Feren (feren) wrote,

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The old adage goes, "If you don't like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes." Well, I did a lot of waiting in five-minute increments through the month, but it all turned out to be well worth the wait when the temperatures dropped on Tuesday. It's been glorious every day since then, with the highs of the day dropping from the scorching mid-to-upper nineties we were experiencing to high 70s. As an added benefit we have also dropped our humidity a few percent so it was no longer necessary for the populace at large to need to grow gills to breathe the air. It's been a most pleasant reprive indeed these last three days, and now that I've seen the forecast for the coming two or three days I can say I'm not at all looking forward to going back to having temperatures hovering in the mid to high 80s. To look on the positive side, at least the highs aren't back in the 90s... yet.

On an unrelated note, I'm not sure where the problem lies but over this past week it has proven positively impossible for me to pry myself out of bed on time when the alarm first goes on in the morning. I find myself thinking that it probably has to do with my continued problems with jet lag thanks to the trip to Columbus, OH last week. Yes, it was last week, I should be well over it by now... but I'm not. It's beginning to lose its humor value with me as I end up oversleeping my self-imposed "margin of error" by an hour or more each day. This week it's been no small trick to get in and seated at my desk by the absolute deadline of the hour that I used to start work. This is why I don't like travelling across time zones for work, it always leaves me hurting for some time afterwards. With any luck I'll be able to force things back onto schedule by keeping my hours sane tonight, Friday and over the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, I have set relatively simple goals for mine. For one, I plan to finally win the war of laundry that I've been waging with my closet for something like the last four months. In a preemptive strike of such cunning and magnitude my closet will be left reeling, I plan to pack up every single stitch of fabric that resides in there and drag it over to the local coin-op laundromat. Once there I will selfishly and shamelessly occupy every single washer and drier that I need to occupy in order to strike the final blow and get All My Laundry Clean At Once. I am tired of being in a constant tug of war between clean and dirty clothes residing in there. Each weekend that this continues is a strike against my sanity. Every weekend that goes by where I'm faced with the choice of "Get just enough clothes done to wear to the office next week or try to get ahead in my laundry and risk the wrath of my neighbors" I always choose the former option. Unlike my property manager, I understand that not everyone thinks its fair for one person to monopolize the four washers and four driers that our complex provides as a token, half-hearted effort to "provide laundry services." I feel guilty taking up more than one washer or drier when I know there are about sixty other units, with an average of two people per unit for a total of 120 other people who also would very much like to try to do some of their laundry as well. I know how pissed off I get when I go in there to find every single washer taken up for all the hours the laundry room is open during the weekend, how frustrated and annoyed I feel when I think All I want to do is wash my socks and my undershirts, for crying out loud, so I have something to wear on Monday! Is that so much to ask?! So, as I said, I'm going to the Neutral Zone that is the local public coin-op laundromat. It can't cost terribly much more than my apartment complex charges to use their machines, it might even cost me less. In the laundromat there are a much larger number of machines available and fewer people contesting for them. This makes me happy. I can't wait to buy the house so I can put this whole issue behind me -- I will have access to my washer and drier twenty-four hours a day and I won't have to worry about contesting with 60 other families for it. Mine. Mine, all mine! Mwahahaha!

Yes, I am tripping over the fact that with luck I'll soon have a washer and drier of my very own. Yes, I'm proud of that. Yes, I know I used the phrase "a preemptive strike of such cunning and magnitude my closet will be left reeling," cope with it.

Yes, I know I'm weird.

The other major item on my "to do" list week this weekend is to focus on getting another two or three modules for my major coding project completed. Yes, I have several months ahead of me to finish the work before my due date becomes an overwhelming concern, but I like to be done with projects like these ahead of time. Especially on projects like these, where I'm depending on a skill set that I haven't exactly honed. I am by no means a DBA or an SQL expert, nor am I a programmer, so by trying to get done as soon as possible I'm leaving myself a significant buffer in case I run into problems. Not to toot my own horn too much here, but I have to say that it's a mark of ongoing personal growth and maturity to see my old habit of procrastination gradually fall by the wayside. Look out, world, I'm actually starting to have enough self-discipline to get major tasks done before the last minute! Now I just have to hope that my coding muse doesn't utterly abandon me on Saturday morning when I sit down at the keyboard and log into the project server, otherwise I predict seven or eight hours of fruitless staring at the screen and vague, half-hearted efforts at code that don't actually accomplish my goal (or even work). Maybe I should abandon my plan to keep a decent sleep schedule and just work myself into a caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived seizure as that seems to be the state in which I do my best and most creative coding. I've done coding on major projects after getting myself into fugues like this before and awoken the next morning to find the project completely finished and functioning exactly as desired -- often times with added features and functionality -- with no documentation and the code riddled with bizarre, half-coherent comments in place of the documentation. These comments often are cryptic insights into my mental state that say things like "Holy shit, I can't believe this function call works" or "Now we call the subroutine that I like to refer to as "call_dem_a_liar." Where's my damn Tootsie Pop?" The frightening state of my mind aside I at least manage to get the job done when I'm in those weird episodes. I would be much happier, however, if I could actually remember what goes on during these little fits of productivity and I didn't have to piece things together like Guy Pearce in Memento.

Now comes the point where I knock on wood, or at least the closest approximation I have in my Salvation Army-furnished apartment (I really need to get some furniture that's made out of solid wood instead of that lousy press-board stuff). That's right, I'm going to talk about Ra and how incredibly well he's been doing recently. That's right: the lovable, constantly shedding and often exasperating ball of black fur and noise that makes up my cat has been just fine these last few weeks. In point of fact, Ra is showing a number of very encouraging signs that make me think he's got the IBD and pancreatitis beaten back into remission for the time being, mainly he hasn't thrown up, his water intake has stabilized and in general he seems a lot livelier. There have been a couple nights in the past week where he's actually had brainfires again and spent twenty or thirty minutes running up and down the hallway, posturing and mewling in that bizarre way he does when he's got an imaginary ghost chasing him. I for one am greatly cheered by seeing this behavior return because it's very much like the cat I adopted two years ago and it reassures me that he's feeling better. When he was at his worst the best I could expect from him was a halfhearted attempt to cover up his harf before he staggered off to a corner to curl up and sleep more. Of course, by mentioning how well he's doing I'm sure I've just invoked Murphy's law and I will undoubtedly be graced with a cold pile of wet, partially-digested cat food outside my door tomorrow. C'est la vie.

Tomorrow's entry will be a rather entertaining one, I expect. I'm going to write on a topic that should be most ironic for me: professionalism. I'm mulling it over in my head right now how to write out my thoughts without coming to the conclusion I need to put myself down. Those of you who know me are well aware that my idea of "professionalism" probably leaves a great deal to be desired, so seeing me rant about the professionalism of others is probably going to wind up including a rather tongue-in-cheek analysis of myself.

I've shot the one-eyed giant down
with laser in my hand

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