Thursday, August 11, 2011

Battle on the Beach

The other day I told one of my friends that I feel like I am living from vacation to vacation.  There was a ten year period during which I took no vacations - seriously, dude - but then in 2000 our friends Jay and Laura Wheeler convinced us to travel with them and their kids to St. Croix over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I've never looked back.  Only the current economy prevents me from traveling far and wide.  I would like to return to Italy some day, and see Great Britain and Ireland and return to South Korea.  I have come to hate to fly for a variety of reasons - the ridiculous prices and the total lack of comfort - oh yeah, and that groping session by some TSA thug - but I can still get in my car and see the USA in my ... Ford.  I am looking forward to my next mini-vacay, our annual trek to Panama City Beach for a really swell taekwando event, sponsored by Grand Master Emeritus Soon Ho Lee.  Very cool.  Let me just live through the next two weeks, including our office move to the new digs in downtown Kissimmee, and I will be relaxing at the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. 

That is the good news.  The bad news is that the economy, as personified by the stock market, is bouncing around more erratically than Charlie Sheen's career.  I am honestly frightened, as I have never seen anything quite like it, and I have lived through several recessions.  No one is immune, and no one seems to know what to do.  People are rioting in Great Britain, of all places, while one of my Facebook posts, spreading the blame across Bush and Obama, sparked a verbal cyber altercation among otherwise civilized individuals.

The other bad news is that my scoleciphobia, fear of earthworms, reared it's ugly little invertebrate head once more.  Walking back from the courthouse yesterday, the weather evoking memories of a warm, rainy spring day in Brooklyn, I suspiciously eyed every twig and pine needle resting on the cement sidewalk.  Dreading the possibility that even one of those twigs was actually an earthworm, my heart pounding, I made it to my car just in time.

Back to good news - I am working on a recipe for a clam chowder that suits my taste.  Also, yesterday was our last party in the office before our move to City Centre.  Big potluck, lots of cooking and baking talent.  For once, we had the best-smelling social service office in the state.

I love working with social workers, and not just because they can cook.  The great thing about our move to City Centre, besides the view of  Lake Tohopekaliga and the proximity to the Farmer's Market on Thursdays, is that all of our case management agencies will be together under one roof.  Never mind that my new office is the size of my walk-in closet at home; it has a window, after all, and on the fifth floor I'm unlikely to get shot at.  There is a catwalk outside our windows, so I can step outside for a breath of fresh air (yup, we have fresh air in Florida), or step to the other side of the office and stand on the terrace while gazing out at the lake.

For those of you who understand state agency alphabet-speak, the move means that CBCCF, DCF-CLS, YFA, CHS, and ISI are joining forces at one location.  Since I never liked privatization, the idea that we are (almost) all together again pleases me.  Now if we could just recapture DCF-PI and CPT, I could close my eyes and pretend it's 1995, which means I'm in my early forties and I'm working for HRS.  Whoa.  That's a little too far back.  Although those HRS folks could really cook ...

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