I’m sitting in a cafe called Don Ruiz in beautiful Old San Juan that makes me feel like I’m in a Spanish military barracks. As usual the temperature is a sunny 80 degrees, and every day beyond Monday gets me confused with Friday. With Easter this weekend there’s an even more relaxed vibe than normal (Holy week it’s called), and it’s already one of the most relaxed cities I’ve ever lived in. I love it though. I’m sure I’ll go through more intense work periods again in my life, perhaps even soon, but for one of the first times I’m able to mentally balance work with fun.
I’ve been keeping pretty hush about my work for a while now, but I’m coming to terms with being more open about the fact that I’m actively trading cryptocurrencies. I didn’t know how things were going to work legally in the US with it (still in flux, but seems ok for now), didn’t want the personal attention from it, and for a long while I didn’t want to be associated with the hordes of people who identified themselves as “crypto traders”. When the prices skyrocketed everyday it was hard to lose money, but subsequently it has gotten much more difficult and interesting to me.
Having been into financial markets since I was a kid, I’ve participated in several boom-time industries. My first was when I was an equity options trader in Chicago during the transition from floor market-making to computer based market-making. During this same time I also got into online poker which has many similar parallels to crypto.
After reading only one book on poker I was able to win at the majority of low stakes poker games on the internet in 2005, even though in hindsight I was terrible at poker. There were so many other bad amateur players that it was ok. Over the years I continued to keep getting better, the really bad players lost enough money and quit, and eventually people who were previously “professional poker players” became the losing players as their skills didn’t progress fast enough. I think the same thing will happen/is happening in crypto right now. One big difference is that unlike poker which is a true game with computable probabilities, the crypto speculation world is being made up on a weekly basis. No one knows how to value anything, there’s hardly any historical information, and it feels like playing poker again where everyone is really bad (but some percent can rise above just as in any other game).
I put in a lot of long days when I first started last year, but I haven’t done an 8 hour day since I’ve been to Puerto Rico. As I mentioned in my previous posts I’m working on that elusive balanced life, and in particular getting some creative work done regularly.
On my writing front it’s going well. I’m mentally greedy and always wish I would do more, but I’ve been getting some writing done every day excluding the weekend. I’m working on a new short story that’s been enjoyable, and I found a novel that I had abandoned a few years ago which I’m reading/editing with the plan of continuing it once I get back into the world of it. The plan is to get the short done (it’s turning out longer than my usual short stories) around the same time as I re-start the novel. I had written over 100 pages that I’m enjoying reading now and dropped it for no reason!?!?
I have another novel that I abandoned even further along, and if I can muster up the discipline to finish this first one, I might go after that one next. I put so many hours into these, and if I revisit them and and enjoy it why not finish them up? For some reason before I felt like once they were put down they were dead, and I could only do something new.
A random personal recommendation I enjoyed was “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix. It wasn’t a binge series for me, but I enjoyed each of the 6 parts of the documentary. It was entertaining, educational, and uplifting in almost every episode. I felt the nostalgia with the cast members as they told their versions of the Osho commune in the 80s.
Another recommendation if you need any motivation for artistic endeavors is this video that was just what I needed this past week by Austin Kleon:
That’s it for now. Leaving you with a picture of Condado beach in the evening.