Jun 26, 2016


Follow your heart, they said.

My heart is sad, I said.  Is it wise to follow a heart when the only place it leads is deeper into sadness?

Why is this not what you're supposed to be doing?  Like how is it not what you're supposed to be doing.

I don't know,I said.  Why does this have to be some big huge, thing, some realized goal that is bigger than the rest of it?

The difference between myself and most people, he said, is that I finish things.  Other people, other people don't  They don't finish things.

This has stuck with me.  But I still don't finish things.

Is the desire to leave, to get out ever going to go away?  I don' think that it will.  Maybe I won't write a book.  I certainly didn't do it by the time that I was 25, like I wanted to.  I kind of don't want to write a book any more.  You know, for a long time I wanted to write a book as a way of being in the world.  As a way of getting some amount of notoriety, of existing for a thing that I had wrought.  Somehow this feels not so important any more.  I wonder if that's because I have now created things that exist in the world, in a small way.  I've authored software that has shipped and that has, in some small ways, changed peoples lives or improved their workflows.  I've proved to myself that I know what are important things.  I still don't feel like people believe me though.  Maybe that's a sad thing to say, but it's true.  I don't think that people believe me.  Or maybe I don't believe me.

Or maybe I don't know what work it takes to get ideas through.  Throwing up an idea is the easy part, but actually marshaling *myself* behind it is the hardest part.  Why do I not follow thru?

Blow Baby

Having trouble getting started on this project so I'm re-reading this profile that the Atlantic did on Jonathan Blow right before I moved to NYC in 2012. When I read it then, game development and programming and ambitious projects felt so foreign and exotic, attractive in their novelty.
Four years later, it feels very familiar, almost pedestrian. Not just the style of article, which was novel to me then but now, years of The New Yorker later, feels very par for the course. (I grew up reading the Wall Street Journal, which profiled companies, not people). Even the narrative of aestheticism and self-denial, shrugging off parental coils and exploring physics, Berkeley and the Bay Area tech scene in the 90's is a story I've heard too many times now.
Is it growth? Or just experience? Are these the same thing?

Jun 22, 2016

i would like

I would like to taste
Here on the tip of my tongue
The rare libidinous bloom
Of fresh sea salt
And bodily sweat
Mixed with the putrid flowering
Of yesterday's trash
And tomorrow's cologne.

but alive is

Fresh isn't a thing, but alive is.

You know what live is.

A live a living a livinous.

Lithe and sinuous.

Don't think I don't think I know you.

I do doll.

A live a living a livinous.

Lithe and sinuous.

That's you, all.

Fresh is not a thing.

To what extent

But to what extent does yesterday exist? No more than tomorrow and yet somewhat, somehow both more and less so.

we are now.

I inhale
I exhale .
the moments pass
each in its own

Jun 12, 2016

You cant

But I can, so there.

Thinking back, I have a pretty stellar track record for not thinking things through.

I don't know why though. Maybe it's a certain inability to cope with the enormity of responsibility that is recognizing you have some amount of actual control over your own destiny.

More likely, it's a strong belief in fate, in destiny, in the inevitability of forward motion.

Ok but really, who knows how things are going to turn out? Isn't the criticism of not thinking it thru a bit fatalistic in itself? How do you know what will happen until you dredge for it? Maybe I am an idiot but I like seeing, sometimes how things play out, and I refuse to think that there's some way, in advance of knowing how it will go.

But ok maybe there is some signal coded in my behavior of persisting that is the thing I was supposed to take into account, but don't. Or didn't. And that's the thing I'm "not thinking" about - myself as actor, not observer.


What is your ego based on?  Mine is based on knowing things, on being right, on getting it done (sort of) . On being fairly witty, and word-sharp.


These crackers are really tasty.

Jun 9, 2016

Removing Dead Space

A few weeks ago, the faculty at the Recurse Center did an "Admin" week.  The point of the week is to both give the current Recursers a spring break, as well as take some time as an organization to reflect on what we want to improve or make better for the organization as a whole.

There's a coat closet at RC.  As long as they've been in the new space, it's state is normally one of disarray -- game parts and lost jackets, mixed with broken coat hangers and discarded shoes.  I sit right next to the closet, its hulking presence of disarray a few feet away.

I spearheaded an effort to clear out the closet (which snowballed into also clearing out the network closet and the electronics set up in Turing).  We ordered shelves and organizing boxes a week before so that they'd arrive before the first day of admin week and we could use the entire time to assemble, sort, trash, and re-assemble the contents.

Here's a list of the things that we accomplished during admin week:
- Assembled 4 different shelves (:strong_arm:)
- Donated a carload of stuff to Goodwill & threw out about as much if not more
- Sorted and organized pens, pencils, and dry-erase markers
- Re-located the art supplies to Turing!
- Re-located the games to Turing!
- Found a new home for the Nintendo Wii next to the Apple ][
- Picked up and made a shelf for the monitor/laptop yoga blocks
- Set up a station for post-it notes, pens, dry-erase supplies, and staplers
- Moved the printer onto it's own table gave it some room to breathe
- Hung up a bunch of artwork and posters encountered around the space
- Set up a new storage area for monitors, keyboards & computer peripherals in Lovelace
- Cleaned out piles of junk from Babbage and Hopper
- Moved some personal storage space into Church and Babbage
- Re-arranged the tables in Church for better fung shui
- Put up the 7 desk dividers that Sonali got from some benevolent neighbors (4 in main room, 3 in Church).
- Put up a mail bin
- Hung up the EO1
- Put up IRL scheduling whiteboards on all the rooms
- "self documented" the space with lots of signs
- Painted the closet two (2!) different colors
- Organized the nametags into a box so they're easy to find (and the mess is self-contained)
- Cleaned up the debris from atop the beer fridge
- Organized the library!
- Hung up decorations found in the networking closet
- Folded and organized (by size!) all of the t-shirts
- Reorganized the electronics components in Turing
- Sorted and re-boxed various cables
- Relocated the coat hooks that had been in the coat closet and hanging up all of the ones found in a storage closet (unused)
- Re-organized basically everything in the networking closet, moving large amounts of it to the 'coat closet'

- Increased available coat hanging space
- Freed up 15 plastic bins for Recurser's belongings
- Went from having no available storage space to extra space!
- Turned the closet into a usable workspace!

It's been 3 weeks now, and the space feels a lot more organized. I've been really surprised at how big a difference painting, and removing clutter makes.  The key to making it stick so far has been 1) providing more plastic bins for people to claim as their own for personal storage and 2) creating dedicated space for every type of 'thing'.  It's easier to avoid creating clutter (or at least combat it) when every thing has a dedicated space.

Jun 4, 2016

one sided

You don't know me but I know you. Our relationship has always been one-sided -- that's the nature of it.  If I could change it, I wouldn't.

There's a measure of control that being known  would require giving up and I'm not ready to do that. Not yet.

I won't ever be ready.

Some times when it's growing late and I can feel the closeness that we are to the outside, no matter how thick the walls, I see other places, places that I may not have been but that I know nonetheless.  I know their dark walks, the smell of their summer foliage and the damp underbelly of their bridges, stretched across silent, murky waters. I know the bright corners of their parks, sunny spots of grass that stand at the ready for blankets and gentle basking. Some of them have tall grasses that tickle the backs of knees and worm their way between socks and skin; others are barely patched over the grass a tangled mess of sparsely leaved creepers, where you can watch the insects crawl about.

Did you doubt it? I know you did. Rest assured though, I *know* it.

Just as I know you.


there are no demons
a multitude
of versions
of selves,

all of them
the same in the basic
outlines of who
they are
beneath it all
for real

with all the same faculties
with varying strains of

did you know that
we all experience
the same situations
more or less

did you know that
all that differs
is how
you feel about them

what you hope to gain
what you feel is expected
what you've experienced before
; since before

what is feeling then

what *is* it.

because that is it.

that is all it is
that sets us
so far


in destiny
and outcome
and actual day
to day
to day
to day.


‪some days I remember the lies you told me and i laugh at both of us‬ ‪at me, for wanting so badly to believe you‬ ‪at you, for having t...