by Niall Douglas. Last updated . This page has been accessed 5,445 times since the 6th November 2002.
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Saturday 11th May 2002: 5.39am. You know, I must have spent all of thirty seconds deciding whether to use Friday or Saturday. Unlike normal time, Niall's virtual diary time runs according to when I wake and sleep and hence if I'm still up at 5am when I make an entry, it gets called the day before and not the actual date. That's the way it's always been, until this entry.
My justification of using Saturday is because I only woke up at 2.30am. So I'm counting today as the start of today, rather than yesterday. Yeah, as long-time readers may have realised, freedom from work has led me to resuming my 28 hour day again. I swear you know, my circadian rhythms are without a doubt based on a 28 hour day. If I work with twenty hours awake, eight asleep - I get none of the crap associated with normal hours - days being terribly tired, difficulty sleeping, running up sleep debt during the week and sleeping it off saturday morning etc. Indeed every niall morning I wake refreshed and every niall night I sleep easily and deeply. Unfortunately, the world being what it is, a 28 hour schedule isn't terribly convenient - half the time I'm waking when all the shops are just about to close and I go to bed just when they open. Annoying.
Also, of course, it's pretty useless when say trying to go to my workplace to fill out the forms I need to to become unemployed. They say their administrator is currently sick, so in some ways that psychologically gave me the excuse to do this this week. Unfortunately, like it as I may, I cannot continue working like this - my plan for improving my health involves spending time in the sun. Now this past week has been wet and cold in Madrid (again another psychological excuse!), so going for walks at night is very similar to doing so in daylight hours. But hot sunny times they are a-coming, so I'll have to be more disciplined as of the end of this weekend.
Well, this last week and a half or so has been fantastic. I feel so very much more alive and free, which is exactly what I thought I would do. Some said I'd feel terribly guilty about leaving the others in the lurch, but I have to say that except for an amount of curiosity, I don't think of them at all. Indeed, for the last week and a half, I have been solidly selfish and me-orientated - thinking only of me, doing all those things I had piled up to get done etc. In fact, you may notice some changes to the website, yeah I have been a busy boy!
I have also been progressing with my data streams idea. Well, I'm not sure progressing is the right word, what I do do is sit for at least six hours per niall day staring at the screen and saying "no no no, that won't work" before deleting all of the previous day's work and starting again. The last five days have gone that way completely. But I am hopeful that some time next week, I may finally decide upon a structure I'm happy with and so I can get to making a working system. I expect that before the end of the month hopefully. One thing sure as hell is that this coding ain't easy - my mind spends a lot of time with a dull ache which indicates that it really really doesn't know. This is good, because it indicates I am learning something new.
Speaking of which, the dull ache feeling is very similar to most of my relationships with women, or at least that is so until it all goes sour and nasty and then the dull ache becomes more of a stabbing pain. I have to say though, that recent events are leading me to believe that I am definitely leaving the doldrums of post-Ruth ineffectuality. I'd been getting the signs for quite a while now, but it's pretty definite at this stage.
Now traditionally with me, times in between women are the most productive and invigourating. What happens is that I meet some harlot, think I'm in love with her, then she breaks me horribly and I go into a period of depression during which I'm about as useful as an ice cube in the middle of a desert (ie; occasionally in the right circumstances but otherwise not). Then I leave this stage, reacquire my self-confidence and abilities, and I go through a stage of great productivity until I become ready to have my heart broken again. And hence the cycle renews itself.
This cycle, even during the four year life of this diary (oh by the way - HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY TO THIS DIARY!), has pervaded my adult life. Thankfully, now that I have realised that there is this cycle, one can plan to make the best of whichever part. So for example, the past year I spent reading lots of books because I wasn't really brimming with creativity or drive and passive activities were the best that I could manage. More recently, especially since Christmas, even though I was impeded by being in the UK, it would appear that now is the time to execute plans involving creativity, drive and ambition.
My data streams idea is just the ticket for the next six months. Last niall night (which was around 6pm yesterday) just before bed, I was thinking about the future, when I will no longer be able to take six months off from work to do what I want. Indeed, there's an outside chance that I wouldn't be able to handle being free for six months like the vast majority of people, I have noticed. Most people appear to be incapable of productive self-motivation when given a blank slate to work with. Indeed, a lot of the contractors I met whilst in the UK say they work every hour given to them to prevent themselves engaging in self-destructive behaviours when left to their own devices. Is it the same for the majority of the population? I'd probably say so, given my conversations with people I met down the dole office. Most of them spend as much of their giro as possible on alcohol and the remainder of their time is spent watching television (which is one thing I am very glad to have got rid of). Sad.
Right, it's now 6.21am, so I think I've spent enough time on this. I also want to write "Niall's book recommendations" to replace the extremely aged "Niall's theories on life" which I haven't updated in like years. So, here's hoping that all of you are well, and well expect another update when some clever idea pops into my head. Like the post-Kathryn period when I updated this diary regularly with many theories and thoughts (almost all of which seem terribly banal nowadays!), I expect the post-Ruth period to be just as productive (of future banal ideas!). So here's hoping ... anyway, all be happy and chou!
Wednesday 22nd May 2002: 11.11am. Been an interesting week and a half. Most of it I spent in bed, but not for the aforementioned in previous entry reasons - I contracted some sort of viral infection last week whose residue is still with me even now, and like these things can sometimes do, it completely knocked me flat. That combined with the sunburn resulting from my ill-advised five hours drinking in the sun - I still have it on my arms even now. All in all, so far this week has been about recuperating from last week, which could have been termed a really really bad week.
Oh yeah, I should really mention this, which rather than bothering to write again I'll just copy and paste from the many, many emails which have been sent about this topic in the last week or so:
So, that last week of April understandably had a rather bad atmosphere :). I came home the 31st, spent the first two weeks of May trying to obtain the papers for money only to be told very sorry, we ain't paying you a dime. They did this the second last day before my social security rights run out, having played for time in between. I went to find a lawyer, and she said I did have a case so long as I could prove there was a verbal contract. Which I can, with loads of documentary evidence plus testimonies of work mates (assuming they don't lie). We go to arbitration end of this month, court case probably sometime in June. My other weapon is my strong weight with the customer. As the customer once said privately, before I came along everyone was licking ass and doing nothing. I came along and told the customer that all the things they had been promised weren't going to be possible anymore, and while initially that had really annoyed them the fact was that now they could see it was the only way. I know my walking out will do huge damage to them already (the customer had been assured repeatedly I would never leave which were lies), but if I wrote a single letter I could land my company in a devastating court case if I disclosed all the secrets of the long list of incompetence. But in the end, I won't do that unless they play dirty first - it's not ethical and a lot of workmates and their families would suffer.
In many ways, I feel very sad about this - not just because it's expensive and nasty and everyone in the end loses, but also because I had thought they were friends. I am always one for spouting rhetoric about how one should treat ones employment (ie; they are out to squeeze you for every drop they can get and they can never be your friend), but as people who have know me for a while can tell you, I am also always spouting rhetoric about how not to get into relationships with women and yet I always don't heed my own advice and run into difficulties. Exactly the same thing with work - this is the second company to rip me off, because I placed faith in my friendship with my boss and didn't insist on that all important written piece of paper. Hopefully, the next time, I will not repeat this mistake.
Well leaving all that unpleasantness behind, and apart from itchy sunburn which is driving me mad as I type this, I'm also currently without internet because god damn <many many expletives> Telefonica decided the best solution of my non functional telephone was to disconnect my ADSL ("It's not compatible" they say - which is large truck load of balls) despite my explicit instructions not to do so. The fact it was their cock up which led to them disconnecting the bastard thing (which was a fully functioning system without problems for more than a year) and now they keep fucking it up even more makes my blood boil. I shouted at someone on the telephone in spanish yesterday, they didn't understand but I think I got my annoyance through. Anyway, some day, some time, I may get my internet back, but probably at the expense of my telephone . Maybe it's time for a mobile phone and forget the landline.
Project is pushing along very slowly. I am deleting less of the previous day's work and writing more stuff which seems to last. Of course, I lost most of last week due to illness which was unfortunate. Yesterday was one of those "I can't concentrate for the life of me" days, sometimes I get one or two day periods where I can't concentrate on anything involved - even things like watching a movie, I keep faffing around eating stuff from fridges or generally fidgeting. I hate when I get like this - nothing can stop me being bored, absolutely nothing. When I was working, on days like these I used to work, get bored, go on internet, get bored, shuffle around or take little walks - still bored. I used to sit there, counting down the hours, absolutely unable to hold my attention on one thing. And then, maybe, the next day it would be completely back to normal - you know when this happens when you look at your task at hand and your brain starts ticking. I assume it's some arrhythmia of the subconscious which of course actually does most of your conscious work for you.
And in fact, even writing this, I am coming to the conclusion today's going to go much the same way. I can't concentrate. All these tasks that I should do I can't muster the energy for - for example, thinking of what else to write. I have noticed this state of mind happens more often when I get too much sleep but that sure ain't been the case in the last two days - seven hours each night. I have tried drinking caffeine, but it just makes many disorganised thoughts instead of none at all which maybe is an improvement - not sure. Very annoying.
Right, I'm going to go stare at a wall and try and bore myself into action. If I piss myself off enough with inaction, maybe I'll summon the forces required. I must also absolutely refuse to let myself eat until 2pm, because it's very easy when like this to entertain oneself with food and hence eat five days food in two days which is bad. Here's wishing me luck! Be happy!