August 22nd, 2001

self portrait

Divergences in time

I stayed home from work yesterday. Nothing really wrong with me, but I was terribly tired and just couldn't bring myself to go to work.

It started the previous evening. Ericka and a visiting guest went out to Barnes & Noble. This is a treat for Ericka because a) she doesn't get to go out much as her physical disabilities make it hard for her to do so and b) I don't like to shop with Ericka. (We have conflicting shopping styles and it ends up driving me nuts. I identified this early in our relationship and now simply refuse to shop with her. It's better this way; really.)

This started out just fine for me, I watched the episode of Babylon 5 the Tivo had dutifully grabbed for me and then started in on the Twins game. It was a frustrating game, the Twins losing despite a good effort by their pitcher and a ninth inning rally. By the time the game was done, I was ready for bed and expecting Ericka to come home any minute.

Our guest for the week is a woman from Toronto. She's a fine sort and Ericka has lots of fun with her. She's a good guest, taking care of herself and being quite considerate, even contributing to things like laundry and meals. She is, however, a bit forgetful from time to time. Not a big deal, I only mention it because Ericka sometimes needs assistance getting ready for bed. With no one but our guest around, I didn't want to go to bed only to have to get back up to help Ericka if she needed it.

So I sat down in front of Alpha Centauri and amused myself until about midnight. About then, our friend the massage therapist came in as he was going to accompany Ericka to her pool therapy in the morning. So with a second person around, I figured one of the two of them could help Ericka and I went to bed.

Well, Ericka's wake-up time for her therapy on Tuesdays is 5:30 a.m. Not nearly enough sleep for me, having got to bed by about 12:30 a.m. Plus I was annoyed I had to stay up so late and a bit worried that something untoward had happened while Ericka was out. So by the time I got Ericka off I was pretty darn tired. I ate some yogurt and took my morning dose of Ritalin, but that just wasn't enough to get me going. So I called in to work, to let them know I wasn't going to make it in. Unfortunately, the Ritalin did its job and kept me awake so I was in that funky so tired but can't sleep space for the early part of the day.

At work today, I feel a lot like I did yesterday. I did get enough sleep with going to bed on time and catching a good nap yesterday afternoon. But I'm looking at what I'm going to accomplish at work today and feeling like I could have just as well stayed home again. Heck, at least if I'd stayed home I would have gotten in another good game of Alpha Centauri.

It's frustrating working on something that you know will not make the impact it is supposed to. I received three separate pieces of mail this morning telling me, in no uncertain terms, that our web site is not working well. The work I'm doing for it now is just cosmetic. The real problems are down in the guts of the information architecture and this change won't fix them.

So I procrastinate and commiserate with a co-worker who can see the same things I can. I fume silently about having to teach my boss JavaScript and CSS as I do my magic with the cosmetic change. I grumble more about having to go back and fix whatever code he mucks around with.

And it all feels like deja vu. Like I did just this sort of thing last year and it is what got us to where we are now. If things go according to schedule, I'll make a stand in about a month and be told that things have to be this way for just a little while longer and then we can look at doing them differently. Meanwhile, the stock price plunges, more layoffs loom, and I keep getting grumpier.

I think I'll spend today looking for ways to change that.
  • Current Mood
    restless restless
self portrait

An evening's silliness

Ericka reminded me of the silliness that drifted up from my subconscious as we drifted off to sleep:

We were lying abed and I slipped an arm over her under the covers. Our cat, Vegas, saw the motion and pounced upon my hand. Ericka wondered why the cat would do this silly thing and I began to expound.

You see, the cat was merely keeping in practice. Pretending my fingers were a mouse in case a real mouse were to come by. This could be particularly dangerous if it was a vampire mouse. "Vampire mouse?" Ericka asked incredulously. "Yes," said I, "the South American Vampire Mouse." I then demonstrated how said mouse would creep under covers and sink its vampire fangs into Ericka's flesh to suck her blood. "Fangs?" she said, sounding dubious. "Yes, silly," I said, "How else will they suck your blood."

Ericka allowed as to how I had a point and that she didn't know that South American Vampire Mice had fangs. I explained that they were part of the standard vampire kit, along with the capes. "Capes?" By now she was giggling at my nearly every word, unaware, it seems, of the seriousness of the dangers presented by South American Vampire Mice. I patiently explained that, of course, South American Vampire Mice wore capes. How else could they take one side across they little grey muzzles and exclaim "Blah!" (in an appropriately mouse-like pitch)?

For some reason Ericka found this unbelievable and exclaimed, "You're making this up!" I explained that, of course I was making it up but that doing so didn't preclude it being true. Besides, I said, it was my job to make them up along with the other fiddley bits.

"Fiddley bits?" She said, curious. From there, I went into a riff about how I was an independent contractor for the Creator working on the Earth. You see, I helped build the world in conjunction with three guys from Jersey. (Harry, Bob, and Phil. They're with The Union. I wanted Joe, he does good work, but he was busy with the horsehead nebula.) While the other guys were the main line contractors, they didn't have time for fiddley bits and so I helped out making those all fill in.

"But why did they need you?" Ericka asked. Well, without me, the world would have been the sole creation of three guys from Jersey. Bad enough that a few things fell through. I mean, one day, Phil has a bit too much to drink and, well, how do you suppose we got the platypus? And they're kind of big and clumsy. You know the fjords? That was Harry. He dropped Norway and broke off the edge all ragged like. But it all worked out. "And how long did this take?" "Six days, of course," I answered. I didn't tell her that we just quit after six days because funding ran out even though there was still work to be done.

So on and off since then, Ericka has been asking details about the vampire mice. Most recently she was corrected of the impression that their capes were maybe only short ones, not going down their entire bodies. "Feh!" said I, incredulous, "What self-respecting South American Vampire Mouse would be caught dead in a demi-cape?"
  • Current Mood
    silly silly