The sky is falling! The market is about to crash! The youth of today are corrupted! Every innocuous thing you love is Bad, Actually! Doomsaying is the grift that keeps on giving. Spread fear and doubt about some looming crisis—real or imagined—and you instantly take on a mantle of wisdom and moral authority. Best of all, you don’t need to […]
When I quit my job to go traveling in 2016, I had a vague romantic notion of freelancing on the road. See ya later, corporate drones! No more sterile office cubicles for this guy! Instead, I’d tap away on my laptop while I sipped mimosas at the beach, or dash out genius missives from a hammock in the middle of the jungle.
As it turns out, hammocks are not ergonomically designed workspaces, direct sunlight on a laptop screen causes a hellish glare, and sand and electronics don’t play nicely together.
This is the first time I’ve felt a little guilty about writing one of these posts. The beach town of Da Nang is an underappreciated gem. It’s the smallest of the big five cities in Vietnam, and much less well-known than Hanoi or Saigon.
But it’s been vaunted as an up-and-coming hub for digital nomads in recent years, so the cat’s out of the bag already. If it starts getting overrun with bitcoin enthusiasts and wellness coaches, I swear it’s not my fault…
There is a piece of folk wisdom that says investing in quality stuff will actually save you money in the long run. This idea is overrated. Sometimes it does make sense to splash out on the good stuff. But most of the time, it’s far more cost-effective to go for cheap and cheerful…
“Every morning I roll out of bed and ask myself, what should I do today?”
These were the very first words I wrote on Deep Dish, 2.5 years ago. I’m as surprised as anyone to find that I still have that same untrammelled freedom today. If I had to try and pin down the central theme of this blog, it’s exactly that: opening up your options. I’m not going to stop writing about that stuff any time soon.But I do want to introduce a new through-line.
Something I’ve learned the hard way during this extended sabbatical is that you can absolutely have too much of a good thing. Total unconstrained freedom is – well – kind of freaky, actually…
Maybe you hear a mischievous little voice in your head that whispers ‘jump!’ every time you walk across a bridge, or lean over a balcony. In a similar way, I have recurring fantasies of shutting down my social media profiles, deleting this website, and generally trying to erase my presence from the Internet.
And so, I need to read a book called Digital Minimalism like a depressed person needs a lecture on antinatalism. Of course, I read it anyway…
There’s a stomach-sinking moment of realization that comes in every reader’s life: you’ll run out of years long before you run out of books. Like the monstrous hydra, every title struck off your reading list spawns three more to take its place. The unread piles glowering at you from the bedside table only grow larger. So many secrets, so little […]
Every month, the blogging mafia convene: if you know what’s good for you, the first post of the year better have something to do with goals and resolutions, and at least one mention of the phrase ‘new year, new me’. I’m sorry! They’ll break my kneecaps if I don’t do what they say! My compromise is to write a post […]
Last year, my goal was to live the good life on less than US$10,000. I ended up going about six hundred bucks over my target, but was pretty happy with the attempt. This year, I didn’t have any particular goal in mind. Since I’d already built a spreadsheet and got in the habit of tracking my expenses, I kept up […]
This is normally my favourite post to write. But now I have to somehow pick out the highlights from 100+ contenders. Most of these books were curated and recommended by Deep Dish readers and other people of impeccable taste. I already knew they were going to deliver. And they did!
After much internal debate and killing of darlings, I’ve managed to narrow it down to the top 10. These are the books that blew my mind, made me howl, or filled my notebook to overflowing. In no particular order:
What’s the difference between Robert Galbraith and J.K. Rowling? Clearly, being a talented writer is necessary, but not sufficient. Rowling has momentum on her side. At this point, she could publish the contents of a bowl of alphabet soup, and it would still sell better than 99 per cent of novels by hopeful first-time authors.
This is a ‘no duh’ example, designed to get you nodding your head along. But momentum is everywhere, and it’s rarely in plain sight. Without being consciously aware of doing so, I’ve written about it in four domains…
When I see an overweight person slogging away on the treadmill, I think to myself: that person is a goddamn hero.
Here’s the dirty little secret that fit and muscular people don’t mention in their #fitspo Instagram posts: if you’re already in decent shape, you can get away with all kinds of shenanigans….
If you ever need a refresher on the importance of fuck-you frugality, go peel off a $100 bill, and subject yourself to the silent, brooding judgment of Benjamin Franklin.
The side-eye is so doleful it traverses time and space. It’s almost as if Franklin knows his face is about to be a) rolled into a tube and stuck up some degenerate’s nostril, or b) used to purchase another superfluous piece of junk that will, in short order, be discarded upon a mountain of previously purchased superfluous junk.
Franklin’s not mad; he’s just disappointed. He wants us to be better…
Humphrey Bogart used to keep a $100 bill in his dresser drawer at all times—a decent chunk of change in the 1920s. He referred to it as his ‘fuck-you money’, because it meant he’d never be forced to take a crappy part. According to Bogie, the only good reason for making money was “so you can tell any son-of-a-bitch in the world to go to hell”.
Unlike Bogart, I am not a tough guy. One time I cried in front of my boss. She gave me the rest of the day off. In fact, all my bosses have been great. I’m struggling to think of a single person I’d like to say ‘fuck you’ to.
But there are plenty of people who I’d like to politely say ‘no thanks’ to. And I say it all the time! It’s great. If I think back on the last few years, fuck-you money has changed my life.
The blog has entered the terrible twos! In keeping with last year’s tradition, here’s a quick status report, a little housekeeping, then a look ahead to some new projects coming down the pike. By the numbers: 22 posts published in year two. I guess that means I have to do 33 in year three? Regular traffic is up ~800 per […]