I create context. I also write blog posts:

Warby Parker: So Cool, I Want To Work For Them.

Posted: February 27th, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

About two weeks ago, Kelsey and I took a trip into Brooklyn. We got to see Jason and Bethany, and we got to sample the brilliance that is The Chocolate Room.

But the trip was made for one purpose, and one purpose only:

We wanted to buy glasses.

But not just any glasses. We wanted to buy Warby Parker glasses (Kelsey’s looking to replace her current specs, and I’d like a pair of sunglasses to complement the Sinclairs I already wear — pictured above). They offer an at-home trial where they’ll send you *five* pairs so you can see what they look like and how they feel, and Kelsey had already tried hers, but we wanted to check out one of their showroom locations in person.

So we hopped on the Long Island Rail Road (anybody know why that’s two words in their name?) and hiked into Williamsburg. On the way, I tweeted:

Before we had gotten off the subway, they responded:

How cool is that? How cool would you feel if you were their customer? I can tell you: you’d feel like a million bucks.

It’s not the first time this has happened. In December (already on the hunt for their sunglasses), they posted this response to one of my questions:

So the sunglasses are new enough that they don’t have a home try-on program set up yet, but it’s cool because I can just return them if I don’t like them. Works pretty well for me, but sounds expensive for them. I like when a company is willing to sacrifice to make sure I’m satisfied.

Then there’s this: in addition to offering crazy-awesome glasses and outstanding customer support, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need every time they sell a pair.

And the whole thing costs a fraction of what it would if I went to a place in the mall.

I’m sold.

In fact, I’m so sold, I want to work there. I don’t have much to offer their customer service department (except to say keep it up!), and they certainly don’t want me designing frames for them.

But they’re looking for writers, and I have a few ideas I think they’d like.

So, if you’re reading this and you work at Warby Parker, give me a call or hit me up on Twitter. I’d love to chat.

(585) 703-4560 or @peteshelly

Put Down The iPhone…

Posted: February 25th, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Dave Bidini Made Me Write This.

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

This now hangs above my desk.

I should start with a few notes about Dave Bidini, if you’re unfamiliar:
Dave Bidini was in a Canadian rock band. They were so good that the first words on Live From Here, a live album from my favorite Canadian rock band, starts with this song dedication: “This is for the Rheostatics – we are all richer for having seen them tonight”.

Dave Bidini is also a writer. A top-notch one. I’m setting out on a quest to read anything he’s written. He’s that good.
I just started “Home And Away,” his most recent book, about the Homeless World Cup.

This past holiday season was a stressful one. I was back working at Apple, staying on Long Island instead of going home, working early on the day after Thanksgiving and late the day before Christmas. Long hours, and lots of them. It was tiring. But that’s retail, right?

When I wasn’t working, I was watching Netflix or surfing the internet; there wasn’t energy to do anything else. It was right around this time that I started reading Dave Bidini’s regular columns in the National Post (might have been around the time he began writing a regular column there…). I’ve read a few of his books, listened to his band, and, last fall, saw him read from Home And Away at a soccer bar in Brooklyn — the invitation to which, after a back-and-forth on Twitter, came directly from the man himself. But the columns were different. Now, he was dropping little nuggets weekly. I didn’t have to wait for a book to be published or make the investment in multiple chapters. These were quick, short columns, little appetizers to be enjoyed in bite-sized pieces.

After a particularly long close on a Friday night and a sore wake-up on a Saturday morning in the midst of holiday craziness, I stumbled across a link Dave had posted of his most recent offering, a piece on his hat.

I liked it.

I liked it a lot.

I shared it on Twitter and a little while later he wrote back:

I got bummed out. I wasn’t writing that day. It hadn’t even occurred to me. I was tired and sore and the hours had been long. I was taking a break from writing.

I didn’t want to write.

But when Dave Bidini remembers from a few short conversations that you’re a writer, things change. Excuses disappear.

When Dave Bidini asks if you’re writing today, dammit, you drop whatever the hell you’re doing and you start to write.

At least, I did.

And I snapped back to the realization that, whatever happens, you gotta keep writing. Same way a shark has to keep swimming, you just gotta. I dropped everything and tried to write, but I didn’t have anything. Nothing happening in my life was worth documenting at that moment. So I turned my attention to a project I’d been pushing into a drawer for about a year. The project is called Bitters, and today I invite you to read a preview:

If you enjoy this preview and you want to know more as it happens, I’m keeping everyone updated through email (people who previously signed up got to see this preview about two weeks ago). If you’re interested, sign up here:

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