That’s cousin Joey on the left, Brooke on the right, and I’m holding Baby Bryce, born April 27, 2013. Brooke turned 3 three weeks ago, Joey will be 3 in three weeks, and Baby Bryce is 5 weeks old. We’re standing in the ‘driveway’ of my daughter’s new house in Wildwood, a gated golfing community forty-five minutes from the city. I’m very happy about the good choices my twenty-four-year-old daughter is making.
Archive for the ‘My kids’ Category
A grandchild is all the proof you need to know you were doing it right all along. — Brenda Phillips
Brooke, 22 mos.
Brooke 21 months, Brenda 61 years
My two best friends in life, Tom and Martha, both died when they were 61 — and I am 61. I’m doing everything I can to stay alive until the end of March when I turn 62.
Mostly, I’m not taking any chances with my health, especially in this home stretch. I figure if I can make it three more months, I’ll be 62 and past the possibility of dying at 61. That is my plan—make it to 62. Until then I’m a fallow field.
As a fallow field, I take it upon myself to think, feel, and do as little as possible. Just be, I say, like an unseeded field at rest for a season. New seasons will come, new seeds will fall. I will be productive again. If I’m lucky, I will live to be 90 or more like Uncle Fred and Ilona Smithkin.
I wish Tom and Martha had been luckier. Sixty-one feels like the wrong time to die.
My granddaughter seems to have inherited my hypersensitivity to certain sounds. Here she is showing obvious alarm at the sound of an airplane overhead. I see this same look on her face throughout the day, whenever the central air conditioning unit kicks on, whenever a dog barks or a train whistles or a siren goes off.
If she is like me with regard to loud noises, then she also wakes up throughout the night, which can leave her feeling tired and restless in the morning. I have suffered through this waking in the night my entire life. I’ve bought squishy ear plugs to wear, but they always fall out.
Yesterday, however, I found a package of industrial grade ear plugs at my daughter’s house that her husband wears at work. Last night I wore them to bed and actually slept peacefully through the night.
Whenever Brooke grabs my finger and pulls it, I follow her anywhere.
This is my new favorite thing — being led by Baby Brooke. I am crazy in love with this little girl!
at Brooke’s 1st birthday party in April
Of Mother’s Day, Mothers’ Day, and Mothers Day, you could make a case for how each of these three uses is correct. The first one is probably the most popular, although the second use suggests a day belonging to all mothers, which is also correct. The third is my favorite — you have some mothers and you have a day and nothing belongs to anyone.
I’m all for absenting apostrophes wherever possible because few people seem to care about singular and plural possessives anymore, especially when signifying possession is as daft as it is in the case of parent days. In general in this computer age I could care less about apostrophes and commas, but not much. Mostly, I like my apostrophes in contractions; e.g., Any day’s a good day. Happy Mother’s Day!
The boy in the blue hoodie is my son. In high school he created an open source telephony platform that four years later has its very own conference. This picture was taken today at AdhearsionConf 2010 in San Francisco.
I’ve been following the live feed on UStream. It does a mother good to see and hear her child at such a considerable distance. I’m in southeast Texas; he’s in northern California.
The highlight of today’s event was a presentation by a Canadian programmer who described how Adhearsion allowed his team to create an interactive art project for Montreal’s 2010 Music and Technology Festival. The goal of the Mutek project was to use social media to create good vibrations to help heal the earth and its people.
Passersby called into a number posted on a building and were told how to generate the digital music that can be seen streaming across the side of the building. It’s a beautiful example of collective, harmonic music-making by strangers on a street.
Pretty impressive, I’d say. Way to go, Jay!
The summer before my son entered high school, I packed up my little family and moved us to Houston, where I had accepted a teaching job. Six weeks into the school year, I packed us up again and moved back to Beaumont.
On the drive back from my mother’s house last week, my daughter asked me why we left Houston. The story that I heard emerging from my mouth was both sad and hilarious. It’s also a good example of how to know whether you’re on your right path or not. Life will certainly give you clear indicators when you’re not where you’re supposed to be, and my signs couldn’t have been any clearer.
It went something like this.
They weren’t really rats. They were field mice that had occupied those environs long before houses were built. New construction in the area was driving them out of their habitat. But to me they were rats and they were scary. I found their tiny entry points in my kitchen cabinets and taped them up with whatever I could find, but they chewed right through all of it. At night I would sometimes see them scurrying across the kitchen floor, and I would lie awake worrying about what to do. I’d never lived with rats. Rat poison seemed my only choice. . . .
We moved in August. Houston is HOT in August. My air conditioner went out, and that’s when you could smell them — dead rats. I called the air conditioner repair people. They charged me $500 to fix the a/c. A week later it went out again. The smell was worse than the heat. I gave them another $500. A week later it went out again. We were dying in the August heat with the smell of dead rats all around us. The air would go out again. . . .
The dryer worked but I was missing something I needed to hook up the washer. It was one of those things I would get to eventually, but in the meantime the laundry piled up, which meant frequent trips to the laundromat, which took a couple of valuable hours out of a day. Toting baskets of wet laundry home to dry was too hard, so I sat at the laundry and dried them and folded them and carted them home and upstairs and it was exhausting. It was so hot. . . .
The phone worked fine for a while, then it quit. Someone, probably one of the many children who were in and out of the house, decided that it would be funny to turn the batteries around in my single cordless phone (cell phones weren’t out yet). I didn’t know what the problem was at first, and for quite a while we were without a phone, which made it impossible to call repair people or locate missing children. . . .
One morning I got up to go to work and my car wouldn’t start. That had never happened before. Someone from the school picked me up, and I called a tow truck to pick up my car. For several days we were stranded in Houston without a vehicle, which is quite unsettling, especially when your air conditioning and telephone don’t work and you can smell dead rats. The repair bill was equally unsettling. . . .
I’ve been an on-again, off-again smoker much of my adult life. I had promised the kids that I wouldn’t smoke in the new house, which meant going outside in the heat to smoke. Quitting smoking during a particularly stressful point in your life is not a great idea. I wasted a lot of time sitting on the patio with a cigarette when I could have been unpacking boxes or mopping floors. But my nerves were starting to fray. . . .
A new job in a new city is always stressful, but this job was killing me. I had 150 7th graders, and I’d never taught 7th grade. The woman who hired me knowing this thought it would be a good idea to give me morning cafeteria duty, which meant I had no time to set up or prepare for the day. When the bell rang for first period, I left the cafeteria with the students. Add to this my total inability to use the schools computerized attendance and grade reporting systems. One of the chief reasons I left my former teaching job was my district’s refusal to invest in computers. I wanted a computer in my classroom, and when I got one, I didn’t know how to use it. . . .
Jill still seldom meets a stranger. She entered 8th grade at the new school with her typical enthusiasm and made friends easily. The only problem with that is that her friends were 8th graders too, and some of their siblings were much older. There was a constant influx of teenagers early on, and somewhere in that mix my phone batteries got turned around. On the second Saturday after school started, Jay and I were sitting up at midnight waiting phonelessly for Jill to show up when the doorbell rang. It was a police officer, asking me to follow him. Well, let’s just say that Jill had gotten herself into a little trouble with some older teenagers whose parents were out of town. . . .
It’s Time to Go
There was no single precipitating event that caused me to write my letter of resignation that Friday afternoon at the end of the first six weeks. Or maybe there was. Maybe my principal’s voice on the intercom reminding me that everyone had turned in their grades but me and that she needed mine NOW is what did it. I recall the total calm that overcame me as I scratched out a handwritten note to the personnel director.
It absolutely was the right thing to do. I had no doubt. I might never teach again for breaking a contract, but it didn’t matter. I wanted to go home and sit in the red porch swing my husband had built. I wanted to look at the beautiful landscape I had created with my own hands over the course of many years. I wanted to talk to my neighbor. I wanted my life back.
The kids were furious, of course. Jay loved the international flavor of Dulles High School. Jill loved all the new friends she had made. I ignored their protestations and returned us to the place from which we had come.
Driving back from Louisiana, hearing Jill’s laughter at the sheer absurdity of this story, I realized for the first time why I had to leave Houston. She was asleep in the car seat behind me. I had to go home to get her.
When my son was in third grade, his teacher told me that he was her classroom barometer. If she wanted to measure how well things were going in class, she would look to Jay for an accurate reading, not because he was overly sensitive to his environment but because he represented the general strength and character of the group. Her observations of him helped her to regulate the classroom climate.
We are all sensitive to our environment in varying degrees. Schizophrenics, for example, are very out of touch with what is going on around them. Children, on the other hand, tend to react to every dropped pencil and cough and crumpled paper. That’s why classroom teachers rely on students like Jay who can remain focused through most of the distractions. When he loses focus, she knows something is amiss.
I’d like to think I used the same technique in my teaching and parenting. My kids certainly seem happy today. I’d also like to think that my son inherited his barometric abilities from me, but that may be a stretch. I have been told many times that I am “too sensitive,” usually by people lacking sensitivity.
Lately, however, I am feeling what might rightly be called “too sensitive.” Something’s going on that is really bothering me, and I don’t know exactly what it is. If you don’t want to risk being saddened by my attempt to work this out, click now. I don’t know where this is going.
Looking back at some of my old posts, I realize that I’ve gotten away from the funny/cutesy/inspiring sorts of things I used to post. Janice’s comment back in February reminds me of this.
I wish every site I opened had a giraffe, giggling baby, kitten, puppy or something cute and uplifting on it. I suspect folk would be an awful lot more light-hearted!
Of course, in February my pregnant daughter and her husband were still living with me. I felt much more connected to life and love than I do now. That may be part of it, but also in February we didn’t have a thick flow of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.
I think the oil spill is what really kick-started this general feeling of discontent I am experiencing. The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th, a few hours after my granddaughter’s birth. Emotional highs and lows like those rarely occur on the same day. I have been up and down ever since.
I know this disaster weighs heavily on everyone’s heart, but I grew up in Louisiana. A part of me will always be attached to the highs and lows of that state. Most of my family still lives there. Louisiana has taken such a beating, first from Katrina and now with this horrendous oil mess. It is all so bewildering and sad.
Despite these double tragedies, I try to tell myself that these hearty people will be fine. They still have some of the best cuisine in the world. They still have their community spirit and devotion to family. They still have access to fresh running water and clean toilets, which forty percent of the people on the planet do not have. Isn’t that enough to make those who’ve lost their homes and livelihoods feel better about their situation? Probably not.
Psychic pain doesn’t have degrees and increments; it hurts all over when it hurts at all.
Considering the pain of others does not help me feel better. It makes me feel worse. Considering the state of the nation and our failing economy and endless war and on and on is robbing me of joy.
What makes me feel better is seeing how both of my children have managed to surround themselves with things that give them joy.
My daughter has a new baby and a great husband with a large extended family who work together to insure each other’s success.
My son just moved from the high-rise district to the historic district in San Francisco. He is masterful at keeping himself happy.
I think happy kids grow up to be happy adults. My two were happy little children, despite losing their dad at such young ages. Jay was such a calm, focused child. Jill was so full of energy. We were a happy little trio.
Now I am home alone and having difficulty finding my joy. I don’t know exactly what it will take for me to shake this current malaise, but I know it will eventually fade. Meanwhile, I remain open to the possibility of finding joy right where I least expect it.
What’s bothering me is what bothers anyone. You get older. Your children grow up and move away. You lose people you love. Natural and man-made disasters happen. Sometimes these hit close to home. You have peaks and valleys, highs and lows. My mother’s home-spun wisdom speaks to this.
Be grateful for the valleys because that’s where the crops grow.
I think I feel a little better now. Thanks, Mom. I look forward to coming home for the 4th. I’ll try to bring my smile because I know you guys could use some over there, and I could sure use some hugs.
(Howard and Macy)
My head is full of tears that won’t come out.
Jill called tonight and said that Howard died.
When Jill was in fifth grade, she started complaining about her new teacher, saying Ms. Pam didn’t know how to teach. For a kid who got a perfect attendance trophy every year and loved school, she was suddenly experiencing difficulty. During my off hour one day, I drove to Jill’s school to investigate, and what I found was alarming.
Row after row of tiny portable buildings were lined up in a muddy yard with wooden planks leading up to them. Each building had a door with a window in it. I found Jill’s building and peeked inside. I saw Ms. Pam, the first-year teacher, standing and staring down at a podium. I saw two little white girls sitting in the middle of a classroom with twenty-five little black children. I saw total chaos.
What I had to go through to get Jill out of that situation was beyond difficult. It took the better part of the semester to get her transferred. By that time, she had missed so much instruction.
One of the biggest hurdles was finding transportation. The buses wouldn’t take her across town. I had to be at work at 7:00. Her school didn’t accept students before 8:00. I needed help.
Luckily, the fates sent Howard to us. He was enrolled at the local college, and someone had referred him to me for help with a paper.
Howard moved in with us. He took Jill to school and picked her up for the rest of that school year. He took her to church on Sundays. He took her to his house to ride horses. He treated her like a daughter. He loved her so much and she loved him. We were like a happy little family for a while.
I don’t even know why we broke up. Probably because he’d never bothered to divorce his wife, so marriage was out of the question.
That picture was taken the day we picked Macy up from the vet. The news wasn’t good. We were going to have to put her to sleep.
Howard dug a four-foot-deep hole in the back yard. We wrapped Macy’s body in my favorite pink bathrobe and laid her in the hole.
My head is full of tears that won’t come out.
Jill called tonight and said that Howard died.
His funeral is tomorrow. He was fifty years old.
He had just completed his Masters in Psychology.
Write about Dad, you keep saying.
OK, I’ll tell you a story about your dad.
It’s a half-remembered story like they all are. All stories are less than whole. There is no such thing as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to memory. Truth exists only in the moment.
This story is like a broken glass with three or four main chunks lying around and smaller fragments scattered about. The big chunks include a hotel, a company Christmas party, a band from Hawaii, and a feast of food and drinks.
You can almost fill in the fragments around those chunks yourself. You could pick any big company to throw the party and any big hotel to host it. The sign out front says SO AND SO’S CHRISTMAS PARTY and the date.
That’s how Tom knew about the party. He saw the sign and came home and told me that we were invited to a company Christmas party.
He lied, of course, but I came to understand that most of his lies were harmless. He simply loved to have fun, and he had no problem breaking protocols in pursuit of festivity. He had already done the hard job of rearing three children and now with just me he was rolling along carefree. Crashing that Christmas party was so emblematic of the way he approached life. The man was fearless.
Are you sure we should be doing this?
Yeah, everything will be alright.
We were dressed to the nines, looking and smelling good, Tom in a suit and me in heels. The place was packed with lei-wearing celebrants, maybe a couple of hundred in a hotel banquet room. The food was amazing, the band was hokey and loud, the dance floor was set up between the band and the food. We ate and drank and danced the night away.
Tom loved to dance. I used to make fun of the way we danced. We were so awkward together. We had different inner beats and it showed whenever we tried to dance. Still, we danced lovingly and often.
Speaking of beats, do you know anything about the Beat Generation? Your dad was a borderline beatnik because he grew up in that generation. San Francisco became their mecca so if you see any old geysers in their seventies out there, they’re probably former beats. Incredibly interesting people is what they are.
Here’s another story I love. You may have heard this one already. One day Tom came home and said he’d gotten me a part in a Willie Nelson movie.
Sure enough, the next morning we showed up at a hotel in Austin and I was whisked away to a wardrobe trailer and put into a cowgirl waitress outfit. My job was to traipse around behind Willie, Kris Kristofferson, and Rip Torn carrying a tray and serving drinks. You can see about ten seconds of me in Song Writer. Tom was seated at another table wearing a cowboy hat and tan jacket, acting like a customer. We each got a check for $88 for playing extras that day. I have pictures of us with Willie and Kris.
Your father’s fearlessness rubbed off on me. Once we were on Eagle Mountain Lake in the Texas Steel yacht, anchored in a little cove partying with a group of thirty-somethings. A sea plane began circling overhead and we all started waving. The plane landed on the lake and cruised over to the boat. I asked the pilot if he’d take me up for a ride and he agreed. So I climbed into the plane and got a birds-eye view of the lake where I met your dad. My spirit soared high that day.
Speaking of spirits, the common element in each of these stories is alcohol, which reminds me of a Visine story. We were atop a mesa in New Mexico or Arizona, one of those, laid out on a blanket in the buff when a bug crawled into my ear.
A buzzing bug in your ear is a frightening thing. I was screaming and crazy scared. Tom got the Visine from my night case and squeezed it into my ear. The bug drained out with the fluid. Remember that if you ever get a bug in your ear.
If your dad had a motto, it was “Everything will be alright.” He said that to me practically daily for twenty years to cut through my fussing and fretting. It’s funny how when you hear something over and over for that long, you come to believe it. Now it’s my motto too. I know that everything will be alright because it always is.
Tom had another line that worked well on me. No matter where we were, if there was a room full of people, he would turn to me and say, “You’re the prettiest woman in the room.” I loved hearing that. Sometimes I agreed with him and sometimes I didn’t. Most women in their prime are pretty, especially when they’re dressed for a night out.
I never thought you looked like either of us until I put those two pictures up. Now I can see the resemblance—the nose, the mouth, the chin, even the eyebrows. Mostly, you have his fearlessness. I remember you crashing that Astricon conference in Dallas when you were a freshman because you couldn’t afford a ticket. You met Mark Spenser that day and showed him Adhearsion and that became the defining moment in your career. You’ve been on top of the world ever since.
Tom would be so proud of you.
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” — Rumi
(Jay at eCOMM)
He left San Francisco on crutches this week and made it to Amsterdam for eCOMM Europe, a three-day conference on the future of mobile and internet communications. The title of his presentation was “Entrepreneurial Advantages with New Open-Source Technologies.” I found this picture of him online today.
God I love this kid! I get so excited when I find pictures of him.
When he was in high school, his computer science teacher and his guidance counselor took it upon themselves to convince someone at the school district office to come up with a code number that would allow Jay to get credit for a new course they created called “Webmaster.” He was the only student in the class. He worked out of the computer science teacher’s office and created the school’s first website. Maintaining the website gave him unparalleled autonomy to roam the campus with a camera around his neck, pop in and out of classrooms at his discretion, talk to whomever he wanted, or sit in a quiet room by himself and do whatever he wanted with a computer.
What a gig!
It’s been all uphill ever since. At the top of that hill is a broad netherworld where the makers of tomorrow reside. The makers say that our future as a species — our ascension — is interwoven with our collective creativity and our technology.
My son is only one of countless talented individuals working tirelessly around the globe to make this shift toward a better future happen. His interests are technological, of course, while mine tend toward the inspirational. I would love to go to a bloggers conference and meet some of the people who have inspired me so much this year.
Airfare, hotel, conference fee, food — it might not be cheap, but speakers get in free. What would you have to say? What would you want to hear? Who would you want to see there? Where would it be? The conference organizer makes the money, or donates it to charity. Are you a speaker or an organizer or both? If you organize, you also have to promote.
Where is the next generation of Katies and Williamsons and Chopras and Dyers? I suspect they are out there now, writing blogs and ebooks, little start-ups each of them, shaping future thought, inspiring us to live better lives. Some are good at organizing and promoting. Some are better at writing. Some people do both well. Some are natural speakers. I know I could name dozens of bloggers I would pay to see on stage, either speaking or reading or doing both.
I want to go to a conference and hang out with makers of tomorrow like Jay does. “Makers Conference 2010″ or something like that. A thought conference. This sounds like a job for Lance Ekum, writer, organizer, and promoter extraordinaire. Check out the Levity Project he is promoting with Katie West in Chicago on November 7th.
On Second Thought
While contemplating conferences, the rational part of me reared its hemisphere and started whispering swine flu! I don’t know. Maybe this is not the best time to be traveling and congregating with people from around the world. I haven’t had an H1N1 shot and really don’t want to get one. Maybe next year, or the year after. This is my first pandemic. I don’t know how long they last.
Here is the video of his talk at the same conference one year later. The 2010 EComm Conference was held in Amsterdam.
Who knew when a group of high school students sat around after school in 2004 planning a service project and decided on a blood drive that it would result five years later in my son saving the life of a sixteen-year-old boy with leukemia?
Like many of his peers that year, Jay donated blood during a high school blood drive. Then last September, while he was home for his birthday, a card arrived in the mail asking him to contact a woman in Houston about helping a boy with leukemia. Jay called the woman and told her that he now lives in Palo Alto. Not a problem, the woman said. Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto can do the donor work. So Jay signed on for what would become a six-day stem cell extraction procedure.
Jay’s Stanford contact was a perky woman named Diane who works for the National Marrow Donor Program. That’s her in the picture above. Diane arranged for Jay to have a complete physical to qualify him for the donor program, and when he passed the physical, she arranged for me to fly to San Francisco so Jay would have a family member with him during the procedure.
On Saturday, January 17, Jay began a five-day regimen of two shots a day of a drug called Filgrastim, which causes your bones to go into blood-production overdrive and your lower back to hurt.
On Wednesday, the fifth day, Jay was hooked up to tubes that took blood from his right arm, sent it through a centrifuge that filtered out the stem cells, and returned it via tubes in his left arm. This part took four hours, but he mostly slept through it. The Atavan they gave him knocked him out.
On the sixth and final day, the same procedure was repeated. Four hours in the chair, a good long nap, and he was done. On both days, a doctor bearing a red and white Igloo that ordinarily holds a six-pack came in to retrieve Jay’s stem cells, which looked like watery blood. On the second day this Igloo would be handed to an NMDP transporter, who would get on a plane to Chicago, where the young recipient was waiting.
As we were leaving the unit on the final day, a nurse said, “Thanks for saving that little boy’s life.” Jay seemed content knowing that the boy in Chicago will get another year of life at least and a full recovery at best. His failing blood factory will be totally replaced by Jay’s healthy blood factory, and his blood type, no matter what it was before, will forevermore be A+ because of my A+ son.
I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be fighting for the very life of your child. I am as grateful for my son’s good health as I am for his kind spirit. The generosity of people like Jay helps doctors and nurses save lives every day. Those who support donor programs with their money make it possible for people like me to share a rare and memorable week with my child.
Thanks for all you did to show me a good time, Jay. Coit Tower and Cafe Gratitude were my favorites!
Information about the National Marrow Donor Program can be found on their website at http://www.marrow.org/.
Most Horrendous Ruby Hack 2008
This morning while scavenging the internet for news of my son, I found this video of him at the Gotham Ruby Conference at Google headquarters in New York in April 2007. I love it when I find gems like this! Take a look. It’s an hour long.
Every day I get up and check my son’s Twitter account to find out where he is and what he’s doing. The boy has been on the road since January of this year, speaking at one conference after another about the VoIP software he created. Since he left UT Dallas in May, he has been “homeless and happy,” he says, sleeping in one hotel after another or in the homes of friends and/or clients.
He spent the month of June in Portland, July in Vancouver, and August in London, where he landed a $100,000 consulting contract with Truphone, one of England’s emerging cell phone giants. Yesterday he celebrated his 20th birthday in Berlin at the Ruby on Rails European conference. During these conferences I am able to find current photos of him like the one above because people take pictures and post them on the web.
It’s mothering at a distance alright, trying to keep an eye on my globe-trotting firstborn, but he was still a teenager two days ago.
O’Reilly Media threw a preconference party at the Kalkscheune right in the center of Berlin. Four hundred people showed up for free beer and brats, and that is where the birthday boy celebrated his twentieth birthday.
There are things I am learning about the techno scene as I scavenge the internet looking for my son. One site leads to another site, and four hours later I am usually awed by what I have found.
For example, in his blog, Adam Keyes, one of my son’s friends, laid out a kind of manifesto for the Ruby geeks who are fueling much of the current programming innovation. I wrote down the six words Adam used to describe the ethos of the open source movement.
Together, those words say a lot about what these guys are expecting of themselves and of each other. Overall, it is a better world they hope to create.
Conferences give me the most information. Already, I am starting to recognize names and key players. My son is not a key player yet, but he is steadily building a name for himself among those who are.
What I learn by looking at all the conference photos posted on Flickr and elsewhere is that programmers are a very young and very white group of people, and they are using the conference format to collect themselves into a forceful international contingent. Their intent, in addition to making money and acclaim for themselves, is to make the world a better place a keystroke at a time.
My son the programmer, pixelated above, had an epiphany recently. Here in his own words is his epiphany.
The epiphany I had was to use the return value of Ruby’s handy Kernel#caller method as a Hash key which uniquely identifies the __FILE__ and __LINE__ which invoked cache. Without this, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish between stored caches which occur in the same file or the same context. In the global cache variable ($cache_dir), this Hash of caller()s maps stack traces to another Hash which contains the constraints for the call — that is any use of the :per Hash key argument. This second nested Hash’s constraining keys map to an Array accessed as a queue of Strings which are simply rawr()ed to Asterisk. The time-to-live (specified with the :for Hash key argument) is stored as index 0 of the Array as a Time object. You can see this being stored with the “ttl.from_now” line and accessed with the “queue.first < Time.now” comparison.
How does it happen that the son of an English teacher grows up to write in a language this incomprehensible?
Who is the audience here?
Who actually gathers meaning from this?
As I struggle for understanding, I keep hearing Ezra Pound in the back of my mind pounding out the dictum, “Make it new! Make it new!”
These young code writers are definitely doing that. Code is their new poetry, and the fact that I don’t understand it shouldn’t matter. I never understood Pound either, yet he certainly made his mark on postmodernist thought by constantly hammering about change.
Proud Change (not pleased, in mortall things,
beneath the Moone, to raigne)
Pretends, as well as Gods, as Men,
to be the Soueraine.
I think I will assume that my nineteen-year-old son’s epiphany, more than anything else, is a statement of his sovereignty, his complete independence and self-government, which is what I wanted for him all along. Way to go, Jay!