Southern Man

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Big Fat Complicated Life

Well, here's a brief set of reasons why blogging has been so light and sporadic as of late.

  • Job: The political tempest at Southern Man's university has reached a point where long-time tenured faculty are dropping like flies; one left in the middle of the fall semester, another was disgusted enough to move to the other side of the country, and yet another is actively searching for another position. The rumors fly thick and fast; does the administration want to shut down the department entirely, or just get rid of us and start over? Are the recommendations in the report from an ongoing external review (which, so far, seems to be rather in our favor) going to be accepted and implemented (as promised) or simply ignored? And is the fact that the dean who seems to be in charge of this witch hunt is moving on to another university good, bad, or irrelevant? No one seems to know, so Southern Man is sharpening his technical skills and polishing his resume in case he needs to hunt for another job in the near future. Teaching at university is a great job in many ways and Southern Man would love to keep at it, but that may or may not be in the cards.

  • Social: Southern Man's gf has backed away quite a bit from our formerly much closer relationship; we're not broken up, but not really dating, either. She's dealing with quite a lot right now, and while Southern Man is disappointed that we're not where he (and we) had once hoped, he's willing to give her room and time to work through her issues. And Southern Man is dealing with personal issues of his own, anyway.

  • Family: Southern Man is at a loss to know how to handle (or relate to, or help, or even talk to much of the time) his troubled teenage son. No details (to protect his privacy, and mine) other than to say that medical bills and counseling have consumed a fair portion of the Southern Man fortune this year and that we have spent a fair amout of time dealing with the consequences of some poor choices he made in the past as well as poor choices he's making right now.
On the plus side, Southern Man's spiritual life continues to grow and is probably as solid as it's ever been. He's getting along well with his ex; we're together in counseling with aforementioned teenage son several times a month, and we find it pretty easy to discuss our concerns about the children. He sees his daughters nearly every school morning; it is the highlight of his day. His financial situation continues to improve in nearly every way, so long as he ignores the big losses on the last retirement fund quarterly report. It already looks like it'll be a busy and productive summer. A few hours of work on Friday got all four of his dead lawn mowers running again. He has plans to finally finish the workshop he started seven years ago on The Land and to move forward with other projects out there with an eye to building a house and moving in not too many years (believe me, if the Covenents, Creeds, and Restrictions allowed trailers it'd be Home Sweet Doublewide right now). Family vacation plans for late summer are not yet set but are getting there. He's even enrolled in a motorcycle safety course later this summer and may take the plunge and buy a used bike and see if he likes it. And, last but not least, he's committed to producing regular installments of drivel like this on Southern Man Blog! Including a bunch of back-dated ones, so now you have to re-read the whole thing to find them!


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