One More Cup of Coffee
(26 January - 4 February 2005)

4 February 2005
[from New York City]
-It figures that I would win the poker tournament when no money was on the line.  But I can't complain... it was great fun & I did get some lucky draws.  Practice rounds were also fun & I resisted the temptation to debate, instead judging Beth & Brian against our "super novices", Lina & Mark, who are both high on the NOTY board.  We traveled down with that fab foursome in Brian's massive vehicle to NY & recounted debate stories of yore as well as casing with the team.
-Actually being at the NYU tournament was another brand of surreal... so many dinos were wandering around & yet I knew almost none of the actual debaters.  I've been getting great rounds & have seen some folks I really missed, but it's all a little overwhelming.  I keep thinking that people are right where I left off & haven't aged 3 years like I have.  Realizing how much time has really passed is quite daunting.
-For example, it's the four-year anniversary of the crunchy-or-creamy peanut-butter round against the Pace/Temple hybrid at NYU 2001.  I'm glad I could mark that anniversary with Zirkin around.

3 February 2005
[from Waltham]
-After things fell through last night upon arrival, we wound up staying at a hotel in Beantown proper, right across the street from North Station.  The Shawmut Inn was externally reminiscent of the Dufferin in Vancouver, but a little more livable on the inside.  Some have more stomach for adventure than others.
-This morning we got out on the commuter rail to 'Deis & it was like old times again.  Hung out with Beth & Alan, hit the Taqueria just like the old days... all with memories flooding surreally back.  They've built some new housing on the 'Deis campus to go with the lovely green Shapiro Center.  Tonight there'll be practice rounds with the team & mayhap some poker thereafter.

2 February 2005
-Notes done!  At 4 in the morning, this feels precisely like college papers in the old days.  Though I'd often be starting those papers at 4 in the morning & the sun's not even out yet, but I digress.  2,018 minutes is a record for a month worth of mental health documentation for me, & gives me a good start to repeat in 2005 as top in the program.  Yes, I'm such a dork.  But a giddy, energetic dork with no tasks in the way of enjoying the next two weeks!
-I'm going to be in serious danger of simply freezing solid this trip.  Here comes an adventure...

1 February 2005
-In another tale of the tiny little planet called Earth, I worked about half the shift today with a friend of DK's.  The odds of her working with me given that she's in training for an entirely different program in Seneca & is only seeing one night of residential total were pretty darn small.  But we had great fun talking about how unique our names are & how small this silly world can be.
-A smooth, easy day to wrap up work for a while.  It's nice to have a big break every month... but I ought not get used to it.  I'm so excited about this trip, though, & just have a few small things to knock out before I go.  & then I can just relax for a couple weeks & see all sorts of folks that I haven't seen in too long!  Here comes the Quarter-Century Express!

31 January 2005
-All I know is that I have to have all my notes done by the time I get on that plane.  I will not pull another December break on myself.
-Sweet foosball, how it is taking over life like so many other passtimes.
-New kid today.  Lots of drama, but nothing too worrisome.  We were neatly overstaffed, especially compared to yesterday.

30 January 2005
-We were two-on for most of the day today, which was truly absurd.  But it was chill, & it was a Sunday, so it held up all right.  Just when things were turning south, we got a third.  Then I got a migraine over dinner & the rest of my night was shot.  But we still got everything done.  I'm just exhausted, & falling behind.

29 January 2005
-Finally made some significant progress with notes yesterday, but didn't get all I needed to get done done.  So it goes.  I've finally broken through the barrier of it being in my head that they're hard to do.  I actually feel ahead of the game & back on the track that made me the top mental-health note writer in 2004.
-Ah, the ups & downs of online poker!  Still mostly ups, though.
-So much for the movie.  Who would've thought everyone in the world would want to see one tonight?

28 January 2005
-Took in a modest haul of $14 last night, but the highlights included the first major use of the foosball table since its arrival sometime last week.  Our house of games is getting a little crazy between the poker & the foosball, but I certainly can't complain.  It's quite a group that's getting together these days.
-It's too bad the Mariners didn't land Carlos Delgado during the off-season.  Not that I don't think Richie Sexson & Adrian Beltre will be productive & help remind us how to hit the ball.  But I would really have loved to have this guy protesting in our dugout.

27 January 2005
-"But oh God, under the weight of life, things seem brighter on the other side..."
-I can do this.  I just need to put that in writing.

26 January 2005
-Well I didn't break my nose, but someone did blow out last night over not getting to use their calculator on their math homework, which is & has always been strictly prohibited.  It managed to be a lot safer than we anticipated, but as Rachel reminded us, it put into perspective how many risks we do end up taking in this job.  Then at 11:40 last night, the computer lost my Incident Report that I'd been working on for 35 minutes, so I had to fire it up again & rewrite from scratch, this time remembering to save despite my tired blitheringness.  I give up.
-Well it came close to being another Wednesday to foul my mood for the rest of time, but it saved itself towards the end.  I should just keep it in mind that no matter what decisions I make, they'll be seen as wrong by someone in the agency.  Most of the people making these judgments, of course, would make the exact same decisions were they actually anywhere near what was going on.
-People can intellectualize hopelessness, but almost never manage to actually live it.  Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great thing that they don't end up living it.  When people start living it is when people who do my job become necessary, I suppose.  That's what we really call "crazy"... simply putting into practice what so many purport to believe.

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