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The weirdest first day of vacation

22 Oct
Memoji: hmmm, weird

“Yes, I’ll be working a bit on the project while I’m off because I really dig it!”

Me, massively underestimating “a bit”
In this write-up, I’m attempting the epistolary narrative style that I remember enjoying from Stephen Chbosky’s excellent novel “The perks of being a wallflower”

Dear diary, I slept in this morning \o/, got up and drank two or three cups of espresso while I lazily browsed social media and played a few games on my smartphone. I did yoga a bit before noon, showered, and got ready for the rest of my first day of vacation.

I ate a light lunch standing up in the kitchen as I was transplanting the ferns I collected last Sunday near the lake.

As I pondered which subject I was going to draw later in the day as part of Inktober, I also pondered the oddity of my Apple Watch not recongnising as “stood” the good chunk of the previous hour that I had spent, well… standing. I certainly had been “moving a little” on the account of transplanting ferns not being the kind of activity you can engage in by being immobile.

A quick time-check led me to my desk. I had just enough time to publish a press release.

Memoji: type, type, type

I drank more espresso, took the dog out for a walk and by then I had a pretty good idea what I was going to draw. I returned to my desk again for a one-hour meeting that lasted three hours /o\ That’s the first massive underestimation of how much time to block for that project (the W3C website redesign).

My brother showed up during my call (much earlier than I anticipated) and as he didn’t have his keys he tried to FaceTime me. I rejected the call, texted him that I was in a meeting, but he responded by texting me that he was outside. So I ran downstairs to let him in, ran back up and continued with my colleagues.

The doorbell rang not too long after. I apologised to my colleagues and ran downstairs and outside to pick up a delivery that I expected tomorrow. I dropped the unopened package on the dining table and as I headed back upstairs to my computer, I smiled at my brother. By then he was taking all the space on the sofa, which was fine because the cat doesn’t like the sofa that much.

My valiant colleagues and I had been at it for what seemed like days, and I was sheepishly aware that each of them had other fish to fry, and yet nobody else was better positioned than them/us to do what we needed to do. Time was passing and it was food o’clock in all of our time zones.

Memoji; Ooops!

We were done. Rather suddenly —It was the strangest thing! It seemed only moments before that we had gone through two thirds of the exercise and I was agonising (out of shame because I was getting way more of their time than was bargained for, and because my brother was waiting on me downstairs.) The completion of our task took us all by surprise! As I quickly thankologised profusely to them, one of my colleagues quipped that he was almost late for second breakfast, another enquired how many breakfasts there were and whether several lunches followed and how many, and the third colleague really looked like he wanted to put on more work! So my finger lunged for the Zoom button that ended the meeting for all.

It was 8 o’clock. I was thinking that working the equivalent of a half-day during my vacation wasn’t too bad from the point of view of my employer, and I wondered if I had missed the time before which I could still go back on how many days I was really taking.

Memoji: Heh!

My brother wanted me to try a particular wine that he likes very much. Opening my package made me happy: my favourite fragrance arrived in two versions: regular and “body mist.” My brother’s wine was very good, he’s right. We sipped it and ate guacamole and chips while the oven heated. I made a nice dinner that didn’t take long to prepare, and we both enjoyed it.

Soon enough we were on the sofa, me drinking espresso and him drinking tea; each talking to each other with interest, him about why some stuff changed at his workplace and me suggesting further areas of optimisation (he will at least explore one idea.) I stood up a few times and “moved a little”, as commanded by my smart watch. He doesn’t mind, he doesn’t think I’m weird.

I grabbed my art book, pencil and ink pen a bit before 11 o’clock. Today’s Inktober prompt is “sleep” and I was going to draw a newborn sleeping next to his daddy’s chest. My brother commented that the photo I used as reference was too detailed, and he may be right, but I had a good feeling about it and told him I was trying a minute or two before giving up. My feeling was indeed very good, and my brother was surprised when I was finished, because I finished earlier than he anticipated, and the drawing was pretty good.

Eventually, my brother left. It was 2 am. We had spent a lovely evening together. It had been a nice break from work but I was keen on finishing where I left off, out of duty because of the timeline that was agreed on.

The time tracker on my computer started logging a new day at 5 am. I was done right after 6. Whew! This was the second massive underestimation of how much time to block for that project. But now the people we work with can do their part and hopefully we will all meet the deadline in two days.

Memoji: Wheee!

As I stood at my window, sipping espresso and watching the sky going from really dark to some sort of hesitant but unmistakable glow, I observed that had I not missed the time before which I could go back on how much holiday I was really taking, it’s a whole day of vacation I could have written off.

Rêve : règlement de compte chez les Steam Punks

9 Jan

La scène se passe à une époque contemporaine, à quelques détails prés, avec des gens pour la plupart étrangers dans la vraie vie.

Nous sommes donc un petit groupe de jeunes cool, dans un Far West des temps modernes. Et on se mettait à protéger une nana qu’on connaissait à peine, de son lourdot de mec qui l’enquiquinait.
On va donc, en calèche (Far West, oblige), se planquer dans une grange immmmmmmmense.
Le plan c’était que la nana blondinette et moi nous planquions parmi des piles de coussins emmêlés, en comptant que l’enquiquineur allait me trouver d’abord. Mais finalement on reste tous ensemble sur la calèche à l’attendre, décontractés et bon-enfant. Un gars de notre bande met de la musique (moderne). De la musique qui swinguait plutôt bien ! Sur une vieux système sono en bois poussiéreux et grand comme une orgue d’église. Ça envoyait du gros son. Je me disais que ça allait mettre à mal notre “planque”, ce gros son.

C’était très steam punk, ce rêve. Même les pistolets étaient en cuivre. Des voitures du début de l’ère automobile circulaient dans la grange, sur un sol de terre et de poussière. Manquait plus que des boules d’amarante sèche qui roulent nonchalamment en arrière-plan. Ont circulé aussi un camping-car comme celui de Barbie, ainsi qu’un trente-huit-tonnes de nos jours, bien rutilant, qui lancé à vive allure a écrasé un petit carrousel blanc. Un trente-huit-tonne et un manège –dans une grange– c’est pas typique !

Bref. Le vilain arrive ! Un grand maigre brun habillé en cowboy. C’est la nuit, à ce moment dans la grange (alors qu’au moment de la collision trente-huit tonnes / manège, il faisait soleil *dans* la grange.) Alors, on essaie de plaider avec lui, mais comme il était en état d’ivresse, c’était pas facile facile. “Allez, arrête de l’embêter ! Elle ne veut plus de toi” etc. Mais va négocier avec un mec bourré…

D’un coup, il sort une arme ! Mais la petite blonde en sort une aussi ! Hop; je m’en saisis. Il me tire dessus !

Pfff, des balles en caoutchouc, même pas mal.

Je lui tire dessus –merde ! des balles en caoutchouc aussi; ça rebondit sur lui. Mais à force de le canarder, une des balles en caoutchouc finit par lui perforer la peau.

On se met à couvert dans la calèche pour recharger. Il recharge aussi. On ne sait pas où il est planqué. Il a dû sortir de la grange.

Ah, il revient. On est prêt. Il titube toujours et a l’air clairement moins déterminé. Un peu comme s’il ne savait pas ce qu’il faisait là ni pourquoi il tenait un revolver. À ce moment ce n’est plus moi qui tiens l’arme de notre camp, c’est un ami (Olivier, dit “Le Jeune”). Ce que je tiens, moi, c’est une timbale en fer remplie d’eau bouillante, que je verse sur la tête de notre ennemi. Il devient rouge homard et s’écroule à terre, se tortillant et passant de homard à rouge cramoisi. Olivier en profite pour s’approcher et lui mettre une balle dans le cou à bout portant, alors que je commençais à dire “Bon, pouce, il a l’air d’avoir eu son compte, là.

C’est là je me suis réveillée en sueurs.

Alors, ça vient d’où, tout ça ?

Je me demande si la blonde n’était pas inspirée du personnage de Zezette dans le film “Le Père Noël Est Une Ordure”, et les cowboys d’un bout du film “Retour à Brokeback Mountain” qu’on a regardé sans voir l’autre jour. La grange immense, je ne vois pas, ni le camping-car Barbie. La sono type orgue est peut-être inspirée des églises à Rome dont j’ai traité les photos récemment. Le groupe de jeunes cool était constitué de gens de l’association ParisWeb, sans que ce soit eux (quoique celui qui met la sono, je crois bien que c’était Sébastien Delorme, l’ancien président), et j’ai lu récemment qu’ils vont préparer la 10ème édition de leur conf, cette année. Olivier quant à lui, fait certainement partie du casting car on en avait parlé à la maison. J’ai fait ce cauchemar la veille de l’attentat à Charlie Hebdo le 7 janvier. Donc, rêver d’armes et de tirs n’en est pas une conséquence.

Comme dit Vlad, c’était le Grand Zapping dans ma tête !

Odd encounter with an old woman

10 Jun
I had a strange encounter with a little old woman today. I stood outside a restaurant smoking and she stood nearby, observing me. At some point she said “You’re pretty tall. You’re 190 cm tall, aren’t you?” I replied I’m 177 cm tall. She kept observing, looking sulky and then pointed a finger at me and seemed to count in a low voice, her finger moving up one notch at a time toward my head. I suppose she counted how many heads taller than her I was. She looked me in the eyes, I smiled, she started counting again! Then she added, almost to herself “young ones these days are way taller than us.” I put out my cigarette and slipped away.
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