Still Days

As the last rays

Dip beneath their concrete horizons,

And the expanse of lined scratches

On the walls widens;

As the potential increases

And the noise levels drop,

The daylong golden reverie

Of a hazy afternoon pops;

There’s another day gone,

I’m never getting back.

Still days to go,

To lay to waste;

A full life’s worth,

Lazily retraced

Still I feel

An undying waste.

Valentine’s Haiku

See people walking
Arm in arm and down the street;
Really miss my sleep.


I’m so sleepy. I’m also going home this weekend as reading week finally begins.  All I am holding onto today as I finally end this bludgeoning week is that I’m going home, burying my face in our pup’s fur and zonking out.

Exploring

Everything around looks
So normal
Ordinary
Nothing out of the blue;
Nothing here does,
Except perhaps you

It’s hard to notice
When everything around
You seek
But it’s a little hard,
Out of shape
On two hours of sleep.

I’m genuinely on two hours of sleep. I was at a hackathon all weekend, and when school, travel and travel costs all add up, you have to give it your all!
And so I think I may have slept a little between 4:30 and 5:30. Maybe.

Totally worth it!

The best part about hackathons is the total exploration. You often end up staying overnight in a single building designated as a coding area. Even if it’s a building you’re quite familiar with, there’s nothing a whole night there can’t teach you that you already knew from spending two hours a week in lecture there. You find new cozy hacking/study spots and if you’re home, you have a alternative to the old stuffy library for the rest of your education!

For me, this time it was about exploring (infiltrating?) a new (rival?) school’s comp sci base: I was up in Montreal! (The commute did not agree with me however!)

B46425A7-F65E-48B5-9BE6-E4A556DA40BF
I’d like to walk here more often. Would you? The seamless coexistence of old and modern architecture make for a very interesting picture—and is quite similar to Toronto’s case.

I snuck out on my short break and walked around some really stunning architecture. I wish I’d had more time to explore the city, but my lack of time was a whole other story!
It’s a story that probably deserves its own post: the travel post with some bonus theatrical thrills, because believe you me a sleep-deprived kid mostly confined to the insides of a computer science department building, can still get into fixes.

Hackathons are also a great way to make new friends! Even if it is at your own school or university, spending twenty four hours debugging and crying over your own bad coding habits with someone else is sure to earn you a new friend, one who always knows the pain of getting 178 nested errors only to follow them to the first instance of where thing started going wrong and for your error message to make absolutely no sense to anyone. They’ve seen you there before, in the wee hours of the morning.

Another super cool part of the exploration that goes on at hackathons is obviously, an exploration into the world of computer science, and all its wonderful skills! Most people end up learning something new at a hackathon, maybe because what you’d like to make uses a platform you’ve never used before, or if you’re playing around with totally new, shiny, cool hardware and writing code to talk to it: I will never tire of being amazed at how we bounce electricity around to get a cool chip-spider or whatever’s new in the hardware lab, to talk to your computer and do whatever you command it to do (as long as there are no bugs, of course!)

I gave InVision the ditch and tried out some prototyping on Figma this time, and my word, Figma is advanced. It looks to simple to begin with, but you can use it to come within inches of having the appearance of decently sophisticated code usable by neat UI.

I do want to make another one of those process boards series I made for another prototyping project that was quite close to my heart… and I will, on the other blog that’s supposed to have my art/design stuff in one place! In the meanwhile, you’re welcome to play around with the app from this morning that I wish I’d coded and not just prototyped… Figma genuinely can make stuff look real good!

Screenshot 2020-02-02 at 10.30.29 PM
Knock yourselves out. Don’t doubt that my exhausted ass will be anticipating you every tap with manic glee that only comes with excessive hours of prototyping in a day that manifest in the form of unnatural attachment to a sequence of light bulbs going off on an LCD monitor.

Stormed In

Pit, pat, whoosh
A tingle on the tip
On the tip of my nose
A signal transmitted
To the one who knows
A sign, if anything,
It’s time to go home

Pit, pat, whoosh
And a tick tock tick;
Joined in harmony
For an experimental collaboration
For an hour or three
Drumming away
Keeping time with me

Pit, pat, whoosh
And an electronic beep!
Keep indoors they say,
As much as you can keep
Now on your telly, or old fashioned cathode-ray:
There’s a storm out and about
And it’s here to stay

Pit, pat, whoosh
And the rustling in the fridge
Make sure you got supplies!
Ice creams are for winters,
Ice creams don’t lie!
But don’t get carried away,
Get work done before the power dies

Pit, pat, whoosh
This is getting a bit repetitive,
A bit scary and boring
The rain just hasn’t stopped!
It’s been pouring and pouring,
The background while I sleep
It’s an indoor morning, and not one for exploring

Pit, pat, whoosh
Bleep bleep bloop!
Cancellations and censored swears,
Barred indoors there’s boredom and panic
Of which I’m quite aware
Looking out the window
With a sigh, a frown and a stare

Pit, pat, whoosh
More like a single long droning sound
And the whirring of cogs,
For I’ve found work to do
Indoor days needn’t be logs
The sound’s quite relaxing honestly
And there are books and books to hog

 

We genuinely do have storms, and their main risks are becoming annoying, and freezing. I have had to cancel stuff indeed, I suppose WordPress must be my sole support for the weekend. And computer science. Lots of readings. It’s surprisingly really, because I’m convinced computer scientists don’t know how to read anymore. My class and I are living breathing proof.

Have a safe weekend!

The Path

Trudging down the path
The beat path I knew well
A path my shoes had smoothed over
And the lack of friction was proper hell

It seems days of walking
Had exposed something buried
And the something buried caught my eye
As along the walk I scurried

Ooh, shiny! said my brain
Let’s stop and take a look
So stop I did before the sand
And another look I took

Nothing particularly interesting
Just probably photo-worthy
For whatever it was, that faux flash
It seemed just quite earthy

But I’m on a well-worn path!
And schedule I must not betray!
Oh, can I stop and smell the rose?
Should I go or should I stay?

As, of course, Smart Alec will say
There’s nothing here to smell;
It’s a bloody sun-reflection
As a closer look will tell!

Well, tell that to my distracted soul
That’s stopped to take a snap
And just as the shutter closed once
Time sneaked up on me and gave me a smack

Heavens, where did my time go!?
The shiny thing is gone!
“Of course, you silly thing,
It only shines when the sun’s on.”

And now it’s 10:30,
And I trudge along home,
The day’s gone, but it’s too early for bed:
Just some more time to waste alone.

Sunday

There’s a boulder in my head

In the space between my ears

Just behind my temple

And I’ve never known its weight like I have on a Sunday morning

The boulder between my ears:

We’ve done some mineral analysis!

Turns out it’s shining gold,

Reflecting the amply written pages of books in the afternoon sun

The boulder between my ears,

It’s solid crystal diamond,

Under pressure, it’s on it’s way,

As the black starts to gleam, it matches the navy of the evening sky

The boulder between my ears,

It’s ferromagnetic

It draws me to my pillow,

And then disappears from sight.

 

Ladies and gentlefolk, an analysis of my brain. That is five minutes of your lives you are never getting back. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

An A-Mu-sing Situation

Happy Halloween! I’ve managed to be late to everywhere, and Halloween’s one of them too. At least it’s not yet December!

October’s not my favourite month. I’ve been skipping film club all month because I’m not very fond of horror films. Half the time I find stuff cheesy, the other half of the time it gets me thinking, but a little too much. It’s not like I’m afraid or anything, I just value my good night’s sleep. I’m a comp sci student at uni, there’s horror abound and I don’t feel a particular dearth!

Go ahead and laugh, I’ve got a very late comeback. Late. Haha. Halloween pun.

This should knock your socks off if you’ve had to sit through statistics/maths/physics or just generally want to be a-mu-sed.

B3F9E4C4-7505-445B-8F11-945DFE74A603

Mu is the mean in statistics, the refractive index and coefficient of friction in physics, micro- units in measurement (10−6 anythings), just a fancy variable to impress your non-math friends, or to give your math friends nightmares.

I did a quick search to see if there was anything I missed, and the answer was a loud, resounding yes.

Mu stands for a lot of things, even within the same field, there’s an impressive list on Wikipedia!

Well. Happy late Halloween. Wooo, wooo.

Sweet Dreams

Man, I miss the old days of nursery and day care where part of your day was just curling up for a nap.

I’m at work right now and tired out by stuff I’ve been doing since morning. Of course I’m too self conscious to sleep. It’s not something you do at work.

But imagine if sleeping was in fact a part of your workday. Some new-fangled study claiming that it boosts productivity and miraculously, ensures bug-free code (nothing ever ensures bug-free code).

This would be the next big thing in quotidian work lives.

Now, people fuss over their hair and clothing, cuff links and ties, formal leather shoes and a neat haircut.

Authoritarian look, good language, a firm handshake. Sharp briefcase. All the things we focus on because we’re allowed them at work.

Clean wallpapers, work-filled laptops.

Now bring sleep into the foray.

Imagine IKEA rolling out its latest collection of chic yet work-friendly pillows. Pillow cases and pillow stands for people with their own office rooms. Foldable pillows that fit into your briefcase. The artist’s work-pillow. The boss’s work pillow. The intern’s work pillow.

The big question to be asking a successful CEO in a ‘look into the life of’ interview: what sort of pillow do you prefer?

How does the sort of pillow you carry affect your job interview? GQ articles on the most subtle yet effective pillows to bring to the workplace.

Adverts showing approving colleagues watching the smartest pillow-carrier sleep:

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But they while on Impressionist Pillows©™ slept
Were toiling upwards all the while

Impressionist Pillows: Making marks… even in your dreams!

Of course this is going to be more about the pillows than the sleep itself, or atleast until Memory Foam decides to enter the scenario.

It probably won’t happen, but oh well. I can dream. And get back to work.

Drills

Fire drills at work are 75% needlessly dropping my facade of pretending I’m busy doing work and 24.5% awkward socialisation, and 0.5% remembering the last horrific time there was a fire drill, more of a false alarm really, that happened to occur only on the day I had a really bad case of diarrhoea.

Needless to say, I don’t like fire drills anymore.