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!
This is where we met more than twenty years ago, and I guess this is where I will say my goodbye. I wish we’d had longer. But I’m a better person because of the time I knew you.
Things insomnia made me count. In my life I have:
- Owned 3 houses and rented 5 apartments.
- Lived in 3 states (4 if you count a vacation home).
- Had 2 roommates (not counting a few temporary situations of less than a month).
- Had 1 (common law) husband.
- Owned 9 cars.
- Had 6 traffic accidents, 2 of which were ruled my fault.
- Spent time in 3 countries, including 45 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces.
- Had sex in at least 24 states.
- Had phone numbers with 5 area codes.
- No brothers or sisters, but 14 first cousins (approximately 12 of whom are still alive).
- Spent 2 nights in a hospital (not counting when I was born).
- Been to 0 high school class reunions (with plans to attend 0 more).
- Had 5 primary home computers (all Macs, which is why I had each one for so long).
- Had 3 full-time employers (though I had multiple positions in multiple locations for the first two, plus a ton of part-time and freelance employers).
- Had 4 medical procedures for which I was put completely under.
Grand Rapids is known as “Furniture City.” So is High Point, North Carolina.
Grand Rapids is known as “Beer City.” So is Asheville, North Carolina.
Grand Rapids is very different from either place. It sort of fascinates me, because it’s never really seen the depopulation that most other cities in the Upper Midwest have. There have been decades where the population declined a bit, but current estimates show that the city is currently at its highest population ever. And it reads like a much bigger city than it is, in some ways. The downtown area is aided by the presence of a major medical facility and several universities and colleges.
There are a ton of craft breweries and some interesting neighborhoods. The main public library rocks.
This is the first time in quite a while that I’ve spent a significant amount of time in a city I’d never visited before. And best of all, I got to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost 13 years. Bonus all the way around.
You may not have known I was gone. That’s OK.
Some stats on this year’s October Canadian adventure:
- 3600 km.
- 7 states, 1 province.
- 1 graduation.
- 1 new border crossing point (Sarnia ON/Port Huron MI).
- Dinner and assorted socializing with friends in Buffalo, Toronto, and London.
- No recreational (nor any other) marijuana purchases.
- 4L of assorted craft beers imported into the USA.
- 19 books, 3 DVDs, 1 CD.
There may be more details later. Or there may not. I can be enigmatic like that…
So this conference that is keeping me from being in Canada for Thanksgiving and also making me miss The Bandicoots is now redeemed by the fact that I will actually be there for this (which I’ve missed for the past year or two) and for a friend’s graduation from library school in London (the one in Ontario that actually has its own Thames). Pretty good tradeoff all in all.
Also on the agenda:
- Groceteria research in Detroit, maybe Toledo, and Niagara Falls
- Quality time in the Toronto Reference Library
- Falafel Queen (just discovered it’s now closed and I’m depressed) and all my other favorites
- London and Windsor for the first time in twelve years
- Seeing friends (I hope) in Toronto, Detroit, and Buffalo
- Maybe another side trip yet to be determined