Haven’t been writing as much here since I started the new job.
Job is good, but I’m still trying to sort out the commute. Here are the issues:
When I commute to San Jose, it is basically a 12-hour day. I leave to catch the corporate bus at 7:10 a.m., and I get home at 6:55ish p.m.
I try to write on the commute down, but it is in that gray zone where as soon as you get in a good zone and are really finding the groove, the commute ends. It was OK for editing the latest draft of the novel, and not bad for writing the latest gay youth letters project now, but I don’t think this is a viable solution for working on the new novel this fall. So, I’ll use the letters project to experiment to make sure I have this sorted before fall.
I keep trying to move the blocks of my day around to find a good fit. I’m not sure it exists. The bus ride might be best suited as sleep time so I can have more hours awake in San Francisco, rather than trying to shoehorn things into the commute. The answer might just be, do what needs to be done, and add caffeine to plaster over the gaps.
The gym has suffered. I just joined the corporate gym for the next quarter ($22.50 a month), so I’m paid through September. When the bus makes good time, it is fine to jump in before work. When we hit traffic, it seems too late to be starting a cardio session. The solution might be working during lunch when that happens, since that is a long time for me. (I bring my own prepared food, but co-worker(s) tend to get in line and buy stuff. By the time they order and get their food, I could honestly be finished and gone. I eat slower because I know I’m going to be there a while, but I think I might be better off going to the gym and either eating at my cube or at the very tail end of their lunch hour. The issue there is not wanting to get in my workout but be anti-social. But that’s the balance with everything.
The job’s fine. Will be interesting to see how it changes in August, when the two senior members of the team’s contracts expire and me and the guy who started the same day as me become the senior team members. That will happen rather soon.
I was reading on the bus ride at the end of the day, but it kept putting me to sleep, so I switched to e-mail replying, social networking, blogging, and the occasional iPod video watching. A major problem is that all of my preferred activities (writing, reading, etc.) require you to be in a state that is subdued and blissful, but if you don’t get enough sleep, you start nodding off.
On days when I don’t work out in San Jose, it messes things up to try and work out at night, because then I’m not getting to the gym until 8 or 9 p.m., spiking my energy levels, and then I’m up past the point at which I should be going to bed to get up early the next day. Again, it comes down to trying to move too many pieces around when the answer is probably doing less.
As per usual, I entertain the thought of moving my schedule around, so that when the bus comes back to San Francisco, I’m ready for bed, getting up around 4 a.m., working out and writing before the bus, and reading on the way down to San Jose. This works fine if I have no intention of seeing things that occur at night, ever dating someone, etc. Of course, I mention this schedule being bad for dating, but not being on this schedule hasn’t led to any dating either, heh.
I’ve always been one to try and organize life. It never works, but I persist. I’m never hungry before I eat, tired before I’m planning to sleep. Schedules would be nice, but they don’t work. There’s talk of a second bus going to/from work, which might present more options, at least for more easily fitting the workouts in on commute days.
My weekends tell me that my weekdays haven’t found a good path yet. When I don’t have definitive plans, and I debate between farmer’s markets, plays, movies, etc., more often than not, I just go back to bed and sleep for too much of the day. Plus, I’m not happy about the caffeine intake on commute days, my being awake is entirely dependent on chemicals.
Despite the above, I am pleased to report that no balls are being dropped. The gym has suffered, but I go. The writing isn’t as perfect as I’d like, but it happens. Work probably gets the best chunk of the day because, well, let’s face it, that’s the chunk attached to income, so that steers the ship.
I have to remind myself I took three years off from work, so this is now a major adjustment. From 0 to 40 hours (52, if you count the time required for the three commute days). So, given that, I think it is working out alright.
And I’ve still never abandoned the notion that nothing has an appropriate time of day. That if all of my plotting and planning leaves me tired with unchecked to-do items for the day, how much different would randomness be? Would Bikram yoga on a commute day be awful or energizing? What would happen if I gave up the caffeine and made my schedule adjust without chemicals? All of those are on the horizon.
Cooking experiments have dropped off a bit, too. Like today, I know I have split pea soup and chili in the fridge, but I had the chili for lunch already, and I’m not really in the mood for split pea. But I don’t think there’s much else ready. So, debating jumping off the bus one stop early and hitting Herbivore, or something else, which will only extend the time it takes me to have dinner, and make the dinner window extend and thus make the gym less likely to happen because the bus ran late this morning… so, yeah, that’s sort of how it goes lately.
Already a plan in the works for that, though. Part of tonight’s plan, actually. The return of the salad bags. See, I don’t like boring salad. But, being single, it’s hard to maintain non-boring salad, because you can’t really open up garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, frozen corn, grape tomatoes, baked tofu, peas, cucumbers, and whatever else I want to toss on a salad all at once. You open that many 15.5 oz cans, and then you have a lot of stuff racing the clock that I’m likely to be tossing in the trash. (Plus, if I have baked tofu laying around, that’s called snack, not protein for future salads) So, tonight, I will be making up freezer bags that contain one salad’s worth of a lot of the above ingredients. So, throw some lettuce in a bowl with some grape tomatoes, thaw a bag under running water, dump onto salad. Done. That will solve night like tonight, where I’m likely to eat out or drop in at Rainbow and grab dinner and, as we all know, the prepared foods are where they really nail you price-wise in the store.
So that’s the update. I’m really happy that the job is going well and that I’ve resisted the obvious notions of putting anything on hold until after I get the schedule sorted out, because that’s just an unpredictable window.
I am debating heading home for the summer. The job seems easy enough to do remotely (a cell phone and wireless access and I’m good to go, really), although my parents are out of town for the window around my birthday, the most obvious time to visit otherwise. July seems so soon to do it, and September I’m doing a long weekend (at minimum) in Texas, to visit my father/brother/sister.
So, we’ll see. I’m about to start abandoning the scheduling attempts. This Thursday night, I’m going to see a band, The Ting Tings, play at a club late at night — just crash late, wake up early, and deal with it. If scheduling and caffeine have me tired and wired and I’m not having fun, I may as well be tired and wired and have fun. If scheduling and trying to make things work out made me calm, rested, and accomplishing more, it would have made a better case for sticking around. So, we’ll try something new.
But that’s the update. Job’s going well, getting my bearings there. Draft of the novel is done right now, and can’t look at that for another 4-5 weeks. New writing project is proceeding. Gym is not as much as I’d like, but I still make it a few times a week. Social life, eh, needs some work (but let’s face it, this was the case before the new job, hehe). Gay pride in two(?) weeks and I’m not feeling it yet. Not being in the hood as much, I may not catch the fever this year. I’ll do Pink Saturday/Pride Sunday, though.
OK, this was my northbound commute today, so now you know where I’m at, and what I’ve been up to lately…