In which I should have guessed

…never give them two posts on a Saturday. It inevitably leads to a Sunday in which I’m either too busy or too stressed out to write anything. Today was “too busy,” I think; I actually got a fair amount of stuff done around the house, so that was good, but none of it involved, like, words.

Go give somebody a hug; I’ve got to go over my kid’s homework with him.

The last post of last year

I keep almost writing a 2021 blogwanking post or a sort of round-up of last year, and then finding excuses not to do it. Not that the bathroom renovation isn’t more interesting (I hope, at least) than endless navel-gazing, but I can only put this off for so long before I just can’t write it any more. So, long story short: traffic last year was way way way down, which doesn’t matter because it’s still plenty high for a personal blog site of a non-famous person in 2021, and y’all are stuck with me here anyway for the foreseeable future. Two things are pretty cool. This is the lifetime map of countries that I’ve had hits from:

That’s … everywhere, basically; that island up at the top is Svalbard island, where less than fifty people live, most of whom are climate researchers, and it’s part of Norway anyway. North Korea. South Sudan. Tajikistan, I think? (EDIT: Nope, that’s Turkmenistan.) These are not heavily populated countries with a lot of infrastructure, in other words. And despite the low numbers of actual hits (down over 20K in hits and about 12K in unique visitors) the geography from last year is pretty gratifying all by itself:

One way or another, the notion that people from literally all over the world have at least popped in over here, if not actually stuck around and hung out, is pretty amazing.

I have to admit something that is, if not a Hot Take, at least not an especially popular opinion: for me personally, and my immediate family, I don’t think last year was that bad of a year. Now, you have to take this in context, where I am pretty sure that I have described every year since 2016 as the worst year of my life, and I remain of the belief that yes, my life really did spiral south for five straight years, culminating in the loss of my mother on January 11, 2020. 2021 was the first year in a long fucking time where I have a few good things to think about when I look back on it. My brother and his wife had their first child. My dad’s doing okay. We’ve done a lot of work on the house. I made more money last year than I’ve ever made before, a feat I should be able to repeat this year, and because I’ve paid off my credit cards, leaving me with no credit card debt for the first time since college, I’ve been able to keep more of that money and use it for more than just paying off interest. My son is happy and healthy and thriving at school. My wife got a promotion and a raise. I, who a few years ago was convinced I’d never see the inside of a classroom again, got nominated for Teacher of the Year again. By the time this school year ends, I’ll not only have paid off my car, but my student loans might be gone.

All in all, on a strictly personal basis, I can actually see some light again. I have reason for at least a guarded level of optimism, which has not been true for quite some time. I mean, the rest of the world is still going to hell, don’t get me wrong. But at least not everything is going to shit.

My one big personal regret right now is that my writing career is, at the least, on a significant pause, and very well might be done. I haven’t written a word of fiction in at least a couple of years, and I’m not missing it much. I mean, it’s not like I was changing the world or anything like that, as much as I tried to take everything seriously, I never managed to make any money at it– every single con I attended lost me money, so it was more of an expensive hobby than anything else. I’m not saying I’ll never release another book, but I’m not in a hurry to.

You never know. Most of my creative energy lately is going here and to the YouTube channel, and maybe eventually that’ll blow up. If not, well, we’ll see what comes next.

The blog posts no one reads

Today and tomorrow, along with New Year’s Day, are historically completely dead days for the blog. This will not prove surprising to anyone. Usually I try to come up with something spicy for those posts since no one will notice anyway, but I find myself not in the mood for Christmas in a wide variety of ways right now. There was more work on the bathroom again today, but it was more mudding and drywalling. Monday will be sanding and primer, and Tuesday they’ll paint, and that does put us on track to be done before school starts back up again.

Assuming, that is, that school starts back up again, which — don’t tell anyone– but I’m starting to seriously doubt. The trend line on Covid is currently vertical for the country, and I think Indiana’s probably will be as well as soon as everyone starts reporting again, because I doubt that we’ve actually managed to show a decline in cases with Omicron on the loose. But we’ll see what happens.

Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate; those who don’t, enjoy the weekend anyway. I will almost certainly post tomorrow in some capacity or another, but there’s no reason to not be nice to people early, I suppose.

In which I almost blow it

I was getting ready for bed just now, and I realized two things at the same moment:

  • That I had not blogged today, and that given the tenor of my week it would not be unreasonable to assume that I had not, in fact, made it through the last student day before Winter Break without going to jail. Fear not! My unbroken record of days where I didn’t kill a child and go to jail remains an unbroken record, and in fact today was probably easier than I was expecting it to be.
  • We had a pajama day at work today– no, I did not participate– and I was expecting a horror show of uniform issues. What I got instead (and, really, what I should have expected) was that everyone wore comfy pants and untucked T-shirts. There were a scattered few brave kids in onesies mostly as jokes and a few in proper pajamas, but mostly everybody showed up in their flannels. It was probably the most chill out of uniform day we’ve had this year, honestly.
  • That’s not the second thing. Consider it a bonus.
  • This is the second thing: that I actually still have an Amazon delivery coming today– it has been projected to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00 PM all day– and I kind of feel like I owe it to the driver to not be in bed while they, a fellow human being who is still at work, delivers my irrelevant shit to my house.
  • In fact, I’m gonna go turn the driveway light on.

I expect to be leaving work by noon tomorrow; I have some light grading and classroom rearranging to do and that’s it. After that? Coma time, which is my favorite time.

On things that don’t matter

I’ve blogged, like, ninety days in a row or something like that, and I had a streak of much longer than that going before a long day where I literally forgot broke the streak, and I simultaneously 1) don’t care about the streak, 2) have nothing to say (this digestive thing will not go away; all I’ve eaten today is a banana, a little bit of turkey and a sandwich) and 3) am posting anyway because apparently I do care? Except I don’t.

Anyway, it’s not 8:30 yet and I legit might be in bed in a few minutes, how are you?