tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (travel)
Since it seems that a lot of people don't know what I'm doing (and writing this post won't change that since even if I link it everywhere, the vagaries of various social media software will make sure most people never see it, lol):

I just finished my first week working at Heroku as an engineer on the HTTP Routing Infrastructure team. While most of the first week was spent shuffling ssh keys hither and yon, from here on I'll be writing some Erlang.

I'm living in the Mission (two blocks from Tartine, Maxfield's, and Bi-Rite) for the rest of July, subletting a room in a friend's place.

Since I have the privilege of being able to work remotely, I'm going to take advantage of that privilege for a while (as nice as the Heroku office is). In August, I'll be moving to someplace with lower rent than San Francisco, but within North America (my job is so inflexible ;-) so I can pay off my $30,000 of student loan debt and $12,000 of combined medical and credit card debt more easily. Given my constraints, there are a lot of places in North America to choose from -- specifically, all of them, except San Francisco. Optimizing for relative proximity to people and places I want to visit, proximity to a city with population 100,000+, culture, and low cost of living, I'll probably be looking for a 2 or 3-bedroom rental house in Reno, NV, where I predict I'll be paying about a quarter of the rent that I would pay for a similar place in the Bay Area. Once my debt is paid off (barring anything unexpected, in 6-9 months), I'll probably move back to the Bay Area, but then, who knows what will happen?

It seems that housing is generally "available now", so rather than trying to find a place to live in advance, I'll probably just get in my car at the end of the month and go try to find someplace to live, then return for my furniture and stuff (currently in storage) and my cats (currently staying with a friend in Napa). I'm aspiring to adopt two more cats, assuming I can find a rental place that will allow four cats (and crossing my fingers that my other cats don't hate them).

I would love to hang out with people in the Bay Area while I'm still here, but since I lent my car to somebody for the month to avoid paying half my rent again for a parking space, preferably someplace transit-accessible. I've also been focusing on first-week-of-work panic and finishing-an-article panic, and thus have made zero plans for that yet.

Updates

Dec. 2nd, 2011 02:04 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Hi!

I'm turning 0x1F in two weeks and two days. This year I'm celebrating by raising money for the Lyon-Martin Clinic in San Francisco, a health clinic that provides informed-consent-based care on a sliding-scale basis and turns no trans person away; they also serve cis women, with a particular focus on lesbian and bi women. I started my medical transition at Lyon-Martin, so it's both personally significant to me and an institution that's very important in the process of establishing informed consent as the only way to provide needed care to trans people.

If you want to donate (which you can do anonymously or not), please go to my Causes page. All donations help, no matter how big or small.

Also, I'm still looking for housing in San Francisco or Oakland starting January 1, 2012 -- if you know of an available apartment or roommate situation, please let me know!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (work)
I'm starting a job as a software engineer on the Research Team at Mozilla (where I interned from March to September this year), on January 2, 2012. I'll be working mainly from the San Francisco office and living in San Francisco (though I don't have housing yet -- let me know if you know of someone looking for a roommate or lease-taker-over!), spending some percentage of my time in the Mountain View office.

My term of employment concludes at the end of March, so anything is possible after that. Goat farming? Bicycle messengering? Returning to grad school, this time with mace? Or proving myself irreplaceable? Stay tuned...

What's in store for me in the meantime? Well, it probably looks a lot like this:

Lulu

(I'm the gray and white furry one with the green eyes.)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
For the sake of comprehensiveness:

I'm going to be interning at Mozilla in Mountain View, CA from March 21-June 17. Yes, that means I'll be living a hop, skip and a jump from downtown Mountain View for three months. No, that's not a bad thing. Yes, I wouldn't have thought so a few years ago. While the internship will be a good break from the dysfunctional university where I work and will allow me to pay for my health insurance for the rest of my time in grad school (I never thought that as a science grad student, I'd be spending 20% of my take-home pay for the privilege of being a student), it will tie into my Ph.D research as well, as I'll be working on some combination of the compiler and type-and-effect system for the Rust programming language, and compilation or static analysis for JavaScript.

I'm looking forward to seeing Bay Area people, as well as to working with such people as [livejournal.com profile] lindseykuper (who will be interning there at the same time) and a number of others!

Also, I'm turning 30 in two weeks, and to commemorate the time I spent volunteering in Haiti this past summer, I'm trying to raise $30 from 15 friends to support Partners in Health. Cut-and-pasted from my Causes page:
Hi everybody! Many of you know that I spent a month volunteering in Leogane, Haiti with Hands On Disaster Response (now called All Hands Volunteers). My time there, while brief, impressed upon me the enormity of the task of recovering from a natural disaster in a country that had already suffered more -- and for more clear-cut social, economic and political reasons -- than any group of people ever should.

Partners in Health is a group that has been working in Haiti for decades, and they recognize that helping poor and sick people is inseparable from working for social justice. They are committed to helping where the need is greatest, and addressing the universal right to health care, food, housing, and meaningful work.

For my 30th birthday, it would be great if I could get 15 friends to donate $30 to PIH. However much or little you can afford, I would still appreciate it.

Note for All Hands folks: I couldn't find a "Cause" for All Hands on Facebook. However, if you want to donate to All Hands instead of (or in additional to) PIH, I would appreciate it just as much!

To contribute, go to http://wishes.causes.com/wishes/122455 - and pass the word!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
My upcoming whereabouts:

  • Boston, Sat. Sept. 18 (evening)-Tues. Sept. 21 (morning)
  • New York City, Tues. Sept 21 (evening)-Thurs. Sept. 23 (evening)
  • Baltimore, Fri. Sept. 24-Sun. Oct. 3
If you live in one of these areas and you want to get together, and I haven't already emailed you, let me know! (In Baltimore I'll be pretty busy with conference stuff but can meet people in places not too far from downtown in the evenings.) Posting this here for the 2 people who'll see it who don't read Facebook.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I haven't gone out of my way to make a big announcement about this, because it was on and then off and then on again. But it looks like it's for real now, so I should say: I'm taking a leave of absence from my research assistantship to go to Haiti for six weeks to volunteer with Hands On Disaster Response (HODR). Specifically, I'll be in the city of Léogâne, about 11 miles from Port-au-Prince, from July 5-August 15 (except for a required 3-day mental health break, during which I'll be visiting the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] wealhtheow in San Juan).

I heard about HODR through [personal profile] wordweaverlynn, one of whose partners went to volunteer with HODR back in January. I filled out their volunteer application immediately after that, but I didn't think I would be accepted, since I have no relevant skills (except for Web programming and IT, which, yes, they asked about). To my surprise, several weeks later, they replied saying that they had volunteer space available. The answer to "what are you going to be doing there?" (the first question everyone seems to ask me) is "whatever they tell me to do". Mostly, I'm guessing, clearing rubble.

I have asked myself whether I'm a disaster tourist, whether I could be doing more good by donating the money I'm spending on my airfare to Haiti and on related accoutrements to a relevant organization instead. I have no answer to that, but writing checks wouldn't lead anywhere for me, except for possibly writing more checks later on. As a person who is still struggling on whether to follow the career path for which I've been training for most of my life, whose utility is real but often seems rather divorced from the task of remedying injustice, or whether to do something (and what?) to address other people's needs directly, I'm hoping that doing this work might bring a bit of moral clarity. I'm also pretty sure I'll be doing an amount of good that's greater than zero, so I hope that justifies not having figured out what the optimal strategy is for me to put the resources I have to use.

I've also asked myself why I should go to a (somewhat) distant country to volunteer when there's plenty of useful work I could do as a volunteer much closer to home. I don't have a great answer to that either, but I do think that globalization counters the imperative to act locally. For many years, the US has maintained foreign policies towards Haiti (and not just towards Haiti) that have advanced its own economic interests at the price of supporting repressive dictatorships. Because the US economy has benefited as a result, so have I; a rising tide lifts all boats. Spending six weeks clearing rubble is not going to make amends for the ill-gotten gains that I and all other affluent Americans have enjoyed, but maybe it's a start. I, for one, am tired of hearing news coverage about Haiti (not that we're hearing much news anymore) that takes the "How'd that happen?" approach to its poverty. The high standard of living that I enjoy and the low standard of living that most people in Haiti endure are linked. I enjoy what I enjoy at the expense of others. This isn't liberal paranoia or zero-sum cynicism; it's just historical and economic fact. Reading _The Uses of Haiti_ by Paul Farmer drove that point home for me.

So I'm hoping that even if I go ahead and become a computer science professor and spend the rest of my life sipping wine in Corte Madera, having been to Haiti will make me feel just a little bit more uncomfortable about believing in a certain set of technical problems to be the most compelling matter demanding my attention, or about believing that social progress is occurring at a faster rate than the one at which it actually is. I don't know what difference that would really make, but I figure that anything that decreases the amount of denial in the world is a good thing.

Finally, if you think that what I'm doing is a good thing, please express that by making a donation of whatever size you can afford, either to HODR or to Partners in Health, rather than by telling me so. Some people walk or bike or blog to fundraise for a cause -- I'm not doing any of those things, but if it helps, you could think of this as my equivalent of the Blogathon or AIDS Ride or whatever else.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12


For winter break, Tim should go to...

View Answers

Boston area, visit his mom
0 (0.0%)

New York City, get his mom to join him there, assuage guilt while avoiding staying in her apartment in Wellesley
6 (50.0%)

Southern California, go biking, lie on beaches
6 (50.0%)

Eastern Oregon comedy checkbox
3 (25.0%)

Visit me! (Not likely to be effective for non-North-America locations.)
3 (25.0%)

Other
1 (8.3%)

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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