Day Fifty: Shh! I’m in a hotel.

Another quiet polite episode; even quieter than yesterday. We have to go catch the bus home in a bit, so we’re up early in a hotel.

I was listening to the inestimable Paul F Tompkins the other day and he mentioned that one of his great inescapable fears in life is being yelled at. I’m similar, but I don’t even need the yelling-at. Just the thought that somebody is thinking poorly of me is enough to give me the hives. I have prolonged friendships far past their exploitative and horrible past-due dates because of this. I have put myself through all sorts of weird discomfort over this. I’m sure 90% of it was unnecessary.

And yet I persist. I’m still reasonably convinced that the world would be a better place if we were all overconsiderate rather than underconsiderate.

So it’s a quiet podcast today.

We spent to much on our weekend away, thanks to a couple of cool things we ran into (my wife is now the proud owner of a pillow that is made specifically to have a hot water bottle inside of it, which we think will get a lot of use over the rest of the winter). But the food plan was adhered to, drinking on her end was measured and on my end was entirely absent. It was a good weekend.

We’re considerate with each other, which helps — honestly considerate, not over or under. Again, it’s a better way to live than not being considerate at all. I know there’s a certain vogue right now on the right wing toward negating and hating people who have feelings, but it’s a losing game, down the line.

Being considerate is ultimately about maximizing other people’s ability to feel comfortable. And that maximizes their ability to contribute. And a society where everyone can contribute to the best of their ability, because they’re not distracted or preoccupied by, well, assholes, is a good and productive society.

I’m not sure why that’s so difficult for people to figure out.

Anyway, I’m talking quietly. Because it’s early, and I’m in a hotel.

Day Forty-Nine: Road Posting

Well, the fact that I’m typing this means that the blog end of things is working out well; the actual podcast part of it is next. Road posting! Posting from the road.

I’m at a hotel in Montreal with my wife (Anne Ma Soeur Anne; charming as hell and right on the Plateau), typing this on the desk that appears when you fold up the Murphy bed (!). Celebrating a good, sober, sensible day that’s still full o’ fun yesterday.

Road posting is easy when you’re clear-headed and happy

Having a plan, and a supportive spouse, is key. Yesterday’s planning involved splitting up so she could interview somebody for her women-in-brewing podcast. She headed uptown, I went to the hotel to check in, do some window shopping, have a wander and generally avoid a bar.

It worked out well! I got a good walk in, checked out some new board games at the board game store, studiously avoided going into places that sold bande dessinée (Franco-Belgian hardcover comics; beautiful, but expensive), read, and puttered around. I’m a classic introvert, so the time alone was kind of nice, and being able to sit around and read without a vague feeling of “I should be doing the dishes/laundry/cleaning something/checking on the cat” is very liberating.

Once she got back to the hotel, we went down to Chinatown, feasted on dumplings, and ticked off one of my great Montreal priorities: hitting up the Chinese supermarket for amazing faux meats — both in the refrigerated “make hot” varieties and the “plant-based jerky” types. The overall plan is to bring it all back to Kingston, keep the packaging, and convince the local Asian markets to carry this stuff.

Road posting! The audio portion of this is going to be a little different, as I’m doing it through a microphoned gaming headset. And speaking quietly because I don’t know how sound carries in here and I don’t want to disturb anyone. Protestant reserve, general good manners or a crippling inability to deal with attention? Let’s say all three.