A Letter From My Daughters, and a Letter to Myself

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Photo via hillaryclinton

It’s shortly after 5 am PT. In the other room, my daughters, already awake, are writing a letter to Hillary Clinton, thanking her for inspiring them and millions of others. I am in the dining room, staring at apoplectic headlines from publications that I trust, knowing that millions of Americans in other cities don’t read or believe the same words.

I live in a city that’s booming economically, and nearly everyone in my peer group — both in my city and in my industry — supported Hillary Clinton. We fretted about the disastrous consequences of a Trump victory, but perhaps I still did not take it seriously, with polls putting the odds of victory at 70%. I shared Facebook posts and tweets and expected that everything would work out okay. The polls favored Hillary, and so did common sense.

As it turns out, not even common sense is guaranteed in America. Continue reading “A Letter From My Daughters, and a Letter to Myself”

The Truth About Working from Home

I spoke with PSFK Labs about Automattic‘s “distributed” work model — at 430+ employees, we’re one of the world’s largest companies where everyone works from home (or anywhere they please).

There are pros and cons to any work situation. How a company performs depends a lot on who it hires, how those people get along, how they communicate, and how teams are structured to make it as easy as possible to be productive.

We can’t control for those factors, but the simple fact about distributed work is that people can be more productive when they don’t have to commute anywhere. Cutting commute times is better for employees, it’s better for companies to cultivate talent around the world, it’s better for families, and it’s better for our cities to reduce gridlock. I would love to see local governments — and the next president — embrace more policies that encourage companies to “go distributed.”

Photo: cdisegna

Instructors and Community Make a Difference

WARNING, PEOPLE: The following is an exercise testimonial.

A year and a half ago I was chatting with my sister in law about starting to exercise again. And by “again,” I mean I don’t think I had worked out regularly in more than 15 years.

Continue reading “Instructors and Community Make a Difference”

Cum On Feel the Noize (1983)

Quiet Riot recorded this song, a cover of a 1973 song by the UK band Slade, for their “Metal Health” album, which helped them leap over Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Police’s “Synchronicity” on the charts for a brief moment. It’s an underrated song in that I’m not sure we give enough credit to how big a hit this was at the time.

It was the first song that introduced me to pop music and the radio. I was in first grade in 1983, and a girl at my school was singing it. I asked her where she heard it, and she said, “on the radio.” So I went home and turned on my parents’ stereo for the first time, and spent the rest of the afternoon spinning the dial and listening for a station that might play it.

An hour later, nothing.

I sat in front of that stereo for hours. Then days.

(By the way, how foreign is this feeling, now, in 2016? To hear about something and NOT have immediate access to it?)

A few weeks later, I finally heard it–the chorus blasted out during a van ride to my friend’s house. Shortly afterward, he turned on MTV (WHAT IS THIS? WE DON’T HAVE CABLE!) and we saw Quiet Riot on television, in the video for “Bang Your Head (Metal Health).” And there was Kevin DuBrow, strapped into a straitjacket, with a metal mask on his face, writhing around a padded room. My friend’s mother came in and warned us the video was satanic.

“Cool,” I wish I thought to myself.

Really, it scared the hell out of me.