I Believe I Can Fry by Julia Moskin (NYT)
“ Many an ecstatic moment has been ruined by biting into hot fried chicken. It should never be eaten piping hot. When fried chicken comes out of the oil, the steam-cooking inside the crust needs to be completed, the juices need to redistribute and the volcanic heat of the crust needs to subside. ”
I Believe I Can Fry by Julia Moskin (NYT)
The table is just a couple of planks of wood on a pedestal that I have freighted with significance beyond reason. For me, it represents my plucky parents and the golden age of my childhood, when my mother and father were still together and all six of us were under one roof.
Above all, it represents my mother, who lived with it longer than any of us. Just as the table grounded our family, my mother grounded me. Giving up the table has been so hard because it’s been so hard giving up my mother.
Still, it would be nice to see it one more time, and to know it is in good hands. Next time I sell a Nakashima table, I’m adding a visitation clause.”
JANE MARGOLIES, in A Solid, Comforting Family Member (NYT)
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.”
My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Han, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Han, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).
This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.”
A Never-Ending Dream — Ang Lee
Written in 2006 (post-Oscar win). Translated by Irene Shih (via whatshihsaid)
Studies show that people who work at home are significantly more productive but less innovative, said John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University who runs a human resource advisory firm.
“If you want innovation, then you need interaction,” he said. “If you want productivity, then you want people working from home.””
Yahoo Orders Home Workers Back to the Office By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and CATHERINE RAMPELL (NYT)
“ Beware of clients who have waited to call you until they have a perfect diagram of what they need and want you to color it in. If they’re not coming to you for strategy and problem-solving, they’re not coming to you for design, they’re coming to you for production. And if you take on production work, you don’t get to call yourself a designer. ”
Mike Monteiro, Design Is A Job
“ We think of great design as art, not science, a mysterious gift from the gods, not something that results just from diligent and informed study. But if every designer understood more about the mathematics of attraction, the mechanics of affection, all design — from houses to cellphones to offices and cars — could both look good and be good for you. ”
Lance Hosey, the chief sustainability officer at the architecture firm RTKL, is the author of “The Shape of Things: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design.”
It’s not a failure until you stop trying.
I don’t think you can achieve anything remarkable without some risk. Risk is actually a rather tricky word because humans aren’t wired to tolerate it very much. The reptilian part of our brains wants to keep us safe. Anytime you try something that doesn’t have any certainty associated with it, you’re risking something, but what other way is there to live?”
Complement with famous creators on the fear of failure, which might be the greatest psychological impediment to happiness, and see Millman on confronting our self-imposed restrictions.
“ I was scared, to say the least. It was the first time my training would be tested. I heard my rifle crack as I fired. The weapon’s recoil nudged my shoulder, and he crumpled to the ground. The aroma of gunpowder filled the room. I fired two more rounds into his motionless body, then stared in amazement as his body lay lifeless, his black and red scarf astray. The sun rose across the city’s skyline. I was 19. ”
THOMAS JAMES BRENNAN, in Ending a Life, and a Part of Yourself, for the First Time (NYT)