A couple years ago, I started eating less meat for completely selfish reasons, and it ended up sticking far more easily than I ever suspected it would!

For some reason, abstract ethical/environmental reasons or guilt have never, ever worked for me as standalone motivators to make lifestyle changes. However, my food-life has gotten vastly more flavorful, fun, easy, self-reliant, creative, and convenient since I transitioned to mostly-vegetarian for totally selfish and hedonistic reasons.

It worked so unexpectedly well that I’ve started looking for other areas where I can reuse the same tactic to arbitrarily modify my habits where willpower alone…

December 2018. After burning one of many countless identical chunks of time sorting through my jam-packed drawer of tangled spare cables that I could have sworn I organized the month before, in a last-ditch effort to find something I thought I had at some point, I buckled and picked up a used copy of Marie Kondo’s book, The life-changing magic of tidying up.

Here were the three takeaways I had often heard secondhand about this book:

  1. It’s for boring, joyless minimalists with no hobbies who want to throw away everything
  2. Throw away everything that doesn’t SPARK JOY “ok but what…

or, my public cliff notes on trauma literature

Trigger warning: mentions most trauma related topics, but not in a visceral way

photo by Michael Walk via Unsplash

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, therapist, biologist, or someone vaguely professionally licensed or trained in any way to give advice on these topics. I’m just a meticulous nerd working on my own cPTSD (complex PTSD), and my favorite coping mechanisms happen to include reading, collating, and creating resources.

Thanks to a great spike in people voicing their experiences online more this past decade, society as a whole is now more receptive to the idea that certain types of terrifying experiences and situations are likely to traumatize…

I grew up mostly divorced from nature in the sprawling concrete plains of suburbia. The trees I saw were surrounded by fences or sidewalks.

I wasn’t told that meat came from animals, or how. Even once I realized, I just saw advertisements with happy farm animals basking in lush grass and sunshine. The English language refers to animals that aren’t pets as “it”, denying their aliveness, so I didn’t think about it too hard. Even when, much older, I found out about factory farming, I thought it was the exception, not realizing humanity was capable of making such a practice…

a.k.a. a letter to my past self & the resources I wish I had earlier

I’ve been practicing various forms of mindfulness for a while. But after many years of thinking I wasn’t “good” at meditation because I was bad at clearing my restless mind, I finally started trying different approaches in earnest several months ago, and it’s been incredibly helpful for self-regulation and self-awareness.

Certain flavors of spirituality can sometimes get a bad rap amongst academics because of inappropriate pop-cultural substitutions of spiritual practices for appropriate applications of modern technology — such as if someone refuses to let their child see a doctor for a physical ailment because they only want to use prayer…

So you’ve always wanted to become a devotee of the artisanal bread arts. Now that we’re all stuck inside, you’re ready to seize the day. Maybe you don’t actually want to do more than 20 minutes of work, maybe you want fresh bread but don’t have super strong bread opinions, maybe you’re a bread fiend who’s willing to keep a spreadsheet in pursuit of your ideal sourdough. What style of bread-making suits your level of devotion to worship at the golden-brown altar of crackling crusts??

First, your mileage may vary based on what you find effortful.

  • Do you enjoy reading…

If you haven’t heard of flow arts, you might be familiar with its showier sub-variant, firespinning. Bystanders often ask how we got into firespinning. The simple answer is that you start by spinning the objects while they’re not on fire. That’s flow arts.

liam & luis hooping

More broadly, flow arts describes a sort of blend of object manipulation and dance expression that facilitates your ability to access flow state, so named by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975. Flow is an enjoyable state of energized focus, effortless attention, and total absorption that occurs when we are in the zone, doing some internally motivating activity which…

A work-in-progress primer to decluttering one’s digital life and minimizing the constant entropic battle against the mighty modern tides of non-consensual marketing clutter.

It can be trickier to tidy in the digital world than the physical world because it is so much easier for junk to get into your digital house. Paper junk mail can be non-consensually shoved into your mailbox, but it’s hard for it to take up a permanent place in your house; you have to physically choose to bring objects into your house.

Unfortunately, with digital possessions, your mailbox and your house are often one and the…

Have you ever come into possession of a really awesome piece of clothing that you love absolutely everything about except for the color? This happened to me recently, so I decided to overdye it. Here’s a roundup of all the Internet “Research”™ I aggregated in the process of seeing how close I could get to the color I wanted. (Answer: not perfect, but pretty close.)

I wasn’t able to get exactly the true red I wanted (it came out more reddish-brown), and might have been able to if I stripped my fabric to a lighter color first. But because color removers are unpredictable and damaging to many fabric types, I stuck with overdyeing on my base color.

(“Research” is in quotes to differentiate between fact-checking things presented as unshakable facts, such as chemistry reasoning, vs. applied crafting suggestions which you can take or leave. …

When I’m picking a lunch spot to meet up with someone I haven’t seen in a while and I say I’d prefer somewhere that has good vegetarian options, the inevitable response is “Oh, I’m not vegetarian. Are you?” My answer: “No, but I also don’t need to eat meat with every single meal.”

Nowadays, I eat around 95% vegetarian and 50% vegan by meal frequency, with the caveats that it’s easier because I live in a city near an inexpensive farmer’s market, and usually cook for myself. I hadn’t even started thinking about the vegan bit yet; the goal I…

rhetoricize

autotelic polymath with an overwhelming compulsion to reverse engineer things I’ve never tried before

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