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Exit stage left

It’s time I sling the baskets off this overburdened horse
Sink my toes into the ground and set a different course
Cause if I were here and you were there
I’d meet you in between
And not until my dying day, confess what I have seen.

— Phish, The Horse

I’m finally doing something I should have done at least a decade ago: I am no longer going to try to be a software engineer professionally. I’m not sure what’s coming next, but hopefully it’ll be a much better life for me.

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The frustration of continued existence

My week off from work felt great. But I’m still having difficulty actually focusing at work. I have a bunch of paths of exploration to examine but none of them feel, y'know, right right now.

Meanwhile, my house continues to be a bit more work than I expected. On the plus side, I’ve successfully murdered my lawn and vastly improved my garden and started up my nice meadow. On the minus side, my heating bill is through the roof (literally) and I’ve been getting bids for finally improving the house insulation. So far I’ve had three bids which went thusly:

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So, Hired is pretty good, y'all

When I got the job with Hover it was via Hired, which made the actual recruiting and interviewing process way better than any other job search site I’ve ever seen.

LinkedIn used to be pretty okay but the whole process there has gotten overwhelming and awful, and they’ve tried to turn into yet another Social Media Experience™ but don’t have any actual tools for managing the interview process itself. Hired just focuses on everything about the recruiting and interview experience: you put your information on your profile (and can include things like “I never want to hear from these companies” or criteria for the sorts of companies you’d like to work for), and you can manage your availability for interview slots and be in control of all the contact and timing and so on.

I found the experience to be pretty darn great, and way less stressful than any other job search engine I’ve ever used.

Anyway, if you use my referral link and get a job with Hired, I also get a kickback, so obviously I’m biased in espousing the benefits of Hired. But I do sincerely believe that it’s been by far the best candidate experience I’ve ever had, and led me to jobs I’d not have known about otherwise (and, in particular, the two I interviewed for and the one I accepted).

Goodbye Moz, hello Hover!

Today was my last day at Moz. Moz is a great company full of great people, but the work just never quite clicked for me, and it was time to move on.

Fortunately, moving on involved getting a job at Hover, a company that specializes in augmented reality home renovation tools. I will be doing graphics research and development, and a lot of the work will be directly related to my graduate research, as it turns out. I also have high hopes for Hover as a company; Moz was a high water mark in terms of culture and while Hover will have a hard time living up to it, all of my interactions with people there have been amazing and positive.

In one’s career there’s the idea of the “golden triangle,” where you can have a great environment (coworkers, company culture, etc.), great work (job duties, projects, responsibilities), and great income — pick two. It’s very rare to get all three, and it seems like Hover might actually be that for me.

I definitely hope to keep in touch with my coworkers from Moz, though. They’re all such great people.

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Things are going well

  1. All the plumbing issues in my house have been resolved
  2. The actual bathroom renovation is proceeding to plan and should be done by next Friday (I’ll believe it when I see it of course)
  3. I just accepted a job doing graphics R&D at Hover and I will be starting in January
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Studio and cat updates

Studio

My basement studio setup is coming along slowly but surely. I ended up buying a used ADAT preamp to expand my existing audio interface (rather than buying a new interface/patchbay/etc.) and it mostly works great, although I’m going to see if I can hack an S/PDIF decoder into a word clock source for it so that the 18i8 can be master (which makes a couple of things easier to deal with).

For now I’m using my old MacBook as the recording computer. It only has a 500GB drive, though, and I couldn’t find the power adapter for my external HDD enclosure, so I decided to try just running Native Instruments off of my NAS over gigabit Ethernet. Nearly every install failed with a nonsensical “malformed XML document” error, which turns out to be a known issue with attempting to install to a NAS. Oh well. Hopefully that PSU turns up soon. I’m sure it’s in the bottom of whichever box I end up unpacking last.

(The PSU isn’t anything particularly exotic in principle, just a 12V 2A center-positive wallwart, but for some reason all the 12V center-positive wallwarts I can find can’t accommodate its extra-thick center pin.)

But anyway, today I finally got to the point where I could hook up my piano, and so I played piano for the first time since April, which felt nice. I can’t believe I let it be this long. I guess I really thought the backyard shed studio would go a lot more quickly!

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Short-term disability leave

Over the past couple weeks my pain has been flaring up again, driven especially by work stress. A few days ago I hit a breaking point and realized that this is something I need to actually take short-term disability leave for.

Fortunately, Moz has an extremely generous disability leave program, and management would much rather someone take it if necessary. So, for now I’m off from work until August, and we’ll see where things go from there.

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Balance

Stuff I want to work on:

Stuff I need to work on:

  • The day job
  • Finding a better housing situation than my current condo

Stuff I have the energy to work on:

  •  
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ugh meds, ugh work

I’ve been on guanfacine for about a month now, and I still haven’t stopped feeling drowsy and tired all day, to the point that I’ll often just fall asleep in the middle of things. Even when I’m doing things like grocery shopping I’ll suddenly feel really tired and need to take a couple moments to brace myself. It’s almost like it’s causing narcolepsy or something.

Last week I talked about this with my psychiatrist and we decided to try combination therapy with strattera, a stimulant-based med, since my ADHD responded well to the Adderall (aside from my blood pressure spiking badly).

So far, it hasn’t been helping at all. I’m getting the panic and anxiety from stimulants, while also being drowsy all day. What’s even worse is I’m also getting frequent muscle spasms, which is apparently a common reaction to some ADHD meds. And ironically, the treatment for that? Guanfacine.

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Updates

Had an appointment with my psychiatrist today. Turns out I was supposed to get a drug screen some time ago, oops. But I’m not that interested in stimulant-based meds anyway. For now we’re going to try Wellbutrin, which is I think what we were talking about last time anyway and it doesn’t need a drug screening. So that starts tomorrow morning.

DDR pad arrives sometime tomorrow as well. Just in time, too, the pad I’m borrowing from Spud has decided that the down button doesn’t really need to work right.

I hope all this stuff helps me to get motivated at work, because holy crap I am having a hard time finding the energy to actually, y'know, work.

Current status

My neighborhood is a war zone, but all signs point to SPD abandoning the East precinct and deescalating. I am suspicious that after they do, they’re going to purposefully cause crimes to make everyone fear for their safety to try to get us to beg for them to come back. If this happens, I hope we see past it.

The next few months are going to be interesting, and not in a great way.

Meanwhile, I’m sick with yet another sinus infection, and this combined with my mental health and my chronic pain issues are making this a very bad time. I mostly slept and cried today, although now it’s 10 PM and I’m at least feeling good enough to exist.

Job-wise, the news is quite public now that my company was hosting the Blue Lives Matter site, and enough was enough and pretty much everyone at the company revolted over it. They’re shutting the site down now. I don’t know how long it’ll take, but we are going to hold them to it.

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Updates

Oops, I guess I haven’t been posting here as often as I’d like. I guess I’ve mostly been using Discord to keep in touch with folks.

I’m fairly busy at the day job. I’ve already rolled out a few important features for our websites and soon I’ll be ramping up on another project. So far everyone there has been super great and I’m glad I lucked out with this job, even without the societal/financial catastrope that happened shortly after I started.

Isolation hasn’t been great for me. I’ve been having a pretty bad fibro flareup lately, and I still haven’t quite shaken whatever this dang thing I have is. It’s not gotten severe enough to require medical attention but at the same time I’d love to not be missing occasional workdays when I’m feeling especially lousy. It might also just be part of the fibro flare, too. Fortunately the new job has unlimited sick days, because dang I’ve been taking a lot of them this past month.

I’ve had to switch back to decaf because it turns out having even half-caf espresso every day has gotten me sensitized to caffeine again, and I was starting to have panic attacks again. Phooey. I still love my Flair though. I’ve also had a couple of people ask me about selling my custom tampers so I should see about, like, doing that.

The current state of the fluffy

I guess it’s been a little while since my last post about the unending tire fire that is my mental state. I’ve been yo-yoing a lot, but here’s a summary of where I’m at right now:

CPAP: I’m back on it, trying some different things to make it more useful. The main problem seems to be bad mask fit, so tomorrow I’m going in for a proper mask fitting (rather than the half-assed thing the DME vendor did during the training session). Hopefully that will help.

Nortriptyline: I’m steady at 30mg/day, and have started taking it earlier in the evening, which has helped me with actually being tired when I need to be.

That weird failed drug test: Still no idea what happened with it. As one followup to it I had another diabetes screening (since that’s one possible cause of a false opium positive) but that came back fine (normal A1C and nothing out of the ordinary with my blood sugar), so that’s one less thing to worry about at least.

Day job: Still feeling like this is a bad match for me. Coworker is trying to assure me that I’m doing fine and trying to be helpful at getting me up to speed on the stuff I need to understand, but my brain refuses to play along.

AR startup: Going pretty well, I guess? I’m not doing a lot of active work for it but I’m glad to help out where I can.

Social life: I’m feeling much more withdrawn from my usual activities and am still on hiatus from most of my meetup groups. Ed is no longer hosting karaoke so I’m back to doing my drawing group every week. It’s going just Okay but I mostly use it for hanging out with a handful of folks I like. With a couple of those folks I saw Detective Pikachu the other day, which I enjoyed but I still have thoughts about. The monthly “smol games” group I’m in is still great though, even though I’m not actively working on any games (but I love seeing what other people are doing).

Music: Still plinking away at stuff. Also I really want to be able to attend Song Fight! Live, which is in Madison this year, but planning travel for it is a bit onerous. With music production I keep on waffling between “this stuff I’m making is pretty good, actually” and “ugh this is garbage.” So, same old, same old.

Whatever happened to progress?

Ever since my diagnosis I was doing so much better, because I was able to practice self-kindness. But over time I’ve been slowly ramping up on doing more stuff, and now I’m back to trying to do all the things, and the amount of time I can do all the things gets shorter each iteration. So now I’m back to being in pain and being frustrated and feeling ineffective at everything.

I’m not sure if the medicine isn’t working after all or if I’m just expecting too much out of it; it’s probably a bit of both.

There are so many things I want to be working on but I’m just too tired to do any of them. I haven’t worked on music in a while – when I was so looking forward to getting back into streaming – and I’m coming up with things to do on Publ faster than I’m actually doing them, and am only really focusing on stuff that directly benefits the day job. And forget about comics, even though I really want to work on Lewi and a Unity Book 3 story.

I’m tired of being tired, and it’s useless to feel useless. I need to remember self-kindness.