Cafe Hitch-hike


Michigan and Miami Boys

I finished some tasks sooner than I thought I would. I wanted to take a working vacation in Texas before the end of this month, but I had too many things to wrap up before doing something like that. As it turned out, I finished some end-of-year reports. I accomplished getting my damn manuscript completed and submitted to a professional journal and one of the top ones in my field. Yeah, I decided to go big or go home. To me, this is like blindfolding myself, spinning 3 times, and tossing a dart at a board in a dark room. If the damn manuscript doesn't get accepted, that's cool. I have 5 others I can try. I almost don't care if it gets published in the back page of a church bulletin, I just want it done.

The damn thing is a project I started 9 years ago. It took a hiatus when I took another job and returned to my current employer. I finally finished one of its phases in 201-----7? I think that was when it was finished. Now, 4 years later, why the hell not, let's get it published so I can lay it to rest.

Now if I actually got the job offer and I end up leaving (flip a coin), that would be quite the wrap!

I finished the short-take presentation I'll be giving in 2 weeks for a virtual conference. They asked me to submit my bio and a pic. I need to get the pic updated because it's close to 5 years old, but the bio gave me a slight pause.

I had to joke to myself: which bio do they want? Me as an educator, me from DLand, me with my friends, or me around my relatives? It gave me a chuckle to think of the differences, and how my parts of my personality are in some ways contrary to my profession. Anyhow, I sent them a short, sensible bio written in the same voice as other bios from previous conferences.

I then patted myself on the back. Way to go with getting the conference thing and the rest of the enchilada completed!

(Since I'm about to write about my home state, Kid Rock gives a great description of what happens 'up north' during Michigan summers.)

There's a full moon tomorrow, and it's out so brightly tonight. Spring decided to linger in my region, so I'm savoring days without air conditioning and I stole a night or 2 with the window open. I just finished a homemade turtle sundae with the Sanders fudge and caramel sauces that Chris gave me as Michigan gifts (my eyes had to unroll from the back of my head, I distinctly remember things from there tend to taste sweeter for some reason).

Things for that trip are falling into place. My sisters were able to get campsites where I'll be camping. Although Mom wanted to get a place at a beach town near Lake Michigan, none of us wanted to go. One sis hates crowds, one hates the traffic and difficult parking, and I stopped swimming there because it's quite polluted (and I got ear/ throat infections after going in the water). The other thing was Mom's plan was outside of my sisters' budgets, so she got outvoted. We have brilliantly happy memories there, but for whatever reason, none of us didn't feel the need to go back. One of my sisters suggested a beach close to where we will camp that's also on the big lake, but is not as crowded (and maybe not as polluted because it's not on the mouth of a river than runs through some rust belt towns).

I was thinking about cutting the drive in half by taking the automobile train to Washington DC, and then drive the rest of the way. A lot of northeasterners down here take that route and one of my neighbors told me about it, so I may have to check that out.

I had a nice lunch and catch-up with Rafael over the weekend. The love is still there for sure along with the friendship, and the laughs between us were consistent as always. He seems to be doing well and in good spirits.

As for why things didn't work, there's just some things within us that we simply cannot change because they are a part of who we are, and that's the way it goes.

Then, Oteil, another former Miami pal, got in touch. He's a guy I briefly dated towards the end of my time there, but we kept in touch as friends. I guess he must be feeling lonely, maybe isolated, or wanted to reach back for the witty and humorous conversations we often had. O. taught me how not to take myself and life too seriously, yet seriously enough. I remember liking him because I always felt more relaxed after talking or hanging out with him.

In a way, talking to O. and Rafa brought me back to a space that felt more at home to me. They both have an upbeat, engaged mindset I found characteristic of Miami, and I felt quite the sense of reciprocation between us. It was another nice reset and reminder. It was a contrast compared to the distance I tended to feel with Huck, and the interactions with the Miami boys was like sharing a favorite family recipe ('boys' being said in a neighborly, colloquial way) .

downwind | upstream