Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Comfort of Movies

Today was better than yesterday. The hallmark of yesterday was a four hour nap. I was simply exhausted. Probably a little depressed. I went out had breakfast with Tony and Tyrone at the Hickory Pit. After breakfast I ran a few errands on the way home. Then I settled in and watched a little bit of TV and I couldn't really concentrate. About noon I laid back down and slept for about four hours. It did me a lot of good. Afterwards I got up and enjoy the quiet evening.

Today I met Tyrone for breakfast early, then stopped at the market on the way and refreshed the pantry for the week to come. I made a couple of family phone calls. Then, at noon, I went over to the cinema arts theater in Santana Row to see the movie Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix use it was enjoyable if strange and disjointed. I can see why it's been a darling of the festival circuit but I can't recommend it with a whole heart. It is a little too disjointed. Good performances by the cast but parts of it felt grafted on.

This evening has been relatively quiet. I talked with Tom for a while about the movie John Wick. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it. then I watched Casino, with Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. That is also an excellent movie.

I spent a lot of time and thought today, just letting things rise and fall naturally. I am a long way short of resolution. I'll probably be a long way short of resolution for a while. There were a lot of things said in anger and I think the cooling off time is good for me. I have found, over the years, that a bit of quiet, that a bit of meditation, that a couple of long walks are good for the soul in difficult times.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Keep An Untroubled Spirit

There are times when life can be rough.

Being human can, at times, strike hard blows against us.

When I was a younger man I learned the importance of simply getting up and keeping going. There are times when that lesson has worked in my favor. There are times when it has worked against me. I haven't really decided what time this is. But I get up and I keep going. That is who I am.

The last week has been a emotional roller coaster. Peaks, valleys and a fair share of screaming.That is the right thing we call life. We wouldn't get the scars if we weren't in the game and I love the game. I'm deep in introspection right now. I'll probably stay there for while trying to make sense of things.

I'm sure I'll write about it in the coming days. For now it is simple enough that my health is good, that my spirit, though battered, is intact. I've been slow in writing because I did not want to write from anger. Anger does not become. I've been slow in writing because I did not want to write from pain. Pain happens, suffering is optional. I've been slow in writing because I did not want to write from sorrow. Sorrow rises when we mourn the past. The past is done, there's nothing we can do about it.

I think it is better to write from the moment. This moment I am sitting at home on a quiet Saturday night, about to call my parents, and watching a Knights Tale on TV. I am simply who I am. I'm guided in this moment by the words of Marcus Aurelius who told us, simply, to keep an untroubled spirit.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our minds have time to dance

The week has flowed pretty smoothly. I finally made the decision to become a full-time telecommuter. I was telling my boss the other day but as much as I hate to admit it I'm simply more productive working virtually. Last year we moved in with another group. They're mostly good people, but since they are also our customer, they have a tendency to interrupt with questions fairly frequently throughout the day. Working from home there are just fewer distractions and I am able to concentrate on project work.

Outside of work things also moved fairly well. I've enjoyed it mostly creative week. I've been keeping notes in a variety of notebooks but not really writing anything either substantial or what I would consider to be finished. I'm hoping to change that trend this year and focus more on writing finished product. I'm hoping that my creative output this year is significantly larger than it has been the previous year. I've been kind of organizing things, internally and externally, to put myself in the best position to realize that ambition.

TR and I have had a good week, so that has been the frosting on the cake. As always with her I'm looking forward to more frosting. One of the things I love about her is her mind – her creativity, her imagination, and her ability to spin the story like a master. I think there is a lot about storytelling that is intuitive. Beyond that our craft is shaped by our lives. It is shaped by the things we read. It is shaped by the things we experience. It is shaped by what we think of those things. From there it is simply writing. At least, that is my theory.

I don't really have anything big planned this weekend. I want to sit tight and spend some time at home rearranging furniture. I've kind of got a new vision for my living room – simpler, more Zen, more conductive of creativity. It is so easy in this world to get cluttered, inside and outside, but the continuous stream of sensations we're subjected to. This year I'm going to try to moderate that continuous stream. Sometimes, I plan on deliberately stopping outside of it and just enjoying emptiness and quiet. Our minds have time to dance when they're quiet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Into The New Year

The new year seems to be off to a brisk start. When I woke up Monday morning and my brain was racing as I tried to get ready to swing back into the working world. Things are fairly chaotic at work but I'm hoping to put the processes into place that will, if not smooth the edges completely, at least reduce some of the turmoil experienced.

If I were to sum up our challenges in a single statement it would be this – we are short resources and we have a relatively uncontrolled flow of work. That combination means that rather then doing a deep quality of work we are just moving things through as fast as we can. Quality suffers.

I think in a high percentage of the projects that get completed there are always unintended consequences. Those consequences lead to a lot of rework. There is an abiding sense that we are not reaching our potential, both in terms of personnel and in terms of quality. It is quite the challenge and I'm going to see if I can manage up, but his bandage my management, this year and make something of a difference.

On the personal front I got a new computer after my laptop started acting up. I could see the end of life cycle somewhere in the near future and decided to preemptively replace it. I didn't replace it with another laptop. I replaced it with a Lenovo desktop system, A very nice touch screen and a very modern system. I like the new system but it's probably going to take me a week or two to get it set up like I want it. I am looking forward to it though and I've been enjoying it so far.

With the quality of the iPad it can now, effectively, replace a laptop for travel. It's a pretty impressive system. I am dictating this on the iPad right now. If you haven't used as your personal secretary, you're missing out. I've also mentioned in the past that I am a huge fan of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It also is a pretty impressive piece of software. I plan on installing it on my new computer sometime later today.

Well, it is time to start swinging into the day. I'm going to finish my cup of coffee, run through the shower, and fire up my work computer. I hope your day is going well.