A personal weblog of Paddy Foran, updated daily. Uncensored, unfiltered, and mainly for his personal benefit, this blog may offend you, hurt your feelings, or most likely, lead you to believe the author is a freak. Proceed with caution: here there be dragons.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I dislike resolutions for the new year. I think it's silly that a specific, arbitrary date is forcing us to make changes in our lives, when we should be making those changes every day. I also think this temporal quality of the resolutions contributes to the terrible success rates these resolutions tend to be met with.

And yet, my life has pivoted entirely in an astonishingly short amount of time, and it dramatically all unfolded in perfect timing for the new year. So I feel compelled to brush off this blog I haven't posted to in almost a full calendar year to think about the coming year.

I just accepted an offer for a new job, and will be signing the paperwork to begin as soon as humanly possible. I'm optimistic about the company, and a large part of that is the speed with which they sped me through the interview process. I IMed the CTO on 12/27 about the position. He replied and told me to forward them a résumé. He read through the résumé, chatted a bit with me, and set up a Google+ Hangout with the executive team for 12/30. I woke up on 12/31 to the job offer. I told them I liked to be in a culture that valued getting things done; they gave me an interview process of four days. That's fantastic.

I haven't officially mentioned it to anyone at the school yet, but I'm leaving college. I doubt I'll be coming back. College does not have a culture that values getting things done.

I'm not sure where I'll be for the foreseeable future. I'll be discussing it with my family during the next week, while in Syracuse. I may just stay in Syracuse, living with my family as I try to reverse the damage being in college did to my depression. I may continue to live in Buffalo, combatting depression the best way I know how: doing what I love. That decision won't be mine to make alone, and I'm afraid of it.

I don't have a resolution this year. I don't want to resolve a past issue in my life. I want to take this pivot and run with it, building the best future I possibly can. As I fall asleep tonight, this will be my mantra:

There are over 7 billion people on this planet. By the time you finish this thought, 250 new people will be born, 250 new lives will begin. That is 250 chances for you to change a life, to meet someone great, or to meet someone who will change the way you see the world. Every minute, 105 people die. That's 105 chances you most likely missed. That's 105 less opportunities in the world.

You are not unique, you are not special. Those are concepts that are limited to a time when the earth was large and empathy was small. There are people out there who are smarter than you, better than you. There are 7 billion people out there, and each will make you feel like an idiot about something. But that just means 7 billion people who are qualified to make your life better, and 7 billion people whose lives you have a responsibility to improve. Being unique or special is a sad, stale, and stagnating way to see the world. There is nothing worse than being the best thing you encounter on any given day.

Good night, moon. Good morning, 2012.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I feel like I have different groups of friends, and that different behaviours are appropriate for each. There are the TEDxBuffalo organisers, who I could spend hours with and never be bored. There are my Dirty Little Freaks, a group of four to seven people, depending, who I turn to when the shit hits the fan. There are my high school friends, and even they break down into different groups. But I still feel awkward, because I've so segmented a personality.

Perhaps examples would be better.

There's Susan, who is moving to Phoenix. I adore Susan. I think she's fun to be around, and I enjoy her company.  But I only know her through TEDxBuffalo, because, like most the TEDx organisers, she's at a different stage in her life than I am. It would be weird for me to hang out with her. The same goes for Kevin and Mark and all of the other organisers. I will legitimately miss seeing these people every week, because it was always so much fun. I'll still see Leah, but she goes into an entirely separate group, because she's my boss. I'm going to miss these people, but it would be awkward to invite them to hang out, or watch movies with me and my friends, or just kill time. That's not the kind of relationship we have.

How do I say goodbye to someone like that? How do I say "Susan, I'll miss you while you're in Phoenix, because you not only put up with my silliness but encouraged it"? How do I tell Kevin that I value knowing him not because he's an editor at Lifehacker and one of the most well-connected people I've met, but because he tells me stories about the RIT Computer Science students while he drives me home, or because I have a deep-seated respect for his ability to so effortlessly never let you down. That's besides his generosity; keep in mind, I only know him because some random developer of an app he covered emailed him out of the blue and said "Hi, we live in the same city" and Kevin not only replied but said "let's meet up sometime".

I know some amazing people, but I have no idea how to connect with them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I met you on the dance floor
Where passion goes for birthing
You looked at least as lost as I was--
I think that's what drew me to you
Not your nondescript shirt
Full of pockets for you to hide in
Not your slightly imperfect features
Marred only by unnoticeable distortion
It was your eyes, the world I saw in them
As you danced by yourself
that made me extend my hand, in offering.

I spun you under my arm
the gateway to a world neither of us knew
and pulled you close, wrapped my arms around you
as much to keep me safe as you.
And as we ventured to worlds unknown
your hand clutching at my thigh
my fingers locked with yours
our fear and worry and hesitation palpable
I knew you were but a moment
That this was all you would give me
And I knew as you embraced me,
softly kissing my cheek before scurrying away
into a world I'll never know,
I knew you had given me more than anyone else
More than anyone could or would.

A moment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In the nineties, we sang angsty and angry ballads about changing our world, about the decay of life around us. Ironically, we were never more alive. How do we document real life, when real life's getting more like fiction each day?

It's 2011. Nobody wants to document real life anymore. Real life is getting further and further from fiction. We won. We changed things. Dichotomies broke down, things lost some clarity, lost some of the "us" and "them". But at what cost?

It's wonderful that we're moving away from all the terrible things we do to each other. It's great that there's become less of a "them". But in doing so, we've lost the "us", as well-- it was defined by the "them".

What these Zoloft-fueled, 3-in-the-morning thoughts really come down to is, if someone were to document real life today, what would they say? They'd tell an empathetic story of mixed feelings and compromises.

Give me back my absolutes, my caricatures.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nobody Can Live In The Theatre

Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by the theatre. I think it has something to do with the fact that everything is, by necessity, so much bigger when it's on stage. Everything is larger than life because, let's face it, nobody wants to see a husband and wife fight. But throw it on stage, blow it up so it's larger than life, and suddenly it's interesting and artistic. When we expand things to larger-than-lifesize like that, they start incorporating literary elements, they start showing us things about ourselves. We cling to the cliches and archetypes and caricatures because they're convenient and easily recognisable, and because they are organic representations of the things we see in each other and ourselves. They're relatable.

I've always wanted to live in a theatre. I've always wanted everything to be larger than life, always wanted things to mean nothing or everything. There would never be a dull moment, right?

The problem with living in a theatre is that the people don't scale. The people around you are people, not cliches or archetypes or caricatures. And endless monologues are lonely things to give.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's been a while since I wrote here last. A month, almost.

I've been keeping myself busy. I launched a defective product, I spent a bunch of time providing bug fixes for it, I took on contracts for clients, I worked and worked and worked. And you know what?

I'm seeing little reward from it.

That is purposefully disingenuous. I am being paid quite well, have wonderful relationships with my clients, and have somehow risen to the enviable position of turning down work I never sought in the first place. Kevin Purdy, of Lifehacker and Complete Android renown, and other well-connected friends and acquaintances in Buffalo keep pushing contracts and jobs towards me. I am, in a certain sense, being rewarded handsomely for my "work". But in the sense that matters most to me, my sense of accomplishment and quality of life, my high water mark for my emotions... in these places, I seem to be falling short, stagnating.

Part of the problem is that, since August, I've been embroiled in the part of being a programmer I hate the most: maintenance and revision. Part of what I love about programming is the high, the sense of freedom, the grandiose visions that starting a new project grant you. I haven't felt that, in all honesty, since August, not counting a brief moment of insanity here and there. Part of this, ironically, is the fault of my own success; a project that was started without that high, sans those grandiose visions, actually took off and began fulfilling some of the ones I would have had. Kevin, again, is to thank for that. In essence, all the problems in my life right now boil down to "It's pretty much Kevin's fault." I kid. Sort of.

I want to be working on something new. I have lots of ideas. I have lots of exciting technologies to play with, lots of interesting people to talk with, lots of encouragement. The only thing I truly lack is time.

I return to school in a week. I have yet to write the papers or read the books I need to have read by then. I've yet to start. Hell, I still haven't registered for classes. How can I already have no time to do this stuff, and be losing vast amounts of my day shortly? That's just not fair.

In roughly 12 hours, I'll be meeting with my doctor for a variety of reasons, mainly to get refills on my dextroamp-amphetamine, the federally controlled pills that let me have an attention span longer than--- ooh, kitty. But I also plan to broach the whole "sleep disorder" thing then, because I feel like that's where a lot of my time goes. If I could rid myself of that nasty compulsion, the unnerving need to go into a coma every day for a third of the day, I think I'd be a much more productive person.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love explaining my Cr-48 to people. It's so funny, watching people's reactions.

"So, how's your break going so far?"

"Well, Google sent me a laptop. So pretty awesome."

"Wait, what?"

"Yeah, they sent me a laptop."

"To keep?"


"How did this happen?"

"Well, Google took a laptop, said 'Hey, Paddy is pretty awesome.' and put it in the mail. A few days later, it showed up on my doorstep. Where I opened it. And now I have it."

"But why?"

"Because they're sending laptops to developers."


"To test them. And Google's new operating system."

"So you got a free laptop."

"Yeah. I was mildly excited."

Really, what is so hard to understand about "A Fortune 500 company gave me a several-hundred-dollar machine for absolutely no reason."?