May 28, 2008


When I left for Phoenix on Tuesday morning, I forgot who else would be visiting. We noticed a bit of increased police presence when we left the airport, and even more as we drove back through on the way to the car rental center. That's when I remembered that President Bush was also visiting Phoenix for a few fundraisers with John McCain. Sure enough, as the rental car shuttle was delivering us to the terminal, I watched Air Force One land and taxi over to the "Executive Terminal."

Anyway, one trip down and two to go. I'm leaving for the airport (and subsequently for Reno) in about three hours. I'll be landing back in San Diego at 9:30pm, so it'll be about a 17 hour day from door to door. Happy Wednesday.

May 27, 2008

Nice Weekend

We had a nice long holiday weekend. On Thursday, D and her mom flew to Las Vegas for a couple of days (a Mothers Day gift). On Friday they went to a concert with at least fifteen artists; it was a tribute to David Foster, who is a writer/producer that's worked with some great performers. This particular concert included Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Andrea Bocelli, Babyface, Kenny G, Katharine McPhee, Michael Johns, and many more. They had a great time, then flew back to LA on Saturday for my church's Greek Festival. I met them there and we spent the day catching up with friends and family and eating far too much Greek food. We drove back to San Diego on Sunday for a fun Persian wedding that went late into the night, then spent Monday sleeping it off. All in all, it was a fantastic, exciting weekend (with a little relaxation thrown in to boot).

Our crazy work schedules will continue for at least a few more weeks. I'll be leaving for Phoenix in less than five hours (so I should get some sleep), and then headed to Reno on Wednesday and LA on Thursday. I might be able to stay in San Diego on Friday and for some of next week, but I'll be busy at local customers. D only has a few weeks left, but that always includes lots of grading, semester projects, and finals.

This summer we're going to a concert that by all rights should be amazing. It's at the Ford Amphitheater (a great venue in LA) and features one of my favorite performers, Fisher, who we've seen at least eight times in recent years. My only concern is that the concert circumstances might be part of a "Perfect Storm" of sadness. The concert is on June 15, the day Andrew was born. This year, that day happens to fall on Father's Day, which was difficult enough last year when he was in the hospital. Aside from the day and date, Fisher's music (though beautiful and touching) is not known for it's happy mood. Songs like this will take on a whole new meaning:

May 17, 2008


It's been a while. As of two hours ago, this is the first time in about a month in which I haven't been behind on 1) writing a chapter for the book, 2) reviewing someone else's chapter, or 3) working at my "real" job. I've been reading and writing furiously for the last two days, coming on the heels of four straight weeks of ridiculous schedules. It started with a week in which I drove to Los Angeles three days in a row (from San Diego), garnering a speeding ticket along the way. That was followed by a week where I was in five different cities in five days...Los Angeles, Portland, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. I followed that up with a five-day conference in Las Vegas, where I spent 12 hours a day with colleagues at seminars, labs, meetings, and meals. Which brings us to this last week, which I spent in Rosemead at a customer site. I drove home late in the evening on Thursday, worked all night on my chapter, then spent all day Friday and Saturday reading four others. I got a little bit of sleep last night, but I've still got a few weeks to catch up on.

At this point, it'll be hard to even remember everything that's happened in the last month, but let me try to get through the big stuff. We've been to several concerts (Bon Jovi, Jason Mraz, and Michael Buble), a Padres game, and a going-away party. I've been all over the place for work...D took a trip to Phoenix for fun. We both went to Anaheim for a journalism conference with seven of her students; I sat in the hotel room and worked all day while they went to seminars and discussions. I didn't actually participate in the journalism part, but it was really fun to hang out with intelligent, interesting students that are excited about the newspaper.

D's had a lot of great stuff happen for her, work-wise. The most exciting is that she was accepted to a two week journalism symposium in Reno this summer. It's a very selective application process, with the acceptance rate somewhere south of 30%. Getting in means they pay for the education, the travel to and from Reno, full room and board, graduate credits, subscriptions to various journalism education publications, and much more. This is something she's been looking forward to since she first heard about it, and we just received the good news this month....I'm very proud of her.

There have been some major layoffs in schools throughout the state, due to the budget shortfall, but D's been able to turn a negative into a positive. First she escaped a pink slip by the slimmest of margins (essentially a coin flip), and now she's turning her increased class size into an opportunity. The extra students being added to her journalism class are going to restart a long-defunct Intro to Journalism curriculum, which will prepare younger students for the Advanced Journalism class that produces the newspaper. This could eventually lead to a full class, which would be a great addition to her schedule. In the meantime, she's using ideas from the conference (and what she's learned over the last four years) to update the newspaper in various fun ways.

D's last softball game was on Tuesday; they finished up with only three in-league losses. Softball's been taking up every afternoon for the last few months, so it'll be nice (for me at least) to have that time back. We didn't do anything particularly special for Spring Break (that I can remember now), but there are only four weeks left in school. Last Saturday was publishing day for the final big newspaper issue of the year; there's one more short issue produced entirely by the sophomores and juniors that will go out early next month.

On the book front, things are going well. The chapters we finished this week were turned in for the 50% benchmark.....we are officially halfway done with the first draft of the book. In theory I have another chapter due tomorrow that will begin the next 25%, but I'm ignoring that for the moment.

We're trying to plan a vacation or two for the summer, but we've both been so busy that we haven't gotten very far in the planning stages. We have three weddings to attend, D's symposium, and plenty of schedule is already full through the middle of June.

That's all I can think of at the moment....I'm going to try to blog more often than once every 1.5 months, so hopefully I can come up with more things I've forgotten in the next few days.