Sleep, blessed sleep. Almost to the alarm this morning, how good does that feel? Amazing what sufficient rest does for one's state of mind. Excellent workout as a result also. The gym is getting a little thin this week because it's the last week of classes, but not really too bad. Next week will be dead as will the week after.
Sadly, I didn't do very much all morning since the reports are done and nothing else this week. Wenke sent me a copy of his Chapter 1 of the monograph and I read that over. Seemed like a lot of stuff jammed in there, but it should work. That was about it work-wise. I did get a couple calls from Cascadia and next week I'll have two projects, one over by Leavenworth and one up at Camano island. Consequently, after lunch I had to go over to the shop to get some materials, although I'll go over on Monday to get the equipment. After that I went to the UVil to get some dinner stuff -- planned on making a stew -- but the QFC power was out so I had to go over to the neighboring Safeway. Stopped at SBux for a hot chocolate and called Fiona to let her know she would have had some eye candy, but she was, unbeknownst to me, taking a job test at the time (I thought it was tomorrow). So, that was that and I went home and cooked it up. I got the stew recipe from a delightful site called Things Wot I made Then Ate, which uses prose like this:
Dark brown sugar is melted in the bottom of a pot and caramelized, burned actually. It smokes and it looks like a loss but the brave persist until all the sugar is pretty much turned black and also a serious mess. . .Neat? Ya! That was the recipe I tried today, first time I caramelized brown sugar. It was indeed brave to persist as it smoked away like that.
At the moment I am listening to Crosby Stills & Nash's Daylight Again album, one of my favorites from the early '80s; it brings back very powerful memories from that time -- I was an undergrad at UW Madison -- not all of them fuzzy and happy. I hadn't played it in years, but after I set up my old stereo in my upstairs office and worked here a lot, I've started listening again. I finally downloaded it from iTunes so I can give the vinyl a rest, as it's one of my oldest LPs. Plus now I can listen to it in the car. I'll be very interested to see how the remastered version sounds.
Listening to these old records has helped me a lot in getting through my "troubles" of the last couple of years. They remind me what I once was, at least a semi-confident man and not the simpering lump of fear that I've kind of been. I was thinking this morning while working out that perhaps the biggest change I went through in this mid-life crisis or whatever it is, is that in my youth I screwed up and did dumb things, but it didn't bother me much. Oh sure, I wasn't proud of such things and felt bad about doing them, but I didn't dwell on them: I just moved on. If anything, I used them as incentive to do better. At some point, I started dwelling on them, intensely, such that even the most minor of offenses set me awake at night thinking I was the Worst Person In The World. I don't know what the cause of this was, perhaps it's just a natural process of getting older, or maybe at some point I started putting way too much pressure on myself -- as a 40+ year old adult and a Ph.D.! -- to be ideal or something. I've been trying to move away from that and recall in very basic emotional terms what I was like then and what I can be like again. Not exactly reliving the past or trying to recreate it, but perhaps recentering myself as part of my own past. I don't know a better way to put that, sitting as I am in the midst of trying a major life course correction, but maybe that will make some sense some day.