Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Double Feature, Periodical Style: Self-Improvement is an Unnecessary Time Suck.

There is a link between these two articles.

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators


Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence

I'm trying to finish reading a book and don't want to stop to think this through, but I feel there's an intersect/overlap there.

I also think/hope there is vindication for my catch-as-catch-can approach to...  everything.

There's a time and a place for everything, even consistency.

More later.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coo-Coo Ka-Cha! Coo-Coo Ka-Cha!

I'm starting with that video because this post is probably going to be lame. It's mostly about something no one cares about... what's being eaten and why.

I can't think of anything more boring.

Well, that's a bit dramatic.  But, on the inside, I am still about 81% petulant teenager.

(Calling on Arrested Development now seems appropriate on multiple levels).

It's just that now and again I try to engage with normal folks about normal things, and they often take the conversation toward what's being eaten and why, and I walk away pushing my glasses up high on the bridge of my nose while thinking, "On the surface it seems to be about bonding, but it also feels like they're learning from each other, perhaps it's a leftover impulse from when life depended on knowing how to cook things so you didn't get sick and die."

And that probably makes me at least 11% robot.

Well, robot sounds extreme.  Accurate, but extreme and might give you the wrong impression.  For example, a friend and I are currently spending an inordinate amount of time debating what the next fetish desert food will be.  It's a conversation that's been going on for months, and takes place a few times per week.  We take delight in dismissing efforts like cronuts and doughscuit (trying too hard, not occurring naturally, less grassroots and more astroturf...  generally insincere and lame).

Point is:  I'm a robot, not a monster.

Well not 100% monster.  If you've got a dietary restriction, tell me and I'll have something you can eat when you come over to my home and I'll let you pick restaurants.

But not 100% NOT a monster:  Unless your dietary restrictions come with a slam bang story, I don't really want to hear your reasons.  

Which is why I am so sorry to be writing this blog post.  But something happened and I want to work it through.

My story:

Food-wise I tend to go through phases.  Sometimes crazy indulgent (think bacon bits in chocolate), sometimes nothing but crap (think microwave popcorn sprinkled with M&Ms), sometimes super-healthy (vegan), most of the time moderately healthy (vegetarian).

I can't recall the last time I had a crazy indulgent phase.  The older I get the longer the healthy and super-healthy phases stick around; now only occasionally broken up by an afternoon of crap here and there.  But throughout it all, no matter what phase I'm in, when I'm out at parties and restaurants I have always been a bit "when in Rome" about it all, and would eat what was offered.  I didn't want to be high maintenance.

So I was "in Rome" yesterday and I had chicken for dinner. It was the first time I've had meat since the week before Christmas (a holiday party that was all charcuterie all the time).  I've definitely gone much longer without it, and I didn't miss it, but last night, I dunno.  I ordered it because none of the vegetarian items really jumped out at me.  I didn't give it a whole lot of thought.

It was a lovely dish, top-notch quality and preparation, but the meat just didn't do much for me.  I probably wouldn't have thought much of it, probably would have continued to phase in and out, except that what I ordered was called "brick chicken" and the table joked about how it was called that because that was how the bird was killed.  As I listened, it wasn't like I was offended or judged the jokers or anything, it was just...  well, it was like a switch got flipped and I was done.

At least that's how it felt.  Never before has a phase dropped in on me like that, definitely never while sitting at the table.  Suddenly I just felt done.

Done because I really do think it's silly to have a pet dog while eating a cow.  And I really do think the meat industry is mostly and profoundly inhumane.  And I really think if you eat a creature that had a horrible life, that horror is going into your system.

And, honestly, I've already got plenty of horror that's all my own.  It's not the worst, it's not more than a person can bear, but I definitely got some.  And, if energy can only be changed and not be created or destroyed, then it feels like the misery the animal experiences has got to go somewhere.

Perhaps some systems are strong enough to take that and turn it into fuel, but not mine.  I'm pretty sure the animal misery meets my intrinsic misery and they breed creating full-on misery guts.

Whatever all of that is, I am 8% that.  A walking and talking open-wound, maybe?  Catholic guilt run amok?  Whatever.  8%.

Besides, I figure my cosmetic unctions and salves have been cruelty-free for years, so perhaps it's time to true things up.

Done & done.

Beyond that, well, I've already quit with the down blankets & coats.  Wool?  I don't know yet.  Belts and shoes?  I'm not sure what the future holds there.  Give me some time.

I will say that it kind of sucks to discover that things I thought were just ideas I was kicking around, vague and general preferences and leanings, might actually be principles.  Like, I think I was "me" out-of-the-box but I just never took myself seriously.  I feel the opposite of self-aware.

Fat lot of good all of my introspective, loner ways have done me.

But there it is.
I yam what I yam.

And now that I've written it down here, I hope I will never feel compelled to explain myself when out in the world.  Because, really, no one gives a damn.  Nor should they.

Oh and sorry it took me so long, Moz.
You were right.
Of course you were right.