Collection of 8 Good Things


  • Inspirational quotes aren’t my favorite, and I’m not alone. So I really liked this post, because in addition to pointing out the limits of inspirational phrases, there is some real wisdom in here about the value of frustration. I’ve done so much reading about productivity lately, yet have read little about how sometimes you have to grit your teeth, want to throw things and scream before you can create great work. And it can be difficult to “schedule” the time that it takes to work through that frustration. This need for frustration may be one of my biggest problems with the prevailing theories out there about how to be more productive with your time, like the four hour work week (great in theory!) or even time-tracking which I do find useful. Yet, frustration is so often, as Jess points out, critical to accomplishment.
  • I find her hilarious on The Good Place, but this free-wheeling interview with Jameela Jamil was an eye opener. Turns out she’s a brilliant commentator about the toxicity of Instagram / its insidious effect on the latest beauty standards, “the double agents of the patriarchy,” Me Too/Time’s Up, and much more. She has her own Instagram account called @i_weigh that helps to counter that IG toxicity by picturing real women talking about much more than how much they weigh. Jameela also has a distinctively stoic attitude (the REAL stoicism, not the Cliff Notes version) that comes from early experiences with misfortune. My favorite quote came from her takedown of Hollywood’s role in promoting ridiculous body standards: “They will have to run me out of this business, which I’m sure will happen, but I would rather go down in flames than stick around and be part of this.” She’s hoping for an Amy Poehler-type career for herself, and now I am too.
  • Speaking of Amy Poehler, I wish we saw more of her but I’m making do with ridiculous amounts of reruns of “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix. (I also wish Leslie Knope was the real Indiana governor, especially with midterm elections coming up.) On the latest re-watch, I’ve been noticing how hilarious Rob Lowe was as Chris Traeger. In one episode, after getting dumped by his girlfriend he DJs a community Valentine’s Day dance, playing such bangers as Sigur Ros, Sigur 4 and worst of all, a creepy chanting/screaming number.
    • Chris: “Happy Valentine’s Day Pawnee. For me, it is not happy. But don’t let my sadness diminish your night. (Ominous music plays) Anyway, life is fleeing.”

      Worst Setlist Ever. But I mean, who hasn’t felt this way at least once in their life on Valentine’s Day?

  • Thanks for Maggie and Nicole for answering my question about whether to invest in cyber currency. Their answer, and this link, runs counter to the hype we’re surrounded by here in Silicon Valley.
  • The ultimate Blind Item
  • My brother writes about a cool music project
  • I am enjoying Sharp Objects on HBO. We still have four episodes to go, but holy potatoes. Wind Gap is a uniquely macabre, messed-up town (the anti-Pawnee), and Adora Crellin is the absolute WORST.
  • I would love any podcast recommendations. I’ve recently enjoyed “By the Book,”a hilarious, yet often moving show where two comedians follow a self-help book’s advice and report back, and “What Should I Read Next.” Every episode of WSIRN feels like a therapy session for one reader, and there are lots of solid book recommendations. I also find it compelling to hear which books people love and hate–even if the book they hate is a book I love. Did you know many readers out there hate Charles Dickens?

What do you think about frustration, the possibility of a four hour work week, Chris Traeger, Charles Dickens and Sharp Objects? Also, podcast recommendations welcome. 


Filed under stoicism

7 responses to “Collection of 8 Good Things

  1. Best of Both Worlds is a good podcast.

  2. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but I have enjoyed occasional episodes of David Axelrod’s The Axe Files. He has some really great guests and asks some really great questions!

    I rather dreaded reading Dickens when I was at university (& I never did get through Bleak House), but I rather enjoyed the ones I encountered there — which included Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations, and Hard Times, which seems particularly relevant these days…!

    • Thanks for the recommendation on The Axe Files. I also liked Great Expectations. And Tale of Two Cities, which seems to be a common book people hate. I have never read Bleak House or Hard Times, as the names were a bit off-putting!

  3. Your writing is valueble for me. Thanks!

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