Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hey everybody!

We are too often out of touch, so I thought it was well worth taking the time to do a newsy post despite nothing particularly world-shaking going on at the moment. Things are going pretty well, though. I finished the income taxes two weeks ago, and the government was kind to us in the form of a sizeable EITC refund. Not often that being poor is a good thing, but we had a bit of much needed extra funding this month, and, like good little Millarian economic agents, of course went out and spent it all immediately. We needed a new vacuum ( been without a working one for almost a year) and got a good deal on Amazon, Z's glasses needed a new prescription, and in general we've been badly in need of groceries, so Wednesday was a fun if wallet-depleting much needed shopping day.

Yesterday, I started going through our many bookcases and selecting volumes to sell to Half-Price Books. I let myself be a bit more extreme than usual and got rid of a large number of books from the seminary era, figuring it's past time to accept that my interests then and my interests now are not necessarily synonymous. Z joined the party and selected out a lot of her college textbooks and the like that have been following us since Colorado. Altogether, we filled two boxes and two bags, and drove them up to Concord where we got a whopping almost $60 for the whole collection, more than twice what I had been expecting. We must have had good books, too, because they accepted almost all of them. Makes me happy to think they are going to other homes instead of the recycling center.

Between the bookselling activities and the new vacuum, our house is looking much trimmer and neater. It feels like the first stages of preparing to move; an event that, after all, is now only a month and a half distant. I have mixed feelings about it; I'm going to miss the Treehouse, the town it's in, and the mountain we live on. I'm going to very much miss the intellectual stimulation of grad school in general and in particular the weekly seminars with my most excellent and brilliant cohort of fellow students. And it would be nice to know in much more specific terms what I am doing next. On the other hand, I am always excited to try new things, and presuming I land a real job, it will be very exciting to start my career properly in whatever town we end up in. I have applications out all over the country now, from Shasta to Monterrey to Ontario CA to Phoenix. Hopefully one of them will play out into a job. In the meanwhile, Tucson is lovely, and it will be nice to get to know my father-in-law better. My parents are running a field trip through the Southwest in late Summer, and there's talk of my going along perhaps, even possibly as a consultant, if I 'm still free.

Speaking of schooling, it continues apace. I'm taking two classes, a surprisingly intensive course on statistics in the social sciences and a seminar in sociocultural anthropology. The latter is focusing on ethnographies past and present, and the estimable Dr Nelson has us on a book-a-week reading binge at present. Between that and the preparation for my comprehensive exams (first week of June), I spend most of my unscheduled hours reading and taking notes on reading. It's interesting reading, though, so I am not unhappy about it. I'm getting to be fairly well-informed on theoretical issues in my field, which is nice to be able to say honestly as I go job hunting. I've been considering starting a new blog, separate from this one, to publish on topics in public anthropology. So far this hypothetical blog is in the form of a handful of outlines and a few written posts hastily converted from class notes, but if all else goes as planned will probably make its internet debut sometime in early summer.

Hmmm, what else? The last few days we've had a humdinger of a rainstorm. I'm told an airplane got struck by lightning over the Bay on Tuesday and had to return to SFO. No one hurt, thankfully. The same day, I had to postpone my commute due to atrocious conditions and ended up waiting out the storm in a Peet's cafe, reading about Benedictine configurationalism and watching the world float by, in the end not the worst way to spend one's evening. The day before, I saw a water main or something fail spectacularly in San Ramon, which was rather unsettling considering I was in a car at the time and not that far away. Easter was very nice; I'd discovered a new church just before and caught the good friday and sunrise Easter services. Then we met up with my folks and spent a pleasant day driving around Marin county, from Muir Woods out to Tomales Bay and back. Geological details on my dad's blog, naturally. :)

Guess that's good for now. We hope all of our faithful readers (yes, all three of you) are well and happy, and wish me luck on my Stats quiz Tuesday.

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