Journal Issue 12: Still making, showing, and learning

“In that really enthusiastic moment I decided I’d do a 1-hour photo walk every day. I’ve since decided that’s definitely unsustainable but I might be able to do 3-4 times a week. I’ll post every Sunday. Starting, like many goals, on January 1st.” — Me in my last post, definitely more than a few Sundays back

Bill Simmons categorizes some teams as the best of the bad teams. If all excuses for not writing are bad, then mine is at least a one of the better bad reasons. I’ve been moving. Which mostly means I’ve been packing and unpacking. The move itself was miraculously only a couple hours.

I’ve wanted this blog to be sustainable. I’ll probably need more structure. Here’s what I’ll try this week

1 update

1 book excerpt

1 link

1 photo set

1 drawing

You’re reading the update. It should be some kind of dispatch. Aka where I write about writing. Blog about blogging. Shoot about shooting.

Book excerpt

I’ll stop quoting Tools of Titans. Someday. A lot of tools work that I’ve started using. I finally tried one that didn’t quite work. It involves getting to sleep:

Have trouble getting to sleep? Try 10 minutes of Tetris. Recent research has demonstrated that Tetris—or Candy Crush Saga or Bejeweled—can help overwrite negative visualization, which has applications for addiction (such as overeating), preventing PTSD, and, in my case, onset insomnia.

The problem with 10 minutes of Tetris is it’s enough to remember how fun Tetris is. It snowballed quickly. After a few games, I bought the premium version. Then it was 2am. Then I was sleepy the next day.


I liked what Tim had to say in this reply when someone asked about giving advice:

  • Speak from experience
  • Detailed specifics
  • Suggested next action.

I gave some detailed specifics. My suggested next action based on my experience: pick a worse game.

Photoset: It’s my last week in East Village

I haven’t been posting but I have been writing drafts. I wrote this before my move while I was in the process of packing.

I’ve taken my goal down from doing a photo walk every day to taking my camera with me regularly. That seems to be working. I remind myself that posting some pictures from the week doesn’t mean I need to take hundreds each day. It’s hard for one photo to stand on its own. To think I’d be able to take a dozen or more good photos in a week is a little too ambitious.

It reminds me of some of career advice by Scott Adams (2007)

In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare.

That’s why I’ll be accompanying mediocre pictures with mediocre writing. Be like the traffic director. Work the intersection.

Oh yeah the pictures. Well a little more a do. Here are some things I have in mind for making this photo walking thing work:

I need a minimal workflow: I’ve stopped shooting RAW. Less thinking.

I’ll use Google Photos to edit: I stick my SD card in my MacBook, drag and drop to Photos, then move the files to an external hard drive. That’s enough backup for me right now.

(Disclaimer — I work at Google. Photos is one of my favorite digital products in the last few years.)

I’ll write in Ulysses and post with WordPress: I started using Ulysses a week or two ago. I’ve been using albums in Google Photos to sort out which ones I want to post.

I’ll edit on my iPhone and iPad: It’s fun.

And now, another photo story. I’ll start with 5 photos. Before leaving East Village, I was working through an East Village bucket list. There are plenty of better places by all sorts of measures. This isn’t representative of “real” New York. I’m a transplant. Here are places I like.

Boba Guys — I had a teammate at my old job and we’d get McDonald’s Frappes on Friday mornings. One tradition I miss. I took it back to work once and felt pure shame walking through the office with it. Never again. No domed lids and no big straws.“C’mon Frank.” But that was work. I can get them all I want when I’m at home.

I shot this blurry picture on one of the snow days before wiping the lens.

Cafe Matcha Wabi — Great matcha. Lots of shiba inu owners on the weekend.

Takahachi — I got a chirashi dinner for takeout here somewhere around once a month. I’ll usally go on runs where it’s once a week then I’ll cool off for a bit. Always reliable.

Sunny & Annie’s — My favorite deli. I went a few times through the years then probably weekly for the last couple months. Pho #1 on a wrap hits the spot in nearly every situation.

Oh yeah a drawing

I drew Jocko Willink and Michael Che earlier this week for a post about thinking positively about seemingly negative situations. It’s a book notes post for Sick in the Head.

I hadn’t drawn in a couple weeks so it did seem like the beginning stages of when a hobby ends. Drawing these made me remember how fun it is. Which is a weird thing to forget. It’s like bowling as an adult—always fun but then I forget about it after a day or two.

We’ll see where this goes.