January 2017 Notes

Hello friends!

January 2017 has been good to me personally. But I can't help feeling worried/frightened/horrified by what has been going on with my country. I guess a silver lining is... the new administration is helping Americans figure out what they really care about, and helping us remember who we are as a nation and a culture, and then forcing us to stand up for those things and support other Americans too.

This article in the Atlantic was interesting. Watching my Twitter feed is interesting. Talking to friends and coworkers is helpful (conclusion: buy more beans and rice).

I keep thinking of movies and books where truth and good prevails, and how that happens. A chink in a dragon's armored belly, just big enough for an arrow. A small gold ring carried many miles under great duress by "the most unlikely creature imaginable." A rock and a slingshot. A proton torpedo to the thermal exhaust port. Find the flaw, and then move with courage and persistence.

So how has January been good?

Well, I read 9 books this month. My favorite was "Winter: Notes from Montana" by Rick Bass. My next favorite was "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany" by Bill Buford. I'd recommend these two to anyone.

I ran 91 miles this month.

I drank zero alcohol this month. I liked it, and will do it again, but I'm going back to moderation for February.

Instead of Facebook I've been reading Twitter as I mentioned, as well as Flipboard (an app that displays feeds in a virtual magazine form), and also dabbling with Youtube. I watched a Marie Kondo video and have been following some of her tidying principles, mainly deciding if things "spark joy." If not, get rid of them. As a result I got rid of a Soviet tea container that I believe is from 1984.

But not before taking some photos!

The three characters on top say "Chai," which of course means tea.


It's a clever design as there is another inner lid that keeps the loose tea from getting everywhere when you first open it.

I imagined the tea inside would have a rich, dark odor of yearning for the samovar, but the 32 year old tea did not smell at all. That made it easier to tidy out of my life. Goodbye, Chai!

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