Showing posts with label links. Show all posts
Showing posts with label links. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015



This comes from the This American Girl blog. Her decision to run away and travel scares me. In a good way.

Every once in a blue moon, I will attempt a DIY, but only if it's really easy, like these.

I usually try something different, a new habit maybe, to break out of my routine. Routines are inevitable, we tend to fall into patterns, so try one of these just to change things up. 

A writing app that promises to save you from distraction.

An easier way to send files. I personally don't like dropbox.

On the bucket list! The pictures alone make this post worth looking at. And then if you can find the concentration, it's worth reading as well.

Fair trade rugs that go to help people in Nepal. As a bonus, they're not ugly. Sometimes, I'd rather just give money than buy something I didn't want to begin with.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Reed boat on Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
Every five years or so even the best laptop will die, and when it does, you might want to check out this video. 

It's not necessarily the content of this article, but the intense searing emotion behind it. If words could scream, this is what they would sound like. I live in California, and I don't hold Silicon Valley in any particular esteem, but there is a mythology that some people like to build around that area, and this article rips that right down the center.

There is something calming about this article, it is the concept of minimalism mixed with pleasure. The two concepts don't often associate, you don't often think that simplifying can also be blissful, that is, until this. 

Did you want to learn a language? This is still being developed, but supposedly there is a formula to do this effectively. Apart from Rosetta Stone. Currently only French is available, but I would watch to see if more interesting languages come up.

The art of concentration is a lot one, and that is sad as someone who loves books, because what is reading but not the complete immersion of the self into this other fictional world, where hours can be spent playing in the endless fissures of your imagination? 

These are from Etsy, and they're made by hand. I hold a special esteem for cobblers. 

You can chase happiness, and you can find it. There is a way. 

I like the ideas expressed in their blog, often a complex concept presented with concise precision. So it wouldn't hurt to check out a few books from this list as well.  

Are you looking for unusual places to travel? Here's an idea, and it's a good one. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


If you ever have the need, here is an online site to find editors and writing professionals.

Kierkegaard is one of the most prolific writers I have ever known. And his thoughts are unique, even mildly intriguing, so this article provides a nice introduction to the man. 

From Flip and Tumble. 

For those times when you are searching for a word, but you only know the definition, but not the word. 

I'm constantly on the search for quality, affordable outdoor gear that isn't ugly. To put it mildly, it's been a process. Clymb is an online flash sale site for outdoor clothing, gear, and adventures. It's one of the few (and only) discounts for outdoor gear I have found, and I am looking hard. If you use the link, we both get $10 in credit. 

This is a way to donate through the travel agency I used to travel through Nepal. I know that everyone at Himalayan High Treks has a genuine interest in directly helping this country, and returning people to work as soon as possible.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


terraced landscape, Nepal

Because figuring out what to wear wastes a lot of mental and creative energy. I've figured out that this is not how I want to spend my time and I'm working on a solution.

This is probably the solution to how to work out while traveling. It is also a solution to working out period. This rope is the ideal, but any old rope will do.

See above for rationale. Mental energy! No more waste!

I really like Chinese brush painting. The concept is to paint with space as well as ink, so the image is constructed partly by the mind filling in gaps. It's good to know this practice isn't being lost.

Some basic tips, because I personally hate networking and small talk. 

Take note of how many other things you do just while reading this article.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Window vase

How to Intentionally Design a Happier Life
Having a better life takes work, and some good tips.

30 Day Minimalism Challenge
Habits are hard to break. My running theory is that it will take a good 30 days to reset daily habits.

5 Dinners You to Make from Pantry Staples
I'm going to try the chickpea recipe. I needed this more than water.

Before I Go
What are your priorities in this life? Do you know? Maybe reading this will speed that thought process right up.

Let's All Agree to Put an End to this Unhealthy Habit
The habit of judging people. In case it's not obvious.  I think this has two parts - judgment is a habit, and the less you judge others, the less you judge yourself.

Hopper App
I've used this for domestic flights and its pretty good, and this way I know I can just stop looking. Hours will be saved.

Minimalist Bike Lights
I've been eyeing these. You can take them on an off very easily, and then use them all over the place.

Charles & Keith
For the shoes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Red Rock18
Red Rock Canyon
Lululemon is one of those brands that exists as a vague, faintly negative feeling somewhere in my abstract subconscious. I could never articulate what made that brand feel weird to me, possibly some of Chip Wilson's comments, possibly the fact that it's so expensive which in turn made yoga an elite activity. Here is a clear, well articulated article that made all of those vague concepts come together.

I have a mural in my bedroom too. It's made of some decals I bought off Etsy. I was pretty proud of myself at the time, and then I saw this.

2015, the year when I successfully brainwash myself into loving to cook, when the the saying "I Heart cooking" will replace my previous mantra "Cooking sucks."

Do you know someone who loves to draw? Then get them this. When it's back in stock. 

I've been reading Brain Pickings on and off for years, and she always has consistently good content. Deep content. Consistent deep content. It blows my mind. 

Because it's delicious.

The tendency some of the time is to perceive writing as work or torture, but it can also be a transformative tool, changing the way you perceive the world and your place in it, and then potentially allowing you to chart the course of your life through a pen.*

*Or keypad, if you want to be a realist.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Nepal horses3

A man overcoming his fear of water, which is included because I found it touching. A delicate scratching on the heart. I don't like open water, things like the ocean. Even the deep end of the pool. And it is infinitely hard to act in the face of your fear. So hearing that this man has conquered his fear scratches my the heart.

The Bechdel Test asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. 

It's winter. It's time to update that travel wardrobe.

Winter sales seem to be a justification for spending more. What I've noticed is that when I spend, the act of buying something often leaves me more unsatisfied than before. That's why I've included this.

This is a great website, just in general, for all those larger life questions - such as when to get married. Unfortunately, some of the answers are painful. The one about having children especially so. To have children demands that you will have to take abuse, because children will take their anger out on those with whom they feel the most secure, whose love is unconditional. As the parent, you have to be able to see beyond the horrible things a child will say, and recognize the pain and insecurity feeding those words. That is a painful reality.

I don't know if there is a viable alternative to using Uber. And I've had nothing but positive experiences with drivers, so it's sad that the people running the company care so little for passengers.

Just because.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Nepal yellow flowers

Oh, this is good. You see a man and a woman, together, in a bar. He's average height/weight and she's above average. In weight. You assume they're not together. How could they be? They're not in the same league. God forbid a man be attracted to this type of woman. God made women - to be thin. Or so the underlying rationale goes. I'm guilty of judging. I admit it. It's hard to stop. Call me out!   

Damn and Blast! I am too late! This kickstarter has been completely funded. The idea, however, is still a good one. I admit from the name I initially thought this had to be sex related. But then I realized I was being an idiot, and that this dress is a valid solution to that weird practice of changing out of sweaty workout clothes.

A variety of topics addressed here: how do you portray yourself online? People tend to image manage under the guise of aesthetics and curating and personal branding. At what point does this become inauthentic? And what happens when you lose that spark, that initial driving passion for blogging, and for being an online presence? What do you do then? 

You're welcome.

Marie Kondo is the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up. Which I am going to read. I myself am an ardent believer in minimalist living. There is something freeing about having less choices for the brain to process, so it can shift gears to dealing with more significant matters, perhaps?

In my humble opinion, every once in awhile, it's good to scare people by putting on a mud mask. I'm going to try this one in the privacy of my home. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Kathmandu rooftop
Kathmandu, Nepal
Here you are: October 8, 2014. Proof of life. I'm still walking the earth.

I just finished reading the article provided thoughtfully below by Maria Popova (writer of the inimitable Brain Pickings blog) where she casually mentions how she used to work until midnight writing and perfecting three articles per day. When she cut back, she was still writing two articles, whereas I have been on internet hiatus and otherwise loafing about in Southeast Asia. 

Here's some articles until I can get my act together:

Here is someone who works to please herself first, and then for others, as a pleasant afterthought. That is my ideal, or one of them at least. That attitude indicates an inner resilience, that underlying mental foundation that has been built up over time and is key, I believe, to doing good work.
You know what your own process is like, that weird fugue state, possibly frenzied, possibly miserable, but it's interesting to get into the heads of other people - preferably someone who is articulate - how others experience this unique process of creation. 

So the theme this week is people who have the strength to follow their vision in the face of blatant adversity. Douglas Tomkins, the founder of Esprit and The North Face is building national parks. All by himself. The locals revile him for it, because he is not using the land. But Tomkins is laying the groundwork for when he believes his work will be appreciated - ten years down the line. That is his vision, and that sustains him. Do you have the same degree of unshakeable faith in your work? 

Apparently location matters to creativity. This is probably not the first time you've heard this bit of advice, but with all the other advice out there, maybe this will stick. 

This is not about Emu. I don't use it and I don't care. What intrigues me is the writing style of this article. It's unique, whimsical, playful. I don't know how this works in longer bursts, but for this length, her voice stands out. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


White flowers
Flowers at sunset
I don't have the wherewithal to manage complete sentences. I've been reading fiction. 700 pages of it, all moving continually in a blur, and I'm finally toward the end. Life has never been better. In light of my current distraction, here's a few interesting bits while I get my act together. 

Here are ten things. I will maybe try one or two of them, because to try do everything is to make yourself miserable. Ten options is a nice number to choose from. You can think of it as choosing your own adventure.

Here's a man who likes to write straight and clean. I believe in doing the same. You do not allow your reader to look up from the page. You do not punish your reader by making them take out the dictionary. You reward your reader, you bedevil, you enrapture, you capture, and you enslave. 

Way back when I used to write papers, I had to include citations. The most reliable citations, the ones we were encouraged to use, were to books, while the least reliable were to wikipedia, or some sketchy website on the seventh google search page that may potentially also have been a link to a virus. There is an implied integrity in a book, it implies that someone, somewhere, took the time to thoroughly edit and fact check every tiny piece of minutia before it would ever be allowed the privilege of publication. Well, that assumption is wrong. We are all screwed. Books are like people. They can lie.

This Outfit, because I'm a fashion sheep at heart.

This is a video. You might want to relocate yourself to a more appropriate location for this. It's often thought that the creative mind is prone to bouts of depression. When you are creative, you move about on the fringes of the known (where the act of creation can take place, yes?) and as a result, I believe, are uniquely vulnerable. Hence, depression. That is my theory.

I have an empathy problem. Whenever I think about what it must be like to have naked pictures of yourself circling the web, I want to vomit blood. I hope people join together in a silent protest that involves not looking and not discussing, so that interest can die. I'd rather reflect the light onto the perpetrators instead.  

Monday, August 18, 2014



I love these. Just love them.

Current Events
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is slowly becoming a personal favorite. She always has incisive commentary, that cuts right to the bone, and this particular bone may belong to her colleague Justice Kennedy, aka "Mr. Swing Vote." What is interesting here, is the argument that Kennedy's decisions reflect an underlying paternalistic attitude toward women, but not gay men, that may be the ultimate deciding factor. It's convincingly argued.    

This is from 2013, but who knows? It might still be applicable one year later. Harvard researchers followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates, class of 1938-1940 (hardly a representative sample, but I digress) for 75 years, collecting data at regular intervals. The conclusions he drew were put into a book. A quick summary is linked.

This French print. It's French and it's art.

There are two movies I can pull off the top of my head that are based on this lie - that if you were able to access your brain's full 100% capacity, you would be a telekinetic genius as well as incredibly athletic and emotionally well adjusted, etc. I know this is a lie, but so far have no reference to back this up. Here is a solid article dispelling that myth.  

I like how this is short and to the point. Four things only, and you might find yourself less aggravated. It's a win/win.

Monday, June 30, 2014



Some great reads for when you're bored with your phone next to the barbecue.

The Ultimate Guide to Vitamins and Minerals
Finally! A comprehensive and relatively short guide about the vitamins you need, and how to get them. If only life in general could be this direct and concise.

Now that you've returned from your yearly spring vacation, here's some travel tips. For next year.

Health Part 2
It may be time to bring sexy glass bottles back. Especially glass baby bottles.

The best relationship advice sometimes sounds vaguely familiar. It sounds like thoughts that have been  floating around in your subconscious, finally put into words.

Every once in a while, it's good to wander outside your reading comfort zone. Science fiction lies outside of mine, but Dick has such a strong reputation that he's pretty much a guaranteed good time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Glitter Graffiti
Street Art

You're trying to finish your book. It's not working. Nothing is working. In fact, your book sucks. What do you do? Here's what one man did.

Finally, you can diagram this. Here's what it looks like.

Do you run for exercise? Want to do it better? Let me put this another way - do you want to limit your injuries? Well, you're in luck. Here's some tips.


There are a lot of expensive acne products out there. This one's simple and natural. 

According to this, people that hate their jobs are in the majority. That's the majority of your day spent doing something you hate.

Why French Girls Dress Like a "Clone Army"
Everyone seems to want to be more French, including me. Here's a different perspective.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Seaside, Italy
The picture above has nothing to do with anything.

That said, on the right hand side, if you scroll down a bit, I've listed some blogs that you may find useful. They range on a variety of topics, not just writing, because there's already a whole bunch of writing blogs out there, and there's more to life. There's that whole other part that you may have been neglecting. To summarize, here's some sites I've found, along with a brief description:

The blog that every other blog wants to be. Funny and warm, this blog always hits on topics that everyone wants to read. 

Many useful articles on how to achieve wellness and wellbeing. 

A great resource for clean and natural beauty and skincare products. And some great discussions.

I don't know how, but somehow the author culls and distills information guaranteed to stimulate your brain. Don't know how she does it. It's a miracle.

A great resource for photographers, and wannabe photographers, such as myself. I need to start using manual mode on the SLR camera I don't have. Yet. 

Firsthand knowledge of the situation in Egypt. She doesn't update often, but the content is worth it.

This is where you can find a large community of independent authors, and their respective books. You should be able to find many independent books all in one place, along with listings, descriptions, and even blogs of the corresponding authors. I sometimes hang out there as well, but I like being able to include completely unrelated pics with my posts. Personal preference.  

Monday, April 21, 2014


Short Road

It's a fairly common excuse to say that you're too old to try something, to bring up that line about old dogs and new tricks. Well, think again!

If you're on instagram and looking for daily bits of inspiration to follow instead of just fashion and food, here's a good one. She puts up a some interesting quotes that help kick the mind into gear. There are good quotes, and there are some really generic ones out there. She provides the first kind.

An interesting read about how to keep your mind in top shape. 

Let's say you didn't read the previous link - the one about mental work outs? Well, here's the app he mentioned - it's basically virtual flashcards you can use on your phone. The more you use the flashcards, the more you remember. Let me know if this works. Seriously.  

Right now, every website is treated the same by every internet provider (think Verizon), so each website should load up and open at the same rate no matter how popular the site (this blog or Hulu should run at the same rate). But this may not always be true. Soon, larger websites who can pay for the privilege may get priority over smaller sites, and someone else may decide whether or not websites you go to will load properly or be accessible. The FCC recently lost their case against broadband providers to enforce net neutrality principles against them, so there may be some rough going ahead. I'm just spreading the word.  

The Man Repeller is one of the most successful fashion blogs in existence...but she doesn't wear makeup. It's intriguing to a certain degree. What's more intriguing is her response when someone calls her "ugly as fuck."

Just found out about this site. This blogger found a way to heal her Postural Tachycardia Syndrome through eating a healthy plant-based diet, and now shares recipes. Speaking of making lemonade out of Tachycardia...there's also an app.

Anton Chekov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People
Beautifully said.

Monday, March 24, 2014



Artifact the Film
In 2008, the band 30 Seconds to Mars was sued by their own record label for $30 million dollars. This is a pretty entertaining documentary about the raw deal musicians get when they get screwed by sign with a major record label. No more guilt about downloading that album, eh?

Self-Publishing Changed My Life, But My Publisher Grew My Sales
So...the epic battle between the forces of Self publishing v. Traditional publishing continues!

Advice From Artists on How to Overcome Creative Block, Handle Criticism, and Nurture Your Sense of Self Worth
Here's a collection of advice from established authors, good to look at when you're feeling bummed, need to pick your self-worth out of the toilet and so on. Those days come and go.

The End of Facebook
Now that Facebook is in the business of making money, they're no longer in the business of providing you with a forum to reach your audience of followers. If you use Facebook to promote yourself or your business, this is worth a look.

Free Stuff
550 Free Audiobooks
I've probably posted this before, but since that was awhile go, here it is again. Free stuff!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Statue landscape Apps
This app allows you to share pictures, video, quotes, and other memories with your network of family and friends. This is being promoted for people with kids to share and preserve memories. I, however, can think of many other uses, such as if you're collaborating with people and want to share ideas in different formats. There is a lot of untapped potential here. 

It's kind of mysterious. I sometimes try to get away with that air of mystery, but it never works as well as this.

Sometimes, I try to include articles about staying calm, about not multi-tasking, about training and restructuring your thought processes. Simplification. Here is one more great way to simplify it up. Just stop giving a fuck. Nothing more simple than that.

I divide up exercises into what body part they are meant to address: running to build up leg muscles, yoga for arm strength (climbing if you really want definition), and then exercises like these for that part between the arms and legs. That part.

I'm in transition right now and looking at a lot of different perspectives as to where to go. Here's a good one to think about. 

Brain training! Yay! There is a podcast linked to this article, where the author explains in greater detail how to optimize the workings of your brain. The podcast takes more time, but probes a little deeper. If you manage to optimize the way your brain functions, then your reward will be focus and contentment. It's not a bad goal. 

This post kind of speaks for itself right? 

Friday, February 7, 2014


Lit Branches 2
Travel I'm fascinated by it. I fantasize about it, and I didn't need yet another reason to do it, but it's still fun to look, because second only to the act of being in another country, is the anticipation that comes before. 

Book Reviews
Sooner or later it's going to happen. You decide to write a book review. Possibly on Goodreads. When evaluating someone else's creation, it's always good to go in with some ground rules. This is a good one.

This entire blog. It's great. It's informative and straightforward, and parses through so much political BS like a serrated blade through hypothetical butter. It's possibly the most informative, feet-on-the-ground blog about what's really happening in Egypt, if you wanted to know.

I consider the decision to commit to blogging or the decision to quit as a moment of transition, so it's always interesting to see that what caused the change. I've always found it to be creative outlet. It serves me rather than the other way around. If blogging does not serve you, then it is better to let it go.

Orphan Black
Have you heard of this? I found out only recently - and life became more exciting. This a BBC show about clones that revolves around a female lead. It hooks you right away. It does not let up. Even it you're not into clones, it doesn't matter. It's just a good show. That's all I'm going to say. Anything else would ruin it for you.

Understanding Health Insurance
Short, easy to understand articles that explains heath insurance in simple terms.

Friday, January 24, 2014


waterside Muir beach
Now that the Christmas behemoth is behind us, why not just jump on over to the other extreme, eh? You're probably broke anyway. Or even better, you can read an article about someone who went through all the hard parts so you can skip straight to the lessons learned. However, you may want to go through the not spending part to break out of the habit of spending. Just a thought.

Okay, this is fairly self-serving, I admit it. What I'm hoping this offers is an entryway into the reader's mind. One of the questions facing writers is what a reader wants. This should hopefully clear up some of that mystery.  

There may be a few here that you haven't heard about. I'm going to try out the photography apps, because I usually don't use my phone to take pictures. Nothing beats a real camera for beautiful details, but I could be wrong. There may be a post on this waiting to happen. 

I don't make resolutions on new years. It seems to limit you to making all changes all at once, at the beginning of the year, just so that you can forget them about a week later. These are some interesting ideas here that you might want to try - whenever I see a list, I tend to pick and choose what to try. Apparently checking email immediately upon waking is a bad thing - I'm going to try not to do this and see if life improves.

Creativity App
This app claims to boost your creativity by providing that "coffee house" allure anywhere you go - for when you don't have time to go to a cafe, but still want to recreate those special moments.

Why You Should Be Writing Short Fiction
I don't read short fiction, and on that basis, I don't write short fiction, and that was that. Then I read this post - from 2012 no less, but it's still valid - and realized that I shouldn't make decisions based on my own self-centered, short-sighted preferences. Time to fire up that pen. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


lit trees 2

Every once in a while, I will read a book because it appears on a list. And the only way to know if you should trust a list is to test it out. I don't like the New York Times year end recommendations - I've been burned more than once and it's not happening again. So it may be time to give the Observer a try. Do you agree with this list?

This article is about cultivating good mental habits - the spoiler is that there is nothing novel about any of the ways of thinking advocated here. I point this out not to be a jerk, although that is a perfectly valid motive, but because I believe that good habits should constantly be reinforced.

She is the master of the perfectly timed pause - it's in the way she visually distributes her line breaks to gently prod you along. Dideon encapsulates the model of glamour that you usually don't find in writing. I don't know how exactly she managed this. The effortlessness is part of her charm.

I came across this app recently. It's free. You can learn basic French, English, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, or German. A little owl harasses you everyday to keep moving ahead with your studies. Don't mind if I do!

Lena Dunham
I am oddly fascinated by Girls' writer, director, and Star Lena Dunham. I can't stand to see pictures of myself, and yet there she is: hanging around naked, awkwardly trying to seduce her boss, talking during sex. In every way possible, she throws herself out there, and then gets ripped for it. The she goes and does it again. It's fascinating.  
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