Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

November 10, 2007

Godalmighty ouch

Jebus, I do one little bout of stupidly agonising Test match tea time exercise and now my head is thundering and my neck and shoulder muscles are taking turns to twist themselves in half and what the hell are those spots I keep seeing?

Seriously, I am going to die if as planned I play cricket in one week. It’s going to be a tossup whether it’s more embarrassing or more painful.

Listening: I wanna smoke crack with you by some punkish band called The Urinal Cake that Warren Ellis dredged up from the interweb. As he says “this, as clearly retarded as it is, is also glorious”, and bless his irascible psychoses, he’s right.

Today I did some more door frame painting, watched Brett Lee brutalise an entire nation, and made some poor judgments as to my fitness levels. I also avoided doing the work I brought home to do over the weekend, which on the one hand is commendable because I really shouldn’t be bringing my work home because that’s not what they pay me for, but on the other hand I wasn’t really all that successful getting it done there when I was being paid which is why I brought it home in the first place.

Either way, I can’t see it getting done tomorrow either, because there are still a handful of Sri Lankans left lying around for Brett Lee to kick.

November 6, 2007

I don’t think my head’s in the game. Read on and judge for yourself.

It’s Melbourne Cup Day and instead of wasting a day at work with socialising, drinking cheap champagne and eating cold chicken while pretending to outdo the person next to me in transparently artificial knowledge of horseflesh, I’m at home. For reasons that are yet to become obvious, the ACT government declared today a public holiday. I gather that we’ve also lost a holiday earlier in the year, the local equivalent of Labour Day, but I’m not really sure when that was or whether I’m right about what it was celebrating. Meh. whatever.

I’m a bit all over the place at the moment. Joey’s predicated arrival date was one month ago yesterday, so we’re in the final stretch of…well, pretty much just waiting now. All the prep work’s been done, now it’s just all about standing by for the green light. Fi’s starting to get over the weight, unsurprisingly – the obstetrician’s analysis of the last ultrasound indicates Joey may be rather larger than is likely to be comfortable, based on expected growth rates over the last six weeks or so of gestation. His I’m-sure-well-meaning advice was that if she could see her way clear to delivering the baby a fortnight or so early, she’d probably be happier in the long run. Didn’t provide any tips on how that might be arranged, so presumably was attempting to be droll.

Emma’s in hospital with what reportedly “might not be appendicitis”. Presumably not actually, since they kept her in emergency most of the night without apparently getting around to admitting her. My admittedly tangental experience with appendicitis in the past tends to suggest that it comes on fast and needs immediate treatment, while this is more of the poke, prod and ruminate variety of diagnostic regimen, it seems. Pretty worrying, but Mr X is staying touch and will let us know what’s going on.

First cricket match of the season last Sunday. It was called off because the pitch was still wet after a wild storm dumped about ten or fifteen mils in about half an hour the previous evening. To be honest I wasn’t disappointed, because we didn’t have a full team (half of Canberra was away, taking the chance to turn the Tuesday public holiday into a four-day weekend) and it was still really cold and potentially rainy. And also because I have yet to do any actual exercise, let alone cricket-specific training like bowling a couple of practise overs, and so would certainly have come away from a six-hour afternoon match with all-over cramps and a full set of matching strains.

I should be writing, but instead this afternoon I am blogging and browsing YouTube, mostly looking at Doctor Who vids and clips of Jonathon Coulton performing live (too lazy for links, sorry). For some reason this feels like accomplishment – possibly because it is a different total waste of time to my usual preferance of browsing roleplaying game discussion fora. But I should be writing.

I’m not participating in National Novel Writing Month. Mostly because it would be annoying not to finish, and not finishing seems the most likely outcome in a month when a baby could arrive at any time. Also, I intend, if ever I do the NaNo thing again, to go in with some prep and an outline next time, just for something different. It has to be said that this year November really sprung up on me quickly and, so taken aback, I was quite ill-equipped to launch into a new project. Maybe I can defer it to March or April?

Also contributing to the sudden and unexpected disappearance of October last week was the three days I spent in Bungendore at a Teams and Leadership management training course. This was one of those things where they get you to prepare by answering a whole range of Myers-Briggs-type self-analytical questions about working habits and preferences, and also get you and people you work with to rate your performance in various work-related categories.

Some revelatory stuff there, plus some stuff which on reflection should not have come as any surprise. For one, my preferred working style is something called a “Reporter-Adviser”, which basically means I like lurking behind the throne, gathering and distilling information into usable chunks for somebody else to do something useful with. Also, my tendency with self-assessment of my own skills is towards self-deprecation bordering on the crippling, and my outward projection of self-confidence makes a sort of sucking noise if you listen carefully. Which should come as no surprise, but somehow does.

Judging by the feedback I received from my work colleagues, it’s been a bit noticeable, too. Everyone seemed to stop short of calling me an uncommunicative black hole of introverted sullenness, but you could tell it had crossed their minds at some point. Actually, that’s unfair, because they were really nice and super-positive, but that just made me feel more stupid about how unsupportive a team player I’ve been lately.

Still, I think it will take a surprisingly small number of changes to turn things around, and I’m much more motivated to get stuck in and make the most of it. I only have another four or five weeks at work before I disappear for over a month to help look after the baby, so I really have a narrow window of opportunity to regain some momentum. After the course – which was utterly exhausting, more emotionally than physically – I’m actually finding myself oddly compelled to take work a bit more seriously and try the old “put more in, get more out” axiom.

Of course, maybe the real motivating factor here is embarrassment at “failing” a test. For all that there are no right or wrong answers in a personality profiling test,when I consistently rate myself 40-60% lower than everyone else does across about thirty categories, it’s hard not to feel like I flunked.

But today I cooked breakfast for the household, vacuumed the floor and painted a door frame orange, so I guess I’m not doing everything wrong.

October 24, 2007

After the storm comes the whatever

Filed under: cricket,joey,workin for the man — lexifab @ 11:42 am

Last week at work was ridiculously full on, at least by my standards – intensely focused, lots of frantic analysis and rework and detail-checking and stuff that would be awesomely tedious if the deadlines weren’t so close and the level of scrutiny so high.

Back this week, and the adrenaline has well and truly worn off. I came in for a few hours on Monday, felt queasy and bored, gave up, stayed at home yesterday. I’ve returned today and I’m sure I must have something important to do, but for the life of me I can’t think what it must be. I’m sure it will come to me.

I’ve allowed myself the slight distraction of starting to pull a team together for the start of the PS cricket competition, which starts in a couple of weekends’ time. I’m doing the coordination against my better judgment, as it’s usually an onerous task that nobody else wants to do, but I’m protected somewhat by the fact that halfway through the season I will be disappearing without trace and someone else will have to step up. That’s the theory, anyway.

I’m actually looking forward to having a couple of early games, when there’s nothing much at stake, and then dropping out of the team. I like to play, but I think that this year, even with the baby coming, I would regard it more as a wearying duty than a fun passtime to have to manage the whole season. Let me just get in a few overs of bowling and swipe a couple of singles and I’ll be happy as a lamb, I suspect.

We went for another ultrasound yesterday on doctor’s orders – he wanted to check that Joey’s upside-downedness wasn’t an issue. It seems not – Joey was around the right way during the examination, though had flipped again soon afterwards. Still, the fact that there is at least some time spend correctly aligned is reassuring. As is the photo that clearly shows Joey has a face (including a strangely pointy chin). What a relief!

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