First week back
It seems silly to think of a “first week back” after only having been back for a week, but jet lag has a way of making even comfortable beds in comfortable neighborhoods seem foreign. (I did the thing you’re supposed to do and stayed up til my bedtime the first day back, which seemed to have worked — and then I fell asleep at 7pm the following day. Whoops.)
A friend recommended that I read The Friend — which I did, and loved, and you should read it too. The Friend name-drops Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet — which I dutifully borrowed from the library, and devoured in two sittings. Letters in turn recommends the book Niels Lyhne, by the Dane Jens Peter Jacobsen, which I’m starting tomorrow. There should be a term for this sort of chain reaction of literary progeny: you read a book that forces you to read a book that forces you to read a book, the textual equivalent of a wild night out.
I deleted Twitter from my phone, which I’ve largely abstained from doing on shaky grounds (I need it for customer service!) and less shaky grounds (I need something mindless to do in between deadlift sets!). I’m not kidding myself into thinking that I’ll use Twitter less — as I write this, Tweetdeck is behind iA Writer on my screen — but I just want to fade the instinct a little bit, to train myself for more durable content.
I filed my taxes today. Yes, like, today today, twelve hours before the presumptive deadline. I have the requisite amount of moral outrage at TurboTax et al for lobbying to make all of our lives’ worse just so that they have a reason to exist, and I’m also struck at how odd the product is. My tax situation is annoyingly complex (2018 I had two different employers, plus consulting income, plus side project income) and it wasn’t even that bad (two hours start to finish), but… why does this thing work the way it does? Why does the product ask me four times if I have recently gotten married? Why does the product ask me twice if I am in fact deceased? Why does it so vividly feel like I am filling out a redesigned version of the standard tax form? We think about skeumorphism through the lens of visual design, but often it’s equally true for information design as well.
The date for my first half marathon approaches — two months from now — and I am becoming reacquainted with my legs after an admittedly lazy sabbatical from cardio. I ran a jaunty six miles on Thursday, which felt great. I’m trying to figure out a routine for the coming months (I don’t think I have the stamina to lift five times a week and run), which is always a little scary — working out is usually the foundation of my day, and when I’m not confident in what I’m doing the rest of the day seems a little shakier.
Buttondown, as apparently is usual, goes well. I’ve mostly caught up with emails. There are a few things left to do but dedicating April to be a month of technical debt paydown has been enjoyable. (I’ve never understood the derisive way folks refer to “KTLO work” or bug bashing. Bashing bugs is great, and wholesome, and satisfying.)
(Disjointed thoughts, I know, for a relatively disjointed week. But the days have been good, and my limbs are sore, and I went bouldering for the first time in months. Plus Game of Thrones in a couple hours, which I will watch despite myself, and I think I’ve earned some chartreuse.)