Hardscrabble 🍫

By Max Jacobson

this is my suitcase

30 Nov 2013

We are not “breaking up”, because we all still love each other. Mary Lynn writes great music. I still write music all over. We all still exist and we all still create. We are simply putting a lid on This Is My Suitcase to capture everything we’ve done; We are merely writing a really good ending to our own wild story.

Joseph Anthony Camerlengo

I don’t remember where I first heard of This Is My Suitcase, but I think it was on the absolute punk forums, probably in some thread for links to zips of weird albums from bands no one has heard of, many of which I downloaded and sifted through and deleted. One of them was “Missent to Thailand”. I have a vague memory of listening to it in an airport and being shocked by how much I liked this weird out of tune pop about being in love. I subscribed to the RSS feed of their Myspace blog (!?) and watched their careers as they almost went mainstream (I think Fall Out Boy were fans and tried to help them out, but it didn’t go anywhere) but they never quite left Ohio, where I think they’re local hometown hero types.

But of course, this is the internet, so this weirdo in New York got to become quite a fan of theirs. I had a few other bands or filmmakers or artists whose careers I casually followed through various feeds, who I never would have known about without the internet. Some I forgot about, and some I lost the bead on1, others. And I’m really grateful for all of that, because it’s got some of that magic of what I imagine earlier generations found in digging through crates of records or whatever.

I’m bummed I never saw them live, but they kind of only existed on the internet anyway? To me.

When I made my short film “I’m So Happy I’m Ecstatic” I knew I needed to include one of their songs. I’m really glad it’s in there.

I don’t remember exactly when I started, but I guess I’ve been listening to them a while. (myspace rears again in that tweet)

Their last album, “In The Wake Of Atrophy: a poignant album for heartsick humans”, came out yesterday. It’s available to stream or buy on bandcamp. The first music video for My Organs Are Our Organs just came out too.

If you’re a heartsick human (and you are) then you know what to do.

  1. the memory of one myspace band called “isa” continues to haunt / elude me 

Synchronize Our Dictionaries

30 Nov 2013

Recently I’ve been melting the butter stick of my brain against the griddle of Reginald Braithwaite, whose twin books on JavaScript and CoffeeScript as functional programming languages, JavaScript Allonge and CoffeeScript Ristretto have been tripping me out hard.

I bought them yesterday for their Black Friday half-off prices and loaded them into iBooks on my Mac and iPad (so glad to have a good ePub reader for Mac) after having their full-text-for-free web pages open for weeks in my browser, teasing me to read them while I do Ruby stuff all day.

In order to talk about how this works, we should agree on a few terms (you may already know them, but let’s check-in together and “synchronize our dictionaries”). The first x, the one in (x) ->, is an argument. The y in (y) -> is another argument. The second x, the one in -> x, is not an argument, it’s an expression referring to a variable. Arguments and variables work the same way whether we’re talking about (x) -> (y) -> x or just plain (x) -> x.

The particulars of this passage aren’t as important as that one phrase I plucked as the title of the blog post which I just really like a lot. Any kind of writing is basically just that. It’s as much about synchronizing your minds as it is synchronizing your language but that’s kind of the same thing.

open blog

24 Nov 2013

This blog is open for business. Also it’s open like, it’s on on github, which means you can fork it, read the drafts, submit pull requests, etc.

This isn’t a big deal. It’s true of all jekyll blogs on github. While reading about “open companies” like Balanced and Gittip, I thought that this is also true of my blog.

I kind of want to be a better blogger. I’m pretty proud of how I put together this new blog. It feels sturdy, with well-organized source code.

Today I bought a hoodie at American Apparel and the guy ringing me up asked for my email address because “we’re kind of going green and sending by receipts via email” and I told him it’s max@hardscrabble.net and he asked me to spell it. I said, “it’s max at hard, like difficult, and scrabble, like the game” and the other cashier laughed like, what kind of email address is that? I said, “I just think it’s a fun word” and got the hell out of there.


edit November 2014: I edited a link to point to the new home of the blog’s github repo, which moved from my user to a new organization called hardscrabble