"down the whole"

Similar to "down the hole" or "down the rabbit hole" like Alice in Wonderland but with some breadth in tandem with a certain amount of depth. Down the "whole" pie of pizza. Down the "whole" thing but yet there's no such thing as a "whole" topic in conversation. Little tiny holes in conversation that don't ever necessarily need to be "holes" in the way that we often let them. There're always strings between topics no matter how small they might be!

the forum

I've been stewing a lot on what "down the whole" really means. Basically, I think that there's a certain depth to conversations that we often don't allow ourselves to jump into. Ideally at some point I want to have a conference call (video or just audio) or an in person event every couple of weeks somewhere in Manhattan. Hang with me here now... It would work like this. Everyone brings one thing (literally anything) they want to talk about to the "meeting". Examples include:

"So where does SoHo end and the Lower East Side begin?"

"Unlimited PTO is a thing, sure, but how much PTO is too much?"

"What's the difference between the Torah and the Old Testament?"

"At a minimum do I owe my future kids at least as much as I had as a kid?"

Deep thinkers? Haha but still, when was the last time you felt like you were allowed to ask questions like these? So the point from here is that at the beginning we pick one person out of the group and they ask a question of tell a small tale of something they were thinking about with some sort of basic time cap of 2 minutes of so. Next, anyone is allowed to raise their hand to speak next. First to raise their hand has the first option to go next (maybe) but the caveat here is that before this next person speaks they must pre-link their topic to some sort of relativity to what the person was talking about before them. Too often there are conversations that fizzle out and someone interjects with something new that they'd rather selfishly want to talk about instead. The purpose here is to try and put yourself in the shoes of that which came before you kinda Socratic method style.

It doesn't have to be a thick connection but you have to explain why the last thing that someone was talking about provoked the next thought in you. As small as ya want.

topic A -> topic B -> ... -> topic Z

The goal is that at the end you've got Hansel and Gretel style of breadcrumbs that you can go back and trace through to climb your way back out of the "hole".

And then icing on the cake would be for someone to take notes or record this convo and make annotations of what topics were discussed and just how exactly you got from A to Z. Much like the Wikipedia races of old that we millenials would play to kill time in the computer lab.

work/life balance

income --> outcome

The goal is to get to a point where the income allows a life of certain conveniences and then you can start to shift the needle to the outcome side of the spectrum. Throughout my career I've pushed for a balance of a job that pushes me to learn and grow (both technically and people skills side of things) but also strikes the right chord of "morality". Suuuper hard to explain where this whole morality thing falls though.

showers

Something so small but yet so, so life changing... Ever tried to optimize your shower? My first year at Georgia Tech I was living in the dorms (Hopkins 2nd floor represent). There was some industrial engineering class that had to do surveys and students needed to collect data. Someone on my floor posted a poll outside the bathroom asking what was the first thing you did when you jumped in the shower. The choices were something like "shampoo first or body soap first?"

No idea why but I'd never thought about the order of my shower before. Let's try and break it down though. Priorities and goals of a shower to me are usually two fold.

  1. get clean
  2. relax and enjoy the hot water

If we go the get clean route then we break down the shower in the most optimal way to get clean. For me, this means shampoo first because if you did body wash first then the nastiness in your hair would stream down your body. Shampoo first, conditioner (optional for men because supposedly conditioner is bad for your hair), face wash and then finally, body wash.

Another thing to note, liquid body wash vs bar soap body wash. I swear by Dove men's body wash because soap scum is defintitely a thing. I feel sticky and my skin kinda pulls if I don't use some sort of moisturizer soap such as Dove. As to liquid soap, I just don't think you get the bang for your buck. It takes so much more to cover your body using liquid rather than bar soap, IMO.

Now does any of this really matter? Nope, but it wasn't til that one time reading this student's survey that I actually thought about this shit and they inadvertently made me start caring about the order of my shower...

gym routine

Anyone that's showered at the gym knows that there is a certain level of hygeine you try and uphold when you're in the locker room. To me, much like my regular shower at home I try and optimize my routine. The efforts here are to be sure I don't get any nastiness from the gym like a foot fungus and to get in and out as fast as possible. After a nice, long workout I head to the locker room, grab a little plastic bag for my sweaty clothes, strip down, wrap myself in a towel, put everything except my water bottle in the locker and head to the steam room. For optimal steam pleasure I try and leave my towel loose but covered and do my best to channel my inner meditative Vipassana training breathing in and out through my nose. I stay in for two "steam cycles" and then head for another clean, non-sweaty towel. I do my regular shower routine: shampoo --> conditioner --> face wash -> body wash. This time it very much matters though because you should scrub your feet at the end such that you don't touch your face after touching those nasty locker room feetsies (yup, gross but still something to think about). Next, out of the shower with a nice dry off. The key is to keep your sweaty steam room towel and head back to the locker such that you can put that towel on the ground to dry off the feet. Not the absolute, most hygeinic but at the same time you want to be conscious about how much water you're making someone waste by using 3 freaking towels instead of two. Why do I think about these things?

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Thank y'all kindly for the read!