April 21, 2007

Live-Blogging Palm Desert

With less than two hours of sleep I’m off on my first warm-weather vacation in many years. Being preternaturally warm, operating at several thousand degrees Kelvin as my normal body temperature, the last thing I generally consider to be relaxing is someplace hot; I’m the guy that went to Alaska in the winter and found it quite refreshing... None the less I’m on my way to Palm Springs to sit by the pool and wander aimlessly through the palm corridors. Also looking forward to spending a week with my cousins Donna and Ed, whom I don’t see often enough and whose company I enjoy tremendously. They’ve invited me to spend the week with them at their timeshare dealie, and so I’ve temporarily suspended my general rule of hot = bad for Dan.

Perfect timing for a vacation too. Everything has been hectic and fun at work this month. Lots of late nights, lots of early mornings, and non-stop activity for a few weeks now. I’m about half-way through a crash-implementation of a new system, and it’s been a crazy blend of extraordinary over-planning and on the fly decisions. Other projects haven’t stopped while this one has accelerated, and so I’ve been busier than usual, and my usual is so much busier than I’ve been for years. Still getting used to the new level of activity.

To help me out a bit this month I co-opted one of our departmental assistants, initially for a few hours here and there, and now she’s spending whole days at a time taking administrative work off my plate. She’s been doing great and graciously not complaining about the tediousness of some of what I'm asking her to do for me, and I’m hoping I get to keep her permanently once everyone gets used to the idea that there is indeed that much work to do.

Like everyone, I can easily complain about the effort and hours, but no one believes me. I’m smiling from ear to ear as I tell folks how busy I am, and how horrible it is. No one is buying it, I'm clearly having a great time. I really do prefer being busy…. Boundaries give me something to work from, time constraints in particular inspire my best productivity. The busier we get, the more I've been enjoying my work. Though I'm certainly going to enjoy this week off as well.

Continuing to take it easy on the dating front. I've had a few drinks here and there and continue to meet interesting women, but moving slowly and without any particular goal in sight. I've made it through April completely second-date free, and only two or three first dates. Seeing May fast approaching, I consider my dating break over.

I had a drink with someone early last week and we didn't click much at all. She is a self-described “entrepreneur” who has several online businesses going at once. She works for herself, doing her thing and seemed to look down on the 9-5 grind. Meanwhile, that lifestyle of hers is just not for me; I like structure, I like the consistency of expectations, effort, and reward. I think it has to do with how I grew up, and what worked for me and didn’t work for me in my parents' parenting style. In work, in relationships, in life I like to know where I stand, I like to know what’s expected of me, I require clarity. That’s not to say I can’t function in ambiguity -- like a vacation, ambiguity is a fun change of pace --but much like Las Vegas, while ambiguity is fun to spend some time in I wouldn't want to live there. I like my unplanned, boundary free experiences to be fully planned and circumscribed.

There is one new woman that suddenly seems promising, but our schedules make it challenging to spend significant time together; I'm out of town this week, and she's likely out of town next week... so it'll be slow going. But I really enjoy her company, and she gets all fun and cute when we're together, so I'm looking forward to seeing what might happen. She's also got this blog address, so we'll need to come up with a nickname for her...

More to come!


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