Hello, friend! What have you been up to this week? How are you doing? The news out of Afghanistan is just heartbreaking. My family has volunteered with a local nonprofit that helps refugees acclimate to their new life for the last decade, I participated in the “Quilts for Kosovo” project in the late 90s, and am sending a bit of a cash to nonprofits today and I say a prayer every time I see humans in crisis, and I’m sending a bit of cash to give innocent people and American allies a future. I implore you to consider helping however you can.
Well, a lot has happened since I last posted. First things first: monsoon season has arrived and it has been raining cats and dogs in Phoenix, with the most extreme lightning storms I’ve seen in 20 years, sideways rain, nickle-sized hail, 80 mile per hour winds, snapped trees, and lots of flooding. Oh, how I love the rain!
Our mold remediation has been completed and we have moved home, though the contractors have still not returned to install the drywall and cabinetry. Oh, and our homeowner’s insurance provider is not returning our calls. But, there is no more mold!! And we spent hours and hours dusting and scrubbing every crevice in our home. I’ve begun feeling better, but my physician has prescribed a binder to get an remaining biotoxins out of my body. My partner, unfortunately, has the “dreaded genotype” and will require much more extensive treatment for recovery.
I participated in a peer interview, was reassigned to my third new manager in under three years, and was told yet again that my department’s career ladder still hasn’t been defined. I subsequently decided I was ready for a new opportunity, applied for just a handful of positions, and just accepted a phenomenal opportunity. Now that I’m feeling physically stronger and cognitively sharper, I’m looking forward to advancing my career!
What are your plans for the week ahead? My life has been hectic with mold madness and job interview preparations, so I am looking forward to reading and sewing this weekend. I’m debating whether to continue to tiered maxi dress (so many gathers!) or tackle a quick baby outfit (dreamy double gauze top and bloomers!) for my friend’s baby.
I hope that your the week ahead is good to you. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.
- Food for thought: “A writer—and, I believe, generally all persons—must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” — Jorge Luis Borges
- From the archives: Early Retirement vs. Hyperinflation. “Hyperinflation doesn’t keep my up at night, but it is truly one of my greatest concerns as I look towards the future. With the proposal of student loan forgiveness, universal basic income, additional stimulus packages, and other costly initiatives, I can’t help but worry. For decades, the middle class has been shrinking and, with it, the prospect of home-ownership, higher education, starting a family, and full retirement seem to slip further and further out of reach for many.”
- Fun fact: “The first strike-able paper book of matches was patented in 1892 by Joshua Pusey, a Philadelphia patent lawyer, and inventor. “Safety” matches, made with amorphous (red) phosphorus, had been in use for a few decades, but they were large and came in wooden boxes… Three years after receiving his patent, he sold it to Diamond Match Company for $5,000.” From Why Is This Interesting?
- Namelessness: “You can learn to see that mysteriousness in the world again, on purpose. You can practice looking at what’s in front of you as an infant might see it. It’s all just textures and feelings, that have no real names and carry no explanation. Looking at the world like that comes with a certain kind of relief to the compulsive mapper, because what’s right in front of you is never as busy as the map.” Nothing Really Has a Name from Raptitude.
- Printmaking with vegetables: When I was young, a craft I enjoyed was carving shapes into a halved potato to create stamps. Apparently, the same can be done with the top of a pepper, a halved onion, or the discarded stem of lettuce. Thanks to Auston Kleon, I’m adding this to my list of future shits-and-giggles project.
- Forbidden food: I’m allergic to nearly all ingredients in this cheesy, gluten-filled, devilish monstrosity, but this Chicken Alfredo Monkey Bread is making me salivate. My belly hurts just looking at it. Damn.
- Tech “toys”: “The reason big new things sneak by incumbents is that the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.” This is one of the main insights of Clay Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory. This theory starts with the observation that technologies tend to get better at a faster rate than users’ needs increase. From this simple insight follows all kinds of interesting conclusions about how markets and products change over time. Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” user needs. The first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acquiring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to businesses and railroads – their primary customers.” Interesting thoughts from cdixon.
- Job satisfaction: “Job satisfaction is driven by five factors: Task significance: Does the work you do create meaning or impact? Task identity: Do you feel ownership (emotionally) in the work you’re doing? Autonomy: Do you have the freedom to make choices? Skill variety: Is the task monotonous? Feedback: Are you in a place where you can safely and easily get feedback and use it to improve?” Variability, industrialization and hating your job from Seth Godin.
- Tiny thought: “Ninety percent of success can be boiled down to consistently doing the obvious thing for an uncommonly long period of time without convincing yourself that you’re smarter than you are.” – Shane Parrish
- Perfect cacophony: This song was released just after the Columbia Space Shuttle catastrophe. I discovered it around 2003 and think it’s an lovely tribute to those who gave their lives to explore and understand our existence in this universe. Merge, A Vessel, A Harbour by Great Lake Swimmers.