Oh, yeah, this always happens

Ah yes, the return of the anxiety of “why am I tired all the time? Why can’t I concentrate? Why can’t I get anything done”. Followed eventually by the dull realization that this might be connected to “why am I sneezing all the time? Why are my eyes burning? Why are my glasses covered with pollen?”. Yeah, that. Of course I take allergy medication and it works fine, for the most part. But this is the ‘hordes overrunning the battlements’ level of pollen, where it’s time to bring out the big guns (the neti pot) and perhaps even to surrender. The problem is, of course, is that it really gets worse and worse, and longer and longer, every single damn year and I’m not sure what to do about it. C is equally affected, and he refuses to even take Claritin. So.. probably time to order another big box of Kleenex boxes, huh.

Not a lot to report on the life front. In my job, I’ve been co-opted by a new team, somewhat disorganized and I’m trying to figure out not only how to do what they want (build test plans) and how things work at all, but where things are coming from, what the deadlines are and so on. We have all these meetings and I’m like ‘does this thing we’re talking about now relate to the thing we had meetings on yesterday? it all sounds the same’. And the project is unfocussed enough that often the meeting’s stated agenda gets swamped in favor of the crisis du jour.

This sounds like complaining, but no one is seriously upset or bitchy and it’s fine, really, I just need to be more aggressive about saying, ‘wait, what are we talking about? Give me background here…’

It’s also about marketing, and I have never ever been interested in that as a field to concentrate on, but the tech is just yet another flavor of designing workflows and decision trees and that’s actually pretty cool. Anyway, I always hate it when I’m not sure what’s going on, but it just requires overcoming my natural hesitancy to bother people and poke some colleagues to get answers. Again, as always, everyone is perfectly willing to be helpful – I just still need to shake off the residual fear (from my last job) that simply asking a question or the wrong question will bring on the scorn and derision. That’s not this place at all.

I guess there’s a lot of media consumption to report on. We’ve seen some more Oscar-y movies and some others as well. That new Melissa McCarthy movie (Thunder Force) was mostly dumb and sloppy, but had some laughs and a great cast. And we must have watched something a couple of Sundays ago, but i don’t remember what. Last weekend I bit the bullet and signed up for Hulu so we could watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday and Nomadland. I didn’t love the Lady Day movie, although the acting and singing was excellent. I found it hard to believe (although it may be absolutely true) that the FBI targeted her so specifically, almost like a Batman villain. Nomadland is wonderful, although very melancholy. It’s the sort of movie that you’ll think about for a long time, makes you wonder all sorts of things – how does that work? how did they get there? what happens when….? McDormand is excellent as always. I thought the score was a huge part of what’s wonderful about the movie and was surprised it didn’t get an Oscar nom.

I suppose this weekend we’ll probably pay the hefty fee and watch The Father on Saturday and then the Oscars are on Sunday. There are some biggies we haven’t seen yet, but it’s not a big deal.

We’re watching DCI Banks for our British crime drama fix, and mostly like it. It’s set in Leeds, which I’ve been through on a train, and I keep waiting for scenes in Harrogate (there have been one or two, but nothing recognizable). And we’ve really gotten into Kim’s Convenience, which is a pure delight. Often it’s just a silly sitcom, but it also often touches on some really great truths. The cast is great across the board, but Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (the patriarch) is a hoot and a half. (he’s also a bear – rrrowr – which you don’t necessarily see a lot in Asian men) It’s been charming me in a way that feels really special.

Books – I finished the third Jasper Fforde dragonslayer book, which was entertaining with no sticking power, and am now reading Andy Weir’s Artemis. Weir wrote The Martian, which I loved, but I vaguely remember seeing not-good reviews of Artemis. Not sure why, I’m loving it. It feels like a flashback to Heinlein and Varley ‘living on the mooon’ books, which I love, and it’s definitely more of a fun time than a slog to read.

Lots of m/m on the side, of course. I read a book by Tal Bauer, The Night Of, about a presidential assassination and the wild ride to solve the crime and keep the country going as the vice president (now president) and the lead secret service agent fall in love (again). Hugely entertaining. Then I realized that Bauer has a whole series about a completely different fictional president/secret service agent falling in love while they try to keep the world from completely falling apart, and I’m working through that now. It’s even more batshit crazy than the first one and I can’t put it down.

Enjoy the weekend! If all goes to plan, I might be on an ice rink for the first time in over a year. We’ll see how that goes, and whether the knees put up with it.

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