Well, yeah. Sorry. Thing about a blog, is that unlike a newspaper, when my life blows ass, your reading life gets to blow ass too. So let's tally up what I've done in the 12 days since the Tacchino wrapped up.
>150 hours of work.
>3000 frequent flier miles
~1 belt notch
2 bike rides
1 major project
+/- 1 huge pain in the ass.
I managed to get the rough draft of an assessment off my desk today and out for staffing around teh workplace. Normally, this kind of project - it's boring legal crap if you must know - takes one person working about 6 months at half time to complete it. It's sort of thinky work - you take a look at a project somebody else wants to do, you think of about 20 legal issues that go with it, and you work through them. If legal reasoning were science instead of art work, you could give it to one person and they could knock it out in three months. I went to school with a guy whose mind worked that way, and I'm sure it served him well when he finished clerking at the Supreme Court. Me? I'm a sitter. As in, sometimes me sits an thinks, and other times, me just sits. I solve problems by doing the initial work, and walking back when I know the answer. I don't know why my brain works that way, I just know that it works best when I leave it alone. I do my job of riding a bike and eating pizza and fooling around, and it goes and thinks. When it's done, it lets me know. Until then, it really doesn't care what I do and it doesn't want to hear from me. If I get pissy and try to make the brain work faster, it doesn't like that much, and thinks about pretty much everything but the task at hand.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the project. So other people I work for decided to compress my project into three months. They didn't ask me about what I'd like to do or whether I was promoting a race that would essentially eat about 80 "free" hours out of the second month of the project. Nor did they ask me if I'd mind being a road warrior for three weeks of the first month of the project.
So this left me with a six month project - it's the project timeline that usually requires six months, not the actual work - condensed to 3-4 months, with two of those months committed to other tasks. I've gotten about 5 months of the project completed using a pell-mell workplan that switches around the proper order in which things should occur. The last month's worth of work - for which I have a full month allocated - will take a month. Back to work as normal, so long as this one other project doesn't go to hell on me next week. I've worked hard in my life, but never quite this hard. If this was manual labor instead of thinky stuff, I'd have worn my fingers to the humerous by now.
When the first draft of my report went out today, it literally felt like a weight lifted off my back. Sadly, the weight on my gut stayed right where it was.
Doesn't matter though. What does matter is I've got a couple races to do this weekend, and despite my evaporating fitness I'm going to sack up and race.
You know why?
Because racing isn't work, that's why. And we have to appreciate everything in life that isn't work.
Just 'cuz life's been a little hard, doesn't mean it hasn't been funny.
I'm walking into the Giant last night, post-work at around 11:00 or so, to pick up some milk on the way home. It had just rained, and then the rain stopped and it started to cool. It was one of those nights on which sound carries better than perfectly, as if it was amplified. This woman was walking out of the store pushing a cart and speaking loudly on her cellphone. From across the parking lot I heard her say,
And they were closed, so I couldn't get my medicine for my herps.It was so shocking that anybody would be saying that out loud in public, much less out *really* loud in public, that I almost fell over.
Yeah, people will do anything.
Then today I go into work. I think I've mentioned we've got a Turd Bomber in work - some dude who must stand across the room and just aim for the back wall of one of the stalls. Dude pollutes the joint about once a week. He's foul.
Well, now we got a Pee Shooter. I go in to spend a little quality time on the Throne of Repose. I like the handicapped stall because there's enough room in there to have a business meeting. Then I notice some dude has left the seat down and peed on it. Now, normally, I don't care about such things. I'm a dude. I do a quick cleanup and we're on the way. All these seat covers and fastidious dudes walking around the men's room with a bit of paper towel over their hand when they open the door... well, that creeps me out. It's like they're afraid of Dude Cooties or something. But a little pee on the seat? Naah. Not scary.
But this wasn't a little. It's like he tried to write an Omega symbol on the seat using his own urine.
How do you do that? I mean, I have to give the guy some props - that takes some major accuracy and probably plenty of practice. And why would you do it? It wasn't nasty enough to gross me out but it was a huge logistical problem. I didn't have one of those squeegees they use to mop up the courts at Wimbledon, and I left the industrial wet/dry vac at home... so what to do?
With my being accustomed to the weekly gifts of the Turd Bomber, it'd probably take decaying bodies and E TV reruns to make me freak out. But the Pee Shooter's magnum opus on the seat was just nasty enough that I thought I needed to take myself across the floor to the other bathrooms.
So hey, do you think the Turd Bomber is in a turf war with the Pee Shooter? Do you think Leaving Yesterday's Newspaper Behind Guy will choose sides?
It gets worse though. Even in the depths of the Project-Induced Torpor (PIT), I still felt compelled to check Velo News when I got back to the office. You know what the lead story was? Behind the Scenes: The Making of the New Velo News Home Page. Yep, I shit you not, brah. The big story on the VeloSnooze features hot Java-on-HTML action. No races, no grand tour route announcements, no new models that have increased vertical compliance and lateral stiffness, and no pro riders cattily bitching about their old teams or each other. Just the story behind the story about the web page development.
This can only mean we've entered the Racing Dead Zone. There may be a couple cross races locally or nationally to tide us over until Cross Worlds and the Tour of Oz, but for all practical purposes if you aren't near the top of the local points table you'd best start drinking hard and working on putting on your winter 10 right now, 'cuz the bike culture isn't about to bring you any Christmas gifts over the next 8 weeks.
On the plus side, I did find some music for you. So there's no Friday Morning Music, but maybe you can make do with some Friday Evening Music.
This one sums up how I feel right now, pretty much. It'll get better, but it's going to take some days to recover from this stretch of work, and I think my cycling form has gone the way of the Velo News Substantive Bicycle-Related Stories, at least for this season.
Then there's Faith No More with Epic. They're kind of like a Thinking Man's Rage Against the Machine, which is to say a total non-sequitur. They are pretty funky though.
How about a little Frank Zappa, Stinkfoot. He was pretty unorthodox, but musically brilliant, with amazing lyrics. Oh yeah, and a weird mofo.
Out through the night and the whispering breezes,
To the place where they keep the imaginary diseases...
Awesome. And here's what I'm going to be doing tomorrow - Riding With The King.
See you at the races.