Ain’t nothin better than the snow-covered ground / Where the rain never lets to the snow in this town
I wasn’t supposed to tour this house because it was out of my budget, let alone buy it. But something mysterious happened when I stood in front of it for the first time on a rainy winter day in 2013 (actually my second day ever in Portland, OR).
I got out of my realtor’s car, looked up at that maple tree in the front yard, noticed the width of the streets, and this very modest house with an almost unreasonable setback from the sidewalk.
Then suddenly, a flash of an out-of-body experience hit me. It felt like a thousand good memories from my future found me in that moment, reassuring me that the choice had already been made.
I knew then that this would be my home for many years to come.
Now almost a decade later, with arguably more time spent away from my house than me being in it, Portland has become my preferred place for creativity and personal development.
Here on this sleepy street in this quiet neighborhood, I’ve built an environment where I control almost all the variables, which makes it very easy to run n=1 experiments (that’s the personal development) and relax all the guarded layers (that’s the creativity).
The energy is great here and I can count on a good night’s sleep.
Stories of journeys and places, stories of personal growth, stories of poetic love, and stories told from the outside perspective. These are my stories.
I’m an unlikely singer/songwriter and producer who writes primarily as an autobiographer, hoping not to miss the beauty in my own life. As such, my music is deeply personal and introspective.
I blend elements of pop, indie, folk, rock, electronica, hip-hop, and spoken word to create a sound as varied as my perspective, cultivated through an upbringing that spans four countries, cultures, and languages.
I write everywhere I go (it’s a big part of my process), but I am happiest when I’m putting it all together in my home studio in Portland, OR.
You can find my work on Spotify and Apple Music. The early stuff is raw, but everything released in the 2020s is actually kind of ok.
I used to maintain a dedicated subsite for all my music-related stuff, but honestly, my goal is to produce music that stands on its own, so I don’t need anyone to read about it. Just listen to it and decide if you like it or not. And if it speaks to you on some level, I’d love if you could follow me on Spotify.
I run a lot of experiments on myself and my environment. It started initially as I was trying to diagnose a skin issue (2022: likely a chloramines allergy, with 95% confidence), but then kind of became a lifestyle.
If you want to see my eyes light up, just ask about any of the things on this list. Not all of this was in Portland, nor are all of these things purely about physiological effects, but this section lives here because my house is kind of my lab at this point and the place where I am most likely to try or explore something new just for kicks.
|Cognitive personality theory||Social||2023-||Exceptional|
|Bioptimizers P3-OM probiotics||Health||2023-||High|
|Homemade ginger tea||Health||2023-||Medium|
|Bioptimizers magnesium breakthough||Health||2022-||Exceptional|
|Whole-house water filtration||Health||2022-||Exceptional|
|Sauna + cold plunge||Health||2022-||High|
|Airline status (Oneworld Sapphire)||Time||2021-||High|
|PRK Lasik||Health||2021||High, but be careful|
|Red light therapy||Health||2020-||High|
|Austin Air airfilters||Health||2020-||High|
|Self-pay blood work||Health||2019-||High|
|Stretching before bed||Health||2019-||High|
|Reading a book a week||Expression||2019||High|
|Systems and intentions > goals||Expression||2018-||Exceptional|
|Muse meditation headband||Health||2018||Low|
|Rock climbing||Health, Social||2017-2019||High|
|Far-infrared heating pads||Health||2016-||High|
|Brute-force trying contact lens brands||Health||2015||High|
|Weston A Price Foundation||Health||2014-2016||Medium|
|Growing own food||Health||2014-2015, 2020||Low|
|Glassware (no plastics)||Health||2014-2015||Medium|
|Deep tissue massage||Health||2014||Low|
|Fermented cod liver oil||Health||2012-2015||Low|
|Galvanic skin response biofeedback||Health||2012-2014||High|
|Traditional Chinese Medicine||Health||2012-2013||Low|
|Intermittent fasting||Health, Time||2012-||High|
|Big Berkey water filter||Health||2012-||High|
|No social media||Health||2012-||Exceptional|
|Binaural beats (Holosync meditation)||Health||2012-||Exceptional|
|Drink after eating||Health||2012-||Medium, not strict|
|Restricting blue light at night||Health||2011-||Exceptional|
|Only drinking water||Health||2010-2020||Medium|
|Cast iron cooking||Health||2010-2015||Low|
|Eating only organic||Health||2010-2015||Low|
|Stainless steel waterbottles||Health||2010-||Medium|
|Study of the world’s wines||Social||2009||Medium|
|Electronic toothbrush||Health||2007-2012, 2015-||High|
A natural reaction to this list is overwhelm. In fact, I was surprised myself at how many rows this table had when I started cataloguing all of my personal development experiments over the years. There’s a good chance I’ve forgotten another 30% or more of stuff I’ve tried over the years that has cycled out of my memory from being such low ROI.
I think of these types of experiments like compound interest, but for my mind and body. Each experiment or habit may only cause a little improvement by itself, but as you can see, this stuff adds up over time. Give it a couple of decades, and I am simply more consistent in my mind and body than probably 99% of people. It’s possible only pro athletes run themselves like this, but that’s not far from how I see myself in my 20s and 30s.
It works like this: the consistency makes me exceptionally good at being an executive and gives me the endurance to persist as an entrepreneur. These career decisions are how I turn my lifestyle into money in pursuit of a 99th percentile outcome. Incidentally, this is why you see so few experiments in the “Money” category above. I’m betting the proverbial farm on this particular strategy, but it seems to be playing out according to plan thus far.