Friday Inspiration 382

The question in the title of this video, “Is it normal to talk to yourself?” is answered pretty quickly, but there’s some other stuff in here that’s very interesting. I read about positive self-talk helping athletic performance a few years ago in Alex Hutchinson’s book Endure, and still have to remind myself to practice it when I really need it. Also working on “less profane self-talk” while performing home improvement tasks. (video)

screen capture from Is it normal to talk to yourself


I have been thinking a lot lately about the culture of growth and wealth in the U.S. (and lots of other places too), in which our idea of success requires us to make it big, or get bought out for a bajillion dollars or whatever. So I loved this story about Defector and its efforts to create an actual good thing that a) doesn’t have to compromise its ethics in order to pay employees, b) provides real jobs for writers and journalists, and c) is actually fun to read. (I am very tempted to spoil the ending, which I believe has one of the best quotes in the entire story, but I will not.)

I feel quite special because I first heard about this book, You’re Not A Real Parent Until …, in person, while drinking coffee with Jason Chatfield last fall. I have seen the press release, but in my own words, two Australian New Yorker cartoonists-slash-standup comedians (Jason and Scott Dooley) made 100-plus cartoons about the four stages of a child’s life—babies, toddlers and kids, tweens and teens, all grown up—and it’s coming out on June 13th. (Part of the inspiration for the book was Scott’s “research” as he and his wife started talking about having a family, and he spent time with a friend’s toddler, and found himself repeatedly asking, “Is that normal?”)

I was just writing over the weekend about my past experiences leading backpacking trips for teenagers (OK, it was more about this one year when one of the kids didn’t change his socks the entire 6-day trip and how that went over) and I got a message from Cass at Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions in New Mexico about their summer programs for teens in the Southwest. (And now I’m thinking about how our little guy will spend his teenage summers in a few short years…) They still have openings in their 3-6 week treks for the summer, and they offer scholarships. Here’s the website for more info.

Ok, if you’re not a bit of a word nerd, you might not be into this—but if you have ever mispronounced a word and then realized that you’d only ever read the word and never heard it said out loud, maybe you can relate. And if you can relate, maybe you will be as entertained as I am with the idea of “misles,” and the story behind it, and the 10 favorite misles of the folks at Mental Floss. I mean, “not derfed” could technically have been a thing in medieval times? That’s great.

I love this McSweeney’s piece, and I am unashamed to admit I love it because I read a lot of books, and approximately 99 out of the 100 times I read an epigraph, I go, “OK, I don’t get that, but let’s get into the actual book.”

I have been a big fan of Tim Urban’s Wait But Why for a long time, and am glad that he appears to be back writing on the internet after years of hiding in a hole working on his new book. This new piece he wrote, “10 Thoughts From the Fourth Trimester,” obviously resonates with me since I’m a new parent, but I don’t think you have to have kids or even like kids to appreciate the graph he drew for #1: A newborn is not a baby.

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For my recent art installation at Assembly in Seattle, I made up 12 “first draft” coffee mug designs to put on the shelves there next to the prints we hung. Well, we only have room for six of these designs now, so for the month of June, we’re having a sort of Thunderdome playoff: Only the most popular designs survive. The six mugs that sell the most will stay on, the six mugs that sell the least will be deleted—which I guess makes them “Limited Edition” mugs. I’ll post the rankings at the end of every Friday newsletter until the end of June (for now, they’re listed in no particular order), when the winners will be announced. So if you are looking for a new coffee mug/conversation piece, or you have a friend who needs one, here they are:

But First, Existential Dread mug: 

but first existential dread mug

I Don’t Care What Some CEO’s Morning Routine Is mug: 

I Don't Care What Some CEO's Morning Routine Is mug

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee mug: 

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee mug

Oh Yeah mug: 

Oh Yeah mug

Life Is Heck Then You Die mug: 

Life Is Heck Then You Die mug

My Other Coffee Mug is a Larger Coffee Mug mug: 

My Other Coffee Mug Is A Larger Coffee Mug mug

I’m Like An Alcoholic But For Coffee mug: 

I'm Like An Alcoholic But For Coffee mug

Hand Bald Eagle mug:

Hand Bald Eagle mug

A Portrait of the #1 Dad Mug mug:

Portrait of the #1 Dad Mug mug

Defend Tofu mug: 

defend tofu mug

Cappuccino Punisher mug:

Cappuccino Punisher mug

Hello Lionel x Adele mug: 

hello lionel x adele mug