People often confuse loudness and bluster with strength of character and mildness of manner with weakness. But it is a mistake. Look, for example, at Trump whose loud, brash proclamations merited him accusations of authoritarianism. In reality, he’s weak and extremely malleable, which is what caused every real problem of his presidency.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have somebody like my husband who’s gentle, sensitive, and quiet but who possesses an extraordinary relentlessness of purpose and strength of character. Once he’s chosen a course of action, there’s absolutely nobody who can make him veer off course.

The wrapper doesn’t necessarily truly reflect what’s inside.

Wrong Scandal

This is a far bigger scandal and a far worse thing for the health of democracy than the Trump search antics of both sides of that silly drama. A private citizen with the most polite, mild Twitter feed censored in this manner – the government officials who did this should be up in court on charges of constitutional rights violations. The Berenson case is a warning to all of us.

But once again, people are worried more about a rich guy than a normal person like themselves. Even on Ukrainian social media I’m seeing people deeply worried about Trump.

Pepperoncini Chicken Recipe

I’m looking for new ways of cooking chicken because everything else is so darn expensive. I found this recipe that sounded mega weird but it turned out nice. You take some preboiled baby potatoes and a jar of something called pepperoncini peppers. They have to be whole, not sliced. Toss the potatoes and the pepperoncinis in some olive oil, garlic and oregano. In the mean time, brown some chicken thighs in a pan on both sides for about 15 minutes. Then dump the potato/pepperoncini mix on top and spread it around. Pour the liquid from the jar around the sides of the pan. Close the lid and let it cook for 45 minutes.

It sounds bizarre but it turns out very good. And it’s cheap.

Deep Work Challenge, Day 3

Why, why did I have to schedule every recurring physical maintenance appointment for the same two weeks of the beginning of the school year? Hairdresser makes sense but what’s the point of scheduling all medical and dental checkups for the busiest 14 days of the year?

All the driving I have to do for the appointments made me consider the fruitful possibilities of driving in silence. This day’s challenge is:

Avoid adding distracting noise to your solitary drives. If there are no solitary drives, then use a walk, a run or a workout. If you aren’t used to spending time in silence, it can lead to very interesting discoveries once you try.

Ideally, going deep inside feels close to sleeping while awake. You go into the depths and remain alone with the essence of your self.

Deep Work Challenge: The Weekend

The weekend part of the challenge recognizes that screens are a major drain on our capacity to concentrate. This is why this weekend we will

… resist the desire to look at a screen every other time it assaults us. This means we can still indulge the other 50% of the time.

I’ve noticed that, like with any dependence, it’s the people who get the most upset when hearing they might be addicted who are really and truly addicted. The ones who say “ha ha, I’m so addicted to my phone” actually have it quite under control.