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.

“What is this ‘week end’?”

Gee, Dowager Countess, I’m not sure I know what a “week end” is either*.  While the unbearable dullness of paying calls to the same people, dining in the same circles, and making the same complaints about one’s staff would definitely yield a week that seems never ending, so too does returning to one’s corner of the cube farm to bask in the glow of monitors shining multi-layered spreadsheets for 7 days straight.

I think ol’ Lady Grantham got the better end of the deal with her reasons for confusion over this “week end” concept.  It’s like we’re in the same boat, but she’s first class and I’m crammed in next to the boiler pipes. And the ship is probably the Titanic.

(Thus goeth my excuse for missing Friday’s post.  Worked late.  Then worked some more and if you think Sunday was a day of rest, au contraire my Freunden….Now I face the horror of returning yet again bright and early tomorrow.)

*Apologies to the non Downton Abbey viewing set who do not get this reference.

Time Vampire: Google Chrome Game Plugins

I know what you’re thinking:  “How can Cammy possibly have more stupid ass games she’s addicted to?”

Beats the shit outta me.  All I know is that I need to stop because I really do waste an inordinate amount of time playing ridiculous web-based games.

And then Google had to go and make it that much more tempting with the plug-ins for Chrome (my browser du jour).  There are plenty of helpful time management plugins through the google web-store, but no.  Oh, no.  I get started playing addictive stuff like “Entanglement”–a crack induced puzzle game of linking curvy lines.  Or Mr. Fancy Pants 2, which has the kind of two-d simplicity of the old Super Mario days, but which much cooler movements.  And then there was Poppit.  A game that addicted me eons ago right out of college (Megan, if you’re out there, do you remember playing poppit late at night and having conversations in the public chat window under bizarre assumed identities….I seem to recall one night when I was pretending to be someone who’d just moved to Topeka with the husband and kids).

At any rate, I’ve frakked off for way too many hours (once again) this week.  Time I should have spent getting the house clean and writing.

Time vampire strikes again.

The Stack

I didn’t really make a New Year’s resolution this year, but just before New Year’s I made a plan to read more than I have in recent years.  At some point, probably starting in college, I went from a book-a-day reader to…..lucky to read a book a month.  I should amend that–I no longer read a book a month for fun.  I definitely surpass the book a month (more like book every two days), but it’s not necessarily fun.

But, over my break, I managed to slide back to my old habits.  In the three weeks I was gone, I cleared 5 books that had nothing to do with my job.  Three books in, I realized I wanted to make more time for this in the coming year.  It was enjoyable, and, I have The Stack. And it was time to diminish The Stack.  This year.

I’ve no doubt that many of you are familiar with The Stack.  Maybe it sits next to your bed, or over in a corner.  It may not be a stack at all–it may be a scattering across several shelves and a table.  It’s all the stuff you’ve stockpiled to read.  After all, when you find a 25 cent copy of a book you know is on your list of material to finish in order to become a complete, educated human, you can’t just leave it at the garage sale.  You know you’ll read it one day.  But the exact date of “one day” just seems to….move.  Out.  A lot.  And in the meantime The Stack?  It gets bigger.

So far, I’m not really doing so hot.  In two months, I’ve read several books–none of which are in The Stack, and all of which have to deal with topics that even I couldn’t muster a lot of interest in (and I find court opinions entertaining, so ya know, that’s bad).  In the meantime?  The Stack has grown.  Discovery of a used bookstore in town, and B&N gift cards from Christmas are contributing to my continued loss in the battle against The Stack.  This serves to illustrate that I will never actually defeat The Stack….

But if I’m ever to prevent my own annihilation at the pages of neglected fiction and unattended biographies, I have got to improve my stats this year.  If nothing else, my street cred as a “Reader” is in jeopardy.

Time Vampire of the Week: Lifehacker

This has to be one of the most insidious time vamps I’ve ever dealt with, which makes me love it all the more.

Lifehacker is the best collection of  tips, tricks and tools to make your digital life smoother, easier and more efficient (and sometimes your meat-space life, too).  It’s the site that turned me on to Getting Things Done, and which has given me countless shortcuts I’ve used both at home and at work.

So how does a site that is basically about time management and  doing things faster and better qualify as a sucker of time?

Oh, just visit the link.  It’s like the Lay’s potato chip of sites: you can’t read just one article.  You keep looking, keep learning and before you know it, the most time-beneficial thing you could have happen is a power failure to disconnect you so that you might actually take the stuff you’ve been reading for the past 4 hours and implement it, rather than reading about that better, faster way to keep your Outlook calendar clear of unwanted meetings.

Lifehacker, I love you, but you’re a little bit evil.