Categories
Aesthetics Travel

Day 633 and Hospitality

One of the things my husband Alex and I were most excited by when we bought our homestead in Montana is inviting our friends and family to stay with us. We have an entire floor of the house dedicated to guests and have plans to turn part of our barn into a separate guest house as well.

We’ve begun the process of designing and furnishing our guest floor. We have two rooms, a bathroom and a separate living room. The furniture is slowing turning up. Which means it is time to work on the details of making it as comfortable and hospitable as possible. Naturally we asked Twitter to weigh in on what makes people feel at home in someone else’s house. And you did not disappoint.

Toiletries

Traveling with full toiletries and skincare can be a challenge especially when flying. Here is a list of the most requested grooming items and toiletries

  • Hairdryer
  • Roundbrush & Styling Tools
  • Shampoo & Conditioner & Body Wash
  • Lotion & Body Moisturizer
  • Skincare Basics (SPF, Face Creams)
  • Skincare single use masks for face & under eye bags
  • Dental Care (Brush, Paste, Floss)
  • Small Individually Wrapped Soap
  • Q-Tips & Cotton Rounds
  • Tampons & Pads
  • Tissues
  • Bandaids & Pimple Patches
  • First Aid Items (Headache, Allergy)

Bathroom Comfort

Grooming items isn’t the only thing that you need in the bathroom. Personal hygiene requires some thought.

  • Trash Bin
  • Dark Towel for Makeup Removal
  • Plenty of Extra Bath Towels
  • Wash Cloths
  • Hair Towel & Turban
  • Extra Towel Hooks
  • Plunger & Brush
  • Bidet and Squatty Potty
  • Septic Care Sign
  • Cleaning Items
  • Extra Toilet Paper
  • Tissues
  • Poo-pouri or matches to mask smells

Organization

Keeping your personal items from overflowing can help make a guest room feel more comfortable. Remember power strips & plugs! Some of the most requested items include:

  • Pens & Notepad & Scissors
  • Desk Power Station
  • Bedside Power and USB
  • Hangers (including pant & skirt)
  • Trays/Landing Zones for small items
  • Coat Hook
  • Dresser & Closet Space
  • Full Length Mirror

Bedding and Sleeping

Getting a good night sleep in a new place can be very challenging. Providing for your guest’s sleep and relaxing needs was a top request.

  • Extra Pillows
  • Hypoallergenic Options
  • Duvet Cover
  • Robes & Slippers
  • Dirty Clothing Bins & Laundry
  • Dimmer & Good Bedroom Lighting (not too bright, preferably lamps)
  • Books & Reading Materials
  • Nightstand Space (w/ power & USB strips)
  • Eye Masks & Earplugs (ideally also blackout curtains)
  • Water Glasses & Jugs
  • Wifi QR Codes
  • Speakers or White Noise Machine

Other requests including desks and working areas. Our current plans are to have adjustable standing desks and ergonomic work chairs in each bedroom. Plenty of landing spaces and areas to keep your items visible but not cluttered (including luggage stands) is also commonly requested. Separate sitting, sleeping and working areas is best. Also a surprisingly large number of people suggested a white board. So clearly our friends like to brainstorm on the road. External monitors and keyboard were also mentioned.

We have plans to write a basic FAQ document that includes things how the house works. We will include details on water filtration (we have an expensive filtering system so you can drink from any tap in the house), where food is kept and expectations on hours and interaction. Also details on things like heating and cooling are crucial for comfort. People should be able to maintain their ideal temperatures for sleeping and working.

We are also planning to outfit the guest common areas (private to guests and separate from the house common areas) with a mini-fridge stocked with favorite beverages and snacks. Having a coffee maker and tea service was a popular request as well. We are also considering extra boots and outdoor gear for city guests that do not have country gear or simply cannot travel with Wellingtons and barn coats.

Another huge area of interest was maintaining health and fitness. We have a full gym including squat rack, pull up bar, treadmill and a Pilates reformer along with mats for stretching and yoga. We’ve got a Theragun, medicine balls & foam rollers. I am also keen to have supplements for basics to keep your immune system happy like Vitamin D, C and Zinc. We also have a hot tub and have plans for an infrared sauna (might even include a cold plunge).

If you’ve got hospitality suggestions we’d love to hear them. And of course if you are one of our many virtual friends we’d be delighted if you’d consider becoming an “IRL” or in-real-life friend by coming to visit us. We are booked through October but would be thrilled to have you come for ski season!

Categories
Culture

Day 622 and Uneven Bars

I’m not very temperamentally even. I run hot and excited and passionate and I’ve got a mean streak a mile wide. I can only assume the reason I’m so popular with some men is they love a bitch. Everyone does.

It’s not the most appreciated trait in popular culture but it does seem to be the dominate preference of a lot of very intelligent people. At least these days plenty of people both conservative and progressive appreciate the necessity of a ball buster. It’s a status object too. We don’t trust men with weak wives. It makes them look weak.

But I’m not sure anyone thinks it’s a particular good thing for the majority of women to act forcefully. If you hold your ground it can bring out howls of ostentatious victimhood. Which if you point out, they quickly gender the tactic a dark feminine trait of less less powerful that they learned from you.

It’s a really stupid party trick that somehow works well past the age of reason. After about 21 you should have really learned men tell you are weak because they know you are powerful over them. But honestly I still get caught flat footed by it. It’s a fickle power to be wielded without assurance or trust. But it is still a power and it’s insulting women women don’t claim it.

Women deciding to dismiss the uneven hold of their power makes balancing power for everyone a bit of a mess. The default switches from human manufacturing got reset.

Gender essentialism is pretty deep. It’s very jarring for the literal minded mainstream of society in particular. And unfortunately for everyone the world is run by the mainstream and they are prone to revanchist sentiment. Just look at everyone simpering for monarchy. Even if you are above that sort of thing no you are not. And so the uneven bars of progress continue. If you aren’t a realist about it you might get screwed.

Categories
Internet Culture

Day 614 and Cuckservative

At the risk of scandalizing any of my relatives, I learned about a sexual kink today called cuckholding. I was not, sadly, enjoying kink SubReddits. I learned about this term from a bunch of Trump acolytes. Apparently cuckholding means watching another man have sex with your partner (usually wife). So now you know.

For those that are not terminally online, the context is that in a lot of right coded spaces terms like cucking, beta cucking, and cuckservative get used to describe humiliation but also insufficient purity to the cause. The cause usually being some Platonic ideal of conservatism right up until it becomes indistinguishable from authoritarianism.

Now I’d not given a lot of thought to the term and it’s apparent intense fascination to conservatism men. But it keeps showing up in even ancillary spaces like gun culture and even Wall Street Bets. Every humiliation is cucking. Every instance of not holding perfectly pure in-group signifiers and adherence is cucking. The beta cuck is in a an internal battle with the alpha Chad. And frankly it got so prevalent I finally had a “lady doth protest too much” moment and asked wtf is the obsession with cucking.

Can anyone explain to me why the right is so obsessed with cucking?

I honestly didn’t expect to learn as much as I did about the anxieties of our age, the particular traumas of living with ego preservation needs from our childhood, and the sheer raging reaction formation that is American masculinity. Honestly I’m starting to spend a little more time there than feel safe.

I quite feel don’t feel up for analyzing the whole mess of reactions but it largely seems to boil down to a Slate or Salon article said this was the hot liberal fetish. This got percolated through forums culture and whipped into a frenzy by Trump meme magic. But because the internet gives you brain worms this turned into an actual thing people got sexually turned onto and now it’s maybe impossible to untangle what is fetish and what is meme. But there is definitely some wild sexual politics around power and property in America and who counts as a full person with agency. I’m including some screen shots for posterity as it might be helpful for later research as I fear this will end up being useful as some internet ethnography.

Categories
Emotional Work Preparedness

Day 613 and Timing

It’s hard to look straight on at your desires. Why is it that some of your life arises from your priorities and focus, but others are just chances and circumstances?

The hardest part about looking face first at being responsible for yourself is that you are both in total control and not in any control. We want to live with willpower. We want to be people of purpose. And yet life is happy to show us how much it’s all just dumb fucking luck.

Because we are what we make time for in our lives. And if we don’t make honest time for ourselves how the fuck will we ever know what we actually want. If you let life idle past you that’s fine. Because that is the path of fulfillment all along. And in letting ourselves just be maybe we find entirely new reservoirs of resources.

I’m considering taking a wilderness first responder course. I’ve got other priorities for the fall but I also made a commitment to a resilient rural life. Somewhere in my own desires I may find that what I want can and does align with the rest of my life. That by opening up to something new I also see who I am more clearly. I believe they call it getting perspective.

Categories
Politics

Day 609 and Dark Brandon Rising

I really don’t know why I’m commenting at all on it except that capturing some of immediate sentiment of the moment has some value. But I watched Joe Biden’s Soul of America speech.

I wasn’t planning to but the siren call of the Twitter feed sucked me in. Like the rest of America, I feel the call of the discourse. And I have to say I’m surprised yet again at how divergent it feels.

I saw Dark Brandon Rising memes come to life. Our usually stumbling gaff prone president was on fire. Literally as the background was red. I want to know what they pumped him up with. And I don’t think it was a playlist. But he seemed passionate and he made as decent a play for the values of democratic norms as I’ve ever heard. But he also did it on a red lit stage with marines and the imagery of the presidency and norms means pearl clutching from all sides.

I don’t think it’s bad to call out that Trumpism involves election denialism. January 6th has a clear message even if it lacked finesse. It’s not like we are seeing Americans at their best after two years of pandemic. I suppose I recognize that it’s insulting and maybe insidious to say that some people are worse than others. But differences of opinions become a bit less valid when one wants representative democracy and one acts like brute power is fine if it serves their interests.

I felt like it came across decently and relatively unifying and I’m sad that this is a position that is contrarian or in dispute. I’m no fan of the man but I also don’t want to become Argentina or Albania. America is supposed to be better.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 604 and One Click

I’ve been procrastinating on two core projects for the fall. Both of which involve making a modest investment between $100 and $250 depending on how fancy I want to get. So it’s not a throwaway amount of money but it’s also not money I should be hesitating on.

I’ve been in my head about it for two or three weeks even though I regularly need to make decisions about much larger sums of money for projects with much longer time horizons. I finally got myself over the hump on clicking order after going over my plans with my husband Alex for an hour. Which we’d definitely bill at more than we spent.

PROJECT ONE: TEST APPLE ORCHARD

The first project is getting in a few apple saplings in a fall planting to test out where we want an orchard. It’s not a full orchard with a big wiz-bang multi-year permaculture plan. We literally just want to get in four to six dwarf trees in the soil as soon as possible as we’ve been told it’s feasible to do fall plantings of heartier Zone 4 varietals.

We did a soil sample and the results came back with very encouraging results. Our back pasture has excellent quality soil despite being compacted by horses.

A soil health assessment from Ward Laboratories.

And yet I struggled to make a purchase. I made a trip to the nursery. I fucked around on a bunch of websites. I ordered catalogs for next year’s spring plantings. Finally this afternoon we threw caution to the wind and bought six dwarfs from Stark Brothers. The total came to about $250 and if it all fails well I’m glad I spent the money on fruit trees instead of a disposable consumer good.

PROJECT 2: SEED STARTS

The second purchase was seed starter supplies for our winter hydroponic crops which we plan to cultivate in the barn. We got a LettuceGrow system early in the pandemic and absolutely loved the quality of greens we got out of it. We’d been able to buy starts (aka seeds that have sprouted and begun to grow) for it in Colorado but this winter I wanted to do my own growing from seeds up into starts.

The goal was to have constant rotation of red and green leaf lettuce along with romaine and kale by staggering seed tray starts. It would be easier and have fewer failure points if we did a new batch of seed starts once every couple of weeks for consistency and move them from one grow light seed tray to the LettuceGrow once it fully sprouted.

I had even less of an excuse here as one of my girlfriends did a massive seed start project this year from scratch and wrote up her entire shopping list and project guide complete with pictures. She did the hard work of translating various guides including one that I had even been involved with making from Josh Centers at Unprepared. He’s got a very thorough guide to starting a garden from seeds straight through to harvest which is worth paying for Substack for just that post.

Here were all of my friends and colleagues just out there doing the work. And I was too scared to experiment myself. Finally today we bought everything we needed from Amazon and purchased six or seven seed types from Johnny’s hydroponic collection. All told for everything it was $86 for a set up that should work for many seasons.

THE LESSON

While I’d never tell anyone to just go nuts putting shit in the ground without some research, I do think it’s possible to be too in your head about growing. I’ve been reading so much about fancy techniques like permaculture that I had neglected the most basic lesson of both startups and gardening. Execution is exponential. Just start doing something. Make it small. But you have to just start. Just plant. Just make things.

A bell curve with a smooth brain, a midwit and a Jedi. The midwit explains Sepp Holzer’s permaculture. The Jedi & the brain just plant.
Categories
Aesthetics Travel

Day 600 and High Season

A lot of folks seem to be coming through Montana over the next two weeks. Maybe it’s the nature of high season that people flock to Montana at the end of the summer?

But it’s been quite fun to have all kinds of friends, mutuals and acquaintances reach out to make plans. Visibility on Twitter has played a large role in this, as anyone passing through Montana might be inclined to grab a meal or a drink if they scroll their local mutuals. I like to think I am top of mind because I am a good hang but it’s probably because I’m just quite visible.

All these tourists has got a bit of a “center of the universe” feel to it. It’s like a mountain summer town version of Manhattan during fashion week. Or Los Angeles during the Oscars. I’ve got to say it feels like I’m Monaco and it’s F1 racing season. Every city of note has an event that brings all of the jet set to their hometown.

I’m usually mixed on doing too much social activity but I’ve been feeling like socializing more. I’ve even been eating out with much more frequency. And what’s amazing about it is that in the past I didn’t want to do more than a couple events a month. But this end of summer in Montana thing has me looking forward to more deck cocktails, eating cold cherries on the marble kitchen slab, going to pubs and ale houses, and maybe even a few steak houses too.

Categories
Internet Culture

Day 599 and The Lamentations of Their Women

A bunch of people asked me about what happened to me on Twitter over the weekend. I’d been hitting a bunch of different niche communities like startup Twitter, finance Twitter, doomer Twitter, and discourse Twitter with a thread that has a bunch of extremely extra and occasionally outright hostile weirdos saying reactionary shit.

I think it all started when my friend Ashley wrote a post about the commodification of women’s bodies. She was responding to another piece of discourse and found herself getting dog piled by one of the most irritating but unavoidable portions of the the internet; reactionary angry young men.

I didn’t like that Ashley was getting ripped for functionally agreeing with right coded, socially conservative men. I thought “damn, you can’t win with them”.

Entering the Fray

I decided to jump in and tease some of these boys. My inner child loves to shitpost as she finds humor and playfulness protective. I promptly got blocked. I went about my business. Now that I live on our homestead in Montana, I’ve got a lot of chores.

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I kept discussing the damn discourse. I expressed my concern that we’ve got such an intense population of reactionary young men who act as if they are perpetually victimized. I expressed empathy for how men are getting screwed and mostly got told it is women’s fault. It did some numbers but it wasn’t going into a context collapse situation just yet. Basically another day on Twitter.

The thread started out with all of the empathy and good faith I’ve come to expect from niche Twitter. We avoided purity politics. Tucker graciously discussed his own journey and how he let go of anger and began taking responsibility for himself and his family. Jack made some jokes. A number of internet friends discussed the varied ways they handled the systemic discrimination that some masculine virtues experience in modernity. Much wisdom was shared about how different they had grown up to be men.

Later that night I wrote a throwaway post about how we’ve got a crisis of masculinity and maybe only other men can get through to angry young boys? I suggested that perhaps right coded men who discuss modern masculinity would have an easier time reaching them. I tagged Tucker Max and Jack Murphy as men who seem to have done a good job taking responsibility for their own lives.

I basically went to bed with a sense that people had been good to each other. And I didn’t really notice being quote tweeted by a niche main character in groyper Twitter or what it would mean for my tomorrow.

It Escalates

His thread contained the following:

  • A very intense discussion of the ethics of doing butt stuff and posting about your experience with polyamory and cuckcolding.
  • The ethics of charging for coaching and clubs and whether one can have masculine virtue if your wife sleeps with other men.
  • A surprising amount of hysterics about what constitutes hypocrisy if one claims to be masculine.

Basically a bunch of people who haven’t figured out their own shadow lives told me exactly how uncomfortable they were with other people’s sex lives.

But honestly it was just so much fucking butt stuff.

Unfortunately that visibility of discourse meant I suddenly got flooded with harassment. A coordinated re-tweeting campaign began. People started digging into back posts and old news headlines. My direct messages got flooded with threats against me and my husband. It was definitely enough that we started thinking about security around the homestead.

I can only assume someone’s group chat or some message board was like “look at the phenotype on this bitch”. And to be fair, some people came with good jokes about venture capitalists moving to Montana. But then there was the graphically racist, as in, “oh we still have Nazis” plot twist. I realized I might need to actually start blocking people. I felt modestly disappointed as I hadn’t been dogpiled in a long time. But protecting myself was more important.

Why

Now you can ask why am I even stepping into these spaces if they contain this kind of abuse? What can I say there is a part of me who enjoys a frisson of danger. The feminine urge to protect our menfolk often runs head long into the reality that they can be dangerous. Walking into male spaces has inherent risks if you take up space in public life.

I have to be honest honest with myself that there is a breed of men who considers all public spaces to be male. I am an offense to them even if I am in the process of lamentation for our men. The space I take up by existing with different preferences is proof enough I am an enemy to be subjugated.

So I guess I owe anyone I teased about blocking on Twitter an apology. There are some people in too much pain out there. And I am not in anyway responsible for their emotional health. Only they can choose to let go of the pain.

Categories
Aesthetics

Day 595 and Clean Girl

I am not on Instagram or TikTok. I figure after being on social media for twenty years I’m allowed to be choosy about what platforms take my attention. I’ve joined and left and rejoined every kind of social media you can imagine and the ones that prioritize the written word are my favorites at the moment. WordPress and Twitter have my heart.

I took a break from the visual platforms after I left the cosmetics industry when I sold Stowaway. This means I am in the enjoyable place of only finding out about trends when normies do. It’s quite a relief to have no clue who the fashion influencers are right now after being paid to keep track of them for so long. It brings some of the joy back into it.

Today I did enjoy a little cosplay with the clean girl aesthetic. It’s just a reimagining of the evergreen “model off duty” look but overlayed with rich preppy Carolyn Kennedy styling and a whole lot of TikTok classism and racism. Be white, be rich, have money for nutrition and wellness and whatever you do don’t tell the boys how long it took to do the no-makeup makeup. Minimalism is a look not a reality.

I am an easy fit into the aesthetic as I’ve got all the basics. I pulled out summer weight slit skirt, an airy white tee shirt, tied it together it with a long Norma Kamali gold belt and I was done. I used the super trendy Merit minimalist complexion stick, slicked up my brows, put on a touch of perfume, and some hair oil. I looked styled and I liked it.

It felt pretty fun to look styled on my run to the grocery co-op. It almost makes me want to reboot some of my fashion and beauty content consumption. And I’m super tempted to buy the entire line of Merit products as their entire vibe feels like they evolved off my own former brand Stowaway. I thought I’d be annoyed at a minimalist beauty line up done in grey but I’m just relieved that someone else picked up where I left off. That’s the best part of the style industry. It’s entire purpose is to continues to evolve and improve on classic aesthetics.

Categories
Politics

Day 592 and Politicians

We say we want accountable politicians but then we punish them when they hold firm positions. Principled politicians are begging ravages right now. Of course, they reward our fickleness with their own. It makes political discourse a conduit for performing accountability instead of doing it.

If a politician cannot hold a viewpoint or position that you disagree with but still holds your generation support, we’ve stopped having a civic body and instead developed into rabid fandoms. And we wonder why the leading lights of both parties only pay respects to their most radical members. Everyone gets abandoned in that situation. Your only options are bad ones.

I say this because I think it is time we started endorsing politicians for who they are as people, even if their policy positions might not align with yours. Trusting someone because they have demonstrated good faith is a social good. We should strive to be accountable to each other even in total opposition. That’s the only way anyone will ever build systems in which any of us are free. Otherwise it’s coercion anyway you slice it. And what’s fucked up is you probably know it but are ready to argue me on the technicals.

We have to expect others to have principles in order have them respect our own. That’s always been the fundamentally libertarian platform. That others have the freedom to hold firm in their own version of the good life and we should have our good life respected as well. Live and let live.

If just coercing someone to your side is enough for you, if mere compulsion is an adequate civilizational goal, then by all means reconsider if you are American. It’s an imperfect union.

Me having a line means that you can have a line too. Our respect for boundaries is what allows us to interact as adults capable of ring responsible for our own actions. Maybe it’s not ways to our advantage. But having a line means you can be trusted. And being trust worthy is safety.