Slowly, I'm feeling a little more like my life is under my control again. I suppose that's all an illusion, in some sense -- I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, or fall desperately in love with a stranger (very implausible), or win a huge amount of money (even more implausible, since I don't enter lotteries and such). But aside from the big things that can't be predicted, the little things are feeling more on track, and there aren't nearly as many of them waiting as there were.
I spent a while putting up signs for my apartment yesterday. I'm planning on being gone from May 1 - Aug 15, travelling around Chicago and up and down the west coast, taking the train from L.A. to Seattle. (I'll have lots of time for visiting people in those areas, so if you want to get together for lunch or coffee, drop me a line). So I'd rather not pay rent! I'm hoping to sublet my apartment furnished, so that all I have to do is pack up and store the more fragile and valuable items (plus enough so that the sublettor has room for hir stuff). I made up signs and wandered around posting them; while reading other people's signs, I was struck once again by the deep religious divide in this city. Almost every sign had either 'conservative' or 'liberal' indicated on it. Some said 'LDS standards', which I presume means that you could live there as a non-LDS if you wanted, but you'd have to live as if you were LDS. I wonder if you'd be allowed to have coffee or tea in the house. And then there were the ads that said 'married-only'. One of the girls who was posting a sign for me asked if my place was for a married couple or a single person -- as if those were the only two options. Weird, and creepy. Sometimes this place just gives me the shivers.
I was talking with Susan at a party; she's been doing some research on the LDS General Conference, a big meeting of the local church. Public transit mostly doesn't run on Sunday around here -- except on the weekends of the Conference. She's been talking to various people, reading documents, and she was pretty damn frustrated at the way she says young LDS girls are made to feel worthless until they're married, with children. That sort of cultural pressure is very hard to resist. It was hard for me to resist, and I wasn't nearly as steeped in it as these girls are. I don't talk a lot about LDS issues here, or about what it's like living in Mormon Country. I suspect I will a lot more once I leave Salt Lake; right now, it doesn't feel appropriate. If a student finds these pages, I'd hate for them to feel that I was dissing their beliefs, or culture. So mostly I refrain, for now. But there's a lot I could say, and probably will, in a few years. You'll hear about it, eventually.
Anyway -- the plan for today is to do some grading, do my taxes, and go to the DMV with Paul to take the written test (open book). Reasonably painless, I think. I've been working hard enough for long enough that I figure it's okay to schedule a light day for a change. If I finish early, I'll read more Nabokov; I ought to finish re-reading Ada by tomorrow lunchtime. There's a meeting on campus at noon tomorrow that I may attend (optional), and some history books to check out and read. Plus Nabokov criticism. It's a little odd to me how little time I spend in the library; somehow I thought grad students just lived in the library. But most of my work, I can do at home. I'm not complaining.
Have a good Friday, munchkins.