Coffea arabica - State of the demure

Writing this post reminds me of how one might speak to a friend who they haven't seen for a very long time. What you talk about first speaks a lot to your relationship with that person, and what you value in your own life. It's a harder thing said than done, for sure. With that, let me begin.

I'm happy.

In a recent introspective, I figured that a lot of my energy was wasted being stressed about stuff in life, or by being stressed about my stress. These days, I seek to make myself a better person each day, no matter what form that takes. As an example, I let some of my personal projects fall to the wayside. I have since embarked on a quest to revive some of these projects. My history with completing projects is less than stellar--and I want to fix that.

I now attend the University of California Berkeley, studying electrical engineering and computer science. I make rockets land upright, research photon detectors, and try not to make a fool of myself while writing. I bike and run on a semi-regular basis. I've rediscovered my love of chess. I have thus far managed to avoid any extistential crises.

I talk to most of my friends from back east on a regular basis. I am still dating my high school girlfriend (nearly 3 years now). I've reconnected with old friends, and made new ones.

I registered to vote, and bought my own plane tickets for the first time ever. I just bought a sensor cleaning kit for my DSLR, so maybe that'll get me to use it again (many, many spots from lens-off operation for astronomy use).

I read some good books this year, among them East of Eden, American Gods, The Soul of an Octopus, and Player Piano. I'm on track to make my goal of 30 books read this year.

I just listened to the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra play Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Dukas, and the complete suite of The Planets by Holtz (and a world premier of a contemporary piece called Hoodoo City). Music takes me to another place, man. Chills--especially with Holtz's Jupiter. Probably my favorite of The Planets.

I still love coffee, and try to spend a few minutes in the morning with nothing but my thoughts and my cup (or sometimes with pencil and paper or a book). It's useful. Peet's right now (I am in Berkeley, after all) but will probably return to my scheduled programming at some point soon. Got rid of my popcorn popper--will have to find new roasting methods in the future...

Life is what you make it--and life is good.

Cultivate - The Sunday Paper's storied history

Nearly two years ago, I began the Sunday Paper. I missed the celebration of my 1000 days on Hubski. There's not much other history to tell.


The Dark Energy of a Theoretical Physicist - The New Yorker


Feel Different: Reward and Addiction - Nautilus

    I'm sure you've heard of them. The crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because their goddamn app notifications won't let you finish a 20-minute task without beeping or buzzing.


Reading list: Cape Cod - Henry David Thoreau

    This story of the surveyors reminded me of a Long-Islander, who once, when I had made ready to jump from the bow of his boat to the shore, and he thought that I underrated the distance and would fall short,--though I found afterward that he judged of the elasticity of my joints by his own,--told me that when he came to a brook which he wanted to get over, he held up one leg, and then, if his foot appeared to cover any part of the opposite bank, he knew that he could jump it. "Why," I told him, "to say nothing of the Mississippi, and other small watery streams, I could blot out a star with my foot, but I would not engage to jump that distance," and asked how he knew when he had got his leg at the right elevation. But he regarded his legs as no less accurate than a pair of screw dividers or an ordinary quadrant, and appeared to have a painful recollection of every degree and minute in the arc which they described; and he would have me believe that there was a kind of hitch in his hip-join which answered the purpose. I suggested that he should connect his two ankles by a string of the proper length, which should be the chord of an arc, measuring his jumping ability on horizontal surfaces,--assuming one leg to be a perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, which, however, may have been too bold an assumption in this case. Nevertheless, this was a kind of geometry in the legs which it interested me to hear of.

Tune: I'm Gonna Be Myself - The Sheepdogs


a softer world 999


A Letter in October - Ted Kooser

Dawn comes later and later now,

and I, who only a month ago

could sit with coffee every morning

watching the light walk down the hill

to the edge of the pond and place

a doe there, shyly drinking,

then see the light step out upon

the water, sowing reflections

to either side—a garden

of trees that grew as if by magic—

now see no more than my face,

mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,

startled by time. While I slept,

night in its thick winter jacket

bridled the doe with a twist

of wet leaves and led her away,

then brought its black horse with harness

that creaked like a cricket, and turned

the water garden under. I woke,

and at the waiting window found

the curtains open to my open face;

beyond me, darkness. And I,

who only wished to keep looking out,

must now keep looking in.


    TO YOU - Walt Whitman

STRANGER, if you passing meet me and desire to speak

to me, why should you not speak to me?

And why should I not speak to you?

Serve - Will I stick around for good this time?

Only time will tell. I certainly hope so. From my cursory glance around the 'ski, many Hubskiers are engaged in quite interesting projects and I want to keep tabs on them once again.


The Story my Grandparent's Ration Books Told Me - Pax Coffea


Welcome back! The Sunday Paper was my favorite part of Hubski when I first joined, really happy to see it again. Glad to hear you're doing well!

posted by demure: 570 days ago