We’re still alive! I know it has been a long while since I posted a blog entry that wasn’t a summation of a reading I’m doing or an update to my CV . . but at long last, here it is!
We’ve successfully moved in to our new place on Orcas Island in the Northern Puget Sound. In case you’re wondering where that’s at, we’re about 7 miles from the border of British Columbia by way of the crow; however, if you want to go to Canada it would take quite a trip. It is possible to catch a ferry from Orcas to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island and then on over to Sidney, BC . . . OR you can take the ferry back over to Anacortes and catch the direct trip to Sidney. Either way, you’re looking at a bit of a trip (as in a complete day of waiting/sailing) . . . as such, we’re not doing too much shopping over north of the border. That being said, ferry travel is amazing and we enjoy it every time we go off island.
Living on an island like Orcas certainly takes some logistical work. There’s only one grocery store here and it is a 25 minute or so drive from our lovely cabin at the end of Roehl’s Bluff Ln. That being said, Orcas is rich with local farmers that offer a bounty of organic, seasonal produce. Rachel and I go down every Saturday to the local market in Eastsound and grab fresh salad and braising greens as well as beets, carrots, and other cool weather veggies. There’s also a kind Guatemalan family that sells super yummy tamales and tacos – a real treat!
We’ve also become experts at long-range grocery planning. Since arriving on the island we’ve collected a nice stock of dried beans, organic grains, and other foods that stay good for a long while. We probably own a bag or so of everything that Bob’s Red Mill has on offer from their website – we order online to keep the costs down and allows us to keep a lot of food on hand for future meals. Of course, this comes with a need to plan ahead – you’ve got to soak the beans for a few hours before cooking . . . so no impromptu dinners for us.
All that being said, we do occasionally shirk off the duties of all-day dinner planning and go out for a meal. There’s a great local place called The Lower Tavern – everyone here calls it “the Lower” – that we visit for cheap (cheap for the island, anyway) grub and cold beer. About a week ago Rachel and I even ventured out to Allium– reported to be the island’s best restaurant . . . it didn’t disappoint. The salmon and scallops were amazing and a not-too-shabby bottle of Malbec made for a wonderful way to celebrate our one year dating anniversary . . . and what a crazy year.
We went from living in two houses in Syracuse to living out of my car for about seven weeks as we traveled across country to living in a beautiful place here on Doe Bay.
Speaking of the house – it’s surprisingly nice. So nice in fact that I was a bit ashamed of talking the kind owners down from their initial asking price. I’ve been enjoying working in the living room and looking out at the Sound and Rachel has finally settled in to her studio
space. We had to do a bit of retrofitting to get it in shape for her ongoing work – two 6’x8′ canvass pieces – but the light is great and it also has a nice view of the water. The folks that built the house were smart, building the entire structure to face south, thereby absorbing the warm sun that seems to shine everyday. Folks say that it will start raining here soon, but I don’t believe them. Anyone that tells you that it rains in the Northwest everyday is exaggerating so you don’t get the urge to move out here. I’ve been here for six weeks and haven’t seen a drop of rain! (Rachel informs me that if folks know that I’m spreading truths about the Pacific NW, I’ll be kindly asked to leave.)
Work on the dissertation progresses. I’ve got two chapters in committee and one in revision. I’ve been pleased with the work so far and am enjoying getting ready for chapter four. In preparation I’ve been reading around a lot; most recently, I’ve picked up Shaviro’s Without Criteria and some work by Graham Harman on the speculative realism movement. I’ve also been rereading The Practice of Everyday Life (thanks Lois!) and daily installments of The Economist. I have a lot of ideas rumbling around for the introduction to chapter four, justifying my use of Activity Theory and Actor-Network-Theory by grounding in a study of the minor Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and the so-called speculative realist movement. But more on that in future posts.
On a final note, WE GOT A BOAT. Rachel’s grandmother was kind enough to lend us her early 1970s fiberglass two-person kayak. It should make for great mussel gathering – which is apparently best on buoys here – and exercise. Rachel’s folks w
ere kind enough to bring it up from Bellevue this weekend and I applied a new coat of wax on it today. We’re going to start by taking it up to Mountain Lake in Moran State Park and paddling around. After acquiring a tide chart, we’ll be Sound bound. 🙂
All and all things are great – if a little more quiet than our life in Syracuse. I’ll try not to let the blog lapse so long before the next post . . . that is if I can keep myself off the damn wiki (ha!), take a break from madly applying for jobs, rewriting the dissertation, and reworking my methodology chapter for submission to Written Communication.
We hope you’re all well. We love you – and remember, you’ve got a vacation spot to stay if you’re interested. Lovely island life! We hope to see you all soon. Stay tuned for another post wherein I’ll discuss exercise regimens, the possibility of an object oriented sociology, and the party at the local haunted house.