You are currently browsing the Obsessivity weblog archives for March, 2007.

29 Mar 2007



A few days ago, before going out of town, I decided I wanted to listen to some old songs by Justin Hayward and John Lodge. The album Blue Jays was released in the mid-70s, when the Moody Blues was in hiatus. I’ve never liked it as much as a regular Moodies album, but some of the songs are quite poignant. “Nights, Winters, Years” by Hayward has the feel of an orchestral version of the old classic “Nights in White Satin,” and “Maybe” is one of Lodge’s more moving lyrics.

So I found it, and listened for a few days, and as I often do, drifted off to other similar material, finding Justin Hayward’s “Forever Autumn” (from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album) on YouTube. That reminded me of one of my all-time favorite music videos, the Moodies’ “Your Wildest Dreams,” another Hayward song.

It took me a while to remember the name. I haven’t heard the song in months – years, perhaps. I had to dig through a discography on the net to figure it out. When I did, I went back to YouTube and found the video. (I won’t link it; it shouldn’t be there, and likely won’t be for long.) After downloading it, I watched it several times, and then of course got the song stuck in my head.

That evening I went to eat in the hotel bar. While I was eating, I decided that I had to clear my mind of obsessing about the song. Not only was it going around in my head, I could hear it in whatever the sound system was playing. So I listened for a moment – and I’ll be damned if after many months (at the minimum) of not hearing “Your Wildest Dreams” anywhere, the hotel music system was playing it. Right as I’d just found it and couldn’t stop hearing it.

That was a very strange experience. Really weird. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to know that evidence of fracturing sanity really isn’t what it seems…

13 Mar 2007

Obsessive avoidance?


I haven’t played EQ2 in a month or more now. With the short story claiming all of my attention, I got out of the habit – but even now I’ve started mailing it out, I still haven’t played. I keep thinking about it, then I think, well, I’m not really missing it …

Now I’m beginning to think that avoiding EQ2 has become something of an obsession, and I’m not sure that it’s a healthy one, because I’m not doing anything else with the time I’m not wasting. I haven’t been writing – not of anything that’s progressing The Book or anything else useful, anyway. I seem to be going out of my way not to do anything, really.

Part of it is that I’m really having a hard time with work right now. I’ve been given a project that I hate, that’s late, that I don’t understand, and that won’t use any of the skills I’ll need to find a new job. I can see me working on applications like this for the next five years, then when I don’t have any choice but to find different work, I’ll have five years of working on ugly spaghetti code in a language no-one uses in an environment that was out of date in the mid-90s. No recent C++, Java or anything else that might distinguish me, and that I could, and can do better than most – currently. That won’t be true in five years.

Add onto that a quality audit that has consumed my time documenting a process we’ll never use and I hate the whole situation. I’m supposed to work to a script for the auditor (should he choose me – “Geekachu! I choose you!”) to show that we’ve been using these practices all along. Now, I don’t really have a strong objection to pulling the wool over an auditor’s eyes; I guess maybe I should, but it’s not significantly different from what anyone else does. But when it comes to answering questions, I am extraordinarily bad at handling stress, and I’m not likely to give the auditor the picture they want. Lying isn’t in the skill set they hired me for.

So it seems that hating my job has become something of an obsession, too, and not one that has any constructive effect or creative byproducts. Maybe I should get back to my EQ2 escapism until I can deal with work.