I ordered a “Where do babies come from?” type book and a “How to talk to your child about sex” book in preparation for “the big talk” with Max and both were a bust. They were too immature, even though Max is in the targeted age range, and described sex as a special, really close hug. Ugh. I knew I should have gone to a real bookstore and actually look at the books before buying.
Kevin twittered [basically] this earlier:
There’s a deleted scene in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where Zaphod and the VP kiss. I made “eww” noises, then Brian said, “No, that’s lovely, Daddy, just lovely”.
Isn’t that the cutest?
I’ve been stressed out a lot lately… and pretty consistently for the last two years. It finally came to a head this week, and I decided I needed a break from everything. So, I decided that yesterday through Saturday, I would try to live completely without the internet: no blackberry, no laptop, no wi-fi, no nothin’. Since it’s only Friday afternoon, you can see – it didn’t go so well.
I’ve worked for AOL for over twelve years. In that time, I’ve only been completely offline for more than twenty-four hours twice: first when a bunch of friends and I went to Carlsbad Caverns and none of us had laptops yet (this was 1998), and in 1999 when Jen and I got married and went on a three day cruise. That’s over eight years of pretty much constant connection to e-mail, IM, and everything else.
Back to the break… in the beginning of my internet life (1995), it was just e-mail, and not a lot of it. I worked with a relatively small number of people, I was relatively isolated within the company, and wasn’t involved in anything outside of work that would produce much e-mail. Then, came the buddy list and instant messaging. OK, two forms of interruption, but pretty much exclusively used for work and at work. Fast forward 12 years, and now here’s what’s built up in the almost thirty-six hours I was able to stay away until the DT’s got me and I had to check:
* over 270 e-mails
* over 2,100 unread items in my feed reader (from 581 feeds – recently pruned down from 680 – and I just marked them all read… didn’t even read ‘em – it you blogged something you really need me to read, send me e-mail)
* untold messages on twitter (I haven’t even checked… thankfully, I can ignore all of them and I don’t think anyone’s feelings will be hurt)
* 45 Facebook notifications (also ignored, mostly because I don’t like Facebook)
I checked recently and I receive, on average, 21 instant messages an hour (that’s almost 200 during the course of my regular 9 hour work day).
If you figure that out over twenty-four hours and consider the last day and a half “average” (it feels like the normal flow), I handle over 1,700 distinct pieces of communication and information a day, and still manage to do my real job, which is not to just read e-mail, respond to IM’s and read feeds. This pace has only increased in the last five years, and doesn’t show any sign of slowing. It’s only getting worse.
I’m not sure what the point of this was, other than to document for myself how bad my information overload is and trying to explain to myself that it’s OK that I was overwhelmed. Dealing with this ever-increasing torrent of data every day for over a decade – it’s OK to take a day off. It’s OK to let people answer their own questions, let the world keep spinning while I take a day to close my eyes and read a book (I’ve been reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard to try to cleanse my system from all the technical books I’ve been reading in my spare time… the most beautiful English prose I’ve read in a long time – a modern Walden).
I have another blackout day coming. Monday, I’m heading to London for the Future of Web Apps conference. I’m looking forward to the speakers, but, I’m really looking forward to the eight hours of uninterrupted (well, mostly) reading time on the plane where there’s no way for me to check my mail.
Kevin is home today and tomorrow- yay- to continue to get the house ready for the renovation. (We need to move some stuff, paint some stuff, find some stuff, and call some people.) The kids were being extra loud this morning and Kev woke up, ready to start the day around 7. A M. In the morning. Like, right after the sun got up. Even when I wake up at 5 am with Brian, I am not ready to start the day until at least 8:30 am. Don’t even bother getting me to try. Now it’s 7:48 am, Kev and Brian are downstairs playing and I am trying to decide if going back to bed is the right thing to do. I am not particularly tired. But, I DON’T START THE DAY UNTIL 8:30 am. Except for when I do, because honestly, sometimes I do.
Kevin and I were sitting around the other day when one of us popped up, “You know, I think we need to up our yuppie status some.” The other replied, “I have just the thing! Let’s put Max in therapy!” And so we did.
Tonight was the first visit for Max’s sleeping problem and it went really well. The psychologist told us that the we’ve been doing all the right things. She thinks maybe he just needs an extra little something to get past it. We have a couple different strategies laid out, nothing major though. YAY for professional validation.
The minute after Brian gets out of the bath, he finds the closest marker and draws all over his face. Grrrrr.
Kevin and I are playing TV Big Shot at Television Without Pity. It is a fantasy tv ratings prediction game similar to fantasy football. Our shows are:
Back to You
The Biggest Loser
Anyone else playing the game?
Salon’s big article of the day: People of Paradox
Mormons are not creationists
Say what? Since when? I’ve only been to church a handful of times in the last two years, but they didn’t change something this major and not tell me, right?
About a month ago, I gushed about how awesome Big Brother was this season. Murphy’s Law dictates that when a show starts out so freakingly good that it must crash and burn before the end, (Lost anyone?), so of course Big Brother had to totally blow chunks as this season came to a close. I’m not going to go over the specifics except to say: Dick cheated!! On camera! There is proof. I saw it with my own little eyes!! Booo to CBS and the suits behind the show for not ejecting Dick immediately. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Aww, MSNBC agrees with me.
And an even bigger BOO to Kraft and the NFL for not firing or, dammit, at least suspending, New England Patriot’s head coach Brian Belichick. His assistant got caught cheating, Belichick admitted to it, and he barely got a slap on the wrist? Are you FRAKIN kidding me?