Posts in the Me category

Finding Balance

Name of the game right now?

Finding balance.

Yep, I know, everyone's on the search for balance, aligning their chi, making sure their karma's net positive, looking after themselves, etc etc etc. Sure, it's old hat, it's cliche and it's boring. But frankly, that's what I'm trying to do with my life right now.

I think I'm getting there. On the whole I'm feeling better than I've felt in ages. My brain has started working again. If anything, it was running at about 20% capacity for the past year... if not longer. Now? I'm back up to about 70%.


The old chestnuts of exercise and diet are helping a lot in that regard. (Exercise: Lots of walking and cycling, at least 8 hours a week. Diet: lots of greens, oddly, seems to be helping. Limiting my alcohol consumption is helping too. Marianna's by the Market has a lentil soup and a thing they call "Horta" which is frankly fantastic).

Not on any drugs any more - other than strattera, which seems to help with sleep and my sinuses, and gives my system a bit of a bump - which was surprising.

Lots of supplements - Omega 3, L-Tyrosine, L-Lysine, 5-HTP, and a couple of really good multivitamins, sublingual B12, and B6 before I go to bed.

I've nearly eliminated High Fructose Corn Syrup from my life too.

Net effect? I seem to be feeling a lot better than I have in ages. There's another part of this puzzle though, and that's just plain old listening to yourself.

I've started listening to myself. When I feel tired, I go to sleep. When I feel like staying at home, I stay at home. I always used to listen to the big emergency signals of "I feel restless", and "I wanna play" - but now I'm listening to the other ones. I don't stay at a bar until 2am just to close it out any more - I leave when I'm done. (Even then, most of the time all I'm doing is drinking cranberry juice).

All in all, I feel much better now than I have in ages. Are all of these changes necessary? Well, the diet and exercise ones were mandated by my doctor for high cholesterol and high fasting blood sugar, so while I don't know whether they make a damn bit of difference, they're getting done anyway. I think that the listening to myself ones are the most important ones right now.

Big changes at work too. I've managed teams of people on and off for about 6 years total, and general consensus is that I'm really good at it. But with everything else going on in my life right now, I've just been dropping the ball in too many ways. Fortunately, the people I work with are really really ultra cool. They saw this happening, and decided that the best way to deal with it was to lighten my burden (even though I'm already through the worst of it and coming out the other side). So instead of leading a team now (bye bye, Lead Gameplay Programmer!), I'm going to be exercising my mental muscles a bit more, and have become a Principal Gameplay Programmer (hello, Principal Gameplay Programmer!).

Basically, it means that I can stop worrying about intrapersonal dynamics, and start worrying about the technology. Most importantly, it means that I should be able to tailor the amount of multitasking I do to the amount I've actually got enough bandwidth for right now.

I'm not 100% sure about this change... in some ways, it bruises my ego... I've been on the manager track for a long time now, and I have a lot of my identity tied up in the fact that I was able to steer the careers of the guys on my team, and be someone they could depend on to fight for them when they needed it, and shelter them from randomness.

Although frankly, sheltering from randomness has become more and more difficult since we switched to an "agile development" model at work. I'm still not convinced that this method actually works for software development except on ultra small teams.

Either way, my load's lighter, and I'm thankful for that. It'll help me while I'm balancing myself out.

I live in interesting times :)

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Why do I do this to myself?

I went snowboarding again at Snoqualmie Summit today. This is the second time I've gone. Last time was about a year ago.

Last time, I spent a month finding it very hard to sit down because I bruised my hip or my coxix (hey, steady now...) or some other bone in that neighborhood by falling flat on my ass about 40 times in a row.


This time? 5 minutes into my first run (after taking my first ever chair lift), I find myself cartwheeling, jamming my left wrist straight into the snow pack, and all of a sudden one bright white flash before my eyes later, I'm nursing a badly sprained wrist. I spent five minutes covering my wrist in ice, sat there in pain, smoked a cigarette, then unhooked my board and trudged down the mountain on foot.

Fortunately it does look like it is just a sprain. The Ski Patrol guys checked me out at the bottom - they pushed against my hand and told me it wasn't broken, because if it was, I'd have nailed them with a right hook when they did that. (Nice test, huh? :) ).

So, a grand total of maybe 40 minutes there, at least 25 of which were buying new goggles and putting on my gear.

Work are doing another snowboarding trip in the next month or so. I may go. If I do, I'll probably end up just staying in the lodge drinking boozy hot chocolate.


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To Departed Friends

Eric: I miss you man. I didn't know you as well as I'd have liked, but I considered us good friends. I hope things are better wherever you are now.

To my readers:

Don't let depression go untreated. Go see a psychiatrist, get your vitamin B12 levels checked out (it's a simple blood test), and get treatment. You don't have to live life feeling black. Do something about it.

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It's snowing really hard

Heard on Monday on the weather report on the radio:

"I came out of the University of Washington on foot, and the snow was coming down so hard it was coming down in pellets!"

I just wanted to call said newsreporter and tell her "We have a word for that, dearie... it's called Hail."


Ice and Snow!

I've never done donuts in a car before.


Winter's here in Seattle, and it rocks. I've taken my new Subaru WRX Impreza Sport Limited Wagon around to a few parking lots tonight with my friend Aydin, and we wellied it around.

It spun 720 degrees.

It spun and then slid sideways.

It slid and spun all over the place.

It was AWESOME. And probably the best education a driver can get for winter weather driving. There were only a couple of Oh Shit moments where we nearly hit lamp-posts in the parking lots too.

Apparently I was all kinds of scared when we first started, but I relaxed immediately once I got the hang of it. Aydin's been doing this since he started driving, so he's an old pro. (Although he did scare the bejeezus out of me a couple of times).

Anyway... er... yeah. I loved it :)

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