Thursday, March 30, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Jamelle Bouie talks about how parents' rights seems to only focus on one kind of parents
2. Poet Maggie Smith talked about how a viral poem widened the cracks in her marriage.  
3. I caught up to this interview with Randall Park about his latest venture.  

Monday, March 27, 2023

Sometimes You Don't Know

 Content Note: Discussions alluding to  sexual harassment/abuse. 

I wrote a while back about how sometimes the people who seem and often are inappropriate but not harmful to you, can turn out to be inappropriate and harmful to others: 
Well, let's talk about the opposite thing. Sometimes people who have always been delightful to and near you, are not that way with everyone. And are in fact being quite harmful to others. 
It can be a huge shock to learn this. It feels like a failure of all your warning systems to discover this about someone. 
You are not a failure if you didn't know. No matter how finely calibrated your systems are, some people are going to get past them. It would be lovely if folks who misused their power all came with flashing neon signs, but they do not. In fact abusers and other varieties of jerks, work hard to be delightful to a good number of people, so that you will say, no, that can't be right. 
Sure, there are people who set off every alarm bell, but most won't. Some folks are going to turn out to be horrible and it will be a shock. It sucks. Obviously it sucks more for the folks they victimized, but it still sucks. 
It is okay to be sad when these discoveries occur. It is okay to feel and to process. It is also important to remember that those directly harmed deserve the most support. Our culture really is steeped in trauma disclosure, and it really likes to ask survivors to describe all the terrible things done in great detail. 
Survivors do not owe us this. They may choose to do this, and that is their prerogative. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1.  I confess I hadn't properly thought about the environmental destruction side of war, despite having grown up near a WWI munitions dump.  This article about Afghanistan was eye opening.  
2. Some historical Hawaiiana will be returned to Hawai'i.  (For money, but returned nonetheless.)
3. I found this article on prioritizing your creative self, even when your dayjob is financial writing, really interesting.  

Monday, March 20, 2023


So, we have reached the time where a number of folks start marking when we did what in this country we called shutdowns, but mostly meant encouraged people to work and attend school from home. 
As humans, we have lots of rituals to mark the passage of time. Honestly, I am constantly amazed that we divided the calendar into quarters and assigned seasons to each one, leading to endless discussion about why the weather has chosen not to play along with our assigned categories. 
And it is also that time where people say genuinely well meaning things, like what have you accomplished since the pandemic started. And a lot of people have done amazing things. And those should all be celebrated! 
But also, if what you have done since a world changing pandemic, well, changed our world, is survive - then gold star. Because seriously. Pandemic life is harder than pre-pandemic life. Even ignoring the deadly disease, we're watching a lot of systems begin to seriously crack, making so many things we do more difficult and more expensive. 
And so learning how to navigate this world has been a lot. And if you didn't also have time to do all the other things you had hoped, getting yourself to a place where you are still here to do those things, is really a lot. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. My fascination with the Iditarod continues, and this year the top three were all from Alaska.  
2. This article in Teen Vogue about kids who are content on their parents' social media is fascinating.  

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Slow Shrink

I was chatting with a friend who still gets a physical paper and she mentioned that the paper she gets is lighter than it used to be. Now this is a function of many things, including a change in the way advertisers spend their money but it reminded me of a few things.
If you ever want to get a little mad, stand in front of a line of things in the grocery store like crackers. And then just read the weight in each package. The weights will vary widely, some crackers that appear wildly similar will be in packages of the same size, and yet the weight differs by several ounces. 
Now of course using the same size packaging isn't just to fool you that you're getting the same amount. There are reasons of logistics, and shipping, that make sending everything in packages of the same size more economical. 
Similarly almost every phone game I've ever played has rolled out updates that do one of two things. I either now need more thingies to advance to each level. Or I have to watch more ads. Or sometimes both. And sometimes I put up with it because the game is fun, and I like finishing things. And sometimes I quit because if it takes a so much longer to refresh, the game is less fun, and I just go in search of a new game or go read a book instead. 
But in some ways, it feels like a metaphor. You sign up for or purchase a thing. And then, over time, the thing is less of what it was when you signed up. And you have to evaluate, not just am I getting value, but is this thing slowly morphing into something that I wouldn't have wanted. 
Now am I saying you should cancel your newspaper? Absolutely not. Or maybe. But I think instead of viewing things as my local paper sucks now, or crackers are too expensive, look into what are the larger forces behind that. And try and figure out can you support local news and maybe even local crackers in other ways. (The local cracker things sounds like I'm kidding, but I really am lucky enough to be near some very excellent cracker makers.) 

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Researchers have named a chemical compound Keanumycins due to their deadly effectiveness fighting blight. (Hat Tip to Mark Lewis who tweeted about this.)
2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation put together some digital security tips for folks seeking abortion.  It's likely also useful for anyone seeking healthcare that is or may be soon under attack.  Worth noting that activity trackers and video doorbells are also things that track movement and the companies that run them often turn over info to police without consulting consumers.     
3. I sort of love reading food diaries of people who are very busy and yet really like food.  This one from cookbook author Abi Balangit is that.  
And in a promo note - Smashwords Read An Ebook Week continues.  Most of my stories are on sale, plus tons of other authors are discounted or free through Saturday. 

Monday, March 06, 2023

Read an Ebook Week Sale

Newsletter folks got the heads up about this first, but this week is Read an Ebook Week over at Smashwords.  And so, you can pick up ebooks of mine (and tons of others) at a discount.  My books* are 25% off.  

Between you, me, and the lamppost - the sale applies to purchases through Smashwords.  If your fave etailer rhymes with say Schamazonnne, they do tend to price match, so you do you.  

*Just a note, my YA short Bait Girl is not included in the sale.  

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Three Interesting Things

What a difference a week makes.  
1. Apparently there is some contention that the Roman artifact may really be a drop spindle and not a dildo. (Again, there is a picture.)
2. This Judy Blume interview was wonderful. 
3. Having seen both of these actors in local plays, I was thrilled to see they are in the touring cast of "Into the Woods". 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Stepping Down

To be clear, since I do love a dramatic title, I am not setpoint down from blogging. 
Okay. Looking at the news, we've seen some politicians, officials, internationally and even a few here in the US announce that they were stepping down. Those of us who have not ever pursued politics also may find opportunities - in jobs or volunteer roles where it is time to stop. 
One of the things that can be hard, especially with volunteer roles is that knowing that sometimes if you step down that role will not be filled. And sometimes that's true. But also, sometimes that's okay. 
One of the volunteer roles I took had a four year max built into when I started that was removed right as I hit my fourth year and they reassessed their needs (and quite honestly discovered they had too many people hitting that four year max at once). I agreed to stay because some people had to step down, but then there was another reason, and another. And there can be a really useful thing in having a volunteer who has been there longer than some of the paid staff, can provide some continuity and some historical data. But there are also situations where being the person who says, we tried that, it didn't work. Or we did that six year ago, it was fun. Well, eventually that isn't helpful to folks brainstorming. And sometimes it can stifle more than it helps. And also, sometimes the mental, emotional, physical, and financial contributions you have been making start to add up and feel like they are getting bigger than the excitement and energy you are getting back.
And sometimes, especially if it's paid, especially if your healthcare, or other necessities are tied to that, you don't have the option to stop. You just dig in and keep going. 
But stepping down from say volunteer trash pick up at the park doesn't mean you don't care any more. It just might mean you are going to take some, or maybe all of the Saturday mornings back for yourself. 
Because here's the thing, if you stop doing a thing one of a few things will happen. Someone else will step in and do it, maybe not the way that you did. They might pick Tuesdays. 
No one will step in. Which will either be fine or it won't. 
Sometimes things end. Sometimes they get reinvented or reframed or reassigned. And sometimes they don't.
Volunteers are hugely important to a lot of things. And also, a lot of organizations have all read the same study that shows that organization members given a role that makes them feel part of the whole, tend to be more committed, contribute more, and stay longer. 
That doesn't make volunteering evil. It just means that sometimes that tug, that sense of importance is intentional. 
People staying can be incredibly important to an organization. New people coming in and changing things can also be incredibly helpful. 
One of the things I talked about when I worked with the youth group, was that having adults who had worked with the youth group in other roles was hugely important to the youth group. 
The youth group was going to be well served by having volunteers who left. Who were on other committees and could provide useful context any time someone suggested something should or should not be done by the youth group. 
But also, particularly in our never stop, always go culture, stopping just because it's been a while, because you would like someone else to do it, can seem counterintuitive. Once you've attained a role, you are - they say - only supposed to give it up for something better.
But that's silly. 
You probably shouldn't quit giving someone CPR until someone else can take over, but beyond that, most things can end. (Also, not to be morbid, but even CPR ends.) If that thing you loved doing, stops because you don't do it anymore, that will be sad. But it also doesn't erase the work you did. Great things happened. That park was clean. And if it's less clean for a while, that's probably okay. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Three Plus Three Interesting Things

I missed last week's post due to, well some ongoing ennui, so have some more interesting things.  
1. In light of discussions this week about what is or isn't sexual content, it's worth noting that PEN America tallied picture books that have experienced multiple challenges.  (It's worth noting that none of these picture books have or depict any sex.)
2. This article I found helpful as it looked into what is and really isn't yet known about the Ohio derailment
3. And here's an update on one of the water crises in Hawai'i.   
4. Michigan State Alumna Jemele Hill has something she would like more than thoughts, in light of the campus shooting.  
5. And this look into the life in a restaurant after viral success is fascinating.  
6. And well, speaking of illicit materials, researchers looking at artifacts found near Hadrian's wall have decided to reclassify one that had previously been logged as a darning tool, as a dildo.  (Note, there is a picture, so um, proceed accordingly.) 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Big Mistake

Yarn Harlot often says that experienced knitters don't make less mistakes, they make bigger mistakes, or something to that effect. And here I am with such a tale. 
I cast on for a sweater. Before purchasing the yarn, I had picked a project, which I then somehow forgot. Because a friend asked me what I was gonna knit with it when it arrived and I was like, oh who knows. Except at one point I did, which I realized when it arrived and there was one skein in a different color. 
Hmm, I thought, did I order wrong. And then I went back and looked at my patters and realized that no, past me had a very clear plan. And yes, I knew just which sweater I was knitting with a color work yoke. 
Now, several things. One, this pattern was designed for sock weight yarn, and I had DK yarn. No big, I often knit a size or two smaller, and it works out great. (Sure, you might argue gauge swatching would help with this. And I mean yes, that is a very sensible approach.) 
Two, I love top down, yokes and I have a fraught relationship, but I was sure this would be fine. 
Three, this was a short row yoke, a particular thing that makes sense in my head and always seems to end up a little off center even when I am (mostly) following directions. 
So, I cast on, and tried it on after a bit, and well, it seemed large. But boxy can be cute, I said and kept knitting. I reached the sleeve separation point and it still seemed large, and also the sleeves and the short row bit seemed to be lining up funny. I ripped back a bit, re-separated, and it seemed better so I kept knitting. I knit lots and lots of deceases in, figuring, sure, this will help. And I reached the bottom and tried it on. 
Well, the decreases did help, but the top was still boxy, and not boxy cute, boxy puffy. But the sleeves will change that, I thought, and kept going. I finished the sleeves and tried it on. And then tried it on the other way. And it was still boxy. And the challenge with a sweater being boxy around the color work top, is that it is hard to fix without undoing the whole thing. And also, it is boxy at exactly the bit designed to draw the eye. No one ever knit color work and thought, I hope people look only at the rest of the sweater. 
So, I did not block the sweater. (Blocking fixes many things, but not this.) I put it in a bag and went to knit another project for a bit. 
And now I have unwound the yarn and we shall begin again. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

What We Talk About

It's not uncommon to see a social media post with the framing, Remember when [thing happened] and then we never talked about it again? And sometimes it's annoying, because people have talked about it. Or people are working on it. 
But one of the things that I find interesting when people do stories about things like the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia that we tend to talk about the lack of national coverage of it as a function of the times. Like, now, you could never have something like this happen, and not have everyone know.
And that both is and isn't true. I mean it's true that I know about things that happen in North Carolina, and Tennessee and Ohio, even though I do not personally have any family in those three states. But off the top of my head I feel like you could do a person on the street interview with folks and ask: Can you name three places in the US without safe drinking water right now?
Has anyone who attacked a power plant in the last few years been detained?
Do you know if there are available hospital beds near you?
And do you know if you are impacted by the chemicals being off gassed as a result of the train derailment?
And I feel like most people wouldn't know. Not because they are bad or even uninformed. 
But even with social media and the internet allowing us access to more information, there's so much of it. And so many things we just aren't getting answers too. 
And some of this is because a lot of local media has been gutted. So that scrappy local reporter who would show up every day and ask the mayor or the power plant exec or the water company, what the plan was? Well that person also covers all the sports, handles the ad buys, and takes all the photos. So the amount of time they have to dedicate to one story? Not the same. 
This is why more of us knew about the water in Flint because of a kid whose parents were good at social media. It kept the issue on people's minds enough that national reported followed up on it. 
There are other weak spots in news. I have never found a suitable reason that despite prominent activists being located in the DC metro area, that local killings never tick up to national level hash tags the way others do. (There are local organizations and journalists working on and highlighting these, I don't want to erase that.) 
But we are in a place where even though we can know more things, the access to ongoing information is clearly still being stifled. And it's not lost on me that that might be one reason we're watching some social media being dismantled. 

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Gina Prince-Bythewood writes powerfully about what it means that the Oscars leave out Black women reliably when it comes to awards.  
2. Apparently Findaway Voices and Spotify and Apple are using real audio narration to train their AI, without consent from or payment to the audio narrators.  
3. This article has a headline about commutes that made some telework proponents annoyed, but in this case reading the whole article, it talks about how the creation of a liminal space between home time and work time can be done by telecommuters too. (My fake commute theory is proven by actual science!)

Monday, February 06, 2023


In parts of the internet, if you've been in a space long enough, you have seen the flounce. Someone decides a group is no longer serving them, but before leaving announces it, often dramatically. They often linger after said announcement, replying to all the replies, leaving the impression they maybe want to be talked into staying.
Groups - online and in person all serve different purposes. And the goodbyes of it all, are sometimes opaque. Should you announce your goodbye? Do people need to know not to look for you tomorrow or next week? 
I was once seated next to a friend at a large event and as we all headed towards the exit I lost sight of her. I ended up DMing her that I'd see her later and she of course said oh yeah, we live in different directions. We do. We could have walked to metro together perhaps, but with that many people milling about, it was likely easier for us to focus on getting homeward. I wasn't hurt that she had gone on. Just worried that maybe she was trying to find me and if I hopped on a train that clearly wouldn't happen. 
So sometimes you announce your exit so people know you meant to leave. 
I think the flounce version, where you leave but seem to want to be asked to stay, is noted because it's trying to do two contradictory things. If a group is not serving you and you wish it was, you can ask for it to change. But that requires commitment to the group, and also buy in from the rest of the group. If you joined a group about bunnies but have discovered no one in the group has a bunny, they just all play s bunny game and call themselves bunnies because they are fans of the game*, you can say oh oops and leave. You can say, is there interest in also having discussion about real life bunny care? You can try playing the game. But if you hate the game and no one cares about real life bunnies, you may be in the wrong group. Saying you will leave because no one cares about you or your bunny may get you some temporary feedback, but it won't change the group as a whole. And if they add a real bunny talk thread for you, but it peters out, because none of these folks were bunny enthusiasts, you just pronounced the inevitable mismatch.
Now of course there could be bunny enthusiasts, and new ones who were similarly confused by the group name could join. But that works best if you have committed to the group, and the group has agreed to the shift. 
In romance I think this is why we focus on the grovel. In real life apologies are not only rare, they are often small events. So the fictional ones are held to a high standard. Now of course, sometimes this is because the partner who needs to grovel has done a lot. The groveler has kidnapped, stolen, harmed, betrayed, and otherwise hurt the feelings of the grovel recipient. So the amends have to match, and let's face it sometimes exceed the harm done. 
Non-romance books don't always have a grovel per se, but often, there is some resolution to the relationships between the characters. And that resolution is a look at how they will be going forward, even if that means they agree never to speak again. Because sometimes the resolution to a relationship is to end it. 

*I made this example up. Though it would not surprise me to learn this has happened. 

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. This question is about a writing group, but it's about a lot of groups, that you join for a common experience, but find the commonalities are not bridging other gaps.  
2. I recognize that this is a function of living in the post industrial age, but I had never realized peeps used to be handmade, until one candymaker came up with a process.  He passed away recently, but I will eat a peep in his honor.  
3. I found this journaling technique for grounding in times of stress useful

Monday, January 30, 2023

2022 Reading Tally

I have been nerding out over my own reading data for a while, here's last year:
In 2022, I kinda blew the prior years to smithereens.  Also, huge hat tip to Storygraph which tracks so many of the things I used to track through tags and tallies.  
I also read a lot of short and shorter fiction, which helped. 
Read 304. I know. 118 were under 300 pages, a combo of shorter novels, novelettes, novellas, and graphic novels. 
I DNF'd 15. 
Top category - Romance 138
Contemporary was next at 110.
Most read author was Martha Wells, then a four way split between Jessie Mihalik, Lauren Dane, and C. L. Polk.  (Amusingly only one of those authors writes contemporary.  
March and April were the highest read  months with 36.
I read 197 different authors
125 new to me authors.  I wanted to note, while I like to read new to me authors, new to me does not mean new per se. Also, when you read a lot, you need lots of authors to turn to, because some of my faves only released one thing last year. (Which hey, not a complaint, just an observation.)
88 of these were part of a series.
39 were audio. A combination of pandemic plus day job meant I had to rethink how to get audio working for me. But yay, it's a great way to consume stories. 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. This piece on the rise of therapists on social media doesn't really have an answer, but I think it's useful to think about.
2. This piece looks at how the Oscars are part of a larger ecosystem that is failing to recognize Black women. 
3. This photographer who documented much of Hawai'i during the so-called Hawaiian renaissance is trying to figure out the best plan for his archive. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

RIP to Lorelie Brown

Lorelie Brown was one of those people who I knew about before we met. We had writer and reader friends in common. I had read her books. I had read books she co-wrote under the name Katie Porter. 
During the pandemic we were in a group that met to talk about books and the world and also craft. She talked about gorgeous yarn she was knitting with, books, school, and other things. It to me felt like the best kind of thing. Where you meet someone you've tangentially known for a while and they are just as interesting as you had hoped. 
Cancer is a big giant jerk. And it deserves very little time in Lorelie's story. She has left behind many loved ones, many people who were lucky to know her, and read her words. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Movie Theater Era

I haven't been to a movie theater since the pandemic started. This is neither a brag nor a lament. I was someone who used going to a movie as an excuse to be out of the house for so many hours as a teen, who had a regular weekly meetup with friends in and after college where we figured we'd see something, TBD. But it is an interesting look back. One of the first movie theaters I remember going to as a child was in a shopping center that also had a small carousel. That shopping center and theater are long gone. The theater I could walk to (a bit, it was like a mile, but I could) growing up, was 2 screens and was later replaced by a larger multi-screen before the mall it was in shut down. 
One theater near me was bought by a larger chain, then closed, then "saved" by locals but only after a complete rebuild.
The theaters I went to as a teen who was allowed to metro a little farther have all been some combination of closed, redone, replaced. 
Even ones like the one in City Place or Gallery Place that seemed newer have closed, rebuilt, closed. 
And I could cry about things changing, but if course, my home TV is approximately six times larger than one of the TV's I used to have. At home I can enable close captioning, listen to movies on my headphones, and gather all my preferred snacks. The moviegoing experience has changed, and the pandemic is just part of that. 
I expect, like many industries, it will reinvent itself. I loved doing the summer screens with food trucks and music. Some of them even had inflatable seating you could borrow. There are ways to lure me out of my living space, but for me at least, it has to be more than just seeing a movie. 
Of course, I say this, and my friend sent me pictures of some of the outfits at an opening weekend near her, and it was amazing. So maybe that's it. That might be why the movies that encourage cosplay are doing well in theaters, and some of the others are thriving (I hope) in streaming.  

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. I confess I am no longer a regular reader of advice columns, but was directed to this lovely column on Autostraddle where someone who needed advice fixing the harm they had caused their girlfriend in regards to her weight gain, and the answer was a wonderful exploration of expectations in loving relationships.  
2. Becca Syme - who I know I point to a lot, because her advice works very well for me - interviewed with Joanna Penn about intuitive writers, and how sometimes the ways you know a thing may be less clear at first, but that isn't always less data driven.  
3. I really enjoyed Xochitl Gonzalez's book about two siblings reckoning with their changing New York neighborhood, so this column about gentrification and silence was food for thought. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Mantras and Sayings

There's an episode of "A Different World" where Whitley is sent to therapy. The therapist, played by Debbie Allen, tells her to, "Relax, relate, release" and there are accompanying arm motions. It's played for laughs as later Whitley is making these motions, trying to stay composed and have the conversation she needs to have. 
It's silly, but I have sometimes found myself chanting that and doing the arm motion. I love thinking about things. I have an inner monologue. I love to ruminate about things, tweak them and replay them in my head. But sometimes, you gotta stop. Or sometimes the loop cannot be closed because there's a piece of info you don't have yet. So as much as you try to pre-think and pre-plan you can't.
As a result I sometimes yell at my brain, "New brain thoughts!" It is a similarly silly feeling, but treating my brain like an out of control committee member who needs to be reminded that we have an agenda, even if the current agenda is sleep, or read a fun book, sometimes helps. Or is at least silly enough to distract me a bit. It probably needs an arm motion too. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. This piece on the Harper Collins strike talks about the honestly very minimal demands the union is making.   
2. This story about a lost and then found fried pie recipe is lovely.  
3. Glen Wledon's piece on what getting sworn into Congress on a Superman issue means.  

Monday, January 09, 2023

The Stories We Tell

My sister sent me a time capsule of sorts. Amongst the things was a hospital bracelet from when I was a baby. 
First, they spelled my mom's name wrong. And then I looked at it and realized, my name shouldn't be on it, according to what I had been told.
You know that thing, where you've been telling a story that you swear the adults told you and then this piece of evidence punctures it, and well, there are questions. 
It's always a weird thing. Both figuring out that you'd been telling a story wrong, and that in many cases you were told it so long ago that no one remembers what they originally told you, or possibly isn't around to help correct the record. 
The version of the story I had been telling was that my parents couldn't decide on my name, so I had papers that just said Baby Girl, and then they finally fixed it.
Now, yes, nowadays they will not let you leave the hospital without filling out all the things and they need a name, even if in some states they reserve the right to come back and tell you, no not that one. 
But it seemed possible that I might have been born when these things were still a bit squishy. Also I am the oldest, and the only kid who's first name isn't a family member so it seemed like maybe that was one of the things that my parents streamlined after me.
Now of course, back when they actually gave a few days in the hospital, it's possible that the first bracelet said baby girl, and this was the second. Though I really hope they would have fixed my mom's name if they issued a second. 
Also it's possible my parents meant I almost had stuff that said baby girl, but then they finally settled on a name. 
And no this story doesn't fundamentally change who I am. But its odd when you find a story you've been telling just isn't correct.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. I gave up watching football for a myriad of reasons, but it brings me no joy that the players, players union, and coaching staff had to step in and end a game when a player was carried off unconscious. Dave Zirin's piece about this is worth a read.  
2. Canine Flu is apparently popping up around DC, and treatable if caught early.  It may be on the rise in other places also. 
3. Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards were not a thing I knew existed, but they are amusing as promised. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

When to Change

Someone once said to me that the challenge with admiring something I had knit, was that invariably I had changed something about the pattern - either on purpose or occasionally because I wasn't reading correctly and decided to go with it - so recreating what I did was tough.
One on the batches of dumplings I made and froze so I could make deliciousness to consume for the new year involved butternut squash. 
I was using a recipe, but the recipe called for boiling the squash, and I thought well I could, but I could also roast it, and so I did that instead.
I have another batch I made with brussel sprouts and those I usually roast, but the recipe called for sauteing, and then tossing in some miso, and so I did that. 
And it's kind of the same. Sometimes the changes I make to recipes or knitting patterns are because I know the options and understand why you could go with one, but in the moment choose the other. 
Sometimes the reason is time, personal preference, or just funsies. 
I once walked into a knitting store that I had never been in before and had a person ask me which of the two options to do for their knitting pattern. They had the option to bind off and pick up stitches, or not bind off. I talked through the why, if you bound off and picked up you would get a seam, and if you didn't then you wouldn't. 
And they said, "Yes, but which would you do?"
I'm sorry to tell you I don't remember which option I chose. It was clear that the person did not want to make a choice, they wanted the choice to be made. Which hey, fair. I once read a shawl pattern that started by saying, start with your preferred method on making a triangle, and thought to myself, that's just a little too much freedom there, pattern person. 
Some things you get to understand the things behind, and it helps you spot errors, or know when you can deviate. Sometimes, the deviation works, and sometimes it does not. And that's okay too. It's data. 
And some things, are of course, the fun thing we do to relax and maybe don't want to have to learn more or make new decisions about. And that's fair too.