Kickstarter: Witch Kit

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tara/witch-kits-from-japan-make-100

Alice and I, both being expats in Japan, met each other as we were both immersing ourselves in the culture and sharing our separate experiences. This project was an opportunity for us to continue our individual explorations of Japanese traditions through the lens of DIY and sustainability, and connect with others who also shared our interests. We raised funds to create new objects out of previously worn kimonos with fresh designs.

Real Estate in the Metaverse

I purchased my first parcel of land in the Metaverse. Specifically, it’s in the Mars neighborhod, on Satoshi Island in the world of Cryptovoxels.

Metaverse

When someone asks me what the Metaverse is, I usually start with a question, “are you familiar with the book or movie, Ready Player One?” More than half the responses are usually yes. If not, I ask if they are familiar with virtual spaces that you can build in such as Second Life or Roblox.

I became familiar with the term coined by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash that I read around 2008, although it came out in 1992. I played a lot of video games growing up and was a huge fan of Star Trek’s holodeck and this was the experience I was ready for.

Very simply, the Metaverse is a shared 3D virtual space where people are represented by digital avatars. Some are owners of land and they build on it – galleries, parks, houses, shops – really whatever your imagination allows in the space you have to build with.

Cryptovoxels

There are various Metaverses to choose from, but the ones my circles talk about the most are The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Cryptovoxels.

There are a few reasons I chose to buy a parcel on Cryptovoxels: people in some of my communities were buying properties, it reminded me of Minecraft, my son started a clothing line to sell clothes for avatars, and it seemed a lot less competitive to buy land because it’s a bit less polished than the other options. As a DIYer, I prefer it when things are a little messy and I like getting in early.

Plans

I am forming my plans for this space, and I am imagining that I will create a gathering space for experimenting with different practices that I do in the real world such as forest therapy. You may think that won’t work, but for the past few months I’ve been attending virtual forest bathing walks so why not?!

How To Buy

If you are intrigued, the first thing you need to do is play around in the space and get to know it. See if it’s something you can imagine spending time in and investing in. It’s like “real” real estate in that you own the property and you can also sell it. There are no guarantees that you will make a profit, so never spend money you can’t live without.

  1. Look at the properties for sale on the map.
  2. Buy from Cryptovoxels when they release new parcels or make an offer on a property that someone owns
  3. You will need an Ethereum wallet and eth currency. I use Metamask but there are others to choose from.
  4. The sale goes through Opensea.

Questions

I’m brand new and have more questions than answers. There are very helpful resources including the Discord community. If you buy a parcel please let me know and I’ll teleport over. 😀

What’s with the Tiger?

Tara Tiger Brown and Brian Brown

The one question that I get asked more than any other is, “Is Tiger really your middle name?”

Most of the time the question is asked out of curiosity because it is an unusual name, and sometimes there’s a glint in their eye that tells me that they are hoping that it’s some marketing ploy and they just found me out.

I hate to let anyone down, but the truth is, I added Tiger to my name because I loved my Dad.

My Dad’s nicknames for me since I was a little girl was “Tiger” and “Tiger Brown.” In fact, I don’t have a single memory of him referring to me as “Tara” except for when I was in big fat trouble.

My Dad died on December 19th, 2010 after battling colon cancer. To remember and honor his memory, I added “Tiger” to my middle name. It’s really that simple. It’s really a bonus that I was born in the year of the Tiger and it happens to be my favorite animal.

Another question I get asked is if it’s legal – meaning did I change it on my Passports or Drivers License. The answer is no, I didn’t. At the time of my decision, I was living as a permanent resident in the US and traveling a lot. If you have ever changed your name, you know it’s difficult. If you have ever changed your name while living in another country you know it’s the most painful experience of you life. And now that I’m a citizen of two countries and living in a third country where I can barely speak the language, there is no way that I’m going to change a single letter or katakana on my legal documents. That being said, my husband informed me that in the US, usage is 9/10th of the law, and because I’ve been using it since December 2010, then technically it’s legal. I haven’t looked into it myself so there might be some caveat there.

Maybe one day when I’m settled in one place, then I will change it “legally.” Then again, my legal middle name is related to my Mom, so I would hate to lose that connection with her.

So, yes, Tiger is really my middle name because I choose it to be, not because the government recognizes it as such, but because it’s important to me.

My name is Tara Tiger Brown and I am not special

You Are Not Special

I recently finished listening to the book, The Courage To Be Disliked. I was skeptical at first because it is marketed as a “Japanese phenomenon” and that didn’t line up with my 18 months of experience living in Japan. This country is immersed in a culture of shame, every other word is an apology, beauty ads bombard you at every turn and every effort is made not to inconvenience another person. It didn’t add up to me. Of course, I am no expert in this culture, I barely speak Japanese and my friends that are Japanese are kind of westernized, so trust me when I say, I am Jon Snow and I know nothing.

The Courage To Be Disliked

Having just finished the book hours ago it is too early for me to claim that it changed my life (but I’m leaning hard that way). I read a lot of books about the science of happiness and wellness and for the most part I am usually excited about the ideas proposed and many times I have implemented some of the suggestions. This time, however, it was like the authors were speaking to me personally. They knew about my inferiority complex, my constant concern about what others think, believing that I will one day find my true purpose in life and blow the socks off everyone. TL;DR my thinking is complete nonsense and I need to stop it immediately. This is especially true because the philosopher that they based this book on, Alfred Adler, says that it takes half of your current lifetime to put his teachings into practice which means I’ll be close to dead when I have this all in working order. 

I have bought into Adler’s entire philosophy, I’m ready to join his congregation, but for the purpose of this post and because I don’t want to drone on like I’m an expert, I’m focusing on one important nugget — the idea that it’s OK to be normal. To not be special. I’m not going to change the world and that’s OK. When I heard this, I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I’m no longer competing with imaginary foes, I’m not hating myself for not getting on the cover of a magazine for doing something extraordinary. I’m just me. Normal me. And there’s at least a few people in my life that are happy that I am.

Maybe it was visualization or actualization, but a Quartz article by Zat Ryan, The purpose of life is to be a nobody popped up in my Twitter feed. It was written 2 years ago and I probably would have ignored it if I saw it then. Now was exactly the right time for me to see it. (Do you think it was AI? Somehow some machine knew I read the book and posted this in my feed. I digress). Here’s the best (vegan) nugget in the article that lines up nicely with Adler’s philosophy on being normal:

We’re brought up to think that we’re special, and we like believing it. But I don’t say any of this as a cynic or to depress you. In fact, quite the opposite. I say it because distinguishing between our subjective perception and the objective reality is the key to living a meaningful and important life.

Acknowledging unimportance liberates us from the grips of the self-centered voice in our head that’s chiefly responsible for many of life’s difficulties.

It’s the voice that compares us to people that don’t matter, it’s the same voice that convinces us that we’re entitled to a comfortable and easy life, and it’s indeed this voice that has us chasing arbitrary measures of success.

And the result?

We spend our time acquiring things we don’t want or need, we falter at the first sign of hardship and inconvenience, and one day, we wake up to a ticking clock realizing that, all this time, we’ve lived somebody else’s life.

The surest way to be unfilled is to walk around like you hold some sort of a privileged position in the universe. It’s not only a completely false and harmful illusion, but it also overlooks the fringe benefits of being a nobody.

Thanks for reading through a normal post by a normal run of the mill person.