“Last” week was an interesting one. It took me all the next week to figure out how to write about it. So these events are from Nov 5-11, two weeks before the time I’m posting. I’ll post this week’s update in a day or two.
The week started out pretty bad. Sunday I was feeling very down for some reason. I felt disconnected from the whole evangelical way of conducting religion, and I wasn’t sure I could force myself through church. I did, but I was miserable.
I did skip the young adult ministry gathering after the service. Even apart from feeling bad, I didn’t see much point in attending a ministry that only applies to me for four more months. That’s pretty much the essence of being 39. So close to over the hill you might as well start rolling. Except that I don’t feel anywhere near that old.
This church experience reminded me that my beliefs report is a good idea! At least once I’ve written that, I’ll know exactly where I stand. However, it’s on hold temporarily, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute.
My bad week continued on Monday with computer problems that had carried over from the week before. The IT department’s login policies make it very easy to get locked out of our accounts, especially when you’ve just changed your password and you have to update all your devices. Guess what was happening. It was very frustrating. I ended up fixing it by cutting off my phone’s access to the office wifi and email.
I could’ve tried setting up my work password on my phone again, but at that point I was done. I decided it was a good time to overreact and go on general mental lockdown. If our office technology was going to be such a pain about my way of life, I’d let the office win. I shut off everything remotely personal and settled down to do nothing but my dreary job.
Bad work thing #2 was basically a request from customer service to fix an unfixable glitch in some of my ebooks. Actually it turned out that’s not quite what they were asking for, but that’s what it sounded like at the time. I was already in such a mood that I began seriously asking myself why I was still in a job that was aimed away from my intended career path. A little research told me I still wasn’t ready to move on in the right direction.
Bad work thing #3 was that I’d been coming in late a little too often, and my boss politely asked me to knock it off (a loose paraphrase). I decided the best way to comply was to come in an hour early from then on. Which meant definitely going to bed on time, which to my grouchy mind meant not having an evening, just to be safe.
My strategy for punctuality included lunch. If I was going to enslave myself to a stricter work schedule, I should avoid any danger of ending lunch late. So I cut out all lunchtime project activity. Hence the pause on the beliefs report.
So after all this bitter adjustment, the end result was single tasking through a 7-4:30 workday with an hour lunch. Then errands and home by around 5:30, dinner, my night routine, and whatever projects I could work on till 10. On a normal day, if things went right. I stuck to it pretty well that week.
I tried to keep up my bad mood as the days wore on. But I was being responsible and getting things done, and to my horror, my sense of accomplishment was overriding my bad feelings! I finished the week in an annoyingly good mood instead. With a disturbing abundance of energy from adequate sleep!
Appalling. A complete betrayal of my sense of injury.
My new habits were only reinforced by my attempt to multitask my way through Saturday. It reminded me how much that feels like a bog of chaos. The contrast was stark.
The first evening of my grumpy new plan to be disciplined, I thought about going to sleep right after dinner just to spite the world. But I decided since my mom was waiting on my Christmas list, I should work on that.
That took basically the rest of the week. That’s how my Christmas list goes, because I have to research what I’ll need for the next projects I have planned. This year’s list features books on various kinds of analysis. Plus other things like mini-globes of Mars and the moon. Since those are our first targets in space exploration and colonization, I figure I should learn them.
With getting home from work earlier and dropping extraneous activities, I had enough time in the evenings that I randomly spent half of one working on my experimental literature project. I’m cataloging the authors in the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. It’ll become a page of links on the wiki and a reading list for myself.
Thursday Audible launched a contest to win a voucher for things in your wish list. I don’t normally enter contests, but this one was for something I actually care about, and it was easy, so I entered. Then I had to fill up my wish list in case I won. So that’s taken some time.
I finished Consider Phlebas. It was good, though a space pirate story wasn’t really what I was looking for right now. The ending intrigued me, however, so I’ll continue the series.
Next I started Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence, an examination of the risks of developing superhuman intelligences, either through AI or the cognitive enhancement of humans. I consider this one of the most important books I’ve read, and I intend to read it more than once and study it in depth.
Saturday my last-straw frustration reemerged while I was getting my worship team music ready for the next day. I was keeping my printouts in a couple of big, unwieldy binders, and I decided it was time to move them to my little two-drawer filing cabinet.
Well, this thing is 20 years old, and it disagreed. The rack that held up the files refused to settle into place. It gave me two options: be unable to close the drawer or unable to open it.
I picked option C: Get a new filing cabinet. I researched it, ordered it, and picked it up from the store that day, and now it’s sitting in my apartment waiting to be assembled. I meant to do this years ago, but sometimes it takes a fit of rage.
Since it would be easier to assemble the filing cabinet if I had more space, maybe this is what will get me to clean up my apartment too.
With everything else going on, the generator has been on hold. But I’m hoping to get back to it in the next couple of weeks.
Friday my brother texted me to ask if I’d ever been to Nando’s. I only recalled hearing about it from the joke going around the Internet a couple of years ago. But it turns out they have several of them in my area. I was having dinner with Jeremy that night, so that’s where we went. Once we found it, I remembered seeing it before and my surprise at the time because I thought it was a UK chain. Anyway, the food was delicious, though my order left me wanting more.
A cheeky Nando’s with the lads. pic.twitter.com/0QnAI72sTr
— Andy Culbertson (@thinkulum) November 11, 2017
Saturday my sister texted me to ask a question about using LibraryThing, and poking around in my profile reminded me of an old online friend. He was in my pending friend requests. We used to talk all the time, and then a few years ago we lost touch. I’d searched for him a couple of times since then, but it seemed he’d removed himself from the Internet. But seeing his name got me to try again. This time I found him! A conversation in the comments followed. It just goes to show, “Good things come to those who wait.” That’s been true for me so many times.