Monthly Archives: October 2011

Prof: I believe it’s possible to write very good, structured, easy-to-maintain C++ code…

…this coming from the guy who recommends using gotos and names his buffer variables “buffy”.

Sorry, don’t mean to rat on you, but I just thought it was humorous! ;)

Programming in C++…I’ve been spoiled by Google’s code architecture, and before that by using C# all the time.  Now I’m confronted with non-trivial code structuring questions involving memory management and polymorphism and I’m having trouble deciding what it most elegant.

I mean, not that it matters at all for this assignment…I mean, the professor of this CCRMA class uses gotos, globals, and funnily-named variables all over the place…but still, it’s always good practice to stay disciplined and ask yourself how to best architect things.  I feel like that’s the sort of thing that really differentiates good software engineers from newbie coders.

You know, I keep telling people the reason I can jump so high is because of Wushu, but that’s not actually true…I didn’t really start getting good at jumps and such until I started doing Taiji.  I mean, it’s basically like alternating between bow stances and empty stances for the entire length of practice…

When you wake up in the middle of the night, it’s possible to feel really groggy, just as if you were waking up in the morning.  The difference is that you’re not pressed for time; there’s no class to run to, no time pressure egging you on, and no damn bright sun screaming in your face…so it’s really okay to feel groggy for a bit, and slowly come to your senses.


Yes, yes, I know I always talk about it and you’ll have to forgive me for bringing it up again, but it is extremely scary to think deeply about social networks, and I don’t necessarily mean solely online sense either.  We all willingly subject ourselves to a shouting bout where we scream for attention, yet no one else is listening because they’re busy shouting too.

You have to realize, that when you shout something to the abyss, we’ve already accepted the fact that very well nothing will come back…and perhaps that makes it alright, but…perhaps not.  Because it’s actually quite scary.  It’s like you’re on the telephone with someone, and then you realize that you’ve been talking to absolutely no one for the past 2 minutes because your call dropped and you didn’t realize it.  Do you know what that feels like?  It feels embarrassing, like a slap in the face.  And why?  No one’s making fun of you, and the person on the other end isn’t going to know that you tried to talk to them at all.  But it still feel bad, to spend effort saying something and have nothing come back and nothing be listened to–not even with a remote possibility.

Perhaps little by little, I can make my corner of the world a better place, by being the voice that reaches over the abyss.

…or, perhaps–as I fear sometimes, in a deep, dark corner in my mind–none of you need helping at all; you’re all happy in a better place, together with each other, and I’m really just the only person hovering over this abyss of mine.  An equally–no, perhaps an even more frightening prospect.  Yet, one that is not too far fetched either.  My stubbornness tends to get me into this kind of trouble, after all.

Either way, it’s scary.  Really, really scary.


It’s really amazing in how many ways people’s personalities exhibit themselves for you to see.  When I watch people dancing, I can tell what kinds of people they are, instinctively.  Yes, I’m missing a lot of the finer details, but it’s just too easy.  And when I visit someone’s FB profile, there are all of these signs and things that clue me in to who you are.  When you look at my FB page, my website, and even my own room, you can tell so much about me even if you disregard the actual content of any of them.  You can instantly tell that I am part of the 1%.


Tonights theme is “Beyond the ordinary.”

My entry:

RL was kind of kicking my ass at the time, and I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to make OHC, so instead I did a pre-compo composition.  I had been thinking about trying to make something that sounds like it could have been made by sci, since he has a pretty distinct style that I like, so that’s what I did this time.  I didn’t hit the mark exactly, but I did come close–close enough that people in listening party definitely noticed and enjoyed it.  Pretty much everything is sci-style here…the chippy instruments, the chord structure, the lack of reverb, crunchy drums, even the song length, lol.

I’d definitely consider it to be a success.


When you have a very strong connection with the person you are dancing with and are familiar with them, you can sometimes enter a sort of predictive zen state that I can only describe as being similar to something I experience in SSBM sometimes.  It’s like the art of mindreading and mindgames, except in SSBM you are predicting your opponent in order to overcome them, whereas in dance you are trying to help them achieve a better dance together.

I think this sort of state can happen regardless of whether you’re a lead or follow, and it works both ways–for leads, you basically know exactly what to lead and how to do it, and it all works, even without thinking about it.  For follows, you know exactly what is being led–sometimes even before it’s led.

Tonight, though, I experienced this kind of exquisite in-tune-ness to the extent of prediction, with my fellow dancers who do both lead and follow in the same dance.  There are only a few people whom I know who can really keep up with me when I play around with both lead/follow, give and take when I’m dancing, and so my opportunities for experiencing this kind of thing aren’t quite so abundant.  But it is really, =really= something unique to experience.  Because you =know= what the other person is going to do to you next, you start to backlead yourself into their moves, and then after that, lead (or backlead) the next move in a chain.  It’s a totally different sort of dance when both people are simultaneously leading each other and helping each other like this.  There is no longer a sense of impulse, response, impulse, response…instead it is a fluid stream of motion where anything is possible.  It’s like comparing a call-and-response melody to a melody played at the same time as a counter-melody, or harmonized chords.  And of course, there is nothing quite like a follow who not only executes the move you’re thinking of even without having to be led at all, but then tacks on something more to it at the end, that you would have thought of anyways.

It’s really quite amazing.

If I recall correctly, Richard Powers has sometimes compared dancing to talking–debating, even.  The lead will strike up a point, and the follow will respond in turn with their interpretation or argument or rebuttal or whatever.  But…in this analogy, the lead is still the one striking up all the points.  When we do leadfollow together, both people are striking up points all the time, and when we do leadfollow with a strong connection…well, it is like you don’t even have to strike up the points; it’s telepathically understood.

Pushback Pressure

I actually hadn’t consciously thought about it before Gerentt pointed it out today, that I don’t give much pushback pressure in waltz.  Well, of course I do for free spins and such, but in the basic frame, apparently I actually have “noodle arms”, as Richard Powers would call it.  Meaning my left hand isn’t doing anything at all except just holding yours; it’s my right arm that’s doing all the leading (until I start doing something else).

And I kind of smile at that, because I know that’s one of the things that defines my dancing.  That lack of firmness there is one of the things that makes everything soft…and that’s why, as Caitlin put it, dancing with me is sometimes like “dancing with air”.  (ironically this even ties into the fact that I do pure visual leads sometimes, in which case I’m not even touching you…though the reason for that is mostly just for kicks rather than it being an extension of my “softness”)