one thing

2019-12-20

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~69 min read

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13722 words

In November of 2018, A.J. Jacobs, editor of Esquire and author of Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, joined Russ Roberts for a conversation about gratitude on EconTalk.

Since hearing that conversation, I’ve tried to write down the moments, memories, and vignettes of my days for which I’m grateful and don’t want to forget.

This is that list. I keep it for myself and never really imagined I’d share it.

2019

December

  • 2019/12/19 - Grateful for another grate day. Sat in the sauna, went swimming, and found a way to a. download files from the internet, and b. create zip files. Doing so, I learned a ton. Also had nice conversation with Stephen about goals and resolutions that come up with the new year at the Happy Hour.
  • 2019/12/18 - Grateful that I have a job that is flexible enough that I can have an unproductive day and it’s not the ned of the world. I did a lot today… just most of it was personal stuff. Speeding up and fixing my site. Tomorrow’s a new day!
  • 2019/12/17 - Had a holiday lunch at the office - we all went to Ēma, which was very nice. I keep finding new things to learn bout - today was repaint heavy. After joining Kate for yoga, we came home and read instead of watching TV. I liked that!
  • 2019/12/16 - Grateful to be able to bring in cookies for the Industrious team - gingebread and chocolate chip and then I bought a dozen donuts for them after lunch too. They’re so nice. It’s nice to do something for them.
  • 2019/12/15 - Our holiday party was a huge success! Kate made a pork shoulder again and we had a pannetore (as well as shrimp cocktail and a bunch of other goodies). So many of our friends were able to make it. It eded up being a 5+ hour party full of laughter and joy. This is absolutely my favorite time of year!
  • 2019/12/14 - First full day home. It’s a Saturday and Kate’s on vacation - it’s amazing how nice the simplest things are when I do them with her. Coffee at La Colombe, grocery shopping, even baking. It’s all better when I do it with Kate.
  • 2019/12/13 - The first or second person in the office today. Tired, but otherwise not worse for the wear. Spin came by desk to ask what I was writing today. Pretty cool that he’s actually reading my blog!
  • 2019/12/12 - The hackathon presentations and holiday part! Hackathon was really great. Everyone put together such cool projects. I gave a presentation about writing blog posts - which I thought could have gone better, but I at least left the impression that I’m genuinely excited about what I do. I love that I can be sincere. The holiday party itself was a lot of fun. Hung out with Stephen most of the night, but also had nice conversations with a ton of other folks - Megan Lepan, Wes, Matteo, Sina, Amir, Konrad, etc. I also spoke with Mark Schacknies and Jonathan Spinetto - very cool getting face time with them. Unlike Oak Street and Ampersand, I wasn’t hired by a founder here - so I’m building my reputation on conversations like this. I think so far, I’m doing pretty well.
  • 2019/12/11 - Flew to DC today for the Holiday Martin with Justin and Stephen. It was nice to see folks in the office.
  • 2019/12/10 - Worked from home (what a luxury to be able to!) - caught up with Jay McGlaughlin - he lost his father recently, and he is now spending a lot of time caring for his mom. What a nice guy. Sorry about his loss, but reminds me to be grateful for our health. Speoke with Justin about some potential anxieties created by projects/ how he communicates new challenges. After speaking with him though, I realized how lucky I am to have a manger who cares.
  • 2019/12/09 - Grateful for my friends. I reached out to many tonight to get their addresses for holiday cards. Everyone’s so lovely! Also a good day because I completed a work cycle., learned new things, solved a problem, found a bug with an oss library, and wrote. Yay! Also helps being back on feature work - it’s definitely more interesting.
  • 2019/12/08 - Grateful that I could cook dinner tonight and eat with Kate. Grateful for the ~1.5 hours I spent working through a problem for my website. It’s always fun to identify a problem, diagnose it, and then solve it! It’s really a really that’s unparalleled.
  • 2019/12/07 - Day with Kate! La colombe, loafing on the couch and then David & Ewa’s engagement party. Got to actually hang out with Becca and Kerry tonight. We talked about all moving to the Twin Cities in a few years. We’ll see!
  • 2019/12/06 - Finished phase 2 of repaint! Even though I only worked a 1/2 day I was very productive. Got to go to Becca and Kerry’s join birthday party. Loved seeing them.
  • 2019/12/05 - Sick, but work cycles are helping me focused enough to feel like I’m productive even if I can’t put in long hours. It’s cool to feel like I’m learning. Even cooler when I feel like I can help others by showing what I’ve seen recently or writing myself. Grateful for things that remind me of progress I’ve made - like the entry from mid-October about Seneca.
  • 2019/12/04 - Got lunch with Jean Chung. She seems os happy which is awesome! I also texted Bryna this morning and found d out she’s pregnant - which is very exciting! A cool thing happened at lunch: I’ve been thinking about how helpful it is to work with others, so I asked Jean if she’d be interested in getting together 1x/week to code and she said yes! Probably will; start after the holidays, but I’m excited!
  • 2019/12/03 - Good, productive day at work. Did a long work cycle and was still out of the office by 4. Got to go to the gym and get a good swim in! Feeling strong. Started Anna Karenina this morning. It has a delightful beginning. Thinking ahead to MicroConf which will be in Minneapolis in the spring and also how I can find some folks to be accountability buddies with.
  • 2019/12/02 - Last night on the plane the woman next to me commented how tough it would be to get up and go to work in the morning. Thankfully, I have a job which is flexible and I was able to sleep until I was rested. Life is good.
  • 2019/12/01 - Bad weather between Minneapolis and Chicago meant flights were delayed - it made getting home to Kate all the more sweet and it also meant I got a few extra hours with Mom and Dad - which was appreciated.

November

  • 2019/11/30 - Grateful to spend time with my nephews, Jeffrey and Laura. They bring me so much join and I so rarely get to see them! Grateful that I was able to sit with Evan and Dev to visit David. I’ve thought bout him so often and done too little to let him know. Grateful that I only have one more night away from Kate right now.
  • 2019/11/29 - Went swimming with Dad! So cool that that’s something we can do together now. Dinner was at the Kahn’s but this time Mariel joined - haven’t seen her in two years, but she’s really fun! Also got to see Jeffrey and Laura’s new home - which is stunning.
  • 2019/11/28 - Thanksgiving (and Ariella’s birthday)! I love this holiday. Definitely better at it than year’s past.Hearing about the amazing things other folks are doing didn’t cause the inner turmoil for me that it used to. Had a nice lively discussion at the end of the evening with Evan, Uncle Kenny, Uncle Johnny, Robert, and others about the central thesis of David Epstein’s Range - wouldn’t have been Thanksgiving without it! I missed Kate though. I don’t like spending holidays apart which is a good thing and a good lesson for the future.
  • 2019/11/27 - Weather in Minneapolis was bad so the flight was delayed - twice. The first time for an hour and they brought us back to the gate. The second time we just pulled over to the side of the runway and waited 45 minutes. But, I got home safely and got to spend the day with mom and dad. Mom and I watched the Lion King before all heading to the Kahn’s for dinner.
  • 2019/11/26
  • 2019/11/25 - Woke up early to get a swim in before work - went with Kate! Was really nice to go with her. Definitely motivating. Attended a webinar midday about Planning a Month with Work Cycles. Completed two work cycles too! Feeling very jazzed. Need to not lose track of writing though.
  • 2019/11/24 - Coffee at La Colombe, then a day at the AIC to see the Worhol exhibit with Kate. Also went swimming and had a great conversation with Andrew. He had a date he’s excited about and we talked math - combinatorics, probabilities, and number theory!
  • 2019/11/23 - discovered Work Cycles - which is a lot like Pomodoro… except that it structures a kick off with an intention - for the whole session and for each work session, it also has a retrospective on the same cadence. Completed one and while I felt like I didn’t get a ton done, I felt productive and focused the whole time - the stuff I was working on was just bigger than I expected. Grateful for folks who put good ideas out into the universe for me to find and try!
  • 2019/11/22 - Another good day! Felt like I got life in order a bit and hit my goals: exercise, organized to do list which I then worked from all day. Just really jazzed about what I’m doing and learning. Grateful for all of the ways I am able to learn and all of the support I have to dos. - JC let me investigate repaint’s failed deployment today and I got to learn a lot more about diagnosing Kubernetes clusters as a result.
  • 2019/11/21 - Went to project Euler spring tonight. Fun to problem solve. Also went and tried out a few replacements for Bear including FSNotes - the cool part here is that it’s open-source and I was able to make a few PRs! Another pretty good 1:1 with JC - a little constrict feedback on prioritization and lots of encouraging words re: my overall performance.
  • 2019/11/20 - Finally finished my blog post about Secrets with npmrc. Definitely one of my longest posts and covered a lot of ground with lessons learned. Felt good to get a draft out. Wonder if there’s a way to make the story telling more compelling. Got back in the pool - which felt great. I feel strong. Starting to think more seriously about how I can build a business on the side… and recognizing it will likely take a long time — which means I’ll learn a ton between now and then.
  • 2019/11/19 - Justin’s first day back in the office, we (Stephen, Justin, and I)( went to the React Meetup at Ballast Point. Highlight was meeting Lukas - the former equestrian and relator. Fascinating human.
  • 2019/11/18 - Good focused day at work! Finn came to the office for the first time and people loved him!
  • 2019/11/17 - Woke up to a face time from Jeff, Julian and Hugo. Really fun to see them. Great talk with Dad. Really settled some of the anxiety that had been building.
  • 2019/11/16 - Morning at la Colombe with Kate. We’re so fortunate that we can talk openly about how we’re feeling! For one, I just don’t know how we would work if we couldn’t. Got to talk to mom a little. It had been a while. Book flights and lodging for Hawaii!
  • 2019/11/15
  • 2019/11/14 - Nearly missed my meeting with Michael from Gatsby this morning. So glad I didn’t because it was an absolutely fantastic experience! I learned a ton, solved a number of problems, answered many questions, and had a blast doing it! Really grateful that Gatsby offers office hours!
  • 2019/11/13 - Solved a bunch of problems related to my site - better search experience and fixed an issue Sung Kim pointed out. Pretty cool when you start to make connections with people. Been a good week for that so far!
  • 2019/11/12 - Met Ali Briggs at the DevTo meetup tonight and immediately felt like friends. It’s funny how good a first impression can be. Also finished How to Change Your Mind - fascinating book! Excited to continue exploring ways to expand my consciousness.
  • 2019/11/11 - Finn ate my Light phone moments after I sent an email asking for a refund! Not funny in the moment, but a story I will look back on with a smile. Got my basic CRUD routes working for One-Thing.
  • 2019/11/10 - Spent the day coding at Princi - scaffolded out a server with a CRA front-end. It was fun to solve new problems and see that I can. It really is fascinating how much better at problem solving I’ve become and how the stories I tell myself have evolved. Good conversation with Andrew about judging politicians on vision, not implementation - not sure I agree, but love that he forces me to think new ideas.
  • 2019/11/09 - Andrew in town for Bain sell weekend & staying with us! It was fun just hanging out and we all cooked dinner together. It’s funny. There’s a chance we live together when he comes back to Chicago and this would just be a normal night. I love that idea!
  • 2019/11/08 - First day of a long weekend - swam, studied, and wrote down several things I learned today. Felt great! Talked to Sam - I have a better sense of API design than I thought - just need to learn the words.
  • 2019/11/07 - Interesting npmrc problem today related to env variables. Started researching a new ticket related to testing of the Audit Log - excited to learn more about testing and triggers. Had hot chocolate with Kate and cuddled on the couch to watch Friends. Found some potentially useful tools for One-Thing!
  • 2019/11/06 - Raised my hand and got Hock to help find work for me (rather than sit on my hands). Put together a plan for OneThing on Basecamp for v1. Worked with cloud-eng again to finally get ate a working solution. Also scoped out work for the next phases of the Icon work of repaint. Ended the day with a nice movie night with Kate.
  • 2019/11/04 - Worked with cloud-env (John and jared) to figure out vault. It was really cool to see them work & collaborate with them. Also finished the full stack course w/ FEM - felt good seeing how much of the course I’d already been exposed to! Giving me confidence to try my hand at One-Thing.dev
  • 2019/11/03 - Daylight savings. Lovely end to the weekend. Holiday photo shoot with Jessica Kaplan, coffee date at La Colombe with Kate - then a fantastic dinner. Also talked to Swag for an hour. Felt really good to be able to be excited about what we’re both working on.
  • 2019/11/02 - Finished my Intermediate React Course on FEM; La Colombe with Kate and Joey. Lunch at the Gage with the McGees (Jimmy, Joan, Lauren, and Jane) to celebrate Lauren & Trey’s engagement. Dinner at Cellar Door Provisions with Joey & Jane - food was fantastic! Rounded out the day with a. Magic show! Graham joined us / invited us to the Chicago Magic Lounge. Saw a magician stick 6” spikes into her face. Gross.
  • 2019/11/01 - Joey in town! Dinner at Green St Smoked Meats with Kate. Finally solved the type issue w/ icons -> pretty interesting example of using type guards to ensure the compiler knew what was happening.

October

  • 2019/10/31 - Breakfast with Courtney - she was going to sleep through breakfast again! Fortunately, I called and woke her up. Wrote out a summary of v0 for a digital edition of One Thing Journal and it seems like something I can do in a few months on the side. It won’t be beautiful, but it’ll teach me plenty!
  • 2019/10/30 - Another business idea: digital journal - 1/2 between OneDay (a journal app with a little place), this journal and a time capsule. You build up logs of entries. You’re prompted to write once a day (email). The app reminds you of past memories. It asks questions / provides prompts. Overall, I’m getting more and more excited about what I can do with code. And thinking about businesses again is exciting! Also felt good to get in the pool .
  • 2019/10/29 - Went to an event tonight where I heard Neal Sáles-Griffin speak. He was awesome! I feel so invigorated and excited to learn! He seems to epitomize hustle and it is inspiring. He had ideas but he didn’t sit around with them. He got out and sold them to others! It makes me wonder what I can do. Next step is to build and ship a project. Pick one and just do it. Then pick another and repeat.
  • 2019/10/28 - continued my progress with Debounce and got it to work with a class component (the trick is to attach the method to the class so it doesn’t lose its reference). Next step is to write it as a custom hook!
  • 2019/10/27 - Struggled my way through “debounce” but finally got a working solution! For functional components at least. Feels good, but also points to how much I have left to learn!
  • 2019/10/26 - Practice interview with triple byte. Finished season 1 of “the boys” went rowing. Also solved my embargo problem by finally figuring out how to have an “unpublished” layout!
  • 2019/10/25 - Boston
  • 2019/10/24 - Boston
  • 2019/10/23 - Boston
  • 2019/10/22 - Came back a day early from Boston. Apparently in a great mood because I was in a very talkative/friendly mood - I spoke with my fellow passengers in the Lyft to Logan, on the plane, and my driver home from Midway. Always a good sign. The woman on the plane next to me told me I was very impressive after just a few minutes of talking which made me feel nice. Lunch with Andrew in the Student union was a treat. We spoke a bit about his plane for his time at Bain to make sure he maximizes the opportunity. How sweet it is to come home. You know you have a good family life when you cut a trip short because you miss your family. I almost so lucky that it takes only 3 days apart to create a glow and remind me just how lucky I am to get to come home to Kate!
  • 2019/10/16 - Good day! Spoke with mom, dad, Jeff, and sam. Kate’s finally health & cooked a great meal. At work I was able to solve my own problem several times and JC was helpful in getting me to rethink my approach. Created my own hook & recursive function today too! Started How to Change Your Mind too and every time I open it, I get Andrew’s nice note. Learned what a “Trip to Abeline” means too!
  • 2019/10/15 - Scheduled my first cron job! Still plenty to learn, but it’s a good example of what I can do by putting my mind to it!
  • 2019/10/14 - Published my React-Input-Masking library tonight bye olving several issues with web pack and npm. Not only did I accomplish something, but I learned too! Medium is the message - story telling and convincing others depends on how you tell something as much as the what you say. Seneca talks about the condensing of a message (CVIII) - like air through a trumpet. These are the pithy remarks. Juxtapposed with long-winded prose. It’s also why aphorisms “work” — they encapsulate ideas without burdening the hearer with specifics. Everyone likes the idea of policy x, until the plan is revealed.
  • 2019/10/13 - In line at the grocery store i helped the woman ahead of me lift her food onto the belt. She turned and says, “i hope when you’re my age there’s some nice person like yourself around to help you. Seneca repeats himself - quoting the same Socratic phrases in XXVIII as in CIV - what I love about that is it makes it clear that these were separate letters. Seneca didn’t have an editor ensuring uniqueness. He reached for the quotes and references he needed to make his points. The same ones which guided his living. Sometimes different topics made use of the same material. When your goal is to instruct not to impress repeating yourself doesn’t matter. If a hammer is the tool for the job, use it. Don’t grab the saw just because you already used the hammer!
  • 2019/10/12 A great day on the town with Kate - coffee and croissants at La Calombe to start the day while reading the newspaper (or Letters From A Stoic in my case), then lounging on the couch with Finn and reading more. We then went walking through the city to shop on Michigan Ave. Had lunch at the Ritz Carlton with AO and Laura. Then made our way to Chanel where a saga several months in the making concluded with a purchase. Kate finally found the shoes she’d been searching for. We finished the day with a home cooked dinner (Chicken Fried Rice) and an episode of Suits. Also read several of Seneca’s letters and got time in the sauna.
  • 2019/10/11 - Dumplings with Kate. It’s nice to have a place we go and feel comfortable.
  • 2019/10/10 - Sick, but I got off my ass to get in the pool and saw ~1200m. I also took the TripleByte test today and passed, which means when I want to start looking for a job, I can use them to jump start the process.
  • 2019/10/09 - Came home after a subpar day and solved the auth problem I couldn’t last night on my own! Woot!
  • 2019/10/08 - Went to DevTogether and built a slack bot! Nothing special, but it helped me get on Mercedes’ radar.
  • 2019/10/07 - Talked to Swag this evening and he really made my night. I had been struggling with some thoughts of self-loathing (my work’s not good enough, etc.) and he helped remind me I’m on my own journey (so stop comparing myself to others) and I’m making a lot of progress. Measure the gap, not the gain / don’t compare yourself to others. Trust the process. Others can advance. It’s not zero sum.
  • 2019/10/06 - I went and sat at La Calombe. Without anything to read, listen to, or write with. I enjoyed a coffee and croissant. It was very pleasant.
  • 2019/10/05 - My hard drive finally died today - fortunately, I had a backup, though it needed to be organized. I spent ~ 6 hours doing that today, which also meant I got to look at ~5 years worth of memories with Kate - which was awesome. Read an article sent about thinking like an artist and imaging alternative futures.
  • 2019/10/04 - Dinner party with graham and Becca Peigh, Kylie and Sean Wilcer. Kate made spaghetti with homemade meatballs, a kale, almond, and parmesan salad, and apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I continue to be surprised with just how much I enjoy hanging out with graham and Becca in particular. Also - Becca accepted a new role - she starts Monday. Best part: Graham saying if there’s anyone he can count on to set a goal and make progress on it, it’d be me. Feels good.
  • 2019/10/03 - Sick, but I still got in the pool and it felt great. Reminding myself of that for the future. Also sat at my desk and read a letter from Seneca. Good way to start the day.
  • 2019/10/02
  • 2019/10/01 - Decided to dive into building a input-masking library at Justin’s suggestion. Spent most of the day working on it.

September

  • 2019/09/30 - We went live with Remine.com!
  • 2019/09/29 - A lovely lazy day with Kate. We watched a ton of Suits, but we were together.
  • 2019/09/28 - finished What Unites Us and caught up with Charl for the first time in three years! He’s a 2L now.
  • 2019/09/27
  • 2019/09/26 - our team was the first to be deployed to production! We hit our deadlines and will hopefully have a smooth launch. Went to swimming and swam ~500m!
  • 2019/09/25
  • 2019/09/24
  • 2019/09/23
  • 2019/09/22 - Built a book shelf! Pretty fun improving the house in a tangible way.
  • 2019/09/21 - read several articles about bourbon. Kind of fun to find a hobby with depth and a lot of learning. Particularly one that tastes so great.
  • 2019/09/20 - read this fantastic article https://humanparts.medium.com/gen-x-remember-when-men-preferred-hanes-and-you-were-an-uptight-bitch-6ba6db0feb80
  • 2019/09/19 - coffee with Paula. Got nice feedback from Rob about my help with product managing. Completed my first kick turn! And swam more hundreds, including a 150!
  • 2019/09/18 - came up with a new solution for the phone input that’s vastly simpler! Then got to fix some of the knockdown effects in Revolution.
  • 2019/09/17 - swam four 100s! Felt great getting back in the water. Also, got to hear let’s talk on heart failure before she presented to the interns. Had Finn on my lap and thought about what it will be like when we have kids who get to see their mom be such a bad ass.
  • 2019/09/16
  • 2019/09/15 - Finally solved the Credit Score dial problem.
  • 2019/09/14
  • 2019/09/13
  • 2019/09/12
  • 2019/09/11 - Polaroid exhibit at the McCord. Really inspiring to see how people use Polaroids to explore their creativity. It’s not just a toy.
  • 2019/09/10
  • 2019/09/09 - Brunch with the Warshaws. So cool to meet family for the first time. Even better that they were so lovely. Four generation brunch every Sunday? Amazing! I hope we’re so lucky.
  • 2019/09/08
  • 2019/09/07 - Birthday in Montreal with Mom, Dad, and Kate. Couldn’t have asked for more. Started the day with the Context tour, which delivered. Charlotte was fantastic and provided great context on the city.
  • 2019/09/06 - Jean, our server at La Vin Popollin was so lovely. Really made the night for us when we figured out that she was interested in showing off what they do and letting her steer. Got to go on a several hour walk with Mom while dad and Kate rested. Very fun to explore a city with just her and spend some time together.
  • 2019/09/05
  • 2019/09/04
  • 2019/09/03
  • 2019/09/02
  • 2019/09/01

August

  • 2019/08/31
  • 2019/08/30
  • 2019/08/29 - did my first flips (practicing flip turns)! Went to second city with bill, Jess, and Kate. Don’t remember the last time I laughed so much. Felt great.
  • 2019/08/28 - Swam my first hundred. Felt really good in the water. Controlled. Realized that as I get more tired, I stop exhaling as much, which is creating problems.
  • 2019/08/27 - Kate gave me a preview of her talk on Hyperlipidemia in young adults. It was so cool to see her present on a topic she clearly knew a lot about and teach.
  • 2019/08/26 -
  • 2019/08/25 - Reach Out, Stay in Touch and Deepen Your Connections with This Essential Networking Advice — really liked the messages in this article + breakfast with Tom Xu.
  • 2019/08/24 - Game night with Kylie and Sean. It’s fun to go over to someone else’s home.
  • 2019/08/23 - Met a guy in the sauna this morning. He had just had a child and was clearly in a glow. Great to see. Went to Women In Tech breakfast and made new friends.
  • 2019/08/22 - Started a conversation at work about how we could be more involved / informed when it comes to providing feedback on the product and what’s happening. Got Akshay to acknowledge it at a meeting that was public. Also had a great workout with Vic. Completed my first 50m sprint at 39seconds.
  • 2019/08/21 - Wrote a memo about how we could improve the flow for 2.0. Ayush commented that it was clear that I used to be a PM.
  • 2019/08/20
  • 2019/08/19 - we talked about having a child seriously this evening. Not the first time. But first time it felt like it wasn’t something in the future.
  • 2019/08/18 - Sitting on the counter while Kate cooks risotto. I took polaroids. We talked about life. It was simple. It was lovely.
  • 2019/08/17 - One year ago, I left Ampersand. Crazy how fast time goes and how far I’ve come.
  • 2019/08/16 - dev and Thomas’s wedding in woodside. McKenzie’s speech on novice -> competent -> expert. And how you’re no expert until at least five years. Man I love that perspective.
  • 2019/08/15 - pizzeria Delfina for Dev’s rehearsal dinner. Getting out of my comfort zone and meeting folks. Brought my Polaroid and got to give two to Dev and Thomas.
  • 2019/08/14 - come from away with Kate at the Cadillac after a dinner at Avec.
  • 2019/08/11 - Listening to Ray Charles while making pesto and homemade pasta with Kate. Laughing uncontrollably while reading aloud Scott Galloway’s chapter on co-sleeping from Algebra of Happiness .
  • 2019/08/10 - listening to atul gawande on Ezra - the importance of role models in showing the way. It’s “embarrassingly” important.
  • 2019/08/09 - swag came over and we got dinner together at St Lou’s. Funny how friendships evolve.
  • 2019/08/09
  • 2019/08/08 - realizing with Andrew that a year ago, he still wasn’t sure if he was going to hbs. Amazing what can happen in a year.
  • 2019/08/07
  • 2019/08/06 - dinner and reading on the roof
  • 2019/08/05 - Had a really great night on my own where I just coded and learned more about Gatsby on my own for a bit. Talked to Swag while taking Finn to the dog park too for ~1 hour.
  • 2019/08/04 - We hosted Kylie and Sean for dinner. Kate made fish tacos and then we played Yahtzee. So much fun.
  • 2019/08/03 - Kerry brown’s Salad Party 2019 was so much fun
  • 2019/08/02
  • 2019/08/01

July

  • 2019/07/31
  • 2019/07/30
  • 2019/07/29
  • 2019/07/28 - Sitting at Palmer square with Kate and Becca, eating cookies and enjoying the sunshine together. It’s what friendships are all about. Spending time with people you love.
  • 2019/07/27 - Listening to this while cooking with Kate, she got sentimental and teared up.

    what’s better than eating? /

    cooking for fam

    — Chance the Rapper

  • 2019/07/26 - Went swimming on my own at the club. Was much more successful and fun than my previous attempt. It’s awesome to learn. As I told Sam, it’s peaceful because it demands all of my attention.
  • 2019/07/24 - Another swimming lesson. Great stuff. I love being able to go a length of the pool consistently. Can’t wait til I can do laps! I don’t need to hurry and being able to relax felt great! I felt really refreshed afterwards too.
  • 2019/07/23 - Music Man in the park with Becca, Kerry, Krista and Kate. So fun. Really makes you love Chicago in the Summer. Also interesting watching that movie in 2019 when many of the tropes are tired — Marian (the Librarian) wants
  • 2019/07/22 - Went to an elm meetup tonight. Met Justin who was really passionate about it and got a brief intro to the language through talking with him. Would be fun to keep going and getting involved in that community.
  • 2019/07/21 - Spent two hours doing nothing but reading articles. It’s nice when I can carve out a significant chunk of my day for stuff like that.
  • 2019/07/20 - A day with Kate and Andrew. What a wonderful time. We went to AIC, the Gage, dumplings, and then ate ice cream on our roof. Andrew got me thinking about what “a lot” of meditation looks like. Think I want to redouble my efforts on that practice.
  • 2019/07/19 - A day with Remine folks in Chicago. Also got to read Mary Oliver while waiting to see Kate at the hospital. It was lovely spending time just sitting and reading.
  • 2019/07/18
  • 2019/07/17 - My first swim lesson! I had a ton fo fun. Exhausted myself almost immediately, but Victoria helped calm me down quite a bit which I appreciated. Definitely feels like something I can get good at if I just stick with it.
  • 2019/07/16
  • 2019/07/15 - Actually rubber duck’d at work today and solved my own problem. It was awkward talking out loud, but it felt great when I found my own problem. Signed up for swimming lessons.
  • 2019/07/14
  • 2019/07/13 - Sam & Peyton’s wedding ceremony. During family photos, I was able to help Codger get a seat in the front (being a bit of a “Johnny on the spot”). Peyton announces “that’s why you were invited Stephen” - again, a nice bit of levity that will be the type of thing I remember from the weekend for years to come.
  • 2019/07/12 - Rehearsal dinner for Sam & Peyton. My name tag for a seating got lost and so I was left without a seat. It worked out great though because it meant that I got to sit with Anne and Joe during the dinner (in Joan’s seat) as well as Modger, Codger, Mo, Clay, Jane, Bobby and Jimmy. People I know and it’s a fantastic story that was a little current through the weekend. Stayed up all night watching Suits (the entire first season). Pearls of wisdom: When you’re wrong, apologize. When you’re right, shut up.
  • 2019/07/11 - A great night with the mcgees. Dumplings and then trying the aviary. Definitely an experience!
  • 2019/07/10 - When I got the tragic news about Hock’s wife, I was able to call mine and be reminded of how lucky I am and how grateful we should be. Saw Anne and joe. Anne let Finn sit in her lap!
  • 2019/07/09 - Solves the drag and drop problem by placing the key in the right place. Solved the refresh problem by correctly identifying the dependencies for a hook. Solved the Gatsby problem by 1. Reverting changes that broke graphql, 2. Switching to yarn, and 3. Creating a new .npmrc for the project. Overall - lots of learning.
  • 2019/07/08 - Feeling rejuvenated. Got back to learning. Started a new class (this one on Gatsby) and worked out. No coffee day 5.
  • 2019/07/07 - Had a fantastic call with Sam. It’d been over two weeks since I’d talked to him and I really missed him. I miss Andrew too. After the call, he sent me a text that said “You’re my tribe” which I love because I feel the same way. Went to the farmer’s market with Kate. I love how excited she gets about good produce.
  • 2019/07/06
  • 2019/07/05
  • 2019/07/04 - Fourth of July - Kate and I swam on the roof of EBC in the morning, grilled brats on the roof, walked the River Walk just before sunset, and watched fireworks from our roof. A very pleasant day.
  • 2019/07/03 - At Green Street Kate and I had a lovely dinner and lively discussion about the role of physicians in preventing gun deaths in the context of a EconTalk episode we both listened to with Eric Topol. The conversation focused on Russ’s reaction to the prospect that a physician would even ask. It was a highlight of dinner for me because we had a great back and forth about ideas.
  • 2019/07/03
  • 2019/07/02
  • 2019/07/01

June

  • 2019/06/30 - Lazy day with Kate - breakfast at the dog park, reading by the pool, club
  • 2019/06/29 - Becca’s brunch and the green mill with Becca and Graham - what an awesome, full day.
  • 2019/06/28 - Got home from VA, made burgers with Kate, walked to Jenni’s, then watched USA v. France which was very exciting and fun.
  • 2019/06/27
  • 2019/06/26 - Mary Oliver’s “Of Power And Time” was my poem of the morning. Magnificent.
  • 2019/06/25 - Dinner with Max Slutsky. My first experience with the DC Metro in years. It was pleasant, but while sitting on the train, looking at the metro map, I couldn’t help but think about who else had lived and worked in DC in the past. It was a humbling experience as I thought about the city as a place of power — where our nation was built.
  • 2019/06/24 - Anniversary - Just even thinking about what we’ve done over the past two years brings a smile to my face. I could not imagine life without Kate and I’m so glad I don’t have to.
  • 2019/06/23
  • 2019/06/22 - Schwa dinner. We got a photo outside the restaurant that is so cute. It’s the type of photo that I expect folks would take back in the 70s and we’re still doing it and commemorating our nights with them. The Instax is a fun toy like that.
  • 2019/06/21 - Finished my 8th night of rowing. Cool that I was able to follow through with that goal and see it all the way to the end.
  • 2019/06/20
  • 2019/06/19 - He a great phone call with mom and let - so many laughs about olives, and grammar. It’s amazing how much love we have In our family.
  • 2019/06/16 - Father’s Day - got to speak to dad. Finished Thinking in Bets, talked to Andrew for the first time in a few weeks and it felt great to catch up. Also spent the morning reading and just feel generally accomplished for having finished the Eugene Wei - Status as a Service article as well.
  • 2019/06/15 - Date night with Kate at Ēma - felt nice to get out with her.
  • 2019/06/14 - Great rowing workout. Got home at the end of the day and felt stronger.
  • 2019/06/13 - We rowed all 8! Also, Kate and I had a great conversation about partnership and howe we can help each other around the home. It really felt like one of those conversations that makes us work so well. We were able to talk openly about not easy topics.
  • 2019/06/12 - First time at a Toastmasters. Fascinating. Really excited about the prospect of getting more involved!
  • 2019/06/11 - Dad called and we had a really interesting conversation about sharing in public. He was encouraging me to do less because of potential backlash. What I loved about the conversation however was that we had it. It was because I put myself out there with my memo.
  • 2019/06/10 - Late in the evening, we found a bug I thought I’d fixed. Turns out I hadn’t - but what stereo initially as me just lazily suggesting it could be fixed, turned, at Hock’s prodding, into me jumping in and identifying the problem and solving it. In the process, Hock mentioned he always appreciates my initiative.
  • 2019/06/09 - Kate’s birthday. It was an interesting amount of stress to get everything ready for the party, but once it happened, it seems like it went so well. Everyone was thrilled with the interactivity of the pizza party and, as usual, impressed by the dedication Kate brings to what she does.
  • 2019/06/08 - Intern Sign out & Boat Cruise. A bizarre night. It was fun to be on the boat with Kate and a bunch of nice/smart people, but a lot of them forgot what their limits were and just got drunk. I have accidentally gotten drunk a number of times, but this wasn’t one of them. As a result, it was a slightly isolating environment as I got further from their level of inebriation. It culminated at Shake Shack where Aaron’s wife passed out and was taken away in an ambulance and the death of one of Kate’s college friends hit her. I’m grateful that we have supportive friends and are blessed with our health.
  • 2019/06/07 - Happy hour with JC and Sonam at La Josie. Also got tacos with JC for lunch. Finally had a great workout on the erg again. Had been a while since I worked up sweat.
  • 2019/06/06 - During our 1:1 today, JC mentioned that I’m “one in a thousand” who could pick up engineering the way I have. Also really appreciative that he paired me with Kyle on a new project so that I could get experience with the backend. It feels like a very conscious decision on his part. He listened to something I asked for, and he created an opportunity for me.
  • 2019/06/05 - JC told me he’s happy he doesn’t have to worry about me.
  • 2019/06/04 - My first day of rowing. I got to get in the tank! Amy said I’ve got a good stroke (but I’m not resting). Just an all around good day - got to write, learned new things at work (and wrote about them), got nice feedback about the quality of my work from Justin, and then ended the day with rowing.
  • 2019/06/03
  • 2019/06/02 - Made it up to the Diversey Wine shop for the first time - but immediately knew we’d found a spot Kate would love. I signed her up for the Wine Club as a birthday present.
  • 2019/06/01 - Our very first paper arrived. Kind of fun to be a subscriber to the NYTimes.

May

  • 05/31/2019 - Justin and I walked home all the way from the office - it’s cool that we hang out. I’ve never had a boss like Justin before. At 3, he was like, “want to go get a juice? So we did.
  • 05/30/2019 - Carolyn introduces the 8cs of the internal family system (?) and I realized just how many of them I feel when I’m at home with Kate or programming. I’m in a really good place. Comfortable. Confident. Curious. Compassionate. And I feel the difference.
  • 2019/05/29
  • 2019/05/28 - Sick and I was able to take the day off — which is such a luxury. Spent the day reading.
  • 2019/05/27 - Mom and dad’s 40th anniversary. So inspiring. Got to talk to them both today and I loved how much love they have for one another. Dad was modeling new clothes for mom and they just seemed to be enjoying each other’s company.
  • 2019/05/26 - Sunday morning but I woke up at 5:30 and got to the gym for a yoga and sauna before brunch with JC & Sonam. It’s a weekend, but I keep doing my thing - I really like my routine in that respect. It’s doable. Korean bbq dinner at Tom’s place. My bike ended up breaking on the way home, so I was carrying it on my shoulder while listening to an interview about the existential threat that is global warming.
  • 2019/05/25 - Cooked myself some steaks and ate on the roof while reading Robert Caro. I was near 50 people who were grilling and celebrating the holiday weekend, while I enjoyed the sun in my own way.
  • 2019/05/24 - Learned something new. I had asked Justin earlier this week a question about managing a long list of branches - he didn’t have a great answer and told me BDell had helped him in the past. When I asked BDell, however, I didn’t love his answer, figuring there had to be a better way. There was and not only did I learn them, but I typed it up and shared.
  • 2019/05/23 - JC 1:1 today and he said it was really hard to come up with anything constructive for me (implying I was doing a great job). They (he and Sonam) also had us over for dinner which was really fun. Never been friends like this with a boss before.
  • 2019/05/22 - Kate’s earrings arrived. She looks beautiful! We ate on the roof and giggled together about the standards espoused in the Eric Church song “Put a drink in my hand”*

    If you wanna impress me, / Girl here’s your chance. / All you gotta do, is / Put a drink in my hand. / — Eric Church*

  • 2019/05/21 - Going to the gym with Kate after work. She went to a salsa class and came out giggling on an endorphin high. She laughed about how the class was “all about shaking your booty” and claimed she just couldn’t but instead “was doing football drills.”
  • 2019/05/20 - When I’m down, I can always count on Kate. Tonight, I needed a shoulder and she gave me hers and held me up.
  • 2019/05/19 -
  • 2019/05/18 - Lunch with Justin, dinner with Becca and Graham at our place. So cool to see how Kate has a mentor - and I just love hanging out with them - they’re smart and nice and interested/interesting. Make spending time enjoyable.
  • 2019/05/17 - Finn ate my copy of Thinking In Bets — funny, but also makes me wonder if it’s worth spending more time reviewing notes before I finish a book. Took a call with Altara from Thinkful, and generally spent a lot of time recruiting — I really like that aspect of my job. Lunch with JC at Peri Peri - we talked about how cool building useful things is - like the pleasant surprises I’ve had by working on repaint and how much I enjoy that.
  • 2019/05/16 - Still thinking about my conversation with Ashley from Tutor Chicago - she reminds me so much of Hannah Wright. It was fun getting to know her as we both rode home from tutoring on our bikes and conversing side-by-side.
  • 2019/05/15 - Joined Kate on the couch in the morning before work for some reading / fam time. Really refreshing way to start the morning - feel so ready to tackle the day having that start. Also realizing, again, the more widely I read, the more connections I can make between things! Everything is connected and it all reinforces each other - Pragmatic Programmer, Thinking In Bets, even Caro’s Pursuit of Power.
  • 2019/05/14 - Little things, like walking to Jennie’s, joking with the waffle cone maker!
  • 2019/05/13 - Dumplings with Tom, Gaurang, and Cait - introducing friends to one another strengthens ties to all sides. Also, got to try chicken heart!
  • 2019/05/12
  • 2019/05/11
  • 2019/05/10 - What a truly fantastic day! Highlights include an extraordinarily kind shoutout in the company monthly newsletter, a good night’s sleep (relatively), sharing an article with Mark Schacknies about a potential opportunity for us in mortgage origination for smaller loan sizes, a 1:1 with Andy Sheh, really feeling like I was part of the team and contributing valuable pieces, and to top it off - a beautiful home cooked meal with Kate (chicken, asparagus, and homemade pasta with homemade pesto)!
  • 2019/05/09
  • 2019/05/08
  • 2019/05/07
  • 2019/05/06 - First day in the office with
  • 2019/05/05
  • 2019/05/04 - Family walks to Mary Bartelme, seared Branzino, and baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. What a great night. I also poured my very first glass of bourbon for myself - a glass of Elijah Wood - which included a sphere of ice that I molded. Listened to two podcasts that I’m chewing on — Scott Galloway on Recode Decode & David Brooks on The Ezra Klein Show. Both focused on happiness, particularly in relationships.
  • 2019/05/03 - Found out that Becca and Martin’s engagement is off. Yet another reminder of how lucky I am to have found Kate.
  • 2019/05/02 - Holocaust Memorial Day - Kate told me that 1 in 5 Americans are “unsure if they’ve heard about the Holocaust”. The statement sparked a conversation in which we covered quite a bit of ground - from age limits in politics to the power of framing ideas to communicate a point. It’s also an example of where your expectations of the world are challenged by reality — what I expect people to know, assume they know, is not always the same as what they do know.
  • 2019/05/01 - When I Gott home from tutoring, we had some time before dinner was ready during which we sat together on the couch with the dog at our feet — I read aloud from Robert Caro’s Working. It was such a quaint moment - the kind of moment that we don’t have that often now that we have such effective personal entertainment devices.

April

  • 2019/04/30 - Got in and started my day bright & early — was nice starting before 7am. Met Megan & ben for a drink (Megan is Deanna Jackman’s niece) and invited Justin & Sonam. It feels like we’re finally making friends in Chicago. The manager and owner of the spot (Eleven Eleven) introduced themselves and were extraordinarily friendly with us. We also told Ben about Remine and he was really excited about the prospects of using the tool. He’s very interested in investing in real-estate and in fact closed on their first property this week. So, just seeing the kind of enthusiasm he had about the product gave me a lot of hope that we’re building something that’s actually of value.
  • 2019/04/28 - Brought lunch to the hospital and ate with Kate in the cafeteria. It’s nice whenever we get to do even little mundane things together - meals, walking the dog, etc.
  • 2019/04/27 - Dinner with the Kahns for Uncle Kenny and Aunt Sue’s birthdays @ Smoque. Got to spend a few minutes chatting with them separately - it’s really so nice that we have a big family that loves each other. I am just so impressed with both of them and every time I talk to them, I learn something. That’s true for the entire Kahn family .
  • 2019/04/26 - After a rough few days, I was nervous about how I was doing and so was looking forward to my 1:1 with JC. It was also my 60th day. In asking him who I was being compared against, he assured me I wasn’t being measured against anyone else, that he’d told others my background / experience, and that I was doing really well for all of that. He said I was in a place to be promoted / on the edge of it by EOY and that I was farther along than most people he’d seen and learning faster too. It was a really great 1:1.
  • 2019/04/25 - JC gave me a Google Maps assignment to work on. I was terrified because suddenly I didn’t know how to do anything. I had to keep reminding myself that I just didn’t know how to do it yet. Being okay with not knowing (yet). Got breakfast with Drew which really started my day off nicely. He’s killing it, but for the first time in years - I don’t feel like I’m competing - I don’t feel the urge to try to be him.
  • 2019/04/24 - I finally finished my “stepper” work and then I watched JC spend several hours trying to get it to work / re-work a lot of what I’d done. That part sucked. I don’t like the idea that I turn in work that has to be reworked. I also need to spend a little more time focused on the task at hand. That’s going to be the hardest lesson to learn this early — I don’t have the luxury of always going off on tangents to learn, because we’re now on a very high profile product and I need to delivery.
  • 2019/04/23
  • 2019/04/22 - How to use skeletonize and loading components with react. A much better understanding of redux and was able to rework my initial weeklong solution in just a few hours. Spent my morning thinking more about purposeful pauses. Igor was let go today. It’s hard because I owe him so much for saying “yes” and taking a chance on me. The best thing I can do now is to do great.
  • 2019/04/21 - Reading Working by Robert Caro and understanding where his interest in political power came from. “When I was at Princeton, I was a very diligent note-taker, and I was being a very diligent note-taker in this course (at Harvard) and writing everything down. And then one day, while I was taking notes, I suddenly though, No, that’s not why highways get built where they get built. They get build there because Robert Moses wants them there! - p.14
  • 2019/04/20 - Mom and dad came to town for the afternoon. So cool that they can do that.
  • 2019/04/19 - Finally solved Issue #3327 - Consumers can add notes to favorites - came up with a fun analogy for it by thinking about my client as needing to run to school to pick up the syllabus for the assignment (the notes), but ending up going to a different room in the building and picking up notes, but of a totally different format. Coffee with Carolyn - a homeless man came in and shouted about how hungry he was. It was terribly sad but it sparked a conversation about Universal Basic Income and Andrew Yang. Carolyn doesn’t like that we only value people who are economically productive. For me, the issue seems to come down to a sense of community. We don’t seem to be connected to those around us and so we don’t aid one another.
  • 2019/04/18 - Attended Jessica Dixon’s lunch talk about mindfulness at work. It was so cool seeing her doing her thing! Also, got really interested in the idea of the difference between stress as an output and stress as an input - the place where you get to decide whether or not you will allow fear to take over.
  • 2019/04/17 - Noticed today that Dev.To had tweeted about my currying article and got some people to like it. Kind of cool!
  • 2019/04/16
  • 2019/04/15 - sent my first newsletter. Jill Lepore on Nationalism, Populism, and the State of America — EconTalk — Overcast - this episode and what she said about a national story, the role of Vietnam and bicentennial, the stories we tell children (lacking nuance), and when nationalism spikes. Also Savings rate versus investing in yourself and the investments we’ve made in our future.
  • 2019/04/14 - Dinner with Graham and Becca at their home. So fun and really amazing to see how Kate is impressing her peers — Yancy spent a good portion of Graham’s review praising Kate (and Graham’s work with her).
  • 2019/04/13 - Got to catch up with Ari for the first time in a really long time. He’s moving to New York at the end of the summer because Sue matched there for residency. He’ll also be taking a final test on his 30th birthday which will allow him to be a practicing counselor, which is awesome! Loved the interview with Lynne Tye on Indie Hackers — really inspirational about how she built the business.
  • 2019/04/12 - Skipped rowing for yoga this morning. It was so nice to focus on mobility over strength for the first time in a while. That said, I was impressed with what I could do because of the strength I’d built from rowing.
  • 2019/04/11 - found out Tom Zoucha may have had a daughter when he was in his twenties - so Kate May have a new cousin! Also head JC and Sonam over for dinner.
  • 2019/04/10 - started to get a grasp on the flow of a full stack application by picking up Issue #3566 - Claim my property - teaser
  • 2019/04/09 - first happy hour with the Chicago office - went to iron side and enjoyed a nice zombie dust. Found out Justin went on his first plane ride in 2017. Learned a lot more about typescript interfaces and asynchronous functions too.
  • 2019/04/08 - Korean bbq with Kate. Learning more about MVC, DALs and talking with Iritzia about how we do our data later.
  • 2019/04/07 - the UVA Auburn final four game was incredible. Also the episode of Indie Hackers about being honest with yourself and that most people give advice to themselves or people very much like them.
  • 2019/04/06 - the blessing of meeting new people. Justin invited me out to emporium and I showed up where I got to meet him and Sonam. We got to really talk a lot and I found it fascinating what I learned about assumptions I make about what I expect others to know based on nothing but my own experience. I only get to see those edges of understanding when I am exploring boundaries of someone - i.e learning about them and their personality.
  • 2019/04/05 - nominated to check the compliance of Homemix - worked with Lealan and Eric Han.
  • 2019/04/04 - played pool with Justin, Kyle, and Grant the visited Kate at the hospital. First time I’ve ever visited her at work.
  • 2019/04/03 - exercise in empathy- what is the problem you’re trying to solve?
  • 2019/04/02 - DFW talked about the grind in This Is Water - if my daily grind is working out, solving puzzles, learning, writing, volunteering, reading, and spending time with friends, I may just be the luckiest person alive.
  • 2019/04/01

March

  • 2019/03/31 - “Chit chat” with Andrew - conversation about JK Rowling’s ability to foreshadow in a way that did not elicit any questions, but was absolutely critical, details that were not “plot relevant” until they were.
  • 2019/03/30 - Third sunrise in a row - this time with Riley. “That sets the bar for nice”. last day in Hawaii. The lady on the flight from LAX to ORD - who I noted had a “sunny disposition” she replied that I was very pleasant. Finished Consider The Lobster - so many questions.
  • 2019/03/29
  • 2019/03/28 - sunrise by myself
  • 2019/03/27 - volcano visit. “Put on pants.” “I’m wearing pants!” Botticelli and Julia Child.
  • 2019/03/26 - beach day, sunrise, and reading “Authority and American Usage”
  • 2019/03/25 - Travel day from hell - but we got through it together and made it to Kona by the end of the day. Fleeting moments often give us our longest lasting memories
  • 2019/03/24 - Brunch with Mom and Dad in the Highland Village. It’s so lovely to be home. To walk around my old neighborhood. Mom and I found a record from her childhood with night time tales to help children go to sleep - the magic solution? A “nightcap”!
  • 2019/03/23 - “I think I’ll name my daughter Aubergine.” “Eggplant? I hope you have sons.”
  • 2019/03/22 - I surprised dad this morning at Jeffrey’s house. He came through the kitchen to see what Julian was pointing at and saw me out of the corner of his eye. In the moment, he stuck out his hand as if to introduce himself before recognizing me. It was a perfect surprise.
  • 2019/03/21 - Dad’s 65th birthday. Got to call him and see how he was feeling. Pretty cool - I keep thinking about where I’ll be in 35 years and I hope that I’ll be lucky enough to be in a position like his. Today was also the first day at work that I felt like I could contribute by working with Kyle and pairing. It was really fun.
  • 2019/03/20
  • 2019/03/19
  • 2019/03/18 - read “The only metric of success that really matters is one we ignore” by Jenny Anderson (Quartz) - loved the focus on community and defining what that really means.
  • 2019/03/17 - big ten championship between MSU and Michigan. What an incredible game!
  • 2019/03/16 - transcribing notes from James Clear’s Atomic Habits I noticed he was talking about identity in very similar terms to Julia and Paul, but using the attachment to his advantage. -> like James Allworth and Ben Thompson say - every strength is also a weakness. Another example.
  • 2019/03/15 - Ezra Klein with Julia faked on identity leading me to read Paul Graham’s essay on keeping your identity small.
  • 2019/03/14 - Dinner with Bill & Jess - so lovely. Two things they said that were really just wonderful to hear: Jess commented that no one had spent more time patiently explaining things to others than me and so I deserved to have it come back to me (and so don’t feel guilty about getting help) and Bill noted how he always loves talking to me because I’m constantly trying to optimize and so he gets inspiration.
  • 2019/03/13 - Added new functionality to our NavBar and continued to untangle the differences between Consumer and Core products. Pulled together a simple matrix that illustrates some of the different offerings we have. Worked with Anthony at Tutor Chicago - week two was better. We focused on math. Taught another person how to play chess. Interesting episode of the Daily on Medicare for All and the question of whether Canadian culture allowed their health system or if causality went the other way.
  • 2019/03/12 - The way Finn sat in Emsie’s lap during dinner. It was one of the first times they were both calm enough to really enjoy each other’s company and it made for a delightful evening. Definitely made Kate happy which is always great. Generally just sitting around the dinner table while we ate and listened to Simon & Garfunkel and The Rolling Stones.
  • 2019/03/11 - Speaking with Jeffrey on his birthday and playing chess with Kate after work. She’s still learning the game but is taking it seriously — so when I captured her queen, she screamed.
  • 2019/03/10 - Left my iPhone in the Lyft. Thank goodness Matt was still near by to be able to help me retrieve it. Had a fun conversation with my cousins at brunch about how necessary it is to spend time on our phones (or not). When I got home from Ohio I cooked and cleaned and got the house ready for Kate - we ate while listening to Beggar’s Banquet, a gift from Mom & Dad. It was awesome.
  • 2019/03/09 - Max & Emily’s wedding. Lunch with Walt and Carol - really fun conversation. “Fat man’s old fashioned” = Whiskey and bitters (I tried it at the wedding… pretty good!). Rock & Roll hall of fame.
  • 2019/03/08 - Flying to Cleveland for Max and Emily’s wedding, I got all the way to the airport before I realized I’d forgotten my suit jacket and sport coat. I changed my flight and returned home to get them. When I finally arrived in Cleveland I realized I’d only packed one pair of pants and neglected to bring cufflinks for my French cuff shirt.
  • 2019/03/07 - Tracking down the type error in my code and putting in a guard for it. I love how a problem can plague me for close to four hours but then I can solve it in one line of code. It’s really powerful! All hands meeting at Remine.
  • 2019/03/06 - paired up with Anthony - my new mentee. Quiet dude but seems eager. When he and Davayae asked me if I had a girlfriend and I showed them a photo of me at my wedding - they were like “that’s not you!” Later, at dinner, Kate asked me if I was trying to die first because I’d eaten the piece of fat off her plate.
  • 2019/03/05 - Learned all of the different ways to find a URL within a body of text and then wrap it with an <a> tag only to find out that Linkify (a react library) already does this. Good example of reinventing the wheel instead of using the one that already exists. Dinner with Emsie and Kate and Forna Rosa was delicious.
  • 2019/03/04
  • 2019/03/03 - talked to mom while walking about the merits of digital minimalism.
  • 2019/03/02 - Cal Newport’s concept of seasonal and weekly leisure plans. Easier than weekly and monthly. Also, like the separation (even if there’s overlap) between habits and objectives.
  • 2019/03/01 - Visited the Lincoln Memorial and read the Gettysburg address and his second inaugural address. “Last full measure of devotion”

February

  • 2019/02/28 - Submitted my first MR - Ended up building something I’m proud of for where I am. Took good notes. Feeling like I actually contributed — even if it took me all day.
  • 2019/02/27 - Got my first ticket assigned. Simple form validation issue. Interesting experience of working with the first solution.
  • 2019/02/26 - Day 1! Conversation with Andy was absolutely the highlight. Finding more of a balance in terms of how I use communication tools (to aid conversation)
  • 2019/02/25 - talking with AK about my evolving style as a writer. Linear, logical.
  • 2019/02/24 - coming home from SF a day early and having dinner with Kate while listening to The Beatle’s Let It Be album on vinyl.
  • 2019/02/23 - lunch with Joey and then walking around the Mission
  • 2019/02/22 - “we are so blessed to be here at Instagram HQ”. Going into Dog Eared Books and seeing a book story with an opinion.
  • 2019/02/21 - ending my first (and hopefully last) ever double shift by finding a taco joint in Oakland, Cholita Linda.
  • 2019/02/20 - sitting on the hill at Delores - just taking it all in. No headphones. No book. No distractions.
  • 2019/02/19
  • 2019/02/18 - 6 months and a day after my leave started from Ampersand I celebrated a new job with Kate at Omakase Yume. Also, drinks with grant everett was really nice.
  • 2019/02/17 - sat down and reviewed all of my notes from The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
  • 2017/02/16 - Brian Holt’s course on React.
  • 2019/02/15 - solitude is the freedom of inputs from other minds - really tried to practice this today.
  • 2019/02/14 - Cooked a valentines day dinner for Kate. At dinner, we got to talk about how great being married is. We both shared the feeling that we’re growing together in ways that we wouldn’t if we were single. We’re building for a collective unit and not just pursuing our self-interests. Being part of something that’s bigger than ourselves.
  • 2019/02/13 - Offer from Remine! Submitted a PR to Rob Connery’s Imposter’s Handbook for Bellman-Ford and had it accepted. Being able to contribute meaningfully to someone’s understanding of code feels so good! Felt like I was walking on cloud nine all day. The sun was shining. Life is good.
  • 2019/02/12 - Really enjoyed the DevTogether Mentorship with Zeke tonight - learned a ton. Had a great conversation with Remine too. Also a great coffee with Kevin kelly this morning after getting a workout in to start the day!
  • 2019/02/11 - Starting to sink in that someone actually wants to pay me to code. Means that I can do this!
  • 2019/02/10 - Spent a few hours at the club. I love that we have the club as a place to just go hang out.
  • 2019/02/09 - Went to the Open Source Jamfest and just really enjoyed meeting folks; also debugged PSQL for Matilda which was fun as it was something I hadn’t had to do in a while. Nacho’s birthday party was a lot of fun - Gaby is great.

    No matter how far down the wrong path you’ve gone, turn back now. — Turkish proverb

  • 2019/02/08 - Had a great day at Rowing. Did an interval workout with Mo. My splits were at ~1:50 for most of the workout, though I couldn’t quite sustain it through the whole thing. Still, I hadn’t gotten under 2:00 before then. Having an offer in hand starting to feel great.
  • 2019/02/07 - I got an offer! West Monroe Partners wants to make an offer; Bombed my Google interview though, which overshadowed it honestly.
  • 2019/02/06 - first day of tutoring with Tutor Chicago; CodeNewbie podcast where the interviewee noted all he wanted was the validation. Rejected by Glassdoor.
  • 2019/02/05 - west Monroe Partners - I was honest about what I wanted to pursue: engineering. Also, began learning about Jest. Lacuna: hoe to make empanadas in a house designed by an idiot
  • 2019/02/04 - Glassdoor interview- woof! But actually kind of fun.
  • 2019/02/03 - practice interviews with Swag were fun and went well. Trying to feel good about tomorrow at Glassdoor!
  • 2019/02/02 - dinner with Emsie and Brian at our place. Really liked that the focal point of the apartment was a record player.
  • 2019/02/01 - DevFest! Meeting Alyssa in the morning and then Ado generously offering to hop on a call with me next week to discuss authentication!

January

  • 2019/01/31 - Wrote a blog post about Difference Arrays that I really am proud of. Also finally migrated my blog to Gatsby!
  • 2019/01/30 - Kate stayed home because the high was -13 or some ungodly temperature. I wrote for the whole morning and focused on learning the afternoon. Great maker day.
  • 2019/01/29 - I overheard Rob at EBC this morning mention he worked at Flexport then found the courage and gumption to see if I could buy him a cup of coffee. He said yes. It’s good to put yourself out there. Good things happen. Also, the daily calm was about the Middle Way and what that means for avoiding the guilt associated with the pressure of showing up.
  • 2019/01/28 - Gaurang’s birthday party. Such a lovely time.
  • 2019/01/27 - Safely arrived home. Greeted by a furry Finn. Friends are getting jobs - which proves it’s doable. Pat, for instance, just got an offer! We wei in the Tao of Pooh.
  • 2019/01/26 - Day 8 CDMX - Diego Rivera murals at the national palace, Iturbide photography exhibit was fantastic. She has such amazing framing. adding some dynamism to a static image. Hey here were also great examples of her process in which we saw the print sheets and how she sketched on them to crop in order to arrive at her final print. Visibility into her process was so inspiring.
  • 2019/01/25 - Day 7 CDMX - a moment of mirth on the pyramid of the sun as a group of tourists lie down with a puppy and roll around to take a photo. A moment of silence atop a pyramid in the shadow of the pyramid of the moon where it’s just Kate and me. An omakase taco experience at Pujol was made even better by the wonderful wait staff.
  • 2019/01/24 - Day 6 CDMX - market tour with Liz -> tlacoyo and the ritualized nature of maki g it and eating it - it’s very much part of the history of the people. Also loved learning that the market was a midway point between the Zócalo and the farms to the south. It was a natural meeting place for trade and the origination of the market was a emergent phenomenon.
  • 2019/01/23 - coyacan and la casa Azul - we sat down at los danzantes for lunch just off the square. We had a mole tasting which was fantastic because it really showed the potential variety of mole. Next to us we’re two tables - one seemed to be a pair of Spaniards who were video taping their experiences of eating grasshoppers. On the other side was a group of six women - half American half Mexican who were enjoying lunch. There were at least three generations present.
  • 2019/01/22 - visit to Luis barragan’s home and studio. The way he divided up rooms and used light to indicate transitions was amazing. Loved the simple elegance of the home - though it was austerely decorated.
  • 2019/01/21 - walking tour of the Roma Norte neighborhood
  • 2019/01/20
  • 2019/01/19 - Day 1 CDMX - a snowstorm in Chicago couldn’t stop us, though we drove on an uncleared expressway. Almost lost my wallet in transit. Finagled our way into contramar for a fabulous first dinner.
  • 2019/01/18 - getting up early and getting a rowing workout in. Really like Mo and the class atmosphere.
  • 2019/01/17 - when Ji was upset, I was able to be there for her and invited her over to have tea. It was nice to be able to be there for someone. I also made a connection between Andrew smith and Matt fitz- two people who share a common interest. My conversation with Kevin Lesht was one of the best I’ve had - he (and home chef) felt so genuinely human. It was refreshing.
  • 2019/01/16 - my first hackathon… didn’t go exactly as planned, but learned something new and read / debugged my first python application!
  • 2019/01/15 - first Rope Burn class; figured out that my podcast memories tied to locations are just memory palaces.
  • 2019/01/14 - Carolyn Sellers introduced me to the idea of Ayahuasca. Also, just reconnecting with Carolyn.
  • 2019/01/13 - to avoid going stir crazy, Kate thought it’d be good to go on an adventure. We went to the ritz and got hot coco. We also cooked dinner together using Mealime, which was delightful.
  • 2019/01/12 - moving day! We moved into 709 at Emme. Jaime helped us move the dresser and desk - it’s awesome to have friends :).
  • 2019/01/11 - coffee with rishi. Even if things go well, it may not mean a job. A connection is worth more than an interview though.
  • 2019/01/10 - realizing that the google api isn’t that complicated. Still need to hack it together, but have a good path forward. Meeting Tracey Rubinoff.
  • 2019/01/09 - getting out of my comfort zone and going to an interview I wasn’t initially excited about was a really enjoyable experience. Also followed up with folks I met yesterday. Building community. It takes time though. And I got back on the bandwagon of doing weeks in review.
  • 2019/01/08 - doing well at my first technical interviews and putting myself out there and meeting four new people today (Becca @ 8th light, Hollie, May, and Claire at #DevTogether)
  • 2019/01/07 - structured my day like a business day -> “I’m not a business man/ I’m a business, man / let me handle my business, damn” quote with pat Doyle.
  • 2019/01/06 - slept 80% of the day. Weird day.
  • 2019/01/05 - gatsby.js transition. Got some of the basics. Need to finish the tutorial to better understand how the site works.
  • 2019/01/04 - talking to Andrew just after he landed in Sydney - also his birthday
  • 2019/01/03 - coffee with Dennis and realizing I can be good at outreach.
  • 2019/01/02 - Learning about Debounce - felt like I actually recognized that I wouldn’t finish everything in a single day, and behaved accordingly. Therefore was way less stressed.
  • 2019/01/01 - Sebastian Junger and cosleeping/ tribes on EconTalk; made my first monthly plan

2018

December

  • 2018/12/31 - “ringing” in the new year with Guarang and Cait in our building
  • 2018/12/30 - Call with Robin Anil — even though I didn’t get the job, we had a good conversation and I really enjoyed being able to get to know someone even after I was reject — staying positive is hard, but it’s something I’ll need to do.
  • 2018/12/29 - spending the day with momma and the conversation at Open Books where we could just pick up books, almost at random, and just ask- “have you read this” and have a conversation about it, the author, etc. I really love our love of books and reading.
  • 2018/12/28 - built up the nerve to do direct outreach to a CEO. Read a great post about how even our heroes are fallible (Dan Abramov on what he didn’t know in 2018)
  • 2018/12/27 - double date with Becca and graham
  • 2018/12/26 - published an npm library!
  • 2018/12/25 - quiet Christmas, but I listened to a lot of indie hackers and the episode with Nathan Barry really hit home. He quoted three philosophies for his company Core principles - ConvertKit - Showing up everyday… for two years was the one that made me doubletake.
  • 2018/12/24 - Christmas Eve, sitting on the floor on top of blankets with wine and ice cream, Kate and I opened presents and hung out with Finn.
  • 2018/12/23 - figured out how to use the BBB api on my own!
  • 2018/12/22 - pancake breakfast with mom, dad, Jeff, Julian, and Hugo
  • 2018/12/21 - AAA breaking Moe by bursting a fuse and then driving him back to Minnesota while listening to a lot of Syntax.fm
  • 2018/12/20 - we had people over for a Christmas party and it was awesome!
  • 2018/12/19 - caught up with Tom, Lindsay, and Melissa at the Cherry Circle Room
  • 2018/12/18 - got my first interview scheduled!
  • 2018/12/17 - applied to my first engineer roles! generating complementary random colors; chartJs for Matilda; started the day with a deep dive into the mathematics behind ciphers, vulnerabilities of tls1.0 etc thanks to Tyren
  • 2018/12/16 - body combat! Tutor session with swag - our first
  • 2018/12/15
  • 2018/12/14 - graduated Hack Reactor as Class President. Stephen Covey - Sharpen the Saw. Think about a woodworker who has been sawing wood for several days. Over that time, his saws become dull and he’s becoming less and less productive. The only thing to do is to stop and sharpen the saw, but he feels there’s no time to stop because he’s already behind. Sharpening the saw is about why we need to rejuvenate our minds with rest and stimulation and that we cannot grind on one thing forever.
  • 2018/12/13 - Ezra Klein and Hasan Minhaj talk about the need to have a place where we can fail safely. For comedians, they need to practice their craft in public, on live audiences, so that they can understand what’s working well. with written documentation and “snippets” becoming more and more of a thing, we’re losing our ability to do that because it’s so much easier to take words out of context. The need to be kind
  • 2018/12/12 - a deeper dive into Oauth so that I could likely implement it myself independently / know exactly where to go for the details, but understand it in principle.
  • 2018/12/11 - mock interview with Pat and his line about the theme running through his whole career was problem solving with the tools at hand.
  • 2018/12/10 - Conditionally rendered a component on Matilda after several hours of trial and error.
  • 2018/12/09 - my lyft driver waited for me while I ran up to get Finn and then drove me home.
  • 2018/12/08 - Staging Day and the reminder that there’s always more to learn. Really nervous about careers.
  • 2018/12/07 - Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice
  • 2018/12/06 - idea for a habit tracking app that is a riff on the paper clip technique of habit monitoring.
  • 2018/12/05 - Tsubasa sushi with Evan and Kate; the first time I rendered a chart in a program. Also learned how to dynamically render a component in react!
  • 2018/12/04 - click handlers and exporting named modules in JavaScript.
  • 2018/12/03 - latkes and then falling asleep in front of the fire with the McGees
  • 2018/12/02 - Talking with Kate, Sam, and Erica about a walk through Golden Gate Park I’d taken back in September and all of the wonderful things I learned through podcasts; San Francisco with the McGees - Yank Sing with the Paynes; Golden Gate Park with Sam and Erica; Date night at Tartine Manufactory
  • 2018/12/01 - Home Alone with the McGees; Started Matilda’s MVP.

November

  • 2018/11/30 - holiday photo shoot on the bridge with Jess Kaplan
  • 2018/11/29 - Deploying my DB, App, and proxy all to AWS in a reasonable fashion. - noticing how much I enjoy the 50/10 method, particularly when I have an outlet to share.
  • 2018/11/28 - Learning how to use a Shell script! Shell scripts / Bash scripts
  • 2018/11/27 - Goodhart’s Law - “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”
  • 2018/11/26 - learned about the reMarkable paper tablet
  • 2018/11/25 - Paul Graham’s “how to get startup ideas” “The way founders get ideas” is generally the result of some external stimulus hitting a prepared mind. Dressing our first Christmas tree as a family!
  • 2018/11/24
  • 2018/11/23 - 10 year reunion with SPA at Sweeney’s Saloon w/ Kate
  • 2018/11/22 - Andrew throwing a cork at me when I made a joke about the leaves peeping in the northeast
  • 2018/11/21 - Raclette at the kris kindle mart with Kate.
  • 2018/11/20 - AJ Jacobs and savoring the moment

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!