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Sunday, January 13, 2019

uneasy like sunday morning

yeeeee gawds. gd and i were both totally over today before we even got out of bed. this morning was such a struggle that my main goal was to see if i could get my computer hooked up to my monitor, which it hasn't been for the longest time. by my second-and-a-half cup of coffee i'd finally started getting some paid work done, it was a painful case of slow-and-steady-win-the-race, and eventually took a break to look after mr smear who was physically expressing his frustrations at us having been indoors all miserable day (it was a miserable day outside, too).

on a couple of occasions i threatened him with taking him back to the store and exchanging him for a new one, which i found funny at the time but in retrospect was probably not smart. later, gd and i had a fight over me threatening to give him a hiding for playing with the dangerous hinge-side of a door, in spite of the fact that i'm the flg-bearer of never beating your children: having argued about this and considered it, given the choice i would much rather traumatize him in a "standard" way than have him lose fingers, limbs, or life. i will do what i can to avoid hurting him in any way, but if he's laughing at me while doing something remarkably stupid that he knows he shouldn't be doing i'm not certain how else to approach this.

my mom came over to help out for a little bit, and we had a long discussion about what to do about purchasing the neighbour's apartment (i really hope he makes me an offer that i can afford), and then i spent some time researching my next podcast episode but got so lost in golding's translation of ovid's metamorphoses (and trying to keep track of the stories) that that's going to have to wait until later in the week.

mr smear and i watched toy story 3 over dinner, i resumed podcast prep but have recently realized that i have paid work to complete and a big interview tomorrow afternoon that i haven't begun to prepare for, so i'm calling it a night now and praying i'll be strong enough to get out of bed on time.


still buggered from the week, even after two pretty decent nights' rest.

friday 11th:

recruitment bureaucracy, taking mr smear to the museum

a failed attempt at a nap

the nanny taking mr smear to our friends while gd and i rearranged the apartment, which now looks pretty cool and my books are on my shelf again! and mr smear's room looks like a kid's room, with his books actually accessible to him. picking them up, bringing them home, taking her to the bus station, doing a grocery run, returning home to pick up mr smear and driving through to the temple.

a pleasant service, mr smear behaving pretty well (either in spite of or because of being tired)

hosting the new rabbi, a decent evening with only a couple of faux pas', driving her home then returning to go straight to bed.

saturday 12th:

finishing the princess bride, heading to the waterfront to sort out gd's cellular contract and failing, grabbing lunch, rushing to go through to the greyton farm animal sanctuary, realizing it was too late and too far, meeting friends at the green point park, meeting them back home after checking out our neighbour's apartment and deciding that we definitely want to buy it if we can get the financing, everybody yawning, eating gd's amazing curry, running around wildly in the company gardens, taking a walk around the block and stopping for a delicious vegan double-thick shake, getting mr smear showered and into bed, watching venom (a lot of fun), being unable to do anything productive and


deciding (right now) to go to bed before 1am in spite of a podcast episode to plan, paid work to complete and a big interview on monday to prepare for

Thursday, January 10, 2019

high and mighty

so... i laughed, i almost cried, i finally went back to bed around 4.30am, having finally completed the work i began on monday and feeling pretty good about it. but not about myself, because i was feeling totally wired and just ever-so-slightly hallucinating.

around 6.30am i looked online and learned that combining sudafed and caffeine is a thing. "i won't be doing that again," i told myself, "not after this one last time just before my early morning interviews."

let me tell you, i was WIRED. i don't think it helped my mental acuity much, i felt a bit slower than usual and words i needed kept drifting through my brain and fluttering off again, but overall the interviews felt good and considering the fact that they're planning on contacting my references tomorrow i'm pretty confident that i did alright.

it's funny and a bit sad that a friend at a big global company was the instigator of all this - me realizing that i need to get myself an office job in order to save my sleep / sanity - and that company has been dragging their feet so i might not even make it to the first screening i have with them on monday. i feel bad for my friend because their team needs someone like me, but if the company i sat with today makes me an offer i don't think i'm going to turn them down.


i walked home, ate lunch, cleaned up my code and proudly pushed it, juggled emails and invoicing and a bunch of other things, then dropped for a nap which was mostly pretty good. for a nap. mr smear and his nanny came home around 4.30, i showed him pictures of cyclops (greek, including the dude from oh, brother, where art thou) which led on to lego x-men and havok, then slowly made my exhausted way to my mom's coffee shop for a chai and a chat, did a massive grocery shopping, came home to eat dinner and watch half of the princess bride, put mr smear to bed*, got caught up temporarily in william goldman's introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of the princess bride book which i plan on reading to mr smear once we've seen the movie, then got sidelined sorting out something for gd with her ipad and am now, finally, about to go to bed.

* ever since he was really little, i've been putting him to bed with a blessing / statement of family values to him in a little hebrew rhyme i came up with. tonight, for the first time, he tried to say it along with me, and words cannot express how pleased / proud / heart-warmed i am. and that's after a day that began (for him, at least) with us chilling on his bed listening to jefferson airplane and the doors while he figured out what he wanted to do with his morning**.

** oh, that's right, it actually began with his whining "i want granny!" repeatedly until i tried to record it for my mom, at which point he stopped whining and then managed to hurt himself trying to pick his nose.


i think i deserve a little bit of a rest.

sudafed and coffee

i forgot, i took sudafed and drank coffee thinking i was going to be up all night.


heavy hump day

did i really begin the day with an interview? then return home to fix a door handle, work, then take gd shopping for chairs, then fight with an old man who hooted at me to get my attention, then sit down at a coffee shop to work and do a second interview, then pick up mr smear, drop him and gd at home, then return to the furniture store to pay, then take mr smear to the pool for a swim, then shower him before leaving him with my mom to take gd to the hospital, then book her in, then return home to fetch her things, then do them off and say goodnight, then call to get mr smear to pee, then learn that i have two technical interviews too early in the morning, then get a call to pick gd up (bad beds), complete some work before my mom got back, pick up gd, bring her home

and finally work until realizing that it's past 1.30am and oh shit.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

heavy before hump day

these last two days have been rough, i've been having trouble focusing and i'm not sure if i've had a cold, or just been suffering from "seasonal" allergies.

monday morning i was not able to be functional until about half an hour before my meeting, which fortunately was enough to have an idea of what i was doing. unfortunately, two "days" of work and this part of the solution has proven so tricky that i'm behind on my target, and it's now past 1am and i have to be up for a morning coffee meeting with a company i probably won't be applying to work for.

i was a mess for most of monday. i worked out pretty hard at the gym, worked a couple of good hours, then suddenly my back began to hurt... i walked to the pharmacy to pick some stuff up and didn't change out of my training shoes, which turned out to be a bad idea because by the time i was done i felt old and brittle, i came home to watch the angry birds movie (it's actually a great movie), walk around the neighbourhood with gd and mr smear, then return home and feel sorry for myself before turning in early.


i've spent a lot of time dealing with recruiters, i've had one interview so far; and although it went well, the longer i've thought about it the less interested i am, because it doesn't seem to be a significant improvement over my present employment.

gd took mr smear to the local baths this morning for an hour or so and he's definitely into swimming. she brought him back earlier than anticipated and left him with me for an hour or two, which threw out the rest of the morning completely. i took him downstairs to play in the garden, we mostly had fun, he lost a tennis ball after throwing it at my head, and then we returned home where i got a little work done before heading to the gym where i got a lot more done. i was so into it that i returned home much later than planned, rushed a shower and dinner, picked up snacks at the grocery store and joined out bi-weekly dnd group for a highly entertaining evening.

game notes:

1. your dungeon has an office, but no toilets. WHERE IS ALL THE POO?!

2. i decided to call the halfling with amnesia "bilbo", he actually turned out to be a thief.

3. i failed a stealth check trying to sneak up on bilbo to see if i could smell anything interesting with my super-keen senses. all i could think of to say when he caught me was that i was trying to get a better look at his rune... which was hanging on his neck in front of him...

4. we had a fight with a bunch of disembodied hands. the puns got out of hand very quickly.

5. we picked up a soul trapped in a lamp, bilbo put it in his backpack. "change voice: penelope". "okay, penelope: how do we get to the bad guy". penelope's only directions were "down", i was hoping for something more in line with "in one hundred feet, turn left"

6. i stabbed into the darkness where i'd last seen the skeleton, heard a death-squeal, and pulled out my spear with the skeleton hanging off the end. and thus did i invent "spear-skeletoning".

Monday, January 07, 2019

almost enough

almost 2am. enough caffeine to be wired, but not enough to be functional. one podcast published, one jira slack integration integrated, one (paid for) problem solved. will i be more functional if i crash now and try to wake up early? will i be able to wake up early?

Sunday, January 06, 2019

wall painting

HAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahaha... ah ha... aaaah... haaaa...

i thought i'd get lots of work done today, but everyone came back a lot earlier than anticipated, the two boys took everything out of me and i wasn't even supposed to be dealing with them, i ended up being sidelined with a jira box setup (at least i was finally successful), and at some point i had to just throw in the towel and go and swim with my wife and son.

which was awesome, in particular because mr smear insisted on swimming by himself (with waterwings, of course), and i couldn't be more proud! he was sad when we told him he had to go, he sat on the edge of the pool for a little while meditating on how much he didn't want to leave...

i got most of the work in for my podcast after we got back (thanks to my mom taking gd and mr smear grocery shopping after mr smear and i showered), then watched the rest of hook with mr smear, we were joined by my mom, the movie is still amazing, mr smear went straight to bed afterwards.

my mom left recently after helping me write a very formal email to my landlord, gd is playing games on the ipad (angry birds and billiards, i'm kinda pleased even if she's cursing a lot), and i'm about to drink tea, tidy up the podcast, and try and get some paid work done before going to bed.

my weekend ending early

it's sunday morning, i got a good night's sleep last night but this morning has already gone wild as our friend and her kid arrived; the two boys have redecorated mr smear's bedroom with black marker and i'm already ready for them to get out of the house so that i can get some work done. at least the kids are playing nicely. mostly.

the reason i need to work today is that friday was a complete loss; i stormed out angrily from an entirely unnecessary argument, got caught up in our neighbour's psychic adventure (stepping on a "cue" with a noose in the background just as a truck saying "REGRET nothing" drove past), straight from that conversation into a meeting with my cousin who's back from being a counselor at a summer camp, and from there going to a play-date before heading to the temple to say goodbye to the week.

mr smear fell asleep on the way home, and we woke him before we went to bed to use the toilet and that turned into an hour or so long nightmare...

yesterday started with a visit to the hardware store to learn about lock mechanisms, eat frozen yoghurt and drive off to canal walk to pray at the church of the almighty dollar; we didn't find the chairs we were looking for, but we did end up spending an inordinate amount of money on new toys for mr smear... a delicious lunch (i love seeing mr smear wolf down tofu and veggies) and returning home for a nap, a twilight swim (the water level's risen so mr smear had to stretch to stand, but he really enjoyed swimming and actually wanted me to let go while he was paddling), a hot shower and hook - i had to choose between english audio with all the subtitles, or french / english audio but no subtitles, which seems unnecessary, but at least we have another great "french" film for mr smear.

my mom coming over for a little bit, then putting mr smear to bed and falling asleep way earlier than anticipated.

Friday, January 04, 2019

payday delay and new year's re-evaluation

monday 31st december:

going to bed around 2.30am but only getting there around 4am with mr smear refusing to sleep for an hour and a nightmare half

the great playdate part 2, podcast publishing

swimming with water wings, mr smear going it alone for the first time and once again making the tattoo delay utterly worthwhile

heavy grocery shopping in 2 parts, popping loads of bloons along the way (i'm an addict, and it's become an OCD thing where once or twice a day i bring myself incrementally closer to 100%)

taking mr smear and his bicycle to the company gardens but both of us were exhausted, returning home for dinner, shower, thundercats, and to cry at the end of toy story 3 again (the others don't make me cry, but that ending gets me every time)

bedtime, bloons, road rage videos (i think i need a dashcam), then a less early night than planned

tuesday 1st january:

at least the third day with my neck threatening to spasm (left neck / shoulder)

a better night, waking up to the thundercats, our friend / playdate coming over, taking forever to get going to meet my mom and do some quick picnic shopping*, taking forever to get going to kirstenbosch, eventually arriving, finding a spot, calming down a little before managing the two boys alone in a small stream

* sandal stress on the way out

an important nap, a quick dip in the pool, thundercats followed by dinner and hunter x hunter until bedtime (fantastic teaching opportunity)

bloons until late, going to bed early-ish (11pm)

wednesday 2nd:

a grumpy morning, sitting out some maintenance tasks, still stressing about not being paid, letting in the cleaning lady, napping for twenty minutes, heading to the coffee shop to work and look for freelance jobs, protoplasm joining me and walking home for a beer, some manly venetian blind fixing and an interesting chat about sustainable architecture

gd's first curry (excellent), thundercats, hunter x hunter, an easy shower and bedtime, early to bed ourselves

thursday 3rd:

being woken by the olfactory assault of my wife spaying tabard in a closed bedroom and having to go sleep on the couch

one or two hours of snoozing my alarm, getting a bit of work done over a suspicious avocado toast breakfast, a mr smear meltdown, pinching nerves down to my calves, dropping gd and mr smear off at the castle then heading to work at the gym, an interesting chat with a "recruiter" (not exactly), some difficult hours between working and minor distractions, half an hour on the phone with my bank to (re)discover that their "wire transfer tracking division" can't track wire transfers unless they've cleared already, sending off a passive-aggressive email to our CFO saying that as i'd already borrowed money to pay rent, another couple of days wouldn't make much difference

at least coming up with a vague strategy before leaving around 4pm, taking mr smear down to the pool for a great swim, learning that he can stand by himself in the shallow end (!), gd joining us for a bit, showering, watching coco again, rushing an already sleepy mr smear through tooth brushing and bedtime, bloon destruction, settling in to work and finding the money in my account (hooray!) and sorting out repayments etc.

preparing an intro speech in case my offer to coach high school students in spoken word is accepted


it's just past midnight and i'm going to try to get some work done before going to bed, it's really pathetic how exhausted i've been and i'm distracted and demoralized in general. i watched lisa feldman - you aren't at the mercy of your emotions today and i'm wondering how much control i have over this...

Monday, December 31, 2018

analyze this

it's freaking me out that i still haven't been paid, and i need to borrow money to make rent and i'm not even sure it can be transferred in time.


i was definitely sick on thursday and friday, more than allergies and sleep deprivation could explain.

friday 28th:

working from the waterfront while gd handled a playdate, swimming (mr smear freezing afterwards, removing his only protection from the wind then walking really slowly), a pleasant temple experience in the evening and a very serious learning experience when mr smear found himself trapped in the net of the jungle gym, great great indian curry dinner with mom, early bedtime

saturday 29th:

starting my day with half a cup of coffee and heavy grocery shopping, gd taking mr smear to a playdate while i walked the city with our neighbour for a few hours, becoming quite convinced by the end of it that he's fully paranoid delusional / schizophrenic / whatever today's psychobuzzwords are. the poor dude's been really messed with, and not in the way he thinks, to the point where he pulled rubble out of his mouth to prove his story to me and i felt my own sense of reality destabilizing... i don't think he's dangerous, but he's definitely in need of some guidance and i really, really hope that i can be a positive influence. jesus fuck, this dude is smart, lucid when he's lucid, physically solid and good looking, and a mess - it's really hard to reconcile that shit as an outsider.

going to my mom's, mr smear waking up from a five-minute nap on contact with her bed,  some time with my nieces and great-nephew before helping my mom with her furniture, then returning home for dinner, toy story (gd's not happy that it's not canadian french like it says, but it's still french and mr smear's still following along happily), and an early night

sunday 30th:

a midnight wake-up for a wet bed, then waking up in the morning to another one

resuming toy story, pancakes, a long drive to a play-date that was great fun for everyone and went on far longer than expected (the mom had made delicious vegan cake, but none of us had considered actual lunch), mr smear passing out close to home and taking a long nap, me watching a fair amount of batman: mask of the phantom

a lazy afternoon of hunter x hunter (it's awesome watching difficult stuff and having real conversations about death and danger, he's not freaking out and he seems to be following the narrative) and toy story 2, a pleasant but very late bedtime for mr smear, then working on the podcast until

monday 31st:

now, around 2am, not including an important viewing of the first episode of the original thundercats series to verify that my purchase was worthwhile and hunting for the 2011 reboot