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Lots of crazy dreams last night. I tried going back to taking two melatonin and woke up before midnight so I decided to pop two sleeping pills. That was a mistake since I couldn't wake up this morning and now feel very behind as I start the day. I'll be okay, nothing I have to do is time sensitive, I'm a little annoyed with myself, but also glad I tried the experiment. Jane had to ride her bike to school today, thankfully it's nice and sunny out. Tomorrow and Wednesday I'll have my mom's car. I made a list of things I need to get done. I'm trying to remain calm and remind myself that I can get whatever accomplished while I have her vehicle and it's not the end of the world if I can't cross everything off my list.

My therapist can't see me so that's one thing off of my list. Kind of a bummer because I really wanted to get in and see her as it's been a while. I need to do some car shopping, get my phone switched over, buy groceries, run any errands that require distances longer than I can cover on my bike, and I'm kind of excited, but also nervous about it. Part of the anxiety is coming from an invite to a Milwaukee Brewers game. A girlfriend of mine invited me and another woman named Jessica. It's a treat, but it's also a day game so I'm nervous about getting sunburnt while sitting outside for hours at a time. I realize I can always leave my seat and go stand in the shade, but that kind of defeats the purpose of going to a game. I'll also have to pay for my own parking which isn't a huge deal, just another expense I have to account for at a time when every cent counts.

I had an insight about myself this morning. Last night the guy I like asked me how I was recovering from the accident. Physically my injuries were minor. Something about the question triggered a rant. This morning I was still thinking about what I said and why I act the way that I do. I finally realized that I'm used to being married and need to back off since this is a new romance and shouldn't be confused with the old one. I was projecting a lot of stuff onto the new guy that should have stopped when I got divorced. That's not fair to him and I'm going to try and explain it in a way that hopefully doesn't drive him away. Lots to do today so I'm cutting this short. Yesterday Jill made a fabulous mango strawberry smoothie. Don't know exactly what she did, but experimenting to see if I can recreate it and write up the recipe for future generations here.

After 3+ months of relative quiet in my job search, I've begun to get some more job interviews. I had three different sessions last week -- in-person with a large technical recruitment firm, in-person with a large on-line retailer (who had me sign an NDA beforehand, and then disclosed nothing of significance about the position or their work) and on the phone with a medium-sized software company. I have three or four more opportunities this week, so the "Why am I not getting interviews?" monkey's finally been dislodged.

The large on-line retailer has offices in a building where the elevators don't have floor buttons. An efficient elevator algorithm being a classic puzzle of the programming genre, I thought at first that it was a clever part of the interview. You must select your destination on a screen in the lobby, and the screen then indicates a specific elevator for you to ride. This is apparently an advanced form of load balancing, though I wonder how well it handles peak loads versus the traditional model. If you get in the wrong one (ahem) then you get a free ride to the wrong floor, then you have to go back down to the lobby and try again. I think I probably lost one life when I had to restart on the ground floor.

In other developments, over a week ago my left calf swelled up to twice the size of my right, leading to serious discomfort, a painful limp, and an eventual diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis -- a blood clot in my thigh. So, it's blood thinners for me. Yay! The doctor said that I should "try not to bleed." Fortunately that's how I typically comport myself anyway. I aint got time to bleed. I am also to be alert for sudden, sharp chest pain. This is also in my ordinary list of things to be wary of, so it's all good. Now after almost a week, my leg is still a meat balloon, and I am running up high scores on the pharmacy blood pressure machine, so there may be further developments. I learned that the pharmacy machine can display three digits for diastolic pressure, which for me is a new achievement unlocked. I was disappointed that it didn't play victory music for my high score.

Unlike my earlier experience with the millenial-focused e-commerce software vendor, last week's interviews were all behavioral interviews. Despite my extensive experience with the technique, I would say I did OK but not fantastic with the questions. Mostly what I did wrong was in trying to keep things conversational, I would pause before giving the payoff (result) and the interviewer would ask a new question instead of following up on my answer. So I learned that I need to be more aggressive about telling the end of my story before relinquishing the conversational ball.

So as I'm waiting for results from last week's interviews and doing three or four more this week, I am both hopeful and a bit sad that my extended vacation might be drawing to a close. In the meantime, I'll node a version of my behavioral interview prep sheet in hopes that's a helpful complement to the more technically-focused nodes like hard interview questions and my previous content under how to kick ass at a job interview at al.

Tomorrow is surgery day.

Fortunately for me, given my varying mood swings and changes of mind regarding this procedure (which seem to happen on increasingly shorter cycles as the date approaches) the NY Times published a story yesterday on weight loss that is incredibly apropos and has helped calm my second-guessing. Apparently, observing a number of people who lost a bunch of weight via diet and exercise (the winners of The Biggest Loser) over a few years, they made some interesting discoveries. tl;dr - although the study isn't fully scientific (no controls, low sample) they discovered that in all cases, these people's bodies reacted to their losing large amounts of weight via diet and exercise by dramatically lowering their metabolic rate and dramatically raising the chemical hunger levels in their bodies. In other words, their bodies frantically tried to get them to return to their original weight. The first part was bad enough - it meant that their 'maintenance level' of caloric intake after losing weight dropped, in some cases by 500-800 calories per day! So even after losing weight, you'd expect your metabolism to be up from all the exercise but nope, other way around! You can now eat 500-800 calories fewer per day before your body starts storing food as fat. The second bit deals with the levels of various hormones in the body, including ghrelin - low levels of hormone are correlated with subjective hunger. In all cases, the subjects' bodies showed dramatically lower levels of these hormones - indicating that they were suffering from constant hunger, much stronger hunger than before and much stronger than normal human replacement hunger - and all the time.

So yeah, your body totally fucks you after you lose weight via diet and exercise. The only way to keep weight off by doing that, for most people, seems to be to permanently lower your intake below your prior eating levels, deal with constant hunger, and continue exercising at the same rate required to lose the weight in the first place. Not conducive to long-term success.

I feel better about the surgery.

At work for my last day pre-knife, to close out stuff and hand it off to my team as necessary. I expect to be back to work in a week, but just in case.

Weight: 311.1 (I'm down basically 19 lbs in two weeks, hory sheet).

Sadly, my diet will be even more restricted after surgery. It's gonna be months of worse before it gets any better. :-/

Edit - later in the day

Again, many most humble thanks to all of you who have wished me well as I head into this. You're all good people, and this is why I continue to hang around this slightly threadbare internet clubhouse, despite the draughts and the lack of decent coffee and the bot mumbling to itself.

Yeah. I have a vision. It is a vision of a leaner, hipster-er version of myself. Black turtleneck. Hipster fashion sellout shoulder rig. Hipster gat. Fedora. Motorcycle. Yeah.

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