Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
There was a time when I led a life that was relatively uncensored. I was what I was - nothing more and nothing less. Somehow, in the course of the last couple of years, I have found myself censoring myself more often then before. In my personal life, in my professional life. I seem to be struggling to find a balance point.
There are risks involved in being uncensored. The risk that you will be hurt. The risk that honesty will cause problems. The desire to smooth out the social edges and the desire to not put yourself into a position where you can be hurt. All of these are reasons, and there are many more, for us to censor ourselves.
But, in the end, when we live a censored life, who wins? Frankly, most of the people you censor yourself for could care less. We are the core of our own lives, but we are rarely the core of other peoples lives. We are, at best, a peripheral event that rises in significance and falls. So, when we censor ourselves to smooth the edges, we run the risk of losing our center. We run the risk of becoming that which we are not.
I haven't got any answers today. I only have the observation. There was a time when I led a life that was relatively uncensored. Now, when I find myself censoring myself, I find that the core of me has been drifting. I can see it, especially, in the lack of creative writing that I do. I once reveled in the joy of creation, in the joy of writing, in drawing, in playing my guitar. I am still thrilled by the act of creation, but I don't do it as often. I make other choices. Those choices are farther from my core. At my core, I love to create. The censor is always the enemy of the creator.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
My monkey mind can run away on the drive to work. It is that place where I start to transition from my personal life to my work life and I start to run through the various things at work that irritate me, that confound me, that anger me and hurt me. It is a list, a litany, a chant of disappointment - and there is really no reason I should focus on it. I essentially like the content of my work, I like most of my co-workers, I enjoy my job most of the time - but during that morning drive, I have a hard time focusing on that good things about it.
During that morning drive my mind focuses on the arrow to the eye. Today, it took me about two hours to get over it, to get past it, to get around it and to let it go. I found the mental exercise of removing the arrow from my eye helped me move past it, though that is no gaurantee that I will stay past it. Each day seems to be a struggle in that regard. Sometimes it feels like every day I get him by a new arrow, a new small indignity, a new something that just irritates me. Now, in the course of the day, where a hunred things happen, I am really talking about only a handful of things - two or three, each day, but for reasons known primarily to itself, those are the moments, those are the things that I end up focusing on, and then they drag me into that place where my monkey mind is going wild.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
The ambient music in the stores, the sound of other peoples cars, the overheard conversations - all of them were just too loud. I took that as a sign that it was time to go home and try and find some pease and silence. I am not sure what triggers days like that, sometimes I don't think there is a specific trigger, that it just happens. Maybe there is a threshhold where we have simply heard enough. When you consider all of the artifical noises in our modern world, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
No one really to blame on this project - I was commenting to my friend Tony tonight that - if they had just given the project adequate time they would have brought it in at about the same time frame, with a lot less stress and drama. It just reinforces my opinion that you should never rush things toward imaginary deadlines - let them flow at their own pace.
Slow and steady wins almost all the time.
It is a quiet evening at home, I am spending the evening watching the DVR and just easing into the night after yesterdays 11 hour work day. I will probably log another long day tomorrow, just to close things out before I start a three day weekend.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It is a classic example of an engineering project failing because the team involved didn't follow their own processes. Process, especially standardized processes, exist for a reason. When properly designed they insure that all the necessary steps are adequately done. Miss a step and you stumble - that is a simple adage and it is simply true.
The problems are purely technical - they are undiscovered features of the tools and underlying code that impact the functionality. In one case, the design is running headlong into a tangle of business rules prohibiting certain transactions. In the other case is has run into previously undiscovered data relationships. An amusing mess.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
Monday, March 19, 2012
It has been a smooth morning. I got a fairly good night sleep, a lazy start, a smooth trip to the airport and a quick passage through security, despite the fact that I had a small bottle of water in my carry on that I had completely forgotten about. It is going to be good to get home this evening. One of the best things about traveling is coming home. No matter where you have gone, no matter what you are doing, all journeys are about, eventually, returning home.
Wondercon was pretty enjoyable. On the last day we saw a couple of presentations (Alcatraz, Fringe and Once Upon A Time), then hit the vendor floor. I picked up an autographed copy of "Y" at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth, then a pair of prints from Pascal Campion (check out his work at http://pascalcampion.com/ ). Art-wise, it was a good trip for me and I ended up with a couple of things that are nice little additions to collection.
Even though the vacation has been pleasant, I had a tough time shaking work. I managed to resist the temptation to log on and check my email - I will do that tonight when I get home just to make sure I don't have a cold walk into a chaotic Tuesday. I made sure that everyone had my cell phone number when I left for vacation, so there was always the opportunity for them to call me in the event of total chaos. That they didn't leads me to assume that nothing arose that created a crisis that could not be handled.
But, to be honest, I didn't like that work intruded so heavily into my mind while I was on vacation. I am going to have to carefully think about that and about the days to come. In many ways I still fundamentally like my job, but I find myself in an environment that impairs that enjoyment. It doesn't make the work harder, it makes the environment more chaotic and I spend a lot more time trying to work my way through all that chaos and less time doing what I consider to be productive work.
Though at times I hate to think about it, it may simply be that I have reached the end of my shelf-life at The Evil Corporation and it may be time to seek the next step in my career journey. I don't really like to think about that - but it may simply be the case. All things come to end, so that all other things can begin. It may just be that I am ending for the new beginning.
As I've gone through the last couple of years, one of this parts of this particular journey has been my movement toward a more minimalist life style. It has been a journey of peaks and valleys - or surging change and slow contentment. It may be time that I consider minimalizing my career, consider changing it to something purer. (Okay, appropos of nothing, a young asian woman just walked by wearing tiny tinkling bells, which stopped all conversation and everyone looked to see what the source of the noise was.) I have plenty to contemplate in the coming days.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
He was at Wondercon promoting "Prometheus" with the writer and a pair of cast members, and he spoke briefly and took a few questions and showed the trailer - a typical type junket. However, since I consider Blade Runner to be one of the greatest films ever made, it was a thrill for me just to see him in person. Alien scarred my psyche, Blade Runner made me question what it means to be human - and who knows what Prometheus will do to me. It was a very cool geek moment and, for me at least, the highlight of the trip.
It has been a nice little vacation - alternating between interesting and restful, which is what a vacation should be. It rained most of the day today, but I would characterize it as a rather light rain - nothing of epic proportions, which is what I was hoping for. I spent the day wandering the vendor floor and in the presentation panels, with a few breaks for a late lunch and an early dinner. There is in insane line at the Starbucks here in the hotel - thirty to fifty people deep, literally all day long. They are like legalized crack dealers with a monoply on the street corner.
I am sliding into the night following a nice hot bath. I am looking forward to a conversation with TR, who is getting ready to travel as well on her side of the earth. Then, I think I am going to wind my way into the evening doing some reading. Oh, I was going to pick up a copy of Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth, but there was a bit of a crowd there when I stopped by, so I figure I will swing by tomorrow. I hope it is still there, but if it isn't, I am sure I can find something else worth picking up and adding to the collection.
We spent most of the day yesterday wandering the vendor floor - in fact, the bulk of it was in Artists Alley and in the Independent Press sections. I picked up a couple of things - a pair of small prints by a wonderful artist named Erin Leong (http://www.erinleong.blogspot.com) and the special collectors edition of "Romeo and Juliet - The War" by Stan Lee, Terry Dougas, Max Work and Skan Srisuwan. I scoped out a lot of the other artists, as I am in the mood to pick up another print or two, and there were a couple that caught my eye, but I will circle back over the rest of the show and spend some time delving deeper into their catalogues.
The hotel has been nice - the room is very modern and spacious, the shower is great, and the hotel itself has been a treat. They have an excellent lobby, perfect for hanging out in and people watching, they've got a good little spa, they have a nice pool, and they have some nice outdoor spaces. When I have needed privacy for a personal phone call with T.R., I've gone out to the Lanai deck - it has been pretty nice - just kind of wandering around the courtyard in the cool night air, gazing around at the wealth and diversity of hotel dwelling humanity. There are a lot of tourists here (due to the proximity of Disneyland), so the people in the hotel are a mixture of four different groups - the Wondercon attendees, Disneyland tourists, some sort of Auditor training at the hotel itself, and the attendees to a high school volleyball tournament. It has made the people watching portion of the trip interesting and at times surreal.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
There is something liberating about travel. It's a profound and subtle sense of being somewhere else - a metaphysical sensation born from a physical sensation. Travel awakens within me the sense of possibility that is often lacking in the general course of the day. So tonight, I will fall asleep in the arms of possibility.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I took Monday off so I could take a friend of mine in for an angiogram early Monday morning and then give him a ride home six hours later when he is finished. Layer on top of that I have another appointment of my own at 1:30 PM Monday afternoon regarding the cracked callus on my foot. Then, on Thursday I am going to fly down to Anaheim for a short vacation (and a chance to go to WonderCon). So, I am anticipating that this week is going to pass in the blink of an eye - a very busy eye, but the blink of an eye either way. I am going to try to move quickly and efficiently through it, with a heart of compassion. That is going to be the best that I can do.
My evening has been pretty simple - I checked work email to see what sort of developments happened over the weekend (nothing of significance except continued testing) and to try and get a jump on the week to come. I am currently watching "The Walking Dead" on AMC, which is a pretty enjoyable show. Once it wraps up I think I am going to slide into the evening with quiet reading and contemplation and waiting for the weekend to end.
Friday, March 2, 2012
I spent most of the week working on a project that is supposed to go live on the 15th, which ran into a succession of technical glitches due to poor communication (and the subsequent poor design). We managed to work our way through two of the challenges and we're now face up against the third - we may have to disconnect it from the rest of the project, but I can live with that, since the key requirements will be met. I'll probably end up doing some work on Sunday, but I am not planning to do any tomorrow. Tomorrow, I am going to run a key errand in the morning, which may take a couple of hours, and then in the afternoon head over to a friends house for a round of games and socializing.
Tonight I am planning on a quiet evening at home, maybe slip into bed early and continue reading. I haven't had enough time to read lately and I would like to rectify that. Next weekend I have a pair of doctor visits scheduled to bookmark the week - podiatrist on Monday and internist on Friday, then on the following Monday I am going to take my friend Don into the O'Connor for a heart exam. Then, following the end of the week I am off to Anaheim for Wondercon. I am looking forward to it, even though it is the weekend that the project I am working on goes live, so there is a good chance I am going to take my work laptop with me, simply so I can do some work over the weekend when I am there.
However, right now, I am looking forward to tonight - a quiet tonight spent watching the DVR, reading, writing and with T.R.. It is a beautiful night outside and I am looking forward to it being a beautiful night all the way through - I am in the mood for it.