... when you're a tycho.
I've not been blogging very much. There were even two weeks where I
totally forgot to post anything to the blog. I'm not sure if there's
been a hiatus of that length at any other point in the last three years.
Strange, but not bad. I've been writing--not as much as I'd like, but
enough--but nothing has really managed to filter through to the blog.
Seems, then, like a good time for a general "what the hell have you been
up to and what are you working on post?"
I've been plugging away on the novel project for a while I'm in the home
stretch: two and a half chapters to write. I know I can write a chapter
in a couple of weeks if I put my mind to it, and have a good weekend day
to do nothing other than sit around and write. I've discovered some
things about the story that have made it much easier and clear for me to
write. A character that I thought was the main is a horrible
point-of-view character, I have a more clear idea of what I've been
trying to get after the entire story, I've started to really like the
project again. The problem now, is just finding time to finish it.
I moved nearly two months ago: it was a good thing indeed. I'm closer to
friends and activities that I find fulfilling. Although I'm not in the
heart of my city, I have a train pass and am a block away from a train
station that will get me into the city pretty much whenever I want.
Train passes are a fantastic innovation, and my only real complaint (on
this note) is that for varied historical reasons Tran service in America
is woefully pathetic. But it's great to be in a place where public
transit is a viable option for most commuting.
I've recently started dating someone, which is a terribly atypical
experience for me given how independent and quirky I am in "default
mode." Nifty though, and utterly unintended: but there's something
delightful about the whole deal. Who am I to argue?
And by "recently started" I mean almost three months ago. Right.
I got a new phone. After a long time with a Blackberry Bold, I took an
upgrade and got the new Blackberry Torch. I had been strongly pondering
an Android phone, but the one I wanted most (HTC EVO) is on a network
that I'd like to avoid, and the other offerings seem lackluster.
Blackberries have never (rarely?) been exciting, but they have worked,
and there are some features that make sense to me (massively
configurable ring/tone behavior, central messages feed that all
applications can create entries in.) Having said that, I'm not wild
about being on a closed platform, though I think we shouldn't delude
ourselves into thinking that from the user's perspective that Android is
an open platform.
With a web browser that is basically mobile Safari, and applications to
do the major things I need to do (IM, email, calendar, GPS, web
browsing, address book, twitter, alarm clock, ebook reading, emergency
ssh,) and a device that is build wonderfully, I couldn't be happier. I
wish there was a better solution for writing/note taking/outlining for
the Blackberry, but these things happen.
It's probably a symptom of the commute as much as anything but I've had
a hard time figuring out how to write on the train. I did ok for a
while, and then I've had a horrible time with it for the past few weeks.
The new plan is to do a little reboot of my organizational system and to
switch back to using the laptop as my only computer.
The first part, the organizational reboot, is important because I'm not
used to thinking about my available time as existing in the "shape" that
it currently exists. If I've learned one thin in the past couple of
years, its that staying organized and on top of ones personal project is
almost entirely dependent upon being able to successfully break apart
big projects into "doable" pieces that you can tackle in the time you
have. That sounds easy, but it's pretty hard to know what your project
will require and what your near-future is going to hold enough to be
able to get everything to line up. Sometimes it requires little reboots.
The second, much more technological remedy, is mostly that while the
separation between my work system (and tasks) and my personal system
(and tasks) has been nice, in practice it doesn't work that well. The
context switch between the train and the office is too hard, and not
being able to just unplug and shut down, means that the start up/shut
down costs for the context switches are simply too high and I'm the one
who feels the impact. So re-merging my systems seems to be the way to
win this game, at least for the moment.
I think I'm going to ultimately invest in a hot spare laptop that's
mostly identical to my current laptop to reduce some of the anxiety
regarding the "what happens if my machine croaks," worry. Which is
always a fear.