As my workday comes to a close, and my efforts gladly wind down, I think that what I’m most looking forward to this evening is going to bed.
It started pouring rain last night and continued, off-and-on, into most of today. I had the house to myself, my office room enveloped by the view of the mountain vista outside, enshrouded in cotton-like filaments of rain-soaked fog and mist. The picturesque landscape actually reminded me of the sky texture from Doom episode one, which I guess is appropriate, because that texture was taken from a photo of a Chinese mountain range.
Last night I was up quite late, feeling suddenly wired (probably a jet lag reaction) and deciding that I may as well direct my pent-up energy toward getting some work done. And oh, was there plenty of work to be done.
I knew in advance that yesterday, my first full workday in Thailand, was going to be a doozy. As it turned out — and this always happens to me when I book a vacation or other travel date — my company planned to release a monumental new product on that very day. Every time a new product lands, it’s my job to update the downloadable files for our free trials and licensed copies, add the product to our website, write and deploy the press release, do all the ancillary marketing, and lots more.
This time, though, the development team decided not only to release the new product as planned, but they also launched major revisions to two of our other products, so the work was multiplied even more so than usual. Add to this the fact that I also needed to write the company’s monthly email newsletter, bearing announcements about the release, and get it sent out within 48 hours. Saying that I had my hands full yesterday would scarcely do justice to the reality of the situation.
I wasn’t helped by the Internet connection here at the house. It’s an ADSL system provided by TT&T MaxNet. It was up and running just fine when we got here, but as I started working, it became clear that we were going to need to upgrade from the “Indy” package to the “Premier” package. “Indy” is meant for casual users; tons of ports are blocked (no Slingbox, torrents, or even instant messaging with my work contacts) and connections between here and the western hemisphere are de-prioritized.
Apple and her brother A called in to get the package upgraded. Then MaxNet did something dumb: They disconnected our existing line, even though it was going to be a full day before they could get the new line up and running. So my connection went down in the heat of this crazy workday battle and stayed down for about five hours. After a flurry of calls and complaints we finally got MaxNet to turn the “Indy” connection back on until they could get the “Premier” one ready.
I didn’t have connectivity again until evening, so I went back to work. Eventually I stayed up late enough to run into the U.S.-based crowd as they came to work for the day, and we started exchanging emails, and the next thing I knew, it was three in the morning. But I finally wrapped up everything that I needed to, and got to put a whopping 15 hours on my time sheet for the day.
This morning, I got up around 7:30 or so. Despite the early hour and the small amount of sleep, I wasn’t feeling tired — there’s that jet lag again — but as the day wore on, I started really feeling it. Right now it’s about 8:30 in the evening and I’m ready to fall asleep at the computer. As soon as I get this update done, it’s bedtime for bonzo.
We got the “Premier” Internet package activated today, incidentally. All of those missing ports are now magically open — I had the Slingbox on in the background this afternoon, playing the local CBS morning news at 5 a.m., while I wrapped up a work project. My Spark instant messenger works again, and torrents are coming in at maximum speed. I can also now hit my router back in Florida without it taking an eon for every page to come up. Apple even found me a super-long phone cord so I could hook up my VoIP business phone, and it works perfectly. Overall, I’m much happier — and I hope our Internet troubles are over.
This evening, after dinner, we all went out to Carrefour (the local supermarket / shopping mall) to get some groceries. For my part, I stocked up on baked goods (croissants, doughnuts and crispy breadsticks to snack on), cereal, bananas and flavored iced teas. I also went to visit Roti Bun — it’s on the ground floor of the Carrefour mall — and got a yummy vanilla pastry. Yep, Roti Bun is still in business! I keep thinking they’re going to be gone whenever I come back to Thailand, but each time, there they are.
Apple has started the first phase of her fertility treatments with her doctor. As it happened, everything was situated just right for us to get started as soon as we got here. She’s getting a series of GnRH injections first; today was the second of them already. It’s all going well so far. I hope we get lucky!
Tomorrow’s Thursday. I’m not sure what to think — it seems like it should be Tuesday or Wednesday instead. Of course I’m hopelessly clueless not only as to what day of the week it is, but what day of the month it is. Not only am I halfway around the world, but my lifestyle is pretty different now, and it all seems kind of surreal. But in a good way — less to worry about, easier to concentrate when I’m working, lots of family to hang out with, and a much more interesting view from the window.
I’m really psyched up for the weekend. That’s when we’re going electronics shopping, awww yeah. I’ll be looking at buying my desktop computer — either a prebuilt box or a custom one, depending on the costs and configurations available — as well as the treasured Xbox 360. Just have to get my $600 cash USD exchanged for Thai baht. Much to my surprise, I found that our home here is now equipped with a Samsung 1080p HDTV, so my Xbox experience might be closer to home than I thought. I’m still debating whether to set the Xbox up downstairs, where the new TV is, or in my office room where I can connect it to a computer monitor. I’ll probably try both to see what I like better.
OK, that’s gonna be it for now. I’m still working on a post detailing our experiences with having our credit card number stolen. It’s already half-written, but I haven’t got any more energy left to finish it off tonight, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
To those of you in the United States, good morning! Have a great day — I’m going to bed.
Edit after posting: God, do you think I use enough em-dashes? It’s like I need some kind of intervention.