Wednesday, November 22, 2017

At work, once again...

I am at work once again. Probably half the staff (at least one third) is out. It would be a perfect time to work on my End Of The World project, except that someone has brought in a new baby and I can hear cooing and cheery voices from the direction of Human Resources.

I did manage to sleep last night, but I've got to a better handle on my schedule, get some kind of rhythm going so I don't keep looking up to realize that I'm dangerously exhausted again.

Meanwhile, we'll be heading up to Oklahoma tomorrow, so tonight is basically Pack All The Things, Load The Car, and Go To Bed night. If I get any time, I might play a bit of Borderlands 2 - The Horrible Hunger Of The Ravenous Wattle Gobbler is seasonally appropriate, after all. Though... I probably should have started it a day or two ago if I really meant to play all the way through it.

Anyway, enjoy the feast, and give thanks that the annual sacrifice of the all-devouring scavenger birds will give the sun strength to continue to rise despite the gathering darkness of winter. (That's how the holiday works, right? Or is it just me?)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

That one conversation...

Two co-workers pass in the hallway.

First Co-worker: "Hello."

Second Co-worker: "I should have taken this week off."

They stop. Their eyes meet. Then they shake their heads sadly, and move on.

Y'all, I have heard this conversation five different times so far...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Traditions...

Ah, Thanksgiving: when we settle down with family and friends in a spirit of gratitude and gluttony. Also, the time of our yearly watching of Addams Family Values.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gathering Strays

Somber conjured a light and said quietly, "Don't attack," before he stepped out of the doorway and into the hall.

He'd been listening to the sounds of the approaching group: soft footsteps and quiet whispers, the rustle of fabric, the occasional soft thunk as something shifted in a pack. Now they stopped, blinking nervously in the dim light. "You have to go back," he told them. "They're waiting up ahead."

The man in the lead was older, respectable, and scared out of his mind. Something about the whiteness around his eyes and the way he held himself told Somber that he was only barely hanging on to control. "We have to get out before..." His voice was a little too loud for a whisper, and the woman beside him elbowed him sharply. "Listen to the young man, Rabius," she said, and Somber decided that she was probably the man's wife.

"There's a warehouse two block over," Somber continued quietly. "It's still safe. We're gathering people there." He paused, but Rabius had settled back and looked less inclined to break and run. "We can get there, but we can't use the stairs."

"How...?" The woman shook her head. "Lead the way."

Somber motioned past them, and they stepped to the side of the hall to let him pass. One or two reached out to touch his robes, which would have bothered him under more normal circumstance. Now, he didn't mind.

He led them back up the corridor, noting again the broken doors on either side. Some looked in on empty rooms, but others showed shattered furniture and other wreckage. At least one held a pair of dead bodies, fresh enough that they hadn't yet begun to stink. Somber checked the doorways until he found the one he wanted, then turned left into it. There were a few concerned whispers, but he thought the group was still following him.

It wasn't an especially large group: four adults, two children, and an infant who was carried by the youngest of the three women.

He crossed to the door on the far side, stepped through it into an untouched dining area, and continued to the window beyond. It was still open, the glass pane in it wooden frame raised to let in the night's breezes. Looking down, he saw Maija standing below, waved, and then held up seven fingers. She waved back.

"Here," he said.

"Here?" asked Rabius, sounding as if he were starting to choke. "You expect us to--"

The oldest of the three women elbowed him again. "He expects you to stay quiet, and not bring those things down on us." Her voice was a whisper, but it was vehement.
Somber nodded, and she stepped up beside him. "I am Vara," she said.

"I'm called Somber."

She glanced at him. "That's a terrible thing to name a child."

Somber shrugged. "That's Maija, down there."

"Ah," said Vara, and turned back to the others. "There's a peacekeeper down there, and she has a sword."

Rabius straightened, while the two women behind him exchanged a glance. One of the children tugged on the sleeve of his robe. "How do we get down?" she asked.

Somber knelt down. He was taller than anyone in this group by at least a full head, and it didn't seem fair to make the child crane her neck. "I'm going to put a word on you," he said softly, "and you're going to drift down like a feather, slowly."

"Oh," she said. "What about Pulous?" She touched her jacket, and Somber suddenly found himself eye to eye with something that might have been a snake except that it had legs, and might have been a lizard except that it had four legs on either side of its long, slender body.

"Just hold onto him," Somber answered quietly. "I'll make sure the word covers him, too." He studied her a moment longer, then asked: "Are you two going first?"

"Yes," she said firmly.

"Good," he said. "Step up onto the windowsill, and let's get started."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Exhaustion and Self-Care

I'm having (I've been having, actually) one of those weeks where I'm just tired -- and I seem to stay tired, no matter what I do. I don't think I'm actually sick, though it's the sort of thing where I could easily get sick. I've been trying to be good: drink less, go to bed earlier, that sort of thing.

I've also been trying to eat healthy, though admittedly this past weekend I cooked up A Whole Bunch Of Bacon, and I've been snacking on it ever since. So, y'know, not exactly unmitigated success on the healthy food front. There's also a weird feedback loop - what we used to call a vicious cycle - where the more tired I am, the more likely I am to eat crap food, and the more crap food I eat, the less likely I am to have the sort of energy I need...

I don't think I'm sick; I think it's a combination of things. The end of Daylight Savings Time means that it's suddenly very dark out, very early. The weather is weird -- it's mid-November, but it's sixty-eight degrees outside, and I sent the boys off to school in shorts this morning -- and that tends to throw my sinuses off. (And yeah, I have been pretty stuffy - I think I'm allergic to my workplace, or at least parts of it.) Some of it may be work-related stress, too: our whole department is still very much in a state of chaotic transition, and I'm still stuck in a weird position of having two bosses. (Which is kind of my own fault, but this wasn't how I intended for that move to shake out. Hindsight, though...)

So, with all that, naturally it's a busy week for both the Beautiful Wife and myself. Monday was gymnastics; we missed two different events yesterday night (book fair at Secondborn's school, something my wife was supposed to attend - oh, yeah, and there was going to be a mid-week DnD game, but that got cancelled). Tonight my wife has another event that she was supposed to attend, but the boys have more gymnastics and her parents can't cover it for us. (Which happens -- my in-laws are really great, but they do have their own lives and schedules and social activities, as they should.) Tomorrow night, one of our old college friends is in town and I'm going to try to get together with him for dinner; Beautiful Wife has cancelled out of that one, because we're just too close to the end of the semester. Oh, and Thanksgiving is coming up, after which Christmas is scheduled to fall on us like a ton of bricks.

Honestly, the only thing I can see to do it keep working my plan: little or no drinking, watch what (and how much) I'm eating, make sure I'm getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, and don't try to Get Things Done unless they're really necessary.

TL/DR: I'm tired, there is way too much going on, and I'm just going to take care of myself and cut my activities down to the essentials.

But before I go back to that, I'm going to add a piece of music here, because I think it really captures the spirit of the season: