Sunday, May 10, 2009

Viva La Vida -OR- Spring Light, Green & Warmth

Approaching storm ...

... as seen from near Morrill Hall, the oldest surviving building on the UMCP campus, 5:13PM, May 7, 2009. Actually, it turned out to be just a short moderate rain shower.


OK, I just wanted to update this blog. It's Sunday afternoon just after 2PM, and as usual, last night's activities (I went to Omega with LP and had four or five drinks) mean I am getting up very late today.

I will go out and take a walk later this afternoon or early evening. Gary is not around this weekend since he is preoccupied with his weekend visitor from North Carolina. That would be Greg from Raleigh, who I actually think is a good guy.


Two altostratus clouds framing the top open-cupola structure of H.J. Patterson Hall, UMCP, 1:48PM, Friday, May 8, 2009


So today, Sunday, May 10, 2009 is also Mother's Day 2009 ....

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM! And happy Mother's Day to my blogger buddies who are also moms, namely, Fifi (do they have this "Hallmark holiday" in Australia?) and Rita.

(Actually, my mom -- probably just as well -- does not read this blog or my other one. I already texted her and I will call her.)


Remembering Bryan (Cont'd)

As a follow-up to my previous entry, I actually found Bryan's obituary from the online version of The Trentonian (that would be the shitty, tabloid local newspaper for Trenton, N.J. -- I'm sure he would agree with me on that one).


Also, please read Fifi's tribute to him (part II of her May 9 entry), written in that way that only she can.

Here is a picture of Bryan that I got off his blog. It was taken in Feb. 2007, probably at his N.J. Dept. of Labor office.

Of note, the article states he died on May 4, 2009, Monday. I wrote Tuesday, May 5, 2009 because that's what his sister posted in an entry on his blog -- which I hope she will keep up and not remove. The article does not give a cause of death.

The obituary appeared (I am assuming) in the print edition on Friday, May 8, 2009. It states that Bryan was 41 years old and that he is survived by his parents and two brothers and a sister, their respective spouses, and three nephews and two nieces.


As a final tribute to Bryan, I would like to dedicate Coldplay's wonderful 2008 song Coldplay's Viva La Vida

I have always loved this song since I first heard it, and I finally looked up the lyrics to it the other day and I fell in love with the song even more. Bryan's unexpected death made it all the more poignant. I won't post them all hear but I will instead post from YouTube the video of the song (which has yet to have embedding "disabled by request," at least from this account).

Dedicated to Paul Bryan Haberstick, who loved music so much:

"I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing/
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing/
Be my mirror my sword and shield/
My missionaries in a foreign field/

For some reason I can't explain/
I know Saint Peter will call my name/
Never an honest word/
But that was when I ruled the world..."

And with that, I say goodbye one more time to Bryan. Rest in peace, dear buddy.


University of Maryland Memorial Chapel, College Park, Md., at dusk, 7:48, May 7, 2009


Returning to my perennial favorite topic, the weather in Washington, D.C., and environs ...

The wet spell here is over for now. The updated precip. totals through 11:59PM May 9, 2009 for the three regional airports are as follows -- and note that DCA and IAD are STILL below for the year simply because Jan., Feb., and March were so damn dry:

Month-to-date: 3.23" +2.19" (normal 1.04"
Year-to-date: 12.45" -0.80" (normal 13.25")

Month-to-date: 3.90" +2.85" (normal 1.05")
Year-to-date: 14.76" +0.29" (normal 14.47")

Month-to-date: 3.00" +1.85" (normal 1.15")
Year-to-date: 12.51" -1.23" (normal 13.74")


Needless to say, all the rain we had so far this month has made for a lush and plush leafy green spring in and around the Washington, D.C., area. That's one of the things I like about this area. Here is a typical view:

This is a picture I took on the Univ. of Maryland, College Park campus near the Lee Building, 1:24PM, Friday, May 8, 2009.

The tree pollen levels remain stratospheric, metaphorically speaking if not actually, and I've had to take Benadryl (which puts me in a listless torpor) and that knock-off Zyrtec with cetirizine hydrochloride. Yikes.

Last Thursday, we had a positively Caribbean-like tropical air mass in place with billowing cumulus, cumulus congestus, and cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds soaring up into the vaulted, sunny blue sky.

Below is a picture of the view on Thursday early afternoon from the south edge of the UMCP campus looking southwest toward the tree-cloaked rise where College Heights Estates and University Park, Md.

This was taken at 2:25PM, Thursday, May 7, 2009. This is looking southwest in the direction of D.C. I live about 8 miles in that direction. Of note, "C.H.E." and "U.Park" are two of the nicest enclaves in what is otherwise frequently ghetto-y inner Prince George's County, Maryland.

As for tody (May 10), the weather today is sunny and pleasant with temps. around 71F (22C) and a westerly breeze.


Graduation (and Life) Update


I am actually technically finished all my classes and I should be able to get my Masters of Public Policy degree officially awarded to me sometime next month June. The program -- my third masters one -- is ending with a whimper for a few reasons.

For starters, it was not a particularly busy semester for me (by design) as I only had what might be considered one-and-a-half classes this semester. This includes my 3-credit energy policy one and a 1-credit ecological economics ("E.E.") Friday seminar.

Only the energy policy class has a final in the form of a 15-page paper due by Friday.

But owing to how I've been feeling in light of being unemployed and adrift and running out of money in a few months -- even as I turn 40 this year and do not have the energy (no intended pun) to go through this again -- I told the professor I may just take an incomplete in said class since it does not effect my graduation in any way. He doesn't seem to care one way or the other.

I confirmed that this class is not essential by speaking to an assistant registrar on Friday and looking at my approved program form that is scheduled to be cleared by his office in June (that's when the actual masters degree is awarded). I never even listed PUAF 699Z on my form.

HOWEVER, I have decided that I will actually try to finish the paper this week and for that reason my blog entry updates my be scarce for the next several days.

Again, it's because I'm so damn unemployed and lost right now that I sort of don't care about this energy policy class, even though that topic is theoretically what my next job will involve in some way.

As for the "E.E" seminar, this was a strange one with the grade based just on attendance, which in turn is determined by a sign-in sheet. The instructor (who was once my microeconomics professor and for whom I worked in 2006 as a technical writer) never showed up but rather it was run by his grad assistant.

I'm a little uncertain how that will pan out. I only missed one class (after having entered it two weeks late), although I was regularly late for the start of what was an hour to 90 minute presentation by someone. The last session on May 1 and featured a lady -- Alexandra Thornton, V.P. of public policy -- from the Jane Goodall Institute.

Again, this will be my third masters from UMCP. Yet owing to my personal circumstances, there is no joy for me as this program ends far dashed expectations and possible financial wipe out for me by late July whereupon I have no idea.



Trying to Find My Way (Part 1)...

This upcoming week I also have an assignment for my highly intermittent contracting job worth a princely $300. It involves trying to get a tricky interview with the former head of the secretive INPO via a senior NEI official. I've already submitted the questions to the NEI person.

I'm also going to start registering with temp agencies and so-called "head hunters" to the extent I can -- I mean, I do have some goddamn skills and abilities -- to look for work in addition to applying for more jobs.


Trying to Find My Way (Part 2)

Apropos of nothing having to do with Mr. Sirius except for the name coincidence, I saw this street sign in the Twinbrook section of Rockville, Md., yesterday. Some nosy old guy was staring at me in a suspicious and hostile way from his front yard as I took a picture of that sign.

I was riding around with LP in the evening around 8PM in the Twinbrook section of Rockville, Md., and he was showing me the house he used to live in a block away from there. Maybe I should move there.

Anyway, that's all for now. My next planned update will be mid-to-late week.

-- Regulus


concerned citizen said...

Thank you for the Mothers Day wish. My middle daughter & I took a nice walk along the Coquille river after a lovely lunch. I took some pictures I might post them later.

I'm glad you are graduating & yes you do have some skills & abilities!

fifi said...

Yes thank you for the wishes,
I got a bunch of flowers and took my daughter to breakfast!
Actually, not a bad day, i went to yoga and then had a nap so at least i wasn't doing housework.

Congratualtions on finishing the masters. That's really great, well done.

I have sent a letter to Bryan's family.

krzysztof said...

Congrats on getting the masters. Don't let anyone tell you that you're not qualified to do anything.

As for the street sign... well, leave to you to find something like that:-)

Regulus said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Fifi -- Sounds like a nice day.

What exactly does one do in yoga?

Kristof -- That sign presented itself to me. I didn't go looking for it. For real.

fifi said...

In yoga, one ties oneself into knots. Plus the kind I have started at is called Hot Yoga, because it is in a very very hot room. Kind of like a torture chamber but GOD ITS GOOD.
It's like medicine for every little bit of you. I'm addicted. FYI:

anyway, hope you're well.

Regulus said...

Yoga = torture??

Now that's a new interpretation / definition of yoga.

In a hot, hot room? That does not sound at all like my thing. Sounds a little scary. And if you're talking torture, you might want to keep it down lest you give Dick Cheney and the CIA new "EIT" ideas.

fifi said...

actually, I think if more people practiced this, there woud be much more harmony in the world....
anyway., one of the theories is that if you can withstand the onslaught of a class, you can survive anything.

I can't help but thinking today that Bryan is happier now. i had a sudden feeling today he was finally able to see where I lived. The thought just popped into my head: it's such a beautiful day, (and now you will think me completely mad...)

Regulus said...

I hope you are right, Fifi. And, no, I don't think you are mad at all.