Brief Retrospective

Kiddo's still asleep, although I doubt for much longer.  A few weeks ago she spontaneously abandoned her second nap of the day, so now we're down to one little respite from around 11am - 12 or 1pm (depending on how merciful she's being...) 

I was thinking about work, about how tough it's been carrying the burden of preparing the company for the big security audit (on top of teaching), and I found myself thinking back to grad school.  For six years I slept in until 8am almost every day and just kind of drifted from seminar to discussion section to the library and back home.  I worked faster but much less hard than almost all of my friends/colleagues in my programs.  I broke out in a terrified sweat every time I was forced to speak a few words of mangled French to anyone.  I wrote my dissertation at lightning speed and, looking back especially, the result was pretty half-assed. 

It's a relief to look back on it now and know 100% that it doesn't matter; I did end up a competent teacher, so if some twisted path leads me back that way in the future I feel all set to return there.  It will never matter, though, that my French sucks and I got bored trying to "master the literature" and just played video games most of the time.  In so many words, grad school amounted to a mostly-fun and very interesting way to spend my mid-late 20s.

Before I went to grad school, during Portland V. 1.0 for B and me, I resented it enormously when my job made me work harder than I thought was reasonable.  The company I ended up at was truly awful, but I also just hated that I was expected to do anything beyond my 8 hours a day for them.  Now, it's a lot easier to reconcile.  The thing is, I haven't done this before, worked really hard and made (some) money and bought a house and so on...it's kind of neat to try it out and I am beyond excited to finally get to move into the damn place in a few weeks.

As ever, no point to speak of here, just that despite the intense exhaustion and the kind of bleak feeling I have after weeks of this nonstop, I'm still happy about how things played out and the decisions I made.  So: yay for me.


Haters Gonna Hate

I've been eating a lot of kale.

Just a note on one of the best shows: True Blood.  It's this one show about vampires that is on HBO and it also on the, uh, internet.  B and I finally got around to watching the finale of the latest season last night and it was splendid good fun.  It's like a really smart teenager made up a funny show and hired incredibly good-looking actors for it (case in point: "Eric Northman," above, and "Jessica," not pictured.)

Thing is, lots of smart and media-savvy internet people like my homie K really hate True Blood.  There are whole smart, media-savvy blogs devoted to hating on True Blood.  That is good!  Because their intense hatred somehow only makes the show more...succulent and robust.  I do wonder a little if they're missing the point:

They think that it's a show that's kind of tongue in cheek but fails and is just stupid.  BUT what if it's a show that is SO tongue in cheek that it knows the first layer of irony is just silly but that the SECRET layer of irony makes the shit work?!  

Anyway, here's to True Blood.  I recommend that you and an attractive person get together with a few bottles of wine and watch it. 

My recommendations are not to be taken lightly.



You know what's boring?  Talking about how tired you are.  Too bad, suckers.

On the days I teach, I rock a 12-hour day from when I'm up to when I get home.  Work is still going really "well," but I'm both the lead guy in getting us a major technical security audit and I'm trying to figure out how to be a software / business analyst.  Having the house is beyond awesome, but we don't get to move in for a month-plus because we have to have the upstairs floors refinished and the floor guys are weeks out until they're available (side note: this part will be expensive.) 

And the kiddo...oh, jeebus, the kiddo.  She's adorable.  She's learning new words literally every day now and is actually making some progress on the walking thing.  But holy pooping damn, she demands 100% attention 100% of the time.  Obviously, B has to deal with this all the time, but my part is getting home after the stuff noted in the first paragraph and having to be the paragon of father - husband virtue instanter. 

Hope for the future consists of the following: the bulk of the audit will be done, for better or worse, within a month.  My class ends at the start of December.  Because we don't get to move right away, we get more time to get things sorted and the small things moved and stashed in the basement (and we know that the remaining repairs / setup will have enough time to happen before we're actually living there.)  Must...keep...going.


Got a House

Yep...it's official!  Our house is two blocks southwest of the corner of Killingsworth and Interstate in north Portland (it's in the Overlook neighborhood):

It's Just About Here.

That was one crazy process.  Here is our timeline, for your edification:
  1. Early July: get financials going.
  2. Late July: loan pre-approved.
  3. Late July: start looking.
  4. Early/mid August: put in offer.
  5. Through late August: insanity with repair addendums.  Finally walk away from house.
  6. Early September: start looking again.
  7. Labor day weekend: put in offer on another place.
  8. Next day: counter-offer.  Counter-offer accepted.
  9. Through mid-September: inspections and new repair addendum.  Repair addendum accepted.
  10. Repairs ensue
  11. First week of October: everything wraps up, we get the keys yesterday.
Of course, now comes the carpet ripping-up, the additional crap that needs to get done (i.e. we have to pay more people more money), appliances purchased and installed, then the big push in two weeks with the truck and the friends and the pizza and the beer.

Pics will be on flickr within the next few days!


Another Big Saturday Morning Where I Can't Sleep In

Getting old is retarded.*  It's like this ongoing, low-level feeling of physical unease coupled with a weird starvation diet of sleep.  What I mean by the latter is that it becomes impossible to sleep much, ever - even when you're asleep, you're just drifting at the edge of waking up the whole time, anyway.  After enjoying pizza and wine with homies R+R last night, for some (fucking) reason I turned my alarm on (apparently it's purely reflexive at this point), so it went off at 6:20am like usual this morning.  Now, young me would have just turned it off and gone back to sleep.  Old, current me turned it off and failed to go back to sleep.  Hence blog post.

Work is going pretty well.  I got a semi-promotion to start doing business analysis / project management (with adult supervision in the form of one of my bosses), which is a step in the direction I want to go involving doing full-on project management in a tech context.  Why would I want to do such a thing, you possibly impulsively think for a quarter of a second before getting bored and thinking about something more interesting, like anything else at all, ever?  The answer is that doing project management seems  to be less stressful than doing IT but pays more.  My mama didn't raise no dummies, you see.

I'm teaching again, too.  I mean to write a blog post about my big ultimate take on having spent six years earning a doctorate and then promptly returning to a variation on what I was doing before I went to grad school in the first place instead of doggedly pursuing a teaching career...but this post ain't that.  Suffice it to say for now that teaching is still fun, I like those silly kids in my classes, but it is also pretty exciting to be signing the papers on our new house next week. 

Speaking of, and forgive me for the weird species of bragging, but these are things our house has:
  1. 5 years in to a 30-year roof.
  2. New siding.
  3. New furnace.
  4. (now) New sewer line.
  5. (now) New circuit box and a bunch of new electrical.
  6. New Windows!
This latter one is huge.  Everyone we know who owns a house has gone through the window replacement thing in the last few years and it sounds brutal.  We are some lucky shits to be moving in to a place where the guy before already paid for it.

* Retarded is the last socially unpalatable term I insist on using sometimes.  I'm sure I'll get in trouble for it eventually and be forced to just mutter it under my breath when I'm alone.