A highlight reel showcasing some of the great work the design team at Automattic has been working on in the last year. ❤️
Of course I stole the title for this talk from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this:
In many ways, writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its aggressiveness all you want with veils of subordinate clauses and qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions—with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.–Joan Didion, Why I Write
We’ve been doing the NYT crossword together every night for the past several months, which is a lovely way to end the day. This week, we started playing Wordle after seeing half the internet playing it. It’s so good. Here are the first four results, which are just fun to share. Can’t tell if we have beginner’s luck or if the crossword playing is helping. Probably a bit of both.
Wordle 204 2/6
Wordle 205 5/6
Wordle 206 3/6
Wordle 207 5/6
I’m still listening to books with the only exception being the physical books I bring along with me on camping trips in the van.
The books that have stayed with me
Ones I couldn’t stop thinking and/or talking about.
Ones I revisited
Getting Unstuck & From Fear to Fearlessness are recordings of Pema Chödrön giving talks on weekend retreats. I love listening to her and went back to both of these several times throughout the year.
with a ★ next to books I’d recommend to most anyone who asked.
The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig ★
Beautiful World, Where Are You
by Sally Rooney
Nothing to See Here
by Kevin Wilson ★
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ★
From Fear to Fearlessness
by Pema Chödrön
Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller
Getting Unstuck by Pema Chödrön
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★ (oops, I had this on last years list)
Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life by James Hollis
How to Weep in Public
by Jacqueline Novak
The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Searcher by Tana French
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Group by Christie Tate
And the books I’m in the middle of that I’ll carry into 2022 are Dune, Outline, and Hidden Valley Road.
I took a 4 day avalanche course by Baker Mountain Guides the week of Christmas in the Mt. Baker backcountry. I’ve been casually doing some backcountry stuff the past few years, but never pulled the trigger on buying avi gear or taking a class, which isn’t super smart or safe. The first two days were over Zoom with a firehose of information – logging it all here for future reference.
General info & videos to review regularly
- Ultimate Guide to Backcountry Skiing
- AIARE 1 classroom content
- Avalanche Encyclopedia
- AIARE – avtraining.org
- Know Before You Go
- Persistent Slab Avalanches
- Fracture Character in compression tests
- Learn Avalanche Safety – BCA youtube series
- Terrain Tricks for Backcountry Skiers
- NWAC Avalanche forecast for Baker
- NWAC Avalanche forecast for Snoqualmie
- Windy TV weather
- NOAA Point Forecast
- Mountain Forecast
- Hill map
- Caltopo maps
Where we went
Day 3 was our first day in the field. Built a snow pit to analyze the snowpack and practiced recovery using our beacons, probe, and shovel.
Forth and final day, went on a tour we planned the night before. Was an epic powder day with waist deep snow.
Grandmother & Grandfather always took pictures using slide film and we’d watch them on a projector in their living room – from their travels and just daily life. My cousin scanned 1,500 of them, from the 1960s to the early 2000s. They were scattered across different Google Photos links and I wanted an easy way to look at them and share with others so I created a site: ggslides.com. A few faves:
Grabbed a few pow laps this afternoon after a 2 foot dump. Brought the GoPro along to make a quick lil edit and because it has been a while since I strung some clips together to music. After a slow start, it’s turning out to be such a good season.
Really excited about all the design work we put into WordPress this past year. Both within the product itself as well as in our external communications, as seen in this video I worked on that highlights all the cool stuff we are about to release. Super proud of the team working on this with me. We’re really just getting started and I’m ready to keep going to make WordPress an intuitive, well-designed experience for all.
Big fan of Strava’s year in review design.
I use Strava record all my rides, runs, and snowboard adventures since 2016. The past couple years I’ve hovered around 2k miles on the bike, which feels pretty solid. My favorite times on the bike this year were bikepacking with friends and I hope to keep that up this year. I’d also like to add a lot more days on snow.
I listened to a bunch of books last year. On walks with the dog, on the way to and from mountain biking and snowboarding, and on countless road bike rides around town. These were my favorite:
Ealonor Olyphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This book was hilarious but also wrecked me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and has stayed with me more than any other book has.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
I mean, who doesn’t want to know what therapists really think, how they work, and what they talk about with their own therapists? Also, it’s hilarious.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
I need a good sad book every once in a while.
Powerful by Patty McCord
Practical and no-nonsense. I listened to this twice and then re-listened to certain bits. I was going through a tough time at work and this book was one of the things that helped me through it.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Love the format, almost felt like you were listening to a music documentary. Read by a bunch of different actors. Made me start listening to Fleetwood Mac again.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Who knew I needed a love story? A full life lived.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Powerful by Patti McCord, Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, Ealonor Olyphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Nix by Nathan Hill, Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, The Windup Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, In the Woods by Tana French, Normal People by Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, There There by Tommy Orange, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout, Self Compassion by Kristin Neff, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter.