link to it 28jan05: more weather
[tutu] On second though, it may be that things aren't so bad but I just tend to write the bad things down. We woke up this morning to find that all the pipes were frozen, or maybe just one of them was. In any case, there was no water of any kind necessitating Greg bringing a toothbrush to school and me staying home and chatting up various repair guys who were, I must say, speedy and friendly. I got to bring in snow and heat it up on the stove, go frontier house! The irony is, if we'd gotten more snow instead of the paltry six inches we did get, the basement might have been better protected from last night's -15 freeze-up.

While I was waiting for the fixit guys, I checked my email and tried to log in only to realize my shell account had expired. I had not gotten the reminder message, probably due to a problem my ISP is having with some realtime black hole lists. Good news, renewing for two years quadrupled my quota. Have I mentioned lately that I like my ISP?

I have been given some new admin duties on a site I frequent, which is somewhat equivalent to the invisible post-it I normally wear on the bus saying "Hey, I'm a freak magnet!" though I must say it's been fine so far. I have an uneasy feeling my illusion that not too many people read this site is going to come crashing down around me.

Jack Miller dropped me a friendly note to say he and Shanon are having an Odd Stock in Seattle [same place, same-ish format] in March. I can't possibly go, but if you're interested, contact me and I can pass on the flyer. For anyone keeping track, this is the first time I've heard from him since 1999 and it was good to hear from him.

My sister is coming up for the weekend for some peecee tech support and a visit. My Dad listened to Steve Jobs' keynote speech, said "this guy is a genius!" and bought a Mac Mini. My Mom has been really tearing up the place with all the pictures she puts on Flickr. I'm just trying to find the time to lie in bed and eat books and send away for zines and use up all the stamps I got for Christmas.
link to it 23jan05: weather
Really, when I watch the Weather Channel during extreme weather I just want to answer the question "What does it look like at my Mom's/Dad's house" or "What is it going to look like at my house in a few hours?" Somehow we managed to only get about six to eight inches of snow this weekend, and none of those freaky-high winds a lot of other people in New England got. Plus, I could answer the questions about the snow at my Mom's place and the snow at my Dad and Cindy's place just by checking Flickr.

I'm trying to keep current with my reading list and this page, and at the same time continue to make plans to leave town. I'll be speaking at Marlboro College during National Library Week sometime which makes the running total of upcoming events an even six for the next six months. Some of them actually pay!

It seems like all I can do lately is sit inside with my nose in a book watching the icicles growing ever longer sideways and listening to Park Slope basement dwellers with names their parents never gave them sing songs as if they were standing outside wrapped in a damp blanket, begging to come inside. My things are becoming unbroken.
link to it 20jan05: I think I'll move to...
I'm sure I've mentioned Judith Viorst's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day when things start going crazy wrong. The thing I did not mention, is that the thing that the bad day is going to drive the protagonist to do is.... move to Australia! Now then, I am safely back from Boston and had a pretty good time, but I will share with you some of the things that broke when I was there:

broken: my laptop's logic board, my sister's laptop's dial-up, my sister's car, my ISP's mail and web servers,'s host's server, ALA's mailing list archives
not broken: my resolve, my general good nature, Greg's laptop, my car

Some of the broken stuff is en route to repair and some is not. The conference was worthwhile but a little tiring. I had exceptional meals with friends all of whom seem happy and contented which is a very unusual five for five hit rate for friends [ken, sara, sarah, james & shinjoung, also jenna, eric and kate]. I also got into a spectacular fight with the MBTA people over some Canadian quarters that their token machine gave me which the token salesman would not accept as money for the purpose of getting on the subway, despite the fact that their token machine clearly thought it was legal tender. Serves me right for carrying around the barest minimum amount of money that I need to get home.

During the bus ride home, the very nice Dartmouth Coach driver announced to us that we would be about 15-20 minutes late and said we could flout the usual cell phone ban if we needed to call our rides to say we'd be late. And, for those without cell phones, never fear, we could borrow the driver's phone if we needed to. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between the lower 3 New England states and the upper three. Someone at the conference asked me when Vermont was going to secede and join Canada and all I could say was "Soon."
link to it 13jan05: scheming
[plug] For anyone who reads my booklist via its RSS feed, you'll need to update your link. For anyone who doesn't read my booklist, maybe it's time to start? I'm reading Double Fold right now, that book about librarians who threw out all those newspapers in exchange for incomplete or otherwise crappy microfilm sets and man is it a fascinating and frustrating read.

So Greg is off to get his stitches out and we're both back on solid food and feeling a lot better. We've been offsetting our discomfort by reading chapters of Bill Bryson's book A Walk in the Woods out loud to each other before bed. Dawn is down at the library conference and I'll be joining her and 10,000 other librarians in Boston tomorrow. I drove to and from work yesterday in the first really nail-biting weather of the season and today it's approaching 50 degrees.

Usually I've got the 2-3 week plan in the forefront of my mind, but lately it's all been about six months out and more. I've been thinking about spending my time after my job is up getting an agent and working on a book. I have a loose plan to go back to Australia for a few months in 2006. I want to see all the friends who I haven't seen since I've been working regularly. I want to get my remaining stuff from Seattle and back here. Winter is a time for planning while Spring and Summer are the times for doing. I've got a few more months before I can move on any of this stuff, so for now I just stay in bed with a book and/or laptop, and a cup of coffee, daydreaming.
link to it 09jan05: the real value of librarians
My pal Dawn arrived from Seattle yesterday, on her way down to ALA. I was still getting over my stomach troubles and Greg was still getting over his gum invasion. We sat down to watch a movie, my stomach was rumbling, and Dawn went upstairs and came down with a little travel size package of Tums that she brings with her when she travels. They did the trick. She also had a few sachets of chamomile tea in her bag which helped Greg with his healing mouth. In my dream world, all librarians are this resourceful and this helpful.
link to it 07jan05: ugh
Greg got gum surgery on Wednesday which is somewhat worse than it sounds, but has left him on a mush diet for the last few days. Before the trip to the dentist, we stopped in to see friends in Burlington who were just getting over a stomach bug which I then seem to have caught. So yesterday was a blur of mostly sleep punctuated with temperature taking and mush preparation and whining. My pal Dawn is coming in tomorrow morning on her way down to the library conference and we're really hoping that we're both on the mend enough to not have to greet her like this.

The few days before that were really nice. I made a calendar for 2005 and wrote everyone's birthday in it. I filled the birdfeeders with suet and watched them get mobbed with all sorts of birds. I made Happy 2005 cards but have been too flattened to write them, much less stamp and address them. If anyone knows any practical treatments for a stomach malady that I can only call The Gurgles, please send them my way. Right now I'm on a strict diet of one banana and a few glasses of water a day. Here's to mush!
link to it 03jan05: the entrance to the rest of 2005
I'm back on a more or less regular schedule at work. The traffic court called and rescheduled my speeding ticket hearing that was supposed to be tomorrow. The judge was sick, they said. If the cop fails to show up, then my ticket is dismissed, but if the judge is sick then we all get called and told to stay home. I was also told to wait for the reschedule date to appear in the mail. If you've been keeping track at home, you'll note that I got this ticket in August.

I made a few boring resolutions mostly along the lines of remembering more of what I read, being kinder to Greg and everyone else, in that order, and to somehow manage to type less and communicate more. I've been reading like a fiend already this year. One of the downsides to being such a voracious reader is believing that there may not be anything new left to say. I sometimes like to express my feelings in the words of others and dug up this chestnut from New Years 1999. Remember when all we were afraid of was computer glitches? Now I go outside on January third in New England and it's 45 degrees outside and while one part of me is happy to be walking on solid ground instead of solid ice, I am also very afraid.

Let's set our sights beyond the abominations of today, to divine another possible world....
- the despairing shall be paired and the lost shall be found, for they are the ones who despaired and lost their way from so much lonely seeking;
- we shall be compatriots and contemporaries of all who have a yearning for justice and beauty, no matter where they were born or when they lived, because the borders of geography and time shall cease to exist;
- perfection shall remain the boring privilege of the gods;
- while in our bungling messy world every night shall be lived as if it were the last, and every day as if it were the first.
link to it 01jan05: the exit to the holiday season
Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday Blog!

An early draft of my resolution list included having some sort of blogging software to run this, now eight year old, blog. However, there's nothing about the dawning of 2005 that somehow urges this along, unlike, say, getting started with financial software, which was not part of my resolution list.

Greg and I roasted a chicken and hung out at home doing what we normally do last night. We were in bed by 11:50 and asleep before the church bells rang in the New Year. Not a bad way to go, all things considered. I did a wrap of of 2004's reading and I'm one book in to 2005. It's 45 degrees today which is unsettling but also the perfect backdrop for a nice melty walk around the neighborhood, hopefully with camera in hand.

I hope this year brings you and yours, and our country and others', the best, or at least better.
Jessamyn is in...
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