Herbert and Rosanna

Rosanna Arquette (who is five years older than me) and Herbert Hoover (who is dead) have both passed another birthday.

I’m celebrating the event in Boston, just as I did thirty-three years ago, when Rosanna Arquette was also five years older than me and Herbert Hoover was also dead. I bought books, I ate unhealthy food, and I finally saw Salem, Lowell, and Lawrence. And I had lasagna under the Leaning Tower of Pizza.

And I’m not going to share any great new wisdom. But here’s a picture of the tower:

And here’s where I didn’t eat lunch because they were closed:

That’s all I got…

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!

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…