Somewhere Between

It’s a rattling nice place.
After my altered engagement
Truly programming is nothing
However it’s a logic
That does not come to me.
-The latest #spampoetry

I had a thought that I wanted to write down, but I lost it somewhere between homework and reloading the dishwasher and dozing off in front of American Ninja Warrior. It’ll come to me tomorrow, most likely during a round of questioning my life choices, otherwise known as running behind a middle school cross country team. I’ll find it.  Eventually.

=NVL(Number,24)

Started new
My novel number
It is error
– The latest #spampoetry

Toward the end of July, I had a work week with three 24 hour days in it.  It’s not like I’m not predisposed to insomnia anyway and haven’t worked those kind of hours before1,2, but this time was different, because I’d promised I wouldn’t do that anymore, and it took me to the end of that third day to realize that I hadn’t even felt a pang of self-preservation. Nope. None. There was work to do that needed to be done, and I was there to do it, and…

It was ridiculous. I wasn’t saving lives or putting out fires or keeping the streets safe or trying to make the world a better place through sweat, patience or holding the line against the darkness. At best, I was helping get people into jobs, or keep the ones they had.

At worst?  Well. For a while, my work hours had been compressing my life to the edges of the day:  I was staying up late to get homework done, or getting up very early to handle household chores and basic self-care3.  It was manageable. For a while.  Then my work started eating those hours, too, and the hours I’d ordinarily spend sleeping.

Which was insane, but I didn’t really notice it until @bhoneydew drew my attention to it. I went huh, he’s right, and around then was when I promised I wouldn’t work any 24 hour days unless it was necessary.

Like I said earlier, I wasn’t doing anything strictly necessary.

So, I gave my two weeks’ notice. I did consider negotiating an hours cap for my role, but the nature of the business made that impractical: sales and business development waits for no one, even sanity.

I quit. I’m back in school. I have an unexpected opportunity to get some hands-on experience with big data, which is something I honestly enjoy working with — in a purposeful manner, not just because I stumbled into it years ago.

I do stay up late sometimes, but it’s no later than 2:00 am, and it’s because I’m working on homework or something like this blog post. I sleep well when I go, and I remember my dreams when I wake up. Food tastes like food again.

I think this will work. We’ll see, won’t we? Who knows, I might even finish that sweater this year.


1I was on call during a lot of days while I worked the graveyard shift for Altavista during 99-2000, and overall so sleep-deprived that when I got the phone call inviting me to come interview for Lucent, it took me three days to realize that I hadn’t talked to someone from Genentech. I’ve been told my in-person interview at Lucent (this at three in the afternoon after I’d worked double shifts for a week straight while also planning a wedding) was hilarious: I was clearly asleep, but able to answer every question I was asked. I don’t remember more than pieces of that day:  the dull grey carpet, the rectangle of sunlight on the conference room table and the white and green hedges out in front of the building that smelled like Ivory soap and gardenia.

2Other than a brief glorious period of three long naps a day, the Monster barely slept until he was seven.  Ergo, I barely slept until he was seven.

3Ironically, I took better care of myself when I was traveling. Being forced to be out of the house meant I showered every day, instead of just the days when I was able to make it to the gym. I tried very hard not to give up on that, even during periods when scheduling became a nightmare. I don’t eat when I’m stressed. Going to the gym forced me to eat even when everything tasted like sawdust.

Summer Armadillos

An ouroboros is cathexic by nature.

By nature, an ouroboros is cathexic.

Cathexic by nature is an ouroboros.

An ouroboros is cathexic by nature…

Repeat until there are no more margaritas.

Margaritas are finite, but delicious.

(8.25.2017)

I’ll explain later. At least most of it. It’s all good, even the stuff I can’t talk about.

Switching Defaults

I’ve a venture that I am just now working on

-The latest #spamcommentary

The first week of January, I told myself that I was going to spend 25 minutes a night Reading-with-a-Capital-R, which for me means Reading-Of-Things-That-Are-Not-Required-For-My-Work-In-An-Intentful-Manner (a.k.a. things I seek out to read, rather than news that pops up on my phone1).

Yeah. That didn’t happen. I did it the first day, felt great2, and it just didn’t happen again. I was too fried by the end of each day, and waking up each morning a little more pissed at myself for again failing to do One Simple Thing That I Enjoy. I was a serious grouch by Thursday, so much so that when I woke up that I ordered myself to read a freaking book in the half hour I generally have before everyone wakes up instead of catching up on e-mail or squeezing in some work.

I did. I wasn’t grouchy anymore. I felt better.

So, I flipped the planner. I now read for 25 minutes every morning. If I find some free time during the day (e.g. when I’m waiting for The Monster at his after school activities), I’ve started reading then, too, instead of my default action trying to work on my laptop (or my phone) through sketchy Internet connections. Oh, I’m sure if there’s a looming deadline, I’ll go right back to working during those times, but right now? Right now, reading’s good.

Mostly good.

There have been some side effects. Poetry. I want to tell you that those outbursts were just things I had to get out of my head before I could tuck into 25 minutes of working on a creative project, but I’m afraid I won’t maintain the momentum I have on the creative project, so I’m not telling you that, just apologizing for the mess.


1 I think I mentioned that I removed the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone back in late September. I’ve re-added Twitter, but haven’t yet been motivated to do so with Facebook. (I’m not on Pinterest: every time I’ve registered for it, I’ve gotten a splitting headache. I imagine that’s some sort of sign.)

2 While reading lulls my mental penguins into a false sense of security relaxes me, I know one of the reasons I haven’t been reading like I used to is my fear that I’ll get lost in a book and everything else going on in my life will get ignored.3 Articles are short, and work/school related reading/research will eventually make my brain tired, so they’re self-limiting.

3That used to happen all of the time when I was a kid. When I discovered the pre-Internet internet (I cut my social media teeth on BITNET) and online text-based gaming — gah, that was like having a freshly dead tauntaun on Hoth. So, these days, I set timers when I read or play video games (I’ve also stopped playing social ones altogether) to remind me to look outside of my brain to see if, oh, say, the house is on fire.

Catching Up

Appreciating the persistence you put into your site.

-the latest #spamcommentary

What I Am Saying:

Hahahahahahahaha.

So, February sucked.

March was a little better. I’m getting into the groove with the new full time gig (which appeared out of the middle of nowhere while I was fighting fires the week I got back from Mom’s funeral1): put two large projects to bed before I headed back to Arkansas to help my sister do triage on Mom’s stuff, and managed to take care of a small project while I was doing that triage. There are still lingering embers from the early February fires, but hopefully hopefully they’ll be burned out by some point in April. Of course, I said that to myself about the fires in December. And the ones in September. And the ones last April. And the ones in December 2014.

I dropped my PL/SQL refresher. I was doing well in it — in the interests of full disclosure, I’m only taking it because the PL/SQL class I had didn’t transfer — but life had decided not to cooperate with my wanting to take a class on Tuesday nights. On that note, I haven’t looked at a single lecture for the Coursera bio class I signed up for. Not. A. Single. One. Nope. I’ll get things figured out eventually, or at least enough to fake it.

What I Am Not Saying:

As a child, I did science
To contain and explain
Madness
I wanted to be more
Than flesh and bone,
Hormones and hysteria
I knew … like I knew everything
That logic could
Let me leap out of the mud
Allowing me to fly
Through even God’s fingers

It did.

In college, science didn’t want me
I was too mad to love
My logic all circumstantial,
Conditional,
Anecdotal
Poetry was a better fit
But I knew … like I still knew everything
That poetry could
Starve me so much
That my meat and its needs
Would betray me
Crushing me back into the dirt

I did not give it that chance.

In adulthood, I have said
I am not that
I was this instead
I do not do that
I said
I did this instead
And I will be
And I was someone else
And I will do
And I did something else
But in truth, I have just done
Only what a bee does
Fading flower to brighter flower to next flower
But dumping my cargo
So I won’t be forced to land

There is no more ground to fear now
And I am no longer as certain of the sky
Or that I know anything.


 

1Yeah, I did see it as a sign.