I am, fortunately, doing much better than I was a month ago. The leg/back problems have improved a lot: shortly after writing that post, I went on a nine-day course of steroids, and those had an immediate huge effect. I do indeed have a pinched nerve, and have an MRI to prove it; it was pretty interesting having a back specialist walk me through that. (Though I’m not sure it was worth the cost; I’m not impressed either with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s cost structure or with my insurance company’s transparency on pricing.) So right now I’m doing well enough that I wouldn’t consider going to a doctor or physical therapist if this were the beginning of the symptoms: my right toes are a bit weak, and they sometimes tingle, but they’re not painful and they don’t interfere with other activities. Of course, now that I’m sensitized to the issue, I want those symptoms to go away—both for their own sake and because I want a buffer before pain starts recurring—but overall, great success.

And I’m less sleepy than I was at the start of the summer. I’m still taking a little more allergy medicine than I’d like, and I wish I could do something about that, but at least it’s manageable. So presumably I was correct that the excessive sleepiness at the start of the summer was caused in large part by construction dust. After barely blogging in June and July, I’m back to normalish levels of writing here; that isn’t a coincidence.

Which isn’t to say that I feel completely right, but it’s not for physical reasons: I just don’t know what I want to focus on. Normally I have some decent-sized intellectual area that I’m trying to come to grips with; right now doesn’t feel that way. I still have ongoing projects, but none of them are grabbing me as much as they were: I’m only practicing guitar an hour or an hour and a half a day on weekends instead of two or three hours, and while I’m continuing with Japanese, the idea of picking up those books doesn’t excite me. Which, admittedly, has something do with the specifics of what I’m currently reading: Mishima’s “Patriotism” is a story about a soldier who wasn’t invited to join a mutiny, who decides that the correct thing to do in response is to kill himself, whose wife is so virtuous as to join him, and where both members of the couple are presented as incredibly sexy and desirable; oy. I like Buddha a lot more than Patriotism, but it’s not as compulsively readable / easy to read as Hikaru no Go. But I don’t think the specifics of the books are all that’s going on there: I’ve been studying Japanese for something like seven or eight years now, I’ve made significant progress but there’s still a long road ahead, it’s pretty natural for me to be getting tired. And I’m still chipping away on the programming project I started a few months back, but I’m not super energetic about that, either.


So: I’m really not sure how I want to spend my time. I’m still continuing on all three projects mentioned in the previous paragraph, but more out of force of habit / willpower than because I really think they’re what I want to focus on. And I’m still playing games, but that has a pretty different texture to it than a couple of years ago, too: it’s been a while since I’ve played a forty-hour narrative game, so games end up not having clearly-defined starts and finishes, instead creeping into odd hours in my evenings and weekends.

As do other things I’m spending time on: I’m hitting refresh on Feedly way too often, for example. And it didn’t help that, in late July / early August, we often watched Miss Fisher for an hour after dinner: that only left me with an hour or so until I’d start thinking about going to bed, and I have a hard time convincing myself to work on something meaningful when given less than two hours. What probably would make me happier is if I could group those smaller activities: if I have energy after dinner some evening, then I should dive into something bigger (programming, a blog post, whatever), while if I don’t have energy (which is just going to happen a couple of times a week, if for no other reason than that I might have gone to bed a bit late the previous night), then that’s when I should go through my blog reading backlog and play some Hearthstone.

And then there’s work: it’s generally happy these days, certainly my work-related mood swings have leveled out noticeably. But work is happy in a way that isn’t leading to outside-of-work excitement (or even necessarily active excitement at work itself): in particular, it’s not currently pointing me in the direction of my next interest.


I dunno. Things are fine, and in many ways actively good. And I really like how taking the train to work means that I’m reading noticeably more! I’m just a little more adrift than normal.

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