It's Lit 週85。Here I Amn't

The concept I wanted to use this book to talk about this week is existential worry and lasting influence through the lens of parenthood.  Of course, not being a parent, I have no direct experience to draw from.  I do, however, think constantly of the existential value of my life and the influence I will pass on as I age.  For this reason (among many others I won’t talk about), Here I Am hit me especially hard.


A common saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  Whether it is stated explicitly or not, Aid generally equals Trade in some capacity.  Thus, when missionaries go to Africa, they are generally hoping to spread their belief system in exchange for their help.  This is the most impartial way I can state what appears to be going on, and it made me want to dive deeper into what “spreading the Kingdom of God” really means in this particular instance.

It's Lit 週83。Reference Books: The Print Wiki

This week’s Book Report is on Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson’s The Wisdom of the Enneagram.  Since this week’s Free Association guest, Paul Paiva, is something of an Enneagram Expert, I decided that instead of talking about   C O N T E N T   this week, I would talk about   S T R U C T U R E  (Of course, if you want to hear talk about the Enneagram, make sure to subscribe to Free Association on Apple, Google, and Stitcher and look out for episode 22 coming out this Friday).

W O R K - W E E K .

My idea was to remedy it with an experiment of sorts.  Once Lindsey left, I would work to the bell.  No breaks unless they be in the form of sleep, exercise or some activity that was already on the list.

Or, of course, when I got it all done.  And I did.  Here are a few things I learned

It's Lit 週82。Everyone’s a Mirror

Through criticizing both the situation and his reaction to the situation, Sedaris provides one of the most honest accounts I’ve ever read of life.  It’s draining to read someone’s laundry list of grievances toward the world.  It’s sad (and somewhat suspect) to read a wholly self-deprecating perspective.  Sedaris balances both—yes, there are problems with other people.  Yes, there are problems in the world.  How we react to those problems, however, is rarely perfect.  By holding a mirror up to himself, Sedaris helped me think of how to do the same.

Ben Vizy's Guide to Doing it All

Tip #1: That Puzzle Prep Mindset

I’m extremely fast at puzzles.

Part of it is because I’ve done so many that I have a good feel for it.  For instance, I have found it’s less effective for me to look at the picture than to look at the actual shape of the pieces—and I have become very adept at sussing out each piece’s shape and what hole it fits into.

One of the biggest reasons I’m good at puzzles, however, is my strategy.

It's Lit 週81。Fostering Gross National Cool

One of the most interesting parts of Andrew Gordan’s A Modern History of Japan was the lasting influence of the Meiji Restoration, a time when the industrialized West was finally allowed to return to Japan.  Though justifiably resisted, the philosophy brought by the West during this period of restoration has merged with Japanese Culture and led to one of my favorite parts about Japan—their Cool factor, or as journalist Douglas McGray put it, their “Gross National Cool” (306).

Blog 週間 81 : N E N

Even with all the benefits, however, I have found that what I get out of meditation is less easy to visualize than, say, how fast I can run to NCAR and back, or how many pages I have read in any given week.  When payoff isn’t as immediate, of course, a habit is much more difficult to foster.  How, then, is a progress-obsessed medi-novice like me to wrap his head around this practice?

Well… he could use anime…

Blog 週間 80 : S T R E A M I N G

When I was younger, CDs were my main means of listening to music.  Before the iPod was released, I had a portable disk player.  While everyone else was getting illegal downloads with their cable modems, I was ordering CDs from the library and immortalizing their contents in my Windows Media Library.  Though the physical copies of each CD had to go back to the library, I was still aware of the disk, cover art, and lyric book that provided a holistic view of the musical project—each one was more than just music files.

Blog.77: Much Love Left in Athens, OH

Every time I return to my 2.5-year home of Athens, OH, I never fail to feel inspired and re-energized.  My gratefulness to this town is difficult to describe, and I acknowledge the difficulty of doing so in a 500-word blog post.  In any case, this challenge is the least I can offer in return for another memory-generative and -bolstered trip to the Amethyst of Ohio.

Blog.78 || C O N F I D E N C E

“Humility is a Virtue”.  I’ve seen this bromide in many forms throughout my life.  The idea pervades Christian tradition, which not only heralds Humility as a Virtue, but traditionally holds Pride as a Deadly Sin.  This notion plays out in society as well—when Kanye West calls himself a genius, people often roll their eyes despite his unprecedented musical accomplishments that back the moniker up.  Is this self-confidence really so negative?  For some of us, perhaps.  But it is equally possible that too much humility can be just as deadly.