C’est la vie

A comment arrived a few minutes ago asking for details of the life flux I mentioned in passing here. I was messing with my blog and had to restore from backup, so I lost the original comment. Sorry, whoever you were.

Back in December a message arrived on haskell-cafe announcing a Haskell job opportunity in Belgium, a startup called Anygma developing some FRP stuff. I idly replied, saying that I was a student interested in working part-time remotely from Colorado. It was worth checking out, but didn’t mean much.

A few months pass.

My dad was dropping me off at my house after we saw “In Bruges” (a very entertaining movie, by the way) with my mom (who was in town from Hawaii). The two of us were sitting in his truck when the Belgium job came up, presumably because of the location of the movie. He convinced me that even if the job isn’t that great, the opportunity to move away from my home town, especially to Europe, is one that shouldn’t be missed. I was feeling particularly distant from my friends at the time, Eric (of SNW) had just fled to Argentina, Karlin and I hadn’t (and still haven’t) seen each other in months, I had become disinterested in continuing my math major. All my attachments seemed to have vanished just in time for this opportunity.

I stepped out of the truck and went in my front door. I remember having to go to the bathroom, but instead of that I turned on my computer and hastily prepared my resume. I was excited but also hurrying, as if the job would vanish if I didn’t finish in an hour. I sent my resume in together with an informal cover letter explaining my situation and my change of heart.

I received an enthusiastic reply the very next day, and we began corresponding about the project, logistics, etc.

But, c’est la vie, I acquired some new attachments.

My roommate just started dating a girl he met in the university open source group. A few weeks ago I met a friend of hers named Karen, a graduate student of Classics (Latin literature). She has one among the sharpest tongues I have ever heard, almost as though every utterance of hers were a little poem. We both maintain a deep but friendly eye contact when talking to each other, and we can align to the same wavelength very quickly, in a manner of speaking. To sum up a long schmaltzy series of compliments, I have not so admired someone since—well let’s say since my middle school crush, accounting for emotional subjectivity :-).

Unfortunately she started seeing a friend of hers just (seriously, like the previous day) before I met her. Notwithstanding, she has got my emotions all tumbling around, which inspires me to compose music. She’s the reason for the symphonic poem I posted last week, and the next one coming up in the series that I have been working on for a few hours a day. Whatever happens with life, I hope not to lose contact with her, because this one’s special. I just may not end up dating her. I could live with that.

Woman: attachment no. 1. Friends: attachment no. 2. I have been really enjoying being with my friends lately; not Namaste and Jude so much as the more remote nerdy crowd (Jessa, Daniel, Stirling, Richard). It’s possible that that’s a consequence of my moving away though, that I’m appreciating my friends more and vice versa.


Last weekend Anygma flew me out to San Francisco for an “interview” of sorts, which doubled as a visit to my good friend Max. I wish I could give the details of why I had an interview for a job in Belgium in San Francisco, but I am under NDA. :-)

The interview was… interesting. Peter obviously knows what he’s doing, because he made me seriously consider whether I wanted to be working in the software industry. If I do, then Anygma is where I ought to work; it is so amazingly close to my interests and philosophy that I would be a complete idiot to turn it down (unless I thought the management were incompetent, which I don’t). But it seems inescapable that developing a piece of software is at least 80% polish, and polishing is what I don’t like doing much. I’m more a mathematician than an engineer: I like to ask “why” rather than “how”. Other than that huge blow, the interview went well.

I spent 4/20 with Max, and we had a good jam session with his band. I brought home a disoriented feeling, questioning my life plans.

It didn’t help that when I got home Namaste had returned from a sort of “vision quest”, where he abandoned everything he owned and drove up to live in the wilderness. Long story short: Turns out he wasn’t quite prepared (we all knew that) and was mostly helping his impulsive friend. He plans to prepare for the next year and go back.

When he described the experience to me, it almost shook my world out of its socket (which would be awesome I know, but I don’t think I’m ready for that). Inspired by a quote from one of my musical influences, John Medeski, I seriously considered becoming a full-time musician for a while as a new experience.

But after talking with some friends and a little simmering, I abruptly realized that I would be a fool to turn down the job. I cannot predict what it would be like at all, and I love working in Haskell no matter what I’m doing. Two days ago I sent Peter an email expressing that I’m still interested.

Present day. Present time. Aahahahaha.

And I haven’t heard back yet.

This is the fun part. Having committed myself emotionally to a new life, and now wondering whether it’s just fantasy.

I’m just sitting here waiting, blogging about my personal life. Waiting for any word from Belgium, composing music and thinking about Karen, afraid to start any technical projects for fear that I will abandon my composition, generally not having any idea what I’m doing. It feels very different from how I am used to living my life.


4 thoughts on “C’est la vie

  1. re: “afraid to start any technical projects”
    And thus you have set back Advanced Functional Programming by days, weeks, months.

    Like Erdos, you need to get back on your pep pills.

  2. It’s nice to see Lain references being used.

    Relationships are a pain in the ass, and so is establishing them in the first place. Personally, I feel the real turn off for women is inexplicably and intimately related to enjoyment of Haskell. Girls can sense it, and the cuter the girl, the more acute their sense.

  3. For what it’s worth, Antwerpen is a very nice city with a lot of fun stuff going on in the summers in particular. (My brother lives there, writing Java for Agfa.)

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