3 min read

#5: Fiery dragons, cool tests, and a weird country

Hello, and welcome to the 5th issue of Extremely Unannoying! Already at a milestone—how quickly time can fly in good company. 😊 Anyway, this week, I brought you a cool test, one of my favorite books (again), a weird exhibit, and a quick tease.

I promise that last one sounds dirtier than it actually is.

Ready? Then let's do this!

1) A "personality" test that actually works

Some of you might know that I'm currently searching for the next chapter in my career, and as a part of that process, I'm working on a pretty detailed self-inventory with the help of the brilliant book, What Color Is Your Parachute?

One of the exercises in the book is so fun (and useful) that I thought I would show it to you. It can be interesting to do even if you're not looking for a new job.

You might have heard about the Positive Psychology movement and the Authentic Happiness website they maintain. Per their manifesto:

"Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of work, love, and play."

They have a bunch of awesome tests you can fill out in exchange for registering a free account, but I want to turn your attention to a particular one: the VIA (Values In Action) Survey of Character Strengths.

It asks 240 questions and gives you your top 5 character strengths in exchange. According to the test, these are the strengths "you should pay attention to and find ways to use more often in your life."

I have a mixed experience with "personality" tests because many of them are untested, unscientific nonsense masquerading as science (looking at you, MBTI), but this one spat out a result that felt surprisingly true and actionable. Also, a quick Google Scholar search showed quite a few scientific papers citing the survey.

Long story short, I would totally recommend spending 15-20 minutes with this questionnaire—I think you'll learn some interesting stuff about yourself.

2) Cool ladies with kick-ass dragons

If you know me in real life, you probably have heard me gush about The Priory of the Orange Tree already. It was my favorite book in 2022, and while it was originally planned as a standalone one-shot, it received a surprise prequel novel this March, called A Day of Fallen Night.

Did I pre-order it? Well, no, but only because my wonderful wife pre-ordered it for me. You can bet your sweet behind, though, that I'm already knee-deep in it. (So far, it's awesome!)

If you've read Priory, I highly recommend picking up the new book, and if you haven't, do yourself a favor and read the first one. Like, right now.

You need a quick pitch? Here you go!

In a fantasy world modeled loosely after our own Age of Discovery, one noble house, one bloodline stands against the return of the Nameless One and the evil dragons of the West. Should Queen Sabran Berethnet fall, the world will plunge into darkness once more. Meanwhile, in the East, a young dragon rider gets into deep trouble, and the South tries to keep a secret hidden while also protecting what's most important for humanity's survival.

Sounds cool? Believe me; it's even cooler in action.

3) Possibly the weirdest art show ever

A shoutout goes to my mom for this one, because I know almost nothing of the contemporary art world. She was the one who pointed me to Imre Bukta's new exhibit at the GODOT Institute.

So one afternoon, my good friend Adam and I went to a warehouse-looking building deep in Óbuda and spent a few hours in a funhouse mirror version of the Hungarian countryside.

The pieces in this mixed media exhibit range from the realistic to the super surreal, eliciting a similarly broad palette of emotions. I laughed, shivered, got super sad, then laughed again. There is wry humor, gentle care, biting satire, and simple beauty side-by-side throughout the four-floor space.

You can visit the exhibit until April 30th, 2023. I urge you to go; it's a special experience.

+1) What could this be?

Indeed, what? 😉

That's it for the 5th Extremely Unannoying. As usual, thanks for reading and we'll meet again in two weeks!

Until then, if you think a friend would appreciate these emails too, maybe point them to the archives. Telling others about Extremely Unannoying is the best way you can help me. 😊

Thanks, and all the best until next time! 👋