Musings

Not sleeping
It’s 2:30am and I’m watching my grandpa die slowly. Not sure what to make of it. My grandma has barely slept for the past 2 weeks. I can see her now on the other side of his medical bed, her [...]
I don’t have the power
I spoke with my grandfather on speakerphone a few hours ago. “I appreciate all you have done. I appreciate who you have become. I appreciate all you are”, he said. “I don’t have the power,” he also said, implying the [...]
Love is a verb and a noun
Having been through several long-term relationships, and recently ended an engagement, I've come to believe that love is an intense and seductive emotion, but also a behavior that we choose every day—and that the two are not mutually exclusive.
Memories of Kent
A letter to Kent, recounting memories that have made a lasting impression on me.
Natal Chart Report
Because astrology is on point.
At 30, dealing with my first family death
Grandpa Kent Wrench is dying as I write this, and I'm 2,800 miles away and emotionally detached.
Tell stories that matter
When we start to realize that we’re not going to be here forever, we become aware that it’s not clear what it meant to be here at all. —David Solie Right now, in this moment, I can articulate what matters [...]
Nothingness and randomness cannot exist, but what about infinity?
I've been working on a thought experiment regarding the existence of 'nothingness', 'randomness', and 'particles'. I'm stuck at a paradox.
Hiking the Marin Headlands
It took me two years to since moving to the Bay Area to go hiking in the Marin Headlands, but wow, I'm sure glad I finally went—it's incredibly beautiful, with rolling, rocky, mountainous countryside that's vaguely reminiscent of Scotland, for those who have never been. And seeing the Pacific Ocean from those heights gave me a smidgeon of an idea of just how unfathomably large that horizon actually is.
Day Eleven
It's two hours before midnight on the last day of my break, which means my last post for this project. Corinne is laying in bed next to me, watching me type this, which is sort of weird because it's like I'm talking to her, but not. Anyway, a big part of why I haven't written much since May is because I've been busy doing things with the people around me that are a part of my life. We're making memories, making relationships, making sense, making out, making apps, making code, making drinks, making conversation, making dinner, making stories that we tell other people who couldn't be there with us
Day Ten
Corinne came home today from her two week visit with her family in Connecticut. I woke up at 10:30—which was pretty good for me since I've been keeping such a weird sleeping schedule—and cleaned up the apartment since I knew I'd be staying at Corinne's for the next couple days and didn't want my roommate to come home to a cluttered dining room table and dirty dishes. Also, some guy with a typewriter, named Zach Houston, wrote us a poem.
Day Nine
Ate some smoked gouda and a couple Persian cucumbers. Delightful. Also, ate a handful of dark chocolate-covered ginger chews. Delightful, as well. Washed my face with warm water, used a cleanser, rinsed, used a moisturizer, used a hot face towel, shaved, used a chilled face towel, used moisturizer again. Delightful. Happy 2013. I love you all!
Day Eight
For the past several years, my friend Jared has been a devout Christian and devotes himself to missions work. A couple years ago he even went to Afghanistan to spread the gospel. The group he was with was threatened and run out, of course. Insane. I can't imagine going to a place like that—let alone to evangelize Christianity in a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalist. My mom would flip her shit if I did something like that. Also, I stayed up until 6:30am.
Day Seven
I went and played pickup soccer tonight with my friend Craig and a bunch of other guys that get together regularly on Friday nights for a couple hours—one of them was a Rocket Scientist. Seriously, we talked about multi-stage rockets over drinks after the game. I also made an appointment for to visit the DMV about a California license, two years after moving to California. Life is good. I'm happy and feel blessed to be alive.
Day Six
I went to see Silver Linings Playbook at the Centry 9 by myself tonight. The behavior of the major characters was crazy, and I was unsettled because I realized I'd grown up around crazy. I'd grown up around people who were hurtful, angry, manipulative, vicious, and deceitful because they were flailing their arms, grasping heroically, trying to exert their will on the world, and to gain some sense of control.
Day Five
This evening Corinne and I FaceTimed while watching Twin Peaks together on Netflix Instant. I was at Ritual Café in the Mission and she was in her bed in Connecticut. Ayo Technology. I also purchased some Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey tonight to drink with my friend Ari while we watched Community. I like the flavor and the way the burn stays at bay if I just hold the liquor in my jowls.
Day Four
I woke up to emails from my dad and my uncle, which were pleasant surprises, both offering advice and good wishes for the coming year. It's the small things. Speaking of which, I had a nice quiet dinner with my friend Craig, his fiancé Taylor, and their handsome baby, Sterling. Good friends, good food, good Christmas.
Day Three
I think I've gone into hibernation mode because all I've felt like doing is sleeping this weekend. I woke up at 10:00 this morning, ate some lunch, called my friend Craig to make plans for Christmas dinner tomorrow, and then got back into bed for another four hours. It was one of those scenes where I kept tapping the snooze button every 10 minutes—for hours...
Day Two
I've two or three letters I still want to write, but don't know how to begin. I don't know what to write about. I've two emails that I also want to reply to, which have been sitting, starred, in my inbox for months. I also went to a new grocery store and had drinks with a friend at a cocktail bar.
Day One
Today is my first official day off on winter break—including today, I've eleven days to do as I please. My girlfriend, my friends, and my co-workers are all off to various parts of the world visiting friends and family and vacationing, leaving San Francisco considerably less busy than it normally is—especially within my immediate social circle. This also means I've time to write.
Happy New Year
My company flew Corinne and me out to Washington DC for the holiday party. There was a photo booth.
Why the pedophile is a victim too
In which I explain how a middle-aged, married, school teacher can become a pedophile without having moral failings, and a homeless man deserves to be on a street corner no more than I deserve to be in my warm bed at night, with a paycheck, made out by an accounting office at a tech startup that I work at, being regularly electronically deposited into my bank account, and why we are all just acting the only way we know how, given the circumstances before us.
The tension
“That’s the whole point, right there. That’s the whole thing—the distance between desire and action, between what you want and what you do. That tension, that’s everything. Can someone please explain to me what the I’m talking about?” “The hardest [...]
Caring is listening is loving, is not complicated
I told her that she should be happy that one of her outfits made it into the show, that she needed to work harder and put in more hours, that she would still be able to have a good portfolio and good résumé. I insisted on silver linings and she became defensive and more upset—she directed her frustration at me and said I wasn't helping, and she was right.
A Local’s Guide to San Francisco
My personal guide to the city that explains many places even locals don't know about, as well as where you should eat, where you should drink, where you should go for fun, where to find the best views of the city, and which tourist traps are worthwhile.
How to beg
A man lackadaisically riding his cruiser bicycle shouted from the street, inquiring the time. He didn't ask for a dollar, and the time I could give him. (Really, he was asking for my time.)
Eight years later
And moments later, life went into slow motion as the dimmed gym lights switched to full brightness and shook the student body from a soft, fuzzy dream into a newly stark and chilling reality. The Homecoming Court assembly was dismissed and we all wandered confusedly down the school hallways. All of the classroom televisions were on. Nobody made it back to their homeroom. We just stepped into the nearest room with a TV...
My first kiss
I used to ride scooters with a neighborhood girl after class back when my family lived on Nellis Air Force Base military housing in 1989. One thing lead to another...
Existentialism at Midnight
In my experience, once you love another person and they love you back, there isn’t a better drug. You don’t need anything else but to find ways to stay in love. Love is one to one. Love feeds love. I [...]
Talking, bullshitting, and conversing
When my ex broke up with me, she said that one of the reasons she was unhappy with our relationship was because we never conversed. At the time, I was completely dumbfounded. We talked every day. What did she mean [...]
Business as usual
I sipped on the picnic-plastic cup of my Maker’s and Coke as we passed the dance floor on the way to the men’s room. One of my wingmen for the night asks “You fuck with blow?” The forehead between my [...]
Pride 2011
I was sipping on a Sailor Jerry and Coke, the sun burning my neck, completely amused that 10 feet away from me, two leather-jock-clad bears, decked in standard issue aviators, combat boots, and waxed mustaches, were enjoying anal penetration in the crowd at the main stage of PRIDE.
Chris
He is more R&B than Rap and has a serious regard for cleanliness, making him smooth and fitted. His appearance reflects his business sense and philosophy: don't wait in line.
Why this white kid loves rap
I listened to hip hop for the attitude and the beats. Rock was hardcore, angry, irreverent, depressive. Classic rock was cliché. Jazz was dated. Blues was sleepy. Pop was annoying. Hip hop was swagger, tongue and cheek. Hip hop made me feel cool. But then I started listening to the lyrics and discovered HOVA is my C.S. Lewis.
Questioning the necessity of technology
We don't need designed experiences or the technology that allows for such. Life already provides for experiences that can lead to moral self-knowledge and spiritual growth. Our society doesn’t need iPads to be civilized.
The better life
Life is full of sign posts. I prefer to follow those directions and have been fortunate to end up in places better than anticipated. It's been an amazing trip so far.
More “let’s”, less “we should”
When making a suggestion, social or otherwise, it's better to use assertive language that appreciates timeliness and recognizes opportunity.
I want to be your husband
I'm a man of character looking for a woman of character.
Breaking up with a break up
Don't drag out a break up. Get rid of reminders that cause anxiety and focus on new friends and new activities.
A short history of my agnosticism
From 2004 to 2007 I was in Seeker mode, learning and meditating as much about religion, spirituality, and faith as I could. In November 2007, I become an agnostic. I'll tell you how I got there and what it means for my future.
New Years Resolution 2011
My friend Jamie has a good motto: "Go do." This year, I'm going to make it one of my guiding principles.
Why I disabled my OkCupid
Online dating taught me a valuable lesson about the "click factor".
General life advice, for general problems
One of the most difficult things in life to learn is to know what you want, and learning how to ask for it.
Dating, looking for love, and empathizing with Christians
I've decidedly been agnostic for about 4 years. Lately, while looking for a woman to share my life with, I've begun to empathize with Christians and their faith in Jesus Christ.
I live in San Francisco and need a dollar
Now that I live in a compact metropolitan city with a homeless problem, I have a phrase: Sorry dude.
Now accepting love, not needing it
Autumn is coming, but this is not a love story, this is a story about love.
Protection of same-sex marriage under law is about civil rights, not morality
I like women. I don’t want to be mistaken for being homosexual. I don’t want my masculinity questioned. I’m slightly uncomfortable with gay humor. I’m slightly put off and embarrassed when I’m hit on by gay men. But if you’re gay [...]
A pedicure and an Israeli
Yesterday, I went to the Pentagon City mall and experienced some firsts, including a pedicure, and getting hit on by an Israeli woman selling Dead Sea salt.
Tips for being a more compelling missionary
If you are going to sell me on God, you're going to have to sing me more than tired pop music. I want indie, singer-songwriter, dammit.
Hey Maxwell, you’re living in the golden age!
Tempering idealism and reality. Carrying a lady across a river. And smiling Boston terriers named Maxwell. They will all make your tomorrows better than your yesterdays.
Why commitment is a Greater Love than being "in love"
Because like Susan Sarandon says, "We need a witness to our lives."
When they went barefoot for 8 months
The best part about visiting my grandparents is learning their stories and experiencing a culture far removed from where I grew up in Iowa. Most stories involved cropping tobacco and going barefoot.
Coming into my own, or the death throes of insecurity
Much of my life has been defined by my experience growing up in Japan. Coming back to the States, I socialized differently than my peers. I've spent the last 2 decades shedding a thickened hide that kept both the hurt and the love out. Also: Power Rangers, cockroaches, Air Jordans, River Phoenix and Costa Rica.
The Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership
How must a person act and what sacrifices must a person make to be a leader?
Writing my autobiography, or why I love social media
Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, Gowalla. What's the point? Well, for one, if they last, you'll have committed your story to posterity.
You should think less and do more
You're 20-something—your life ahead of you and no idea what you want from it. You should stop worrying and start living because an excellent life happens organically.
Bicycling naked and picking up chicks on scooters
My first day in Silver Spring was fantastic. I got a hella lot of exercise and made some new friends.
Couch surfing, doorways, and motion maps
I had the good fortune to meet Keihly, who introduced me to couch surfing, her doorways project, and motion maps.
Why some people love life
People who invest themselves in experiences rather than consumables have great memories, develop good relationships, and are generally happier.
Mr. McCoy Goes to Washington
In one week, I'll be packing up and going to Washington D.C. I'll work hard, play hard, make friends, love, and change the world.
Thoughts on The Game
Thoughts on the book "The Game" by professional pickup artist Neil Strauss.
Life, love, and serendipity
To love yourself, you have to open up and love other people. Be brave and force yourself to approach new people. Look around you. Observe the world and offer up your thoughts. People are interested. They want to be loved, [...]
An Event Apart
I am leaving for Minneapolis today to attend An Event Apart web design conference. I’ll be staying with my friend Jon while I’m there. It’s going to be a good couple days.
Wal-Mart greeters need to be greeted
Next time you walk in to Wal-Mart and pass the greeter, make sure you make eye contact with him or her, smile, and say hello. It will make their day, and yours too. Most people walk right in, hurrying past [...]
Chinese at The Scallion Korean restaurant
I was talking with a co-worker, who is Korean, about her impression of The Scallion. I have been there several times, enjoy the quality of the food (not greasy or fried like the other Asian, mostly Americanized-Chinese, restaurants in town), [...]
Your contact info please, or not
When checking out at a retail shop, question first, sign up later.
Sunshine awakenings
A couple weekends ago when I stayed at my parents house, I slept in the guest bedroom, which has poor curtain cover; sunshine streams in through the windows in the early morning (around 6am that week). At first, I was [...]
Finishing books
Over the past year, I have been buying lots of books (mostly related to design/web design) from Amazon. I get one in the mail, and super excited, dive into it, only to not finish the book and put it on [...]
A smile makes all the difference
I recently watched an interview with Stephen Fry entitled “What I wish I knew when I was 18.” A lot of what Stephen said in that video resonates with me because recently I have been re-evaluating what I value in [...]
80/35
Went to the 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines this past weekend. My sister and her boyfriend came and spent the weekend with me. The headliners Spoon and Modest Mouse were gave excellent performances, but I think Spoon was my [...]
Maturity is a lifetime process
As a kid I did not have much foresight into the future. Actually, I’m not sure I was even concerned with it, beyond general milestones: a career, a home, a wife, gray hair. At some point in the last few [...]