Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can't go back?

I like talking on the phone with my mom, it makes me happy. All the trappings of home, even from a distance - stories of a weekend spent moving wood and making doors, tomato sauce cooking on the stove from garden tomatoes, the "darn" dog underfoot again (like they'd want it any other way) and so on. Brings back good memories.

Also makes me feel a little bitter sweet - Seems like no matter how hard I try, setting up in new apartments and organizing new homes for myself, there's something that I can't even close to duplicate. And I really wish I could, 'cause I feel like until I get that right, every place I live seems temporary, and a bit of a disappointing shade of brown contentment. It's like playing house, or tea party as a kid - mimicking adult things. Each time maybe it gets closer to reality, but it still feels a long ways off from a home.

Lettuce Grow!

I just planted a bunch of baby lettuces and spinach. I'm very excited. According to the seed packets, in 7-10 days I will start to see little plantlets! Hopefully before it frosts I'll be eating leafy greens grown in my very own backyard. This should help to disguise the fact that I'm living in a city.

In other good-food news, I found a farmers market in walking distance that takes place once a week. I'm going to try to do all of my vegetable shopping there from now on - at least until winter hits!

Lots of stuff has been happening on the grad school orientation new life end of things, but I haven't much felt like writing about it. So there.

Maybe you should go plant some lettuces too! I got my seed packs for ~3 dollars, and spent maybe an hour or so digging and planting. And I should get many many lettuce plants out of the deal - much more than I could buy for $3... I wish it were earlier in the season so I could plant other tasty things too, but the sun is deceptive and I saw an orange leave the other day - fall is just around the corner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The still of the night

I'm 95% settled in my new home for the next year or so. Furniture is assembled and fixed up, my boxes are unpacked and organized, my clothes are in a dresser for the first time in more than a year. All my potted plants are cluttering up the window sills, and hanging in corners of rooms. Pictures of family and friends are unpacked and distributed around my room. I have a bed that requires no inflation, and is more than 6 inches off the ground. My fridge is full of groceries, and fresh office supplies are stocked in my desk.

Tomorrow I begin orientation for graduate school, for my department and for TA training. Tomorrow I'll locate my desk, and get my student ID. Tomorrow I'll start learning my way around campus. Tomorrow, in many ways, is a tangible beginning of graduate school for me. In a little more than a week I'll step into a classroom again as a student, for the first time in over a year. "Transient Theorist" isn't going to be quite so transient anymore.

Probably I should have lots of insights from the last year's worth of experiences, and I should be writing something insightful... But tonight it's just me. All the memories from this last year, and the friendships and the places, are things that won't go away. Right now they're just a part of life, part of the tapestry, even if I haven't interpreted them and catalogued them away in neat boxes. I kept thinking it would be a restful year, a time to take stock of life and it's direction, to pause and sort out future trajectories. But I'm not sure it's possible to catch up on life - it happens so fast, and speeds up like a glorious kaleidoscopic whirling dervish. Maybe I've learned a little better to accept this, to enjoy the journey even without knowing it's meaning or destination, although it's still very unsettling.

Tomorrow comes, and it's just another now, no longer a beginning, just another day joining the rest. It's sure to bring new challenges, and new excitements, and even big changes. Transient Theorist here plans to ride the swells, to give it his best shot, and to enjoy the journey.

I want to sign out and leave you with my song of the evening:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Quick update. Back from ESA and family visits. Had a great time. Did too much, slept too little, ended up with a cold. Flew home on Monday without the ability to equalize pressure in my ears... very painful. More than a day later and I still can't hear clearly.

Trying to catch up on paperwork, emails, and a hundred detaily things in preparation for moving into my house in graduate-school-state on Saturday. Being sick sucks. Spending time with mom/dad/sister is great though. We watched "Blade Runner" tonight and ate homemade ice cream :-)

I have soooo much from this summer yet to digest, consider, and write about, but that back log is going to have to wait a few weeks more, until I'm settled in my new house and life slows down enough. And when I get internet hooked up at said house. So stay tuned for further thoughts on traveling, family, life, graduate school, workshops and conferences, networking, relationships, books and more.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Camping adventures

Camping and good sleep don't always go together, usually resulting in some pretty funny stories well after the fact.

Thursday night I spent in a leaky tent, while torrential thunderstorms rolled through. A round of tent line adjustments made by flashlight while in my skivvies and hiking boots ensued. That helped a little. Even a leaky tent is drier than no tent at all, so I was trying to think positively. Unfortunately for me, a small rodent (think enormous field mouse) had already had the same thought, and had built a nest and delivered 3 baby rodents underneath my tent and mattress pad... at first I contented myself to poking the tent floor with a water bottle and making noise. As the night went on, I started getting less friendly. At about 4 am I gave up on the whole endeavor and made a mad dash during a brief respite in the rain, crammed into my car with my sleeping bag and pillow, and reclined the drivers seat. Ahhhh - dry and rodent free at last!

24 hours later I was up wicked early again, hitting the foggy roads on my way to the airport. ESA here I come!!!!!