2008 'Dear Everyone' Letter
So, for those of you looking for it, here’s this year’s writeup. My audience probably includes those who were directed here by the stickers I put on the back of my Christmas cards:
For a generic ‘dear everyone’ type update, a year-end wrapup summary will be posted to http://bats22.blogspot.com/ after the holidays.
I figured that instead of printing a ‘dear everyone’ update, I decided to (a) save some trees, and (b) only inflict it on an audience who actually volunteered to look it up on the web. So… I made a summary of the past year by appending the basic journalistic who, what, where, when, why, and how to the word “doing”:
How (am I doing?)—huh… basically ok; no major life changes since last year. I’m back in the work force, and fully done with the grad school experience (and I got the ring to prove it this year).
What (am I doing?)- for work, I’m still at the same job—the building energy efficiency/investigation company in the Boston area (where I was before grad school). I’m still doing a mix of office work (writing reports and running simulations), and also getting out into the field, doing building investigations and educational demonstrations, as well as doing some speaking and teaching.
For fun, I end up seeing and visiting friends both in town and all over the country, as well as doing random building projects with on their houses.
Where (am I doing it?)- I’m living in a duplex in Arlington, splitting the place with JMD and her two cats. (Jean is doing all right, also—her nursing job is in the city, working late shifts).
Arlington is a great town—I’m right near Arlington Center, and there are a ridiculous number of good to great restaurants within walking distance, as well as the Capitol Theater (cheap second run place).
My office is located in Somerville (near Porter Square), so the commute is great. It’s either taking the bus (when the weather is nasty), or biking—it’s great to just work out some aggression at the end of a sucky day (“Yep, time to power up this hill until I hurl.”)
No, in case you were wondering, I haven’t bought a house yet… and given the state of the economy now, I’m glad I dodged that bullet. I wrote some reflections on why I made that choice, and what I am generally looking for in a place (someday…).. Let’s see where economy goes in 2009, and I’ll think about it.
When (am I doing it?)–Um, like, this past year, duh. For a more detailed timeline, see highlights of the year, summarized by quarter below.
Who (am I doing?)-hey, whoah, getting personal here, huh? I am staying with my core competencies and avoiding things that I’m terrible at. Therefore, I’ve remained pathologically single. But hey, I still have great friends that I take pains to see regularly, and who provide me wonderful hospitality when I come to visit.
Why (am I doing it?)-man, not just personal questions, but existential ones too? I can’t say that I have a really good answer to that one. I guess I’m approaching the right age to have a midlife crisis, eh? Well… stay tuned for next year’s update. Maybe I’ll have a poll on what direction it should take, if any.
You are now allowed to STOP READING HERE without any guilt whatsoever. The remainder is blather that I thought some of you might find amusing.
Overall Year Observations
But before getting into the 2008 timeline, there are a few topics that are worth a general mention.
Vacations: I looked at my timesheet summaries for this year, and I realized that I failed to take a real, week-long vacation at any time this year. Goddamn effing shit. I’ve managed to take two days off in a given week, usually in conjunction with business travel—typically spent exploring various cities, and seeing friends around the country. I’ve called this pattern “micro-vacations”—explanation here.
Doing cool stuff: Despite not taking a week off, there’s been no shortage of doing various cool, interesting things. For instance, I organized a trip to go see Avenue Q (the musical) when it came to Boston, saw a show or two at the American Repertory Theater, had a NYC trip that was jam packed with art and geekery, drove to New York to see modern opera at the Met and exhibits at MoMA, and went to the Institute for Contemporary Arts in Boston.
Visits up to Bird and Jen: Bird & Jen live up in a condo in Dover, NH (near Portsmouth), so it’s a fun day/overnight trip to go see them, and get the hell out of town for a while. I often end up helping them with their neverending renovation projects.
Trips to Providence: I made several trips to Providence this past year—one that was work related, another to see Gallery Night, and yet another to see friends. I have to say that it is a very nice (and foodie) town to hang out in—I hope I’ll be heading down there every once in a while.
Pants: As a completely inconsequential aside, I’ve been on a year-long quest to find pants that actually fit me—check here, here, and here.
Work-related geekery: Work ends up leaking into my life in all ways, so I end up blogging about work-related subjects ranging from water heaters, to LED lighting, to the LEED rating system, and playing with an infrared camera.
Anyway, some highlights from this past year:
- Bradley and Janie’s wedding in the Bay area (and seeing lots of folks out on that Bay Area trip
- Bird & Jen’s wedding celebration in Cambridge (after eloping to Vegas in 2007)
- Jofish’s Robbie Burns/birthday party in Ithaca
- A trip up to Canada to receive my Iron Ring—the symbolic Canadian engineering ring, which I considered more important than getting my actual diploma
- Organized a trip to go see Avenue Q (the musical) when it came to Boston
- Saw They Might be Giants in concert!
- NYC trip, after some work in NJ; jam packed with art and geekery
- A continuing dorky project of turning a broken/abandoned work laptop from into a media center PC
- Minneapolis and California trips, including Colin & Jess' wedding
- A 4th of July trip to Ithaca, again seeing many folks
- A trip to DC, where I got to see Beef and Laurel
- Omri & Emily’s wedding, and my story of being an ‘accidental groomsman’
- A visit from Speedbump
- A conference in California, followed by another Bay Area trip
- Joe & Marketa’s wedding
- Rugburn and Lindsey’s wedding
- Rhode Island and then NYC trip, with Canada in between
- Another fine Thanksgiving out at U5 and Rebecca’s
- A holiday trip to New York; also saw Probe & Becca
Holy crap, you read down all this way?
Anyway, Happy New Year!