Signs and Causes of Stress

• I don't remember going to sleep on Sunday night, so I was a bit disoriented when I woke up. Maybe it was that first dream where I was in a meeting at work, getting a big new assignment. Perhaps it was that second one, where a conference room morphed into a mansion and I was part of a gang of thieves pulling off a heist of some fat bearded rich guy's sports car, which he kept in the living. The third dream, where we just marched out of there as an Italian band as the sun rose, the perfect disguise, was odd too. Then there were a few girls in bikinis amid the band as we marched through Manhattan, and one with an “enhanced” chest. If you think you know where the dream went next, you'd be wrong. I noticed visible scars where the new breasts had been sewn on, and one of the giggling girls in the back row of the band laughed and told the enhanced girl, “You've got super-sized cancer containers!” Then my eyes snapped open as I mouthed that inexplicable last phrase as a question. I didn't know what the hell that was all about, but once I got my bearings, I found I had another hour before I had to be up.

• I probably should have stayed up. Somehow, I went back to sleep, had some more bizarre dreams that I didn't remember, and even though I didn't nap for much longer, I still found myself leaving the driveway fifteen minutes later than I should have. I got stuck behind every slow driver imaginable, making up some time on a narrow bridge that most people are afraid to speed over, then lost time again with a school bus that refused to turn right on red, which they probably can't do by law. I wasn't sure, and I'm not a jerk, so I had to just wait it out.

• I brought in my umbrella because it looked like rain and I had a meeting in another building. I spend most of the morning answering e-mails and phone calls that came in while I was on vacation on Friday. When I went to my meeting, umbrella in hand, I walked out into some rain forest level humidity. My meeting was in a different room than I expected, because there had apparently been some leak and a mold problem on some curtains that someone had a bad allergic reaction to on Friday. Always remember that there will always be someone with worse problems.

• I opted for a quick lunch which I ate at my desk, since I had a lot to finish for a big meeting on Tuesday. I read up on Preleukemia, which is apparently what my hospital-bound aunt is currently suffering from, and then turned to something lighter, message boards for Psych which had an hilarious 5th season premiere last week. It's the little happy things like that which help alleviate stress like an interrupting kick to the face.

• I need to get out of the 3 PM coffee and Peanut M&Ms break. Sometimes I push it to 4 PM, and the later I have caffeine and chocolate, the more jittery and awake I am hours later, especially if I don't burn some of it off running on the treadmill. And my big race is coming up in three weeks already!

• Long day short, I actually got all my stuff done by 5 PM, and simply had to print. Long day longer, a paper jam lead to unimaginable problems, when suddenly the printer wasn't recognized by the computer after clearing the jam. And I found that, since we recently had new printers installed, that was the only printer I was set up to use. I probably spent more time than necessary trying to fix the problem before finally relying on a friend's computer. By 7:30 I had everything printed, and by 8:15 I had half of it collated and comped, but had enough. The rest would have to wait until morning. I'd already missed my window to go to the gym; I wasn't about to miss The Good Guys.

• After dinner and my show, I faced the battery leak in my basement that I'd put off. The radio and the corroded D batteries were already outside, but I had simply poured vinegar on the floor to neutralize the acid and left paper towels on top of it. This time I went with a more vigorous scrubbing after lifting the towels into some plastic bags, and I think enough soap and water got that section of concrete cleaner than any other section down there. Sometimes an unfinished basement is a blessing. I put all the garbage and recyclables out at the curb, to save time Tuesday morning. I think vigorously washed my hands, and still feel phantom burning sensations, although at least one of those spots may be a super thin paper cut between my fingers that I got earlier while collating my printouts.

• I don't know how much longer I can continue at this pace, but that's life. “I guess you never thought you'd end up this way...” said my dad to his sister, meaning well but never knowing the right thing to say in such situations. When I was bleeding to death from a birth defect 10 years ago, he mostly complained that I needed to shave. In any case, sooner or later we're all going to end up in some bad way, either mentally or physically or both. “I hope when I go it's quick,” said my dad over the weekend, as we discussed a tuba player in one of our bands who suffered a stroke. “I don't want to go on like this any more,” said my aunt, clearly in pain that would probably be worse without her morphine. So sometimes life will be extremely busy, and extremely stressful, but these things remind us we are alive. My dad told his sister that pain was a good thing in a way, because it tells us when something is wrong. I think we all reach a point where we can't work through pain or exhaustion, so we should keep on trucking for as long as we can. Some day I won't be able to be productive, to do the things I do now. And in the interim years, if I buy a home and start a family, it doesn't mean my other responsibilities will cease. I'll have a new batch of responsibilities to handle on top of the old ones. So I'm pressing on, and if coffee, sweets, and mindless television helps maintain my sanity and recharge my batteries before they corrode, then so be it.


Blogger Kev said...

When did you give your blog a makeover? I miss all kinds of stuff reading it from Google Reader...

I'm enjoying "The Good Guys" too.

Good luck with your race!

7/20/2010 10:00 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

It's been at least 2 years, maybe 3. My 2008 April Fool's "redesign" includes some of the newer elements that were added the last time I updated things, so it had to be prior to that. I know part of the redesign was in response to some blog that critiqued sites, and they had a good point about the readability of white type on a black background where larger blocks of text are concerned. I also learned the bare minimum of CSS to make any future global changes a lot easier, since I had to manually go into a lot of old posts and change colors. It was a big undertaking, and I haven't had the time or inclination to do one since. I think you probably complemented the redesign then too, so thanks again! :)

"The Good Guys" is another example of '80s episodic escapism like Human Target. It's ridiculous how much Colin Hanks looks and sounds like his dad at that age now, and even though Whitford is this way over-the-top cartoon character, for some reason it works. At first it was grating, but after a few episodes I settled into the formula and the contrast between him and Hanks as the straight man. It's FOX and it's a Summer show, so I'm not getting attached, but it's a nice thing to be watching while nothing else is on.

7/20/2010 10:07 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Okay, evidenced by the comments in this post:


2007 was the last time I changed the banner. Not sure if I updated the other stuff then or after that, but that puts the current look somewhere between 07 and 08....

7/20/2010 10:12 PM  
Blogger Kev said...

Huh.. I remember that post about the redesign. I guess it's just been long enough that I've been using a reader that I just forgot what your blog looked like :-( I should comment more often so I actually come to the blog itself!

7/22/2010 2:44 PM  

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