Basically, a bunch of work deadlines all converged, most of which were completely non-negotiable, so back at, like, the end of September, I looked at my to-do list and realized that if I was going to finish it all on time, I had to start now, and then I was just running in overdrive mode for three months.
I did get (almost) everything finished, so that was good. I got a reprieve on finishing and submitting the data archive paper by the end of the year, because my boss decided that it was more relevant to working group 2, for which the deadline is not until sometime this summer, and that she was too overloaded with working group 1 stuff to work on her piece of it. On the one hand, I'm a little bit disappointed because I did set it as a goal and didn't quite achieve it, and I was looking forward to having it finished and off my plate. But on the other hand, I think it really was for the best; I think I could have pulled it off, but I've been in recharge mode since the middle of December and only now starting to feel back to normal, and I think hitting that end-of-year deadline would have drained my battery all the way to zero and taken considerably longer to get recover from.
Plus, I'm still not sure that I'm fully back up to snuff. I caught a cold on New Year's Eve; I felt it coming on Wednesday and got my zinc lozenges in early, and I thought I had gotten over the next day, but I had planned to work from home at the end of the week, and it really just didn't happen, and it's only today that I've finally had enough gumption to do more than the essentials. And it's the same with recovering from overwork strain; I keep thinking "oh, I feel better," and then some time passes and I think it again, so maybe I'm still not all the way back yet.
We got back from AGU (post forthcoming) on Monday the 16th, and I was right back at work on the 17th. Went to Kent's holiday party on Friday the 20th, followed by birthday party at Eaton Street (for Brandon & Jon) on the 21st.
For Christmas, we went to Naponee. Jerry had to be back on the 26th, so we drove out on Monday (the 23rd) and drove home on Christmas Day. Along with Mom & Larry, Leslie and Layne and Joyce (my step-sister, her son, and her mom) were there, because back in November they moved out there to get away from Denver's high cost of living. Leslie has found a job working at a group home for the disabled, and they found a house to rent, but at Christmas they were still looking. So it was a very full house for our visit, with them plus Joyce's dog Booger (a good boy but very barky). Lots more presents than usual to open on Christmas morning. But it was also good downtime; I was out in the trailer (where Jerry & I were sleeping) on Tuesday afternoon, and it was just silent in a way you don't get in developed areas.
Side note, I read The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison on the trip and really enjoyed it. It's an unusual book; fantasy, but very constrained, almost claustrophobic. No adventure, just steampunk court intrigue about people and politics and psychology. It's very good. My only complaint is that the names are very strange I had a terrible time tracking them.
Scheduling problems derailed Star Wars on Sunday the 29th, so we went over to Jeff's and played some of the new games I got for Christmas (Dominion: Nocturne, Squirrel or Die, and Sakura) with him & Jeff.
Douglas is in town and came over to visit on Monday the 30th, so we got all caught up on our trip to SF and suchlike.
New Year's Eve we spent at Craig's. I brought ramen eggs, which I realized are more convenient than deviled eggs because (1) they're easier to make and (2) easier to transport; you can just cut them in half once you get there, add a dab of crunchy chili-garlic topping, and there you are. We played a bunch of Jackbox games, and then everyone said "okay, I'm old" and we all headed home by about 12:30.
New Year's Day we went over to Neal's to play Tapestry, which is a big and complicated civilization-building game. I had a good time, though I had to apologize for grousing about being seriously behind in the midgame, because I misjudged my position and was able to pull seriously ahead at the end. Would play again, though it's one that needs some space between plays.
I also binged 4 seasons of Taskmaster while I was too tried to brain very much. It's a British show where the contestants (5 comedians) compete at performing ridiculous tasks, and it's very funny. The first two seasons are on youtube, and others can be found by googling.
I still need to do a couple catch-up posts for AGU and all the big stuff that happened in the fall, and I have some other thoughts in prep, but hey, I'm at least caught up on recent doings now.