Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Blogging, Historical & Logistical Notes
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
Today in history: ten years ago Leonard asked a Star Trek trivia question. I tried to answer it via email. This was before I'd ever met Leonard in person, and it was one of the first times I ever wrote to him. This was back when I'd duck into the computing labs in Dwinelle or Evans between classes and kill time with SFGate, Slashdot, and the blog of this guy I'd never met.
Also today I told Leonard how strange it is to find myself changing in response to novel stimuli, and how I'm trying to use science analogies to understand my disorientation. It is as though I were a mature company, selling a stable product line, and I'd forgotten to shut down R&D and suddenly they had this new awesome strange innovation that was knocking all my assumptions and salesfolk off kilter. "There's been this skunkworks project in my heart the whole time!" I exclaimed.
"So it's more like Big Science [analogies]," Leonard offered.
Perhaps the third or fifth email I ever sent Leonard mentioned a book of cartoons, Big Science by Nick Downes, that was on the remaindered table at Cody's Books in Berkeley. I had bought a copy for myself, and told him he'd like it, and that he should come over from San Francisco to buy a copy. "But it's all the way across the Baaaaaaay! ;-)" he said, I approximate. He asked if he could PayPal me the money and have me buy one for him. I said I didn't have a PayPal account. He asked how he was supposed to reap the positive network effects of having joined PayPal if people like me didn't. "Your chicken, your egg, your problem," I replied.
This was back when I was fluffing my plumage, trying to impress this new impossibly smart, funny, accomplished guy, not even realizing yet that I had met someone who would be important to me. We clicked effortlessly and got drunk on it. The emails were fantastic. And then the years went by, and we eventually moved in together and got married, and we can usually laugh and ruminate and say "I love you" face to face. Which is of course wonderful.
(I laughed when Leonard reminded me of Big Science on the phone today, and teased him that instead of buying the book himself, he just got me to fall in love with him. "It was easier," he teased back. And hey, I still don't have a PayPal account.)
But I miss the letters.
One of the worst things about long-term relationships is the temptation to let oneself go -- not physically, necessarily, but in terms of taking care to grow and show one's best self.
(Huh, what's the name of the fallacy that says that if you name the fallacy then it has no power over you?)
Anyway. I'm still in Mysore, coming back next week, and I'd vaguely thought that at least that distance and the timezone difference would give me reason to bring back the epistolary depth -- there's a form of lasting solace I only get by exchanging long, thoughtful, caring letters. But VoIP phone calls plus instant messaging plus effort put into other reading and writing reduce the energy and thought I put into emails to Leonard, which is my shame and one I aim to rectify. So if I'm not blogging or writing to you much, know that my emotional roller coaster continues but I'm basically okay, and that I'm just trying to reduce, by one, one of the many, many ways in which I am a fool.
I do not know what I would do without him.
10 Aug 2010, 14:49 p.m.
10 Aug 2010, 15:05 p.m.
10 Aug 2010, 15:25 p.m.
10 Aug 2010, 15:39 p.m.
10 Aug 2010, 19:57 p.m.
10 Aug 2010, 19:58 p.m.