On Productivity and Completion

I woke this morning just as dawn was breaking. For once it was neither the alarm clock from hell nor my dogs that woke me, but nature's music. I stayed in bed, awake, just listening to the birds singing in the dawn and the summer breeze susurrating through the trees, as the sky got pinker and pinker.

Eventually, my mind started to wander, and I began to think about when I'm most productive.

I am not usually a morning person. This is why I'm tickled to death that no one really cares when I come into work in the morning, although I try to keep regular hours (though, regular for me is 10 to 6) so that people know when I'm available. I try to do as I was taught and get rid of quick tasks first – posting rates, making status calls – but no matter how much I do all day, I find that I do the most and best work in the hours between three and six. I'm just weird that way.

More generally, though, I am most productive when my world is complete. I had all these lofty plans of rearranging furniture in my house, etc, this weekend, and then I ended up moving into nesting mode instead. Well, part of that was allergies, and a bacterial infection it took me forever to shake, but part of it was just that Fuzzy was away. And it's odd, because I'm perfectly capable of making decisions and dragging shelves across the room, and yet, when he's not around, even when we're not interacting, everything I do feels 'off'.

It's not really codependence, but inter-dependence, I think. And maybe it's normal after seven years of marriage.

One of the journalists I read said that when she's away from her husband on business she feels like a kite without someone holding the string, and that when she comes home it's like the string is being reeled back in. And while I don't feel that extreme, ever, I really understand the feelings she's describing.

It's nearly 11:30. I've posted rates, talked to three clients, and printed two appraisals. I've also nursed half of my morning macchiato, and chatted with CL and E a bit. I feel a little unfocussed, but that's because my mental rambling in the pink light of dawn caused me to drift back to sleep, and my head is still buzzing a bit from the antihistamine.

I Swear I Am Not Making This Up

Yesterday, my coworker E. finished a phone call, laughing so hard he could barely breathe. Of course, the rest of us wanted to know what was so funny. Here's the story.

Apparently his cousin P., a life-long resident of Santa Cruz, was required to take a drug test for his job (he's a truck driver). He's a habitual pot user, and had already failed a test, so this was his last chance before being fired. Now, P. being the sort of person he is, rather than just not do drugs for as long as it would take for his system to be clean, decided to find another option.

He was referred to a guy in Gilroy who sells his urine for just such situations, but he didn't want to drive all the way to Gilroy, and anyway, upon contact found out that he was no longer in the business. But he could refer P. to someone who could help him.

So P. talks to urine-dealer number two, who says, “Man, it's a good thing you came to me, anyway. The other guy charges $100 for 1/2 and ounce. I only charge $90.”

P., recognizing what a bargain this is, does the deal, meeting the guy with cash the next day:
-“You got the stuff?”
-“Yeah, yeah, got my cash?”
-“Right here. So…is it pure.”
-“Purest ever. I'm not from Santa Cruz after all.”
-“Great, great.”
-“One thing…”
-“Yeah man?”
-“You gotta keep it warm.”

So P. asks more questions, and is told that a certain head-shop that /might/ be on Meridian /might/ have some paraphernalia that would work. He goes there, buys this bladder-and-tube contraption, and is told to keep it in the small of his back for four hours to bring the contents to the right temperature so the Thermometer Guy at the testing facility won't be suspicious.

The day of the test, P. finds that he has only boxers, which aren't tight enough to hold the bladder in place. He thinks about sticking it under his arm, but decides against it. So he digs around and finds an obnoxiously colored speedo from when he was a swimmer eons before But they don't come up high enough. So he sort of wedges the filled plastic bladder into the speedo between his…cheeks.

Then he drives over the hill, but he's afraid if he sits down properly he'll cause the bladder to burst, so he's driving over 17 trying not to let his ass touch the car-seat, and nearly getting killed more than once.

Finally he makes it to the testing facility (in one piece), and when he arrives, he checks in. “Oh,” the nurse tells him. “There are five guys ahead of you. Have a seat.”

So P. has to pace the whole time, because, remember, he's afraid of sitting down. Finally it's his turn, he goes in, uses the tube to empty the bladder, sticks the empty contraption in a baggie, and sticks it in his pocket. Then he leaves.

On the way out, the guy coming in after him sees a piece of tubing sticking out, and tells P. “Hey, I have one of those, too. Bet we shop at the same place.”

P. cannot stop laughing, all the way home. Then, this morning, he called E. back and said, “The thing is, there are no results back. I asked my boss and he said they'd hear on Monday, but he could push things if I wanted. And I can't ask because then they'd suspect something.”

E. and I think this whole thing would make a great short film.
And P. is his real initial.