Posts Tagged ‘life’
I scribbled this on a piece of paper, hungover, sipping coffee alone in Z on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago.
You caught my eye that morning sitting across the room. Watching me blabber about something. I smiled at you you smiled because it was a sunny day? In the evening, later You came up to me and sat across the table sipping beer We talked about the day The nice people around us. We discussed your research and watched a friend get a waitress's phone number You said I shouldn't be shy I could get a phone number if I wanted to. The topic drifted to places we'd been the tourists in your home town how many were from Hollandesa and why. You said Spanish girls like Dutch boys I don't know. You said it it was hard to hear me from opposite the table. So you sat next to me Your lips next to my ear Your face close to mine. It was a really loud bar.
Usually my life is pretty boring. Not in a bad way. Stuff gets done, good times are had, places are seen. Change comes along, but at a reasonable pace.
Then once every couple of years the universe takes about 3 months worth of events and conveniently crams them into a single fortnight for me. Job offers, dates, family drama, speaking engagements. They’re all coming in pairs, and all during this bloody single fucking week.
Excuse me while I go scream into a bag.
Michael, we don’t have a lot of time on this earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
– Peter Gibbons in Office Space
Don’t worry, dear reader. I haven’t been inspired by a crappy action movie (and I’m referring to Superman 4 here, not Office Space) to pull some sort of stunt on my employer.
I also don’t actually have a cubicle. My boss is still singular (if only).
But my work is starting to feel like an actual stereotypical cubicle job. It has all become boring routine. I’d rather work on something ambitious that reaches for the sky and tries to change the world, not boring middle-ware. If I was okay with working on something mediocre and non-challenging, I would settle for a stable 9-to-5 job at a local insurance company, where I have coworkers I can actually touch and hang around the water cooler with.
So true. I think I’ve done all of those. Except perhaps for defrosting a chicken in the shower, that seems a tad unhygienic.
The technology world is a weird place. Popular technology in a particular (large enough) market can come and go at an amazing pace. What was new, exciting and a possible contender for world domination half a decade ago can look ill-designed, irrelevant and legacy by now. Most things will simmer for a while after they’ve had their peak, but they won’t pick up many new adopters. Software releases go stale almost as quickly as yesterday’s lunch.
Creating a successful product is about so much more than having well-designed technology. Even the free software world is not a meritocracy, though it’s probably closer than the proprietary software world. Perception matters. Timing matters.
I started out in the technology world thinking that I could make the most impact by just writing a lot of great code. Now, having seen the evolution of various free software projects over the last 15 years it all seems very temporary. Like a time lapse, I have seen code being written and then gradually replaced until there is nothing left of the original, effectively replaced by something else entirely. And there is so much more that matters than just the code.
It’s not like we’re only making the same mistakes all over again and again. The world’s overall knowledge is moving ahead bit by bit. Each piece of software is just a another progression, another dent. But it seems now there are so much more ways to be a part of that process than just writing perfect code.
Today I feel a slightly more like a scientist and slightly less like an engineer than I did yesterday.
Some days I wish I had a time machine, so I could go back in time a couple of hours.
I would warn myself to not bother with alcohol-induced discussions about Eternalism. Inexplicably, like Eternalism, those discussions apparently only have an end, but no beginning. Don’t ask.
Also, that giant Maria statue on the bar, next to the cow, looming over you? It’s not an apparition. She’s always been there. Really.
Wow, that was one hell of a weird twelve months! It’s been pretty unusual and very eventful, and with lots of ups and downs.
This was the year in which I made the transition from university student to fulltime employee, the latter of which came as a bit of a shock to me (I was interviewed during the same week as my final exams and started working fulltime 4 weeks later). I moved out of my university dorm into an apartment I’m sharing with a good friend, all arranged over the phone while I was at a conference in Spain. Meanwhile it seems like I’m not the only one in my circle of friends who is slowly becoming a proper civilian; some of my good friends are moving in together and/or starting families.
In between those things I spent most of my time (close to 5 months total) travelling across about a dozen countries in Europe, the US and Australasia: Germany (6x), Belgium (5x), Spain (3x), France (2x), Switzerland (2x), Ireland, California, Texas, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Portugal. I love travelling. It’s been great to meet new people as well as old friends. By the end of it I was pretty tired though; travelling and working full 9-to-5 work days drains my energy like nothing else, and kills my drive to do anything.
Whilst in the US I finally got a chance to do some things I’ve been meaning to do for a while. In California I finally gathered enough courage one morning to rent a car at SFO and drive to Byron airport to do some sky diving. It was absolutely brilliant, and inspired me to make some more (solo) jumps closer to home as well later in the year. In Texas I got a chance to shoot some hand guns at the local gun range, mainly to see what all the fuss was about (verdict: I’m still not a gun-nut, but I did very much enjoy it).