05: The kids hate rock, I hate ads, Permission granted


Apr 26, 2020

We watched the Post Malone x Nirvana tribute last night. If you haven’t seen it, I know what you’re thinking. I thought so too. But then I got this text from Matt:

"I really wanted to hate this, but holy fuck this guy slays!!! Absolutely worth watching."

Matt’s right. You can think what you want about Post Malone, but I had goosebumps every song. So did Missy. Malone’s voice was raw, "Everyone knows I can’t sing for shit, but I’m trying to sing my heart out for ya’ll tonight." It worked. The set list was perfect. Travis Barker on drums. If you are a Nirvana fan, you gotta watch this.

You know who’s not Nirvana fans? Our kids. I’m not sure where we went wrong, but they hate rock music. They call it "old people noise". Couldn’t wait for it to be over. It might be too late, but we obviously need to be better parents.

Seven links

  1. Are you over all the "we’re in this together" commercials from huge corporations? I am. If you feel like they’re all the same, hollow, meaningless garbage, we might actually be in this, together.

  2. More stuff like this! Hamlet as a Vlogger in Monovlogs.

  3. "If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way." — Jerry Seinfeld

  4. "There are a few accounts closing like that now, and probably more coming. Hers was 72 dollars and 14 cents. I found her name and drew a line through it.” An oral history of the pandemic. This one from the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans: Wearing a mask won’t protect us from our history.

  5. This is the best recipe I’ve ever read.

  6. Frank Chimero’s newsletter is infrequent but great.

  7. You don’t need permission, but if that’s what you’re waiting for, my man Carl’s got you.

04: Killing brain cells, Getting inked, Signs of depression


Apr 19, 2020

Do you watch terrible television? We love us some trash tv over here. Like The Bachelor. We watch all of the Bachelors. If your show features attractive people who are emotionally unstable and have unrealistic relationship expectations, we are all-in, brah.

Netflix has been killing it in this space. The Circle was great. Love is Blind—people getting engaged in 10 days or less having never met face to face? Amazing!

This weekend we binged all eight episodes of Too Hot To Handle. Holy shit. It’s the best one yet. A group of ridiculously attractive 20-somethings are sequestered in a Mexican resort. Most of the contestants list “Instagram influencer” as their vocation. All of them were selected for their inability to maintain relationships, their penchant for one night stands, and their loose morals.

The twist? They’re not allowed to have sex! Gold! No kissing. No touching. No masturbating. For a month! Every time one of them breaks a rule, thousands of dollars are deducted from a $100k prize pool and everyone else gets angry. A single kiss costs $3k. You can imagine how fast the prize pool could plummet.

The best part is, nothing makes all these hot people want it more than being told they can’t have it. This all sets up for some delicious drama and intense sexual tension.

If you’re looking to truly waste eight hours of your life, I cannot recommend this show enough. What a time to be alive and self-isolated, folks!

In order to reclaim some of the brain cells I’ve lost watching this garbage, I’m trying to learn something new. Inspired by Robin Sloan’s diary on the making Perils of the Overworld, I’m learning Ink, a plaintext markup/scripting language for interactive fiction and game story design. Just getting started… maybe more on this in the weeks to come…

Seven links

  1. The first time I played this, one of my virtual co workers was open-mouth-chewing an apple or some carrots. I guess I don’t miss the office(.eu) at all. No thanks.
  2. The Oatmeal: #Quarantine4Life
  3. Helpful for those like me who are just starting a practice: How long should I meditate
  4. My fav bag maker Tom Bihn is now making reusable face masks. When you buy one, they donate one as well. Love this!
  5. “The Author will not be on Social Media for the protection of The Author’s mental health and ability to produce genuine thought” — Kit Caless, A utopian vision for the next 10 years of publishing
  6. This is fun: a collaborative effort to name every color in the RGB/web space. Name all the colours.
  7. Did my depression write this?

03: 80/20, Figuring it out, French kissing snakes


Apr 12, 2020

Starting tomorrow, we’re being cut back to 4 days a week at work. It’s hard to generate revenue during a lockdown when your business model relies on getting 19,000 people together in one place. I’m fortunate this is only a 20% cut, for now.

I’m fortunate we’re both still able to work from home. I’m fortunate we’ve been able to design our life around being debt-free. We can make a few small changes to compensate for the reduced income. I know many others do not share this privilege.

We’re trying not to focus on how to deal with 80%, focusing instead on what to do with 20% more. More time for creative projects, like this newsletter. More time to stay fit. More time to help the kids with their remote schooling.

We’re starting to get a handle on this remote schooling/working schedule. Breakfast, work and school, lunch, some physical activity. Connect with friends. We’ve found that the kids start to get squirrelly around 2:00 PM, so we need a change of scenery. Get out of the house for a walk in the woods or down by the water. Dinner, favourite shows. Board games. We’re figuring it out.

I’m very fortunate to be quarantined with my favourite people.

Seven links

  1. Helpful: @annie shares 18 things to remember when your income disappears.

  2. “Master a useful craft, use this mastery to shape your working life in a way that’s both secure and satisfying, then look to build structures around your efforts that further amplify their meaning.” — Cal Newport

  3. Leo at Zen Habits says We’re All Monastics Now.

  4. “It’s quite amazing that the whole world has shut themselves inside to protect other people; I find that quite beautiful. It’s the feeling of service, and it’s looking after your neighbours and your clients and your friends.” — Jonny Long, via The Slowdown.

  5. Basecamp shows off some sweet home office desk porn, via CJ.

  6. @patrickrhone reminds us it’s ok to ask for help.

  7. “My snakes eat bats and then I use my snakes to practice French kissing, so it was inevitable, Liz Lemon!”

02: Meme FOMO, TeleNerds, King size


Apr 05, 2020

I have meme FOMO.

I have very little meme-exposure. I quit centralized social media, and now I only follow micro.blog and email newsletters, and both of these are very meme-light mediums. The only ones I see these days are forwarded to me by my wife or friends via iMessage.

From what I understand, during this global health crisis everyone’s meme-game is on point. Top-notch. And I’m missing out on most of them! I can’t find toilet paper. I watched Tiger King. I’m day drinking. I don’t know how to home-school my kids. I like to laugh! Where all my memes at!? I’d almost be willing to rejoin Twitter if it wasn’t such a toxic dumpster fire.

I’m glad I didn’t miss out on Onward, though. What a great movie. It scored an average 8.6/10 here with the Gowanses. There were so many awesome D&D references, I’ve been inspired to research ways we can play some quarantine D&D with our family and friends. Maybe on Discord? Have any of you tried something like this? Reply with any suggestions.

Seven links

  1. “If you want to consume better, consume slower.”
    Margo Aaron

  2. From the Oatmeal: Eight marvelous and melancholy things I’ve learned about creativity

  3. New newsletter from Jez Burrows, Dept. of Enthusiasm is an insta-subscribe.

  4. Speaking of new newsletters, Robin Sloan’s video game development diary, Perils of the Overworld is great so far.

  5. Already bored with isolation? Austin Kleon says that’s ok.

  6. Or, you can listen to some advice from a nun who has been social distancing for 29 years.

  7. Ummm, ys pls. California King /HT @sanspoint

01: New routines, Panic liquor, Drawing ducks


Mar 29, 2020

At some point, we’re going to have to start eating breakfast before 11:30 am. It’s been two weeks and we haven’t quite nailed down the ideal self-isolation routine.

To be fair, this would have been Spring Break. We’re supposed to be floating in a Playa Del Carmen resort pool, drinking frozen mudslides. So, we’re cutting ourselves some slack, giving ourselves permission to sleep in and be lazy. Now is not the time to be checking Screen Time numbers.

The other day I heard a rumour that they were going to start closing liquor stores. I immediately panic-bought $200 worth of vodka. They haven’t closed them yet, which is good because we’re already getting low. Our livers might not survive this quarantine. Cheers everyone!

Seven links

  1. “If you can’t find time to write during quarantine, you might as well pack up your pencils.” — David Moldawer, essentially motivating the start of this newsletter.
  2. One of my fav podcasters and newsletter writers, Jocelyn K. Glei reads a daily love letter to her girlfriend who’s stuck in Peru. Dear Ale
  3. Interesting thought experiment from Annie Mueller: If Nobody owed you anything
  4. Schitt’s Creek is my family’s favourite show, so yes, we would love to Dress David Rose.
  5. Edith Zimmerman’s Drawing Links newsletter might be my favourite newsletter ever.
  6. We watched Tom Segura’s special Ball Hog on Netflix and holy shit it’s hilarious. DO NOT watch if you are easily offended. Especially if you are easily offended and from Louisiana. Or Arkansas.
  7. I lol’d at this tweet.