Sunday, June 9, 2013


I am trying to fight off some illness that is creeping up on me. Surely it is mostly stress related (and maybe a tiny bit related to having several mixed days of mostly overcast and clammy weather after 4 days of solid sunshine). The new offices are terrible. They were not ready in time. More worrisome is that the background support seems much worse. The internet didn't work properly for 2 days and they are still on the backup system. One day I had no problem doing the remote log-in, but now it isn't working again, possibly because they are trying to get the main internet system running. That doesn't help with my short term issues, however. And for my personal work style, the fact that they have gone with small and inefficient printers/copiers is a huge blow. I was trying to do something on Sat. that would have taken 90 minutes tops (at our previous offices on the old machines), and I gave up after 3 hours. There are only so many times I am going to try to remove the jammed paper from the fuser area. I guess the only good news is that this will affect the admin assistants even more than me, so we might get some movement on it when they pressure the executive team. Anyway, I am totally demoralized and alienated. If Plan B doesn't work (going to raise it Tuesday), then I will definitely be moving on. Possibly that means moving to Toronto a year early, which wouldn't be all bad.

On the cultural side of things, after tackling a bunch of longer books, I have two quite short books to help me recharge. (Basically, I used the trip to SF last weekend to get most of the way through Dostoevsky's The Idiot, which I rate as probably his least interesting novel.) I am really looking forward to the fact that they are short (just over 200 pages each). Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping sort of reads like a true-life story (from the OWN network) where the narrator records her abnormal childhood, though presumably this is all fictional. Her sister is struggling in growing up in an irregular household and wants home-life to be more conventional. (This kind of thing is tolerable in small doses, but not if it were stretched out to over 400 pages.  It looks like I will be done with this book tomorrow.)

Next I am reading Achebe's Things Fall Apart, which I've actually never read before, though I've owned a copy in one form or another for ages. I find it odd that the 50th Anniversary Edition doesn't have anything new, not even a new introduction, compared to the original novel. Then I will be back to a number of really long works over the summer -- Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Certainly an ambitious reading schedule to say the least, which is why it is so important to recharge now.

Actually, given that the computer is still acting up, I might go off and take another nap...

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