Since branching out and running my own startup, it’s been awesome one day and totally shitty the next. I’ve had some awesome moments, where things are going well, but I’ve also had a lot more “what the fuck am I doing” “I don’t think I can do this” moments. I worry all the time. All the time. My nostalgia jumps a decade because I don’t want to look at the failures. I veer from taking a break to reassess, to jump head in to the work and hoping I don’t run out of breath. The simple question of “how are things going?” unleashes all sorts of existential terrors.
I hate that I can never commit to weekend plans because I’ll always feel guilty if I’m not working in some ways. I hate that I haven’t talked to my friends in a really long time. I hate that I feel like I’m not working enough.
I don’t really know what I’m doing. But I really do. For the things that I know, I really really know a shit ton about. I geek out about pixels and metaphor. I think about philosophy and how the silly apps we download fit into the larger human narrative. I dread firing up my accounting software. I love talking to other makers and product people about what all of this means. I dread talking to hustlers who are just looking for information, or worse, a way to tear ideas down.
But the few highs? They make up for all the lows. And for this Friday afternoon, I’ll keep floating on. Heads down, step forward. And again.
“In fact, one thing I have noticed is that the people who I consider to be good software developers barely ever apply for jobs at all. I know lots of great people who took a summer internship on a whim and then got permanent offers. They only ever applied for one or two jobs in their lives.”—
To and fro and whereever the roads are paved.. and the speed limit is under 40 mph
Have been reading back on old blog posts. This one from the summer of 2005.
Got my scooter the other day, finally. Cem skipped town for the warmer environs of Istanbul, so I’m the inheritor of his vehicle… for a cool $1200. I think I can resell it for $1600, but who knows.. I want to get it off my hands in late fall. Hopefully I’ll find buyers.
For the time being, exploration begats new possibilities – tremendous opportunities to get lost, to stop and imprison the moments in my viewfinder, to escape into the oblivion of motion-speed.
Had dinner at the Boat Basin Cafe on the Upper West Side after work – zipped up to 79th on Weez in no time. Made friends with the most precocious dog in the world, yapped and yipped on meditation and memories and had a beautiful ice cream time with Chaise and Brian. I’ll miss her when she’s gone.
I named the scooter Weez because the brake pads are kind of worn so it wheezes and whirs when I ride it. I should get it checked out but the front brakes work well enough so I figure it’s not such an issue cause I’m gonna sell it soon enough anyways.
Scootched back to Billburg from the mid 80s in about 40 minutes — not bad. By subway, especially late at night, it would have taken more than an hour.
Going over Williamsburg bridge is a harrowing experience first time round, but the winds! the air! the pointissimal lights of Manhattan dotted like diamonds on black velvet — on both sides! Spectacular.
Picked up Caroline in her pjs and off we went exploring the neighborhood. Discovered Grand Ferry Park – we stumbled upon a fistful of Hasidic nightlovers hanging out at the water’s edge, their wide brimmed hats made funny UFO shapes against the Mahattan skyline. Also bumped into a gigantic column, decorated with friezes and bricked up near the pier. I thought silently that it must be a pagan monument erected as a fuck you to the snobbish inhabitants across the Hudson river.. does it matter if there is a fuck you in the middle of the woods and no one cares? It does… Caroline didn’t care for my reflections as she skipped back to Weez and off we went again.
Up to Greenpoint. Cut through McCaren Park. Then over to Grand and saw the flickering lights of the Italian Festival as it wound down for the night. We stopped and strolled through the littered streets and smelled the persistent aromas of sausages, sugared cakes and calzones. Young sweaty boys shoved each other for the last spot at a shooting gallery game, younger girls twittered next to cotton candy stands in their sequined white dresses – burly policemen stood in bunches, waiting for the rides to shut down so they can go home to wavy TVs and dark bedrooms…
Now that Weez is a dear friend, I can’t help but worry. Got a parking ticket already, but since I detached my license plate from its holder while I park, I don’t think it’s a big issue. Apparently all scooter owners don’t have license plates when they park. You just reattach it when you drive. But conversely, if I park somewhere without a chain (i.e. not on the sidewalk or at home), if someone steals the bike, then I have no way of tracking it down because the license plate is not on.. ah.. the trade-offs! I think I’ll stick with more flexibility.
“Is it possible to calculate the value of a work of art by using mathematical formulas? Is it possible to rank artists in order of importance the same way? Can you predict the future of the art market by using math or science or extrapolating from graphs?”—
My foray into the question of “what is the value of art?” A small thread to larger entangling questions of why our society values the hard sciences over the humanities, the role of artists in our community, the relationships between artists and benefactors, the usefulness of art, the position of art on our hierarchy of ‘shit to care about’ and more.
I’m out of my depth here, but the question of the role of art in our lives — how important is it and how prevalent or under siege is it - has been on my mind as of late.
On some sort of kick - feels like I just jumped into a wormhole back to high school when I was ‘into’ the techno Azn scene where I’d sell beepers to classmates so I can have money for clubbing on the weekends.
“What Dreams May Come was shot largely on Fuji Velvia film and is one of few films to have been filmed in this manner. The Fuji Velvia film is known among landscape photographers for its vivid color reproduction. Filming locations include places in Marin County, Alameda County, and Glacier National Park.”—Wikipedia, What Dreams May Come
“We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And, the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”—Dead Poets Society
The heart of why I’m still working in tech: to change this. Mat’s piece is great not only for the content, but his writer’s voice is a more benign version of what goes on in my head as I scroll through stream after stream of content each day (a much more benign version)
Also - masterful SEO troll for the title of the piece. Mat’s been rolling for his last two articles.