Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ready for Summer

I just paid eight bucks for a day pass, forgetting that it's still May and I have a monthly bus pas. I'm so over this month and the semester it represents, so ready for summer, that I'm trying to mentally project myself into June. Who cares what the calendar says?

Memorial Day weekend was dedicated to backyard BBQ (with a new smoker!), catching the new Indy flick, enjoying a nice dinner in Santa Cruz, soaking in the hot tub, and generally enjoying California life. Jenny and I also began planning our summer roadtrip, set for this August.

Between now and then I have a few tasks to tackle. The Omnitopia book is in press, at the copyediting stage. At some point I'll likely need to work on (hopefully) minor revisions and begin translating my images into print-ready digital files. I'm also teaching a COMM 101 class, which is always a challenge to cram into six weeks. I'm fulfilling a commitment to complete an essay promised for a special issue of Critical Studies in Media Communication. And I'm helping to represent the Office of Undergraduate Studies at various summer orientation activities through the end of July. Along the way, I have a year's worth of notes from my work as Peer Mentor director to condense into action items for my second year leading this program.

Happily, the first two weeks of August are all about family time on the road. We plan to visit four national parks and monuments: Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Yellowstone, and Devil's Tower. We'll also check out some cool motels, diners, BBQ joints, neon meccas, and other must-see spots in the West. Since gas prices are well above four bucks a gallon around here, I'm sure that costs for the summer driving season will be correspondingly crazy. Folks are talking seriously about ever-higher prices, particularly if we've crossed the so-called Peak Oil threshold. And not knowing just how grave our current economic problems may or may not be, I find myself wondering just how many more long roadtrips I can expect in the future.

But that is an unknown tomorrow. Now I simply yearn for more summer days. I've convinced Jenny to see the races at Ocean Speedway next week. We've got a twentieth wedding anniversary to celebrate. And we're making preparations to send Vienna off to college in late August. Good times and rough days, no matter the mix, It's going to be a memorable summer.

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