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Chronicle Preparedness

Day 451 and Takeout

I’m a little embarrassed that this is the second time I’ve written about takeout on my daily essay series but fuck it I am owning my love of outsourcing food. My fridge has absolutely nothing in it but leftover boxes of takeout right now and I’ve used Wolt every single day this week. I highly recommend if you find yourself in Germany.

When I get tired or overwhelmed or otherwise struggle to manage life food has always been one of my bigger struggles. I just have no affinity for cooking. The people who find it relaxing or enjoyable seem insane to me. My husband is one of those people. He’s a talented cook. I on the other hand have been known to hyperventilate because I set the microwave on fire because I didn’t know you couldn’t put tinfoil in it. Also this is the second day in a row where I’ve admitted to setting shit on fire. I wonder what that is about.

As much as I love traditional skills and think preparedness and homesteading are worthy and even vital pursuits, cooking is just not the skill for me. I’ll garden and handle the animals but please don’t ask me to make a meal. I can’t handle planning an hour ahead of time. My timing horizons are one year or ten years.

This affinity for long term planning is probably why I like planting and venture capital. I’ll happily work towards a long term goal but if I have to pressure myself into a task on a specific day well frankly I’d probably rather set something on fire. I just can’t predict how I’ll be on any given day. And I’ve only got so much energy so why would I use it on anything that’s not crucial or enjoyable.

So fuck feeling bad about it and my Wolt bills from this month. It’s who I am and everyone in my life who is affected by this habit seems fine with it. Well except maybe the recycling and trash bin guys. They’ve got to be thinking “this bitch needs to chill on the takeout boxes!” But also look at this amazing piece of packaging and tell me it wasn’t all with it.

A bison burger in a takeout box
The magic of good recycled packaging

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Chronicle

Day 449 and Lost Time

I lost some time this week. I was living on someone else’s schedule and it cascaded into a wash of hours where I felt like I was completely out of sync with the wider world as I struggled to get back in my own time.

I’m not at my best when I have to push myself to live on other people’s time. Everything shrunk down to my bedroom and my body and my own myopia about righting my sense of reality. I was in a lot of physical pain which pushed me mentally as well.

I started to feel genuinely better and on track around 5pm in Frankfurt. Technically that meant I still had a half day in California to work. But I’d lost the will to push. I needed to regroup. I am telling myself that it’s ok because it’s not as if I work a standard 9-5 job. I can take the weekend to find my way back to the timeline. And if I’m honest some of my best work gets done on Saturday night.

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Chronicle

Day 416 and Packing

I’m going to Europe for the month of March. After two years of isolation with my husband it felt like it was time to be on my own for a little bit. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. And yes the trip will involve work so founders in Germany and France feel free to reach out.

Of course, a long trip means careful packing. I’m not traditionally been a fan of packing. In fact, packing is my most common recurring nightmare.

Packing brings back all my childhood memories of never feeling stable. Boxes and suitcases take me back. A common theme in my recurring nightmare is trying to find all the basics I will need for some trip. I’ll be searching for underwear or prescription medication. As the dream unfolds I’ll find a key item only to have it disappear. There is always a countdown.

Naturally I’m a bit concerned packing for a month long trip to another continent after literally years of not packing. But I’m letting some of of the fear go. Jo

I was at my first work conference since the pandemic this week. I had to pack up medication and supplements. Makeup and toiletries for casual and more formal events needed to be gathered and stowed. I needed to account for professional dressing along with a snowstorm and a 60 degree day. I brought a parka and boots along with heels and proper lingerie. It was not an easy packing job.

And to my surprise everything worked. I brought the right mix of attire. I only forgot a few medications that weren’t crucial. I looked perfectly fine and was able to be as casual or as polished as the circumstances required. And blessedly it mostly all fit into my trusty Muji suitcase.

While I feel out of practice, a dry run before I need to really have my act together for a big international trip went great. Maybe I’m actually ready to get back on the road.

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Chronicle

Day 395 and Uninspired

I was texting with a friend that I wasn’t feeling very inspired to write today.

Do you think you will just skip it?”

It has actually never crossed my mind that I’d skip writing. I was idly commenting that it was on my to do list. My friend probably meant it more as a joke. Maybe I skip other items on my to do list. I haven’t meditated today. Or checked my email. But skipping writing just for being uninspired? That won’t be how my streak ends.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered how the streak gets broken. I’ll have morbid thoughts about accidents. You know the kind where your mind decides to make you consider something horrifying. What would it be like if I drove off the road? That would probably end the streak. Thanks mind for going there what the fuck.

But even when I had to go to urgent care or stay off my phone for the mother of all migraines, I still wrote something. It’s more likely that something stupid happens like a flight delay accidentally fucks up timing. I do actually have an international flight coming up and I’m planning to write first thing in the morning to work around the ten hour flight time. But today? Nope. I got a few paragraphs down. And that still counts.

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Chronicle

Day 335 and Ankle

I was going for a walk and misjudged coming down a stair. We’ve got tiny stairs of rock and wood and hand poured concrete in the courtyard of our complex. They aren’t the most even. I don’t know how I came down so hard but Alex said he heard something as I came down. I tried to get back up and put weight on my foot and immediately collapsed. I must have screened loudly as everyone came running.

I couldn’t make it up the stairs to get back into the house. I had to scoot myself up the stairs using my arms to lift me and shimmying my ass. I kept trying to test if could manage any pressure on it. I had tears running down my face and my iPhone giving me tachycardia warnings.

I initially crawled myself upstairs to get in bed so I could elevate and ice. We weren’t sure if it was a sprain or an actual broken bone or ligament. We called around to see if anyone had doctors who made house calls. The last thing I wanted was a four hour emergency room visit while I was in excruciating pain. But eventually the feedback from a virtual visit was I needed X-rays as it’s not a good sign that I can’t apply any pressure to it.

The urgent care center got me a boot and crutches and I’m waiting on the X-ray results. I am so angry as I don’t want a random health thing requiring surgery and physical therapy and months off my feet. I feel like I just got to a great place with my health recently. To have a set back with my existing issues would have been more of the same. To have something new feels profoundly unfair.

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Aesthetics Chronicle

Day 332 and Advent

I don’t talk about it much but I am a Christian. Not the American evangelical type but more of the original reformation Calvinist type. I happened to be taking set theory at the same time as I was reading Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. God is the set of all sets. Which cannot exist. You probably follow my logic from there. Math and divinity school are a weird mix.

I like routine and rhythm and even seasons. I particularly like holidays and the way we set our calendars by them. The holy nights between Christmas and epiphany are some of the most sacred in my own calendar as I use them for rest and reflection. It’s the space between the in breath and out breath of the year.

Tonight is the first night of advent. It’s the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Advent, from the Latin adventus and the Greek parousia, means arrival or coming. I guess strictly speaking it’s the liturgical calendar’s preparation for the nativity of Christ but also maybe the second coming. Apparently no one knows exactly when Christians decided to celebrate advent (maybe the Council of Tours?), but it seems to involve fasting.

I have an advent wreath and candles. I am ready to celebrate the changing seasons. I like the idea that the end of the year is the beginning of the new one. Beginnings and endings now being so wrapped up in the Christian calendar that we don’t even remember what pagan light festival they replaced. Winter solstice is just a part of the season now. The first Sunday of Advent are coinciding with the first not of Chanukah this year. Festival of lights are aligning this year. I’ll be lighting a lot of candles to see myself into the end of this year.

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Chronicle Internet Culture Startups

Day 321 and Distracted

I was so excited for today. For the first day in weeks I didn’t have a single appointment on my calendar. I had finally run the gauntlet of bullshit obligations that has been chopping up my focus and my days.

I went to bed last night sure that’s I’d finally send out all the emails to folks I wanted as limited partners in my fund, follow up with a bunch of founders, and organize all the various materials and research just waiting to be published. I was going to make progress! I was going to pull the future forward with my own willpower.

But what did I do instead today? I sat in on DAO governance calls in Discord. I accepted an invite to a new working group for a stateless crypto project that is being rebooted for its second round. I listened to token and ecosystem rooms on Twitter for projects I’m invested in. I watched some bitcoin maxis fight against some side chain projects. And I read a bunch of newsletters and financial papers. Which all sounds productive but is basically me just fucking off.

The future arrives whether I pull it in on my force or will or not. Distraction probably has no meaning. But I did finally find a house in Colorado that I could see myself buying. So the only appointment on the calendar tomorrow is visiting the property. So perhaps that’s as much progress as was necessary.

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Chronicle

Day 300 and Accomplishment

When I first started my practice of writing every single day I had the goal that I would do it for 30 straight days. I started on New Year’s Day and we all know how most resolutions end for people. But I figured one day at a time right? Sure I wanted to start a practice that would go further than a month but I didn’t want to jinx myself so I didn’t set a goal of reaching any fixed number on January 1st.

So today ten months later on day 300 of writing every single day I’ll admit I have ambitions for this space that I don’t want to say out loud. I want to enjoy the moment. I want to note the occasion. And maybe I want to feel a little not accomplished.

Which was a theme I also explored on day 100. And again on day 200. I suspect I’ll say something if I make it to one full year of writing daily. Maybe I’ll have the pleasure of noting every 100 days again. Perhaps it’s human nature to notice the markers but to be a little afraid to make a big deal out of them.

We know in our hearts the accomplishments we seek but we dare not same then out loud. No inviting in evil spirits right? Even though I suppose we might be inviting in the angels just as easily. So maybe I’ll just say that I would love to make it day 1,000. The idea of having a record of my thoughts for years seems like a heady ambition.

I don’t want to opt myself into something that may not serve me in the future. One reason I’ve loved this exercise is because I felt like I opted into it every single day. It was always a choice and I always made it. It has been an enjoyable experience and a daily discipline. So I hope it’s one that continues to serve me. And I’d it doesn’t that’s ok too. May we make all choices in freedom.

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Chronicle

Day 285 and Screw It

I don’t feel very focused at the moment. I don’t have any topics that are calling out to me. I don’t even have any emotions that I want to explore. I mostly just want to be finished with the day and the only thing standing in between me and an early bedtime is writing something for the day.

Filling space up with word salads makes me feel like a kid with an essay assignment. “Give me two pages on Franco-American relations in the wake of American revolutionary war” and suddenly you are double spacing and trying to make a point about…actually I’ve got nothing. I can’t even make a joke about fake essays with fake topics. That’s how much I don’t want to write tonight.

So I guess I’ll let myself off the hook. Not every day will be one with insights or emotions that are worth sharing. My mind can’t hold anything and I think I’ll leave it here.

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Chronicle

Day 266 and Out Like A Light

I nearly missed my daily commitment to write (or as it autocorrected “weird) everyday. Yesterday I was overcome by an intense need to sleep. I could barely manage to get a sentence on paper, tag it, and put it out before I passed out completely. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to missing my daily writing exercise in over two hundred days.

A narcoleptic spell would be pretty cool but I think it was a much simpler form of fatigue. I’d been so focused on a number of exciting projects (including a startup with a founder that is the best I’ve seen all year) that I just needed a rest. I couldn’t push it anymore and needed to sleep.

I didn’t feel any of the poisonous desperation from workaholic exhaustion that I’ve felt in the past. This felt like a simple tiredness that was so complete I couldn’t overcome. I fought off closing eyes as I tagged and hit publish.

And I was out. In the past fatigue has been a draining but far too lucid an experience. The kind of tiredness where you wish you could sleep but the combination of worry, focus, and anxiety would keep you awake is more familiar. I much prefer the clean tiredness of being unable to fight off sleep. Though if I need 12 hours of sleep if I work too many hours that might get a little annoying.