January 24th, 2008


Insert Thought Provoking Thought Here

I don't really have anything thought provoking or meaningful to say anymore. I'm not sure why this is -- or perhaps I never did, and I've only now realized the extent to which that was true. I just read Jess's entry, and I realized how much I liked it... and I wanted to sit down and write something similar, but realized that I don't really have anything similar to write about.

I don't have the eloquence for prose: even my technical documentation is significantly lacking in prose. My life has so many interesting things, but when I sit down to write about them, I just block on them, and then I eventually give up and move on.

I try to solve some of these things with new tools: changing my setup for typing, or note taking, getting new toys and technologies in an attempt to diversify the places and times when I actually sit down and write things, but although they sometimes change the way I work for a short while, they don't work for very long. I expect it will continue to be that way, despite my best efforts to change: the problem isn't technology, it's with my head, and no technology can change that.

I do write emails well. I enjoy writing a long response to a post asking about core principles of software I've written, or explaining why something is the way it is as the result of technical limitations. (In recent memory, I remember writing something that felt prose-ish in response to a "How does OpenLayers work? I thought AJAX was limited by the same origin policy?" type question.) But they're always technical: when it comes to my personal life, I can't pull anything like that together.

Distraction is part of it. I'm easily distracted. I haven't been while writing this one, and I think it shows: Instead, I've just been sitting in the living room, looking out the bay window in our dining room.It seems that if II look at the computer while I type, I find out that there are so many other things I feel like I need to be doing that I can't get any further. Yesterday, I was trying to blog a meeting announcement for OpenLayers 2.6 release discussion, and in the process, I paused to write an Agenda, then paused to rearrange the tickets to match the agenda, then went and changed the topic on the IRC channel, and in the process answered some questions on the IRC channel that I hadn't seen yet... the list goes on. It's so easy to be distracted by the little things related to what I'm thinking about that I never get anywhere.

I wonder if I changed away from a tabbed browser, if it would change. I think for a little while, it changed to be in evilwm... I really could hide *everything* but what I was working on. The problem is that this, like all technological solutions, was really only temporary: the problem is that I *still* end up letting myself get distracted while working.

If I didn't have such terribly slow handwriting, paper journaling might do it. However, I find writing down anything with a pen and paper to be so tedious (and somewhat painful after any length of time) that I don't think that's a solution either.

I think what it comes down to is the fact that I'm not really a particularly eloquent writer. My writing is best when it's directed, and technical: fiction of any sort, or even creative writing which isn't fiction, just doesn't work well. I'm not sure what to do about that, but I do wish I could change it. There's so much in my life that I wish that I could record, not the lease because my memory is so terrible that I probably won't remember it in another six months. When I sit down to write, I just always feel like it's a chore; I feel 'stuck', like I have to fight my own brain to do it.

I tried writing short anecdotes -- these are no better, because they don't make me happy. I want to tell the real story. "Julie came home the other day and told me all about black holes" just doesn't cut it. I have to explain why the *way* in which she explained it was unusual: the way she brought black holes up without any prompting, the way that she came up, out of the blue, gave a two paragraph description about how many there are, and what they would do if you got near to them, and that was it. But it's not something I could write at the time, and now I've forgotten half of it.

It's just so frustrating to have these things disappear -- probably forever. The little things are what make us human, and I can't write them down, and I won't be able to remember them. And it makes me sad.

Got a new Computer

Got an EeePC. It's cute, it's small, and I like the heck out of it. The keyboard is big enough to type on (for my little fingers, at least), though I wouldn't want to actually work on it. It is super-light, and I really like that: I think having an ultraportable around is probably something I'm not going to be able to give up, following this.

I'm planning to stick to the default Xandros Linux install, and probably going to stick to 'easy mode' for the most part. Since I seldom actually use the desktop, it doesn't matter much to me, and the big button-style selection is cute and useful.

I'm sleepy, but don't really want to go to sleep. I feel like I should be doing cool things with my shiny new toy, but it's hard to remember that there's not that much 'new' about it: it's just a Debian-ish Linux machine, so there's nothing I can do now that I couldn't do before.

I did configure the desktop to have a Logjam icon for posting to LiveJournal; don't know if that will affect how often I use it, but it can't hurt.