It occurs to me that were I given a budget of things like Dollars and People-Work-Hours, I wouldn't know what to do with it at first - the only thing I've ever really had to budget was my time. I've kinda... persuaded everything else into happening from that. Not sure if that's a good skill or a curious limp I've developed in order to walk with a bum leg... I'm going to go with "good skill" right now, but keep an eye out for where this tendency to work sans budget might be a hindrance to me.

Stickers for the FOSDEM crew have been ordered. In order to get costs and production times down, I had to mess with the colors some. Color matching... is expensive. Also, 2-color logos that degrade nicely into monochrome silhouettes? I'm now a huge fan of those.

Yes, I have the savings to work on what I want to work on for the next 2 months, and worry about jobs later. I'm switching into Live On Next To No Money Mode, which means that traveling for the next 2 months is out unless someone sponsors my travel budget. I'm still going to NYC, as funding for that already been arranged / budgeted for; thanks to kind projects and friends with couches, it'll cost me about as much to go to NYC as it would cost for me to be in Boston during those days.

My two luxuries are going to be cheap ones; music (piano lessons) and martial arts (already paid for through April, so no worries on this one). However, things like dancing in Atlanta, PyCon, Linuxfest Northwest, and SCaLE are out in favor of rent and groceries, and I think I'm going to have to take a raincheck on Nashville, Seattle, Chicago (IMSA) Toronto, DC, and Going Places In General for the time being. No desktop, no fixing my broken headphones, no embedded development toys, no new books. Really, I don't need more stuff. In fact, I should start (again) to sell or give away the extra books I have. I was kinda hoping to be able to spring for some occasional shiatsu, because my shoulders and neck and back unknotting make me really happy - but I figure I have a book on stretching and I should use that instead, yeah?

Happily enough, this doesn't actually feel crippling in any way (...okay, I was sad about not visiting peope until I realized that it's probably a better idea to wait until after April starts and warmth returns to this hemisphere). I have good food, I have enough to get any equipment I may need to work on things, I can roam around a city that I love and haven't yet fully explored. If I start feeling cramped in the abundance-mentality department, I'll adjust, but right now it's a relief not to have to think about those things any more - it's just a "no, I'm not doing this," and then an okay, and then a moving-on.

'Course, if someone magically wants to give me money/resources to do the stuff I'm going to be doing anyway, I'm not going to say no. But it is not on my radar of Things To Desperately Look For, and I'll be doing this 'till April 1st regardless. Past that, I don't know, but I'll worry about it then.

There are 6 hours between now and the Marketing meeting, and I'd best clear IIF work before I sleep. *workworkwork* Sweet, I'm done. Apparently doing wiki manipulation and putting together workshops has become second nature to me now, and I can very accurately estimate the time and resources I'll need for it. Now if I could only get that kind of intuition into my actual hacking...

While walking through a bookstore in Auckland (or was it Wellington?) I speed-read Tribes by Seth Godin where he rephrases the Peter Principle - people are promoted to their level of incompetence - as something like "people rise to the level where they are paralyzed by fear." I can't stop the fear, but I'm working on the paralysis. Part of that, for me, is being gently reflective and using writing as a way to coach myself through doing what I should be doing; it's a way of guiding my own thoughts, a way of building my capacity to Do Things. It means that, during times like this, I'm quite verbose and occasionally sound like a right idiot (sometimes my mind needs patient and repetitive coaxing; it's like a small child that way).

Today I boiled some chard and chopped it into a pie dish, whipped some browned-butter béchamel and poured it over, then crumbled a wheat cracker on top and browned the whole thing in the oven and served it with couscous. Instead of immediately cleaning the béchamel pan (er, wok), I tossed some finely-chopped onions in and slowly simmered them with a bit of butter until they were tender to the point of melting, then poured an egg-milk mixture in and covered it on gentle heat. The onions caramelized and mingled with the browning béchamel to make a sweet, peppery glaze for a light... omelet? Quiche? Whatever it was, it had bright spots of sweet onion sprinkled through it and a fantastic flavor hit from the reduced béchamel*, which also gave it a lovely mottled caramel crusting atop the pale egg.

*I still can't pronounce this properly.

As with all my improvisations, I tend to get my best results when cooking for myself, and when I'm relaxed. I wish i could share the results of my good improvisations with others, though. That there were more people in the house to call over when I've found a way to cook something delicious, or when I've hit a musical groove, or drawn something cool, or made something shiny.

Now I really have to sleep before the Marketing meeting. Resting so that I can do my job is part of my job, whether I like it or not.