I spent my morning writing and reading and me-timing. I unplugged my headphones from my phone when I got to work, and when I next tried to plug them in, I realized that the headphone jack was fucked. I listen on my phone so much that it felt like a real loss of something. Everything has a workaround, and I had been thinking about ways to try and leave my ears open when I walk and I’m out in the world (if I have solitary time like that, it’s nearly impossible for me to resist listening to podcasts, and I worry that the chatty flow of interesting information, while amazing, also mitigates some of the imagination-stimulating properties of alone time). It still sucks to not have a choice. Between this and the damage to my car from a couple of weeks ago, I worry that I’m going to hit a period where it seems like Everything Is Breaking And I Have No Plans For Replacing Them.

Maybe this is why balance is overrated. Maybe this is why balance is overrated?
I ran some errands in the afternoon. For my hour with the fourth graders, we played this fairly fun, but chaotic and tiring (for me, that is. The kids seem to be into it.) game, so I was running low on energy. The next hour, however, perked me back up, because I was running a computer skills program. We are working on a project where we are creating a simple game using the kids visual programming language Scratch. I love teaching this program: it puts me in a room with the kids that are actually curious and enthusiastic about something that I share, and I love helping with their problems. I love their problems. Despite all the talk of digital natives, kids don’t know shit about computers, and its fun to teach them basic thing like how to save something or reopen old projects.
I was jonesing for spaghetti for some reason, so I stopped by the grocery store to get some missing ingredients. When I got home, my roommates were out or asleep, so I made my pasta. When it was finished, I offered some to Luke Skywalker, and we ate and watched the newest episode of Mad Men. 


The first season is so fascinated by Don Draper, such a believer in his talents and his creative vision and insights that we become believers too. We have gotten in on the ground floor for this guy who is going to sell all the sugar water, elect all the presidents, define cool. Then the show never gave him that moment. At this point, most of the show is Don-Draper-knocked-off-his-game, not the cool Don that gave the show its early heat. Last season, I had to accept that the show had moved on, and decide to just take the show as it is. For that reason, the show hasn’t been super great (except for the generally excellent writing and acting), but hasn’t disappointed either. I kind of have a 5th season of LOST feeling about it: even if the last four episodes are fantastic, the last two seasons of the show have been so mediocre that I don’t think the show is ever going to deliver on the promise of its first season.
The light goes out, cycle completes. Dreams have been cinematic for the last few nights.


I woke up early on Friday morning to get to an all day training. I usually look forward to trainings, because I like breaks from routine. By the end of the day, I usually want to murder someone. I know this, and I still look forward to training days.
I stopped for muffin and coffee at the 7-Eleven, and say hi to the woman that owns it, who always seems to smile and remember me when I come into the store. She looks at me like a mother looks at her son. I imagine that she doesn’t like selling me cigarettes. Until this very moment, I hadn’t questioned that maybe that’s a projection, or that maybe I look at her like a son does to his mother.
I arrive at our location in Sellwood. We get trained on how to use an Epi-Pen. Awkward icebreakers are mercifully fewer than usual. Over time, I have become less game for icebreakers, and less generous with my sincerity. Withholding doesn’t feel great either, but I have a lot of suppressed irritation. Nobody is proud of their work, which encourages isolation, because nobody except your co-workers will understand exactly what you do to make do given what you have to work with.
I spend most of the time during the training writing in my journal. I do a little time travel, and start to write down—in as much detail as I had the discipline for—an interaction I had with an upset boy who’s parents are going through a rough divorce. It was a good exercise, and I try and write down his dialogue, which I very rarely try and capture. It made me think about how dull my memory is for the language of conversation, and how impatient I can get when I just try and get it down and not take the time to turn the words over in my head until they seem like they could plausibly come from the boy’s mouth.
We lunched at a Vietnamese fusion bistro, and I had excellent food and a very good sesame ball.
The second half of the day was even stupider than the first, though shorter. Thank the lord. The maintenance crew did a full vehicle audit while we were doing morning training, and a lot of concerning things were found. It’s good that they were found, but I am very not shocked (look at my face to see how shocked I am) that some stupid, dumb, easy, things were really bad, like the van that was almost completely out of oil. Its a weird, broken place right now and all I want to do is leave.
When I got home, I dozed before Hunter Thompson’s going away party. Before leaving, I played a bizarre game called Frog Fractions which is a very meta indie game that I enjoyed a lot. I probably wouldn’t have played it if it had been described to me ahead of time, but I’m very glad that I did.
It was a very nice and sweet going away. There were many people there, and I had a few nice moments where it felt like I was mingling and having a good time. I realized about an hour in that my batteries were running down fast, and I needed to flee, so I hopped a ride back home and spent the rest of the evening playing games and watching tv and relaxing.

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