Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In which I equinealize software, and wax poetic.

It was a cool morning, perfect for snuggling in for another hour’s sleep beneath flannel sheets and a lofty quilt. The dark of 6 a.m. gave way to the twilight of 7 a.m., then the gray dusk of 8, by which time there were pancakes being made, sausages frying, and tousled-headed boys lounging with a cup of homemade hot chocolate in their hands and bellies.

By 8 a.m., the dogs had been out for a run, the cat had been fed, dishes had been washed, a few e-mails exchanged, coffee made and quaffed, hugs given.

On a “regular” day, by 8 a.m. I’d be well on my way to work, joining the throngs of other commuters hurtling down any available road toward their place of employment; just another worker bee waggling my tail in a dance of fiduciary responsibility. By 8 a.m. in a regular day the boys would already be in school, one in class at the elementary and one milling about the hallways in the pre-teen give and take that is the middle.

But it’s not a regular day. It is, rather, track out week three, and the Things are here with me after a week at the beach. We are different during track out. Our pace is relaxed, languid, casual. Wake up at 7 instead of 6. Cook breakfast instead of throwing a bowl of cereal down the chute. No lunches to pack, no snacks to remember. No homework. No projects. No instruments to lug around. No library books to return. No alarm for them, and an ignored alarm for me.

We can hear the birds that come out to sing at 9. We can see the school buses that wander a long stitch through our neighborhood, gathering up children who attend “traditional” school. We can experience the silence that comes after the morning hustle, the subtle relaxing of time after the everything of the morning is accomplished.

It is most certainly not a regular day. It is even better than a weekend day, because we are not of the world of the rush and bustle of morning. We are beyond that, we are the vacationers at home, the layabouts, the idle middle class, and it is sweet.

Man I love this year-round school thing.

Alas, even though I could work at home and let the Things run their merry course through whatever this cool gray day might bring, I need to pack us all up and journey to the office, for I did a foolish thing to my computer the other day that only my friendly neighborhood IT person can fix: I uninstalled Outlook.

It’s better you don’t ask how I did this most foolish thing. It’s better that you learn a lesson from me, which is to never walk away from your computer after you hit the “uninstall” button, for while you may be THINKING you’re deleting a little-used children’s game, you may in fact be deleting the program that brings you e-mail and without which you cannot operate at anything near to full capacity and on which you rely for things like your project files and status trackers and suchlike. And while my company does offer webmail as a substitute, it is but a pale imitation of Outlook, a veritable starved donkey compared to Outlook’s robust workhorsery. I’ve struggled for two days already on the uncomfortably bony back of that donk, which has made it clear that I much prefer the broad shoulders of the powerhorse and the effortless way in which we work together.

So, I ready myself for the commute once more, a trip that holds the promise of being reunited with a brighter Outlook.

At least, at 9 a.m., I won't have to fight the angry mobs of office drones, landscapers, concrete trucks, and travellers that clog the motorways at 8 a.m. Or 7.

Nine a.m. is much more civilized a time.

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