I'm a straightforward guy. It's all about the real connections between people, the earth, and God, at which point unthinkable things begin to happen...
Planning to get my hands on and gobble up, in no particular order,
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, Rachel Joyce
- The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky
- Advice to a Young Investigator, Romani Cajal
- Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
- Swamplandia!, Karen Russell
- All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
- Brave Genius, Sean B. Carroll
- something by Wendell Berry
- And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the HIV pandemic in the 20th Century, Shilts
I think that will be plenty of content to help take my mind off work in the evenings…
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky. - Frederick Lehman, The Love of God, 1917
In which Tyler struggles to understand the Yankee way
"Oh gosh, you’re such a Southerner…" proclaimed my boss after I noted my lack of travel to New England metropolitan areas (NYC, Boston, Philly, none of them).
In some regards my way of life has already meshed with that of a typical Marylander quite nicely:
- Bikes to most destinations, utilizing bus and metro when necessary
- Lacks overt Southern accent
- Stays home from work due to US Government shutdown
- Brings reusable grocery bags to Safeway (to avoid the absurd bag fees)
- Does not wear a fanny pack, Mickey-Mouse ears, or other tourist paraphernalia
There are other aspects, however, that remind me of my relative foreignness:
- Still forgets that restaurants only serve unsweetened iced tea
- Enjoys listening to country music, shocked that people have never heard of Blake Shelton or Josh Turner
- Collides occasionally with other sidewalk travelers who feel no need to share or yield any space
- Apologizes for such mishaps, ever, at all
- Resents the mandate for state income taxes (okay, Yankees probably identify with that one too…)
No worries though, I am learning to love my new home, from its quirky gasless 7-Eleven stations to its signage that brings fond memories of the South (see image).
I’m also very grateful for my motley lab group, whose members hail from Virginia, New York, Nebraska, Colorado, Hawaii (and soon, Israel!) and make me feel less out of place. Maybe it’s because science nerds stick together, but either way I’m glad to take refuge with them from the strange streets of Bethesda. And they sure are hospitable, throwing the best backyard Oktoberfest I’ve ever attended (image 2).
Nearing the 2-month anniversary of my move Northward, I can say with full confidence that I have yet to turn into a Yankee. Here’s to hoping I remain that way at the end of 2 years!
Peace out, ya’ll