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!

Place and Perspective

Along the tumbleweed way
I met someone like me.
He drives, sometimes.
Other times, I do.
For now, our son sits in the back,
Eats raspberries,
And sings along with the radio. 

 Next year, we may all be from here,
And if not, then, well, maybe the year after. 

– excerpt from “I’m from everywhere, man…”, a mandatory  ‘introduce yourself to your fellow classmates in the form of a poem’ assignment, circa 2013ish.

Place and Privilege was the original title of this blog post, but it sounded too much like a  Jane Austen reboot.

Continue reading

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.

Disconnect and Recharge

I had an accidental vacation this weekend. Since the Monster’s cast is now off, he can swim again, so we drove down to the in-laws’ place on the 4th.

For the first time ever, I forgot to pack the charging cord for my laptop. The day of work I had planned for Friday, and the weekend of unplanned work I had anticipated (yes, really) suddenly turned into except-for-what-you-can-handle-via-cell-you-can-only-work-a-half-day-unless-you-spend-the-rest-of-the-day-driving-home.

I worked until the laptop ran out of juice. I did not drive home. I also canceled a meeting instead of trying to handle it via cell.

I admit I spent more time this weekend than I should have twitching instead of relaxing.  See, last summer when I had scheduled vacation, I wound up spending the first day of it on a marathon conference call and most of the first night doing research and sending emails related to that conference call.  On day two, after I had gotten dragged back into a call as soon as I had climbed into a swimming pool, I gave up and went home just as soon as I could hang up the phone and get out of the water.

Yes, I once did a conference call while standing in a swimming pool. It’s not one of my happiest moments, and certainly not one of my brightest, even if the phone did survive.

I got into the pool this weekend. Let me rephrase that.  I made myself get into the pool this weekend, despite feeling like if I tried to have fun, something would interrupt it.

It did help that I accidentally left my phone plugged into the charger inside my in-laws’ house, and maybe-not-as-accidentally let it have a vacation for the rest of the weekend, while I finished the book I started back in, uhm, March, and started another. I did not make any more dishcloths (though I have made a few more since I last mentioned them), but I did continue with my Duolingo refresher. I’m now on Day 39.

Day 39. I can’t believe it either.

What’s next?  Writing more frequent blog posts? Writing again in general?  Maybe just more dishcloths? Tous ces optimisme me donne le vertige.

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!

 

Refresher Course

In these cases, the unusual
Answering questions is outstandingly grave
Do not begin
Words can just be presented in a behavior that minimizes anxiety
The side effects vary

-the latest #spampoetry

It is no longer February. It was March. It was April. I barely remember any of them, but the paychecks did show up on time. My hyacinths were beautiful, my azaleas were beautiful (despite being rain battered), my landscape roses are still beautiful, and my tulips yet again got munched before they even opened, so much for my hypothesis that the bears turning up in our neighborhood scared off the deer as much as they seem to have the rabbits and foxes. The lilies are already tall enough to suggest they are considering taking over the world this summer, or at least the cul-de-sac.

The Monster is now taller than both of us, and still will be taller than both of us, once he recovers from tendon surgery. He shot up before he was entirely prepared to be as tall as he is (and well ahead of when we would have been ready for it). He’ll be in a cast for the first half of the summer, and a brace for some undetermined amount of time after that, which is certainly a fantastic way for him to spend his last summer before high school.

Not that this seems to bother him, but not much does.  Every day and everything is a new adventure.

I could take a lesson from that.  I believe I will.