Posts Tagged ‘day’

Some Magic Morning

17 November 2011

Dear J-

There’s a funny thing about work: when your’e transitioning and the new job seems so far away there’ll be a day you realize that the time you have left isn’t as much as you thought. Even if it seems a bit excessive to have me wait around for four months instead of the typical two weeks I’ve always regarded December as some far-off, mythical date that isn’t going to be here any time soon. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, though, we’ve got just a few weeks left together, the warehouse and I, and there’s any number of things that I haven’t been able to take care of so far that I’ll have to turn over.

I think I just went over my limit on the corporate jargon-o-meter. I’m down to — let’s see — three weeks and today. Each day becomes an ever-increasing percentage of the time left; this week alone has eaten up a good twenty-five percent. I’ll call it a relative dilation of time: as the actual day approaches each individual day seems to creep by faster and faster in some kind of blur. I know that no one has sped up the clock but I also know that there’s been whole days lately where I’ll sit down and eventually find myself by 11:30 wondering. What I’ve done that day. Lunch has been inconsistent too, ranging anywhere from I’m-hungry to what-day-is-it.

When I was younger I used to decry not having seen the sun in Cheney at all: during debate season there was always the tournament at Gonzaga in January where we’d have to get up early enough and return so late that it felt like we were thieves stealing out to do business by the cover of night. The time change always does this to me: instead of delaying the onset of morning but ensuring enough light to bring us home as during Daylight Savings adjusted hours we’re starting to hit the dark-dark zone. I have to keep reminding myself that even that’s not forever, and a month from now is when the solstice hits and we’ll start gettting longer days again. Changes creep up fast on you and before you know it you’re back to something new.

Mike

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Saturday Motivation

5 March 2011

Dear J-

Well, I’m as prepared for the trip as I can be. Oh, not that normal stuff, like packing (done in ten minutes with a minimum of thought: I try not to challenge my limited sartorial skills more than necessary) or getting tech stuff ready (I have a lot of chargers to pack now, although the advent of smartphones also means smaller power bricks). Nope, I’m ready because we crammed a weekend into a day. I got to cook breakfast this morning and the other normal Saturday chore of vacuuming while figgy whiled the time away with PBS Kids. Afterwards we went to LEGOland (the discount tickets I get from work have a second day included free) and walked around until she said her feet hurt at which point we called it a day and headed back, some sights unseen, some rides not taken.

Because it was such a spectacular day (shorts and t-shirt weather for sure) I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to a place where I can’t wear sandals near year-round. Never mind. There’s so much that went right with today I’m willing to let that slide in favor of holding on to today in my head until next Friday when I come back. I hope your weekend has been good but I’m willing to bet I had more grins today than the whole week prior. That’s fuel for the soul, mind motivating body to keep moving forward.

Mike

Fred Korematsu

30 January 2011

Dear J-

Important: Today is Fred Korematsu Day in California. I know, the rest of you are thinking that we’ve got all kinds of dingbat holidays, but this is the first observation of it, and its timing is no accident, coming close to both Martin Luther King Jr Day and the anniversary of Executive Order 9066. Although the odds were stacked against him and his original legal arguments were not successful (evidence suppressed during wartime in order to speed a favorable verdict for the government) it’s as equally important to recognize that change did happen, albeit gradually — the conviction was finally overturned in 1983. At that point, Fred Korematsu’s dam burst forth:

According to the Supreme Court decision regarding my case, being an American citizen was not enough. They say you have to look like one, otherwise they say you can’t tell a difference between a loyal and a disloyal American. I thought that this decision was wrong and I still feel that way. As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing. That is if they look like the enemy of our country. Therefore, I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed or color.

Fred Korematsu, statement to Judge Patel, 1983

There’s only a handful of Americans who fought the internment, including Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui, so the day should be shared with its namesake. Remember how easy it is to sign away freedom in the face of getting along.

Mike

Long Day

26 December 2010

Dear J-

It’s 10:30 and I can’t believe I haven’t had a spare moment until now — I suppose there are other things I could have put off but between having the boy strapped to me all day (hey, I don’t get any of that during the week) and the girl running around ragged (the energy expenditure was staggering, as figgy took a three-and-a-half hour nap this afternoon) we haven’t had a lot of time to ourselves. I go back to the lessons of Shrek 4 here again — if that’s what you wanted, clearly you weren’t thinking right when you decided to have kids.

We’ve settled into a routine of sorts, or really just reverted back to the way things were three years ago: the radius of action is fairly limited to where we can go before Calcifer needs to eat again, although we have been experimenting successfully with bottle feedings (the beauty of this morning was that that was the first time in five weeks that Calcifer’s meal was not delivered by mom in one shape or another — the first bottle feeding happened while I was at the ER with figgy).

The night’s too short for my-kids-are-cuter discussions and recapping the lowlights* isn’t of anyone’s benefit so I’d better execute a mercy ending worthy of the Chargers** and sign off for the night.

Mike

* My particular favorite from today: sitting down in a restaurant, having figgy reach up and jostle Calcifer awake and then having to joggle the baby while trying to eat.

** If you haven’t been following, they’re out of the playoffs with their loss to now 4-11 Cincinnati and I’d expect there to be some reckoning in the offseason, although to expect AJ Smith to do anything actually, you know, productive or rational is probably too much. AJ’s been dubbed the “Lord of No Rings” if that makes you feel any better.

Long Days

11 November 2010

Dear J-

Today was strange: a holiday without time off, work went well but oddly muted, like when you’re sick and the world slides gently by without notice from your cotton-stuffed head. By using Google Reader I’ve been able to keep up with far more blogs than I really need to or probably should and time slid by in great chunks, ten twenty thirty minutes at a time. Fast and numb, like taking the interstate cross-country in some sort of forced drive, not wanting to experience anything.

Losing all the storage space in the house has actually been pretty liberating; either you get creative with where things can go or you consolidate, and the name of the game lately has been organization without attrition. I may love the idea of having a Tapwave Zodiac, for instance, but unless I do something with it it’s just taking up space — then you consider how little space, and where it might be reasonably crammed until you get a chance to expand. But on the other hand stuff is much like work in that they both swell to fill all the available room.

Mike

Far Along

29 May 2010

Dear J-

It has been a difficult day, compounded by various derelictions of duty (mostly mine) and the disruption to our schedules — given that figgy is in daycare more days of the week than not, we’d have been better off adopting the right naps and activities rather than expect changes to be accepted without question and challenge. It has also been the first warm day in a few weeks; instead of heading out in the promise of sun and fun, I succumbed to a mildly acute attack of agoraphobia and stayed indoors, half-asleep and marking time until we could head out as a three-person team instead.

We ate at two restaurants today — to find authentic food, you end up at places where natives will flock, and we’ve been, more than once, the only Asian folks around for blocks, it seems. Today the hunt was on for fried chicken and waffles, which led us to Chollas Creek and later, the right ramen put us down in our own backyard of Kearny Mesa cruising around a food festival I’d completely forgotten about. There’s always something to be done around here, and it’s too easy to ignore the challenging in favor of the comfortable.

Without rain no plants would grow, but it’s important to remember that sun is needed too. There’s a saying in auto racing circles: Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go? There’s also the classic pick-two but not three Hobson’s choice: fast, cheap, easy. So what have we learned today? Scratch that, what have I decided to change — after all, the only change I can effect is within — because of today? I’ve gotta be bigger than frustration; the phrase “You Make Me” just won’t cut it — I am in control of myself if I choose to be.

Mike

Sunny Day

28 April 2010

Dear J-

We’re at the tail end of the day, which means that figgy has been fed, changed, and (generally) is calling for attention from the corner. The day has gone smoother than I had anticipated; we had enough time to run all the errands in between the appointments — our stocks of bland food and Pedialyte are now replenished — and she was sunny, considering how tired she was and how sick she was last night. If every picture tells a story, then remember the weather today: when I got up, a heavy mist kept spitting down, and after the first appointment of the day, the sun broke through. It was still cool, but the sun did what it could.

Sometimes it seems like she’s sick every week: just as she gets better, the incubation period from the prior week is up and some new bug is on its way home. When I was little, I remember the world spinning gently ’round, lying prone and watching the ceiling — it and the walls had a sandy texture which I used to suspect was in place to discourage busy hands from marking them, or, along with the wood paneling and plaid furniture, were signs that the seventies never died, at least in our house. The best part was having time off and wearing pajamas all day; no bug can stand up to twenty-four hours of dedicated rest.

At some point we joke that the illness is a bit of a blessing; she’s able to take naps where she normally wouldn’t, and bedtimes get pushed back to baby-era periods that allow for actual work in the evenings. I’d rather have my sunny kid back, though; she is courageous though shy, charming at turns and sweet all the time despite what might ail her. Life is good. The sun rises eventually, and that’s enough.

Mike

Rule Based

13 December 2009

Dear J-

The next time you think that you haven’t turned into your parents, take a look in the mirror: the people who were your most familiar faces during your formative years shape us in unconscious ways without cease, like sand, wind, and rain carving mountains into boulders and pebbles. I find myself losing control, losing touch at a moment’s notice, and it’s too easy to blame that on someone else’s actions.

When you start to deal in platitudes, when you begin to dredge up the past to win arguments — just to win, why do we need to declare victory over people we love? The anger springs from deep inside; bubbling over in riotous excessive darkness, infecting everything it touches. Dream a little on this: you make your way through the world on the actions you take, and faking your way past the guards by saying you couldn’t help them is a cop-out.

At times it feels like we play at being adult; we strip away to deep frustration, wanting our teachers, our parents, our children to referee the matches and declare victories and penalties alike. I remember knowing that there was always a higher authority to appeal to: one of the things I was very good at as a kid was figuring out the proper hierarchy of things. And now that we’re the ultimate authorities in this particular madhouse, we’re responsible for the rules: there are no rules, we have all the rules.

Mike

Spooky Thoughts

5 November 2008

Dear J-

Spent the dark time of the day waiting for things to get light; spent the light of the day indoors under the sickly glow of a monitor and fluorescent lights.  We hear about justice and think that the system will serve us well when we need it, but can we choose our terms and conditions as needed?  Drive the point home; ask for what you need and don’t complain about the luxuries.  Are we better off today than we were yesterday?

Answers necessarily vary by person and by degrees.  How deep is your committment to sacrifice?  How much can we truly ask of each other?  Who leads the charge?  It’s not a question of leadership through example — not everyone’s inspired in the same way — so how do you demonstrate your loyalty, how do you demand your rewards?  When you daydreamed of working while in school, is it everything you thought it would be?

I scare myself when I hear some of the words coming out of my mouth; there’s a level of competence I can’t possibly be at, and yet here I go trying to show other people how to get things done, teaching the same people who two years ago were teaching me.  If there is nothing more universal, I believe that respect begets respect; the more flippantly you treat a question, the less believable your answer.  Tonight the glow on the western horizon stays low over cobalt waters; no fog, no low clouds to kiss the hills, clarity in every sight and word and deed indeed.

Mike

A-B-Sequel

11 July 2008

Dear J-

Morning moves without warning; the sun shoulders the burden of the day and muscles the clouds out by sheer will, most times.  Noon passes in shadowless content and smug splendor, knowing it won’t last forever, knowing there’s no other time like it.  Often afternoons I spend half-dozing from the aftereffects of lunch, ennui, and general exhaustedness — Fridays in particular — but perk up at the pleasant thought of returning home.  Plan your days around the times you look forward to; for me, these last few days of sticky humidity have left clouds in the sky to catch that fire at sunset.

Quickly enough, though, that light passes, despite our best efforts at better-than-real in overblown saturation and contrast (wouldn’t we just be better off with a polarizer?).  Remember that a photograph starts in your eye, and reflects the moment as you remember it.  Some folks may react if those same images dredge up some shared memory as well.  That’s the beauty of our common culture.

Understand that I keep my eyes glued to the sky because of its shifting moods.  Variety makes for a kaleidoscopic show.  What inspires you?  Xerxes was compelled to build empires because of something, right?  Your reasons may not be as transparent as Alexander (and Bucephalas), but that doesn’t make them any less valid.  Zebras don’t choose their stripes, and your reasons are, I suspect, just as fundamental.

Mike