pseydtonne: Behold the Operator, speaking into a 1930s headset with its large mouthpiece. (prompt)
I decided to try sudoku a little before Christmas. By the time I got the news about grandma, I had bought a book of puzzles in the supermarket and moved to medium-level puzzles. Within a few days, I had moved up to hard level. I was spending any spare minute on a puzzle and ready to move to evil level.

When I say "spare moments", I'm talking almost any time. On hold? On a puzzle. Lunch time? Puzzle time. The toilet? Perfect.

I had looked up 'sudoku' on Wikipedia and got enough rules to figure out a couple of my own. I got good at slamming down the obvious numbers and reducing possibilities. I started a system of doing the first round in blue pen so that I knew which answers were immutable and which could be erased. I made a simple song that allowed me to hold numbers in a mental stack long enough to jot down possibilities.

Sudoku was giving me something I could manage when everything else was a waiting game. "When do I get word about gramma? Hmmm... there is a 5 here and another over there so the last 5..."

Then I realized my cel phone number would be a ten-digit sudoku line if I replaced the first zero with a six. That's when I started to see how much my brain was craving this silly game.

I then looked at the numbers this morning while I was in the shower. It takes me about 45 minutes to solve a puzzle and I did two puzzles yesterday. Thus I only got six hours of sleep. That's silly and has to stop.

Thus I'm leaving the puzzle book at home. If I have a few quiet moments while I'm waiting for a customer to sort something out, I will use that time to work on something that doesn't simply put nine digits in an order. I will trim my sudoku time to weekends and perhaps a week night. It's too easy to do nothing else.

I have been composing a spoken-word piece about this new habit I need to squash. Once the recording is ready, I'll make it available online. Ah, the Unitarian approach to solving a problem: discuss it until I'm tired of hearing about it.

-swirling around the grid, Dante

P.S.: I've been excessively productive at work today other than writing this post. I've been totally content to work. Maybe I'm onto something...

August 2016

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