Project Update 01

Before this last weekend, my last commits were around February 16 where I fixed a small edge case, and a week prior where I’d spent four days confirming I could still get photo album data from AWS. I knew that to start posting, I needed to update the project to show an index of notes as opposed to only the latest note, relying on internal links to others.

My Friday evening was a calm time alone after a dense and occupying week. I went to the new neighborhood bar—new neighborhood, not new bar—and spent a couple of hours in Figma figuring out what my minimally-acceptable note index looked like. Not a rioting Friday night, but when there’s enough on the mind, it’s satisfying to make any dent.

Then between cleaning the new apartment, I spent a few hours Saturday and another few Sunday on the dev work — now, I just have to write a new .md file in Obsidian, add it to the same directory in my 11ty project, and there we have a new post.

I stopped using Twitter a year to a year and a half ago, and the desire to engage in Discourse™—Design Twitter and electoral punditry—has changed. While some old ideas have stuck and marinated, it’s been nice to disengage and feel no desire to reengage with the impression-thirsting content farmers. That said, sometimes one wants to write something, and having somewhere to do it helps.

That’s part of why this project has seen a four month gap. I thought the next major site update would have my photography, but no, I made sure that the pages could build, but never updated their designs, and then they sat incomplete while life happened.

Takeaway: instead of iterating along an axis of thematic buckets, iterate towards use. “What do I need to casually use this next week?” as opposed to “What’s the next big task that yields a major value-add?”

The other part is that we’re back in Austin. Purposefully. I want to miss Pittsburgh, and I miss what could’ve been there, but returning to friends and family is a hell of a respite while we plan a wedding and beyond. I wish Texas were a safe place to plan a life; living near family is centering and a kind of safe.

The old bar in our new neighborhood is Black Star Coop. I remember sitting there, watching the 2020 primary debates, and later electoral debates. I had a hard time going back to Scholz’s after 2016, and Black Star now has a similar sheen.

At this point in my life, I would have anticipated making peace with my Texas dissonance. I grew up here. As much as my father insists I’m not “from” here having spent the first six months of my life in Baltimore, we all know that’s not how belonging works. That said, one doesn’t feel a sense of belonging to a state that’s actively hostile. I look forward to settling somewhere that my eventual kids could comfortably visit, or better yet, consider living. Having realized that my home is no longer that place for me, I know that this kind of security will require constant reevaluation and questioning in later years.