the long open road of summer

driving home, down into the clouds

I’ve had the fidgets this week. I’ve had all my days on the calendar basically blank. Sure there’s my MetaFilter job which is 5-15 minutes out of every hour, and there’s the ongoing library automation project which is going pretty slow motion, and there’s some upcoming writing I’m supposed to be doing, but my days are bounded by … nothing. I’ve got the absent-minded floatiness of someone without enough structure. Just this pat week I realized that my windshielf wiper fluid spritzer thing wasn’t broken, I had forgotten how to use it [to be fair, I was thinking it worked like the one on my old car]. So, while I’m watching myself for signs of premature dementia, I’m also suspecting this is what it’s like when I relax.

So, I did some things. I helped my friend Stan pack up his kitchen in preparation for his move down the street this week. I checked out the local hospital cafeteria with my pal Forrest [for fun, not because anyone was sick, when gumbo is $2, who needs a convenient illness as an excuse to visit?] I reordered my instant messenger buddy list and deleted about 400 people who I could not for the life of me remember. I set up both of my tents just to make sure they worked okay just in time for them to get totally filled up with water in our recent rainstorms, leaving little pollen rings inside them. I went to buy some gravel, but I guess they ony sell it by the truckload so they gave me a little bagful for free. I visted the local historical society with Jim who was up visiting. I went to a Solstice cookout/bonfire/frisbee/lost-in-the-woods extravaganza. I made cookies. I finished a few books. I straightened out my bookshelves. I planned a few future trips. I went swimming (though not outside, yet). I sent a few postcards.

So that was the first few days of the week. We’ll see what I get done with the last three. I think I did all the stuff from the list a few weeks ago, except maybe removing the flannel sheets. It’s still a little chilly at night here. lives

This is probably as good a place as any to mention that I redid the front page of to just basically point to other places people might be trying to go. I’m still tweaking it; the whole idea of a home page where people follow links to other stuff is adorably outdated now and yet I want to not just be this blog. So. Anything I’m forgetting to put there?

Sumer Is Icumen In

elmo and me

I gave my last talk of the season (i.e. through September) on Friday and one of the librarians in the audience made my day with this quote

Fantastic talk about libraries and CMS by the funny and animated @jessamyn. I swear she’s part Muppet. #nelaits

The talk, which I was actually pretty pleased with, was about content management systems, why they’re important to running a library website and how they’re not that scary. You can see the details here and read more about the day here.

Lat week was the wrap-up of three out of five of the things that I do that could be considered jobs. I taught my last class at RTCC, my last drop-in time happened and I wrote and presented my last talk. I’m back at home now, looking at a greenish sky and some very green trees waiting for rain and thinking about how my summer is going to go. I’m still working at MetaFilter — the site is turning ten next month so I’m going to New Orleans for a party (for work!) — and I’m still slowly automating the Tunbridge Library. Otherwise I’m going to have a shocking amount of free time. I’m not going to have much trouble with this, I’m pretty much never bored, but after getting into the habit of being out of town all the time (I was either gone or had guests here for all or part of the last eight weekends) it will be weird to get into the habit of being IN town.

I’ve already been slashing through my back burner to do list including buying a bigger/better backpack, fixing the toilet, paying some large bills (Topsham has a new furnace, hooray!) and taking out the accumulating recycling. I got rid of four (4) computers a week or two ago and I’m going to get back to my occasional ebaying. Other odd things on the list include

  • Getting some gravel to make more mossariums. I’m a little chagrined to have to buy gravel, but I’m even more tired of finding out of the way places to scoop it up
  • Get the purple bike running and taking pictures
  • Finishing some of the five or so books that I’ve started
  • Crossing fingers for warm enough weather to remove the flannel sheets
  • Getting a new driver’s license to replace the bent one I lost
  • Getting a new passport for the old one that is expiring
  • Write a lot of thank you notes
  • Getting back in the pool, the pool that was closed for two of the past few weeks, putting a serious crimp in my stress-management plan.
  • Recording more old tapes.

I think I’ve also figured out how to climb the hill out back to get to that really snazzy looking place up top with the great view and I’d like to start making walks up there a regular part of my weekdays. Solstice is coming up and it can’t come soon enough.

om. nom. nom.

hot donut action

As most of you know, I’m not much of a foodie. I eat to stay alive most of the time, and to have enough energy to do the other things I like to do in life, most of which are not really cooking or eating food. I mean, I really like food but I don’t dedicate a lot of mental energy or time to it. If there were a food pill, I’d take it four days out of seven. When I’m home and not travelling I’m likely to eat exactly the same thing every day for a week and then change it up for the next week. I’m aware this may be a form of OCD. This has always been true, since before my weight loss kick (essentially successful, I weigh 130-ish pretty much steadily now) but it makes things simple now.

That said (I’m a huge fan of the phrase “that said” it’s like saying “but ignore that part”) I enjoyed eating my way through Montreal this weekend. I went up to give a talk at Library Camp and then stayed with some friends the rest of the weekend. Travels were just a bus up and a bus down — though I missed a quickie bomb scare that was right near me — which worked flawlessly. I tried to eat a different sort of meal every time I ate out. This is what I wound up with. Each bullet point is an approximate meal or snack.

  • misc freegan food found on the way up: cookie, banana
  • gyro/pita/fries
  • free hot chocolate from hotel vending machine
  • fruits & cookies & coffee at camp
  • beer, blonde beer
  • chicken stuffed with spinach & veal & steak frites
  • bagels & cream cheese from this place (or another nearby bagelry)
  • ham and cheese crepe
  • indian food that could not be beat
  • the donut featured above along with some poached fruit compote over brioche with fluffy sweet yogurt
  • spiced nuts and a lime soda
  • obligatory coming home cheeseburger

I arrived home to find that the pool was closed and would be closed all week and I am a little fidgety wanting to get a little exercise. However, I’m also home to my slightly empty fridge, my meager local restaurant choices and my big jar of cereal so I think I’ll be just fine.