Julius gives way to Augustus

Tomorrow begins that venerable month with the grand name. It's the month when people in Northern Hemispheric countries with both wealth and a cultural focus on enjoying life take weeks off and go on holiday. (Funny language side note: I saw my principal last week and he said he had just gotten back from Alaska. I said, "Were you on holiday?" which must have confused him a bit because his answer was, "We were on vacation." Then I realized that I was using the British/Australian usage; I caught myself saying "different to" instead of "different from" the other day too! What's happened to my linguistic identity?!)Anyway, we live in a country whose culture promotes the idea that we should enjoy work (rather than life in general), so there will be no disruptive month-long holidays/vacations here!

I haven't blogged because I've been spending plenty o' time on the computer with my online class (teaching reading to adolescents) and my curriculum preparation for next year. I also spent a week in Sacramento taking a one-week course (teaching students with disabilities) and spent not-quite-enough time studying for the third exam for becoming a social studies teacher. (More on that when I get the results in a few weeks!)

Some of the other activities of the past month are represented in the pictures and captions below. Not pictured were several Oakland/Berkeley hills hikes, a few nights of Settlers of Catan, backgammon at the Starry Plough, numerous neighborhood walks, some yoga,trips to various farmer's markets, and Saturday's visit to Point Reyes, where we wished we'd gone when Langguj Gel was here. Next time, Langguj Gel!

In August--the only month that's also an adjective--we can look forward to (a) a Kaser camping trip to Grover Hot Springs, (b) Justin's birthday, and (c) the beginning of my school year.
We had a visit from the Langguj Gel. We all spent the week quietly working on our computers. Then on her last day, we went over to San Francisco for dinner and a drive through Golden Gate Park, where some of us were really inspired by the American Bison. Posted by Picasa
The inspirational buffalo. Posted by Picasa
...the inspired. Posted by Picasa
Justin's sister and bro-in-law brought Nephew K across from the City and the grandparents came down too from the North Bay and we all went for a picnic in Tilden Park Botanical Garden. A nice summer afternoon! Posted by Picasa
Ready for zero grav? Posted by Picasa

World Cup comment

Isn't it refreshing to see men encouraged to express their feelings so openly in a public forum? Especially feelings of pain and vulnerability.... No toughing it out, keeping a stiff upper lip, soldiering on, and so forth, for these men. I love it.
Our friend S visited us from Oregon. Posted by Picasa
Justin's parents drove us to Armstrong Woods. Posted by Picasa
We stopped our drive to get out and look at the water. Posted by Picasa
A classic northern California ocean beach. Posted by Picasa
Justin's parents enjoying the wind (or maybe not) at the lookout point. Posted by Picasa
Seals, cormorants, and gulls each occupying their proper place on the beach. Posted by Picasa
Seals frolicked just below us. Posted by Picasa

June summary

We were happy to have a visit from our friend S on his way from Oregon to a wedding in Santa Cruz. Then, just after their school year finished, we went up to Sonoma County to visit Justin's parents. One of our days up there included a lovely visit to redwoods, followed by a drive along the coast.

In the last couple of weeks, Justin and I have both started classes. Justin goes every day for several hours. I am taking an online course (my first ever) and am stuying for an unrelated exam next month. I also signed up for an intensive one-week course which was only offered in Sacramento. So I took the train up to my parents' house and stayed with them for a week while attending the course. It was the first time I think that we had that particular configuration of family members for about 29 years (when my little brother was born). My sister came up for a couple nights too, and we had a first-ever dad-and-daughters dinner.

Sacramento was experiencing weather in the triple-digits (eg 105) Fahrenheit (that's 40+ Celsius), but I didn't get to really relish it (or get sick of it), as I spent my days in an air-conditioned room, and then was whisked around either in air-conditioned cars or air-conditioned light rail trains. It was eerie how little contact one really has with the climate when living in a non-walking environment.

Now I'm back in Oakland, watching soccer games with my sweetie, playing Settlers of Cattan with my brother and his girlfriend, and hanging out chatting with my sisters. Not quite as much studying as I need to do, so I'll get right on that. Hmmmph. Blogging as procrastination. I'm not the first.