Well, it’s a good thing my LiveJournal isn’t a potted plant.

There’ve been some pretty major events since my last update:

  1. We had a second ultrasound and discovered that we’re having a boy. All his digits and such are accounted for, and developmentally he’s on target for his age. (I put a few scans here.)
  2. We flew out to Missouri for a few days to visit my family. We had lots of fun, especially with my little nephews. They also gave us a baby shower. Little by little the baby’s room is starting to take shape. We still have a lot to do, though.
  3. I got laid off. It was kind of a surprise, since it was unrelated to my job performance, but I think in the long run it’ll end up being good for me. I had been with the same company for kind of a long time by software industry standards. Now I’m interviewing again for the first time in eight and a half years, oh joy. I had been using their laptop as my main computer, so I was offline for a while getting my old one upgraded (then for another while, because we painted the little home office room).

Now we’re going to see a twilight showing of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The commercials on television have me salivating. I’m leaving all my fanboy expectations behind and giving it a clean slate. I expect I’ll have some things to say about it later.

Just today I caught the preview of the upcoming Hitchhiker’s Guide radio series. Holy Zarquon’s Singing Fish, I am physically incapable of waiting 52 days for this. My higher brane functions will be totally consumed with anticimpatience in, oh, three minutes ago.

In other news… My fencing class is now on break for the rest of the summer. Beth, our coach, applied for a job in Pennsylvania, and if she gets it I really hope the class continues to be as much fun. We all got together for dinner on Tuesday, and Beth had printed out a little award certificate for each of us. Mine was “most improved.” I’m not sure that’s true, but it made me feel good.

Work promises to be much more meetingful for the next month. Our only other technical writer will be away on his sabbatical, so I’ll be attending meetings in his stead in addition to my own normal meeting load. Thankfully, our actual projects are at kind of an ebb, so the timing is pretty good.

haiku time

Know what today is?
Just in case you weren’t aware:
World Blog Haiku Day

Not doing that much
Just sitting, barely moving
Still sticky with sweat

They Might Be Giants
New album eight days away
They’ll pass too slowly

Next Maryland trip
May now be delayed one week
If colleagues consent

This week Laura takes
Step three of medical boards.
I don’t envy her.

Perfectionist’s fear
Growing moment by moment
Yet unjustified

Precision, balance,
Economy of language:
Haiku teaches these.

Hmm, I guess I could have been updating after all.

All right, time for an update, even though the things I desperately want to be able to report still have not happened, including my much-delayed divorce judgment finally coming through, and the ensuing celebration.

So what has been going on for the past month?

  1. Insane amounts of snow. I enjoy snow each year for about five minutes. This snow has been around for, let’s see, about three weeks now.

    Actually, all that’s left now is sooty remnants of formerly huge plowed-up mounds. I really shouldn’t complain, my friends in Ottawa have it much worse. But surely they handle it better up there, just because it’s more routine. Here’s an example of novice snow handling.

    My apartment complex overlooked the actual parking spaces when they “cleared” the parking lot. So everyone had to dig out their cars, and where did they put the snow? In the spaces other cars had left behind. So before long, many of the parking spaces have four feet or more of snow in them. Night falls, everyone returns, and somehow there aren’t enough cleared spaces to hold all the cars that were in there when the snow first fell.

  2. My grandmother’s 75th birthday party, which I didn’t get to go to and therefore moped about for a while. It was in my hometown, I would have had to fly to get there. I wish I could have. Grandma is the standard for kindness by which I measure everyone, and is definitely one of my most positive influences. She loves me a lot, and all through my life I’ve never had to doubt that for a second, which has helped me get through times of serious self-doubt.

  3. A new appreciation for my job. Or, to be more precise, it’s an appreciation for my career in general as a technical writer; my current employment situation has little to do with this. In fact, it has more to do with my dissatisfaction.

    My friend and fellow tech writer Ashley, whom I worked with in New York, recently started at a new job and has been asking my advice on lots of things. It’s made me realize that I really don’t feel appreciated by my current colleagues, and I miss that a lot. I’ve really felt helpful lately, and it feels good.

    I also miss feeling like I was doing important work. My old boss was really great at making it feel like a mission. I’ve gotten into some heavy WebWorks Publisher customization work, and it’s been interesting enough that I enjoy working on it. I’ve made some enhancements that other writers would find useful, and I posted them to the user group on Yahoo. This has come closer to the sense of importance that my work used to have, so I’m glad for that.

    Anyway, sometimes I consider switching into programming, but I really do enjoy tech writing. I’ve just had job blues for the past couple of years.

  4. An excellent TMBG show in DC. Already seems like ages ago.

My weekend will consist of three things:

  1. Making chocolates. I came up with a Nutella variant of the classic chocolate-dipped peanut butter ball, and it’s been a big hit in years past. (I’ve also got some chestnut spread to try this year, I think it has potential. The lack of partially hydrogenated ingredients is also a plus.)
  2. Some moonlighting. A tiny startup is taking over one of the products I used to write about, and I’m updating the documents for it. It’s the first time I’ve worked by contract. I’m not being paid as much as I’d like for it, which especially sucks because it’ll take me less than a third of the time it would take anyone else. But it’s a foot in the door, and it’s likely to lead to more such side projects.
  3. Christmas shopping and a little bit of wrapping. I really need some inspiration for a couple of these. And as usual, I’ve saved the hardest gifts for last. I need to stop doing it that way.