Change of plans

As I've been wicked-bad at updating this thing, I think I'm going to try messing around with a shorter-form blog over on tumblr. Details to follow.

I'll still be updating here, though. Just less frequently.


Cote d'azur.

I'm in Nice. I'm working, but it sure beats digging ditches. Yesterday was a hard day. Long meeting schedule. Botched dinner plans. Etc.

Still, it's tough to get too upset when, even on a bad day, you're still in the friggin South of France.

I may be a chub chub for saying this, but one of the best parts is the food.

A few things I have eaten in the last day and a half:

A fillet of John Dory with some sort of carrot custard, rosemary, roasted lemon, and a really nice cream sauce.
Lamb terrine with microgreens.
A great peach tart.
Delicious serrano ham.
A Clif bar. (It ain't all glamour).
Steamed mussels with aromatics.
Frites. Which are what french fries aspire to be when they grow up.
Espresso by the gallon. (And by 'gallon', I mean 'tiny cupful'.)
Croissants. Naturally.

And this was all stuff that found its way into my belly despite missing what probably would have been the best meal of my trip.

Still, work travel is always vaguely lonely. I wish I could go fetch some folks from back home, and then come back and continue this trip.


School, Again.

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity are probably in touch with me otherwise, as well. Therefore, it's not exactly breaking news that I will be going back to school starting this fall.

I'll be chasing down a PhD at the University of South Carolina.

I'm a lot of things, all at once, regarding this decision.

These are a few of my feelings about my return to the academic world.

1) Excited. It's a thrill to get a chance to get the sort of personal attention a PhD program provides. I'll be on a path to the next segment of my life. A career, even. In addition, I'll be closer to my family and old friends and Jen, so the location of the program is exciting, too.
However, that doesn't detract from the fact that I'm (2) terrified.

It's been a long time since undergrad, and I don't know how it'll be. Still, I feel (3) oddly prepared. I've been writing researching and teaching and performing for years now, and all of that will help me in this program, whether directly or tangentially. Still, I can't deny that I'm (4) sad about the idea of leaving Chicago, where I've built a life. I'll miss my friends, and I'll miss the city. (Well, I'll miss it 7-9 months out of the year...).

Either way, I've got a few months left to enjoy the city. Plus, it's not hard to visit.

So. Yeah.

School, again.



I was walking downtown today and felt something in my shoe. I got to the office where I work part-time and de-shoed to check out the situation.

It was a British coin.


It's been almost a year since I was in the UK. I have no idea where this coin came from.


Let's cleanse.

I feel like admitting some things.

- I get separation anxiety like a needy beagle.

- I've been reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" for a million years, and am really enjoying it... but still can't shake an addiction to soda. I drink very little alcohol these days, and eat very little red meat. I've never smoked, except for the occasional big stupid stogie on a nice summer night. But soda? This pointless, bubbly corn syrup? Hooked.

- I think "Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby might be one of my favorite songs ever. (though that's not really a secret. I've told lots of people how ridiculously great I find that song...)

- On my television right now? "Sleeping with the Enemy".

- I sometimes just get on Google Maps and wander through towns and cities to which I've never been.

There. I feel better. Thanks internets. You are the lapsed protestant's trivial confessional.


Things you should do in the next week:

(Based on a list of things I've done in the last week, and really enjoyed. These are things that are cheap or free, and these days, that sure helps... )

1) Go to the zoo. Especially if you have a cheap or free zoo at your disposal.

2) Roast a chicken. A whole chicken is relatively inexpensive, and if you rinse it well, dry it to prevent steaming, season it with salt and pepper, truss it up, and put it in the oven for an hour or so, it will bring you nothing but joy.

3) If you are fortunate enough to have a living grandparent, call that grandparent.

4) Ride a bike.

5) Make faces at a little kid (preferably one you know, and the faces shouldn't be too scary).

6) Write a letter. Not an e-mail.

7) Clean something out. Anything. A closet. A toilet. A drawer. An ashtray. Anything.

8) Listen to the following songs: Good Man by Josh Ritter. This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads. Let it Whip by the Dazz Band. Concrete Schoolyard by Jurassic Five. Life Is A Highway by Tom Cochrane. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man by Mr. Prince Rogers Nelson.

9) Lay a smooch on someone.

10) Offend cynics with an overly saccharine list of things to do.

End of Dispatch.


A few words on the Oscars.

- Let no man ever say that Hugh Jackman is talentless. Singing. Dancing. Comedic timing. Beyond thinking he made a pretty good Wolverine, I've never really thought about the guy, but now I'm convinced.

- The coin that Phillippe Petit (from Man on Wire) made disappear was found this morning off the coast of Argentina.

- I came in second place in a winner-take-all Oscar pool, and fully blame the Academy for underappreciating the sound mixing and editing in Wall-E.

Most entertaining Oscars in a long time, in my humble opinion.