The Haps - January 2023
Yearly reviews, I think, are simply not enough! So much life happens month to month, and projects float in and out so quickly. I want to take time to do some newsletter-ing - both for y'all, letting you know what I'm up to — but also for myself. Keeping a logbook on where I'm heading and where I've been. I've always been in love with this practice, even if I never end up looking back at those notes!
So HERE WE GO!
I'm playing around with finding ways to blog more. My goal is to share something almost everyday. The reason behind it is that I get so much out of people online freely sharing their work and insights, I want to be someone that contributes back in whatever way I can. Writing feels like a great way to do it, and practicing daily is a good pace for just that. It's also fun!! I simply like making things, and writing is a quick way to create!
I already write like crazy everyday. I brain dump every morning onto three sheets of paper, keep notes on my projects in markdown, and spend too much time organizing said notes. So now I'm trying to find the process that will keep writing publicly sustainable.
My first attempts in January honestly left me burnt out — hence a few gaps in the schedule. I think that's a normal pattern for me — go all in and then reel it back in to a managable system. So we'll see. All this to say - if posting seems sporadic, bear with me. :)
Tailwind & Testing
We're doing a major redesign at work and are implementing a new Design System through Tailwind. It's a divisive framework, but I have to say, I've really liked it so far!
I've also been filling in my coding gaps by exploring testing. I had a few embarrassing errors on this site that really pushed me to get up and do it. It's also one of my resolutions this year to write sturdier code. So here we are! I'm doing lots of reading on testing and am playing with Jest and Cypress.
I wrote a ton about all this on my blog.
The biggest news here is, for the first time, I'm publishing music beyond bandcamp over to Spotify, Apple Music, and pretty much all music streaming platforms!! I signed up for Distrokid and it's been great so far. I'm dragging my feet on getting all of my music up, but we'll get there!
On this site, I also created canonical pages for my albums instead of just linking out to bandcamp. (Here's the one for the AC: New Murder Soundtrack, for example.) Maybe someday I'll get audio playing going!
I released Meditations this month! My amazing friend Calvin Wong (web | Instagram) lended his photographic eye and artistry to the cover, and it makes my music seem SO MUCH cooler and sophisticated! 😂
After finishing my first sketchbook, I decided that I want to keep going! At the risk of having too many projects going at once, I'm making a considerable effort to draw every day.
I've dreamed of drawing regularly for ages in the same way that I dreamed of writing music. I grew up reading webcomics and, as a kid, would ask my folks to stop by half priced books to pick up Garfield comics.
So, I'm making time for it! Lots of learning and being plain ol' bad it it, and it's great! My main learning materials this month have been drawabox, Fun With A Pencil by Andrew Loomis, and copying one of my favorite artists, Louie Zong. Namely, I'm going through plant and (begrudgingly) bug construction on Drawabox.
You can see what I've made so far through the Art tag on my blog. I'm also sharing drawings on Instagram.
Words and Sounds
I've missed audiobooks!! I'm trying Audible out again, and here's what's on deck:
- Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes - Rob Williams
- Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
- Fun With A Pencil - Andrew Loomis (Not an audiobook, but here it is!)
- Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud
My favorite music I've listened to this month:
Also, on New Years Eve, Miranda and I watched the new Top Gun and I un-ironically think it's a perfect film.
Miranda was a big sweetie and gifted us tickets to hear the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, a piece I listened to on loop after graduating from UT. Violinist Rabdall Goosby was 🔥. LUTOSŁAWSKI's Concerto for Orchestra might have been my favorite, though!
It snowed(?) in Dallas, as it does this time of year! Not nearly as bad as snowmageddon from a couple of years ago.
Thank you for reading! I'll plan on keeping this going monthly.
A thank you to the inspirations for this. I know it's not necessarily novel, newsletters exist, tons of people give these style updates, but here are the folks that really settled this idea in my noggin:
Dave Rupert has a series of posts he calls "Vibe Checks." The gist is to get a sample for what's going on in work and life at that moment in time.
Derek Sivers in the same vein also initialized a trend for having A Now Page on your website to cover what you're working on at the moment.