Wednesday, August 31, 2005

sniff. cough. wellness.

i nursed on vitamin C and zinc today in an effort to combat this spot of flu. i had a wonderful chiropractic adjustment this morning which took care of my headache and sinus congestion. now i'm taking it easy sitting in the garden by the pond gulping filtered water. they say watching fish is essential to viral recovery, you know. seriously, it's pretty amazing how much good a gallon of water and 6,000mg of vitamin C can do. especially with some good diaphragmatic breathing.

on the bright side, i believe getting occasionally sick can be good for you. it's cleansing. and educational: consciously observe the healing process and its ins and outs. then, the next time you need a bit of fixing, apply some of those lessons and see what happens. i like to anyway.

i think i have a mild food allergy that is contributing to some of my imbalance. i suspect dairy or wheat, but have not yet conjured up the discipline to remove either of these comfort beauties from my diet long enough to test the theory.


chocolate cake, here i come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

christie - new hair!

christie - new hair
christie - new hair,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
my apologies - i didn't know that this has been sitting on the blog since yesterday. isn't christie's new do great?

news since our last posting: last friday's wedding was a great time (though i paid for it the next day). following the ceremony, there was dancing, music, good food (including a veggie entree!), and friends and family all looking fabulous.

saturday i was a slug, while christie and nancy attacked some closets they've been avoiding for a while. sunday we all tried to solve the problem of a quarter-ton of books sitting in somewhat rectangular containers formerly known as boxes. the solution for now is to repack them all (except for a very few essential tomes) and keep them in nancy's hallway until we get settled in a new place, at which point we'll ship them over.

yesterday (after an initial interview that went well) we took the bus/train/L/subway to wrigley field and saw the cubs game against the dodgers with jim and his dad (mike). christie was feeling ill, though, so we had to cut out in the eighth inning. a strange game... full of home runs and errors resulting in a loss. last night we stopped in oak park and crashed with jeff and anne and estelle. i have a second interview with the company from yesterday in a hour, and then i head back into the city for another game with jim while christie makes her way back to batavia. whew.

Friday, August 26, 2005

wandering minstrel

i think i will never again allow myself
to be ashamed of "wandering"
it is the bread of creativity and benevolent works
many great prophets have wandered
banishing material comforts
calloused cold bare feet slapping dirty urban pavement
always sharing food and talents
isn't it a fine example?
i say yes to wandering.

a minstrel i am without question
as every ear thirsty for music should be considered royal audience
and so i saw my fiddle in song for the masses,
i play flute in the forest, humble before the audience of god
accepting mistakes as the beauty of imperfection
not arrogant but certainly proud

wandering minstrel.
what an beautiful idea.

nate is playing george winston piano solos
on the baby grand i've been practicing
since i was four years old.
i am so glad that
he is not distracted from the now.
it would be a shame to miss this concert

Thursday, August 25, 2005

library, feed my mind

yesterday's kane county chronicle ran a front page article about how reference librarians are still in demand despite the rise of the internet, something my mom has been saying for decades. my favorite quote was "the internet is like a library plunked down on the floor." i would say the internet is more like a library mixed into a landfill, but i suppose that's a difference in degree.

after dropping off my suit at de-luxe dry cleaners this morning, i obtained my first public library card, ever. i have never needed a library card - i have either been at a educational institution where the library was more than sufficient or making enough money that my library was called barnes & noble. neither are true at the moment and i'm out of reading material, so time to take advantage of the locals' tax dollars. my first book is the mysterious flame of queen loana, a recent novel by umberto eco. interestingly, visuals play a big part in the story; it is illustrated by the author.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

a little progress

in case you care at all, i have another interview on monday morning, this time with a small/medium privately-held financial data firm in s.f. it looks interesting. i'll know more when i know more. still waiting to hear about other offers.

christie and i are getting ready for friday's wedding of her cousin matt and his fiance mari(e?). the question of what to wear after three weeks of jeans and t-shirts is surprisingly difficult. i will probably default to the one suit in my wardrobe. for christie, we'll have some unpacking to do.

jim will be in town on monday and tuesday, taking us to two cubs games those evenings. i'm looking forward to that. i hear that wrigley field has veggie dogs these days. if you are in the market, morningstar veggie dogs (in the frozen section) are clearly superior to smartdogs. while you're there, morningstar corn dogs are equally awesome.

Monday, August 22, 2005

still here

it is monday morning, and i'm sitting again in my office in the panera on the corner of water and wilson in batavia. today i am dividing my time between trying not to punch the guy at the next table who really does think this is his office ("sell! sell! buy! sell! my computer lost its icons! sell! buy!..." etc. at a very high volume), browsing my job search sites, reading the n.y. times, and learning php. the latter is a little bit nerdy, but it makes me feel like i'm in school.

grandma dot's birthday party last friday was loads of fun. some of christie's cousins who live far away were in town before the wedding this week. i think now i've met the whole hubbard clan at least once. one gift was a wake assure alarm clock, complete with super-loud alarm, strobe light (which can also control any lamp in the room), and bed shaker. if they design one without a snooze button that only turns off when you get in the shower, i'll be all set.

nancy heads back to school for her first day with her class today. yesterday, as a last-day-of-summer activity, we drove to the morton arboretum for a little walking. the weather was perfect, and the trees and plants were spectacular. a meal at el taco grande completed a beautiful day.

Friday, August 19, 2005

reading, searching, doing

needless to say, i have had plenty of time to read lately. i finally finished love in the time of cholera, a remarkable story, and the first i've read of this nobel-winning author. beautiful language - worth your time (and a bit of effort, i admit).

christie is home putting the finishing touches on a lemon cake for her grandmother's birthday party this evening. i am enjoying my first cup of coffee of the morning at panera, and catching up on the news before i jump back into the search for work. yesterday i got my hairs cut, although you probably wouldn't know it from looking at me - the stylist was a bit timid. so the long hair remains.

i talked to jim the other day who is coming down to chicago in a couple of weeks for some cubs games to which he had some extra tickets. it will be good to see him again.

that's all the news from batavia. stay tuned for job developments.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

mrs. hawsie sanchez' future questionable

sorry to leave you all hanging... mrs. h.s. limped back to batavia after st. louis. it was difficult driving, even on the flatness of illinois - every little overpass was a struggle. three out of four ain't bad, but it ain't good enough to keep driving the way we have been, unfortunately. we're in the process of getting a repair estimate. at this point, however, it might not make financial sense to attempt an engine overhaul. it is still not clear what the best course of action will be, especially given that my employment situation is still up in the air (yes, still).

while i work on my job search, christie and i are looking into earning a few dollars here and there to pay our reduced but decidedly nonzero monthly expenses. i hope that this process will be short so we can keep moving toward our goals.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

day 22; back on the road

we had a burnt valve - cylinder #3 was just pushing gas into the exhaust system without providing any power. so we had the mechanic disconnect it from the fuel injection system, and now we are not firing on all cylinders (do we ever?). if it had problems going uphill before, now it is doubly true. the plan is to drive it back to chicago and investigate repair costs. fortunately for us, the midwest is very flat.

Friday, August 12, 2005

day 21; mile 002741

mayday! mrs. hawsie sanchez lives up to her name. last night, after a very nice meal at the bob evans east of st. louis, we started her only to feel a heavy chugging and see lots of white smelly smoke billow out of the exhaust pipe. we stopped across the street in a bank parking lot to assess the situation. after some reading and internet research (cell phone saves the day once again) we decided to drive the bus about 150 yards to a motel nearby. this morning we located a vw shop in st. louis and had a tow truck take her over. so, until we figure out what will happen, we're holed up here at the collinsville, illlinois comfort inn...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

day 20; mile 002696

a short pedagogic drama about where to travel next
(transcribed from an original event)
Outside Memphis, Tennessee, 102 degrees and humid like a bowl of steaming soup. A VW bus with no air conditioning. Current direction: south.
Christie:'s hot.
Nate: Yeah.
Nate: Let's drive north now. Sometimes it's cooler up there.
Christie: Yeah. Let's turn around.
This play has been brought to you by Ozora Improvisational Presentations, a non-profit service providing you with realtime nonfiction dramatizations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

truck stop haiku

we need a shower
truck stop on mile one-o-one
don't take your shoes off

smile at a trucker
looks like he wants to kill me
shouldn't have bothered

lap of luxury
towel comes with the shower
still damp from last guy

all things cooked in meat
lard in the instant pudding
time for more ramen

day 19; mile 002384

originally uploaded by nclinton.
breakfast at the waffle house was tasty but uncomfortable. nate's "long" hair drew a lot of attention as did our painted bus. or perhaps it was my arabic tshirt that disrupted what otherwise might've been a hooah military morning. you see, we were just down the road from fort campbell. and we were indeed the only ones at waffle house not wearing camouflage.

much to my relief we left quickly - didn't even finish our tea! - and headed into clarksville to stop at at my old favorite coffeehouse...but it was gone and there was a hooters there instead. *sigh* but wait! nate spotted it. it'd moved down the road to a less visible area, presumably because being waited on by a large pair of breasts is more important than quality espresso.

seeking higher culture, we drove to nashville and visited the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Gallery of Art, the estate of the man who founded Maxwell House Coffee. we talked our way into paying half admission and spend the afternoon wandering the different gardens - herb, japanese, water, terrace, dogwood, color. there were lots of mazes too, and a stream running along the estate. the museum was excellent - a gorgeous vintage Steinway grand piano really caught our attention. there was also an interesting sitting room for resting. nate photographed a butterfly - does anyone know what kind it is?

we got on the road to memphis (hey isn't that a paul simon song?) but it was so hot i couldn't stand it, so we played cards at the mall till the sun surrendered. now we're traveling again. the night air is tolerable, even pleasant, a relief after today's sweltering sunny afternoon. it's 11:30pm and we show no signs of stopping.


oh, just in case you didn't know, click on a photo to view it. that will take you to our photos page, and you can scroll through the rest. today's photos include a sphinx, a giant statue of superman, and the toes of a statue of a child dragging a dead rabbit.

day 19; mile 002119

i have seven minutes of battery left on this laptop, so forgive me if this is short. we are just waking up at a truck stop near oak grove, tennessee. today is the day we experience nashville. but first, waffle house!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

day 18; mile 001934

selves portait
selves portait,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
we drove about 150 miles today from champaign to rend lake, a huge body of water in the middle of southern illinois. we are sitting at shelter #8 playing cards and waiting for the sun to set before cooking a little dinner and getting back on the road. we had a little horsefly situation, but christie wielded "an introduction to the logit model for economists" to kill two of them. now they are afraid. hopefully it will cool down enough to make the drive more pleasant this evening. it was close to unbearable for awhile this afternoon.

Monday, August 08, 2005

day 17; mile 001773 - champaign illinois

we reorganized the bus today to make it a little more liveable. we've headed south and stopped in champaign, illinois to party with good friends libby and chris abbott. it should be quite a foofaraw. already we're obsessed with dance dance revolution on their playstation.

now nate wants a playstation.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

day 16; wedding shower and travel plans?

yesterday's wedding shower for c's cousin "m"att and "m"ari was a huge success, thanks to the tireless efforts of nancy and aunt judy, who produced an elaborate m&m-themed party. i'm not really a huge fan of chocolate, so it was somewhat wasted on me, but as i am constantly reminded, i am not the center of the universe. aunts and uncles and cousins attended, but the little niece estelle stole the show as we suspected.

the picture here shows christie and estelle in their matching salaam, shalom, peace t-shirts from emma's revolution. there's nothing cuter than a baby activist.

today we're at the batavia public library, a beautiful new building downtown with speedy wireless internet and a coffee shop - everything i need for short-term happiness. i'm taking a break from more job-hunting to write this.

the travel plans are shaping up a bit. our first stop will likely be champagne/urbana either this evening or tomorrow. our latest idea is to keep heading south for a while and then loop back up north to the twin cities before returning to batavia for the wedding on the 26th. the bus is ready after its oil change, i can tell she's anxious to get moving again.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

day 15; flags of the world

i've been thinking carefully about what to paint on the back of the bus. it's prime real estate - certainly the most visible area. i finally settled on flags of the world holding hands and singing a song together. but what song? of course, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom" by the powerful duo emma's revolution: our very favorite musical activists!

my mom has been working around the clock to put up new wallpaper, and it's really fabulous.

Friday, August 05, 2005

day 14; mile 001636

  • went for a morning walk around batavia
  • ate a $23 pizza
  • practiced a reel and learned a jig
  • watched high school jeopardy
  • was turned away at oil change shop because car is too old

  • 6 am walk with christie's former piano teacher
  • found oil change shop willing to work on vanagon "for old time's sake"
  • learned how to change oil, replace air filter, and check transmission fluid

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

day 12; mile 001627

cottage garden farm in waupaca 2
cottage garden farm in waupaca 2,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
yesterday we arrived at the Cottage Garden Farm in waupaca, wisconsin. it's a unique gift shop built and owned by my father marc and his wife vickie. we spent the evening transcribing/arranging/recording a piece of music marc has been working on, finally coming up with a version for fiddle, piano, and voice.

after a breakfast of fresh fruit, we spent today kayaking and swimming in the chain lakes. on the way we visited fairyland and vickie sang amazing grace (their favorite song). back on the farm, we explored the intricate and charming corners of the shop and checked on the progress of dad's homebuilt airplane project. on the wall in the house we found an antique painting which eerily resembles nate.

tonight we head back to batavia.

Monday, August 01, 2005

day 10; mile 001309

hubbard cottage near montello, wi
hubbard cottage near montello, wi,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
this is the site of many pages of reading in the past few days, including all of harry potter (#6) and much of love in the time of cholera. the windows to the right offer a view of the lake and the expanse of beach that comes with the cottage. much resting, much swimming, not much else. today we made a dreamsicle orange cake. tonight we're off to have some dinner out somewhere. tomorrow evening we're off to waupaca, wisconsin for some more family stuff.