Life goals, etc

I need to learn to write more for myself

Personal blogs are supposed to be indulgent, right? Here’s hoping.

This short post is relaxed, and I didn’t strain myself trying to polish it. It’s also Holden’s fault to some degree, as he’s always listening to my ramblings on the phone and offering encouragement that I am not a complete shit. So, tweet him the typos: @holdenthepage.

I didn’t intend to take time off right after the Verizon Media transaction closed. I certainly didn’t plan on being offline when the newly-reconstituted Yahoo announced a new CEO.

Similarly, I didn’t aim to take the week off in which my friend Katie Roof broke the news that Stripe is finally deciding to put on big-kid pants and go public. Or the week when PayPal bought a BNPL provider.

God, I want to run the numbers on that last one.

But I did take time off on purpose as after a frenetic few months on the finance/tech beat my brain was a blob of goo. And because my parents were coming to visit. In personal terms the timing of my break was perfect. It proved less so in professional terms.

It’s been odd to sit on the couch and not write during this approved work hiatus — vacation is too strong a word, I’ve largely been at home. Not writing is a strange thing to do at this point in my life because writing is what I do most days. And when I am done writing I try to read. News and novels mostly.

Aside from a few tweets and texts, I’ve hit far fewer keys in anger during the last week than usual. And I haven’t exactly loved it.

The things I did instead were good. I learned to play Pickleball, which is its real name. I spoiled my parents a little. I chased the puppy around a field in Massachusetts near a river. I took the parents to the beach and walked them up and down the sand in the breeze. I got to watch a F1 race with my dad for the first time. My mom taught us how to play her version of Euchre. Again.

It was good. But the last week did not include writing, so it wound up feeling a little flat.

It’s neat that I get to write for a job. TechCrunch loves it when I write lots. The more the better. Bring it the fuck on.

Short hits? Yes, please. Longform dives? Hell yeah. Podcasts? As many as you want. Snarky, joke posts? Fuck it, it’s Wednesday. It’s essentially a workplace designed for the way my brain works, with its attention focused on the particular niche of the business world I find the most interesting.

All that said I do want to shake up my writing life a little in the next few years. I want to write a little bit more for myself.

Recently while trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, I wrote up a little Google Doc entitled “Dream Job,” which I’ve pasted below. I tell you that it is verbatim as it could use a tighten. But, when in doubt, post what you have:

Make money writing about tech/money
Soothe soul by writing about books
Stay angry by covering fascism

That’s my long-term goal.

Taking a break has been illuminating. I am pretty excited to get back into my regular rhythm of writing and podcasting with my friends. And maybe do some scribbling for myself on the second two topics listed above.

Here’s to writing. And the ridiculous good fortune of loving what I do for work. Even the days when I finish work feeling like I’ve been in a blender. It’s far better to be busy than bored, and if you can be busy at something fundamentally joyful — like writing — all the better.

Hugs — Alex

Off for a little bit

Our Private Equity Overlords at Apollo have deigned to give the newly reconstituted Yahoo Friday off, which means I am starting a short vacation a little bit early. I am off tomorrow, and all of next week. So, if you email or DM or text me, please expect precisely nothing in response.

Instead of being Very Online, I am going to spend time IRL with my parents for the first time since late 2019, spoil my dogs, cook for my partner, and generally read science fiction and play video games. And work out a little.

I’ll be back at work starting the 13th of September. Hugs until then, let’s take care of one another.

Heavy Metal Friday

Issue 1, I suppose.

Happy Friday, friends. We made it.

The good news is that this particular Friday brought with it a host of heavy metal treats. Read on for recommendations:

  • Lorna Shore, …And I Return To Nothingness: A widely-awaited EP from American deathcore band Lorna Shore, AIRTN is just three songs long. But regardless of length, the EP is love-letter to heavy metal fans. Fresh off a singer swap, Lorna Shore has been in the heavy metal spotlight thanks to the only single from the record, To the Hellfire. It blew minds, and shook tables. With the rest of the record now out, it’s time for all fans of thunderous cacophony crossed with symphonic chants, set to the pulse of blast beats to tuck in.

  • Dream Theater, The Alien: The first single off of the next Dream Theater record is 9:31 long. Fans are modestly divided about the new tune — par for the course for any band with as long a history as the DT crew — but its mix and production are generally getting high marks regardless of how fans are parsing any particular melody. If you prefer your heavy metal more progressive, and patient, this is for you.

  • Trivium, Feast Of Fire: Trivium dropped an incredible album last year called What The Dead Men Say. Apparently, the band was unable to stop working during lockdown, because Matt and Alex and Paolo and Corey are back with another record. Feast Of Fire is the second single loosed from the Trivium quiver and it is not like the first cut. It’s still heavy, sure, but Trivium is not shy about playing around with its approach to melody, and clean vocals.

I have to get back to work now, but please enjoy the above!

Happy birthday, Holden

It’s Holden Page’s birthday. I want to celebrate him.

Holden and I met when we were teenagers, eventually founding a blog together with a few online friends (ChaCha102 and Dmonzel, what up). That project lead us deeper into the worlds of technology, and online media, where we both remain today.

We’ve essentially grown up together.

Today is his 30th birthday, and I’m annoyed that I cannot be there in person to hug him and tell him just how special he is to so many people. And that turning 30 is incredibly good news.

Your 20s are supposed to be a lot of fun. But they can, in fact, prove to be the opposite. Most of my 20s were a mess. 30 and on has been, so far, a pretty different pace of life. Holden is in for a good decade.

But instead of being near to him and Keeri — two people who are simply family in my mental rolodex — I’m a zillion miles away, and we’re all working today.

But cheers all the same, Holden. You’re an amazing person and I hope that your birthday is more than good.

Shave that beard though.

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