'Tis been quite a while since the last Saturday post. But now we're back and ... umm ... better than ever?

I got some unfortunate news last week. The reason I came to Chicago (working out with vegan fitness bad ass Jon Hinds at his new gym) fell apart. They delayed the opening from January 3 to January 10 and then to February 14! And even that date doesn't seem very confident. Which means I'm figuring out other fun things I can do while in Chicago. Apartment's already paid for and I'm enjoying the city a lot (meaning I'm not leaving ahead of schedule) so I'm open to suggestions. Unlike the norm for these Saturday posts, comments will be open. No need for sympathy though, just suggestions. Everything's all good. ;)

Unrelated note: my friend Jason told me about a great guitar shop in the city and I took my guitar in. The bridge was coming unglued, the truss rod needed adjustment, the wood was drying out, and the frets needed leveling. This happens when you take a guitar on 20 flights across 3 continents and put it through incredible temperature/humidity changes. And also, you know, making it myself probably had a bit to do with it. :) Total repair estimate? $200-$250! The guy at the shop said "Considering you built this yourself this looks great, but after we're done, no offense, it'll play better than ever." hehe. I get it back on Monday and I'm excited to put Garage Band on my Mac to some use. Which means I'm going to record a mashup of The Fame / Reign In Blood (<-- expressionless face was me being silly, but nobody got that joke). :)

Enough of all that, sweeeeeeettt linkssssss ...

Leave The Sacrificing To The Pagans by Katy Dunnet

I met Katy (and Randy from yearlyglot.com) about a month ago in Austin for coffee/tea. She has a great life story and I enjoyed this article. My favorite part: "There are no sacrifices or obligations in my life these days, just choices."

How To Be Non-Judgmental by Tammy Strobel

I have a problem common amongst humans: I'm quick to judge. In the past few years I've been much better and I feel like I'm good at catching myself when I do judge, but it still happens. And sometimes I'm sure I don't catch it at all. If you're in the same boat, check this one out from the always wonderful Tammy Strobel.

How To Change Your World, Part 2: Choosing Freedom by Lachlan Cotter

If you're not reading Lach's writing I highly recommend you check it out. P.S. Part 1 was good, but Part 2 is killer. :)

The Secret to Happiness by Jenny Leonard

I'm fully on board with Jenny's secret to happiness. Great story herein.

Focus On A Freedom Fighter #005: Frank Paino

Frank writes about happiness at APermanentGrin.com. I love the honesty on his About page. I thought happiness would be a fitting theme to start the year so he's our first Freedom Fighter to be featured in 2011. :)

If you'd like to be featured here you have to be a Freedom Fighter and wait ~45 days until you get an e-mail with the subject line "get featured on RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com."

On with the questions!

Karol: Why did you join Freedom Fighters?

Frank: This one is easy. I joined Freedom Fighters because I want FREEDOM! Ridiculously Extraordinary blew me away and I knew, without a doubt, becoming a Freedom Fighter would be exactly what I needed to shift my dreams of freedom into high gear.

K: How has Freedom Fighters helped you?

F: Oh man ... so many ways! I went from knowing absolutely NOTHING about blogging, how to build a site, etc., to having my own blog in a matter of days. I didn't even use a pre-made theme. I've been learning to build my own with PlatformPro. I've even had a guest post on Tiny Buddha already (pretty cool since it's the only one I've sent out yet!). [Karol's note: I love Tiny Buddha!]

This was all inspired by Freedom Fighters. I still have a lot to learn, but I can honestly tell you becoming a Freedom Fighter has made me believe 100% that I can and will achieve my personal dream of freedom. How much cooler can anything get?

Joining Freedom Fighters is like the difference between trying to break out of prison on your own or having one helluva partner to help you out--one who has all the right tools, knows all the tricks, secret passages, etc. [Karol's note: Prison?! hehe]

K: What are your goals with your website?

F: My goals with my blog are to share what I have learned about happiness with other people so they can rise above living a life of just going through the motions. I have been through some serious shit in my life and I have learned a lot along the way. I KNOW I can help a lot of people and that matters a lot to me. My other goal is to help change the world. People think that's impossible, but it's not at all. Every positive thing we do changes the world for the better. I want my blog to inspire people to make those changes.

K: Is there anything in particular you'd like to tell the world?

F: Absolutely! I want to tell the world that we are all connected in ways science is only beginning to understand. What we do to each other, to animals and this planet matters a lot. I want the world to know the future is going to be what we make it ... and that begins with what we are doing right here and now.

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Thanks Frank! Don't forget to check him out at APermanentGrin.com.

That's all for this week. Stay tuned this Monday when I reveal what your future holds. Just kidding, I don't know what I'm writing about yet and I'm not mental so I can't pretend to see the future. ;)

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