Thursday, September 13, 2007

Did Sisyphus Have a Porch?


Why is September always so busy? Does everyone just decide to make up for the lazy days of summer with a super-work-deadline-freakout? This time of year Angela steps up her "ordinary busy" to "extraordinarily busy" (putting the "extra" in extraordinary). I actually had a week without work obligations, so I made some. I spent a lot of time ripping off the perfectly good eavestrough on our porch so I could remove the old rotting facing board and fascia underneath. Then I had to replace them both (thankfully with the help of our neighbour Neil and his marvelous extendable ladder) and finally, finally, paint the porch (it really needed it). There are still a few details to finish but once it's done I'll post some photos. I'm sure absolutely no one will notice the difference.

Bustin' my hump working on the porch was like some kind of Sisyphean triathlon. Two hours in the crouch and paint position, 2 hours of holding hands above the head and finally, the ladder assent - two hundred reps. There were days when I felt like I had undergone "rendition protocols". Let me just say Saucony running shoes may be perfectly good for running, but are terrible for standing on a ladder all day (though I can't attest to that - as I've never really run in them. They are excellent for crawling, limping and shuffling however.)

Alas, the days when the only things I worried about were roofing nails vs latex sealant, paint chips and paint drips, drip edge or eaves starter, are all but gone. It's back to the gritty world of design. The only fate that awaits me now are grueling hours slouched in front of my monitor and typing pianissimo over a clean white keyboard. The strange thing is, I keep succumbing to tiredness more than the week I spent painting the porch. When I was fixing the eaves and painting, I had to take advantage of the daylight so I would work as late as possible then hurry to barbecue supper, again, rushing to avoid darkness. Once that was done, then and only then could I collapse in a heap of sleep. Yet, going back to work on the computer seems to have thrown a thoroughly modern wrench in my circadian rhythm. Despite not really doing anything that physical, I find that afternoon gray period becoming very dark (as in, eyes-slammed-shut dark). Sometime between 4 and 5 it hits. It's like I've been shot with a tranquilizer dart. I'm like one of those bears on nature shows, walking along wondering how in hell I weigh 400 pounds on a diet of berries and raw fish when suddenly I feel a pinch. What's that? Was that a big bug or some kind of lucy in the sky with diamonds... and plop. I'm out. I'm only half-surprised I don't wake up wearing a radio collar with a yellow plastic tag in my ear. The theory as to why some of us get tired in the middle of the day is that we're just not sleeping well at night. Thus it follows that some 8 hours after you wake, and about 8 hours before you go back to bed, your body feels the overwhelming need to be not entirely conscious. I'm not sure what causes this collapse but luckily, I have a couch near my desk to break my fall.

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