2023-12-08 - Sympathy for the last place runner-up - Cutting Tofu
I’ve been hit by a hurricane and now I’m lying face down on the floor with my head scattered in all the wrong places. There’s no time to mend the cuts and bruises, no time to dust off the debris— No turning back this time, I say, as I make my hands into fists against the cold cement to pick myself up from this mess. They bleed for this one last chance at the race, so this time, this time, I have to do it right, it’s all or nothing, kid, and losing isn’t an option.
I walked into the office supplies store expecting to find my raison d’être behind the counter of the gift wrapping section, but all I found was a note saying “This is your life” written in someone’s sweat mixed with red acrylic paint. I took a pair of scissors and cut my lifeline to the places where I disappeared faceless into the crowd. I crumpled what was left of my will into a ball and threw it like a skipping stone into the fish pond and watched as my sorrows drowned amid the glow of Christmas lights.
I didn’t want to be the only one forgotten so I turned around and headed home, and as I passed the empty playground with broken swing sets I realised I had gotten so used to being alone that I didn’t know how to be around anyone anymore. I looked to the stars for answers but I never got anything from them, not even a whimper. If you find me and tap me on the shoulder and I scream, don’t be scared, you just caught me by surprise and I promise I will give you a piece of myself if my silence doesn’t bother you.
Wiktopher, a story I've been working out since 2017, is finally out! So far, it is possible to read it as a PDF, as an EPUB, and as a mobi file, (available on Itch.io). I'm waiting for a test print for the paperback version, if everything looks great then I will add that as an option soon.
psst.. guess who's back...! currently trying to figure things out once more, hope you dont mind me ;)
2023-12-04 - We both knew her words were in vain - Cutting Tofu
I write like a madman, trying to catch up with these racing, frenzied thoughts of mine. Ultimately my words are powerless to save me, they lack neither rhyme nor reason; I want to stand on top of the tallest building and shout at the skies, “You’ve made a fool of me, are you happy now?” These fits of rage are alien to me so I tried to find solace in her three simple words of “Thank you, child,” thinking that was all I needed. But it wasn’t enough.
2023-12-02 - If only we are pilots once a day - Cutting Tofu
I was hoping to find happiness in your smile but all I got was a belated I.O.U. My heart has taken a leave of absence, and I don’t know where it’s gone to; now my whole body feels numb with a gaping hole in my chest, but we don’t talk about that, the walls have ears and I don’t want them to know. I escape to a place where it’s just static from the TV and I’m staring with my mouth wide open. I mutter French phrases I picked up from this old horror flick where a man slips and falls on the tiles of his bathroom floor yelling profanities and cursing the undead in the darkness of the night. I’ll pretend to understand because this nervous translation is the only thing I can make sense of. You reach your hand out and whisper in my ear, “Let’s get out of here and turn shit up,” and I look up to meet you but there was never anyone there.
my friend el talked about updating their website and so i suddenly remembered mine. much has happened since my last entry. end of the year blues in full swing, my mom is in the hospital, my dog is a bit lonely in a dark house and is trying to get into his sack of kibble. what helps me: daily journalling, chats with my siblings, crying, writing letters, routines, home-mixed blackberry soda, we love katamari and animal crossing. i may start ingesting some vitamin d supplements to help a little. looking forward to the solstice.
Let’s drop the pretenses and the commas and the periods, or the ellipses or the semi-colons or the parentheses and what else have you, I’ll try to make this quick so take a seat— I have this horrible bitter taste in my mouth, but no, no, no, I gotta suck it up, because time is money and money is time, they say with that god awful smile on their faces— and they’ll mean it, too; whether we want to laugh or cry, who knows what the difference is anymore, the only thing we really own is in a neat stack of receipts from buying all the crap they sold us, as if it wasn’t already a tough pill to swallow, but it was the only therapy we could afford at the price of feeling seen.
“You’re never going to make it in this life,” they say, “You’re going to the dogs,” they say, but what did dogs ever do? Sit pretty and bear with it, we’re honing our soft skill of pretending like we’re there except we aren’t; nobody will notice anyway. Lunch break ends at half-past noon, don’t forget to punch in your cards, but it was never in the cards and we never learned the meaning of yes, no, or maybe— but maybe it’s just this: sink or swim, live or die, win or lose, it’s all up to you.
November was a busy month filled with work and family moments. Despite some financial challenges in the company, we made it happen.
Family visits provided a much-needed break from the hustle. My mom and a friend of my kid joined us, reminding me that life is about more than work.
Amidst business dealings, I secured some contracts and strengthened our team. In the personal front, I troubleshooted a number tech quirks, including resolving issues with my kid's counterfeit YouTube app.
Reading was an escape. "The Magus" was stimulating, while Cory Doctorow's stories were relaxing. Even so, I was able to release a new EP that I have been working on since I got back from Greece.
As the month ebded, I considered a possible trip to the States, weighing my options. Decided to not go. I've also kept thinking about how important (and hard) it is to balance work, family, and creativity. It's about taking one step at a time, staying true to yourself, and preparing for what's next.
wow, so it’s been over a year since i last wrote in here. oops. what a year this has been. we’re getting towards the end of it so i suppose i can start reflecting.
the start of this year was a bit of a whirlwind. my dearest friend passed away which was a shock to the system, especially considering that up to that point there had never been any other person in the world where i felt like they were as similar to me as her. we shared so many struggles. so that’s been incredibly hard.
we also got glandular fever only less than a month after finding out and goodness, whatever physical strength i had leftover after the ordeal of that early period of grief was knocked right out again. i’ve never felt so generally unwell for such a long period of time - months of constant tiredness and recurrent swelling.
happily, things got a lot better later in the year. i finally, in the past few months, feel like my body is well again and my social and emotional welfare is recovering too. things are definitely on the up, and i’m very excited for the festivities to come next month, even if it is freezing cold again. this year was full of heatwaves, so i’m definitely glad those are over at least.
i’m really glad to be working on this site again, it’s such a passion project and i’m very glad to be keeping it going. even though a lot within it has changed over the past few years! how has everyone else been this year? is anyone thinking about resolutions for the new year yet?
Another update on my little Contraption today, mostly expanding on stuff that's evident in the video I posted a couple days ago, but I have a fresh update too.
Firstly, the JBOD board I bought isn't the one I mentioned before. That board, seemingly, is old and no longer in production. I got a newer revision, the CB2 as opposed to the CB1. It's got some differences, but nothing that really matters for my purposes.
Next, the 5-port SATA controller I expressed interest in doesn't work. I bought it and installed it and the laptop just doesn't seem to agree with it. Like, it won't even load the BIOS interface, let alone boot with the thing installed. With an NVMe SSD, or with nothing in the slot, it's fine, but with the SATA controller, no dice. My Game Theory™ is it's either a power thing or it's just a classic Laptop Bios Moment™, the thing being programmed to expect an SSD in that slot and not knowing what to do when there's something there other than a storage device. Either way, I don't see a good way to solve this, so I'm not really interested in pursuing it further.
So that's five out of my eight total SATA slots gone, replaced with a single SSD, leaving me with a boot drive and three SATA slots to work with. This by no means dooms the project; that's still enough for a drive for TrueNAS apps and redundant storage in the form of two mirrored disks. That's not bad, and it would be reasonable to stop here. But we can do better.
SATA is kind of weird. It's not designed to be split into multiple connections with a hub the way, say, USB is, but if your controller supports it you can kind of do it anyway. If I wanna hook up more than two or three HDDs to this thing, and I do, this is looking like my best bet. Fortunately, the SATA controller that is working happens to support this feature. So I bought one such hub to see if it would work, and, well:
If you're not sufficiently techy to decipher what's going on in those pictures, it boils down to this: it worked.
Now, I'm fully aware that I'm probably not going to get super incredible performance out of this setup, but the thing is, hard drives are slow. Like, they're really slow. A fast HDD would be hard pressed to saturate a SATA II connection in optimal conditions, let alone SATA III. In terms of pure bandwidth, one SATA III port should support two or three hard drives fine. Besides, nothing about this was ever going to be performance optimized.
I'm nearing the point where I have everything I need to put this together. All that's left is the hard drives themselves, potentially a second SATA multiplier to spread the load between the two ports better, and to figure out a case, because I'm not running this thing strewn across my desk like this.
Been kinda stuck in a rut, but feel like I'm starting to come out of it. Had a few months of good personal growth and my brain is in in ADHD "I want to do what I want" phase, so having agency in what I do has been hard for a minute.
But I can't complain, I've been pretty happy and fairly grateful for what I've got. I'm working on this house, and we're _finally_ past the demo phase and into reno. Seeing friends and family a lot. Really enjoying the winter season as it comes approaching. Something really special about fall and winter in the pacific northwest that I really love. Cold and sunny, wet and cloudy, it's all good.
I am of course starting lots of new hobbies, learning new programming languages, nothing new there.
I've been volunteering for a few different organizations and that has filled me with some more sense of purpose that I appreciate. Some coding, some physical labor, some gardening, it runs the gamut and I love that.
We got a whole boatload of tomatillos and made some salsa which ruled. We also got a lot of green tomatoes, which we turned into green tomato chutney. Tasted _incredible_ and I've been putting it on toast, bean and rice bowls, chips, whatever. It's just great.
I feel as though the biggest reason why I've yet to make any significant progress in my life is because I feel comfort within more of the same. I am enabled to persist in this life -- I can pretty much live here indefinitely.
I do not see the point in Trying. There will always be another attempt indefinitely.
I want to move out, but that's scary and different. I've never worked a job. I've never held somebody's hand, or kissed anyone, I don't have any friends in real life, and I turn down any opportunities to do so because I'm scared of leaving the comfort of home. I'm anxious, extremely so. I'm enabled to continue to do absolutely jack shit about my life, about my future. I have no motivation. I have absolutely none.
Just internal self hatred because I'm not doing anything.
Then, I start hating myself more.
Then, I hide underneath the blankets in my room.
Where it's safe, and the monsters of real life can't get me.
Everyone else is changing.
I want to, but I don't want to, but I want to want to and it's physically painful and it makes me fucking hate myself beyond belief.
I hate my life, but I don't want to die. I want to be alive and safe and I want to move out and I want to get a job and I want to get a boyfriend or some shit and I want to be a good member of society but that all involves effort that I'm too scared and anxious to put in.
"It'll be okay," I tell myself, knowing full well that is only true as long as I am enabled to continue living this life.
And even then, I don't think that this is truly okay.
I've spared a few evenings to implement a Ulz
encoder, for which my first attempt was nearly a year ago, and at the time,
writing programs in Uxn that involved many nested loops terrified me. So, it
felt great to revisit this old problem that stumped me before, and solve
Members of the Solresol community and I talked
about the lack of useful example sentences in the language, and how the handful
of examples out there often include mistakes, so we've put together a revised list of sentences that we could agree on.
Last week, I took a cross country ride by train to see America through the Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited trains. I recommend it. It's a very good opportunity to see the cities, resort towns, company villages and meadows of the USA in the Fall and Spring months.
Future updates to this journal will likely be less centered on website content. There have been some bits that I've been particularly proud of lately. The Devil Children Red and Black Book Planner Q&A article went in some interesting directions as I've gotten into a habit of bidding on auctions for printed works and less online content.
To be honest, I'm not fond of "feeds" or update aggregators. I'd rather let people stumble upon these bits in their own time. Have faith in the lazyweb, get lost in a website.
I wash my rice like I am washing off my sins. I rinse three or four times, and the water runs clear, but the stain on my hands will not fade away. How can I make myself clean?
I carry the cross of my ancestors from all the years of their flesh. This cursed lineage is on trial for a crime: conceiving an underwhelming existence into an overwhelming world, and the repercussions are for me to bear.
Everyday I ask, Have I done right all wrongdoings? Have I atoned for all mistakes, past, present, future? Give me my penance, and I will kneel down in front of you, right here, right now. The End of the World ends with me.
I finally finished the song I had been working on for so long. Now working on an acoustic version before releasing both as an EP. I've also been trying to finish the amazing book The Magus by John Fowles. I'm almost there, but I'm not sure I want it to end.
I've been also working on a solo dice game concept. It's in the early stages, but it shows promise. Let's see how it develops.
Photography is about perception, and my photos show what I perceive to be true at the time I decide to release the shutter. But some truths are half-truths, others are outright lies.
What is real, what is not real? What matters is that the stage has been set and laid out for you. I may be the only real thing in this picture, and I’m not even in it.
I stopped taking self-portraits as proof of life. What is in front of me is more important, more worthy of preserving, more worthy of remembering. People can forget that there is a person on the other side of this piece of evidence; I exist, but all that remains is what I’ve seen.
Now the question is, Am I still alive? Or am I already dead?
I thought I was fighting for the right to be forgotten. All this time it was for the right to be remembered.
He towered over six feet tall, had unkept wavy brown hair, and a piercing on his left ear. Always wore the same white shirt tucked in under his sweater, or maybe he just had a lot of the same lying around. I’d often stare at his worn out daily drivers: Adidas Superstars from the Melting Sadness collaboration.
He was known for dating his students. I wished I was one of them.
I once came to class early with a fresh haircut. He noticed and said I looked good, but I knew it was a lie. I told him I hadn’t had a thing to eat yet. He took an orange out of his pocket and offered it to me.
“Who goes around carrying an orange in their pocket?”
“Me! Who goes around carrying a copy of The Myth of Sisyphus?”
As we climbed down the stairs, the orange and The Myth of Sisyphus fell to the ground and rolled over the last few steps.
Rek and I are doing a final proof-reading of Wiktopher before release, we're trying to make sure
that all of the book's conlang dialogs are consistent with each other. On the
topic of conlangs, we've also translated Thousand
Rooms in Solresol.
In the evenings, I've been revisiting ternary
computers after wondering about string encoding in such a system. I've only
implemented the basic
scaffolding so far, but I'm hoping to reach a point where it can assemble
and run basic TerSCII printing routines.
It's hard for me to write in autumn. You'd think it's the perfect season for writing: sitting inside with a warm drink, enjoying cold sunrays from a well-insulated window. But for the past few years I've had to push myself to actually do it. And I still have so many stories to tell! Oddly enough, in these times we're living. Or maybe that's the best time to tell more stories. Either way, it helps to have experience, and know some tricks: both can help you power through. Turns out, work is work after all. And when the unexpected happens, having a backup plan can't hurt either.
So it happens that in early October I started writing a story. It was intended as filler, but it turned out to have a life of its own. Well, except for having to pause that project in early November, because reasons. For once, instead of waiting, I used the momentum to work on another one. (Tip: there's more than one way to write, and it's okay to try different places.) That's Cold Neon: not a happy story at all, but one that needed to be told, also because reasons. Oddly enough, not due to current events, though it's very much on-brand this autumn.
The problem: when I tried to pick up my other WIP again, at first it read like something written by a different person. It took another attempt to get things going again. The intervening bout of illness might have served as a reset button, too, because now I'm in the right mood again. You know what that means? Two stories for the price of one! So it's all good after all.