I am too OLD for this Shit

As I’ve referenced previously, ye olde bill-paying, meat-space job has put me in the big middle of a hot mess of a project.  Said project is approaching a deadline (unrealistic, as most deadlines set by business majors tend to be), and for this reason I’ve been hurled back in the time machine from hell, to law school finals.

Honestly, I’m too old for the kind of marathon effort involved here.  Marathon effort for something I really love and give a damn about?  I’m there, and could probably tap into some reserve of energy built on eagerness.  For this?  I’m done.  I can take no more and the reality of my age has smacked me in the face.  If I thought I loved sleep in college, that’s nothing to my love for it now.  And the sedentary requirements of this project combined with the characteristic slowing of metabolism that starts to rear its awful head around my age, have made me fat, flabby, and completely unenergetic.   If there is a word for the kind of stiff pain in my shoulders right now, I’m not aware of it.  I thought of trying to coin something but all that came to mind is OMFG I HATE STRESS GET ME OUT.  Not quite succinct enough to catch on, I’m afraid.

It’s all rolled up as one nasty little reminder that, time is marching all-the-hell over me.

Yeah, cause I TOTALLY wanted to ponder that 20 days out from my birthday.

For the first time in my life, I really understand why people count down to retirement.  But I realized when I was about 14 that my generation would never get to retire, so the sober reality that I could possibly die in a cube with no sleep and sore shoulders kinda makes for a down day.

Feel free to tell me this will pass.

No, really.  TELL ME THIS WILL PASS.

Another Year….Another Nanowrimo I’m Missing

I’m sure there are some out there who would deride me over this, but, I’m willing to take the hit.  I am, once again, failing to even bother starting Nanowrimo.  November has to be the single most craptastic month of my year to attempt this.  In school, it fell in the midst of tail-end mid-terms, and the opening season of finals.  I mean, I definitely could have more than made my word count some years…it just would have been in the form of a legal brief rather than a novel.

And in my particular line of work, well, it’s not much better there.  For some very particular, but sadly dull, business reasons, it’s a highly inauspicious time of year to attempt taking on anything else.  And my pay-the-bills job would have zero understanding for an attempt like this.  Not that they’d fire me, but they would look at me like I’d grown another head, and it would probably take 3 attempts to explain what it was before the meaning would even start to sink in.

The one year I started–and clearly didn’t finish–was 2008.  That one started out strong…and then got completely derailed by a very happy event–I got my passing score on the Texas bar exam, and had to drop everything to drive to Austin and get sworn in.  Then I wound up going back home with my parents in anticipation of Thanksgiving. It was all down hill from there.

So, here we are again.  The general job issues are actually magnified more than normal this year.  I’m missing enough posts right here because of meat-space.  If I were to try Nano, you’d basically have to write me off for the month.

I’m strongly considering declaring my own month.  Unfortunately, half the greatness of Nano is the effect of the masses and the support group atmosphere, and I can’t recreate that if I try this in, say, February or June.  So, either I fire up my own gumption, or I can cling to the hope that one day, I’ll see a November where joining the rest of the would-be authors will not be total stress-inducing folly on my part.

Indulging My Inner Child

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A co worker and I were on a business trip to Minneapolis recently.  After a stressful day of meetings, we opted to forgo another dinner with business-types making nice.  Instead we hit that homage to consumerism, The Mall of America.

Neither one of us are clothes people, so that was out.  We were perusing for a place to eat and enjoying a chance to walk around when I spotted that familiar yellow sign.

“Lego!” I yelped,  before reigning myself in.  Can’t be too immature around a coworker….

But, it turned out I need not have feared.  My coworker was happy to go in and wander through.  I was drawn to the build-your-own-mini kiosks, but kept holding back…until I saw her start diving in.  We both had a grand time constructing minis and filling up pick-a-brick cups.  She kept saying “this is SO what I needed after today.”

Yes, at well over 30, I totally played with and bought Legos tonight.  It is the best fun I have had in a while.  And I kind of think I may just keep my legos on my desk at work from now on.  A little bit of de-stressing, creative play to keep my inner child entertained….

Stressy Sleep

A recent bout of stress has been taking its toll on my sleep patterns.  I’m not a chronic insomniac, but when work/school hit certain stress peaks, like a lot of people, it impacts my zzzzzzs.

For some people, the result is not being able to fall asleep.  For me, it’s not being able to stay that way.  And what sleep I do get, is highly disturbed.

The cycle goes something like this:  first come the weird dreams: more vivid and memorable than normal.  I may sleep all night, but I don’t feel refreshed afterward–like all that dreaming saps something.  Then come the dreams, apparently accompanied by, well, me.  Kristy has witnessed this one back when we were room mates in college.  Apparently I was rather angry in my demands that she answer the phone (which wasn’t ringing), emphatic that “You can’t call a witch ‘Bob’!” and horrified as I declared, “I woke up, and the psychic friends network was GONE!” Passing this point, we get to the part where I actually wake myself up.  I had a great episode during law school finals where I woke up in total terror after a dream where I got to my Torts exam and was expected to write it in French.  I launched myself out of bed, got dressed and walked all the way down to the law quad before I realized that I didn’t even have an exam that day.  And if I did?  Probably wouldn’t be starting it at 5am.  And once I’m into the waking myself up stage, that’s when I can’t get back to sleep.  Or if I do, it’s in short bouts that cycle back through the weirdness and shocking wake up.

And here I am.

Again.

The things-in-a-foreign-language theme is apparently popular this season in Brain of Cammy, because I’ve had a few episodes with that one (I seem to be harboring a real fear of French).  Oh, and snakes.  I hate snakes.  A lot.  So that’s just a recipe for waking up yelling.  And there was a whole series involving a rather elaborate crossover between Downton Abbey and North & South (and a few others–it was like the British costume dramas exploded in my head) only sometimes it was the characters and sometimes their actors.

I’m experimenting with solutions.  Sleeping pills are mildly effective.  I still wake myself up, but I seem to get back to a fitful sleep a little faster. Herbal tea, aromatherapy, they all seem to be fine for relaxing me to sleep in the first place, but they are no help on the interruption front.  I actually even gave drinking a shot on Saturday night (two g&ts and a shot of rum)–no aid to sleep, but I did send out some incoherent e-mail and laugh harder than normal at Glee.

The upside is, I know this will end when things taper off in real life.  The downside, is, in the meantime, I’m getting run down and sick (ran low grade fever Saturday morning).

Frustration of a Non-response.

I will not blog about work, I will not blog about work….WTF, I’ll blog about work!

In keeping with my usual habit of refraining from talking about the job I have to hold down for the sake of bills and such, this will be highly general.

Of course, you don’t need to know many particulars to understand the frustration involved, but here’s the run down:

I am working on a very important project (which isn’t saying much…in a world of MBAs–which, incidentally, stands for Massively Big Assholes–every potential for a dollar is like the cure for cancer….which would actually make them the most happy as they could totally charge for that…..).  It’s highly visible, yadda, yadda, yadda.  The whole world of my employer knows it’s huge, and apparently those of us stuck working on said project are allowed to ask for anything and everything we deem necessary, probably including ponies (but not including time off or a bigger paycheck).

Sweet.  So, I need certain information for said project.  I don’t have it, and I am not the best person to access it, and it’s essential and has all manner of muckity-muck people concerned until I get it.  So, on orders of muckity mucks, I had to A) write a report on what I knew about the data I needed B )identify who would be the best people to get this data and C) provide a go-forward plan for making sure that data stays updated and at my adorable fingertips.

Aye-aye, captain!

So, I do some research, write a very concise report in the form of a two page outline stating what the data should be, what I’ve found so far and what else I needed.  I also wrote up an action plan for who the best source was AND….I even made suggestions on where said source could start the inquiry to complete this whole picture and provide me with the awesomeness I’m seeking.  In reality, the source I tagged OUGHT to have all the information already, but that assumes the source was taking care of its actual job, which, pffffffffffft.  Ya.  Richtig.

Anyhow.  This little report got sent to the responsible source….and cc’d to muckity mucks….several weeks ago.

I have LITERALLY sent an e-mail asking for an update every. single. week.  since. then.

And if you guessed that I haven’t had jack shit back….you’d be almost right.  A couple of weeks ago I had a whole message of excuses (none of which held water….they were all issues either answered in my little summary report, or which they could have asked me for because it was intuitively obvious from the mere fact that I wrote the summary that I had the information they needed to get started doing this job).  Other than that, I’ve had nothing.  The muckity-mucks I’d CC’d got some messages promising information the next day….we’re not going to talk about how many weeks ago that “next day” was.  So, I wrote something no one bothered to read AND, I’m still without data that really should have been an easy pull for someone.

So, my blood pressure?  Kinda been on the uphill side of things.  Gonna have to eliminate salt to try and balance out the impact of the stress of being ignored.  I might also need to consider investing in a punching back to eliminate the potential for me being brought up on assault charges.

Is it really so difficult to at least acknowledge a request with a “We’re working on it?”  When someone asks you for an estimated date when you could have a finished or even mostly finished product (that’s right–this whole time?  My actual question has been “Please let me know when you think you might have an initial draft of the info.”), is it really so hard to say, “I think I might be able to get you something by next Tuesday, and I’ll let you know if that changes”?  Seriously, that’s all I needed!

WTF, yo.  Just, WTF!

A Brief Hiatus

Owing to:

1) Travel

2) Visitors

3) End of term stuff

4) Work

Kristy and Cammy are taking a brief hiatus.  They will return shortly with content that will be much better written than anything they scribble out in the midst of real life chaos.  Consider this a public service.

Best Regards,

The Management

Musikalischer Mittwoch

After a lot of procrastination, your friendly webgals at My TV, My Peanut Butter have finally decided to follow through with a column we’ve discussed since very early on, but never actually managed to move forward.  We wax stupid on TV, Kristy has the movies well in hand, and goodness knows we’ve got random famous people covered, but what about music?  Here we go.  And since Cammy’s going first (and because Monday was taken up with our coffee dates), we’re going with Mittwoch.  She might have considered Miércoles, but A) Spanish is Kristy’s forte and B) that requires an accent mark and Cammy is lazy (she’s also drinking Frankfurt-style Applewein and communing with her inner Teutonic-ness).

Musikalisher Mittwoch:  “Changes in Latitude” – Jimmy Buffet

Okay, so Cammy has had a crappy past two weeks, culminating in a crappy-beyond-crappy day today (with no sign of good weather on the horizon for tomorrow).  I am firm believer that the the right song can cure what ails you (all the more so if aided by a good beer).

It took me half the night to choose the right one from the library.  I should have known to start with the man whose music is usually like a big, happy pile o’ zen for me:  Jimmy Buffett.

With summer just abandoning us and the Gulf Coast having featured (sadly) so heavily in the news lately, Gulf Coast Native and paragon of the southern-beach lovin’ set, Jimmy Buffett has actually been fairly prominent in the public conscience lately.  For me, he’s a staple (I’ve considered just giving in and declaring myself a parrot-head, but I need too much sunblock to really qualify), and this evening, that staple came through with “Changes in Latitude”

“All of our running and all of our cunning / If we couldn’t laugh, we just would go insane….”

As I clicked through my library, numerous song-hooks seemed to apply to my current state of mind only to dissolve into the never-ending cliche of love lost or gone wrong.  While I’m sure my lack of a love life probably doesn’t result in a positive spin to my current work-life inspired depression, it’s not the bigger issue.  After a day of pure stress and being totally unable to let go of an issue that I ought to dismiss, nothing whacked it into me that I was truly going insane quite like “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude”.  And laughter had been conspicuously absent throughout this ordeal….

I can’t necessarily have the change in latitude, but I could sure use the change in attitude and this piece certainly helped.  You start with the easy rhythm you find in so many Buffett tunes.  It inspires movement, but smooth movement. One doesn’t rock-out to something like “Changes in Attitude, Changes in Attitude” –one sways. It’s familiar even when it’s new, and has that blend of south/west/island that conjures the Gulf of Mexico in a way that’s inexplicable.   Since I literally can’t remember a time before I knew Jimmy Buffett’s voice and distinctive musical style, there’s a  nostalgic comfort to this sound beyond the inherently calming, moderately-paced and utterly two-step-able rhythm.  Personally?  I could stop there.  I determined years ago that the sound of a song is often where I draw most of my comfort–words are secondary.

But, this song delivers on the lyrics.  Just as the laid-back rhythm inspires a state of zen, so does the message of letting go, looking forward and moving beyond the crap.

“If it suddenly ended tomorrow /I would somehow adjust to the fall / Good times and riches and sonofabiches /  I’ve seen more than I can recall…”

Ain’t that the truth?

However, the best fit is in the fact that while the song explains that if we couldn’t laugh, we’d go insane–it’s not a song that really inspires laughter.  Nothing in this really sounds, well, jolly.   It’s a perfect fit for the moment when you know, logically, you have to let it go.  You’re still working toward that moment when you  can laugh about that enormous fuck up you made at work, and how little it means in the grand scheme of life the  universe and everything….but you’re not actually laughing yet.  The song keeps that even-keel the entire time.  And the repetition “If I couldn’t laugh, I just would go insane / If we couldn’t laugh we just would go insane / If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane….”  is like a mantra repeated to drive that message home and convince you that you really can ditch the b.s. and have a laugh.  This is not the song you play when you know it’s all crap, it’s the song that type A’s like me play as we get to that place where we can really accept that it’s crap.

“Yesterday’s over my shoulder / So I can’t look backward too long / There’s just too much to see / Waiting in front of me…”

And on that note, I leave you all to your beverages of choice and if your day has been shit and you’re not physically able to change your latitude, commune for 3 minutes and 16 seconds with Jimmy Buffett and at least work on changing the attitude.