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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

Keynote and Q&A

I have lived in the Seattle area for 40 years now, and my wife Robin has lived here for 27 years. As of this weekend, we’re packing up the homestead and moving to Massachusetts. (Notice I didn’t name the city where we’ll be living; that’s because we don’t know where we’ll be living yet! grumble…)

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had two big going-away parties and a full schedule of “let’s go have one more mojito at Tacos Guaymas before you move away”-type gatherings, and our friends keep saying the same things: “Stay in touch!” and “Keep me up-to-date on your move!” and things like that. Dreading the prospect of trying to keep all 179 of our close friends apprised of our status, I’m gonna try this here blog technology. So if you’re one of those people who begged us to keep you up-to-date… stop yer yappin. I got yer update right here.

First, let’s get the standard questions out of the way:

Q: Why are you guys moving?

A: We’re moving because Robin has been steadily following her dream – a tenure-track position as Professor of Multicultural Education. After 3 years of searching (she recieved her PhD in 2004) and several offers (Mobile, Alabama? Indianapolis, Indiana?) she accepted a position at Westfield State College in Western, MA (1.5 hours from of Boston and 3 from NYC), and because, after 40 years, Jason is eager for a change. In his own words: “Seattle is dead to me.”

Q: What will Robin be teaching at Westfield State College?

A: Multicultural Education (you know, race, class, gender, race-relations, equity, etc.)

Q: Won’t Robin miss Simone?

A: Robin answers: I find this a weird and rather insensitive question but I do get asked it a lot. Of course! Truly, Madly, Deeply. But Simone is 26 now and has a fantastic job and a happy, fulfilled life. She is “all grown up” and it’s time for mama to begin a new chapter in life. And with 3-5 likely visits a year, and summers back in Seattle, we will stay connected.

Q: Won’t Jason miss Max?

A: Jason answers: Very much! (Duh.) Max is my favorite person in the world, and hearing less of his reliably wise-ass commentary is one of the very few items on the negative side of my balance sheet. BUT… Max is now 17, has a job, a car, a long-term girlfriend, a strong circle of friends, and a loving Mom here, plus he actually likes the Seattle weather. So Max is choosing to stay here in Seattle. To soften the transition, Max and I are driving from Seattle to (somewhere in) Massachusetts together. On the way, we plan to bond while listening to Max’s iPod. We may also visit Mt. Rushmore. After that, Max is flying back to Seattle, but I will come and visit regularly, and Max is excited to have a place to stay back East, so that he and Melanie can come over there and visit D.C. and New York and stuff. Also, we got webcams so we can try that video chat thing.

Q: What about Haley?

A: After verifying that Logan and Grey could defend themselves against Haley’s tendency to scalp small children, Jen (Max’s mom) agreed to adopt her.

Q: What about Quasar?

A: When Robin flies to MA on August 6th, Quasar will be safely ensconced in his carrying case beneath Robin’s seat.

Q: When do y’all leave?

A: Jason and Max are leaving by car on the evening of Friday, August 3rd. Robin and Quasar are flying out on Monday, August 6.

Q: Have you guys bought a house out there in… where is it again?

A: Jason would rather not talk about this right now… Stay tuned to this blog and, as soon as we find a house which has both an adequate movie-viewing room and a two-car garage, we’ll let you know. Robin wants to explain: I tried! But it is hard to buy from across the country and the timing did not work out. So we are renting a fully-furnished condo until we find something we can see (Jason wanted to rush into buying something over the internet! Sight-unseen! With no garage and all that snow! I said NO and now he is pissed off. He will get over it…). Once we find the right house, we will have all our belongings (currently located in a storage unit on Aurora) shipped out to MA.

Q: So will Jason have to find a new job?

A: Jason works for a ginormous mega-corporation, and they’ve got offices everywhere, and Jason’s work duties allow him to work anywhere there’s an internet connection, a cell phone signal, and a source of hot coffee. So, no, Jason won’t have to find a new job. For the moment, he’ll be working out of an office in Hartford, CT.

Q: What was up with that squirrel costume?

A: The squirrel is trying to use his metaphorical “nut” to move your butt. I thought I had made this perfectly clear.

In my next post, I’ll talk a bit about the frantic last few weeks (with party photos!) in Seattle. After that, I’ll be blogging from the road, on my way to our new life in MA…


  1. Helping Jason move was one of those most bittersweet occasions in my life. Knowing that for years Jason had a “hankerin'” for leaving the Seattle area – I was happy that he was going to go off and live “back East” – but, of course, I was bitter as I was going to greatly miss him – though our conversations were few and far between.

    By the time Jason moved, we had finally reconnected in a lot of ways. For years Jason was like a old worn copy of “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” on VHS. Always there for some weird enjoyment, a comfort in times of sadness, a diversion when one was needed. So, yes, I was heartbroken when he finally left, but so glad the bird was leaving the nest to a new adventure…

  2. Thanks for the update. I will check in often. Wish I could have said goodbye in person. You will be missed.

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