Tangential Tuesday #46

Couch surfing, Seattle, Making a desk, Cooking, Metaphors we live by

Hey, it’s been a minute. I’ve missed writing this newsletter over the past few weeks 💛.

A lot has happened - both in the world and in my life. I have a lot of ideas and things to talk about so this week will be light on links and heavy on random thoughts, ideas, and as always… tangents.


Couch Surfing

When my roommate Yash presented the idea of hosting travelers via Couchsurfing I didn’t know what to think. Obviously, I am always down since weird experiments like this so I told to go for it.

We made our profiles, put them out into the wild, and suddenly we were getting flooded with requests. We would come home after work and review all the different requests. We felt like a couple managing a shared dating profile.

And eventually… we accepted our first traveler. And then another, and another.

Since then we’ve shared food (learned a new pasta cooking technique from an Italian), wine, house parties, games of exploding kittens, and late-night conversations with travelers from New Zealand, Russia, Italy, and Mexico.

^Me, Yash, Kamilia, and Frida (two russian girls we were lucky enough to host). Not my best picture… but at least I’m in it twice 🙃


There’s nothing that makes me feel more alive than meeting strangers, mostly through random chance. The world opens up.

And something about the short term nature of these relationships makes you cut through the bullshit as fast as possible and straight to the heart, to the things you truly care about.

I only spent ~5 hours with these Russian girls before going to bed for a very early flight to Seattle. Yet when I hugged them goodbye I felt almost sure that I will see them again.

Now, I know this idea of hosting strangers for free in your house/apartment is a bit crazy, BUT if you’re looking for a way to break out of your routine and turn every day into an adventure I can’t recommend it enough. As a bonus, after a few months, you’ll have places to stay and people to visit all over the world.

Related: David Perrell’s Talking To Strangers.


“Making” a Desk

I can’t really call what I did making a desk BUT I had a blast doing a bit of woodwork in my room and I’m pretty happy with the end result. Basically I bought this table top off of IKEA which is basically a big hunk of unfinished wood.

From there I sanded it, stained it, and then applied a bunch of coats of polyurethane to the top and bottom. The whole project took a little less than a week in total and left me with a super nice looking desk for a pretty reasonable price. You also get the benefit of bragging to your friends that you “made” your beautiful desk.

Since finishing my desk, I’ve also been reminded of how valuable it can be to have a place dedicated to doing work at your home. The places we work matter. And creating a place I love to work has been a game-changer for me 😃.


Seattle

I’m writing this from Seattle. I actually wasn’t supposed to be here right now but a backpacking trip to Olympic National park got derailed and having already booked my flight I decided to go explore Seattle by myself (and visit a few friends along the way).

I head back tomorrow (Tuesday) but a few highlights so far:

  • The museum of flight. With Boeing being located in Seattle, there is a ton of history in this city when it comes to flight and this museum did not disappoint. So many crazy stories both from an engineering perspective and pilots risking their lives in war. Probably my favorite thing I’ve done here.

  • MoPOP.

  • Ellenos Greek Yogurt @ Pike Place Market. Lucious greek yogurt served in a gelato case

  • Bainbridge Island 😍


Cooking

I’ve been getting back to cooking a bit more lately. And I’ve realized how much I’ve been missing it. While it was raining in Seattle I also spent way too much time (read: the correct amount of time) reading cookbooks and bookstores/cafes.

In particular, I fell in love with Bottom of the Pot and Shaya.

Beautiful cookbooks aside, it’s made me realize that cooking is officially a luxury in my life. I already have the option of eating 3 amazing meals a day cooked by the Tackitchen and it’s pretty easy to cobble together a few meals and go out once or twice on the weekend without doing any real cooking.

And I suspect that this is the way the world is going. Many things we used to do out of necessity have slowly phased out to become hobbies of the upper class. Gardening, camping, and fishing come to mind.

On one hand - it hurts to see the role of something that I love changing in my life. On the other hand, it’s freeing to see cooking through the lens of cooking as a luxury rather than a means of putting food on the table for a reasonable price 🤷‍♂️.


In other cooking news, a trendy new home cookware line launched this week. It’s called Equal Parts. It combines nicely branded cookware with a subscription to a text-only human cooking coach.

My friend Zack shared it with me and wrote some interesting thoughts here.

“Maybe we’ll look back on today as the end of homecooking as we knew it. Or maybe it’s just another beautiful product launch that we’ll forget about in a week.”


Metaphors we live by

I’ve slowly been making my way through this book. Haven’t fully made up my mind on this one yet - but it absolutely presents some interesting ideas that have changed the way I observe everyday life.

The basic idea of the book is that metaphors are an essential component for how we see and interact with the world each day. They are so pervasive in our speech that most of us forget that we are speaking in metaphors.

One example of this is the underlying metaphor that argument is war. We say things like:
He fended off the opposing argument

She won the argument

I attacked the weak point in their argument

Your claims are indefensible.

This metaphor is pervasive. And it shapes the way we think about arguments. In many ways arguments are collaborative. You are listening to the other person presumably because you want to better understand their point of view.

But because we fundamentally see arguments as war, we often forget about these aspects. Once you realize that metaphors are everywhere, it’s hard to go a few minutes without hearing new metaphors in your own speech or from the language of those around you.


Links


That’s all for this week.

- Tay 💛