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Frozen Brain

April 10, 2003

When we last talked, winter had returned to my corner of Michigan in the form of ice falling from the sky. Was I delighted? No, I was not. So when Monday morning came and I looked outside to see snow– big, fat, numerous flakes– coming down, I was not doing a dance of joy. My annoyance at winter’s inability to let go was tempered by the fact that because the power was still out at the office, I did not have to drive in the mess. I did have to dig out my ski bibs, which I wear to shovel so my delicate backside doesn’t get frostbitten, but there was no rush on that, especially since a quick check of The Weather Channel showed it was going to keep snowing for a while.

I think this cold weather has frozen my brain. Other than shoveling, I can’t remember what I did on Monday. Spent a lot of time on e-mail, for sure, handling customer problems as well as I could and looking for updates on the power situation, but that doesn’t account for a whole day. I know I thought about updating my exercise log, since I’d just come off a good week, but I didn’t get around to that until just now, by which time I could no longer exactly remember when/what I’d done so had to guess as best I could. I tell you, my brain isn’t working right. Oh wait, I remember– I bailed out the sump every hour or two, since the pump had stopped working sometime Sunday and we weren’t going to be able to get a replacement until Monday night. That really should count as a workout right there– squats to get the bucket in the water work the legs and carrying the full bucket to the sink builds the arms.

The power at the office was still out on Tuesday. I thought I’d sleep in, but instead had to get up and fix a problem at the customer that’s no longer mine. The person whose customer it is had power at her house, too, but lives so close to the office that she’d never bothered to get set up to connect to the customer from home. I was sleeping when she called, and tried to stop her voice coming through the answering machine by hitting the snooze button on the clock radio, an approach which was not at all effective. I actually did other work that day, too, going on a field trip to fix a problem at a customer whose firewall prevents me from connecting to them from home. By Tuesday afternoon, I was getting antsy. I wondered if I should just burn a vacation day if the power was still out on Wednesday rather than dealing with the frustration of not being able to work effectively. I was still wondering when I called the office around 4:30 to find the power had just come back on.

Yesterday was a blur of catching up. It was worse than coming back from vacation because I hadn’t had a chance to prepare and leave things in good order. I’m still not quite caught up, but I’ve run out of programming steam. I’m hoping taking a break to write this entry will help. I really need to be focused this afternoon and wrap up as much as I can, because tomorrow morning I leave for a long weekend trip to Chicago. The sooner I can finish my tasks and leave the office, the sooner I can start packing for the trip, and the sooner I can get in bed and get rested for the journey. This is the first overnight trip Erica and I are taking together, and I’d like to be not too tired and cranky– I can save that for later trips if this one goes well.

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