Archive for 2013

‘Tis the season

Friday, December 13th, 2013

This little girl wins Christmas. Merry, happy h-x-kw to you and yours.

(originally seen on HuffPo.)

Seth Godin, Backwards

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

From May’s New York Creative Mornings talk:

(if you have twenty minutes to spare for inspiration.)

Bits that resonate with me:

  • You don’t get tomorrow over again, you don’t get next week over again—one shot.
  • Make change in a way that creates more difference.
  • “I’m no longer sure what the question is, but I do know the answer is ‘Yes.'” Leonard Bernstein


Lunch is packed

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Ottolenghi’s Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes and Gorgonzola

My weekly food uniform is comforting like a security blanket. It prevents wasting money at overpriced downtown establishments. And, it serves as proof of handwork can make the world a better place.

Let’s eat up this week.

the 4 m’s

Monday, June 17th, 2013

I often joke that my moods as an adult are dictated in the same manner they were when I was a toddler. If I’m ever discombobulated, I can check in on whether I need to eat, take a nap, go outside and play, or even poop—base-level Maslow hierarchy kind of stuff. More often than not, it’s a quick fix for what ails me.

But what about the bigger stuff?

Since I can’t nap (or excrete) all of my woes away, I’ve come up with a handy system for life improvement: the 4 m’s. It’s something I’m using as a foundation for my day-to-day happiness, living a more creative life, and simplifying my priorities. To follow them feels both core to who I am and aspirational.

Here are the 4 m’s:

  • move: self-propelled (often sweaty) body-based actions
  • make: something-out-of-nothing manifestations
  • mingle: social engagements
  • marvel: care & feeding of inspiration & gratitude

When I need to get out of my head, there’s nothing like going for a run to knock me back down into my body. Moving forces me to be present to that activity. Run, walk, ride, swim, yoga, and dance—these modalities of motion make me more mindful. Shake a leg, start breathing, and get the blood flowing.

It could be my own value judgement that the doing is more important that thinking or talking about or a long-burning desire to be an artist. Realizing ideas just takes doing. Now, I’m not exclusively referring to final product, or demanding originality. Process works just fine. Writing, drawing, designing, cooking, baking, knitting—it’s about creating a practice of creation.

Not only do friends just make life more enjoyable, social connections could save your life (or at least, influence your mortality). When my stress level rises, it’s easy for me to isolate or use a lack of energy as an excuse to avoid hanging out with people. In whatever form it takes (spontaneous run-in, coffee, dinner party, show, etc.), some time with others is better than none. Homo alone-o = no bueno.

There is so much to take in, so much out there in the whole wild world, so much to learn. Museums, nature, meditation, reading, art, music, and all that jazz can replenish the soul and stoke the fire of creativity. Opening myself up to any part of it and bearing witness to its beauty is a duty and an indulgence. Take a moment, or take a few.

Since I came up with the 4 m’s, I’ve carried them in the back of my mind for the past year. They function as a diagnostic tool for my woes, as well as a means to plan or prioritize my time. If anything feels out of whack, on (or all!) of the 4 m’s can recalibrate a fellow. A life well lived could be built around them.

Besides the original list I doodled, the only other time I’ve written about them was in a letter to a friend. (Hi, Clara). They feel a bit more real typing them here in a blog lain fallow for three months. Here’s hoping the seeds of the 4 m’s take root. Who knows, perhaps they could breathe a bit more life into this here virtual scribble pad.

National Day of Unplugging

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Heading offline for the National Day of Unplugging.

Do you have multiple cell phones? Take your ipad to the beach on vacation? Ever find it hard to get through a conversation without posting an update to Facebook? Is your computer always on?

We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our iPhones and BlackBerry’s, chronicling our every move through Facebook and Twitter and shielding ourselves from the outside world with the bubble of “silence” that our earphones create.

If you recognize that in yourself – or your friends, families or colleagues— join us for the National Day of Unplugging, sign the Unplug pledge and start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.

The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sunset to sunset – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.

See you tomorrow.

An hour of Owen

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

When I don’t have the time or energy or ideas to type here, I often put up an image or a video. Forget about a two-minute distraction. How about an hour-long concert of my favorite one-man band from Toronto in Paris?

Enjoy the relentless beauty, creative precision, and fusion of classic instrument and modern technology of Owen Pallett.

Last night’s activity

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Oven-dried tomatoes for today’s lunch. Sweet smelling bedtime.

52 weeks of happy 2/52

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Who said they had to be 52 weeks in a row, right?

  • The cool air, clear light and the soft buzz of the wind on my morning bike commute.
  • Seeing the San Francisco skyline at night as I drive down from Twin Peaks
  • The smell of slowly roasting tomatoes, thyme and balsamic vinegar for tomorrow’s lentil lunch.

Clicked off

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I don’t pretend to be all high and mighty and shun the television. We have basic cable and I enjoy my fair share of crappy so-called reality train wrecks and the culturally-acceptable Downton Abbey. I usually wind down in front of the screen and disengage with the world. It’s like a mind clutch.

After dinner I was relaxing on the couch with a lump of dog on my chest. After exhausting my phone’s social (media) validation, I was about to use the remote and see what was on. For whatever reason, a tiny “no” rang in my head. No. No, I won’t feel better after watching mindless tv. No, I won’t sleep better. No, I won’t feel more rested by “relaxing” on the couch.

So, I’m going to step away from this tiny screen and stick my nose into a book. It’s like a bicycle for your brain—no helmet required.

Decibelle’s pupdate

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Dessa seems to be doing OK. Vet believes it could be a UTI, so he took a sample and we’ll get results back from the culture in the next week or so. In the meantime, she’s on antibiotics.

In unrelated news, I did get in a scamper yesterday, seven miles strong.