So, I’ve been done with work for the year since last Wednesday. That’s usually enough to warrant a mention here by itself. Not this year; I’ve been too busy. Now it’s Christmas Eve, I’ve been off for a about a week (wow…doesn’t seem like it), and I’m finally getting a small breather.
I’ve been doing some of the usual Christmas-y things; knocking out presents, getting some decorations up, and all the other things you’d expect. I am, as far as I’m concerned, done with my shopping and wrapping now, unless I’m struck with a fit of inspiration in the next couple of hours, and it’s something I can achieve in the next couple of hours. I need to be on the other side of town around 5pm to do a quick run through some music before the Christmas Eve service: “Coventry Carol” – solo vocal with me backing up on finger-picked acoustic guitar. It’s gorgeous.
So, what have I been doing for the last week otherwise? Last week, I won some tickets (from amazing radio station WNRN) to catch music legend Kenny Rogers when he came to town. As my lovely wife couldn’t come, having a prior commitment, my friend Sam came along. The first set was amazing; all the hits you’d expect; the stuff of my youth, riding in the car with my dad with the AM radio playing. It was so good we didn’t even notice the weird plastic surgery. Second set was…odd, in terms of the shift in tone. This was also the holiday tour. The second set was every awful 70s/80s TV holiday variety show cliche you could think of (sleigh bells, pining for loved ones, forced banter, singing kids, borrowed local church choir), peppered with a bunch of asides about the perceived “War on Christmas” conservatives get up in arms about. I always take country show banter with a grain of salt; it’s gotta play to the audience, and many of this audience, being particularly southern, and “enthusiastic with drink”, got a little too excited when the red meat got thrown. The band was still amazing, and the arrangements of some of the traditional tunes (especially the jazzy instrumental carols at the beginning) were pretty great; the shift in tone, though, was kind of bizarre. Still, as I always say, “never pass up an opportunity for live music”, especially free music, and in that regard, I was far from disappointed.
There’s been family things – holiday concerts, appointments, ferrying kids out for holiday shopping, some alone time with the spouse, and generally just hanging out and ribbing each other. You know, what people do, when they’re awful people like us.
I’ve also been busy with some extra copy-editing; Antimatter is trying to get our latest anthology, Local Magic, out in the next month or so, and I’m helping the effort by copy editing and cleaning up some of the stories for publication. Probably later this month, I’ll be doing some coding so it’ll be available for purchase for your favorite e-reader some day soon (that I’ll be sure to let you know about here).
That’s if I have time…
Remember that cliffhanger back before the panda dodging laserblasts? I guess I can finally talk about that; it’s been in the works since August, after all. When I return to the office after the new year, I’ll be returning to a new job. Yes, another one (it’s become kind of an annual thing for me the last couple of years in the last quarter of the year). As most of you know, I’m a software guy, shepherding projects through design and testing and deployment. I’ve done this for the last decade or so, though I’ve always done it from the business side in various acquisition directorates. Come January (actually, it’s official on December 28th), I’ll be hopping over to the information technology directorate, doing basically the same thing, but from a slightly different angle.
I’ll be shifting from being the most IT guy in Acquisition to being (hopefully) the most Acquisition guy in IT.
It was a good opportunity, as it’s a promotion (getting me back up to the grade I gave up when I moved local last year, plus a little bit), and I think it’ll be interesting work; it sounds like most of my job will be shepherding projects; though more in the sense of making sure the contractors our agency hires have the tools they need to do their job – I won’t quite be management, but it’ll be closer than I’ve been since I ran catering trucks full of high school kids back in college. Also, it’s not really that different from what I’ve been doing.
I did agonize over taking the job a little bit, as for the past year, I’ve been working with the best group of people I’ve ever managed to get saddled with; everyone’s competent, pleasant, and we’re all friends – it’s a very positive work environment, and I was hesitant about leaving it. It’s made this past year in employment a real joy. The good bit is that my desk is only moving about 40 feet (theoretically; they haven’t actually found a seat for me yet), and my new job will bring me into contact with my old co-workers on a daily basis, though it’s possible I may be considered “the enemy” (though it’s all in good fun).
So, that’s been it, other than watching my small investment of $15 dollars become a month’s worth of entertainment – seriously, if you’re in any way that type of person, make sure you get in on next year’s Cards Against Humanity’s Holiday Bullshit event; it’s a blast.A month’s worth of gifts mailed to you throughout December: this year, I got new cards (some with my name on them), games, stickers, comedy, and my own small piece of a private island. Looking for those silly envelopes has made December much more bearable.
As usual, I probably won’t be posting much; I’ll try to do the usual end-of-year summary things that I do, but this is my personal time; don’t be surprised if I just cut the internet out of my life for days at a time…It’s my little reward of peace and quiet after a busy year of life.
I hope you all find some peace for yourselves as well – Happy Holidays!