I am an avid reader. Ever since I’ve learned how to read, I’ve haunted my local library and devoured most of the well-loved books that my father keeps in his study. Last year I read over 70 books. Some of them were ebooks, but the vast majority of them were good old paper versions. And I just listened to my first audiobook. So, what’s the best way to enjoy a good book? What are the pros and cons of each?
Ah, this one is tough. Not that I shy away from difficult conversations, but religion is… a minefield, to say the least. It touches to our histories, our families, our traditions, our personal experiences – good and bad – and just talking about it can change the sweetest person you know into a rabid dog. Like politics, it’s often painted in black and white. You’re either with us or against us and there’s no inbetween.
Don’t you get the feeling that everything is pretty extreme nowadays? We’re made to choose sides, in everything. You can’t be part of a group if you don’t agree with everything they do and say, you’re not a ‘real’ supporter if you’re moderate. It seems like social media has made such behaviours worse than ever (but it always existed – I remember pretty vividly my highschool years, when we were pressured by our peers to choose a type of music we liked, and to stick with it. I never could).
This week the always excellent Amber from The Fairly Local Family (formerly TheFairlyLocalVegan, which is important to mention) explained why she won’t call herself vegan anymore. She’s been relentlessly attacked since she published a video on her channel in which she bought a pair of second-hand shoes for her oldest kid. What’s the matter, you think? Well, those shoes were leather sandals. Her (very sound, might I say) reasoning was that she couldn’t find any vegan option second-hand, her kid needed sandals, those shoes were second-hand and durable and would be worn by her other kids.
Yesterday, we had a power outage. Well, I had. My daughters were already sleeping, and my husband was out training with his team. Anyway. I was reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography in my chair (I watched one episode of Outlander before that but I like to read before going to bed) while suddenly, it was pitch dark. The cat mewled loudly, startled I guess, and I thought ‘well, shit’.
Social media, blogs and newspaper are full of stories of people who successfully left their boring 9-to-5 jobs to either live a glamorous nomad life, live from their art or create their own companies. And, I mean, good for them! But let’s be realistic: not everyone can do it. And not everyone can live like this, because, like it or not, we need some people to do those 9-to-5 jobs. All those success stories gives us the impression that people who still work such jobs are, well, miserable folks at best, and pathetic losers at worst.
Let’s talk about porn. Or rather, let me direct you to an awesome article on porn, to be found on the no-less awesome The Art of Manliness blog. You should read it before reading this. It’s a really good analysis, neither moralizing or naive, and I think the author makes a lot of good points.
Today I would like to talk about the belt I’m currently wearing. It’s a cute aqua coloured thing, with a golden buckle. It’s pretty enough. But it’s only pretty on the outside, and the story of it is quite an ugly one indeed.
The first time I thought about how differently pain affects us, I was 18 and a surgeon had just gotten my 4 wisdom teeth out. Stupidly small jaws combined with stupidly big teeth. Go figure. Anyway, after a little stunt where I woke up from the anaesthesia and tried to escape the hospital naked (hey, don’t judge. I woke up naked in a strange place with no recollection of what had happened before. I ran for it, and I maintain that it’s a perfect example of human’s flight instinct) I found myself blessedly clothed and resting in a room. I was feeling okay, if terribly hungry.
I wrote this thing on social media not so long ago. Since then not much has changed, only that I pay more attention to people with smartphones around me… and now that I really pay attention, it makes me really sad, and concerned.
Here‘s an article that really captures my feelings on the subject. The author, Steve Mix, makes very good points (and of course I can only cheer at his parallel with the french expression ‘l’appel du vide’) about our addiction to this little device and the downsides of it. Worth a read!