I am officially Oriented. Among other things, this means I've got an "I Am Red Hat" shirt that fits me now, as opposed to the XXL Tunic of Ridiculousness (picture by Ian Weller):

Still some getting-started stuff to clear up, like getting my new laptop (Thinkpad x200 yay!) that won't have a dying hard drive and a broken hinge and a cracked screen and... other issues that my beloved but end-of-life x61 has been creaking by with for some time. And figuring out how to get a doctor and put money into my 401(k), because I've been told both are a Very Good Idea.

Happily stuffed with BBQ right now (Greg's wife, who is also named Mel, is an incredible cook) and noodling around with various keyboard arrangements since I can't seem to get to sleep yet. I swore to myself when I graduated from college that I would live my life by waking up every morning and Doing Stuff I Loved. It's one of the consistently toughest decisions that I keep on making, and one of the best decisions that I've ever made. I repeat this over and over like a broken record, but it's true.*

I'm looking forward to a long, long string of mornings like that. I'll be continuing to go to sleep in the mornings Doing Stuff I Love, too. :) It's going to be tough, and I'm going to mess up sometimes, and I'm going to learn a lot, and contribute, and teach, and drink from the firehose, and get pushed, and freakin' love it. I wrote about this before also, but being pushed is still such a rare thing for me that I currently feel like a kid who's been told, at the end of a holiday visit, that their family is moving house to Disneyland.

*making this decision in the beginnings - and there were multiple beginnings (and there still will be - it hasn't stopped), many hesitant ones over an extremely long stream of time during which I often didn't realize I was choosing something, and was confused, and sometimes thought life sucked with no prospect for improving on the horizon, and - look, it wasn't always this clear, and I used to laugh at that cliche, and say "ahahaha, of course it's easy for $name to say that; they're $name." I am not sure how I came to find myself on the flip side of this statement, but it is something I am trying to figure out now. What makes it easy to say - and follow - "do what you love?" Heck, forget "easy" - I'll even take "possible."

When I begin to ramble like this, it's a sure sign I ought to try going to bed again. ;-)