Sunday, October 18, 2015

don't forget to show your work.

It has not been a year of deep blog posts, I think. Life has had most of the same threads this year, and they progress and evolve.

I just plowed through the books of the Expanse series, really great sci-fi books. The "author" James S.A. Corey is a pseudonym for two guys; apparently one of them built this world for an MMORPG (big online multiplayer game), and then the author one was a writer, met the first guy, and said "Writers don't do this much work" and they wrote some great books.

To make sure I slept, and knowing how sad I would be when they ended, I tried not to just stay up late plowing through them, and I did pretty well. I'm in the middle of a dozen other books anyway, a lifelong habit further enabled by the library's ebook collection and my Kindle. Books I have been notably slow to finish include books related to work.

Work is work. It's a good job, working for a deeply moral employer, with super smart, kind people. I've recently been able to establish clearer expectations for the kinds of roles that are available, so I think we all know where we stand, and that's a good thing.

I did get super excited and hack out a side project last week, something elegant that various people at our Community Summit were interested in, and that made my co-workers' eyes pop out. So that was deeply gratifying.

We're playing a lot with the timing of medications, and I've been feeling pretty good, not just hour to hour, but improving over days. It recently occurred to me that I should make more friends, and while the route to that is not completely clear, it does not make me think "maybe later, I don't have the energy," so that's new. I haven't been running in a couple weeks, but I'm also nervous about trying: even if it feels okay at the time, I can never tell if it contributes to then being strung out a few days later.

We have had a mess of work done on the house, which turned out to be a more substantial project than expected, partly because we didn't know what to expect, but also the usual chain of hapless events that leads to otherwise competent people selling crappy work, which then gets fixed by the next guy. It's funny, even when the crappy work involves missing sealant on the window trim, heading into a record-breaking El NiƱo (which, this time, means lots of rain).

I think I posted a picture of the living room windows already, but I have trouble describing how much less janky the house feels, with windows that aren't a noisy chore to open, and back doors that are not actually hollow-core interior doors. (The stucco around the primary back door is being fixed up, so we've been using the back door into our bedroom, which is usually only used by shouting children rampaging in a circle around the property. The architectural history that led to an exterior door in our bedroom is, at best, muddled.)

And, of course, copious snuggling.

Finally, I've been unwinding some stuff in my head lately, and getting a clearer view of the way I don't really let my internal processes be seen on the outside. Relatively early in my life it got both tedious and unsafe to do that, so I learned not to, and I'm very good at putting on whatever mask the moment calls for. But that leaves people wondering how my thinking got from Point A to Point B, and in particular for people who care about me, they don't get to see what my experience of life is like. (Why do they want to hear it? I already thought those thoughts, they're boring now!) So I'm telling more of my stories, and letting my emotional reactions to things be more visible, though it's very much like speaking a foreign language (much like J's entire experience communicating with other humans). No disaster yet.

It's early days, though! There's still time!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm alive!

No need to send a rescue party. I've been working, and occasionally running, and apparently reading a lot.

We finally pulled the trigger on replacing all our windows, so Anna has been project-managing that, in her copious free time. It's amazing.

That big window used to be 8 panes of glass, tenuous held together by brittle caulk (presumably the original 1938 construction) that would come off with your fingernail. The entire assembly would flex if you pressed on it, and with the not-at-all-safety glass and the 3-foot drop on the other side, the situation cried out for some zooming child to crash through it and end up with a concussion and dozens of stitches. We drilled this point into the children entering the house, and put a big chair in front of the window, which made it safer, but the chair is very opaque and so we didn't really think of the window much.

It turns out there's an entire whole world out there! Easily visible through a single piece of glass that doesn't have a huge armchair in front of it.

We replaced everything except the bathroom windows, so a new sliding door in the office, no more rattling single-paned aluminum-frame windows with the weather-stripping gone. Occasionally we open and close windows just because it's so easy: no strenuous effort, no CLACK-CLACK-CLACK-CLACK as the windows skip and chunk through the frame rather than slide.

We replaced the two rear doors, which, as it happens, were actually interior doors that people had just gone ahead and used for exterior doors. That is how this house rolls.

(I say "we," but of course Anna is doing the day-to-day project management.)

The dark, cavelike corner of our bedroom now has natural light, of all the crazy things, filtered through trees. These doors are actually double-paned, but with a set of Venetian blinds inside. This is space-age stuff. (Or, rather, this is what we build instead of going into space.)

I'm not showing the hacked-up stucco, or the lonely-looking wall gaps or places where the trim hasn't been replaced. It'll get fixed, hopefully before it rains.

 This is the last big project for a while, but wow. It's like a different house.