The first song I listened to on my 36th birthday was Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” so I know this is going to be a good year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGRzz0oqgUE

Going to consider this music video my early birthday gift from Janelle Monae and no present this year is going to be able to top it.

And this. Also this music video.

It is truly a blessed day.

This piece on anxiety and how it defines our lives (negatively and positively) by Samir Chopra is particularly salient this week as my anxiety has been quite heightened recently and I’ve had a few panic attacks:

Anxiety is insidious, more than just a simple fear. It is, all at once, a fever and an occupation, an affliction and a constitution. An anxiety is a lens through which to view the world, a colouration that grants the sufferer’s experiences their distinctive hue. The Buddha alerted us to a fundamental metaphysical feature of this world, the ‘co-dependent arising’ of all that we experience and know. That is, nothing possesses existence independent of all else that makes it so: an anxious person inhabits a world coloured and contoured by their own, highly individual anxieties; it is a world co-constructed by the sufferer and his or her anxieties. Anxiety is therefore a perspective, a hermeneutical relationship with the world, whose text now gets read in a very peculiar way by this anxiety-laden vision. Things and persons and events fall into focus depending on their interactions with our anxieties: that man in the corner becomes threatening, this chair becomes unstable and unbalanced, that food becomes the agent of a fatal illness, my family – my wife, my daughter – appear as targets for cruel twists of fate. I live in a distinctive world shaded and illuminated by an idiosyncratic anxiety. […]

Anxiety is not singular; individual anxieties make up a sufferer’s full complement. An anxiety might be a distinctive suite packaged for application to a particular situation of time, place, circumstance and connotation. To know oneself is, very often, an injunction to know one’s anxieties – individually, distinctively – and to know how they change and morph as we do. I have learned, partially, which environments provoke and sustain my anxieties; my future steps are circumscribed by this induced caution. My trajectory through the world is thus informed, at every step, by the anxieties that afflict me.

Well worth reading. Now, I’m off to meditate for a while and then play some Alto’s Odyssey.

Last night, we celebrated two full years of living in London, Ontario. Coming from a bigger city, the transition has been an adjustment and a big change, but we’re so happy to be here.

Thank you to everyone in this great city who has been so welcoming, warm, and wonderful.

Really hope that the sequel to Alto’s Adventure has the “zen mode” from the current version. I hadn’t realized until recently just how much I use that zen mode to decompress and calm down when my anxiety is acting up.

Just unsubscribed from all 324 podcasts I was trying to keep on top of every day; starting with a clean sheet, again. If you have one or two podcasts you think are must listen, please do let me know. (Looking for endorsements, more than just recommendations.) Thanks!

Completely forgot it was my birthday next week; only remembered a few minutes ago as I was updating my /now page. I’m getting forgetful as I age, it seems.

No matter how many times I see the Rivera murals at the DIA, they still take my breath away every time. Such a wonderful weekend in Detroit; can’t wait to go back again soon.

Happy to announce that Black Panther lived up to my incredibly high expectations.

Just watched the mixed doubles curling gold medal game with a bunch of strangers at the station while waiting for our train and by the end of it we were all high-fiving and hugging each other like we were best friends. 🥌 🥇🇨🇦

About seven minutes until I get a juice box and some cookies.

The Kehinde Wiley official portrait of President Obama is absolutely stunning and positively delightful. WOW.

The highlight of my upcoming week ahead is clearly going to be watching Black Panther, right?

Last night, we enjoyed a pre-Valentine’s cooking (and wine pairing) class. It was a perfect confluence of my favorite things: time spent with the woman I love, time spent learning new things, time spent enjoying delicious food and drink, and time spent meeting new people. 💕

The soundtrack for the upcoming Black Panther movie just dropped on Spotify, so you know what I’ll be listening to non-stop for the next week or so.

Just learned that I’m getting a computer from work, because there are certain things that I’m blocked (for network security reasons) from doing on my personal Mac.

They’re getting me a Lenovo Yoga; I haven’t used a non-Mac system in decades. Anything I should know going in?

I haven’t been able to keep any food or fluids down for the past 36 hours, and it feels like a boxer is using my gut as a heavy bag.

This is either a very bad case of the stomach flu, or an extremely evil way for my body to tell me to stop eating so much.

The woman sitting beside me on the train this morning is smiling widely, for no apparent reason; just seeing this and knowing this has made me smile, too. My day is already brighter. I love the idea that strangers, unbeknownst to them, can bring so much brightness to our days.