Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lady Moon 2012

What's better than a bachelorette party? A post-wedding Lady Moon with the bride and some of her dearest friends. I just returned from a fantastic weekend with four girlfriends in southwestern WI. I can't wait to share more about the adventures we had but classes start tomorrow and I'm scrambling to get ready for the week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Pursuit of Pie

Last week, our first pizzeria was Giordano's which had some good reviews. They were carry-out only so we placed our order and hit up a wine tasting since we were not aware of this until arriving. I mean, the place does have a sign that says "restaurant" which would lead one to believe there was seating but it was not to be. We ordered a thin crust and a deep dish.

Well. The thin crust was tasty and I am of the belief that the crust is merely a delivery system for the toppings and not a big part of the show. The deep dish, then, was just too much with all the crust and what had to be pounds of cheese inside. The sauce was very tasty which is important to me, the cheese was good but... there as an issue. Austin pointed out a strange taste on the crust of both pies, like some sort of cleaning solution. As soon as the Super Taster said that, I noticed it too. It seemed as though the dough had been prepared on a freshly sterilized surface. As much as we were grateful for the efforts to combat contamination, well, it sort of ruined the experience. We may try it again later but for now, we'll try someplace else.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The First Work Week

We're getting a bit more settled in and are at the end of the first full work week in our new digs. It's been really warm and Austin's office is upstairs. We have applied film to the windows that supposedly blocks up to 70% of the sun/heat and we put up thermal curtains in an effort to block even more. It's still very warm upstairs but yesterday, we had a delightfully cool day as evidenced by one of the weather apps on my phone:

The beverage on the window sill changes depending on the weather and it was pretty much lemonade the whole time in Texas. I was delighted to see the rain and the little tea cup yesterday (and don't you dare tell me it's coffee!). We had the windows thrown open and it got rather cool in the house. Austin actually switched to jeans and sought out his moose shoes which were, alas, still packed away somewhere. I had a bit of a headache so it was a good excuse to curl up on the couch with Stinky, watch the Packers' preseason game, and play word games on my phone. It was a perfect evening.

Today, it's still cooler but not rainy. I'm on campus working on several projects that I need to get through. I'll be conducting training for the teaching assistants of all languages as well as another training session for the instructors of lower division Spanish so I have a lot of prep work to do, particularly as a new faculty member. Throughout the semester, I'll have coordinator duties related to the TAs and instructors along with teaching.

My work today will be rewarded, however, as Austin has announced a quest to research the pizza situation in town. We are in a college town in the Chicagoland area so there are numerous options and even more opinions on the pizza. Tonight we plan to go out to sample the first option, a nice end to our first work week.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cardboard Colored

This is our world for the moment. Boxes, boxes everywhere. It seems that our books and kitchen items took up about 99% of our space.

First the bad news. The movers we hired to load our truck made quite the mess of it. We found most of the boxes marked "fragile" were crushed under heavy boxes of books. Numerous large items were not well-wrapped in spite of the fact that we actually provided a dozen of our own moving blankets and asked that they be used. It was very frustrating to see just how many items were either destroyed or badly scuffed and scraped. We have moved many, many times but this experience has us rethinking how we'll do it the next time.

In better news, my parents generously offered to help us unload the truck. Austin and my dad did a lot of the heavy lifting and my mom helped me with some of the unpacking. It was nice that they were able to see our new home and community.

We are still surrounded by boxes but the piles are slowly shrinking. It's been a challenge to go from owning a home to renting a townhouse. First, it's a bit smaller so some of our things (e.g. Christmas tree and decorations) will have to go to a storage unit for now. Our kitchen is one of the smaller areas so that's been interesting to get set up. It's also really hard not to make changes to the place like we would if we owned. For example, there are numerous brass fixtures I'd love to swap out with something more modern and updated. There are other issues like very low water pressure, bubbling in the air conditioning pipelines, and a washing machine that sounds like it's trying to break free of the utility closet and march across the house. All of these things would be something we'd address if we owned the place or planned on being here for over a year but at the moment, we're just chalking them up to the renting experience. Over all, though, the townhouse is nice and will definitely suit us while we settle in and get accustomed to our new community.

Austin will be back to work full-time on Monday and his office is set up enough for that to happen. I will be going to my office on campus fairly regularly to get caught up with syllabus writing and preparation for the semester along with my ongoing publication and conferencing work. We're looking forward to getting back into a more regular routine and continuing to get to know the area.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Flip Side

The truck made it and we're unloading today. We are definitely ready to reassemble our living arrangements.