All of life can be broken down into moments of transition and moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both.
-G’Kar, Babylon 5
I feel strange. Don’t exactly know how to describe it.
One week from today I start the first class for my master’s degree in computer science. The degree will help my career, give me background for my AI project, and teach me how to do academic research. It will take an enormous chunk of my time for the next twenty or thirty months. Don’t get me wrong: I’m excited. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t excited. But I haven’t been to school in five years.
Last night I finished Mockingjay, concluding the Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay is a book full of suffering that goes nowhere, a book that left me feeling strange and empty and sad. Now I’m reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which seems appropriate.
At work, I spent all last week out of office, at the conference in Phoenix. Today and tomorrow, though I’m technically in the office, I’m in all-day training. A week and a half of being disconnected from the usual routine.
Likewise with the blog. Last week, circumstances forced me AWOL, and the week before that was the Dyriel choose-your-own-adventure story, which I was never all that happy with. It’s been over two weeks since my last “normal” post. A feeling of disconnection there, too.
I’m writing this at 3:00 in the morning, a time they call the witching hour or the hour of the wolf, depending on who you ask. Can’t sleep. Can’t turn off the brain.
The news is bad. Even as Egypt chooses a democratically elected leader for the first time in decades, the military is making it very clear that it still has all the power, that the revolution is far from over. Syria’s rampage continues. Rodney King was found dead in a swimming pool. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s advertisers want me to know that a local mom is 57, but looks 25. Her $4 trick erases wrinkles!
Work continues on the artificial intelligence. Leaps and bounds on the design side, with the learning model getting clearer by the day. On the nuts-and-bolts side, I’ve added some basic but very functional tools for pattern recognition and generating output. I’ve also refactored the code, giving it a much more logical structure. Every day gets me a little closer.
It’s been over two weeks since I last meditated. Sometimes it feels like a kind of miniature salvation; other times, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. The categories may overlap.
And there are other things going on, things I can’t write about here. That’s nothing new, of course. But it’s there.
I suppose my brain will sort itself out in a couple of days. I don’t feel bad, exactly. Just…strange.
What’s new with you?