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Cruisin’

April 30, 2016

This was quite a day in the Frame:Peterson family. Highs, lows, some very tender spots. Too late to sort through all of it, so I shall just post a few photos and debrief maybe tomorrow.

Good with that?

Good.

We went to UC Santa Cruz..

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(Apols to whoever’s car this is.)

Neither Jim nor I, and certainly not Peter, had ever set foot on the UCSC campus. Given it’s Peter’s choice for COLLEGE, a choice that is to be made official TOMORROW, it’s a good thing we made it down there. You hate to get out too early on these major life decisions.

This was our first gander at the campus:

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This was the first of many times I said, “Whoa.. I had no idea…” referring to the campus environs.

I’d of course heard of the redwoods. They are not kidding when they say this campus sits in the middle of a forest, a very hilly one at that:

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This is driving from one part of campus to another…

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I swear, it was like driving in the mountains.

This is returning to where we’d parked our car, down near the so-called East Field.. part of the athletic complex where I hope Peter will spend a lot of time in non-academic pursuits:

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So, yeah, vast pastoral plateaus, dense redwood forests, “infinity” fields that look out to the great Pacific ocean.  Ho hum.

We walked around a lot of residence communities–each its own college (there are ten). Because it was Saturday, we saw very few people anywhere. That didn’t feel so good, but I imagine during school time, it’s a little more energetic.

At one point, Jim and I went to look around “Science Hill.” Peter stayed in the car. (Part of the very difficult time our sweet son is having with this process.) We asked a young man if he could tell us where the physics building was. Jim mentioned we were looking on behalf of our incoming freshman son. He let us know our kid would love it here. I burst into tears (still bursting).

But seeing this part of campus turned everything around for me. Suddenly I could actually see Peter here.

This is the building, we think, that houses the physics department:

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This is the library across the way:

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We somehow missed some main part of the campus? Maybe a plaza, maybe the main library, maybe a more traditional-looking campus center?  Not quite sure where the energy hub is or where students gather, but we saw a good portion of the school anyway.

It’s pretty.

It’s not Manhattan, New York, New York. But college is about relationships, right? Oh, and classes.

We went down to Santa-Cruz-the-town and had dinner on Pacific Street. Lots of energy there. Peter’s still a little out of sorts (maybe you can tell), but starts to thaw out about this time…

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Honestly.. it was just so difficult. I’ll try and articulate this later. But we all held it together pretty well, and gradually, he opened up.

On Paul’s recommendation, we got ice cream at Marianne’s:

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And then checked out a random golf course (DeLaveaga), which definitely interested him. That was fun.

Then drove along W. Cliff  Drive, which was, of course, lovely, and watched some surfers:

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Now, reasonably genuine, more or less relaxed smiles:

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The ride home was sweet and good.

I’m just dyin’ here. I want him to be excited about his choice. But I’m sure it will all be fine.

Oh. And it was Jim’s birthday today.

One for the record books.

 

 

 

Must We Be Sensible?

April 29, 2016

heatlhy living

I dunno.. this funny spoke to me today.

I’m not that guy, don’t expect to be that guy for quite a while, but I’m definitely noticing the effects of aging. And I admit to wondering if I’ll ever return to that time when I completely and totally took my health and mobility for granted.

Honest to god, as I sit here, I can identify three significant areas on my person that are seriously fubar:  1) right hip’s been messed up for well over a year now and we are most certainly heading toward a hip replacement fit for a card-carrying AARP senior citizen; 2) left thumb sure doesn’t seem to be coming back.. no idea what to do about that.. probably chop it off (more likely surgery) but damn it’s tender and, sadly, remains out of commission; and 3) right shoulder’s ridiculously sore.. thought I’d tweaked it lifting my bike onto the bike rack on the back of my car, but it’s been about three weeks and there’s been no improvement.. not sure what to make of this, but I swear, if it’s another manifestation of arthritis, like the hip and thumb, I’m going to have to rethink this whole damn thing. Not sure what that means–to rethink this whole thing–but this is a trend I was not prepared for. Not now. Not yet.

For now, I’m going with the coincidence theory.. that none of this has anything to do with aging, arthritis, turning 60, being out of hormones… whatever… it’s just an unusual blip on the chart, some kind of strange coincidence, and we’ll return to our regular programming soon. I mean, I understand bodies wear out, but not for PE majors, not at 60.

To me, that’s the irony. I work hard at this health and fitness stuff, but I also expected to be able to have my cake and eat it too. I have earned all the guilty pleasures precisely because I work hard to stay healthy. I’m not that guy on the table, I’m not.  But yet…hip, thumb, rotator cuff.

Sweet universe, I’m only 60.

Which brings me to another thought…

this is your life

I understand there are things in life best avoided if one wants to maximize one’s chances for a long and healthy life. We can agree that cigarette smoking is one of those things. But life’s too short to deny the pleasures of, let’s say, a late evening splurge on dark chocolate and port just because those things did not make it onto the FDA’s food pyramid. We can be sensible people. We must enjoy.

Eat what you love. Eat it in moderation.

Or, doesn’t it make sense to travel in your sixties–even if looming college expenses make it financially precarious–because deferring travel until your seventies, when you are far more financially hearty, but far less mobile, will be a lot less fun. Doesn’t it make sense to loosen those straps just a little now … because–and this brings us back to that other thing–arthritis?

So, that’s what I think. Do what you love. This is life we’re talking about.

 

So, I’m at the gas station today.. fueling up.. and did a bit of a double take when I saw this:

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I usually choose the cheapest octane gas, the 87 at Shell. But as I was fueling up, I suddenly noticed the 68 octane.. I thought, whoa, when did they get that?

Noticed pretty quickly that it was a button placed upside down.. which I tried, but couldn’t fix. And of course Ms. Goody Two Shoes had to go in and tell somebody.

The guy, Senik I think his name was, came out and, when he saw the pump labels, laughed… said some Shell people had just been by the station to fix some goofy pumps and replace a few worn panels. They obviously boo boo’d on this one. He was so glad I pointed it out.

Oh, the pleasure’s all mine.

We won’t get fueled again.

~~

In yesterday’s news: So, that game yesterday? The one I thought might be rained out? Well, it wasn’t. We got a full seven innings in under a dramatic blue sky with enormous white thunderheads looming. Well..not exactly a FULL seven because Daniel hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the 7th with three guys on, including Peter who was pinch running for Hunter who’d gotten a nice single up the middle, Griffen, who’d also managed a nice grounder through the 5-6 hole, and Gibson, whom their pitcher had intentionally walked. We were down 1-0, with one out, and it looked like we might suffer our second loss to Elk Grove, but Daniel, who was behind 1-2 in the count–making things look very grim, indeed–ripped an absolutely gorgeous line drive down the left field line to bring Peter in (tying run) and Griffin (winning run), at which point pandemonium broke out and a giant dog pile ensued. And, announcer Peter Fuqua was quick on the PA system and queued up Daniel’s walk-up song–Hendrix’s Purple Haze–and, well, it was just an incredible moment following an incredibly well-played, and particularly well-pitched, game, and especially sweet after losing to that mean Thundering Herd on Monday (14-1.. did I mention? Probably not, it was so awful). Anyway, a great game, and lovely Peter got to play even a small role. And we were all SO glad the storm eked past us because this game was So. Much. Fun.

~~

And, in case you wanna sing more of that Who song:

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

 

 

Thunder Road

April 27, 2016

Currently in the hood: Thunder is rolling and booming dramatically. Here’s a shot down the road:

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And above the house:

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We have a game in about two hours. Think it’ll happen? Best case, this thing drops its load and moves on in time for a 4:00pm start.. cross your fingers.

~~

In other news, Peter’s Callaway clubs (used, 6-iron and up, including a pitching and sand wedge, no putter) arrived via eBay yesterday evening, so guess who’s out at the driving range at the moment? He spent some time in the waning light last night, carving a few new divots in the back yard lawn.. what’s left of it (golf is hard on the landscape).

That boy is so driven.

 

 

 

 

Random Reads

April 26, 2016

For no reason whatsoever, I’ve decided my theme tonight is reading.. more particularly, favorite pictures of Peter reading.

Here’s an early one.  Peter’s (and every six year old boy’s) hero for so, so many years…

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This one’s of Peter standing on a corner in Rome… Magic Tree House, as I recall:

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Here’s one in a mountain town–will have to look up the name–in Brazil…

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It’s not even like he’s a voracious reader or anything, at least not books. Kids today, I think, read a ton, but mostly stuff online. That’s certainly Peter’s experience.

And a poster I saw the other day that pretty much describes me and my propensity for acquiring books, with every intention–but no chance–of reading every one of them:

 

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No Time for Buttons

April 25, 2016

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I’ll tell anyone who asks, “No, I’m not busy, it’s just a little bit of an unusual time..”

And I mean it. I’m not a busy person… it’s just that it’s baseball season, and it’s Peter’s last year at home..and there are these things going on.

I think that’s absolutely true, but, somehow, I don’t have time to even sew on a button. Got my buttons out a week or two ago, with good intentions; I just had to fill one little gap on one measly shirt–a favorite shirt that I’d like to wear… but for the missing button.

I finally put the buttons back in the button box and put the box back on the shelf. Buttons will just have to wait for another day.

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~~

In other shudder-worthy news, the DHS Varsity Baseball team lost a game to Elk Grove in spectacular fashion today: 14-1.  It took four Davis pitchers (Pierce, Holgate, Daniel and Peter) to try to stem the force of Elk Grove hitters. Didn’t stem them. (They got ten hits.) For our part, in twenty three plate appearances, we managed only one hit (yay Daniel!), but that didn’t come close to posing any sort of offensive threat. Our only run was a guy who was walked home, and he’d gotten on base originally on an error… so our one run wasn’t even earned. Ugh.

On the bright side, we committed no errors. We didn’t play sloppy ball or anything embarrassing… we just couldn’t hit. And couldn’t keep them from hitting. That is not a winning formula.

 

 

 

 

Much Stuff

April 24, 2016

bison

My favorite kinda humor.

This is not, however, my favorite subject at the moment.

Will write plenty about this as the months go on, but for now I’m just a tad bit overwhelmed…

First and foremost, and most anxiety-provoking, is the issue of Peter’s college choice, visiting said college, doing whatever one needs to do to become official and move forward on things like dorms and orientations; then hoping Peter stays engaged in his classes and maintains his grades.. and for god’s sake gets that ILS grade up (independent life sports… or whatever that stands for… that class varsity athletes take in lieu of PE, the one Peter currently has an F in, and by the way, anything less than a C on one’s report card is an immediate-absolutely-no-exceptions rescinding of one’s UC acceptance); then Peter’s got numerous AP tests coming up, which he’d do better on if he prepared, but he’s not, because when he’s not playing baseball he’s either in the backyard practicing his golf swing or playing chess–both of which seem vastly more important to him than studying, and both of which he’s absolutely obsessed with… and how can he study anyway, he lost his backpack last Friday. And of course: graduation… tickets for same, graduation announcements, graduation celebrations, plus this stack of forms sitting on my desk having to do with something graduation-related.

All this is happening while in the very exciting midst of a wildly successful baseball season, which will be front and center for the next month–three or four games a week–taking us right up to the very last week of school.. if we’re lucky enough to go that deep into playoffs.

And I have grad night stuff and work stuff. Not that big a deal, but hangs over me, when all I want to do is focus on Peter’s stuff. Did I mention Peter turns 18 in a couple months?

And then there’s the wee matter of Peter leaving home and life as we know it coming to an abrupt and crazy-sad-but-proud-at-the-same-time end in about three months, which makes me fall apart like right now.

Man.

~~

Ever so casually this morning, on the way to breakfast, Peter says, “I’ll probably go to Santa Cruz.” It’s not a decision he’s pleased about because Santa Cruz wasn’t anywhere near the top of his list. Were San Diego to come through with a spot for him, he’d take it. He even thinks he’d accept an offer from Irvine if he got one, which is still a possibility. He won’t even consider Cal Poly, and we won’t consider the expenses of NYU, so those options are off the table. I suppose U of WA or Boulder could come through with offers of space yet, but out of state tuition is just too hard a pill to swallow. So here we are, end of April and still no clear choice.

My hope is that he finds a bit of relief in finally deciding on UCSC, if that’s where this ends up, and then at least a little bit of excitement follows. I have to imagine a lot of stress would be relieved if he’d just come to a decision. He must be stressed, though he’s not showing it. More than anything, I want him to feel pleased about what he’s accomplished, and eager for what’s to come, rather than feeling like he had to settle for something less.

~~

Read tonight a very depressing front page article in the Hub about the insane number of over qualified California students who have been put on UC waiting lists as campuses prioritize out of state students who have inferior GPAs and lesser test scores, but who can pay higher tuition. Thousands of California students this year have been waitlisted at the premier UCs. The article gave numerous examples of Davis students, many with grades much better than Peter’s, landing on waiting lists. This was validating, but no less frustrating. His grades are right in line with the averages of kids who have historically been accepted, but his test scores are so far above the averages, I was sure something had gone wrong with his application. But no.. this is happening all over: strong applicants are rejected (or waitlisted) while higher paying students are getting slots. It seems an incredibly unfair situation. Certainly an untenable one.