Anyway, on the plus side, several things for work are going quite well; the code is shaping up nicely, and I've got nothing but optimism for what lies ahead work-wise. That's oddly refreshing, since after two years of Quicksilver, I'd almost forgotten what it's like to believe in what you're working on and have faith in the product's future; especially now, when I talk to other Quicksilver survivors, the malaise and soul-sucking nature of that job are abundantly clear. On top of that, Jen pointed out something today...while I was at Quicksilver after things went bad, I was often sick, both due to a combination of stress /and/ daily exposure to illness (bus rides, office, people flying in and out of Seattle or me being flown to Austin or San Jose). Since working at home, I've not had so much as a cold! It's something I hadn't even noticed, but it's true and it /does/ make for a very telling testament on stuff. On top of that, the house we're in now is no longer a soul-sucking monstrosity that eats money for lunch...I /like/ having a house that's clean, and orderly, and really feels like a /home/ rather than just 'a place where our stuff is stored and where we sleep', like the last house. I mean, we've lived in this house for three months now, and I still periodically break out with 'I love this house!' comments. :)
We got a letter from my little brother over in the Middle East, too. It was pretty surreal in some ways...he wrote about an island that his battalion was training on, practicing urban combat maneuvers. It was a Kuwaiti island which, at some point around 1990, had been overrun by Iraqi soldiers. All the Kuwaiti's fled, and then the Iraqi soldiers moved on. So you had this island-town of really posh, fancy upscale houses that were just utterly abandoned, with the yards overgrown. He said inside of houses, literally you could see where children had just left their toys behind, laying in the middle of their rooms when they fled. Some of the houses had bulletholes riddling the walls. Some still had working televisions, where the soldiers could go inside and turn them on and change channels. Cars had been left behind, and squatters moved into some of the houses and drove the cars around the islands until they ran out of gas. He noted that after the other two battalions finish there, the island will pretty much be wreckage. (A somewhat sobering comment.) He asked for a jar of pickeled garlic (something he used to like putting on his food) in a care package, and dad and I discussed what we'd send to him. (Blueberry gum, among other things!)
Dad also gave me a gift, a necklace where the pendant is an 800-year-old coin from what is now Afghanistan. It's a really striking coin, irregularly shaped and with a faded, stylized bird stamped into the metal.
I really like the necklace, and it's earned a place of honor as one of the few bits of jewelry I actually will /wear/ willingly. Overall, life's pretty good. And except when I sit down to play around like I used to in the evenings and end up feeling empty/disconnected/unfulfilled, I'm overall happy. So if I could just shake that one thing...ah, well. This, too, shall pass.
Now, I sleep...