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!

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.

No Love For Robots

Oh, hey, the spammers found me again.

i see your website needs some fresh & unique content
writing manually is time consuming
[trust me]
[you will love your robot masters]
please help me to rank my website for some toys
[after you load this operating system atop yours]
[trust me]

-the latest #spampoetry

The spammers are right on two counts.

One,  I should stop talking about my laundry.

(Freaking laundry.)

Two, speaking of robots, I feel the need to vent some about Political Survey Calls.

We’ve gotten so many at home (we live in a county that CNN featured heavily in the last Presidential election) that I’m now cringing whenever I see a Caller ID pop up on the house phone that I don’t recognize.  If the number is flagged as Anonymous or Unknown or Out Of Area, I don’t answer the phone at all.

It’s not so much that I don’t like answering questions about my political beliefs1, it’s that I don’t like not being able to answer questions about my political beliefs. Every single telephone surveyor I’ve had this election season has handed me a set of answers to choose from, like so:

SURVEYOR:  Do you support [Issue A]?

ME:  In what aspect?  I am okay with [A-1], think we could do a better job with
[A-2], and [A-3]? [A-3] just doesn't make any sense, even from a political
mercenary standpoint...

SURVEYOR: So is that a yes or a no?

ME: Uh. Let's say yes. I really am okay with [A-1]. I'd also like to see
[added feature]. This is something we are already doing in [other issue area]
and it is having a positive impact...

SURVEYOR: You said you support [Issue A]. Is it because of [Politician]'s work
in [A-3]?

ME: Did I not just say that I didn't think [A-3] made any sense?

SURVEYOR: [Politician] is looking out for [perceived social group:  since I'm a
middle-aged woman, this is usually 'families']...

ME: Interesting. Are you going to ask me what I think of [Politician]'s work
in [other issue area]? Because I'm pretty sure that's not what you're looking
for in a candidate who is looking out for [perceived social group].  Did someone
actually vet this individual, or was this more of a 'so and so can raise
a buttload of money and be the loudest dog in the park' scenario?


ME:  Loud Dog Phenomenon. It's like a squeaky wheel, but ... okay, Google's 
now telling me nobody's ever published an article about that, so maybe I just made
it up, sorry, but ... it's from Dilbert, sort of, when Dogbert decides he 
can get what he wants just by making a lot of noise. 

SURVEYOR: I ... see.  So, is that a 'no'?

1Like my religious beliefs, my political beliefs have never neatly fit into a single easily-labeled box, so I tend not to talk about what’s in that box.  It’s just better that way, as I’m sure most of the political surveyors who have called me would agree.