google alert!

I keep google alerts on 23 artists, artist-friends, writers and one Kool A.D. It's great to keep google alerts on friends: if I'm not in touch, I can still have an idea of what's going on in their art practice, and if their career has led to countless articles (like Josh Kline and Rachel Rose) I can be a super fan without them ever having to feel like they're bragging.

This is a great video on Sean Raspet's practice! A gift from google alerts:

It’s hard for me to account for all of the time I spend online reading about emergency preparedness. I can’t even really remember where this came from, except that it was around my trip to Utah two years ago, and even then, I have a feeling that it goes further back in time. 

Life skills and my supposed resiliency have always been points of pride for me. (I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was eight). But I don’t have any expertise, I couldn’t even change my own car oil. In grade school I always felt like I had to distinguish myself academically at the expense of getting a CNA or taking carpentry, automotive, or even graphic design classes. What a fool I was. Can you imagine being in high school and knowing how to build a house??? My school offered these kinds of programs.

When I got to college I felt special because I knew how to do basic things like laundry or scrub a shower stall. After college, I felt like I had let my life skills atrophy in some way; learning to cope with every day life in the developed world was anti-climactic. I also have felt less and less resilient lately. Living abroad (again) has made me think that maybe I’m not that adaptable to new situations. Maybe I don’t want to deal with any more challenges than necessary. Have I spent all of my grit too soon? 

I’ve become really preoccupied with the idea that reliance on anything–other people, employment, electricity, grocery stores, etc. is a sort of weakness. It’s a sick paradox I’m getting myself into, in which I don’t want to need anything, except you know, to have a full years supply of food in my house “just in case”. 

Even if I never make the perfect survival home for myself, or learn how to live in the forest with only a knife, learning about this has opened my mind to all of things I don’t know how to deal with, should my life’s infrastructure disintegrate suddenly. I don’t think that survivalists are necessarily crazy or partisan or afraid. I don’t think that fear makes you not want to take your lifestyle for-granted. And I think it’s really smart to care about things like your food supply. 

Here is a list of resources you can get into, in order of my aspirations: 

Sooner > Later

Get a kit and learn–

Ready.gov

Nat Geo’s DOOMSDAY PREPPERS

Slate’s guide to survival guides

Build up supplies- dehydrate, smoke food

Immerse yourself, gain survival skills

Long-term

Seeds for future food

Change your life

Currently reading: Homesickness: An American History  S. J. Matt

recently finished:

Sex at Dawn C. Ryan C. Jetha

How Pleasure Works P. Bloom

The Wizard of Lies D.B Henriques

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Now reading: Proust and the Squid

Reading this past year:

The Emperor of all Maladies

Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

Mindset

The Invention of Comfort

The Embarrassment of Riches

The Light Club

The Adventures of Mao on the Long March

My Antonia

The Green Hour

The Table Comes First

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

Madame Bovary

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

The China Study

Nothing to Envy