It's me this time, without a book in hand I'm mad to tell you about. Well, I'm never not mad to tell you about a book, but this time I'm restraining.
Summer. Or at least it's supposed to be. In Chicago it's gone from dripping wet tropical to throw on a sweater within the same week. Finally this week it's nice, though pretty much every time that happens rain comes along and spoils everything. I haven't even gotten outside to weed the back flower garden yet! Okay, well, that's not necessarily a result of the weather. But it doesn't help.
I'm feeling as though I'm being pulled a dozen different ways lately. And it's been so frantic I can't believe 2011 has merrily passed halfway by without my noticing. Can that BE? Worse yet, the longest day of the year is only a handful of days away and then they'll start shortening again! (And the first person to mention the w(inter) word to me will be spoken to in my most stern voice.) That's so wrong. So, so wrong.
Guess it's time to decide if vacation's in the cards this year, if the shreds of sanity we've been hanging onto won't be torn completely away by a week or two spent alone with ourselves. The spectre of vacations past, the agony and lack of ecstasy, loom over our heads like a thunder cloud. "I want to go home!" "I miss the dogs!" "I hate camping!" I feel my blood pressure rising just typing that. Imagine how it feels when these statements reverberate from window to window, door to door of the van - a confined space. I can run screaming at the thought now, but doing so on the road requires pulling off safely, running to a safe place while emitting sounds only dogs can hear, making the teeth of everyone within a five mile radius go on edge at the same time. Then I'm forced to get back in the vehicle with these people, my best hope the ramming of paper into my ears to soften the wails. That, or a nice, sharp object with which I'll pierce my eardrums.
The thing is, my eldest will be starting college (COLLEGE!!) the school year after this coming one, so we also need to hit the road and make some visits. We should have been doing this already. In August we're going to an open house at her first choice school (which happens to be the most expensive state school in Illinois, thanks very much darling girl), but we can't, of course, visit just one. It's a desirable school (better be, for the price), offering one of the top psychology curriculums in the country. So yes, we're crossing our fingers, but we need a number two choice, a number three, and probably numbers four and five, just to be sure. That's a lot of need.
Now that we have her ACT score (college entrance exam, to those outside these United States) to wave around under everyone's noses it's time to apply for scholarships. Scholarships! There are loads upon loads of them, most smaller amounts but those are certainly welcome. They won't fly onto our ship's deck, though, wriggling around for us to grab hold of. For each there's an application, and generally an essay to write pleading one's cause. My daughter, whom I believe is a fine writer, balks at essays. "I don't know what to say!" she whines. "I don't have enough experience!"
Obviously the child has not yet applied for a job, and hasn't learned the fine art of describing everyday tasks as monumental achievements. Ah, but lucky for her she has parents all too familiar with same.
TASK: Hanging out with her brothers playing video games while her parents go out to dinner alone.
ACHIEVEMENT: Sole supervisor in charge of a team of workers overseeing the assemblance and performance specifications of exotic Italian sports cars.
TASK: Changing her bed.
ACHIEVEMENT: Decorated the interior of a bedroom, choosing fabrics to coordinate with existing design in order to say within the budget of the client.
TASK: Slept until 1:00 p.m.
ACHIEVEMENT: Has the perception to determine when a task requires further thought, demonstrating the ability to take a step back from a project and let it cool down, while clearing mind of excessive thought obstructing the process, returning to the task with a fresh perspective.
It's an innate art, but one I feel can be taught.
Otherwise, life's been revolving around work (Summer Reading Program time at the library), summer break for the kids (see above), and Doctor Who episodes, current and past. Now that the final episode of the current season has ended we're easing our sorrow by going back a bit to the David Tennant/Billie Piper era. Having seen the sad finale of one of these seasons it's onto the next, and we're hoping these old programs will keep us in TARDIS (it's bigger on the inside) long enough we don't have an excessive wait for next season's premiere, because that cliffhanger made me rip my hair out in frustration. BECAUSE I'M NEAR LOSING MY MIND WITH ANTICIPATION!!!!!
So, you'll be glad to hear I'm keeping busy.
Remember the knee, the one I had surgery on approximately 1.5 years ago, the one that will never be the same, and someday will need replacing? Well, it's still a challenge, but I'm exercising like a fiend to help stave off the need for any further surgery. That involves sweating like a fountain at the gym, and walking around the neighborhood in my fancy new and stable hiking shoes. The arthritis still locks up my knee when I sit too long, and the area around my meniscus seems it will always be sore no matter what, but I'm definitely building up muscle which will hopefully avoid the same damage occurring in my other knee. Frustratingly, at this point I can't see myself ever being able to fully straighten my poor left knee, but all this work must be good for something. I would hope.
Lots doing Chez Guidarini, and, in addition, several short outings planned throughout the supposed summer. As those happen I'll post all news exciting and otherwise, illustrated with either photographs or my now world-famous (cough) cartoonery. Or both. Why be stingy?
Hope all's well out there in the ether, and if you see a blue police call box in your neighborhood give me a call. Wouldn't mind wandering around the universe a bit with a doctor who can always save me. Nice change of pace that would be.