The last week of my job was weird--short, hurried, and sudden. The place where I was interviewing made an offer at the interview, I accepted then and there, they had an offer letter in my inbox by the time I got into work, and I gave notice as soon as my boss returned. We negotiated my last day, I worked the rest of the short week, and that was it. Was mostly disappointed that when you work in advertising, there's no point to coming in on your last day dressed in sloppy casual. Also... well... I got a gentle reminder of what sick systems do to good people. But time should help that one.
Arisia was excellent. I avoided pushing myself and didn't get there before 2 p.m. any day except Sunday, which meant I missed a bit of the con but was rested. The belly dance was magnificent, the musical was hilarious, the swarms of new attendees were wondrous to see, the amount of pretty of all shapes, sizes, and flavors in the hallways was delicious. I sold two pieces in the art show and traded a third piece for a pendant from one of my favorite artists. (Arisia 2010: Not a jeweler! Arisia 2011: One of the artists who inspired me to become a jeweler wants to trade for a necklace! CRANK UP THE LADY GAGA, I FEEL A DANCE COMING ON.)
Portland was spectacular, clear and warm and mostly dry with that lingering dampness that permeates the city even when it hasn't rained for days. I was struck by the size of the windows--everywhere huge plate-glass windows with no panes, so you can see into and through everything. People have vast picture windows in their living rooms, overlooking the street and low enough for passersby to see in, but no one hangs curtains. In Boston, there's a traditional species of built-in shutter for exactly that situation. Everywhere you go, everything is open; and when I mentioned heating, my friend said that oh yes, it snowed in Portland a couple of years back. But now it was late January and it was heading into spring. So on top of the wonderful species of people they make there, and the wonderful individual examples I know who live there, and the amazing food and city design and everything else Portland has to offer, it has incredible weather. Rainy, yes. But rain doesn't pile up in drifts 8 feet high outside your apartment.
And then I started the new job the day after I got home. (The schedule was: work work work work, Arisia Arisia Arisia Arisia, half day to get ready then plane, Portlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, work work work work.) It's been a long time since I noticed how fast time flies when you're learning something on the job, and how much better you feel at the end of the day when you've done something tangible. Having a sense of my workload and being able to chart progress is also a revolution. At the old job, it was like emptying a sink with a spoon, except the faucet knob was in the other room and a dozen different people were tugging at it. You just bailed until the sink was dry, then you tried to look like you were doing essential sink maintenance until the water started running again. At this job, I know what's on my plate and when it's due. It's... weird. I have to recalibrate everything I've been using to deal with the workday.
...And I already have a sexy new work laptop, with a Blackberry on the way.
Spend three weeks running all over Creation, hanging out with cool people and stuffing good food into your face in a continuous stream, lose five pounds. What in hell, metabolism.