Tag Archives: Sunday

Five good short essays from Austin Kleon

One of my favorite thinkers on the Internet and elsewhere is Austin Kleon. His books are great for anyone who makes things, be it in the visual arts or any creative work. His blog and now his newsletter are also great. If you were to go and randomly search through it, you’d be rewarded with lots of good reading. To save you time, here are five good pieces that can get your started.

 

It’s time to retire the “Sunday Routine” (at least the one at the New York Times)

Each weekend in the New York Times, there is a story in the section called Sunday Routine, part of “a weekly series that profiles newsworthy New Yorkers and how they spend their down time”. Sounds good. I even liked this one: How a Couple Who Started a Food Bank Spend Their Sundays. Mostly I hate read them, though. Like pieces that ask people what’s on their bedside table and they list out 20 really hard books they are reading, these Sunday routines seem so performative and superior. It’s rare now, it seems, to see people having “down time”.

So if you are someone who tries to be productive during your Sundays and hates down time, then read this series. Otherwise, give it a pass. Don’t be dumb like me and hate read it.

P.S. Ok, this week’s piece on Alice Feiring is also good. I’ll be glad to rescind this if the Times keeps this up. 🙂

(Sunday) Night Music (one of the best music shows you never saw)

In the late 80s, Lorne Michaels (of SNL fame) produced this show called “Night Music” that was seen in Canada as well as elsewhere. For a show that only ran from 1988-1990, it featured a wealth of musicians. (You can see the list here.)

One of my favorite episodes was #208 which featured Sting and Mary Margaret O’Hara as well as many other fine musicians. If you have 40 minutes, you can see it here:

What I like about that episode, like most episodes, is that you get a wide range of musicians, old and new, all doing challenging or interesting music. You didn’t just see the latest artists performing their hits. You didn’t just see one style of music. You never knew what to expect, other than it would be good.

So check out that video while you can. I’ve posted Night Music videos before and they get pulled sooner or later. See it while you can, and see why it was so good.

Two ways to calm your thoughts this Sunday: go for a walk, do the dishes

For more on that, see this (Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to walk more mindfully — Quartz) and this (Washing Dishes Is a Great Stress Reliever, Science Says | Time).

Have a peaceful Sunday.

32 good pieces for a Sunday afternoon


It’s spring cleaning time. All these links are worth reading and worth commenting on, but I never found either the time or the words to do so. But on a quiet Sunday, you might find something here worth reflecting on:

  1. Intriguing:  How civilization started
  2. How to stay young (if you want to)
  3. Hmmm:  On mental illness
  4. It’s a problem:  When the rich don’t pay their fair share it exposes society to risks
  5. The problem with the trolley problem
  6. The history of holes tells a story of power and potential
  7. How to fulfil the need for transcendence after the death of God
  8. A stable sense of self is rooted in the lungs heart and gut
  9. Stephen Hawking’s Philosophical(!) Position on the Uncertainty Principle
  10. George Saunders’ commencement address: Try to be kinder – good advice
  11. New York’s Shadow Transit | The New Yorker
  12. Now adults have them – Once Upon a Time, Bedtime Stories Were Just for Kids
  13. Life is hard: I work at an office with no parents and it suck
  14. A sad story:  Drug addicted teens
  15. Something we can forget:  People Who Take Drugs Are Real People
  16. Good luck with this The out of touch adult guide to kid culture
  17. Sleep well: Insomnia tips
  18. On twitter: twitter fact watch
  19. The best read it later apps
  20. Helpful:  Working woman’s handbook
  21. Ha!  Stop being a jerk on Venmo!
  22. Can maintenance save civilisation?
  23. More on old age De Beauvoir on Aging
  24. If you care:  Is “cancel culture” over?
  25. On horseshoe theory
  26. The Crito by Plato – worth reading
  27. Not sure this is a thing:  Radical Centrism
  28. Thich Nhat Hanh on Life War and Happiness
  29. Truth is real and philosophers must return their attention to it
  30. For those who care: Fantastic Beasts Never Understood ‚Harry Potter Fans – The Atlantic
  31. End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Hard but Your Loved Ones Will Thank You
  32. Finally  On that crazy Fourier

It’s Sunday afternoon. A good time to read Mary Oliver. Here’s her 10 best poems

There is never a bad time to read the poetry of Mary Oliver, but Sunday afternoon seems like an especially good time. You may have some of her work already. If so, why not pull it down and savour it?

If you don’t have anything by hers, I recommend you look at this list put together by the good people at the Penn Book Center: 10 Best Mary Oliver Poems – PBC

You may have a favourite outside of these. As for me, it has two of my favorites, Wild Geese and The Summer Day. Go and enjoy. Happy Sunday to you.

P.S. I wrote this on her as well. Some good links in that post.

Two weird pieces for a Sunday


Wasn’t sure what to do with these, though they are worthwhile for a Sunday:

Like I said: weird. But fun.

It’s Sunday. A good day to be useless. Here’s a guide to being that way


You may laugh and say “I know how to be useless”, but to truly appreciate the value of uselessness, I recommend this: How to be useless | Psyche Guides.

It talks about the ideas of the great Chinese philosopher, Zhuang Zhou and his work, the Zhuangzi. (You may know him as Chuang Tzu from the great book by Thomas Merton on him.) If you have to do something useful this Sunday, I recommend you read that. Then go make yourself useless. 🙂

If you are suffering from the Sunday Scarries (with some extra thoughts from me)


If you have those feelings of dread and anxiety at the thought of work tomorrow, then read this:What are the Sunday scaries and how can you banish them?

Lots of good advice in there on how to get rid of them.

Some other things to consider:

  • If you can, on the Friday before, try and leave something positive to work on or do for the upcoming Monday. Try and fill Monday (or at least Monday morning) with positive tasks and meetings.
  • Another thing you can do on that Friday is outline what you plan to accomplish the following week and then stay focussed on that as you ease into Monday. If you can focus on things you want to achieve over the week, it helps dilute the dip into cold water that Monday leaves you feeling.
  • Acknowledge that other people feel that way and make sure that on Monday you fill their day with positive thoughts and feelings. Doing that will pay you dividends as they will likely reciprocate that positivity. It’s a win-win for all, and your Mondays will take on a more positive vibe, which should help lessen the Sunday scarries.

(Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash )