doldrum two step

flowers in the window

Some times of the year I feel pretty unexcited about my lack of progress in various things. This time of year it feels like a huge success to just be treading water in place or quite possibly taking tiny incremental steps towards getting some things accomplished. A lot of the people around me have a tough time in the short days of the new year and I feel slightly guilty just being able to say that I’m not in my own personal doldrums.

Some small accomplishments

  • Made a little video of the birds in the snow
  • Kept all my current plants alive.
  • Went out snowshoeing, twice, and got tuckered out each time.
  • Reorganized the shelf of shame on my bookshelf where I’d just been tossing stuff that didn’t belong elsewhere.
  • Ditto the Closet of Boxes which is now empty.
  • Got my copyedits in on time and mostly complete. The incomplete part was all my fault and a technology error. Oh my!
  • Got some headshots taken which has convinced me that I need some sort of haircut. There are a few examples on Flickr (me, me and Jim)
  • Got to the gym once and realized I may not have been running since late September.
  • Got a boomerang in the mail. This is not an accomplishment but pleases me just the same.

That’s the short report. Writing a little blah blah thing here was also on my “to do” list, now completed.

my world of work and money


I think I usually make this post around tax time, but I kept good track of money stuff last year (thanks Excel, and USAA website) so it’s easy enough to make now. Without giving actual numbers, this is where my income came from last year. Nothing too surprising except that the library sliver is teeny. Interestingly, it’s not that I worked so much less at the library on an hourly basis but that the jobs pay so much worse. Working at the library pays about 30% of what working at the high school pays. I decided that my library job was going to be my public service work for last year, so I donated all the money I made working at the library directly to the food bank. I’ll probably do the same this year.

My MetaFilter job now comes with health insurance, a 401K and all those other “normal job” perks. It’s a little strange to have a job that is largely invisible to most people, but I muddle through. I passed my five year mark at the new year and got a gold star next to my username as recognition. And then some random MetaFilter person sent me a pen set anyhow.

I’m trying to do less travelling for work this year, something I did fairly successfully last year. I’ve got two trips to Austin and one to Connecticut lined up. I’ve picked up a few more volunteer jobs, possibly against my better judgment. I’m teaching some classes for the Vermont community broadband project. Natural fit, right? Unfortunately, there’s this reinventing the wheel aspect to the whole thing that I find maddening, I’m trying to be the change I want to see in technology instruction, but it’s an uphill climb. I’m reminded of one of the inside jokes we have on MetaFilter, when you see yourself (or someone else) again doing that same old thing that drives them crazy and expecting different results….OH LOOK SISYPHUS THERE GOES YOUR ROCK AGAIN. I’m also the web editor for the VT 251 club which has so far been delightful.

My book (available April 30th) which has so far paid absolutely nothing is in the copy-editing stages. Like all nerdy types, I’m not really a gracious editee but I’m doing my best to just power through it and not turn into a fussy irate special snowflake dork. It’s going okay.

Holidaytime wound up okay which I attribute to my decisions to make tiny presents for people and to bring slice and bake cookies everywhere I went. Could it be that simple?

my year in cities and towns, 2010


Places I stayed in 2010. You’ll notice the list is significantly shorter and almost all of it takes place in one of three states: Vermont, Massachusetts (Westport, Amherst, Belmont, and Boxboro) and Florida. I only left the country once overnight. Nine different states, one province. This is some sort of progress. This coming year my plans are more or less the same. Somewhat less travel, fewer airplane rides, see how that feels.

As before, stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. Numbers indicate number of distinct guestrooms at each location. Past years: 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

Belmont, MA (2) *
Niceville, FL
Grayton Beach State Park, FL
Westport, MA *
Orange Park, FL
Boxboro, MA *
Austin, TX (2)
Anchorage AK (2)
Corda Bella, AZ
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Cepachet, NY
Amherst, MA *
Brooklyn, NY
Lantana, FL
Indianapolis, IN
Burlington, VT
Hanover, NH
Regina, SK