I gave myself a new dose of reading this weekend. Yesterday I finished The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh, then I bought:
- The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- The Magic of Believing: Believe in Yourself by Vic Johnson.
The first two new reads are longer, intellectual reads. Johnson’s book is a quick read and much like a dose of Vitamin C when you have a cold, I’m note really sure of the effect. It just feels like it makes a difference when you do. The Code Book was really, really instructive and interesting. An excellent mix of history, non-technical explanations, and cryptography applications.
I’ve purposely slept a lot since New Year’s Day when I went to bed at 7:15. Every night since January 1, I’ve been in bed by 8:00 or 8:15, and I worked in very solid naps on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m feeling very refreshed today and ready to restart after a long, appreciated Christmas break.
San Francisco seems quiet this morning. It’s never loud or unnerving when I pop out of my BART stop at 6:30am – today just feels quieter than normal. Is that a reflection of my subdued mental state? There are homeless and hipsters, timed traffic lights and construction workers. It’s all the same as I left it three weeks ago. It just seems quiet today.
The first distinctive noise I noticed was a conversation between two twenty-something women at a bus stop. In passing, I heard – “Oh my gosh, she’s dating like three guys right now.” The statement wasn’t stated judgmentally or perniciously or outrageously, and I can’t decide if it was said jealously. It was a statement I didn’t expect at 6:30 on Monday morning.
I stubbed my foot crossing the street just then, probably because my shoes are new. I remembered the first day of school after Christmas, when I proudly wore my new sneakers. In fourth grade, leather Nike sneakers were the rage. I felt very proud to wear those because they made me cool. Despite the shoes, like everyone else, I was still the insecure 10-year old – worried about what everyone else thought of me, worried about my haircut and blue jeans, and worried that my winter hat was to big and fluffy. But in fourth grade, it was kind of cool to be smart so I had this path to experience some level of coolness. That all feels pretty similar to who I am today.
Not so much in middle school. Pubescence magnified the importance of shoes, haircut, and general appearance, and with my slight build, super straight hair, and propensity for awkwardness, middle school became my personal Dark Ages. In seventh grade, I used my sister’s curling iron and blow dryer every morning to feather my hair like John Stamos. It never worked. I had a straight part down the middle of my head, with my hair failing straight down to each side. Back to the Future was the big movie in seventh grade, and so pop culture timing and my really bad haircut earned me the nickname of “McFly” for the year thanks to the class bully. I wonder what happened to that guy. I just tried a Google search and got nothing…
I stopped at Walgreens for a pocket notebook to jot notes about my thoughts and ideas. I generally do this in Evernote already, and having a couple of pocket notebooks for insurance seems like a good idea.
In Walgreens, I watched a guy skip the main register by walking over to the cosmetics register. He was very pleased with the discovery that the register was open, and was buying a couple boxes of Nicorette and two packs of dried salami. Searching for a notebook, I thought about going to CVS with my mom when I was a kid. I’d usually go with her grocery shopping, which included a trip to the drugstore for drugstore things. She let me hang out in the toy section while she shopped. Now I wonder who goes to CVS or Walgreens or Rite Aid to buy toys.
Time to go to work.