Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Whole lotta nothing...

So, yeah, I've pretty much dropped off the face of the earth when it comes to keeping this blog updated. This is pretty much an annual occurrence -- I somehow just don't have the energy to blog during the dog days of summer. However, suffice it to say that nothing new and earth shattering has occurred. Here's a quick rundown of the mundane garbage I might have posted had I been in a posting mood:
  • I've continued my weekly sojourns to the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, where I've been taking Spanish classes since January. I think I'm approaching the fluency level of a semi-literate two-year-old, but it's been enough to help with...

  • ... continuing to plan the trip to Spain. I've never really trusted travel agents, having found that I can almost always find cheaper or more palatable deals on my own. However, after numerous attempts to locate a car somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula that was big enough to hold four people and their luggage and had automatic transmission, I gave up and got the travel agent involved. I ended up having her do the train reservations too -- got tired of trying to understand cryptic price quotes from RailEurope's website.

    I have booked the rest of the trip directly, however, thanks to the wonders of e-mail and intercontinental faxes. I'll try to post an itinerary sometime soon for those who are curious.

  • Meanwhile, at work, I've been buried in the usual pile of sludge created by high school sports. Actually worse than usual this year because we were rolling out code we wrote to other branches of the company. Things are more or less stabilized, but it's been an exhausting month.
  • Nothing new to report on the getting out of Nashville plan, except that I feel like I'm starting to come down with a mild case of senioritis. It's not that I'm working any less than usual, but now that I've made the decision to split it feels like I'm just prolonging the agony. Oh, well... the paychecks are nice. (Truthfully, I'm toying with the idea of trying to sell myself as a part-time telecommuting consultant after I leave. The downside of this would be that I'd get to take some of my existing stress with me to Boston. The upside would be that I'd have a well-paying consulting gig right off the bat with none of that pesky inteviewing and kissing up to potential employers. Hmmm. We'll see what happens.)

  • In family news, brother number 2 is still living in Richmond, and wants out of his job. Brother number 3, after a summer as a camp counselor, is now talking about moving to Richmond and living with brother number 1. Unclear exactly what he'll do when he gets there, but hey, it's a start.

  • Fitness plan continues, although I've definitely found that weight loss slows down when I don't log calories. I purchased a program for my Palm phone that makes this fairly easy, but you still have to be pretty disciplined about entering everything you eat. Even with the occasional lapses, I'm still working out 3-4 times per week, and am now about 60 pounds lighter than when I started back in April. So I guess I'm doing something right. Only real problem is that my pants are all in danger of falling down.

  • After watching the total cluster that was the New Orleans disaster response, I've been trying to figure out how I can become part of the solution. Today I attended two classes at the local Red Cross chapter, and am now qualified to engage in basic disaster response work. They recommend taking a bunch more classes to truly learn the ropes, so I'll probably try to sign up for some more book learnin' soon. The Nashville-area Red Cross is trying to fast-track volunteers through the process because Middle Tennessee will probably be hosting several thousand evacuees from the New Orleans area (There are already two shelters open, and they will be adding more.) It's unclear exactly what my role might be in all this, since they have a "don't call us, we'll call you" approach to new volunteers. But given the amount of stuff they have on their plate, I expect I'll pull duty sometime in the next few weeks. (They are doling out shelter work in 12-hour shifts, which will be a bit rough with my regular job, but is probably do-able.) Based on what I've learned so far, I think I'm interested enough in the disaster response program to continue training beyond the immediate Katrina-induced crisis.

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