Just a couple of weeks ago, one of the Galesburg ticket clerks took a job in management, giving me a chance to bid a job there. In the next few weeks I'll be moving out of The Closet Over the Stairs in Bloomington and starting the new job in Galesburg. I'll be staying with my in-laws in Davenport until we can get rid of the house in Elkhart and find someplace to live in Galesburg.
I'll be busy trying to get resettled, so posts will be more sporadic than usual. Chapter 19 of Things Done and Left Undone may take a while to complete. Meanwhile, here's the Ten Year Meme Lisa of Eudaemonia tagged me with:
What were you doing ten years ago?
In the summer of 1998 I was working at the Amtrak Call Center in Chicago, making the long-distance commute from Elkhart (drive to Michigan City, then ride the South Shore train to Chicago). I had enough seniority to hold a 4-day, 10-hour shift, so it wasn't so bad. That fall I'd start writing a column on local history for the Elkhart Truth, which I'd continue writing until 2003.
Anne had finished eighth grade and would start high school in August. Sarah was out of seventh grade. It seems as though middle school, or junior high school, is always a traumatic time. Sarah actually had a good seventh grade, but Anne hated both years of middle school. Jim would be going into third grade. Kathleen was not working outside the home at the time, as I was essentially gone four days a week.
In some ways, 1998 seems farther in the past than 1973, when Kathleen and I were married. But it was a turning point for me: I became a regular, as opposed to a sporadic writer.
Five things on your to-do list for today
Take some more books to Goodwill and continue getting rid of stuff .
Do some laundry.
Fill up the tank in my ancient Toyota.
Drive back to Bloomington.
Get rid of more stuff at my Bloomington apartment.
What would you do if you were a billionaire?
I'm going to pass on this one. Money and I aren't friends --I wish there were some other way to get along in the world. I fear a surfeit of money would be worse for me than my current situation of being up to my neck in Direct Loans for my kids. Money would find a way to get me.
What are three of your bad habits?
A tendency towards pessimism (see answer to previous question).
Procrastination (To-do list was from last Thursday, though the procrastination here is doing the meme--I got all the tasks done).
What are some snacks you enjoy?
My own trail mix (Chocolate chips, unsalted peanuts, and raisins).
Nutella on French bread (haven't had it in a long time).
High-cocoa dark chocolate (I can even pretend it's good for me).
What were the last five books you read?
Boom! Voices of the Sixties by Tom Brokaw--Brokaw is a journalist, and is more concerned with how the past affects the present than actually understanding the past. He makes the mistake of assuming that the Baby Boom generation made the Sixties. "They [the Boomers] made the Sixties. There's no doubt about that." Actually, there's a lot of doubt. It was his generation--the people born just before and during the Second World War who were the movers and shakers of that decade. Abbie Hoffman, Bob Dylan, John Lewis, Gloria Steinem, John Lennon, etc., etc. Plus some of the "Greatest Generation" such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (people he fails to mention in his book, The Greatest Generation). My generation gets stuck with the Seventies and Eighties. However, Jerry Rubin of Brokaw's generation had the distinction for being a Yippie in the Sixties and A Yuppie in the Eighties.
A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties by Suze Rotolo--The best part isn't Rotolo's relationship with Dylan, but her description of the Village scene in the early Sixties.
Name Withheld by J. A. Jance--Not her best work, but entertaining. It was available on cassette, which is what I have in my '90 Toyota.
No one was killed, Documentation and meditation: Convention Week, Chicago, August 1968 by John Schultz--perhaps the best of the books about the '68 convention, though Schultz does take a pro-Yippie view, while viewing the McCarthy volunteers as smug and arrogant (even though his wife was one).
The Self Under Siege - Philosophy in the 20th Century by Rick Roderick (course on tape). Roderick's Philosophy and Human Values course is perhaps the best introduction to philosophy around. Self Under Siege is classic Roderick--brilliance in a West Texas drawl. He discusses Sartre, Heidegger, Marcuse, Habermas, Foucault, Derrida, and others. Roderick's lectures are available on the Web, now--click here.
What are five jobs you have had?
Working the grill and fryer at Henry's Hamburgers in Coralville, IA.
Bus driver (campus bus, Cedar Rapids Transit, and Iowa City Transit).
Rail coordinator for the Midwest office of CIT Tours (agent for the Italian State Railways).
Reservation Sales Agent.
Rate Desk Clerk--dealing with complicated fares and difficult people.
What are five places where you have lived?
Iowa City, Iowa
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Oak Park, Illinois
I was born in Peoria, Illinois. Some people find that fact hilarious--kind of like being born in Dull Center, Wyoming.
I'll forgo tagging anyone else. Virtually everyone whose blog I read has done this one anyway.