Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome to Omaha

The "Good Life, and More" begins

Hello everyone. This is my blog. Nebraska's state moto is "The Good Life, and More." They put "and More" for all the things one might not expect in "The Good Life," like tornadoes and humidity. The Good Life certainly deals with more than corn husking, as one may suspect, especially at UNO where the mascot is a Maverick (a tough bull with attitude), not a corn husker.

My good life starts each day in the red duplex above. There is a 1/2 in my address because house numbers 14 and 15 were already taken. It's sort of like number 12 Grimold Place, the residence of the Order of the Phoenix (from Harry Potter). Unless you know where to look, you won't find us. I hope non-junk mail can find us though. I finally have my own room! the smallest of the three, but it's the only one with a masculine color of paint.

I then drive the 91 Subaru Legacy (not visible in the photo) 2 miles to school from my neighborhood of Dundee. Warren Buffet lives (at least has a house) in Dundee, but Crocodile Dundee does not. I cross Dodge Street, which is aptly named for the dodging you will have to do if outsiders from Utah don't understand that the middle lane is NOT a turning lane, but an extra lane which can have traffic heading towards or away from downtown depending on the time of day. There are lots of caveats like this in Omaha. Be grateful for all those right turns on red you can make.

I get to use my mighty grad assistant parking pass to park in either student or faculty parking right next to the Peter Kewiet Institute Building (where all the technical colleges reside) where my office is and all my classes. There is a big O! (exclamation included) in front of the PKI. This does not celebrate zero deaths on the job (or in the classroom) as one may suspect, but has something to do with the college world series. The O!'s are everywhere. I share an office space with 12 or so other PhD students, new and not so new. There are six new PhD students.

On the way home, I realize once again that I have forgotten how humid it is here when I step out of the AC and into my car. The cicadas also greet me once again with a buzz that sounds like the buzzing of powerlines. I think they have evolved to make any other threatening species to believe that they have a headache so that they want go home and leave the trees where the cicadas reside alone.

The rest of the evening I spend chatting with my roommates Dan and Jordan. I seem to be a Dan magnet because there is also a female Dan in my PhD program (it's her American name--her Chinese name is too hard to say). Somehow (thanks mom), Dan found out that I had llamas, so my plans to try to find out if I could be known for something other than llamas are likely thwarted. And of course the first thing everyone seems to do is ask if they make noises and if I can make them. No surprises here. I made everyone promise not to tell anyone else that I owned llamas. Perhaps they will. Perhaps we will be the Order of the Llama instead of the Order of the Phoenix.

Life really has been good here so far. I'll keep posting every week.