Blogging: way down; a lot of great food; and the Hunger Challenge.

Things have been quiet around here. First I decided to cut out politics, because it wasn’t doing me much good. (for the record, I feel a lot better politics-free.) Then I decided to cut out even food-politics, because that’ll all go in another site I make someday. (I’m making slow but sure progress.) Then I slowed way down on that because I realized I don’t have to save the world immediately. I’m working on the whole happiness thing, but when I say that, it sounds like I’m just moving right along like I have been the rest of my life. It’s different; I feel like I’m doing better than before. A few key points, and I’ll try to make it not sound sappy, because it doesn’t feel sappy to me, but it might come across that way: (if you want, jump down for info about Portland or the Hunger Challenge.)

- I am a great person. Self-worth is intrinsic. It doesn’t depend on what you think of me, or what dumb things I do.
- To believe that, I have to believe that YOU are a great person too, whoever you are, and that’s a little harder for me to believe, but I’m getting there. One hangup is “if everyone is so great, how can you decide not to hang out with someone?” I don’t mean the people who are mean to you (it’s easy to avoid them; just say “I like you but you don’t like me, that’s your problem”), but what about the people who are kind of annoying? The people who might want to like you, and you can like them back as a person, but you don’t want to be around them for whatever reason? This seems like a minor problem. It’s just a “social graces” sort of thing.
- So I’m already great, so I don’t have to save the world in order to be worth other people’s affection, so there’s less pressure. Even if all I do is go to work to earn some money, then spend it on housing and food, and you know, love people n’at, that’s enough.
- Given that there’s less pressure, it’s not so bad to just take time out sometimes and say “I am having fun now!” or “that tree is pretty” or “boy it feels nice outside.” (formerly I would sometimes think “man, I hate how it feels nice outside, because it makes me feel guilty to be inside”… that is ridiculous.)
- Oh, speaking of how I’m great, I have feelings and stuff. Yeah, really, even though I joke about being a robot because I dig the logics a lot, I am an all-around human being. ’s true. So I can use those sometimes. That’s okay.
- Plus Buddhism! I got in a traffic jam today. There was nothing wrong with that. I was in no big hurry to get home. I was with Sarah and Daniel. So I tried mostly successfully not to attach suffering to it, and that worked pretty well.
- and by the way, I can be happy. All this idealism isn’t just another failed bid that will end in disillusionment. My life is pretty good.

So day-to-day life is more or less the same as it ever was, but I’m shifting my focus bit by bit. I’ll keep you posted. When I reach enlightenment and attain complete control over mind and body, I’ll post “omg totes levitating right now” or something.

Speaking of life, went to Portland this weekend! Stayed with Daniel’s friend Henry and his roommates. Cool folks! Cool city! Cool comic convention! (does it make me a super dork if I went to two comic conventions in the same month?) But this was less nerdstock and more “I draw a comic online.” I liked the comics here more. Also, unrelatedly, cool Saturday Market!

And cool food. Man. We ate at four places there, all of them stellar for 22-year-oldsmen. First night: Hopworks Urban Brewery, with a great Belgian-style Dubbel for $3.50. (also a “pint of pretzels”, which means three meter-long freshly-baked pretzels in a beer stein.) Second day: Pine State Biscuits, which will clog your arteries for sure, but man biscuits are maybe my favorite white bread. Plus, a lot of interesting-sounding topics for said biscuits. (big sandwich plus coffee: like $9) Second evening: Saburo’s sushi. The biggest and tastiest nigiri I’ve ever seen, and rolls the size of small burritos. Had a great squid nigiri (2 pcs, $3.50) and an eel roll. (thing I’ve unfortunately found out since: you shouldn’t eat unagi (freshwater eel). another site agrees. anago is a “maybe”. if you just order “eel” and you don’t know which one you’re getting, it’s probably unagi.) Third day: brunch at Gravy. Literally enough food for two generous meals. Three would be reasonable. Including super good french toast and a scramble with tofu.

In short, thanks Henry for the choices, thanks Portland for being cool, I’ll have to visit again. (but nope, not moving there, I heart Seattle, which is nice)

Finally, it’s time for the Hunger Challenge! The plan: to eat for $7/day. To see what it’s like to only get $7 food stamps and have to feed yourself with it. My viewpoint: whatever! That’s easy! One rule I’ve made in addition to the other rules: I can use existing food that I own, if I count out how much it would cost. I’ll let you know how it goes. (and hey, join me if you want!)

(for the record, I think it’s ridiculous that having $7/day for food is the “hunger challenge.” sheesh. how about a handful of rice per day? that’s hungry and challenging.)

Finally finally, in the category of things that make me happy and corporations not always being evil, shouts out to Cigna, for covering me for one doctor’s appt I made without realizing it would not be covered (b/c it was in cleveland, derf) and to Zipcar, for not hitting us with a late charge when we drove back late and another person had rented the same car.

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