Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Ich Hab Keine Zeit!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:04 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I have no time!

That’s what that German phrase means.  It’s also very true of me the past couple weeks.  I don’t have time.  Or, at least, not enough time.

First, I apologize, dear readers, for not posting more regularly.  As previously mentioned, I’ve been busy.  Two weeks ago, my parents were in town from Chicago, so I was all about spending quality time with them.  When I get a couple minutes to rub together, I’ll get the pictures processed from our trip to the San Jacinto Monument.  A very tourist thing to do, but cool, too, because the San Jacinto Monument was part of the symbol for my Dad’s military unit when he was in the Army back during the Korean War.  He was drafted and ended up in an activated reserve unit out of Houston.  Phone company guys, mostly, who were in a Combat Engineers unit.  So, it was sort of cool to take Mom and Dad to see this local icon which figured so prominently in his past.  He said he’d always meant to see it, but he never figured it would take 58 years to get here.  Maybe it’s never too late, eh?

Also, I’ve been trying to get ready to have people over the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually, I do something the day of Thanksgiving and had hoped to start a new tradition of hosting a Lost and Wandering Thanksgiving at my house.  (Gee that sort of sounds like the saddest Charlie Brown Speical ever, doesn’t it?)  But, due to unforseen circumstances, that’s been pushed back a day and been slightly transformed into a Black Friday Leftovers celebration.  It’ll be fun, though different.  And, yes, I am headed somewhere for Thanksgiving Day, which I’m very much looking forward to doing.  And, this year, I’ll send out invitations earlier.  Like January.

But, also, dear readers, I’ve hit another slump.
Yesterday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, is an anniversary, of sorts, for me.  An anniversary that I wish I could forget.  It makes me question who I am and why I am.  How I got here both physically and metaphorically.  Some years it hits harder than others, and this year, much to my surprise, it hit harder than I was expecting.  Maybe it was seeing Mom and Dad and realizing that they may not be around too many more years.  Dad’s 80 and Mom’s not too far behind.  They act like people ten years younger, but, the fact is, time catches us all and is creeping up on some of us faster than others.
Some of it is just that my life doesn’t look like I thought it should at this point.  No wife, no kids, a stalled career that’s become just a job I’m good at doing.  I’m thankful, though, that I have the luxury of my existential pain.  I’m relatively healthy.  I’m losing weight and trimming down.  I have a hobby to obsess over and a surprising number of people who love me.  Outside of the lingering medical debt thanks to surviving cancer and wrestling with a little high blood pressure still, things are going better than I have any right to expect.  Still, I feel the lack.

And, all those things, along with a little dog who likes to bust out windows early in the morning, have left me with little time or inspiration to write.  Oh, make no mistake, dear readers, there’s plenty to write about, just a severe lack of motivation and focus to do so.

So, at least you’ve gotten an update.  Now you all know I’m not dead, or run off with the circus, or abducted by aliens.  Just busy and suffering from a bout of Weltschmerz, or, as John D. MacDonald had, I believe, Travis McGee say, “homesickness for a place I’ve never been”.
Maybe it’s just the melancholy German in me that longs for a kind of fantasy life that I never managed to realize.  Who knows?  All I know is that I feel empty, and lonely, and restless, like I do most years about this time, and it makes it hard to write well and honestly and true and not be depressing.  So I haven’t been.
Maybe I’ll go hide behind my camera for a bit longer after all.

More will come.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."
   --Ernest Hemingway


Vacationing in Backyardistan

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I hadn’t really planned on taking a vacation this year.

I mean, between all the time I took last year for chemotherapy and my lack of funds due to paying for all that, well, I just hadn’t planned on taking any time for myself this year. Oh, maybe the occasional long weekend, but that was about it. But, after reading this article on Hotjobs about taking time away from work… Well, let’s just say I’m reconsidering it. (And, no, the potential of winning a free trip to Tahiti, also on that article I linked to, did not have any influence over me!)

That first article suggests taking time off, even if you don’t leave the house, but just stay home and read. That was what got the wheels turning in my head. I have this giant stack of books, again, and I never seem to have enough time to read. I could take two or three days before a weekend and just read all day long. Heck, I could probably even do it more than once! Oh, the joy of a day spent reading…
Then, too, there was an article on the New York Times, linked to by LifeHacker, suggesting a number of less expensive vacations one might take. Though, I have to admit, the comments left by other readers were just as good as the article and, in most cases, less expensive than anything suggested by the Times. I particularly liked the idea of taking several days and being a tourist in your own town. There are so many things in Houston that I haven’t done! I’ve lived here ten years and I’ve never seen the San Jacinto Monument, for instance. And, there are so many museums! In fact, I even know someone who used to curate at the Menil. I could probably talk him into acting as a guide for me.
And, now that I have such a nice camera, think of all the opportunities to explore and take pictures.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Love is that condition where someone else’s happiness is necessary to your own."
   --Robert Heinlein

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