Sunday, October 15, 2006


Sorry not to be around much these last few weeks. I’ve gotten in a fight with my ISP. In the run up to the wedding my internet contract with the phone company expired. For three months they charged me sixty dollars per month since I was out of the contract’s time frame. Being busy, I didn’t read the bills, I just paid them. When I realized what was happening I called them with the intent of signing back up when they realized their mistake. Right.

So, when they wouldn’t credit me for the one hundred and twenty dollar overcharge without notice of contract expiration I had them disconnect our service and I called to sign up for Charter Cable. We both have cell phones and so the only reason for the land-line was the computer. With Charter we’ll pay ten dollars less and have cable. This seems like a no-brainer, or it would if the Charter guy would have shown up on the scheduled day. Next week we are going to have Erica call and yell at them (since she works for Charter).

I am writing this at Panera Bread Company. I think this is the first time that I have gone to a coffee house in order to get online. Everyone here seems to know each other – they are the Sunday morning regulars. My UMSL advisor’s ex-husband just came in. Apparently I know everybody too.

The question of the hour seems to be, “How is married life?” Life with a wife is quite nice. Despite how busy we both are, we have been enjoying this new phase of joint checking, driver’s licenses, health insurance, and trying to make all our new stuff fit in our too small apartment. We’ve both been taking swings at redesigning the kitchen, removing any appliance or dish that we never use. Under all of our to-dos there is the constant relief of “done”. Sigh.

I took the drastic step yesterday of dismantling the kitchen table. I put the constituent parts in the basement and replaced them with some low shelves. It has really opened up the room. Yes, our lives really are this exciting. These observations read a little bit like Tolstoy’s Ivan Illich death bed reflections on wallpaper. The exception being that Ivan was filled with regret and I am content to rearrange furniture. In another life I could be quite happy as an interior designer, assuming kitsch were all the rage.

Jes has been visiting all the various offices that one visits when one changes their name and it seems to be going smoothly. We were at my school on Friday for a tournament and one of my students referred to her as Mrs. K. Both of our identities are shifting.

There is a bed and breakfast for sale in H. It is decidedly out of our price range, but I am having fun thinking about the possibilities. As teachers we will never be able to make much money, so having a second business, provided that it did well, could be a path to greater financial security. Location, location, location. This location is central to the town and it has a structure away from the main house that could be an excellent glass and ceramics studio for Jes. Like everything I’ve looked at in this town, it needs a lot of work for it to meet my standards for occupation, let alone rental. At the same time I can clearly see what it could be, and that’s a little exciting.

In an entirely different direction I have been getting nibbles of interest from other schools, so much of my mental wanderings are taken up by Ben Franklin style lists of pros and cons. It only makes sense to move to H if we plan on being there for awhile. Two careers and a desire to start a family sooner, rather than later, are a lot to juggle. We’ve been using Microsoft Money to chart our assets and expenses and it has really helped get our financial priorities clarified. I like playing with the charts menu. I can quantify my life in bar graphs, pie charts, and fiscal projections.

With ten years bar and restaurant experience I know I could run an excellent B&B, some friends have joked that it’s my destiny, but I have concerns about how provincial H is turning out to be, knowing that I am not. I was told the town was European in orientation and attitude and I have not really found that to be the case. Frankly, I’ve been feeling a little like Kevin Bacon in Footloose of late. Would you want to raise your children in the relative safety of a group think community? There are all kinds of ways to neglect children, and the corollary to a lack of risk is a lack of opportunity.

Anyway, as always we have a lot of irons in the fire and I need to put this post up and get back to grading. I hope all of you are well.


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