Some music is good live. Some isn't. Some musicians were made for the recording booth, to have a protective layer between the audience and whatever they create.

Some music is meant to be heard live. The Oh Hellos are meant to be heard live.

What is more hope, than making music to be heard live, during a time when live music seems so distant that it feels ancestral? Like a myth? 


What do you care about? What do you stand for? 

Do you let the fear own you? Or do you trust the unknown? Can your friends do things so evil that you cannot forgive them? 

Are you sure? 

Put away video game morality for a second. Pretend that this industry did not cut its teeth on asking you questions that really dig deep, questions like "Do you want to save a puppy or set an orphanage on fire?" Pretend your choices are saving murderers, or saving murderers. Pretend your choices are mostly futile. 

Pretend you need to make them anyway. 


Dragon Age 2 is a game about hope. It is a game about despair.

But, mostly, it is a game about hope. 

The very beginning of the tutorial has you in your fanciest armor, and your sibling beside you in the armor of a Grey Warden. You are packed to the gills with high level spells. Enemies melt beneath you. In this moment, you aren't worried about your mother, or your other sibling, or Aveline's husband. You don't even know these people. You're just a hero. 

more about fear

You are never safe at home in Kirkwall. You are safe in your house, for the most part, but the city is a dangerous place. Especially at night. Death is common in the streets, and while any B-list pickpocket or assassin who tries to take you out is in for a bad time


It is inevitable: I begin to live with the terror. I begin to live with the fear. 

Different things. 

The terror is brief, sudden, transient. It wakes me up from nightmares, it makes my heart race and makes me run and hide when I'm in my office and I hear familiar footsteps. It is a finite resource. It exhausts itself. 

The fear is the hard part. The fear goes on forever. When I wake up in the middle of the night, it is the fear that keeps me awake, staring into the darkness, listening to the blood in my ears, seeing ghosts in the shadows.

plot as a pm tool

As a project management tool, Plot needs to exist in a temporal dimension. It must allow me to track project over time - ideally visually, as if I could move through a physical space and see the future tasks zooming towards me (or away) as I slide along the axis of time. 

[To do this, there are two main ways in which Plot must track time.][Plot in 4D]

mental illness

Dragon Age 2 is a game about mental illness.

This is why it is not a game about victory. 

Anders and his demon are the most obvious metaphor, but you and all of your friends are a bundle of neuroses. A pocket DSM. An encyclopedia of neuroatypicality. When you strip away the video game conventions (WC) and the medieval underpinnings (WC), what you're left with is mostly trauma. You wake up and you try to get over it, but it doesn't go away. 


It's September 4th, and for the first time in a long time I'm not in Singapore. I'm a million miles away, inside a concert hall, shoulder to sweaty shoulder with strangers. One of my favorite places and ways to be. I'm not sure where this concert hall is, but it's winter outside; I'm pretty sure of that. There's still a rime of chill clinging to my skin. At the end of the night, when I've danced until all of my muscles are shaking shaking and I finally go outside, then steam will rise off of my body. 

I'm sure of this. 


It's September 4th, 2020, and Singapore doesn't fuck around with COVID.

I spent months locked alone in my studio apartment. I didn't see anyone in person for longer than it took to get a takeaway cup of coffee at the cafe next to my flat. Months without human contact, months never seeing another human without a mask on. 

It messes you up.

September 4

It is September 4th. Late afternoon. Here in Singapore September 4th still counts as summer, so the endless heat is even more endless than usual. I'm downtown, meeting friends for a drink in a bar that sits right in the shadows of all of the most famous Singaporean landmarks.

Then again, most of the country is in the shadow of those landmarks. You see them looming on the horizon: Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, the Esplanade. Massive sci-fi buildings that feel like they're closing in every day.