Didja Miss Me?

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Well, that was fast.

A few days ago I said I was taking a break for an offline writing exercise. I finished that up last night, about four days before I anticipated being done, so here I am.

Today’s been somewhat rough. We had the car serviced this morning and in addition to the regular service being done and the right rear tire needing a plug to patch a hole from a nail, turns out the reason that the “check emissions” warning was coming up was that the thermostat was sticking, preventing our engine from running hot enough for optimal performance and as a result throwing the gas/oil ratio out of whack. We got the regular service and the patch done, but we’re shopping around for a place to replace the thermostat.

Somehow all this information got inside my head and made me very nervous and submissive – as we say here often, I felt very small. I don’t know what triggered it, and it came and went for a couple hours, but it’s better now. (There might have been an emergency viewing of the Avengers to distract me. It’s paused right now at the point just before Thor makes his entrance.)

There’ll be a radio show later tonight and that always manages to distract me. At this point I don’t think I need the distraction, but it’s definitely not going to hurt.

Anyway, that’s about all that I have that isn’t somehow political and I try really hard to keep my politics off this blog, so I’m shutting up now.

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Building a Distraction

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Yesterday evening we went to go pick up another Brené Brown book, I Thought It Was Just Me, that I think will be helpful. The Gifts of Imperfection is coming to a close and I’m probably going to spend some time with it taking notes before starting into the next book. I read for comprehension this time through, next time I’m going to read it with the intent of following through on the questions she asks throughout the book.

While we were at the store, my lovely wife surprised me with another LEGO Architecture set. This is my ninth set, plus I have the Studio. One of the early sets they had was a rudimentary model of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the tallest building in the world, but they discontinued it for some reason maybe a year or more ago. Yesterday, I found out the reason. They’ve re-released the Burj Khalifa as a vastly improved model – bigger, more complex, more detailed than its predecessor. After a rare dinner out (thank you, loyalty rewards program, for the $25 off!) we came home and started to build.

As usual, my wife separated and sorted bricks and I built. I was amazed at how well built this model is at its core. It felt like an architectural project, with several internal elements designed to reinforce the model as it grows taller and taller and larger design elements that were constructed before being added to the full model. The methods used to realize this set were plenty and as creative as anything I’ve ever seen in a set before. It took about two hours before the spire, the final element that took twenty steps on its own, was added to the rest of the model. The finished piece towers over the rest of my collection at 15.4 inches tall. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

As much fun as I have admiring it over on the top of the bookshelf that I display my collection on, I had just as much fun or more actually building the thing, so this afternoon when my wife asked me what I wanted to do, I told her I wanted to break down the model and reconstruct it. So that’s what we did, and it was just as much fun the second time around as it was the first.

The best part, however, is that it’s worked to completely distract me from my recent downward spiral. We can’t go buy a new model every time I get depressed, but this was a special treat and I cannot thank my wife enough for letting me have it. The timing was perfect.