Too Much of Nothing
(7-16 November 2004)

16 November 2004
-Talking.  Communication.  Just working it out.  That's what makes it worthwhile to have other people in one's life.
-Tired, but slogging it out just fine.  Already it seems a little easier to go to work.
-I've been considering making a page about old debate memories & stories so that I have a place to channel my old obsessions before the memories fade & blur.  Given my love of lists & rankings (& how debate involves so many lists & rankings), I'm considering making a top 25 debate tourneys page.  I can see all kinds of flack I could get from this, but the main purpose would be to preserve the details & tales of what made debate in college such a great experience.  I guess it gets a little tricky with how detailed to be, since telling full stories would involve details about lots of other folks, & having this page be public was always most controversial when I was talking about other debaters.  But bring on the flack.  Even Arthur Traldi said I should be ashamed of myself the other day, joining the chorus of people who thought that compromising the entire ideals of progressive politics was worth it to beat Bush.  Ah well.  I stir up plenty of trouble already.  Though on that post, & a lot of others, I'm not sure I like being lumped in as a "liberal" or even a "progressive".  I think radical is a much better word for my views, though I do have random views that others label as "conservative" thrown in.  Like Lisha said a few posts back, you can't just divide the country because too many people have multifarious faction-crossing viewpoints.  The long & the short of it is that the 25 best tournaments is an upcoming project, along with The Animal Quiz & maybe some actual fiction someday.  I know that half the reason I'm making this commitment is to convince myself to follow through.
-Speaking of Lisha, I want to congratulate her on her upcoming publication & (additional?) inclusion in an article in JAMA.  I used to file all those medical journals at my old job!  But seriously, this is a big deal & quite cool.

15 November 2004
-Sweet Au Coquelet.
-Wow!  I'm not working any holidays this year!  I don't know what crazy lucky break this is, but I'm very excited.  I know timeliness of returning the form was a factor & I turned it in the day it came out (my Mom trained me well with forms like this... one of the reasons I got a natural triple room first year at 'Deis).  But wow, not even Thanksgiving.  Very exciting how much time I can now take off this winter...
-Rachel S. finally came back to our shift at work & not a moment too soon.  Combined with one of our consistently Monday-troubled kids having a good Monday, it seems like things might start working out after all.

14 November 2004
-Exit Emily, stage Beantown.  I'm so tired of these trips away...
-Predictions at this job are like forecasting the weather while buried underground.  You might be on the same planet as what's going on, but you have no other reasonable clues.
-Rut rut rut.

13 November 2004
Happy Birthday to Jennifer Dean
-Finally got up to Chabot Space & Science Center, which we'd been talking about seeing for months.  It's no OMSI, but it's pretty spiffy.  I just love planetariums.
-Congratulations to Justin & Lina of the 'Deis for winning Middlebury!  Zimmy called me from the road back from Middlebury to let me know the good news.  Apparently they 1-2'ed the tournament as well, which is something that I'm always amazed any team can manage to do.  & Lina's a novice!  Very exciting news for the team that I miss so dearly...
-Came up with a new way of laying out tarot cards, which was a mix of some traditional spreads with my own twists.  I think ultimately one has to tweak traditions to come up with something workable.  The results were surprisingly viable.

12 November 2004
-Poker yielded a break-even night, which was disappointing given how far up I was at one point.  The energy & excitement of these nights, however, is providing a lot of joy & social outlet that I've been missing for some time since leaving the social extravaganza that was college.  & it seems like I'm solidifying friendships with a fair number of the folks, which is always exciting.  Making friends outside of a school is just a whole lot harder.
-So much for productive Fridays as a plan.  Hrm.

11 November 2004
-Trying out a new way of recuperating from the week whereby I rest all day Thursday in exchange for really working & being productive on Fridays, be it with notes or other writing.  We'll see how it holds up...

10 November 2004
-Another emotional bloodletting at the mid-week meeting, but it was good overall.  I at one point made the statement:  "Let me get something off my chest that's been there for 15 months."  All's well that starts to get resolved well, I suppose.
-Stupid internet.  What is wrong with you?
-Went back to "The Lion King" (the play), this time with Em & Fish.  Like all performances, it was much faster the second time, as one isn't being surprised by each scene.  But it's still an experience I recommend to all.

9 November 2004
-Very nice to see that the Brandeis Debate Team's website is back in full force, with a very refined look.  It does sadden me a little if the archives of the old stuff are all lost, but this seems to be a trend with website updates.  At least there's a clean new look to attract even more novii.  It makes me very happy to see APDA results coming in with 'Deis always on the list, especially with such quality novice performances.  I wish I could go back sometime, but it would just remind me how much I want to debate more.
-I get some truly crazy ideas in my head sometimes.  But some of the best ideas have come from the craziest, in retrospect.
-How long do I keep up IntroSPOOKtion?  I suppose I need to design a new graphic this weekend, but it still feels like October to me given all the late energy & epiphany.  Enh, I guess I'll figure it out.  How often I've used that phrase to favor intuition over planning.  Another long-standing pattern that sometimes gets me into trouble, no matter how many times it also helps me out.

8 November 2004
-Dad continues to be a great ally in the quest for understanding in this life.
-Today felt hazy & strange, but I think it made my interventions softer & more viable with the kids at times.  I can pretty much write off this week in a lot of ways, as I'm just pondering things & feeling out of it.  I'm also so frustrated by some of the patterns with the kids that I'm tempted to pull out the spreadsheets to show just how ridiculously predictable things have gotten.  Monday Monday.  Maybe I will pull out a graph after all.

7 November 2004
-I called out today, citing that I wasn't feeling well.  Which is true enough, given that I'm mentally not up for work & they always tell us in trainings that we're supposed to use all our PTO (paid time-off) for days that we don't feel sturdy enough to deal with the emotional instabilities of the job.  It's a taxing job, & I don't mind admitting that I'm not up to it sometimes.
-Exit Jaque, after more great games.
-Had a little bit of a breakdown tonight, mostly realizing a lot of patterns about myself that I just don't like.  Stress is not something I'm accustomed to having in my life... it's almost something that I don't believe in.  When elements of it try to infiltrate my life, as they do from time to time with this job & a few other things, I start going a little batty.  Or a lot batty.  But so often in my life, I've become focused & almost obsessed with one thing at the expense of darn near everything else.  These days, it seems to be the idea of doing a job that's worthwhile... I'm so addicted to feeling like the job I'm doing is a worthwhile one (something I never felt in prior jobs or in schools since 1991) that I've been able to ignore the problems it's created at home & in my writing & in some of my friendships.  I just don't like it, but I feel powerless to change it without throwing out the job in the first place, likely trading it for something less meaningful & satisfying.  & strangest of all, I don't usually even enjoy the job itself... it just provides me with the feeling of doing something good & building the peacemaking skills & understanding that I crave.  Where is balance?  Where is some sort of good resolution?  Em says that everyone gets focused/obsessed on one thing in their lives, & often or usually it's something trivial like money or advancing on a career track.  But I don't think it comes with the same blinders that I put on other things, the same destructive obliviousness of reality that came at Broadway in the extreme, or even with debate & writing Loosely Based in the less extreme.  What makes it so hard to walk away from is that this obsessive focus allows me to do very well at whatever that prime focus is, regardless of the hits that other elements of life take.  It's very hard to walk away from a system that provides success at the biggest goal that I choose for myself.  Yet there seem to be a lot of good reasons to try to change this system in myself.  Do I even know how, even if I want to?  The times in my life that I haven't had such a sturdy prime focus have been the hardest to get through; almost always they come in the wake of some collapse of a prior goal & the void that follows.  I'm just shaking my head at myself, wondering how basic revelations about how I am are still possible after so many years.  & through it all, I'm still not very good at being who I want to be.

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