I just updated my FaceBook status to: Domani!! Domani!!!
Translation: Tomorrow!! Tomorrow!!!
Yes, tomorrow's the big day. I've been working on the list of things to pack. Today I have a couple of appointments, then it's laundry and cleaning the apartment. I haven't decided for sure, but I still have some stuff for a light dinner tonight. Then...the big day!
Tomorrow's shaping up to be a very long day...about a 36 hour day. In the morning I need to pack (unless I do it tonight, which is possible), do some yoga to stretch out and relax, take Bella to the kennel, and then go for the airport. It's a later flight (7:30pm), but because I'm flying international on the first leg and I'm checking a bag, I need to get there 2-3 hours early. The bad news in this is that I'll be taking public transportation...not my favorite option, but when flying out midweek during the workday, well, that's about it. I think I back tracked it so that I have to leave the house at 2pm. Eh, it's all good.
The only thing I'm not prepared for is the language. Sure, I'm fluent in Italian, but I haven't had the time to review anything. Remember, I speak Spanish and English every day...no real Italian. And while I've been forcing myself to think in Italian as much as possible, there are some definite lapses. I guess this means I'm bringing my review book on the plane.
I'm not nervous. I'm kinda surprised, really. But in a way, I'm not. How do I phrase this...I tend to get nervous leading up to major events, then the nerves seem to melt away when it's time to act. But it's all good...la vita
Yeah, I know, two entries in one day. Whoda thunk it? The truth is that today was a day of various inspirational elements, and I find myself at 11pm at night needing to write. So here I am.
It was relatively a good day. But weird in the evening. There was a party; my upstairs neighbor Hank decided to have a shindig, complete with live band. A damned good one: the Roger Steen Band, in which Hank is the bassist. They practice in the studio on the property, and while I'm very thankful when I get to listen to them, this was the first night in a while that I got to hear them full on--as in, not through a wall or two. Man, what a night!
There were probably a total of 20 people in the backyard, which is a good crowd. A good night had by all.
It also was a personal night for me. A family friend passed away on Thursday, after a 2 year battle with cancer. It was the first night in perhaps 6 months that I had hard alcohol--a couple of doubles of Makers' Mark--which was quite fitting. Robert was a reformed alcoholic, but would have approved a night of Makers'. In fact, had I enjoyed a cigar and a few rounds of poker, that would have been most fitting. Eh, good friends, good music, bbq hot dogs and burgers...he would have enjoyed it just the same. "Hey toots..." I can hear him now. He's dancing around to the music, enjoying the groove. Making everyone feel happy and welcomed. Miss ya, Robert.
Ok, time for bed now. Or a few more glasses of water before a hot shower and bed. Man, I almost forgot what a great buzz good bourbon can give ya!
Saturday morning, 6:40. The feline alarm clock is sounding...creeping up on me like those first few rays at dawn, and then full on. RARRARRARRARRARRARRARRARRARRAR You'd think her food bowl was empty. Oh, right, it is.
Eh, I was due to be up at 7 anyway.
I find myself at peace this morning. Quiet. Calm. I have some potential new clients to see this morning, a coffee date in the afternoon, and who knows what tonight. I have more work to do this weekend than I know what to do with, and while that's neither exciting or adventurous, I'd love to have it all finished by the time I give my first final on Monday. And that's not even counting the list of things that need to get done before I leave for the Motherland in less than 3 weeks.
* * * * * * *
Yesterday I found myself to be in a Robbie mood. Yes, it's true, the music of Mr. Williams long ago enchanted me, and for the most part I like the latest CD. I also find that when grading a bunch of stuff, I need to get in the mood, which usually entails some type of music that completely engulfs me in a beat that I can bop to, yet can work to. But yesterday, I dunno, I needed me some Robbie. Call me silly, or whatever else, but we all have our guilty pleasures. C'mon, you all need to admit it. Just own up to it. You'll feel better, I promise.
I had a confirmation of an epiphany yesterday. It was a revelation of something that I deeply suspected, but had been afraid to act upon for some time, and in truth I should have just bucked up and taken the reins and confronted this truth.
Ladies and gentlemen, I like salmon.
Trust me, this is a shock. For years and years, the only way I liked salmon was as sashimi...since raw salmon didn't have that pungent olor that put me off. And I do love other types of fleshy fish...everything from orange roughy to cod to petrale sole, from tuna of all varieties to swordfish to halibut...love me some eel, skate...just about anything. Except salmon...I just consistently got turned off for years.
Yesterday was my cat's birthday, and my present to her, so to speak, is to go to the fish monger and get her a couple of prawns. It's a birthday dinner that lasts a couple of days, and one which she really can't get enough of. I poach one prawn in a bit of water, cut it up in very small pieces, and serve her with the delicious dish. She eats a bit at first, and then lets it sit so she can savor it the rest of the evening. And she does...I woke up this morning, only to find that the once 3/4 full dish of shrimpy goodness was now empty.
Of course, I'm not just going to buy two shrimp and call it a day...I usually get something for myself. Yesterday at the fish monger there was a huge variety of salmon: Wild Oregonian King Salmon; Australian King Salmon that, according to FishSource, is sustainably and responsibly raised; farmed Coho Salmon--just a start. So after a brief chat with the fish dude, I settled on a small Aussie King Salmon fillet. With a couple of other purchases done, I went home to show Bella her birthday gift, and to contemplate dinner preparation.
My decision was to go basic and simple: drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped herbs from the garden. I wanted to be able to truly taste the fish, so I wanted something clean. I was going to put it on the gas grill outside, but seeing as how there was no more gas in the tank, well, I nixed that idea. So I settled on a quick pan sear on both sides, 2 minutes per side, and then a 5 minute rest. Squeeze of lemon after cooking.
Um...wow...holy wowzer. This was good! What in the hell was I thinking before? Perfectly cooked--meaning barely cooked in the middle--and buttery. No off-putting flavor whatsoever. Amazing! It's still not going to replace my favorite--albacore and bluefin tuna steaks--but it's a damned good investment. Ok, I've been changed.
Which leads me to wonder...were there years of crappy salmon in my past, or have my taste buds changed? What else needs to be crossed off the relatively short list of foods that I do not like?
(By the way, tripe and most organ meats will continue to be on that list...I keep trying, and I can't stomach them.)
Been a while, I know. The end of the semester usually gets a bit rough. In this case, perhaps all the moreso because of the upcoming trip to the motherland. There seems to be an unending amount of things to get done beforehand, so that when I come back I'm not bombarded with a myriad of items requiring my attention. It's bad enough that when I come back, I'll have about 3 weeks to get everything settled for my move.
I have been reminded that I am honor-bound and duty-driven to come up with activities that I want to do while in Tuscany. Um, duh. I know this. I also know that while I will do some planning, I do not plan on doing all that much. Oh, a trip up to outer Milan to see the ancestral lands is definitely on the list. But while I have sent off a letter to my grandmother's cousin, I somehow doubt that I'll hear anything back...and if I do, wonderful. If not, well, I just want to go see it. Granted, it's preobably been built over, seeing as how what once was a podunk farming community 100 years ago is now a suburb of Milan. I know this. Maybe it's just that my overall energy level is down, but I just can't be arsed to do it.
I want to spend a couple of days in Florence, a handful in Siena. Beyond that...well, the pool at the villa looks nice.
(Ok, so that''s a song lyric, and not a song title...it's appropriate, dammit...)
Friday was a huge and emotional day, for many reasons. Yes, I did go to the Honors and Transfer Ceremony, which was this fulfilling experience as an educator and as a member of the campus community. We have 10,000 students at my college, which is a small number for a community college, but the number of students who have finished their certificates or associate's degrees and who are transferring is large. And we'll have even more students in the fall, and that means even more opportunities to change lives. It's really pretty awesome when you think about it.
Friday also marked the day when a dear friend handed in her dissertation...not only is she done, but the nightmare that was her defense and post-defense period has now closed. She had one of the most unsupportive committees, headed by a dissertation advisor that left her to the proverbial wolves--and my dear friend is someone who needed, and perhaps one could say deserved, better treatment. But regardless, she's done, she's a PhD, and that chapter has closed. She sent me and various others the copy of the acknowledgements page of her dissertation...very touching to be part of that.
And as I type this, I'm sitting in my parents' den. I'm spending the night here, celebrating Mothers' Day with my mamma. All us kids were here today, and tomorrow I'm making lunch. Happy Mothers' Day to all those wonderful women who give us life, to give us support, and who give us love.
It's award season in academia...as the semester winds down, it's time to honor those whose work and effort did not go unnoticed. We have a 'power couple' as I like to call them, a duo who emigrated here from Mexico together, who study together, who will graduate together, who will transfer to a 4-year college together. Oh, and who rock. Check this out:
Aldo and Violeta win the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
What the clip didn't mention is that this is the second year in a row that Ca
Still waters run deep. I know this to be true, and while creating and maintaining conversation is a skill of mine, it is equally true that not everyone is good at this skill.
Lately I've been on the dating circuit, and have met a wide array of interesting chaps. Some have been quite conversant, but there has been a gnawing at my viscera that something's not quite right with them...and I've learned the hard way to listen to my viscera on such matters. Some have been, well, perhaps overly reflective; definitely they're trying to think before they speak, which is always a good behavior. But to take it to the level that you don't really participate in a conversation on an active level, and instead just react to a question or a statement at a minimal level, it gets, well, weird.
Recently I met up with one such deep thinker for an afternoon. He displayed an interest in me: leaning into the conversation, always looking right at me with wide eyes, with a relaxed yet interested expression on his face. Yet getting him to elaborate on himself, his life, or even general thoughts on life was damned near impossible. And while I'm a talkative gal, I am highly capable of waiting for the other person to initiate another line of discussion...and yet every time I would do that with this gentleman (and others like him), they just sit there, waiting, hoping that I'll bring up something that they can comment briefly on. At a couple of times I just looked right back of him...and became unnerved by the unyielding and very intense gaze; this cold chill ran up my spine, and the viscera were cranking up again.
I can't quite be cold enough to drop these types of guys at the blink of an eye, and I'm sure that they figure out that I was expecting a bit more. Nice guys, the lot of them, but just not interesting to me.
On the other hand, I had a dream last night that I was dating a professional hockey player, and he was teaching me how to maneuver the puck on the ice. I'm positive that's a metaphor for something
Gotta love springtime here in NorCal. Warm, but not hot...until that semi-random storm comes racing in. The last couple of weeks have been glorious, outside of Tuesday and Wednesday--those days seem to be reserved for stormy weather. It's all rather confusing, really. I would love to go for a bike ride, but I'm going to chicken out and instead do some much needed yoga indoors. And poor, poor Bella...she's not happy with me at all. All she sees right now is sunshine, blue skies and birdies flitting around outside...she seems to gloss over that huge thundercloud just to the northwest. I keep showing her the radar on the internet, showing that we're about to have a substantial outpouring of water coming from the sky, but she doesn't seem to care in the slightest. So she runs around the tiny apartment, partly to show her frustration, and partly to get my attention...whacks a ball in my direction, but doesn't really want to play. I keep telling her, about 2 more months, then we go to a much bigger place (2 1/2 times as big, really), and if she's good girl she'll be able to go outside. (Maybe, I haven't decided completely on this.) But you know cats...all they want is NOW. Oh, to be like her sometimes.
Ok, time for funny looking stretches. Gotta do some kind of physical activity this morning.
Mondays are a different schedule than most. While I'm at home all day, I'm working--it's my day to do anything creative for whichever project needs the most attention, I have online office hours, and tonight I start up a private tutoring for a colleague's son. (Which reminds me, I need to create a document to tabulate the hours and invoice...crap, one more thing to do...)
This morning started out at 7...well, to be honest, it started out earlier, as Bella decided that she wanted me up and raring to go. Except that 7 is my time to get up, dear darling furry-butt, and I ain't a-movin' until my alarm goes a-ringin'. So she sat at my shoulders until my alarm went off. Eh, so be it...we had our morning cuddle, and then got moving.
7:30...my windows are open (have I professed my love of springtime in NorCal?), and I'm at the computer, checking the usual sites. I hear a neighbor chopping limbs or something--I should explain here that the neighborhood I live in is one of the original ones for San Jos
I think most are aware of Habitat for Humanity, and if not then you probably know of a program like it. Essentially, those deserving folk who are down on their luck and need a place to live apply to have a dwelling built for them...with the catch that they must have certain qualifications, and they must put a certain number of hours in to the building of their home. It's a great program, one that's received a lot of warranted attention. So you probably can understand the outcry when you read an article like this one:
Habitat for Humanity robbed...a second time
Knowing San Francisco as I do, let me just say that the Bayview district isn't exactly the nicest in the jewel that is Baghdad-By-The-Bay. In fact, it's one of the worst districts in the city. Very high crime rate, gang activity, and the like...Candlestick Park, the home of the 49ers (NFL) and previous home to the Giants (MLB), is at the end, and it was always an adventure to drive through there before and after games. And while I certainly applaud the idea of trying to turn around urban blight and make a notorious neighborhood into a livable one, I still can't get out of my head the fact that HH thought it would be a good idea to pick the Bayview. Really? Somehow you didn't think that this would happen? And if not during construction, at the very least once the people move in?
I seriously hope that these houses are also being outfitted with the latest burglary alarms, with maintenance and service free to the homeowners.
Last night was the first time this year that I slept with the window cracked. Wow, I forgot how great that is. Oh, I perhaps could have done it earlier in the year, but I've opted not to, and instead kept the apartment a bit warmer. I tend to favor warm places in general, which is probably why I like some aspects of the South Bay. It's about 10 degrees (that's Fahrenheit) warmer in San Jos
This little ash-burst in Iceland has got some people in paranoid moods of late. Oh, I don't mean those who are traveling--honestly, if I was one of them, I don't quite know what I would do, and as I see it they have every reason to be pulling their hair out. No, I'm referring to the enviro-tards who scream at anyone who even has the audacity to place their plastic cup in the regular trash, instead of bringing it home and put in the recycle bin. Some of the people who take up the same general space I do have been talking about how all this air pollution from the volcano will cause respiratory problems for the next several years. Really? I didn't think there were many respiratory problems now...but I could be wrong. Regardless, air particles will dissipate and be pushed on into the rest of the globe, and I don't really think the sky will fall. And even if it does, what the hell can we do about it? I say bring a lawn chair, prop it up, and watch the fun go by
Then there was that one colleague who worried about my trip to Italy. She's afraid my flights are in jeopardy, that they will be canceled. In June. I was about to ask her how in the blue blazes that could happen, especially seeing as how things will be ironed out 2 months from now. Then I thought better of it. Look, I know that it'll take some time to get people sorted out, not to mention to get planes and crews sorted out. But I'm guessing in 7 weeks' time my SFO > Zurich flight will be just fine, thankyaveddymuch.
The funny part about this blog is that I've meant it to be a writing exercise. I wanted to try and write something every day, or at the very least every other day, in order to not lose touch with that side of me. But the last few mornings, I haven't had much, and in fact I've been positively empty. Yet this morning I'm full...well, maybe not full...not quite even half full, but I do feel the need to write something today. It's kinda like being in an exercise routine, and then you have to take a couple of days off. And finally your body screams for some kind of aerobic movement. My brain woke me up 20 minutes early, ready to start with the creative eloquence that is The Language of Love. Now whether it's any good or not....
I found a little surprise at the bottom of the Cheerios box yesterday. Let's be real, I have no children, so I don't buy one box of cereal simply because of the goodies that may or may not lie in the box, so I didn't notice at all that this particular package was supposed to have some sort of toy. So, having finished my box of healthy breakfast food, I noticed a small item at the bottom of the box...it was a race car, a cute, little, cheap plastic race car, meant to promote the upcoming NASCAR season. How cute, I thought. And then in comes Bella, strutting her feline stuff in her precocious way. She's curious as to what I have in my hand, after all it's plastic, and therefore must be approved by her. So, after putting on the labels (because it can't go fast without it's proper labels), I let her smell it. Immediately she takes to it, trying to face rub it and mark it as her own. I put it on the floor and shoot it across the room...immediately Bella's green eyes light up, her butt does the traditional "ooh I'm going to chase that!" wiggle, and off she goes, chasing after the little #3 car. She can't stop playing with it...it's plastic, it's small, it makes rattling sounds (I did mention the lack of quality, right?)...it's right up my cat's alley.
First thing she starts to play with this morning? The black #3 car. She's got a new love
What a very weird night of sleep. Usually I'm one to conk out at whatever hour, sleep the entire night without much bother...in fact, I've been told that I more-or-less find one position and stay there for most all of the night. But last night...ugh. A night full of the oddest visions, scenes and sounds, ranging on various topics, and I'm still up at 7:30 in the morning.
One dream had me going crazy, literally. And I knew what I was doing, too...so I go to talk to my ex, who is a psychologist. He tells me that I need...*boom* I'm awake. Dammit, that didn't help me at all.
Next dream had me doing something, then my cat Bella racing in...but we're not at our current place, rather at some other house that I don't recognize. She's trying to get my attention, Lassie-style, so I follow her until I see...*boom* the dream has ended, and while I don't awaken, I definitely stir in bed.
There were a couple of others, and I don't recall them, but it definitely cased me to partially awaken several times in the night. And yet, when I woke up for good, I was relatively free of tiredness. However, I don't rule out the possibility of taking an afternoon nap, particularly as it's supposed to be a stormy day. Something about rain pouring down, a nice warm blanket, and a nap, they're a great match.
Baseball season is back! Wheeeeeeeeeeee! The grand spring tradition is here! Hey now, I love all sports (and I don't consider golf, bowling, or race car driving to be sports; they're amusements), but baseball always seems to tug at my heart strings a bit more. My Giants are 4-0--an amazing feat for a couple of reasons. One, well, they are the only undefeated team left (162-0, baby!...oh, yeah, right). But more importantly, compared to last year's DISMAL start, this is positively amazing. I'm not saying we'll go all the way and win the World Series, but you never know. I'm just saying.
This means, however, that the return of the absolute worst TV announcers in all of sports is here, too. Joe Buck is the son of one of the best in the business--
. Joe doesn't have as much talent in sum as his father did in his pinky finger. And then there's Joe's analyst partner, Tim MacCarver, who is positively the most redundant, most unintelligent person behind the mic. He's never been good, ever; I've been listening to baseball since, well, before I was born, and I've never heard anyone worse than MacCarver. He's never improved his style, his commentary or his delivery...he still comes off as the catcher who's been run into a few too many times. Oh wait, he is. And yet Fox Sports puts them on the Game of the Week every Saturday...gah.
On the other hand...
is back...hard as a Giants fan to appreciate ANYTHING from Dodger-land, but Vin might be the best ever. Oh, yeah, and we have our own Hall of Famer, Jon Miller, who is so incredibly smooth. Of the 'younger generation', he might be the best; there's no question why ESPN has tapped him for over 20 years as the voice of their nationally-broadcasted Sunday night games. There are some great radio and tv announcers all over--the Giants and the A's both have great teams (no, I'm not biased ), and I used to love listening to
(he of the Hank Aaron, homerun #715 call, doncha know) when I lived in Austin. Oooooh, Bob Uecker...he's been underrated for years nationally; I think because so many beer ads and wrestling appearances, people forgot how great he is in calling a game. Joe Castiglione calls a beautiful game for the Red Sox. And lest you think that sons cannot follow the footsteps of their fathers in the world of broadcasting, let Marty and Thom Brennaman be a reminder of how good you can have it (although most Cubs fans don't agree). There's something magical about either listening to or watching a game, bringing back so many memories for me.
Memories like...being able to afford going to the game. I can't believe how damned expensive the tickets are. It used to be that the cheap seats might cost you $15, and max for the day you'd spend no more than $30. Um, yeah. Now the bleacher seats (which are no longer the cheap seats; those would be the nosebleeders) are $30 alone at AT&T Park, where the Giants call home. The train ride round trip from San Jos
I'm an optimist who hates to lose. It might not sounds complementary, but it's true. I despise losing, and I become severely put-off when I come across a situation that stymies me completely. And that's the key here--if I can find a glimmer of positivity, then I don't feel like I've totally lost. I can get over the temporary set back, as long as I know that I can still see an avenue to get what I want. I can will myself through the toughest of times, provided that I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. This lack of quit in me keeps me chugging along in something when the more faint of heart will give up, because I know that this tunnel will lead me to what I want. I'm not just the Little Engine That Could, I'm the Little Engine That Will.
I can't really accurately describe how frustrating it has been over the last couple of years. The cut backs to education have been so severe, and yet because I make "too much money" in the eyes of the unemployment office, I can't even get partial unemployment benefits. But I work quite a few hours per week, and getting a true second job would require more time than I have to give. I have private group courses, and while they are great injections of funds, they are short-lived, and people are not continuing simply because they were looking for an easy-way-out to learning a foreign language, only to find out that there isn't one. Despite the evidence to the contrary, many people still feel that somehow doing a bare minimum of work will still allow them to learn this new skill. It's maddening...and it's killing my bottom line. So do I give up some areas of my life in order to get ahead? Or do I stay within my profession, and suffer?
I guess it would be different if I knew there was a plethora of full-time jobs out there, just waiting to be filled. But there aren't. And it's not just me being picky about the job or about the location; in my field there is almost nothing out there, and the competition is so great. More and more there are temporary positions, which I tend to frown upon--the expectation is that you will have a heavy load, will still publish, oh yeah, and you will be cut at the end of your contract (which is usually 1 year) and you have to do the dance all over again. Even in looking at the 'teaching colleges' (where you don't have to worry about publishing as much) or community colleges, there is no money to hire, which means there are so few jobs out there. It makes this dream of mine look increasingly unlikely...that light is fading.
But maybe there's another one on the way? Maybe there's a different tunnel to go through, a side track that will lead to that position I have dreamed of and worked towards. One never knows...but something inside me is screaming that I can't give up yet, because something is about to change. I sure hope that this engine can keep chugging along.
Today's Yahoo! Horoscope gave me a big chuckle:
I love the possibly disconnected and definitely disjointed comments. The plans for the day are to go for a bike ride, have lunch with a good friend, teach a private class, and then relax. That's it. Maybe there's something else in the offing that will be fortuitous. Or not. Spending money isn't much of an issue right now...I have none to spend, so it's not much that I have to worry about. Eh, we shall see.
On Saturday I went out on a first date with a gentleman. It wasn't an eventful date--in fact, it was positively boring and did not lead to an acceptance of a second date--but it brought to mind something I find completely useless. This person told me he never cusses, hates cussing, thinks it shows the denigration of our society...yet will use an "eff" to replace the proverbial f-word (aka "eff this, I'm gone). I'm sorry, isn't that the same thing?
When I was a kid, my parents did everything they could to not allow us to swear. I would routinely get my mouth washed out with soap, my mother hoping that would deter me from saying bad words. It never did work. But the point is, we really couldn't say the 'alternatives'; there was no 'darn it', 'shoot', 'crap', 'heck' or any other seemingly milder alternatives. My parents figured that if we weren't allowed to say them, we wouldn't try and sneak in the real versions. Of course, they cussed--my father more than my mother, but even my grandmother was guilty of it--which meant to my brothers and I that we could, too...just that we had to sneak it in.
As for me now, yes, I do cuss, but I make an effort not to do so in certain situations. Certainly when I'm first getting to know someone, I don't cuss around them; I rein it in. There's only one cuss word that will raise my hackles immediately; my upstairs neighbor Hank knows this, and will purposely 'avoid' it. Instead of saying this word, he'll say the phrase, "see you next Tuesday." (The phrase duplicates letters in whole or in part of that word, which, by the way, rhymes with 'punt'.) He rarely uses that term, and while I appreciate the fact that he won't say it around me, even when he uses the euphemistic phrase I don't really like it. Anything else is fair game to be used by me or around me...but in moderation, and in the appropriate situation. As my father preached, you can use that so-called f-word when you are in sudden and unexpected pain--think slamming your foot into the corner of a table leg--but even then, just holding in the word and just emitting a loud, painful cry is much better. He's right...yet he knows that he's the worst offender of this rule himself.
The moral of the story: if you're going to cuss, then cuss (appropriately). If you are going to avoid cussing, then don't use the alternative and say you abhor cussing. No double standards, dammit.
I have no idea why, but lately I've had a string of dreams involving my ex. Each time the dream starts out the same, but always takes a different turn. Sometimes it's a good turn, sometimes it's a worrisome one, but always ending right at the time my alarm goes off. Dammit, I never get resolution.
So yesterday I decided that this had to be some omen that something was wrong with him, and set about texting him quickly. I would have called, but I know that he usually is at work, and since he's a psychologist, well, it's not like I can bug him while he's working; somehow I don't think his clients would be appreciative. He responded later that day, saying that everything was "strikes and gutters," that he was just fine. "Strikes and gutters." He used to say that frequently when he wanted to not talk about life. It meant to me that life was his normal--plenty of good with plenty of bad, and not much general pleasantness. But, since he won't tell me that something is really wrong, I left it. I figured I showed interest in him and his well-being, and there wasn't much else to do there.
But there's still this nagging feeling...ugh. I think there's going to be more dreams.
Today is the beginning of...well, it's Spring Break for me, nothing huge. But it's still a bit of vacation time. There are no major plans this year, as the budget and smaller income has reduced my options. But at the very least I hope to go into San Francisco a few times and really enjoy myself. Among the activities:
--Going to the De Young Museum at the very least, as they have a King Tut exhibition that is supposed to be pretty good. Besides, I haven't gone there since they reopened a couple of years ago.
--Going to the beach at least once, as the weather is supposed to be fantastic (after a rainy Easter Sunday).
--Going to lunch with a couple of friends...perhaps even a larger get-together.
Oh, and the usual one: a bit of work. Not much, but something to finish up so that the end of the semester will run pretty smoothly.
And as we change the calendar over to April, I now start getting really excited for the summer. It won't be like any other summer I've ever had, that's for sure!
How many students will try to fool the professor...update at 11. (AM...Pacific Daylight Time)
The experiment ended early...I'm off coffee again. Yesterday I didn't feel like coffee, considering that the day before my tongue was slightly swollen all day and I felt a hair jittery. I know there's a bit of caffeine in decaffeinated coffee, but clearly 3 days in a row my body was saying "basta!" So yesterday I went back to milk, this morning it's red rooibos chai tea. This is something that my body likes; yesterday I felt normal again, and today, well, who knows.
Last day before 'Spring Break' begins...since I don't teach on Fridays, it's easy. The sanitation department decided to give me my Easter present early, as at 5am there was a slamming of someone's garbage dumpster very loudly. This is not normal for Thursdays...and I was rudely snatched from an amazing dream of being in Rome with my love (whoever that is...as of now this is not known), at the Trevi Fountain, making a wish. I got a little more rest, but was up at 6:30am instead of my usual 7:15. So this will be a very weird day.
It's also one of only a couple of days in the next week where we're scheduled not to have rain. I guess I'll have to make the most of the afternoon. Perhaps a twirl around on the river walk/bike trail. Or a nice nap in the sun...either one would be fine.
It's the 31st of March, 2010. Three months have already gone by in this year, and I really can't tell you where it's all gone. I knew that this would a very hectic year, what with work, work and work, but it's unreal how busy I've been. The good news is that this week and the one coming are times for me to rest, do a very little bit of catch up, and enjoy life here in NorCal. I'd sit here and say, "I'm ready for whatever life has to throw at me," but since I'm pretty much broke, well, that's not going to be uttered. Instead I'll say: "I'm ready to live life today, and tomorrow." There, not very threatening, right?
I just booked my hotel room for Rome; 3 nights at a small hotel, just to the SW of Termini (the rail station). That was done on purpose; I wanted to be in walking distance of the station, and still be in walking distance to the Forum and that area. The travel guides that I have warned that it's not the absolute best of neighborhoods, and I understand that. However, there seem to be a ton of pretty good reviews on TripAdvisor, and in all honesty I'm looking for a place that's close, someplace reasonable, and someplace to lie down at night. Since I'm traveling alone, I'm not planning on going out at night--I'm not that stupid. The coolest thing ever is going on Google Maps and going to the street level in the neighborhood of the hotel, and seeing for myself how the lay of the land. Ok, there's a little grafitti on the building across the street from my hotel, but it's really not bad at all. It's right across from a piazza, there are several pizzerie and trattorie very close by. I think I'll be alright. Actually, I'm really geeked about this trip. I can't wait to see all of this!
Ok, off to go run a million errands. I got paid today, which means that that money gets spent today on bills, refilling the pantry, etc. Hopefully the rain stays away until this afternoon, when I have to teach.
Let me tell you, we've had an amazing couple of weeks recently climate-wise. Glorious spring-like, even summer-like (for here) weather, with sunny skies, slight breezes, and wonderful temps. My plants have honestly been thriving in this weather...come to think of it, so have I.
And now for something completely different: a week of rain, cold, and clouds.
It seems that winter has decided not to leave us just quite yet. We need the rain, I know this...but we're not on schedule to get much from this round of storms. Just dampness, which isn't exactly something I enjoy. Roll with the punches, I guess.
This week is quite an easy one, but today is still a 12-hour day. Leave the house at 8:15am, come back about 8:30pm. Very long day...but tomorrow all I have is my night class. Just have to get through today, and then I'll be home free, both this week and next (Spring Break week).
Next up on the list: ordering cannoli for Easter Sunday dessert.
One thing to make very clear: I love tea. When I used to drink caffeinated beverages, I had a constant supply of teas of various blends...Assam, Chinese, Indian, even once a Nepalese tea. Always have a green tea of some kind around...still do. Now, herbals are in rotation here, especially hibiscus-based blends and African Red Teas/Rooibos. I drink it straight--always have--and even if it's in bags, it's always loose-leaf. I don't want to say that I'm a tea aficionado, but I do love the stuff.
(In fact, that's why I had to give up caffeine. I was drinking up to 2 pots of tea a day, or the equivalent in iced tea, and not realizing all the caffeine that I was imbibing...and all it took was one stressful patch, and I started suffering from alopecia. That was 4 years ago...essentially I'm caffeine free, and just fine.)
With the upcoming trip to Italy, I decided that I needed to get into coffee in the morning. Not much, just a couple of cups of decaf. Black. Something to go with my toast-with-Nutella (one of my favorite breakfasts ever). In truth, I'm not much of a coffee person, although occasionally I'll make myself a cup, especially on a cold and damp afternoon. Oh, and of course after a big meal there's the obligatory espresso...I grew up with that, really. That bitterness does help settle the stomach when it's extended beyond what it should be, but otherwise, if I have to add stuff to make it taste better, eh, well, I don't much like it. While I don't have a drip coffee maker, I do have a French press...which is supposed to make a better cup of coffee, anyway. *shrug*
Yesterday was the first try, today the second. It's not bad...then again, the Nutella probably is sweet enough to affect how I taste the coffee. Maybe I need to make biscotti and dunk them in, just to get the full effect. I'm almost done with this batch of coffee (Peet's Mr. Dickason's, for those who are wondering), so next I'll get some espresso roast and try that.
The question remains: does the coffee really replace my love, tea? Nope, not in the slightest. Does it replace my morning favorite, a big class of cold milk? Eh, not sure of this one, either, but the jury's still out, as we say.