With semester finals on Monday and Tuesday, my Christmas vacation officially began today -- and I spent it working. I visited the Workhaus Lodge on Greenville Avenue. I've read a bit on co-working and I wanted to try it out. When I'm home in the office, I get easily distracted by Twitter, Facebook,, Age of Empires, dishes, laundry, letting Berkeley outside, bringing Berkeley back inside, letting him out again, snacking, and a variety of other shiny objects vying for my attention. I hoped that a change of location would make me more productive or at least give me a stronger sense of "being on the clock." Here are some observations. 1. This place smells like the Wesleyan in Commerce, Texas. One of my favorite jobs was working as a program director at the Wesleyan when I was in college. I have fond memories of that old building. So yes, for me, old building smell is a good thing. I don't want to spend too long trying to analyze the musky fragrance. Mildew plus a hint of mothballs? I don't know. It's nice. 2. Parking wasn't too bad, but I think I still parked in the wrong place. I didn't get towed, so that's something. 3. It's pathetic that I was more excited about the 7-11 directly across the street than the Gloria's next door. 4. I thought it might be a little empty with Christmas in a few days, but there's plenty of people here. I wonder how crowded it gets during other times in the year. 5. Not that I've been listening in on other people's phone conversations, but their jobs look (and sound) more official than mine. They are doing w-o-r-k. I've spent the past few hours writing. Do other writers feel this way? Maybe I'd feel more official if I made more phone calls? 6. The couch behind me looks more like a bed. Let's not fool ourselves. It is a bed. Do people ever nap there? That might be awkward in a co-working situation. 7. I'm suspicious of the books and magazines on the shelves. The Fountainhead, two large books on Einstein, a hardcover on modern glamour, and interior design magazines, most of them with a thin layer of dust -- do the people here actually use these books? If I worked here more often, could I bring my own books? This place needs some Calvin and Hobbes. 8. They also need a conference room. Apparently, they're on it. 9. I don't know if I was any more productive here. If anything, I couldn't do some of the usual pacing and mumbling that I undertake while working. However, if I were home most of the time, it'd be nice to see other people occasionally. 10. The people here seem friendly and focused. Good atmosphere. All in all, I like it.

By the numbers...

Hours spent at Workhaus: 3.5 Words I've typed today: 1,588 Blog posts made: 2 (including this one) Tweets: 2 Trips to 7-11: 1 Trips to bathroom: 3 Trips to 1 Trips to Facebook: 2 Ounces of Coca-Cola: 20