Monday, July 20, 2015

Life among the Boxes

We move a week from tomorrow. Our Pods arrive today. (One is already here, in fact--I had to move the car to the street because it's pretty much blocking the driveway.)

I'm almost wishing that I felt more ambivalent about leaving Field Town, but frankly I'm impatient. We've already had our going-away party, and then on Saturday I went to a (former) colleague's going-away party, and it's all starting to feel redundant. We've been doing the "Oh-I'm-sure-I'll-see-you-again" thing, knowing that in most cases, we won't; this helps to soften the blow, but by now, I more or less just want to disappear. Good-byes should only be so long.

But Field has been so important in my life: my first faculty position, meeting my husband, my child's hometown. Eight years! I was only in graduate school for seven.

And will I ever come back? We say yes, but we know (and say among ourselves) that it's unlikely. The town is two and a half hours from the nearest big city, and the possibility of even visiting said city is pretty remote--most of the people that we know there have moved away by now. And, at least until there's a change in administration, we both want very little to do with Field College proper from here on out. That's not a good feeling, by the way. I hate it that our relationship with our former employer has soured, due to--well--meanness. Quite simply.

Anyway. So much to look forward to! The three-week gap between closing on our Field house and closing on our New house is going to be a bit unwieldy, but we'll spend a few days with friends, a few days at the (Midwestern) beach, and time with both of our families. And then: Moving in! Our great new house! My great new job!

Seriously. When I can see through all the mini-crises and the stress (our [current] house appraised at less than the sale price! the seller of our [new] house was refusing to sign the contract! Bonaventure hasn't had some obscure screening that's required for his new nursery school! etc!), I marvel at my good fortune. I hit the freaking jackpot.*

*I may be speaking too soon, of course; who knows what politics and weirdness await? All jobs have politics and weirdness, after all. HOWEVER: 65% salary increase + 50% teaching reduction = awesomeness no matter how you slice it. Not to mention reducing the distance between me and my family from 15 hours of driving to 2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Survivor: Moving Edition

We got our moving estimate today, and it was a little over twice what NewU will contribute. (More money might be available, but it also might not, so I'm not going to count on it.) I was pretty floored. We live modestly, I think, in a 1300 sf two-bedroom house; we're getting rid of our dining room set; we have only one pretty lightweight couch and no entertainment stuff (TV, "entertainment center," etc.); and so on. Now, we do have a Vespa and a small (50 lb.) boat, so those add a little weight--but still. How on earth do we have an estimated 12,000 pounds of stuff?

So we're looking a little bit at other moving companies, but without a great deal of hope. And we're figuring out how to lighten our load.

One of our strategies will be to fill our little car with all the small-but-heavy items: cast-iron skillets, the marble top of a small table, the blender and food processor bases, TM's collection of antique weights for his scale (purchased in Paris, no less. OK, maybe I can start to see how we live heavily...).

The second strategy is to ditch as much of our stuff as we can.

We've already had a yard sale and, between that and a carload to the thrift store and a hefty clothing donation to the foster-care organization a friend works for, we've gotten rid of nearly all of Bonaventure's baby stuff (my pangs of ambivalence about this went away entirely when I learned how much the move will cost), an absurdly heavy and pretty ugly coffee table ($2!), a superfluous desk, a file cabinet, our spare iron, and four boxes of books. But the purging must continue.

I'm working on getting rid of more books; I have old translations of Russian novels that are probably more readable in more recent translations (and they're in dingy paperback form, so there's no real reason to be attached to these copies except that I read them once), and I'm working on getting rid of novels that I probably won't read again and could get at any public library if I decide that I must. So that's a start.

But what about:
  1. sweaters that I don't really wear much, or at all, but that I knit myself?
  2. art books that don't much interest me but were gifts and probably expensive? and that I might be interested in one day? (yeah right)
  3. our second copies of Wheelock's Latin textbook and the JACT Reading Greek series? Isn't it true that TM and I vitally need our own copies of each?
  4. the second pizza paddle, which is a little too small for a proper pizza but might hypothetically come in handy? (and that weighs about 3 ounces?)
  5. all the CDs that I bought in high school? (I got rid of the cases several moves ago.)
  6. the five Harry Potter books that I own, three of them in hardback?
  7. VHS tapes?
  8. audio cassettes?
  9. a speaker set and subwoofer when one of the speakers seems to be broken, and we don't know whether it's fixable? (It's not even our main speaker set.)
  10. leftover fancy paper used to print the final copy of our dissertations (in, let's recall, 2007)?
And this is just what occurs to me right now.  Discuss and vote, please.

In all of this, of course, I am at once inspired and horrified by Notorious Ph.D.'s recent, drastic purging of everything. (Horrified not by her actions, but rather by the thought of doing the same myself. And also inspired by the same thought. It's a dangerous temptation.)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Everything costs money

  • Daycare enrollment: $534 deposit
  • First round of earnest money on new house: $500
  • Inspection of new house, including radon and radon-in-the-water testing: $835
  • Anticipated closing costs on current house: $534, plus we've agreed to pay the buyer's share (including inspections) to the tune of about $1100
  • Ice cream to celebrate selling the house: $10.24
I think that's it for today.

(And we're selling the house without an agent, so really, we're saving something along the lines of $8000--also, we got our asking price, provided we cover the buyer's closing costs! So while the out-of-pocket feels pretty intense right now, everything is going as well as could be expected. Thank goodness we have the cash to cover all the little things. Especially the ice cream.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015


I know, I know. I say I'll blog, and I don't blog. It's crazytown.

Anyway, just a quick update:

-We found a house in New State. It's lovely and costs more than twice what our current house did. But our current house, which is lovely and perfect, was absurdly cheap (we paid $119,500), so I'm not complaining. Plus, the bank thinks we (I) can afford it.

-We are meeting with a prospective buyer for our house IN SIX MINUTES. Wish us luck, everyone.

-Pretty well settled on full-time, four-day-a-week care for our son. We visited the nursery school, and it's wonderful. Plus, it's on my new campus!

-The tiresome awfulness of Field College continues. Just wanting this matter resolved. And I can't say anything at all about it until it is resolved, so that will have to do for an update on the issue for now.

Carry on, everyone.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Things That Keep Me Up at Night

Big rain this morning; now the sun is coming out. We need to mow and I need to touch-up the new paint on the deck, so this is a good thing. (I guess. I hate mowing. But we need to make the house look super pretty all the time so someone will buy it.)

There are things happening that I urgently want to blog about but can't, yet. Work-related things. Once I know what's what, I'll share. It's a big, stressful mess.

Other stresses:
  • The selling of the house, of course! It's our first time doing this, and, given the adorableness of our home, we're trying the FSBO route. In a week, we've had three people look at it and several dozen take our fliers (also more than 250 visits to the weblink). I think this is good traffic, but I'm still anxious about getting it sold.
  • I seem to have injured an ankle, and I'm signed up to run my first (and probably only, let's be realistic) "race" in a week and a half. It's only four miles, which is about the longest I've ever run. I'm not sure what's wrong with the ankle; it's sort of tender when I walk on it much, and it may be a little swollen. I blame all the walking in non-supportive shoes that I did at Kalamazoo! 
  • I have an article due at the end of the summer and, not only have I not started it, I'm not even sure what my primary texts are. On the docket this morning: WORK ON THIS ARTICLE.
  • Bonaventure got into an all-day preschool on my new university's campus, which is great. But the all-day costs a fortune (of course), and I have great big guilt feelings about sending him to an all-day school. (Priority for part-time slots is given to the children of students and lower income families, which is wonderful, of course, but....) We don't know whether, where, or during what hours TM will be working, so we don't want to bank on him as full-time child-carer. And a part of me finds the idea of all-day care divine. I could actually do my job from 9-4 every day! Even non-teaching days! (And what a glorious ring "non-teaching days" has to it, as clunky as the phrase actually is....) So my inner conflict is leaving me a bit stressed. As is the money issue.
  • This work-related thing, which is so appalling I just...ugh. It's to do with Field College, not New University (which is in need of a pseudonym. I might need to wait until I'm there and have sussed it out). I hope to share the story with you once it's resolved, and--I hope--resolved for the better.
OK: Mowing and painting will happen when it dries up out there, so now I'm going to read my article's abstract and figure out what the hell it's supposed to be about.

(Oh, and Kalamazoo was fabulous this year. I may need a separate post about what a better-than-usual experience it was for me. I think that I finally have a little medievalist cohort, which is so very satisfying!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Everything is different now

I did the impossible.

I published my way out.

The waiting is over, and I won't be in Field Town until I retire.

I got a new job--at a Northeast R1. With a 2/2 teaching load. Research money. A salary that's...well, a lot more than I make now. And I'll be living two hours away from my family--thirteen hours closer than I am now.

Oh, and it's in a beautiful part of the country.

I'm going to have to re-subtitle my blog.

I don't feel as over-the-moon happy as I thought I would, but that's a consequence of the complexity of this change: TM is leaving his job for prospects unknown; I may or may not owe Field College a lot of money because I'm departing after my sabbatical. And I'll miss some things here, of course, and quite a few people.

We've been here for eight years. TM and I met here. A lot is going to change.

I find change unsettling, which is something that I'll have to remember this summer. I only got the offer six days ago; I think I'm still realizing that it's real. (And yes, I've signed something with New University and officially resigned from Field. That's why it took me six days to tell you all.)

I'm going to have a lot to say about this transition, I think, and the terms of the offer and the whole search thing at this stage in my career. But that'll be a whole other series of posts. Right now, my almost-three-year-old is calling for me to join him on the porch, so that's what I'm going to do.

Monday, April 27, 2015


I'm very excited about Kalamazoo this year. I normally can't go because it conflicts with our graduation, which I have to attend--but I'm on sabbatical! It's such a fun conference. And also, I'm going alone, which means four days (and nights) of no childcare. Much as I adore my child.

I've got my paper down to about 10 pages, which is great--but I'm on a four-person panel. How I'm going to cut another two pages out of this mess, I don't know. Because apparently I need to talk about four different texts in 15 minutes. Because apparently that's what I've decided to do.

I'd so much rather have to make something longer than to make it shorter. Isn't that the difference, really, between faculty and undergraduates?