andres marrugo

My Reflection in a Mirror of Prose

I like to write, for writing reminds me of who I am, who I want to be, and where I come from. It is no mistery that I enjoy it, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

I often get compliments on my writing, but still, I think there’s a long way to go before I feel more comfortable with it – I still struggle over single words or sentences.

Lately, I’ve been rediscovering myself in many different ways. I find myself more aware of everything – and that is probably not the most interesting thing – if not by chance, by fate, but I do feel different. I certainly am not the same person I was a while ago. I write more, which means I exit my body more often.

Four Paragraphs Long

I don’t really know what this post is about or even why I decided it should be blog post in the first place. All I can think is that I really liked it. I thought it would be interesting to share it with others. Not that it would be useful or anything, simply a pleasant read.

It’s not meant to mean anything in particular – at least in any philosophical way. It’s just something I conjured up the other day before going to bed. After I read it a couple of times, I knew it was a true gem. Only four paragraphs long, yet so deep with frustration and love. The love of a father towards his son, and of those little – apparently insignificant – moments that stick with you for the rest of your life. Here it is.

A very short midnight story

It’s almost midnight and I can’t really prevent my eyes from closing. I’m tired as hell, yet I can’t seem to convince myself into the idea that I should get some sleep.

I don’t have a big day tomorrow or anything, it’s just that my kid wakes up so goddamn early. Well, that’s what he’s supposed to do, and I can’t find an argument against that – at least a plausible one.

Sometimes he just stays awake, lying there in my regular-sized bed, staring at me directly into my eyes, even though I have them closed, like waiting for the slightest hint of evidence that I too, am awake.

At the first sight of a blink, he launches himself toward me. “Papa, papa,” he shouts with excitement. I open my eyes wide, he sticks his finger in one of them – it hurts.

Always Late to the Party

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

It always seems I’m late to the party. For several years I pondered on the idea of joining Twitter, but it never really made much sense to me – at least at the time – to join a social network where there were hardly any friends of mine1. Big mistake, that actually is one of the cool things about twitter. Unlike Facebook, it does provides an open space suitable for engaging in discussions, albeit short, of all sorts with interesting people who don’t really have to be your “friend.”

It turns out that shortly after joining twitter most people2 were already considering abandoning it in favor of For the time being seems like a niche thing, and most people seem to continue on twitter. Whether that stays that way for the next year or so depends on twitter and their recent policy changes that could well endanger the platform as we know it today.

Convert Image to PDF With Automator and Imagemagick

I often use Imagemagick for image manipulation1. However, for simple conversion of an image to another format or similar things I have to go to the terminal and type something like the following

convert somefile.png somefile.pdf

Which is quite simple, and much better than opening preview -> export2->select pdf-> and hit save. But typing that for more than one image is also tedious. So, I decided I’d better create a service that would essentially do the following.

It would take the selected finder items, mainly images in png, jpeg, or whatever, and convert all of them to pdf. Simple.

My Blog Post Writing Workflow With Dropbox and Hazel

It may seem that, for the most part, I’ve been blogging about blogging. No matter how pointless it seems, I do think that this could prove useful to someone, in the same way I have benefited from others while setting up this site1.

One of the things I like about having an Octopress driven txt-only blog is that I have the liberty to set things my way. The topic I am addressing here is that of writing blog posts on different devices2 with the help of Dropbox3 and Hazel. I’m still working out the whole remote blogging thing, this is but the first stage of a soon-to-be remote blogging workflow with Octopress.

Spanish Keyboard and Aperture

My new keyboard.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve grown accustomed to switching back and forth between an english keyboard at home and a spanish keyboard at work. Like anything, at first it takes a while to get fully accustomed, but all in all it isn’t too bad. This week my English keyboard at home died, so I bought a new one this time in Spanish, because that was what they had at the store.

One of the things I don’t like of the spanish keyboard 1 is that most (if not all) applications design the shortcuts assuming an English keyboard. Therefore, what could be single key shortcut in the English keyboard becomes a double key shortcut in the Spanish keyboard. And that’s not all.

A Service for Writing Day One Footnotes Inline

I recently wrote about inserting footnotes in Day One and how it could be achieved with the new markdown support. I realize that ideally Day One should support multimarkdown footnotes, but this has not arrived yet. It could well be planned for a future release, but I’ll stick to my solution for the mean time.

One of the tedious things about my solution to footnotes in Day One is that you have to do everything manually. The insertion of the footnotes plus the formatting, not to mention keeping count of the number of footnotes. For one or two footnotes this doesn’t seem like a big issue. But for several more it gets complicated.1 You have to put the superscript (^), the number of the footnote, the horizontal line (which I think necessary) and the footnote itself. Therefore, I thought I could automate this–somewhat.

It Makes a Difference to Know the Backstory

selbstporträt by Vincent van Gogh .

I think that everybody, to get the screaming out of their heads do different things […] beautiful losers and genius lunatics […] there are people who make things that we really, really admire, and love and feel some kind of a resonance with because the work itself is fantastic, but there’s another level to what they make when you know the backstory […] There are a lot of people whose work I admire that I think partly what brought me to them, in some ways, is knowing that backstory.

Merlin Mann, Back to Work Episode #84 - Every Genie is an Actuary.

As Feynman spoke once of the science knowledge of a flower,1 I restate here in another context. There are many interesting questions that come from the knowledge of the backstory of the work of those we admire, which only adds to the excitement and mystery of the work itself. I don’t understand how it subtracts.

I’m Writing the Site I Want to Read

a day in the life of striatic ~ end of day accident
photo by striatic.

If there’s something I learned from the famous talk “149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!” by John Gruber and Merlin Mann, was that one should make a great effort to write as if the people you admire we’re going to read your work. This is true even if the people you admire are fictional, or like in Gruber’s case, an idealized version of himself. I like to think that this piece of advice is as valid for writing/blogging as it is for anything else you do in life.