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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

The Fruit Of The Tree Of
Knowledge Of Good And Evil

The Good Book says it was an apple,
but there are many kinds of apples.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

March 9, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

The Good Book says it was an apple, but there are many kinds of apples: the Red Delicious, the Golden Delicious, the Pippin and the Apple Pear, which is grown in greenhouses.

I don't know whether it's Biblical scholarship or tradition that informs us, but I had understood that The Forbidden Fruit was actually a Quince.

But now Steve Jobs tells me that it's...

... the iPod.

insomnyuk was correct when he speculated that the job I posted about yesterday was for Apple, but it wasn't to work on iTunes, and certainly not to add Ogg Vorbis support to any of Apple's products:

It was to work on the iPod.

I expect they were interested because I had done a bunch of embedded storage protocol work a while back, and in particular had done this on the ARM processor, which I understand is what powers the iPod: I know ARM and Thumb assembly programming.

I was asked to do a telephone interview for a job working on the iPod. What more could a software engineer want? What more could a musician want?

The problem is that I already have a great job: I work for a great company, on great products, with great coworkers. I live in a great city. It's not something I would give up lightly.

But I am often homesick... for California, for Santa Cruz, for my friends back home, for the life I once knew.

Sometimes reminders of home make me cry, as when I first heard Billy Bragg & Wilco do Woody Guthrie's "California Stars" on Radio Paradise.

When I asked Bonita what she thought, she said I must make my own decision. She said I had to do what was right for me, and she didn't want to advise me either way.

Your advice, when I asked about it in yesterday's diary, was overwhelming: I should not take the job.

Late in the day I emailed the following to the Apple engineer who had contacted me:

Hi Again,

After some consideration, and discussions with my wife and friends, while I'm still interested in the iPod job, and would still like to interview with you, I would only be willing to take the job if I could do the work from Canada.

I could either work out of my home, or if Apple has any facilities in Canada, I could work from there. I would be OK with moving anywhere in Canada you had an office.

My wife is a Canadian citizen; she is sponsoring my application for permanent residency here. She lived with me in the US for several years, and for a number reasons she isn't willing to live there anymore. She's very committed to staying in Canada.

I would of course be happy to visit Apple's headquarters any time the need arose.

Note that I was self-employed as a software consultant for eight years, and have a proven record of being able to ship quality software products while working remotely. I'll email you my references when I get home - they'll be able to testify to that fact.

I hope we can still continue our discussion.

But I knew it was just a Hail Mary pass.

I slept late today - I'll be leaving for work after I post this. When I got up the first thing I did was check my email, wherein I found:

thank you but no all of iPod is done on site for secrecy reason. Thank and let me know if times should change.

I put on a pot of coffee then walked to the store to buy some Ben & Jerry's ice cream, then ate the whole tub while listening, over and over again, to the song that made me cry the day I first flew to Vancouver:

None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free
One of us are chained
None of us are free

-- Solomon Burke

I called Bonita with the news, and she said that she hadn't wanted to tell me, because she wanted me to have the job if I chose to take it, but that more than anything, she wanted nothing to change right now.

What Bonita needs is stability: the whole reason I took the job I have now, in Vancouver, rather than continuing to try to make it on my own as I had for eight years, was that my life as a self-employed consultant was too hard on Bonita.

Sometimes, when I'd lose a contract, or underbid a job, or a client wouldn't pay, or I'd get stuck on a bug, it would make Bonita cry.

And sometimes, when my schizoaffective disorder would flare up, and I would become paranoid, or obsessed, sometimes it would make Bonita cry.

If there were only one thing I could change about myself, it's that sometimes I make Bonita cry.

I have to go to work now.

Thank you for all your advice, and your kind help.

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd love to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes, I'd give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers glass like friendly wine
So, I'd give this world
just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars

-- Woody Guthrie

-- Mike

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