Good morning!

Go grab a cup of coffee to start your day.

Good morning!

My 2017 – an utterly positive roundup


2017 was the year I ran a race in my underwear.

I also read 42 books, almost twice as many as I originally planned on reading.

I finally finished the first draft of my novel and started working on the second draft.

I went on the Big Thunder Mountain Ride in Disneyland Paris, despite being afraid of heights, and I ran a 5k and a 10k mere hours apart in the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend.

I translated and heavily adapted a Parsley game for a friend’s wedding, arranged a Tabletop Day gathering, played  and I started playing Pandemic Legacy 2. So far Matt Leacock is killing it with the story on this one.

I saw and enjoyed Wonder Woman, and I saw and loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I planned on going to more movies (I can’t believe I missed Coco, but travel plans will do that to you), but I’ll make up for it in 2018 I’m pretty sure.

I ran three 10K races, two 5K races (and 3 virtual 5Ks), more kilometres than I have ever run in a year (over 700), and I broke my 10K PR. I ran like through downtown Washington to the Mall and Lincoln Memorial, and through Greenwich Park all the way up to the Greenwich Observatory. I learned to appreciate yoga.

I joined Tel Aviv’s Urban Sketchers and went to sketchcrawls in Jaffa, Neve Zedek, the Carmel Market, Rothschild, and Florentine. I drew 100 people in a week as part of Liz Steel‘s challenge, and I sketched more frequently than I ever have. Learning to let myself experiment with my drawings, let my lines be looser and fortunate mistakes to happen has been a revelation that I plan on exploring more in 2018.

I journaled each day for most of the year, and finally started filling all those notebooks I bought. 2017 was also the year I fell in love again with Moleskines, but more on that perhaps later.

I challenged myself to take a photo a day, and succeeded, and I plan on continuing with that challenge in 2018. It makes me stop, look around, think about composition, lighting, atmosphere — all things that are valuable to me both as an artist and a writer.

2017 wasn’t without it’s challenges, fears, troubles — but it was also full of triumph and hope, good things that I plan on carrying on with me to 2018 and beyond.

Happy new year!


My 2017 – an utterly positive roundup

This week’s recommendations 

Podcast: Do by Friday. A weekly challenge show by Merlin Mann, Alex Cox, and Max Temkin. It’s funny, it’s insightful, it’s well worth your time. 

Book: A Month in the Country, by J L Carr. This is a 104 page lyrical masterpiece about a WWI veteran hired to restore a medieval mural in a Yorkshire church. A real gem- one of those books that you judge other people by.

Tea: Feng Qing Premium Black Gold Pearls – a “chocolate and malt” Yunnan black tea rolled into large marbles. Sweet, mellow, smooth and a feast for the eyes. Almost too good to share.

And also: if your New Year’s Resolutions aren’t SMART, you are wasting your time, attention, and effort.

Gratuitous photo of Jaffa on a clear winter’s day.

This week’s recommendations 


I couldn’t sleep last night for no good reason other than the noise from the neighbouring synagogue and my terrible late night iPhone Twitter habits. The iPhone addiction is on me, but what can you do about French tourists being obnoxiously loud obnoxiously late when they stand outside a synagogue long after closing time, far past midnight? I considered throwing a bucket of water or hefting a shoe at them, but I couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. Meanwhile, they outshouted the closed windows and air conditioning. Only American tourists get any louder.

I saw an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine tonight that hit close to home regarding to my spending habits. Unlike Jake Peralta I am saving money, and I have never even considered buying one massage chair, let alone six, but I can get carried away sometimes buying junk that I don’t need and will never use. There is a collector’s bug that runs in the family that doesn’t help, and FOMO is a real thing when it comes to limited editions of things that I like (mostly pens and stationery), but mostly I just need to learn that buying stuff online is not a good coping mechanism for a bad day at work or a sleepless night. Money spent on experiences, like races and trips and escape rooms with friends, is better spent, period. And maybe more than me needing to learn to just enjoy using what I have, I need to accept that whether it’s headphones or pens or mechanical keyboards, there is no true perfection out there — there is only what there is.