meeting minutes

Dear Attendees,

We sure had a full agenda at yesterday’s inaugural meeting.

Some of the topics we touched on:

  • the veal of vegetables: tiny corn in tiny cages
  • squirrels, Eichhörnchen, chipmunks, and other assorted Sciuridae
  • the number of fondue sets in our households
  • uncle jokes, which are similar but not identical to dad jokes

We also covered in a bit more detail:

  • LSD, TMS, and psilocybin as described in Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change your Mind
  • Did you know that Nicolas Cage has acted in more than 100 movies? And that I have a region-free DVD player in case you need to watch any films that are not available on your streaming services? And that can tell you what’s available where?
  • Can Matthew Broderick never go to Ireland ever again because he killed a woman and child? Has Mark Wahlberg nearly beat a Vietnamese woman to death? Is Christopher Walken really Natalie Wood in disguise? What other atrocious celebrity conspiracy theories do we need to investigate?
  • the merits and demerits of Jägermeister and Becherovka, and the cheeky Seventies Jägermeister advertising like this one: “I’m drinking Jägermeister because Roland really only showed me his stamp collection.”
  • Over The Rhine, a band hailing from the Cincinnati neighborhood of the same name

Action items for attendees:

  • Bill, to tell me more about that hanging system that might work for my big mirror
  • Mary, to tell me about that Filipino place nearby
  • Mary to watch Revenge, on Shudder
  • me, to watch Mandy, which is also available on Shudder
  • Someone – anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? to act as a mule and make a pastry or cake delivery from HahDough, the German bakery in San Francisco. I hear their Black Forest Cake is really good.
  • and me, to schedule the next meeting, in a month or two.

Last but not least, the action item that is already completed:

I brought my grandpa Karl Ortenau along to the meeting. The back of the image had an inscription that none of us could decipher because it was written in Sütterlin.

my grandfather Carl Ortenau Meiner lieben Mutter

But my siblings came through – I sent them a photo of the inscription, and within an hour I had the wording:

“M/l Mutter,

zum Zeichen treuen Geden-

kens auch beim Vergnügen,

von ihrem Karl

Greifenberg i.Pom. 18.I.30″

This translates as: “To my dear Mother,

as a sign of my faithful remem-

brance, even in times of pleasure,

from her Karl

Greifenberg in Pomerania, January 18, 1930.”

meeting minutes

Dear H,

Thank you for a pleasant and productive meeting today.

Please find appended the promised information relating to the topics we discussed:

  1. First things first: How to Trick your Brain into Falling Asleep. Good luck! Let me know if/how it works for you.
    • There is also the Ten Percent Happier app. My favorite teacher on there is Jeff Warren, and my favorite thing he said is this: “Sometimes meditation is easy. Sometimes it’s hard. You don’t care. You’re the body breathing.”
    • Another app I love is the Insight Timer – it has lots of guided meditations, and a simple timer with a variety of Tibetan singing bowls.
  2. As a bonus, here is another TED talk, about depression. She explains it better than I ever could, and she even mentions transcranial magnetic stimulation. There is a cut in the video, and you can tell that it was cut because her voice sounds very different after. She explains what happened, on her blog.
  3. Speaking of The Bloggess, she is opening a bookstore in San Antonio, but there’s still lots of construction and remodeling to do. She came up with a brilliant idea to already make money with the store: she started a book club where you get a new release once a month. I signed up, of course. :-) It’s here if you’re curious: – and of course it’s still there if you aren’t. She said on her blog that she expected maybe 50 people to sign up – and it’s already more than 2,000. (Have you been to San Antonio? I want to go.)
  4. The Popsugar Reading Challenge is here. Little nerdling that I am, I made myself a spreadsheet to check off the prompts in my reading. And of course I am on goodreads too.
  5. To stay on the topic of books for a moment, I forgot to tell you the best audiobook I have heard in a long time. Ta-Nehesi Coates, “The Water Dancer”, read by Joe Morton. I’d wanted to read it, and when I heard that Joe Morton was the narrator, I was SOLD. You can listen to the first ten minutes here.
  6. As I said, Anthony Trollope was as popular and prolific as his contemporary Charlie Dickens. I am pleased as punch that I have found The Barchester Chronicles on the yootube. Be patient – young Alan Rickman does not show up until the 3rd episode.
  7. The company that does the genetic testing that I had, to see which mental health treatments work well for me and which ones don’t, is called Genomind. They call what they do “Personalized Medicine:” ““Personalized medicine” is a somewhat new medical model that uses patient specific information, such as your own genetic makeup (or genotype) in order to enable an individualized approach to treatment. For example, up to half of all patients respond poorly to the first psychiatric medicine they try because everyone’s body is different, partially based upon their own individual genetic makeup.” My insurance decided not to cover it (big surprise! LOL), it cost $300.
  8. And last but not least, here is my Daily Harvest referral code.

Love, linkage, and lifestyle consulting,


meeting minutes

Dear M,

Thank you for meeting with me today. here is my follow-up on the topics we discussed:

  • I had it all wrong about Lithub, the unreliable narrators were here.
  • Lithub is still great though, with lots of random reading lists and lots of great articles by Rebecca Solnit.
  • Mt. Hamilton is not named after Alexander Hamilton, as you correctly surmised. Wikipedia says:
  • Speaking of Hamilton, a great place to get familiar with it is – it has all the lyrics, and lots of annotations (many by Lin-Manuel Miranda the creator himself) explaining historical backgrounds and puns and phrases borrowed from other musicals or from rap or hip hop songs. And it shows who sings which parts, which makes it easier to understand when you hear it the first one hundred times. 
  • The Hamilton app has a ticket lottery for each performance.
  • And the closest showing right now is at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco – the run got extended to end of May 2020. GREAT GREAT cast.

Raise a glass to free-hee-dom!