How I forgot to meditate after sixty days in a row of remembering and what that means

I woke up this morning feeling very tired. I also suddenly realized that yesterday, I forgot to set aside time for the daily meditation practice (just ten minutes a day) that I had successfully done for sixty days in a row, having deliberately started it shortly before Thanksgiving. I was pretty angry at myself. But I also thought about how it was possible that I slipped after sixty days, and what that means.

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For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: some black American voices that spoke to me recently

I believe today was the first time in my life I’ve officially celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

This means many things to me as an American (I am an Asian-American, son of immigrants).

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Why I stopped saying something is easy or something is hard

Recently, I decided to monitor how I talk about learning some subject or topic, because of observing both of myself and other people what our reactions can be if I say that something is “easy” or something is “hard”. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are serious drawbacks to saying that something is “easy” or “hard”, and an entirely different vocabulary should be used in helping a learner. I haven’t figured out exactly what that vocabulary is, but I’ve seen too many times some really disastrous results from overusing labels such as “easy” or “hard”.

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Thoughts on giving up an old project to make room for the new

Today I made a difficult decision to give up doing something that I have enjoyed for well over a year now: writing a weekly chess column at The Chess Improver. Writing It’s been a major commitment coming up with something to write about every week for such a long time. There have been times when I was overflowing with ideas; there have been times when I struggled to come up with something to write about that I could stand behind.

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Thoughts on Cuba while watching Cuban musicians performing the 1947 bolero "La gloria eres tú"

I didn’t expect to be thinking so much about Cuba today. It all started with a random musical itch I was scratching.

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Why we decided to compile our own family cookbook

Cooking has been a significant part of my life since 1999 when, shortly before reaching age 30, my bachelor self decided to completely change his unhealthy diet and lifestyle, and that meant finally getting down and dirty with seriously cooking for myself.

After getting married to Abby ten years later, cooking responsibilities have rotated between us based on the situation; there have been long stretches of time during which I did all the cooking every day, and there have been long periods during which she did all the cooking. Currently, we roughly split the cooking between us.

Why compile our own cookbook?

I’ve occasionally posted on this blog a recipe and/or photos of some food I’ve cooked, but for the most part, cooking is just a mundane everyday activity that I don’t keep track of, since the task of cooking is primarily utilitarian for us, not innovative or artistic. We simply need to eat every day, and prefer not to eat out often, for various reasons.

Recently I decided that we should start compiling our own family cookbook, noting details of what we prepare and how, in order to better replicate good results and improve on bad results, and make planning and impromptu cooking more efficient. Without our own cookbook, we have to rely on our faulty memories, and things sometimes don’t come out right (especially where the oven is concerned).

Below is an example of the kind of cooking we do. This is not a cooking blog, so I don’t expect to write much or often about our cooking, but I just felt like it tonight.

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Report on my final day of Stoic Week 2014: the view from above

It’s the seventh and final day of Stoic Week 2014! I am very glad I participated in the daily readings and reflections. I’ve made so many positive changes in my life already. Now it’s time to stick to them.

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Report on my sixth day of Stoic Week 2014: preparing for adversity

I guess death is the ultimate adversity.

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Report on my fifth day of Stoic Week 2014: action and the reserve clause

I had some setbacks today, the fifth day of Stoic Week, but dealt with them.

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Report on my fourth day of Stoic Week 2014: virtue and relationships with others

Today was Thanksgiving in the US, a surprisingly appropriate day to be in the middle of observing Stoic Week.

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