Yael’s Variety Hour: Abbreviated, Self-Righteous Edition

I’ve been traveling, so spending less time digging up good links for the Variety Hour. (Is it Wednesday already?) Just three (and two of my own articles) this time around, but I think they are really good ones.

  • On Half-Assed Efforts Jennifer Lawler describes a very poorly-designed handicapped-accessible hotel room. Great food for thought. (Do it right or not at all.)
  • Question Authority. Why you need to take responsibility for your own healthy, instead of relying on blind faith. “When it comes to health and fitness information, authoritative organizations may not be your best source of advice.” Great post by the editor-in-chief of Experience Life.

Shameless Self-Promotion

  • Did I mention that I’m the newest proud member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)? The ASJA is a professional association for independent nonfiction writers, and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.

As always, feel free to post comments, questions or your favorite links from the week. ‘Til next time!

Yael’s Variety Hour: Zine Olympics, Local Heroes, Humor & The Usual


Local Heroes

Kinda Funny
  • P.O.S. Clothing. I totally have to rock this brand. (No, not really.) NSFW.

Fitness and Nutrition and Sports and Health and All That Stuff

  • Keeping Competition Healthy is a great post by Val Worthington on Breaking Muscle. Here”s my favorite quote: “Of course, everyone wants to win, and winning is a noble goal because of all the aforementioned benefits that go with it, particularly the fact that we have to bring out the best in ourselves to prepare for and participate in competition. But winning in a way that diminishes us or another person confers a Pyrrhic victory. We make ourselves smaller and detract from our potential when we claim a win that we didn’t earn.” Sing on, sister!
  • Sleep and Recovery is a nice reminder for those of us who don’t really care as much about our health sometimes as we do about our athletic performance…

Shameless Self-Promotion

  • I will be teaching a six week course, From Query to Print: Magazine Writing Basics, at the St. Paul JCC on Wednesday morning. Sign up! And please help spread the word.

Friday Musings: Immaturity, “Credibility,” Special Treatment, Vices, Expectations

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week for me, and I thought I may not get to my Friday musings…but luckily, my evening just cleared up. 🙂 Perhaps this is the “abstract” edition…

  • Every once in a while, being a writer will get me better treatment or service. This became very obvious at an event I was covering when I looked at what happened before and after they found out I was writing about them. And it made me really sad. I feel like I’m the same person, and should be treated the same way… and that other people should also be treated with respect, whether or not they are writers. At the same time, when I was a teacher, I used to always take extra care with lesson plans when I knew I was being observed… and I guess that’s the same thing. A hoop I had to jump through, though I believe I cared equally as much about my students whether or not I was being observed. Interesting food for thought, anyway.
  • I had a strange recurring experience since last week where people insisted I did things which I did not do. One of the people I believe was flat-out lying. One I believe had made a semi-innocent mistake. (He was flat-out mistaken, but I see how he falsely got the impression that something happened though it didn’t.) And one was, in my mind, slightly delusional. It made me wonder whether, upon hearing these people’s version of things, one would think they were more credible than me though I of course know otherwise. 😉 Or maybe not even ask me for my side of the story. As a teacher, I knew I had this luxury–any story I told a parent would likely be believed whether I was mistaken or not. It’s something I can honestly say I tried hard not to take advantage of, but who knows where my perception meets reality. This is another thing that made me stop and scratch my head a bit, though.
  • It always surprises me when people think that putting others down will make them look cool. Oh, and, telling someone they should be thick-skinned also does not excuse this kind of behavior. I suppose their karmic retribution is that they then must spend their lives surrounded by the type of people that they attract.
  • Since I’m on the topic of immature behavior… temper tantrums are for babies. Nobody likes people who can’t handle it when things don’t go exactly their way. A little bit of humility, grace and composure goes a long way. Or if that’s not possible, silence.
  • I was at the Academy this week to interview Volkmann before his upcoming fight. He was incredibly cool and funny and nice. Also, the Academy got struck by lightening. Not sure which of these two was the least likely scenario.
  • I realized that caffeine gives me anxiety. And so I really need to cut back. This is going to be hard, since I already also know that too much sugar messes with my mood and blood sugar, wheat and grains mess with my emotions and some of my favorite music makes me depressed… Sometimes I feel like everything I love is bad for me.
  • Speaking of sad music, I’ve been listening to far too much Juliana Hatfield than I should be. But I love this lyric so much! “I found a way to use my head; I go over and over every word you said. Look how I can make something out of nothing!”
  • Nobody rises to low expectations. If you feel that nobody has high expectations for you, raise the bar for yourself.
  • I’ve been getting a lot of requests to look at people’s writing, do some troubleshooting re: freelance woes or answer questions about topics I’ve written about (gardening, etc.). Happy to help & one of my values is being accessible and approachable, so I’m setting aside a specific time to do this so I can set some healthy time boundaries even on weeks I’m swamped. Trying out Wed., Aug. 10th from 12 noon to 2 PM. Will catch up with requests and actually answer the phone then, & see if this works.

Yael’s Variety Hour: Music, Recovery & Movin’ Those Hips

Welcome to the Variety Hour party! Unless you’re new here, you know that Wednesday is my link-sharing party, followed by shameless self-promotion (most often in the form of linking to my own pieces.) Here we go!

Music–since I’m totally slacking on the monthly mix tapes

  • Yonder Mountain String Band (Live At Lakeside). Yonder Mountain is this amazing jam band I just started listening to; was lucky enough to have someone send me a link to this live show which he said was more of a great hits show. I loved it. Hope you do, too.
  • freedomband. If you ever lived in or near Prescott, you probably have heard these guys. I particularly like track #10. I have fond memories of listening to it at a show…
  • Spotify. I feel like I should have more tunes on here with that nice graphic, and all, but will just direct you to Spotify–because it rocks. Seriously, ask for an invite and download it and find a ton of great, free music available for you to play. The bad news is that now I have access to all sorts of Juliana Hatfield songs I am trying not to play because it induces melancholy and reminiscence of high school hell. But you should still check Spotify out. I take responsibility for my own poor choices.
Move Yo Hips
  • How to Survive Training Layoffs from Grappling. As I mentioned in a previous post, my ACL may or may not be torn. I won’t find out for a while what is wrong with my knee (my appointment is not for almost two weeks, and of course an MRI will be scheduled way after that if necessary). This is (potentially) depressing news, but when I think about it almost every BJJ player I know has struggled with injuries of some kind. Hopefully this post by Stephen Kesting will help.
  • Feel Better for 10 Bucks is an oldie but goodie–a foam rolling article by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. Okay, I’m name-dropping again.
For Fun
Shameless Self-Promotion
  • I have some openings for copywriting, editing and proofreading–drop me a line to talk about your project.


Yael’s Variety Hour: Funny, Sad & Poignant

Welcome to the Variety Hour, my weekly collection of favorite links and posts and articles and videos gathered around the web. This is usually posted on Wednesdays, but I’m doing it a bit early since I’ll be attending the Women’s Grappling Camp Wednesday through Sunday, and would like to free up space to write all about it if that’s what I’m inclined to do.


I don’t know about you, but I need humor in spades this week! I never thought I’d be complaining about heat, but without AC the weather has been all but unbearable. I’ve been a bit foggy and spacey this week, either from the heat or from heat-induced insomnia. Then I have to deal with the aftermath of said fogginess/spaciness, which is no fun at all. Plus my car happened to die while picking a friend up at the airport, which was the suck. Among other things. Anyway, enough about that. Here’s some laughs.

  • The F*ck It Way. I can’t quite tell if this is supposed to be humorous or not, but it made me happy.



Shameless Self-Promotion

  • As mentioned yesterday, I am offering my services as a ghost blogger and/or Tweeter. If your business needs some ramping up on the social media front, please contact me and we’ll figure out the details!
  • 12 Questions for Miesha Tate. As she prepares for her fight against Marloes Coenen, Tate took a quick break for this interview I did for Sherdog.
And A Question
  • Who here is on Spotify? Do you love it?
Anyway, that’s all for now! Feel free to post your favorite links, or any comments on mine. Happy reading!

WDS Recap Series: Danielle LaPorte

So I started recapping the World Domination Summit about a month ago, and then I went on a bunch of trips and started writing about all these other things and got off track, but wanted to get back to it. One of the highlights of the WDS for me was getting to meet Danielle LaPorte. I’ve been a long-time fan of her website, White Hot Truth: because self-realization rocks, and so much of what she spoke about really struck a chord with me.

The focus was about pushing more, about being on your edge. She spoke of impeccability–not about being without fault, since we all have our chinks and our cracks, not about being perfect, but about engaging in the messy and unpredictable art of innovation with an unsullied, unbridled version of who we are.

“When do you not go the extra mile?” Danielle asked. When do you rise above fatigue and push through it? When are you truly present rather than just showing up? Certainly demanding nothing but the best leads to nothing but burnout, and yet it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing just enough to scrape by rather than giving our full effort.

Danielle spoke about taking radical responsibility for our own choices, and owning our own decisions. This includes claiming your decision to accept other people’s wisdom as your own and to act on it. Owning your choices is a sign of leadership, and LaPorte spoke about softening into the roots you came in with; letting the efficiency of that pull you forward. For me this applies to giving full effort. If I choose to accept a job that is not ideal because it doesn’t pay as well as I’d like or has a tighter deadline than I’d like or whatever, I have to own that decision–and if I decide to do the bare minimum for that assignment, I have to own that as well.

She spoke about articulating how you want to feel in order to get some clarity around that, divided loosely into different categories. One was rest/relaxation/body/wellness. One was job/vocation/money/entrepreneurship. And one was fashion/art/car/home/things you own. Narrowing down what you want in each category to three to five sensations, motions, values or specific feelings and then figuring out what you must do each day to generate that. I’ll admit that this seems impractical to me, having spent a lot of time dreaming of ideals which rarely come into fruition. But listening to Danielle speak makes it hard to not reignite that fire and start thinking about those dreams again…

Danielle, who is great at posing questions that really push the envelope, asked this: If you trusted that your art was going to support your life, how would you live? She promised that the universe is an ever-expanding bubble, that the stuff of life, the mesh of our cosmic order is designed for you to make progress. And so we innovate and lead, on the edge, focusing on our strengths and our openness.

Much of what LaPorte shared had to do with paying attention to the spirit of what you bring into the work you do, no matter what container it’s in. This could be giving away work for free (“charge a lot or give it away for free” was the mantra–doing gigs for free is not a risk, she said, but is essential) or about NOT doing less. Stop undercharging, stop taking red eye flights, and value yourself and your work enough to hire a real web designer rather than getting your cousin to do your website.

She spoke about art as a desire to be of service or a desire to self-express. Your self-expression is divine just because you show up, she said. There’s an interesting juxtaposition between just showing up and constantly working to push the envelope that I’m working to wrap my head around. Anyway, I’m not sure this quick summary does Danielle LaPorte justice, but I don’t think any summary really could.

Resource List

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
  • The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A. J. Jacobs
  • Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
  • Marie Forleo
  • And, of course… Danielle’s website, http://whitehottruth.com/.


Yael’s Variety Hour: Be a Ninja, Support Female Leaders & Fight Kidney Trafficking (All In One Place!)

You Probably Think This Post Is About You. Don’t You? Don’t You?

Health, Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Gems

  • Experience Life’s Fit Body Column. Jen Sinkler’s June column is out! She answers questions about grip strength, increasing max pull-ups, improving running speed and intermittent fasting.
  • Tav Byerhoff of Ritual Fitness is a ninja. Seriously. This video proves it.

Food For Thought

A Good Cause If There Ever Was One

Shameless Self Promotion

  • I’ll be teaching a 6 week class, From Query To Print: Magazine Writing Basics, in St. Paul, MN. It’ll take place on Wednesday mornings starting on September 12th. I’ll post more details soon–but for now, please just mark your calendars if you’re interested.

Send Me Your SEO Questions

I’ll be posting some audio sessions on improving search engine optimization sometime soon.

I’ll start with SEO for brick and mortar businesses (i.e. businesses with physical locations: cafes, gyms, studios, shops, etc.) How do you increase foot traffic to your business?

Please e-mail me any questions you have, so I can make sure to answer them!

Friday Musings (Gushing and Whining Included)

Friday Gushing

  • Two words: ROAD TRIP! ROAD TRIP! ROAD TRIP! ROAD TRIP! (Oh wait, that was eight words. Oops.)
  • At the risk of sounding like a cheeseball, I’m so amazed at how I’ve found myself surrounded by people that are so helpful and kind (at least virtually). Whether I’ve got camera questions, weight cutting questions or grammar questions, whether I want to post pictures of my dinner or celebrate a good turn of events… my online buddies are always right there to support me. It feels really good.
  • Not only is my boyfriend amazingly awesome, he also made me pork tenderloin with cherry sauce served over mashed cauliflower last night for dinner. I couldn’t ask for more.
  • Getting dinner with friends = win.
  • No gushing is complete without writing about BJJ. <3

Friday Whining

  • Too bad the only hot tubs in Hudson are at the Y and they don’t even sell day passes. 🙁
  • If you need to send 12 separate e-mail messages to say the exact same thing, maybe you need to rethink your communication strategy.
  • It’s pretty lame to make someone drive a half hour so that you can tell them something you want to sell ’em is actually broken.
  • But I don’t want to cut weight while I’m traveling.
  • If your entire feed is links to your own article posts, and it’s not a fan page, you kind of look like a tool.

Friday Musings

  • I used to have a lot more random thoughts before I committed to writing them all out once a week. Or, at least, that’s the way it seems.
  • I am going to start listening to Manchester Orchestra, simply because I think “You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, but Brilliance Needs a Good Editor” is such a great album title.
  • My BJJ White Belt Requirements DVD review got linked to by some site for “ladies belts and trousers”. Yeah, that’s probably not the white belt you were looking for…
  • If you think rolfing couldn’t possibly hurt as much as ART, you’re wrong. Very effective, though.
  • A quote I read which is strikingly accurate: ‎”Haters are like crickets. A cricket makes all that noise and you hear it but can’t see them, but right when you walk by them, they’re quiet.”

My Whole30 Recap

It’s finally over. After 30 days of the strictest diet I remember being on, my caveman and I broke the fast, so to speak. We had some foods we’d been missing during our program, but didn’t find the same appeal. My bacon seemed a bit sweeter and not as satisfying as I’d remembered. A single piece of gum hurt his teeth. We went out to dinner with friends, where I ate polenta with my meal and he drank a beer with his. And for dessert, we both ate a dark chocolate truffle torte, complete with port cherries, chocolate meringue and izzy’s chocolate ice cream.

We both got very little sleep and had upset stomaches. 🙂 We both got very little sleep. I think part of this is from the minute amount of caffeine in chocolate, and some (for me, anyway) is from the sugar rush. I didn’t realize how big of an effect it would have on me. I’m not saying I’ll never have sugar again, but I am looking at it in a whole different way now. I like the way I felt and performed on a strict Paleo diet and, while I don’t think it’d be healthy to fanatically stick to it 365 days a year, realizing how much non-Paleo food throws me off both physically and emotionally definitely will make me hesitant to fall back into old patterns. I will just have to think–what do I crave more right now? A rush, or a feeling of well-being? Another question to ponder: how close do I need to stick to this diet to see such great results?

And since many people are more interested in body comp than health and performance and everyone’s asking: my overall weight loss was about 6.2 lbs. of fat. I’m definitely a lot leaner and lost that fat right where I wanted to–belly fat, back fat, etc. (In comparison, I lost 7 lbs. of fat in *6 months* on the Lean Eating for Women program.) 6 pounds in just 30 days is an incredible amount of weight for me since I didn’t feel like I had that much to lose and you can definitely see the difference. My caveman has also leaned out considerably and was already quite lean to begin with. We’re both definitely looking at food differently than we were before the program…