Thursday, August 29, 2013

Return to the Land of the Blogging

Good evening, dear readers, and welcome back to me.

Tonight, I return to the land of the blogging, not for an epic post, but just the simple beginning of my return to self-reflection and communication with the wider world unregarded.  My silence, dear readers, began with a simple thing: just taking a week or two off while I moved from Boston to Iowa City.  Not that there was any particular reason that even moving would need to result in a pause in blogging.  After all, this wonderful sophisticated software allows me to schedule updates however I would like them---any time you see a post set precisely at 5pm on a Monday, that would be the reason.  Nevertheless, I went away, and now I am back.

I'm back, slowly feeling my way into a new set of routines in Iowa.  I'm back, with the momentous change of living in my own house for the first time in my life, something which feels (now that we're over the initial unpacking) just simply delicious.  For the first time in my life, I have all the space I would like, and our house is beautiful.  Also, not overly large.  Lots of little stresses that came from packing two households of stuff into one tiny place as we lived in Boston have simply evaporated, and we are taking every pain to avoid filling up the new place.  It is good.

Our neighbors are lovely, and I can bike to work from my home.  Well, the Iowa version of work.  I've picked up an affiliation with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department here at the University of Iowa, secondary to my primary affiliation with BBN.  So I work remotely for BBN and am building collaborations with people here in Iowa.  For the next little while, at least, I'm in a magnificent office, squatting while the professor who normally occupies it is on sabbatical, practically next door to my wife and a bunch of other folks in her department who are enjoyable on both a personal and professional level.

Still, I'm finding my feet.  With Ananya working full time again, and more than full time given the realities of tenure track, Harriet's in daycare full time, and I'm the one who picks her up in the afternoon.  So every day, I have a hard stop at 4pm (5pm Eastern, since I'm keeping my work in sync with my colleagues in Boston).  I bike home, grab the car, go over to Harriet's daycare, and then it's me and her for an hour or two until Ananya (who's got the morning baby shift), gets home.  Family time for a couple hours, then the rituals of baby bedtime, with a daughter who despises the idea of sleeping while parents are up and around.  It all leaves rather less "overtime" than I am used to being able to put in.

Soon, I will return to Boston for my first trip back since I arrived in Iowa.  It's going to be a fast, intense trip, followed immediately by a conference in Philadelphia.  I'm looking forward to it, and also going to miss my new life here, even as I delight in returning to my roots and my bigger city fast-flying life.  And you, dear readers, will once again be in on the discussions.  Welcome back to me, and also to you.

And now, let us end with a picture of Harriet adapting well to her new state: eating corn on the cob all by herself, just like an adult.  I am very impressed with our 13-month old, who refuses adult assistance and can eat half an ear all by herself in a single sitting.