Thursday, December 16, 2004

More boxes and bags have been tipped over, shuffled through, filled, emptied, and refilled. I'd say we're about one quarter of one per cent through the process, and we still have to figure out which week we can both manage to go apartment-hunting at the same time. (Either of us doing it alone isn't an option; while we trust each other's taste in living spaces, it'd be pointless for Rick to travel to Rochester alone given some of the other things I have to do there, and if I pick out a place without Rick being present, we won't know whether he's allergic to the surroundings until it's too late.)

Digging through the drawers and closets has been better than Christmas, though. I did start with some of the bathroom storage a few weeks ago, when it became clear that I was likely to be offered a job in another city. I found all kinds of cosmetics that I'd forgotten that I had. Even after throwing away the really stale stuff, I ended up with a near-lifetime supply of lipstick, eye shadow, and all sorts of face paint that I don't even wear every day. And the clothing is no different. I went out to lunch today wearing a very retro, baggy novelty sweatshirt that I think I bought around 1990. It looked good on me then, and still does. Thank Zarquon for the concept of "one size fits all".

We have not had to search for a rental since 1991, when we leased the house that we went ahead and bought the following spring. We've almost forgotten how to do this. It's all going to have to come back in a hurry, because today I even started packing up the quizbowl shrine in our family room. I gave away at least sixty or seventy pounds of print journals to my friends at WMU. We're going to have to start dropping off our recycled paper in order to have room to organize more recyclable paper. A friend who went through this last year, when she and her family relocated at the start of her graduate program, reminisced, "We filled dumpsters." The emphasis was hers. Note the plural.

All this and Christmas shopping too.

Kalamazoo to Rochester, in the big-arse middle of winter.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I wish I had more creativity right now, but we've begun the process of turning the previously impacted contents of our closets and drawers into frightful piles of rubble. For the remainder of our residence here, the place is going to look as though this sketch has just been performed in it.

Rick is still using the word "denial" a lot. I think my own brain is producing endogenous caffeine.

Monday, December 13, 2004


For the past two years, Rick and I have been wondering where we'd go next, and when we'd get there.

The answer to the first question: We're going here, for the next one to two years. The answer to the second question: Don't know yet, but traveling through lake-effect snow will probably be part of the experience. I'm hoping to be there by some time in January.

As usual, watch this space!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Some random thoughts for the weekend:

Mike: Do you happen to know whether St. Francis de Soupy Sales has ever squared off against St. Vincent de Billy Paul?

This somewhat well-publicized study on what makes us humans happy doesn't surprise me one bit. First, because I've long been convinced that our species is much less social than we like to think, or at the very least, there's a lot more variation and flexibility among individuals than we've been led to believe. Second, this may well be an illustration of the difference between proximate and ultimate causation. In the long run, we may be happiest if we're content with our families, friends, jobs, and communities (ultimate), but on the scale of a day-to-day study, we're more responsive to the joys of an hour of quiet solitude followed by two more hours of our favorite TV sitcoms or sporting events (proximate). The trick is to figure out how to pry ourselves away from the latter in order to invest a bit in the former. Come to think of it, Rick and I are currently glued to our laptops in different rooms of the house, representing a fine microcosm of the above dilemma.

Actually, Rick and I did get out together a few times this weekend, once to an excellent graduation party (congrats, John!) and again to do some Christmas shopping. It's very dangerous, though, to turn two animal-loving fans of culture jamming loose in a mall just before Christmas. For one thing, they tend to have a low level of respect for the lofty pretentions of traditional Christmas songs:

There's Thysanura in the bathroom....

And, if the intrusive bugs aren't bad enough, these malcontents may go off on a reverie about singing vertebrate predators (maybe leopards or ocelots, or else some big crocodilians, none of which in the 'Pede-verse tolerate cheesy canned Christmas music well):

We'll bite you if you keep singing,
We'll bite you if you keep singing,
We'll bite you if you keep singing,
And we'll tear off your ear.

(The 'Pede will scuttle off and behave itself for now, but don't expect things to get any saner for the next few weeks. You have been warned.)