I am being personally called out

A day off meant we could do things we’d always meant to do. Like go to the Botanical Garden, the Frick Collection, or something. Read some fiction. Leisure, the problem with the modern condition was the dearth of leisure. And finally, it took a force of nature to interrupt our routines. We just wanted to hit the reset button. We wanted to feel flush with the time to do things of no quantifiable value, or hopeful side pursuits like writing or drawing or something, something other than what we did for money. Like learn to be a better photographer. And even if we didn’t get around to it on that day, our free day, maybe it was enough just to feel the possibility that we could if we wanted to, which is another way of saying that we wanted to feel young, though many of us were that if nothing else.

Severance, page 199
Ling Ma

This paragraph should just @ me next time. Rude.

Kind of gets at why this whole personal blog/web1.0 throwback experiment is appealing though. I am giving myself space to engage in something that I will not be able to monetize. A piece of myself I am not leasing to a centralized social media giant in exchange for the hope of more social capital. It feels strange and uncomfortable, but also like I’m working to gain something back.

Why are Easter buffets so sad?

It’s become something of a tradition for me, my aunt, and my uncle to attempt brunch on Easter. The cocktails are uniformly great. This is, after all, Chicago. But the food is reminiscent of a Holiday Inn Express continental breakfast. Sufficient, I guess, but not worth the $50 they squeeze out of you for it.

Spent a large chunk of the afternoon entering books into a catalog on Inventaire. Because if there’s one thing I love it’s doing data entry about books, and the correcting inconsistencies in the database.

This blog is now a part of a webring.

Going to try to finish Severance by Ling Ma today. March and April have not been particularly good reading months for me.

Also going to try to release betterreads v0.4.0, a Python library for interfacing with the public Goodreads API, sometime this week. I’ve been dragging my heels on the authentication based integration tests and updating the documentation.

Trying to be responsible

This is a total stream of consciousness braindump about the fact that I’m bad at money.

An issue I seem to run into again and again is that I wait until I’m so miserable that I can barely breathe before I start looking for a new job. I tried to avert that this time around by telling myself in January that I would give it until the end of Q1 before committing to either staying or going. By the end of Q1 I was read to scream in each and every meeting I attended, and absolutely ready to move on. I should have trusted my gut feeling in January that this was an untenable situation and taken action then.

Part of the reason I’m so consistently waiting out bad situations is the fact that I’m bad at money, and I look at my savings account and know that it’s not going to go as far as I need it to if I quit without a backup plan. I’m very happy with the new offer that I got, and I’m glad that I waited for it, but it would have been so much nicer if I could have searched for a job knowing that I could walk away and devote my entire attention to a job search.

So, even though it’s solidly into Q2, I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I get serious about building up my Fuck Off Fund. I need to work on saving up enough money to live comfortably with no additional income for 6 months. I have a number budgeted out, and the worksheet I got off of the official Fuck Off Fund website says to announce to 3 people that saving for emergencies is a priority for me in order to increase external accountability.

Since there are about three or four people who know that this blog exists, I’m going to consider this my public accountability announcement. I’m trying to save money. Feel free to ask me how it’s going. I will try to update here every so often, but I don’t know that I feel comfortable discussing exact numbers. I think I should hit my 10% milestone by the end of Q2. Wish me luck.

Note: the hero image for this post is a piece of glitch art I made by vertically RGB channel shifting the image, and then pixel sorting it by white values, which creates the great green circle with the face shaped negative space in the middle.

Learned How to Glitch Art Today

I’m fascinated with finding methods of digitally destroying or erasing my own face.

Glitched jpg image with horizontal bands from three separate selfies.
JPG hex editing with three separate selfies, used in unequal proportions. My first glitch art attempt.
Horizontal colorful stripes. This used to be a selfie, and portions of the face are still visible if you squint, but it's not immediately recognizable.
One of the selfies from the glitch art above (not the primary one). More radical glitching and less image mixing applied.
An image that used to be a selfie, bu the pixels are sorted according to brightness, so only vague shapes remain, and the pixels appear to be drifting upward and to the right.
A pixel sorting glitch run using Kim Asendorf‘s ASDF Pixel Sort written in the Processing programming language. Sorted by brightness, using both horizontal and vertical sorts.
An image that used to be a selfie of me in a hat with a pearl necklace, but the pixels are sorted horizontally from black to white. What's left is black on the left, with a smear of color in the middle, and white on the right. You can tell where my mouth used to be.
The same pixel sorting algorithm on a different selfie. Sorted from black to white, using only a horizontal sort. You can tell that in the original image my hair was purple and i was wearing red lipstick.
The same selfie as above, but sorting horizontally by brightness. You can tell that I am wearing a hat. Most of my face is pretty blurred, but my eyes are strangely intact, which is a bit unsettling. My hair also retains most of its shape.
The same selfie as above, but sorting horizontally by brightness.

I attempted to databend some other photos using Audacity sound editing, but mostly managed to break them instead of glitching them. I’ll try again later.