Not that you’d know it from the frequency with which I post here, but we did survive Hurricane Sandy with only some water in the basement. Having  a friendly neighbor next door really paid off, because she tipped me off about the water situation, and I was able to get my bike out in time. I got two days off work when the school was closed, which marks the second time this semester that’s happened (two full days in a row). And I get time off at Thanksgiving as well – what a treat! We were lucky, and many of my friends in New Jersey and New York were not. It seems strange that my life has returned to (what passes for) normal while so many other people are scrambling to pick up the pieces.

I’ve been keeping busy as of late … I spent the extra time off work getting a head start on my Christmas knitting, which I hope will prove to be productive. Speaking on a panel at my graduate school alma mater turned into a mini-reunion with some classmates at the local dive bar. $3.25 for a pint of Fat Tire! Amazing! A modified cookbook club met on Sunday to delve into the new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, with delicious results. We had iceburg stacks with blue cheese dressing, cider and horseradish pork chops with sweet potato blintzes, and cranberry bars and apple cider caramels. Oh, also, a pretty decent apple cider sangria, even if I did forget the brandy.

I’m excitedly planning my trip to Seattle for the American Library Association’s Midwinter 2013 Conference. My parents visited for a (different) conference a few years ago, also in January, and I’m trying to glean some ideas from my father’s travelogue. It’s a bit complicated because he references “such-and-such distance from the hotel” for almost everything, except the hotel has moved! He’s also attentive to details that are relevant to him but not necessarily widely useful. There’s a lot of descriptions like, “a restaurant three blocks from the hotel with a particular kind of beer or food dish.” I feel like Sherlock Holmes having to track down these references!

A recent catch-up conversation with my former supervisor, who still works here part-time, reminded me that I’ve been derelict not just in my photography, but in the activities that inspire me to photograph. My schedule has been so grueling this semester, I feel like I spend my day off either working a “second shift” of errands and cleaning, or catching up on sleep and resting. Now that our oven is working again, maybe there’s some photography-inspiring baking in my future!