2: WFH in a New Apartment

Hello again!

I hope you’re all doing well and are successfully avoiding catching and spreading the virus. It’s been longer than I originally intended it to be since my initial email, but I’m back now with more things to share.

New Apartment

My last roommates left San Francisco and rather than find people to fill their spots at that apartment, I decided to take this opportunity to try out a new place in a new neighborhood.

I moved in to a new apartment in the Mission district of San Francisco with my friend Pablo and I’m very excited about it. It’s a more lively neighborhood and it’s a lot closer to my work and to places that I like to spend time outside of work. The Mission also has the highest taqueria-density of any place I’ve ever been, so my already-high burrito consumption frequency has really increased here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take advantage of my proximity to these things over the past few weeks because of the quarantine, but I’m looking forward to getting out more in this neighborhood once I’m able to.

Remote Work

Like many of you, I’ve been working remotely for the past few weeks. It’s been an interesting experience so far. Before this, I had only ever worked from home for a day or two at a time. My notes on it so far are:

  • It’s been fun to have a reason to spend more time in the new apartment.

  • About half my team of 10 people were already full-time remote, so having the entire team be remote right now is nice for them. Those of us that are normally in the office are building a lot more empathy for what it’s like to only ever have video meetings and spend the whole workday alone in your house.

  • I usually eat breakfast and lunch at the office, so this has been a good time for me to explore new food options and to start making more food at home during the day.

  • It takes more self-discipline for me to stay focused. When I’m working on a difficult problem it is easy for me to get distracted by non-work related things and break out of the flow of work. I’m getting a bit better about this, but it has required deliberate practice.

I’ve been interested in the possibility of going full-time remote sometime in the future and this experience has been a great way to test the waters. I’ve confirmed that I’m not quite ready to go full-time remote yet, but it is still something I could see in my future.



  • Mapping coronavirus, responsibly This article about data visualization describes the different ways that information about COVID-19 can be visualized and how those different methods can change the way we perceive the data. A lot of these were new to me and it’s made me more attentive to nuances of mapped data.

  • You Won’t Believe My Morning Tim Urban’s long-form posts on Wait But Why are always interesting and I found this short story about tiny worlds, global community, and COVID-19 especially delightful. It’s a different style than most of the posts on that website though, so I’d encourage you to read more of them if you’re interested.


  • Taeko Onuki - SUNSHOWER A coworker shared this with me recently and I enjoyed it way more than I expected to. It sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole exploring more of this genre, Japanese city pop.

  • Woody and Jeremy - Strange Satisfaction The latest Vulf-adjacent release, this new album from Vulfpeck member Woody Goss has been one of my most frequently listened to albums since it came out.

  • Anderson .Paak - Ventura (Instrumentals) This came out last year, but I’ve started listening to it a lot more recently. There’s a lot of great playing on it and if you’re looking for good instrumental music to dance to while you’re working from home.


  • Back to the Fjords This came out in 2013, but was just recently made free on YouTube. The Flying Frenchies are a group of French base jumpers, highliners, musicians, and acrobats, and they have some incredible videos. Their stuff is what really inspired me to want to start highlining back in 2012.

Thanks for reading again! Feel free to reply directly to this email if you have thoughts on anything I mentioned or on any of the links I shared.

- James