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In the most unexpected of places

September 23, 2007

Appleton is one of the last places on earth I would expect to have a star sighting, but lo and behold, it happened. As one of my best friends (visiting from Madison) and I ate breakfast at a sleepy College Ave. diner, in walks Willem Dafoe and his wife!

Apparently, he’s in Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Film Festival this weekend and decided to visit Appleton, where he grew up. He ate quickly, posed graciously for pictures with all of the wait and kitchen staff, then headed out on foot towards the Lawrence campus. I wonder what he thought of the “New North“?

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Taking Stock

September 18, 2007

From the moment Matty left Ann Arbor for Seoul in August 2006, it seems that someone pressed the 10x fast forward button on my life. First a desperate rush to finish the dissertation before my funding dried up, then the job search, house hunting, leaving AA for Korea, the botched closing, settling into Appleton, getting to know the neighbors, hosting housewarmings, visiting family, etc. Just as I started to catch my breath, I began faculty orientation, which lasted all day, every day of last week. By Friday evening, I was totally exhausted, but felt a million times less anxious about joining the Lawrence community. I could not have imagined a more welcoming, unpretentious, supportive, and dedicated group of colleagues. To top off the week, new faculty and their families were invited on a biking trip with the provost at Björklunden, a beautiful 400-acre retreat in Door County that serves as Lawrence’s “northern campus” (one that faculty members are allowed to use with students and family free of charge on a space-available basis — what a fabulous job perk!).

Sometime between my second glass of wine last night with everyone in the cozy great room and our gorgeous bike ride today along Lake Michigan, I was finally, finally able to take a deep breath, truly relax, and realize how incredibly lucky I feel. I’m sure things will get hectic and stressful again in a week after classes begin and I take up the manuscript again, but for now, shhhh… I’m enjoying the moment.

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Moving in, not yet moving on…

September 9, 2007

Our apologies for the radio silence since moving in.  Where have the last three weeks gone?  We’ll do our best to post a more detailed update with photos of the house (for those of you who haven’t seen it yet).  Until then, all is well.  We’re loving the banglangdang, our neighborhood, and our neighbors.  My office is set and I start week-long new faculty orientation tomorrow.  We see Wilco on Tuesday in Madison.  Next weekend, we head to both Hollandale and Door County.  Oh, and during the trail portion of our run today we stumbled upon a wasp hive and were attacked (3 very painful stings each) as we ran frantically for our lives!   Silly us — we feared Appleton would be boring!

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Wood dowel (C) goes into hole (D)

August 17, 2007

As these things tend to go, it all ended anti-climatically. We came, she was gone, we moved in… er, are MOVING in. This is gonna take a while. But, we have time for b-fast on the porch in the morning.

So far: we’ve met our old friend, Donna Nuna, from Cali. who happens to be a visiting prof here! We’ve had a huge salad and bread lunch brought over from the neighbors! We’ve had coffee and blueberry pie over at the other next door neighbors! We had our first run – most of it along the river… (some of it inhaling noxious paper factory fumes)!

Huzzah and Welcome to the bahngnahngdahng!

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Still not in…

August 9, 2007

The indignity! Our closing from hell continues. The seller won’t leave the house she agreed to sell! So, we are left in vagabondage, our every possession in storage, our cats and persons in my parents’ basement. Oh, how could it come to this?!

One more week, just one more week. The bahngnahngdahng beckons…

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The Closing from Hell

August 7, 2007

Dang. We are in the midst of the house closing from hell. Sadly, the delay means that the cable/internet guy who Dominica had diligently set up from Korea a week ago will not be installing internet today, but maybe next week. . . Intermittent blogging till then I’d guess. We’ll become regulars at the local indie coffee shop/internet hot spot in the meanwhile. Or… maybe our new neighbors will have some wireless to “share.”

We’ll keep y’all informed. Please, keep your fingers crossed!

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Happy Birthday Dad! Oh, and I’m now on hiatus

July 31, 2007

As of 10.22 am Seoul local time, vagabondage is going on hiatus. We’ll see you again after we get settled in the bahngnahngdahng. ‘Till then, hope you enjoyed the vagabondin’ in Korea.

Ah! One last bit of business to attend to… a Happy Birthday greeting to the pater familias. Happy Birthday DAD! and many many many more.

Here’s a pic from the hunting cabin… the two progeny above, as you can see, turned out somewhat normal… the two on the bottom… uhm… uhm… Dad… any explanation?

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