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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Asleep at the Wheelllllllllllllllllllll

(A quick and friendly reminder that if you’re reading this before 10:30pm tonight and live in the Boston area — or, come to think of it, you’re reading this before, say, 3pm and have lots of airline miles just sitting there idling — you’re in time to come see The Ruckus Proves It! [Again!] over at ImprovBoston in Cambridge.

And remember, if you’re reading this after 10:30pm on Saturday — or those pesky airlines black you out from an immediate flight, who do they think they are? — you can always catch our Ruckusing next week — same time, same place, same misleadingly-named theater.

And don’t worry. I’ll remind you. Obviously.)

It’s not my intention to make this into an ‘all-office, all-the-time’ blog, To be fair, that’s mostly what I’ve talked about for the last two weeks — but it’s been sort of a big transition. When I started this site eight-and-a-half years ago — no, I’m not kidding; see for yourself if you like — I was in a tough employmentary situation. The company I worked for had ‘hinted’ at a large set of layoffs. Then they strongly hinted, then nudged us, poked us with sticks, and sent out memos essentially telling twenty percent or so of us to ‘get our affairs in order’.

(Frankly, I wasn’t sure whether they were going to let us go or just kill us and dump us in the basement. When a car backfired during my exit interview, I used the HR lady as a human shield.)

Anyway, in mid-June 2003, I started up this site. Eight days later, I was out of a job.

(I’ve always maintained the two have nothing to do with each other.

Now that I reread those first dozen or so posts? Not so sure. I might’ve fired me, too.)

It took four months or so — and one wildly uncomfortable interview — to land a new job. Which I kept, right up until the calendar turned two weeks ago. The point being, it’s been a while since I dealt with such matters. And I’ve been a little surprised at the changes.

Take sleeping, for instance.

At the old job, I had a pretty flexible schedule. Being a nighttime sort of guy, I decided to go in late and stay late most days. I’d get the same eight hours of crying under my desk in; just in a slightly different window than some of the other folks there.

“At new job, there are things that encourage one to hit the decks early. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Free little bags of Doritos in the lunch room.”

New job is different. At new job, there are things that encourage one to hit the decks early. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Free little bags of Doritos in the lunch room. So one goes in early, and one often stays late. And one is happy to do so.

With this injection of early-and-often stimulation, though, comes a price. In the old days — waaaaay back in 2011 — I’d stay up into the wee hours of the morning on a regular basis. Most of the posts here were probably finished after midnight, on some dubious whim or another.

I’ve tried keeping a similar schedule lately, and it hasn’t worked out so well. Here’s how it typically goes;

11pm: Start a post. Wax (relatively) poetic for six or eight paragraphs, floating zingers and asides and bazingas as best I can. Figure I can wrap things up by midnight and get a solid night’s sleep.

11:30pm: Nod off at the keyboard. Realize that I’ve only made it through the setup and there’s two-thirds of what I’d planned left to go. Shake myself awake and resolve to burn through it.

11:38pm: Nod off again after writing three sentences. Realize I’m in trouble. Slap myself, hard, on the cheek. Super-secret resolve to make it to the end.

11:51pm: Discover, again, that I have the willpower of a kitchen sponge, as I jerk awake. Get up and get a glass of water to get the blood flowing. Smart thinking, kid.

12:05am: Wake up slumped on the keyboard. Find that I’ve written exactly “jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj” in the last fourteen minutes. Sip the water. Soldier on like a boss.

12:17am: Knock over the water. Snore like a banshee.

12:33am:“iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”

12:43am:Finish the post with the perfect, hilarious ending and slip off to bed for a well-deserved and restful sleep.

12:44am: Discover that last bit was itself just a dream, and now I can’t remember what I’d planned to write in the first place.

12:51am: Drift back to sleep, hoping it comes back to me.

1:03am: Dream of falling off a cliff. Repeatedly. Wake up in a puddle. Hope it’s the water.

1:14am: Shake awake, sit up straight and change strategy. Hastily slap together words, some of which might possibly be in English, to bring the aborted train wreck to a screeching halt and get the hell to bed.

1:23am: Fall forward onto keyboard. Remember why sitting up straight is a bad idea.

1:48am: Finish post. Submit. Drag groggy butt to bed.

1:52am: Lie awake, worrying whether I spelled ‘asstastical’ the way I’d wanted.

2:02am: Get up to check so I can get some damned sleep.

2:05am: Find typo. Fall asleep on keyboard before I can change it. Spend rest of night dozing on top of desk.

So the next time you see a post from me, you’ll know exactly how it got onto the page. If it’s coherent in any way, you’ll know that I’ve figured out the dilemma. And if it’s filled with ‘llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll‘, then you’ll know I spent another night drooling on my space bar. Because sometimes the hardest part of a new job is what happens outside the office.

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Favorite Posts:
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El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
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  09/06/04: Connection

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