Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
I bought new running shoes! And then I took them for a run.
After Gabe’s dad told me a year ago that I needed new running shoes, I finally decided that the foot and leg pain I’d been complaining about a year ago when he told me I needed new shoes was bad enough that maybe I actually would buy those new shoes.
I walked into the local running shoes store (yes, the, because there is only one) and asked, “My ankles are getting all wobbly when I run. What would you recommend?”
He told me his best seller, I tried it on, he showed me that it came in bright pink, and I walked out in under about 4 minutes.
Possibly one of the best transactions of my entire life.
In case it matters, he was un-ironically sporting a wonderful mustache. And we all know how I feel about a guy with an un-ironic mustache. So I guess he has my business for life now.
Because I love a mustache, and I absolutely don’t have the time or knowledge to buy a shoe online.
Earlier this week, I went over to Gabe’s parents’ house to celebrate his grandmother’s 94th birthday.
I brought over some work to do before dinner, but just as I was sitting down, the power went out. Which meant the internet went out. Which means no work.
And also meant a candlelit dinner, which was tres romantique for a 94th birthday party.
We ate enchiladas and delicious chocolate cake, while rain poured down outside. Since Gabe’s grandmother is French, we spoke French all through dinner, which meant I nodded along politely, reacted about a second too late to everything anyone said, and contributed a lot of “Oh!” and “Oui!” sounds to the conversation.
After hauling out several old candles to light the room, and after cutting off the lumpy, melted, knocking-this-candle-over-so-it-can’t-stand-up-straight wax off a couple of particularly old ones, Gabe got the brilliant idea to make a candle.
And so, because we had no electricity, we did.
It was beautiful, and difficult to photograph.
Also this week, Gabe finally completed the whole entire floor of our new apartment! Which he has been building for us, in the middle of the woods, and which we’ll be moving into together in like 2 weeks!
Here is Gabe midway through his work on the floor. (How about that stove, btw?? I can’t wait to crank it and make it so warm all the time forever in this new apartment.)
Other than these photos, nothing interesting has happened. I am still a Twitter robot and I spend my days either staring into the Internet or trying to chat people up at 94th birthday parties about WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON ON THE AMERICANS!
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
Last fall, when we were running the Spark Notebook Kickstarter, I spent days upon days on Twitter. We would tweet at people who were tweeting about other planners, and say, “Hey! I saw your tweet about ___ and thought you might like this project too!” and then link them to our Kickstarter.
When we first started, I was terrified I’d get a barrage of replies being like, “Hey stop spamming me.”
But do you want to know something crazy?
No one ever said that. There were maybe three people who replied saying, “Aren’t you worried people will think this is spam?”. And then I’d write back and say, honestly, “Most people just seem to either ignore it or be excited to have been alerted to a project they really do like.” And then those people would write back and say, basically, “Oh okay, carry on.”
So the consequence I thought would occur from spending all day on Twitter didn’t occur.
But a different consequence did occur. And that consequence was that I lost my mind.
There is something crazy-making about copy-pasting the same phrase over and over into a Twitter box for several hours a day. It’s boring, but demands your attention. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or watching TV, but you can’t totally engage with the other thing.
And it is completely, overwhelmingly, unstoppably addictive.
Even after 4 hours of tweeting while watching Law and Order, with my eyes drooping and my legs screaming for me to move them and take my body outside, I would think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
So I would clear the page, scroll down to reveal a new list of names, and think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
Is this what it feels like to be a robot? If so, then I don’t blame them for always taking over in those movies and books where robots take over. I wouldn’t want to be a robot either.
Anyways, we are selling the Spark Notebook again. The print run is happening next month and they’ll be delivered in June. But final orders are due in next week, which means I’m back on Twitter. Always. And forever. Every second of every day, until next Tuesday.
If you want to buy one, the email alerts I get telling me that there’s been another sale are basically the only punctuation during days of tweeting and law-and-order-solving and listening to the new Jon Ronson book that I actually listened to in less than 24 hours because it was so good and, like, what else was I going to do? But that’s not important.
What’s important is that I am losing my mind, but there is an end in sight. Oh, and then there’s this picture of Romeo from Easter which is great:
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, a teal jacket, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
This last week has been a blur. We launched this great thing at Popforms. I worked a lot. I slept not enough. I tried to take the weekend off, but ha ha ha I totally didn’t.
However, I took a day trip to Ferndale (a nearby town in Humboldt) on Friday the day after we launched in an attempt to relax (ha ha ha) and I took some photos that will hopefully suffice for a blog post this week.
Please enjoy these pictures of a cemetery, some cows, and also some elk that I saw by Gabe’s house.
Gotta go binge watch old episodes of Mad Men in bed, bye!
Today Gabe is wearing a blue sweatshirt, a white t-shirt, red shorts, one green sock, one brown sock, and black shoes.
Earlier today I knew exactly what I wanted this blog post to be about. Of course, now that I am writing it, I have no idea what that was.
Never fear, though, I’ve got a topic on my mind and it’s a good one: fear.
It started last night because I couldn’t fall asleep. I don’t know why, but when Gabe dozed off around 10, I was up for 2 more hours listening to podcasts and staring at the ceiling.
One of the podcasts, a new one that I’ve been listening to a lot, is a comedy podcast in a freeform chit chat style. A comedian comes on, the host chats with them, and things generally trend in a funny direction.
On the one I happened to listen to around 11pm last night, though, in the dark, while unable to sleep, the host and her guest started talking about fear. They talked about fear of dying in a plane crash. They talked about fear of dying alone in your apartment and not being found until your neighbor noticed a smell. They talked about fear in a way that touched a nerve. The nerve that made me shoot up in bed, panting a little bit, less asleep than ever before.
It’s interesting to feel that kind of fear, since it happens so rarely, and it really surprised me.
It used to happen to me a lot more in my early twenties, but doesn’t happen that much anymore. I wasn’t even in a particularly morbid or fearful mood — I turned on the podcast because I was in the mood to laugh, in fact.
So it kind of shocked me to find myself wondering if I should wake Gabe up so I could talk to him about it around midnight.
Eventually, I managed to talk myself down and the podcast switched over to a slightly less intense topic of conversation, so all was right. But it was weird, how fear can just sort of kick in the door and make itself at home, even when you’re not expecting it or even feeling like it could be nearby…
And now on a completely different note, please accept this picture of me with a teacup chihuahua from Gabe’s grandmother’s 93rd birthday party last weekend.
While we’re talking about fear, though, another one that’s been on my mind lately — since I started doing some of the interviews with entrepreneurs and leaders and other smart people for the Popforms blog (this one isn’t me, but it is super interesting!) — is the fear of burping into the microphone in the middle of a recording session.
I’ve also been recording audio for our upcoming subscription product (which is launching this week! omg.), so I have had a lot of opportunities to burp into the microphone and so far, we are burp-free.
But let me tell you — we have not been far off. It has *almost* happened, like, 3 times.
And the trouble is, I am not an audio engineer, nor do I have any desire to learn how to use any tool more sophisticated than the dumb Skype call recorder I currently use.
Which means that if I burped in the middle of a recording session, I couldn’t just, say, edit it out after the interview. It would either stay in the interview and then be streamed thousands of times by people coming to our website for professional advice, or I would have to send the audio to my cofounder with a little note that says, “Hi I burped in the middle of this recording, and could you please edit it out since you know how to use the editing software?”.
This is my fear.
Gabe says if I stopped drinking bubbly water during recording it would probably seriously reduce the risk, but if not drinking bubbly water 8 hours a day while I work is the only cure, then I’d rather burp in the middle of every recording I do for the rest of my life.
I work from home, and my capricious preferences are the only spice my days get (unless that cat comes howling by the door, which, now that the sun is back out after weeks of rain, it has been. Oh joy.).
So that’s me. Living in fear, sometimes of dying alone and being eaten by my upstairs neighbor’s cat, and sometimes of burping into a microphone at work. I am a very complicated person, you see.
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
This week, Gabe and I are not where you would normally expect. We are on the road!
Gabe actually left Humboldt over a week ago to go on a camping trip in Big Sur with some friends. I stayed behind to work, since I knew that taking our upcoming road trip would mean significant time without internet access, which means significant time where I would be totally unable to work. And that’s no good. (For my sanity or for my work productivity.)
So Gabe went to Big Sur last week, and I drove down this Tuesday to meet him in San Francisco. We got rained on all day — Gabe and his friend Bruce surfed in the rain, while I worked from a very hip coffee shop and watched the rain splatter on the big glass windows while I typed.
We walked to eat burritos in the rain; we packed up the car in the morning in the rain.
But no worries — we were off to sunny Los Angeles. Where, upon arriving, the sunny skies turned ominously grey and we ducked into a coffee shop as fat, heavy raindrops started to plop down around us. By the time I had my latte, it was not just a downpour, but a hail storm.
During a break in the storm, we put our hoods up and walked back to the car where it was parked at our friends Mark and Pinky’s house in Highland Park. We hopped over rushing rivers of gutter water as we crossed the street, and changed clothes in the car while we waited for Mark to get home from work.
We worried that this trip might be cursed. But it turns out the rain gave us a great idea.
After a night of tacos and talk, we woke up in the morning ready to spend a few hours hanging in a sunnier, warmer LA before we took off for Phoenix where we were headed for a wedding. When we were thinking of places to go, we realized the rain probably made for some luscious plant life — and so we headed off to Descanso Gardens in La Canada.
The smell when we walked into the gardens was amazing. We veered off towards the Japanese tea garden, where we investigated the map and plotted out a route. For whatever reason, Gabe decided that he would be the one to hold onto the map and that I would navigate us around the park, I guess using our telepathic powers to communicate which way was correct.
We only left the beaten path a few times; once to look in a lake that had huge turtles and oversized koi in it, and another time when we thought we were about to come across an amphitheater but instead walked into some kind of oak tree grove.
It was a nice thing to go do too, because we were about to spend the rest of the day driving into the desert, leaving lush plant life behind for good.
I’m writing now from Phoenix where it’s sunny and hot, and the only greenery I see is the golf course outside our hotel room (which I don’t think grows naturally in this climate). But luckily, I took photos back in LA:
Today, I am trying desperately to get all of my work done before the wedding we came here to see starts at 5pm. I think I can do it? I have been working most of the time since we got here, but want to make sure to get some pool time, game time, fun time in too.
There’s an added sense of urgency since next week Gabe and are taking the long way back to Humboldt and going camping for 4-or-so days, where I’ll be totally off the grid and unable to work or help the people I work with. It’s not just like “oh I’m on vacation so I’ll be slow to get to emails and won’t be doing anything big” — it’s like, “I am out of contact so best wishes and hopefully nothing terrible happens that I am best suited to handle.”
So I really want to get everything done that I have planned. But of course, things always come up. There is the unexpected nightmare of trying to do tech support with Hootsuite. There are the unexpected edits to do on writing work that came in. There are newsletters and blog posts and tweets that need to happen next week, and must be scheduled in advance.
And then — there is the real work too.
Most of it is done. Just a little remains. Then we are off to a wedding where I will surely cry (my favorite part, followed closely by dancing), then to a day of sun and brunch, and then four days of camping where I will do my very best to be rugged, learn how to set up my tent once and for all, and take lots of pictures of weird desert wildlife. I can’t wait.
Today Gabe is wearing a green jacket, a grey sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
Gabe took a little creative license today and decided to pose on the bench instead of in front of the beach as usual. I have to say – I like it! Several months ago when I started this blog, I thought of Gabe would be turn out to be an unwilling model after the novelty wore off, but he sure seems to have gotten comfortable in his new role, hasn’t he?
I’ve had a draft of this post in my dashboard for days now. It’s been sitting, and I’ve been not writing it.
I’m not sure why?
Nothing to say.
It could just be that I’ve been writing a lot for work recently (in fact, I wrote this thing!) and my creativity has just been a little more tapped than usual. I’ve been writing guest posts, and blog posts, and twitters, and emails, and maybe my little fingers just can’t type another word that isn’t a Google search of “how do I turn this computer off”.
What do you do when you’re not feeling creative?
Today Gabe is wearing blue sunglasses, a maroon sweatshirt, a green jacket, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
“Boy we sure are reminiscing today, aren’t we?”
“Well. What else are we supposed to do? We’re old guys.”
A group of self-proclaimed old guys sitting in a coffee shop in my little hometown in Illinois were talking about the best place to buy a hot dog in town when they were all dating their wives. It was boring and endearing.
I just flew back to Seattle from my undisclosed hometown location and boy are my arms tired.