“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” ~ Voltaire

Sunset at Pensacola Beach (NOAA Gulf Coast Collection)

  

“It is important to not let the fight become the life we live instead of the challenges we overcome.” ~ Skyewriter
Pelicans and Seagulls, Cortez, Florida (NOAA Gulf Coast Collection)

I was fortunate enough to glean the beautiful quote above in a comment that I received from Skyewriter on one of my posts. She and I share a sense of great sadness over the current situation in the Gulf. The biggest difference is that she is looking into ways of getting there to help with the cleanup. I am so impressed by her commitment to doing something instead of just bemoaning fate. I only wish that I could participate in the cleanup as well.

Several people have written to me to comment that they, too, feel that something is just out there on the periphery. By that I mean a sense that the escalating incidents of intolerance and madness bespeak a mounting swing of the pendulum; I know that historically, we swing from one extreme to the other, with short respites in between in which life appears to be calm.

There are so many rumblings now: acts of incredible violence, attempts to legislate intolerance, blatant disregard for the planet and its other inhabitants—it’s as if  there are billboards dotting the highway flashing warning signs, but no one is paying attention. Then again, perhaps I am overreacting. 

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about conspiracy theories or paranoia that someone is out to get me. It’s more a sense of feeling the pulse of the nation and noticing that something is not right, is off somehow.

“But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.” ~ Umberto Eco

The news in the past couple of days does not help to alleviate my feelings of dismay.

Gulf Crew Boat Offshore Cameron, Louisiana (NOAA Gulf Coast Collection)
  • In Kabul, Afghanistan, the Taliban has executed a seven-year-old boy for spying. According to The Daily Mail, the child was taken from his home by Taliban militants. He was taken to a neighboring village, put on trial and found guilty of working for the government.  Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai condemned the act as a “crime against humanity.”
  • In Salt Lake City, a leaked pipeline belonging to Chevron spewed between 400 and 500 barrels of oil into Red Butte Creek before being capped. The leak coated wildlife and cause the park to be closed.
  • BP Directors will meet tomorrow to discuss deferring payment of its next dividend to shareholders. Gee. You think? This move by BP comes as a result of President Obama’s request to the company to set up an escrow account for a third-party administered claims process. Meanwhile, more and more individuals who work on the water in the Gulf are watching their livelihoods disappear beneath a tarry sheen of oil. Dave Marino, fisherman and owner of a charter boat business in Myrtle Grove, Louisiana put into words what a lot of people are thinking: “My concern is that it’s going to tip the balance to where it’s too much to overcome. What happens when you tip the point to where there’s more death than life?”
  • In Arizona, Republicans plan to introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens—also known by the derogatory term anchor babies. Under the legal principle jus soli, or birthright citizenship, any child born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen. The term anchor baby refers to the belief that these children of illegal immigrants give the parents legal foothold in this country and allow for other family members to come into the country under sponsorship. Once again, state Senator Russell Pearce is spearheading divisive legislation. Pearce admits that he may have a Constitutional fight, but in his mind, illegal immigrants have hijacked the 14th amendment, which states that “all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
“Disorder is merely the order you were not looking for.” ~ Henri Bergson
Shrimp Boats, Padre Island, Texas (NOAA Gulf Coast Collection)

Meanwhile, closer to home, we are getting ready for Brett’s graduation tomorrow. Today he went to a graduation party at one of his friend’s houses, which is a good distraction because he’s getting really nervous about graduation. I don’t know why, but he is.

On Friday at rehearsal, he received his honor tassel and gold cord, which he was really happy to get. He’s been .04 points away from being an honor graduate, and his counselor had said that she wouldn’t know whether or not he would be graduating with honors until final grades came through, which was Friday. We’re so proud of him.

So my last baby is leaving high school. I have so many mixed emotions about this, another life milestone, but luckily pride seems to be the overwhelming emotion. Once we get through graduation, I have to see about driving lessons for Brett as he still doesn’t have his license. Unlike Alexis and Eamonn, Brett has never had any desire to drive or to have his own car, but with college looming in the fall, he needs to learn to drive.

Apparently, even though he will be 18, he still will have to have his learner’s permit for a year before he can get a license. That’s how the law is here in Virginia. And he also has to have behind-the-wheel certification because of his age. He never bothered to take it while he was in school, and I never pushed it as I wanted him to focus his energies on his academic classes. So that’s his next big step before beginning college.

That’s all for now as I need to iron clothes for tomorrow. All images are from the NOAA site’s Gulf Coast collection, pre-spill.

More later. Peace.

Music by Damien Rice, “Grey Room”

“. . . In movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen

 My Last Collage in My Last Office

My Last Collage in My Last Office (bottom left) 

                                

“After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully.  After five years, look at it with suspicion.  And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.” ~ Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958

So, what do you think? New layout. New header.

Collage (top right)

I’ve been wanting to change my format for a while, but doing so takes a lot of time and thought, and I just haven’t felt like thinking that much. I’m happy with this layout. For some reason, it feels cleaner. I like the fonts, and I like have the sidebar on the right for a change.

I know that it’s nothing drastic, but any change for me is drastic as I tend to find my comfort zones and then languish in them for too long. I also changed my header from the cropped picture of my big collage in my last office, so I thought that in this post, I would insert sections of the wall that I had decorated with my favorite stuff, accumulated over the years.

No one else may find these images interesting, but I like them because they remind me of several good things: having a huge office with a window, being able to decorate said office in the manner of my choosing, and not the last of which, having a job. You can tell a lot about me as a person just by looking at the kinds of things that I have saved: a Mardi Gras mask and beads, artwork my kids made, birthday cards from friends, postcards from everywhere, magnets, bookmarks, bumper stickers, and buttons (yes, that is an original ERA button).

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~ Anais Nin

Collage (bottom right)

Just an amusing aside: When I was re-reading yesterday’s post today, which I always do to find those errors that I have missed the first time around, I came across a wonderful typo: I referred to Corey as getting a goat instead of a boat! Too funny. No, we are not getting a goat, although goats are really cute animals, especially when they are babies. Corey’s mom caught the typo before I had corrected it, and sent him a text message with one word: Goat??

I love how my mind works, or perhaps, fails to work might be more appropriate.

So last night was the finale on this season’s Project Runway. Emilio did not win (audible sobs on his part). Seth Aaron won, which was too cool. Mila came in third (tee hee). Actually, I was really impressed with all three collections. I loved Emilio’s evening gown and his coats, and I even liked one of Mila’s dresses (not the blocked one). But Seth Aaron’s collection showed the most creativity as far as I’m concerned.  So that’s a wrap, and now I just have to wait for the next season.

Real Housewives of New York was bo-ring. Bethenny got her engagement ring (can I just say humongous), but other than that, ho hum. Speaking of change, these women really need to change their attitudes: The Countess (“Darling, there’s a wall there,” when commenting on why she didn’t like one apartment. Geez. It’s New York. Of course there are walls.) I mean get a life, a real one. And who says “darling,” anyway?

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~ Henri Bergson

Collage (top left)

Well, Brett’s graduation announcements arrived via UPS today. Another major milestone for our family. His graduation will be in the evening on June 14. I know that he will be glad to be leaving high school. In May, he takes his IB exams, and depending on how well he does, he may be able to accumulate some college credits so that he doesn’t have to take some of the general studies classes his first year. That would be wonderful, not only because we will save money, but also because Brett gets bored when he is repeating things that he has already studied.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it, but he has received his admittance letter from Old Dominion University. The plan is to attend ODU for the first year, and then depending on what he wants to study, perhaps to transfer to Virginia Tech. I am really happy for him as I believe that he will enjoy college so much more than high school. The atmosphere is different. The learning process is different.

Eamonn called today to let me know that he got a job at a pool store that is owned by someone with whom both my ex and I attended high school. They are a really nice couple, and their business is very successful, so I hope that Eamonn acts professionally and shows up when he is supposed to be there. Now we know where we will buy pool supplies. On the downside, he told me that he is failing Western Civilization. Not good.

Alexis picked up Brett from school today, and the two of them went by their grandfather’s house to visit, and he was so happy to see them. He does have liver cancer, but Alexis says that he seems to be doing well. Other good news is that Alexis has found a job, although it might be temporary. It’s working for a manufacturer, but when I asked her what the company makes, she wasn’t sure. Oh well, at least it’s a job, and we should be thankful for that.

Corey works tonight, so it will be television for me. I wish that I had a book to read.

(This last picture includes my magnet board, which was to the right of the collage, as well as my rock fountain, and some of my personal photographs.)

More Stuff

That’s all for now. More later. Peace.

Music by Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You”