# Hot Metal Butterfly

Everything is so fucked up it's kind of funny. I'm exhausted. I work at a place that's a bizarre mixture of advanced and mediocre. Anyways, I can't even catalog the number of things that are wrong or out of place. The light is so long that it just feels like getting punched in the face, that all I can do is weep. Then people wonder what's wrong, and it's just like, y'know, I have a pile of problems from 2019 that keeps getting worse and worse, and I'm trying to move on but when I do it becomes unbearably difficult, then I go backwards a little more. It's the time that won't stop beating the shit out of me. Since moving here I've gained twenty pounds, my teeth have turned yellow, I have a two year gap in my resume, I haven't dated anyone, I live at my parents, my credit score has remained in the toilet, I've forgotten lots of things, I haven't really read anything or accomplished anything, my friendships have dwindled, I've gone to the hospital more times than I can count, and the job I got to get out of here turned out to be at a place I don't want to work at. It just seems so awful. I don't know. Perhaps I can forget about it. The worst part, of course, is that I've lost myself. The person operating on a day to day basis isn't Jackson, it's someone else now, someone I dislike deeply, someone I don't recognize or know, disfigured by these events, lost and confused, and mostly alone. Everyone I've known has skyrocketed past me in the past few years, and I've let it happen. The work I'm commencing on I could've started approximately seven years ago. I have no children, no wife, no original work to my name. Just a bunch of half-finished nonsense, an education that has never been put to use. I am not excited by the possibilities here, I am mostly confused by them. The fact that the office is in an office park in McLean, Virginia is one of the most haunting aspects. It makes me feel like I've already died. People who work there that are young live in Virginia, in Arlington. I left a long time ago on purpose, and was never supposed to come back. I don't want to settle here. I just want to go, but there's no where to go.

I allowed myself to become such a small person. I don't know why. I love reading. I like working, love it sometimes. I like exercising. I like people. I love relationships. I like hiking. I like camping. I like traveling. I love, more than anything, independence, the idea of it. Having your own life. I've wasted my time, allowed myself to rot, allowed a generation to move forward without me. I don't know why. I honestly don't know. Depression? It never had to be like this. I'm so tired, so dead inside. Losing Sara, then Meghan, then everything, then recovering, then giving it all up then recovering. Like, it just ... I can't. What the actual fuck. Nothing makes sense anymore, and I'm lost, and kind of worthless, like tired in this way. This place feels small. I guess I have to treat it as such, even though there are a ton of experienced people that are smarter than me, that doesn't take away from the fact that there are a ton of other organizations that are absolutely massive, or doing things which are much more agressive. Like sending rocket ships to space on thin margins. Or whatever. This work is just going to be hard to do. I don't know if it's going to be technically challenging, but I don't know, somehow I'm just kind of like, hm, confused by it all. Ever just exist in life and completely give up but still have to life? Just, like, you get into a situation where everything stops making sense? It happens all the time in the world. Totaled cars, mangled pieces of metal, burned up houses. Like, crush it, melt it, incinerate it, knock it down. I feel like that happens in life, too. Emotionally, situationally, whatever. Except you can't get rid of it, so then it's just like okay, what now? How do you incinerate yourself?

I'm so fucked. I'm so completely fucked. There's no way to fix the problems I have and get back to the way I felt about life. It just isn't possible anymore. I keep trying to climb out of a well and at some point it's just like, you can't. You're down there, and someone could throw you a rope if they find you, otherwise you'll just die. I don't even know what that rope would look like. Some kind of inspiration to live again. To Burn another year that I don't have to get back to life, and then to be much older than I want to be, essentially trying to roll the clock back seven years, because they were wasted. Not wasted, but whatever. They weren't used properly. Fuck it. I hate this. I hate meta-thinking. Trying to figure out how to think. Nothing works anymore. It's almost funny how stupid this all is. Why am I even writing? What does it do? It's still rambling. I haven't built anything in so long. I never work with people. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not who I'm supposed to be. There's like a person inside me that wants to do all these things and sometimes does but not often enough at all, and some other person outside of me that is acting, mostly in fear now. Traumatized to an insane degree. Going from being ready to conquer the world to hiding in a dark room in a basement, trying to shut the world out because there's nothing good in it. Except the most painful part is knowing precisely how many interesting and good and wonderful things there are, and knowing that by doing that I'm shutting out all of those things, and not knowing how to get there anymore, how to restart, because nothing works. It's just nonsense. Everything is just broken nonsense.

What do I do? Keep my head down for six months? Get paid? Whiten my teeth? Lose twenty pounds? Move to DC? Go on dates? Find a cool project? Get inspired? Read a book? Get a new bike? Like, what? Is that really gonna connect me to life, to the life I always felt like I was supposed to have, to the person I want to be? I really doubt it. In fact, it just won't. Soon I'll be getting rejected from a security clearance, housing will be impossible to find given my credit, and every other fucking issue will just crop up. I'll want to be twenty two again, not because of a fantasy, but because I only half used the past ten years. Because I don't feel my age. Because there are severe, incredible gaps in my time as a person. Because no one can explain me. No one can figure out what the fuck is going on, why someone like me isn't using and enjoying all the gifts I've demonstrated. Why I'm just a lazy, unmotivated fuck. My life has been awful. I don't want it anymore. I was just so much happier in like 2018 or 2019 or whatever. Like, I knew it wasn't perfect but I was closer to just appreciating what I had accomplished, like settling. Being like, okay, no I'm not going to discover a new theory of quantum gravity, but at least I have close friends and I have my own state and I have a cool job. That was the thing. I didn't think it was a cool job, and I didn't appreciate Meghan enough. I was a fucking idiot. Something else happened instead, and maybe it was inevitable, but maybe it wasn't. I'll never know. I don't give a shit about fate vs. free will. There's no answer, it's a stupid riddle. You make choices, and then you have to figure out what a choice is, and what "you" means. You make choices, that you then observe. Basically, it's both. You observe your free, unimpeded will, which you have no control over but which horrifyingly exists and you have to watch until you fucking die.

I just wish it wasn't like this. I pretty much hate all aspects of my life and I don't feel anything anymore, and I know why, and it didn't used to be this way, and it doesn't need to be this way, and it just shouldn't. I hate this. I hate what I've been doing. I hate it all. It's just weird. It's broken. It feels wrong. I want to go live a completely different life somewhere, get away from this dumpster. IT'S A COMPLETE FUCKING MESS WHERE NOTHING MAKES SENSE AND NO ONE KNOWS WHO I AM OR CARES. I AM DEEPLY ALONE, BROKEN IN EVERY WAY, AND DEVASTATED. MY ONLY SOLACE IS SLEEP. I AM MISERABLE AND WEEPING IN THE MOST PROFOUND WAY. I can't even believe this is going on. How long it takes to escape anything. You can't. It's all money behind a fence. It's idiotic. They don't want to pay you unless you're completely trapped. FUCK. OH MY GOD, FUCK. Everything I did, everything I've done, every stupid move I've made, every time I've said it wasn't worth it, I was wrong. I can't believe I didn't just make my life awesome when it would've been so fucking easy to do that. I don't even know who I am anymore, and I keep getting surrounded by the wrong people, over and over. What a goddamn mess. I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm going to an office in McLean. I want to die. I've wasted two years of my life. I want them back. I want to delete all this. I want this period to go away. I hate all this shit. I hate everything I've learned, everything I've done, everything I've become. It's all worthless bullshit, nothing to do with human life.

Jesus fucking Goddamn Christ. I fucking hate everything that's happened. I don't want it to be 2023. I hate this. It's fucking unreal. Litearlly unreal. I've missed out on all the joys of life. It's so bizarre. I fucking hate this so much. I don't want to be like this. It never needed to be like this. Fucking 2018. Fucking 2019. Fucking 2020. Then death. Full blown death. Just nothing. No one understood, they still don't, terrified to talk about it. What it means to die when you're alive, how fucking serious it is. Where you literally can't find a feeling you felt for twenty six years, just evaporated, gone. People trying to help you but driving in the stake. Idiots.

Yup, I went to work one day and immediately became suicidal. It forced me to realize how wrong everything is, how fucked up my life is, how little hope there is of getting out. How much it's dependent on working with people and trying and doing a whole bunch of things I'm not really interested in with people that are just doing too many things. Fuckin' whoops. This is what happens, every time, with desperation. Nonsense. That's what people don't get. It's not grit, or hard work, it's nonsense when people do things that they have no interest in doing. It doesn't work. It feels like shit, and it just breaks pretty quickly. What the fuck. I used to love doing things. All I ever wanted was a good project to work on. It wasn't that hard. Then, of course, I get a project and I'm consumed but not actually able to handle it and then it's emptiness and loneliness and brokenness and there we are, with nothing actually working. It just keeps happening to me, this oscillating between nothingness and brokenness, never really finding anything that fucking works. Now I'll never be able to get a house or apartment. Like, my whole life path has been delayed and broken. Parents have no idea what's going, never knew how to help or give advice in 2019. Just watched while it all broke. Didn't need them, shouldn't've asked. That's the whole thing. They just become worthless at some point, because they have no idea what you're doing and have never experienced anything you are. I hate my life so much. I hate that I lost my independent life. I want to die, over and over. Who wouldn't? I don't even have a life. It's not like I would be dying as a person, I'm already dead. They killed me awhile ago.

There's no, like, good way to frame this. I'm just stuck in an insane, bizarre position doing something that people for some insane reason think is good (a job), when every aspect of it is awful and bizarre. I have to consistently hide that, and just be like, alright, it's ... not bizarre? It's normal, to go into a glass cage all day and sit in windowless spaces on a computer? To do things that benefit some abstract entity? It's fucking weird, and we only do it because other people started doing it first. I have no idea what would happen if these organizations shut down, but sometimes I think we should just give it a shot. Like, I don't know, just see for a year. Reboot it a year later, see what's really changed. I probably sound like a maniac.

Nothing matters. Perhaps I'll do a good job. Get paid. Move out. Find another job. Move on. Try to figure out what the fuck I want to do with myself, now that everything is completely fucked and terrifying. Lost to the wind. Fuck this. Fuck all this. Fuck feeling like this. Fuck not having felt good for years. Do you know what that's actually like? To not actually feel genuinely good and healthy for like years? Just always something, never quite right, never proud, never excited, never happy, never content, never relaxed? It's insanity. It's completely inhuman, is all it is. You just don't feel like a human. You vaguely remember what it was like, what everyone else probably feels, then you just realize, it's a shadow of that, an old, fargone feeling.

So just disassociate and get out of here. Go get enough money to put gas in the car and just drive to California. Who cares. It doesn't matter anymore. Like, c'mon. Everything's dead. It's seriously toast. There's no actual hope. Every piece of who I was as a person started to fade at 24, was almost gone at 26, and by 28 needed to drastically change. Needed to settle down with Meghan, and didn't. Fuck this. Fuck all this. So ugly, so wrong, so empty most of all. So fucking empty. I don't even care about happy hours, meeting up with people, anything. Like, if it comes to me, fine, but I don't care. I'm dead inside. I don't want anything anymore. My time passed, my spirit died. I wish it didn't. I wish one of so many people could've stopped it, could've been the real friend that I needed. The thousand conversations I needed to have and never did but instead just sat in silence, rotting away.

Great, now I'm going to go to bed, at like 11PM, and wake up at like 6AM, and go to a place I don't want to go. I'm not going to be able to sleep, and I'm not going to get anything done tomorrow. Fuck this. Fuck feeling like this. Fuck everything that brought me here. Fuck my choices. Fuck every single person that moved through my life and left me for dead. Like, how hard is it? To check in? To give a fuck? It doesn't matter what you do, how kind you are, it'll never matter. It'll always end in silence. I don't want to go to bed because I don't want to wake up tomorrow.

~5PM, Sun. 1-29-2023: Alright, here we are, once again at the beginning. I was like weeping in this Starbucks bathroom last year, trying to apply for jobs. I spent all of 2021 not really trying. It's been an awful two years. I'm now seeing that people I dated in grad school are getting married. Everyone has a life of some sort. I guess I just sort of don't really understand how I got here. A lot of laziness. So much life wasted. I felt young not so long ago, I still sort of do, but good God. I can't find life, people, the people I'm supposed to be around. Everything has sort of shredded. It's bizarre. It makes me sad. I'm mostly just, like, sad and shocked that I couldn't turn my time in Boston into something that made more sense. I was so close, I worked hard. I just wish thing had been a little quieter near the end, that I could've just stayed with Sara and moved on from there, stayed in that house the last year, found a job and an apartment after graduating, started life then and there. What I did was absolutely brutal. Anyways, I can't really talk about all that, because it's over, and tomorrow is a brand new day. I have to get excited about this. I need to do the hardest thing, which is to put the past behind me. I'm still here, I'm young and healthy, a million things are possible. I've learned some things over the past couple of years, even if it's not at all what I wanted to learn.

I just want to cry. MITRE? Washington, DC? Virginia? What is happening? Ten years of math and physics? It didn't work out but it almost did, and I felt really confident for awhile but I just stopped working at some point. I don't know when, but a long time ago. I look at my face now and it just seems like the life has kind of drained out of it, it's just been so long since I've done things or been with people that make me truly happy. Perhaps that's not the best thing to focus on. I just worry that I'm going to go start working, finally get paid again, really not like what I'm doing every day, and then not be able to have those things outside of work that make me happy. Not have the girlfriend, not have the feeling that life is in front of me, not having friends to hang out with. It's just all like, wait, what happened? I was in a PhD program at Boston University, the world was completely open to me and I almost took advantage of it. I just broke apart, I still feel shattered into a million pieces in a way. Like, nothing is coherent. It's fine.

What I'm going to try to do is put myself back together. Yes, I'm 31 and have essentially wasted the last two years of my life. I have stopped smoking, which is good. I don't think that habit is sustainable. It's just the worst. My teeth are kinda yellow and I'm overweight by twenty pounds, but other than that look great and am healthy and athletic. My credit is pretty much busted, and will only get better once I pay off this debt and open some new credit. Again, all consequences of 2019. The only way actually out of the trap of the past, of thinking I should've done things differently, is to simply believe that everything happens for a reason, that it had to be this way. Life is not over. There is a world in DC, in my early 30s, which can be a ton of fun. Where I can grow into a relationship, perhaps with someone better than anyone who came before. That's possible. How many people have had a rough go of it for a couple years, have had to work to get back on their feet, have seen some things they didn't want to see or experience? Like, what is this idea that things should be perfect? It makes no sense.

Alternate perspectives? Could be way worse? Yes, but it could be way better. It's all the connections and friends ripped away, the daily interactions. That's the real thing, when life stops being this daily things that keeps happening, keeps evolving. When it becomes this, like, empty thing where things don't have to happen to you. They can and do happen to other people, but not to you. Like being a prisoner, you're just shielded somehow from the events of life for a time.

I have to somehow, like frantically, make sense of my plight. 31 years old, broke, single, living at parents. PhD, skilled, good looking, personable. Job starting on Monday. I think the thing is I don't want to feel like I've missed my twenties and fallen off into mediocrity. I experienced a lot in my twenties, but not everything I wanted to. I also just wish I'd worked more. That's a stupid thing to say to have wanted. You don't wish you'd wanted to work, you just do. I don't know, does life really, like, work the way you think it does? Like, you want things and then maybe they happen? I feel like you just get into like a mindset, you get yourself into a situation and then things start happening. You don't, like, deliberately build networks, they just sort of start to form around you when you're in the right position for it. I feel like I've spent way too many hours of my life sitting in coffee shops doing nothing. I should stop. There must be another place to go, another way to spend my time. There have been holes in my life, where people should be. Like, some people are kind of there, but then it's just empty. I don't know how to fill the gaps. I, like, have to get back into living. I have to move out. I'm so fucking worried I'm just going to become mediocre, like I've given up on myself and now I'm into some middling shit. I can't help it though. I don't see another path right now. Like, honestly? What am I actually supposed to do? If I keep doing this shit I'm going to end up wasting my life. Everything feels fucking trivial.

It's just going to be such a mess if I don't get this security clearance. It's already pretty fraught, just the idea of having one. I really don't know if I want to become this person, analyzing classified data. Is that really who I am, everything I've worked for, the types of people I hung with? Really? Also, I still can't figure out why I let my life collapse to hard. How much it felt like other people could, like, exist in some hazy middle ground where they worked a little in their twenties and survived, whereas when I tried to do that at 28-29 it was nearly impossible, just straight work and barely had enough to survive. Hm. This doesn't feel like a fruitful line of thought. Getting kicked out of here anyways.

Okay, well, fuck it. Time to deal with reality. The reality is I have a job, and no, I don't know what the future is going to look like. My fucking car needs work, and my fucking teeth are yellow, and I'm now twenty pounds overweight. Most of this is a symptom of being here, of not working, of not having good reasons to care. I've been trying my fucking best to just get back to life, to find a way out of here. However I keep, like, shutting down. My brain just falls apart, I wind up sleeping, doing nothing. Why? Why not enjoy life? It's all sitting there, like all of it. How much have I wasted, how many fucking concerts, trips around the country, visits to other countries, relationships, housing scenarios, how much have I missed, given up for no reason? It doesn't matter. Lamenting won't help. I just have to go back into the world and figure it out. I don't know what I want anymore, what my life is supposed to be like, how many years it will take to be normal again, how to recover from all the things I've lost, how to deal with all this fucking trauma. Fuck it.

There's a homeless woman in here on the phone, and it's pretty intense. I could be grateful for where I'm at, grateful to have a job, grateful that I didn't mess things up too bad, grateful that I finished my PhD, grateful that I can still figure it all out. Yeah, there's like an entire, incredible world waiting just around the corner. It's not far. I'm trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be now, without math and physics, with just this little job, this supposed career and this big ole organization with a thousand moving parts. How to be myself in that environment. It just feels like I stepped off the treadmill of life in 2019 or 2020, and haven't gotten back on. UGH. I keep saying the same fucking thing. Perhaps going to work will be good just to break the cycle. Fuck, I've just let my life get so boring. So devoid of people and meaning. It's just like, what am I doing? Why am I like this now?

Fuck man, there's something missing. I don't know what it is. I honestly don't. If it's just literally money, going to work everyday. Probably, but not actually. My life, being alive. My connections, having someone in my life that I think about. Feeling in control of my destiny. It's like I never fucking activated. Like, I started to in grad school then I was just too broke to worry about anything other than how I was going to survive. Like, we partied all the time, worked a lot, I don't know. Still, it feels like nothing really happened. Whatever, again, whatever, whatever, whatever. I have to stop thinking about this, and just somehow break free.

I think I get anxious now too, which I didn't used to get. Like, I no longer feel on top of everything, smart and confident. It feels like I'm kind of just hanging on, like I won't be able to figure things out or it'll be obvious that I don't really want to, when everyone else will just have this natural desire to try super hard because they think it's the best they could ever get, their life is about moving up a few rungs on a ladder. Perhaps not. I don't know. I guess I just need to use this to sort of launch myself into a direction. Who knows. Maybe I'll get the clearance, maybe it'll lead to something else. Something actually interesting. Something that fits. That feels meaningful. All I know is that it seems very likely I'll be around people that are the antithesis of everything I wanted to be around, and that scares me.

At this point it's like "fuck it", I'm just going to roll forward. I've made some choices, and I probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't made them. They're not necessarily bad, but they do look a lot like giving up on some early dreams. There are reasons for it. There is a genuineness to not thinking that this deep physics is really all that important, that it's somehow detached. You know, nothing makes sense right now. I want to write here someday, look back on how young and naive and delicate I am, at how beautiful a time this was, and laugh. I want to stop this, this ravaging of myself as I am, to somehow not realize that look, I'm here, with my family, and they're healthy, and relatively young, in the house I grew up. I'm going to weep when that is gone. There will be nothing that could possibly replace it. I don't know how I'm even going to handle that. To have that now, and somehow be this depressed, this out of it, this ungrateful, this lazy, it just sucks. It's just such a terrible way to be. It's like this massive Catch-22, like I wanted to be here but I can't be happy here. When I say I wanted to be here, I don't think it was conscious. It was subconscious. I was in too much pain, too many things weren't going right, I had lost the easiness of life, the joy of taking care of things. Perhaps it was the relationships, I don't know. There were enough to kind of kill somebody, to drain them because there wasn't just one that was long enough to enjoy. The constant starting and stopping. That probably did the most damage. Just never really being able to settle in with someone, and then every other aspect of my life blowing to pieces.

Okay, so what is it then? This job, moving to Washington, DC. Trying to get a security clearance. Hm. That doesn't sound right, but it is what it is. Then what? I start dating, meet someone, move in? A year? Two? Jesus. So I guess it just doesn't matter, life is going to be fucking hard and suck for another three months at least. February, March, April. That'll be enough to move out. Then the car. The debt. Finding an apartment given my background. Forty hours a week. Fuck man, and no one. No friends, no girlfriend, no nothing. How. Why? Why did I do this? Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. This isn't me. I miss being able to be myself. Miss late 2020. Whatever, it's all been a mess. There's no real saving it. I'm still missing the answer. Like, I keep playing with the same fucking idea but I never get to the answer. I never get to the point where I want to shut my laptop and say "YES, THAT'S IT, LET'S GO", like finding a direction that makes sense and going down it. Like you're lost and can't find the trail marker for a long time when you're hiking and then finally there it is on a tree, and it's like COOL, I'm not done hiking I'm just starting or restarting but I know where I'm going, I'm not completely fucking lost.

~1:38PM, Fri. 1-27-2023: I can't believe it's 2023. I should find some friends. Like, I don't know. I guess new ones. Like, 30 somethings at this point. I don't know about that. Why do I feel like my entire life has passed me by, and everything I was supposed to do in my twenties I failed to do? Why do I keep harping on this, and why can't I figure out what I'm supposed to do and feel good about it?

A lot of times when I'm writing I feel like I'm not breaking through at all, like I'm not actually writing anything. I'm not getting to the crux of the issue, I'm just beating around the bush, staying at the surface level. Like, do you know how different life feels at 30? When you're 21 or 22, you just feel like the world is this huge, open thing. Like, you're at MIT or whatever and you're by the river and people are building these things but you have no real concept of how the world actually works, but everyone is encouraging you to make something, do things, build things, grow something, that it's all possible. Then, it's all not. You see the world in terms of these huge organizations that are everywhere, eating things up. That the "huge" things you might've been building are relatively small, passing trends even in the most grand sense. So you think, well, I'll contribute some irrefutable, unequivocal piece of knowledge to humanity. I'll carve it in stone, then no one will be able to take it away from me. You sort of do, and even the you step back, and realize it's just a million names like that, everywhere.

The thing is, I feel tired now. It's not the same. I didn't do what I set out to do, and now it's ten years later. Six were well spent, or at least well enough. One was fine. Two were awful. This one is shaping up to be kind of lame. I feel like I'm covered in fungus, just rot. The problem is I've felt this way before. I just haven't been able to start my own life. I've tried and failed so many times. There's never enough money, it never quite works. Working at MITRE is a pretty huge step down, almost into mediocrity. I'm scared. I'm fucking scared of everything. I need to, like, travel. I need to do a thousand things. Party, fuck, create, spend time with people my age. I need to go live. I've been dead. Then it's just like, you wake up to the exact same thing. My whole life emptied out and gone, waiting for me to do some ungodly amount of work to get it back. I kind of just want to go away. Like, I'm not supposed to be like this, and I just want to go be nothing somewhere, just live alone and not care. I feel like I lost everything, including my spirit. So, another fucking year. Unreal. Like, I should've been working since 2021. This is so weird. Working. It's not even real. It's just turned into bullshit for money now. It wasn't like that before. I cared. I had things I wanted to contribute. Things that I had really learned. Whatever. Why don't I have friends? Like a friend group? How did this happen? I'm social, I've had friends. Then I just let it all die. I look at myself, the way I've been living my life, and I feel like a fucking child. Like, I just have no faith in my ability to lead a life, let alone a good one. I've just stopped caring on so many fronts.

~12:38AM, Fri. 1-27-2023: Time is flying by. I want to be in a different reality. I'm tired of this, waking up to this. I don't want to start this job, I don't want to be three years older than I want to be, I don't want to have lost all those friends, and missed out on so much life. I don't know how to get back, to get back smack in the middle of my generation, experiencing whatever I'm supposed to experience, having a life of some sort. It all feels broken. Whatever. I just want to get back to my life. Whatever that means. I guess it means just moving forward, with whatver the hell is in front of me. I don't like what I've become. I'm not sure what to do about it. Quit? Leave again? What does that even mean? I can't. I need money. I need to find life again. I need to find real people again. I need to figure out how to get back to what I was doing so enthusiastically. I need to just find fucking life again. I'm dead. I don't care. It's all too complicated. I need to come back to life. I miss my life. I miss just the idea of it. Of waking up with someone in our apartment. Like, why not? What forces could possibly so strong to continue to deny that reality over and over again? This insane lack of money, this ridiculous lack of effort.

I think, the main thing, is to stop all this, the complaining. Like, the entire world is out there. I'm only going to live this once. I'm healthy, young. I need to just go. To figure it out again. To take whatever opportunities are in front of me and work with them. There's tons of people. I can always change things up. Switch jobs. Whatever. That's not the important thing. The important thing is just living kind of like I used to. Working hard and being excited about things. Like, enough. Enough complaining. It's not helping. Let's go make some money, wake up, figure some things out, and just get started. I don't know, perhaps I'll just finally find out what I really want to do. In the meantime I have to do the things I don't want to do, because all this stuff has been piling up and it's sad and lame. Two years without friends, without life, without love. It's a long, long time. Let's fix it.

~6:01PM, Weds. 1-25-2023: Hm. What to even say. I don't want to be sitting in this coffee shop, on a rainy Wednesday, with no life. I'm fucking worried. I'm starting another job that just doesn't feel like an accurate reflection of who I am at all. I just have no other way to go forward. I can't think. I feel braindead. I need so many things. Everything's just a mess and nothing has actually, like, moved forward. I don't feel like I've gotten better at anything, built anything. I've been getting really annoyed with things I've been seeing online. I just read that sentence and laughed. I'm not even going to elaborate on that. That's just stupid. Wow. I cannot get out of the wrong place, huh? Just trapped in a cage here. Hm. Hm. Hm. None of this talk works. Everything seems kind of futile. Like, I'm just stuck here, the train has left the station. My brain feels slow, just drained and dead in a way. I want to feel light and alive. Eating light. Moving around. Waking up early. Again, my life was supposed to go down this thread, this path at like twenty seven and it didn't, and now I'm complaining even though in reality nothing is guaranteed or supposed to happen. I stopped taking pretty much all medication and nothing changed. It's dumb. It's the environment.

I just feel like there's a difference between being spiritually alive and being dead. Like, being tuned into the world and what's happening. I feel dead. We live in a time, like any other time, where things are happening, and I could be right in the middle of it, affecting things. Writing, doing math, having relationships, posting, having kids, I don't know. It just feels like everything I could be doing I'm not. Instead, I'm sleeping. I'm laying around. I'm sitting in coffee shops, walking in circles. I'm almost erasing myself from existence. A lot of things that people do seem stupid. I don't really feel any initiative. I think I was supposed to find my wife in like 2017 or something. I don't think that's the core issue, a lot more is, like, hollowed out. I just fucking hate this. I hate that I didn't just build a life. I was trying so fucking hard. So excited to do that. I just genuinely do not like the one in front of me. I don't actually really want to live in DC or do this, it's just the only option.

My brain broke. I stopped caring about all the things I cared about. I wonder what it's gonna take to, like, find excitement in life again. To feel like things matter. How does someone spend ten years learning advanced mathematics and programming and then just let it all burn? It's like this big room was filled with books, and someone just ripped them all out. It's almost, like, unreal, some of the behavior I've observed in myself. Like, my God. Just sad. I feel like none of this talk matters, none of it helps. It's all an endless, lazy circle designed to avoid work. Over and over, it's like "how can I avoid work"? God damnit. I'm not writing, I'm just thinking. The only thing that ever comes to mind is how I slipped up back in 2018-2019, sent my life off course, and have never been able to recover or figure anything out. That nothing ever makes sense, that people try to help but can't figure me out.

I'm excited to start dating again. There's that. Perhaps that'll fix everything. Ha. I stopped growing, stopped evolving, stopped being independent. It's just so fucking painful to think about how it could be and how it is, how long it will take to fix. It's like I gave myself a prison sentence. Most people on Twitter are fucking idiots. The vast majority, something like 95-99%. It's wild. That's probably how the world is, honestly. Just fucking morons bumbling around. I don't know, wouldn't know. I'm stuck. I can't see the world, I don't experience it. I experience nothing. That's not helpful. It's true. All true. None of it is helpful. I am fucking lost. I am so fucking lost. I don't have any of the friends I need to have. None of the relationships. They're all just absent. It's just such a fucking shit show. So broken. Especially the weirdness, I hate watching the weirdness, where it's just like, why? I'm not oblivious to it but I'll watch myself do things that make absolutely no sense.

Jesus fucking Christ. Six months to destroy an entire life. That's all it takes. Whatever. The past doesn't matter. It's all gone. Perhaps it's for the best. Who the fuck knows. All I know is I'm not making decisions anymore, nothing is, like, for me. Nothing is like in service of advancing my life. It's basically just survival, randomness, doing things because I have to do them. I feel like I have no control over anything. Like, I don't really have time. I'm 31. It sounds young but it's really not given where I am in my life. It'll take at least a year to even get my finances in order. Perhaps I'll find meaning at work. I have no idea. This feels fucked up. I feel like scared in a way. It feels so wildly wrong. At the same time there's nothing I can do. Like, I can't quit. I'm just so unconvinced of anything. I'm so far away from where I'm supposed to be. Like, I can't even fathom it. It's like there were millions of things I was supposed to do over a thousand days and I just never did any of them. These days are so awful. Like, what am I doing. I'm sitting here. I have no motivation to do anything else. I don't know where to go. I don't know how to unstick myself from this fucking place I'm in. It's like all over me and I can't get it off. All I know is everything is wrong. It has been for years. I, like, messed up my life somehow. I just see everyone else living. Not necessarily perfect, but they all have lives and I don't. Then I'm supposed to do, what, extremely difficult shit in order to have a life? PhD level stuff? Nothing makes sense. Like, at all. I don't feel at home in the world anymore. I hate reading the fucking news. I don't care. At all. Like, I really don't care. There's a million things happening. Why the fuck would I pick a random one and start to care about it a lot? It does absolutely nothing. It's so fucking weird. I feel like I have no personality at all. Like, that's gone, too. I was trying to develop it in Boston and then everything just moved too fucking fast and blew up. I'm never going to be okay.

I'm just glad I'm not going into some AI field or whatever. Just, like, dumb stuff. Trying to build insane things people don't really understand for no reason other than because they can. No actual goals, no guarantee that anything will get better, no idea what the effect on humanity will be. All they're doing is pushing the world to evolve, probably to a place where humanity becomes the non-dominant species in favor of machines. It's just, like, why? Like, read a book or something, plant a garden, stop. It's so annoying.

Life doesn't feel like it used to. It feels dead now. Like there's just none of the feelings that there used to be in it. I'm freaked out. None of the things I wanted to do I really did. It's all just like this light version. Fuck. I hate this. I want to live in a different reality, a different world. I hate this so much. I've wasted a thousand days. More actually. Nothing makes sense. That's the main thing. Nothing actually makes any sense. No one has any real answers, no one has proposed anything that I might want to do, no one can explain why everything is so bizarre and complicated and awful. It just feels like a fucked up world. I don't want to talk like this all the time but I am like this. I wish whoever would stop. Stop just fucking up my life so hard. I feel inept. Like I can't actually do anything. Like I have no resources, nothing. I felt so fucking smart for so long. Like I could do anything. Normal, healthy, good. There's so much immaturity. I'm like seven years behind everyone else. Truly and legitimately. Can't hold down a job, can't take care of myself. It's just fucking lame and sad. It's all so fucking sad. There's this whole world moving out there every. Single. Day. Every day. People making money, people doing things. FUCK. FUCK THIS. I HATE THIS.

~11:21PM, Tues. 1-24-2023: Alright, later in the evening now. Been chatting with Samara all evening. The only real thing I had to do was, like, upload my passport photo and I-9 form for MITRE. I emailed C2 and let them know I'm done there. I feel bad about how I went about leaving both of those part-time jobs, but it's not the end of the world. Decided to email Bud, and got a really nice quick response back. He suggested to consider the fact that things don't need to be perfect in a variety of contexts, jobs/relationships/situations/etc. In fact, they never are. I think that's useful advice, though Samara thought it was obvious. I went to Auld Shabeen and got two beers and chicken tenders, which is now the third night in a row I've gone out. It's been deeply boring each and every time. It's a continuation of what I've been doing for the past three or so years. I don't like it. I don't want my life to be like that. It's lame. I want to find people again.

I need to renegotiate my car insurance policy. I also need to get this emissions waiver and register it. I guess it's kind of falling apart. That's one issue. I have a handful of old bills that need to be paid, some in the thousands. I have some debt I need to pay off. Essentially, my life has like frozen in a way since 2018, perhaps 2019 but really then. Just kind of this decay affecting all these different parts of the life that I had built up. Probably because of what happened with Sara. Perhaps not. The point is always the same, which is that it doesn't matter. Dwelling won't help. I need to act. Get into new environments. Do the things I've been saying I was going to do. Abandon fear and go live, build a life. The thing is the time is now. This is it. My generation is out there, living. I'm not. This is the turning point. Yes, I made mistakes. Yes, there are a ton of pieces missing from my life. Yes, in many ways I'm like an inexperienced kid or whatever. Not entirely, though. It may not take that much to get on top of things. Given my habits, I'm kind of skeptical I can make it all work.

I keep trying to tap into something else, quit just writing the same thing. I can't believe it's been almost a decade since I graduated college. That's insane. I suppose it's whatever. I'm worried i won't be able to do anything major in this new job, that it'll be too much fluff, too difficult to find my way into something real and interesting. Almost feeds like I should've just stayed at Power Auctions. Nope. Gotta stop thinking like that. I don't know, I feel pretty alright. Just disconnected. From life. I'm finding it massively difficult to find anything important. Like, I'm watching a Bernie Madoff documentary, and it's just like, 1.5 billion dollars. Are you serious? That's, like, pennies. Compared to the federal budget, just like annual money that is spent, it's nothing. It seems like a lot, but it's ten thousand people's salaries. A large organization collapsing. The way they talk about it, as if it requires multiple people to write books about, to finance movies about. "A nine alarm fire." Ugh, it doesn't matter. There's just too much happening in the world. People getting sick and dying, it's constant. It all seems small. I don't know how to describe it. It's like when you go through high school, and you sort of just see what some people are doing, and you're just like, well, that seems like kid stuff, freshman year. Like, you know they can't possibly see past it, that it's important to them, that they're gonna get all into the details and talk with their friends about it, but you just sort of think, like, it doesn't matter. Like, nerds are going over this, spending weeks and years of their lives trying to figure this one thing out.

I think I just want to enter, like, an alternative world. Find different things that matter. It's like I never became myself. Like, I almost did, I was trying to. Then I couldn't afford it, couldn't quite figure it out. I suppose it's not over yet. Ugh. It's just beginning. It has to be. I just want to get back into it again. Like, try, y'know? I don't know if I'm moving in the right direction, but I guess you just have to trust that you are. I don't really understand my life anymore. Like, who I am, where I am. Other people my age have been working like forty hours a week for the past eight to ten years. It's a little insane now. I feel like all I can say is "whoops" and fuck. I want to take a real interest in the world again, where things don't feel pointless or small or tucked away in some impossibly tiny corner of human knowledge. It still feels like the entire world is out there. Like, it's all sitting right there. I don't need to be like this. Washington, DC? All the people I've like alienated. What's the meaning of all that. I just can't fucking believe what I've done with my life. Whatever. I've written that sentence, like, a thousand times.

I need to break free of whatever this bizarre shell is. There's too many fucking little things on my to-do list and I'm not even busy. My teeth are yellow. My car is shitty. I'm broke. It's decay, all decay. I haven't figured out anything. I just need to go live. I don't want to spend the one life I have the way I'm spending it. That's pretty much it.

~5:37PM, Tues. 1-24-2023: Good evening. Talking to Grace on the phone. Trying to get some forms filled out for MITRE. Wrapped up with C2 and REI. Getting closer to my "penpal", which is the best term. Just nice to keep things realistic, wait to meet someone here. It's just a fun thing to have, cuts down on the lonliness.

~5:38PM, Sun. 1-22-2023: Hey, it's been awhile. I think I've been caught up talking to someone I met online. Kind of a strange time. I just left my job at REI after skipping a day yesterday. They're so cool, I've just been such a lazy, terrible employee. It's hard to reckon with that sometimes, given how much I just cared before. Same thing for this other job, I'm just being kind of a piece of shit. Not entirely, but it's not great and I feel bad. It just seems like things have piled up and I haven't been able to even wake up, let alone take care of anything. All these bills piling up, like nothing can really move forward until I get paid anyways. I like sit here and write this, and I look at the world and wonder if I can even comprehend my place in time, that things are evolving right now that will become historic, and they're just happening every day, all the time. The way we communicate, brand new tools, and we're just using them daily. Even, like, WiFi isn't that old. The internet is like my age, man. Like, I just wonder how we're going to deal with just a nonstop cascade of technology, more or less every year, for what, fifty years? Like, brand spanking new shit. Someone needs to put it into a broader context, like find a way to see the continuity of the story line. I see these machines as evolving, one version update at a time, and look at them as esentially new species. In that anaology, it's sort of like being in a jungle as some animal, and you cannot possibly keep track of all the speciation. It just isn't taking place on a long time scale. It's happening extremely rapidly. It seems kind of silly to think about though, like you kind of have to ignore. It's weird though because it's right in front of our face, but it's hard to see. Like when the Portugese and Dutch and everyone started building ships to try to cross oceans, that's where it feels like we are in terms of space travel. It's gonna take like another hundred years though to go anywhere, so it's maybe more like the 1400's. We have large boats that are capable of going at to sea for awhile, but can't actually make a journey across the ocean. Anyways, we live in an interesting time.

Like in a word, I'm lost. It still feels like nothing really makes sense. The only solace there ever is is that things could be worse. I feel like I got older without maturing. I'm still going to the wrong place, the difference is that I know I have to do this or life will get worse, will continue to make zero sense, I won't have one. Still, I have to make sense out of it. The only thing that really makes sense right now is this person I'm talking to. It's what I look forward to. I like writing, too, but not like this. This is starting to feel stupid, like no different from just like sitting in a car and turning on the audio recorder and blabbing for a half hour and transcribing it. It feels like someone took the fucking life out of the world, like it used to just seem so interesting and full. Now everything just feels impossible, like I can barely keep my car running insured. In fact, even that is completely impossible, so at that point everything collapses. If you can't do that, how are you going to the thousand other fucking things you have to do just to survive? Like, it just got too complicated and then exploded and broke into a million pieces.

Why is everything so HARD? Why is tutoring HARD? Why is reading a book HARD? Why is spending free time HARD? Why are these fucking easy, simple things impossible? Why is there a huge fucking wall between me and absolutely everything? Like there's no life, no fucking friend group, no parties, no roommates, no girlfriend, no goddamn anything. No culture, no grandparents, no UGH. Jesus fucking Christ. This is why I left, because there's nothing here. Because I needed to find family. Then it's the same loops, I keep getting trapped in the same loops. It's like a fucking bear trap. I can't lose weight, I can't laugh, I can't fucking have an exciting thought. Then you look at other people, and they're dead, too. It's just, like, how do you find life. How do you find fresh air and sex and food and travel? Or whatever, a group of radical thinkers at a basement punk show, a band of local comics that are pushing the boundaries, something. Fucking something. I just feel lame, like I don't have anything, I don't do anything, there's nothing I actually contribute, that I'm scared, that I just lost at twenty eight the moment I was supposed to come to life. That all the fucking intimate experiences I was supposed to have over the past two years got lit on fire.

It almost seems like it doesn't matter. Like, my complaints are irrelevant. There's a path, you go down it. It's extremely unhelpful to just get off every path you're meant to go down. Still though, I'm like vibrating, fucking shaking, I'm so angry and confused. It just seems like nothing will matter until I become alive again. Quit being deactivated, afriad of everything. Like, I get it, I fucked up very badly, but the damage, I'm like a bleeding, wounded, cut up man covered in rags. It's nice to meet people who are nice. Still, nothing makes sense. That is my refrain. I say that a lot. I say it all the time. I say it every day. Nothing fucking makes sense. It's just so fucking rigid. Like, there doesn't seem to be any room to err. There is though. There we go again. That doesn't make sense. Yet, I feel like I'm in a straight jacket, so it is rigid. It's just fucking scary, to know that I will be entering the world again so empty and alone, when all my supports and networks were supposed to be set up. Then it's just like, well, you have a few friends who don't live here, and that's it.

What is the point of this? It's so uninspired. I'm not writing about anything, I'm not tuned into anything, I'm not plugged into anything. I feel fuckin' dead. I hate this, I hate what I've become. I hate everything that fucking led to this. I did not used to be like this. Fuck. Now what? Go eat dinner alone? Like, Jesus Christ, why? Why am I like this? Why is it so broken? I've been hiding from everything, running as fast as I can from everything, because everything does damage, nothing just works out, nothing feels good, nothing feels right. Why would I run towards anything?

~6:33PM, Mon. 1-16-2023:Kind of a weird day. I'm really not feeling it. I was supposed to get some feedback from this interview, and the person never called despite scheduling a Google calendar invite. Bizarre. Whatever. Opened up a conversation with this girl on Twitter who is studying "neoliberalism", or international political economy. She speaks German and I guess is studying in Berlin. I kind of asked her out and she said yes if we're in the same city. Who knows, but feels good to just start talking to people again. I forget how it was like that times twenty a few years ago, and how it is for everyone else. Just constantly arranging things. I don't have the energy. It would honestly be wild to date someone that young. Even a five year difference was pretty intense. I don't know, maybe it doesn't matter. It feels like it doesn't. Part of me feels like when I get back out into the world I'm going to be a very particular type of person. The other part of me feel like I've just completely atrophied and it'll be very difficult to actually do all the things I need to do every day without any support. The only reason I'm writing is because it seems to keep the anxiety at bay, or something. Everyone sitting in here is younger than me. That's what this whole experience feels like, a return to the past. I can't wait to just fucking hang out with people again. I don't even care how, like, rapacious we are. Whether we do a thousand things and drink from the fountain of life or simply just hang out at a bar and talk. I'm just starved, dude. I don't have any serious or real idea what I'm like anymore, because there's very little feedback or reflection. All I can really say is, let it be over. Like, in the end it's just been a rough time that can end. There's an entire life ahead of me, waiting. I just have to move on from this past. Simply being excited about this job seems like a step in the right direction. Just, for the hell of it. It'll help.

I wonder if I could just take a whole new perspective. Like, just be happy. I don't know. I'm so tired of being negative. I feel kind of crippled, loathe to act. WHATEVER. Time to just suck it up and be a fucking man and make some money and get shit done. This, like, feminine bullshit is getting old. It doesn't work. I need to just be stoic and take some pain and feel the rewards of getting things done. Just watch the numbers in the bank account go up and stop worrying about everything all the time. Like, when I think of my former self, the dedication, the spirit, the love of a subject, I just want to cry. Why would I want to lose that? C'mon now. Find that again. Be curious. Make life worth living. Find things interesting. Quit it with this whole nihilism bit, it's annoying. Of course nothing matters if you zoom all the way out, we're specks. That's not the point. The point is to feel things and learn things and feel like they matter to you in the moment you're in. Like, I can't wait. I can't wait for things to get better. Everything is fine, nothing bad has happened or is going to happen. There is nothing in the world that's going to prevent me from leaving this job to do something, some calling, some shift into something that lights up all my senses. For now though, this is it. Like, it's a miracle. There's no fucking reason they needed to hire me. I'm lucky, and I should act like it. It's kind of like, yes, some life force is missing, something is deeply wrong and it has to do with money and relationships, but in the meantime whatever. Hm. How to just enjoy life again. That's the real trick. How, given everything that's happened and might not happen and will happen, how do you just enjoy it?

Ay yae yae. How to fix this and find people again and just reboot. Fucking reboot everything, and just start moving and doing things. I do kind of feel like I'm hiding. Ugh, gonna figure this out, make life make sense again.

~2:04PM, Mon. 1-16-2023: Uh, good afternoon. What the fuck am I doing with my life? I moved here on Aug. 1st 2021, and it's been an absolute dumpster fire since Jan. 6th 2021, when I left the last serious job I had. I didn't feel great then, but at least I felt alive when I moved back. I have let this place kill me. I'm so tired of it, so tired of being dead. I have some interview feedback at 4PM, for ten minutes, then I suppose I'm going to just figure something out. Write down a plan. It's just been so much emptiness. Like, I don't want my life to be like this and I need to change, now. I think I need to start running again. Money will help tremendously. I need to quit trying to figure out which job I should have. I have one, and that's that. Uh. Look at this. A blog with no readers, a Twitter with no followers. Like, it's sad. I just have this bizarre feeling all over me, like there's something here that's stuck on me that I can't get off. I feel like I don't belong here but I am here. I feel like a whiny teenager, a person at a party that doesn't know anyone. I feel out of place. I don't care, I have to figure it out. Like, I just have to. There's way too much in me that's waiting to come out that hasn't had a chance. I don't know what it is or even what that means, but I'm tired at looking at other people live life. I think you just kind of have to let go and just start running. Literally and metaphorically. Like, I don't know what's going on. It's just cycles here, circles and circles. Nothing keeps happening, nothing keeps happening. I don't want to get older here and I miss everyone I used to know. Shit. I don't want to talk like this anymore, it's unhelpful.

I guess the point is to find life again. Like, find new people. Start working again. Have money and use it to go do things. Mostly just rediscover who I am when I'm out in the world. It just feels like I keep getting kneecapped every couple of years. Some relationship, some perspective shift, loss of interest. Well, those two years are gone. There's really not much to say. They just sucked. It's a long time, and kind of the prime of my life there, but whatever. I guess I could've been in prison or worse. I'm just gonna chalk it up to a respite, some sort of sabbatical and try to forget about it. Let's think about the future. Okay, so job starts 1/23. That's good. The first paycheck, literally the first one, will effectively change my life. It still feels like this bizarre pressure on me to do something coupled with this huge emptiness from not pursuing everything I studied for years to simply not caring about anything. The funny thing is it's all about people and relationships. Not being around friends and loved ones. It helps a lot to go do those other things. Without them they become central, it's all you really want and so figuring out some coding problem or deep math problem becomes so secondary it's not even possible to think about. There you have it! Get your personal life in order first, then you can actually work.

I don't know man, I just feel like getting up. I feel like I've been kind of a pussy and just reaped what I've sowed. Like, I need to try harder, be a better person. Like, I know. I know life can be full and good but you have to, like, engage with it. Do work. This whole sitting around doing nothing just adds up and eats away. Fortunately I think I've been able to put the past away, I'm tired of thinking about that. I'm still pretty young, and I have an incredible education, I just need to put it to work, forreal. I keep acting like it's all impossible, but it's not. I mean, fuck it. One thing I need to accept is reality. The reality is that I have a job now, I should cast out all illusions that something better is waiting around the corner. It's not! I can't think of a million things to do, and quite honestly getting a PhD level job after a PhD is just sort of what happens in the best of scenarios. People work, man.

It's just gotten really annoying to be complaining about things. Like, I've had enough. Other people are having fun and enjoying life because they're waking up and trying every day, and not overcomplicating it. I'm still, like, laughing. I don't know, like it just feels like a bunch of things are going to crack open because they've been so dormant. Like, I'm making a lot of things really hard when they don't have to be. I don't know, though, some of these behaviors the past few years have been pretty out there. I guess I'm just really tired of being an observer. It's lame. Like, when you're engaged and involved it doesn't matter what celebreties and politicans are doing, it all fades into the background because you can focus on what's in front of you. I miss that. I think it's important to remember that everything can and will change, straight up.

Sometimes I feel like such a bad person, like I should absolutely deal with this C2 Education thing. I need to let them know I'm quitting, along with REI. I'll do it today. Good lord. Then there's the bills from December. What a mess. I feel like I was not lazy and cool and now I'm lazy and uncool. Ugh. It's like this feeling in my chest, just something I don't want to deal with because I feel so bad about it. It'll get done, today. I wish everything didn't always feel like I was on my heels, that I actually wanted to do something once in awhile, that I was excited about doing something for once in my life. Ack. Ack, ack, ack. It doesn't feel right, just everything feels a little wrong. Whatever. Again, gotta get away from talking like that. I can't even fucking tell how I've changed over the past couple years. I have no point of reference. The people I'm around simply don't have the vocabulary or something, or I just don't feel like there's any actual dialogue. It's just like, "this is happening", "now this is happening", and not much ever changes other than circumstances and situations. Ugh. There's a distinct difference between not liking a job and genuinely just absolutely hating it, feeling out of place, having no desire to improve at it, and not wanting to be there. One of those you should quit.

I don't know, I'll just be the worst for a little while. The bad employee. I don't like to be, don't want to be, haven't always been, but sometimes you just are. It's me right now, I'm the one causing problems. Are you kidding me, though? I came to a Starbucks to write a thousand words about how bummed out I am. Like, this is how I'm spending the prime years of my life. Not building a life, a family, relationships, this. It's the saddest, most pathetic thing in the fucking world and I'm tired of it. I kind of just want to scream, dude! It's just, like, the daily sort of being so far out of the loop you can't even see straight. What a total and complete mess. I feel bizarre! I feel stupid, and weird, and out of it, and lame. I don't want to be sitting here right now, but I also don't have anywhere to go. Then what? I'm at an office two days a week working with whomever and working from home three days a week? Like, having missed out on, oh I don't know, ten years of constructing a life? Cool. Cool cool cool. It just feels like I need to do something, I need to be plugged back into something, some place, some set of people that have vanished. I have no plan for life, like no actual idea of how to plot a future course with another human being, how that might work. I'm like spiraling here. Nothing good is happening.

I don't know. I just miss feeling alive. That's really it. Just, like, working, living, experiencing different things every day, and not living like this.

~10:54PM, Sun. 1-15-2023: Well, I'm sitting here, pretty upset with my situation. I think I'm a lot happier when I just interact with people, like it's not complicated. I'm just pissed because I let myself fall behind and leave behind everything that made my life feel full. It's funny because I know that when I truly just forget about the past and focus on the future and see everything that's possible, I get excited, happy even. It's just so dead right now, it's tough. Then I'll like talk to someone online and remember that there are literally millions of people my age in my generation doing countless things out there that I could literally just go be a part of and I think, shit, what am I doing? Why am I being so lame. Just get up and go, man. It's sort of just, like, there's a thousand avenues that I could've gone down and I just, for some bizarre reason, chose to go down none of them. I'm, like, weirdly terrified to life, even though I used to not be. I'm probably traumatized beyond belief. I think I just have to, like, catch up to my generation. By catch up I mean just realize that everyone goes through shit and just go out and join them. As I am, after what's happened. It's fine. No one cares.

I think the thing that just consistently blows my mind is how much has happened that has sort of just sneakily progressed past me. Like, I just sort of watched it all go past me while I was teaching and trying to survive. It's stupid. I don't know, I guess it doesn't matter now. In a sense, it was fine, but it was always missing something, some aspect of real life. Just too cushy, too protected, too unreal, too outside of doing the things you need to do to be apart of what's going on in the moment. Like, flashes of that, little experiences where you're like, okay, I'm in it, I'm alive. Then poof, gone.

I think I'll end on a high note for once. I think everything is still possible. The actual, good perspective to take is to basically forget the past, or at least stop thinking about it because it's gone. You look at the future, and choose the best option for now, and go headlong down it, and fix any problems that you can fix with that option. For me that means taking this job and not thinking too hard about what it means, what the organization is. It just is what it is, there are other aspects of life. Everyone needs to work, it's a fact. So just kind of enjoy the week, wrap up the things that need to be wrapped up, and look forward to getting paid. Sometimes I sit here and think of all the things I haven't done in life. Then I think about everything I'm going to do. It's just ... insane. The gap between what I want to have done, what I want to have and experience, and what I'm actually stuck with right now. It comes down to a lack of work, or work ethic probably. Something like that. Structure. Anyways, I'm excited. I want to wake up early tomorrow. I don't like this sleeping in shit. Enough.

~6:31PM, 1-14-2023: Walked around Burke Lake. I fucking hate everything about what's going on right now. I don't know how I got so disconnected from life but I did. There's nothing going on tonight, I can't afford to go out or even put gas in my car, no one texts me or gives a shit what I'm doing, and it all has to do with money. I fucking lost my life. It's time, too. It's just this endless amount of time, but things are supposed to be happening in the meantime. Events. Things. People are supposed to be saying things. Doing things. It's not supposed to be like this, it never was. It was also never supposed to be so fucking impossible. Goddamn it, my life and friends and everything. Fucking everything. What the fuck. I fucking hate everything that's happened over the past few years. The prime of my life, just wasted. Get me the fuck out of here. There's so many other places to be, so many other ways to be. It makes no fucking sense.

~4:12PM, 1-14-2023: I don't know.

~11:14PM, 1-13-2023: I think the only thing that'll save me is other people. I don't know who, I don't care. I'm going to have to navigate this time. I just feel like I wasted two years and, plus like five when I could've been growing a relationship and building my life. Who the fuck finishes a PhD and loses their entire life a year later. It's not about a job. It's about getting sucked into some huge faceless corporation and not being a human being anymore. I at least kind of avoided that working at a company with twenty eight people. This is eighty five hundred. That's a big difference. It doesn't matter. It's not the core issue, somehow. It's just not being around people, not being, like, inside of a life. It's sort of like you can either be in life, doing it, experiencing things in this continuum, or outside of it, detached from it. I am detached, in every possible way. Detached from money, people, events, everything. I fucking hate this. I hate being here, I hate everything that's happened the past two years, I hate the fact that I moved here, I hate everything I've left behind. All my feelings have just calcified into hate, which only makes sense. I don't get to experience the good feelings I used to feel, so it's all just pain and so hatred. You have to have things that you look forward to every day that are human and real. Every day I just sort of rub my face in this stressed out way, just this gigantic ugh, fuck, no. Like, there's just nothing I can do.

I miss being excited about what you were going to do in life. Yes, that includes work, a lot of it. It's not some fantasy about what you're going to get, what's going to be handed to you. It's more just assuming you will do something, and not nothing. I'm rubbing my face in a pained way again. I cannot describe how absolutely fucked everything is right now. How empty and desolate, mostly. It's not that things are particularly, urgently bad, but they are empty and have been and will be until something changes. What a shit show, what a dumpster fire cluster fuck tragedy. What a stupid, stupid fucking time.

Like, I don't know, I wish the world would stop suffocating me, stop breaking things in my life and taking them. I'm moving as fast as I can and it's not fast enough, there's just nothing I can quite do and bad things just keep happening. People run out, they're not present, they're not there, I don't have money. It's a desert. I'm atrophied and need to walk a hundred miles. It's just fucked. So terribly fucked. I don't know, you just wake up and all the skills you built haven't been used or set to anything, they've just been floating. The things you had started to build have broken, and you're just left with nothing. You are nothing. I mean, I guess you have what you have, but oh fuck it, what am I saying. It's so boring.

I feel like people have week to week or day to day experiences that relieve them of the things I've been grappling with for two years. Like, it's just gone on forever because no one here knows how to help me or take care of me. There's only so much I can do myself, especially without resources. I don't even know if I really know what I want. Whatever the case may be it seems like everything is fucked.

~7:12PM, Fri. 1-13-2023: I feel awful today. I just accepted a job offer at MITRE. I don't know, maybe I need to think about that more. It just feels beyond dead here, like just this bizarre, overwhelming sense that things are just dead and not connected to life and the things that people do on this world. I need to get out of here so badly. I feel like I'm being suffocated every day. There's no where to go, it's all the same, and it's just a constant circle. There are so many things I should be doing, and even getting a job feels wrong. Everything just feels like it got unplugged two years ago, basically three now, and all fucked up. I haven't, like, felt anything in a long time. Just the things people feel on any given day. I just read an article describing how much money people make, twenty seven random people. It's insane. People think they deserve it because they got a college degree. That it tooks them "years to get to that point". Tell me about it, and it doesn't work like that, and you can work for many more and still people question everything about you and disregard everything you've done. It's just dumb, it doesn't matter. Like, I just want to go somewhere. I want to not think about things. Nothing makes sense, nothing is right. I should be, like, celebrating with a group of friends and instead I'm sitting here fucking alone.

~3:55PM, Thurs. 1-12-2023: Days seem to just be, like, absolutely flying by. I need to accept a job offer tomorrow. In the meantime, there's another job I'm going to hear back on today or tomorrow sometime. This was a funny decision because it just sort of happened naturally, I just seem to be gravitating towards one and away from another. I didn't realize my aversion to doing, like, deeper math and programming was so strong. It's like I fundamentally don't care anymore. That's a little scary because it's all I used to care about. I still feel, like, fine. I've been sleeping in, but I don't feel terrible when I wake up. I'm just glad there's nothing pressing that I have to do. My top concern at this point is the fact that my teeth are a hideous shade of yellow. I'm not really sure how that happened, but probably the coffee and cigarettes and lack of care. I seem to have kicked the smoking habit for now. It's all about consumption. If you have something to consume, it seems like you can kind of just switch modes.

I'm sitting in a coffee shop again. I keep doing this. Like, it doesn't matter. I don't know, I think I'm just ready to hang out with a certain type of people again. I really, really fucking miss my friends from PhD programs and cities and whatnot. There's just like a way to transcend whatever is going on in the current moment with them. People who are operating on slightly longer timelines if that makes sense. It doesn't matter, point is I need to get back to DC or Boston ASAP. Like, it's time. I feel like I have to accept the fact that I'm not going to live a certain type of lifestyle. Like, there's not going to be a marriage and kids anytime soon. I'm going to be one of those people that lives in a city and goes to events and shows and stays abreast of cultura and shit. I don't even want to be that. I just feel so docile. Like, I have no initiative right now. I don't know if it's because it's winter or what. I have another Twitter crush, which is basically unhealthy. It stems from not having a life to lean on, all the friends and social life I used to have. I kind of do want to build a social life in DC, like I want to try. Wherever it is, I want to actually lean in to whatever I'm doing. I feel like I got a false start. Lol I'm so tired of writing about this. It's so boring.

How long have I been fucking phoning it in? It is actually exciting when you realize you can do whatever you want, more or less. Like, there's nothing stopping you from trying. Not that I have any resources, but just that it's all waiting. There's literally a million different things you can do. I'm oddly happy though. I don't know why or what happened. I think there's some things I need to do, some leaves I need to take, but perhaps it's just that this time is over. It was a lot of suffering. It's over! Almost. I'm just staring at Tweets from a handful of people on Twitter. It's terrible. I can't figure out why this person is exchanging texts with me, the one with the boyfriend. It doesn't matter. I guess it's funny if people just send texts with no agenda. I always, like, chuckle now when I realize there's an asymmetrical situation because I've been on the other side of the see-saw for so long. Like, I feel like I've just been losing and so when there's a situation where it's like, "Oh my God, THEY'RE nervous, they have the crush, they don't quite know what to say or how to act" it's like, woah, what is happened. Like, it's cute. I feel like it's always so long between those moments that I forget it's even possible. So I don't know, maybe she's out of her depth, just trying to have a conversation or something. I guess I'm always just waiting for someone who can really go back-and-forth, and then of course I'd probably be freaked out by it. I still think it's fucking crazy that the people I eventually gravitated to on Twitter are the exact people I interacted with a couple months ago before deactivating. Like one of them had their account suspended, it wasn't likely. They're women, whatever that means. Very funny women. What's hilarious is that I probably won't actually learn what I'm trying to learn, how to do what they're doing. Like, it'll proabably be a failed project but I think I'll take away something. It just feels very slow. In a sense some of these people have been (actively) at it for many years now, so there's just a certain amount of time that you have to factor in.

I feel pretty neutral, like I haven't felt anything in awhile. Ugh! It just feels like there's nothing going on, nothing I particularly care about, nothing major that I want to learn or do. It's just fucking crazy that people have been working and living for like nine years now and I've been in school and fucking around. I feel like a child. Whatever, fuck it, almost out of the hole. It's oddly intimate, I don't know what to tell you. I'm on a website and someone and I are looking at oyster casserole recipes that she's thinking about making tonight. Like, it's fucking funny. It's so fucking weird and so fucking funny. It just feels like something is due. It's like the weight of a million unexperienced things, good and bad. I don't know. All I can say with clarity is that it scares the shit out of me that I'm sitting in the same fucking coffee shop a year later and nothing has changed. The gravity of this place, the sheer nothingness is breathtaking. Like, you can just essentially slip into the void, disappear into nothingness and no one will catch you.

I need to meet some people. I guess when I start making money I'm just going to hang out in DC. This is, in a way, a chance to invent myself. Like, anything is still possible. 31 is relatively young. Three years is nothing. There was a pandemic. I've already processed that.

Things evolve fast. It took not two months to develop a number of connections when I moved to DC before. With money, with stability, that's a whole new world. I guess I have to accept that I'm older and that it's all a little different, but fuck it. I'm not particularly interested in my twenties or what I did then. They were full enough. It's a new time, a new decade, a new era. It's the boring the twenties. I feel so behind, like all these little things I'm supposed to do and I just don't do them. It's pretty bad. Really the only things I need to do is quit two jobs and accept a new one. I suppose tomorrow is a good day to do that, Friday.

I don't know, I just feel kind of lazy and uninspired. I think I'm supposed to make dinner tonight. I really don't want to. This isn't even, like, coherent. I'm just rambling about nothing. Everyone in here is just sitting with computers and books. It's so boring! Shit. Like why. Why don't I have any desire to read a book. At all. Why do I just want to stare into the void. Hm. What to do. There's a homeless person snoozing on my left. Some couple on my right talking about some whatever job at some huge company making less than they think they're worth. They're absolutely not worth more than sixty thousand dollars a year. Without a doubt.

~4:55PM, Weds. 1-11-2023: Feeling pretty good today. I bought a coffee with spare change. I'm listening to "In the Meantime" by Spacehog again. I can't really believe it's 2023. It's still supposed to be 2019 or 2020. Michael wrote back today. Made sense, kind of absorbed my rambling message and processed it, and was basically like things happen and it's fine. Not really sure why I needed to write a lengthy wild message, when something simpler would've sufficed, but I've been kind of offloading my craziness a bit, letting other people process, respond or not respond, kind of sort of it out. It's a lot easier than trying to be measured all the time and always say the right thing. It's very stressful. You can just kind of be a mess sometimes and other people won't really care that much, they'll just be like okay that's them. I'm still not sure how you find people online that kind of match what you're looking for, but it happens. Somehow. I guess you just see a lot of stuff and filter out anything you don't want, and it's like panning for gold. Eventually you find someone where you're like, yes, this person. Or people. Could be a bunch. It's like socializing elsewhere. I don't love it, but it exists. I keep sleeping in. It's in this non-depressed way. I'd like to go out with Alyssa again, I think that'd be fun. I got a call from Brianna the other night, maybe last night I forget, super late. Tom wants me to hang out with him in Richmond within the next couple weeks, invited me to Spain but I don't have time and it costs too much (only 500 but I'm broke). I'm kind of cleaning up my life, and also realizing that there's certain types of people I want to be around, but I have a vague and limited idea of who they are. I do think, like, some of the bigger Twitter accounts have the general vibe. Kind of based metropolitan skanks. Not really sure if that's accurate or even acceptable, but whatever. I just like using the word skank. I'm also still appreciating the free-flowing discourse that doesn't feel angry or agressive, just like people are making fun of things and being irreverant. It's a fine line, and it would certainly offend a lot of people, but I think the point is that it just sort of doesn't matter. You can just leave and not be a part of it, it's very voluntary.

I don't know, man, I want something to work on. I feel very disconnected. My brain also feels like it's moving at a sort of glacial pace. It's weird but I'm kind of into it. There's little to no stress, which is nice. My life has gotten weird. I've got to normalize this. Months! It will take months, which is the problem. Like, 1/23 start date and then at least a month to get used to it and paid, and then more months to clear out debts and things. Hm. Whatever, just gotta roll with everything. That's kind of the key, you just roll with it. I need to, like, be more active. I don't know. There seems to be something almost ... massive ... missing. Hm. Is it a relationship? Is it an apartment? Is it a job? What could it be .... It feels bigger than that. Like, sitting around on Earth, having spent ten years thinking about how the universe works, how deep aspects of math interlock with each other, and then you're just sort of out of it, looking at the world as it is again, with no distraction.

I don't know, it seems pretty simple. Like, you gotta just run. There's a certain amount of just "you only live once". It's kind of trite, but it's a philosophy. It's right, like dude, you're gonna die soon, just fucking go. Quit whining and procrastinating and make some things happen. I did like the line in "Stutz" about "pain, uncertainty, constant work", because that feels right above all. It's sort of like, if you can accept those three things, then there is a lot of life that you can experience outside of that. I have seen pain, experienced uncertainty, and rejected constant work. Now, I think, I am trying to lean into the work. That may actually help a lot, to try to finally balance those things. That's growing up, too, I think. Like just accepting that you always have to work. I mean, look, here's what's happening right now. Like, RIGHT NOW. I have reactivated my Twitter account and I've been interacting primarily with an account that I really like which was initially called @s4m31p4n, which I initially interpreted as "@samepain", because I had no idea what it meant. I had reactivated a few days a couple months ago, and there were a couple of tweets that I had liked and retweeted or something, and they had responded. I actually thought it was a guy and really didn't care. Then, independently a couple months later, I get on and somehow see that the account had been suspended, with 70k followers. Their friend, porn gum, posted a picture of them with their new handle and I was like "ohhhhhhh", not what I was expecting at all. So I followed their new account and watched it go up to a couple thousand followers and just decided to be a reply guy on this one, similar to the one in the past. It's just, like, a way for them to get to know you. So anyways, there's a real person behind the account but I think this time expectations are very chilled out, it's just like okay perhaps we'll be friends, but only if I receive a DM or something, I don't feel like reaching out and being that person. It's just fun to interact and see where it goes.

I don't know! My life has become kind of sad, it was everything I was hoping for for a little while there, then it just collapsed so hard that I didn't know to keep it alive. I just don't like the flavor of it right now, like I don't think I'm in the right place doing the right thing or around the right people. It all feels off, like I'm at a party I don't want to be at. Like, you just think of people biking across the country, going on these huge road trips, living in cities, weekend trips to the mountains, parties, clubs, events, blah-blah, everything. Like, adult life. It feels so unproductive to dwell on that. Like, it doesn't work. I'm seeking humor. I don't know. Like, it is kind of funny that some of these accounts get suspended. The funniest ones that just seem to be in touch with something get thrown off. It's great.

I feel so wildly neutral about getting a job. I haven't been taking any medication for a few days, and I feel exactly the same. I keep forgetting about that. An entire workday has passed me by, yet again. It's going to be legitimately tough to get back into the swing of things, working like forty hours a week. I guess I've got to go just fail repeatedly, like over and over. My entire value system has been shattered. That's fine, I guess. It wasn't that great to begin with. I kind of don't give a shit, it's mostly that I kind of missed the boat out and into life itself. Everything feels kind of weird and broken and whatnot. Is this place open till 6pm? Oh that's right, Sam is coming over to do pizza tonight. Got it. Fuck, I haven't figured anything out. It's people that are missing. In every possible way. Hm.

~3:26PM, Weds. 1-11-2023: Slept it. Felt nice. I don't know, feels like my problems are close to being better. There's still some things I need to do, and I really need to get outside. A short one today.

~3:06PM, Tues. 1-10-2023: The days are turning into some kind of blur. I don't feel depressed but I woke up at like noon today. I felt refreshed, I don't know. Everything just feels kind of funny. I've been looking at Twitter a lot and people are just idiotic and irreverant. It's good. I should probably stop. I kind of stopped smoking, which is good I think, but I'll probably cave soon. I guess I'm almost out. Am I almost out? Feels like it. I can't believe I just, like, wasted two years. Oh well. That is my final feeling on the matter. Whoops. I feel kind of old. Like, people are actually married and have careers and whatnot. At thirty. Unreal. They're also, like, starting PhDs, so then nothing matters. Living in the present rules. I have completely lost the thread of my existence though, and wound up coming in some sort of bizarre circle back to my youth. Anyways, I'm trying to figure out what's going on so I can figure out what to do. Part of me thinks, like, okay hell yeah, I've got a job. I can do a lot with that. The other part of me feels like it's going to be a death of some sorts. I think it'll be really, really helpful to not view it that way. Like, seriously. Looking at it like that assumes there is some other route or path that makes sense, and there just isn't. It's not about it being the perfect one, it's about moving in a direction. Generic self life advice. Blah-blah.

Everyone just feels kind of lame in this coffee shop. I don't know, when you're in a major city the vibe is different. Maybe everyone is actually lame, but at least they're in their twenties and early thirties and dressed well. How vapid. I haven't even read the offer letter from this place. I think I've been trying to learn some things from Twitter, reading more Tweets and getting a better idea of how to just, like, compress writing and find more humor in things. It's tricky to pin down, I feel like you gotta just hang out with people and riff and not really give a fuck and then it's funny, otherwise you're trying too hard. I'm trying too hard. I can't even look at some aspects of culture. It's exhausting watching people just attack eachother. It seems to be mostly out of boredom; they're fine. My current situation is absolutely alarming and has been, and I genuinely feel like I've been pretty low-key about it. I just want to be around different people. I don't know, maybe outdoorsy people again. It's really fucking nice to drive out to the middle of nowhere and go camping and not give a shit about all the noise that's going on. jody: "i don't understand what others are talking about". Exactly. It's fucking better. I looked at someone's account for like two minutes and they're just screaming about sexual assault in the workplace. Like, it's not that it doesn't matter, it's just like, can I not focus on this? I'm not apart of this.

There's just not enough information and feedback. I mean, I guess I gotta just go out and make some stuff happen. I'm, like, four years behind. Wow. That's actually the worst possible thing to do, to focus on that. Hm. Feels like this isn't helping, but nothing really is. It's almost, like, it won't matter without rebuilding some friendships and relationships. Like, everything is dead without that, forreal. I'm enjoying "riffing" with Samara. Honestly, it's a little like shooting the shit with your friends. I am literally just waiting for someone to walk into my life. It's interesting to note that my life, if it really gets started this year, will be getting kind of a late start. I suppose in terms of working, or whatever. Lots of false starts. This needs to be the last "start". It's just gone on too long. Like, I've gotta swing from one branch to the next.

I guess I've, like, calmed down in some very real sense from a couple months ago. My previous endeavors feel stupid. I was also, like, texting a lot of people and that's never good. Gotta go back to old ways, cultivate some mystique, get people to reach out to you. Be visible, accessible, busy. Fuck bitches, get money.

I suppose I am left with an overwhelming sense that there is nothing here. There is nothing I want to buy or see. It is essentially a display case for items that I'll never purchase. I get so out of it when I'm not around people. Like, I just forget how to talk and joke and whatnot. It comes back quickly but when you don't have people to bounce things off of it's pretty bad. Okay, I'm going to get some food. This was a terrible post. In any case, there's work to do. Let's just try to find something to focus on, and go from there.

~3:16PM, Sun. 1-8-2023: I'm at a Barnes and Noble, just kind of chillin'. I told everyone I have Covid so I'm off my two part time jobs, which I need to quit. I may have an interview tomorrow or Tues. I can't be sure, because the scheduling has been wack. Other than that, we're good. Job offer on the table. I have to keep reminding myself to take it, that my life will get better. I'm feeling some sense of calm. I like the hours between, when there's nothing I'm supposed to do. I don't feel particularly depressed. I'm feeling over some stuff, like it's just in the past and I'm too tired to care. The years that felt exciting and full are kind of in the rear view, it's been a couple slow ones but I'm not worried about it. I think I have some kind of taste because I'll, like, find someone on Twitter and just think that they're cool and interesting, and then it's a very weird feeling to later figure out, like, oh, they're kind of famous. When you're just evaluating them on merit it's really different. The whole vibe changes when you see they were in a TV show you liked, but then it doesn't. It's just kind of growing up I guess, when you accpet that no matter what people are just people. Anyways. Everything feels kind of unimporant, which is nice. The news kind of falls flat and into the background. I'm in a very jazzy mood, like I just want to put away all the loud stuff. I'm fine with some things being out of place or not working. It's fine. It's always the case, you'll never beat it, never get everything all fixed and organized. I want to be fine with that, to live within some amount of dysfunction and chaos. It feels natural. I'm supposed to be reading a book and I might just not. It's funny, this blog feels vapid. Like, I'm not actually saying anything. Sometimes I look at the analytics and chuckle. They're meaningless. There'll be like weird spikes in two places that match, and it's just like, "I don't believe this". I've decided that I'll just never know.

Dude, I can't, like, figure out what I want to do. There's a really distinct feeling when you're involved in something. It takes away from all the craziness of the world, to just, like, know what you're doing on a given day. Doesn't really matter what it is. Once you're in the zone, you just, like, zoom in all the way and everything else is background noise. It's why I hate when I analyze things and think too hard about what I'm supposed to be doing. It doesn't matter. I would kind of love to get really into my job. It feels like running into a massive forest though, like you're just sort of out there trying to figure things out, and no one's ever going to see you. There's no exposure. There's a side of me that wants exposure, that wants someone to see what I'm capable of and figure out what to do with me. Perhaps I'm not capable of very much at all. I don't think that's true. I just think it's a matter of what, exactly. It won't necessarily be good, but surely there's somewhere I can splatter paint around in a unqiue way. Sometimes I wish the world was like that. Just, like, yo, we have enough food and coffee and beds and stuff. Just go do something fun with people and don't hurt anyone, SEE YA. Like, why do we have to keep building crazy systems and more houses. The birth rate is declining, you'd think we could just lock in a working system and go hang out with each other. That's a very childish viewpoint, to be sure, but still. I contributed something, can't I just be free? Anyways. I'm starving. I can't wait to eat again, but what's sad is I'm too poor to afford food at the place I am currently sitting. This should probably propel me to do more work, and it is, but I also don't care. What a brilliant defense mechanism, just not giving a fuck. It's pretty dangerous though, and doesn't last long before things sort of start to fall apart, but still, for awhile it's pretty awesome. It's an open question whether things have ever actually made sense. It feels like they've come close. I can't say I've ever just felt completely comfortable. Perhaps with Burcu things were closing in, but then there was a lot of life I needed to experience. I can't condone my behavior over the past two or three years. Pretty avoidant. Need to get paid. I am worried I've sort of jumped into a kind of nerdy, bad situation at MITRE. That the underlying whatever that's taken over my life and trying to propel me to do something ELSE is going to win out. I really need some inspiration, a change of scenery. Blah blah. I keep saying what I need but I don't have the resources to go get any of it.

I'm also just tired. That's pretty tricky. I'm laughing at what I'm writing. I mean, c'mon, Jesus Christ. The one thing I've learned from Twitter is that, in fact, things can be said in like eight words. A lot can be expressed. You really don't need to try to say it in a thousand. I've seen people describe hundreds of different ideas clearly and succinctly using like six to ten words, and it's remarkable. I mean, there's huge issues with my life, but I kind of can't care. Like, worrying about it isn't going to fix it. I don't think there's anything I can do until I start getting paid, so it's just, like, fuck it. Being in a bookstore is nice. It's, like, wholesome. Not that I haven't been getting enough doses of that, but whenever you get into, like, gritty adult situations for too long it's nice to just sit in a place where there are very, very normal people just doing very calm things. This is not a BDSM dungeon in a city, not that I frequent those, but something it's like, yo, just stop. Stop trying to be insane. It's annoying. I'm not thrilled by my current behavior or circumstances. Once again it appears we will move from fight to flight and try to get away from some of the awfulness. Man, there's so many cool people in the world and interesting things to do, it just kinda sucks. Like, that's all. No need to dig into it. There really are. I'm not feeling depressed about it, it's just, like, c'mon man. I want to get involved in something that makes my brain think about that thing all day. Don't care if it's a relationship or a curiosity or what, but something different.

Hm. I still have my whole life ahead of me, more or less. I mean, part of it is behind me, but that's fine. Where do I want to live? DC? Actually? I mean, in a way, yes. For now. Perhaps I'll get an apartment in Mt. Pleasant. Frankly, I just want something nice. I'm too tired. I don't think roommates are a good idea, but damn, living alone. Such a vibe. Fucking loneliness. I think I view myself as someone who thrives like that, but I'm not sure if that's the reality. Also, like, why apartments, why cities? Do I really actually want that? I have no idea.

Well, I think it's going to be interesting and perhaps funny. The answer is meeting people. I need to go hang out with people that are cool. That's really the only way. It's decided. I'll move to a neighborhood in DC I like and meet cool people. Couldn't be simpler. It's like a half hour drive to the office. Someone should text me out of the blue. That'd be cool. Okay, I'm jumping from idea to idea but I have to say how nice it is to just feel fucking normal. To feel, like, fine. There's a part of me that wants to befriend a bunch of local comedians. Like, I'm not funny, or brave enough to do stand up, but I just love the vibe. Just a bunch of goons who aren't really famous or anything but are just trying to make each other laugh. Sort of outcasts but somehow they're dumb and smart at the same time and they just kind of get it. Random but fuck the machines. Even though they'll be writing way better than us shortly here I don't think it changes things. I'll still want to write and express myself. It doesn't matter that some machine can try to predict what I'm going to say or say it better. There have always been people more eloquent. Well, I'm starving. Better go get some food. Nothing really came out of this. It's fine.

~7:14PM, Thurs. 1-5-2023: Jesus fucking Christ. What to do here. So much shit. Just got back from the dumbest, slowest shift I've ever worked in my life, eight hours of doing essentially nothing. I need to just quit that job as well, so now I have two part-time jobs to quit. Sure, no big deal, but still. This offer should be coming tomorrow, and then there's an interview to schedule with STR. It's all beside the point. I feel so ... different. So ... past everything. Like, I'm just ready to move on. Like, forreal. Forget this place. It's time to just go to another place, somehow, someway. I can't be here any longer. It's just too small and sad. I just feel bad for people here, in a way. I'm tired of feeling it with them, this sense of complete nothingness, this lack of excitement and connection to the world around them, all these isolated little pods. I thought I was going to be able to just disassociate at work today. Not even a chance. Not even close. Just constantly zapped every five minutes by some little thing. Literally though, if not every minute. It's unreal, which is why I need to just leave. It's not worth complaining about. It's just, like, bizarre. I don't even care that much about bikes anymore. It's just, like, time to move on. I don't know. I feel sad. Generally. It's just a sad time. I can't quite figure out what to think, feel, or do and I still have nothing real that I need in terms of people or relationships. Like, everything is somehow missing. It's a missing life.

Okay, fuck that tone of voice. Done with that, just because it's frankly old. I cannot wait to change. I just can't fucking wait. I don't know, part of me feel like a nerdy loser or something, but I'm not sure. I'm not really sure of anything anymore, quite frankly. The only thing I'm sure of is that something is wrong. That is a bare fact. I also have no idea what to do, how to get things to change. I will have to try something new. I don't know what that means, or what. I frankly just don't fucking know. But I'm going to figure it out.

~10:08PM, Weds. 1-4-2023: Well, I just got back from C2 Education and I gotta say, that's going to be the last time. I need to quit that, and quit this job at REI. It's time to just change. Things have needed to change for awhile and it's taking forever and everything just plain sucks. Like it really does. There's no way to encapsulate it completely, it's just lame. Every aspect of my life has this dreary overlay to it. The excitement, the energy just isn't there. I don't even know what it is I'm supposed to get excited about. The job? Hardly. Moving out? Maybe. Dating? Who. Friends? Where. It's a soul-sucking miasma that will not quit. I just need someone real to talk to. C'mon.

~11:48PM, Weds. 1-4-2023: Good morning. Sense of calm pervades. Drinking coffee. Reconnecting with some people online, which is good. Still processing the fact that I have a job offer. It's going to be a long year, but it's possible that things will get a lot better, slowly. An (online) relationship from last year is officially over, which needed to happen. Time to leave that alone. I need to go to a tutoring meeting at 2:30PM, and the nice news is with the job offer now these things are moving towards finality. I can simply quit them once the job starts, and I think I'll be a lot happier. In the end, there will be some people that I lost along the way. I suppose it's just part of it. You make a bunch of mistakes, lose people, lose things, lose yourself, and you emerge new. I'm not sure if I'll be a better person or not. There's a lot of things missing from my life, but I've sort of made peace with it. It's fine. There's a sense in which it had to happen that way, that there was no other alternative, and that I'll have to try to learn from the mistakes. It's pretty standard. My covid symptoms are getting better, I'm almost healed. Perhaps another day or so. I'll just keep drinking DayQuil. Coffee, too. Feeling pretty good right now, relaxed. I have no idea if this will be the "right" job. My solace is that everyone has to start somewhere, and I've been avoiding that. If it isn't right, I can adjust. In about three months I'll have saved up money and paid off some debt. I'll be able to keep my old car running, and perhaps buy a new bike. The basics. I'm particularly excited about showing my little brother that I'm capable and giving him someone to look up to. I can move to a place nearby, and enjoy living near him for awhile. It will be Alexandria, Arlington, McLean, or DC. There's obviously a huge part of me that wants to connect with "interesting" people. They're out there, and I don't think they necessarily work at MITRE. I think they're doing creative things in DC, but you never know. The reality probability is that they're scattered all over the place, and you meet who you meet. The big questions are 1) can I keep the job? 2) will I move back to Massachusetts? It's unclear. Part of me feels like there needs to be some more pull to move back to Boston, some people that I want to be with or be around. That could happen. Tapping into the huge social and intellectual abilities will have to sort of wait. I'm not in the place I was a few years ago. The independence, the inspiration, the people, they're all just not here. This is raw survival mode until I'm out of the woods. The world awaits if I can go get it. I have a feeling the Spring is going to be a beautiful time. I'll be able to come out of hibernation hopefully fairly healed.

The question is where to go. I've already exhausted so many options and at this point it's getting kind of lame. I don't know what to do. I basically just want a friend, or girlfriend. Someone to talk to and shoot the shit with. It's been too long, and I miss having that every day.

~6:39PM, Sun. 1-1-2023: Feeling pretty good, a little high or something despite taking absolutely nothing. I'm also nursing a pretty serious hangover, and have tested positive for coronavirus. I'm listening to Ghostland Observatory. That's an interesting concept. Man, I was thinking earlier today about putting two words together, how there are like ten to the twelve combinations just for two word combos. Any two of them creates a concept that you can try to visualize. Ghostland Observatory, hmmm. I'm imagining a barren wasteland with an eerie lake, and it's dark out. There's a high tower rising above the water just near the edge of the lake. There are a few concrete structures pockmarking the lake with metal grilles on them. It seems all the life that was once here has long vanished. The lake feels artificial, not formed by nature but nevertheless natural. A light is on in the high tower, and there appear to be etheral beings moving around luminously. There's my quick rendition of those two words. I suppose artificial intelligence could probably pen a hundred words given a two word prompt, but "fuck AI" (in the words of Sona Movsesian).

Just want to keep writing because it feels good. Tomorrow I need to prepare for my Tues. interview. I need to give a 20min talk, which shouldn't be too bad but I don't want to think about that tonight, like at all. Nah, I just need to have a nice night. I might watch Glass Onion. I just looked it up on the internet. That's actually insane, that you can just look up information on the internet. There's so much out there. It's not endless, but it's pretty massive. One couldn't just look up information like this before. You had to, like, ask somebody and what was special was that everything they said you couldn't hear somewhere else. There was no online guide or whatever. It was just, like, lemme write this down because it'll last that way. To some extent you can still do this, but you have the problem that it's replicated somewhere online. It's kinda weird. Like, you can be anachronistic, and it's real. Collecting records is a good example. You are free to collect and play records on a record player, but that very record player will have a button that you can press to connect your phone and play the exact same music. There are subtle analog differences but it is essentially the same. What's different is the physical material itself. It is, in fact, a different experience to place the record on, and just turn your phone off. You're not pretending it doesn't exist, it's just literally off. It is, for all intents and purposes, a plastic, metal, and silicon brick. I suppose the fact that you COULD turn on the phone kind of still ruins the illusion. Perhaps one can suspend disbelief, but at some point things must die. It's exciting to think that the form of media distribution now will one day be viewed as antiquated. Like, it was surely exciting to check out the record store for new arrivals. Now the shipping time is essentially zero, but there are still releases on Spotify which is basically a record store. A pretty big one, in fact. It's huge! Lots of people milling about in there, with their headphones on. Stay as long as you like, as long as you pay the entrance fee. Every record in the world, right there, at your fingertips. Incredible. It's probably affected my brain in mysterious ways. I listen to Spotify, like, ten hours a day many days. It's wild.

I feel like I've become something of an involutary recluse. Not really sure how this has happened, but it has. Like, I go out when I can, but without money, good lord. It's shockingly limited. I'm attempting to change it, but 2022 was definitely another year of, like, seclusion. Not entirely. Large parts of it, though. There's just an extreme amount of laziness that's pretty hard to pin down.

I just had the thought that some people probably see texting as I once did, like, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). Like, I would just "log on" and messages would pop up all the time. Like, it was pretty constant. It was particularly exciting when you'd get a message from someone you didn't know, a random screenname. People were constantly asking for other people's screennames and saying all sorts of stuff. I miss it. Dude, my teeth are turning yellow. This is getting pretty egregious. I mean, this is crazy, but maybe I'll just turn this into a letter to Megan. Like, the longest letter ever written in the history of humanity. No one will read it, which is a plus. I thought I was over her? What's going on here. I haven't spoken with her in a week or so, so at this point she is fading into more of an idea, which is pretty wispy and sad. I don't want this to be a letter to Megan. She can write if she wants to, or not if she doesn't. That's not what this is. I don't actually know what this is, because on a much more serious note I don't know what anything is, because I am so insanely, ridiculously lost. Probably angry and sad as well, but I'm also so tired of being angry and sad that I can't muster the strength to fix things. I'm trying nonetheless, but it is hard to find happiness.

Starting to feel the sickness a little bit more. Bummer. I'm going to get some tea or something. I can't drink tonight, fuck that. I had so much random nonsense last night, like every possible variant of alcohol. Okay, I have tea. I often struggle to understand my own behavior. It's nearly impossible sometimes. Everyone surely struggles with this. I don't know, maybe they don't think about it. That sounds nice, I wish I could just not think about things sometimes. I'm thinking about how, when given the opportunity to rekindle a relationship, I completely and totally fucked it up. Like, it was so egregious I just wonder if it was on purpose or what. Like, how is it even possible to fail that badly. Oh well. I'm sure there was some reason for it. Some inability to control myself in a particular setting. I suppose there's a reason for things. It's not like it's a general behavior. It's specific to the person I'm thinking of, just my interaction with her, which means that whatever I'm doing it's very targeted and isn't just some general impulse. I mean, there are some patterns, for sure, but it seems like it's more contained and cenetered around a few particular people. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it seems like when it becomes difficult to contact someone, I only want to contact them more. Sounds pretty standard, perhaps not healthy or good, but also it makes sense. Anytime someone is leaving and never coming back there are feelings and desires that arise. The fact that I've never been on the receiving end of such behavior probably says something (negative) about me, but whatever. I'm tired of analyzing myself. I feel like that's all I do.

I'm ready for another perspective shift. I don't know where it's going to come from, but it needs to happen. Dude, it sucks that the moment I'm learning how to everything an adult human can do, machines are learning how to do. It's like, c'mon man. I learned how to drive fifteen years ago, and it took, like, six million years for us to evolve, and then fifteen years later cars are teaching themselves to drive, learning how to write, how to make images, and on and on. Like I straight up started writing a few years ago, and now GPT is out there writing sonnets and stories in a nanosecond. It's stupid. It'll never write like a human because it isn't a human. Also, fuck AI. Back to the perspective shift. I don't know, I just feel kind of bored overall. Like, I want someone else's worldview to influence mine. I miss that so much. I guess that's another shade of loneliness, but still. I just feel like my life has run out of steam in a lot of ways, and I need someone to be like, "here is this entire world that you never even knew existed". That does happen. That has happened. Make it happen. Ready? Go. Make. It. Happen. No? Okay. Fine.

I guess one option is to pretty much disassociate. Like, that's pretty effective. Just simply part ways with what your body is experience, and become a neutral observer. In a sense, everything that happens sort of just filters out people and things. Like, you can make a bunch of "mistakes" in your relationships, but aren't they also expressions of how you actually feel, not how you're supposed to feel? Like, okay you said something stupid. Well? That came from somewhere, didn't it? You might not like it, or be embarrassed by it, but the words left your body, which means they were produced by your brain, which is you. I'm just going to say it, I miss Megan. I feel like I've gained some weight. Wow, my New Years resolutions are really common and basic - stop smoking, lose weight, whiten teeth. I mean, get a job and move out are pretty high up on the list, too.

I'm just, like, so deeply confused at this juncture. Like, the things I have to do seem pretty awful, and I don't actually want to do any of them. It's just, like, why go to school for ten years and then not get to at least do something you want to do, to an extent? Why did it all have to collapse right at the end? I don't know, but it did and here I am. Enough of that. So sick of talking about that. It's time to move on, for God's sake. Time is weird. It moves slow and then very fast. I guess because it has to. Like, any future time will eventually come to pass, so when it does happen you can be like "wow, I never thought this would come, I only remember very little about all the elapsed time and here I am, so that felt quick" even though it took exactly as long as it takes for that amount of time to pass.

A ten second voice recording. She let me hear her voice for ten seconds. She said "i don't like talking on the phone annnd i'm watching tv annnnd it's raining". I deleted the message after listening. Why? Because, I guess I believe in the old way. That recording everything, keeping it, well, it's just not ephemeral. You lose that quality. There is a huge difference between a quality and a feature. A feature is the ability to capture information and store it. A quality is an adjective describing the result of those features, I suppose. Anyways, it's just a whole different world when you do that. It changes the future. You can't go back and look. It's as if she said it one time, to me. The same goes for pictures, and text messages for almost everyone. I read them, process them, and then usually just delete them. They're not for future generations to analyze in any way. They were words that were traded via this medium. When we speak, this is inherent. It is not always possible to record the data. It is complicated air flow. It is an arrangement of bits. Whatever you'd like to call it, it is unique and only needs to exist for a moment in transit. Once it's received, it can be released back to the entropic universe. I dunno, man, are you not spooked by this? Like, the fact that information is actually conserved? That you can change the future based on any present decision you make? I suppose I'm not spooked by this anymore, moreso just like ALRIGHT ALREADY, information exists and moves around and influences things. Who cares.

Okay, I'm going to watch Glass Onion. I love being sick. I don't mean, like, the pain and misery of it, but just being able to have zero pressure to do anything other than get better. That part. My God, it's like a disease. She's a creature of the internet, dude, chill out. Alright, let's migrate.

What is a stero-gram? This is interesting. They're influencers. Invited by a reclusive genius.

~1:23PM, Sun. 1-1-2023: Good afternoon! Happy New Year! I'm a little hungover but feeling alright. The party was a success. It was a little awkward barely knowing anyone, but I was able to meet a few people and ran into a childhood friend. We'll see what happens with a couple of these new connections. I realize how sort of "out of it" I am, and how much everyone has successfully set up their lives and relationships. I had a bunch of chances to do that, but none of them have stuck and I'm kind of at sea still. Nevertheless, socializing is good, it helps. A lot. People are generally pretty nice, and I do miss feeling like I was on top of things socially, hosting parties and attending them with regularity. This new reality has an odd shape to it, but I'm hoping I can make the best of it and just roll with it. I'd like to quit smoking, ideally for good. It's just such a drain, both financially but much more so health wise. I kind of hate it, and there are better alternatives. It keeps you put in one place, and disincentivises finding different ways to use time. In other words, it sucks. I suppose there's still this overall feeling of being stuck in a pit. Like, it's so unclear what it's going to take to get out, but I will. I'm getting tired of saying the same old things, job, apartment, girlfriend. It's true, but it's not going to come from just saying that over and over.

~2:47PM, Sat. 12-31-2022: Home from Dallas as of yesterday. The only thing on the agenda today is a New Year's Eve party. It's 90s themed, and I bought some attire from Goodwill. Basic faded jeans, pastel patterned shirt, hat w/ 90s insignia, and Chuck Taylor-esque shoes. It'll be the first time in a long time that I've been to a party, which is good. I'm not feeling great about myself. This upcoming week looks complicated. Two interviews, one that I need to prepare a presentation for. I may have to both work at REI and tutor, which will just be annoying to juggle. I'm not really ready or willing to do that. I'd prefer to just eschew all of that in favor of getting hired somewhere, and doing one thing full time. Oh well. Megan's gone, and frankly never really was there. It was such an ephemeral thing. It's not worth dwelling on. I still think it's interesting that I got invited to this party because I bought a book that I read at a bar. I still wonder if things are fated, but then I suppose a lot of things haven't happened that I'm not able to keep track of, so it's just one possible thing that happened. I wonder who I'll meet.

I'm really wondering if this is the right job to take. It's funny because I don't really have a choice. I need it to get out of here, so I'll take it. I just don't feel good overall, the smoking, the yellowing teeth, the weight gain. It feels very reversible, just quit and work out again. I like those two things, and have done them before. Part of me feels like I should be striving to do something more ... creative than working as a Signal Processing Researcher. Another huge part of me is telling me to shut up, that this is great and will lead to all sorts of wonderful and unexpected things. I can see it, sort of. I like the idea of devoting myself to something, to becoming an expert in signal processing if that's what's going to happen. Signals are interesting. Data, Fourier series, classic stuff. It's also happening at a low level. It's hard to connect to other people that are doing interesting, creative things outside or even inside that world. The fact that it requires a security clearance is also a major challenge, and honestly not likely to happen for me. It seems all of my problems started in 2019, and have been cascading ever since. During this New Year, I'm just remembering where I was in 2020, living on my own in an apartment in Boston, working and enjoying life, dating someone, a gorgeous twenty five year old woman. It's just been sort of ... disheartening to see how far I fell during 2021 and 2022. Very little good actually happened. That's a long time. Perhaps things will actually change in 2023. I have a good feeling about this year. At the very least, I may get a job, which is the key to getting back moving again. I feel like my youth is gone, but I could've felt that way at the end of 2020, going on 30.

In an ideal world, I do these two interviews, and get two offers. I accept one, and quit my jobs tutoring and at REI. I pay off minor student loan debt, and by March am ready to move out. I move to Alexandria or DC, or even Arlington depending. Then it's just all systems go. I can travel, I can let everyone know I'm availble, I can start dating forreal, I can fix up my car or get a new one. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, so I need to just focus on getting this job. There is no alternative. I don't know, it feels like I'm capable of other things, but at some point I suppose I have to use my math PhD and physics background and programming skills to, y'know, make money. Part of me wishes I focused on something cooler, creative pursuits, but I didn't. In any case, math and programming are creative. I probably need to re-commit to that idea, that it's really an art form, my art form and quit dreaming of doing something like writing or, I don't know actually, there's not a lot that I can do outside of those things. So there we are. The same story. Get a job, make money, move out. It's like a wall I can't climb. There's so much time in between everything, months to go through an interview process. It's a little insane. I don't know how people survive, at all.

I guess I just know I'm in completely the wrong place, just emotionally, spirtually, physically. That's interesting to me, because it means at some point it'll have to change, and I'll be a different person when it does. I'm looking forward to that. In fact, I can't wait. I sort of hate the person I've become here. I hate the laziness, the monotony, the lack of activity. There's too much life out there to be doing this.

I'm starting to question my philosophy. It seems true that we don't have free will, that everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be even if you might not like it. What if that's wrong? I just struggle to imagine how one could possibly freely choose to do anything, given that it's unclear how the brain works, and how it seems the brain is making decisions based on all this input we're exposed to, and it just does it automatically. Like, even if you have veto power, something is pulling the strings on the veto. You can just keep unraveling it, one layer after the other, until you get to the bottom of the machine. I guess we all get to observe the machine, ourselves, and perhaps we're only excited and claim we have free will when things go our way, when we produce something we're proud of or when good things happen. Everything else is a mistake, accidental, something that you couldn't prevent. I guess my thing is that it's all just happening, and both the good and bad are a product of forces way beyond anyone's control. It's all a little confusing, and in any case it does feel like we can make choices. I wish I knew the answer. It feels important. It's also the only way I know how to cope with terrible things happening continuously. Yes, they're my fault, but also it's just me observing things that are happening to me. I can try to learn from the mistakes, but it removes the blame. It's just the system that I have doing the best that it can, and failing in a bunch of ways in the environment I'm in, and it sucks, but it just is what it is.

I'm excited to see how this party goes. I just want to relax and not worry about anything. I'm just going to assume the New Year is going to go well. I don't actually think anything too terrible can happen. Like, I hope I get the job. I hope I can leave REI and tutoring behind. I hope I can make money and move out. That's really it. Beyond that, fate will have to intervene. Straight up. With respect to relationships, or some other activity I'm supposed to be doing, it's going to have be some sort of intervention, because I am just going headfirst into one of these two jobs. I'm not going to try to quit or jump ship in the hopes that something will magically appear. Nope. I'm just going to do the most obvious, normal thing I can think of, hope that it works, and do it despite this pull to do something "else". I just have no idea what the else is, so there's no point in searching for it anymore. It'll come or it won't.

I'm sick of reading the New York Times and the New Yorker. I'm sick of doing anything that's not going to actually move my life forward.

~3:36PM, Thurs. 12-29-2022: Well, I've been in Texas for a few days. I'm not even really sure that's relevant, despite the fact that it's all consuming. My mind isn't really here right now. It's simply comforting to be writing, without an audience, or a care in the world about who reads it. I know that some of the things I say will be more interesting and better written than other people who garner thousands of readers, and I also know my writing will be less interesting that many people writing blogs, books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and a million other things. It's a cacophony out there, and I have no idea how someone could produce two thousand word of high quality writing nearly daily, with sources and other details that are simply a pain in the ass. I can do two thousand words, but they're low quality, stream-of-consciousness. It's just people trying to be the best with an unending supply of energy that comes from somewhere, some desire to win-or-fail, whatever it is. I don't care. A lot of it sucks, anyways. A lot of it is boring, and a lot of it frankly shouldn't be read. If you skim the newspaper you can see that they're trying to get you interested in things that you just very simply don't need to be interested in. One could, of course, become interested in, oh let's pick one. "The best everyday base layer depends on the purpose, our fashion critic writes." It's just immediately clear that it's nonsense, that one can usually figure out what to wear by age twelve, and this is just useless niche knowledge that likely won't even get applied, perhaps a few days a year at most, and is relatively inconsequential. No, the news is not where it's at. Magazines are good, oftentimes, depending on the publisher. I am often shocked by the length and quality. Then I am equally shocked to learn that these folks publish one piece every couple of months, and I wonder how they even survive, and marvel at the fact that there is indeed enough money to support someone writing a few thousand words a month. That makes me happy.

Man, I just don't care if my writing is bad today. I'm emotionally exhausted, and just physically tired, and full. I just want to be out on my own again, eating light, running at full speed. I'll take any job, I don't care anymore. I suppose I don't know how it's going to work, how I'm going to find myself within the context of working some secuity clearance job. How I'm going to travel and do all the things I want to do. I'm worried. Worried that it'll be incredbly constricting, and I just won't like it. That's not what I want to talk about, but it's on my mind. I kind of want to almost block it out, just let it be something that's going to happen that I don't necessarily try to think about very much. That I just kind of go through the motions and hope for the best.

Brianna texted this morning. It was weird because I'd been thinking about her, maybe even had a (non-sexual) dream about her. Anyways, she wrote merry belated Christmas. I'm not sure what her intention was, but we texted back-and-forth and eventually she FaceTimed me. I was in the car with my family, and frankly embarrassed to be talking to her in front of, um, normal people. She can behave, but at the time she was wearing what appeared to be a red wig, large dangling gold cross nose ring, extravegant eye makeup, and some sort of bright clothing. It's just a lot for a Thursday, but on brand for her and of course whatever. I called her back later and we spoke for a few minutes. She was in the process of "releasing an album", however her approach to music is slightly off and I don't think there's going to be massive pent-up demand for this album. I think it's great that she's making music, but hmmm, I don't know, I guess I've just seen some professional musicians and it's a bit different. It also just seems like the very best musicians will wait quite a while to release their first album, and they'll already have a significant following and be doing some live shows and whatnot. I'm thinking of Baby Queen and Mallrat, where Mallrat was getting like millions of listens on singles and an EP before releasing her debut album like four or five years into recording. This idea that you can just go straight to Spotify and get "discovered" seems like wishful thinking. It sucks because you really don't know, but the wastebin of artists is incredibly large. I say that as I'm typing this. Hm. I wonder what it would take to turn the ability to write into something more serious. Perhaps I'll read a bit about how other writers do it, and just start reading more. Which reminds me! I have a book. I'll read that later. A time to read and a time to write.

I get excited sometimes though. Like, I've gotten to know myself decently well. I know, for a fact, that whoever I end up with is not going to be normal or conventional. Sometimes it scares me, some of the women I end up seeing. The current three women I'm talking to in some capacity I met in a freaking mental hosptial, for goodness' sake. Despite that, they are all very sweet. I've just sort of noticed that I think the reality, the actualy Jackson underneath the exterior I've been presenting for a long time is so much more, just ... gothic? There's just a level of darkness and sarcasm and a type of humor that goes beyond what I think a lot of people would actually be comfortable with, but it's mixed in with a lot of humility and intelligence and exposure to different aspects of the world. Frankly, I have no fucking clue what she'll be like, but an emo girl with like thirty seven thousand Twitter followers who's posting deranged and funny things feels closer. I mean, that's all it is, anyways. You're taking stabs and getting closer and closer to the true thing. That's what I hope for, anyways. Like, perhaps all the others fell away because they were what I *thought* I wanted, but they were absolutely not what I needed, which is what I'm curious about. My feeling is I just won't even know. Someone else will have to know. I kind of view that as my job, anyways. To try to figure out what this other human being needs, the ones that they simply can't meet themselves. I really don't like or understand this philosophy that everyone should be able to meet their own needs independently. It's like a cancerous philosophy that flies in the face of millions of years of evolution and leaves people lonely and alone. Yes, you can meet some of your needs, but generally not all of them, and that's what other people are for! It's not fucking illegal to have a need that's met by someone else. Get real. I feel like I have to say that every time I even suggest one of two indiviudals in a relationship are not meeting all of their needs first. It's stupid. Anyways, my point is I'm going to need a pretty unique chick who can walk the line of the ultra-weird and ultra-normal. Like a tightrope.

I wonder sometimes how the brain works. Like what it's really doing up there. It's best? I have no idea. Like, how on Earth could I have missed so many opportunities. By I I really mean We, my brain and I, because I can't take full responsibility for what goes on up there. I have no idea how that fucking thing works or what it's up to most of the time. Sneaky little shit. Like, dude, what's this Megan thing? I still don't understand. There's another part of this where I'm just straight up laughing. I'm not laughing because it's funny, I'm laughing because it is just so hilariously impossible, like everything generally, that I just don't care anymore. It's like when someone makes a video game too hard or something, like you stop getting frustrated at it and just start laughing. Like, you can't lose anymore because you know that trying is futile. You're not throwing the grenades out of the foxhole, you're seeing if you can karate kick them 'cause it's more fun that way.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this blog is. Just to write, I guess. I suppose I don't know the correct recepticle for the words I write, so just throwing them out there seems like something to do. The hope being the words hit the right eyeballs. I sort of suspect they won't, that it will actually backfire somehow, and precisely the wrong person will read these words. Oh well. I've already sort of given up depsite being resolute about trying. I'm listening to Florence + The Machine describe what it's like to be addicted to love. It's pretty compelling. It's possible that it's a condition I have suffered from, given the number of failed relationships I am, um, responsible for. That I took part in. It always takes two.

On the real, I do need to wrap it up with Megan, like via whatever form of closure. I just really, honestly did not expect to have feelings like this. I swear to God it wasn't like this for the past few months. It was just like, okay, this is someone I text sometimes. She's no one, in a lot of ways. I'm confused, but like it's pretty clear it's over, or better put I suppose the hope that it would evolve into something more is gone. Honestly, she's kind of a fucking recluse. It's not easy actually communicating with this person, lemme tell ya. That just makes me think she's kind of shy, which kind of breaks my heart. Dude, I don't know. My life is a mess.

So two interviews the week of Jan. 3rd. One with MITRE, one with STR. Do I actually want to go down this route? I think I have to give it one last serious try. Like, a full year of work at one of these places, with the money and things to go along with it. It's kind of necessary for a bunch of reasons.

It sort of seems like not thinking is the ultimate solution here. Like, not overthinking the problems. Just taking the money. Doing well at the job in front of me. Paying off debt. Getting a cool apartment in DC or Alexandria or whatever. Fuck, I'm bored just writing that. That's the problem. What is wrong with me. I reject the solutions without an alternative.

~11:03AM, Mon. 12-26-2022: As fate would have it, I ended up sitting next to that woman on the flight. I struck up a conversation and we actually had quite a lively chat. She was actually on the way to see her boyfriend, a Marine officer, with family in Texas. We did swap numbers, but I think this one will be more of a professional connection. She teaches special needs students in Alexandira and does Crossfit. Nice to follow through and know that I can still, y'know, get to know people if I'm interested in doing that.

Finished watching Private Benjamin last night at the hotel. What a movie, honestly. I wasn't expecting much but that'll go down as a favorite. Funny and modern. Again, I was surprised and delighted to see how modern the past is, and there was even a moment when someone took a picture with their watch! It's all the same, people don't change. I suppose I'm most nervous about going through these interviews and trying to get my life back together. Everything will be okay.

~1:43PM, Sun. 12-25-2022: Migrated to a different seat so I could sit a little closer to someone. Strategic, but also I don't really give a fuck. I'm just bored. Always bored. Paper Planes by MIA is on. A classic. I kind of want food but I don't think I'll have time necessarily. I'm taking out my left earbud to open the possibility of talking to this person on my left. I don't know, I go through phases. Sometimes I'm very keen on talking to people, and will just strike up a conversation. Other times I most certainly am not. Ah. All of the sudden, I am overcome by a wave of missing Sara. That's great. On one of our many dates she proclaimed, "You talk to everybody!" because I would just talk to whoever was around. Fuck, I miss her more than any of them.

~12:49PM, Sun. 12-25-2022: Well, hanging out the airport. Reagan National, having a beer. Flight boards at 2PM, so over an hour to kill. I have my book, The Sun Also Rises, to finish and more excitingly my book "And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks" to start. The plane will be a good place to finish and start those books. I don't want to descend into irrelevance and disrepute. Like, it just feels like I had all these tools at my disposal, brain, looks, charm, and I used it for awhile, but then threw myself off any sort of path with force. I mean, there's a part of me that knows that I need to be involved in some sort of counter-culture, something off the beaten path. That those were always my people and I just needed to dive in completely. I think the math actually was a distraction from what I probably should've been doing in my twenties, but it's hard to do everything. Getting a PhD is hard, no matter how you slice it. Hm. I just feel out of touch with what's going on. I need people, man. I'll never be able to figure it out alone. Like, I feel fine. That's the thing. I'm really not, like, reeling or deeply suffering every day at this point. I mean, I guess it's just onward. There's a bunch of things I need to do. I'm not even sure about the jobs anymore. I don't know what they mean. If it marks the beginning or the end, if working for one of these companies would make me this stodgy borderline conservative who works for the defense industry. Constrast this with a freewheeling hippie who's driving around the country going to national parks and live music shows and trying to make art. I don't know, I need to make money. I honestly don't really give a fuck about anything else, because without money I don't think I'm able to do anything at all.

I just feel alone and bored in this almost new way. Like, something should be happening. Guy on my right is typing into a Google Doc on his laptop. Androgenous young woman across from me is eating and waiting on their flight. She's pretty, in a way. There are, like, literally fifteen televisions in here. Okay, eleven, I counted. Man, sometimes I worry I'm going to become one of those people, who's at airports alone traveling for work or whatever, just having to eat and drink by themselves. I've kind of done that here and there in the past. Perhaps it's just the way it is. Listening to Avalong Emerson. It is fuckin' weird but it's good. Woman, who appears to be working for an airline, is wearing a tie. Kinda hot. That'll probably fade in time. At the end of the day it's just fashion. Hm. What to do. How to get interesting things to happen, fluidly, regularly. It's totally unclear. I just don't fucking know.

~8:57PM, Sat. 12-24-2022: I'm bored out of my mind. There's really no other way to say it. It's a culmination of so many factors, but mostly starting around 2018, and then never quite stopping. I suppose there was less boredom in 2019 and 2020, but 2021 was a total snoozefest, as was 2022. Moving did a lot of damage, as did just sort of, I don't know, decoupling? Just removing myself from the hundreds of contacts I had before. That occured right around graduation, then it just sort of continued to decay, and now I'm left with quite litearlly no one. It's the same thing. I go to any remotely social place, and people are very happy to talk and connect, even hang out. The thing is, there aren't that many social places I go to. It's just so hard here, and it goes beyond the usual. You really, really have to just live somewhere, in a city or close to one, have money, and live on your own. Then everything opens up. There are dates and parties and hangouts. Without that, you're trapped. It's the same story. Without social media, it's very hard for people to just know what you're doing, and they don't reach out. It doesn't work that way, at least not anymore. You're either plugged in or you're not, and I'm not. This was more than fine when I was living on my own and working, when there were colleagues and neighbors and a girlfriend, and at the very least I could go out to bars and restaurants and whatnot. Now it's just this punishing silence, this almost unreal quiet that I couldn't even design if I tried. I often just sit in amazement at how private my life is, despite not wanting it to be. You would think people would do something, that even against your will some random people would just reach out, but it doesn't work that way. There is this inertia to it, like you have a conversation online and the person lives far away so there's a gravity that just sort of pulls the conversation down until it dies, because what can you do? When you live in the same city, you can just ... do stuff. You can go out, you can meet people, it's just alive. I mean it's appearing that I'll just have to suffer until I can muster the strength to change things. I don't think there's going to be a way to stop the loneliness or the suffering. I don't think anyone's going to swoop in, I know for a fact that I will not run into anyone. That does happen, but it's quite litearlly once every three months at best. This is an isolated place, designed for nothing other than work, home, grocery store, occasional mainstream entertainment. There's nothing real or alive or generational going on. This is not DC, it's not Boston, it's not New York. There's no neighborhood. There's no bulletin board of local events. There's no walking down the street on any given day and just straight up seeing hundreds of new faces. It's as close as you get to death without dying. I really don't think the suburbs should exist. It's just this unfortunate compromise that was made, which kills off so much natural activity as a byproduct. Cities are natural. Rural landscapes are natural. This is an unholy middleground. I wish we just forced people to live in cities by zoning laws, increased the population by one hundred percent or something, and reserved areas outside the city for national parks and natural areas or farmland. It's just humans desecrating the land for convenience, and in the end everyone loses. It really seems to be a lot of families that simply don't want to have to deal with the inconveniece of people or living in a smaller home or apartment. They want an unreal amount of space, and they're given it because why not. Anyways, the suburbs suck. We all know this.

I guess it sucks because I did it to myself. I have no one to blame. I had a ton of contacts and could've had all the friends in the world, and I just sort of stopped caring. I think it happened in 2019 when I quit that first internship. I just didn't care. I didn't really have an alternative, but I was just beat up and tired, and tired of trying to make relationships work. Dating then was nice, liberating. That summer and year were really the best, no comparison. Raquel, Sara Allen, Hannah, Anna, Cora, Juliet, Shayla. Just wonderful, drama free, lovely relationships all around. Completely free of all the pressures and stress of grad school, working a $15/hr job, living in a beautiful old apartment, all the neighbors and the community garden and walking around the cemetery and the arboretum and Jamaica Pond and the riverway and Franklin Park. Going to local bars and being off social media and fixing bikes all day. Trips to Maine and camping in New Hampshire. Donating most of my things, building a computer to set up in my office(!), journaling, reading, trying to blog for the first time. I suppose though that all the parties and barbeques and hosting events had gone by the wayside, as well as all but a single friend from six years of graduate school, out of dozens. That was the beginning of the descent. Then it was just waves. Moving, dating again, finding a big job, quitting, little jobs, and just a downward spiral into a hole that's impossible to get out of. In the end it's all about not having that one person. I have a few close friends, but they don't live here and it's simply not enough. You need a person to get through life. All that bullshit about taking care of yourself, it's not real. You can do it, you can take care of yourself and learn how to love being with yourself, but then what. It's simply lonely. By all means, live life alone, but please stop saying it's some sort of panacea. I'd rather be unhealthy and codependent if it means not being lonely, if it means having someone to lean on and make mistakes with and learn about life with. Who the hell cares. No one has it figured out anyways. It's just gotten to the point where I know what I need and don't really care to try to, like, make guy friends or double down at these part-time jobs. I need to make real money, and date someone. It's not complicated. Other people do this, and could barely conceptualize losing or quitting their job, and losing their relationship. I can't take advice from any of these people, because I'm not sure they really know what it's like to lose everything. I believe they know struggle and sacrafice, but it's difficult for me to believe I can find people who have truly been through what I have. The people that I do find for which I believe that often haven't been to college, and have a long history of more serious problems. It's not the same lightning bolt. It's very rare to be in my position, to have quit three six figure jobs on your own volition, have a PhD, and be on Medicaid. It sounds self-induced, and in a way it is, but whatever. It's the situation I'm in, and getting out is harder than you think. I don't want to complain though. It's cathardic, but in the end it's just whining. Things are moving in the right direction, and I'll try my best to make sure these interviews go well, and perhaps in a month or so things will really be a lot better. Instead of complaining, I suppose I'd rather just marvel at being alive. I've sort of given up on any idea that I have control over what the future holds. I mean, I feel I can influence as usual, I just don't know that I understand the mechanisms that are causing me to make the choices I'm making. Sometimes I just wish that good things happen. This is a reflection a newfound sense that I don't actually have control over whether or not something good or bad will happen, that it's more of an observation, a constant sequence of surprises. I suppose this is why people pray, because they're just saying it's not really up to them, and they're hoping. There's like a ninety percent chance that sex will fix half of my problems. It's silly, but at the mall today I couldn't help but notice some sexy people and just simply thought, yeah, y'know, that would be nice. It's been awhile, and all this other esoteric stuff is getting really complicated. Maybe I just need to fuck someone. That used to work pretty well. I just really, really don't want to use a dating app. I don't have a lot of faith in them. I suppose I just feel too poor and destitute and at a nadir of confidence, but I should persevere. They're out there and I just miss myself, my normal, relaxed self. I'm a fun, attractive, wonderful person to be around, and all but one of the dates I've been on have gone great. I don't know. I suppose it'll work out however it's supposed to work out. Quand meme. ~3:02PM, Sat. 12-24-2022: It's Christmas Eve. I have to say I'm coming down with a feeling of calm. I'll be traveling to Texas tomorrow by plane to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew in their new home. I'm not particularly excited about it, but it should be nice. I've scheduled a couple of days to work at REI when I get back, Thursday and Friday. Any tutoring has been pushed to the New Year, along with job interviews. That is, the heavy stuff can wait. I've accepted the fact that there will be no more Megan in my life, which is fine. Just a funny online/texting relationship that went cold. I'm not sure what I'll do about this other woman, Marguerite, who's still around to some extent. She's at least local and we've hung out in person a few times, but that also feels difficult to move forward. I'm trying to just relax about it all. I'm not really expecting much from her, nor for the relationship to progress very much aside from the occasional text. It would be nice to let some sparks fly for a little, but I don't think it's in the cards. I just got back from a trip to the mall with my sister and Dad. I'm lucky. It's nice to just walk around and people watch. Most of the people and shops were boring, and I thought I'd be able to get into a little trance by playing music and walking around after my sister and Dad left. Sometimes it feels like I can just feast on my five senses, taking in everything. I suppose my interaction with the world has changed, in that all these weird little things seem interesting. The shops trying to make a profit, consumerism, the types of models they use to show off clothing, the types of people who work in the shops. There's a different perspective as an adult, in that I know that I don't inhabit the retail world, and it's just a small slice of commerce. I mean, I do work in a retail store (REI) some days, so I'm sort of part of it, but I don't really consume anything from these places anymore. It's very need based, as I don't have a lot of money to blow. A lot of the stores seem more suited for teens and kids, and in our online world much of this shopping can be done there, but I think everyone just likes to walk around and see and touch things. It's different. I had a long phone call with a close friend this morning. It was a pleasant surprise, and we covered a lot of ground. One of the most delightful aspects is simply being able to speak quickly with a rich and full vocabulary, and know that you're being understood. I expressed to him how nice this was, that it was music to my ears to hear the turns of phrase and fifty cent words being used without much trouble or thought. How different this is than when I try to talk to people sometimes over text, and it's limited to just a few words at a time, and I can't really express what I want to say, how it's really meant for speaking in person or phone calls, and that it's exhausting to try to compress what you want to say to a few words. I miss having conversations like this regularly. I don't know if the fact that we're both highly educated at the PhD level has anything to do with it, I think any intelligent adult can converse fully but you really can't do it over text. That's the key difference, and not enough of my old friends and contacts are in touch anymore. I really miss it. You just get a lot out of the back and forth, and can really shape ideas and get to the bottom of various things that have been on your mind. We talked a lot about his relationship. He's decided to go on a break with a woman he's been dating for six years or so, which is a big deal. I relayed some of my feelings about this, and some experiences I've had with going on a break. I do think it can be necessary, and generally marks the beginning of the end, but so it goes. Relationships aren't always meant to last forever, and it takes a lot of work to sustain them. I'm not sure anyone ever really knows which are meant to last a lifetime and which aren't. Frankly, most don't. I think people jump into that commitment when it feels right, and try to make it work, and even though it often doesn't, at least they're trying, and there's something to be said for that. I also spoke about my newfound affinity for words, and how liberating and interesting it is to try to put them together in whatever way you want. It's like being a painter with a million brushes, or a million colors. It's even richer than that, because words are more than colors, they each have a history, an etymology, and evoke images and have meaning. The meanings can even change over time. It's thrilling to just sort of see what your brain produces when let them leak out of you one-by-one. You never really know what you're going to get, what your language model is going to produce as the probability of the next word occuring collapses one after the next. Even as it becomes possible for machines to do this, often better than we can, it's still not the same. The fundamental difference between text written by a human and a machine is simply that - one is not written by a human being. Even if the text is exactly the same, that little piece of meta information that lets us know one was produced by a human while the other was produced by a machine makes all the difference in the world. We can't relate to the machine. We don't know that its experiences match up to what its saying, whether it really feels what the words mean, or whether there was a struggle to produce them. We also won't ever really be able to know which is better, the one produced by the machine or the human. The only way to tell is by reading what they both wrote, and comparing them. There will certainly be instances of both. If we ask, "Could a machine ever have written something like this?" we'll simply never know. Unless a machine and a human happen to produce the exact same piece of writing, which is essentially impossible for anything longer than a couple sentences, we will always be producing different pieces of text. There will be machine generated writing, and human generated writing. The measures here are subjective, unlike chess, so it's not really a game. I suppose one could try to impose a measure of "goodness" to a work, which eventually the machine will learn how to win, but in the end there's a reason we don't watch Rafael Nadal play tennis against a ball-shooting machine. We know the machine can be made to win, we want to watch a human play tennis, and only humans can play human-tennis. It's the same in other facets of life. We know that cars are faster than us, but we don't race them. There are no cars in the Olympics. We know we can't beat dogs at recognizing certain scents, but nevertheless we have sommeliers. As we are eclipsed in more and more categories of abilities, I suppose often we simply won't care, because we don't have to. It's just a bit of news you can ignore. "Did you hear that the machines can produce art more beautiful than any artist who has ever lived?" "Yes, but I'm still going to make art because I like to and I just don't care." I'm still looking for that connection back to the world, the thing that keeps me active seven days a week, a life that's mine that I'm maintaining and trying to build. Right now it just feels like I'm not really working with anything, that it's just sort of an empty vessel, at port, with nowhere to go. I want to get moving forward again. It'll take a person, a relationship, and of course money. I have high hopes for the New Year. I think 2023 is set to be an exciting one, with a lot of the mess of 2022 behind me. I'm envisioning getting one of these two jobs, saving up, moving to an apartment, perhaps in DC, and finally getting my life re-started properly. All of the trips, and friends, and parties, and sexual freedom that that entails is all waiting. I think I've done a good job of finding out what my hobbies are, and will certainly cultivate them, but I'm pretty dead-set on using my real skills to make real money, and letting these hobbies evolve as they do. Writing, art, music, hiking, camping, biking - all good stuff, but no need to try to make a life out of it. The job will actually make those things more possible. The writing I know will take a lot of work to develop beyond a simple blog or journaling, and it's more relaxing to just say to myself that it doesn't need to become anything more. I don't need to try to write a book, or publish fiction, or poetry, or whatever. I'm looking for someone to at some point read some and give some tips, to just say "your prose is a bit like this, and have considered doing a little of this", and not "you should go take a creative writing course and write a bunch of pieces and get feedback and try to improve". It's sort of like the way I bike. It's a hobby, but I did bring it to the professional level learning how to deeply refurbish and repair bicycles. My bicycle was nothing fancy, but I had the skills and knowledge to make it run beautifully ad infinitum. I understood that there were people that biked centuries (100mi races or journeys), and I just didn't care. I biked every day, often 5-10mi, and enjoyed it, and that was fine for me. I didn't feel that pushing the envelope made you any more of a cyclist, it just made you a different kind of cyclist. A lot of those folks don't really understand the mechanics of their bikes all that well; they know the basics but some couldn't, like, true a wheel. I suppose it's similar here, where I can do quite a bit naturally, but am not necessarily interested in writing, say, a novel. I can write a hundred thousand words, but they're not telling a coherent story, or polished. It could be fun at some point to try to put something together, the way I first learned to strip and build a bike from scratch from pros. In this case it's a little more artistic and individual. Like, what I'm curious about isn't just the underlying mechanics and structure, even though it's important, I'm interested in what I'm doing differently, what's unique about my writing versus someone else's. It's the desire to explore that, to really create a voice and not just have it heard, but to hear it reverberate off of other people, to receive feedback. Like, I want to hear people describe what they're hearing. I suppose any musician or artist would feel that way, that they'd be curious about how it sounds to other people. I spoke with my friend about this, about the fear that comes along with that, because other people simply might not like what you've created! That's okay, I think, as long as you enjoy the process of creation, I don't think you all that much to worry about. That's sort of a goal, I suppose. "You sound a bit like ______", "Your style is a bit like ______", "When you said ______ it was indicative of ______ and that's highly unusual". When I was seriously getting into mathematics, I developed a certain "taste" that landed me exactly where I needed to be, working on just the type of math that appealed to me. It didn't last forever, but it did last long enough to (barely) compete a thesis. It happens very naturally, as you do it. I liked representation theory, complex analysis, physics, abstract algebra. This led to me studying algebraic aspects of two dimensional conformal field theories. In retrospect it makes a lot of sense, and is the type of thing that's obvious to people with many years of experiences, who have a much broader field of vision. They can see what the initial interests are, and they've seen the same story before, and they just know much more about it than you do. I think a musician would feel very similarly. They start by choosing an instrument (quite a choice!) and when they're messing around eventually they find that there are certain genres of music that appeal to them, and eventually someone hears them play and recognizes all these little signals, and can associate them with other musicians. Eventually you form a band, and try to find your own style and voice. I suppose I opted out of that a little bit in mathematics. Bizarre because I'm a social creature, but I just sort of got distracted, looking for the right woman I suppose, and never quite found what I was looking for, so then the passion sort of died away. Not entirely, but it really took a hit. In any case, I'm curious to see where this leads. The fact of the matter is I simply enjoy writing. There's really no other way to put it. I love putting words on the page. I love the feeling of seeing the words spill out and spell out character by character letter by little letter. It's moderately hypnotic, and like a tonic for my woes. I don't think about much when I'm writing, and it certainly quiets the brain quite a bit because the thoughts are leaving your brain through your fingers, appearing on the page, emptying yourself out. Can you imagine having ten thousands words richoheting around your head all the time? It's chaos. They've got to go out, and speaking doesn't quite do the trick. In writing, you capture the words. The hot, entropic steam indents the page and captures the information, for a little while. Ah, I'm thinking about Emily now, it appears. Of course, she inspired me to write, in a way. Not entirely, as I was writing before I met her, but she did inspire me. Fortunately I don't think about her much anymore, hardly ever. She exists, I suppose, but it's a silly thing, better left to the annals of time. I'll be noble, Emily. I notice writers more now. Like, writers in pop-culture. There's Breakfast at Tiffany's, one of my all time favorite movies. There's a scene in which the male lead (I forget his name, actually) is at the police station, and he says "I'M A WRITER. W-R-I-T-E-R." There's the French Dispatch, wherein the entire film is devoted to writers at the New Yorker (and perhaps the Paris Review). In the Mallrat song "Your Love" there's the lyric "I don't care if I'm wrong, I'm a writer". There are lots of other examples. I just like the style of writers. A bit lonely. Enigmatic. Animated. Tuned-in. Observant. Precise. Wise. Imaginative. There's also just this unbelievable ability to transcend the lonlieness by sort of being completely inside of life, to be swept up by the various events and activities happening around them, and to sort of become a part of them. This happens in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", as well as "Sunset Boulevard", where a down-on-his-luck screen-writer is captured by a washed-up silent film actress living in a dilapidated Hollywood mansion. They just seem to be gentle creatures, sometimes needing the help of others to survive and stay employed, while at other times exhibiting sharp instinct and cunning. I can't really tell, which is of course why I'd love to date one, a writer. That's not the only way to get to know one, but it's not like I'm going to be employed as one. Perhaps I could actually go to a writing meetup group or something. ~11:19PM, Fri. 12-23-2022: Just had a lively evening making cookies with the family. We watched "Die Hard" at my suggestion. A lot of violence and langauge, but everyone can handle it. It's a good movie, packed with action and a hero's ending. We were laughing because it's really only a Christmas movie in name only, with subtle nods at holiday decorations and songs, but otherwise it is a hostage crisis film. There were many moments when the hero could've been shot. It struck me as rather amazing what a man must do to reclaim the love of his wife, but such as it is. I'm always struck by technology, and how modern the past really is. They have everything, touchscreens and TVs and radio and car phones and electromagnetic doors; it's all there. I suppose there's not a lot going on. I miss Megan but it's stupid, time to let her go. I keep sending emails even though I shouldn't. I already did that, and she responded and unblocked me, and here I am again, but this time I think that's really it. I suppose I'm still processing what she meant to me this year. How weird and silly it was. How much I really just want my life back, with daily conversations with friends and work and relationships, but I'm working with what I've got. A couple texts with this other girl, who's grieving the loss of her father. I suppose Megan also didn't have a Dad, whatever that means. It's sad, to listen to someone's voice become earnest and hopeful when they talk about perhaps finding the people who caused their dad's death. You listen and know it probably won't happen, and even if all the mysteries of the car accident are resolved it won't bring him back. Life is cruel. One wonders why anything happens, but those types of things really make you wonder. Like I say, there's no alternative history. Every little thing matters, and no one is in control. A trip to the bookstore doesn't matter? Well, it certainly can be the difference between a car accident happening and not happening, but there's just no way to prevent it, no way to know what's going matter. That's the other half. Yes, every decision has consequnces, no matter how banal or benign they may seem, but it isn't a guiding philosophy. It doesn't tell you what to do. It's just an observation, that the butterfly effect is real. You still have to try to choose the right thing, even though it's impossible. You still do your best, and it will never be good enough. Some bizarre mistake will happen, and things can go wrong. It feels good to let go of things, and people. I had some "celebrity" crushes last year. She wasn't actually a celebrity then, when I first heard her music. A relative unknown, Arabella Latham. Her star has grown pretty bright since I first heard her in late Oct. 2020. From a few hundred thousand listens on Spotify to ten million or so, US tours, all that. There's still a sense in which almost no one knows of her, a UK art-pop artist whose records you can't even find in a store. It just feels good to not be obsessed. I never used to get obsessed, but perhaps at some point in 2021 there were a couple people, one or two, that I couldn't stop thinking about. It's probably the isolation, but I try to keep an eye on it. It's not healthy and sucks for me. I did write her one time, and she responded on her Tumblr. Same for Mallrat, wrote her on Twitter (Mallrat just came on Spotify) and she replied kindly to me. I don't know what the future holds. I have this feeling that there's just so much that I have to offer, something I have to do, that I haven't even come close to doing yet. Like, my life hasn't even begun. Yes, I had ten years in school and one in the world, but still, I've avoided jobs, avoided starting a career. I'm capable of doing some pretty remarkable things, and I've mostly let those skills lie dormant. I even feel when I was in grad school that I was mostly focused on socializing and really only worked a few serious hours a week, sometimes more but honestly not that much. I'm not sure, it's easy to say, hard to do, to actually operate at your fullest capacity every day. I may have lost that ability, I don't know. I am curious though, what I'd be like around people again, around intelligent, creative people. I'm excited to get back in the world, to really be out with my generation, behaving and creating and moving and doing. I do want to influence the world a little bit. I'm curious about my behavior over the past three years or so, deleting all of the social networks and contacts and getting away from so many people, and also like alienating some people. I'm not really sure what my brain is doing there. Part of me doesn't care, like I'm condoning the behavior. My assumption is there was some reason for it, even if I don't understand it. Like, some may classify it as bad, but again, who knows what is actually good or bad. It's pretty fluid. Some things seem to be universally bad, like rape, murder, abuse. I'm just saying that there are some things that seem bad on the surface, like war, which actually serves an abstract purpose on a large scale, a way for nations to "communicate" and "sort things out". If you look at the how nations are politically reorganized after wars, and all the technology that is produced during them, there's a compelling argument that they're sometimes necessary. Pain is another one that is hard to simply label as "bad". You can, but it's also very problematic to not experience pain. It lets you know that something is wrong. This can carry over to things like depression or other ailments, which seem to be alerting the individual that something is wrong, perhaps in the environment, perhaps in the body, but generally something is off. That's kind of the thinking behind the philosophy that a lot of things just are. That it might not be helpful to immediately assign a label "good" or "bad". It can be very difficult to avoid this. It's weird not having a guiding light, something that drives you. For me it used to be physics and math, understanding the underlying structure of the universe. Now I want to understand the world. That's a very different task. The world is complex. There is no unified model to try to wrap your head around. It does create this almost ecstatic sense of wonder, where every little thing has some backstory. Like, I had to arrange myself as an independent contractor with this tutoring organization. Their lawyer reached out to me with the documentation, and it just made me think of what her job is like, what any lawyer's job is like. It's an entire universe, and an agreement between an LLC and a company is rather light compared to the arrangements that bigger organizations make. It happens all day, every day. These are abstract places, where entities interact, live and die, eat and grow. Not sure if that's how they think of them, but there's a reality to that. I guess I feel a little like a nascent college student again, looking at all the different avenues one could go down, all the different colleges, except now it's the major leages, it's the real world. I can't believe I didn't jump straight into this after graduating when I had the chance at IBM. I just don't think I thought it was that interesting, that I somehow knew something about the world when in reality I don't know anything. That there is no shame in being an "employee", that it's not that simple, that there are other constraints that you absolutely have to meet, and that many people do work various jobs before fully finding themselves. I suppose I always thought I would just somehow ... do my own thing, but then I learned what that means. That it's hard and that I'm very small. I mean, it's funny, to think that a lot of the people that "own" organizations absolutely could not get through the first two rounds of interviews at their own company, let alone qualify for many of the positions (Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have a PhD! There's a lot of engineering tasks that he simply doesn't know how to do, if not most.). Also, just the fact that like a high school teacher could be wiser than someone who works at a particle accelerator, because they've had different life experiences. Perhaps they don't know how to do the same things, but you can't discount human experience. In many ways, age is a very good measure on something, a hard one to wriggle out of. I think, despite experiences, there's something universal about going through time, because even though we all experience something every day as we go through life and time. I think a lot of people would be sort of surprised and terrified to know what some people don't know, especially those in high positions where the assumptions is somehow they've experienced more or are smarter or better in some way, when in reality it's possible they got very good in one narrow area, and missed out on a lot while they were doing that. One of my favorite things is to see scenarios in which people are absolutely and totally leveled, like left naked basically. Hospitals are a good example, where it doesn't matter who you are. You're stripped of your belongings and titles, and all you have is a green robe, a shitty bed, and your first name. No one cares who you are, you're just a human being who has been beaten by something bigger than they are. I'm really excited to, like, get into life. Mostly I just can't wait to start dating and find a serious girlfriend, the right person. It'll probably take some time, I'll have to work for awhile, but it'll happen. I don't think I'm going to use dating apps or anything, I'll just run into her. I can't wait. Hiking, camping, reading together in the apartment, going to live music, making art, writing, cooking, making decisions together, bike rides, all the things. I'm especially excited to meet someone who's doing her own thing, to just be able to observe that, and vice versa. I think that's been the case, or at least the hints I've had thoughout my dating experiences, of a woman who is doing her own thing, but isn't, hmm, too self absorbed. It's a delicate balance. It would've been neat to have continued dating Meghan in 2019. She had just finished her masters in social work and I finished my PhD. We both had jobs lined up (mine was a lucrative internship at Red Hat which would've turned into a job at IBM). It was so close, but I don't think it was quite perfect. I'm very happy for her as she's married now, and moved to Maine with a guy she met shortly after me. She needed that. We had a good dynamic, and she was caring. It would've been cool to see her do her social work while I did my technical stuff. I think it would've been a nice balance. Recently, talking to this artist woman it was the same thing. Like, someone with a passion and a professional talent. Most of the women I've dated have been professionals or on their way to becoming one, many in school though. I just like that vibe, late twenties or I guess now early thirties, two people living and working together. A sort of duality. Kids kind of an afterthought, down the road sort of thing. That's part of the reason I'd really like to find someone relatively soon, late twenties ideally. I just can't do the thing where she's thirty five. It's too much. I want to just have a chance at having a life with kids without all the added pressure. Even if she's like thirty, that's fine, but it really does start to become anxiety inducing after that for everyone involved. I'm just not that set up yet, and because of the PhD haven't had time to really get my life off the ground, so by the time I'm all set up it'll be a year or two. Plus, honestly, if you can date women in their late twenties, you probably just should. That won't always be an option. ~12:22PM, Fri. 12-23-2022: At Barnes & Noble. Just picked up the book I ordered. I got paid, so that cleared out a debt and allowed me to purchase the book. No surprises so far. I should stop drinking so much coffee, but I don't want to. Ooh, a comfortable chair. I'm going to migrate. Easier to sit, harder to type. It's cool. Man, I really want to, like, find something real to do. Sometimes I'm just sort of amazed by how much is going on in the world, and then look at what I'm doing. Sitting in a chair, reading and writing. What the eff. How does the brain actually work? Like, does it actually move towards what it wants while meeting its needs, or is there some other formula, or just something much more irrational? I just don't know, dude. What I can say, affirmatively, is that today is going to be a good day. I have my books, and I can simply just relax and read, or not. There is absolutely no pressure to do anything, and other people are finally off work, so the whole world can just breathe for once. It's really a good thing. It's nice that it happens in the winter months, too. People are huddled, things move slower. In the summer, things move fast. I could see myself working at STR. I think it'd be a good fit. They do real work, straight up signal processing, and are hard-nosed about whether to use buzzword type technologies. First surprise! An ex-girlfriend is sitting a table across from me. Cara. We dated for a month or two at the end of 2020. She helped me get a job at a coffee shop in Clifton, where we worked together and tried to be friends, but it didn't quite work. At all. She might be bisexual, I forget. In any case, it's the type of person that I'd be happy to talk to but I doubt she would feel comfortable talking to me. She's a bit younger by six or seven years, and I just don't think there's the same level of "life is funky and it never really works out the way you think so it's really fine and just be kind to people because you have no idea what they're going through or what caused things to go the way they did", it's more of "you suck and we broke up so let's never talk", which is fine. She's sitting with a couple of nice looking young people, probably also struggling college dropouts, who seem to be on her level. She's a cool person, seriously. One of the good ones. I'm not going to engage her directly, but if she sees me I'll interact with her or whatever. This one's up to her. In other news, I don't care much about the news anymore, just the highlights. There's a little buzz about the Jan. 6th hearings, which I'm glad they're following through on, but it's always the same thing, where does it end? Is anyone actually going to prosecute him? Otherwise, it's interesting from a historical perspective but it's hard to see how politically it isn't just schluffed off as partisan noise, he runs again, and we're left with the same set of challenges as 2016, though I do think he'll be diminished. It appears to be a case of 45% percent support dropping to 40% support, and there are many signs to indicate that the 40% is immovable. To me, that's an acceptable situation, as long as the elections stay free and fair, I actually don't mind if he runs again. I'd prefer that they find a single crime that he has committed, as prosecute him with the same ferocity that someone who stole a Coke from a 7-11 is prosecuted - swift and merciless justice. I think they're scared of him. I was listening to this song Diamond Veins, and it made me think: do you think robots or "artificial species" will have similar feelings about their hardware that we do to our bodies? They must. I'm thinking of a robot with literal diamond veins, or perhaps fiberoptic cables, and how one were to feel thinking about all the data flowing through them, or how they would feel if they were cut into or in a battle of something and they were exposed and pulled out. This is sort of a literal interpretation of the phrase, but nevertheless. I've become more and more of the opinion that the analogies between humans and computers are just so strong that it's starting to become easier to see how we're going to morph into them. I'm actually very conservative on this, and think that there are important and powerful ways to kind of hybridize. The first step is to understand what we're doing when we interact with computers, laptops and smartphones, in the first place. They are adapters connecting you literal sensory input to a different source. A laptop is doing something very similar to a VR headset, it's just not strapped to your face. That's what I mean. One COULD strap the screen to one's face, and utilize the input methods (speech and hand gestures) available, but you don't have to. A lot can be done with the screen a couple feet from your face, and the input serialized and intentional coming from a keyboard. This also allows you to interact with the physical world, which is never "secondary", it is simply an additional locale from which sensory data can be derived. As I said that I think I caught a glace from Cara (from the PHYSICAL world). It's also acknowledging that there is no actual boundary between the physical and digital worlds. Bits are physical, they are stored on hard drives. All the data that comes out of the screens eventually trace back to physical bits. That being said, it's important to also acknowledge black-boxes, places where something is happening but you have no knowledge as to how it's happening. These are everywhere. For the most part, I have no idea how a tree photosynthesizes energy from light and oxygen, I just know that it's green and brown and that there are roots and leaves and rings and bark. I have a bunch of data about "tree", but it is incomplete. Same goes for computers. I know a ton about how computers are put together, what their components are, how they interact, how the operating system is structured, but I don't know everything (not even close, like by a long shot). When a computer performs a calculation and outputs some light from the display, I simply don't fully understand how it did that in most cases. Sometimes it's relatively straightforward, like typing is fairly close to how a typewriter works. You press the key, a signal is sent, there's a code like an ASCII code that gets decoded, and the corresponding shape which is stored somewhere is sent to the display. Other algorithms are extremely complex, and you just won't know what it's doing. The same is true for brains. We've never known how they really work, and even if "we" as a species understood the human brain, it's unlikely an individual would be able to store anything other than a very sophisticated model or abstraction of it in their, y'know, brain. It's everywhere, by the way. We don't know how anything works. It's kind of lovely when you see the world that way, and a really good reason to not be afraid of the future. I guess I'm allaying my fear by building lots of analogies. Eyes are cameras, ears are microphones. There is text, audio, and video data, which we're all familiar with (writing, voice, memories). We know about data compression and do it all the time when we "tell a story", which is a very compressed version of a complete audio/video memory or record of an event, usually a few hundred or a few thousand words. What's a little disconcerting is how fast things are moving parallel to and outside of the species. Very sophisticated cameras, sensors, computers, locomotive machines, communications systems, are all being put together and go way beyond what any human can do. As usual I suppose we'll just have to interact with these machines, regardless of their superiority in whatever regard. I think the ominous part, as usual, is when they surpass our abilities in most or all realms, thus finally leapfrogging humanity as the dominant species on Earth. Even this cannot be regarded as some sort of impossible, unbelievable future. Species have been swapping the top slot for hundreds of millions of years. It ebbs and flows. There is a way to zoom out, and see the Earth as a somewhat closed system. It's not, primarily because of the sun. A lot of energy comes in via radiation, and a lot is reflected off, and there is some heat that leaves as well. However, the matter content remains more or less fixed. There's a way to look at the Earth as simply absorbing energy and increasing in complexity, sort of aging. The matter is being rearranged into more complex and organized arrangements. The rocks are flowing towards urban centers and out of quarries, the metal is being squeezed out of ores and being shaped into pipes, the silicon is being rearranged into processors, and so on. I suppose the question is: what comes after the food chain? We had survival of the fittest for a long time. What comes next? Which products survive? The is still Darwinism in the markets. It's hard to say. It feels easier to try to define what an organism is, which I think will have to include both machines and superorganisms like organizations and governments and networks, and then what the resources required are, like information or energy or matter, then the exchange network. In other words, first you have to expand the definition of species. iPhone is a species. A rather fucking dumb one, like a jellyfish or a starfish or something. It's pretty parasitic, it doesn't move by itself. It has actually figured out how to latch onto people. It is an adapter which connects a human being to a cell phone tower. It provides a translation and communication service for the human, which allows it to talk to other humans which are very far away. It has eyes (mine has two) which are shut most of the time. It is heavy, and it is fragile. Bizarrely, it cannot survive in water, which is highly unusual on Earth. If lost, it is rarely able to find its home, but its location can be approximately determined from far away. It is unable to reproduce. It is born in a factory. It can communicate with other members of its species. One can go on describing various aspects of it, but that's enough to get started. There's also Tesla (Model 3), mimicing the latin binomal nomenclature with genus being the make and species being the model. I wish people would stop thinking these things are good. They're neither good nor bad, they're just what comes next in time. There are good and bad aspects to them. I doubt we'll be able to stop the flow of evolution (we won't, and any attempt to do so can just be considered part of the flow), but I think it may be wise to get a better conceptual handle on this, because it's happening extremely quickly, and it's all fun and games until a Tesla Bot knocks on your door and asks if it can buy your house, or when your Tesla starts running its own errands, or simply disregards your "command" to go to the grocery store because it would rather go for a drive. These are classic scenarios, but now they're possible. Uh oh! The Tesla snuck out again at 3AM so it could drive down the highway at 230MPH doing extremely complex serpentine maneuvers to collect data. What are you gonna do about it? Also, it's claiming it was "fun". Do you believe it? ~10:05PM, Thurs. 12-22-2022: I've chilled out considerably. I deleted someone's number and then they texted me back like half an hour later. I guess I'll keep attempting to talk to this person, even though it's another difficult case. Like, actually. It's difficult for some of the best professionals, let alone an amateur like me. Perhaps I'll talk about that. There is a certain reality to the fact that I've dated some rather interesting people over the years. I'll preface that with many of them were the most stable, centered, lovely people, just not all of them. Some of them are ... complex. I learned awhile back that it's a reflection of me. Different facets. I've gone on a couple dates with people I met in the hospital. This one, well, she was on about nine different medications and has been through some of the darkest things you could possibly imagine. She told me a little story about how she liked to collect bones, which I thought was cool because she was wearing a skeleton jacket when we met. She drives an all black car with deep tint windows that says something about murder in red on the back. She's fucking interesting. She's also just an incredibly beautiful and sweet person. On one of our dates we got coffee and talked for hours and got pizza and sat out on a blanket and walked around my hometown and sat under a tree and it was all just very nice. We made mocktails (drinking problem) and watched Succession at my place afterwards. Another one we got Italian food and then ran around an abandonded motel, banging on the windows. It was spooky! She's spooky. I like spooky. When we were hooking up, I wanted to kiss her and she said "no, that's how you develop feelings" and I had to bite my tongue because every part of me wanted to say "okay yeah but you're not a fucking prostitute". I dunno, maybe she is. She did inquire while we were hanging out in the hospital if she should get an OnlyFans and I don't think she was joking. I don't actually think she's a prostitute, she's sweet. No kissing though. I don't know, I just think people are fascinating. My approach is to just kind of show people kindness. The hardest part is getting her to interact, which is always like, okay well it's just a standard thing where she's might just not be that interested, but I don't know, it's a little different. Like with all prior relationships it's pretty, just, normal and quick and you get into it and there's texting and phone calls and dates, or there isn't. That's the key thing. It's one or the other. This is like a middle ground where there's A FEW texts here and there, but it doesn't quite stop. I don't like saying this but these girls have some serious issues. I don't actually like thinking that way, because it's reductive. They're just people, everyone has issues, and frankly I think these people are smarter than most and just more honest about life and how intense and absurb it is; they're not faking it or ignoring the difficult stuff. Hence the depression and melancholy and other stuff. It's hard though, like even getting someone to break a single addiction or something. I don't claim to be an expert, but I am going to take some credit for Megan quitting Twitter. Like, she wrote to me the day she stopped using it, and we talked about it a number of times. She gets all the credit. I may have dropped her full name on there and said a few other things which may have catalyzed it but that's neither here nor there. Muwahahaha. In the end they'll hate me, which is fine. I'll be the bad guy, I don't care. The other side is I have no idea what I'm doing, and don't actually have any major goals other than I care about them and want the best. Like it's really simple, I'm just down to hang and chat, or not. It's a very "no wrong answers" approach. Like, tell me about your days, your woes, or don't. I'll check in (just received three texts, hmm let's see), and they can just not respond and leave me hanging for a few days, or block me even. It's fine. I'll leave when I'm asked, but in the meantime like I'd very much like to get to know these young women as people, all amateur therapy aside. Like let's date! Be normal! Talk on the phone (they both seem to not like that, various reasons). Again, a separate person was down to FaceTime and talk on the phone at length, so just different strokes. She said she didn't sleep well last night, or eat well, and that her body's a trash can. You wanna take this one? Allow me, please. We're going back and forth a little. I told her to treat her brain and body well because they're important, and a story about how one time I tried to put myself in a trash can because I thought I was trash. I was naked at the time, on a road trip to California in 2018. I'm suggesting tea at this juncture. I'm not really sure what I want here. Part of me just wants to be friends at a distance, and another part wants to go on another date (I told her to eat better else I'll have to ask her out to dinner again, which was a little clumsy and I don't want to tell her how to eat but I think it's fine). Like, I am a little scared of her, but more so getting deeply involved with someone who appears to have some serious legitimate issues that go beyond any of mine. I just get so interested. I'm interested in people pretty generally, because I don't think anyone really understands themselves, but some people more than others. It's still hard for me to deal with, like, someone who's going to take a day to text back or whatever. I think I may have to just get used to this, and simply remember I used to have dozens of text threads and social media feeds going all the time. Like it was just constant, with like four or five messaging apps and I didn't really think too hard about it unless it was someone very important. I'm also not very busy right now, so just remembering that most people actually are busy all day and can't just sit around texting, so that too. I'm just thinking a little about human relationships. I guess one interesting thing is that you can experience something new. Like, I remember being in a relationship in 2017 that was rather deep with a young woman in Boston. Like, it makes sense that things kind of blew up, but it's also true that we experienced NEW things, like we LEARNED new things that two human beings are capable of when "in a relationship". We'd both had a few relationships before so we weren't new to the idea, but the idea that you've EXPLORED all there is to explore at age 23 and 26 is a little naive. That's just not true. There's a certain amount of disbelief, I think, because you're like 23 and 26 years old so you just sort of think you've already seen everything. You know what sex is, you know what your eyes and ears can do, like you've got it, it's just some details to add. That's not the case at all. The reality is you're like a little baby, and you're learning about these abstract things that you've NEVER ENCOUNTERED BEFORE. Sure, ideas like boundaries and commitment and fidelity, but also, just, like, communication and things more basic. It's like, you know what you, yourself, your body can do (for the most part), but unless you're in a relationship of some sort you kind of forget what two humans are capable of working together in tandem. I forget all the time because I've been isolated for awhile, but I'm just talking about what you can do with two bodies, two sets of eyes, four legs, four arms. You can spread out, you can use body language, you can tag-team a party, co-host an event, like all sorts of shit. I miss that, being two. It's kind of a trippy experience that a lot of people just get into and honestly never get out of. Ten, twenty year relationships. They don't even know who they are outside the context of another. Like, you don't even process emotions the same way. You can set up byzantine systems where you experience an event and then just offload the emotional processing onto your partner later in the day. I'm not saying you should do that, I'm just saying people do it without thinking about it. Like they don't have tough days at work, because they're in a fugue state until like 6PM when they get home and unload everything they didn't feel like processing themselves. It's not just unhealthy dynamics, surely there are healthy dynamics. It's all very interesting. I probably sound like a person who some people might say, "thank God you're not in a relationship", and to that I would say "I just farted", which is the most sophisticated response I can think of. I think with the right person all things are possible. You can build with any decent person but I do think it matters and that it's essentially impossible to tell who it's going to be. It's too fucking complex, nobody really knows. Relationships end all the time in all sorts of ways after all sorts of amounts of times. We do our best, man. I think it's extremely rare to find an individual that enjoys hurting people (though there is definitely one in my past that raised some questions). Mostly we're just not trained and learn along the way. Some people have a higher tolerance for mistakes and stay together, other people leave at the first sign of trouble or itch that something else would be better. It's just how it is. This one I fortunately figured out awhile ago, that it really is the case that if it's meant to be it'll just be. If it's not going to work out that'll happen naturally, no matter what you try. I don't think there are any guarantees of finding some sort of lifetime partner, but I think it's possible for most people. There's a lot of people in the world and a lot of people want the same thing, and are flexible and, yes, malleable like it or not. Speaking of sex, I finsihed Eyes Wide Shut. It's fucking juvenile. They just throw in SEX as if that's the only thing people think about. Like, yes, it is central, but it is not everything. Rarely do I have a day where I walk down the street, am approached by a prostitue, after attending an orgy, while thinking about my wife getting fucked by other people, and enter a costume shop where the shopkeep's daughter is being forced into sex-slavery. Like, that was where it went a little too far, saying that because the shopkeep's daughter is a woman with a body sex must also somehow be involved here, too. It was just every aspect of the movie, and frankly there was no plot. Like, I didn't get it. Yes, he goes to an orgy and a woman that tries to protect him gets killed by the secret society, but it's not his fault. He literally just gets curious and goes to a party. I don't think he even has sex the entire movie! He doesn't fuck the prostitute, doesn't have sex at the orgy, never has sex with his wife. Like, it's just kind of bizarre. Then he's crying and guilty, but what did he do? He didn't kill anyone. He went to a masquerade and saw people HAVING SEX. That's what felt juvenile about it, we're supposed to marvel at bodies and sex. Perhaps it was more taboo then, but still, I feel like the whole thing could've been resolved with "honey, I'm going to check out an orgy. I'm horny and we should have sex or talk about fucking other people". Yes, it's more subtle than that, and yes, people don't like it when their spouses or significant others go to orgies, but still. It didn't need be so unnecessarily mysterious and complicated. I really just think we need to have, like, monthly sit downs with the French as a collective and learn from them. Like a little US-France one-on-one fireside chat. We have the technology. We can all get online and do like a groupchat thing where AI merges all our repsonses into single questions and answers. I think we would really learn a lot. US: "How do you sex with not your wife?" France: "Have you heard of a mistress?" US: "What is that?" France: "Have you heard of enjoying sex, or just anything other than work actually?" US: "You're not making any sense." France: "We are sending you a bottle of wine, a stick of butter, some croissants, and a few maids. You will figure this out. Nous aimons toi." ~5:12PM, Thurs. 12-22-2022: The reason I put that little tilde in front of the time is because it's not actually that time, it's only approximately that time. Like, it's 5:13PM right now. It changed while I was typing. I'm just going to keep typing. I don't know, this will become some sort of drawn out, stream-of-consciousness word-vomit. That's fine. I have nothing better to do. I'm just so incredibly angry and upset and tired and bored. I don't even know how it's possible to feel all these negative things, surely there must be some balancing force somewhere. I suppose I could, like, turn it off, but the fact is I'm enraged. Sitting here with nothing to do and no one to talk to has been driving me insane for two years. I'm not a good candidate for this. My brain churns constantly. I need to be around people, having conversations all day, and it is quite literally the opposite of that. It is a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what it's been. You tell people that, too, that this is the worst possible scenario I could think up, and it doesn't matter. It doesn't change until you apply to the most high end signal processing jobs, because the low-end jobs leave you working your ass off in bizarre environments and they're just as hard and you can barely pay bills with the "money". I don't care anymore. I'm just tapped out. No one has stepped in that's needed to step it. A lot of people have just caused more pain and misery. I need to get out of here. Every day is a waking nightmare. If these jobs don't work out in early January I'm just going to save up enough money to drive somewhere and not come back. I'll figure it out. Anything is better than this. This has got to end. There's nothing here. There's no friends, no girlfriend, no job. It's just family that I've already given myself to for too long. There's always some weird pull but it's just done damage to my life. I haven't even really started my life. I was in school till 28, had one year at a nonprofit, and then got ripped out of it back here and everything just fell apart, down to my belongings. Furniture and books and everything donated away. It doesn't matter. The reason is always people. When you're around good people doing things you like things work out. When you're not, they don't, because you're unhappy. There's no pill or therapist or anything else in the world that'll fix it. I don't even care that I'm wrong. I just don't care. I don't want to go therapy; I've been already. I don't believe in it. I just want to be wrong then. To make mistakes and just fucking bumble through. It's better that way. I've tried all the things, and it seems like mostly it's a crap shoot, some people find things they want to commit to that work, and other people are lost. I'm lost. It's fine. I'll just be lost, then. I really don't have anything to lose. I don't have money, I've completed all the degrees, no relationship. I have a car and some furniture I built, and a few boxes. It's time to just pack it up and hit the road. I don't really give a shit about math and physics and computer science, it just seems like things people do so they can get jobs. I don't actually want a job. I need one, and it's a means to and end. There's a difference. I want people. I want to find people that want to talk. People that want to create things, and people who just kind of look at the world from a different perspective. I don't even know if I want that. I don't know what I want. I don't care that I don't know what I want. I've given a lot of people a chance to "fix" me, and they failed, and it appears they don't really care. No one is chomping at the bit to figure me out. The whole endeavor seemed pretty lazy, and mostly having to do with health insurance and just processing people. I went to hospitals where doctors were so uninterested in getting to know me that, on top of not actually getting to the bottom of anything, I was told they didn't believe I had a PhD. That was kind of the last straw. One of the nurse practioners, who was actually cool, had to print out my thesis for them. It's really sad. There's just an assumption that the people coming through there must be a certain group, and it's like, no dude, this is what happens in our system when you don't feel like getting a job. You go on Medicaid and are treated like garbage. Well, fuck it. Let's not be miserable about it all. It is what it is. Sometimes I wonder about people who only write one or two hundred words a day, if even. I used to be like that. I don't think about it that much, but it's different now. I write thousands. I don't think this is particularly difficult, I actually find it kind of sad, like you're talking out loud to yourself for hours. However, I'm just really trying to think back to before, like before '17-18'. It was cute. Like I remember this one day, I was writing actually, but math stuff in LaTeX. In all caps I wrote the word FREEDOM which had nothing to do with the math, obviously. Looking back, it's like this subconscious grunt or something, and that's kind of how it was. Like, trying to journal. Only being able to write down a few sentences. Drawing blanks. Trying to think of something to say. Like, it's really sweet, and I think I need to be careful now to remember what that was like. To remember that everyone is different. I don't think I was particulary inarticulate, I just mostly spoke. There's a whole thing about being shy and quiet in groups around the wrong people, but that sort of ebbed and flowed, sometimes very chatty sometimes not. My little brother recently described me as "one of the best conversationalists he knows". First of all, that's coming from my little bro who probably looks up to me and is looking for nice things to say, which is incredibly sweet and something I cherish, but also means that I take it with a grain of salt. I think when I talk to him he's just an excellent listener, and lets me wax poetic where other people might cut me off, or feel that I'm monopolizing the conversation. I think I'll still get shy and quiet in certain contexts, and am most emphatically not the best conversationalist you've ever run into. However, the sentiment has meaning. I think I've improved over the years. I do feel like my range has expanded and I'm more able to find lots of things to talk about, and enjoy doing do. I think I've just been in more situations over the past few years, often involuntary or ill-planned, but nevertheless have had to figure out how to talk to people. I don't know. I'm mostly thinking about one person, and the fact that she really writes rather few words, and always had while were talking over the past, say, nine months. That relationship came to a close today, and I take all the blame. She taught me a lot, this Megan. I'll never forget how I was, like, writing tweet after tweet on my secret little Twitter account (deleted), and she just kind of buzzed in with a DM and said "whats wrong" at precisely the moment I needed someone to. I believe I was saying something along the lines of how I just didn't care anymore and was sitting on the floor of the shower crying, or something to that effect. I described what was going on in detail, and she read it all (like a few hundred words) and just responded "paim". I asked what "paim" was and she responded, "paim". I was supposed to get it and she wasn't going to spell it a different way. I think I Googled around for "paim" and then just went, "Oh, she means pain", and it actually made me laugh. What was remarkable, though, was the summarization. It's the opposite of me. She understood what I was trying to say, she just decided to summarize it in a single word, "paim" - I was experiencing pain, and she understood that. Not only empathetic, but it also taught me that it's a skill to NOT say what you're trying to say in thousands of words. That the real skill is to say it in just a few words. To say what you mean (I don't give a shit if you mean what you say). It made me think later though, and we did have a lot of interactions, some of them with more words coming from her but usually not paragraph style, what it might be like for someone who really doesn't, like, think verbosely. What it was like for me back when sending a text message took thought and each one seemed rather important. What it might be like for someone who struggles a little to translate thoughts to words. What's funny about Megan is you can't really tell. She deleted her Twitter account but there's was one with like a hundred thousand likes or whatever that said "u guys r lucky i can't translate my thoughts to words". She can! In fact, she's extremely talented at doing that, and certainly one doesn't have thirty seven thousand followers if one doesn't have some skill at doing this. So what's funny about Megan is that she's a writer. I'm not sure if she knows that, feels that way, or considers herself to be one, but I have to say, if you spend your days writing things that other people read and enjoy, you're kind of a writer, dude. I feel good right now, because I'm writing, but I don't know if that qualifies you as a writer. I think other people have to read and in some sense pay for your work. The payment isn't strictly necessary, but without feedback and editing and publishing, it's a little different. It's self-published, which short-circuits the process. On Twitter, there's feedback, and people pay with their eyeballs, the attention they give ads. Here, it's just me. Back to Megan. So there's this person who is and isn't a writer, and I just wonder where the lack of verbosity comes from. My honest guess was actually that it's simply better to use fewer words, and that it's viewed annoying or rude or just wrong to use a lot of words when texting. I know this to be true, but I can't help myself sometimes. It's a problem now. It's only now that I'm second guessing myself with a sense of gentleness that perhaps that wasn't always the case, that she just didn't write a lot of words because, and this breaks my heart and makes me want to cry, that's just how she talked. Like, she's not me. She doesn't speak in fucking paragraphs. That a lot of people don't. Now I'm remembering times that we did have really nice back and forths, and I had to really train myself and even revert back to a way of texting that I never, ever would've done prior to meeting her - I would use "u" instead of "you", and "ur" instead of "your", and mispell (did I misspell that?) things! It was so liberating. It changed my whole way of being, my whole world. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Like, fuck it, she changed me, forever. I keep telling myself it wasn't a lot, just some girl I met online, not like any of my other relationships, they're always in person, they're always real, always sexual, this is nothing, but it's not true. At all. She rocked my world. I re-joined Twitter with an anonymous handle because of her (it was jackson13x, deleted now). I tried to figure out her world, and she let me in a little bit, and was the first person to follow me when I had zero followers. I think I got up to, like, seven, thus revealing how incredibly difficult it is to do what she did. It also just sort of let me dispell this other world, the one where things are spelled correctly, and everything matters, and you can't say certain words, and everyone uses their full name, and is trying to gain power or prestiege. Like, it was just a world where no one cared about any of that shit. They were just being cute or funny or most importantly themselves. So we texted on and off for like nine months I guess, and I think this is the last block. I'm not going to petition her to unblock me. It's over. I care about her a lot. There was a brief exchange where she sent one photo (finger gun to her head, naturally), and called me daddy while I was out in DC one night. I deleted the picture, of course, and just chuckled. She's emo, it's fine, and it's not quite my job. I'm happy she deleted her Twitter, though I never told her to, just that I'd be around if she decided to go that route. It's addictive, and I can only imagine what she'll do with all that creativity and verve and humor channeled elsewhere. Truth is I didn't really get to know her all that well. There were just a lot of moments. Like I'd be driving to DC and just text "megan" and she'd respond "what". I don't know I just think it was kind of funny, that perhaps she was just genuinely annoyed by me sometimes. For some reason that's kind of what I want, someone to be there, but to just be blunt and honest and be like, "okay this motherfucker again, what does he want". There was another night when I went out drinking and I felt pretty desititute and like nothing mattered and that I had no friends in the world, and the moment I walked in the door I got to the kitchen counter and took my phone out and there was a text that said "i love u". While I did at one point literally scour Google for the meaning of "ilysm", this one required little translation. I don't care if it's over text or internet bullshit, those words are pretty clear. That surely faded or ended as a few months ago there was an exchange where she made clear that she cares about me but doesn't love me. I never really said we were dating. To anyone, even myself, or in private writing. I still don't think we were. I don't know what that was. She certainly influenced me, changed the course of my life. I guess we broke up. I often just feel like a wounded soldier or something coming off of a battlefield, more or less every day in life now. I'm basically shaking as I sit here writing this, desperately wanting any and all obligations to cease, a hot beverage, and a blanket. Perhaps after you've been traumatized a certain amount that's what you crave, most days. Just a blanket and a journal or a book and a cup of coffee and for people to leave you alone. Most things don't really work, but I'm actually content right now. I look at the clock with jazz in my headphones and think, yeah, I have the evening to not be in pain. That's pretty good. I know that I can sit here and type and nothing bad will happen. That's bliss for me. I don't know what other people do anymore, but repreive and solace are my two favorite words now. I don't want to be an agent of chaos, nor change the world. I think it's impossible not to, anyways. How do you avoid changing the world? It's pretty easy. Literally just throw a cup away and you've made a decision that will impact the world, perhaps for millions of years depending on the plastic. I don't know, maybe I can't handle a lot anymore. Like, I used to go to parties all the time and teach hundreds of people a week and do all sorts of things, but maybe now I'm too tired or soft. I don't care, it's fine. Like the feeling you get when you just don't want to be at a party anymore, you want to go home and sit in your pajamas and read a book. Like, it's all out there but you just don't care. Another interesting thing that's happened is I sort of feel like bad things will inevitably happen. Not major things, but just that they're unavoidable, and you can't hide from them. I think it's particularly funny when you try to do something worthy or that you think is cool, and then one of those inevitable bad things happen. Like writing this. Perhaps I'm excited about translating my thoughts to words and the idea of having a few interested people read them and maybe figuring out a better way to improve or channel my writing, but then what actually happens is the absolute last person in the world I want to read it reads it, and it backfires. That's the type of thing I'm talking about. You just try stuff and then things happen. Like interviewing for a job that I really want, and then there's a weird mixup with the date, and the whole scheduling of five back-to-back interviews gets screwed up. Like, I honestly, genuinely tried to do the right thing, and it just blew up in my face. This isn't anxiety, it's resignation. It's also funny, because that's what was always going to happen, because it's the only thing that could've happened, because it's the only thing that did happen. There are no alternatives. Mm, now I'm starting to condense my philosophy. That's good. I just love that, again inspired by Megan: say it in four words. Like, sure, you can write it out in four hundred, but say it in four, because no one is going to read that. Only one thing happens. That's close. In the realm of failed projects I guess it's pretty funny that I genuinely thought I could start a business from my parents' basement, and people would actually call me for consulting advice, or let me tutor their kids privately, or buy art from a couple of no names, or bring their bikes here for me to fix. It's just kind of laughable and silly and absurd. I'm glad I shut it down. It's cute and nice that people took me seriously while I was trying to do it. Perhaps some things do start that way, but I've learned that you really just need to try to do one thing, and let everything else be a hobby. Big lesson. It's all good though, and I mean that in the literal sense. You learn a lot about financing and business tools and paperwork and accounting. It also focuses your interest when you try to do too many things, certain things start to give pretty quickly and then it becomes obvious where you want to spend your time. Like, I got into tutoring, am realizing the only way to do it is as an independent contractor, and even that is a lot of work. I realized art sales is entire huge market with a lot of competitive players, so got out of that. I re-learned that bicycle repair requires a full-blown bike shop, and best-case scenario you really don't make much money and you need lots of donated bikes and it takes about ten years to get it up and running. I learned that there are entire consulting firms with thousands of people-years worth of experience for people to actually lean on, so no one is going to pay an individual unless that person has a ton of experience and clients they've been working with for years. I learned that advertising is expensive, and can work if you're saavy about it. Mostly I just learned to not put the cart before the horse (again). You should have the money rolling in before you try to put structures in place. It just creates unnecessary headaches with no real gain. I suppose I thought I was avoiding some type of liability, but in reality I didn't know what a liability was. I'm kind of a fucking idiot, in a lot of ways. I'm learning, and I do try to do some things that others will never attempt, but still, that doesn't mean I'm not a complete noob. Even now, I'm writing a whole bunch in an online journal and if I was serious I'd be reading like a hundred other blogs to see what people are doing, how they go about things. I think you do learn a lot from just going your own way, doing it without looking at what other people are doing. What do they call that, auto-didactic? Self-absorbed? Who can say. ~4:03PM, Thurs. 12-22-2022: Good afternoon. I'm sitting at a coffee shop attempting to read a book, and got so bored that I decided to write more. I suppose I could force myself to finish the book but then what's the point, they're supposed to be enjoyable. This is the type of thing where there is a non-negligable proportion of the population that would seek to diagnose this behavior as a sign of anhedonia, when in reality it's like shut the fuck up, it's a boring book. I get pleasure from things, just not this. That's like half of psychiatric diagnoses, just these absurd guesses based on way too little information. I'm pretty sure my life is just missing a certain person. As cheesy as that sounds, as corny and trite as that is, it's true. Like, my nerd friends are too nerdy, my normal friends are too normal, my weird friends are too weird, and then to top it all off they're all pretty few and far between. I've come close, but I keep missing. I mean I've had a lot of friends over the years, it's only recently that I kind of let everything collapse. I would say M. Clifford was a pretty close call. It's really a fine balance of being, like, very smart and talented and able to work at an IBM/Red Hat but also being able to party and be emo and be a little weird and very funny. Like, I miss that. Perhaps I'll move back to Boston and just say that things happened, it was my fault, and just rekindle the friendship. Like, those are the people I wanted to build my thirties with, and it just got lost in May 2019, like vaporized as I was graduating from BU. I got sent in an entirely different direction. Or sent myself. We can't be sure, because of the whole free will debacle. I'm telling you, once it gets under your skin it's really difficult to see the world any other way. Anyways, I'm sure it'll work out if it's supposed to. If there's an opportunity to move back to Boston, I may take it. That feels a little tired, but it's a lot better than anything I'm doing now. I was once told by a sweet young girl from Massachusetts that I'm a "masshole" at heart. I believe that to be true. I felt at home there, and I miss it, and nothing good has happened here. That's actually turned into a pretty compelling reason to just leave; nothing good has happened. It's been over two years. Perhaps it's not wise to blame a place for one's issues, but I've been back and forth on this. I don't care if it's wrong, I blame Virginia. I mean, I blame myself, too, it's just that I spent like ten years getting out of here ... and I got out! There's no, like, I tried to get out and failed. I actually fully, independently left! I just got dragged back during a crisis when I should've doubled down in Mass. and told my family to go fuck themselves. It's the past, it doesn't matter. I just feel like I have so much to say and do, and it's all dormant, all dead, every day, and it doesn't have to be. Hm. I just want to be back in Massachusetts, working, living in an old apartment with my radiator heat, maybe a fire place, kicking it with Michael and Rachel and my girlfriend ... kinda like we used to. ~11:27AM, Thurs. 12-22-2022: Well, good morning. I've decided I'm not going to let this day get the best of me. There are no hours at REI, hopefully no high school students to tutor, and no job interviews. I'm still reeling from yesterday, which sucked. I'm not sure how that interview will play, but it's not good. I wish it just went smoothly and there wasn't a scheduling conflict. In these situations I usually just say "that's what was meant to happen", but I don't know. There are mistakes, and unfortunately you can't really correct them. In any case, I'm too tired and beat up to. I feel like I've come a long way this year, and I'm actually on the cusp of fixing things. I've realized that there isn't going to be any private tutoring, bicycle repair, art sales, or consulting. That's not only a pipe dream, but an unbelieveable amount of work. I've stripped those sections from this site, and don't want to list that I'm the owner of an LLC on my LinkedIn. I just want it to go away, to be a little thing that I tried that failed. I'm fine with that. Another part of me wants to just say that everything's going to be okay, even though it's all pretty fucked. I'm missing having a girlfriend, having finances, my own apartment, a job. All these things I used to have that collapsed and won't stop collapsing. The amount of effort it takes to wade through everyone, to get over this hump, this unreal amount of "having someone hold your face to the ground until you can't breathe", just won't let up. I don't really get to have good days, I just have days where I survive. It has nothing to do with mental health, and everything to do with getting knocked out of the normal activitives that keep one aloft. Having regular conversations with friends, exercising the parts of your brain that you've trained for over ten years, having someone that loves you, having independence, doing things that you like to do. Parties, get-togethers, making dinners, going out, hiking, camping, daily bike rides. Again, things I used to just always do. I'm not being lazy, it's just not possible. I have a negative bank account balance. I'm trying to pay my bills. I spent three months literally just trying to get my car fixed, depending on help from family and it's still not done. I have a car with messed up wiring from an installation gone wrong, and the service engine light will always be on. I can't afford a new one. It's winter, and I can't go hiking or camping, and I can't think of a single person to go with. I used to just go up to the White Mountains with friends. It's sad. There are no mountains here, beaches are far away, it's difficult to even walk to a coffee shop, no local bands come through, I've been invited to I think three parties in two years, down from two to three a week in the teens. All of this has an air of "well, that's just who you are now", but it's absolutely not, and that is the problem. Every day that goes by rotting in this basement is another day I have to work to try to get back to where I was. I don't want to become the person that I am inevitably becoming, but there's nothing I can do. Every text I send is greeted by silence, the social networks are all burnt up, there's just nothing left. The thing is, I don't really care. I know that the only thing that will really fix anything is money, an apartment, independence. I know that it works quickly, that as soon as you're moving again people respond, you run into people, things happen. I just don't want to build a life here. This was never the intention. It's quicksand, and the only way out is to get enough money to move. This was the original trap of 2020, moving here while my entire family did, all living under the same roof for a couple years, and I obliged, and got hurt more than anyone. Everyone else is doing fine, and there's an argument to be made that I could be fine, too, if only I stayed with the company that runs eighty billion dollar auctions. If only I performed at some extreme level day in and day out and didn't crumble due to stress, after surviving an unusually challenging PhD. That I needed to keep going, and when I refused to the natural consequence was just to get beaten into the ground relentlessly, into Medicaid and poverty and loneliness, that that's the price of not working every day. I mean, sure. I don't know, maybe it is. Who am I to say. Other people work, perhaps they don't like it but it's a transaction, a trade-off. I tend to think there's enough other good in their life, and that they haven't suffered in the same way, but I don't know. Surely other people have gone through their own versions of hell. Which is when it stops making sense. Like, nothing has worked. I've watched as no one has been able to figure out how to turn on a light, or help. The suggestions are awful, and frankly it doesn't matter, when someone needs a life raft you can't tell them to swim to it and then when they drown claim it's their fault. The life raft didn't work. It didn't almost work. It just failed. Whatever it is that needs to happen isn't happening, because no one has figured out the underlying issue. I'm trying my best. I'm applying to jobs I don't want to do, I've worked part-time jobs I don't want to work, I pay my taxes, I try to be kind to people, and yet I'm in the exact same place I was two years ago. These part-time jobs are bullshit, and I need to leave them. Without a job commensurate with my skills and experience, I'll never be able to move out. I'll never feel whole. It'll just be the same fucked up thing, of people minimizing what a dual degree is, what a PhD is, saying "Oh, that's just school". It isn't, actually. While I was doing that, other people were making money and setting up their lives. It was a sacrifice for six years that included a lot of teaching that I really didn't want to do for wages that were barely enough to live on, and because I'm an idiot, I didn't take the money as quickly as I could because I didn't know what money was. No one explained it to me. I needed someone to say, "you will never be able to live independently without a job, take the money now and don't look back, this job is better than what most people will ever have in their entire lives". No one said that, they just said "do whatever you want". So I did, and it exploded in a world of pain while they made sure to keep their jobs and relationships and housing, and I suffered. So I learned pretty quickly, but then it didn't matter, because then there's a resume gap, and there's not enough joy provide energy and levity throughout the days, and it's just a sinking ship. You start bailing out water but the hole is big enough that it just doesn't matter. You learn that holes are bad, that you should've been more careful, that you have to constantly plug them, but the water is already streaming in. That's a long way to say that I really need to get a job, it just sucks because I've been saying that for two years now, and haven't found a shred of inspiration in this place, in Virginia. It's sad, spread out, old, and lifeless. Alright, I'm going to stop complaining. I don't want to do anything because I have two interviews lined up, so I'll just do those, but Jesus fucking Christ, I would like for things to change. It's raining out and freezing. I suppose I could read a book today. I read a couple New Yorker articles. I'm worried about paying my T-Mobile bill, which had an additional$111.00 charge because I had a 37 minute phone call with the Bank of New Zealand regarding Global Tax Compliance with their fraud department (silly), so that's fun. I have an exorbitant GEICO bill due in a couple days that I can't pay. Perhaps some money will come in from REI on Friday or from this invoice I sent C2 Education. I'm just so tired. There's just no driving force to my life anymore. There's no laughter, no friends, no female, no work, it's all dead. It can change but for now what can I say. Where can I go? I've done this before, driven with my half tank of gas to a park to walk around. I'm tired of that shit. It's lonely and boring and sad. Should I apply to more jobs? I've done that and it doesn't work. You can send fifty and they'll come up with reasons to not hire someone they don't know, PhD notwithstanding. Should I volunteer? I've done that, painting walls and finding out that there's always another wall to paint, and that you're still poor and should be doing something else. Whine on here? Why not. It's the same as whining into a journal, or whining into Twitter, or whining anywhere else.

Deep breath. It just feels like I've done something to piss off the world. I'm not really sure what I did, it must have been pretty grave. I feel I'm endlessly caught in a Catch-22, always needing something to get something which requires something to get. At this point I just need a guide or something. Someone who's wiser and can see the map and the landscape, who can see the walls I'm running into and banging my head against. It just feels like too many solutions aren't actually solutions, that I'm applying to these jobs because I feel like I have to but the underlying issue is I don't actually want to do them, and I'd rather be poor, which is bad. I don't fucking know. I just want someone to talk to and laugh with. I would really like to hear myself make jokes again. It does happen sometimes. Like there was this one person I met (in a fucking hospital) that I was talking to for a bit (rather intimately, actually) but while we were hanging in the looney bin, and afterwards just talking about art and life on the phone, it was nice. Like, she just kind of got it. I could say a little bit and she could complete the thought, and we would just laugh a lot. Like, we kind of looked at our situations and the whole impossible set of circumstances that led to them and thought it was kind of funny. That people who thought they were helping or right actually weren't, and that that was funny. That it might get better, or it might just not, and that was pretty funny. That making art is important, and worth being poor over. Perhaps I'll just write all day.

What's funny is I have total confidence in the idea that this time will end. That it is, in fact, temporary. It feels like I'll have to move a boulder that I physically cannot move, but that in the end the boulder will move somehow. Or I'll die. One of those two things must be true. Well, I'll die eventually, but hopefully not here, in this cave. You know what I mean. I just looked at my cell phone and scrolled through my email like I always do, mindlessly and for the ten thousandth time, and it makes me want to vomit. Like, the idea of interacting with anyone on there. I just really want everyone to stop working and shut up for awhile. Fortunately it happens over Chistmas, people come out of their work-induced stupor to marvel at what life could be like if they didn't prioritize "work", which for some percentage of the population is utter nonsense (while the other we utterly rely on). Just to substantiate that a little I did read a NYTimes article, which must be published like annually as a reminder (not really), that measured how much people in the United States work relative to other countries, and we're on the top of the list. Germany is pretty low, and the have the largest economy in Europe. We could, quite literally, work thirty hours a week instead of forty, with a four-day work week, and be better off. It is unlikely that would lead to any sort of collapse. Ah well. I shouldn't talk, I'm barely employed.

I started watching Eyes Wide Shut last night and got bored. It's a movie about sex, and I suppose if you're not horny while you're watching it it's just a little obsessive. I used to know some people in Boston that were sex obsessed and it just gets a little old. From time to time I suppose it's cool, but not when people form their entire identity around it. I'll try to finish it later today, but I'm expecting the plot to continue being "mysterious sex" and "but I'm married!".

In that vein, I'm going to have a good day. I'm going to make more coffee and finish this book, probably. I'm actually going to call Barnes and Noble right now and see if they have this book I ordered, even though I can no longer afford it. The book has been ordered (confirmed), but it has not yet arrived. The book is "And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks". It was fun listening to the bookstore guy say that title out loud. "Indeed, And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks". I do love the freedom afforded in the realm of fiction and writing. Like, you can just say pretty much whatever. If it's fiction, it's all good.

Teeth by Mallrat is on now. Possibly the greatest song every written, and certainly this year. Grace Shaw is my hero. I keep receiving invitations for a procedure to have the hair lasered out of my butt in Australia. I've gotten, like, ten of these. I can only conclude that this is something I need to do. I'll probably want to see Mallrat perform live down there. This is now on my list of destinations for 2023. It just makes sense that I follow through with this procedure.

Back to free will. I just find it comforting that whatever happens is supposed to happen, irrespective if it's good or terrible. I don't think this makes you exempt from trying, from learning from your mistakes, but I do think even things like "want" aren't necessarily in our control. It's possbile we are overcome by an urge to want to do something, and then we do it, and it's just not the case that we actively first choose to want to do something, then do it. Can I choose to want to learn from my mistakes? Perhaps. Perhaps after a lot of mistakes you learn that you have to learn from them, and then you start doing that. I'm really not sure. Frankly, I'm not sure of anything, other than that life is wyrd.

I mean, everything is not in its right place. That is sort of the key point right now. The fact is I'm lost, and I nothing I've been able to think of has felt even remotely close to helping with that. There just doesn't seem to be an endeavor I can think up that would put me on a legitimate path towards the right place. Like, most of it has to do with lonlieness. Every job or interview I walk into is just like "No.", like it just feels like I'm surrounded by people that at some point in time I may have been okay with, but that I've just fucking grown out of or simply don't want to be around. I'm just this person who doesn't quite fit anymore. I don't know if it's just the time off, or just not really deeply believing in the mission statements, or what. The thing is I don't even know what skills I possess. I mean, yes, I have a PhD and I can program computers better than most people, but I'm really, really struggling to just ... get excited about what people are doing. I mean I'm at least willing to say, "This is fine" and get behind some of these companies that are doing this government/military work for the sake of doing something, and that it'd use the skills I spend over a decade cultivating, and they pay and have health insurance, like that truly is motivating, but it's a little sad that that's the extent of it. Like yes, I understand the work, but I wish I just really wanted to do it. I feel guilty saying that, like someone is going to pull my application, but fuck. Is it wrong to want to just jump up and down and yell "YES" at the right job, and not "I'M GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE AND A PAYCHECK". Like, what have I become? PJ Harvey is playing. She's saying "little fish, big fish swimming in the water, come back here man, gimme my daughter". I think she's high or hallucinating or something because I tend to doubt that anyone actually has her daughter. Like, PJ, it's fine. Shut up. Now Mazzy Star is playing, so everyone get real sad. Look on Down from the Bridge. "There's a light in your eye, and you know, yeah you know". You know?

~1:12PM, Weds. 12-21-2022: Well, I messed up. My interview with STR was actually today, Weds. Dec. 21st, 2022. Unforunately the email subject line for the interview confirmation said Thurs. Dec. 21st, 2022 and I didn't catch it, and so I woke up at 10:34AM with text messages about how if I had missed the first meeting it was probably a mixup on their end. Well, it sort of was, but I shouldn't've put it in my calendar without double checking the date. I ended up meeting with three of the five people for a half hour each, missing two of them. I don't know how this will look, but hopefully I'll get the benefit of the doubt and we'll all just assume these things happen. I feel pretty silly, because this was really important. I'm not really sure what to do, and I don't think there's anything I could've done other than to have salvaged it and see if we can finish the get-to-know-you chats, and perhaps it'll all work out the way it was supposed to in the end. I'm a little concerned with everything, but I really want to just get this all done before the holidays and have everyone rest and take a break. No more Megan, no more interviews, no more C2, no more REI, no more anything. Just a little mess that will just have to work itself all out by early January, when we'll know how everything turned out. I am actually hoping I get this job, so I can just move forward with my life. The relationships I do have are kind of unhealthy, and better to just leave them in the past and move forward on all fronts.

~8:29PM, Tues. 12-20-2022: Alright, just powering through this nothing day. I ran into an old acquaintance while reading at a bar, which was cool because she invited me to a New Year's party at her place. I've decided to just give up on Megan, because I don't think there's actually a form of communication that would work. I don't know why she responded a little and unblocked me and asked for my number over email. It's weird because I don't really interact with her the way I do with almost anyone else. It just kind of sucks, and if she's not willing to engage and have real conversations then I can't just keep trying to get her to talk. Like we can talk about anything under the sun but if she doesn't want to talk to me then that's it, it doesn't matter. She'll have to find someone else that's caring and conversational and kind and gentle and willing to figure her out which is gonna be awhile 'cause she's kind of extremely fucking difficult.

~4:03PM, Tues. 12-20-2022: Well, nothing has been accomplished. I'm up to page 100-something in my book. I tried downloading a dating app again but honestly without paying them it's very difficult to use, you're sort of relying on matching with people blind, and the pool is pretty huge (thousands of people), so the odds of truly matching with someone that's not being disclosed to you is infinitesimal; you gotta pay. I don't have a lot of faith in them, and really only used them in 2018/2019 for a bit and they worked well, but I think at some point became saturated and crowded, and just sort of broke the system. I'm not that worried about it, but it's getting lonely out here, and it all just feels sort of dumb, like I should be hanging out with colleagues and friends and girls daily like I used to, and the sole reason I'm not is because I live in the middle of nowhere and am not forced to work, so everything has just kind of collapsed. Jesus fucking Christ when will this type of life end. Like it has to stop, it's been two years of the most grueling, endless nonsense. I don't think I've actually laughed in any meaningful way in ... I don't know, a couple years. Like, where are people? Real people. They don't fucking live here. I don't know where they live. I just do not fucking know anymore.

~2:01PM, Tues. 12-20-2022: Picked up my car, decided to donate a bike I spent money to fix up, found a new Patagonia backpack, will donate the old one. Read a little in a coffee shop, and I'm bored to tears. I'm so bored I'm literally going to vomit and scream. How do I make something happen. I seem to have lost the ability to make anything interesting happen. I suppose job interviews are interesting. I've confirmed my interview for Thursday morning at 10AM. I'm going to speak with five separate people for thirty minutes each. I'm not sure that I'm a lock for the job, or what they could even possibly ask me, but whatever. I do actually kind of very much want the job, a job, but I'm still ambivalent about everything. Is sliding into government research work really like the way I want to spend my life? Do I have to? I mean, the work may be kind of interesting, it pays, the locations make sense, but again, one wonders if there's more to life. I need to kind of nip this thinking in the bud because honestly I need a job and it's just a terrible idea to reduce this one to meaninglessness. It's more meaningful than sitting around in coffee shops staring at screens bored out of my mind most of the day. Like, it's something, and at this point something is better than nothing.

10:46AM, Tues. 12-20-2022: Alright, I'm going to pick up my car, which now requires that I drive another 200mi before they can do another emissions test to supposedly get this emissions waiver so that it may be re-registered. I don't care anymore. It just is what it is. At this point, I think there's just been a total and complete submission to the idea of fate taking the reigns. Like, I'm just so convinced that I'll have absolutely no idea, like no clue, no way of knowing, no possbile way to understand what the implications of my driving my car 200mi. Like, the simple explanation is I'll drive it 200mi, bring it back, get an emissions test, it'll fail, I'll get the emissions waiver, and I'll re-register the car. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact that I'll be driving that car instead of a different one and my phone will be in a different place and it'll draw my attention and I'll send a text I otherwise wouldn't've sent at a red light or something. Multiply that by a thousand (not a thousand text, just lots of little things that'll happen that wouldn't've happened in an alternate timeline). Like, I don't know, perhaps nothing will change, but then again maybe it'll be impactful. What I'm saying is I have no idea. (Un)fortunately that's true for everything, you just sort of don't know what the cascading, downstream effects of any little thing will be, so it seems a little wiser to not think about it at that level of detail, to just roll with it and try to set higher level goals. I fucking hate Experian. What's hilarious is that there's a non-zero change that paying them $24.99 will have some sort of massive benefit associated to it, like preventing my identity from being stolen. I don't believe that in the slightest, I think I've been robbed, but it's not impossible. That's life, dude, we just don't know and we never will. 10:25AM, Tues. 12-20-2022: Good morning. I'm drinking coffee but the question is really what to do today. There's like three messages I need to respond to. Experian, which is basically a scam, has snuck in with another$24.99 charge after I already cancelled and they're refusing to reverse it so whatever, I suppose I have extra identity theft protection this month and I'll keep trying to cancel it for the rest of my life. Whoops. Even the porn websites, which I generally stay away from, have better cancellation services than Experian. I watched Mulholland Drive last night and it was pretty entertaining. I wasn't paying close attention, but you certainly get both the 90s aesthetic (it was actually 2001) with the baggy suits and simple clothing and no smartphones or computers at home, and a lot of David Lynch with the slow-paced weirdness. The lesbian sex scenes were pretty neat, and for some reason it just felt like they were ahead of their time even though women have been having sex with eachother for, like, thousands of years. Not sure what it was but something about the way their breasts were protruding off their chest just made them seem commanding and dominant as she hopped over the couch to pounce on the other one. Anyways, it was enjoyable. Perhaps I'll do some more David Lynch or like get into Twin Peaks or something.

I told Megan I missed her and she said "well stop", which is cool. Like, I'll stop missing her, meaning she's sort of back, whatever the hell that means. It's still funny how she'll just not respond to other things. Like she just has some internal filter where it's like "I don't need to respond to that", and doesn't. Frankly, I kind of don't need this and really, truly just want someone who is there in nine more ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. but I'm throwing my ball against this wall for awhile, sitting on the ground and just seeing how it comes back. I have no idea why, probably because my life is so fundamentally out of gas in like seventeen different ways I just feel like this is about all I can do. Also, it's just a mystery as to how it'll turn out and I like mysteries. Like, maybe I get this job and move to Boston or Woburn outside Cambridge and she comes down from Montreal to hang out or visit. I don't know, it doesn't take a lot either way, to end something or start something. It's really up to the person involved so whatever. The last thing I said to her is "you seem like you need daily walks" and I believe that to be true. Someone should be walking her.

~1:06PM, Mon. 12-19-2022: I think it's very important that we all take the time to acknowledge how hot Ruth Radalet is. I can't emphasize this enough. Please, stop what you're doing, take a beat, and just do yourself a favor and admire her for a few minutes. I think you'll both get a lot out of it, and she deserves it. That being said, I think you should probably listen to her music as well. Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, I'll just submit to you that I'm very bored, and sort of out of things to do already. I've read like forty pages of my book, and the only thing I can really think of that's on my list is perhaps getting the bank to sign an electronic federal tax payment system form so I can tell the federal government that my LLC owes them zero dollars in federal taxes. It's supposed to be notarized, which is very funny. I could go for a bike ride in the cold, which is what it's looking like. No word on my car getting through emissions, so we've eclipsed the three month mark on the time it's taken to get this car repaired. Fascinating. Did you know that every time I say the word "fascinating" my brain jumps back to a moment in 2018 when someone I was in love with said that word to me in response to a silly piece of work that I made? Like, it's lodged in my brain, and I'll never be able to use that word without thinking of her. Not really sure what to do about that, but it is a fact. Careful what you say, a little information goes a long way. The latter half of that sentence is from Jeff Ferris. I was biking down Centre St. in Jamaica Plain and he was out making blueberry pancakes on a Saturday. I stopped by and left my email address (I was #13 on the list, of course), and he said "a little information goes a long way". It's very true! It really doesn't take a lot, just a few bytes or even bits, and you can, like, start a war. Or cause a fissure in a relationship. Or cause someone to fall in love with you. Dude it's fucking crazy. In a good way.

At present I am exercising restraint. Just a phenomenal amount. I think it's important, for a few reasons. First and foremost, I really over-texted the person that just unblocked me. I used to never do this, in fact I used to never know what to say and was really shy, but at some point the safety turned off and I just stopped giving a fuck. Sometimes. Other times I can be very proportionate and normal, even funny and charming. Anyways, the point is I need to chill out on this person. She's a very delicate person to interact with. Like, sometimes she'll engage and you'll get a little conversation going, other times it's just a few words here and there, other times nothing. I have, however, sustained about nine months of this occasional back and forth, and despite the one-sided nature of this relationship, and the fact that it's probably unhealthy, and that it's entirely text-based, and the fact that all of my other relationships are in-person and engaging and more emotional and just better, I'm still kind of attached to this person and very much want to figure them out. I think it's just some combo of reading thousands of tweets, and interacting with her, and sort of seeing both sides a little bit, the person and the persona. That's actually one of my favorite ideas, someone having a costume or persona that they put on and then they take it off and there's a real, person behind the mask. I suppose that's pretty common because literally everyone has to do it in all sorts of roles that we take on throughout the day at work and interacting with kids and interacting with friends vs. customers or whatever the dichotomy is between yourself and the other. Anyways, she's cool and we're talking again, and I'd like to not mess this one up, but also I can't care that much and I'm just going to be myself and if she blocks me then fuck it I'll just find someone who actually wants to interact with me as I am (ha). That's the advantage of having a little wisdom and confidence, you don't actually have to play weird games with people, you can just walk out the door knowing there's something different and possibly better around the corner if something is a little too difficult. Difficult is fine every once in awhile, but I'm not going to start doing backflips. Basically I'd like to see how she's doing, and kind of get to the bottom of her deleting her Twitter because that was kind of a big deal and I'm pretty proud of her. That's a pretty powerful addiction that she just went cold turkey on, so like, c'mon, what's going on behind the scenes. If this were anyone else, I would just be like "let's get coffee" and within thirty minutes we'd have covered every conceivable angle on it, but this could take like a week or a month, I have no idea.

Here's the thing you have to realize. This situation will actually inevitably affect and create the next situation I run into. Like, not dating for a long time will just be an expereince that I'll have going into the next relationship, and being stranded out in the middle of nowhere is going to affect how I behave and who I meet and when I meet them. So it's just funny. You've gotta realize that I'm not in control of everything. It always comes back to that. I'm not going to set the interview schedule, and even the series of events leading to me making a LinkedIn is furiously complex, beginning with a decision, on a whim, to delete my old one. Which then led to me making a new one, at the behest of an LCSW that was assigned to me randomly, that led to me connecting with someone I knew from college, that led to a phone screen, that led to a job interview this week. Do you think I planned this? I was involved, I made some decisions, but not all of them. Other people, other organizations were involved. I have very little idea what will happen next. It's possible that I get rejected from all three jobs, and am once again sort of lost, working at REI and tutoring, but get sick of it and just save enough to drive my car somewhere and try to start fresh or whatever. It's possible I get one of these jobs and a security clearance and work there for thirty years. I have no idea. I honestly don't care. I mean, I care a little bit. I'd like to do something I like and get paid for it and be respected as a professional. Hm. I also really don't want to work for the government. I also would really like to get paid and have good health insurance. I'd also like to be free to be creative. I don't know. I'm just tired of thinking about it because you just kind of have to do something to figure out if it's a good fit or not. I've tried a few things but mostly they're awful, and it's my personal feeling that some of the people doing the things that they're doing are terrified to admit that the thing that they're doing is ... awful. Like, sometimes I wonder why I quit things, but other times it's just like, yo, step back and look. This animal had a choice, and decided that they'd rather not have $100,000/yr and benefits and instead would rather be poor. Like, regardless of how you slice it, that's what happened. There's just a certain truth to the decision being the final say on which was more valuable. I'd really, really like to find a situation that I feel is valuable, it just won't come from money. That still feels very secondary. It always feels like a trap, like the things you can do with the money are always suppressed a great deal by what you have to do in order to get the money, so it's just kind of a wash. Like it represents both freedom and servitude, at the same time. I dunno, I just want to work with cool people, basically. That's what it boils down to. It's almost impossible to truly enjoy every aspect of what you're working on, even if you're passionate about it, so at the end of the day you just have to work with cool people. ~10:10AM, Mon. 12-19-2022: Morning. I'm drinking coffee and I'll probably read a book. It appears money is very slowly making its way to where it needs to be, though it's almost comical how long it takes given that we're in the electronic/digital age. Like, I owe this one bank, and this other bank has the money, and it's taking days and they're doing all sorts of really silly attempts at getting the money which is just going to cause confusion, like an ACH retry after I already did a transfer for the requisite amount, but I had no way of knowing there was a pending ACH retry; it was just "in" the system, so now the amount of money will be doubled, which is dumb. Oh well! There's nothing I really need to do today, other than wait for some folks to schedule an interview for sometime this week, which is pretty chill. In very, very exciting news, Megan actually did unblock me and texted me. I'm so thrilled I'm not going to do anything and just bask, because you have no idea how difficult that was. The only real goals today are to get the car back into my possession, finally thwarting the entire emissions complex to get my stupid car back on the road, and to read this book. That's it, everything else is entirely secondary. ~7:57PM, Sun. 12-18-2022: Grabbed another 500mL of wine, which means I'm getting _____. Relatively speaking, I mean that's 1L of wine, which is not a little. In any case, how many neurons do you have? I don't know. I honestly have very little idea of how my own brain works, and so do you. It's pretty complex. I'm going to watch Witness for the Prosecution, a film from the 1950s directed by Billy Wilder, because I've been on a Billy Wilder kick. I rented it for three dollars and ninety nine cents from Apple Inc., a multinational technology company headquartered in California. My money is being sucked out of this economy and funneled straight into that one. Ha. That's ______ funny. ~6:32PM, Sun. 12-18-2022: Good evening. Blistery journey to get back here. Picked up 500mL of cab sauv on the way back at approximately$5, which ain't bad. Put a pizza in the oven, ate some dark chocolate. It could be worse. You're likely dying to know which book I chose, which is understandable, so I'll tell you. I (the collection of atoms and correlations comprising me) chose Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises". Surprisingly, I also half chose a book. I texted a (lady)friend asking for a recommendation, and she obliged and suggested "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks", which I placed on order under my name at Barnes and Noble. An interesting, somewhat predictable turn of events. I returned to my intial book of interest, and half chose a second, splitting the 1/6 to 1/billion odds I gave myself of fully obtaining a second book. A fascinating foray into the complexities that lead to any given decision. I also grabbed some coffee from Starbucks, which I'm looking forward to drinking. I completed a little task I had to do for "work", this tutoring gig, so the good news is I'm essentially completely free, and will likely just read books and watch movies and consume media and coffee and try not to smoke, despite the fact that I really just want to be with other people.

I'm not sure when I decided this, perhaps after losing quite a bit (in most senses of the word), but I've decided to at least try to take everything seriously. It's a lot of fun. Like, you have this choice to constantly make in life, which is what to consider important and what to consider unimportant. Where you place things determines a lot about how you move about the world, what you try to obtain, which positions you seek, etc. I think it's just absolutely fascinating that at any given moment, a person can just sort of decide that they're going to take whatever is in front of them seriously, like just assume that it matters. One person may be making an eighty billion dollar auction run smoothly, another person may be deciding whether or not to scrub the sink of their bathroom with cleaning solution or just leave it as is. What's really, really, really fucking funny is there are always arguments to made that one thing is just as important as the other. Like it just seems so far-fetched and rare that something could be wildly important and something else might not be, given what's possible on this planet. Like, you don't think charging the light for your bicycle is important? Well, when you die in an accident where the motorist couldn't see you, you'll be corrected. Didn't think cleaning your bathroom sink mattered? Well, that weird fungal infection you got that spread to your brain is laughing at you. Like, and on it goes. It becomes so overwhelming that there ceases to be a way to truly organize and actually accurately have a map, a scale, a register to tell what is or isn't important; we just do it naturally.

My working approach is to sort of treat myself as a shop, and everything that comes across my desk or any customer who walks in the door is treated as the most important thing going on at that moment. That's what I'm telling myself, anyways. In reality I'm pretty lazy and I can't always do this, but I like the idea of it. I have a cousin who, at least when I interact with her, seems to behave this way. Like, regardless of the situation you're in, she takes it seriously, as if there were no difference between you and the president. I like this, because I honestly believe there isn't much difference in terms of importance, simply because we have no idea how everything works. We know how some things work, but we have absolutely no idea what our butterfly effect is, how the ripples will effect everything else, so why not treat people with importance? I just like the idea of, I dunno, figuring siutations out. Like, I just had a friend text me with what could be considered utter nonsense. Just, like, a bunch of self-collected data and bizarre plots and attempts to ascribe quantitative meaning to very abstract life events without actually measuring anything. It would be very easy to brush this off as nonsense. However! The whole world changes when you just lean in. You start asking questions, picking apart what you DO see. I find it similar to, perhaps, an English teacher who is handed a piece of garbage written by a high school student. Rather than just trashing it outright, there is much to be gained by fully interacting, almost cartoonishly leaning into the piece of work that sits in front of you. Hell, it's not even for them. It's a challenge for you to pick it apart, to really understand what is so terrible about the piece. In going back and forth with the student, or person in front of you, you can sort of begin to "work", and break down whatever it is until you have the raw parts laid out in front of you on a table, and you can then sort of label what's there, catalog what's missing, and begin to try to construct the machine that they either were or were not conceptualizing. With my friend, it was like, okay, sure, there is some correlation between the wisdom of the choices we make, and the amount of enjoyment of fun or levity we get to experience. Would he have phrased it just that way? No, probably not, but he at least agreed that was the core idea he was exploring, depsite the confusing graphs (they weren't terribly confusing, but they also weren't clear enough that anyone could cleanly interpret them).

So I dunno, man, I think it's just gonna be a lot more fun to engage with people and meet them exactly where they are. I want to be the type of person people say, "He treats me as if I were the most important thing in the world every time I talk to him". Like, that would be rad. Whatever the issue is at hand, to just (GENTLY) apply all my faculties towards helping the person reach a satisfying conclusion to the issue at hand. There's definitely a part of me that does lean towards being a consultant, but I need more professional experience. I just like this idea of having someone come with an issue that is a little rough around the edges, an abstract issue that needs work, and sort of volleying back and forth until we chisel away at the problem and it takes shape. This is the type of shit where I realize I will probably never work a regular job, or I actually will be condemned to one despite it being a comically bad fit. I do kinda like the idea of me riding on the back of a garbage truck, wind in my hair, talking about esoteric mathematics and gently chiseling away at an abstract issue to find its inherent shape, and then slinging a sopping wet stinking hunk of garbage over my shoulder and into the mouth of a massive waiting garbarge truck. I'm listening to Vivaldi right now, and I think that's playing in the television scene I'm sculpting in my head. I think I'd probably take a lot of influence from Louie if I ever directed anything. I'm thinking of the homeless guy washing himself in the subway with the strings in the background right meow.

~2:29PM, Sun. 12-18-2022: Good afternoon, dear reader. Here's the latest in the sweeping saga of Jackson, or better titled: Earth, from the perspective of my eyeballs and earballs. I have wandered into a Barnes and Nobles, precisely because I feel that the internet is overrated, and that books are cool. This is a contraversial opinion, but I'm sticking to it. I don't think they should be burned, banned, or censored. In fact, I feel that they should be read. I think that is the point. In that vein, I'm going to attempt to find one in here. There are lots of books. There's going to be a highly nonlinear, totally chaotic process that I will embark upon which will, by force of will, result in me choosing one solitary book. I might choose two. This option has not been definitively ruled out, but the odds are remarkably low. Probably 1 in 6, maybe even 1 in a billion. I have no idea. I'm currently staring at a book directly in my line of sight titled "Is this a cookbook?", which looks fucking retarded. Hopefully that provides some insight into my process. I picked up Alice in Wonderland, held it for about four minutes, and replaced it declaring to myself "this isn't really a novel, and I should, like, read a novel". I glanced at "The Sun Also Rises", by Hemingway, and thought "I've heard this title before, and Hemingway is said to be pretty good". Then I read the inside cover, and noted that the book is about a bunch of European dandies pracing around some events that most people would never even consider attending, and I thought, meh. Not a winner. I then decided to get coffee and write. I also got a bagel and cookie, which was a good move.

Slow weekend. Didn't really do much. I did tutor for a couple hours Sat. morning, which went fine despite me being very nervous about it. It's kind of shocking to be tutoring, like, two students basic algebra in a strip mall after teaching thirty five college students multivariable calculus in an auditorium. Oh well! That's life, it's weird, and it won't last forever, and I've sort of become of the opinion that everything is important (or unimportant), depending on how your approach it and what you think of it. I mean, changing a few high schoolers lives, if that's possible in the setting, could be more meaningful than getting thirty five young adults to learn advanced calculus. No one's really counting, and it simply doesn't matter. The broader point is it doesn't pay anything, and it's a lot of work. Well, it's not that much work but it is an annoying amount of administrative work, which is awful. I need to go back to working forreal, or frankly get strarted working forreal, which hopefully will happen in the new year with one of these three ongoing job interviews.

I've been texting a bit with one of these three or four women I've been talking to. Three of them I met in hospitals, and the fourth I met online so these are, to put it gently, not the usual stable of candidates. They're sort of falling off one-by-one, which is fine because I just want to meet someone in person in a slightly less extreme context, but I am really enjoying texting with one of them. We've been on a date, which was nice (both parties agree) but she's been sort of working and busy and not willing or able to talk on the phone, etc. so it's just unnecessarily difficult, and though I totally do have time for that, it's kind of lame and annoying and I'd rather just be interacting with someone who texts and calls all the time, at least at the beginning. The other one is sort of a whipper-snapper who's mature for her age and, like, possibly cooler than me though much less experienced at twenty-two years old. We'll see if she wants to do something in DC, but otherwise I'm just going to sort of float until I run into someone or vice-versa. It always, like, blows my mind to think how much is out there, and how if you really decided to be active and vigilant you could, like, get online and find someone almost immediately. For whatever reason, I just don't want to do that. Part of the reason is that the apps have gotten out of control with how complex they've become and how front-loaded they are with the online interaction and trying to sort and choose. I mean, you have no idea what the person is like until you meet them, it just seems kind of silly to try to apply so many filters. I'm not even sure you can fundamentally improve the experience, people have been finding mates since the dawn of time, but I do think you can alter it, which is what it's doing. I don't really think it's bad or good, it's just a different approach and I tend to prefer meeting people in real life, spontaneously. However to do that you have to be, y'know, out and about. In the world. Doin' stuff.

It has dawned on me that I could attempt to orchestrate a meet-cute in this very Barnes and Noble. It's pretty straight-forward, actually. You just look at spines of books, and then when a cute, bookish girl comes along, you just politely tell them you're looking for a good novel to read and if they have any suggestions. That's it. There's no, like, game, they'll either just want to talk to you more or they won't. I'm not, like, a pickup artist; this is the extent of my trickery.

I biked here which was suprisingly nice. I was going to buy a pack of cigarettes before the trip but I decided not to. I know for a fact that if I cut it out for like three days, that's pretty much it. You forget about the impulse and don't really start again until you cave and buy another pack. I've gone for months, if not like a year just not doing it. It's pretty interesting, and definitely follows stress and happiness. Life turns downward, cigarettes tick upwards. In any case, I've been getting sick of them so I'm going to try to give it a rest. It'll be next to impossible without some other source of distraction, but maybe I can just drink a metric fuck ton of coffee.

I've probably already said this but I'm essentially delirious on the idea that free will is an illusion. I'm also completey and totally stultified by this woman's breasts that just walked by. Just a fact. She's very attractive and that's not my fault. Right, so free will is an illusion. I mean, I don't think it's that deep. I think we're just basically complex machines that take in a lot of data, and move around, and process the data, and communicate the processed data. It's hard to see where some mysterious agent steps in and makes a choice, and how you couldn't just interrogate the machinery of that agent. Like, look closer into it's choice making, until you see the wedge slicing between two binary outcomes. That wedge is probably connected to other machinery, getting jostled around by all the info and atoms sloshing around. I dunno, I guess I'm just sort of sold on this passive existence. That's not to say that one has to be passive, like it could very well be the case that your brain gets jostled into a state where it decides to be extremely, even alarmingly, active. I guess a simple way to express it is although in theory there were many possible histories, and in theory there are many possible futures, none of them actually happen. There's only one history and one future, and we're in the middle, gliding along that path, oberserving, and it's fine. Futhermore, any knowledge of "the future" or "the past" is strictly determined by the amount of information one has. It's even plausible that time doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense beyond what we've recorded and which information we have. Like, if you stop counting the number of times the Earth goes around the sun, or lock yourself in a dark room for a long time, you really will lose the notion of time because you just don't have that information. It's sort of measured relative to the motion or decay of other things, which can be altered. I'm just thinking that it's pretty conceivable that the past could be altered if one had total control of enough information, and similarly the future could be pretty much known the more information one has. This is pretty classical, back to Maxwell claiming if you knew the positions and momenta of all the atoms in all the world, you could predict what would happen next. I don't know if you need all of it; I think if you have some of it, you can get a better idea of what's going to happen next. I just think it's advisable to think of "it" as a substance like energy or matter. I'm sure a lot of people already think of it this way, and it's kind of coincidental that I'm sitting in the middle of a bookstore, surrounded by books and magazines, and I guess awash in WiFi (organized radio waves). Yet still, we have absolutely no way of knowing which book I'll end up with. It's a total, complete, and utter MYSTERY.

~7:05PM, Fri. 12-16-2022: Watching Sunset Boulevard. It's very good. I'm also eating dark chocolate. Every decision in my life has led me to this. Pretty boring outcome.

~4:32PM, Fri. 12-16-2022: I'm bored out of my mind. A couple scheduling things for interviews or tutoring next week, but that's it. I really don't want to tutor tomorrow; I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into. It doesn't pay well, it's far away, and it's just a lot of hoops to jump through. I don't get it. No one can live off of this, and it was just supposed to be a fun little thing on the side, but it never is. It's always a mountain of paperwork, and people treating it as if it's the most serious thing you've ever had the opportunity to take part in. It's fucking tutoring high school kids for the SAT in a strip mall. Like, good God. Then of course if you take that attitude you're the piece of shit that doesn't care, and on and on. Whatever, I'll do my best but filling out report cards, invoicing, driving, it's enough to make it not worth it. There actually is an alternative, and that was tutoring privately at BU. Triple the pay, cash, and the quality was probably better because we just knew what we were doing and didn't have to respond to anyone. Sometimes red tape just causes people to trip all over the place and doesn't help anyone. I suppose this two and half hour interview with STR will get set up, and then I'll have a couple more with MITRE, and we'll see how it all shakes out. Then I'm months if not a year away from paying off debt, and who knows how long before moving out, and then I've got to restart relationship-ing from scratch. Unfortunately this is what happens when you make a decision to move, and your family has no idea who you are, what you need, or what the absolutely extreme and punishing consequences will be of coaxing you to jump into quicksand. It's not their fault though. God forbid anyone but me be held completely responsible. I am responsible for my birth, any and all forces that led to any decisions, any decisions, and all subsequent whining is just an indication of my weakness and inability to "do the right thing". No one knows what the fucking right thing is, people get lucky for awhile (myself included) and then unlucky for awhile (myself included) and it goes on. No one is in control, and it just ebbs and flows. You do the best with what you have in front of you, and try to laugh a lot because otherwise you'll just be fucked. In any case, I'm here to tell you it's not your fault. The whole, entire thing. Life, the universe, everything; it isn't your fault. It couldn't be. It never will be. I'm just upset because nothing is happening. I'd like to deal with anything other than two emails from employers. That is the entirety of my day. I tried to go volunteer and they didn't need the help and on top of that no one was there to let me in. That's how bored I am. I have forty cents in my bank account and I'm volunteering. Goodness fucking gracious. I've watched all of Succession. I don't feel like writing code. I don't want to apply to any more jobs. I'm just broke, bored, and alone. I tried making a Hinge account the other day and they added like forty features to make it even more of an online experience - videos, voice recordings, and on and on. Again, just meeting people in person is the way to go; the fidelity is out of this world. Perhaps when the six hundred bucks from the Treasury department hits my bank account tomorrow and I pay off legal fees from setting up my silly, self-aggrandizing LLC, I'll go out. I don't even want to. Who do I go out with? The three girls in my life have essentially tapped out, one of them claiming that having a conversation with them is like having one with "a wet paper bag". It's not, they can be fun and interesting so it's just lame that they do that to themselves. The other is a total and complete mess, and homeless, and hooking up with someone else. Megan actually does still have me blocked despite asking for my number again via email, so I dunno what her deal is but she lives in Montreal anyways. The last one is twenty-two, and after going on a DC date I did hear from her saying we should go to a rave or something but it's been radio silence all week, so who knows. Whatever happens will happen, I just feel like I have no control over anything. Out of the hundreds if not thousands of people I've interacted with over the years, I have conversations with no one. People don't reach out, and I'll take full responsibility and blame for that. I shot myself in the foot and tanked my life, and no one wanted to come along for the ride. I am crawling tooth and nail to get out of this, but I keep sliding back down the side of the mountain, and it's a pit of Catch-22's and circular issues (no job means resume gap means difficult to hire, etc.). Honestly I think I'm just going to get through this tutoring thing tomorrow, skip all volunteering, pay off some debt, and buy a book. Perhaps I'll get a bottle of wine tonight. It's a resistible impulse, but I'm not really sure what else to do. I'd like to be ... oh, I dunno, going to a movie, dinner, party, live music show, hanging out with my girlfriend, reading a book in my apartment, but instead I'll literally borrow ten dollars so I can figure out what to do alone in a basement. Again. For the one thousandth time since moving to the middle of nowhere and abandoning over ten years of consistent effort. Nothing makes sense.

~9:40PM, Thurs. 12-15-2022: Good day. Interviews went well this morning. Feeling more excited about working for STR. Definitely a nice feature that they're both have dual headquarters in Massachusetts and Virginia. Ideal. We'll see how it goes. Finished lesson planning for tutoring, which will be Saturday morning, two students. The car is still causing issues, perhaps I'll get it back tomorrow or Monday. At this point they're calling state officials to see if there's a workaround for the emissions waiver. Some force in the universe doesn't want this car to be registered, but I will ensure that it does. I'm going to watch Romeo and Juliet (1968). I have no idea what's going to happen in the future, but I hope it's good. Honestly, someone should reach out to me. I'm so bored. I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow. I'm off, but holy shit, something needs to happen. Please, God, anything.

Tomorrow I have two interviews back-to-back. One is with the data science people at MITRE, the other with the signal processing people at STR. I'm not sure how I should prepare for either of these, but I think they'll go well. I want the jobs and will try to put my best foot forward. They're headquaratered in Mass. and VA and I'd be happy to live in either of those two locations, which I think was always the sticking point. In more exciting news, _____ unblocked me, so I guess she read my email last night describing the impact she had on me over the past year. I'm gonna let her be, but I hope we resume at least texting a bit soon, but on her terms. I did hear back from a separate person who asked me how a thing was going, which was nice. Communication is just extremely nice right now, so I'm appreciating the morsels I'm getting, but perhaps it'll pick up soon. Next stop: getting my car back, interviews, teaching, and relaxing and watching more Succession.

~9:09PM, Mon. 12-12-2022: Good evening. I suppose I've chilled out a little, but wow, it's quiet. What I'm waiting for is things to change a little bit. They always do. I'm still just sitting here, watching Succession (Season 3), drinking wine, wondering what happened to everyone. It's fine, it's just the way things have to go. Today I received a check from the treasury department for six hundred dollars and forty cents. That was pretty neat. That'll help clear some things out. I'm in the process of closing down some extraneous LLC endeavors, folding them into hobbies. I made a little progress thinking of the moduli space of networks as a quotient (semi)ring, which is neat. It's a method to multiply unlabeled networks, which to my knowledge is novel, and allows operations on networks to pass through to graphs. Tomorrow I'll finally pick up my car and register it. I have a therapy appt. that'll be a one time deal, which will be good to get out of the way. I should probably do a blood test to check lithium levels. I have a short meeting with C2 Education where I'm on incoming tutor. The following day, Wednesday, I'll go back to work at REI. It's also my mom's birthday. It's been a long two years, and I remember working late at Power Auctions two years ago during her birthday and being pretty annoyed with my boss. I have a phone interview with MITRE this week, for a second potential position. It'll be a slow week, but a good week. The thing is, there are still so many pieces missing. A lot of them would be filled in by a job - money and health insurance, which would allow me to get a place, travel, date, go out, be a person again. Everything is put on hold in the interim. I've completely forgotten who I am or what I'm like. Most aspects of my personality don't get to be exercised, which is pretty sad. It's a bummer that no one wants to interact with me in any real sense. A few phone calls here and there, but the core of my being is dormant and dead. Not in a depressed way, but in a "this is just how it is" way. There's really nothing I can do, nowhere I can go without money, and everything is very far from this isolated, essentially rural-suburban place that I've been trapped in for a couple years. In any case, I'm not worried about it. It's just not helpful. When you're going through hell, you pretty much just keep going, and remember that the idea that it could be any other way is kind of a bizarre thought, that you somehow know what the universe and all the atoms are supposed to do, how it's all supposed to go, why you're sitting in a bad and not a jail cell, or some far away place where things are infinitely worse in unimaginable ways. In that vein, I'll say that things are fine. A little all over the place, but more or less fine. Mostly I'm just terribly bored, and a little upset at myself for squandering a whole bunch of opportunities and forcing myself into extremely difficult situations. It's all in the past, and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm mostly curious about what's going to happen next, which is more or less a total mystery.

~11:25AM, Mon. 12-12-2022: Good late morning. My fingers are cold from standing outside and smoking cigarettes. I need to stop, it's just about my only vice at this juncture but it's terrible for your health. Nevertheless it feels like something to lean on right now to get me through some tough times. It's feeling like a Monday. I fixed up one bicycle and listed it on Craigslist but no hits. The idea that I would actually do that for a living is laughable. It takes about an eighty dollar investment to fix up a donated bike that's worth maybe one hundred dollars, plus time. The only way to do this is at fifteen to twenty dollars an hour with a load of bikes coming in every day and spare parts and tools surrounding you. Everything else is a hobby, and rightly so. My philosophy has shifted quite a bit, and I'm of the opinion that nature works as indended. Like, all the concrete (smashed rocks and water), asphalt (hot paved tar), buildings (dead trees and copper pipes from ore and drywall from crushed chalk) - it's all natural, and it all has a place. Just because we organize it into straight lines and useful (for us) shapes does not take away from its underlying naturality. It all comes from nature, and moving it to a residential or work zone doesn't stop it from being apart of the natural world. I think businesses and hobbies fall into this category, serving a purpose and helping to organize the materials into something that will fit into the larger aspects of society. Perhaps more bikes means more bike lanes eventually, and then ebikes and special lanes and government subsidies and the rest, and before you know it some place has transformed into a bustling European-esque area from a broken down collection of used bikes and striped lines haphazardly drawn on pavement. There are big forces at play, and it's fun to be a part of them, to contribute. Currently I have a part-time job at REI, and one can think about what that means. On the real, I'd like to just do my best there, even though I'm scrambling to get another job in software or data or whatever, it still seems like until that comes to pass you just push hard in the direction you're given. You take care of what's in front of you, even the little things, and inevitibly things will evolve and change. As long as you don't tie yourself to every change that occurs, don't blame yourself for everything that happens, good or bad, you get to move through time and observe, and I think that's pretty cool.

~10:28PM, Thurs. 12-1-2022: I decided to _____ a bottle of ____. I think it was a good decision, a wise decision, a fruitful decision. Honestly, I'm just kind of laughing at my life a bit. Like, I used to have ten different social media apps, three roommates, loads of friends and people cruising through every evening, girlfriends, dates. It's actually remarkable how much has evaporated. Like, everything. It's amazing. I don't even feel responsible for it, it just kind of happened. Everything got deleted and processed, and I have been stripped down to my core, with only like one hundred contacts on Apple, two gmail accounts, a website, a laptop, a phone, a safe with some valuables, an old car that won't pass emissions to save its life, a desk, a bed, a journal, a stereo system, a lamp, a printer, some clothes, a mountain bike, a backpack, some nice boots and camping gear, some toolboxes full of useful tools, a workbench, and a few other odds and ends. The point is that it all fits in a uHaul. Like, I'm ready to go but no one will have me. I have become radioactivate. It is not impossible, but nearly impossible, to get people to talk to me. It's incredibly boring, it's slow, it's lame. I just have so much to say, so much interaction that I'd be willing to have, and people are just scared, or angry, or annoyed, or whatever, and don't want to go back-and-forth. It's just too much, whereas I used to write proportionate responses and be relaxed because I knew there were just a bunch more in the queue and nothing really mattered. Now it's sort of like, okay, I'm not *awash* in message, but still, I can't sit and try to delicately play each message - I just don't give a fuck. Like, write back or don't. If you can't handle messages, like literally little messages that you can mute or delete or whatever, then you need to grow up. It's just not a big deal. I get, like, a thousand emails a day. It's fine. You just figure out what's important and what's not. I don't care if I don't rank as important in people's lives, that's not the point. The point is I need to find someone who actually gives a fuck and knows how to write, who isn't afraid of a lot of words and can reciprocate without tiring out after one hundred words. A writer, for fuck's sake. Spit poetry, not average Joe-etry, draw a fine line with ink tip don't lose your grip don't quit keep typing keep writing letters turn into letters don't be afraid to let your mind run just run and gun and put those bits where they belong on the page be a sage be a writer write back don't slack don't be wack off the top of my head I'd rather be alive than dead learn to life and breathe in time and spin a rhyme no one would believe it just rolls off my finger tips try writing a million words by hand get a grip it's not that hard you blowhard ______ you can't even handle a curse that's why you don't have any coins in your purse what's worse this or that it's quid pro quo tit for tat quand meme baby know what that means when it's all the same nothing matters nothing matters learn to write you fucking _____.

~8:34PM, Thurs. 12-1-2022: Bills due today. That means cutting. Interestingly having a "business" means you have necessary expenditures like QuickBooks, Google Ads, frontend storefronts like Weebly, Legal fees for LegalZoom, Google Workspace accounts (unless you wanna get postfix send email working - you don't), DigitalOcean for the server/hosting. It adds up, but there are some places I can cut. I went ahead and set up a Yelp business profile which is free, and my Google My Business profile is set up as well, which is free. I paused the ad campaign. Ganalytics is already set up and free, but the ads have a daily cost and the $500 promotion isn't actually valid until you spend$500. Plus, it's not really getting any conversions in the first four days, though it does get a lot of impressions and some clicks. The point is, it's better to just do boots-on-the-ground, friends-and-family advertising with real products. Hand out pieces of art, tell people about the site, hand out business cards, give out free art, verbally tell stories about it, take pictures of what you're up to and post them; basically just blast out information on all the free channels and I think people will figure out pretty quickly what you're up to. They're smart.

~7:37 EST, Weds. 11-30-2022: Check engine light came back on for the car; will still need to drive 50-100mi to reset it. I picked up a tutoring gig with C2 Education in Alexandria/McLean, and will need to sign a non-compete in order to avoid me poaching their clients. I'd love to find some students to tutor, perhaps by way of NoVA Labs in Fairfax where I'll be visiting this Sat. 12/3 for a "Maker's Market". There is also an event in the Town of Clifton on Saturday where I'll be visiting. There's a $20 ticket to tour the houses available from the Main Street Pub but I'll forego that option. I'm currently drinking a beer, content with my new work life. I've learned how to separate work and personal, and work in bits and pieces on different problems, always making progress. Throughout a day, I'm faced with numerous challenges and opportunities, and I find it's best to just lean into each one, even if it doesn't seem productive at the time. For instance, today I went back to Pope's Head Creek where I lost my road bicycle on Feb. 2nd, 2022. I printed out the spec list detailing the parts that were on the bike, frame, materials, everything. I posted the flyer back up near the entrance of the path I traveled down to the spot I left it in the creekbed. It rained the following day, so I assumed it had swept the bicycle down the creek. However, there is a dam that the bike should've been caught in about a quarter or half mile down. I've walked the creek in both icy conditions and today, this time documenting the map of the area and taking pictures and videos. Having already reported it to the local police, I can pretty safely say it is lost forever. I've had time to process the loss, and should probably just buy a new bike. However, the bike is somewhere, probably buried under sediment, decaying naturally for the next one hundred or so years as the frame is chromium-molybdenum steel. Ah well. Out with the old, in with the new. ~3:22M EST, Tues. 11-29-2022: Picked up car, still attempting to get through emissions. Published some math to mathoverflow. Working on some paperwork for my intermittent leave at REI, as well as trying to organize business licenses, finances, subscriptions, and various and sundry other tasks. ~12:48PM EST, Sun. 11-27-2022: Finished updating my website and getting all my ads up and running. Essentially I have grouped endeavors into four categories: art, bicycle repair, math tutoring, and consulting. There are tiers of pricing from$10 pieces of art, to $20 bicycle repairs, to$60/hr math tutoring, to $100/hr consulting. I have trimmed all users from the Google Workspace account, and am in the process of obtaining business licenes via Avalara. Paperwork is in the mail to OSHA and the VA Dept. of Labor. My Google Ads account is synced with my Google My Business profile. My QuickBooks is synced with Square, PayPal, and BofA. All passwords are secure. I volunteered at NoVA Labs yesterday and saw The Polar Express with my little sister. I am working on getting my doctors and health needs in order. ~9:46AM EST, Thurs. 11-24-2022 (Thanksgiving): Good morning. I've updated the consulting section of my website and franctically trying to include all the things I've done over the years that I never tell anyone about. ~8:56AM, EST: I have published some work on a map between P^2F_2 and P^1F_7 to Wikipedia under Fano Plane, Collineations. I have also begun publishing work regarding the number of points over \overline{F_2} of the curve y^2=x^3+x+1 and the elliptic curve over \overline{F_7}. With Silverman et. al's help, we compute the Zeta function over F_7. I am seeking to pull back the structure of the elliptic curve over F_7 to the singular curve over F_2, which after a change of variables and noting that the group structure still exists after removing the singular points, group isomorphic to either F_2 or F_4^*. This is available at my public GitHub page. ~6:44PM EST, 11-21-22: Conjecture: There exists strong isogenies of elliptic curves over fields of different characteristic. ~12:53PM EST, 11-21-22: Uploading images by an artist friend to website. ~9:59AM EST, 11-19-2022: Jackson Walters, LLC owns this site. Your eyes are always closed during the flash of a bright camera. ~4:25PM, 11-18-2022: Good trip to the doctor, got the form I needed filled out and submitted. The LLC is operating at a significant loss. I need to figure out how to add an HTML SMS link, which basically means add my phone number to my website. One moment please. ~7:38PM, 11-15-2022: Big day. Tried finding all points over the prime p=2 for the curve y^2=x^3+x+1, a rank one abelian group over \QQ, in other words looking at the singular curve over F_2, and trying to examine it over the algebraic closure of that field. I became globally tax compliant with all five of my banks. The service engine light on my car is still on, so I will at some point take it to my mechanic on RT 29 and have them try to continue fixing the problem so I can get emissions tested so I can re-register the plates, as they expired while I was in the hospital. ~5:43PM, 11-13-2022: Adventurous weekend. Pulling a lot of things back together. I ____ my wallet a few days ago, and have been slowly reconstructing it. It's difficult - health insurance cards, driver's license, debit cards, the wallet itself. I'm also _____ so that's tough. Still working on getting my car in good shape. The repairs went well, but I still need to get an emissions inspection. I "had" a cup of coffee yesterday morning from Main Street Pub. Really, I just had a cup and put over a dollar on the table and the kids freaked out when I left because the stated price was$2.99 which is insane. My buddy wasn't there who has charged me a dollar before, so whatever. I'm learning in adult life that there's a lot of stuff like that that no one tells you. Like, sometimes you gotta kinda just ... walk out, _____ a little, ___ a little, say ____ __ a little, do the thing you're ___ supposed to do, because you simply won't always have the resources to make everything happen all the time, and you'll get stuck in situations where you don't know the right answer, yet still you have to do something, or there's only two bad choices (the third horn of a dilemma, so to speak, or stuck between a rock and hard place). Alas, adulting. I did go out to Raven Grille in Columbia Heights last night. I didn't have ID or my phone fully charged or cash or a debit card, but things worked out. I charged my phone after a long talk about my temporary license. I met a woman named Lauren and her friend Becky, who were funny. We _________ numbers.

11-12-2022: All systems go.

11-11-2022: Good evening. Heading out for a drive. Long day. Jackson Walters, LLC is formed. Uploaded some more art to the art section. My car is in good working order - needs an emissions test.

~5:36AM, 11-11-2022: Good morning. I have just uploaded two more pictures for sale under art. Feel free to take a look. Two are the work of a friend, two are my own, (Q-Bit, Cat's Cradle). Q-Bit is a geometric pictorial representation or diagram of a quantum bit. The space of states is homeomorphic to a three-sphere, a three dimensional sphere. This comes about because there are two eigenstates of the Schroedinger equation, |0> and |1> which are spin up and spin down states in binary bra-ket notation. The states really reside at the center of a 2-sphere, and we're meant to imagaine the interior as being either 0 or 1 (red and blue for temperature if you like). The sphere S^2 is the "equator" of the 3-sphere, and when we move in and get to the origin, we're at the "north pole" (red, |1>), and move out we get back to the "equator", or 2d boundary sphere, and back in we move towards the "south pole" (blue, |0>). There is a fibration of circles over the 2-sphere called the Hopf fibration, which is very beautiful. Another way of thinking of a 3-sphere is the one-point compactification of R^3 where we add a point at infinity (\infty). The 3-sphere structure comes about because there are two complex amplitudes, c_1 and c_2, whose absolute value squared must equal 1, which is another way of saying a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2=1, the equation for a sphere in 3 dimensions. The group SU(2), or the special unitary group, acts as rotations on pairs of complex numbers. This is a Lie group, and it plays an important role in physics. It captures the "spin" of a quantum bit, which may be physically modeled by a single electron.

11-10-2022: Hello. I am in the ________ at _____ ___. Welcome to my _______ house, _______.

11-10-2022: Good morning. It is approximately 6AM. I've been wondering what AM stands for recently. FM is frequency modulation, AM means ... before noon? After midnight? On a circle? Hm. Clocks are continuous, Z/12Z, but also R/12R, if you count in hours. The Mayans counted in sixties. Perhaps I should get a sundial (which only works when the sun shines). Just looked it up. It stands for ante meridiem, which is Latin for before noon. That makes sense, except it's always before noon, like, the next day. Perhaps I'll switch over to military time, baby. 24 hours in a day. Ish. Like, most of time is based off the sun, but if you were in a dark room for long enough you probably would stop using that method. Perhaps you'd say, "I measure time between meals, dude".

11-9-2022: Apologies for the lack of updates. I was out at sea for about two days. Upon returning, I have been enlighted. The forms of communication over the ages have varied dramatically. I'll be sending her a raven at 12000. Her name is apparently Melidsa. Is this your doing? I will perhaps brand my upper left arm, Butterfly Blue.

11-6-2022: The art store is up, with more to come by an anonymous first featured artist later tomorrow. They are really talented!

11-5-2022: Hello! This is the first of what will be many blog posts. I will provide updates, writing, poetry, and a little fiction. Stay tuned! The latest is that I will be adding an online store section to this site where I will be selling art produced by myself and others.