-12 items, to make your pages more bright or interesting try coloring each 2×2 square section instead of marking them with an X.

Along the right side of the page is another smaller column for notations.  If you wanted to, when using all 24 rows, you could make it look tidier by labeling the first line item in the left column and the 2nd on the right, and alternate thereafter.  Also, nothing prevents you from using check marks, circles, smiley faces or drawing colored lines through the boxes.  I liked tracking items this way so much that I created a weekly tracker in the blank pages of the Idea book for things that wouldn’t fit in this section.

I chose household chores, but you could keep track of anything.  For some ideas:

  • Exercising.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Dining out.
  • When your kids clean their rooms.
  • Allergies.
  • Taking medications.
  • Days you completed a specific goal.

Let me know if you’ve also used this section, or if you know of other ways that made this tracker useful. I’d love to hear from you.


Jibun Techo Planner 2017 – Part 2

Hi everyone, welcome to my second review of the Jibun Techo 2017!

Because there isn’t a lot of information about this planner in English, I’m hoping to shed some light on what the pages are for and how I’ve been using it. Let me just say, I’m thrilled I purchased this planner.

My first blog post was an unboxing and general overview of what I received when I ordered all three books that come with the complete planner.  The 3 sections consist of the following: Diary, Life, and Idea. Feel free to check out Part 1 Here if you missed it.

  • Diary: the only section out of the three that you would need to purchase annually since it has the calendars you can write in.
  • Idea:  a blank, grid lined book for notes, sketches, etc.  That section may or may not get used up each year.

This review will focus on the first part of the Jibun Techo: The Life book.

img_0155The Life book is meant to keep your life organized.  It provides pages for who to contact in emergencies, plus some other great features, like the 100 Wishes List. Normally you wouldn’t need to replace the Life book each year unless there was accidental damage or excessive wear and tear.


The Bucket List – one of my favorite sections

The Life book sections are as follows as best as I understand them:

        • Life’s Dream:      Your goals for Work, Study, Travel, Health, Family, Networking, Etc.
        • 100 Wish List:     Bucket List tracker with tick boxes when you complete them.
        • Personal Motto tracker:  Keep a list of your personal mottos, see how they change.
        • Life Plan:           40-year Home & Family Budget Tracker.
        • Anniversaries:     A page per month for birthdays, anniversaries & holidays.
        • World Map:          A map of the world.  Useful in a pinch.
        • Map of Japan:      Very basic outline, again useful in a pinch.
        • My News:            Track events in your life from ages 1-99.
        • Family Tree:        A couple pages for your family trees.
        • Emergency #s:     The planner suggests it’s for people to contact if you’ve died.  I used it for my family’s doctors’ contact info.
        • Password Hint:     Keep this info in a safe place.
        • Financial Management: Track financial institutions, credit card companies, numbers and PINs, Life insurance policies and Securities Accounts.

My favorite sections

The Anniversaries section is pretty useful, in my opinion. This will keep you from having events sneak up on you. You can see one month at a time in list form. This way you’re not weeding out extraneous information and the visual noise that you’d see if you just used a standard calendar.


Another helpful section is the My News section.  It has 2 columns for you, one for family and one for world events. You fill out the years in the white boxes that correspond to your age that year.  Here are some suggestions off the top of my head for how to use these pages:


  • When you started your new job so you have it ready for your next resume.
  • When you moved to a new apartment or home.
  • When your daughter took her first steps.
  • When your son hit his first home run.
  • When the Cubs won the World Series.
  • When you had your tires rotated or oil changed.
  • When you went on a fabulous cruise.
  • When your family went on a picnic.
  • When you passed your dad in height.
  • When you started your successful diet and lost 30 lbs.
  • When you had your surgery or how old you were when your mom died so you can feel like a smarty-pants filling out those medical forms at the doctor’s office.

Track anything you want.  Make great memories or just to feel like a smarty-mcsmarty-smart in front of your friends.  Bottom line: super useful.

There are the other sections that are really nice too. The Life Plan allow you to enter financial and other personal information.  You can track yearly expenses for utilities, your savings, your income, etc.  All great and the sections are well planned out.


A WORD OF CAUTION:  With the information in the financial section, in the wrong hands, someone could put together enough information to hack into your bank accounts, steal your identity, guess the answers to your security question, and/or figure out how to hack into websites you log into.  Think about it very carefully before putting too much information in here and then taking it out in public.

So why buy the Life book if there could be a risk?  Here’s why.  

There’s no reason you couldn’t make a copy of the blank pages relating to your financial institutions and credit cards, for example, fill them out and put them in a safe deposit box in the event of your passing or incapacitation. There’s no reason you couldn’t just keep the book in a locked briefcase or drawer or file cabinet.  The time and effort it will save you in the long run by having this data all in one place can’t be measured.  Just be sure to control who has access to this if you do fill it out.

Keeping this data in an electronic format is a great idea, I’ve done it. But what happens when you need emergency contact information and you’re in a place where there’s no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage to access the data in the cloud? What will you do when your phone has to go in for repair?  What’s your backup plan for when you’re away from home on vacation and your computer takes a header into a lake?  What if you simply enjoy the feel of good paper and the sensation of writing things down?

In my opinion, this planner is great for people who don’t need a lot of writing space and want to keep things simple.  You get multiple ways of viewing and tracking events, so if one way doesn’t work for you, you have other options. It’s great for people who just can’t seem to keep all their documents and contacts and calendars in one place.  This will give them that option.

Not sure if it’s right for you?  I have one more blog post scheduled covering the additional features of the Diary beyond the calendar pages listed in Review #1.  Stay tuned!


Jibun Techo Planner Review Part 1

Great day to you all!

I couldn’t believe it, but the Jibun arrived about 10-14 days sooner than expected.

I found the best deals on Ebay, because shipping was included. I didn’t order from the manufacturer directly since their website is in Japanese.  While I do have a translator extension that I use with Chrome that translates entire pages, it was still easier to order from Ebay.

My planner arrived in a box from Japan.  Inside that, the planner was wrapped in bubble wrap.  After removing the bubble wrap, which I was too excited to pop, (shocking, I know!) I held the Jibun in my hands.

It had a nice cellophane wrapper on it with a gold sticker:

Removing the cellophane was no easy task. Ok, nail clippers aren’t designed for this job but I was on the phone with a friend at the time and it was all I had.  Moms have evolved to be resourceful, and as a proud member of this group, whether the rest like my membership or not, I am here.  I will add on a side note that this includes moms of fur babies, dolls and plants. If you’ve ever called yourself a mom, you are resourceful.

Back to the planner,  Jibun is beautiful.  It’s a beautiful shade of white and mine came in a soft plastic cover. Inside the pocket in the back cover I discovered a ruler with an elastic band. Super cool!

The complete planner comes with 3 books with their covers tucked into the cover sleeves. I purposely included a bobby pin in this photo to give you an idea of the thickness of the components:

The planner has a solid feel to it. And then there are the pages. I’d heard such great things about writing on Tomoe River paper in both this planner and the Hobonichi planner that I was skeptical it wouldn’t live up to it’s reputation. I wasn’t disappointed. I tested out a Staedler fine point marker and a different fine point. Both write beautifully and the ghosting is just that. The ink doesn’t bleed through.

The Jibun also has two silky ribbons for bookmarks. They have a bit of a sheen to them and feel very nice.

You can see in the photo above that the calender in this Weekly View uses the 24 hour clock.  The designer has gone through the time and expense to include Sunrise and Sunset times. The photo must be of a Spring month because the dark gray numbers start about 6:30 pm.  It litterally changes each week based on actual projected Sunrises and Sunsets.  Saturdays are always blue and Sundays are always red. In the Weekly View, the week starts with Monday! I love this planner!!

All of the instructions are in Japanese. I used a Google Translate  app on my phone to figure most of them out. Here’s a very condensed version of the concept for the Weekly View. There are other calendars and trackers in this planner, but this is the meat and potatoes for this one:

You can track weather for fun or to see if it affects your moods and health. Or as I read with Google Translate, you’ll be able to evoke memories and know when you last saw a rainbow. So cute!!! And you can track moods at the bottom. I love this. You just may find you’re either happier than you thought or maybe need to make some changes for the better. I like this concept.

You can either plan meals at the bottom or track what you ate and with whom, if you want. Example: the name of a cute man/woman you just met.  😀

You can frame or box events, but you can also just jot things down you want to remember like “call Aunt XYZ”or  “TV: record the show JND.”

It’s recommended that if an appointment or event has a set time (sorry for my handwriting, my notes in the book look like I said “get time”), you can use a double ended arrow to denote that. Use a single ended arrow for events that might have a specific start time but a loosey-goosey end time, like your visit to the dentist that might take foreverrrrr.

SYMBOLS:  Because space is tight, it’s a great idea to use symbols for events.  An airplane for a trip, a car for Uber or taxi, or just circle the initials of the person you’re going to meet. Stickers, stamps, hand drawn, it’s all good.  You can make it look however you want.

It’s recommended to use red ink for private events like doctor visits or high priority events. Use blue for everything else. I must say, those colors look better than black ink on this paper. I also use pencil. You’ve seen my handwriting…I erase a lot of mistakes, but it is much harder to read at a glance.

The back cover insert:

And that concludes my review: part one. There’s not a lot of information in English on this amazing planner, so I hope this helps others interested in it.  Bottom line, it’s great for working adults who don’t need all the flare and writing space of say, an Erin Condrin, but want more structure than a Franklin Covey. I’m in love with this planner.  With the next few reviews, you’ll see how versatile it is.