C is for Constant (Noise)

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I seem to be on a parenthetical kick lately, if you call two in a row a kick. I think it’s kick-like.

There are men working on the facade of my building. Yesterday was a gorgeous, beautiful, silent respite as there were thunderstorms predicted, and metal platforms aren’t exactly the best place to be when lightning decides to make an appearance.

Today it is only cloudy, so it’s the sound of drills permeating the air, with their platform directly outside of my window. Not that I’m looking at it, since the blinds are closed. As I didn’t really want to be eye-to-eye with the guys (they’re all guys, it appears) doing the work.

Ooh, there’s another one. That one’s closer. I think they might break through my wall at any second. That would be kind of awkward. I put in some earplugs, but it’s not making a dent in the sound. Yikes.

Constant noise is exhausting, and I have to wonder if it works like one of those exercise platforms that jiggles you into shape. Allegedly. Maybe all of this sound going though me is the world’s least effort-intensive workout.

Well, least effort-intensive for everywhere but my ears.

I think I may have to go music/noise cancelling headphones over earplugs today, or better yet, get the heck out of here. It’s going to be a long, long construction season.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Taking Control of Distractions

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Well, the batteries died in the noise cancelling headphones, and though I have other batteries of all sizes and descriptions, I do not have any more triple A’s. My kingdom for a triple A, (such that it is. Actually, I need three of them. And my kingdom is probably worth exactly that amount, so it’s a fair exchange rate).

I’ve been grappling with the issue of distractions this year, mainly because I’ve been grappling with distractions this year, and I’ve learned how draining constant, loud, uncontrollable noise can be, as it seems part of your brain is always busy taking it in. I’ve also learned methods to cope, like the earplugs, currently snugly situated in my ears, the noise cancelling headphones, which would be much more helpful if the batteries were still on this side of the mortal veil, and good, old fashioned determination to live true to the venerated, ancient saying: “La la la, I can’t hear you.”

We can’t control our environment all the time, no matter what science fiction told us should be happening in the year 2014. Sometimes you have to just find a way to deal with it. The distractions aren’t what’s important; it’s the work. And one way or another, its got to get done.

Sometimes you just have to do it with ridiculous bits of florescent orange foam in your ears.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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Editing Slow-Down

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Well, between the drilling–punctuated today with some enthusiastic hammering–and the migraine that’s been going since last week, my editing roll has stopped rolling. Which is a shame.

But when you are trying to type and you cannot remember how to spell “hire,” and instead, are stuck on “higher,” it’s probably an indication that editing won’t be as effective as you might have hoped. With the insistent noise today, I’m not sure it’s going to clear. Though it has to clear. I have things that must be done today.

A day of cool, perfect silence would be ideal, but cool, perfect silence is a rare commodity lately. Cool I have, as the temperatures have turned toward the decidedly fall-y, but perfect silence?

Not so much.

So I will pop my acetaminophen, and look forward toward their lunch break. I mean, these guys have to eat lunch, right?

As for the editing, we’ll see how it goes. Keep your pencils crossed for me.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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My Cloud’s Silver Lining

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So today’s a good news and bad news kind of day. The good news is that, because of the rain, the incessant noise of the work on the facade has stopped for the day. I have beautiful, wonderful quiet.

The bad news is that my brain doesn’t know what to do with it. I think it’s so happy not have to keep processing the sound in the background that it has packed it up and told me it refuses to work as it luxuriates in the silence. Well, I have news for you, brain. Luxuriating isn’t for Wednesdays.

Is it possible that quiet can become too quiet? I wouldn’t think so, but here I am, wanting to do nothing other than watch the weather outside the window. Not what I’d call the height of productivity.

There’s something about a rainy morning that makes you want to curl up in a blanket and go back to sleep, but that’s not exactly the best idea, not when there are things to do, blogs, ahem, to write, books to edit.

So I will refuse delivery of that bad news and mark it “Return to Sender.” It’s time, brain, to step up and take the day.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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Enjoying the Silence

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Contest ends tomorrow!

Quiet is one of those things you never hear until you haven’t had it for a while. This past week, the drilling has been loud and intense, so loud, I can’t quite drown it out with noise cancelling headphones.

It’s strange to be bombarded, for hours at a time, with a sound like that. It becomes physically exhausting, as it seems that, whether you want it to or not, a portion of your brain is focused on the noise at all times. It’s like not being able to listen away from it. No matter how you try to keep your mind where it needs to be, the noise draws it back.

This morning, I got up and it was dark and gloomy, the sky and air heavy. And then it dawned on me: they wouldn’t be working on the facade today, not in this weather. I’ve never been more grateful for a rainy day.

So today I have an overabundance of what I lacked this week, today I am brimming over with silence. Well, not perfect silence, because I’m in a city after all, and a completely silent city is the stuff of sci-fi horror films. But I will make hay while the sun doesn’t shine.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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One More Way to Deal with Distractions

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So remember how I said there would be an announcement about Aunty Ida? Here we go! We’re going to launch a contest related to that slightly-off-balance scientist with a nifty prize. So come back next week for all of the details and to find out when, what, how to enter. Interest sufficiently piqued? I hope so!

Now to the blogging. I’ve written a lot about distractions, mainly because I’ve had a lot of distractions lately. There’s been drilling and hammering and concrete saws and other fun noise creators, but yesterday’s source of noise was just not something I could work around.

The Air & Water Show is back in town.

I don’t know if you have ever heard the sound of a F/A-18 Hornet (yes, I looked up the kind of plane the Blue Angels fly, because I had no idea besides them being blue and yellow and incredibly fast), much less the sound reverberating off of buildings as it flies what looks like 200 yards away, but it’s loud. Like “Oh look, my bones are rattling” loud.

Usually it starts with a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye, and then there’s the thunderous roar of the plane ripping through the air. The sound always comes after the plane is long gone.

I’ve tried working around noise, I’ve used headphones and earplugs. But the sight of these highly skilled pilots barreling past in finely-tuned feats of technology is not something I can ignore. No matter how I feel about their real purpose.

So I went outside to watch the practice. Sometimes the old adages say it best, even when it comes to distractions: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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Savoring the Flavor of Silence

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It’s an absolutely gorgeous day, and to make it all the better, it seems that they’re not doing work on the building, I suspect, because of the wind. The platform fights against its tethers where they’ve left it anchored, and the flag looks nearly ironed.

It’s probably not safe to be dangling on the side of a building today.

I’d nearly forgotten what the silence sounds like. Or the sort-of silence, I live in the city, so there’s always a background hum of traffic or helicopters, punctuated now and then with the shriek of a siren. But today’s been, so far, remarkably peaceful.

I don’t know that I’ve ever appreciated it, a long stretch of quiet. It’s something I took for granted before the sounds of hammering and drilling through concrete became so familiar, they started to fade to levels that I could almost ignore.

Sometimes it’s good to just stop and take note. Note what you hear and what you don’t hear. What it feels like to sit with a welcome silence. What it feels like to sit with a silence too empty. To know that there are as many flavors of silence as there are of ice-cream, with some every bit as delightful.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!