downsizing, evaluating, other stuff

As Some of You May or May Not Know,

traci and I recently quit our jobs. We’re trying to sell our house. We’d like to, in turn, buy some chickens and plant a garden near those chickens. Preferably some place in Southeastern Ohio. We’re downsizing, and taking a step away from academia for a while. We’re going to make more time for our art and our kids and our health, and put less energy into worrying over where our students want to put semicolons or what our colleagues think of our publication records. It’s all, I know, a noble pursuit. It simply overwhelmed us a touch. We found ourselves looking forward to retirement, rather than enjoying our lives.

So I know that raises a lot of questions: what’s your house look like?, is it close to a park, how much are you asking?, chickens?, I thought you already had chickens?, and will you find true happiness once you’ve left teaching?

In response to the first three questions: check out our realtor’s website here. Or if you just want to see our crib, which has not yet been featured on any reality shows. I know. I’m constantly shocked as well. In response what appears to be the fourth question, “chickens?” Well, that’s not really even a question. Or a sentence for that matter. But I’ll do my best to respond: a chicken is a medium-sized flightless . . . you know what just click here to find out. In response to question four, which is also, I see now, not a question, I must say, you can think it all you want, that’s not going to get us farm fresh eggs. And, finally, we’re not even sure what happiness is, but one thing that I’m only now beginning to understand is that happiness, like writing, is a process, not a product, and it is in the enacting of happiness that happiness exists.

I’ve been meditating, which is like weightlifting for one’s soul. That’s how come that last line there sounds so smart. Bet your ass.

Meditating has its limits.

Meanwhile, the above is all part and/or parcel of the reason I’ve written so little lately – I’ve found it hard to celebrate a life in limbo. But I also want you all to know what we’re up to, where we are going, where we have been, what’s on the horizon, what’s off to the left there, just around the bend, up ahead, yet to be, off to the north, up, and going on.

So keep the questions coming, or else I’m gonna have to keep making them up. Until then. Y’ens take care.


Hair Cut for the 21st Century

Though my head would almost certainly not fit into a red or blue plastic cup, I found myself looking very much like a beer pong ball recently. Well, to be honest, I still call them ping pong balls, but according to most of my students and that tupperware sitting next to the cash register at the BP station, they are now beer pong balls. And, rather than being swatted back and forth across a green plywood table in the garage, apparently the object of the game these days is to cover the ball in lint and dunk it in someone else’s drink. The more drinks you dunk it in, the better your chances for “staying on” to play the next folks.

All sort of beside the point, really. Recently, you all have been asking, “What, then, is the point, Jackson?” Which I’ve taken to mean, “Why are we here?” Or “Is there a meaning to all this?” Or “Tell me about the sea, Jackson?” The last of which, I feel I should mention, is not a question, despite the question mark. Maybe you already knew that. So, what is the point?

The point is: I got a haircut. Let me rephrase: I shaved my head. Not to the scalp exactly, but pretty short. In fact, this is what I used to look like:

This is what I look like now:

Well, a little what I look like.

The boys came home from rock climbing shortly after my “haircut.” Zac said, “Whoa, when your hair’s that short, your beard looks enormous.” Sam said, “You have a beard?”

I bumped into Naomi a short time later, and she asked, “Did you lose a bet or something?”

I asked Blaisey for her honest opinion (an honest question posed in the form of a statement (an honest question with a certain indication that a juice box might accompany the correct answer)): “My haircut looks good, right?”

Blaisey said, “Yes. Good. A little weird . . . but you look really cute in that shirt.”

She got the juice box. But, let’s face it, who wouldn’t look cute in this shirt! The one on the left.

Anyway, I've been busy for a spell, you know, whether other things, but I'm back now, or at least that's what I'd have you believe.

Also, in the off chance that it's not obvious, Desi says hi.