That's most of the reason I blog ever, right?
Here are some things:
- I work. It is alternately fun and frustrating and scary. Fun because I am writing code that I know how to write. Frustrating and scary because I am sort of leading development of a server, and I have no idea how to lead a software project, so I feel like I'm spinning a lot. (about once every two weeks, I have to organize a list of "all the things we need to do." This list started out very useless, and with every iteration becomes closer to useful.)
- I've gone to a Rinzai Zen temple three times now, which means that there's at least sorta a chance that I might keep doing it, which means it might be worth writing about here. It's... different. Rinzai is the more rigorous of the two main Zen branches (the other being Soto), and Zen is one of the bigger branches of Mahayana Buddhism, and Mahayana is one of two main branches of Buddhism. Rinzai is the branch that does the koans ("what is the sound of one hand clapping?" etc) but only for advanced students. Anyway, it's intense: you just sit, totally still, concentrating on your breathing, for 25 minutes, twice in a row. It's super quiet. I'm intrigued; I don't know if the rigor will tire me out, or if it will continue to bring me back because I'll feel like I'm making more progress. It's like playing a video game on a higher difficulty level.
- I still feel like I'm not very good at meditation on the lowest level. I'm doing okay on the physical side; sitting for 20 minutes no longer fazes me. (although my lower back tires out quickly, which makes me hunch, and sometimes I get real sleepy.) The mental side is still a mess, though; thoughts all over the place. I'm not ashamed, but I'm frustrated.
- I cook. But it's just whatever the farmer's market has, stir-fried, roasted, or simmered. So I'm not learning much more Thai right now, just repeating familiar methods. This is fine.
- I'm becoming much more interested in self-experimentation. I'm maintaining a journal of dreams and emotions; don't know what I'll do with that, but it's something. It's convinced me that I can actually stick to a routine and get some meaningful data, so I'm not wasting money or energy by investing in self-experimentation tools. So I got a watch that I'll try to program, I ordered a Wakemate to learn more about how I sleep, and I want to get an Emotiv EPOC developer kit or a NeuroSky MindSet, because that could really help my research, but I figure better to play with my existing toys before buying new ones.
- I've been hanging out with the Seattle Couchsurfing crowd. In addition to hosting surfers, it's a bit of a social group, and they're pretty cool. (I've signed up to host a couple people too.) I just started showing up out of the blue, and they've been very welcoming. This is nice. I certainly appreciate my closer friends, but I've been looking for a bit wider experience for some time now.
- I'm gearing up to leave Google, start research, and travel. I told my team about my plans. They're all very very cool about it. It's amazing how supportive everyone at the company has been. I'm going to be full time at Google for January, part time for February and March while I start at UW, then full time at UW starting in April.
- Christmas is in a week! I'm quite looking forward to going back home and seeing my family. I'm in Cleveland Dec 24 to Jan 2.
And this is not a big deal right now but it came up and I'm posting so here we go: three interesting posts about certain drugs. The food/drug/herb distinction keeps seeming more and more fake. (from grade school: what is a drug? anything you put in your body that has an effect, besides food. what is food? well, you know, it's food! I'm glad I didn't know more logic as a kid; I might have been a real brat.)