1. The semester is well underway here, at least for the most part – I have multiple semesters this semester and they all start at different times, but beginning February 1 they will all be in motion. I’ve got four classes with a total of 140 students on top of my regular job as an academic advisor and it’s just going to be a busy time.
2. I took the opportunity tonight to watch hockey, since I likely won’t get much of a chance to do that for a while. The Flyers won in overtime – apparently for the second night in a row, in this condensed schedule of a year – so that was a nice way to spend some time.
3. I also taught Lauren how to make gravy (spaghetti sauce to you non-Italians) today and we had a lovely dinner. It’s nice to pass down these family traditions, and it makes the house smell good.
4. It snowed again here in Our Little Town this weekend. It’s been a snowy though not particularly cold winter here in Baja Canada – we’ve had snowfall worth shoveling (the over/under on snow in Wisconsin is 2.75” or about 7cm; less than that and we just ignore it) pretty much twice a week all year now and the mounds at the end of my driveway are tall enough to make backing out into the street a treacherous proposition, but we haven’t gone below zero Fahrenheit (-17C) all year, which is unusual. I gather that this will change by the end of the week, though.
5. I’m actually good with all the snow and cold. I like winter. I like the cold. I like the grey skies. I like the long nights. I’d much rather have two winters than a hot summer, and if there is any silver lining at all to the lockdowns and quarantines it is that I don’t have to venture out if I don’t want to. I’ve got my tea and my books and my broadband internet and I’m good.
6. It turns out that my new email program can only send emails from one account rather than both of the ones I use, so there will be further adventures in technology soon. I have resolved the Webex issue, and the Mother Ship Campus IT folks figured out how to restore my access to the VPN, which is nice. I keep going back to the fact that, with the exception of Webex, all of this worked just fine before I upgraded. Oh well.
7. It has taken every ounce of restraint I have not to respond with unmitigated rage and vitriol to some of the plaintive cries of disillusioned right-wingers now that Constitutional order and responsible government has been restored in the United States. Sorry, folks. You spent four years shitting on everything worthwhile about this country and calling the rest of us names when we pointed this out, then staged a coup when the majority once again rejected you, because you just aren't mature enough to handle the idea that you lost a free and fair election by a landslide – you don’t get to complain about anything for any reason ever again. Shut up, step aside, and let the grownups try to fix all the things you’ve fucked up if we can.
8. Sometimes I am grateful to past me for being a little more forward thinking than I suspect I might be at times. It hit me this afternoon that the real estate taxes were due today. This is not something I generally had to worry about for the last quarter century, except that we paid off the house last year and now the escrow company won’t handle that for us anymore. So there was this moment of panic as I tried to figure out how to get them paid without having the county sell the place out from under us, until I looked at my checkbook and realized that I’d paid them at the beginning of the month. Nice going, past me.
9. The soundtrack for the last few days has been Leon Redbone. This has been a public service announcement.
10. Lauren has been accepted into one college already, so we know she’s going somewhere next year. We’re still waiting to hear back from most of them, however, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s a strange time to be applying to colleges and I hope she can have something like a normal year next year. I hope we all can. I’m glad she’s in, though. Congratulations, Lauren! I’m proud of you.