Productivity, work

Other People’s Monkeys


I spend a lot of time thinking about monkeys at work.

One of my favorite time management concepts is “Who’s got the Monkey?” by William Oncken, Jr. This time management classic is targeted at managers, but I think this time management skill works great for non-managerial employees too.

The author uses the “monkey on your back” metaphor to describe how we assign tasks to each other. The “monkey” belongs to whoever has the next move.

You typically have a monkey on your back when someone has a task that you agree to take on, or a problem that you agree to look into. You get the monkey because the burden is on you to act.

The monkey doesn’t jump back to the other person until you complete your task and the next move is theirs.

Other people’s monkeys can quickly pile up and prohibit you from focusing on your own priorities.

Monkeys from bosses and customers are inevitable, (and part of your job to deal with), but monkeys from peers and subordinates can sabotage your performance. Continue reading “Other People’s Monkeys” »

Oak Lawn, work

Things that Happen on the Dog walk

katy trail dallas

I can tell something is wrong when I arrive at Starbucks.

It is 5:15 a.m., and I am typically one of the first people at the café. (It is the first stop on the morning dog walk.)

Aside from the normal collection of doctors and nurses, there is a strange, short man standing by the half-and-half. He’s mumbling and shaking.

I look over to the barista, who is glaring at the man – turns out he’s a crackhead – a very high crackhead. Continue reading “Things that Happen on the Dog walk” »


My Favorite Dallas TV Shows

Good Christian Bitches

I’ve discovered Dallas TV shows.

Apparently there was a boom of filming here about 3 years ago, which makes me wonder whether I moved to Dallas after it was a fad.

Am I late to the party?

Is Dallas no longer a thing?

There is something endlessly fascinating about seeing your city on TV.

I had this experience while living in Miami, but not so much in Minneapolis. (When was the last major Minneapolis TV show? Mary Tyler Moore? Rehab Addict?)

giphy (5)

The film version of Miami is exaggerated and ridiculous.

A consistent error is that movies and TV shows tend to compress all of South Florida into one miniature city. Characters will often go from South Beach to Palm Beach within minutes, despite the 75 mile gap in real life. Also, traffic doesn’t appear to exist on the TV version of Miami. This often makes the shows too distracting to watch.

One thing that filmmakers get right about Miami is the collection of bizarre characters. You can’t make that shit up. Continue reading “My Favorite Dallas TV Shows” »

blog theory, Marketing, Oak Lawn

What I learned from my first paid blog post

Nestle Crunch Cocktails

So my campaign for Nestlé® Crunch® is wrapping up, and a few people have asked me about the background story.

Why do a campaign at all?

This blog is officially a decade old, and I’ve used it to generate revenue in the past. Although my intention was never to become a full-time blogger, generating cash from the blog means that it is a financially self-sustaining hobby.

Also, revenue from the blog is a great quality assurance tool.

You know that you are (probably) producing something of value if someone is willing to pay to do it.

Cal Newport explores this “playing for money” concept in “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” if anyone is interested. The gist is if you want to get better at your hobby, get paid for it.

This blog previously generated revenue solely from Google Ads, but that became increasingly unprofitable around 2014. Now, affiliate marketing is the best low-level source of revenue for most personal blogs. Continue reading “What I learned from my first paid blog post” »

Oak Lawn

Dallas Pride 2015

Alyssa Edwards at iLume Dallas

Dallas Pride was this weekend and things were interesting.

All the typical things happened –  there were drag queens, ridiculous outfits, sloppy messes, and brawling lesbians.

Unlike Minneapolis gay pride or Chicago gay pride, I got to experience this parade as a resident. My building is right in the heart of the metroplex’s gay district, so I didn’t have any of the typical logistics to worry about.

My building also threw a block party for residents with a drag stage and open bar. My neighbors and I spent most of our time watching from our gated-off VIP section on the parade route.

ilume block party

Dancing at the iLume Block Party at Dallas Pride.

Shots from Strangers

In addition to the open bar, there were also these guys from a local HIV resource center walking around handing out jello shots. I think they overestimated the number of party attendees, so they ended up giving 10+ shots to each person.
Continue reading “Dallas Pride 2015” »