Howdy folks,

Chelsea is visiting her parents, so it's just me and our yowly cat Oliver holding down the fort this week. I think he digs my evening piano performances, even if he tends to mostly sleep through them.
Beyond my usual pursuits, I'm continuing the deep-dive into crypto land that I started this summer. It's a fascinating, rapidly evolving world where I grasp about 1.6% of what's going on. DeFi 2.0, fractionalized NFTs...yegads, mountain biking is far simpler.

(Interested, but don't know where to start? For a general landscape interview, check out this Tim Ferriss podcast interview with venture capitalist Chris Dixon and angel investor Naval Ravikant. It ramps up at minute 20.)

Thrashing About, Edition 83 features:

-Amateurs for the win, take two

-Being man enough in this world is hard work.

-Eva Cassidy's soulful music is mind blowing.

And yep, there's another T. Rex drawing.

Dodging mucky bike trails in Bend by heading east into the desert this week.

Here's to the amateurs (again)

A couple newsletters ago, I shared my thoughts on the benefits of being an amateur. Apparently it struck a chord because a bunch of you reached out afterward.

I've continued pondering the concept and decided to flesh it out into a short blog post. In it, I explore concepts like why we will run marathons as amateurs, but learning to paint is so intimidating.

Side note: I got my first commissioned artwork request! My friend Scott requested a T. Rex for an online course he created. Luckily, it's unpaid, so I'm still an amateur. Phew.

T. Rexes suck at jump roping. (Ignore the pencil marks, I was reusing a piece of paper. #amateur)

Thoughts on Man Enough

Strange as it may sound, one of my regrets is playing organized sports. (So many years of baseball.) But wait, you say! Teamwork, camaraderie, dedication, go team!
Sure, I learned things.
Mostly, I remember the hazing. The Suck It Up mentality. The constant jockeying for Alpha position. Above all, BE A MAN by showing no emotions or weakness.
It wasn't just sports, unfortunately. It's the atmosphere boys grow up in, passed down through the generations. The 10,000 small cuts we face as boys (and then men) to bury emotions, be brave, suck it up, or be tough all stack up to feed an unhealthy relationship with ourselves in the world.

I've done a lot of work around this, but still occasionally revert back to that behavior. It's a long-term unwinding.

Currently, I'm reading Man Enough by Justin Baldoni, super hunk from the show Jane the Virgin. I haven't finished it yet, but I feel like he's talking directly to me.

I have more thoughts on all this, but will conclude with a quote that struck me as so, so true:

When we are taught, as young boys, to distrust our feelings and to disregard our fear and unease, we immediately start to associate those feelings with weakness, and in our egocentric young brains, that weakness becomes associated with our worth.

We fail to realize that the reason we feel so alone is because the other boys have learned what we will soon learn—how to suppress our emotions.

For readers who are men (or know a man or are raising one), the book is worth reading. His viral TED talk on the same topic is also fantastic.

Part of my Italian language study is learning some of the many hand gestures used there. Here's today's lesson: "What do you want?"

Amazing music

Somehow I'd never heard of Eva Cassidy's music until this week. Her marvelous voice has been compared to Aretha Franklin's.

Eva worked as a landscaper and never achieved success in her lifetime. However, she was able to liquidate a pension to record one live album in 1996, then died young of melanoma shortly after.
Five years later, her album (
Live at Blues Alley, Spotify) went platinum. It's soulful, touching, driving, beautiful. Kinda like a hopped-up Norah Jones? (<--Terrible comparison. Listen to it!)

Other Eva items for those interested: check out the YouTube video of her singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow or this write up by music critic Ted Gioia. (His excellent newsletter is where I learned of Eva.)

Thanks for digging into this issue of Traipsing About.

Giving unsolicited advice is like being an amateur: most of the time nobody buys what you share, but sometimes that big T. Rex commission comes through and pays off your mortgage.

This week’s advice: you can still be brave while acknowledging your emotions.

P.S. If this optical illusion doesn't break your brain, you're either a robot or a mega-genius.

I love this mural. Got any good captions?
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