One year in

Today marks one year of remote work for me. I’ve been taking a selfie from this same basic angle every three months since the first day and this is Number 5 (or Volume 2 Number 1, if you prefer).

Updates:

  • Work-wise, it’s been a really productive period. I rebuilt our digital collections platform from the ground up (link upon request), contributed to several articles, wrote an ill-fated grant application (long story over which I had no control), and co-authored a book that should be published this fall.
  • I have traveled a bit (not nearly as much as usual) because I avoid human contact on the road even when there’s not a pandemic, so I felt like I was being cautious.
  • I’ve had the first shot. The second comes a week from today. I may start going into the office at least a couple of days a week after that.
  • Lots of Groceteria research, some of which has actually made it on to the site.
  • I’ve read so many books. And bought even more with all the money I’ve saved not doing other things.
  • I haven’t gained nearly as much weight as I expected, but the painful aftermath of a long walk last week reminded me that a little exercise is probably in order.
  • I also still haven’t gotten someone to fix the damned bathroom floor.

Time marches on. Or at least I think it does.

A productive pandemic

When I get overwhelmed or start wondering where the last year went, I remind myself that since March I have:

  • Co-authored a book that should be published later this year
  • Migrated one of the largest library digital collections in the state to a new content management platform (link later)
  • Participated in the salvation of American democracy
  • Added a bunch of new cities to Groceteria
  • Eighty-sixed Facebook
  • Rebuilt a friendship that had been dormant for almost thirty years
  • Watched at least a hundred vintage episodes of “What’s My Line?”
  • Become disturbingly conversant in the MODS metadata schema as well as several new XML tools
  • Supervised three student capstones and independent studies
  • Managed to avoid getting a COVID-related illness
  • Done a few pretty good media interviews (radio, national magazine, well-trafficked blog)
  • Read many good books (and bought way too many more)
  • Never hoarded toilet paper and also never run out of same
  • Managed three big grant projects simultaneously and remotely
  • Only gained about five pounds and actually ended up with better labs than last year
  • Stayed reasonably sane

Try it yourself. It helps!

Silver anniversary

1996. Damn, was I ever really that young?

I thought about letting this post be my farewell to a site that’s long past its “sell by” date. My web presence is officially old enough to have graduated from college and to have lived on its own for a few years. I should probably think about turning its bedroom into a den or a library or a dungeon or something. Otherstream (or its predecessor) has outlasted six cars (sort of), five computers, four addresses, three area codes, two years in grad school, and one husband. All the other blogger kids stopped doing this years ago. And honestly, I mostly stopped doing it years ago as well.

In the past 25 years, I’ve gone from being an underemployed retail manager in San Francisco to a tenured university faculty member and librarian in North Carolina. I’ve successfully negotiated two major medical crises and many major financial crises. How we’ll I’ve navigated the several personal crises depends on your perspective. My hobby is travel now rather than sex. I spend my money on books rather than beer. I like to think I’ve becoming a more interesting and pleasant person to be around even though I was becoming much less social even before it was mandated by the current public health environment.

Most of my creative energy now goes into work and into Groceteria.com, though you can still find my random personal and pop culture sharing on Twitter. I’ve made lots of really good friends here, some of whom are even still around. Thanks!

Anyway, I’m not committing to updating in the future. But I’m also not committing to not updating in the future. I no longer have several hundred people checking in every day like I once did, so I imagine there will not be much anguish and distress either way. It’s pretty much just down to what I care about at this point. And I’m now old enough that I don’t stress over things nearly as much as I used to.

I did the big nostalgia thing five years ago. But I should probably do something to celebrate this time too, right? After all, it is still McRib season…

Nine months…

So today marks nine months that I’ve been working from home. It’s probably about the same for some others out there as well. That third week in march is when (some of) the country really started shutting down. I didn’t think I’d still be doing these quarterly “work from home” selfies for so long. Now I’d say there’s a pretty fair chance there will at least be a March 2021 edition as well. It no longer feels odd, and that worries me.

I’ve created something pretty cool over these nine months (hint: it’s not a child)but I can’t share it just yet. Soon…