With Heroku, and Twilio, and Hope for the New Year
I’d been trying without much success to get an appointment to put on winter tires at my local Costco. If you get up early enough, you can go wait in line and they’ll do it for you, but who wants to get up at 6am? For that, I’ll wait until I’m a more elderly Costco patron, with fewer demands upon my time. Fortunately, Costco uses an online scheduling webapp to book appointments, whose API calls I could examine!
Thus began an exhaustive foray into discovering just how many appointment openings I could get notifications about, using Chrome dev tools, Heroku Scheduler, and extremely simple Python scripts.Read more
I have been sick this whole week, so I watched all the Netflix Christmas movies. Just the Netflix Originals – meaning I didn’t get to watch Merry Kissmas, unfortunately. What follows are reviews of those movies, made while I was still sick.Read more
I used to think that confidence emerged from success. That if I pulled off enough, was rewarded and awarded enough, I would finally feel what I’d been missing in my life: a sense that I was enough. If I aimed high enough and got there, I’d find something up there that could give me the inner buoyancy that lets life seem easy, that could keep me afloat above all the things that dragged me down before.
In the course of pursuing that vision of confidence, I started a startup that failed, landed me in a tremendous amount of debt, and left me a little stumped. I had lots to show for it – shit, I did learn how to code after all – but I’d ultimately failed to do the biggest, scariest, hairiest thing I aspired to. After a couple years of tentatively pursuing more startup-shaped things, I decided to drop pretty much all of it. Something didn’t seem right about this path, or about the way I was trying to find my path.Read more
Part of the allure of blogs – for those who still write them – is that it’s a thing you work at over time, and gradually there’s this accretion of work and content and meaning that has a heft. It’s the accumulation that leads, for once, to something that feels more like an asset than debt, and it’s meant to lead somewhere really special and powerful and possibly to the best book deal a fashion blogger in Minnesota could hope for.Read more
shoutout to the guy at my old coworking space who tripled his team size with one weird trick: hiring a bunch of beautiful, 20-year-old women as unpaid marketing interns.
shoutout to the two other guys who saw these women come in for work, and who immediately posted ads for marketing interns.
shoutout to the guy at my old coworking space who stole my lunch.Read more
Salivating at the last decade of easy living
In reading Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, I was struck by a tiny detail about her time in Boston as a statue artist that made me feel a deep sense of despair familiar to many millennials.
It’s simple, really. It’s that she worked as a statue artist and was able to pay her bills. Y’know those ones who wear makeup, dress like the Statue of Liberty or the like, and stand stock still? Occasionally, she’d have a shift or two at a coffee shop, and she lived in a communal house, but still. She paid her own way to live in Boston by busking as a statue artist.
I’ve busked. A lot. I make $100 on a good day, and at least $50 on a bad one. But as best I could figure, if I went full-time on busking, I’d be able to make about $1500 a month. That would pay for my rent and my car insurance and a box of atulfo mangos; nothing more. My rent is very, very reasonable for a 1-bedroom in Vancouver. Maybe I could find a roommate situation and also be able to afford many more groceries?Read more
Making a Minimum Viable Expression
I’ve spent the last couple years struggling with whether or not I should be building startups. I was pretty deep in that community, and even though I think I won’t try to start one again, a few really helpful principles from that world still rattle around in my head, and affect the things I build as an artist.Read more
In search of transformative value
I realized the other day that people don’t often undertake quests anymore. The hobbits holding the One Ring had to go on a quest to drop it in a volcano; modern problems, by contrast, don’t seem to have singular solutions that would make questing useful.
And then I found this helpful piece of thought on the topic:
* A Quest is trip to accomplish a Task. * An Adventure is a trip without a destination. * A Journey is when the trip is more important than the destination.
Here’s a trick that may work for you too if you’re depressed, but which you should try even if you’re just moderately-to-seriously stuck.
It’s a trick I learned on vacation after an especially tumultuous period in my life, after I’d already changed a bunch of things I thought were actually responsible for my depression, when I realized that I still wasn’t getting much better. It’s merely a trick for when things should be moving but aren’t, and not a substitute for medication (if you need it) and therapy (which we all need).
I learned how to backflip.Read more
Recapturing the web of my adolescence
Welcome to my blog. In the year 2018, it’s rumoured that blogs will matter even less than they do already. The truth is — they don’t matter to me a whole lot right now. I’ve been writing on Medium for the last long while. It’s just easier to rack up views there, and though I kept paying Digital Ocean $10 a month to host a Ghost blog, it really only acted as a place where I could put writing samples and anti-startup jeremiads (which I’d keep in my drafts, tbh).Read more