This has been one of the busiest months in recent memory for my little family. First it was my birthday. Then we celebrated the younger son's graduation and commissioning. Then we hauled the daughter and 50 bins of clothes to Lubbock. THEN we continued the graduation/commissioning celebration with a family party. This week all I plan to do is lay low and take it easy. Too much celebrating wears a girl out.
My husband, my mother and my kids (the one with a job, anyway) surprised me with a nice new camera for my 54th birthday. It's a Canon Powershot G12. I think G12 means this is the 12th generation of this particular camera, so hopefully Canon worked out all the bugs in the previous eleven versions. Since my husband knows next to nothing about picture taking he asked a photographer friend for a recommendation, and the G12 was her suggestion. I've been having fun with it, but have been too busy to sit down and learn the thing; so for now, I keep it on auto and let the little man inside figure out the technical stuff. The picture below is a stalker shot of my daughter and her three roommates. My 12th floor hotel room window happened to look straight onto their apartment balcony. Paige is second from the left. Maybe I should go into the PI business.
A few days later we headed en famille to College Station for Brent's big weekend. At noon on Friday, August 10, he commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Army as a distinguished military graduate. Only the top 15% of ROTC graduates nationwide earn this honor each year. As soon as that was over we rushed to Reed Arena for the 2:00 PM commencement, where he would receive his B. S. in Economics.
I hate to say it, but aside from watching paint dry, nothing is more boring than a college commencement. High school is okay because you know other kids besides your own that are graduating, but a college graduation is all about the few seconds your offspring gets his name called and walks across the stage. Prior to that and after is spent in a mental fog, or trying to follow along as the announcer reads off the names in the program. After five minutes of hearing monikers like Manoj Mikkilineni, Abdulhamid Firas Al-Douri, Xun Zhou, Eyob Alebachew Sete, Siddhesh Shashikant Kamat, and Dagmar Stuehrk Scharold, your ears shut down, because American-made ears just aren't tuned to the juxtaposition of consonants and vowels that make up other languages.
Some people came prepared to combat the inevitable boredom. The lady in front of me had the foresight to bring along a couple of magazines to read. My daughter had Twitter and Facebook to keep her occupied. My husband was emailing the office. Son #1 was texting his girlfriend in Denver. Our friend Deb, whose daughter was also graduating, had her laptop and camera and iPad with her to broadcast Jessica's five seconds of fame to the family back home in Montana in real time. There were so many cables and wires it was a wonder she didn't hang herself standing up for the National Anthem.
The photo below shows my son, Saeid Mohammadpourkarkaragh*, saluting his favorite military science professor. He now outranks him, which is weird and kind of scary.
Needless to say, we are very proud of our boy. He has grown into 6' 4" of physical awesomeness, with brains to match.
Last night we had a bunch of the family over to continue the graduation/commissioning celebration. Instead of cooking, I decided to have the food catered. The gastronomic highlight of the evening, in my humble opinion, was the appetizer, a whole smoked salmon from Woody B's BBQ in Richardson. I garnished the salmon with red onion, lemon and capers, and served it with crackers and cream cheese.
The other highlight of the evening was meeting our older son's girlfriend for the first time. Meeting the parents is always nerve-wracking, but when grandparents, siblings, cousins, and various in-laws and out-laws are thrown into the mix, it can make those of lesser fiber run for the hills. Courtney seemed to take it all in stride, which is more than I can say for Mitch; he was wound up tighter than a cheap watch, just waiting and watching for somebody to commit an unforgivable faux pas. Fortunately tho', the Arkansas relatives bowed out due to a prior commitment: cousin Cletus, his 16-year-old bride Naomi, and five of their coonhounds were in Memphis for the 35th anniversary of the King's death.
Stay tuned for Part II.
*This is actually the name of an Iranian weightlifter in the 2012 Olympics. The longest name ever in Olympic history belongs to a 1956 skier from Liechtenstein named Max Emanuel Maria Alexander Vicot Bruno de la Santisima Trinidad y Todos los Santos von Hohenlohe Langenburg. He was a prince, too.
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