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The electrical engineer thinks I need to design sensor boards so I can build up a dozen prototypes: part selection, schematic, layout, PCB fabrication and assembly. I should do it soon so I have prototypes to try out and demonstrate to potential customers.
The software engineer thinks I should keep repairing my initial prototype so I can debug the heuristics. I should verify the efficacy of the product before sinking too much time into the idea.
The patent agent wants to know why I haven’t finished the disclosure form, let alone the patent application. I need to do that before I share the idea with potential customers/partners.
The business person thinks I need to refine the idea with a clinical-style study, using powerpoint decks to talk to potential users, see if the idea needs modification before continuing development (and seeing if they’ll sign up to purchase). If I can’t demonstrate a real market, it isn’t worth doing the rest.
The marketing person thinks I should make a looks-like model (doesn’t matter if it works) and that it should be beautiful, no rough edges, incredibly well-designed. My hot glue and electrical tape prototype is no good; if I can’t make it alluring, no one will consider buying it and any potential market will evaporate.
The subject matter expert is moving to North Carolina and doesn’t have time to have lunch or discuss the idea. I suppose I’m glad that she doesn’t have another thing for me to do. And yet all the work I’ve done for the last few days is in preparation for when I do see her.
Dragging myself to the shower and standing there, bemoaning my aching head and extreme tiredness, I thought “I haven’t felt this bad since the end of getting over mono.” The thought made me feel a little better, I got from that stage to feeling pretty good in not too long. Clearly this stupid summer cold is not going to last much longer: I’m sure I’ll feel better before my head gives up containment and explodes.
Jarringly, it hit me that the thought wasn’t true. Between the time I had mono as a senior in high school and now, I have felt far (far^25) worse. ”I haven’t felt this bad since three weeks after I got out of the hospital last time” doesn’t have the same ring of hope. Catastrophes ripple through the fabric of life, taking away the small quiet comforts as well as the large obvious ones.
I like the shape and feel of the mono metaphor but I don’t know how to reconstruct it into something that is true without glossing over the other things I have survived.
“I feel like I’m in week three of a four week course of mono” sounds like maybe I’ve had too much of the kissing disease (it was only the once!).
“I feel like a truck ran over my head” is a somewhat exaggerated. Plus, I’d feel the need to describe the size, weight, contents, and color of the truck for better verisimilitude. And, let’s face it, that seems like a lot of work given my brain is attempting a jailbreak of my skull, using a dull spoon to dig its way out.
“I have a headache and I’m going back to bed even though I spent all of yesterday sleeping, reading stupid sci-fi, and watching Olympic soccer” represents what I’m really trying to say. Well, I’m going to work for an hour or two first since yesterday was a total loss. Probably.
But I miss my comforting metaphor. The plan for the day brings me no joy, no comfort that tomorrow will be better (though today is better than yesterday).
I’m going to quit whining now. Really. Probably.
I haven’t worn pants since mid-May. I work from home so most days I’m in in a skirt and sweater or shorts and a t-shirt.
What? You thought I was going to admit to telecons in my jammies (or less)? Umm… no… This isn’t that sort of blog. Actually, I’m not sure the rest of this post is going to fit in with this sort of blog. But I’m not sure, so let’s try it out.
Anyway, I haven’t worn pants in awhile. But tomorrow I have to go to a client’s office. While at least two of the skirts I wear regularly are reasonably appropriate for corporate life, I won’t be wearing either of them. I never wear a skirt to work.
I don’t like to remind my coworkers that I am female. I mean, I can’t hide it. I sometimes read in books about young women dressing as boys to go on adventures. That wouldn’t have worked for me any time after I turned twelve, it won’t work for me now.
There is being an engineer who is also incidentally woman and then there is being a feminine engineer. The latter will get me a lot more hassling. I’m not willing to deal with it.
Maybe I’m not being fair to the client… They are a San Francisco based, somewhat trendy software firm (OMG, open floor plans, who can live like that?). The engineers will be in jeans, the managers in khakis, the VP in slacks, and the interns will wear shorts (unless it is too cold). If I go in with a knee length linen skirt with lace on hem and a presentable shirt, well, if they are like anyone else, people will open doors for me and smile at me more. But if I wear slacks and the same presentable shirt, they will listen to what I say even if they opt not to take my advice. Guess which is find more gratifying?
So tomorrow, I’ll dig out pants and put them on, one leg at a time, only slightly bemoaning my failed pantless streak.
In the meantime, here, have a picture from this weekend, taken at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve just north of Half Moon Bay. It has tide pools, baby seals, and a natural cathedral of Cypress, all purely amazing. This picture kind of represents what I’m trying to convey. I want to show this whole picture but the work part of me is a trees only image, no flowers allowed.
I miss home. I miss being home. I miss the warm weather and the comfy bed and the soft ears of my beagle. I miss a couch where I can drop food and only feel like I need to clean it up. I miss knowing what is valuable and what isn’t so I know how to feel when I break it.
I miss walking up to my house and looking at the flowers in the garden and smiling. I miss thinking the lemon tree needs to be watered (the lemon tree never actually gets watered, only mentally). I miss the lounge chairs in the backyard under the umbrellas. I miss kicking the dogs off the lounges, sitting down and having them join me again. I miss watching the bees buzz while I slack, watching clouds form shapes as they travel across the sky.
I miss walking around the block, waving to the neighbors. I miss walking the dogs, knowing where they are going to stop and sniff. I miss Bear trying to sit my lap, even if I’m standing up. I miss Zoe looking at me like I’m an idiot and the gleam in her eye when there is a treat at stake. I miss Dylan’s kitty kneading on my leg when my hip aches and his ridiculous yips of excitement when he gets fed. I miss Anakin’s fascination with Star Trek and her soft, furry tail.
I miss watching television with no commercials and watching shows I actually like. I miss reading books on the couch and walking through the house with my nose in a book until C makes fun of me for not looking up.
I miss knowing what to do with myself if I wake up cranky or sad. I miss being able to go to the kitchen and getting a glass of water or a cup of tea after I have a nightmare. I miss being able to wake up, let the dogs out and in, get a cup of coffee and start my work day. I miss solving problems and planning projects. I miss making mistakes that I know how to fix when the compiler tells me I’m wrong.
I miss my giant bath towel, the pink one with polka dots, the one that makes me happy just to look at. I miss having a hair dryer to use when I’m cold.
I miss knowing when we are going to the grocery store and what we are going to get there. I miss not having to plan my next meal because there will be food in the pantry. I miss having enough protein.
I miss having lunches with friends. I miss trying to figure out where I fit in their worlds and whether they’d like to hang out, maybe play some board games. I miss being able to say that I don’t want to go out today.
I ended up driving the whole day today. C drove almost all of yesterday’s much longer leg. But I am a little tired now. Let me catalog how I felt when when we stopped (most of this was typed waiting for checking into the hotel and then waiting for dinner).
- My eyes feel like they went to the beach and rolled around in the sand without me. Then they were put back in with an air gun to dry them out.
- My eyelids are so heavy that every blink is an ever-increasingly-difficult effort of will. It made driving the last ten miles very difficult.
- My lips tingle with sunburn and I think I’m glad I can’t feel the tip of my nose.
- My fingers are tired both of gripping the steering wheel and tired of dangling limply from it.
- My ankle is tired as though my foot was really made of lead. The cruise control only helps so much and it was not enough.
- There is a muscle in my lower right back that has been threatening to cramp for the last hour. I think I can stretch it if I turn… aaaaaaah!!! not that way, no, don’t turn that way. That way leads to cramping.
- My insides are so jostled my pancreas thinks it is my kidney and does not know how to do its new job.
- My throat is so dry, I expect a tumbleweed to tumble out of my mouth. And yet my bladder is so full the it is going to be a disaster soon. How is this dichotomy possible?
- My sinuses are so full of dirt and pollen from unknown plants, they don’t know whether to be stuffy or leathery dry, mirroring my windburned cheeks. So each one has done something different.
- My hip hurts (though, really, not as much as I expected so this one is kind of a win).
- My butt, though, oh, that doesn’t bear thinking about. Maybe if I don’t think about it the pain will go away. I may never sit down again. Certainly, I’ll need a tailbone transplant before we go on.
- Even my hair feels tired.
A beer and some dinner and I already feel better. A quick shower before bed and I’ll be fine tomorrow. I hope. I suspect we’ll be sharing the driving duties from now on.