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Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Collected Thoughts

I gave my work computer to the Airborne Express guy this morning, so for the next forty eight hours I have a sort of reprieve. Actually I should be reading a bazillion page patent application which I have been procrastinating for far too long to be considerate of the lawyers who are awaiting my approval, but frankly I am regretting ever agreeing to help them patent anything at all. The Megacorp patent guy naturally promised Megacorp would only use their patents defensively, which at the time was borne out by history, but a month later they launched an assault on a young and nimble competitor, who of course counter-sued for all of their own patents which Megacorp has been violating. It's a big mess, and I can only imagine Megacorp entered it knowing it would win by virtue of sheer tonnage. You'd think I was working for Microsoft.

I also got an email yesterday inviting me to a "celebration lunch" for my last patent, to take place in San Jose at a time when I'll be on a plane from Maui to San Diego. Not that I have any desire to go; it's just all so silly and out of perspective.

Mia came to visit for a week a while back. I had hoped she'd have use of the truck in the mornings to sight-see while Samantha was at work, and then we'd all get out in the late afternoon and evenings, after work hours has ended in California time. But Samantha managed to skip out on her new job or have the day off almost every day Mia was here, so instead I ended up struggling to get work done amidst the noise and distractions and by evening wasn't remotely ready to call my work day satisfactorily accomplished. Mia is too polite, Samantha too self-centered, and I was too busy to mediate; I wish her stay here had gone better.

Some time in the midst of all this I realized how much more I get out when I'm living on my own, and not for the obvious implication of needing more social interaction but quite the opposite: When I'm on my own, I get a lot done in a day, and often get to that point where I've spent my inspiration for the day and am satisfied with the results, ready to go catch a movie, relax behind a dinner table, or catch some waves. Conversely, when there are people around, I spend so much time trying to recover my mental context between the intermittent distractions that my productivity goes to shit and I hardly feel I've even started by the time evening rolls around. So I stay and keep trying to work until finally everyone goes to bed, the city shuts down, and then I hit the afterburners until my fuel runs out and I stumble burnt out into bed.

I need to find a better solution.

I keep thinking my foot is getting better and then bump it wrong or put too much weight on the toes or arch and realize that I've just gotten very good at avoiding all the things that hurt too much. So I continue to limp around and wonder if the pain I am ignoring is a sign that I'm keeping it damaged and turning it into a chronic ailment. Should it be in a cast? I guarantee you if I hobbled into a doctor's office and said "it still really hurts after a few weeks!" he'd tell me to take it easy on it for a few days and it will be fine. What's with that? What is it about my presentation that makes it possible for me to walk in with a broken wrist and have every attendant in the E.R. assuring me it's fine? Did I mention I found my own fracture (ten years ago) in the X-Ray because the doctor was so convinced a-priori it wasn't broken that he missed the jaggy little black line down the middle of my nevicular? I had a cast for six weeks. The story's always the same, except if you rip a ligament off a bone it doesn't show up on an X-Ray so there's nothing for me to point out to them which they can comprehend besides my own subjective evaluation which apparently is so different than anyone else's that it is completely opaque to them. Do I need to stop approaching it rationally and stoically and just whine a lot instead?


Garrett* and I are heading to the Fish Market for my last dinner on Maui, and then to catch a late showing of The Drunken Master.

Tah tah for now,



When we arrived at the Fish Market, there were nine women with an average age of about twenty scattered about the restaurant, and two men. "Oh yeah, you're leaving tomorrow," Garrett* said. [Reichart* called me on the phone earlier in the day just to tell me how many women there were at Mana foods today. (The picture of the hitchhiker was taken from Mana's parking lot, a block away from the Fish Market.)]

When we arrived at the movie theater, the movie wasn't playing.


Time to scrub the shower and go to bed. Tomorrow I depart Maui leaving nothing behind but a windsurfer in Reichart*'s attic.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com