five nice things

Michael Sippey
2 min readOct 29, 2020


Siobhan O'Connor writes:

There is something sweet and unspoken about spending time with someone with whom the veil is lifted. And to play Five Nice Things with them is a treasure. And it’s not just for us, but take it from us: We only have a tiny spot of time together. We can notice, or we can not notice, nice things. I recommend the former.

So I’m going to go first. Then you go. Let me know what you come up with.

  1. Sparkling water, not out of a can. For my birthday my wife gave me a thing that’s like a SodaStream, but isn’t a SodaStream while still using SodaStream-style cartridges, and now I have cold sparkling water all the time in the fridge. And the ritual of refilling — with the pressure and the sound that goes whoosh — is so satisfying.
  2. A big enough desk to spread out on. I’m lucky enough to work from home, and just upgraded my desk to something a little bit wider than the one before (but not too wide), and I can spread out on it in a way that feels human. Currently on the desk: one glass (that used to have sparkling water in it, but is now empty), two empty coffee cups, one HydroFlask, one glasses cleaning cloth, my completed ballot (ready to drop off tomorrow), an inbox full of New Yorkers, a hat, my phone, a laptop, a monitor, a keyboard, a trackpad and a lamp that sheds light.
  3. Tana French. My colleague Sam turned me on to French’s Dublin murder squad novels, but now I’m making my way through her newest, The Searcher. She is incredible with character, adept with dialog, perfect with scene and her prose has moments that are as tight as a drum.
  4. Picking short-lived and silly sounding subdomains on surge. I’ve been doing a bit of web experimentation and surge makes it dead simple to deploy websites from your desktop. When you first push a site, you can take one of their randomly generated default subdomains, but it’s more fun to pick your own. The sillier the better. It’s nice!
  5. The fact that Stinson Beach doesn’t really face west, it faces SSW. Which means that from there you have a wild view of the San Francisco peninsula, and on clear days can see all the way down to Moss Beach. And in the sumer the sun sets over Bolinas and the moon rises over the Dipsea Trail. It’s beautiful.

Now that I’ve gone, it’s your turn. Let me know what you come up with.