Thursday, September 28, 2006

Coming Up for Air

I always anticipated, as I dreamed about having broadband and WIFI, that it would multiply my productivity beyond my imagination. I still expect that but I know it won’t happen by accident. I am going to have to set boundaries for myself. If what I’ve been doing for the past ten years via dial-up is ‘surfing’ then what I’ve been doing this past week is ‘deep sea diving’. I have been so click-happy all week on every site I encountered. I’m no longer afraid of high graphic and flash content. I’ve watched uncounted video-clips, listened to Air America, played games online, downloaded a couple hundred megabytes of new applications. I’ve read a couple week’s worth of a dozen of my favorite blogs, clicking on links as I went and delving into their archives.

Mostly, I’ve given up the graveyard shift. Except for last Sunday when I took my first dive at around two-thirty in the afternoon and didn’t come up for air until after eleven Monday morning. Then I got two hours of sleep and had to get up and get ready to go to the library because it had been closed for training on Friday my usual day to go. So Monday night I went to bed soon after dinner and slept until my husband came to tell me he was leaving for work Tuesday morning. I only dabbled my toes in the water until after dinner Tuesday though as I spent the morning and much of the afternoon doing laundry, including the bedding and cleaning our room. If I’m going to be spending the majority of my time in there now, I need to tame the chaos.

I thought I was coming down with another cold Monday evening and most of Tuesday because I had some serious sneezing fits and sinus issues. But there was no sore throat or any other indication and it cleared up by Wednesday morning. So I think it must have been allergy. I suspect the cologne of a man I passed on the walk home from the library Monday evening. I was passing a restaurant and was deeply sniffing the aromas as I walked by and so I got a nose full of this guy’s cologne as he passed me. The first sneezing fit hit me about the time I got home and I had to excuse myself from the dinner table about a dozen times. I finally holed up in the bathroom and let them rip. I stopped counting at fifty. My colds never act like that. This was a fairly unique experience for me more like the allergy attacks I’ve witnessed in my husband and my sister than any cold or flu I’ve ever had. It was like there was a piece of a feather stuck just behind the bridge of my nose.

Well that was more information than you probably needed. But the point was that thinking I was getting sick again reigned me in for almost two days. Between Monday evening and Wednesday evening I got quite a bit of sleep. But then I blew it again last night--Wednesday--when I played a word game online from five that evening until three in the morning Thursday morning. It was Bespelled, for those of you who might know it. The only reason I played that long was because I couldn’t seem to loose the darn thing. I wasn’t about to just close it or play poorly on purpose. I think when I finally lost it was because I was falling asleep over it and got careless. That is an example of my obsessing. It comes in handy when applied to something productive. I’ve been known to spend twice that amount of time and more--nearly thirty hours straight--writing on a story that was nearing completion.

I should have closed the laptop and lay down when the game died about three Thursday morning. But I decided I was hungry and by the time I’d returned to the room with a snack, I was wide awake again and decided to read blogs while I ate. Big mistake. Once my mind is engaged in a project it is very hard to disengage it. I was still reading when my husband got up at five; still reading when he kissed me good-bye at six; still reading at nine. My obsession during those hours was with the detainee bill the Senate was slated to vote on Thursday afternoon. I was sick to think that I would be going to sleep in one America and waking up in another. But I did. Again, I got less than three hours of sleep, waking up before noon to get back online to see how the vote went. It hadn’t yet but was rumored to be soon. I kept reloading my most trusted news sources and the blogs which I knew were following this story.

I would like to write something meaningful about this issue but I am too intimidated by the good writing by very educated and intelligent people on these sites and I don’t feel I have much to add except my emotional reaction which is so chaotic and verging on despair right now that I don’t want to inflict it on anyone else. For if this law is implemented, it will be the death blow to our Constitution and the beginning of the end for the American Republic. If you want to know why I am in such despair over this go read about it at these sites:

Glenn Greenwald
Talking Points Memo [Joshua Micah Marshall]Digby
Obsidian Wings
Legal Fiction

There are others but these have some of the best writing by researchers trained in the fields they are talking about. The links are to the front pages of their sites because they have all posted many times over the last weeks and even months on the issues reflected in this bill. All but Legal Fiction are community blogs with multiple bloggers posting regularly. Among them are professional journalists, lawyers, at least one ethics professor, at least one active duty military person, and several trained in the study of history.

It is probably a good thing that I’m going to be forced to take a break from obsession on this for several days--at least from obsessively clicking refresh on the browser to follow the development of this and other stories over the weekend. This is the final week-end of the dirt track racing in Medford and there are races both Friday and Saturday evenings. So I am going to be staying with Grandma from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. I hope the withdrawal won’t be too bad. : )

But I have other things to keep me occupied over the weekend. I will be exploring several new applications which I downloaded this past week and haven’t had much time to get acquainted with. Maybe I can write reviews of them as I play with them this weekend. Two of them I need to get intimate with by the end of October as I am counting on using them for NaNoWriMo in November. Speaking of which, I need to get serious about choosing the story I’m going to work on and getting the preliminary research, plot outline, character naming and defining, and some vivid imagining of key scenes done so that I can focus on the narrative and dialog for the entire month of November. I’ve tried to participate the last two years but was severely distracted by my dad’s death last year and the year before had severely limited access to the family computer. Everything is looking good to go this year. Except for not having a story ready to take off with. The last two years I started preparing the notes and outlines in the middle of the summer. This year I’m having trouble settling on which of three or four story seeds I want to pursue.

I guess I better get this posted and get to sleep--I’m already sitting on the edge of the bed and have been for the last six hours as it's my main workstation now--my week weekend with grandma is going to be harder than it needs to be if I don’t get some solid sleep first.

0 tell me a story:

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