Day 219 – Sleeeeeeeeep

On the positive side, my migraine is gone today. There is nothing worse than a migraine.

Except perhaps sleeping very poorly?

I was so happy that the migraine was over last night. I set my alarm for an early start at 7:00, I went to bed at about 23:30. It should have been fine. Except for the growing panic around 1:00 when I was still awake and rolling over and over and over.

I think I slept for maybe 4-5 hours, and I’ve felt like a zombie all day. I still feel very tired right now, and I’m starting to get sleepy. But weirdly, when pushing through a day this weird adrenaline thing happens where although tired I cannot sleep any more. It’s probably not healthy.

I’ll also want to briefly double-check everything I did at work when I get in tomorrow just to make sure I didn’t just think I did it right. It’s a bit like being drunk, but without the pleasant furry feeling of alcohol in the bloodstream.

I had another thought just now, but it escaped.
If you see a stray thought, please put it under a glass and leave a note.
I’ll look on the counter when I wake up.

G’night.

Day 217 – Yet More Writing

I really should not be setting myself further challenges. I guess I just cannot help myself; I’m a glutton for punishment through terrible ideas.

I was watching Fringe tonight, which is a mixed experience and has nothing directly to do with the terrible idea as such. It was more a catalyst to the idea than anything. It made me think about all the things I’d have done differently… the plot predominantly, or possibly the characters to some extent, because let’s be honest… the science in that show is remarkably unscientific, but it has a certain quirkiness about it that leaves me ready to suspend disbelief to a remarkable extent.

But then my train veered left and thought; why not try to do some writing of my own rather than criticize someone else’s?

I don’t think I’ll write something for public consumption, but I’ve let two NaNoWriMo‘s swoosh by without actually doing anything, and there is no time like the present (year) to make a more concerted effort. Which also leaves me enough time till November to prepare myself a bit better.

I will want to re-listen some of the Writing Excuses podcast to help me get started. And I might want to spend the next 9 months gestating ideas. 50,000 words is the official target. Just under 2000 a day. When I blog I write 200-300 in about 10 minutes, so I may also want to practice spending 2 hours at the keyboard to see if I have the willpower to just write like that.

And I’ll need to break my terrible passive-voice habit.
And possibly clichés?

Also, in an awkward coincidence the first three days of NaNoWriMo overlap with my attendance at PAX in Melbourne this year. I’m not sure if that will offer inspiration, but I am hopeful.

Day 6x6x6 – Compression

And so I dropped from one extreme into the other.

I’m trying to remember what I did today, but for the life of me I cannot tease apart the tangle that was my workday today. I know there was plenty in it; 8 hours in fact, and I categorised them into my time sheet as the day went past. But I could not say what each hour was about now.

Nominally there is this thing called a Calendar which presents me with a serving suggestion for my workday. It’ll tell me what meetings I must make. It’ll tell me what meetings I can ignore. It’ll tell me what meetings I’d like to make if at all possible.

Today my day and my calendar were so far divorced from each other as to be indistinguishable from perfectly random noise.

Ah, the life of a manager… 🙂


I was trying to work information entropy into this somehow as well as a reference to Shannon’s information theory, but it felt too hacky, so I’ll leave it as a mere incompressible footnote.

Day 215 – Lethargy

Have you ever had a day where you had plans, plans you were looking forward to, but when the day came you just didn’t have the energy or willpower to do anything? Yep, that’s me today.

I intended to spend some time at Wet’n’Wild today; the temperature was okay and the rain just heavy enough to keep everyone else away. But first I didn’t want to wake up when my alarm went off. Then I just wanted a coffee to sip on till I felt human. And then I just didn’t want to do anything. Holly and Steven made it sound like a day I shouldn’t have missed.

For penance I forced myself to wash clothes and clean the floors.
Although even that came slowly.

So my sole achievement for today is finally finishing the last few episodes of Breaking Bad. It was a satisfying end to an amazing series, but I suspect I’ll be struggling with the symptoms I heard many describe on Twitter in the aftermath. Like a million eyeballs cried out in despair and then were suddenly aimless.

In April what’s alleged is the last season of Mad Men will start.
And in July the third and last season of Newsroom will kick off.

By the end of this year I think I’m going to need a new hobby, because the networks are systematically erasing my current one. Maybe this’ll be a year to start creating and not just consuming.

If I can find the willpower.

Day 214 – Winners

All the recipe suggestions I received sounded delicious in their own way… with maybe one or two illustrious exceptions.

The following two recipes are the winning suggestions though:

  • Sin with her Port Poached Pear. Vanilla base, with chunks of poached pear & a thick caramel-consistency port syrup swirled through it.
    I’ve never tried a swirl through ice cream so that’ll take some experimentation; I can’t wait to report on how it turns out.
  • Peter with his Amaretto Liqueur and Anzac biscuits.
    I am proposing a substitution of Bitterkoekjes for the biscuits to add a bit of Dutch interest into the mix.

I want to give all the runners-up something for participating though, so I intend to make the following flavours to gift to those that proposed them (at my earliest convenience, which may take a while between all my other obligations; please be patient!):

  • Abbey with her Carrot Cake ice cream, although I’ll have to get a few more details about how that’d exactly work first before I can make it.
  • Lauren with her Chocolate, Fruchocs (whatever they are) and a swirl of liqueur. Maybe Brandy? Unless Fruchocs go better with something else.
  • Christina with her Watermelon, Lychee, Peach and Mango. This sounds very much like a candidate for a sorbet to me.
  • Jonathan with his Nyan Cat Hairball. I haven’t been able to get the suggestion out of my brain since he made it. His other suggestion was more of an in-joke I think.
  • Amelia with her Elberberry Flower & Lime. Which once again sounds like a sorbet with such delicate flavours.
  • Ken with his Peanut Butter & Honey, or possibly the Pavlova with Passionfruit ripple. I also have to make the Anchovy Ripple, but that’s just a long overdue in-joke, so that can keep till all the others have been made.

Day 213 – A Day in Paris

I had a great massage booked for this morning. I also had some exercise booked, but I cancelled that in a half-asleep daze before having another hour in bed. It’s amazing how well I can navigate the gym site whilst not awake.

In the car I found an envelope with some shopping instructions.
Also, a mystery envelope with orders to Michel’s.
A bit of a red herring, but fun nonetheless.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got home.

Apparently it was a trip.

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

I initially took a wrong turn and ended up in Germany. After handing over the shopping and some quick directions I quickly found myself in Paris with a picnic rug.

I had no trouble recognising the Arc de Triomphe on the coffee table.

I had no trouble enjoying the chocolate-covered strawberries either.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

I had a little more trouble recognising the second building. After blurting my initial guess of “a pizza oven”, and looking at the Arc again, it dawned on me that this must be the Eiffel Tower.

There was a bit more food than required, as Abbey had seriously over-catered. I was supposed to take some food to Wet’n’Wild as well, but I think I’m keeping it all here for myself instead. Sorry, Holly!

And then we had a little detour into Belgium with a curious detective with little grey cells. About halfway through Abbey fell asleep; I think she had been working so hard on Paris that she missed some sleep along the way.

It was a fun day though.

Arc-de-Meow
Arc-de-Meow

Although Obie, as always, was unimpressed.

Day 212 – = = / = = = / . = . / . . . / .

I was listening to the soothing sounds of Night Vale; Cecil whispering in my ears.

The taxi rushing me from the airport back home.

The road whispering to me.

“OKOKOKOKOKOK…”
“TTTTTTTTTTT…”
“AAAAAAAAAAA…EAEAEAEAEA…”
“SSSSSS…”

Maybe I was just imagining it.

Day 211 – Working Late

Wednesday is always the biggest blur of my work-week.

Wednesday is one-on-one catch-ups day with my staff. I only have 5 staff to worry about, but at 30 minutes each that takes about 3 hours out of my day all-up.

Doing one-on-ones right is so far the biggest benefit I’ve gotten from listening to the Manager Tools podcast. It’s not that it is particularly hard to regularly catch up with staff, but a good understanding of what it is actually for and how it helps does direct me better in getting the most out of those 3 hours in my week.

Picking the right day also makes a big difference. Middle-of-the-week works particularly well because there’s enough time before Wednesday for staff to achieve some things, and enough time after Wednesday for us all to take further actions based on what we discuss.

Adding in another 2 small meetings basically left my whole day looking like Swiss Cheese.

I wish there was an interesting story somewhere in all this, because basically my brain is fried. And I still have a presentation to write and some research to do before tomorrow morning… as well as an early start at the office. *groan*

Day 210 – Travel Fatigue

Theoretically there should be seas of time.

I wake up when breakfast is at my door. Once I’m showered and dressed, it’s a 5 minute walk to work. When I leave Sydney my calendar looks no different from the way it does normally. After work, I have nowhere else to be, so I have dinner with my colleagues and I’ll end up back at the hotel around 8pm-9pm.

And yet…

During the day it feels I’m in a constant rush to see everybody that needs seeing. Additional meetings materialise out of thin air to fill every available minute of the day. After I get back to the hotel in the evening I keep telling myself I’ll get some extra work done, but after I’ve settled in and had a little bit of relaxation it’s suddenly 10:30pm already, and if I don’t get to bed around 11pm, then waking up the next day starts getting harder.

I’ve tried to work out what it is, but nothing stands out in itself.
Is travel for work really this inherently tiring?