tiedyedave: (stained glass)
Hi, I'm here!

You may know me from such disreputable sites as http://whitemage.livejournal.com (which may become a dead link in a few months).

I'll probably be pretty quiet for a couple of months while I continue to be very busy at work (https://cloud.google.com/) and preparing for festival season (http://www.unscruz.com/, http://www.criticalnw.org/, http://oregoneclipse2017.com/).
tiedyedave: (hmm)
So, tomorrow is my first day at Google, and I am scared.

I defended my dissertation 17 days ago, officially earned a PhD 7 days ago, and moved to Mountain View yesterday. The situation is beginning to feel more real, but it is still ephemeral and beyond my ability to fully process.

My experience of impostor syndrome has been strong for years, but has been especially strong lately; it seems as though I just barely graduated, and maybe that I don't even deserve my PhD, even after being in school for 9 years.

And now I am walking into a situation with high-powered people who very much have their shit together, whereas I haven't written a line of code in probably a year now, most likely got hired simply by virtue of having the magical (but now a decade stale) CMU-BS-CS incantation on my resume, and have for years had profound difficulty doing more than one hour of anything useful most days.

Also I will probably soon be signing a one year lease that equates to a ~$25k financial obligation (on top of the $125k in debt). So if I cannot keep my shit together then things will go poorly. Literally.

I am now strapped into a rocket fueled by expectation and necessity, and this rocket is about to go very quickly to a place that is very far from my comfort zone.



Apr. 27th, 2013 02:53 am
tiedyedave: (hmm)
Heard a murmur on facebook about how inactive livejournal accounts could be deleted, and before I could say "wait I wonder if that is actually true", I found myself on livejournal. It is very weird but not quite unpleasant to flip through my last few livejournal posts before I went silent; it looks like I have been gone for over three years.

For as much as my physical circumstances have remained relatively unchanged (still in Austin, still in grad school, and so on), I get the sense reading through these entries that Everything Is Different Now. It is strange and incongruous to me to have gone through such major psychological shifts "in place", as it were.

The thing in those past entries to which I reacted most strongly, simultaneously with amusement and profound discomfort, was my past self's prediction that I would "finish my dissertation by the end of 2010". Umm, no. Missed that one by over 2 years, and still counting. I do not think I am ready to process that yet. Maybe in a few months.

How are you, friends on livejournal? I missed you. I missed you so much that I forgot I missed you and there was just an unidentified hole in my life. (There are lots of those lately. But I remain optimistic.)

guest house

Mar. 1st, 2010 07:13 pm
tiedyedave: (Default)
I have generally been avoiding livejournal.

But I learned something today, something important enough to break the silence.

I cannot explain to you what I learned, but I can show you what I finally learned it from. For the full lesson, you would also need my yoga teacher, and medication, and probably the whole arc of my life, so this will have to do.

If I had learned this twenty seven years ago, or even twenty seven weeks ago, it would have saved me thousands and thousands of painful wounds.

With that in mind, I humbly suggest you read this at least once. If you have read it before, read it again.

Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~ rumi
tiedyedave: (Default)
(also posted on Facebook)

"I'll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside him, allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken."
- Duke Leto Atreides, from Dune

This is my first downtempo mix. I poured my heart into this one; I couldn't put it down for days, and I spent hours getting the transitions just right. The whole mix is keyed in C minor, and harmonic mixing made a huge difference here. There are feelings expressed here that I have been trying to express for over a decade, and I knew that music was the only way to do it. I'm very pleased with how it came out.

The tracks here are a subset of the tracks I played at the "Chakra" Ambient Campout a couple of weeks ago. Each of the DJs was asked to choose a chakra to base their set on. The lineup got a little scrambled, and I ended up playing much earlier than I had expected, unsure which chakra I was on. So I decided to play "between chakras": to try to express a long-running internal struggle between rational analysis (throat chakra) and emotional intuition (heart chakra). The DJ set itself was somewhat scattered, but it gave me the inspiration to put this studio mix together.

I would like to thank OneLove, The Reverend Kathy Russell, Otter Pop, Stitch, Polyhymnia, Monkey, Aaron Anthony, and Audrey Whitman for helping me to cross the threshold and make this mix happen.

Track list:
DJ Shadow - Building Steam With a Grain of Salt
Solar Fields - Cocoon Moon (Glastonbury Remix)
Bluetech - Probability Tree
Eat Static - Sands of Time
artificial life preserver - kalimba
edIT - Twenty Minutes
Björk - Jóga
Sophie & Ives - Awaken

new mix

Jan. 25th, 2009 06:35 pm
tiedyedave: (Default)
My old friend [livejournal.com profile] deviouslysl asked me to make her a mix. So here it is, for her and for all of you.

It's progressive house, same as the last mix. About the same tempo, and while it's not all in one key, the key changes that do happen are all in fifths. Harmonic mixing in Ableton is really nice; I'm especially happy with the transition just after 43:00. I feel like I've gotten a lot better at transitions and EQing and volume control over the past few months, and I think it shows here.

Setlist )
tiedyedave: (Default)
Welcome to 2009. Glad you could make it! How's the new year treating you so far?

I, for one, am having a mildly awesome 2009. I am back in Austin. I have been practicing my DJing all afternoon, which was a whole lot of fun. (Ever tried making a mashup of In White Rooms and Days Go By? Good times. A++, would remix again.)

Now I am off to either write a typechecker or engage in an as-yet-undiscovered social activity. I would prefer the latter; we'll see what happens.
tiedyedave: (Default)
In 2008, whitemage resolves to...
Admit my true feelings to platypuslord.
Drink four glasses of neuroscience every day.
Pay for my civil liberties on time.
Ask my boss for a life.
Buy new human languages.
Eat more programming languages.

Get your own New Year's Resolutions:


Nov. 19th, 2008 10:15 pm
tiedyedave: (Default)
This is not part of my series of posts; I just caught eye of a great article on Worldchanging and wanted to share it.

The Last Viridian Note

The beginning and the end are wankerous, but in the middle, Sterling talks about his approach to stuff, and the attitude he outlines there is very similar to my own.

From the article:

The items that you use incessantly, the items you employ every day, the normal, boring goods that don't seem luxurious or romantic: these are the critical ones. They are truly central. The everyday object is the monarch of all objects. It's in your time most, it's in your space most. It is "where it is at," and it is "what is going on."

It takes a while to get this through your head, because it's the opposite of the legendry of shopping. However: the things that you use every day should be the best-designed things you can get. For instance, you cannot possibly spend too much money on a bed – (assuming you have a regular bed, which in point of fact I do not). You're spending a third of your lifetime in a bed. Your bed might be sagging, ugly, groaning and infested with dust mites, because you are used to that situation and cannot see it. That calamity might escape your conscious notice. See it. Replace it.

Sell – even give away – anything you never use. Fancy ball gowns, tuxedos, beautiful shoes wrapped in bubblepak that you never wear, useless Christmas gifts from well-meaning relatives, junk that you inherited. Sell that stuff. Take the money, get a real bed. Get radically improved everyday things.

The same goes for a working chair. Notice it. Take action. Bad chairs can seriously injure you from repetitive stresses. Get a decent ergonomic chair. Someone may accuse you of "indulging yourself" because you possess a chair that functions properly. This guy is a reactionary. He is useless to futurity. Listen carefully to whatever else he says, and do the opposite. You will benefit greatly.
tiedyedave: (Default)
take a picture of yourself right now.
don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
post that picture with NO editing.
post these instructions with your picture.

I like this meme.


Apr. 16th, 2008 01:17 pm
tiedyedave: (Default)
Yes, I am coming to Carnival.

I land at Thursday 21:45, and lift off at Sunday 7:15.

But! In classic CMUCS deadline-hugging fashion, I still don't have a definite place to sleep. I am OK with cots and couches, and floors with space exceeding 5' by 7' (in which case I'll bring an inflatable). Only Thursday and Friday nights needed; I'll just stay up until the flight on Saturday. I have heard offers from [livejournal.com profile] sleepsong and [livejournal.com profile] redglasses; are those still available? I am sorry to be such a bum. Both income and preparation have been lacking.


Mar. 19th, 2008 02:53 pm
tiedyedave: (Default)

I am coming to Carnival.

April 19th is Bicycle Day.

I do not currently have a place to stay in Pittsburgh. I am looking for crash space; How Much Do You Love/Like/Have-The-Capacity-To-Tolerate Dave?
tiedyedave: (Default)
So I caught the later part of a talk at UT by Ira Flatow, about creativity and invention. Most of the talk was so-so, but he played a clip of an interview with Grace Hopper, as an example of how important it is to be a good communicator. In particular,he played the segment of this clip from +4:20 to +5:40 or so.

That's probably the coolest explanation of a nanosecond I've ever seen. A good chunk of the audience at the talk burst into applause.

(For a similarly amusing explanation of a picosecond, see +7:30 to +8:20)
tiedyedave: (chin up)
On Sunday, I completed my twenty-fifth extrauteral solar orbit.

What I'd really like to do right now is to write a long retrospective entry about the last twenty or so birthdays of my life (note: I have essentially no life memories before the age of five), discussing the highlights of each year. It would be fun and cathartic and maybe even impressive. But I really don't have the energy for it right now. That's rapidly becoming the theme of this semester, especially with respect to journaling of all kinds. I have major life events from weeks and weeks ago that are still barely detailed in my personal journal because I just haven't had the energy to fill them in.

Sigh, this is one of those many times in my life when there is so much in motion at once that I can't stop to write any of the interesting stuff down, or at least not in a presentable fashion.

But I'll try anyway.

Here are the highlights of the last year:

- I have lost 15 to 25 pounds. I am in much better physical condition, though I still have a long way to go to meet my ideal standards.

- I am now involved in at least three new social circles: body choir, burners, and psytrance. I would estimate that I have at least 20 new significant friendships, and have become at least acquainted with around 200 new people.

- I have given up video games completely. Final Fantasy 12 was my last game; it was a noble endeavour and a strong note to end on, but I finally made the decision that I just don't have enough time left in my life to devote any of it to video games right now.

- I now have a lovely Macbook Pro that has served and continues to serve quite well. I'd rank it as one of the best major purchases of my life. My future self's money well spent.

- About six weeks ago, I picked up a simple native american flute. Cedar, five holes. I've never played a woodwind, and hadn't played an instrument at all since high school. In under two weeks, I was already tooting and twiddling well enough to be quite pleased with the instrument. I haven't taken lessons, and my playing hasn't really incorporated any rigorous discipline, so I'm not good, but I'm sure having a lot of fun. It's been a great outlet, and an excellent diversion when I get stuck in midday traffic.

- I have a much stronger grasp on my research, to the point that I know at least half of my thesis topic. Reaching the thesis proposal will definitely require a lot of hard work, but the path is illuminated. I'll admit though, the better I understand the shape of things to come, the more I feel disappointed that I couldn't accomplish something grander or more impressive. Oh well.

- For three months, I was involved with a woman sixteen years older than me. In retrospect, I don't think my approach to the relationship was entirely fair to her, though much of that had to do with the fact that my life had been rapidly changing shape, and I did not have (and continue to fail to have) a clear idea of who I really am, which inevitably made things difficult. She taught me a lot about what my ideological limits are, and how much identity tension I can take in a relationship. The preceding three sentences are cryptic, useless crap, but it's the best I can field in a small space and a short time, so it will have to do.

- For three months, I was a vegan. I learned that vegetarian to vegan is much, much harder than just omnivore to vegetarian alone. I learned a lot about how far I am willing to go to uphold a personal principle, and how to realize when I have actually gone far enough to hinder myself for no useful purpose.

- I understand more clearly who I actually am. I don't think my awareness is much clearer now than it was, say, four years ago. However, given that I spent the previous two years sinking into total confusion, and that the space that this awareness must span is actually quite a bit larger than it used to be, I consider this a substantial accomplishment.

- I am marginally more at peace with the idea of my own eventual death. This is about as well-off as I've been since about five years ago, when I had left organized religion far enough behind me that the concept really started to trouble me. Still a long way to go. Ideally, I will have made substantial progress before I actually do die; that would be nice.

- I have learned to dance. Not with any technical proficiency, mind you: I am still nearly as mortified of legitimate dance forms as I have been for my entire life. My dancing is sloppy, untrained, impulsive, random, leaves little opportunity for synchronizing with others, and unevenly trains my muscle groups. But what I have learned is that it is OK for me to dance, even if sometimes I'm just bouncing or flailing or flowing or vibrating like a fool. It is OK because I have learned that I am dancing for my own sake. I have learned that being on a dance floor does not need to have anything to do with impressing anyone. I have learned that I dance because I have to, because I'll go mad if I'm just sitting back and taking in the music from a distance. I have learned (and last weekend, finally found the words to express) that dancing is listening with your entire body, and I must, by my very nature, listen/dance as hard as I fucking can.

- I am no longer severely depressed. It took me much longer than it ought have for me to admit to myself that I was actually suffering, and something needed to change. Ultimately, I never did see a counselor, but I was very close to that point on multiple occasions. Granted, life is not all roses right now, but it doesn't have the malignant grayness that it had for basically all of '05 and '06. I owe [livejournal.com profile] foolmonkey a debt of gratitude on this point (on some of the others too, but especially this one), perhaps more than he realizes.

- There is another major development over the last four months that I have not included on this list because I don't discuss it over unprotected channels, but anyone who knows me well enough can guess what it is.

That brings things pretty much up to date.

Things are very busy this semester since I am once again a TA, and furthermore a TA for an intro course with three recitations to teach, so it's a substantial fixed time commitment. Right now it's looking like an unavoidable 15 hours every week. Add a set of work-intensive but frequently stymied research projects on top of that, and it starts to look pretty unforgiving. My current mantra is "work sucks, but everything else is going great".

That's mostly true. I'll admit there is one other problem: I'm getting kind of tired of being single. However, I have gotten to the point where I am willing to let that work itself out entirely at its own pace. Looking for a relationship has never ended well for me. Besides, I've got enough going on this semester that getting involved with someone would probably resolve in one of three suboptimal ways: a lightweight relationship with very little time commitment, a great deal of frustration for her, or a total meltdown for me.

the sun was rising in the eastern sky
just as we set out to the desert's cry
calling, yearning, pulling, home to you
tiedyedave: (Default)
I have a quart of kefir, a dozen eggs, and a block of cheddar in front of me that mark the ending of about three months of being vegan. I suspect that my digestive system will not be happy about the shift back, but hopefully it will only take a few days to get back to normal.

Why? I'm tired of thinking so much about what I'm going to eat. It's too stressful, and this is a point in my life at which I cannot devote enough time to it to make it work. I have a very weird appetite, so constraining it too much has caused problems. It had gotten to the point where I was occasionally very hungry, and almost always a little bit hungry, and some experiences over the past few days have really prompted me to acknowledge that I can't tolerate that feeling any more.

The really confusing thing here is that I haven't really missed the taste of any of the things I had stopped eating. The problem isn't vegan food, it's living in an aggressively nonvegan culture. I just miss being able to go into a restaurant or a cafe or a grocery store and quickly identify something, anything, that I can eat.

Okay, that's not quite true. I miss good pizza. Goodness gracious, I miss good pizza. As soon as I can verify that I can keep cheese down, I'm going to get some pizza.
tiedyedave: (Default)
Bumper sticker of the week: my other vehicle is the mahayana

Music stream of the week: Groove Salad at SomaFM

Psychoactive substance of the week: caffeine
tiedyedave: (Default)
It's about time to post again.

There has been a lot going on in my life that I would like to talk about, but I can't field it here, since it touches on issues I don't talk about over insecure channels.

No longer entirely vegan, but only in a small way: taking fish oil gelcaps (a double whammy) for omega-3 needs, specifically DHA and EPA. I know of a Swiss company that makes this type of supplement in vegan form (using an algal oil derivative), but the supplements are less than half as strong and about six times more expensive, even before shipping.

I've been very self-centered for the past few months. I use this term almost neutrally: it's just a fact that I've had a lot of internal analysis to do, a lot of identity questions to consider. However, this has had some undesirable side effects. I've noticed myself taking up more space in conversations, being me-me-me, which is an almost necessary consequence of the way I change myself and take on new identities, but it's not something I want to make a habit of. I want to be a listener again, though it seems so very odd to say that in a livejournal.

I have begun to overcome an idea that's burdened me for essentially my entire life: that for whatever reason, I am not actually living my life yet, just setting things up so I can live it later. I blame the relentless progression of school for part of this: middle school prepared me for high school, which prepared me for college (I went to an aggressively college-prep high school), and then college was preparing me for a job or for graduate school, and now graduate school is preparing me to be a professor or researcher of some kind, which will have its own stages of preparation (tenure track or seniority). By the time I'm 'ready' in this sense, I will have readied myself to retire and then to die.

Saw Ratatouille, and it was delightful. Highly recommended.
tiedyedave: (Default)
My relationship with Crow is over. She is no longer interested. Intuitively I knew this almost a month ago, and had adapted accordingly, but it's good that she finally stated it.

I wish Livejournal had a function to show me all of the post titles that I've used in the past. I have lots of favorite phrases and quotes, but I'm afraid I may have reused a couple of them. Oh well.


tiedyedave: (Default)

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