Wow, I’m tired. Hungry too, so there shall be snacking before bed tonight, but today was so full for the first time in a while that it deserves some special effort to document tonight. It also deserves this effort because it can serve as yet another reminder of why having full days are important to my mental well-being.
I feel…optimistic. And I haven’t even checked my email yet. (I suppose I don’t want to jinx it. Read on, you’ll see.)
The Long Night Before
Last night I only managed a meager five hours of rest. As sometimes happens, I was simply unable to pull myself into bed despite my sleepiness. I tried to keep repeating this Ian L. Flemming quote in my mind, but that did not seem to move me to action.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
Of course, the result of staying awake well past midnight was that I woke up feeling hazy and disoriented today. I had nothing other than a dentist’s appointment planned for the day, and indeed that appointment is what roused me from bed in the morning. I was expecting today to be bland and empty, like many of my previous days.
I woke up at seven o’clock when my cell phone’s alarm clock started ringing. I immediately wanted to go back to sleep for at least another half hour but somehow convinced myself that I’d be better off killing my time on the ‘Net instead of on the bed. I got dressed in an effort to wake myself up faster, and left the house only a few minutes later than I had intended to.
I walked the fifteen blocks to my dentist’s for my appointment at eight o’clock, and was out of there by eight-thirty. My dentist merely had to seal off one of the tooth implants I had gotten (which is another story entirely) and measure the space between two teeth on the upper-right side of my mouth, so it wasn’t even unpleasant. The sun was out, people were getting their morning coffee, and I enjoyed my leisurely stroll back home.
When I returned, Danica was already in the shower preparing for work. I logged back online and started killing my never-ending stream of blog spam. (I guess it makes me feel pseudo-productive to do that.) Soon, I got a phone call from my dentist with the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time.
I won’t need braces again! This just about made my day right then and there. I immediately called my periodontist, set an appointment for the implant to be placed, and will hopefully have this whole damn ordeal behind me for the rest of my life by the end of next month!
Java and Job Hunts
It was nearing noon now, and Danica left for work in good spirits and on good terms with me. I spent a good deal of time talking to several online friends and by two o’clock had convinced myself to start a serious job-hunting effort for almost any part-time work. Beggars can’t be choosers, you know.
However, after setting up an account with Monster and beginning to fill out their pedantic forms with overtly general fluff, I reversed my efforts. Thankfully, I realized that hunting for a generic job can be done successfully one way and one way only: proactive searching, not passive waiting. So I gave up on Monster and started Googling for various New York City-based job sites.
Of all things, the one that showed the most promise was actually CraigsList! I was initially hesitant of even searching on CraigsList due to my previous experiences searching through the job listings there. However, after combing through hundreds upon hundreds of frustrating “Office Assistant” classifieds (and that’s after filtering out the many more “Actress” and “Model” postings), I gave CraigsList a shot and cynically searched for “web design.”
Incredibly, one of the first few postings I read came from what appeared to be a reasonable person with reasonable requests for a reasonably small web site for a reasonable fee. The ad even went so far as to discourage Flash-only “web designers” from even responding. (Do you have any idea how rare it is for a small business owner not to want a stupid Flash intro on their site?) All in all, it seemed very reasonable and so I composed a (carefully written) reply and hit the send button.
Here’s hoping something comes of it! If not, then this at least gives me some hope that there are actually decent web design job opportunities to be found on CraigsList. I have decided to subscribe to several search result news feeds for pertinent terms in my field and see what comes of it. (Note to self: sit down and come up with several relevant search terms.)
A Rather Upbeat Evening
Monty, his Python, and the Web
Some time around 4:30 PM Danica called me on her break at work and told me that Eric Idle (from Monty Python) would be speaking and, possibly, signing stuff in Barnes and Noble. She asked if perhaps I would like to come down to hear him or get my Monty Python and the Holy Grail DVD signed or at least hand it to her so she could get it signed for me. Since I had no real plans, wanted to get out of the house, and noticed that CV (a college club whose members I used to be close with, though I like to think I still am) was meeting to present what would be a very interesting topic for discussion, I said sure.
I told her I’d meet her at six o’clock to give her my DVD so she could try to get it signed for me and thanked her. She asked if I might want to stick around afterwards but also told me that Randy might be there. I declined, citing Randy’s possible presence as my reason for doing so.
I got out of the house, took the subway downtown, and gave Danica my DVD when I saw her. Then I went to browse the computer section of Barnes and Noble for a while, since I had so much time to kill before the CV meeting later tonight. I ended up buying a web design book for my father.
To kill yet more time, I called my father up and went to meet him at his studio office to give him the book. He gave me a wooden box (perfect for weed, he said jokingly, yet I still reminded him that I don’t do drugs) and some money. Then I ate a late lunch at Chelsea Market (mmm, Thai food is yummy), and finally headed to the subways again so I could make the CV meeting.
Going with the Flow
Throughout the day on the subways I continued reading Speed Up Your Site. Interestingly, the end of the first chapter and, so far, all of the second is about the experience of flow, more colloquially known as “runner’s high,” and how it relates to web design (PDF file), web surfing, and the web at large. As I was reading, I found myself thinking about all the other things it relates to, and realized that I was probably experiencing experiential flow.
(At this late hour, my mind is still lighting up and trying to go off on various different tangents. If I really let myself ramble, this one part of the entry would be pages long. There’s lots to talk about when discussing flow, but I’ll have to save all of that for another time.)
I arrived at Columbia University a little earlier than I would have expected, so I waited (slightly anxiously) outside the classroom for people to arrive. It didn’t take long, and I was soon greeted by and greeting many familiar faces. Better yet, there were plenty of new faces there as well and I’m always happy when I get to meet new people (although I was really glad to get to talk to the folks I hadn’t seen in ages, too)!
The meeting went wonderfully, even if the topic was changed at the last moment. I met at least five new, friendly people, and actually had unexpectedly keen conversations with two of them. Of course, the rarity of having an intelligent discussion with a relative stranger highlighted tonight’s serendipity in light of my recent blog post on the matter. Which reminds me of another quote.
Ask and you shall receive.
I arrived home after one o’clock in the morning. Danica is nowhere to be found, so I can only assume she’s with Randy or at her new apartment. Tomorrow I have plans to attend another social event (the monthly meeting of the New York City Mac Meetup Group) and I am really looking forward to it.