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Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer winds

(Las Vegas, Nevada) When my plane landed here, a crosswind threatened to send my American Airlines jet sliding into the dessert. I chalked it up to the odd gust and didn't think a thing about it. That was until a windstorm unlike any I've seen whipped up and threatened to destroy the World Series of Poker's overflow tent. I knew it had gotten bad when paramedics were brought it to see to a guy who was clipped by a piece of steel the size of a phone book.

That night, or morning as it was, I stood at my window looking out over the Nevada desert. The wind was blowing so hard, a constant whistle squeaked through the glass. It was unnerving enough to use it as the excuse for my sleeplessness.

Dr. Jeff was pretty straight forward in his prescription for my health at the World Series.

Less caffeine. NO RED BULL. NO SOBE. Less booze. More water. More fiber. 3 days a week on the treadmill for just 20 minutes.

I've been following his advice. I've cut my caffeine intake in half. I swore off Red Bull a while back. I'm not drinking like a fish. I'm consuming about 120 ounces of water a day. Fiber? Well, I'm eating, but not much. Treadmill? I'm on my feet for most of a 14 hour workday.

And so, why can't I sleep? Falling asleep is easy. Staying asleep is not. If I get three uninterrupted hours, I'm happy. In fact, until last night, I was getting about three hours of sleep a night. Last night, I pulled six hours and I feel, as you might expect, like a champ.

This work is not ideal for a family man. I've spent many a word lamenting the time I spend away from the family. I probably need to reflect more on that subject, but the environment here doesn't really allow for it. I learned last year, if I loosen the armor during the middle of the battle, I fall pretty quick. Today, I loosened it a bit and I'm quickly working to steel myself. It's too early to be going crazy. Enough on that for now.

The oddest thing so far this trip is what I can only assume is an acute case of dehydration. It's no fault of my own. I drink water in 24 ounce gulps. If I drank any more, I'd worry the health implications of drinking too much water. Still, even though I haven't been outside in the wind, my skin and lips are dry. Like a lizard...which is probably pretty fitting for the desert.

Recently, my wife and I have enjoyed a running joke about how too much work and writing actually hurts my vocabulary. "I'm out of words," I've been heard to say regularly. And that's sort of where I am right now.

I'm out of words.



Anonymous Lysoool!!! said...

10 years in the IT field is bound to drive you flippin' mad. So, bear that in mind:

As a former Taekwondo instructor, I would echo what Dr. Jeff said and would add that just "being on your feet for 14 hours" probablly dosent count as exercise unless you are elevating past resting heart rate to a "target" heart rate for aerobic exercise but blah, blah, blah...I digress. That kind of change...it's another commitment, if you are ready for it at this point in your life.

I can definately understand reflecting on work/family, and how to find a balance. Pretty much no decision in that context has ever been an easy one. But you know, *because* you lament your time away that you are still ok. It is when you don't that there are problems.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous lyyysooool!!! said...

Lysoool--Are you mad, or just horribly misunderstood?

5:33 PM  

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