Archive for November, 2006
Birthdays, Elections, and Writing.
Since my last post Grace has had her first birthday, I’ve had my 31st, the baseball post season and all of its surprises has come and gone, as have the elections (and mercifully the phone calls and advertisements that go with them), and I’ve done virtually no writing.
Grace had her first birthday, but thanks to
A) Alicia ending up in the hospital with appendix trouble (no surgery yet, but it will probably happen sometime before too long)
B) Grace catching half a dozen random diseases like walking pneumonia (or is it crawling pneumonia when you’re that young?) and various viruses of the week
C) Scheduling of other activities
We didn’t have her birthday party until the last week in October (her birthday is Oct 1st, mine is Oct 30th). So we “shared” a party and had a nice princess themed party going on with a princess cake and pink and purple decorations. Sam was concerned before the party when he saw all the M&Ms on the table and asked if he could turn them all the right side up… somebody has a smidge of his mother’s OCD tendencies. Grace got toys (shocking I know) and I got a very nice dishwasher for my birthday (ours has been out of commission for months and we were in need of replacing it… so it was a good gift).
I’m mostly at peace with the current results/breakdown of powers largely because I think the system works better if we’ve got a mix of who runs house/senate/pres (and nobody has so much of a majority they can get any thing passed that they want to)… they’re more busy trying to get around the other guy so they’re less likely to DO anything… and generally speaking when the Federal Government is doing something it’s usually doing something wrong (I tend to think that if enough politicians agree on it to get it passed it’s probably in their best interest and not ours… but maybe I’m a cynic). Ideally I’d like to see the houses divided into something more like 25% Republican, 25 % Democratic, 25% Libertarian, 25% other independant parties (really independant, not just dem/rep lite) as I think that would give the country a better shot at having to come up with solutions that fit the country as a whole instead of just whichever party happens to be in power at the moment.
I’ve espoused this elsewhere, but I have a similar theory on politics (on a national level) as i do with IT (Technology) managers. Generally (not all, but most) those attracted to the political positions have either one of two strong points: they’re ruthless enough and charismatic enough to get elected… or they’re honest/ethical enough to do a good job… The guys who have what it takes to survive an election are not the guys who would actually do the best job and hence those who would be better at the job (ethical, working for the good of the people, that sort of silly notion) rarely make it into office (from either party). Similarly in IT you’ve got people who are good technically and people who are good “people-person” types but you rarely get somebody who is both… the genetics behind the making of a personality that does well technically are usually counter to those that make people good politically (in the office sense).
I had a goal for 2006 to write 5-6 days a week, and because I stockpiled early on in the year I may hit 3-4 days a week average for the year. But, I haven’t written any fiction since mid July (well there was that one day in August I think, but not enough to count anyway).
This year, writing had been part of my nightly decompress when I got home from work. I worked from 2pm till 10pm and would get home about 11pm to the family mostly in bed and after getting some food I would sit in my big comfy chair, put my feet up, surf for a half an hour or so and then write for an hour. In June I took a new position at work, moving from an “Operations Specialist” job where I made sure the databases and programs ran properly into an “Application Support Developer” role, where I get the phone calls when somebody’s software doesn’t work (not software like Microsoft Word, but in-house designed software and specific-to-the-industry vendor software like signature recognition applications and such).
With the new job, came new hours. Instead of being able to work late at night, I now have to sleep so I can get up at 5AM to get ready to go fight traffic. The schedule has sucked up most of my writing time, especially now that I get home and my next 3-4 hours are spent on the “getting supper ready” through “getting kids in bed” routine, and almost all of my mental free time to turn on the “boys in the basement” (as Stephen King refers to them). The old job would have been more stressful to some people, big dollar amounts going through the system every night, but when something broke on Monday, it rarely caused more work for me on Tuesday or Wednesday. Now I have deadlines and projects that have to suck up all of my time and mental capacity. It gets harder and harder to turn that part of the brain off, and the creative part of the brain on, and then turn both of them off so I can get some sleep.