Is this thing on?


Oh, good.

Well. 2016 was quite the year, wasn't it? To the point that I have nothing to say about the year as a year that hasn't already been said more eloquently, and more angrily, by other people.

Me? I'm doing okay. Some significant stress factors in exciting financial areas that are not disastrous (at least in the short term) but aren't a whole lot of fun, either. So, setting that aside, I'll move on.

Grad school is going really well. I deeply enjoy living in Minnesota, especially in a shared apartment in a giant complex where I'm not paying for heat and not shoveling the snow. (Though I kinda want to try snow-shoveling. It looks fun. Probably more fun when it's not mandatory, as is the case with so many things in life.) The dog adapted surprisingly well to the cold; it turns out a small dog with relatively long hair takes DELIGHT in snowbanks, to the detriment at times of the human trying to wade in behind him. I have had to fish Adverb out of neck-deep snow a few times, and he's lost booties (necessary when it gets below 20F or on very salted areas) several times. Meanwhile, I adore the snow and cold now that I have the right gear for it; I'm crocheting some more scarves, I learned all about layering, I have snow boots I really like.

I miss the spouse quite a lot while I'm in Minnesota. But I do get to see him periodically. And he's often being flown off to California or Japan (or, coming up, Tasmania), so it's not as if I'd have him with me constantly if I were in Austin, anyway. We manage.

Grad school itself? A bundle of delights. I mean this honestly. I have liked all my classes so far, and took a lot of joy in live-tweeting some lectures from Archeology of Prehistoric Europe. (In some alternate universe where I have much higher tolerance for heat and sun, I might've gone into archeology.) It's a little weird at times doing graduate classes rather than undergraduate classes; there's a lot less of the constant feedback and grades to evaluate how I'm doing, and everything piles up into a giant heap at the end. In December, I turned in a 25-page paper, a 12-page paper, and an 18-page paper, which is more than I've ever had in a single semester before. Did three presentations, took various tests and quizzes, spent a lot of time buried in So Much Seneca... Good times. Good times.

I'm in Austin right now, over the winter break, though not for much longer. This coming Monday I get to experience the fun that is stuffing my nervous little dog in a carrier and then under the seat on two separate planes for the first time ever. Much more practical than having Rob drive two days to take me to Minnesota then drive two days back to Austin--he's doing enough travel as it is without adding that in!--and I do have some mildly effective sedatives for the dog, but, yeesh. I'm braced.

Turned in my first chapter of the project I'm working on for Choice of Games, which I am quite pleased with. Writing interactive fiction is going pretty well as a side thing while I'm buried in academics; the necessary outlining and the breakdown of any given scene into a series of small chunks with choices means that it's a bit like doing piecework in crochet or yarn. Easy to pack around, pick up and put down quickly. And I'm just having so much fun with IF in general.

Wish I had more time--well, more brain, it's the lack of focus more than lack of hours--to read; my to-read list has gotten enormous, and full of really excellent books I've been waiting for, and still haven't started. But that's academics for you. In any case, I'm glad the new semester is starting soon. I'm taking a bundle of fun classes (French for reading! Ancient Greek prose composition! History of late antiquity! Poems of praise in Greek and Latin!), and the schedule is good for me. I get a lot more exercise, writing, studying, translating, and cooking done when I have a nice schedule to slot it all into. And a dog who no longer has a back yard with a doggy door, and thus needs to be walked three times a day.

So, uh, yeah. That's what I'm up to lately! It's going pretty well, despite some of the stresses and the wretchedness that is 2016 in the less personal sense.

For far too many dog pictures, check out Twitter.
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