I have never met Anthony. I have never seen any of his TV shows. I have just read one of his books – Kitchen Confidential. I gave it 3 stars.
And yet, I’ve found him hard to forget since I finished the book. He has a way, with words, and a personality that makes him hard to forget. He should not be likeable, it’s hard to sympathise for him, he’s often an asshole, and very much proud of it. Yet, he’s also appealing, and often, surprisingly, likeable.
I guess his charm comes from embodying the hard bits of our lives – the grime, the slime, the hard knocks, the sweat, the wrong calls – and taking them on the chin (or dishing them out), casually. Like most of us do, yet refuse to accept that we do.
There were parts of his book where I wanted to punch him in the face, and ask him to shut his hole, and write something useful. There were other parts that I didn’t want to end. And then there were a few that I bookmarked for frequent return.
He seems my kind of screwed up guy. A guy I would love to know. A guy I would even love to hate to work with.
I didn’t have any coffee or Coke zero today. My caffeine consumption today was limited to one mug of tea.
I didn’t have any peanut butter today.
I didn’t have any milk chocolate today. I did have 4 squares of Lindt’s 90% dark chocolate.
It’s been hard.
I’m addicted to these three things. I usually have at least 2 mugs of coffee, and at least 1 can of Coke zero a day. Usually more. I’ve been finishing a 600g jar of peanut butter a week for last two months. And twice in the last week, I’ve had 3 bars[^1] of Dairy milk in a single 24 hour slot.
It was hard staying without them all day. It was harder knowing that most of them were within easy reach – I had all of them except the chocolate stocked at home.
I’ve succeeded, so far. I’ve also paid for the success. Fighting the lure of these addictions had a toll on my mental capacity. I didn’t go for the run. I spent most of the day reading, or listening to music and podcasts. It was a very unproductive day. But so have been many recently. At least today I got to have a little success starting away from the addictions.
R is away for a few days, and I’m itching to try some changes.
My preferred change is to get rid of the mobile phone. I left it at home for the Corsica vacation last year, and it turned out to be amazing. However, with R away, I need to be reachable, so can’t completely get rid of the phone.
Another thought was to stay off of watching TV (including videos on mobile/laptop). I did that, semi-successfully, for the last quarter of 2017, and quite enjoyed it. However, this is the season of my favourite cycling races, the spring classics, and I really don’t want to miss them. (I just bought a Eurosport player subscription so I can watch the spring classics!)
I could give up social media, but it wouldn’t count as much of a change. I’m not on Facebook. I’ve restricted Twitter to Tweetdeck on desktop, so only use for specific posts/responses, no reading. I do check Instagram a few times a day, but it isn’t a sink hole of links and debates. Strava barely counts as a social media.
So far I’ve only found one thing I can drop. It’s small, but it may help achieve some calm: give up on the 24 hour news cycle1.
I won’t be watching news channels on TV. BBC and CNN are bulk of my non-Eurosport TV diet2.
I won’t check news on mobile. I check techmeme and Google news probably half a dozen times a day, each.
I will stay off (reading updates on) Twitter.
I will continue to read the 2 daily newsletters I subscribe to – Quartz and Economist Espresso.
I will continue to read the weekly issue of The Economist.
I have a feeling tomorrow will be hard, given my addiction to news TV, techmeme and Google news. I also have a feeling that, once I’m over the withdrawal symptoms, this may help me achieve a bit more calm.
I usually switch on the TV to BBC or CNN while eating lunch, and watch it till I finish the post lunch coffee. Ditto for dinner. Unless R has already switched on the PS3, to watch Grey’s anatomy on Amazon prime. ↩
It’s not a battle between Islam and Christianity, or Islam and rest of the world, but a battle for the soul, and control, of Islam.
The scary bit is that the bad guys are backed by limitless amounts of money. Worse bit is that this money comes from us, from our addiction to oil.
And that is why it’s an addiction. We know it’s bad – bad for our health, bad for the environment and bad because that money supports the very people intent on driving Islam, and rest of us, back to the middle ages. Yet, we are powerless to do anything about it.