Monday, November 15, 2010

Things the Sign Told Me to Post

I'm hoping the start to the day isn't some sign of how it will go because I got a ridiculously late and slow start. I didn't really sleep in because I wasn't exactly sleeping. I was lying there, thinking and daydreaming. I had a mental story going, and I had to get to the end before I got up. I suppose there's nothing to stop me from doing my daydreaming while sitting at my desk or on the sofa, but there's also no real benefit to doing so, aside from being able to say that I got out of bed at a certain time. Meanwhile, there is benefit to lying nestled in the featherbed and snuggled under the comforter while doing the daydreaming. I consider the daydreaming to be vaguely work-related. The particular mental story I was playing with wasn't directly related to any project currently in progress, but I sometimes find that the themes or situations that come up in mental stories are a good source of ideas that I can use in real projects. I guess it's the mental version of writing in longhand on notebook paper when I'm considering changing something big and I'm afraid to commit. It doesn't feel as "real" when I'm scribbling on notebook paper, so I'm more free to stretch my ideas, and then when I'm done, I can tell the new thing is better, so it's less scary to type it into the actual document. With the daydreaming, playing with an idea with a totally different set of characters makes it easier to explore the idea without getting it too mentally associated with the characters. If it doesn't work, I don't want to remember that happening with those characters because it might color the way I see them, even if I don't write that into the book. If it does work, I can then steal it and apply it to the real characters. At last, that's my rationalization for spending a couple of hours lying in bed, thinking, in the morning.

I had another weekend that actually felt like a weekend. Friday was my standard watch TV/read/cook night. Saturday there was a meeting of a group I'm in (pretty much a social club for geeks -- it's an official club and all, but it's mostly just friends hanging out). Afterward, we watched the last Harry Potter movie on Blu-Ray, in preparation for our planned outing next weekend to see the new one. I got to watch most of the movie while cuddling an official Harry Potter stuffed dragon, courtesy of my friends' little boy, who walked over and presented it to me at some point during the movie. I feel rather honored to be the kind of person to whom small children entrust their toys. Then there was an excursion for hamburgers. So I actually went out on a Saturday night. Wow.

And then for more "world comes to an end, film at eleven" events, I actually watched most of a Dallas Cowboys game, for the first time in ages. That was because of the coaching change. I loved Jason Garrett when he was the backup quarterback in the 90s, probably because of my thing for unlikely heroes. Here was a guy who went to Princeton who was a practice squad quarterback (the guy the defense practiced against) who then became a backup on the actual team, and then suddenly found himself coming off the bench when the two guys ahead of him were hurt, and he won games. The same thing seems to be happening to him as a coach -- they fire the head coach midway through the season, and he suddenly has to take over a losing team and pulls off a win. It's like someone scripted it. I'm mentally casting Damian Lewis for the movie.

Speaking of whom, I discovered that HBO had the entire Band of Brothers series OnDemand, I guess for Veterans' Day, since it ends today. I watched a couple of episodes yesterday evening. I need to get that series on DVD. It still works as stress relief, I guess because it makes my problems seem so insignificant.

Meanwhile, my new essential desk accessory is a pair of binoculars. My desk faces a set of sliding glass doors, and since this is on the second floor (don't worry, there is a balcony, not just a random set of doors on the second floor), I have a nice view of the street behind my house. They've put up one of those lighted message boards on the street corner, just where I can see it from my desk. However, I can't quite read it without the binoculars. Mostly, it's neighborhood announcements, but every so often, they flash the time and temperature, which is handy to see. That's when I grab the binoculars to get the update. I'll also grab the binoculars if there's a screen I don't recall seeing before. I may be the best-informed person in the neighborhood because I don't think anyone else has this direct a view of the sign. Oddly, I can't seem to read it when I'm driving by it or at the stoplight at the intersection, so it's possible that I'm the only person who can actually read the message board.

If it starts sending me messages to kill people or gather my followers and wait for the aliens, then I will put away the binoculars. And maybe close the blinds.

Right now, though, the sign is telling me to get to work because I have to get a proposal done.

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