Five miscellaneous, nonpolitical revelations I had in 2016

1. Your muscles hate you for all that computer & phone use, so get an electric neck massager.

Along with daily neck stretches & torso stretches, my massager has worked wonders on my comfort & sleep. I used to only sleep through the night about once every two years; now I sleep through the night once a week, & the nights in between aren’t as bad either.

This one on Amazon was pretty cost-effective ($60), the one drawback being that it’s not cordless. My roommate has this one, though, which is cordless & a little higher-quality. Either way, for the price of one or two massages, you get to ease the tension whenever you want.

2. Hack your notebooks by using them both front-to-back & back-to-front.

I don’t journal enough to keep a journal. I don’t write enough reminders to keep a calendar. And I don’t take notes in church or at rehearsals enough to keep a notebook for either of those things.

So after years of using legal pads that would inevitably get ripped apart & scattered, I finally found a system that works. I bought a three-pack of 100-page paperback notebook from Barnes & Noble (similar here) & started using them front-to-back — for journaling, devotionals, church notes, set lists, anything more structured — and back-to-front — for checklists, songwriting, & any other messy streams of consciousness. I feel more organized, but best of all, I feel like I have permission to scribble & not make every page look pristine.

3. Uninstalling Facebook Messenger on your phone is a huge win for peace of mind.

No one needs to get ahold of you. If they do, they have your number. Free up some brainspace.

4. You can’t actually be mean to people & assume they won’t notice.

Oh, what? Really?

5. My biggest revelation: you can use oil on your face & you won’t die.

And it works better than oil-free moisturizers. When picking an oil, check out the bar graph below to find one that has a lot of green (linoleic acid) & not a lot of red (oleic acid). You’ll be sad to notice that coconut oil — every millennial’s favorite — doesn’t score super well on the linoleic front, though some people like it for other reasons. Regardless, way better than topical olive oil in every way.

I use hemp currently, though I’m planning to experiment with rosehip or safflower next time around.



Singer-songwriter in LA & oilfield entrepreneur in the Bakken. I like economics, community living, & new points of view. Music chair at Braver Angels.

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