Burn Out In Others

Philadelphia, PA

Ever think about an article you read, then had no idea how to find it again?

I found this great piece, “what great inconvenience,” from the Faculty email newsletter (which I can’t link to, because it doesn’t have a web link).

In the piece Anne Helen Petersen speaks about burn out, fair wages, the hustle economy, and lots of other fantastic bits. Go read it.

The biggest point for me was this: “think deeply and consistently about how your own actions, and standards, and practices create burnout in others,” which is credited to Jonathan Malesic.

On a recent road trip I stopped for gas and got a coffee at the attached Dunkin’ Donuts. Cream, no sugar. I tasted it before I walked away, and sure enough it had cream and sugar.

I’ve seen people go off over something like this. As if it’s a personal affront, an attack on their dignity to subjected to such treatment. I’ve seen a person throw an entire cup of coffee out in the trash on their way out the door over this.

Or… just kindly state the problem, and ask for a new cup. That’s what I did, and shockingly it wasn’t very hard.

Health Goals

via Twitter

Since “No Junk June,” health goals have been my focus.

The world is a better place when we’re whole, and feeling good. Sometimes we need to divert our energy from things we think we need to attain, like the above career or relationship goals, and turn them inward.

Because once we nail the health and lifestyle stuff, perhaps the career and relationship goals will come into focus.

Grey is Great

From ESPN:

The subway tiles are back, and much more visible on television — around most of the boundaries — than they were in the old mosaic version. The Helvetica font of the “Brooklyn Nets” wordmark matches what the Metropolitan Transportation Authority uses on subway signs.

Having lived in Brooklyn for five years, and pouring over the NOT FOR TOURISTS subway / city guides during that time, that “Brooklyn Nets” along the baseline, done in the style of the NYC subway, really warms my heart.

Not For Me

The music at my local gym? It’s just not for me. And that’s totally okay.

The music I do enjoy? Well, they couldn’t play that at a busy Tuesday evening.

That gets me thinking of how I only need to “endure” that music for an hour or so. Even then, I can listen to my own music if I want. Sometimes I’ll leave my headphones in my locker, just to test my mental fortitude.

“Not for me” is a good place to be, a good reference point. Because then you can mentally prepare yourself for the momentary discomfort, who do what you need to avoid if all together.

What’s Your Concert History?

How many of these types of things have we all been a part of on social media, and then forgotten about them three days later? These posts disappear into the river of social noise, never to be seen again. Let’s see if this link still works in 2021.

First concert: Spin Doctors, with Cracker, I believe. It was awhile ago, being that I’m 43 now. I remember seeing The Cranberries way back, too.

Last: I saw August Burns Red in Philadelphia, PA.

Next: Conjurer maybe in Philadelphia in October, maybe.

Best: Into Another in 94 or 95 at SeaSeas, in Moosic, PA. This was soon after the release of Seamless, one of the best albums a lot of people have never heard.

Or maybe Daughters w/ Coalesce in 1997 in New York City. It was my first time ever seeing Daughters – heck, I never heard of them! But I was hooked.

Worst: “No comment.” Given the nature of what I do as my day job, I’m not about to disparage any artist publicly like that!

Seen most: I have no clue, really. I’ve been going to shows and playing in bands since I was a teenager, so that’s a few decades worth of bands.

Have yet to see: Guns N Roses, and I’m 100% okay with actually not seeing them, honestly.

Why Even Bother?

From 2001 to 2018 I published something every day. From Buzzgrinder to Noise Creep to Skull Toaster, I was always putting something out, publishing something, scheduling something.

Up to 20 posts a day with Noise Creep (sometimes more), a nightly email newsletter with Skull Toaster.

Now I can go weeks without writing anything, or posting anything to Twitter.

What’s the point, though? Why even write this? Why hit publish?

Because there are other writers, artists, photographers, videographers struggling with the same thing.

Why post? Why “ship?”

And I think it’s my old thinking about street art. I used to think what’s the point? There’s no URL attached for more info! Why even bother?

It all comes back to permission.

Being a weird band like Presidents of the United States of America “gave permission” for other bands to be weird.

This meandering writing I’m doing right now is just kindling, a conversation starter. It’s energy that isn’t fully formed or captured, but it can go somewhere.


I spent about a week traveling, the first real deal road trip since I bought my car in December. The freedom to roam, along with my ability to work remotely for a handful of clients, is a double edged sword. I need to work, to be available, but I also need to drive… five hours to my next stop?

It’s somewhat maddening, and it’s the reason I cut my journey short. Maybe a few years ago I would have jumped at the chance for such an adventure, but lately I’m just not feeling that excitement. In part I loved it because I got to run in some new locations, but I also dreaded it because I chose to keep working. I mean, that’s the American thing to do, I guess, as a freelancer, to keep working, keep up the expectation that I’m just “always online” (even though I drove through some pretty remote areas with no cell coverage).

Then I think how I haven’t really gone fully offline in, well, forever. I think back to maybe 2007, when I went to Italy, when my only online responsibility was to my music blog at the time. Or when I left AOL Music back in 2011, and that following Monday I rode my bike to a mountain for a hike.

I’m damn grateful for the work, for sure. But I’m finding that I need to get away from work for longer stretches of time.