Green apron

It has come to this point. You have been at this coffee shop so often, your third space as the smart ones call it, your spot for a quick pass through pending work before you go off to another meeting - such is the freelance life, after all. You have your usual seat, and the staff no longer have to ask for your name whenever you put in your usual order.

"Can I have your order, Dan?"

"Crispy chicken sandwich combo, the usual."

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Print is dead

Part of my night-job-turned-day-job involves overseeing a magazine.

Sure, it's a magazine virtually nobody outside the organization I work for sees. Sure, it only comes out twice a year. Sure, I pretty much work on all of it myself, save for several contributions from my colleagues. Still, it's a natural conclusion to many of the things I did as a child. It's a natural conclusion to, dare I say it, my identity as a child: the guy who writes and draws newspapers on folded-up pieces of bond paper.

Now, of course, it's different. I have learned InDesign. That's what I use. I also have the resources of my work at my disposal. Apart from having other people write for me, there's also the fact that I have money for printers. Sure, I have to help raise that money by, err, curating a publication that is of value to my arguably captive readership, and offering it up to them as a place to hawk their wares. Still, I have money for printers. Back then I only had one copy of everything I did. Now, I have a thousand.

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You're the cat

The only thing that accompanies an essay about cats is a photo of a cat.

When I was... I wouldn't say I was a child. I wasn't. I was a teenager. Perhaps a new teenager, around thirteen. Around that time, I made this habit out of looking out of the car window and counting how many dead cats I saw.

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The essentials, part one

I never really cheated in school, I think.

There was this one time when I almost did, though. I think I was in fourth grade. The fact that I'm not sure about that belies the fact that I remember a few random details about that day. It was Filipino class. It was the 1:10 class. It was a quiz done on one of those one-fourth sheets of paper.

I'm sure I was in fourth grade then because I was still classmates with Anna, perhaps my fiercest academic rival during my elementary years - and because we were in this classroom that was wide but felt musty. (I was in a different classroom during the fifth grade.) It was Anna who I tried to copy from. I was having a severe case of mental block and, in hindsight, I was not at all willing to be upstaged by this big-eyed, thin-as-sticks lady who just popped up from out of nowhere.

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Virality: a Twitter thread

Tweet one: the mother tweet. It's the thing that triggers the virality in the first place. Wait. My laptop has "virality" in red underline. Is that an actual word to begin with? Or, is that even relevant? I mean, words evolve, languages evolve, and "literally" means both what it means and the opposite of what it means, and nobody is fighting over it anymore. Begrudgingly accepting it, perhaps.

So, what makes something go viral? I don't know. It's really a combination of luck and wit, isn't it? Just as long as you don't try so hard to go viral. There really are posts "built" to viral, and almost always they fail, because the Internet knows. Is it dogs? Cats? What's the cat doing? What props are involved? Are there any pastel colors? Are you being humiliated? Do you feel humiliated? Don't be too cocky about it - the Internet knows.

Tweet two: the follow-up tweet. Twitter rolling out its threads feature meant having your thoughts run across multiple 140-character... wait, no, they've since doubled that. Funny how there was an outroar about the site shifting to 280 characters, only for people to end up using it, no? Maximizing it, even. And if you put a lot of emojis in it, that's even more characters, since a picture paints a thousand words, or something.

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