Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Need a Vacation From My Vacation.

Hello everyone.  I know you were expecting Sarge to discuss yesterday's travesty of justice or other political people behaving badly, but that'll have to wait.  He kindly offered up his spot for a bit of random musings from me.

This past month has been a whirlwind in the Tuna household, with every week or weekend having been jam-packed.  First there was a cousin’s wedding in Vegas, then a quick trip up to Corvallis for my nephew’s graduation from Oregon State.  We had Father’s day in there somewhere, not that it was anything to write about, and then the Teenangster’s high school graduation.  The month ended with a nice family vacation to Hawaii.  We’ve been going non-stop and now I’m glad we’re back from vacation so I can catch up on my sleep.

My last post a few weeks ago detailed the loss of our faithful pup, and a friend beridden with cancer.  The timing of that prevented any real mourning around here, as it was just days before my daughter’s got her diploma, and we left for Hawaii the very next morning. 

Hawaii was awesome- beautiful and serene, fun and fluid.  And by fluid, I mean the tropical type-  Mai Tais and  Piña Coladas.  We spent time on both Kauai where we’d visited before, and Maui.  I didn’t wear a watch the entire time, barely followed the news, and neither were missed.  I’ve decided that I like Maui the best of all the islands I've visited.  While Oahu is too crowded and touristy for me, and Kauai is very laid back and natural, Maui is a mix of both.  It’s not quite as lush as the Garden Isle, but it has equally beautiful beaches and the Eastern side is stunning.  It’s not as congested and busy as the Waikiki area, but they don’t roll up the sidewalks at 7pm like they do in Kauai.  We expect to go back and we’ll bring a long list of things we didn’t accomplish in our first visit.

They only drawback was our room in Maui.  We always get a two-bedroom timeshare which works well for us- wife and I in the master bedroom, daughter in the other, and our son on the pull-out couch in the living room.  It was a 2BR lock-off however, with a pass-through door to my daughter’s room, so our bathroom also had to serve as the guest bathroom.  My son is not the quietest person I know and he’s sometimes a very early riser.  With Hawaii being three hours earlier, he was awake long before we were even thinking of getting up.  Between lights left on, doors left open, or music playing in either the bathroom or living room, sleeping in was next to impossible.  I strongly encouraged him to use his headphones, which he did on the second day, but blasting it through the headphones sitting on the table right outside our door wasn’t specifically forbidden, nor was clapping or snapping his fingers to that music on day three.  Sometimes parenting a kid with Aspergers is challenging to say the least.

Now that we’re back, the house is sadly quiet.  Normally we’d hear the click click click of Mickey’s nails on the hardwood floor, but not anymore.  We’re also reminded of his absence by the empty doggy bed next to ours, the leftover can of dog food, and his leash hanging on the hook beside the door.  We were too focused on our relatives in town and the pending graduation to let his death sink in fully.  Now however, there’s nothing to keep our minds from it.  We’re doing fine, but the sadness has caught up to us.  We’ll have to pass those items on to someone else's dog who could use them, but my wife isn’t quite ready for that.  I think she feels a little guilty that we put off our grief for a couple weeks and wants the sadness, at least for a little while. 

My daughter reminded me that we need to go to the High School to pick up her actual diploma.  Apparently they couldn’t give her the real one because her final grades weren’t in by the last day of school- a day that seemed to be weeks from any real instruction, homework, or even testing.  Her AP tests and finals were all complete by early June, and she only had a project or two to turn in.  For a student with a nearly perfect GPA and two weeks distance from her last test, the fact that the school either couldn’t grade the tests or admit that she’d still pass even if she completely blew her final projects, just irritates me.  I seriously doubt that her projects were such a big part of her grade that they could actually jeopardize her chance at graduation, but that’s just me.  Any educators out there want to weigh in on this subject?

I also learned upon my return that my good friend, the one who was upbeat despite his cancer, had gone in for another scheduled surgery on his spine.  There was apparently a complication during the surgery, and while I don’t know exactly what it was, it was serious enough that he passed away on the operating table.  While that was a shock, we both knew his time with us was limited so I’m glad I was able to visit him when I did.

We left Hawaii at 1pm last Thursday, landing back in San Diego after midnight.  I had to work that next morning, but found out that all the military folks had a 96, and all but 3 civilians and contractors took a day of leave.  I was only gone for 7 work days, but I had 194 unread emails.  People sure know how to ruin a good buzz following a vacation.  Between the lack of sleep and the post-trip workload, it’s like I said- I need a vacation from my vacation.

We did squeeze in a visit to the County Fair on Saturday.  I enjoy seeing all the collections, art, photography and woodworks, as well as eating things that are so delicious, yet so very unhealthy.  A foot long corn-dog and deep fried cheesecake on a stick checked that block for me.  I almost had to unbutton my shorts to make it home.

I suppose an alternate title for this post could have been "What I did on my summer vacation," but we all hated those assignments.  I tried to get some extra credit by throwing in some pretty pictures.  I realize I’m sounding a bit whiney in this post- vacation highs and lows, griping about my kid’s school, my waistline, and mourning the death of two close friends.  Sorry about that, but that’s what’s on my mind.  I didn’t do much this Independence Day, other than write this post.  Early in the day I marched in the Coronado 4th of July Parade and we grilled some burgers for dinner, but other than that, nothing else besides deep-frying Oreos for dessert.  I blame the fair for being a bad influence on me.

To leave you, I'll share a most-excellent video I saw on the 4th-  or as Mike Rowe insists- Independence Day.  In it, Mike Rowe Works me into a patriotic fervor that was already peaked after reading Juvat's post.  Mike Rowe Works- see what I did there?  It's worth your time and will help cleanse your palate after reading my post.

Mike wants you to go to his page so I can't embed a YouTube video just yet so you'll have to click here to watch it.

Happy belated Brexit Day, American Style.


  1. So many things in this post Tuna. Happy stuff, sad stuff but it's all worth the read.


  2. Looks like a legitimate blog post to me.
    If I didn't feel somehow compelled to post daily, I just might something similar about every two to three weeks.
    Thanks for saving us for one more day (not that I have anything against Sarge's political rants).

    1. I forgot to mention Maui is my favorite destination in the islands.

  3. Such a true statement about needing a vacation to recover from the vacation. Those are often the best ones though.

  4. I bet your Noble Hound would like it if you took on a replacement canine watch stander, to handle the 'dog' watches at Schloss Tuna.

    1. We don't plan to hire any replacements any time soon. The kids will be gone in the next year or so, one leaving this fall, our travel bucket list keeps growing, and a new pet wouldn't get the family attention it deserves.

  5. Sounds like you've been on an emotional sine wave for some time now, Tuna. Hang in there and remember "Illegitimati non carborundum!" We'l keep you and your family on our prayer list.

    BTW, Great post!

    1. Had to look that up. Love it! Thanks.

  6. Tuna:

    My best wishes to you upon reading of your loss of your two-legged and four legged friends. Great pictures. I, too, feel that a replacement for a departed four legged friend is not to be rushed into, and your stated reasons are quite right.

    Paul L. Quandt


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)