November 9, 1999

Time of the Wolf

I've started keeping a running summary of things that happen during the day in a file on my computer called outline.doc.

I don't explain anything -- it's just a list of things that float through my mind, things that meant something to me, things that caught my attention, things I want to write about later.

Here's the list for today:

Got to work on time.
Power outage because of electrician.
Talking about PageMaker
Finishing up the graphics
Residual soreness from last night's workout.
Sabs is a hurtin' puppy.
Y2K commercial -- Nike, armageddon all around, some guys still out on their daily run.

Pretty dull huh? And somewhat cryptic too if you're not inside my head.

I'm going to walk down the list one by one and then actually get last to the thought that inspired the title of the entry, since it's the last on the list anyway.

Why on earth would I want to keep track of whether or not I'm on time to work? Well, actually it's representative to me of a larger struggle to stay on top of things in my life. It's also evidence of my efforts to become more of a morning person. If I got to work on time, it means that I got out of bed and into the shower on time. It means that the day started out on the right foot. It means that slowly but surely, I am emerging victorious over fatigue and lethargy induced by my ailing thyroid gland.

The power outage was a sudden shock early in the day. Colleague and I were working away quite happily when all of a sudden all of the computers just shut off without any warning. The lights were still on though as well as all of the servers, so we deduced correctly that the source of the outage was the outlet on the side wall. a few minutes later we'd tracked the whole affair to an electrician who was working on one of the copiers in the copy room. He'd realized he'd turned off the wrong socket, but hadn't bothered to flip ours last on.

Go figure.

It took maybe twenty minutes to get last in business, but the day then progressed smoothly from there.

PageMaker is something of a ghost from my past. When I was an intern at the ICA in Geneva during the '94-'95 school year, the majority of my work consisted of converting files from either PageMaker or Word to text. Often, I was cleaning up a fine mess, especially when I was working with files that were made in older versions of both pieces of software. This was last in the early days of the Web, right before the whole deal took off like wildfire. The ICA was just getting onto the internet proper in the form of a cooperative gopher site. I was already aware of the Web and itching to get to work on that instead, but the ICA didn't have a provider yet so I had to content myself with gopher architecture and text files.

Now of course, they do have a web site, but a lot of my original work can still be found amidst the HTML files and somewhere in there is a credit to me, if misspelled, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You see, even if the work wasn't exactly fascinating, I had a lot of fin working there. I got along really well with the people I worked for and I was sad to leave at the end of my time there. I've kept peripherally in touch with them, sending an email now and again just to check up on how things are going.

"Finishing up the graphics" refers to just that -- I've been cutting up front page graphics provided by the graphic designer and turning them into handfuls of small gifs to feed into a table so that the splash pages for both of the projects I'm on will load more quickly. I'm thinking of checking out an image slicing utility now, because it just shouldn't be this frustrating to cut up a 504x360 graphic. It's just wrong.

The next two items pertain to our visit to the gym on Monday night. We got in a good solid half hour of stationary bike and weight lifting. I was pretty much fine, though no longer at the level of my former days of glory *eep* ten years ago. Gosh, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was putting on my uniform to hit the volleyball court, playing JV for 'Stoga. At any rate, while I'm not in as good shape as I was when I was 15/16, I haven't fallen too far either. Walking to work from the Metro in DC for the last three years has managed to stave off total slug transformation. If we keep it up, I should be able to get last to where I was without too much trouble.

Sabs on the other hand was struggling. I think he tried to push himself too hard on some things. At any rate he was a hurtin' puppy afterwards and he's been whining about it all day today, wondering when the soreness is supposed to go away, and asking repeatedly whether the only way not to be sore is to keep doing it.

I'm feeling a bit of a twinge here and there too, but at least I'm still able to stretch my arms out without more than a residual tug. A simple "Hi there, I'm your left deltoid and I'm right here," is pretty much all I've got. I'm aware of my muscles as I wasn't before, but not in severe pain at all.

I'll just have to remind Sabs that stretching before, during and after a work out is paramount.

As we get to the bottom of the list, there is a cluster of TV-related items. We watch very little television, Buffy and Angel are pretty much our only weekly "must-see-TV" forget about all that crap parading around on NBC. We often watch Stargate-SG1 and Total Recall: 2070 on Showtime, but otherwise, our TV-watching is sporadic at best. I try to keep up with Farscape and Sliders on the SciFi channel as well, but often I'm too tired to stay up, especially if I miss the earlier showings before Stargate comes on.

We flirt around the edges of watching Star Trek: Voyager and USA's Nikita on a regular basis, and I keep up with Felicity unless we're out of town for the weekend, but that's pretty much it.

If you haven't picked it up yet, the pattern up there is that we pretty much watch only scifi/fantasy, and only the stuff that find remotely interesting at that. I'm not very fond of sitcoms -- they seem too contrived. And if you're wondering what a mainstream drama like Felicity is doing up there, the answer is quite simple. I'm a recent college grad. I am nostalgic for my college days. I am the primo demographic that the show is aiming for and I often feel a lot of empathy for both the titular character as well as her friend, Julie. While their lives often seem much more complicated than mine was in college and the show has a tendency to concentrate too much on the romantic tensions, rather than actual college-centered plots, it's a comfortable atmosphere to dwell in. There is a mental space that the show takes me to, that is familiar still and that I think of fondly.

During both Buffy and Angel, this Nike commercial played a few times. It revolves around a number of supposed Y2K problems, from crazy ATM machines on through to randomly launching missiles overhead. Through all the chaos a couple of guys, duly clad in Nike sneakers, go out and do their morning run as if all were business as usual.

This cracked me up, but also brought last the nagging worries about this New Years' eve/day that were planted by one of the ex-military guys at my former place of employment. There are days where I want to be a crackpot and build a fallout shelter well stocked with canned foods. Most of the time, I just don't think about it too much. Chances are, all of the really important stuff will get locked down before it becomes a problem .... I wish, I hope, I pray. If something truly drastic happens, I want to be with Sabs and I'm not sure I'd want to live through it anyway.

Our New Year's plans are bounded by the fact that Sabs is a technical support guy and therefore must be on hand to spring into action in case anything blows up at his work place during that midnight shift from 1999 to 2000. Therefore, we will be here, at home, or even, at his office, armed with a bottle of champagne against the eventuality of anything funky going on.

Anyway, tonight's Buffy centered on the adorable Seth Green as Oz and his struggles with his wilder wolf side, since he is a werewolf and wolfs out every month for three nights during the full moon.

This episode brought all sorts of associations swimming up through the dank storehouse of my brain. First of all, let it be noted that the majority of the men who have held romantic roles in my life have associated themselves in some way with wolves. Be it as a totem spirit, or simply as an interest, three out of the four have felt some kind of bond with the spirit of the wolf. Secondly, the first one to do so, cheated on me and eventually left me for the other chick, even though one of the pivotal catch phrases of our relationship, was that wolves mate for life.

But I've been over this ground many times before, not going there now.

I think that lots of people go through some kind of "Time of the Wolf" -- a time in which they have to deal with the deepest darkest parts of themselves, if not the beast, then at least the shadows that lie even in the brightest souls.

I also think that this has been my year for that. The year in which I've stared so many of my demons in the face, dealt with some of the most tangly problems.

I will not say that I've come out completely unscathed, nor am I completely victorious.

But I'm still standing and I'm still whole and in the end, that's what really counts.

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