Friday, May 11, 2001

Work’s been kinda intense; we have a deadline of 9:00 a.m. on Monday to get a bunch of help files cleaned up. I’ll probably be coming in to work tomorrow.

Of course, if I’d simply buckled down and really attacked this work, it’d be done by now. But no, instead I’ve been fiddling with other things, or just plain goofing off at times.

So, fine. I have to pay the piper. I do get my work done on time, even if I have to work overtime to do it. I just need to get better at actually working. And I seem to be improving, but I refuse to be any easier on myself until I’m sure that this has become a habit.

My sister and her daughters came over last night, so the evening was spent mostly with them. Which, really, was a pure joy. I’m not very good with young kids (they’re 1, 3, and 5 years old), but I’m getting more comfortable with them. Plus, the oldest is getting old enough to be able to hold her own in a complex conversation, which makes things easier for me.

Any time I spent with the computer last night was spent answering e-mails, which is quickly becoming a significant task. I’m subscribed to two Anime Music Video lists plus the AtheOS developer list, and as such I’m getting well over 100 messages a day. I try to answer e-mail when I first get up and when I get home from work, which helps to cut down on the job nicely.

I don’t filter my e-mail, because I found that I don’t read e-mail that’s been automatically shuttled into a folder. While filtering might make my e-mail checking job a easier, I’m afraid it would make it too easy, and I would ignore those lists that have a large amount of traffic.

I’ve been listening to a book-on-tape of Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, and I must say that it’s quite an unusual experience. To quote one review of the writer himself (paraphrased), “He started out as a fantastic writer, but at the end he was just a dirty old man.” I can’t really disagree. His early books were crisp and clean (both in the wordsmithing and the prurient senses). This book references a relative who had a child with a girl who’s still in high school. Sex is pretty rampant, and while actual sexual content is skillfully avoided, it’s still there.

Saalon and I were talking about this, referencing an OpenDiary I read about a 14-year-old girl who’s decided to have sex with her boyfriend. She’s not a virgin, but we agreed that, to quote Saalon, “She doesn’t know herself well enough to be making that serious of a decision.”

You can argue that the “age of consent” has been variable over the ages, but even so, this girl lives in a culture in which 14 is too young for sex. She’s grown up in an environment in which sex is for adults. While this may be more or less accurate depending on various factors, I feel she isn’t able to handle the immense minefield that sex opens up.

But how can I convince her of that? How can anyone? She’s 14, and chafing under the eagle eye of her Mom, and to the point at which she wants to make her own mistakes. Even if you can convince her that this might be a mistake, she’s willing to make it anyway.

At least her boyfriend seems like the nicest guy in the world, and that’s even when reading between the lines. So, even if this does cause problems, he’ll probably make it as easy on this girl as he can.

But, really…I can’t even imagine trying to break up with a girl I’d had sex with. It tightens the relationship so much. Even if I knew I was right for the person, isn’t it wiser to wait until both participants are together in a marriage?

Where was I? Oh, right, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. I haven’t even finished the first three chapters yet, so this is definitely too early for me to make a final judgment. I’m enjoying the story, which is a mystery set on a large space station, but I can’t say I love it. Thus far, it’s a pleasant way to spend some time.

Which is a pretty positive review, now that I think about it.

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