Last week’s very late update reminded me that these weeknotes take me too long to write. I feel like each month’s project is just writing weeknotes and maybe squeezing in my actual project if I have time. So I’m going to think about how I can get them done faster.
My vacation continued through Monday morning.
Sunday after enjoying the US Women’s World Cup win (the rare sports thing I can appreciate), Abbie and I hung out at craft and bookstores until our parents arrived. We went to dinner at our favorite family dining restaurant in the area. My dad and I found it after a long, tiring drive on one of our earliest trips up here for college.
In the morning we met at a local breakfast place, and then I dropped my car off at the mechanic to look at the damage from the previous week’s accident. Then my family drove me to work, where we said good-bye.
Last week started with a fuller-than-usual plate of life maintenance concerns. It kinda weighed on my mind. So I made a list of stressors and tasks and then waited to get past them as the week progressed.
The police officer at the car accident the week before gave me a motorist report to fill out. It was due in 10 days or I’d get my license suspended or something. Then I went on vacation. I wrote as much as I could while I was away, but for the damage estimate, I needed a knowledgeable person to look at the car. Hence the trip to my mechanic Monday morning. By lunch time he’d determined it’d be hard to fix, and I should have a body shop look at it.
But first I decided to call my insurance company. They started a claim for me and gave me a rough estimate I could put on the form. That took a decently sized weight off my mind.
I debated whether I’d fix this car or replace it. By the end of the week I was leaning toward replace. With all the rust on the underside, this car will only get harder to fix, and next time it might be more than a loose bumper and an out-of-place fuel line.
Tuesday afternoon I had an appointment with my gastro doctor to lead up to my next colonoscopy. I have one every couple of years to check up on my ulcerative colitis. I’m used to them by now, but my worry is always who I can ask to drive me there and back, since after the procedure I’m too spacey to drive. Jeremy to the rescue! I’d forgotten he took me last year, but a Gmail search reminded me, and he agreed to do it this time too. That’ll be in a month.
At my regular dental appointment a few weeks ago, they found a small cavity. Wednesday I got it filled. After I got there late and then waited a while for everything to get set up, the actual filling only took about five minutes.
Then they tried to charge me $1,000 … for a root canal and a crown. It turned out there were two Andrews there that day, and I was about to be really nice and pay the other one’s bill! My actual bill was only $47.
Speaking of mysterious $1,000 bills (really closer to $2,000), I’d gotten one from the pharmacy that handles my UC medication. Another mental weight to interfere with my vacation. But the more I look into it, the less suspicious it seems, so now my main question is if the manufacturer’s discount program can reduce it.
Although it was less pressing than my other life maintenance concerns, I wanted to get my cleaning schedule set up. At the end of the week I finished recreating the Clean My Space table as a spreadsheet, so now I just need to fill it in with my intended routine.
And that wraps up my month of life maintenance!
This month’s project is a major update to my conceptual modeling essay based on my thinking and research over the past year. It’ll prepare for the more detailed work on this method that I’ll do in later sprints.
This project is a big deal for me. I see conceptual modeling research as a major subgoal of my life mission of exploring mental and relational potential. I’ve been thinking about it for many years. In fact, even if I never get very far in my career mission of contributing to artificial intelligence, if I do get somewhere with defining a system of conceptual modeling, I think I’ll feel content with my life. So if you see me spending a lot of project months on it in the future, that’s why.
I finished Preemptive Love by Jeremy Courtney. 5/5. It’s about the author’s philosophy of “Love first, ask questions later.” I thought the story would be sentimental, but it was way heavier than I expected. I recommend it.
After that was Breaking Cover by Michele Assad, which I zipped through. Also 5/5. Very compelling. Overall it was about how the difficult assignments God gives you (in her case, an undercover CIA job in very tough countries) can prepare you for higher purposes he has in mind. A major subtheme was empowerment: You can do more than you think, and you can turn others’ assumptions about you into an advantage.
These two books reminded me of the first principle of improv theater I learned from the book Improv Wisdom: “Yes, and.” When someone makes a suggestion, instead of rejecting it out of hand, embrace it and take it further.
But they also reminded me of survivorship bias. Courtney and Assad took risks and succeeded, but was it only because they were trusting God? Surely they had natural traits and acquired skills that gave them an edge. Their stories left me wondering what can be said about the people in similar situations who don’t succeed. Do those stories tell us anything about taking risks?
Next on my list is War Story by Steven Elliott.
I finished Jessica Jones season 2. Another 5/5. I liked this season even more than the first one. Both dealt with deep themes and desperate situations, and Jessica’s sarcasm is always entertaining. But this season felt more serious to me, maybe because the villain wasn’t cracking jokes.