Monday, July 21, 2003


Last night I had the craziest dream with the most painfully obvious interpretation. I was working as a janitor at my elementary school, cleaning the trashcans of my former teachers who didn't even recognize their former star student. Then the school was hosting some kind of conference. Several scholars and professors I had known throughout my life attended as well as a former lover whom I still respect intellectually. (Yes, there is at least one! Ha ha!) I had to pick up after them while earnestly hoping no one recognized me. I woke up annoyed with my brain for producing such a pedestrian dream.

Saturday I mailed off my deferment request to the London School of Economics. I’m postponing my move to the U.K. until next autumn. It wasn’t necessarily a difficult decision, but accepting that decision wasn’t easy. Not knowing exactly what I’ll be doing for the next year is even more difficult. For someone who has always worked and planned a year or so into the future, I’m a bit at a loss for what to do in the immediacy of today, this week, this month, this summer, this year. I have my small business. I have my plans for the NPO/NGO. And I’ll continue working through them. No fear as I face this future that began a few days ago, just a little anxiety to work out.

Stephen & I finished painting our living room yesterday. The walls are beautiful and inspiring. Now just some minor touch-ups and new blinds. Nick & Toni came by last night; we opened the last bottle of last November’s Beaujolais nouveau. I’m looking forward to Shayne & Katy’s visit this evening over a home-cooked gourmet meal. I need to run to the store this afternoon to buy some supplies. And now that we’re a two-car household—at least for the short term—there’s no problem except my own unwillingness to step outside into this heat and pollution.

My time in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, was productive. I wrote a little and began my research proposal for my Ph.D. As always, it was refreshing to have “guy” time with peers who challenge me intellectually. Finally ready, I think, to take the plunge and spend next summer in St. Petersburg. Then our weeklong vacation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was mostly blissful despite the (interior) heat and the vapidity of another Todd. Spent a couple mornings walking along the edge of Lake Michigan and drinking good Joe at Alterra Coffeehouse. I miss water more and more, particularly being able to climb to the top of my second-story apartment building in Shimonoseki to see the sea surround me on three sides. The second night in Milwaukee, Stephen, Mark & I went to Summer Fest to see Michelle Shocked and Hothouse Flowers perform; both concerts were great. And finally spent some time in Chicago visiting Sarah, a dobra kolezanka from our Fulbright year in Warsaw. Thanks, Sarah, for introducing me to the magical flavor of orchata!