Twenty-One Days Out

So, 23,407 words later, I am no closer to knowing whether what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo is science fiction or literary fiction. But there is still something in there to write, and I am still able to find time to cram in little pieces of it every single day, so that’s something. Okay, I’ll admit that it is something miraculous, considering the hours that I have been working lately — but honestly, my spending more hours working than I should be is nothing new, so I won’t dwell on it.

I have not been spending enough hours studying. I need to get back into that habit before I look up and discover I have weeks’ worth of stuff to do at the last minute. The dedicated study hour between 8:00 – 9:00 each evening has been eroded by, oh, lots of things. Most often, it has been due to our starting dinner late (because of work), which means we eat dinner late, and kitchen clean up is late, and if there is a 9:00 PM deployment scheduled for work, I can forget about studying at all that night.

But I said I wouldn’t dwell on that.

I could try shifting my study time to the mornings before everyone in the household gets up. This, of course, would require me to get up at the same earlier hour every day, which I could easily manage if I went to bed every night by ten like I was doing so good with until a series of escalating events made it more likely that I go to bed by one than ten, and my tiny stupid brain remembered that one a.m. used to be my regular bedtime and was okay with that even when the rest of me very much Was Not.

I owe my advisor a return call. I should probably tell him that I’m fighting with this. It … alright, understand that I still find it weird to have an academic advisor that I feel I can talk to. I spent years taking classes at some institutions without interacting with any beyond getting a random person’s stamp on my course schedule.

Speaking of being up past my bedtime, it’s after midnight, and I can’t blame work at all for my being awake (I did work earlier today), so I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow is another chance to do better, right?

In the morning, I’ll probably read this post, shake my head, and tell myself that I at least succeeded in blogging twice in one month!

Playing In The Dirt

I made it to Day 82 of my Duolingo streak before I got hit by a bus, logistically speaking. I’m now back on that horse, after chasing after it for a week and some (ish), and then being bounced off it a few times before I figured out which direction I should sit on the saddle … metaphorically speaking.

But, our son’s in his new high school now, and I’m in my new academic program, and have already gotten through two of the classes, despite the usual reasons I generally list after despite, and the unusual ones I generally don’t.

Unusually speaking, I have started planting things again, and this time around, I have been giving them names.  One of my co-workers gave me a Limelight hydrangea, which I’ve named Felix.  Felix is still a little uncertain about being in the front mulch, but (s)he’s put on some new growth, so I think (s)he’ll be okay. I also have Chloe, a mystery treeling that I discovered growing in the mulch and decided to rehome into a large terracotta pot until she was large enough to plant in the yard. @bhoneydew suggested she might be a Triffid, not a tree, so I tucked the pot behind our lamppost, so she could be well positioned to fill up on bugs until she gets big enough to intimidate solicitors … or she turns out to be some less beneficial variety of exotic invasive.

That much said is enough for now, I think.  It is 9:00 PM and I am already getting sleepy: getting up at 5:00 AM almost every day, and every day being a very busy day these days is making me a very boring sort of Shai.

At least it’s the cheerful sort of boring.

 

 

C’est là que commence la folie

I’m on Day 73 of my Duolingo streak, and into the second week of my video game boycott.  The boycott isn’t anything political:  I was just parked in a low mental activity rabbit hole1, and I finally had enough sleep to realize that.

With a few exceptions this past month, I have gotten myself moving toward bed around ten at night, and asleep by eleven.  I know it will be a while before I am completely crawled out from under the chronic sleep deprivation, and I keep reminding myself of that, especially when I notice that in general, I’m doing better.  Yes, really.  I am running just a single load of laundry every day. On very good days, it gets put away semi-immediately. It is in no immediate danger of becoming another low mental activity rabbit hole.

I even have “Begin Blog Post” (which was Monday, August 5th) and “Publish Blog Post” (booked for Monday, August 12th) tasks blocked into my planner, just like I had last month.  We’ll see if I get sick of working on this post before the 12th and chuck it over the fence ahead of schedule like I did last month2.

…and obviously, I did not.  It is five minutes until ten on Monday, August 12th, and here I am not really knowing how to finish this blog post other than to say yeah, I can really notice it now when I don’t get into bed by ten, and setting my alarm clock for an hour later to try to compensate for the lack of sleep only makes it worse because I start off the morning feeling like I’m behind and I’m running to catch up all day.

Yeah, I did that last night.  @bhoneydew was in the living room watching the first episode of Another Life when I was heading to bed last night, and I got drawn into the story-based entertainment black hole before I could escape.  I won’t say that I should know better, because I already do know better.

I also am better.  Despite getting up an hour later than usual, I still managed to do everything I had planned to do today — including this blog post.  Boom.


1This sounds better than “place Shai goes to hide”, I think.
2Because it takes a surprising amount of effort for me these days to write anything (work related, non-work related, school related, grocery lists) that doesn’t read like I threw it together on my cell phone while parked in a waiting room.  Our son currently has physical therapy for his ankle twice a week, and I’ve hit the beginning of my fall checkups.

Déchiqueter l’inquiétude

This post brought to you by a 25 day French streak on Duolingo.  Yep, I did restart my refresher, and so far, the experiment seems to be working.

Speaking of experiments, I deleted the blog post that was still attracting all of the tedious spam comments.  Editing it, changing its URL, and removing the genuine comments from it just wasn’t helping like I had hoped! I figured I would try shredding the post instead of doing something like, oh, starting up an entirely new blog after we all agreed that this one was wrong and I should be sorry.

I also deleted my LinkedIn profile, which had nothing to do with my spam comment problem, except for being a similar source of unease. I was getting a little creeped out by the increasing number of anonymous viewers, especially since they had been occurring in bursts (perhaps not so) oddly synchronous with some recent work events.

That is about all I can share of what is going on right now, except to say the Monster’s cast is coming off soon, and maybe we will all be a little less crazy here.

Maybe.

Happy Still June!

 

Two Dishcloths Later…

Je crois que mon titre serait “deux torchons plus tard” en français.  I think.  I restarted my Duolingo French refresher as one of my not-really-a-resolution-that-just-so-happened-to-start-around-the-New-Year-nothing-to-see-here-Universe things.  Not that I had a practical reason to restart my Duolingo French refresher, beyond seeing it as a bit of psychic clutter that might finally go away if I finish it, and it’d probably be healthier to finish it than, oh, say, for a completely random example, the Dragonborn expansion of Skyrim.1

Probably.

Continue reading

Hey There

Dear Fellow COMM 390 Students,

If you have found me here, congratulations!  You managed to get to this blog despite my leaving the link out of my introductory post to the class.

Please say hello if you like, or just run away screaming. I’m not one to judge!

-Shai

Acedia Domesticus

We must believe
The hours of this situation
Present education
In cultivating celebration
Through graceful service
Of fortunate appetite
And felicitous occasion

-5.25.2018, the latest #spampoetry

It’s almost the middle of the year, and we’re coming up on six years in Northern Virginia, which is now tied with California for the longest @bhoneydew and I have ever lived anywhere together. It has been the longest we’ve ever been at the same address:  we moved twice when we were in California, three times if you count the month we spent in San Diego before we moved north.

Does this house finally seem like home?  No.  Most days, it feels like we haven’t finished unpacking. Even though we got rid of moving boxes right away (having the basement flooded by Sandy did help with that), we still have pictures and artwork stashed in a closet wrapped in the same bubble wrap I taped around it when we left New Jersey.  Yes, that was two moves ago.  Yes, the stuff hasn’t left that closet since we rescued it from flood waters then returned it right back to the basement after it was torn up, dried, scrubbed, repaired and I spent three months yelling at our escrow company so they would just give us the freaking money our insurance company had already said we could have to pay our contractors.

The argument has been that we’ll put the stuff on the walls when the painting’s done. Is the painting done?  No.  Some of it is done, though, and has been for a while, but eh, busy, no time to fool with it, there’s work and school and stuff and even scrubbing toilets is more entertaining than going through the trouble of moving everything and doing the rest of the painting ourselves and being vaguely unhappy with the results and then having a real estate agent’s eventually telling us we do have to get it all redone by professionals because we aren’t experts at it not even close … or even giving up and hiring professionals because that means we’ll still have to move everything and have to live around having people in our house doing the stuff and it might take months, just look at the patio that was supposed to take three weeks and took a year and we still need to get the last sign offs on it!

Et cetera.

But, I did get the tile floor fixed in the Monster’s bathroom.  That took two days, or six years, depending on how you look at it.1 I got the roof dealt with immediately after the late winter storms took shingles off it.  That took a day. This year, I found someone to mow the yard right away, instead of waiting until the local wildlife showed up on the front porch and suggested we seek help, or at least try to get named a nature preserve.2  I also picked up a new couch and chair for the living room, instead of just circling around “I don’t want to do that, because it’ll get damaged in the next move:  let’s just keep the beat up stuff we already have”. That took a week, and I felt really good about myself afterwards.

Not as good as I felt after wrapping up my spring semester of classes, sure, but pretty good, yep!

So I guess there’s hope, if you can call it that.

Or we’ll just convince ourselves that this house really is cursed and move even though we don’t have a sane reason to do so, and we genuinely do have too much going on right now to want to invite that flavor of chaos back into our lives.


1This house was a new construction spec, which the builder decided to interpret as “hey, you bought it after it was built, so we’re going to ignore your punch list, and forget all about doing those three and six month inspections we promised, and decide that you waived your right to a year one inspection because you brought in outside contractors to tear out your basement finishing and do mold remediation after it flooded even though we didn’t intend to offer you or any other resident of this subdivision help in dealing with that.”
2Am I even trying to do any gardening this year?  The sack of bulbs that have been parked by the door for a month suggest I’m still thinking about it, but we’ll see.