Friday, July 29, 2022

Long Time, No Write

 So, it has been awhile, eh?

Work continues to eat up more of my life than it should. I am doing some stuff I really like but it is clear that the core thing I bring to this role is my ability to navigate patiently through various roadblocks and Get Stuff Done and I am not sure what I think about that. Part of me thinks I should just lean into that since it is the thing I'm good at that differentiates me from other people. But part of me thinks that is just a recipe for always being the person behind the scenes who gets all of the headaches and very little of the credit.

In other work news, it is slowly dawning on me that the company I really liked working for and went through a lot of crap to stay at because I liked so much... that company is gone. I now need to figure out if the company that took its place is offering me a good enough package (type of work, work conditions, compensation, etc) to stay. It is a subtle shift in how I've been thinking about the work situation. I have no conclusions yet.

In non-work news - we're recently returned from our first trip to see my in-laws in New Zealand since Christmas 2018! It was wonderful. I wrote up my traditional awards show summary. While we were in New Zealand, Pumpkin discovered that she likes lamb. Of course the only meat she likes would be the one I most dislike! (Lamb has a distinctive taste that I find unpleasant. I cannot describe it and everyone else thinks I am weird, but so be it.) Regardless, Mr. Snarky has grand plans to grill a lot more lamb now.

We were in New Zealand for three weeks. We worked remotely from Auckland for one week, and then had two weeks of vacation. We did this because when we originally booked the tickets we thought we'd need to self-isolate for our first week. New Zealand lifted that rule well before our trip, but we decided not to change our tickets because I've long had the idea that we could sort of extend our vacation by working remotely for a week in the vacation spot before starting the actual vacation and I wanted to see if it would work. It did! The only downside was that since we were mostly working while in Auckland we didn't get to do many fun things there. So the concept needs fine-tuning but basically works.

While on vacation, I always come to the conclusion that I need to make more time for some sort of creative hobby. I come back determined to do that... and then I crash into the reality of my over-busy life and it doesn't happen. I haven't given up hope this time. Yet.

I did read a really good book while on vacation - Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also have some podcast recommendations for you, even though I listened to some podcasts on the 12 hour flight from LA to Auckland (or from Auckland to LA) and fell asleep during them and then would wake up when it clicked over to ads or the next podcast and rewind and listen again. I cannot recommend this method of listening to podcasts, but it was quite effective at helping me get some sleep on the long haul flights.

Also, Petunia was told she could move up to the next level ballet class (although she should also keep taking her beginning teen class), so she is starting a second ballet class which is on Saturday mornings and is 1.5 hours. Therefore, I spent a lot of time on Saturday wandering around Balboa Park trying to work out what a good walking route would be, or if maybe I should use the time to visit museums, or maybe we should get our zoo passes renewed and I should go wander around the zoo for an hour every Saturday... and all this time, I was listening to podcasts.

So here are some podcasts I listened to and found really interesting, in no particular order:

Jane Coaston talked to Jon Favreau on Offline about why internet debates suck.

Ezra Klein's interview with Kim Stanley Robinson (I think I like Robinson's interviews with Klein better than I like his books, but oh well)

Ezra Klein's interview with Thomas Insel about the state of mental health care in America.

David Roberts interview with Dr Ye Tao on why we might need some sort of project to cool the earth and how we might do it (this is one I listened to a more than once due to falling asleep while listening on the plane, but I eventually was awake for the whole thing and it is really interesting)

It has been awhile since I gave you a weekend bunny, so here is one:

Have a good weekend! I hope to write more often but I hope to do a lot of things and work is crowding them all out right now. I am going to try to fix that.