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[00:00:03] You’re listening to Overtired. I’m Christina Warren, Brett Terpstra is indisposed this week. We decided to give him the week off, but person who is not indisposed and is here with me is, uh, my good pal, Jeff sovereigns. Gunzel Jeff, how are you?
[00:00:18] Jeff: I’m good. Not indisposed for once. Uh I’m great. Thank you. How are you?
[00:00:23] Christina: I’m good. I’m good. I got to spend, uh, time yesterday with, uh, some friends of mine who I haven’t seen in a while. Um, one is visiting from out of town and another, she lives nearby, but we just, she’s far enough away that I don’t see her that often. And so I gotta hang out with, um, her and her husband and her baby, and I got to go to a park and go on swings.
[00:00:42] I hadn’t been on a swing in probably 20 years, so that was fun. That was really fun. Um, and, uh, yeah, no, I’m good. Um, so, uh, we, we actually, for, for listeners, we recorded like three days ago. So this is like, it you’re hearing it a week [00:01:00] later, but we recorded like three days ago. So, um, what’s been going on with you over the last little bit.
[00:01:06] Jeff how’s how’s the COVID recovery and everything. Uh, the, the back to life after the, the road trip and everything going.
[00:01:12] Jeff: COVID recovery is good. Back to life is good. We tried to put in a new like vanity and medicine cabinet and stuff in the bathroom today, and none of them really work. So we’re sitting on top of a lot of stuff that we really just need to return and replace. So that’s a little like frustrating. Um, but so otherwise since then, I don’t know.
[00:01:34] I’ve just been kind of trying to get my feedback on the ground after my trip and the COVID before it. So how about you?
[00:01:40] Christina: Um, I’m good. I’m I’ve been, yeah, again, I just, you know, had like work stuff and, uh, and like I said, I, I went to a park with a baby, which was really fun. So
[00:01:48] Jeff: a baby. That should be a activity you can choose any day. I.
[00:01:51] Christina: I agree what was funny because we were like having this conversation, we were like, why don’t they have like playgrounds for adults because playgrounds are freaking [00:02:00] fun. Like, you know, like, like big like adult slides and, and, you know, uh, seesaws and swings and, and bouncy castles. And, you know, like, there’s, you, you could have like other stuff too, where people could like, turn it into CrossFit stuff, I guess.
[00:02:15] But like, you know, like there’s, you could have rules, like, okay, it’s indoors. Cause we don’t want the bugs, but like, you know, so the park we were at was act absolutely outdoors, but you know, you could, you could have rules like, okay, you can’t bring alcohol cuz we don’t want the liability issue. But like, why not just like have like more than like a David busters, but like a full on like playground type of situation.
[00:02:35] Like I think that that would be, that would be for me, I would, I would much prefer that to like the normal gym. I’m not even gonna lie.
[00:02:42] Jeff: What’s as you were talking, I, I had this, I was trying to kind of picture it. And one of the things that happens at a park for kids that I would actually enjoy as an adult is how kids can be hanging out at the picnic table. And then they can decide to just run off and do a thing on their own, or do a thing with one other person.
[00:02:59] Then they come [00:03:00] back to the picnic table for a bit. That’s just kind of a good model for an introvert, uh, to be socially,
[00:03:06] Christina: Exactly. Exactly. Like you could still, you could have like, like, like the, the picnic table of whatever, you know, and people are like, yeah, I’m gonna go to the climbing wall now, or I’m gonna go in the swings and then you come back and like, I’m gonna hang out with my friends, you know? And it’s like completely cool.
[00:03:19] Jeff: Yeah. Just someone just needs someone to keep the juice boxes cold.
[00:03:22] Christina: exactly. So, so I’m gonna be working on a business plan for, for my adult park idea. Um, adult, not adult park, but adult playground idea. And, uh, also like in addition to, to the no alcohol, no sex stuff, because that’s no, again, liability stuff. Yep. Have a code of conduct and be like, look, if you meet people and you like, like each other, that’s awesome.
[00:03:48] But like, don’t, don’t fuck at the adult playground. Like
[00:03:51] Jeff: that’s when you upgrade to the mall
[00:03:53] Christina: exactly.
[00:03:54] Jeff: or a parking lot or
[00:03:55] Christina: A parking lot or like yeah. Or yeah,
[00:03:57] Jeff: you wanna get on to. Yeah. All right. [00:04:00] And all the other people can hang out. Just slide, stop, slide. Stop. Love it. All right. I’m in. You need, like, what do you need? 20 bucks. 40 bucks. Get you started.
[00:04:09] Christina: yeah, sure. That, that, that that’ll definitely be enough. Um, listeners, let us know, uh, what you think of my adult playground idea. Um, and, uh, and it’s probably a terrible idea, but, but, uh, yeah, I mean,
[00:04:21] Jeff: wanna give him your GoFundMe address?
[00:04:23] Christina: yeah, I was gonna say gofundme.com/adult playground. No, that actually probably
[00:04:29] Jeff: Nope.
[00:04:30] Christina: I don’t wanna do that.
[00:04:31] I don’t
[00:04:31] Jeff: not the one you wanna, Nope.
[00:04:32] Christina: That’s not the one.
[00:04:34] Jeff: look, there’s some shopping that has to happen.
[00:04:36] Christina: Yeah, I was gonna say so, so, so, so let us know, but we think about the idea first and then I’ll, I’ll, I’ll like be soliciting for a, for investors.
[00:04:46] Jeff: awesome.
[00:04:47] Christina: Okay. All right. Should, should, should we do our MHC.
[00:04:50] Jeff: Let’s do our MHC model.
[00:04:53] Christina: All right. So MHC is our, our mental health corner. Um, uh, uh, Brett actually sent me some photos yesterday of him at [00:05:00] Mac stock with, um, some of, uh, some, some people, some mutual friends that we have, or no, no, no, Brett didn’t send it to me. Uh, uh, Jay Miller did of he, but he was with Brett and with mys and I was so jealous of him at max stock.
[00:05:12] So I really wanted to go this year and it didn’t work out, but, uh, I’m definitely, I’ve committed already. I’m definitely going to be there next year and I think you need to commit as well so that, uh,
[00:05:21] Jeff: I’d love to.
[00:05:22] Christina: so that we can actually have like a, an in person, Overtired comp, um, but, uh, how’s your mental health going?
[00:05:29] Jeff: Good. I had a, this is a much lighter than normal. Check-in like yesterday, a friend of mine. And I, we had been planning this for like weeks decided to just like take the afternoon and go record shopping. And, um, and I realized he actually described this, but it, it, it hit so perfectly all of the. All of the knowledge I have about music starting from when I obsessed over reading the credits on MTV in like 1983, [00:06:00] uh, to the present day, all of that information I’ve saved and collected sometimes even without meaning to man, when I get to a record store, I feel like, oh, I am expert in something.
[00:06:13] Christina: That’s awesome. That’s.
[00:06:15] Jeff: And so that was kind of fun. And it was really, it was really fun to just, I haven’t really like intentionally gone record shopping, certainly with a friend in a long time, it can be awkward. Like, are you ready? No, I’d like some more time, but no hurry. You know, like you just don’t know what a person’s timing is or like their rituals when they go into the record store, like it takes me like 15 minutes to go through the new used records that have come in, you know, sometimes 20 minutes.
[00:06:41] Uh, I’m very slow anyhow, but it was a lovely time. But the thing that, the reason this is a mental health check in is, you know, I struggle with having too much stuff. And one of the categories of stuff is, you know, records and CDs. Cassette tapes. [00:07:00] And, and I’d been sitting on this box of seven inches since the early nineties.
[00:07:04] It’s awesome. It’s an awesome box of seven inches, but I’d never not then. And not now, do I play seven inches? Right. Um, and so I realized like, yeah, these are fun to look at, but why don’t I just put 'em back into the river here, you know? And so I brought him in and they don’t usually nobody buys 40 fives anymore.
[00:07:21] I mean, barely seven inches, whatever you wanna call 'em. But I brought him in and the guy was like, you know, he was trying to set the expectations low. He’s like, you know, we don’t really buy, I mean, I can take a look, man. And I got $300 store credit out of these things. And so, and 20% off, whatever I wanted to buy.
[00:07:39] And so I got to do the most massive record shopping I’ve ever done. And I bought like $350 worth of records for $10 and it felt so good to get rid of something. And then just so directly. You know, recycle it into something new and fresh. I wasn’t just trying to give up space. This was more about giving up sort of psychic space.
[00:07:59] Like this had [00:08:00] just been something I knew I should deal with for a long time. And it was just felt so good to buy so many records and not come home, uh, exhausted with shame like, oh, why did I spend so much money? Uh, so this is cool. I’ve never, I’ve never once spent that much money record shopping and it was just lovely.
[00:08:16] Anyway, so that’s my mental health chicken. It gave me a big boost and I’ve spent the, you know, yesterday and today just listening to the records and I love it. What a, what about you?
[00:08:25] Christina: Yeah, no, I mean, mine is pretty good. Like I said, I was able to be with some friends, which was really nice, like that always improves my mental health when I’m around people that I care about. I, um, I went to dinner with a person that I know mostly online. Apparently we had met before, but I unfortunately didn’t remember.
[00:08:42] And we went out to dinner on Friday and I was anticipating that it was gonna be like a dinner where cuz he just started a new job at. And was in town for that night. So I figured I was like, oh, well, it’ll be some of his colleagues. And then I’ll be kind of be like the fifth wheel. And it wasn’t, it was actually two people [00:09:00] that he’d worked with at previous jobs who just happened to work at, live in Seattle now.
[00:09:04] But the, you know, the other three of us didn’t know each other. Um, and so, um, like it was, it was kind of a nice, almost like dinner party sort of thing where, you know, we were all, it was, you know, you know, four people kind of, you know, three people getting to know each other. We had a mutual friend, but it was a really nice, like he, he picked a really good group of people to kind of meet up and nobody felt like they were, you know, like the fifth wheel and nobody felt like, you know, unin included.
[00:09:31] And, and that was really nice. And that got me thinking, I was like, oh, that’s a really nice way of maybe doing kind of group, you know, intros of things. Um, but, uh, but, but being around people helps my mental health a lot. And it’s one of those things where I can have my introverted moments. But it’s very, that that’s times when it’s like, okay, it’s actually really important for me now to be around people.
[00:09:54] And, and it just kind of reminds me, like, that’s what the hardest part of the last, you know, two plus years have been, has been [00:10:00] like not being around people because that, that really does impact me. I, you know, and, and, and it, it’s one of those things where at least for me, I’m like, oh, I don’t need this, but I do.
[00:10:11] And it’s one of those things where, cuz I’ve had times in my life where, I mean, actually this freaked me out. First time I ever went on Klonopin or anything like that was, I was having like major or phobia, which I’d never had before. And you know, you almost had to do kind of like exposure therapy to kind of like get past it and, and whatnot.
[00:10:28] But it was almost like, okay, I really do need to be around people. Um, even though I’m, I’m perfectly happy by myself sometimes like. Really important for me to be around people. And so it’s been nice, you know, the last, the last few days, you know, being around people who are either new or that I haven’t seen in a while, and like that does a lot for my mental health.
[00:10:50] Jeff: It’s amazing cuz you’re describing such a simple thing, but it’s so incredible that we’ve just been through a long period of time where it was completely impossible.
[00:10:59] Christina: Totally, [00:11:00] totally.
[00:11:00] Jeff: I’m not, I just continue to be astonished by that.
[00:11:03] Christina: No. I know. And, and I think that that is one of those things that we just, we had to do it and, and it’s going to have so many long lasting repercussions for so many people for kids, especially, you know, for young adults, but even for adults. Right. I think even for people who feel like, well, we’re, we’re, we’re stronger and we’ve gone through this stuff.
[00:11:19] It’s like, no, like our lives have had like real disruption and, and there are real long term consequences to that. And, and it’s really nice when you’re reconnected with people again, but there’s still, you know, kind of this, this fear in people’s, you know, some people have like, where, like, you know, am, am I going to get sick?
[00:11:37] Like, what are the risks? And I’m now at the point, and I can say this, like, fundamentally for me, the, the. Like the, the downsides of not being able to be like, kind of live my life in a more normal way and, and be around, people are much worse than like, what could happen if I got like long COVID[00:12:00]
[00:12:00] Jeff: Mm,
[00:12:00] Christina: you know, depending on like what that really even means, which we don’t really know what that means or, or whatnot.
[00:12:06] Like I’m, I’m not at a point where I’m, I’m, you know, afraid of dying of, of COVID. Um, and, and I think that at this point, unless, you know, you are, are, have like severe, like, you know, immunocompromised issues or, you know, are older, you know, there, there things that go into it. I think at this point, like we have a good treatment plan, not to say that it’s.
[00:12:27] Not a, a thing. Obviously people are still dying, but I’m just saying for me, that is not a strong risk thing. Like I’m not afraid of dying of COVID. And so for me, when I look at like the downsides of other stuff, like I, and I respect people who are like, I’m not gonna get on a plane. I’m not gonna be around people.
[00:12:41] I’m gonna be masked all the time. I get that. But for me, like the downsides of not being able to live my life, the way that I was like, the, the, the trade off is, is at this point, like, it’s, it’s too much. So it’s an interesting thing. Cause I have some friends who are not at that point and I totally respect that.
[00:12:59] And, and everybody has to [00:13:00] make their own decision. But for me, it’s like, yeah, I will. I’m completely okay with the risk of getting sick. If the other alternative is that I’m continuing to be alone and isolated and not able to have the things that I very much need that make life worth living.
[00:13:21] Jeff: right, right. Yeah. I mean, I, I have a friend who’s a therapist and struggled in during COVID times with a few, you know, if someone was really isolated and they were trying to figure out. You know, this is more like the coming out of COVID time or the coming out of like the really intense lockdown times.
[00:13:42] If a, if a person was kind of thinking, maybe I want to go to this party of three people, but I know that it’s dangerous. There’s people I’ve spoken to who were in that position, like spend as a therapist, another friend who’s like more of a kind of loose counselor role [00:14:00] who were just like, what do I say?
[00:14:01] Because they need that. And they may need that more than they need to protect themselves from COVID. Um, and I’m just hearing that when you talk, it’s such an intense, intensely important thing to acknowledge,
[00:14:16] Christina: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it gets lost sometimes. Right? Like I think that there are some people who are like way too much on the, like at like another, in the spectrum where like, they don’t even wanna acknowledge why people might take the risk. And I’m like, be because this isn’t going away, at least this is my perspective.
[00:14:32] And again, I, I’m not expecting everybody to agree with me on this, but this is not going to go away. This is not going to change. There are things that we can do, like when things are, are bad to, to mask up and to like, you know, take more precautions, but this is not going away. And so if I have to like learn to live in this world, then I need to like learn to live with it.
[00:14:51] And I, I cannot be isolated anymore. I, I can’t like if other people are cool with it fine. But like, I, I can’t.
[00:14:59] Jeff: [00:15:00] Mm-hmm
[00:15:00] Christina: know, and, and it’s not that I don’t care about other people and that I, you know, like that, I’m like, you know, like wanting people to die. It’s nothing to do with that. It’s just like, we all are going to have to find a way to move forward in life.
[00:15:12] And for me, I will take the risk of, of getting sick. And I’m also like, as long as I’m taking precautions myself and, and I’m not like forcing myself on people who are not taking those risks too, then, then like, frankly, like I’m not even gonna be like, oh, well, you know, you’re, you you’re infecting others.
[00:15:29] I’m like, well, maybe, but if they’re also choosing to be out, you know what I mean? Like we all have to kind of accept that, that that’s, that’s where we’re at. So I don’t know.
[00:15:40] Jeff: Yeah, we got to the point with neighbors during the pandemic. We’re in a we’re in Minneapolis and like typical urban houses are just like touching each other practically. And we have a fence between our two houses and we call it the border bar. We meet there with drinks, um, periodically. And it started in the pandemic when it was like 25 below.
[00:15:59] [00:16:00] We were just like, can’t stand it anymore. Let’s at least like stand six feet from each other in the freezing cold and have a drink. You know, it was like the one social thing we could imagine doing. But then also just like on a really mundane level, like today, one of my kids is out playing D and D with friends.
[00:16:16] The other one is out tubing in the river. Those are things that didn’t happen for two years, you know?
[00:16:22] Christina: And they’re important that it’s intense and they’re important. Being able to go tubing, being able to go to a park, being able to like, just play D and D with your friends. Like, it, it, it, it’s important to be around we’re social creatures and, and, um, you know, I think that there are, like, there would be ways where you could maybe like limit certain we didn’t ever, and we, that the problem is too, like as a society, we didn’t do anything.
[00:16:45] The right way, like we went full stop. There’s no interaction, right. There was, it was like a full, it was like a full stop of like, everything is open, everything is closed. And then it was like, everything is open again. You know, like, like some people were doing stopped openings, but there was, there was no kind of [00:17:00] like in between stuff.
[00:17:01] So it was one of those kind of like, it was like a switch that was like on or off. And, and we had to adjust to those things.
[00:17:07] Jeff: Mm-hmm mm-hmm . Yeah. And I do think like, I mean, now I think the way that it all went down, um, and the way that we came out of it and the way we are now as a, as a, you know, conflicted culture in America of many different cultures. The next thing that happens, like coronavirus, there’s never gonna be a, a lockdown again.
[00:17:29] Like I even, like, I I’ve told people before, like I already live, like I’m already like, uh, quarantine, adjacent dispositionally. And, and so like for me, the lockdown was like, oh, I love this. I don’t have to make too many choices socially. It’s like a huge hope for me. Um, but it’s just never gonna happen again.
[00:17:48] It’s gonna be fought intensely from the moment it’s even like hinted at, and that’s, that’s something I try not to spend too much time thinking about cuz nothing’s happened yet, but like, yeah, I can’t [00:18:00] help but think, oh, it’s gonna be a not nice time.
[00:18:04] Christina: No, totally. And, and the thing is like, I, I kind of understand, I, I was surprised that it happened to begin with, I just thought, like, at least in our country, like I was like, our, our independence has always been such that, that like, I, I was like, okay, I know that you can enforce this in Singapore and in China and some other places, but I don’t think you can enforce this in the United States.
[00:18:22] And, and, and the fact that we, we did as limited as it was, you know, um, was, was kind of a. A Testament, you know, but, but, but would that prove to me though, is it was like if 90% of the people do the right things, if that 10% doesn’t then it’s off or not. Like, like, I, I became frustrated because I was like, I still ended up getting sick.
[00:18:46] Um, even though I did all the right things, even though I, I didn’t take, I, I wasn’t acting in a way that was in any way, like going against guidelines. Right. Like I did all the right things. So what was this all for? You know what I mean? [00:19:00] Like, my, my parents' friends still died. Like we still had people who weren’t able to be at, at their loved ones funerals.
[00:19:07] Um, we still had like these situations, like we did all the right things and it didn’t matter. So like, there’s a big part of me as unhelpful as this might be. And as selfish as this might be. And, and I’m fine with, with, with accepting that I’m, I’m just kind of like, yeah, we did all the right things and it didn’t fucking matter.
[00:19:24] So no, I’m not going to go through that again. I’m not like, I, I, I.
[00:19:29] Jeff: like it’s almost like a desperate feeling like, fuck no,
[00:19:32] Christina: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, absolutely. Cuz it’s one of those things like, okay, we did all the right things and it didn’t matter. So what was the point? You know, which, which is, is terrible, but it, but I, but I have, I think that I’m not alone in that and I don’t think it’s like a, I don’t think it’s a left right thing.
[00:19:47] I think that it’s just a, as you said, it’s a desperation thing where people are just like, no, we, we gave up a lot and the consequences and the outcomes were still really terrible. Would they have been worse? [00:20:00] Probably, but, but you know, like, you know what I mean? Like, like it’s one of those things where it’s like, if you don’t do it completely, then it it’s still, you still like, let you still let things in.
[00:20:13] It’s just, I don’t know.
[00:20:15] Jeff: Based on like how you remember the pandemic unfolding, where on the timeline, do you put the point where, where you were at, what you just described, which is like, we can do all we want, but because you know, this percentage of people aren’t doing anything, you’re feeling like it doesn’t matter.
[00:20:31] Christina: Um, I would say, I would say like November, December
[00:20:34] Jeff: Mm-hmm
[00:20:35] Christina: of this year, 20 21, 20
[00:20:37] Jeff: 21. Oh yeah. Got it. So, so, so like you got things starts in March of 2020,
[00:20:43] Christina: Yeah,
[00:20:44] Jeff: and then you’re saying like all the way up until about November, December 20, 21, like you, you were you personally just like, okay, I get it. I get it. But you were slowly that was eroding and then, and really eroding in December.
[00:20:55] Christina: Yeah, yeah.
[00:20:56] Jeff: get that. I get that. I
[00:20:58] Christina: because at that point, yeah, we, you know, [00:21:00] we were trying, we had vaccinations and we had people who were then choosing not to get vaccinated and you had, you know, sickness still coming and you had all these variants and you had all this other stuff. And at this point I was just kinda like, okay, so we didn’t fix anything.
[00:21:14] We, we, we did all this and it didn’t solve anything and it didn’t stop anything. And there’s still variants that are happening. And now you have people who are refusing to get vaccinated and, and are refusing to celebrate these good things that have happened. So what are we? And we don’t have enough vaccines for certain parts of the world.
[00:21:31] And we still have, you know, these, these conflicting kind of strategies and this and that. So like what, what was this for? You know, like, yeah. I, I would say that, that I, I was all up for it until like November, December, and then I was just kind of like, all right. I will obviously respect whatever the guidelines are and I will respect other personal policies in the individual that I’m friends with or am around, wants to follow.
[00:21:57] But for me personally, I’m done [00:22:00] pretending, like I can continue to have my life in stasis because, um, the, the, the consequences and the risks don’t match anymore. Like, like my, my, my personal risk assessment is now at the point where I’m like, I, I can’t like for my own mental health. And also just for what I would look at as the way I was looking at things like logically not to say that my view is accurate for everyone.
[00:22:21] Else’s was just kind of like, this is, this is no longer logical. This is now outta the point where it is. It is, you know, like taking all these precautions and doing all this stuff, isn’t actually stopping anything. And then it would also get to the point where, like in Seattle, we would have certain things where you would have to show your, your vaccination certificate to eat at a restaurant, which is fine.
[00:22:43] And, but they would be like, okay, you have to wear a mask until you get to the table, then you can take your mask off.
[00:22:49] Jeff: and then everybody’s got their masks off for the next two hours as they talk loudly and laugh and
[00:22:53] Christina: Well, and, and that was, and that was acceptable. Like, it wasn’t even a thing. Like they would say, oh, put your mask on when you’re not eating or drinking that [00:23:00] wasn’t, it. It was like, you have to wear the mask while you walk from the hostess, stand to the table and then it can come off.
[00:23:07] And so I’m sorry, but that’s performative and stupid. Like either the mask works or it doesn’t, and in many cases, the cloth masks don’t work. So like, what’s, you’ve already seen that I’m vaccinated. So what’s the point, right?
[00:23:22] Jeff: And like two, two things at that period that were happening. One, we were starting to realize, oh, this cloth mask thing, we are not gonna continue that everyone gets in, you know, an N 95 or whatever, but also around that November, December 21 time, that’s when I remember realizing when I was in businesses in Minneapolis and half the people were masked, the people who masked were almost definitely the people who were vaccinated.
[00:23:51] Right. Cause those were the people that were willing to be like, yeah, no, I’ll do this. I’ll do this both because it’s needed and it’s symbolic. Right? Like, and, and that was, I [00:24:00] remember at that moment just being like, oh my God, this is crazy.
[00:24:03] Christina: Exactly. And, and I guess for me as like, I kind of lost the symbolism aspect, I was like, look, I’ll do again. I’ll do whatever the guidelines tell me to do. Um, and I’ll do whatever people I’m around want to do to be comfortable. And I’m okay with that. What I’m not gonna do is just for symbolism sake. And also it’s absolutely stupid to be like, it’s okay in this five foot area, like you ha are required to have a mask, but in this five foot area, you don’t like.
[00:24:34] Jeff: Yeah, it’s dizzying.
[00:24:35] Christina: It it’s stupid. It’s absolutely stupid. At that point, it just becomes like bureaucracy. And so that, that, that to me was that those are things, that many things that broke me over the pandemic, but we’ve been talking too much about this. I, I apologize. You have a, you have a big list of questions of topic, a topic list.
[00:24:51] You said you have some questions for me. So I would love to hear your questions.
[00:24:56] Jeff: They’re just questions that I’ve meant to ask you from the first time I was [00:25:00] on the podcast. So one is. Back in the day you had, uh, uh, you were writing a blog for USA today, coaching American idol participants. And I want to hear how that came about and anything that is of note about that experience.
[00:25:19] It’s true. Right?
[00:25:20] Christina: it? No, that’s 100% true. That was my first professional writing experience. I was in college and
[00:25:25] Jeff: were in college. How
[00:25:26] Christina: I was in college. Uh, I was like 22, 23.
[00:25:29] Jeff: Okay, how did you get it?
[00:25:31] Christina: Uh, I was a block comment.
[00:25:33] Jeff: Nice on the blog.
[00:25:35] Christina: On the blog. So, so the, the, then music editor at, uh, USA today, he had his music blog and he had an American idol blog. And I used to watch American idol with my parents actually, like it was like kind of our show.
[00:25:47] We always enjoyed watching it. And you know, this was back when it was the number one show on television. So this is back when it was like, you know, it’s peak. And I would comment kind of on like my opinions of the music industry and of the [00:26:00] contestants and how things were going. But I would also comment on his general music blog and he liked my commentary and he thought I was a good writer and thought I was funny and reached out to me and said, we’re putting together a panel of coaches that will, there will be a column in the paper, you know, every whatever day it was, where they’ll be giving advice to the contestants.
[00:26:20] And, um, and then it’ll be a longer version that’ll run online. And would you like to do this. I was like, I was like, yeah, are you kidding me? That’d be amazing. So I was in the paper every week and like, my photo was, was there and then a longer version was online. And, um, I got, I got paid $1,500, uh, which was not a lot of money, but I, I thought it was
[00:26:41] Jeff: what? For each column.
[00:26:42] Christina: no period
[00:26:43] Jeff: Okay. Got it. You got 1500. How long did you do it?
[00:26:47] Christina: whatever the length that the season was.
[00:26:48] So like 12 weeks, I guess.
[00:26:49] Jeff: Okay, got it. Yep.
[00:26:51] Christina: And, uh, so not a lot of money, but I’d never done anything, you know, professionally before. And, uh, I bought a black MacBook with it that I named Simon because Simon [00:27:00] cow wears a black t-shirt, you know, and, and American idol and inadvertently paid for, you know, my career and no one, it was amazing.
[00:27:06] Um, what was so great about it is that gave me the confidence then to. So blogging jobs, which then led to my professional career, because that gave me the confidence to say, oh, well, I’m, if I was good enough to write here, you know, about something that I am not qualified really, to comment on the same way that, you know, cuz it was, it was some actual industry professionals.
[00:27:26] And then me who was just like the fan, um, then, then like, okay then clearly my writing is good enough that I could, I could write, you know, for a blog that pays me $10 a post. Um, and, and which then led to led to a much more lucrative career. Yeah. But no, it all came from blog comments. It’s, it’s one of those stories.
[00:27:46] I still can’t believe that that happened because even in 2007, when that happened, that was not a common. Thing like that, that seemed like that was like a, a fantasy of someone like being like, [00:28:00] you know, somebody being like literally like, you know, lifted from the blog comments and, and lifted up into, you know, like, you know, a stardom and, and wasn’t stardom, but it was definitely, um, I remember being in a class, I was taking this journalism class and the teacher was terrible and she sucked and she hated me.
[00:28:18] And she, um, cause I would ask questions about like, what about blogging? What about, you know, digital media, new media as they’re calling it then. And she was really dismissive of it. She was really dismissive of it. And so I was then immediately dismissive of her. Cause I was like, whatever, and I wasn’t gonna tell her, well, you know, I got a job writing because I blog commentary.
[00:28:38] Like, didn’t, didn’t say that. But one day somebody in the class had a USA today and they saw my photo. And then Christina, is this you? I was like, yeah. And they’re like, oh my God, Christina’s in the paper. And then, you know, I had to explain, yeah, I have a, a weekly, you know, thing that comes out and the teacher, she was mad.
[00:28:54] She was like, how did you get this? And I was like, yeah, I commented on the music. Editor’s blogs. [00:29:00] And, and he liked me. And she was like, well, you know, don’t expect, she basically was like, don’t expect this to turn into anything.
[00:29:06] Jeff: Oh, my
[00:29:06] Christina: And,
[00:29:07] Jeff: like a bad high school
[00:29:08] Christina: it really does. Right. And this is college completely, you know, she was just so completely foreign to her.
[00:29:13] And I was just kind of like, and I didn’t argue, I wasn’t gonna say anything cuz in my mind I was already like lady, if I want this as a career. And I, and I thought that I kind of did at that point, I was like, I’m going to be successful. Like.
[00:29:25] Jeff: Yeah.
[00:29:26] Christina: You know, like, fuck you, you know what I mean? But, but it, but, but it, it, it, it was like, it was, it, it was even then though it was unbelievable that it happened, so, yeah, that’s it’s um, yeah,
[00:29:40] Jeff: Were you, um, were you the, were you commenting on lots of different blogs or was it mostly that one?
[00:29:46] Christina: it was, it was, I mean, I commented both, both of his music, blogs. I would come on other blogs too, though. Like I had, you know, I would comment on, on sites that I like to read. Like I was a Gawker commenter back when you had to audition to, to, uh, be in the goer comments
[00:29:59] Jeff: that’s [00:30:00] right. What, what did that, what did that actually, uh, what was that about? How, how did you have to do that?
[00:30:05] Christina: oh, they would just basically choose that you were funny enough and in that regard or smart enough, and in that regard, I was smarter. I knew that I was like, I might not be witty enough for Gawker. This is like 2004, maybe. Right. So this was a couple years before the, the idle thing happened, but I, I was, I was like, mm, I might not be good enough to stand Toto toe with the best goer commenters, cuz at the time, like at that era, the comments on go were almost as good as the site itself.
[00:30:35] And like that was the like media and, and kind of, you know, like, like a New York kind of gossip and culture and like, you know, like that, that was like the blog. Right. But won, get which they owned then had a much more liberal policy in terms of approving commenters. So I got approved to be a won, get commenter, which then in turn made me a Gawker commenter.
[00:30:57] Jeff: And who was, who was editing? Won get at that [00:31:00] time
[00:31:00] Christina: Anna Marie Cox.
[00:31:01] Jeff: it was Anne Marie. Was it always Anna Marie Cox.
[00:31:03] Christina: No, she was the original, then I think she got hired away by time or someone. And then other people took over and then eventually like Nick DIDNT sold, won, get to someone else. And then I think won get still exists. But I think they’d like are independent now, but yeah. So when it was the honorary Cox era, I was a, a, I basically like did an in run around the system and I was like, okay, if I’m a prude as a won, get commenter, then I can comment on Gawker.
[00:31:31] Um, and, and then that, like, you know, I’m sure I also commented on in gadget and Gizmoto and things like that. But like Gawker was like the apex, because, you know, they like you had to audition. Like they, they would even do this thing back. Such a different time in, in internet things, because this before, like the spam took over the, the comments and, and everything like where they would like have like comments of the week, but they would also have this thing where they would basically like put things up for vote, be like, should we ban this commenter or not?
[00:31:58] And like the people like [00:32:00] would, would, you know, kind of comment, like based on like, like bad comments of the weekly, it was, it was brutal, but it was funny and it was such a completely different time than now. It’s so funny to think back about, um, one of the saddest things. That happened when they did the Gawker archive, when Gawker was went bankrupt and, and then Univision for legal reasons, couldn’t keep the site.
[00:33:02] You know, the, the way that it would usually maybe be stored on another server or whatnot, like it’s not, they don’t come up. So it’s one of those things where, um, like there’s this, this amazing part of history that is just sort of gone. Um, and, uh, and, and it’s, it’s sad. Yeah.
[00:33:19] Jeff: Right man. I, you know, I don’t think I’ve thought enough about the loss of comments when you also, you know, I often, I mean, selfishly so much work I’ve done has been lost because of media
[00:33:33] Christina: going under mm-hmm
[00:33:34] Jeff: yeah. Going under, or just doing a, a, you know, redesign in a relaunch and not thinking through the most basic things about what would happen to the archives.
[00:33:45] Um, but I admit that I hadn’t thought about the fact that you’ve also lost all those comments, um, which is a big deal,
[00:33:53] Christina: No, it is a big deal. Cause that was a huge part of how communication happened, like pre Twitter and Facebook and, and those types of [00:34:00] things. Like you’re, you’re, you’re back and forth. Like were your comment sections and, and a lot of people built relationships and friendships and things there
[00:34:07] Jeff: Yeah. In the comment sections, right? Like you would on Twitter in the early days of Twitter, to
[00:34:12] Christina: 100%. No, exactly. Right. I mean, and I think that’s one of the reasons why most organizations have gotten rid of comments is they’re like, oh, people will just use Facebook or Twitter or, you know, Instagram or whatever. Um, and also because moderating them becomes difficult, you know, not just for spam, but, you know, as things got bigger and bigger, like you would have more polarizing things, but like, yeah, like I, I owe my blog career to being a blog commenter and I definitely was always somebody who would, would post in comments.
[00:34:41] Like I’m always writing letters to the editor when I was like nine years old though.
[00:34:45] Jeff: Who were you? What about, what about what?
[00:34:47] Christina: Oh, so I’ll never forget this because I got a letter back. Um, they were sort of appreciative, but they weren’t really, so there was a, an article in glamor magazine about depo, Vera being [00:35:00] given to rapists to basically kind of like, um, you know, prevent them, like they thought like, oh, this will be a way to like lower their sex drive or whatever.
[00:35:08] And like, you know, have like some sort of recidivism, but the way that the story was written, as I recall it, and, and this is many, many, many years ago was, um, and in many ways kind of like overly kind to the rapist and, and, and, and was like overly sympathetic. And I was as a nine year old, I was, it was my mom’s glamor magazine.
[00:35:33] No, it wasn’t glamor. It was red book. Well, no, it was red book. I think it was red book or glamor. It was one or the other, but it was my mom’s regardless. And I remember reading this and being just very bothered and I wrote a letter to the editor. Um, you know, basically like expressing my, you know, I was handwritten and like, I signed it, my name, my, my name, my age, and it wasn’t published, but most of the other published letters were of my same opinion.[00:36:00]
[00:36:00] And, um, and you know, I got something back from, from, from them basically. Like, we appreciate your comment, you know, but we, you know, are committed to this, that and the other, you know, and, and it was just kind of one of those kind of brush off things, but it was, um, but I was in sense enough by it that my mom was like, no, they had letters to the editor.
[00:36:16] You need to write one. And, um, and that was kind of like my first kind of experience with that. And I think that I had a letter that are published an entertainment weekly, or I think it was entertainment weekly when I was in high school. I remember being very proud of that. Like that was like a massive thing, you know, that.
[00:36:33] Jeff: was that about?
[00:36:34] Christina: I don’t remember that. I don’t remember, but, but I, but one of my comments was, was in entertainment weekly, um, or, or some entertainment magazine, I think it was entertainment weekly. And, and I was like, very excited by that. And now I was just kind of like, oh my gosh, like my name like Christina w you know, from Atlanta or whatever is, is here.
[00:36:51] And like, that was like you, that was like a big deal. Right? Like that. And that was the sort of thing that cuz I always loved magazines and, and loved that type of stuff. And I [00:37:00] was like, so, so blog comments made complete sense to me.
[00:37:04] Jeff: I love it. I, I remember I used to tell, like, if I was, when I was working for like, even like small media organizations and someone would say like, how do I get a job at a media organization? It was like, back in the day, it really felt like some, you know, if you wrote well, somewhere on the internet, it could help you to get a job.
[00:37:27] Now that may have been tr true for a certain kind of person. For sure. Like, I don’t even know if this is real, except for your example.
[00:37:36] Christina: Yeah, there were, I mean, I know a number of people who, again, it’s rare, one-offs you hear about it? But what I would say is, and I would still say this to this day that it’s like, if you wanna be a writer, you need to write. And obviously it’s harder now to get attention and, and to get like people to pay attention to you because there’s so much more of it out there, but like, you have to get in the habit of writing every day.
[00:37:59] Like, I don’t think I [00:38:00] would’ve been as good, um, of a commenter on the American idol blog. Cause I don’t or the music blog and I was commenting, you know, like he would post several things a day and I would post comments and I was one of the active people there. Right. And then the community develops, there’s a back and forth if I wasn’t like blogging personally, like on my live journal.
[00:38:17] And if I wasn’t, you know, you know what I mean? Like if I wasn’t, if I didn’t have that kind of practiced thing of I’m going to write every day. And, and, and I think that, that I, I was. I was positioned at the right time, right place and right. Type of mindset where like blogging made complete sense to me.
[00:38:35] And, and so that wave of journalism and that change of the guard from print to digital, I never did the print stuff. Like I was in print, but I didn’t have to write for like, like they, I had an editor who’d cut the column down. Like I, wasn’t having to worry about like, how many inches is this and how many words and how to frame it.
[00:38:51] Like, I never had to do any of that. Right. Like I always was even, even in college, like I didn’t write for the school newspaper I wrote for the school, like digital [00:39:00] magazine, like, you know, like, so I was always digital because I just got it. Um, because I was just primed at that right place, right time. But like, when I, when I mentor younger writers now, and I don’t know what your advice is, but my advice is always just first and foremost.
[00:39:17] Right? Like even if no one’s reading it. You know, get in the habit of, of writing and, and, you know, doing the work because that is, you think that’s obvious, but there are so many people who go to prestigious journalism schools and can’t write for shit and, and, you know, like spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these things and can’t write for shit and don’t do it and don’t have a voice and don’t have like a, a way of writing.
[00:39:45] And, and that, that, I think, like you only get better at it by doing it.
[00:39:51] Jeff: yeah, I’m really bad at giving advice about writing. I do, but the one thing that I tend to say is just wherever [00:40:00] you write, if you want to be a writer, anything you’ve written as an editorial product, like, and, and if anyone trying to hire you is like, Uh, you know, savvy at all, they’ll wind up looking at that stuff.
[00:40:14] And so, like, it doesn’t mean like censor yourself. It certainly doesn’t mean like, if you think you want to, you know, work in public radio, write like a public radio script writer, like don’t do that. Like write your, write your heart, like write who you are, you know, and realize that I just had to tell this to my son when he was my son’s really Google language.
[00:40:34] He’s a teenager. Um, and he joined Reddit a couple years ago and I was like, look like he already knew what he was getting into. Like he had been, you know, following different sub Reddits for a long time. So he knew how people can be. Um, and I was just like, look, you do what you want. I can’t control it, nor would I try to control it in any like serious way, cuz that’s uh, just a complete farce given the way the internet [00:41:00] works.
[00:41:00] Um, and that you are a private person, but it’s like just try not to be an asshole. like, if you can just manage to not be an asshole, then cuz this stuff’s gonna be with you the rest of your life.
[00:41:12] Christina: right. Or, or at least, or, or at least use like a username that then you’d never use again, or don’t ever, that’s never linked back to you. Right? Like if you’re going to be an asshole, cause we’ve all had those times. then don’t have it tied to like the username that you use your whole life. Like that’s, that’s the, the thing, but like, I have people who there was a Simpsons forum, it was called no homers that I was on for a long time.
[00:41:34] For years, people from that forum knew me and they would see me on TV or they would see other things. And I would, I would find weird peeing back store. I see things on Twitter and they they’d be like, oh my God, film girl is on TV. You know, like these were people who knew me from like that life. And they were really proud of me, which was really nice, you know, but like they literally saw me go from like college student Simpsons nerd fan to, you know, someone who’s on television and like made it right.
[00:41:58] And, but, but [00:42:00] I was always myself in those things. And, and, you know, to your point, wasn’t an asshole. There were things that I lurked on and there were things that I’m sure I was mean and, and bad on, you know, and stuff. But you know, that thankfully most of have been lost to time. And some of them were under usernames that are not associated with me at all, but it was, you know,
[00:42:20] Jeff: like film, gal
[00:42:22] Christina: I mean would be completely different. Right? Like, I was always like my OPSEC as, as they say was, was always fairly good to your point, because even back then, I was like smart enough to have an instinct that like this stuff might come back, you know? But, but yeah. I mean, that’s good advice to your son. It’s like, yeah, this stuff will stick around and, and not in me, I’m like, like for Reddit, I’m like, okay, well, like delete your account.
[00:42:47] You can delete the account. I mean, people can find certain things, but it would take, it would take be much harder or like use a different username. You know? Like if you’re not super happy with some stuff, then just start a new username. Yeah. You’re gonna be starting over, [00:43:00] but it’s but, but it’s okay. Cuz especially when you’re like in high school and stuff, right.
[00:43:03] Like I also think, and it’s weird because we go as a culture, we go back and forth on this, where. When I started working like more professionally, like I remember like even the USA today stuff, I was like, and this was early, like Facebook was still college only. So I didn’t have to really do a lot of the stuff where I had to like private all my things.
[00:43:24] But like when I got my job at blogging, like yeah, I had to kind of lock down some of my college stuff and I was like, okay. You know, I actually learned this the hard way where I’d uploaded something to flicker for a test for a, for a post, for download squad and R I P and people found all my photos because they just looked at like, whatever the URL and the screenshot was.
[00:43:51] And that kind of was, I was like, oh, and this was like 2007. And I was. [00:44:00] okay. I have to be way more careful. And if I’m now in any way, public than, than people on the internet can draw these conclusions. And I was not famous. I didn’t have, I wasn’t a public figure of any stretch of the imagination and, and, uh, you know, didn’t have any sort of following at all, but I learned that and I was like, oh, okay.
[00:44:17] I have to separate these things. And like, when I got my job at Mashable, by then, I’d already like, had all of the sorority party photos and all that stuff, you know, that was already like archived. Cuz at that point, when I got that job in 2009, I had, I don’t know, I had probably 10,000 followers on Twitter, which was significant for that time.
[00:44:35] But Mashable was a massive, massive deal in certain circles. Like it was a massive blog and we had massive traffic and I knew, and because we did comment, we did, you know, have back and forth in the comments and whatnot. And because it was one of those things where I was like, oh, okay. So my, my personal life online has.
[00:44:56] Is now no longer really going to be a thing the same way. [00:45:00] And so at like a young age, I had to sort of realize, and I’m glad I had this lesson because I, I then would write posts. I would have to write posts about people who would get canceled, where they would find bad tweets or they’d find, you know, stuff that they did in that.
[00:45:12] And like, I’m not a fan of that. Like, I’m not a fan of like taking people’s like stuff they do on their personal, not public, you know, Facebook. And they’re like, oh, this teacher said this and we’re gonna fire them. Like, I think that’s fucked. Like, even if I don’t agree with what the person said, I’m not a fan of that, but we’ve seen this happen now for 15 years where you go back and forth where sometimes people are like, okay, well this was a different time and place and this was a child, so we’ll give them a pass.
[00:45:35] And then you also have the, the same, you know, era you’ll have people who are like, it doesn’t matter. You know, that, that, that it was a child who wrote this they’re canceled forever. Right. So it, it it’s, we, we still haven’t decided and it’s kind of fucked up cuz I it’s going to happen. Probably like next time we actually have like non Arians, like running for office when, or Arians, whatever, you know, their [00:46:00] they’re um, thing is when we have actual like millennials, like running for president social media.
[00:46:06] And what people have said in their past is going to become political issues and we’re going to have to start deciding. What, what, like breaks we give, cuz this is just gonna become part of real life, right? Like it, it similar to the way, like if you wrote an op-ed for college, you know, that could come into something.
[00:46:22] Um, and I think most people would, would dismiss some of it. Um, it would necessarily be like a, a career ending move, but it is going to be a thing where a tweet you sent when you were 14 years old is going to be used in someone’s political campaign against you. And, and it’s it’s, which is unfortunate to me, but that’s just kind of like this, this weird place where we are.
[00:46:44] And so I, I feel
[00:46:45] Jeff: occurs to me there’s this, you know, there’s this thing that’s really probably ending with the, the, with the boomers as politicians. But like, there are these politicians who have known from a young age, they were going to be, uh, [00:47:00] trying to get some sort of office. Right. And because of that, the paper trail is like nothing, right?
[00:47:05] Like it’s like meticulously, trimmed along the way in the, in the future. When everybody’s got this digital history, that’s gonna seem real weird. Right? Like that’s not gonna be like. Oh,
[00:47:18] Christina: well, I would hope so.
[00:47:19] Jeff: because there’s nothing it’s gonna be like, wait, wait.
[00:47:21] Christina: Why don’t you have anything?
[00:47:23] Jeff: yeah.
[00:47:24] Christina: Right. Well, and, and, and I wonder about that and I hope that that happens, but like, I’ll say this, I didn’t ever have any, like, I really didn’t ever think I was gonna have photo aspirations, but when I was 16 or 17, I was part of some independent film that I didn’t get paid any money on.
[00:47:40] And, and we wound up doing kind of that film. We didn’t really have any funding for. And so we then tried to shoot kind of a documentary thing this back when documentaries were a big deal. Um, this was like 2000. And, um, so we had a party in shop documentary and I was underage and drunk and I made some comments, um, about stuff.
[00:47:59] And [00:48:00] when I made them at the time and I’m like 16, right.
[00:48:03] Jeff: yeah.
[00:48:04] Christina: I was like, holy shit. If this video, I was like, well, there goes my political career. Like I was drunk and underage and all that stuff. And I was still like, holy shit. Well just, just blew my political career if that ever comes out. And I don’t think that video ever will come out.
[00:48:17] Like, I I’m sure that it’s long gone. It’s never been on the internet or anything, but like, I, I, I don’t know what this says about me, that I had like an awareness at that young of an age about that stuff. But now you’re right. Like if you don’t have those things, although a lot of kids do lock down their social media profiles and their private, but screen caps and things exist.
[00:48:38] It is going to be weird though, to be like, I, I, at least I hope where people are gonna be like, yeah, I was an idiot online. Like I hope that’s what happens. Like I hope that’s the weekend as a society, except yeah.
[00:48:52] Jeff: outside of stuff that is obviously harmful or threatening
[00:48:55] Christina: Right, right. That’s what I’m saying, right? Like, like, like being a shit Lord online. I don’t think when [00:49:00] you’re a teenager or even like in early college, I don’t think that should preclude you 20 years later from being a different person.
[00:49:06] Because if, if the worst things I’ve ever said on, if that I’ve ever said on the internet, people wanted to hold me accountable for today that I said, when I was, you know, in college, I’m sorry. I think that’s fucked. I think that’s stupid. Right. And, and I, I’m not gonna hold anybody else to those standards either.
[00:49:22] Um, especially if every other indication they’ve made in their life shows that they’re different. Right. I’m not going to assume that that, that the edge Lord shit that you did or, or the impolite stuff or the stuff that was funny and was allowed, then that is no longer acceptable by today’s standards or like was, is going to invalidate somebody’s ability to, you know, have a professional job.
[00:49:46] Right. Like, I, I think that, I hope that we can get to that point as a culture where we can all just kind of acknowledge. Yeah. We’re all, you know, we’ve all been those, that asshole kid online, that’s part of growing up [00:50:00] on the internet. And I don’t know if, if, but I, but I don’t know if that’s, if that’s gonna be the case or.
[00:50:05] Jeff: mm-hmm yeah, that’s interesting. I, well, I, I watch it curiously as someone who was past that point in my life when the internet and, and being a participant in the internet became a thing. Um, I think I was pretty set in a way of, of communicating in the world by the time that happened. So it was mercifully
[00:50:25] Christina: No, exactly. That’s what I’m saying. So that’s why I think like, like your, your, your son’s, your, your son’s like their generation especially is really gonna deal with this. But, but I really do think it’ll be like, when we have millennials running for president, it is going to become like a thing, because that’s, that’s when you’re, you know, again, like, like my online history, like if you really wanted to be real with it, like goes back to me, literally being in middle school.
[00:50:47] So, and, and, and, and, and, and I’m an older millennial, so, you know, for, for anybody who’s after me, then, then it’s, it’s even younger. Right. So it, so it’s, it’s becomes one of those things where [00:51:00] I, I don’t know, I, I hope that we can be sane about it. Um, You have some other questions we’ve only got, like, we don’t have much more time left, but, but which, what do you wanna talk about?
[00:51:08] Do you wanna
[00:51:08] Jeff: Well actually, if we wanted to, I’m looking. Yeah. If we wanted to go into gratitude, I could make my part. Sorry. I could make my part an extended gratitude cause I wanted to, I wanted to bring up the play date one more
[00:51:21] Christina: yeah, of course Floyd. Absolutely. Let’s talk about, let’s talk
[00:51:24] Jeff: should I do that for a few minutes? And then you can pick something if you wish.
[00:51:28] Christina: absolutely.
[00:51:29] Jeff: so to describe play date again, uh, this, you know, it’s created by the company, panic who panic does so, or did so much, but do what do they do now? What are their main things? Is it the
[00:51:40] Christina: They have Nova the text editor,
[00:51:42] Jeff: Nova, the text editor. What am I thinking? Sorry.
[00:51:45] Christina: transmit, the FTP client. Um, they, they, they published games like they published, um, um, untitled goose.
[00:51:54] Jeff: Oh, they did untitled goose game.
[00:51:56] Christina: Yeah, so they didn’t develop it, but they’re the publisher. Um, [00:52:00] and, uh, and, and, and the play date, and, you know, like their, like, you know, but their history of being like some of like the, the greatest Mac apps of all time, I
[00:52:08] Jeff: Right. Where, where would I, where would, where did you first encounter panic?
[00:52:14] Christina: ion, which was like their, like the like win amp for, for Mac. This was like a Mac app in, in like the, the, like the early, it was like an MP3 player, like in the late nineties, early two thousands.
[00:52:24] Jeff: yeah,
[00:52:25] Christina: And that was, that was great. Um, and, and then like, I don’t know, like when it became like a big like Mac app person, like they made some of the best ones, like they made an app called candy bar.
[00:52:36] They would let you like, change the icons and like the themes of your Mac, which was awesome. And they had, um, you know, I remember when Koda came out, which was like, you know, their, like, which was amazing, which had like, you know, CSS editor and an FTP client and like a text editor all in one. So you could like edit, you know, do all of your web projects.
[00:52:54] It was great. Um, I don’t know. I’ve just, I’ve always been a really, really big panic [00:53:00] fan.
[00:53:00] Jeff: I came on board with Coda and I mean, so given all of that kind of rich history, especially rich, very literally aesthetically colorful history, right. Um, the fact that they’re behind this very simple, this very elegant handheld gaming console that happens to have a crank on it. Um, which is this thing called the play date, which Christina, I know you have, uh, and which I covet and dream about.
[00:53:29] Um, it’s a play date. Uh, the play date is something that you can kind of design for yourself. Which is super cool. If you got the play date today, there are already a bunch of kind of games people have made for it. Um, so you can just like dive right in, but then they’ve made this environment that actually makes it a lot easier for me because I want a play date, but they’re not gonna be available till 20, 23.
[00:53:53] Right. And so what they have online is the play date SDK, which has a simulator for the play [00:54:00] date, which is super cool and beautifully done. It has something called caps, which is an online bitmap font, bitmap font editors. You can make your own, uh, font. Um, and then they have something called pulp, which is like a web based game editor.
[00:54:15] And it helps you do all sorts of things, like make a song for your game or sounds, or the sprites or whatever. And like, as someone who has seen a lot of, sort of, Hey, design, your own game and this web interface stuff through my kids, I found this to be just like lovely and something I absolutely want to engage in.
[00:54:34] And you have this, like, you have this like very visual editing. System, but they also have their own scripting language called pulp script. So basically panics created this like physical object for which you can do all of these wonderful things, but you can do all of those things without having the physical object, which is lucky, cuz in this planet, on this planet, we have a chip shortage and if you wanted to get the play date right now, you’re [00:55:00] gonna, you’re gonna buy it.
[00:55:00] And then you’re gonna wait till sometime in 2023. And so my aptitude is actually for their SDK environment and how much thought they put into creating these interfaces. So you can do some of these really simple, simple looking things like create your own bit mat file bit. I can’t say that’s hard to say it’s like rural juror bitmap font.
[00:55:22] Yeah. so anyway, panic. Amazing. Um, and I just wanted to say Christina, we’ve talked about this once briefly before, but I would love to hear your endorsement for the thing.
[00:55:33] Christina: Yeah, no, I think it’s a great little device, right? So it’s, it’s unfortunately you have to wait as long as you did. Like, I was able to be part of the first batch of people who got it. Like I was within, I guess, like the first 8,000 orders or something. And so I got mine probably a month and a half after they started shipping, even though I was in the first batch, um, of, of stuff that I was able to get mine.
[00:55:55] Um, I guess I got it back, like in may and. I love it. Like it’s, [00:56:00] it’s adorable. It’s um, it’s whimsical. So it’s one of these things. Like it is not going to be your full-time game machine. Like it’s a nice little kind of, you know, toy. Right. And it, and it’s designed, I think for people like me who have enough disposable income and have like nostalgia and also like the idea of both playing indie games, but also maybe building their own.
[00:56:20] And, and I think that was the thing that for me, like they, they have this, this concept of season. So when you buy it, you’ll get two new games every week, um, for six weeks. And then, um, so you wind up with, you know, like, like, like 12 games and, and it, and there they’re fun, but there’s also additional games you can either buy or get for free from H IO or GitHub and the people have created for it.
[00:56:42] And then you can build your own, you can side things it’s super easy to do. And people are even building things like GameBoy, emulators and, and other stuff, which is, which is really fun. Like, it’s just sort, it’s a really delightful little device, but, but like you, I think that all the work they’ve put into like the SD.
[00:56:58] And like the, [00:57:00] the game engine stuff. Like I actually, I haven’t gotten too far with it. I’ve had other things going on, but I, I want to like build my own game. And the thing is, is the game development is so complex. Now there’s no way that I could even think about trying to do that on, on any other platform to be totally honest, right.
[00:57:17] Like, like just both with my artistic skills and also just how much would go into like the, the programming and whatnot. And so the fact that I, I can come up with some ideas of, of like maybe creating my own like little, little small game, I think is, um, That even, even just as an exercise, like even if nobody else ever played it, I think is really fun.
[00:57:38] And, and I appreciate that so much about, about panic and about like what this device is, you know, that, that it’s, I, I think that it, it’s not designed to be something that millions and millions of people own, like this is, this is for a specific audience, but I think it’s a really fun device and I’m really, really pleased with it.
[00:57:55] And it’s incredibly well made and, um, you know, very, very proud of them. Cause [00:58:00] I know I first used it at XO XO, like a prototype, um, in, in 2019. And um, you know, I, I I’ve been waiting for this thing for, for years. And so I was really excited that, that I was able to get mine and, and um, you know, it’s, it’s really fun.
[00:58:19] Jeff: That’s awesome. And how cool, um, that they have that this has been their journey, like when I think it was, so I wanted you to go through Pan’s history because it’s so fascinating to, to see them take this, turn into this very simple looking device that they’ve approached with all of their sort of aesthetic talent and, and care and everything else.
[00:58:39] And like, again, I don’t know if this was planned or if it’s just how it ended up, but the fact that you can immerse yourself in this thing without having the physical item is something that I kind of wonder. Maybe that’s like a, an accidental model for things moving forward. As we deal with chip shortages.
[00:58:56] Christina: Yeah, maybe. I mean, I think the definitely like they had to kind of [00:59:00] figure out a way early on as they were still working on stuff like, okay, how do we get people to develop this? And so maybe part of it was, you know, creating like a, an SDK maybe out of necessity. And then I think it becomes with the chip shortage even more important.
[00:59:13] And, and Pan’s whole ethos. Like I still have someplace, so they sold these, this was, I don’t even know how many years ago, but they made Atari styled software boxes for their apps, like with the Atari drawing style and stuff. And like, they sold them on their web shop and I have them somewhere. So like they’ve always loved games and they’ve always loved this sort of retro nostalgia stuff.
[00:59:34] Like that’s always been part of their ethos. And so the play date really fit with all of that, but yeah, I mean, what great timing to be able to have such a fully functional, you know, in SDK, so you can play. Before actually having it. So if you do pre-order one, you can, you know, like, okay, you’re gonna be waiting, you know, sometime into 20, 23 for it, but you, you can, you know, be able to, um, you, you can still like, [01:00:00] get the sense of what it’ll be like and, and, and try games out and things like that.
[01:00:05] Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. All right. I I’m convinced, I, I partly brought this topic up to convince myself to buy it. Um, and I’m convinced
[01:00:13] Christina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I definitely, I mean, I think it is unfortunate that it’s like taking as, as, as long as, as it has, but, um, uh, they don’t have any control over that. Right? Like they,
[01:00:24] Jeff: right.
[01:00:25] Christina: it, it, it’s, it’s, it’s a crappy situation for them. Um, and I’m sure that they wish that they could do, you know, sell all the things.
[01:00:32] But it’s interesting. Cause I got my pocket from a company called analog, which is basically an F PGA like game boy and game boy advance. Um, and so analog is a company that makes very expensive, but well designed, um, and beautifully designed like F PGAs of like exact, you know, like perfected, like, like one-to-one, um, like recreations of things like the super Nintendo or the Nintendo or the sake of Genesises.
[01:00:55] And then the pocket handheld is kind of like, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s an expensive, [01:01:00] you know, GameBoy advance game, boy, color, whatever. Uh, you may have original game boy. And I got that a few months before I got the play date. And I’ll be honest with you. I’ve spent it a lot more time with the play date.
[01:01:11] I think not the, the pocket is more, um, powerful and I can play real games on it and whatnot, uh, real games, meaning like real like games from my childhood for like Tetris and, and super Mario brothers and things like that. But I think the play date just has a lot of, um, you know, like. More more fun in terms of just it’s just whimsy.
[01:01:35] I don’t know. I love it.
[01:01:37] Jeff: Yeah. It’s like, it’s just one of those, one of those products that just is like beckoning you
[01:01:42] Christina: Totally, totally. And like, I like, like I said, I think for, like, for, I think for like perfect people and not perfect people, I think that for certain people, this is just a really perfect product. That’s what I was trying to say for certain people. This is a really perfect product. It’s not for everyone, but for the people that it is for, I think that it’s like really [01:02:00] good.
[01:02:01] Jeff: yeah. Yeah. Awesome. You got some gratitude.
[01:02:05] Christina: Yeah, I’m, uh, I’m trying to kind of, uh, narrow it down slash find something for my gratitude. Okay. Actually, this, this is one, um, I, uh, it’s not widely available yet. It is just in private preview, but it will, it will be coming open, but this is cool. So the visual studio code team just announced slash, um, I guess it’s, it’s an, I still don’t have access yet, but I will have it soon.
[01:02:27] Um, from, from what they tell me a visual studio code server. And so what this is is one of my favorite parts of visual studio code for the last probably four years or three years or whatever has been there, remote development extension. And that has, um, basically means that you can, um, Have like, you know, code running on another machine and you can kind of like SSH or, uh, you know, do whatever else into it and then be accessing all of your builds and your extensions and stuff [01:03:00] using the web interface or, um, even like a local vs code instance on your, on your, um, you know, a laptop or, or Chromebook or iPad or, or, uh, what have you.
[01:03:10] And so, um, it it’s been a, a really, really, um, great way to like for windows, for instance, this was, I think kind of it’s, it’s it’s original kind of conception was the idea would be like, okay, if I’m using the windows subsystem for a Linux, I want all my Linux tools and user land stuff. And so I can have all of, you know, like my versions of open SSL and I can have like, like my like new tool chain and I can have all of my versions of Python or, or, you know, note or whatever I want without having to, you know, deal with the complexities of having that running under windows.
[01:03:43] I can have all that running in my, you know, fully, you know, baked like Linux environment, but I’m able to access that transparently using visual studio code for windows. So I’m using the native interface that I know and love. But all the tooling and everything is actually executing [01:04:00] on the Linux side. And that’s great.
[01:04:03] And so you then saw a number of, of, of, um, you know, different, uh, uh, companies like the code server and, and GI pod and some other, um, People who would kind of create a way where you’re like, okay, you can run, you know, um, instances of a visual studio, um, in the cloud. And, and again, like, okay, I’ve got a VPs server somewhere that I’m paying five or $10 a month for, and that’s pretty powerful.
[01:04:27] And I’m having that run all of my coding environment stuff, and then I’m just using whatever front end I want from whatever machine I happen to be on at the time, which is pretty powerful, uh, that then led to things like a visual studio code space or excuse me, GitHub code spaces, uh, which is like a, basically the same thing where it’s a cloud, um, based, uh, thing that you pay for.
[01:04:48] And basically you can create a machine of how, what, however powerful you want it to be. And it’s running all of your, um, your, your code stuff, but you’re able to access it natively. In, or on the [01:05:00] web, in, in visual studio code, um, without having to mess up your own machine, install things locally that way.
[01:05:07] And it makes it a really easy way to set up like dev boxes or do things for tutorials and, and other stuff. Um, but one of the things with that has been like, as much as like, I love get, have code spaces, like, okay, but what if I don’t wanna pay for it? What if I wanna run this locally in my server, my closet or something.
[01:05:25] And so, um, the, the visual studio code team just announced, uh, a couple weeks ago, something called visual studio code server, which basically is they’re, they’re gonna be opensourcing and basically, you know, letting it it’s a CLI and a server code that you could run on your remote machine or wherever you wanna develop against.
[01:05:43] And then you can, um, basically. Create whatever kinds of, of dev instances you would want there. And then kind of transparently like using, uh, vsco.dev access, those, those machines and instances. [01:06:00] So this will make developing on an iPad really, really easy. And, and, and, and, and it’ll be free or free insofar as like, you know, you just bring your own compute.
[01:06:09] So if you wanted to install it on a VPs, you can, if you have a server in your closet, like I do, you can do that. Or if you have a more powerful home machine that you always have on and connected, and you want that to be kind of home base, and that’s where you want your builds and your Docker containers and all that stuff to live, you can do that.
[01:06:24] But then from any of your other machines, you could just go to vsco.dev and like log in and have access to that stuff. Whether you’re on an iPad or a Chromebook or a laptop that doesn’t have those versions of, of Python or node or, or, you know, uh, C sharper or whatever installed, and you don’t have to go or even Docker, and you don’t have to go through that, that process of setting those things up.
[01:06:46] You’re just remotely executing things. Um, basically in the cloud go kind of transparently, you know, in, you know, a native app or your web browser.
[01:06:56] Jeff: Awesome. That’s awesome.
[01:06:57] Christina: So, so, so vs code server, which, um, [01:07:00] again is in private preview, but it’ll be opened up to more people. You can, there’s a sign up form. We’ve got the links in the show notes, but I’m actually pretty excited about this.
[01:07:07] So that’s, uh, that’s my pick.
[01:07:10] Jeff: Nice. There it is. The first ever, uh, Christina, Jeff Overtired.
[01:07:18] Christina: I like it. I like it. I, I, um, I, I would love to talk more about you. Like, I’d love to hear from you. We should have our own kind of like side chat sometime. I wanna hear about how you got into music, journalism and, and journalism in general. And like, I would love to like, hear, like what your, what your, um, process was in journey,
[01:07:35] Jeff: it was largely to stumble without falling
[01:07:40] Christina: which is great though. Right. Because cuz now you’ve been doing it for however many years. Like it’s it’s, which is really incredible. So
[01:07:47] Jeff: Awesome. Well, we can always talk about that. Um, and uh, next week we’ll be back the three of us.
[01:07:53] Christina: yep.
[01:07:54] Jeff: Um, I sure hope you get some sleep.
[01:07:57] Christina: Get some sleep chef.
[01:07:59] Jeff: it’s some sleep[01:08:00]