Saturday, 26 January 2008

I'm screwed, and not in a good way <rimshot>

I was sleepy. I was going to barrel through some work, and go to bed early. But I was also cold, so I decided to snuggle up under a comforter to do some reading. And I fell asleep. This was about 5:30. I guess I woke up around 7.

So now I'm wide awake, and unlikely to get to sleep tonight any normal sort of human going-to-bed-time. I have, in fact, barreled through some of the work I was going to do, but it's now about 9:30 and I was going to go to bed. But, well, there wouldn't be much point. I could go out and try to find some action, but, well, I live in Winnipeg. <rimshot> I'm also over 40 now, and my notion of action is changing. Or maybe my standards are getting lower. I don't know.

All I know is a) I did have something to say on Thursday, but I never got around to saying it and now I don't remember what it was, b) much as I turned out to have enjoyed my nap, I'd really have preferred not taking it and going to bed now and sleeping straight through until morning like an human, and c) if I'm going to accomplish anything 'outside' it better be tomorrow, cuz they say there's a blizzard blowing in on Monday and Tuesday. 15 cm of snow in the city. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but anything over about 4-5cm will completely screw up the city for most of a week. So we're screwed on all fronts. And not in a good way.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Another Thursday missed

Well, I didn't do an update on Thursday, mostly because I stayed home and did some tidying up. The upshot of which is in the afternoon, when I normally would have spent some time online catching up with stuff, I took a near life-changing three hour nap.

I love naps. I love naps more than sleeping at night. I tend to fall asleep faster, deeper, and wake up actually refreshed after a long daylight-hours nap than I do at night. Part of me wonders if I'm reverting to a pre-antidepressant, grad-school state of actually being afraid to go to sleep at night (for a number of neurotransmitter-related all-in-your-head kinds of reasons) but having no problem sleeping, say, between 7am and noon, and again between 3pm and 6pm. Which explains why all my best writing occured between 1 and 3am. Typical grad school kind of schedule, but not what you call mentally healthy.

I've always been a thrasher in my sleep, and my fancy new space-age mattress that is supposed to eliminate that hasn't. Which is not a problem, except that in the last few weeks instead of going to sleep on my back and waking up on my back, but in the meantime having traversed every possible angle and position--I used to go to sleep on my back, blankets nice straight and wake up that way, but with all my blankets turned upside-down. Anyway, lately I've been waking up with my upper body folded over onto my right, trapping my right arm under my body. Which would be fine--I guess my shoulders are unusually flexible in that direction--but it usually means my right elbow and wrist are flexed as well--so not only am I stressing the blood flow, I'm stressing my ulnar nerve, and setting off my intermittend ulnar palsy.

This is a new word for me, and I'm sort of enamo(u)red of it, in the way that when somebody gives you a new word for something that you thought only you ever experienced or thought about you feel validated. Ulnar Nerve Palsy is a condition where you get tingling/numbness, etc. in your ring and little fingers related to stressing the nerve, which runs along the outside of the elbow. Since I've been experiencing this in both arms, mostly from my habit of clutching my blankets up to my chin when I'm cold--which I almost always am in the morning--I've been trying to keep my elbows mostly extended in bed. Which works fine as long as I'm awake, and on my back, and warm, but whem rolled over on your side or belly it's hard to keep your arms straight. And apparently my body is trying to get me to sleep on my side. Or something.

One wonders if this is my (familial) history of snoring and/or apnea finally catching up with me. I'm really hoping it's just the 20 lbs I've put on in the last six months, and as I retake control of my diet and whatnot, I'll go back to normal. For some value of 'normal'.

Sunday, 13 January 2008


It's Sunday, and I just realized that I didn't do my Thursday update.

The reason (that it wasn't a 'usual' Thursday) is no excuse, since I'm not sure I've had a usual Thursday in I don't know how long. And, it being the beginning of a) the year, b) the term, c) my acting headship, 'usual' hasn't been established yet.

But on Thursday I met with the Deanlet of Space (hi, Barry) regarding the land grab we're trying to orchestrate--there's a pair of offices one-off-adjacent to the lab that are otherwise derelict and there's money to renovate research space. So I drafted some stuff, met with Deanlet Space and drafted a memo to the Deanlet of Research (hi, Janice). Then I tidied up some stuff and did some planning for the coming weekend/week, and went home.

Friday wasn't so bad. Yesterday was my Day of Rest. Today I'm going to do some tidying up around the house and later this afternoon I'll take myself off to the coffee house to get some reading done. Maybe some writing. We'll see.

Tomorrow my Yoga class starts up again and I can't wait. I really want to work out the kink in my lower lumbar/saccral area that sidelined me for a week in December.

So that's all. I'll try to have something useful to say eventually.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Album cover task

This one came from my friend Clay.

Go to Wikipedia's random search and make a note of the article title. This is the name of your band.

Go to Quotations Page's random quotes and make a note of the last quote on the list. The last four words are the title of your album.

Third, go to Flickr's Last 7 Days 'interestingness' page, and the third image, whatever it is, is your album cover. I'm told that sometimes the picture can't be downloaded, so keep reloading until one is.

Combine the image with your band name and album title, and voilá, that's your album cover.

So here's mine.

I initially forgot to make a note of the source of my image, but after a lot of poking around, I finally found out the poster, who is called I don't know if that's a surname or a location. But he calls the photo "ICE Arriving", which once you know that ICE is some kind of German train is pretty descriptive. I did crop it to be square, but whatever. The band name comes from a Wikipedia article on, well, the paperless office, and the title comes from a Quentin Crisp quote, "Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster."

But as an album title, I like it. The subjunctive, or whatever that is, is sort of interesting standing alone like that. It sounds sort of northern English. Reminds me of "The Law is a (h)ass" from Oliver Twist. Or something. Not bad for 10 minutes of wasted time this morning. And another hour trying to figure out whose picture it really is, but at least that was this evening, instead of going to bed on time....

By the way, my favo(u)rite name for a hypothetical band that I would be in is "Wonky Swing Pattern". Long, boring story.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Oy! ... or The Money Suck

Well, it's been a while, and things have not been going well. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just cataloging some bad things which have happened.

Remember the $1700 car bill? It turned into a $2300 car bill, what with the discovery of something having to do with some strut or other. They explained it to me, I told them to fix it, and I just filed everything in the 'deny while you can' pile.

Remember the new computer I bought for just over $700, that was supposed to keep me from having to buy a new laptop for a few years? Well, it's great, I love it, I'm not complaining. But now my laptop, apparently feeling old and neglected, has decided to go belly-up. Well, maybe not belly-up, but it wouldn't boot, and it took my tech guy JC most of the day yesterday to figure out what was wrong. I quote: "It had corrupted sectors on the hard drive. This could be a sign of future failure.... It could go tomorrow or in two years. Don't know for sure." Well, I could get hit by a bus in the meantime, and at the moment the thing is working, but when it finally comes time to pull the plug, I don't know what I'm going to do. A new laptop would cost a lot more than the new computer.

Remember all that marking I had to do? Well, I did get it done, I don't know how many weeks late, by which I mean 'in reasonable time'--I actually did get grades in before the absolute last deadline, but since that was Friday last week (I did it on New Year's Eve), that's not saying much. Mostly because by the time I was ready to sit down and do them, I'd done something to my back and was laid up for almost a week. Not a full-blown spasm, but something weird. Felt saccral, so probably lumbar extensor/erector, and it wasn't so much the lingering pain, or the lingering immobility, but just the overwhelming thereness of the soreness that was distracting. That and on the day I was going to take everything home I literally could not lift the stack of papers.

But now I'm a) Acting Head, b) I've survived my first official Heads' Meeting, c) I have a course break, d) I'm within about 24 hours of having a review in only a month late, e) the papers I lost during an e-mail meltdown (did I mention my e-mail meltdown) are trickling in, so my students are becoming increasingly less likely to hunt me down and kill me. Which is a good thing, because as acting head my colleagues are likely to start any minute now.

So we'll see how this week goes. More Thursday.