Sunday, August 25, 2013

What I did over summer vacation.

Tomorrow I return to work to begin my 13th year as a high school English teacher. It's been a pretty good summer, and I had a little more time on my hands this year than last year. My son, Logan, is in preschool now, so unlike last year where I basically hung out with him all day, he was at school for most of the day. I suppose that I could have just kept him home, but I would have had to pay the same amount to keep him enrolled. Plus, he really likes going, and they're going to keep him occupied and stimulated better than I can. Still, my wife and I took him in later and picked him up earlier than usual for the most part, and on some days we kept him home so we could all do something special. In other words, quality time with the boy was definitely one of the highlights of summer. Here are some other good bits:

1. The wifey and I went to San Diego. Unlike last year when we went to Washington, DC, we tried to have more of a relaxing vacation instead of one that was jam-packed with activities. One thing I can tell you about San Diego - there's some good eating there, and it's also a great place for a craft beer fan. I had some great food and great beer there, plus we got to relax quite a bit. The boy stayed with his grandparents, but hopefully he can come along on our next trip, as it's less likely that we'll have to worry about things like diapers and naps.

2. I met Stan "The Man" Lee. This was actually the third time I got his autograph. The previous two times was when I was a teenager and he was at WonderCon (back when it was still in Oakland). On this occasion, he was making a special appearance at Flying Colors Comics, my local comic book store. Tickets weren't cheap, but I didn't want to miss this opportunity. The man is 90 years old, so who knows if I'll ever get another one? As part of the package, I got one autograph and a photo with Stan. I had him sign a reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man.

The one disappointing thing about that was my wife had jury duty. I had hoped to have her in the picture with me and Stan, but obviously she couldn't make it. It would have also been cool to have Logan there, but he's too young to understand the idea of Spider-Man not being real, much less having a guy who wrote his original adventures. This led me to the bright idea of asking Stan to hold up a photo of my wife and son as we posed for the picture. He seemed to get a kick out of the idea, as I explained the situation. You can see it for yourself below:

3. I got to visit Pixar. This was really cool, as I'm definitely a fan. Even better, Logan got to come with us, and it's safe to call him a fan as well, as he's watched many of their movies on multiple occasions. In fact, Monsters University was his first theater experience. I got a chance to visit because my wife is friends with a woman whose husband works there. (I actually knew him in high school. We had mutual friends, and I was pleased to learn that he remembered me as well.)

It wasn't a long visit, but we got to see how where the animators work and how they let their imaginations run wild when it comes to setting up their offices. (One of them had the theme of a cargo plane that had crashed on a tropical island - that should give you an idea.) It was definitely a cool thing to see where a lot of my favorite movies were developed.

4. I got LASIK surgery. I was super nearsighted without my contacts, basically helpless without them. Things worked out for me that I was able to afford getting the surgery, and it's been over a week now. It's a funky thing - a bit uncomfortable as they're doing it, but definitely not painful. My eyes felt pretty irritated when I got home from the surgery, but after taking all my eyedrops and having a nap, I felt a lot better. Now I feel so good that I'm forgetting to use the moisturizing drops that I'm supposed to be taking four times a day.

It's a pretty amazing thing, and you don't really realize how much your subconscious makes you aware of your contact lenses until you no longer have to worry about them. Every night, I have to remind myself several times that I DON'T need to take out my contacts.

5. I got some writing done. I not only wrote in my blog, but I wrote some fiction as well. I don't know if I'm ever going to do anything with it, but I'm pleased with what I have, even though it's just the beginning of a much longer story. I had hoped to get a lot more done, but I've come to terms with the idea that I can keep at it, just in smaller doses, when I return to work. I think it was a mistake to always tell myself that I'd get back to it during the summer. I think it's something that I can do all year long.

Unfortunately, my blog is probably going to suffer during the school year. I think that I averaged about one blog every other day this summer. Hopefully I can write at least one or two a week as I get back to work. Lucky for me, I managed to get out most of the thoughts that have been brewing in my head during the previous school year. Hopefully I'll have some worthwhile stuff to say when I finally have more time to write again.

1 comment:

SaraToday said...

Enjoy the LASIK. Good for you!