Musings on the future of work (or, why you should be excited–not concerned–that I’m currently nocturnal)

Individuals (and small teams) have always been the ones acting, but now they’re more movable (you could imagine the Google phone team basically “stealing” the Apple phone team by wooing them over. This seems unlikely 20-100 years ago). The game for corporations, therefore, becomes more along the lines of “make an environment that’s attractive to the right sort of individuals/teams”. Now, this is probably obvious for anyone who asks the question “why does every startup have pingpong tables and free lunch?” but let’s take it a step further:

The top performers have always been eccentrics. Weirdos. I live in a van and drive around the country. (Not that I’m necessarily a top performer, but I’m certainly working with more successful people than most people who have the job title “writer”.) These are people who will form their own unique strategy for working (I’ve been nocturnal for the last week because it seems to help my novel writing).

This is mainly interesting to me because it creates opportunities for people to create highly-specialized products/services that assist very specific (i.e. unusual) people with very specific needs.

If an individual is such a great, high, top performer, they often have an assistant. I bet the assistants for top performers in many fields have similar jobs, though, and there wasn’t previously enough value created by these oddballs to warrant tools to help them.

Now, we’re recognizing that (a) no number of Walmart greeters could equate to one Sam Walton (just as no number of gazelles would ever hunt a lion [it’s a bad analogy but you get the point]), and (b) we can see how much value Sam Walton created (he built Walmart!) as compared to your average joe, so we’re able to create tools that will help, say, the 10 Sam Waltons in the world be 1% better, which is huge value but would previously be uncapturable. (Or, more accurately, provide tools to make the 1000 people in the world who are 2 orders of magnitude lower than Sam Walton be 5% more effective.)

I guess, what I’m saying is: could someone please make me a business-casual onesie that I could wear in public?

Traveloog Friday 191101 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: [Redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Exciting Events: 

  • [Redacted] gave me $2 as backpay for [redacted] favors. Hilarious. 
  • Made [redacted] by snapping my fingers. 
  • Dinner with [redacted], wherein we discussed books and ideas and art. I like her. 
  • Cuddled with [redacted] for a long while. Watched her cook dinner, too. Both very intimate. 
  • Lots of [redacted]! Great. YAY! 

Real Realizations: 

  • [Redacted] is not withholding. She does the thing she wants to do irrespective of what someone else wants. That’s self-driven and irrespective of someone else’s desires, but it’s not withholding. 
  • The feeling of something being meaningful is just that—a feeling—and could be wrong. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • [Redacted] talking with me: 
    • “How late are you staying up? I casually need one or two more shots.” 
    • “What?! You alcoholic!” 
    • “Of photos! 
  • The feeling of something being meaningful is just that—a feeling—and could be wrong. E.g. “When I nerd out about something for hours and hours, it’s not necessarily because it’s the most important thing in the world. It’s because I get pleasure out of the feeling of nerding out.” -[Redacted] 
  • “Sometimes I feel like life is just a series of obligations that repeat every day.” -me 
  • “I hate being organized when I don’t remember where I organized things.”-[redacted]

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • [Redacted] work. 37 mins, nothing happened, [redacted]. 
  • Completed my daily writing. 
  • Completed my travelog. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Boudin balls at Buffa’s. Delicious! 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Sleeping well! In bed to sleep before 1am.

Travelog Thursday 191031 (Redacted version)

Start: Parked outside [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: sleeping in [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Wandered around New Orleans dressed in a couple’s costume: I was Draco Malfoy & Smidge was Dobby the House Elf. 
    • Drunk wandering is just as pointless as I remember. Trying to find that friend, avoiding places with covers, etc. 

  • Felt twice like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. 
    • When [redacted] and I were playing connect 4 as the night was coming to a close.
    • Wandering down Bourbon street sipping a delightfully fruity daiquiri.
  • Talked through [redacted]’s life goals and how he should choose a career by ability, not passion. 
  • Did two [redacted]. 
  • Phone with [redacted] to tell her I [redacted]. 

Real Realizations: 

  • People are the same everywhere. The difference is interests, topics, opportunities. Same people, tho. 
  • Sleep deprivation keeps people wired and happy. 
  • I don’t enjoy dressing up for Halloween. Too much effort, too little value. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “I’m gonna be a cow.” -[redacted]. 
  • “The first thing to attack in your enemy is their communications.” -[redacted]. 
    • I like this quote for its wide-ranging reach. Whether playing chess or in war with a country, the first thing to destroy is their ability to think. You knock out that ability by knocking out communications—between them and another or within one, itself. 

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Work for [redacted]. 
  • Did [redacted]’s dishes. What a gift. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • [Redacted] with [redacted] feels oddly fractured again. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Cooked a steak and sweet potatoes for [redacted] & me. 
  • Chicken tenders at dinner. 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Hanging with [redacted]. 
  • Sleeping late. 

Travelog Wednesday 191030 (Redacted Version)

Start: Parked outside the New Orleans African American Museum, Governor Nicholl’s Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

End: Parked outside [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana.

Real Realizations: 

  • Everyone’s self-conscious about something vis-à-vis their sex life. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “Sir, sir,” the older woman behind me in Walmart says. “Yes?” I reply, removing a headphone. “You have nice looking legs.” “Thanks, I appreciate that,” I say and then feel incredibly uncomfortable. 
  • “You can sweat on the inside, just don’t sweat on the outside.” -[Redacted]. 
  • “You’re interesting, in a challenging way.” -[Redacted]. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Call with [redacted] to reorganize his working life. 
  • Call with [redacted] for fun. 
  • First [redacted]. With [redacted]. 
    • [Redacted] with both [redacted]. 
    • Gave [redacted] while [redacted]. 
    • Playfighting / [redacted] with [redacted]. 
  • [Redacted]’s stories: 
    • Stealing $1,100 from a movie theater by dropping the $100 bills into a big gulp cup. 
    • Smuggling drugs into prison as a guard. 
    • Stopping 3 kids from stealing his car stereo & dodging a bullet in the process. 
  • Awake till 5am for the third time in New Orleans. It was 6am, this time. 

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Showered at Planet Fitness. 
  • Bought steaks from Walmart. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • The death ritual. Well structured, good concept; lacking in execution &/or details. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • First muffaletta! Yum. 
  • The stew that [redacted] made. That chick can cook! 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Nap tomorrow?!?!
  • Rocky Horror tomorrow?!?!
  • More [redacted] with these great people?!?!

Travelog Tuesday 191029 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: Parked outside the New Orleans African American Museum, Governor Nicholl’s Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Exciting Events: 

  • None to speak of. 

Real Realizations: 

  • All the thoughts that bubbled up as part of watching the comedy special Nanette. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • This dialog:
    • Me: “I’m doing a couples costume with my dog: I’m Lucius Malfoy and she’s Dobby the House Elf.” 
    • [Redacted] (Former college classmate): “That sounds exploitative.”
    • Me: “Yeah, I’ll have to watch out for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.”

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Vaguely disappointing [redacted]. 
  • A bit of [redacted] work. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • Didn’t love [redacted]. Enjoyed talking [redacted] though. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Pizza & fettuccine in New Orleans again.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  

Alluring Activities: 

  • Work.
  • Date with [redacted]. 
  • My death ceremony. 
  • Getting out of New Orleans. 

Travelog 191027 (Redacted Version)

Start: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Happened upon a New Orleans parade! They’re called “second lines”, and are essentially the parade of people behind the typical parade. 
    • Mine was for the Black Men’s Labor Union. No, it wasn’t a protest or a strike; just a parade! 
    • Later in the evening, overheard another parade. These things are everywhere! 
  • The outfits—absurd! Straight out of the ‘20s. 
  • Happened upon a birthday party on the sidewalk. Felt odd to this CA native. Seemed commonplace here. 
  • Wrote about my time in New Orleans & relationship to partying. 

Real Realizations: 

  • For a celebration to matter, you need something to celebrate. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “It’s the universal New Orleans excuse for being late: “I got stuck behind a second line.” -[Redacted].

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Half-an-hour phone call with [Redacted]. 
  • Watched a few more episodes of Bojack Horseman. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • “Shrimp po boy on french, dressed with everything.” 
  • Fettucini alfredo & pizza 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Getting back to the grind.

Travelog 191023 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

End: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “Even god couldn’t take the Israelites into the promised land. [It means], ‘you can’t get people to do things they don’t want to do.’” -[Redacted]. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Made poached & scrambled eggs using my sous vide machine. Delicious!
  • Ate ham & pepperjack & mayo roll-ups. Yum! 

Real Realizations: 

  • Hourly work that’s scheduled every day [redacted] is GREAT. I could do this for 6 months [redacted]! This must be what it’s like to have a job. Except BETTER! 
  • In school, teachers train you to wait until the last minute to do things (because they change the requirements so often). Turns out this is actually GREAT training for the real world [redacted]!
  • When you care about someone (and ask questions accordingly), they think you’re down to earth. 
  • People like people who care about them. If you stay in control and focus on them, you can get anyone to like you. 

[Redacted]

Exciting Events: 

  • Wrote a new recipe for my cookbook.
  • Talked with [redacted] for a while.
    • Smoked a cigarillo together. 
    • Discussed our old highschool passions. 
  • Phone call with [redacted]. 
    • Just joked around a bunch. 
  • Phone call with [redacted]. 
    • Talked about serious stuff. And our [redacted]. 
  • Worked on [redacted] for 5 hours. Made [redacted]. 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Traveling to New Orleans. Seeing [redacted] & his crazy parties.  

Travel Log 191022 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

End: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Mac & Cheese for dinner. ‘CAUSE I’M AN ADULT.
  • Sous vide steak leftover from yesterday. <- Very Adult.
  • 3 Lindor Lindt White Chocolate Truffle balls. ‘CAUSE I’M AN ADULT.

Quotent Quotables: 

  • [Nay, nein, nopes!]

Real Realizations: 

  • Emotions can come out via dreams, too! And be satisfied in a real way. 
  • I enjoy staying in one place for a while. Meeting people and immersing in their day-to-day life before moving on.
    • This trip is about understanding different cultures. I haven’t seen any of Austin (any!), but I’ve spent time living with a family and loving it!

[Redacted]

  • [Redacted].
  • [Redacted].
  • [Redacted].


Exciting Events: 

  • Woke up late. Had some caffeine at 9:30am, then slept until noon. 
  • Between 9:30am and noon, had a very strong emotional processing via dream. Felt like processing some very strong negative feelings about [redacted]. Spoke in babytalk in the dream in a really strong, healing way, like the childish wonder was spreading over the terrible feelings. 
  • Walked Smidge in the morning. 
  • Wrote up a report on my experience of Myschevia. 
  • Clocked 2 hrs into [redacted].  
  • Sent a joke to my improv group’s texting group. Enjoyed making & sharing it. They riffed on it, too. 
  • Called [redacted]. He talked about his depression and how his father abused him. Enjoyed helping him talk through it. 
    • Shared my methods for countering depression with him. Helpful, they seemed, and fun 🙂

Alluring Activities: 

  • Catching up with work. ALL CAUGHT UP SOON.
  • Daily meetings at 11 and 1. That means [redacted] on weekdays! Woot woot! [redacted] Hooray! 

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.