A Strange Time to Be Alive.

february 26th, 2016

You feel it too, right? The strangeness of this time? A time between times. Liminal time. Eye of the storm. The time that comes just before. Mass extinction. Donald J Dump. Paranoia. Just riffing here.

Now we're worried for me. Let's pretend i didn't write this. Let's avert our eyes from discomfort. Let's talk about encouraging updates.


The green card interview was super smooth. It was very brief, and also started on time. Two things i did not expect! The interviewer kept some original photos from our photo albums, which i also did not expect. It was a strange group of photos that she kept, too: Vlad's maternal uncle, his paternal aunt, my improv class, and one of me alone in Piatra Neamț. i was super good and stayed uncharacteristically quiet during this government molestation. Vlad said he was very proud of me :)

And the green card has since arrived! It is literally green.

i'm working slowly and steadily on DR DOG, writing three pages a day. Currently at 34 pages. “What's your process?” and i'm glad you asked! i imagine what happens to my characters, and then imagine my characters reacting the opposite way or imagine that the opposite thing happens. This makes me laugh hard! every time. Then i write it down. Repeat the next day. Latching onto whatever tricks i can to make the process manageable, less daunting, more fun.

i pulled the away message down from my freelance web developer portfolio site and put the Contact Me quiz back up. Only about 1% of people who contact me yield projects that are a good fit for my skills, and only about half of that 1% are also cool fun smart and great to work with. In contrast to Twitter, which, so far, has a 100% success rate for contacts from awesome clients (three for three). An unexpected finding!

Anyway even given those low percentages on website contacts, my site is excellently positioned on Googl for some sweet keyword strings. Thus, this ultra‑passive marketing strategy works. For now. In the time between times.

Tutoring on Thursdays at the learning center in Rogers Park remains a major highlight of the week. A., age 10, said yesterday that my hair is, “so pink! so pop!” which was a high compliment. She asked what color is next and i said, “next i'm attempting my most difficult color yet: silver.” And i wish, i wish, i wish you had been there to see the indulgent look A. gave me when i said that. It was like combination amused‑indulgent. i fancy myself a high‑charisma player, but both A. and her little sister E. school me in charm every time.

Toom Any.

february 11th, 2016


For the last week i've been trying to drink a gallon of water per day. This follows a similarly insane project to abstain from caffeine for a week. Body projects. Just trying new things.

i've also been working on having softer feet. The other day i was sitting barefoot in our easy chair and the sound of my heel moving over the fabric was like velcro ripping apart. Time to try something new. Now i apply Burt's Bees lotion before and after bed. It's made a big difference! Even Vlad, he of the softest feet ever*, has noticed improvement.
* only thick socks and the comfiest shoes for Sweet Vlad's feet!

i've taken the last six weeks off from work to form Dark Black LLC and acquire new skills, some in new frameworks (Laravel, Drupal), some in tech i'm already familiar with (Grunt for Javascript, Compass and RSCSS for SASS, Git for everything), and then also Big Girl programming (Python, Ruby). But it's slow going as with all computer stuff. Yesterday i spent three hours installing components and dependencies then troubleshooting arcane nasty little problems related to Ruby. The ultimate trouble: i needed to formally uninstall old software before the fresh versions would take effect. Ugh, so irritating! So much work just to take one step forward! Then i did a short Ruby tutorial and learned how to add numbers and make lists, which is the same thing i've learned in my Python tutorials. When do we get to the part where we make websites, you guys? Trying to be patient and nod along, “sure, yes, learning how to find the square root of a number is a necessary part of the process … ”

Still studying for Jeopardy every day. Vlad and i have our green card interview next week, and then the next marriage project will be to build a combination buzzer‑stopwatch to help improve my response time. It's hard to tell if all this study and practice is making a difference, and impossible to know if any of it would apply to actual gameplay. But studying is super fun, and the fantasy of being on the show is CRAZY SUPER FUN, and an electronics project with my sweetie is as good as it gets.

Still working through Pimsleur's Romanian language course and broadening our repertoire of household Romanian conversation. The coolest strangest part is that now i hear certain sounds i didn't hear before. In one of these Easy Peasy Romanian videos Nico says, “strada and stradă: do you hear the difference?” A running joke in our house is, “no, Nico. i don't hear the difference.” But now i do! Nico, i do hear the difference! i can usually hear the difference between a, ă, and â. Sometimes i can even hear the difference between the ‑ii ending and the ‑iii ending. That's the new frontier. My mother‑in‑law doesn't speak English but she fearlessly gChats me in Romanian. In the last two years i've gotten pretty good at formulating unidiomatic English for Google Translate such that it delivers unambiguous translations. But now sometimes in our gChats i can free write. Totally thrilling. “Look, no hands!!”

One more project: working on that DR DOG script again. i could pitch it to you for a half hour straight, just blah blah blah talking you through scenes and characters and plotting, but i have to cajole and trick myself as one would a cranky child in order to actually sit and write for that half hour instead of talk. Of course that's, like, no different from all writers ever :)  Beginning is hard!

Many people say that talking about ideas for projects kills the projects, but for a hardcore extrovert like myself i think it's opposite. So if you know me in real life and you're curious and/or want to support the project, ask me about DR DOG. i'll give you the full blah blah blah.

January 2016 March 2016