15 January 2015


I'm back from a week's vacation, visiting a friend from Desert Shield/Desert Storm days. Vacation time gives a person time to rest, to get away from the day-to-day stuff (which I think I have more than my share of), and hopefully some of the fog clears and things make more sense. Right? I don't know. If the fog cleared today I don't know if I'd recognize it, or even know what to do if I did. There is no plan, nothing to follow. I'm making this shit up as I go along. Still, it was nice to get away for a while.

Of course, on the way home I missed the boarding call for my flight to Chicago. Somehow. I was there hours early, I was sitting at the gate, and I was even paying attention. I thought I was, anyway. The flight was delayed by almost two hours, and I heard the periodic announcements about that. The plane left earlier than the delay time, so maybe that's how I missed it? I don't know. My phone buzzed with a text that the plane had left the gate, and there I was wondering WTF had just happened.

I got lucky, in that the flight leaving from the next gate was headed to Chicago in about an hour. I talked to the gate agent once I figured out what had happened, and she was able to get me onto the later flight. (The flight I was supposed to be on, according to the gate agent, would have paged me by name since I was already checked in but not boarded. Never heard that announcement either). Being on the later flight meant that I got into Chicago later, and that meant that I missed the last bus back to Madison, which in turn meant that I spent the night at the Bus/Transit Center (or whatever they call it) at O'Hare waiting for the first morning bus at 0630. Again. I'd planned ahead to not have that happen, but it did anyway. I did manage to buy a round trip bus ticket the week before, so I at least had a definite and paid for ride home, but I still spent the night in Chicago.

Okay, so spending another night at O'Hare wasn't the worst thing that could have happened, but it wasn't much fun, either. I'm far more concerned that I missed the boarding call. I've been flying around to different places since I was eight years old. I'm anal-retentive-with-a-hyphen about plane schedules. I might miss flights, but I never miss shit like boarding calls at the gate.


It hasn't helped, in general, that the anti-diabetes medication I'm on makes me nauseous. I spent part of my vacation standing outside throwing up off the back porch, until I finally gave in and stopped taking the pills.They might help lower my high blood sugar, but if I can't keep any food down that's not especially healthy either. I know the answer to diabetes, it's proper diet and exercise. I haven't had an excess of either since returning to school, so that's a problem that remains unsolved.

I missed my last set of doctor's appointments, where Doc is supposed to review my meds and do blood work and all of that. I need to reschedule them, but I feel almost as equally as sick when it comes to calling to set up appointments as when I take the pills. I'm afraid they're going to say "Suck it, the pills are your only option, take them or die". My Doc is also at the satellite clinic, which isn't all that easy to reach by bus (and more so when it's zero or below outside). I need to try to get moved back to the main hospital, again, where it's easy to get bus transport there and back.


I was supposed to be going to a hackathon in Michigan this weekend, and I assumed wrongly that the hackathon would send a bus to Wisconsin to pick me (and everyone else who is going) up. We're not back in classes yet, so I might have been the only one (or one of a very few) and so they didn't send a bus this way. I'm disappointed, because I wanted to go. I always learn a ton of new stuff at hackathons, and I really enjoy going. Not this time, though. I suppose that a weekend of no sleep, coding, and chugging Red Bull might not have been the healthiest thing, but it would have been fun.

I am also one of a group of people organizing a hackathon for later this spring, in April. I'm far more a hacker than an organizer-- it's much easier to work with a chunk of code than to organize people and logistics. Code either works, and you are happy, or it doesn't work, and you are not happy and so you must debug (which is not an altogether bad kind of not happy). Right now I'm just tired, because I was up all last night hacking. Code never blames. It's you and the computer. You typed in the code that doesn't work, but the computer doesn't do anything terrible if your code fails. The computer doesn't care that you didn't do whatever you didn't do, or that you made a logic error. You (I) can wrestle with the code until it works the way I want it to work.

This always comes back to what my Vet Center person thought about my life, that I can (and possibly should) consider myself "retired". Do hackathons for fun, hack personal projects, do school for the sake of learning, and maybe scale things back to where I can manage on my current means. It's not that easy though. I don't know quite what it feels like to just have things "set". Since forever, I've been striving, trying to get to a better place.I don't know what it's like not to be striving, thinking internship and future job, etc. It's hard to relax after you've been homeless and seen and felt what it's like to have the entire world pulled out from under you. It's hard to trust and believe that you have enough of anything, much less that you have enough of everything you need.

That there wasn't a bus coming for me to get to the hackathon in Michigan illustrates my point that hackathons aren't forever. I can sort of make something of starting projects at hackathons, and then spending the time between hackathons finishing those projects and mashing them up into code that actually does something useful. Priorities change, hackathons change, the money that was there to send a bus last semester might not be there this semester. I get accepted to hackathons, but if there's no bus or transportation cost reimbursement, I can't actually attend. I worry that the funding that's enabled me to get to so many cool hackathons will someday (soon) dry up and with it, the part of my life that is attending hackathons.

Yeah, I worry a lot, probably too much.

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