Thursday, November 01, 2012

In Need of a Project

Last Monday evening C. and I watched the final presidential debate together.

The next day, N. and I met for burritos at La Cumbre in the late afternoon. At Howie’s afterward, I told him that reciting the Five Remembrances daily—I can’t escape sickness, old age, death or being separated from everything and everyone I love; my actions are my only true belongings—was starting to make me feel gloomy. It has also been leading to some poor decisions: I’ll be dead one day, so I’d be foolish to miss this chance to do such-and-such. Howie said we’re not supposed to stew over the Five Remembrances, just use them as a reminder, and that if I’m dwelling on them during the rest of the day, it’s a sign I’ve lost touch with reality.

Wednesday evening I was feeling unusually depressed (probably because of the Five Remembrances), and C. came over to keep me company and patiently listened while I explained why nothing in this world is any good.

Thursday I went to see Brigitte for yet another haircut, to fix what Max did to me, but there’s not really anything to be done except wait for it to grow out. Brigitte did sympathize very sincerely, which made it all the more clear that it looks pretty terrible at the moment. Spooked, I asked, “What would I do if I had an important meeting tomorrow?” and she said sadly and despairingly, “I don’t know!”

“Wear a hat?”, I suggested, and she considered and said, “Yes, perhaps a hat.”

On Friday, C. and I had dinner at El Majahual.

This past Saturday was Open Studios in the Mission. C. and I visited some artists near my place in the mid-afternoon, and then walked in the direction of Developing Environments. In the course of our stroll, vigorous antipathetic feelings developed and we agreed to part and stalked off in opposite directions. I felt very good about this for about one block, but then decided it wasn’t really going to be that much fun to spend the beautiful afternoon by myself, and turned around to look for C., but there was no sign of him. I walked up and down one block of Mission St., and just as I was about to give up, I spotted his halo of white hair as he trundled along in the direction I’d headed when we separated—he’d come to the same conclusion, and we soldiered on.

Good moods restored, we saw some art, and sat chatting outside a café for a while, and walked over to the Sun Rise restaurant to use the gift certificate I’d won at the benefit. C. had tilapia, which was the entire fish, not omitting eyeballs and skin.

When I got home, there was still time to watch HappyThankYouMorePlease, in which a woman declines to date a man who she says is very immature and going to cause her a lot of problems. In reply he asks, “Don’t you need a project?”

On Sunday I did my cooking. The Giants won the World Series that night, causing a tremendous ruckus outside.

Awhile back, I spoke on the phone with the recruiter who helped me get my first technical job many years ago, and on Tuesday we talked again. I have been meaning to pursue a business analyst position, but had begun to fear it was just too much of a stretch. Plus, I’m having such fun learning new stuff in Excel and writing for-loops that I was thinking I might just enjoy a technical job more.

Chatting with Ann Marie turned out to be a very good idea. She looked at my LinkedIn profile and offered some suggestions, and pointed out that not everyone can speak both English and Computer fluently—that this is a desirable skill—and she also mentioned that a business analyst job would be less subject to offshoring than coding jobs. It was an encouraging conversation.

In the evening, it was off to Howie’s.

In my current temporary job, there are four SMEs—subject matter experts—for network traffic hubs that are being decommissioned and will be replaced with new, virtual ones. The project underway is to find the owner of everything—routers, switches, servers—that’s sending data to these and get them to switch to the new hubs.

This week, someone said she was pretty sure she had pointed her stuff to the new hubs—could we confirm by checking in HP Network Automation? I sent a request to the four SMEs, waited a couple of days, and finally decided just to do it myself; I recalled someone had showed me this in my first couple of weeks on the job. I was able to validate the new configuration without further delay, and the woman was delighted.

I’m also starting to run meetings with the owners of the equipment and can now explain a lot of stuff the SMEs used to have to provide information on, which is quite satisfying.
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