the things we do

This is what happens when you drink with videographers. You get your beach house weekend turned into a music video. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp_QvObmulo&hl=en&fs=1&] This was a long weekend in Dillion Beach, CA; four couples, three children, seven cameras, 20 bottles of wine, fifty oysters, many cases of beer, and no internet connection of cell phones. It […]

This is what happens when you drink with videographers. You get your beach house weekend turned into a music video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp_QvObmulo&hl=en&fs=1&]

This was a long weekend in Dillion Beach, CA; four couples, three children, seven cameras, 20 bottles of wine, fifty oysters, many cases of beer, and no internet connection of cell phones.

It was over too soon, but now thanks to film maker Dave Manzo, we won’t be able to forget it.

dream of spanking

god i wish my head would retain more detail from dreams. I woke up from an elaborate dream – I was on the phone with you, on my cell phone, but describing a scene to you. I was outside, and it was stormy, with an angry gray sky, the scent of rain and a cold […]

god i wish my head would retain more detail from dreams.

I woke up from an elaborate dream – I was on the phone with you, on my cell phone, but describing a scene to you. I was outside, and it was stormy, with an angry gray sky, the scent of rain and a cold wind.

I can’t recall the early details of the story I told you, but it wound up with you, bent over against the side of an old truck (I think I was describing the scene I was in, but inserting you into it.). You were in an worn, faded pair of jeans, and I was threatening you with what I’d do. Then I bagan to spank you, my hand against the worn-smooth denim, I was whispering into the phone, but at the same tie I was now feeling teh story, hearing your moans and gasps, and then sobs.

When you began to sob, I unfasten your jeans and shoved them down, leaving your panties up. I spanked, and then stroked your bottom, and then began to slide my hand between your thighs, feeling how wet you were. I found your clit, and began to rub.

I could hear lightening in the distance, as I made you come for the first time.

I woke up with my cock like an iron bar, wishing I could hear your voice.

knowing the question

That last entry was kind of grim, huh? I know I’ve written something grim when no one comments, but but I get email from loved ones saying “are you ok” or “I’m worried about you”. The downside of tranks (which I just adore), is that there’s a bit of a crash on the tail end. […]

That last entry was kind of grim, huh? I know I’ve written something grim when no one comments, but but I get email from loved ones saying “are you ok” or “I’m worried about you”.

The downside of tranks (which I just adore), is that there’s a bit of a crash on the tail end. I wish I had a cut-and-pastable version of Art Pepper’s autobiography, straight life (which is fucking brilliant), because it captures the extremes of this like nothing else]. People with psychosis disorders or extremes of depression sometimes find it leaves them with, in effect, all the misery and black depression that it’s held off for ten to twelve hours, collected and concentrated and experienced all at once. I’m lucky. all I get, the rare times I take it to help me sleep, is an hour or two of grumpiness on the tail end, before my psyche self-corrects.

That’s not to say any of what I wrote yesterday was inaccurate; but the tone wound up more intensely bleak than is my usual style due to lingering effects, and oncoming trank hangover. I consider that actually a good thing, because it helped me actually get over a verbal drought and say something.

The problem I’m having, lately, is a combination of a huge hit to my productivity, and a vastly increased workload (trying to build a side business of my own, as well as my team at work having to support many, many projects at the same time).

It sounds like I’m whining when I say this. But it’s really causing me a problem. Being productive isn’t really my most consistent skill at the best of times.

Going from having an office to living it cube-land has been disastrous for me. Sure, I was a cube-dweller for the better part of two decades before I started my current job, so it’s not like I’ve never been there. But I have a huge problem with distraction. In the past, I managed that by staying incredibly busy doing fairly linear work, and by working at home when I could (in my previous job, that was almost half my time). This job’s different. Partly because my team are less staffed, partly because we’re more specialized, partly because the schedule we’re on is vastly more accelerated. And also because my current employer still functions like a pre-internet company and does things face to face, in meetings and hallway conversations. So crucial support people need to be physically in the office, and physically near the key users.

For me, this is the very worst environment for productivity. I don’t sound-screen well; I hear everyone around me having a dozen different conversations. I don’t visually screen; my peripheral vision is acute, and I track movement and changes in light constantly. In my old bldg, I had control over light (I left it off all the time, with only natural window light). I could screen sound by closing my door or playing music. I could even drop my blinds and lock my door for when distraction was at it’s worse (or, you know, so I could catch up with my favorite web cam girls).

For me, that was as ideal a situation as I could have, working in an office bldg. I was close to my user community, but I had methods to manage my environment, and my distraction level.

The bldg I’m in now is, frankly, about as badly designed as is possible for a modern office bldg. What I suspect is that it was designed by architecture students who’d never actually worked in an office, because the wrongness is so fundamentally obvious. Hard walls everywhere; offices and conference rooms walled in glass. Cube walls are half glass (thus blowing both reasons for cubes; sound screen and privacy). Celings are high, and the lighting has two options (off and as brightly glaring as a stage). Most of the flooring is hard surface, with the little carpeted area hard at leather, and black, a color that shows every bit of dust and spilled food. Instead of conference rooms, we have un-walled “soft seating” areas.

In all this noise-and-light-fest, I wound up in the worst corner in the bldg; a corner that sticks out into a major walkway, at the junction of stairs, and coffee/break area. My corner is bombarded with constant slamming doors, loud chatter, roaring coffee machines (they’re as loud as espresso machines), and traffic moving past my glass-walled cube in a never-ending stream. And of course, with no sound buffering, every person in the area is party to every phone conversation anyone has.

Use Headphones, people say. But unfortunately, my inherent jumpiness and resistance to vulnerability makes me loath headphones. I’ve never been able to work in them, and don’t even like them when I’m alone in my house. As much as I loved a doobie and dark side of the moon back in the day, I still always preferred to have the lights off and the speakers screaming than a pair of headphones.

So the last few months have been a constant struggle for me at work. And it cascades; I can’t make personal calls at work the way I used to, so I’m no longer able to use my breaks to manage personal business. I used to do my banking, make appointments, all manner of things that needed both the phone and business hours, from my desk in between tasks (because let’s face it, there are always moments of the day when we’re goofing off, and it was better than playing solitaire, checking facebook, or visiting ‘guess her muff’). Now, I can’t make my goof-off time personally productive; I’m not making appointments I need to make (dentist, chiropractor, tax guy, etc).

The sum of it all is that I feel harried all the time; I feel like I’m incredibly busy. But I’m not getting enough done. I can feel my time getting wasted. I’m not even enjoying it when I fuck off, because I know when I’m done it’ll be even worse.

I don’t have a solution for this right now. My company is in a space crunch (which is good, ultimately; we’re growing, hiring in a down economy, but it has a short term cost in terms of comfort). My building, built to house two organizations with growth room, was full before we’d even moved in. And being a key support person, no one wants me off site, not even one bldg over, because they feel my attention on them means they get better support (they’re profoundly wrong, I respond best to email, not to being accosted in the hall).

Sure, it’s easy to say i’m lucky to have a job, that if I worked in a filthy place for a shitty wage doing dangerous work, I’d dream about a job like I have now. And I know that’s true, I’ve had jobs like that. My problem is,I’m better than this. I’m capable of being not good, not competent, but truly great at my job. And right now, I’m not there. I’m struggling to maintain mediocrity, and that isn’t enough for me. I could be mediocre for a lot less stress than this.

I guess the answer is I need to make some fundamental change. I know that; two weeks ago on a whim I sent a resume to facebook (they had a job listed that was a perfect fit for me, though they were too stupid to realize that and send me a polite form blow-off letter.) I don’t think I actually wanted to work for facebook; I think something in me just knew I needed to start thinking about what I’m doing, what I want to be doing, and what the delta between these is. I don’t have an answer yet, But I guess I know that’s the question.

time and burnout

I think one of the reasons I haven’t be blogging lately is that I feel like a broken record. No time, fatigue, stress, burnout, beat until frothy and place in 350 degree oven. I get tired of saying it. There are few thing in the world a hate like I hate self-pity. Those who put […]

I think one of the reasons I haven’t be blogging lately is that I feel like a broken record.

No time, fatigue, stress, burnout, beat until frothy and place in 350 degree oven.

I get tired of saying it. There are few thing in the world a hate like I hate self-pity. Those who put themselves in a situation and then bitch; those who won’t take action to solve a problem.

But when I try to write, what comes to mind first is, how completely fucked up I feel right now. To the point that in blots out all other thought.

I look back at my last year’s blogging and in between tattoo posting and links to porn, humor, music and art, I find the interconnections all have the same theme. Burnout.

So I’m trying to figure out why it is I feel that way. It’s not that I’m working that hard right now – in fact, I’m not really getting much done at all. But I feel, for the first time since I joined apple nine years ago (almost to the day), like my job is dragging me down into quicksand.

My life is organized around my greatest strengths. What I do is solve problems. I didn’t have any grand plan for a career, so I derive what my career has been only by looking back at it. And to a one, the jobs I seek, or create, or thrust into, all have that thread. I’m not a projects guy, I don’t do organization and follow-through well. What I do, though, is look at systems and see the flaws, the missing pieces, the inefficiencies. My life also seems to follow that pattern. The people to whom I’ve been most drawn are broken in some fundamental way. Not that they need help, per se, but that they have some vast physical, mental or character deficiency

The cost of all that, of course, is that I put myself into broken systems, and being that I can’t stand things that are broken, I strive fix them, often via sheer brute force. I become the link that holds the chain together, and I’m the strongest link, because I tolerate no less of myself. But to steal a line from genesis and a hundred others, we’re only as strong, As the weakest link in the chain. So no matter how strong I make my one link, the chain will always fail elsewhere.

Chaos is the default state of the universe. We impose order for a while; but only will and energy can maintain it. Living things are a system slightly more organized than the baseline chaos of an ecosystem; an ecosystem is a system slightly more organized than the universe. Only man’s mind can create and maintain a system more tightly and carefully organized than biological organisms, and only constant thought can produce the ongoing effort that maintains such systems.

Thing want to fall apart; buildings want to fall down. Computers want to fail.

Due to inherent aptitude, genetic inheritance, and the way I was raised, I feel a great compulsion to hold that line against chaos. When I think if it, it turns into an almost cartoonish vision of some Moorcockian champion of order (where’s my black fucking sword? Where’s my companion and his winged cat?). But the reality of it isn’t as much fun; I won’t have another incarnation to continue the fight; I can’t call another version of myself for help through some portal in the multiverse.

I do this alone. Not because there’s no help, but because I can’t stand help that isn’t absolutely under my control and on my terms. Help, when I ask for it, has to be exactly the help I need and no more.

The cost of this is that I put myself in situations where I’m absolutely vital, and absolutely irreplaceable. Not only at work, but everywhere in my life, I have vast lists of things that need to be done, and in ways that no one else I see around me can handle. Because solutions have to do more than solve a problem; they have to strike blow against encroaching chaos.

That battle seems to get harder each year. I don’t know if it’s simply the natural progression of the world, the inherent growth of a system over time. I don’t know if it’s that life, inevitably, grows more complex as one acquires more things, builds investments, raises children. Or if it’s the inevitable fact of age. To steal another line,as soon as we’re born we start dying. But it isn’t linear; it accelerates with time, picking up speed with each round of auld lang syne.

Whatever it is, more and more of late my mind is full of the maddening minutiae of life, the crushing weight of task lists that grow only longer. And I find, at the end of days which flash by ever faster, that I have nothing in that part of my mind that yearns to put words together in creative ways. It’s easier to reach for a beer and the remote control. Because when I reach for my computer, nothing comes out but the same worn and blacked refrain about time and burnout.