Embrace It!

I love it when I meet people who understand winter, as in the only way to thrive during winter is to take it head on, get out in it. Dress warm and get outside. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.

— Jeff Smith, editor, Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine

From A Cross Country Ski Tale

I’m a northern girl. I was born and raised in an environment whose seasons were punctuated by the first frost and the spring thaw … and the highlight of the year was the day the ice broke on the river.

The secret to happiness in these “harsh” environments is to meet them head on. Dress warm and get outside. Do not let the weather control your emotions or your happiness. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.

But isn’t life itself a harsh environment? Life is hard. The secret to happiness is the same. Embrace it. Meet it head on. Get out in it. Dress warm. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.

Christopher Hitchens’ Guiding Principles

Beware the irrational, however seductive.

Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself.

Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others.

Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish.

Picture all experts as if they were mammals.

Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity.

Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

— Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Your time of silence has come too soon. Thanks for the valiant fight.

(Thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the reference.)

The Law of Anecdotal Value

Choose the experiences in life that offer the most anecdotal value — that is, look for the opportunities that have the most likelihood of producing a cool story.

At the The Moth Chicago Grand Slam this year Peter Sagal (yes, that Peter Sagal) relayed these words of wisdom, passed on to him by a theater professor at Lewis and Clark College many years before.

With a tip of the hat to The Moth, make it a story-worthy life.

Occupy Wall Street’s Beef: Wall Street is Cheating

These people aren’t protesting money. They’re not protesting banking. They’re protesting corruption on Wall Street.

Matt Taibbi finally articulated what I have been trying to find words for. I don’t begrudge Wall Street, or anyone, their good fortune (I seek the same good fortune). I just begrudge the way a few people have rigged the system in their favor.

Destiny’s Quite “Psst”

Both destiny’s kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person’s basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.
— David Foster Wallace

Listen to that still, quite voice in the back of the mind. It might be your destiny trying to get your attention.