At the Moment … 10.18.18

1. Last night I made homemade mayo (so easy!) and today I did 8 pullups in a row. I FEEL INVINCABLE.

2. I have been putting off getting a haircut for too many months now and my hair is officially stringy and raggedy. Also, somewhat related, my mid-30s have not been kind to my hair thickness. Where did it all go?! How do I get it back?!

3. This week we FINALLY got a real, lasting break in the heat+humidity. It was so lovely and cool, I actually wanted a (light) blanket when I was reading on the couch the other night. The non-sweating has been so good for my physical happiness. WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SWEAT IN THE EVENINGS IN OCTOBER.

4. On that note, I am longing for a beach day. It’s been a while since I visited the ocean because I’ve had so much work to do every weekend and have been so mentally and physically exhausted. I think I might need to take a break this weekend and hit the beach. October is the best month for beachin’ it, anyway — it’s not suffocatingly hot on the sand and the water is still super warm from the summer sun. I can’t let this go unexploited!

20180607_151526

Or maybe I can. This looks horrible.

5. Recently our apartment was sold, so we have to move. Thankfully, the new owners would like us to stay through next June, so I’m thrilled we don’t have to do the last-minute sprint-to-find-a-decent-place-and-move thing, but I am already a little sad to leave our apartment. It’s been such a lovely sanctuary over the past four years with a killer, soul-enriching view. Oh well. Change is always invigorating so June will surely bring something exciting.

6. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is officially pumpkin season!!!1! Now that the weather is cooler (see #3), I am a woman obsessed. I’ve made pumpkin cinnamon rolls twice, sausage pumpkin butter-sage-sauce pasta with handmade fettuccine, pumpkin curry, and have ingredients for pumpkin chicken chili ready to go for our next particularly cold evening. Harvest pizza will be happening with my leftover sage (sage pesto is love, and goes great with pumpkin, bacon, caramelized onions, and goat cheese). Pumpkin snickerdoodles will happen. What else should I make?! Help me fill my apartment with pumpkin-scented bliss and my tummy with pumpkin-flavored deliciousness!

1. Last night I made homemade mayo (so easy!) and today I did 8 pullups in a row. I FEEL INVINCABLE. 2. I have been putting off getting a haircut for too many months now and my hair is officially stringy and raggedy. Also, somewhat related, my mid-30s have not been kind to my hair … Continue reading At the Moment … 10.18.18

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Intellectual appetites

I was thinking today how uninterested I am in reading a lot of theology at the moment and what a huge shift this is in my intellectual appetite. I used to LOVE theology and used to read it almost exclusively. When I was in college, I wanted to be a modern, female C.S. Lewis (until my mom said that was a dumb idea). Now, however, even if my intellectual time weren’t so consumed with earning an MA in Philosophy, I don’t know that my reading selections would be that far off from what they are now. I’d surely gravitate towards more “Barnes and Noble philosophy section” books rather than academic articles, simply because they are, let’s be honest, easier (easier to understand, absorb, and access). But I don’t think I’d be reading much theology.

I think this is due to several fairly significance changes in my mental life. One is a change in my overall belief system about what I believe and understand about what we can know and, by extension, what is worth reading about. I grew up believing that we could know, not just believe, things about God (the God as defined by evangelical Christianity) and that we could even know God Himself (always a He! Sigh…). It took a while, but eventually I realized just how foolish an idea that is. There is no way to know God, whether or not a God exists. By definition, God is beyond this world and we do not have any tools or ways of measuring Her “there.” We can believe She exists, believe She has certain characteristics, but knowing is not relevant.

I recently had a really hard time getting through a book on the end times because I had just started graduate school and was drowning in reading. All non-degree related reading fell to the wayside. However, even after classes ended, when I had time to devote to reading whatever I wanted, I couldn’t get back into it. I realized that I just… didn’t see the point? It didn’t feel relevant anymore. We have no way of knowing even biblically what the “end times” are going to be. I had a hard time settling on a purpose or point to trying to ferret out what the book of Revelations “really” means about future events and what it “will” look like. To be fair, I’ve never really understood why people plant their flag firmly in one eschatological camp over another because there is no way to know either way what will happen, and that something is supposed to happen regardless of what we do or say or believe about it. So this is a spiritual topic that has never seemed all that relevant to me, nor has it ever been of much intellectual interest. In that sense, the book didn’t stand much of a chance, grad school or no. But nevertheless, the sense that “there are more important things to read about” was strong in me that summer.

A second change was in the focus of my ethical and moral values. What I really care about now is reducing suffering. I think that is the best that our relationships can do, and I think there are so many ways to help alleviate suffering that that aim encompasses all kinds of social relationships and can be normative for all kinds of relational actions. Educating. Listening. Comforting. Pursuing justice. Voting the GOP out. Exhorting. Advising. Even punishing, if done right. The reduction of suffering is not only, in my mind, the thing people benefit from most, but is something that can be measured, tested, acted upon, voted for, and realized. I care about what is real. People are real, and they are right in front of me. Suffering is real, and that suffering is all around me. If there is anything holy, it is the reality of other people with all their unknowable depth and potential and our responsibility to treat them well. And I care about what we can know about what is real, about what it means to flourish as humans, physically and mentally, individually and collectively. To focus too much on spiritual, unknowable things threatens to disregard the very flesh and blood and bones that we inhabit and that could, very possibly, constitute the entirety of our lives. Refusing to take that very seriously is odd to me.

As a result of these two changes, my reading tastes have morphed into what we can do or know or use in what is available to us. Meta-ethics and applied ethics are still my favorite topics of philosophy, and I am enjoying reading more in the philosophy of mind, as well. And despite what I said above, I still enjoy reading some theology. Some theology is fascinating and an intellectual puzzle, even if there’s not way to test or know its veracity. (I imagine eschatology would fall into this camp if I were more inclined!) Some theological exploration aren’t so overladen with assumptions that they are, to be blunt, worthless. In addition, I’m always looking for a spirituality that fits with and takes seriously what we know about our physical reality and what it means to flourish — for all life, not just human. I’m sure I’ll continue to read theology on some level.

But for the most part, at the moment I’m more inclined to spend my mental energy engaging with the world we have, with learning about other people, learning about the brain and how it gives rise to and even defines our humanity, learning about the cognitive biases and logical fallacies in our thinking that lead to us inflicting so much suffering on others, and the potential and powers we have for creating more just, compassionate, loving worlds for those around us. The core of what I have always loved is still there (truth and love), but I have learned to define it differently and that has guided my intellectual appetite more so than anything. As those appetites continue to shift over the years (though perhaps not as significantly as they shifted over the previous decade), I look forward to looking back at my life and seeing what the books I read tell about who I was and what I thought or believed at that particular time.

I would love to hear how your intellectual appetites have changed, and what they are now. What do you find yourself reading lately, and why?

I was thinking today how uninterested I am in reading a lot of theology at the moment and what a huge shift this is in my intellectual appetite. I used to LOVE theology and used to read it almost exclusively. When I was in college, I wanted to be a modern, female C.S. Lewis (until … Continue reading Intellectual appetites

Short Rib Bolognese and Handmade Basil Pasta

It’s been a while since I’ve done a recipe post! This is the thing about working full-time and going to school part-time and working on a podcast part-part time: not a lot of time for noteworthy meals. But the stars aligned and I found short ribs on super sale at the grocery store, and had some handmade basil-flavored noodles on-hand from a previous study break, and Sunday’s comfort food came together in the most amazing rich, meaty, seasoned, saucily delicious dish.

With mounds of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil leaves, there is no dish more comforting, rich, and warming on a cold, fall night. (But seriously, what are those? I live in Hawai’i and sweat year-round.) Set aside some time to make sure everything is ready to go, set your timer for stirring the pot, and set your tummy for a meal worthy of kings.

Sauce recipe adapted from Cooking for Keeps and pasta recipe adapted from Marc Vetri’s Mastering Pasta.

Short Rib Bolognese and Handmade Basil Pasta

HomemadePasta

No basil in this pasta, but you get the scrumptious idea.

90 minutes before; up to three months before.

Ingredients and Recipe for Handmade Basil Pasta

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • Bowl of ice water at the ready
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cup bread flour
  • 9 egg yolks

Set aside a bowl of ice water. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Blanche basil leaves for 1 minute. Transfer basil to ice bath to stop them from cooking, reserving blanching water. Once basil leaves are cooled, transfer to mortar and pestle. Add olive oil and mash until you have a paste, adding basil water if/when needed. (The thicker / less leafy the paste, the greener the pasta.)

Put bread flour in a mound on a flat surface and create a well in the center. Add egg yolks and basil paste. Mix with fingers until it all comes together in a ball, adding reserved basil water if needed (only 1 – 2 Tablespoons should be needed). Kneed for 5 minutes until cohesive, a bit shiny, and dough pulls back when stretched. Shape into a ball then flatten into a disc. Cover and rest for 30 minutes, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

(Let any refrigerated dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes.) When ready, divide dough into 4 equal portions. Shape one portion into an oval and dust with flour, shaking off excess. Run through pasta machine on setting 1. If needed, dust with more flour. Run through a second time. Run through setting 2, then again. Run through setting 3, then twice. Fold into thirds to make the ends flat and even. Run through settings again. Run through noodle setting. If needed, lightly dust noodles with flour. Drape over pasta drying rack or hanger.

Repeat for remaining portions of basil pasta dough. If eating that night, keep on rack until ready to boil. If making for a future meal, dry on rack for 24 hours. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to three months.

Ingredients and Recipe for Short Rib Bolognese Sauce
Adapted from Cooking for Keeps

  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds of beef short ribs
  • 10 ounces (~12 in number) baby carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup white or red wine
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes (San Marzano, preferably)
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup water

Saute chopped bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside. Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat. Generously salt and pepper short ribs. Add ribs to Dutch oven and cook on all sides until crispy (about 12 minutes). Remove ribs to a plate and turn heat down a little.

While ribs are cooking, add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to a food processor and process until almost a paste (this is your mirepoix). Add mirepoix and a half teaspoon salt to Dutch oven and cook until soft and slightly browned (about 10 minutes). Add milk or half and half and cook until almost fully evaporated. Add tomato paste and cook for one minute. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add sugar, spices, rest of salt, canned tomatoes, Parmesan rind, bacon, short ribs, and basil to pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for up to five hours (or until meat is falling off the bone).

Remove meat and rind and set aside. Increase heat to medium. Add water and noodles to pot and cover. Cook for 4 minutes if using fresh noodles, 10-12 if using dried. While noodles are cooking, shred short rib meat, discarding bones and membranes. Once noodles are done, add shredded short rib meat back to pot and stir to mix everything together. (Freeze bones for future stock!)

Bolognese

Ugly yet beautiful?! Clean-up is … splattery.

Serve with mounds of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil. Get ready to cancel all dinner plans over the ensuing few days in favor of leftovers.

BologneseBowl

Now go forth into your weekend and make something delicious!

It's been a while since I've done a recipe post! This is the thing about working full-time and going to school part-time and working on a podcast part-part time: not a lot of time for noteworthy meals. But the stars aligned and I found short ribs on super sale at the grocery store, and had … Continue reading Short Rib Bolognese and Handmade Basil Pasta

In-Between Thoughts 10.8.18

Today (now yesterday) I am feeling despondent over the future of the world and the planet. Kavanaugh was confirmed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their Fifth Assessment report and unless we do an about-face NOW, we are screwed. (**Checks who is in power** Yeah, we’re screwed.) Brazil is yet another country flirting with populism and inching towards brutal authoritarianism.

So today to ease my brain, instead of listening to my Bang Bang girl-power station while I lift, I decided to listen to classical music. No vocals. Just the lushness of Debussy. The depth of Bach. The rich complexity of Liszt. The clarity of Haydn. And some contemporary composers, just for funsies. (The divine emotiveness of Ennio Morricone is everything.) It was very helpful, soothing, and strangely motivating during the hardest part of my workout. Who knew you could lunge to Clair de Lune and have it feel so badass?

While the music helped, it is certainly a temporary measure. I really don’t want to live in despondency. I think I’m spending too much time thinking about the fate of our country and world. It is clear that corruption and greed are winning and I, myself, can’t really do anything to stop it. All my work and efforts are drops in the ocean or have turned to dust in my hands. I don’t think I’m focusing enough on what I can do to mitigate suffering in my more immediate community. There are certainly things I can do here that help. Even if that help is very small, it is still something.

I can be a good person. I can be kind. Strong. Accepting, gracious, consistent, and just. I can focus on discovering the right response to every situation as it arises, all with the goal of reducing suffering. I can donate to homeless shelters. Put thoughtful, truth-filled, loving words out into the world. Pay for someone’s groceries. Help a friend move. Listen to what others are going through.

And I can vote. Vote like the country and the world are depending on it, are depending on a new chapter of ethical, compassionate, science- and women-accepting leadership. Stay enough abreast of the issues to vote intelligently and compassionately. Understand my role and place in this world by making sure I’m not out of touch with the world outside my sphere.

I worry about withdrawing a bit from a country or global focus, because this risks me withdrawing from acknowledging, and doing something (whatever is available) to reduce, the suffering of the marginalized and oppressed in my country, in the world. It also risks me withdrawing into privilege. Because withdrawing is, itself, a privilege. Not everyone can choose to avoid thinking about the injustices of the country — they are suffering those very injustices I feel powerless to fix. Their despair is far greater than mine. How can I choose to avoid thinking of them, even for a time, and not live in privileged denial? Is that harmful? If not always, then when does it become harmful? What responsibility to I have for my own mental well-being, and when is it preempted by the suffering of others?

Another thing — focusing on our immediate communities is hard. It means being more intentional about loving and serving those around us, choosing to see and approach those in our communities as people whom we can love and serve. Unfortunately, people we know are HARD to serve. They are hard to love. It’s easy to love and think warm thoughts about the suffering Syrian immigrants in Europe. They are not robust people to us; they are sympathetic images and representations of a moral injustice. But those around us are flesh and blood, imperfections and annoyances, hurtful words mixed with comforting hugs. They are complex and their rough edges bump up against our rough edges just as much as their virtues provide a balm to our souls. It is far easier to love and think warm thoughts towards the broken, hurting, selfish people whose brokenness, hurt, and selfishness are not causing us to suffer. It is another thing entirely to love and think warm thoughts towards the broken, hurting, selfish people whose brokenness, hurt, and selfishness are causing us to suffer. (And I just happen to be surrounded by far more of those people right now than ever before. Even my therapist was like “Most people would have abandoned ship by now, holy cow.”)

I don’t really have a concluding thought. I just know that it is hard to love all the immediate people around me, just as it is hard to confront my powerlessness in the face of national and global emergencies. But though it is hard, I can still choose to love and serve those in my community, and can live out that choice immediately, so that seems like a pretty good place to start.

Today (now yesterday) I am feeling despondent over the future of the world and the planet. Kavanaugh was confirmed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their Fifth Assessment report and unless we do an about-face NOW, we are screwed. (**Checks who is in power** Yeah, we're screwed.) Brazil is yet another country flirting with … Continue reading In-Between Thoughts 10.8.18

HSP lightbulb moment

One of the best and worst parts of being a highly-sensitive person is how I “absorb” the emotions or vibe of the room and company I’m in. If someone I’m taking to is sad, I feel that sadness in a vivid, though not-quite-first-person way. If someone is anxious, my blood pressure tends to rise a little in response. If someone is happy, I feel the happiness. Likewise, if there is a mood of a room, I feel that pretty acutely. I am good at picking up on little cues and interpreting them in relation to all that is going on, even if I’m not always conscious of those cues and what my subconscious brain has determined they mean.

In addition to be a HSP, I’m also pretty introverted. I loooooove alone time. It’s one of my most precious commodities and I need to intentionally incorporate alone time into my life in order to stay mentally healthy and give my brain a break.

And for some reason, I just realized that part of the reason is that when I’m alone, I don’t have any external emotions or vibes to absorb. I’m not “on alert” in a way that I just can’t avoid when I’m around people. Even when I don’t want to, if I’m around people I am attuned to their vibes, picking up on their physical cues, and my brain is working to put those into a coherent framework and I start thinking about what I need to do or can do to enhance their positive feelings and soothe their negative feelings. Being alone gives my brain a chance to turn off its hungry, relentless receptors and just…. be. Just be in whatever I’m feeling and thinking. Being alone, I can finally just feel what I, myself, feel and can then process those feelings (consciously or subconsciously) as needed, without the distraction of other people’s emotions complicating the swirl of reactive and affective events in my poor little overwhelmed psychical life.

In a sense, my brain gets to be fully mine only when I’m alone. No wonder I cherish alone time so much and no wonder it is so restorative.

One of the best and worst parts of being a highly-sensitive person is how I "absorb" the emotions or vibe of the room and company I'm in. If someone I'm taking to is sad, I feel that sadness in a vivid, though not-quite-first-person way. If someone is anxious, my blood pressure tends to rise a … Continue reading HSP lightbulb moment

In-Between Thoughts 10.1.18

The trade winds are back! The trade winds are back! DID I MENTION THAT THE TRADE WINDS ARE BACK?! Oof. September was brutally hot and humid and still. I have been physically miserable at home for too long. This weekend was cooler, breezy, and dang near euphoric. I still miss fall weather something fierce, but I will take any kind of relief from hurricane season weather in Hawai’i.


Well, the Kavanaugh thing just keeps getting more awful, huh? We have a long way to go in this country to get our democracy on a moral, just, ethical path. Hoping desperately for a blue wave in November.


Relatedly, I have been sometimes consumed with anxiety and sorrow about how to manage some relationships in my life, all brought to light by the current political climate. Without going into too many details, I have someone in my life who has demonstrated that he will allow all the moral evils he railed against during democratic administrations. He has also demonstrated that he does not, on principle, believe women who testify about having been sexually assaulted.

This means that he will not believe me if I ever have to report sexual assault.

This pains me on a level I can’t quite grasp and believe.

All of this has made me just feel… so unsafe with this person. Unsafe as a result of this person. Because the reality is that due to the fact that I’m a woman, in many ways I am not a person to this person, so by definition I am not safe with him. Everything he is working for (professionally and personally) is aimed at indirectly or directly making life significantly worse for people like me and for people even more marginalized and oppressed than me. How can I have a relationship with this person? How can I maintain any affection, or even a semblance of rather sterile love, for him?

I am a firm believer in embracing deep relationships with people of a wide variety of views and beliefs. This is really hard to do, and I don’t do it all that well. This person is really testing the limits of that belief of mine. I am more at a loss about this than I have been about perhaps anything else ever in my life.

I really want to have a mind that looks earnestly at all ideas and evaluates them on their merits and ethical implications regardless of political affiliation, and to have a heart that accepts and loves all people knowing they are all broken in their own ways…. I also want to be someone who doesn’t put up with hate and discrimination, who fights for the oppressed and marginalized. I don’t know how to reconcile those two here. People are so difficult and kind of shitty a lot of the time.


On a ridiculous note, yesterday I walked full-on, full-force, full-speed-no-slowing into our lanai sliding glass door. With my face. Just bashed right into the glass, making the loudest BONG sound and sending my now-mangled glasses flying. For the next ten minutes I couldn’t stop a crazy mix of hysterical laughter and weird crying because HOT DAMN that hurt but also it was pretty funny. My husband was nonplussed that it could even happen and just kind of nervously laughed/hugged/iced/looked concernedly at my noggin. I actually blame him for the incident because he cleaned the door so well I didn’t even notice it was closed. But I suppose a bleeding head is a small price to pay for a feminist, equitable partnership that splits house duties 50-50.

I think.

The trade winds are back! The trade winds are back! DID I MENTION THAT THE TRADE WINDS ARE BACK?! Oof. September was brutally hot and humid and still. I have been physically miserable at home for too long. This weekend was cooler, breezy, and dang near euphoric. I still miss fall weather something fierce, but … Continue reading In-Between Thoughts 10.1.18

A moment of word mapping

Recently, while reading a paper by María Lugones, I came across the word “arrogate.” I had to look it up, because apparently I don’t know ALL the words (DAMMIT), and came across this definition (thanks, Google!):

“to take or claim something without justification.”

In the Lugones paper, arrogate was used in reference to Marilyn Frye’s term, “arrogant perception.” So then I had to look up that term (thanks again, Google!):

a tendency of those in power to arrogate others to serve their interests, not only in practice, but at the very level of perception.”

Ok, so arrogate and arrogance clearly have more of a connection than I knew (especially since I didn’t know what ‘arrogate’ meant).  So I looked up arrogance (thanks thrice, Google!):

“having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.”

So arrogance is arrogating status, importance, and competence. I love this way of looking at it.

THEN, and finally for all you who are tired of this (but how could you be?! Words are awesome!) I looked up the common root of both words (thank you for the fourth and final (for now) time, Google!):

“The word arrogate comes from the Latin word arrogatus, a past participle of the verb ‘arrogare’ which means ‘to appropriate to one’s self.” 

“The word arrogant comes from the Latin word ‘arrogantem’ which means ‘assuming, overbearing, insolent’, present participle of ‘arrogare.’ 

So both arrogate and arrogance come from participles of the Latin word arrogare. This is not exactly earth-shattering for comprehension, but I really enjoy seeing how certain words are related. It gives me a deeper, richer context for how they have been used, how they could be used, perhaps how they are misused, and how I can think about what they infer or represent in a different way.

Also, on a side note, arrogance is one of my most loathed qualities of another person, and I can see why a bit better now. It’s selfish, grasping, unreasonable, and actively takes something away from another person. I know the world a bit better now that I know how some have put and mapped words to it.

Recently, while reading a paper by María Lugones, I came across the word "arrogate." I had to look it up, because apparently I don't know ALL the words (DAMMIT), and came across this definition (thanks, Google!): "to take or claim something without justification." In the Lugones paper, arrogate was used in reference to Marilyn Frye's … Continue reading A moment of word mapping

Enneagram thoughts

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Enneagram lately, and because I love all things personality/authenticity, I decided it was finally time for me to take a test and see where I came out. The friend who recommended it most highly said I’d be able to tell what I was without the test, but after reading the descriptions I was totally lost. I thought maybe I could be a 1? Maybe a 6? Apparently even after writing a whole book on authenticity I still don’t know myself all that well. Oops. Ha.
Turns out, I am a 5, an Investigator, with types 1 (Reformer) and 2 (Helper) tied for 2nd.

I wish I could say I wasn’t terribly pleased with the “intellectual” bent of my results, but I was. I still am, a bit. I still struggle with the tendency to celebrate or even worship intellectualism. That deep appreciation for knowledge is often to the benefit of my learning, sure, but can certainly be to the detriment of my character and to my self-esteem if not kept in check.

But anyway, back to the Enneagram. If I understand it correctly, the Enneagram supposedly reveals what motivates or drives us in life, or what we feel we need to attain to feel secure. For 5s, security is felt in knowledge. Apparently I feel like if I know enough, I’ll be able to handle anything — even the unexpected. That certainly fits with my love for and place in the higher ed academic setting. Knowledge is dang near everything, and emblems of knowledge gained directly translate to power. (Degrees, grants, etc.)

The Enneagram testing of what drives us is an interesting contrast to the Myers-Briggs evaluation that purports to uncover how we react and respond to the world. As an INFJ, I am Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Judging. I get energy from being alone, I process the world through patterns and intuitions and see the “big picture”, when making a decision I prefer to think about what is best for the people involved and maintain harmony, and I think sequentially and prefer to keep life and things in order.

Seeing my Enneagram result was nice for me because as an INFJ I always felt like my love for learning and rationality was not quite represented in my MBTI result. My Enneagram type kind of zeroed in on that one aspect and it felt like a nice additional puzzle piece to the whole person that no one taxonomy can ever fully represent. There is a lot more for me to learn about Enneagram types (apparently there are assessments for how types reacts when angry/threatened/happy/etc.?), but this was a nice reminder that, overall limitations and “junk science” of personality tests accepted, no one test can capture all we are. We don’t need to feel particularly defined by or stuffed into any category just because we took a free online test and a description popped out. I love categorizing and understanding things, finding clear, clean defining lines around what I know, understand, and need to work with (hence: type 5, probably), so it’s important for me to let things and people push those boundaries and to overflow into different realms even when I wish they would stay put.

I found a free test here: https://similarminds.com/compatibility-enneagram.html. If you take it, let me know! I’d love to hear what your type is.

I've been hearing a lot about the Enneagram lately, and because I love all things personality/authenticity, I decided it was finally time for me to take a test and see where I came out. The friend who recommended it most highly said I'd be able to tell what I was without the test, but after … Continue reading Enneagram thoughts

In-Between Thoughts 9.20.18

HOW IS THE GYM STILL SO HOT AND HUMID. Come on, Hawai’i. This climate cannot be a surprise by now and a/c is one of humankind’s greatest inventions.

But… probably shouldn’t use it because global warming.

I remain conflicted. And sweaty. Blech.


I have tried to put into words my reactions to the GOP’s and evangelical church’s treatment of Dr. Ford and her allegations of attempted rape against Kavanaugh. I can’t find the words, or perhaps it’s that I can’t find the right order of too many words. My disgust runs too deep to be articulated at the moment. Come on, November. Let’s get some ethical people of character leading this damn country.


On that note, I am beyond proud of our senators, Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz. Senator Hirono is fed up with the Kavanaugh process and taking no shit. Men need to shut up and stand up, indeed. Senator Schatz keeps emphasizing the important issues, that we need to vote with an eye to which party is locking up kids and taking away our health care. I am so proud to have them as my senators and it gives me hope for this country, knowing some strong people of principle exist in Congress.


Speaking of character, I see it lacking in a lot of places I find myself these days. I feel so powerless to change thing, and everything I have tried has been trashed. These next few years cannot pass fast enough for my emotional, mental, and professional health.


On a happier note, I am having so much fun planning future episodes of our podcast and tinkering with the template for our forthcoming website (woo!). Some intellectual delights to look forward to at the end of very long week days.


On a gym note, today my form seems to have really locked in. My body feels the lifts in the muscles those lifts are working, not the joints or my lower back. That feels so good and I love how strong I feel. #beastmode


And with all those notes, my lifting has come to an end. Time for a protein shake and an early bedtime. 😴 When this posts, it will be Friday!!

HOW IS THE GYM STILL SO HOT AND HUMID. Come on, Hawai'i. This climate cannot be a surprise by now and a/c is one of humankind's greatest inventions. But... probably shouldn't use it because global warming. I remain conflicted. And sweaty. Blech. I have tried to put into words my reactions to the GOP's and … Continue reading In-Between Thoughts 9.20.18

Thoughts on study music

Just a little thought for the day. I love classical music. Medieval, Baroque, Classical (with a capital C), Romantic, and some Modern/Contemporary. I gravitate most towards the Romantic and Classical. They feed my soul. They help ease my anxiety and make me feel much more centered and present.

Since I’ve been back at graduate school, I’ve been conscious of my environment for studying and trying to pay attention to where I function best. I love going to coffee shops for the food and caffeine supply, but the music there is always distracting. I’m a Highly Sensitive Person which means on top of crying about everything (happy, sad, frustrating, joyful, you name it) I am very, very sensitive to the sensory stimuli of my environment. I pick up on the tiniest details of my surrounding and tend to “absorb” moods and overall atmospheres no matter where I am. Environment, for my productivity, really matters.

That’s where this all comes back to classical music. I know some people like studying or working to classical music, and you would think I would be the same, seeing as how it does such a good job of easing my anxiety and bringing me back to the present. But I can’t. I get even more swept up in classical music, in the pull and angst of the musical phrasing, the emotional content and drama that speak to me even more deeply than lyrics could. I love the music too much to be able to send it to the background of my attention.

Turns out, I need the quiet, the boring, the still. Libraries are beautiful.

Sometimes I love being an HSP (it’s why I’m able to get such deep joy out of classical music), but sometimes it’s a real PITA to work around. All my enjoyments are very context-dependent. A blog post for another time…

 

Just a little thought for the day. I love classical music. Medieval, Baroque, Classical (with a capital C), Romantic, and some Modern/Contemporary. I gravitate most towards the Romantic and Classical. They feed my soul. They help ease my anxiety and make me feel much more centered and present. Since I've been back at graduate school, … Continue reading Thoughts on study music