Anyone who’s self-employed or an entrepreneur eventually faces the challenge of motivating themselves to grow or improve their business. Once a certain level of means is reached, it’s a particularly tough thing to do. I have taken comfort that it’s a challenge faced by even the truly successful. The comedian Steve Martin wrote that “through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.”

There is no harm in James Clear’s Atomic Habits. …

South Africa celebrated Human Rights day on the Monday of my seventh week in Cape Town. Though it meant nothing for me and I would have to work for my American clients, Tristan closed his office, lounged on my terrace and sipped gin. In some respects, it was the pinnacle of domestic bliss as I made him lunch and an ocean breeze floated through my flat. As I cleared the plates, I leaned over his lounge chair from behind and kissed him on the forehead.

The bliss rested on my ability to ignore that our sex life failed to excite…

For the first six weeks in Cape Town, I felt a supreme sense of superiority. Americans continued to suffer under oppressive lockdown regimes, but here under a summer sun I dined out. I watched dolphins from my terrace while ordering Uber Eats at criminally cheap prices. My dates here, I have chronicled. I enjoyed hikes, wine tastings and shopping. At a few moments — for example at a crowded Checker’s grocery store — I felt some of the ominous fear I so often felt in America about COVID. But mostly here it has not been a part of my life.

The week began responsibly enough. A black American, Omar brought food to my flat and made dinner. Omar, who has lived for a decade in a small German town came to Cape Town for a six-week project in the arts. His speaking style partially incorporated the neurosis of Woody Allen. And even though he’s vaccinated for COVID, Omar still avoided restaurants. So, presumably Allen’s neurosis ran deeper than just Omar’s voice.

On our first rendezvous last week, Omar inquired on my feelings about open relationships. It turned out that he had the worst kind of open relationship. His partner Karl…

Years ago, as a baby gay, I had a checklist in mind during my online dating. All of my life has a touch of disorganization, so this approach had some fluidity. But, generally I sought to find a combination of the right job and education with physical attraction. Somewhere in there I would have included whatever I could glean of a person’s interests or personality online, which for anyone who has dated online can attest, it’s not much.

This approach failed me miserably, but I did have a lot of great sex. From a Western perspective with the goal of…

Catamaran rides in Cape Town depart from the V&A Waterfront, a massive mall and dining complex that attracts locals and tourists alike. Before leaving to meet Jair, I finished reading Les Miserables. It put me in such a mood that I experienced the first pangs of homesickness since my arrival. I messaged Jair to meet me at Starbucks so I could quelch those feelings with a Pike Place.

He’s late, again. As a veteran of dating in the black American community I began to wonder if CP Time had a global following and he arrived as if it did. He…

Vegetable vendor, at Neighbourgoods Market at Biscuit Mill

Normally, the second week of foreign travel brings the peace of restored circadian rhythms. On this trip, however, I clung desperately to the idea that I would never inconvenience my clients. Most nights I tried to stay up until 3am like a young partygoer, only for emails. Many nights, I failed.

Tristan, I saw again several times this week. First, we dined at La Perla overlooking the Atlantic. It’s routine Italian, but COVID demanded its due and La Perla had a wonderful outdoor dining patio. Often on the Continent, the other side of the table simply expects that I will…

Atlantic Seaboard on Hike in Cape Town

Somewhere in the argle bargle of talks from Oprah, Wayne Dyer and Alan Watts I decided that yes, treat people like they are sent into your life for a reason. And there in Sea Point on my first rendezvous I met Pieter who, apparently, the heavens sent to remind me the importance of good dental hygiene. Though I had hoped for more walking into the coffee, I had, in fact, visited the dentist in my last week before leaving America.

Pieter did himself the disservice of wearing sunglasses in all of his online photos. As a veteran of online dating…

It constantly ranks on the top of listicles found at places like Business Insider and Inc. And, Business Adventures by John Brooks famously earns praise from luminaries like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as one of their favorite business books. But what can a book published in 1969 teach us about business in our fast paced, remote working world? Is this really the valuable classic promised — or is it one of those tomes that people now recommend without actually reading themselves?

Digging into Business Adventures veritably should count as a time travel. Brooks takes us into a more parochial…

The Kenosha-Racine area more likely evokes notions of the Rust Belt rather than tourist destination. But, since the current pandemic has put a premium on short, safe and local excursions, Chicagoland and Milwaukee residents may wish to re-examine that notion for a quick and easy autumn day away from the city.

Foliage reflection on pond at Richard Bong Recreation Area

For a perfect autumn day, start early. Really early, if you can, and head to the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in western Kenosha County. Originally established for the purpose of building an Air Force base, the park has hiking and horse trails around dozens of lakes and marshes…

Hunter St James, IV

Nomad. Sometimes writer. Sometimes slut. Afrophile. Investor. Art Collector. LGBT. See also: https://twitter.com/HunterStJamesIV

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