State of the Nabil, 2019

I’m at Squam Lake this week, which means it’s time for another annual rambling summation of what’s been happening in my world. I’ve always found it a nice time to reflect. If you’re not particularly interested, no offense taken if you decide to bounce to something else. Without further ado:

Cecil D. Dog

Back in May, I adopted Cecil, a sweet twelve week old puppy, from the Oregon Humane Society. We’re not entirely sure what breeds he is – as he’s getting older and starting to get his adult features, I’m thinking a mix of Plott Hound, Lab, Collie/Cattledog, and a little Pit. Maybe at some point I’ll do one of those genetic tests to find out, but right now it doesn’t really matter much. (My roommate and some friends are watching him while I’m back east.)

I’ve raised a puppy before (Freya), so it hasn’t come as too much of a surprise, but dang can they be a lot of work. I think he gets a little jealous of my laptop, since I end up spending a fair bit of time on it for work, and only understands so much of “I need to spend this time on here to keep us both in kibble.” I’ve taken to working from my backyard (hurray for laptops!) pretty often, so he can get some of his puppy energy out while I work.

Work is Fine

I’m still working as a technical writer, and still enjoying my job. We’ve been tackling some new projects at work, which has meant needing to figure out massaging our existing docs to support the new projects. I’ve also started taking on more of the tooling (and will be flying to Bristol in August to meet up and bang on our docs tools). I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to mess with a variety of different systems to see what might work better than what we have.

I’ve also been thinking about what my path forward looks like. Nothing really concrete to share right now, but I’m continuing to think about IA, content strategy, content engineering, and similar veins of work. In the meantime, I’m perfectly happy having my mixed bag of writing the docs, testing the docs, and tooling the docs. I’m in no rush to switch — this is mostly thinking about longer term plans.

Life is Fine

Still living in the same spot, still enjoying it well enough. I started some new antidepressant medication this winter, and that seems to be going well (I started with Zoloft, then Wellbutrin and Zoloft, and now doing Trintellix and Wellbutrin — while the Zoloft worked okay for mood, I found it was making me significantly more anxious. The Trintellix has been pretty solid so far, though). I’ve also finally gotten back into therapy (it’s been a minute), which thus far has been (I feel) productive.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, of course. I still have times where I struggle, and I still grapple with issues with depression, loneliness, touch starvation, and the random baggage and hangups I’ve accumulated over the years. But I’m working on it, in concrete ways I can actually point at, and that’s a good thing.

My Corner of the Internet

In the Isles of Blogging, I’ve been letting my land lie fallow for a bit. Not for a lack of things to share or say, but more for a lack of energy and a surplus of distraction. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want my internet presence to look like (which I’ve talked about plenty before), and whether the tools and flow I’m using now is what I want.

I attended the 2019 Indie Web Summit a few weeks ago, and there were some nice sessions and talks that came out of it (my friend Mime came down for it, and it was also great to catch up with him). It was interesting to see the state of the IndieWeb scene. It’s worth noting, we may talk about “the Indie Web,” but it’s not a single project, so much as an amalgamation of various projects in various states, with lots of different personalities driving with different motivations. There’s a few underlying principles that create some glue (and at least some attempt at standardizing on some protocols, so different projects can talk to each other), but it definitely has a feeling of a house full of cats — good luck getting them all pointed the same way.

Coming out of the summit, I’ve been giving more thought towards finding a CMS that I’m actually happy with and does what I want it to. I’ve been on WordPress for 15(!) years, and while it’s been a fine system, there are some gaps that I’ve been frustrated with for years. It might be finally time to migrate to something else. I’ve been chewing on exactly what, and will be experimenting over the next week or two while I’m on vacation.

Going Forward

In the past, I’ve tried to have something concrete to inform the second half of the year, something to aim at. This time, not so much. Things aren’t particularly exciting, but they’re progressing, and that’s enough for right now. I will say: I’m hoping to get back into a posting cadence on here again, for my own edification if nothing else. See you soon.



  • 🔖 Aaron Parecki