Stuck In The Fast Lane

As you can imagine, things are still very busy around here.  Another week has passed at school and it is time for the first exams, which has sapped time not only at work, but at home in the evenings.  Spending 2.5 hours on the road every day certainly doesn’t help as those extra hours that I am now spending on the road used to go to work on my classes.  When circumstances change, you have to find ways to adjust.  I have a strong suspicion that this “adjustment” will last the entirety of the semester, but I do look forward to when some sense of normalcy will return.

Jet has been just as busy with work.  Since there is such a backlog for loan mitigation requests, she will now have to work mandatory overtime each week.  She only found out about it on Friday this week, so she ended up staying one extra hour Friday and came in yesterday (Saturday) for another three hours.  As you might recall, Jet had the option of pursuing either the “good side” or “bad side” of loan mitigation when she was offered her job and ended up choosing the “good side”.  As it turns out, many people that know Jet said that she would have done very good on the “bad side” as the tasks were somewhat similar to loan closing, which is what Jet did spectacularly before leaving for Alabama.  Since the incentives are much greater on the “bad side” (though the base salary is higher on the “good side”), Jet has wondered if she made the right decision.  I believe she has, but this has added a bit of stress to her this past week.

Speaking of stress, there have been some other concerns that were recently raised.  When we returned from Thailand in July, Donald had mentioned that he noticed some noises coming from my car that were a bit unusual.  The noises were faint, but nothing that I was too concerned about as it would come and go.  In the past two weeks, however, the noises suddenly become progressively worse at the “whistling” sound became much louder and consistent.  Jet took my car to a local Toyota dealer on Thursday to check it out and as it turned out, a belt was going bad on it and had to be replaced.  As it always happens, the warranty had just expired on my car.  Although I had 30,000 miles on the car (I have been putting in over 500 miles each week for the past month), which was well under the mileage for my warranty, I had owned it for 3 years and 1 month, when 3 years was when the warranty expired.  Nuts.  Price for this necessary fix: $400.  Double nuts.  At least the noise is gone.  As Jet and I mentioned, it is tough to put a price on peace of mind.  Besides, if you could, we would be the first in line to buy a little bit more.

We are holding up on our house search because we both agree now that we should not buy a new house until our house in Alabama sells.  Please, please, please house in Alabama – sell, sell, sell!!!  We are just hoping that things become easier and less stressful once that happens.  We really appreciate everyone in Oxford that are taking care of our house for us.  Hopefully this won’t last much longer.

I was back at UWM on Friday for a workshop and I had a chance to meet with my advisor and other faculty that I had worked with.  I also had a chance to talk with Lisa and Gail, administrative assistants who were in the same office area as me for the last two years at UWM.  It really does feel nice to walk around familiar surroundings.  I imagine that I will make the trip there much more frequently in the coming months as I start to work on research again back in Milwaukee.  Speaking of research, I just had another journal article accepted.  It was not at a top journal, but it is the start of my tally here at UWW that will go towards my tenure decision.  It just feels good to have one thing go right.  It is just too bad because with everything so hectic around us, it is so easy to forget all of the good that we already have.

We went to a Thai-American association dinner last night in New Berlin, which was a nice change of pace for the week.  Jet was able to meet a couple of friends that she hadn’t seen since we left for Alabama three years ago.  We also met a couple about our age that had adopted a Thai boy who was about 2 years old.  Amazingly, the guy teaches a communications class part-time at UWW, though his full-time job is working for a local newspaper.  The couple were very nice and had adopted the boy a little over a year ago.  The boy was something else too.  He was shorter than Ben but was as heavy as a rock.  The boy was shy like Ben, but after 5 minutes and they had warmed up to each other, Ben had him chasing him all over the building and they became good friends.  The Thai boy was very interesting because he always wanted to be held and when he got excited, he would stand still and shake – I hadn’t seen any child do this since Josh.  The couple lives nearby Whitewater, but hopefully we will have a chance to hang out with them more in the future.

As for our future, this morning we have the Breast Cancer Walk downtown which will be followed by the Harvest Fair at state fair park.  Both events should be a lot of fun as we will be joined by several of the sisters.  It will also be Jet’s first 5K, which I am sure that she will end up walking.  Jet doesn’t know it yet, but I will hope to surprise her by doing it stride-for-stride with her.  Also looking ahead, on Thursday I have been asked to give a presentation on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the Wisconsin Dells (http://wisc.uww.edu/ideas-conference.html).  That ought to be an interesting day as I will drive to UWW to drop Ben off, drive to the Dells to give the presentation, drive back to UWW to pick-up Ben, then drive back home.  The key word is “drive” as I will be doing quite a bit of it that day.  Hopefully traffic will not be bad.

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One Response to “Stuck In The Fast Lane”

  1. Linda and Donald Says:

    One thing good about Jet’s job choice is that she will likely gain new experience that she would not otherwise have had. I know she likes challenges and should not get bored any time soon. Next time you have a little something going on with a vehicle maybe you will remember that procrastination probably cost you $400. Donald wanted to know what kind of belt it was. It has gotten chilly here in Alabama this week. Are you still running aroud up there in short sleeves saying “I’m from Wisconsin, this is not cold” like you did here?

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