Spring time in New York City is something else. Daylight savings shifts, the heavy cloak of winter lifts, and the city revives. Suddenly a walk after work is something you look forward to and the park echoes with the laughter of entwined lovers.

I’m not a big runner, but I went on two 3.5 mile runs this week and it felt like the easiest exercise I’ve done in the last five years. When I ran in the past, it was a race against myself fueled by upbeat music and frustration. These two runs were like coming out of hibernation; fueled by sunlight and fresh breezes.

I can’t wait to see how this spring and summer will go.

I got a cat! She’s a rescue from my hometown and a gentle little lovebug. I have no idea why it took me this long to post about her. She’s a goofy lil cutie who quickly purs when picked up. She’ll gladly spend an hour slumped on your chest. A big fan of lasers, she loves scratching posts and absolutely detests a comfy fur bed.

A picture of a black/brown/gray domestic long-haired cat sitting patiently. A picture of a black/brown/gray domestic long-haired cat sleeping on a blanket. A picture of a laptop with black/brown/gray domestic long-haired cat sitting expectedly behind it.

Today is the first “Two’s Day” of this year. If I understand it correctly, there will only be two of these left. Next time we’ll have this is in eleven years from now. I wonder what I’ll be like in eleven years. I wonder if this website will still be around or if it’ll be anything more significant. Maybe my digital garden would have grown some new limbs. Who knows. All I know is that its “Two’s Day” and we may as well enjoy it.

I’ve officially reached the end of a long and arduous journey to spinning up my technical interview skills. A goal I set out to achieve four months ago. Some statistics on the matter:

  • 169 code challenge problems
  • 57 easy problems
  • 100 medium problems
  • 12 hard problems
  • 134 emails
  • 2 technical projects
  • 16 interviews
  • 4 final rounds
  • 12 system design practices sessions
  • 2 entire notebooks filled with notes
  • 3 pens
  • 71 trips to gym

Looking forward to starting this new journey.

I’ve been enjoying the cool NYC fall weather with an innumerous number of tea bags and lemon slices. Something about a brisk breeze makes you want to put the kettle on.

I read a short story by Andy Weir recently that I wanted to share here. Enjoy.

The Egg

By Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

“Dude I’ve wanted to check up! All I’ve seen you listening to is coding grind tunes and ambient cosmic noise.”

It’s funny. A lot of my friends seem to detest turning twenty four. Some seem to view it as the end of the early 20s, the entrance into your mid-20s, and a new avalanche of responsibilities or considerations. To me, nothing seems to change. In fact, for some reason, I still feel young. Far more mature than a student, but stable enough to pursue my own hobbies and invest in myself. Something I feel I never had the time to do during school. Regardless, here’s to 24; a year of growth, family, and vaccinations.

While I’ve been working on this digital space, I’ve left some movies on in the background to act as a little bit of inspiration during some of the more tedious times of development. This means watching everything from The Da Vinci Code to Miracle to Inception. I have to say, watching Inception without actually watching Inception is overall not a great idea. Regardless, I’ve been enjoying myself.

One of my biggest takeaways was actually from Invictus. During his time on Robben Island Prison, Nelson Mandela would recite a poem by an 18th century English poet named William Ernest Henley. Finding strength through poetry, Mandela went on to inspire millions. With all due respect, I want to share this peom here as its burrowed into my mind and I do not foresee it leaving anytime soon.


By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

This is the first seed I will plant in this “digital garden” of my life. After getting some inspiration from Tom Critchlow’s website I decided to start creating my own digital garden.

So now I’m here. On my own webpage. Making my own garden of digital content that I hope to share with anyone who is interested.