Bad things, good things, all things

Popping by to give some updates. In the process of doing a content review (I'll get to that later) I realized I have quite the penchance for over-deploying bullets, so I'm trying something a bit different.


Christ. COVID. The US' response to COVID. I miss seeing friends and family, I get weirded out watching people hug on TV. I miss occasionally being in an office. I finally bought some decent masks. If your're reading this, just wear a fucking mask, ok?

The election. Trump. It's killing me to see the Democrats drift right but I hope to God we drive him off, by ballots or bodies. Watching the DNC this week has frustrating and disappointing—but at least we can agree that finding a purpose is the only way to move forward. (Do not forget: it can absolutely happen here.)

Black lives matter.

The wedding is on hold (but being engaged is great). It wasn't fun to say out loud "we're not getting married next year" but we know it's been even more painful for everyone who had dates, venues, butterflies. We can't wait to celebrate with loved ones, in person, when it's safe. Being engaged is great (but the wedding is on hold).

I felt my biannual itch to fiddle with the tech stack for this site. Even though I'm not exactly active here, I still really like Ghost CMS and the Content API piqued my curiosity. (Hence the content review.) As this was a golden opportunity to piddle-paddle with something new and to dust off my web back-end knowledge I set up Hexo to pull from Ghost and it's been a thoroughly fun jaunt. It's working on local; but the realities of content clean-up and migrating URL schemes may be a deal-breaker. I may soothe myself with a new Ghost template and some tweaks. We'll see. (I also happen to be writing this on the mobile version of the Ghost editor and I'm fairly pleased.)

All the fiddling and tinkering. I've really turned the practice of stating contests with the "80% complete" wall into a discipline. I try not to beat myself up. I've tried and succeeded in so many new methods and media; for the first time I'm uniformly proud of that. I dare to hope again that I might even post more details about them here.

Given social distancing I suppose it was only a matter of time before I resumed some of my social networks. I'm basically back on Twitter which has been an interesting re-negotiation. I'm doomscrolling with the best of them but tweeting trifling things is just nice. On the other hand, Facebook is a blight and I'm very glad I deactivated my account. (I will concede that I haven't deleted my account entirely because Messenger is the only way to engage with some family members.)

Speaking of family members, we added a new one: Earl. I simply cannot overstate the degree to which this cat is the paradigmatic scamp. He ate some Nerf darts—and was fine, thank God—and hasn't met a trash can he won't climb into. I watched him slurp down most of a spaghetti noodle and I was so dumbstruck I couldn't even stop him. He is fine and he is great.


I hope this doesn't sugarcoat it too much, but 2020 has been a real motherfucker. I'm so thankful we've been lucky and that our loved ones have been too. But some days just feel like someone's taking an ice cream scoop to my chest.

I hope someday that we can mourn properly. I dread what's on the horizon of these next few months. I know the only way forward is to build toward something new and better.

Take care.

Matt Policastro

I'm Matt Policastro, a data scientist at Clearhead. I build analyses and software to improve experiences and outcomes. I like bicycles, coffee, and building neat stuff. Welcome to my site.

Read More