Have you heard of BeanBoozled? It's a funny, if slightly offensive, little novelty item made by the candy company, Jelly Belly. Each box contains an assortment of jelly beans of identical appearance, but of wildly different flavor. 'Tutti-Fruitti' and 'Stinky Socks' have the same blue and red splotched coloring. 'Coconut' is no whiter nor more opaque than 'Baby Wipes.' The mottled green look of 'Juicy Pear' is just as likely to be another kind of freshly picked thing: 'Booger.' And these aren't even the best/worst flavors... Playing this game is the corn syrup equivalent of Russian roulette—whether you're delighted or disgusted by your bean choice is left entirely to chance.
I have not played (engaged in the masochism of?) the game of BeanBoozled. However, I have played my own kind of Russian roulette each week, when I write to you. For the past six months, I've steadied myself over this keyboard every Monday morning and written whatever was at the top of my mind, hoping to gift you with more 'Chocolate Pudding' than 'Canned Dog Food,' but, you never know; I've come to understand that everyone has different tastes and expectations, and each of us is on a deeply individual quest, both in our online and offline lives. In the process of figuring out what I want to offer and how I'll offer it in a way that reflects who I am, I've certainly fielded my share of unsubscribes and, too, connected with some people who will, no doubt, become lifelong kindreds of mine. It goes without saying that I want more of the latter—but, I suspect I first need to understand who you are on the receiving end of this note and what you seek when you open Weekly Findings each Monday afternoon.
To that end, I've crafted an anonymous survey that won't take more than five minutes of your time. Please click the button below to answer ten questions that will help me to better understand my readership. Finally, I don't say it nearly enough (gosh, if at all—how embarrassing): Thank you so much for reading. Knowing you're out there is one of my greatest joys.
Notes from the week of February 28
+ "Circus of Love", a beautiful song by Benjamin Dunn & Friends
+ House of Cards
+ Cesar 911 (I'm newly obsessed with dog communication)
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ peanut butter 7-layer bars made by an astro-physicist friend who moonlights as a baker (and bringer of joy)
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ "We make frequent attempts—more or less half-hearted—to change what we eat, but almost no effort to change how we feel about food: how well we deal with hunger, how strongly attached we are to sugar, our emotions on being served a small portion" (via Nicole Gulotta)
+ "Your job is to ask questions, not manufacture answers. The answers are already there, but since you haven't looked, you don't know that yet. Assume that you are extraordinarily wise and incredibly sane. Because you are" (via Jill Salahub)