I now have most of my books and assorted other things packed up in boxes, and am slowly working through the rest of a long to-do list. I got glasses made. (Mandated by the fact that my old decrepit ones finally broke.) I keep bringing home new loads of personal papers and junk from my office at work, then trying to sort through them. I made cookies for the office party. I sent an obsolete U-matic video tape from college off to be transposed to MiniDV. I painted a shelf that I started stripping in 2000 and then never finished. I ordered bubble wrap and other packing stuff online. I inquired about my dental benefits and verified that I can make a dentist appointment after I leave in January. I arranged for the replacement of the malfunctioning computer monitor. I returned one poorly-fitting pair of shoes that had been sitting around for months. (I highly recommend Zappos.com for shoe purchases -- they have tons of shoes for hard to fit feet, and a easy return policy.) I returned another pair that had begun unraveling after hard use in Spain, and Propet is going to replace them for free. (Also highly-reccomend Propet shoes. While I had trouble with this pair after hiking around Spain, I have another pair of sneakers that has been great. And all their shoes have a "thousand mile guarantee," and good customer service to back it up.)
That's just the stuff I can remember off the top of my head. There are a million more things that have to happen between now and February 1. Ack!
Despite all that, sometime before I leave I'm hoping to find time to go down to Murfreesboro and learn how to print photos. While I've been an amateur photographer for years and have recently spent more time and effort improving my skills and equipment, I've still never actually done old-school printing. (I was introduced to darkroom work while in college, but only got as far as developing. There was less need to print at that point because we were already able to scan from negatives.)
I ran into a old friend/retired photojournalist at a party recently, and she offered to teach me the process in her home darkroom. She still remembers the first time she saw an image materializing out of nothingness on phoograhphic paper, and wants to share the experience. I really hope I can find time to do this. (Admittedly, printing photos this way is quickly becoming an anachronism, but it's still appealing to me.)
Just started reading "Better Off by Eric Brende, a meditation on a life with less technology. The author, an MIT grad student, conducts an experiment in simple living by spending 18 months in a (sort of) Mennonite community with no electricity. Very interesting -- may have more thoughts on this later.