Sometimes I want to write things that can't work as a blog post, I don't want to lose amid Twitter, or don't make any sense. For all these stream of conscious, I have my Notes section. They have lots of colors to match how across the board they get.

Keep scrolling to read my notes in order.

November 10, 2019

Someone may feel they need a relationship for a satisfying or meaningful life. But isn’t that an insult to the rest of your life?

Hopefully, one’s life isn’t just window-dressing for someone else’s benefit. You’re the one living it, not them.

November 03, 2019

There’s many times that, when left alone with my own thoughts, I feel nothing but dread. Whatever the topic is, touching on it opens a gaping chasm beneath me only separeted by something thin, fragile, and invisible. It happens mostly on Sunday nights and I don’t know why.

I think it’s best to hold onto those topics. A path or idea that scares me is always worth exploring. I either find something I should have embraced sooner or will know, with certainty, to avoid. The end result is always worth it.

However, finding these potential paths is actually easy. The hardest part is gathering the guts to follow them.

Still working on that. I may just be at my most cowardly on Sunday evenings.

October 23, 2019

If we actually saw how much free time we had each day, would we spend it differently? My gut tells me seeing the concrete number of hours and minutes we can use freely will remind us how precious our time is. It’d force us to find priorities and set limits we were afraid to set but ultimately are for the best.

Let’s test it and say you had five cumulative hours a day of free time. How’d you spend it?

October 21, 2019

One of the toughest questions I’ve heard is “where do you want to be in five to ten years?”

It’s hard to answer since there’s little about our future we can seriously control. Any number of outside events influencing our career, family, home, or love life. We just choose which events or opportunities to go with when they arrive.

I’d prefer to set broader goals or preferences for how to approach the future. Goals like “I want to work in this general field” or “I want to make family the main priority.” But the more specific I set them, the more I risk setting myself up for failure. So I’ll avoid too-specific future goals for now.

Besides, I’m not sure what those specific goals would be right now. I’m lucky I’ve still got time to figure it out.

October 16, 2019

Lots of people (mostly well-off white men) complain making sites accessible is tough and they don’t want to do it.

I have many guesses for why they respond this way. Many guesses. Guesses I sometimes feel like yelling. Or guesses I want to spray paint on their garage doors. But I think the most powerful reason is they find it boring.

I’ll concede things like semantic HTML, readable text, and keyboard interactions aren’t as sexy as new JavaScript frameworks or GraphQL. But they’re still part of the job. Our job as web developers is to, you know, do the damn job.

A quote image saying "Accessibility can be tough, but being a web developer is also tough. Get used to it."

It’s frustrating since I made this same point in a past article and need to keep sharing it.

October 12, 2019

A common definition of freedom is being able to make your own decisions, instead of an authority making them for you. But is that enough to be free?

What if people knew so much about you, had enough data about you on enough topics, that they could control your decisions? They’d know just what buttons to press and what options to present for you to make the decision they wanted. If you didn’t know they were setting you up to make the decision they wanted, are you still free?

Realistically, they likely couldn’t get enough data to control you completely. But let’s assume they only gathered enough data to control you about 50% of the time. You’re still 50% less free than before, so are you really still free? What percentage of freedom still counts as “free?”

This doesn’t even consider that groups could change your data without you knowing. The potential effects it has on your life paths and possibilites are huge. The reasons could range from malicious to accidental - regardless, you’d still have no control.

But it shows the more data is gathered about us, the more our “freedom” is at risk.

October 10, 2019

Some signs you’re in a bad mood:

  • Your thoughts are framed as blaming the world. For example, “it’s the world’s fault I’m dealing with X.”
  • You make broad, inaccurate, and usually negative claims about yourself. You could disprove them by remembering parts of your past, but prefer to wallow in self-pity.
  • Reading news or social media you feel better.
  • You pass by windows / sculptures / lampposts / anything and want to break them with your hands / feet / head / iron pipes.
  • You worry making eye contact with others will anger them.
  • You see the society of mole people declaring war on the humans as an improvement.
  • You don’t feel any different writing JavaScript.

These may just apply to me. Regardless, they’re good to remember to hopefully catch your bad mood early. Eat a cookie, get to bed early, and dream of rainbows until it’s over.

October 04, 2019

Like everyone, sometimes I’m struck by loneliness.

Like the single people among everyone, the loneliness strikes harder.

Like the socially awkward introverts among the single people among everyone, it’s hard to handle the loneliness.

Like the writer/coder nerds among the socially awkward introverts among the single people among everyone, I create an anime image of the self-love quote that gets me through it.

A quote image saying "The odds of me splitting up with me are so, so slim. And I can tell you right now I'm very much in love."

May it also help others in this (admittedly specific) subset of people dealing with loneliness too.

October 01, 2019

For the last month and counting, I’ve either been sick with or recovering from something. These include:

  • Strep throat
  • Facial surgery and scarring
  • Fall allergies
  • Mild food poisoning
  • Twitter

My usual attitude to all these would have been “let’s not work on anything serious until I’m better.” But when it takes weeks to reach the “better” point, it becomes less about waiting and more about wasting time.

So while I’m still dealing with some mild things now, I don’t plan to stop. This includes current goals like coding and MakeHaven projects and new ones like learning the piano.

Unless I somehow get strep throat again. That’s more than an illness. It’s a Satanic possession of the throat no amount of cough drops or holy water can cure fast enough.

September 23, 2019

Have you ever felt pressure to turn your hobby into a career or branding asset? That any activity has to have some tangible, profitable value instead of just doing it for joy?

I think this has sent my drawing hobby in a now-predictable loop of events:

  1. Resume drawing for its freeform expression
  2. Start thinking of ways to incorporate it more into my writing or programming work
  3. Feel increasing pressure to do the above
  4. Drawing suddenly feels like a work chore instead of a hobby
  5. Give up drawing and look for another hobby to focus on

I don’t know if the capitalism culture I grew up in is to blame, or just me putting too much pressure on myself. Whatever the cause, I know this mindset isn’t healthy.

September 18, 2019

Something I’ve noticed is people with the most privilege are most likely to deny it exists. Or at least muddy the waters enough so any attempt to bring attention to it falls apart.

It’s most often the second one since it’s easier to disguise it as only “asking a question” or “trying to be fair.”

Why does this happen? My guess is it makes it easier for them to believe their privilege wasn’t a factor in their success. In a society with the core mantra “hard work will get you there,” it’s tough to accept we had some built-in cheat codes. I still struggle with this myself and it’s painful.

That changes the more I read about the world and others’ lived experiences. It’s harder for even the most defensive part of my brain to deny it. So while it hurts, I keep listening. When I get the urge to push back against facts and lived experiences, I remember to listen.

If you want to practice listening, I recommend this site.

September 15, 2019

America could use a holiday like Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. It’s a Mexican holiday where people remember the lives of who they lost, put up their photos, give them offerings, and many other traditions that focus on giving to the dead.

Most importantly, it exposes people to ideas of death and mortality early and positively. Death is inevitable, so getting too fearful and anxious over it (after a point) just damages one’s sense of self. A holiday like Dia de los Muertos in America could help remove the excessive fear and self-preservation from America’s culture.

If our loved ones can visit us in the living world like in Coco, well, that’s just a bonus. One I absolutely want.

September 11, 2019

For a long time, I’ve believed a person’s value is directly proportional to the value they bring others. So only someone with money and useful skills is remembered, helped, and fought for.

I blame America’s capitalism culture for putting this view in me, since Millennials are all about blaming capitalism.

Then I realized being a productive robot isn’t how to build good relationships. Why? People don’t befriend robots; people befriend compassionate, friendly people.

So take that, capitalism. I finally freed myself a little more from your clutches.

August 31, 2019

A while back I wrote about Saturday nights. How it’s foolish to think everyone is partying or having a golden time during them, since every other type of event is also happening.

On a related note, there’s lots of things one can do on a weekend. But there’s a lot fewer things one wants to do on it too.

As long as I find something I want to do, not partying or doing stereotypical twenty-something activities is fine with me.

August 29, 2019

Reading How to Win Friends and Influence People has me thinking a lot. One of those things is this quote from House M.D., episode 16 of season 1.

I’m not hiply cynical and I don’t make easy snide remarks. I would rather think that people are good and be disappointed once and again.

The book often says the angry, unempathetic approach is easier and a person’s first impulse. It’s a lot harder to listen, see things from another’s perspective, and persuade with empathy.

It’s something to keep in mind when we see people attacking, dismissing, or bullying others. Those people are taking the cheap and easy approach to life. Anyone could do that. Approaching life with empathy and an open mind is a sign of true strength.