the hazy blur of the brand new day

Usually this space at about this time is the Mystery Hunt wrap up where I talk about all the stuff we did and how we still didn’t come in first place anyhow. This time is no different except I was less helpful than usual. For some reason — planetary alignment, bad juju, overconfidence — instead of being a rock-solid team member for the Codex gang, I was struck down early with “I don’t feel so good.” I headed back to my sister’s house on Saturday evening via a subway ride I barely remember. I helped her move some stuff around at her place (inhaling nasty attic gasses) and then headed speedily and feverishly back to Vermont Sunday evening in order to teach a few in-service classes at the high school on Monday. The puzzle hunt didn’t end until late late Sunday night/Monday morning. We came in second, again. It was not my best planned weekend. As 2009 goes, it’s certainly been the worst.

I taught two classes on Monday which went pretty well and then came home and crashed and have been sleeping pretty much on and off since then, watching my fever eke down from 100.9 to 99.2. It’s now Wednesday lunchtime. I’m mostly awake. At about 9:30 pm last night water started to come through the roof of my bedroom and puddle on the floor. I don’t quite understand the mechanics of ice dams except that they can be relied upon to inflict distress at the least convenient times. I called my landlady, moved my bedding into the living room, and went quickly from the “woe is me” outlook to the “this is so over the top it’s approaching comedy” perspective. As someone said as I was mentioning this in my facebook status “If a raccoon gets in your house, then you’ve got all three acts covered.” Indeed.

I slept through the Inaguration and all of the attendant hubub, though I managed to read Obama’s speech and a lot of running Twitter commentary. I know he’s the president, the rest is details. I know many people are having a worse January than I am. I can feel the dull thuds of the guy knocking the ice off the roof and I’m thinking now might be the time to go down to the post office and see what else has been happening in the world outside of my rainy treehouse.

yes we did

Sexy Librarians for Obama

I’d be lying if I said I thought this was going to be a fix for everything, though I enjoy the share the wealth aspect of Obama’s platform and the fact that he’s so forthright in talking about it that way. I’d like decently priced heath care as well. Living in Vermont means that it’s pretty much academic who I voted for at a national level. It’s nice, still, to like all my national-level representatives in Congress. Then again, the political climate in this state is one of the reasons I moved to Vermont and a continuing reason I stay here.

I spent last night having ice cream with friends by the fire up the road from here having walked there with two laptops in my backpack, one for work (MetaFilter requires more attention during big events, not less) and one for watching streaming video. I spent a lot of the evening watching my friends color in maps of the US, chatting with people all over the world, and listening to the returns on NPR. I walked home last night in a totally quiet neighborhood where most people had gone to bed before the race was called.

Barack Obama is the only president-elect that I have ever met. He came to the Blogger Breakfast when I was at the DNC and spoke to us about the power of the Internet, etc. I remember being surprised that someone running for Senator would even bother to take fifteen minutes to talk to thirty or so web dorks. I remember that he was tall and he smiled a lot. The speech he gave at the DNC was only one of only two that mentioned libraries (Kerry’s was the other) and one of five that mentioned gay people (one of two not given by a gay person) and it was one of the only ones that mentioned civil liberties or really interested me and my self-interests much at all.

Keeping it in perspective, he still voted for the telecom immunity bill and he’s pretty middle of the road for my tastes, but anyone electable would be. I head off to Kansas today to talk about rural libraries and computers and I’ll be curious to get a read from people there — and from Colorodo which is my next step on this trip — what, if anything, they think has changed in their worlds.