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Charlie Hatton
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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!

You Call This Progress?!


I don’t know about you people, or what kind of work you fill your days with, but if you’re anything like… well, everybody, frankly, then you’ve had your ass squeezed through a day like the one I just finished. So you’ll sympathize when I bitch about it for the next half-hour.

(Or maybe you won’t. Some of you are just petty that way sometimes. I told you I don’t know about you…)

Anyway, most of the crap that was flung in my direction today was pretty standard — a parking ticket, broken headphones, too little sleep, an early meeting. I can handle that stuff — I’m pretty accustomed to these sorts of attacks on my sanity. You get used to it after a few dozen years, you know.

But today, I made the regrettable mistake of compounding my own problem. I’m sure there’s some analogy I could make here, like ‘shooting myself in the foot’, or ‘pissing on myself to put out a fire’, or something about shoving something up something, or… um, something. But those uncomfortable, disturbing images aren’t the point. When I finally sign up for therapy, maybe — but now, no. Not the point.

The point is that after all the nuisances outside my control today, I decided to get something accomplished. That was my first mistake. I should have just taken stock of how lousy the day was going, cut my losses, and crawled my tuckus back under the covers. Sometimes the easy way out is the right way out, you know?

But that’s not how it went down today. No. Today, I had ambition. I had drive. For a while, I think I may have even had a bit of verve. (But, of course, the penicillin cleared that right up. Yes, thank you — I’ll be here all week.)

Anyway, my big mistake was to dive in on ‘that thing‘. You’ve all been there, I suspect; you’ve had ‘that thing‘ hanging over your head, at some point or another. It’s different, depending on your job and situation, but there’s often some… thing that you just know is gonna take forever, and be far more complicated and take more time than it has any right to, and will suck you into its gaping maw of suckyhood for hours, if not days, and in the end, will leave you a blubbering, slack-jawed lump of smoking flesh. Maybe for you, it’s a project plan you’ve got to put together one of these days. Or it’s a good, old-fashioned gutter cleaning. Hell, this time of year, it might just be tackling your tax forms.

Whatever it is, it’s not pretty. When you can put it off, you do. When you can manage not to think about it, you don’t. But those times are few and far between — this monkey is perched squarely on your back, peering over your shoulder and breathing sour nothings into your ear until you break down and do the damned dirty deed.

(No, not that dirty deed. That might help keep your mind off of things for a while, but that’s not the ‘deed’ I’m talking about. At least, I hope you don’t think about ‘the deed’ that way, with disgust and derision and trepidation. Hell, even hookers feel better about sex than that.

Um… from what I hear. From… uh, friends. Of friends. Of acquaintances, who have relatives who know people who have met hookers. Once. Yeah. Something like that. Moving on, then.)

Anyway, the point is that three o’clock this annoying afternoon was no time for me to decide to tackle my current demon, which happens to involve integrating a truckload of subtle changes in one version of this computer system I’m working on with an assbasket of different modifications in another version of the system. That’s about as much as I can tell you about it without boring you to the brink of suicide; suffice to say that coming up with one, fully-working version of this bastard is going to take one hell of a lot of tedious, delicate, repetitive, eye-straining, brain-draining, soul-squeezing work. And that’s what I spent the last six and a half hours of my workday, until nearly ten pm, trying to start.

Why? I don’t know, frankly. Certainly, I’m not normally so ambitious about these things. I’m happy to sit in my corner and keep my mouth shut, and hope I can put off horrendous shit like this indefinitely, or at least until I can get myself some help, or fired, or dead, or something. Anything would be better than diving into a project like this one, all alone like this.

But that’s what I did, and I really can’t say why. I’m starting to suspect that it’s because I’m simply not very bright, when you get right down to it. Certainly, I’ve never been the smartest person I know. And clearly — since I’m the one taking on this nightmare, instead of someone else — I’m not the brightest person in my office. Frankly, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m not the smartest person who’s ever worn these pants.

(Yes, that one’s for you folks who noticed that my standup clip from last week is up, even though I forgot to mention it. Or maybe it’s for everyone else, since I used that line in my set. Either way, I’m pimping the clip now, so go watch it.

Seriously. This post isn’t going anywhere in particular; you might as well try it out. I’d hate to think you were coming away from here with nothing tonight.)

I suppose what really matters, or will in a few days, is that I got off my ass and had the stones to try and get this task done. It’s a long road, but at least now I have a shot at getting it finished. And it’s true — it needs to get done, somehow. So I suppose I should be happy that I made progress tonight. The journey of a thousand steps and all that, right?

Yeah, right. Fuck that noise, man. I worked on this shit for six hours, and I’ve only licked the tip of the nipple on top of this mountain. Um, metaphorically speaking, of course. The point is, I’ve got many, many more hours to go before I can call this thing ‘done’, and move on to the next Herculean pile of poopyness. Eh, now I’m all grumpy again, just thinking about it. Man, I knew I should have just crawled back into bed this afternoon. Screw it — I’m goin’ to bed. See you playahs on the flip side.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “You Call This Progress?!”

  1. Andy says:

    Man, I hate those ‘things.’ Of course, at least yours was work related, whereas I have a tendency to invent these stupid ‘things’ on a whim.

    I guess that would mean that I am definitely not the smartest person to have worn these lederhosen, or whatever you kids are calling them nowadays.

    (Sleep deprived much?)

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