Saturday, February 28, 2015

9.27 Media - Concert Going

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-seventh day of each month is "Media."
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I don't actually go to a large number of concerts, but last September I went to the Garth Brooks concert in Chicago and last night I went to see him again, this time in Detroit.  I am actually a native Michigander, so being in Joe Louis Arena, seeing downtown Detroit in all its glory, and just feeling like I was getting this experience in my "hometown" really meant something to me that it didn't before. Also, the September show was early on in the tour and I really feel like we got a better show this time because Brooks and all the musicians seemed really ON.

Anyway, it was glorious.
He played the hits you might expect - "Friends in Low Places," "The Dance," "The River," "The Thunder Rolls," "Callin' Baton Rouge," and "The Beaches of Cheyenne" - but he also pulled out some unexpected friends like "Victim of the Game" and "Standing Outside the Fire."  I jumped up and down, I screamed and screamed and it was the closest I will ever come to actually getting kicked out of a concert.
Motown.  Let's make it great again.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

9.26 Support - Boondocks, Indiana

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will  post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-sixth day of each month is "Support."
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I wanted to make it to the Michigan border.  I really just needed to cross over into the Eastern Time Zone, find a vacant room in a reputable hotel chain, and know that tomorrow could be a leisurely drive across Michigan to get to Detroit.  But just into Indiana, the snow started falling, and within minutes my GPS was showing that even as I was driving, the time it took to get to my destination was getting longer and longer and longer.  Eventually the signs started lighting up that the entire interstate was closed due to an accident clean-up.

If it weren't already after eleven at night, if it weren't snowing and making visibility hardly more than the car in front of me, if it weren't all these things, maybe I would have been stronger.  But when I was rerouted off some exit to some other exit to some county road to some other bypass and I found a hotel with an empty parking lot, I just pulled in.

Which is why I'm spending the night in Boondocks, Indiana, supporting the local economy by staying in a room at a less than reputable hotel chain, complete with a seriously ugly bedspread, the faint odor of years-old cigarette smoke, and a strange tick tick ticking sound that may drive me insane by morning.

But tomorrow I will continue my onward, towards the place of my misspent youth.  I will shop, concert, and find myself forgetting the mistakes of this night.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

9.25 Courage - On the Market?

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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Wisconsin's governor is threatening a massive budget cut to the University of Wisconsin system.  It turns out that I am employed by the University of Wisconsin system, but not, it turns out, for long if this budget is passed.  There is hope that the state legislature will push back, but since it's overwhelmingly Republican, that hope is somewhat slim.

A week before the governor made this budget proposal, Dr. BB and I had decided that we would actually start looking at houses and maybe, just maybe, stop looking at job openings as they come up on the professional association websites.  Now we're having serious discussions about whether or not Dr. BB should put himself back on the academic job market.
It's not easy to be on the academic job market. Just like any job search, it's essentially a full-time job. It's also filled with sending out materials into the void, never getting any response at all, relying on the hope that your letter of recommendation writers make their deadlines, and disappointment after disappointment.

And even if he's successful, there are the days-long interviews with lots of angst-filled meals, days and days of travel, and even greater disappointment if he doesn't get the job. It's months not knowing where or if one or both of us will have a job or where we will live. It's sleepless nights, tear-filled conversations over tea, and watching my husband become more and more gaunt with worry and illness. 

But I think that's what we're going to have to do. There's too much anti-education in this state for us to feel confident that there is stability for the long-term. Neither of us spent our twenties in graduate school to spend the rest of our lives on tenterhooks each semester to see if our jobs will be funded.  I'm crossing my fingers that we won't need the courage to brush off our CVs, but it's definitely a possibility I'm bracing for.
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 To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

9.24 Pain - Darkness

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fourth day of each month is "Pain."
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Tuesdays are long days for me. I leave my house before the sun rises and get home well after dark.  It's the only day, really, that this happens, so I'm not complaining (too much), but I do find it a pain that I can't enjoy those few precious hours when the sun's rays actually could touch my skin. I find myself making excuses to walk outside during business hours, but it's not the same as actually having just a few unscheduled minutes during the day to just stare at the sun. And then, of course, scurry inside because the wind chills are still below zero, yo.

On the bright side, I get to pass the Mars Cheese Castle on my way home on Tuesday nights. That truly does make me happy.
I kind of wish everyone had a random castle-shaped cheese house and tavern in their neck of the woods.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Monday, February 23, 2015

9.23 Writing - All That God Intended Them To Be

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-third day of each month is "Writing."
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Sometimes the answers on the Family Feud remind me that I live in one of the most religious countries in the developed world.   Where would you hate to be when you found out your zipper was down? Church! Who would you hate to find out you had been stealing from work?  My pastor!  And whenever this happens, I am jolted out of my own world and thrown into the world of people who are religious.

I am an atheist, but it's more than that, really. I'm not anti-religious (so long as what you do doesn't hurt me, I don't give a shit), but I'm areligious in that I just don't think about religion at all in my daily life. And it really takes me by surprise when I'm confronted with just how important this non-entity in my own life is to other people.
I got a card in the mail from Bestest Friend today and she had been in a church for some activity for her kid and so, of course, she sent me some piece of writing she had clearly taken from the church.

And I'll probably be accused of being judgmental and patronizing, but who the fuck needs this screed? If you're a parent worthy of the title, you already know that you should encourage your children to be their own people.  If you're a parent who is reading this and thinking, "holy shit, I should stop pushing piano on Susie and let her follow her dream of making spaghetti art!", then you have much bigger issues to deal with than encouraging your children to be all "God" intended them to be.

Anyway, when writing I always try to consider my audience and that's what makes religious tracts like this so perplexing to me.  Who is supposed to be getting what out of this?
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

9.22 Seven Deadly Sins - Pride (Circus Town)

Bestest Friend and I are embarking on a new blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-second day of each month is "Seven Deadly Sins."
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So we recently bought a couch from a national furniture store. The nearest store to our house (so...that's important because that means it will deliver to our apartment) is in this town that I keep calling the "big city" because it has this furniture store, but actually has a population about half of what our town has, so I should probably shut up about it being a big city.  Anyway, I digress.  The town has these circus-themed statues throughout it and they mostly terrified my husband who agreed to stop and let me take pictures as long as he didn't have to ever see them (the photos or the statues, I guess).
I read the plaque (as Roman Mars tells me to do)

[Damn it, in looking up those links, Google showed me an image of Roman Mars and I didn't want to see him - I wanted to continue to think that he was as physically attractive as his voice and now I am a little bit sad.]

and it turns out that in the mid- to late-1800s, this town was the home of over two dozen circus companies and the town is quite proud of its circus history, up to and including making it a selling point that while you're in town you should go to the local cemetery to see the graves of some of the circus folk.
When I got back in the car, I totally made him look at this clown picture because I knew he would be terrified.  I'll be lucky if I can ever get him to stop for me to take a photo ever again.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.     

Saturday, February 21, 2015

9.21 Laughter - Marketing Blah Blah Blah

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-first day of each month is "Laughter."
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Grocery shopping is not my least favorite chore, but it's certainly my husband's. While I sort of enjoy the people watching and new products, he hates the crowds and new products just mean more labels for him to struggle with.  Anyway, we go to the store together because we're each too much of a control freak to allow the other to choose things like OUR FOOD (last time I went to the store without him, I got the wrong type of bread for him and the last time he went without me, he bought me fucking apples to eat for breakfast instead of a normal breakfast fruit).

So when he was off getting lettuce (I cannot be trusted to get lettuce and then he buys "hearts of romaine" which is the equivalent of "might as well be eating nothing for the nutritional value this has" and so I don't eat lettuce), I wandered over to the area with tomatillos and peppers to find this package.
And I laughed and laughed and laughed and people were staring at me, but I couldn't stop. Eventually Dr. BB came over to see why I was making such a fuss and he just shrugged, took the cart, and walked away.  But this is funny, right?  
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.   
 
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