Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year

I'm sitting here in the cubicle, admiring the clean desk and trying to figure out how to fill the day. No real work to do, and none likely to appear until Monday or later. I do have an interesting assignment wending its way to me, but the Word files are still bogged down in clearance somewhere. Today is the second day of the New Year -- do I want to do a retrospective? Are there are any high (or low) lights of 2008 that stand out enough to bother revisiting, albeit briefly?

I don't think so. I have vague memories of ranting (a lot) about politics a few months back, and no doubt I'll work up to ranting again soon, but I have no desire to revisit any of the rants at the moment. I can feel a new one coming on the economy, labor unions, blaming the victim, and false consciousness, but not today. Bush is on his way out, the Republicans are the minority party, and for now that's good enough.

I did add a few more NPS sites to my life list -- Kennesaw Mountain, for example, which is such a totally typical cannonball park that it doesn't even merit a link (although it does appear to be real popular with dog walkers, so it's not totally without merit) -- but if I didn't mention them at the time, they're not worth mentioning now. Cannonball parks that enshrine our glorious CSA dead, those gallant boys in gray, have about as much appeal for me as Rotary Club luncheons. (In fairness, I'm not real keen on any of the military parks regardless of the war or the armies involved. I've been to a bunch, both as an ordinary tourist and as NPS staff, and the only one I truly enjoyed visiting while working for NPS was Pea Ridge, primarily due to an amazing park historian who was so enthusiastic about the resource that his attitude was contagious.)

I went on vacation. I survived visiting relatives -- and even found myself agreeing a few times with my (lower case l) libertarian brother-in-law, although I could sense my sister growing nervous when we started talking current events and politics. I spent time at my older daughter's house and managed to resist organizing her closets or cleaning her garage. Actually managed to spend time with both daughters without any conversations turning into arguments or involving a lot of shouting -- maybe we're all finally growing up?

I did start organizing my own crap. Sort of -- does transferring craft and quilting supplies from solid-color rubbermaid tubs into see-through ones count as organizing? Did not get organized to the point of actually listing anything on my Etsy store, though. One of these days -- vintage dresses, old patterns, and some truly hideous 1960s and 70s yard goods. I'm told there's a market, which strikes me as a believe it or not -- but anything is possible.

I finished a quilt that started life in 2002 in the white dorm at Apostle Islands. My sister had better appreciate it -- she's getting it for her birthday, and it represents a solid six years of procrastination.

Read some good books by great authors -- Anatomy of a Murder, Tin Roof Blowdown, Capitol Men, and many many more -- and some real turkeys (A Mortal Glamour, His Family). Saw some good movies, both in a theater and on DVD. Forced the S.O. to sit through (sleep through?) a lot more Jane Austen than he wanted to -- had it been up to him, the only one he'd have watched was Mansfield Park, the version with Billie Piper as Fanny Price, and then only her scenes.Managed to finish and submit one journal article where I'm the sole author. It's still moving slowly through the review process; one of these days it should come ambling back with either a definite rejection or a request for revisions. Odds are the latter -- the journal I submitted to has been looking rather thin lately, a sure clue not much is coming in. Plus, they've published me before, although it's been quite a few years since the last time I submitted anything. Found out a second article, one where I'm the last listed of a whole herd of co-authors, was accepted for publication and should be in print soon. I'm still moderately stunned over that one -- the content is highly statistical, and I've never thought of myself as a quantoid, even peripherally.

Got to find out just how good my health insurance is (better than I thought), learned a few new medical terms, and acquired a few new prescriptions, none of which have any fun side effects. Finally got to Zoo Atlanta to gawk at pandas, eyeballed the price tag on a Maserati (which is no doubt the closest I'm ever going to come to one), and began preparing for retirement by buying a thoroughly used travel trailer. Not a particularly exciting year on a personal level, but I am still breathing and I've managed to resist making any resolutions for 2009. Life is good.


  1. Sounds like a really good year. I hope you can keep the bad government noise to a minimum in the background. Oddly worded that, but I think you know what I mean.

  2. I feel the need to congratulate you on a very good year. You organized, resisted urges, ended procrastination, participated in one of my hobbies (Jane Austen on PBS) and got out and did things.

    Oh, and planned for retirement. That alone is fantastic!

    Best wishes for an even better 2009, Nan! I'm glad that 2008 has included the chance to get to know you via the blog.


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