Friday, May 18, 2012

ok ok so it's been a while and i haven't said much, lost my flash drive possibly at home, am now in lambert airport on the way through texas to new mexico, but the big news is, i might be moving to texas real soon so i'm going to be taking a real hard look at it on this trip. the trip though goes through dallas and el paso as usual, and doesn't go near lubbock, where we might move, but it's still of very intense concern all of a sudden, what these texas airports are like, what it's like in may, what are all these rich white guys doing all over the place, that kind of stuff. the flight to dallas is a half hour late; i'm not sure about the flash drive, maybe i left it at home. they couldn't seem to find it in security.

had to give a test this morning in a large auditorium; it was an orientation toefl with 38 new international students coming to siuc. they picked this day above all days to start jackhammering the ramp outside my building, somehow that ramp was outdated, or falling apart, or due to come down for some reason. the jackhammers were there all the time but they seemed to make the listening section actually skip; i was enraged. everyone else seemed to be calm though. maybe they thought this is how it always is, listenings skip, jackhammers all the time, dust all over the place, various fences preventing you from going anywhere.

so the story in a nutshell is this: my wife is chair; her department is getting bled and weakened; everyone is fighting for resources; the state, 85 billion in the red, is making noise like it will make us pay for health insurance, reduce our retirement, make life a little tighter all around. the writing is on the wall, and along comes this wonderful job for her, being chair of a department with resources, and i, spotting the chance to be closer to my folks who have been getting steadily older, agreed to it. it could be a rough adjustment for the kids, 7 & 10, turning into westerners with a southern drawl, they might have to make some adjustments. i myself will change jobs, so that whatever i'm doing, it will be slightly different from what i'm doing now, i'll give a report. there will be no woods, fewer trees, thunderstorms will be scarce. i might be a midwesterner out of water, but i'm girding myself to handle it, i've been to new mexico enough to have some idea of what's in store.

musically there are a lot of possibilities. it's the home of buddy holly, and also natalie maines, whose story is instructive i think because it shows the biggest peril of a deep-south conservative environment. it's not that everyone's the same religion, they can believe what they want. it's more that this causes a collective pressure that makes people a little contentious on our side, just check out her story and you'll see what i mean. a good singer, a good songwriter, but now she'll be more famous for the fights that enveloped her and made half of her own hometown refuse to listen to her. i'll give you a report....maybe i'll meet her. people will surely have an opinion, if nothing else.

the jackhammers for some reason are still in my head. illinois was as usual quite beautiful on the way up here, the mowers out along the highway, the a's are boarding and i'm a b, i'm on my way to dallas, late a little, but it's a fine day, warm, bathed in sun even up here in missouri, and i'd like to work on my novel, but i believe i left it on that flashdrive, which is out there somewhere, who knows. i'll give a report from new mexico, which as usual will be wide open, gentle, warm. it was good to tell my parents the news; they need me, they'll be glad to have family closer than illinois. it might even give my boys a chance to know them a little better. i feel like they've hung on as long as they have, because they still have some wisdom to impart, like i still need to be there, and pick up some of it. that's my job today, no other agenda, really. the planes will be a bit late through texas, but one thing i've noticed, the high dry desert is real nice after the sun goes down, you can actually go outside, unlike illinois, where it's often so steamy you don't even want to, even on a day like today. a little change is not a bad thing i hope. forward, and into the mountain time zone...


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