Open + Curious

I’m excited to share that Jesse Danger and I have begun a new podcast show, Open + Curious. I’ve been writing up my thoughts around conversation, and this podcast is a new part of the Open + Curious project. Please consider subscribing to support our efforts.

Are you looking for ways to bring conversation alive? Then you are in the right place.

In each 15-minute episode we begin with a question, and work our way to a challenge. Some questions we explore have clear answers, and some lead to more questions and further unknowns. The challenge we seek to find, at the end of each episode, is meant to help you explore each question on your own.

Moving scenery

I like Carl Sagan’s point about humans being able to work magic. (I’ll pause here while you read the quote.) Writing enables us to transmit ideas across time and space directly into others’ minds; It’s a natural and obvious development once we had language and storytelling. I am so far, endlessly fascinated by that.

My soul is three generations old

~ Jesse Danger from,

Does what someone says, or writes, need to make sense? It would be insane to expect it to always, or necessarily, make sense. What about poetry? And what about mental imagery incited by reading or listening? And what about literal imagery? I find there’s a vast range of media, and mediums, that interest me once given a chance. Sometimes I want to read logical and reasoned text. Sometimes I want to relax by the window of the train as the scenery slides past.


To love one true

It warms my heart any time I discover someone writing on the open web. But boy howdy is it a good day when it’s also someone I know, who I think more people need to hear from.

I write because I need to.

~ Jesse Danger from,

I’m biased, of course. Most people don’t write out in the open (I’m not criticizing.) Being a someone who does simply means I understand the urge, and the challenge (and the fear) that goes into the pensive from which writing ensues.


Broke my but

In my journey writing thousands of blog posts I’ve developed certain habits and a style. There have been a precious few points where I’ve intentionally made a significant change. I used to lead with the URL followed by the pull-quote, before changing to a more normal style of a quote with a following attribution. At one point I started adding slip addresses, and at another point I started reigning in my use of exclamation marks.

Recently I asked one of my mentors, Jesse, for feedback on some copy, and he made a comment about his personal rule to be very intentional about using the word, “but”. I didn’t think I was overusing it, but [oh no!] I often used it as a conjunction— I often used it as a way to connect two sentences to create a point and counter-point structure— Dammit, Jesse. Now I cannot unsee every “but” as a weasel word. You suck. Thanks for making me better.


7230: I surrender

(Part 36 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

I surrendered yesterday with a heavy heart.

Since July 20th, 2015, it has been a long year of ups and downs. I’ve made some massive improvements in strength, and form, for the activities I’d chosen. But I still have much work left to do — both in terms of the number of reps left before the 10,000 goal, and in terms of the quality of the activities I had hoped to reach along the way.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 9.32.48 PM
A few weeks ago, I started a sprint to the finish. In an attempt to make the 10,000 goal within the dwindling days, I would need to do approximately 200 reps of everything every-other-day for several weeks. I started using a resistance band to ease the strain on my shoulder during the pull-ups, but even that was not enough to preserve my shoulder. This past weekend, at a Parkour event in Boston, it became painfully(!) clear that my shoulder injury was returning.

I have a Parkour trip planned in August, and I must begin that with my shoulder at 100%. I am forced to choose between a good shoulder for my trip, or the remaining 2770 pull-ups. I am choosing my shoulder.

Now, I find I have to write the “wrap this series up” post sooner than expected. So, what have I learned?

(Part 36 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

Anyone can put a challenge in front of themselves that they are unable to do. How well do you know what you are capable of? How well do you know how to make yourself capable of more. I train to know who I am and how I can improve.

~ Jesse Danger


This 10k project is the largest challenge that I can ever recall attempting. It is the only thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish which spanned the course of one entire year. It was ambitious, huge and has taught me a lot about my ability to stay motivated over a long time frame. (Pro tip: I suck at staying motivated.) I learned (or refined) several new skills involving daily and weekly planning of workouts, planning for road-blocks (winter weather, holidays, trips) and recovering from injury.

It is certainly not the first thing at which I’ve failed. It is certainly not the last thing at which I’ll fail.

Perhaps one day I will do it again and make the goal. But for now, I have other things to do.