17 syllables on my most exhausting week in memory

New job + old job = tough week. I couldn’t do it, but I care.

(I started a new job this week. It’s co-founder at a startup. I’m still ghostwriting for some people & editing for others. The co-founder role is a full time gig. My former job is still a full time gig. Dear Lord [that’s you, Smidgen], How are we gonna get through this?)

(The ending “I couldn’t do it but I care” is intended as an allusion to the impossibility of stretching oneself until necessity and desire intersect. I’ve done things this week that I couldn’t have done. But must + want => can. So I do.)

Travel Log 191021 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

End: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Ate 4 cans of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. 
  • Ate a handful of Lindor Lindt White Chocolate Truffles. 
  • Sous vided steak for David & Stephanie. Muy delicioso!

Quotent Quotables: 

  • [NAUGHT!]

Real Realizations: 

  • Didn’t go farther than 0.5 miles from the house today. Drank red wine.
    • Both contribute to my sadness this evening. 
  • [Redacted] got steak lodged in his esophagus. That’s 3 major dangerous events in my life involving people eating too large pieces of steak. Clearly it fucking happens. CUT YOUR STEAK SMALL, PEOPLE!

Exciting Events: 

  • Renegotiated the [redacted] deal. Now get [redacted] & the equivalent of [redacted] in equity. Feel fine about it. 
  • Worked on [redacted] for 2.25 hours. 
  • Completed an [redacted] chapter & sent it back. 
  • Defeated level 7 in Hogwarts Battle. KILLIN’ IT! 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Halloween in New Orleans! 
  • [Redacted]’s birthday party in St Louis. Should be OFF THE HIZZOUSE. 
  • Writing a response letter to [redacted]. I miss her. 

Travel Log 191020 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

End: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Lindor Lindt White Chocolate Truffles. ALMOST A WHOLE BAG. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “How good it is to have something it’s so hard to say goodbye to.” -Winnie The Pooh 

Real Realizations: 

  • Rules of the game “Freelancer”: 
    • The goal of the game is to win. You win by making the most amount of money in the least amount of time. That metric is called “hourly rate.” Increase it as much as possible. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Walked Smidge when I was all grumpy-like.
  • Performed two user experience tests for [redacted]: one each on [redacted]. 
    • Very fun process! Much more fun than I’d feared. 
  • Video chatted with [redacted] for two hours! 😄  
    • He recently attended a thanksgiving party at which he listed three things he’s grateful for. One of them was me! 
      • He really enjoys being able to sit with me in comfortable silence. Me too. And I want to become even more comfortable with him! 
    • I regaled him with stories of Myschevia and my other recent escapades. More than once, he was surprised; nay, shocked!
  • Bought [redacted] a succulent plant. 
  • [Redacted] returned from the renaissance faire.
    • They [redacted]. No wonder [redacted]! 
  • Walked Smidge again, just after it rained. It was wonderful! 
  • Teased [redacted] a bit. They said it was too much. I apologized. 
    • [Redacted]. 
    • Also, however, [redacted]. 
  • Played Slime Volleyball with [redacted]. Such a fun game. 

Alluring Activities: 

  • [Redacted] review tomorrow. 
  • Call with [redacted] tomorrow to discuss my hourly rate.


Why do I consistently wait until the last minute to complete work? (I recently completed my largest project of all time. I had over a month to complete what amounted to 44 hours of work, yet I still crunched through 38 hours in the final two days, staying up until 5:30 am and evolving into a giddy, manic machine).

  1. Being in time-crunch is thrilling and I enjoy a good rush.
  2. It makes work take less time, and I don’t like work. (Since I don’t have time to lollygag or double-back, I don’t lollygag or double back).
  3. “That’s a problem for future-Julian, and what has that guy ever done for me?”
  4. I’m a lazy fuck… who does what he promises. (I would never do it, but that’s not an option so I come as close as possible.)
  5. The system works so I have no incentive to change it.
  6. You never know when the teacher will change the assignment last minute. Did I say “teacher”? I meant “customer”. They’re shockingly similar.

Why “Always Better”?

Why do I call my blog “Always Better”? Four reasons:

  1. It should be strictly better than some other activities. Eating popcorn or browsing Reddit, for example: this blog should Always be a Better use of time.
  2. I Always want to be a Better writer. Better than who? Better than I was yesterday. Better than I was this morning. Better than I’ve ever been.
  3. It’s a pun for what I wanted to be when I started the blog: Better in All Ways. [1]
  4. They say creative lives are a gamble.  That makes this blog is a bet, which means I’m Always Betting.[2]

[1]  I no longer want that. Instead, I’ve turned off improvement in some areas to focus more on the few I care strongly about.

[2] I haven’t fount my creative life particularly gamble-y, but that’s a topic for another time.

My Book Idea Just Hit #1 on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write that version. I didn’t complete any version. I did, however, develop the same idea, which shows you the value of incomplete ideation:

Five years ago I had the notion to write an alphabet book where all the letters were silent. I’d call it “M is for Mnemonic” and mess with kids. Last year, lying late at night on a tennis court under the stars, a friend and I spitballed different words. We finished the alphabet. Those notes are below.

P is for Pterodactyl is currently #1 on Amazon. It’s pun-filled, polished, and most importantly published. Kudos to the writer. It’s a great idea.


A is for oatmeal

B is for dumb or subtle

C is for yacht or cnidarian

D is for Django Reinhardt, now unchained.

E is for hate

F is for <beep>

G is for slaughter

H is for herb or eh

I is for the rain in Spain, which falls mainly on the plain.

J is for fjord

K is for knife

L is for talk or folk.

M is for mnemonic (name of book?)

N is for god damn

O is for tough

P is for corps

Q is for (quiet) (because quiet is silent even though the q isn’t. For example, if someone is mouthing “quiet!”)

S is for corps

T is for Colbert. Like Stephen, eating sorbet.

U is for baroque

V Is for Moskva (Moscow)

X is for faux

W is for ewe.

Y is for you

Z is for the first z in pizza


The background storyline / one of the storylines is a pair of parents fighting because they’re having trouble teaching their kid the alphabet

Try sending it as a real children’s book of just the letter-phrases and illustrations, captioned “for gifted tykes”

Then, we can also hit the ironic market after. It’s not the first market though, and the real market has a larger chance to be really big

On the 7th day, God rested. He didn’t just not-work; He rested.

Is a veg day the necessary calm after a storm? After 13 hours work yesterday, today was pizza and soda and staying up past 3. At the end of these days, I typically feel sad. Nobody gains when a person lets their life spiral away. I didn’t even read much, which I really should do more.

You needn’t spend every second moving toward what you want, but you can be and should be if you have the right aims. Retreating is sometimes the best way to advance. I wonder if that was the point of today.

On the 7th day, God rested. If God needs rest, I must too. These days must be okay. I feel less bad now, less regret.

I assisted a friend with her ten-year-old student. I helped a high school boy plan for his future. He liked an essay I wrote enough to share it with his class. I didn’t work–so what? I’m following my natural rhythm: Fits & starts, sprints & walks.

I’ve been having all sorts of wonderful experiences–futbol and tennis, befriending locals, helping kids. Today was a slow heart rate, no-work relaxed day. I opened a new book and began my next writing project.

I learned about myself. This is who I was. I can be someone else tomorrow. “Was” doesn’t mean “am.”

Daily Grind

Waking after 9 am and sleeping only 13 hours later, I’m struck by all the grinding ground up in today:
  1. I ground myself out of bed
  2. by grinding my teeth
  3. then ground through 6 hours of work
  4. while my video game characters ground levels in the back-ground.
  5. Despite skipping my daily meditation, I still felt grounded.
After days like today, I even smell like the ground.

When Next?

After completing my first novel last month, I’ve wondered when I’ll start my next big project. The answer: When it’s easier to do than not.

At the moment, I’m saving over $2000/month from freelance gigs pouring down like hotcakes, the sort of delightful mixed metaphor only released by stretching.

For the fourteenth day in a row, I consider starting a mailing list. I even have some posts I’d include, but it feels like work, unlike this daily writing, which feels like stretching.

If it’s good, it’s good. And it’s good, so why stop? Thanks to work, reading, living in Colombia, Salsa dance classes, learning Spanish, and games with friends, I’ll keep doing this until I start that.