Monday, February 16, 2009

Miscellany Monday -OR- The Little Engine That Probably Can't

I don't really have great images to accompany this entry.

The University of Maryland (UM) Memorial Chapel with the steeple (and its top light -- now an LED array) that I have long been obsessed with and once (in 1994 in my early D.C. area days) got to climb.


This will be a relatively short update as I have several time-sensitive reports to finish for my contracting job. Indeed, I may not finish them by the deadline of tomorrow night, and that could jeopardize this whole contractual relationship.


Yesterday, I went with Stephanie and Phil to the memorial service held for Eric M's dad who died on Jan. 26 at age 75. It was held in Forest Hill, Md., in Harford County near where he lived. It was a poignant and heartfelt service.

We then went to Eric's mom's house in Bel Air, Md. ("Blair, Merlin" in Baltimorese) where there were at least 50 people in attendance at a post-service reception. That book on the table was actually The Little Engine That Could.


Thereafter, Stephanie and Phil, Aaron and Megan, and Kevin and Laura, and myself went to the FINEST strip mall Italian restaurant in Bel Air, Md., called Scotto's.

Phil paid for me. It's often (but not always) taken for granted that I'm the broke, down-and-out, and generally maladjusted one. This is an image of my friend Kevin and his wife Laura as our waiter rushed away.

It took us an hour to get served but the food was actually really good. Part of the problem was our waiter was also the bartender.

I may have met Eric's dad at Eric's wedding in late May 2004. Unfortunately, that was just days after the Mr. Sirius catastrophe and I was in a sort of daze and I don't recall.


Speaking of Mr. Sirius, I saw him last night at Cobalt for the first time in, well, basically 16 months (Thanksgiving 2007), excluding a couple of times he was at the lower level ("Level One") restaurant. I won't write about this here since I wrote about it on my blog to him. He looked lovely, of course.

Yes, the movie poster for the 1956 French short film Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon) has some relevance.

Apropos of nothing, I've been having some shortness of breath lately. Maybe I am dying.

Today I found out I cannot drop one of my two classes without instantly risking a potential catastrophic sequence of events involving falling below a certain number of graduate units (24 or 4-credits at 600-level) ... I currently have 6 credits or two 3-credit courses at 600-level ... and being INSTANTLY "charged back" my student loan aid ... as it is, I checked with three people to verify that.

I went to see the dean of students in the public policy school and he told me that -- as this isn't a class I at all need and I'm graduating in May -- it doesn't matter at all. I could even get an F in it (I'm not planning to do that) and I'd still have at least a 3.0 GPA (I have a 3.500 right now), but even that wouldn't matter since I'm going to graduate and need only pick a subset of the 54 credits I have already completed.

The UM Memorial Chapel and one of the oldest trees on campus, a white oak that was a sapling of Maryland's once famous but now-dead "Wye Oak" because it grew in Wye Mills, Maryland. The Wye Oak was a white oak, the state tree species.


There is one other option whereby I could do a retroactive drop/add to add a 1 credit seminar class (taught by an ex-adviser and former professor of mine I dislike) and then I'd have four 600-level credits, and everything would be OK.

Trouble is, I've already missed two of the sessions for the class I don't like (and don't need) and I will miss next week's class as I am supposed to be on a vacation in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area.


The big, lovely house in "old" College Park at the corner of Dartmouth Ave. and Knox Road, Feb. 16, 2009.


Tomorrow during the day I am planning to go with Kristof to Sen. Mikulski's office to hand deliver a letter concerning his immigration status and the pressing need to accelerate the administrative process for his PERM Labor Certification -- or else he will leave the U.S. on March 3rd (the day his visa expires) after 12 years of living here, returning probably for good to Poland / the EU (where, ironically, he'll have much wider career options).

The problem involves delays both with his employer and now with the Department of Labor, which processes the certification. Kristof, who lives here in D.C., works at Goddard, and Sen. Mikulski is a big supporter of Goddard.

The Bel Air, Md., water tower, Feb. 15, 2009.

That's all for now. My next update probably won't be until Thursday (before my Florida trip).



fifi said...

I have to go to a funeral also, on Friday.
I am ot looking forward to it and am considering whether or not to speak.

This post has made me violently hungry for Italian food, however I think i will go up the peninsula a bit and get myself a pie. Pumpkin, not like USA ones but a savoury one. I am starving....

oh well, onward and upward as they say. I am maintaining my sense of optimism in the midst of such sad things.......

Regulus said...

Are there lots of Italian restaurants in Sydney?

Sorry to hear about the funeral. Whose funeral is it?

fifi said...

Yes there are.

My dear friend's daughter. Took her own life.