“You know how time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once? It’s not working.”
– Mike Dixon
I imagine it’s going to get a lot worse than this, but I’m at that first juncture where time is getting the better of me. I’m tiptoeing between piles of clothes, electronics and miscellaneous crap strewn across the study floor, cross checking the clothing list against the USAP guide recommendations. I’m scrambling to get everything tied up neatly at work – found a new director and home for my old team (recall that the umbrella group under which we operated inconveniently disintegrated a month or two ago) and handed off my teaching responsibilities. Spent the past two days trying to chase down a couple of subtle bugs that have crept into the Labs interface – the sad truth is that little things like that can sap a week before you know it, and it all comes down to triage.
I’m straining to prepare D and the kids for my absence. Spent a couple of weeks driving around the peninsula researching and test driving cars so they’d have a 4WD vehicle to drive up to the grandparents this winter. Bought the Vehicle of Unusual Color (2009 Subaru Outback – consensus is that the color is “titanium mint”). Spent a couple of days smog-checking, listing and selling our beloved (sniff) old (sniff) Volvo. First car we ever bought new, back in 1998, when our teenager was barely toddling. We’d splurged. Now we had too many cars, and needed to find a new home for it A day on Craigslist, a day of phone calls and test drives, and I’d sold it for $2500 to Mike, a nice young man who’d just left his mind-numbing accounting job (“You know why the windows don’t open in those buildings, don’t you?”) to run a bike shop in San Mateo.
Whew – one more soul-consuming task checked off, right? Wrong. Just got email from him last night that the transmission had crapped out on him on the way back from Santa Barbara. He’d gotten it home, but repair was estimated at $1600-$2600. Sigh. I left voicemail and email saying we’d fix it, or just buy it back from him and donate it somewhere. But it’s not the money here – it’s the fact that I JUST DON’T HAVE ANY SPACE IN MY BRAIN TO DEAL WITH THIS RIGHT NOW.
Oh – did I mention I’d agreed to give a talk to 300 high school students next Monday, the day before I ship out? Breath. Breath in. Breath out. All better, all better. Ready to start again? Good. Now: PANIC!!