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Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2009 • Karen

From the cartoons and comments I've seen from various media, it seems like everyone wants to metaphorically punch 2008 in the gut and shove it out the door. The collective sentiment is understandable, for both economic reasons and various personal ones. But for me, 2008 was a pretty good year.

In January I stayed in a ridiculously fancy hotel with Nelson for the ALA conference in Philly, where Gavin gave us Casey, our orange tree.

Then I had my final semester at Scripps, where I chewed out the Scripps dean for security theatre and sang some truly excellent music with the Claremont Concert and Chamber choirs. I took classes on Supreme Courts fundy rights cases and personal finance. I visited to Joshua Tree during spring break, which was frickin' awesome. And finally, I got graduated in 100 degree heat wearing a plastic gown-tarp.

In June I moved to DC and moved in with Nelson for realz. We haven't gotten sick of each other yet. :)

I sent out a lot of job applications, and got very few interviews. By the very end of July, though, I got two part-time gigs--contractor work at SPARC and an LSAT teaching job at Kaplan. It wasn't enough to pay the bills, but it paid some of them. Nelson and I tried to entertain ourselves cheaply, by picking something like 19 pounds of blueberries from a u-pick farm or playing pinball out in Fairfax. Nelson tried growing a beard for a couple months; fortunately, he got an A in Copyright, so he was able to shave it off.

In October I flew out to San Francisco, hung out with Asheesh and a bunch of college friends, and attended two conferences: Patri's seasteading conference and the SFC conference at Berkeley. It was much colder than expected.

Finally, at the end of October I got the job as a tech support dudette at Webs. Now most of my closet (businesswear borrowed and bought for graduation) is irrelevant, since I wear jeans to work. Oops.

November I went home for Thanksgiving and saw snow and family. I also got two acceptance letters from law schools, Georgetown and UW-Madison.

In December Nelson surprised me for my birthday with vegan chocolate birthday cake, an issue of Fables, and tickets to Milk. Man, I hope that movie wins all the Oscars that Wall-E doesn't. Then I went up to New Jersey to celebrate Christmas with Nelson's family. There was snow on the ground there, thank goodness, so it actually looked like Christmas. I would've hated to spend it in DC.

And now it's 2009. I'm looking forward to it. Here are some of my plans/goals:

First, I'm planning to attend the Mason City PGI convention (really frickin' huge fireworks con) this summer for the first time. That, in itself, is gonna be one awesome vacation. But beyond that, I decided that I want to make a (mini?) documentary about amateur fireworks clubs--essentially, to answer the question posed by anti-fireworks groups: why not just sit back and attend professional shows? There's hardly any documentaries about fireworks and none on this particular subculture, and in many parts of the country (like almost the entire East Coast) fireworks clubs have been driven extinct. I think it's an interesting (and beautiful) activity that somebody should archive. No one else is doing it, so I'm gonna buy a video camera before I go.

Second, I signed up for beginning guitar lessons starting later this month through Arlington's adult ed program. I figure that I'll borrow Nelson's guitar and, if I get enough of a hang of the guitar interface, I'll invest in a bass guitar and take a class on that.

Third, I'm not going to make a weight loss resolution: both because those are hella trite, and because I wouldn't care what I weighed if more of it were muscle. However, I am going to try to make regular exercise part of my routine. It never has been. In the summer it's easier--you can sign up for rec sports or something, and that keeps you on a schedule and is generally more interesting than going to the gym. But that doesn't work year-round. So I've got to find a way to get my ass on the elliptical downstairs at least once a week, until it's a habit. We'll see how this works.

Overall, my resolution is just to do interesting things and keep improving myself even though I'm out of college. I wasn't very impressed with myself the last two months or so--I didn't do that much besides work, and telling semi-literate people how to edit their guestbook for the millionth time isn't that thrilling in itself. Although I'm damn lucky to have such a good workplace, I am not my job and I wouldn't want to be. So I'm going to try to push myself to stop surfing the Internet so dang much and instead spend my precious evenings and weekends learning new things and working on creative projects. The point of my job is to subsidize the rest of my time, so I should make the most of it.