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Saturday May 28, 2005, 02:26

The little bastard bit me so hard the other night that I woke up, arms outstretched, from my nap on the sofa. I had been sleeping, as I often do, after a long day of sitting at my computer, walking around the city, and eating. I'd been lying on my couch with the radio on, my face sitting in a pile of newspapers, and I'd been woken by a burning in my arms. I looked down to find large welts on both my forearms and a couple of knuckles, and the culprit was still buzzing around the room. I wandered into the bathroom, applied some topical ointment and went back to sleep.

The aforementioned newspapers ended up joining the remaining newsprint sitting on the floor reaching a height now of about 2 feet of neatly stacked, yellowing weekend editions of the Times. There is probably nothing entirely pressing in any of that, but I am determined to, in one way or another, get through all of it, rather than dumping it all directly into the recycling bin in the hall. I was good. Last night I got through about two week's worth, and I'm going to try to get through another one tonight. As I head back further in time, it gets easier as well - the news just isn't pressing, or even relevant, or accurate any more.

Oh, and that thing about my daily routine? The thing is that I learned that full-time work as a management consultant just wasn't for me. Interestingly, it was the work, the one piece that I simply ignored as too inconsequential to even consider as being a driving factor in my everyday professional happiness that really did me in. It turns out that I really need to enjoy what I am doing on a daily basis in order for me to really excel. The coworkers were great, the environment was great, the company was great and the opportunity was fantastic. But in the end, it turns out that I was not interested in doing what we, as employees of the company, were tasked with doing. Go figure.

So where does that leave me? Why it leaves me right back where I started about a year ago. I've got the home office (read: desk) all cleaned up (read: not) and the work clothes all tucked away in the closet. In fact, I'm considering getting them dry cleaned one last time before sticking them into storage. After all, you don't need collared shirts if you're not even wearing pants. But that's the funny thing, right? For all my big talk about being totally free and not needing to wear pants to go to work, I still get up every morning and (as long as it's not freezing cold, as it has been this past week) hop on my bike, get home, shower, dress and sit down at my desk to do my work. The difference is that, when I get bored (and I always get bored), I can get up and putter around the house for a bit. I can read the paper, or clean the bathroom, or call a friend and go out for lunch, and the only person I need to answer to is myself.

This schedule will probably change. I might have to account for my time to someone else in the future. But I would like to think that I will always be somewhat in control of my time. Any other way just doesn't make very much sense to me.

Oh, I also replaced my eyebrow ring with a curved bar. After five years of the same ring, and one year of pulling the ring out every morning and filling the hole with a small piece of fishing line in order to avoid the wrath of the attire police at the office, I decided that it was time for a change. I am still getting used to the two balls sticking out of my eyebrow, and I am constantly trying to rotate the non-existent ring through the hole, but it fits nicely and with two balls it is locked into place. It's comforting having something in there again. While I would rather not think of myself as someone who needs to be defined by accessories, I feel that I have changed so much post-college that this one grew up with the new me, and having to remove it for a significant portion of my day felt wholly unnatural.

It's good to be back.

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