In the next three hours, I’ll leave Ann Arbor for good. Yesterday I felt ready, but today, now that the departure is actually imminent, now that I have a time when I need to be on the road, I’m fighting it.
I have two weeks left in Ann Arbor. Two weeks from today, I should be in Chicago, and a week after that, I’ll be getting ready to start my new job. I asked the internets for recommendations for my last two weeks here, and they responded in great force. I can’t obviously accomplish all of these things in two weeks, but it’s good to have a place to start.
- Filmfest, foolmoon, festifools
- Get into that little playground on the roof of the old Mott Children’s Hospital.
- Coconut cream batido from frita batidos
- Frita batidos, Sunday brunch at Aut bar
- Canoe the Huron (if they’re open?) If not open or too cold, go to the DIA. That never gets old.
- Dunny purchase from Vault of Midnight. Go see Lewis the orange tabby cat at Downtown Home and Garden. Go to Ashleys for beer on the busiest night, take $20 and play the same song (bad or good) over and over again on the internet juke box. Walk in Gallup Park.
- If the weather is right & you still have your bike, you can take the b2b trail to downtown Ypsilanti.
- Run through the Arb, brunch at Eastern Market, good beer at Jolly Pumpkin and then a bad beer over at the Eightball and definitely go visit Lewis!
- Happy Endings at Berkley Front over City Club this Friday.
This is in addition to the list that Shana and I have been compiling:
- Bell’s bi bim bap with Amanda
- Nachos somewhere with Shana and Javan
- Night out in Detroit with housemates
- Biscuits and chocolate-bacon gravy at the Roadhouse (post-race brunch of dreams
- Brunch at Raven’s Club
- One last bakefest (Oreos!)
- Another Knights of the West Side
Already checked off the list in the last few weeks are:
- Afternoon Delight, which is hands’ down my favorite breakfast place in town.
- Taco Tuesday at Sabor Latino
- Donuts and/or ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy, which has the best donuts on the planet.
- Plastic Passion at Necto
- My first and only visit to the Arb
- A very long walk along Huron River Drive
- Treasure Mart
What am I missing?
Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter – December 14, 2011
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Emotion is the resource we treasure when we’re young, says poet Naomi Shihab Nye, but eventually what we thrive on even more is energy. “Energy is everything,” she says, “not emotion.” And where does energy come from? Often, from juxtaposition, says Nye. “Rubbing happy and sad together creates energy; rubbing one image against another.” That’s what she loves about being a poet. Her specialty is to conjure magic through juxtaposition. “Our brains are desperate for that kind of energy,” she concludes. I mention this, Capricorn, because the coming weeks will be prime time for you to drum up the vigor and vitality that come from mixing and melding and merging, particularly in unexpected or uncommon ways.
This is feeling particularly timely as we approach the end of our time here. My time will continue for a while longer, but our life here as a couple, as a family unit, will end in a little over a week. It feels like every day we’re rubbing happy and sad together: solidifying friendships just in time to leave, revisiting favorite spots that won’t carry the same weight when we come back to visit, one last time for x or y or z.
This is the obligatory ‘sorry, we’ve been MIA’ post from a neglectful blogger. It’s not that I don’t love you and/or don’t want to share things here. It’s just that it’s the end of the semester and the holiday season and, oh yeah, we’re moving to Chicago in TWO WEEKS. Put all of those things together, and you don’t get a whole lot of coherency out the other side.
On the other hand, we have been cooking: Thanksgiving dinner for friends, lentil stew and other soups with the six quarts of turkey stock, shrimp tacos, and last night’s very passable impression of chicken piccata served on the fine china. And we’re throwing diets out the window and enjoying meals at many of our favorite places. So it’s not that I don’t have things to tell you about – it’s that I don’t have time.
In lieu of actual content, here is a picture of our cats behaving strangely:
We’ll be back soon. Promise.
I’m taking time out before the meal preparations start to tell you more about our big news, presented in brief in my previous post. Chicago!
Let me back up.
When we started to talk about leaving DC, we were both unhappy in our jobs. We were tired of our commutes, tired of living in the suburbs, tired of the cost of living somewhere just a little too expensive. We had a lease that was ending, and a fabulous job opportunity for Shane. We were Ready To Go.
We’ve now been in the mitten for a little over two years, and (in the spirit of the day) have much for which we’re thankful. We have good jobs and many good friends. We’ve been able to pursue our interests – beer, mopeds, knitting, running, cooking, records, gardening – and have had storage space to accommodate all of those interests. We’re healthy, though Shane has been fighting a nasty cold all week, as are our cat friends. Our families and most of our friends are within half a day’s drive, as are several major cities and lots of gorgeous nature.
So why move?
Because we’re craving city life. Because every time we go to Chicago and see allllllllllllllll of our friends, we feel grumpy that we don’t live closer. Because having a newish nephew has made us acutely aware of the passage of time and how much we’re missing by only seeing him a few times a year. Because we’ve only gone to a handful of shows in the time that we’ve lived here. Because it’s frankly not that much more expensive than Ann Arbor, but offers so much more to a childless couple in their 30s who want to have fun before they’re too old to be fun. Because we didn’t get the full city experience living in the ‘burbs of DC. Because it’s a major hub for airlines and a world class destination for good food and coffee. Because I’m a Cubs fan. Because so many of the people that made Champaign home are now in Chicago, and because Champaign is 2.5 hours away by train. Because there’s a lake and beaches in the interminable summer. Because it’s a city of neighborhoods, each with their distinct identity. Because it has an established bike (and moped) culture. And because we’re ready for a change.
After several conversations this summer, we decided that we wanted to focus our energy in this direction. We weren’t sure if or when it would happen, but we wanted to make it happen. We started applying for jobs, realizing that if they didn’t happen, we were still in a very good place, and the worst it meant would be that we would be in that good place a while longer. In October, on the heels of a few weeks of ridiculous travel, Shane interviewed at DePaul, and a few weeks ago, he was offered the job. Chicago!
So what happens next? At some point in December, a moving company will pack up our apartment and load it onto a truck and drive it to Chicago. We’ll go home for Christmas, then come back here to move me into a month-to-month sublet and to load up the van with some cats and the stuff Shane will need until the movers arrive. I’ll help him get settled so that he can start his new job on January 2, and then we’ll do the back and forth thing until I can find a job. There will be lots of visits and Skype calls and separation angst, but hopefully it won’t last too long, and by the spring we’ll be together again in our new city. And we absolutely can’t wait.
To do list for Monday, 24 August aka 3 days to move:
- Clean oven
- Pack suitcase
- Take down curtains (incl. shower)
- Wash dishes
- Take Powells package to the post office
- Finish consolidating odds and ends scattered around the apt (for more efficient packing tomorrow)
- Figure out meals for the next 2 days and toss the rest of the food in the fridge
- Apply for at least 1 job
- Refill prescription while I still have health insurance
- 5 course tasting meal at Restaurant Eve, which several Yelp reviewers…
We leave for Michigan in four days. I can’t believe it’s already time. My last day of work was Friday, and tomorrow is Shane’s last day. The movers are coming on Tuesday to pack up our apartment, and then our stuff leaves on Wednesday. Our going away party is Wednesday night at the Galaxy Hut, where we’ll be DJing – and then Thursday morning we’ll load up the car and the cats and be on our way.
At some point I imagine we’ll stop to reflect on our time here – but right now we’re both in a bit of a daze.
The good thing about this move – as opposed to other moves – is that it’s been relatively low stress up until this point. We’ve had relaxed evenings of dinner and conversation – an afternoon lying on shaggy carpets with babies and friends – a long, lazy overnight at the lake with friends and good beer and sunshine. This is the way to go out.
SB & E
Sweaty and hungry at Rustico after helping Adam move. Apparently if you want to look pretty after 2 days of not showering, black and white is the way to go. Thanks, Stacey!
So sometimes you make plans. And sometimes you unmake them. And sometimes someone else unmakes them for you. This post is about the last of those options.
As you all know by now, Shane and I are moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Shane has accepted the job of Digital Preservation Librarian at the University of Michigan. We don’t have a moving date or new address set yet (and I don’t have a job!), but we plan to firm up those details in the next two weeks, and to complete our move in late August.
As many of you have already commented, moving to a new state and starting new job(s) will make having a wedding in Virginia a bit difficult. We had initially planned to go ahead with the previously announced plans – until an ACT OF GOD made us see the light. Sometimes I’m prone to hyperbole, but this is not one of those times.
The park district office where we had booked our wedding site had a flood the day after I turned in the application and deposit. The whole building didn’t flood – just part of it. Which happened to be the part where our paperwork was at the time – not where it should have been, but where it was. All of our paperwork was lost – the check for the deposit, the application for the reservation – all of it.
With that paperwork gone, our most significant financial investment in the event was eliminated, making it exceptionally practical to cancel. After confirming that our guests had not been charged for hotel reservations, we decided to go ahead and pull the plug.
So in short: we’re not getting married in October in Virginia. We are still getting married, but for the time being, we’re setting aside those plans in order to focus on our other major transitions. We probably won’t start planning until we settle in A2 (as the kids call it), which means it may not be this fall. We’ll definitely keep you posted, though!