Posts Tagged ‘right’

Motto Blotto

24 August 2009

Dear J-

I try not to forget the big things — is it Monday again, if I have to pick up figgy — but I can’t say that all the details get translated overnight.  If it takes place more than a few days in the future, for instance, there’s no way I’m going to be able to execute successfully unless it’s’ written down; hence the end-of-day to-do lists I’m now in the habit of making (the other excuse is that I leave at a certain time each day and the busier I look, the fewer questions I get at the end, at least in theory).

I realize there’s a ton of different mnemonics I could employ, and that just by writing things out I immediately get a better grasp on things; on the other hand sometimes it feels as though time spent organizing things could be better used getting them done.  Just as my epic struggles with the clog in the wall makes me realize what my time is worth (an hour of frustration, between inadequate tools (terrible, terrible snake) and slimy hands, is definitely worth a call to the plumber, right?), the wonder of goofing off during daylight starts to wear off.

We used to have a motto at work that no job was so urgent that it was not worth taking the time to do it right the first time.  We will come back to that in time, I suppose, but for now it seems to have changed into the zombie-inducing do it right, do it now, do it all.  Two of three; I’m willing to compromise, but only that far; the rest is up to us to finish, no matter how vigorously we’re whipped.

Mike

Advertisement

Running Light

12 March 2009

Dear J-

I ran late this morning — though it’s relaxing to be able to sleep through the alarm seamlessly (having bought an obsolete clock-radio years ago for the intent that its manual dexterity requirement and broken snooze button would mean not being able to sleep through, I’ve since trained myself — in my sleep, no less — to figure out the right knob and action through muscle memory), that shot of adrenaline you get when you realize what time it really is must be more effective than any amount of caffeine.

I’m finding excuses to slow down a bit, going home; not that I don’t want to be there, it’s just the things that are revealed under daylight makes me appreciate San Diego a bit more.  Right now, after the rains and before the blistering sun, everything’s green and overgrown — not the sort of creeping kudzu that I find amazing, but a sort of bristly Chia Pet-style low stubble — and the secret places lining the canyon sides look ever more mysterious.

When you think about it for a while, the days do go faster when you’re so busy you can’t think; maybe that’s the point, though.  If you ponder it longer, you dredge up more ugly half-truths:  what’s more important, doing the right thing, or doing things right?  Appearances and propriety drive so many of us, but it’s still not clear whether the light of day throws them into starker relief or makes us spread it on a little thicker.

Mike

Spending Habits

3 December 2008

Dear J-

I think I end up with quantity over quality — instead of spending a moderate amount to get what I really want, I try to justify nibbling away at multiple cheap items and pretending that I can live with the limitations until I break down and take a look at just how much I’ve spent on stuff I don’t really use.  Multiple cases in point; there’s a ton of old stereos, computers, watches, cell phones, PDAs, cameras — although thankfully, there’s outlets for flogging off your mistakes, though I admit to only taking care of a few and reluctantly, at that.

For some forsaken reason, I choose to believe that there’s appropriate tools for appropriate occasions — I wanted to justify having three different camera tiers as being one for travel (Sony DSC-V1), one for, well, medium (silent) duty (Panasonic DMC-LC1), and one for most other purposes (Olympus E-1); problem being, of course, that I usually end up using only one camera at a time — muscle memory is a harsh mistress, and generally doesn’t allow for me to be proficient with more than one set of controls at a time.  Compound this to having the E-1 feel new every time I put a different lens on, and it’s a wonder that I can get any pictures out of the beast.

It’s a lot like the iterative process I’ve taken with tripods, which is still underway (I couldn’t resist various cheap deals, which have left me saddled with obsolete items — hard to believe a tripod could go obsolete, but here I am with a Gitzo 4 or 5 series that doesn’t conform to the modern (read that as available) accessory series); multiple tripods, all of which don’t work quite right and all of which stay at home, almost exclusively.  I just need to remind myself that it’s often cheaper to buy the right thing first, rather than come at it from different sides.

Mike

Crushes (man, how unexciting am I)

5 November 2006

This is my favorite post in the series, and actually had names embedded in the HTML comments. J-, you’re on here too, and I don’t think you ever really left, to be honest.

*****

I moved to a different elementary school fairly early on and achieved some of my most visible academic achievements there (“Student is a joy to have in class,” comment code #12, I think). I remember thinking that my second grade teacher was dazzlingly beautiful and pitied the kids in the other second grade for having such a drab teacher. A few years later I had a series of crushes, and I didn’t really know what was going on until about the third or fourth one — before, I just found that I couldn’t look that person in the face before having to turn away, dazzled by glory and beauty and wisdom and the great headiness of keeping an open secret. I decided that the world and I could get along, the way things were going. I wouldn’t feel that way again until my third year of college.

(more…)