January 2, 2006
Because it’s very, very quiet here at the office today–quieter even than it was on Friday, since my most talkative customer was in then and is off now–I felt unconflicted about taking my whole lunch hour, so I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I opened up the files for the book I’m working on post-processing for Distributed Proofreaders. It would really be more correct to say I haven’t been working on this book; I’ve had it in process since the summer, which is a really, really long time compared to my previous post-processing efforts. This one has languished because I’ve pretty much fallen out of love with DP. I still think it’s a worthy project, but we’ve grown apart since I first posted about it back in 2004. Our relationship was great and ever improving for quite some time–I got involved in mentoring new users and providing feedback to other post processors as well as doing proofing and formatting of individual pages and whole books and periodical issues–but then things sort of fell apart. Some changes to the workflow were made this past summer that seem to have somehow triggered a change in tone to the point where I’m having trouble finding the fun. Instead of being in a community of like-minded nitpickers (as I described it in 2004), I more and more feel like I’m on the outside looking in. I tried to get into the new flow, but instead of feeling encouraged and encouraging, I felt stressed, and if I was going to feel stressed, I might as well work through lunch instead of DP’ing.
But I hate to give up on something I’ve invested so much time and effort in, so today I returned to Saratoga and How to See It, first published in 1872. In it, I found one of the gems of text that give a window into another time, namely a “Routine for a Lady” to be followed when visiting the hot springs resort:
“Rise and dress; go down to the spring; drink to the music of the band; walk around the park–bow to gentlemen; chat a little; drink again; breakfast; see who comes in on the train; take a siesta; walk in the parlor; bow to gentlemen; have a little small talk with gentlemen; have some gossip with ladies; dress for dinner; take dinner an hour and a half; sit in the grounds and hear the music of the band; ride to the lake; see who comes by the evening train; dress for tea; get tea; dress for the hop; attend the hop; chat awhile in the parlors, and listen to a song from some guest; go to bed. Varied by croquet, ladies’ bowling alley, Indian camp, the mineral springs, grand balls twice a week, concerts, etc., and the races.”
That is a lot of dressing and chatting and gossiping; I am glad my vacations don’t involve that sort of routine. I will also be glad when I finish processing this book. Then I can decide if I’ll start another.
One year ago, I revealed my thrift shop finds. We went to the same shop again just last week; all I found that I wanted was a single CD: Innocence & Despair: The Langley Schools Music Project. I listened to it for the first time on the way to work this morning. It made me feel nostalgic for junior high, when I was a student musician myself. One of the songs actually brought tears to my eyes; I’m not quite sure what that was about.
Two years ago, I was enjoying a very long weekend at home and that enjoyment didn’t involve writing online.
Three years ago, there was no entry because I still hadn’t picked up on the Holidailies bonus time concept.