Sunday, August 26, 2007

Moment in Time

Tomorrow is the first day of classes. I am nervous. Pocket of Bolts is polishing our shoes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lightning, Bowling, the Days Pass

In the middle of the night last night there was a big thunderstorm. They always wake me up, even when I am wearing ear-plugs, because I can see the lightning through my eyelids and it is bright enough to wake me up. We have a blind on our bedroom window too. It doesn't matter. Lightning is really bright. Pocket of Bolts doesn't get waked up because, in addition to being a good sleeper, he says he has thick eyelids.

Day 4 of the grueling* new schedule. Still have not succeeded in leaving the house by seven. But I'm starting to wake up pretty naturally at 6. It's getting out of bed that's the trick...

Last night we went bowling with some people who used to be our neighbors, and whom PoB became friends with over the course of last year. I was anxious about going bowling because I haven't done it for a really long time. Also, my hands are pretty weak from tendonitis. And J&C are really PoB's friends; I don't feel like I have that much in common with them. Still, it worked out more or less okay.

Bowling has gotten a lot more expensive since the days when my dad and brother and I used to go in the old student union! I'm not sure I've gotten any better since then either. But I do have a really strong memory of my little bro (before he got taller than me) standing in his tiny shoes with that big ball, every line of his back full of concentration.

I was surprisingly nostalgic when I wasn't too embarrassed by my many gutter balls. I did manage a strike and a couple of spares though. To PoB's lasting shame, I actually beat him the second game. Ha ha ha! I got 100 exactly. You might think that's nothing to brag about, but the first game I barely got half of that. It's all relative.

Anyway, I don't much mind being bad at games. My tendons were tired and a little sore, but bowling doesn't actually seem to make them worse.

Nothing much else to report. Yesterday was so filthy hot that we scuttled from one air-conditioned place to another pretty much. My syllabus is about ready to print out and copy. I'm reading LeCarre's The Taylor of Panama (in the gym) and Neal Stephenson's The System of the World (on the bus commute).

* Okay, "grueling" is relative. Let's just say, grueling for lazy and easily-exhausted me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Day in the Life

Day two of a new routine which I hope will be productive and lead to good things. Unfortunately, part of that new routine is being out the door by 7 AM. I have yet to make it, but I have high hopes for tomorrow. Seven-fifteen has been the best I could do so far.

I use my new monthly transit pass (yay!), get to my office (can I say how awesome it is to have an office, even a shared one!?), and work on my teaching preparation. Next week I'll also spend an hour teaching.

Before lunch I go to the gym. I love having a gym membership. A lot. This one has an indoor track, which reminds me of running with my dad back when I was working on my MA. My dad used to call it "wogging" (for "walking" and "jogging") and it's true that we didn't break any speed records, but I remember it very fondly. This new track is an eighth of a mile instead of a tenth, and has a view of the freeway and the skyline. It is really nice. I also enjoy an exercise bike they have, which has a monitor with 3D graphics of different courses that you "ride through"--you can even steer and shift, but you can't coast or crash. And of course, my old standby, stair-climbing with a suspenseful novel. The stair-climbers here have famous heights like the Great Pyramid, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Empire State Building, and the Sears Tower. So far, I've done the Space Needles several times (900+ steps) and am working up to the Sears Tower. ;) Lastly, there is a hot tub and a "play pool" with a current that sweeps you along a loop. It is really a fun way to unwind at the end.

After lunch it's back to the office for some dissertation work. I have made for myself a long-term plan (1 semester) which specifies what I need to get done every day. So far it's been a little hard to actually accomplish that (this is week two) but at least it gives me a task to focus on, so even if I fail to accomplish it completely, I still can't get too side-tracked.

When I get restless I go to a nearby coffee-shop, and when I get either done or too tired, I go home and relax with Pocket of Bolts. This is a good life, I think, a life I could get used to. But a lot depends on how things will be when the job actually starts next week!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Changes in the Air

I see I haven't posted in nearly two months. It's been quite a summer for living rather than writing and reflecting.

Perhaps the most momentous event was that Pocket of Bolts and I got engaged. We had always been planning on getting married (maybe even from when we first met!) so the surprising thing was how momentous the actual getting engaged turned out to feel.

We also spent nearly a month traveling around to see our respective parents and be congratulated and feted on all sides. Also racing around like crazy looking at wedding venues. We're not doing the deed until next summer, but once the school-year starts we're not going to have time to go gallivanting around on this surprisingly time-consuming type of research!

Next, we came back to Chicago and moved into a new apartment. The new place is an enormous gorgeous vintage two bedroom a bit nearer the lake but with basically the same commute. We have been working hard on home improvement. To keep the place from looking bare we have to about double our current furniture holdings. And then there's the matter of colors and currents and rugs... We're both such novices that I fear the results might be more laughable than coordinated, but we're trying things out and learning.

We painted the dining room on Saturday, and on Sunday I spent a long time scraping about a hundred layers of old paint off the rotting window-sill in our bathroom. Pocket of Bolts cleaned and re-caulked it, and we are going to apply some really super waterproof paint to see if that protects it.

This is a silly little update, and I am far too tired to write anywhere near ALL the things that have happened or post any photos. In one week, I am going to be starting a new job.

Life change coefficient impressively high, no?

I'm not sure where this blog is going to go. I like blogging, but I am going to have students, and I have not been especially careful with anonymizing. I think what I may do is take all the archives off-line and go on with it in a more cautious and anonymous manner. But we'll see. I have made far too many unfulfilled promises to have a right to say more!