So, as always, it’s later than I expect updating this thing. I always start off with the best of intentions, saying “I’m going to update regularly from now on! Every Kimya after work! Every Pozya morning! Something, just… say something!” Of course, me being me, I get distracted, and then I get sullen and silent over the fact that I haven’t updated, and that leads me to… delay updating.
Vicious Cycle: see Cycle, Vicious.
So, first, the all-important post-Bandaza update. The turkey turned out wonderful; The bacon stayed in place for the first hour or so, and then crisped up and fell off, destroying my careful entombment of the bird, but having imparted a good amount of grease and pepper to the turkey itself, which kept the bird moist during the rest of the cook cycle. Much of the chicken inside came out tender as well, though the middle of the bird and the innermost breast failed to cook to my satisfaction and went instantly into the trash. I don’t know how many arteries clogged as a result of my dish, but I’m sure I’ve just added to the overall cost of American health care.
Of course, during clean-up I did manage to dump the turkey carcass, including the serving platter and all of the drippings, onto the carpet. Some quick work from a number of friends managed to prevent any unlivable damage, but there’s a weird dry-and-flaky spot on the carpet that will need power-vacuuming at some point, or perhaps a good carpet cleaning. Most like, it means the end of my security deposit, but I never expect to get that back anyway.
All in all, ten people came for the get-together, not a record but a fair showing. When I told my parents about it later, they were shocked to discover that I could actually prepare a meal for ten people. I told them I’d served for fifteen once, and they were duly impressed. Maybe they were horrified. Either way, I got impassioned responses from them on the subject of my holiday meals. No real conversation occurred on exactly what I celebrate, but that’s a minor detail.
Much of the intervening time has been, sadly, a case of “Work Eat Me!” To give you the best description yet that I’ve found to tell people what working at Big Pink is like, imagine that you’re a firefighter working for an insurance company doing damage control, and you get a call from a customer who says, “my car is on fire but I’m late for my child’s wedding or maybe it’s my wife’s first delivery; I forget. Either way, I need you to come drive alongside me and put out the flames so I can get to where I’m going without dying in a fireball or stopping. Remember, if I burn up, it’s your fault!” Now imagine that every call you ever get is like this. Eventually, you know the drill by heart, and you get really good at fighting mobile fires, but you know that for every fire you successfully smother, two or three cars have exploded and one driver has simply stopped calling, and so you know it’s all very urgent every time, but it’s really hard to care about any individual case too much.
Jessie’s been out of town over the last week, which happened to coincide with my on-call rotation, which has meant that my sleep levels have been absurdly low. I don’t sleep well when she’s not around, so I end up delaying trying to sleep until I’m too tired to do anything beyond crawl into bed and collapse, but three times last week I would lie down and then get a work call ten minutes later, meaning several days at work with virtually no sleep. This has made for some interesting conversations with my manager, to be sure.
Further Confusion 2009 approaches swiftly; I’m going to need to arrange the days off of work. Plane tickets are apparently absurdly cheap at the moment, so rather than drive twelve hours each way, we may fly it. I’ll discuss the options with Jessie, but I’ll confess that I’m having second thoughts. It’s not that I won’t have a good time. It’s not even that I’m afraid I won’t have a good time. It’s that every time I turn around, it seems like there’s some large expense that “we can afford just this once” that keeps me from getting ahead on my goals. Ghost Patrol was absolutely awesome despite my feet giving out and my general exhaustion, but the final bill came out to more than I expected. Jessie’s enjoying her trip to her parents’, but it was an emergency expense not in the budget that I could only just barely afford. Now FC’s approaching, and while I don’t expect it to be a bank-breaker, it’s yet another bill that I’m somewhat loath to incur, even knowing I’ll enjoy the experience.
Of course, I make this complaint knowing that there are people I count among my friends who can’t afford to put two beans on the table in the same night. I don’t know how to feel about that. I’m reasonably secure in my job, I have a good home, I have roommates with whom to share good times and living expenses, and I’m bitching that I’m not paying off my car enough ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, people I care about are literally starving. Part of me feels really shit-tacular when I think of it that way, but on the other hand, it’s not like I haven’t been generous. I just wonder if I’m being generous enough. Call it Schindler’s Syndrome.
In more cheerful news, I’m slowly adding the back entries from my old website to the Ranch. I did a large lump and then stalled for a while, but I haven’t forgotten. Nor, for that matter, have I forgotten the Nail, but it too has languished. Most of Fathera and the end of Ertera goes into preparation for the holidays, and frankly while Jessie’s out of town my energy levels are usually pretty low anyway. Plus, work’s been a beast through various on-call shifts and teammate vacations, so most nights I’ve come home, fought crime for a few hours, and then called it a day, when I could sleep at all. Bombarding hordes from towers has sucked up large chunks of my time as well. Plus, starting in the near future, I’m going to be helping to organize a puzzling event to be held in the spring, and somehow on top of all of this I have to help prep for All Fur Fun at the same time.
What I really need is a twenty-eight hour day and a nine-day week.
Is it any wonder I’m not crazy? Is it any wonder I’m sane at all?