My goal for 2021: Rest

After an incredibly stressful 2020 (for non-COVID reasons, believe it or not!), anticipating an even more stressful semester for Spring 2021, after weeks of poor sleep (I cannot seem to get into Deep Sleep for the life of me), and after the incredibly insane, violent, and horrifying traitorous mob storming the Capitol last week, I…More

The real American Experiment

Watching the events of Wednesday, January 6 unfold will forever be one of the defining “shocked” memories of my life as an American citizen. It joins the ranks of 9/11, waking up to the results of the 2016 presidential election, and learning about our country’s practice of putting immigrant children in cages and separating them…More

My nemesis (IS MY HUSBAND)

I always thought of “nemesis” as someone who was more competition than anything. Someone who wants the same things I do, is going after them in the same sphere I am, and tends to get in my way. Then I listened to the “Overconfidence: Hubris and Nemesis” episode the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast…More

A time for self-reflection

Good god, this COVID-19 situation is scary. I’m so glad to see U.S. citizens taking it seriously; my heart has been warmed at the ways people are taking care of each other. I hope that you are reading this safe at home with a full pantry and a plentiful but not hoarded amount of toilet…More

Some of my favorite Tolkien quotes

A few weeks back, I read The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in succession for (only) the second time. Here is my insightful and unique and perspective-deepening review: They are absolutely wonderful. Quick side note: After reading Tolkien for a couple hours one Saturday, I was desperate for some philosophy — something…More

A Song of Gratitude

Lately, as I’ve been driving around town I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of the original production of Les Miserables. I cannot stop. Listening and singing along to the musical has become an incredibly therapeutic experience. Boublil, Schonberg, and Kretzmer somehow managed to put into music and into song the richness of the 1862 novel…More

THE TREES ARE PEOPLE. With their own inscrutable “why.”

As I wrote in my last post, I recently came to terms with the (to me) dull, trudging work of gathering and analyzing data. I realized why, in order to get to the dazzling and fulfilling work of finding large trends and doing the big picture thinking, I need to first get mastery of details.…More

The question that makes me less judgmental

What security are they afraid of losing? Two instincts drive human behavior: self-promotion and self-protection. (I’m sure there are more, but those are two.) These aren’t necessarily good or bad instincts, they’re just how we’ve evolved to evaluate the world and figure out how to move about in it. We always want to improve our…More

New AOV Episode: Envy/Contentment

We released our 26th episode! HAPPY OFFICIAL ONE YEAR PODIVERSARY TO US. But I already celebrated that enough Tuesday. What I’m thinking about today is how our overall emotional experiences may shift as we age, particularly as regarding envy. As I mentioned in our AOV blog post on Envy/Contentment, there are four kinds of envy.…More


You know that feeling where you get so annoyed by the mess in your house and by the person who leaves his stuff EV-ERY-WHERE, then you go on a tear and start cleaning everything and realize that it’s actually YOUR stuff that is EV-ERY-WHERE and that it is actually YOU who is the slob, and…More