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Saturday, February 10, 2024

This first draft of my first diary entry was written on February 13, 2023. That's almost a year ago to the day. I got hung up on the design and shelved it for a year. This week, I gave up trying to get it right and I'm posting it exactly as it came out of my head a year ago.

My first entry was supposed to be about how I was struggling to finish my artistic projects. It evolved into something else... a kind of thinking-out-loud-through-web-design experiment that spilled over its banks into the Aqua design language of the early Mac OS X era. It made me think about how I got to this place, and where I started decades ago.

When I was 17 years old I had an entire summer without a job, prospect for a job, or interest in looking for work. It was the summer after finishing high school, and I wanted nothing else but to play Ultima Online, chat with my friends on IRC, and goof off building web sites about games and movies I loved. It wasn't exactly happiness... but a kind of anxious contentment, a way of stretching out adolescence for a few months longer.

Those months came to an abrupt end when I started my undergraduate program that September. All those hours making intense solitary love with Adobe Photoshop 5, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Director were replaced by rational, intellectual work.

Computing labs.
Biology labs.
Astrophysics lecture halls.
English literature classrooms.

That was twenty five years ago. It was 1997.

I eventually learned how to balance intellectual demands with having a social life.

I made new friends.

I dated.


I drank and danced and fucked.

I enjoyed a few long term relationships.

I graduated.

I became an alcoholic.

I married a girl I met in graduate school.

I graduated again, twice.

I taught in those same lecture halls that I had learned in.

I marked student essays.

I crafted and marked exams.

I held office hours.

I became deeply unhappy.

I felt trapped by the life I had crafted for myself.


It all exploded one day when I was thirty-three years old.

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