Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's Goin' On

There's a lot goin' on! I'm assembling my info for the application packet for the graduate (fast-track) program I'm enrolling in. The first class starts on June 29. That means that I have one precious week after school ends and before I start attending M-TH, from 2:30-7:30 daily, with an hour plus round-trip commute. This ends on July 9.

In two weeks SG1 and The Beloved are graduating from college; cum laude and with thesis honors. Several activities are planned that weekend, which is Memorial Day weekend. The girls are moving into their tiny apartment on the Santa Barbara University campus mid-August. That is starting to settle in, though it's still hard for me to imagine my daughter living a continent away from me. She has applied for a AmeriCorp job which she is eagerly awaiting word about. The Beloved will have her graduate studies and stipend and SG1 hopefully will be working a job with benefits. AmeriCorps is perfect: offers benefits, money toward the cost of paying off student loans and a small stipend. We're really hoping she gets it. She would be perfect in that setting.

SG2 is home for the summer and will be starting her summer job this weekend at the supermarket. She's somewhat despondent about leaving Boston and all her friends. She's settled in very nicely this year and immensely looking forward to returning. This is cause for relief for me, her mother, because her first year was not her happiest. She and her high school boyfriend have parted ways for a few months now and she is seeing other boys, having fun and doing very well in school.

This summer SG1 and SG2 and I are going on vacation together to visit my mother in Portugal; not far from Lisbon. But before we do that, we're making a little stop. I'm splurging on three days and nights in Barcelona for us. I can't imagine the next time we'll have such an opportunity. The Beloved is flying home to Sacramento to spend her last summer with her family before she and SG1 resume their life as a couple. This is the perfect time for the three of us to do some bonding and funning together. Then we go relax with my mother and see the rest of my family and enjoy some hot Portuguese sun, some Atlantic Ocean and lots of great food.

These family trips to Portugal have tended to have sibling rivalry all over them in the past but we're going to try to behave as if that's not so. We three are older and wiser and hoping for the best. And I think we're all really going to try not to get on each other's nerves. (keeping fingers crossed). Speaking of the past. Here's a digital photo of a print (cuz I can't figure out this scanner and I just never get around to figuring it out) of us on vacation in Portugal in 92', I think it was. That flash is glare and the one making the goofy face is SG1, in her own little world.

I think I've accepted the fact that I have to get through this program in order to get out of the trap I'm in at work, which I can't discuss in very much detail here. Today was just awful. Every day that I have like this at work is just another indication of how I need to move on from there. It is simply just a bad fit between this workplace and me.

World and national politics have me burned out. I'm discouraged by the escalation of war. Instead of bringing the troops home from Iraq, we're gearing up big-time for Afghanistan and Iran. I didn't expect such hawkishness from this president. Go ahead and lecture me, if you need to. I know a lot of people feel that Obama is between a rock and a hard place. But you can't convince me war is justified. It very rarely is. It should be a last resort. I know it's ideaistic but it's my conscience and I'm listening to it.

What are you all doing for the summer, do you know yet?


  1. Seems you are headed for a wonderful, busy summer. I wish you well. Enjoy your time with the girls.

  2. First, I have to tell you how much I like that photograph. It's beautiful as it is and of course, how it was.

    Congratulations to the lovely and happy girls. You don't succeed if you're miserable and that's good advise for you too. Things will work out.

    So far as your opinion about the new administration not handling things any better than the last I do agree. It's like people don't want to criticize but it's our duty to protest against stupidity and cruelty. that's what's going on.

    Have a good evening and enjoy a wonderful summer.

  3. What an exciting, busy summer for you three! I'm all kinds of jealous, as I'd die to go to Spain (well, not really...)

    Give your Mom a big hug for me; I still love that lady.

    Good for you, finally making the leap back into school - you'll do great!

    As for me, another month of life is another month of work. But that's OK, I'll just dig the weather and get out in the evenings with my camera.

    Oh, hey, I put up some pics tonight you might enjoy. ;)

  4. You have a busy time ahead! Hope all goes well. The travel to Barcelona and Portugal sounds grand! A friend was there hiking for 3-4 months earlier this year. Some ancient trail through small villages and such, staying at hostels. She loved the countryside.

    We have plans. No less than two, and maybe three, cross country trips from Wisconsin, where I live, to the West coast. Two by motorcycle and one by using the van with 5 of my 6 grandkids ages 5 through 16. The cycle trips will be without anyone tagging along except for a friend who lives in Northern California. The trip with the kids will have spousal unit Barb and I taking the kids on an epic journey to see the Grand Canyon, L.A. (friends there with a boat on the ocean) The Redwoods, other historic and national sites and a lot of visiting of friends and camping in the mountains.

    Obama? It's better than it was, but I still protest along with Veterans For Peace, (of which I am a member) and Code Pink. War is NOT the answer. I served in the American War in Vietnam. I won't allow anyone to ever tell me who my enemies are again. I was young, but I learned a hard lesson. I still think it would be worse if John McCain was elected, but that doesn't mean one is doing everything right and the other would have done everything wrong. I agree with you that we don't need war but rather, we need to end it.

    Peace to all.

  5. So many informations !
    I have already felt that bad "impression" going at work with no more motivation. I quited the job each times. But, nowadays, anybody can afford this decision.

    The only city of Potugal I visited, was Lisbonne. I loved it. Because I feel good amongst my "latin neighbors". I've visited Barcelona as well. 3 days won't be enough, but it will give you an idea of this wonderful city. It reminds me the last movie of W. Allen. Beautiful photography.

    What will I do this summer ? I don't even know. Certainly the South of France. For the atmosphere and the sun. We get rain, rain, rain, here. I want something else.

  6. wow, you guys are busy! i'm not planning on anything this summer and that's fine by me. i'd like to settle down enough to write more other than that, not much. oh, how wonderful to travel tho. please take tons of pictures.

  7. Yeah, we're busy all right! Especially me. Last summer was a blessing: a nice, long, relaxing trip to Nova Scotia. This year will be much more hectic but fun.

    Barcelona for only three days feels a little stingy but it's all I can afford. The lodging is the toughest, for three people, on top of the flights and meals. But in Portugal we won't have the food and lodging worries. I have family in Lisbon we could stay with if we want a couple of city days. But mostly, we'll want to relax and spend time with my mother.

  8. Regarding Obama: I agree with Spadoman that his election is a huge improvement. Especially in terms of how he presents to the world, his intelligence, his thoughtfulness. It's a shame that thoughtfulness doesn't extend to more of a push for hard diplomacy. I'm dissapointed that it looks like US foreign policy is not going to change all that much; with Obama (seemingly) being very much a commander in chief who listens to the milatry big-wigs and is not taking into account enough the desire of the people to end the Iraq war. That WAS a campaign promise. The latter war I'm not surprised about because he said all along that he would send more troops to Afghanistan. But I didn't realize it would be so many. What a mess. And now Pakistan seems to have a bigger problem with proliferation of the Taliban. What kind of mess will we get ourselves into there?

    And dont' even get me going on on health care. Obama is listening too much to the insurance industry. It's amazing to me that this country has such a strong health care insurance lobby that always gets in the way of sensible health care reform and that no one has the backbone to stand up to them, yet we're willing to step up to the plate every time when it comes to war funding. Again, corporations have a lot to gain from this as well. This country can only move forward is war is waged on the corporations that are robbing us blind, stealing our sons and daughters for war, and polluting our environment. By war I mean a serious slapping down of these entities that run our country (and the rest of the world) and government hostage with their greed.

    This current health plant sucks. I anticipate seeing virtually no change in the cost I share with my employer for the plan I have, which insures me and my two daughters.

  9. Hi Gina,

    Thanks for looking at my green animals! I love it that you have so much great art on your site. My boyfriend especially is a big fan of Bougereau. Also, I noted on your profile, we seem to have some musical favorites in common. I really wonder sometimes when I read a profile and I don't recognize a single artist or band.

    I guess it's a good thing that we don't have to decide on a favorite animal. It's a fun question someties. It makes me think about animals I hadn't paid much attention to when someone mentions ones I'm less familiar with.

  10. WE have a week planned in June for a trip to someplace new and interesting in the mountains. we haven't picked where, yet... We're looking at the Harper's Ferry area of WV, or Alleghany county in MD. But nothing is decided quite yet. Other than that, Dearest and Oldest are in a musical that starts rehearsals next week, Daughter just got a job today (ice cream store) and hopes to work as much as possible this summer, my project is still enormous at work, and Youngest is planning to play as much as possible while his friends are out of school. And he'll homeschool this summer, because we do that (spring and fall off - school in winter and summer when we're indoors a lot, anyway).

    Obama - I don't watch or listen much - this is not a time I can influence things much, so I will barely keep tabs. I also wish we could GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST. It's a swamp to rival the Balkans. And every military that has gone into Afghanistan has been handed their behinds, sliced, diced, and charbroiled. The British, the Russians... Of course they weren't invited... And Pakistan is the next kind of scary. The real issue, of course, is not nations but rather militant Islam. And religions are hard to control or change by force. That tends to be like pouring oil on a fire.

    I hope you can get out of your work situation as soon as possible - and I hope you and the SGs have a great time abroad.

  11. Great photo! You're life is so jam packed and full of movement, and movement is a good thing. You seem to be moving in ways that will bring all kinds of change into your life. And change is a good thing, especially when you're stuck in a bad fit at work.

  12. Sphinx, thanks so much for your kind words at my blog. You definitely deserve the "Friends" blog award. Good luck in your new educational endeavors, your vacation with your loved ones. You're moving forward on to bigger and better things! Hooray for you! :)

  13. how exciting this all sounds!!
    the trip really sounds fantastic

    Obama is a disappointment to me in many areas - I knew he was a moderate and I knew he had a lot to fix and a lot of back stabbers to get around but he's just too freakin' accomodating at this point

    I read something on Huffington a long time ago about Obama's long time need to get along with everyone and bring everyone together - it's clearly a good thing but can paralyze when taken too far -and it is a common area of concern for biracial children - trying to hard to be all things to all people

    I am discouraged by how backwards and puritan and conservative - not to mention absurd and silly - this country continues to be

  14. It sounds like you have a wonderful, busy summer planned! I love the picture of you with your mother and the girls!

    I think we're finally going to go north to visit family in June. We haven't been since 2006 to see my family and since 2007 to see MathMan's so this will be a pretty big deal.

  15. Looks like my summer plans will be vicariously enjoying yours. ;-)

    I really HOPE there's some fishing and camping in there---but then again, I say that every summer.

    I'm going home to California for about a week, next month. But that's as much STRESS as anything else, unfortunately. Ah, well, we'll see...

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