Of Birthdays, Friends, Books, Blog, and Hair

So, it’s over. Guido turned 80 yesterday with not too much fanfare (he doesn’t like it anyway).  Rosana called the restaurant to tell them that he could have a piece of cake with a candle, but definitely no singing!

There we were, happily gathered, family and best friends – Rosana and Rafael; Jean-Paul (back from Paris for a month, and Guido’s closest friend — we may have to move to Paris — not bad); Ludy (my somewhat adopted daughter and confidante and driver),;and the two of us. It was a memorable evening, and the food was great!  Now I am “paying” for it.  I got extremely tired…

Now it is back to an empty house. Rosana and Rafael had to go back to San Francisco, to home and work… The skies are crying too! At least, the weather was gorgeous for the time they were here, which was perfect.  Guido wanted to take them to the boat, but Rafael had a “meeting” that day, and many others afterwards — conference calls, telephone, Internet – everything, almost every day . Yes! Rosana too had some meetings .  They not only had to work, but Rosana was unhappy because they had “laid off” some people at Adobe (for those who don’t know, that is the term they use when they mean “fired”. It sounds better, but it is the same. And three of those were from Rosana’s department (I think it is called “technical writing” – please correct me if I am wrong, Rosana!). They were her friends, and she felt very bad about it. The only positive side was that this time if did not fall upon her to tell them, as on other occasions in the past. I remember that she could not sleep well the night before when she had to tell them…

Something that needs to be said is that those three people were told they were “out” on Monday, and by Tuesday they were out in the cold world. I know some friends who want to come here, but they need to know what happens in some companies, especially large ones like Adobe.  Laying off people like that and telling them to leave from one day to the next does not happen in many other countries.  If they are given notice, the employers would be viewed as socialists, or even worse, communists.  Dangerous, of course!  But very sad… 😦

Rosana helped me a lot. She got about 12 boxes of books for donation. Finally, the floor in one of the rooms doesn’t have books lying around.  Since I use Kindle almost all the time, and there are many e-books, I don’t need so many “real” ones.  I can’t hold heavy books when I am in bed, so Kindle is a blessing for me. I have over 300 books so far, and keep adding more. There are many free ones, and some authors now publish only on Kindle, at $2.99 or $3.99, a real bargain. I am getting all the classics too, to re-read, for free too.

Then, there was the question of my hair.  Big deal? Yes and no.  It had become too long. I had made an appointment to have it cut yesterday, but I had to cancel.  Rosana offered to act as a stylist, even though she had never done it before. I will be sending photos soon to show what she did. Wonderful! 😉

She also helped with the synopsis of the book that a Facebook friend who is a writer sent me.  I also got her manuscript to read and help out.  I love it, and hope I am doing the right thing. She seems to be pleased so far, and for me it is an intellectual challenge, much needed these days when I am so sick.

Guess some have been reading my blogs, as I am not getting too many requests to go out or to try to make an effort. It means they have understood, and it makes feel relieved that I don’t have to keep telling them to please stop. Thanks!

Guido got tons of messages, phone calls form Buenos Aires, Milano, and Lake Garda, as well as many local ones, in addition to a beautiful chrysanthemum from two of his former colleagues.   Many other well wishers did it through my Facebook Wall. Thanks to all!  I do wish, however, that some had gone to his site, as I had posted it. Then, they would not have had to ask me for his e-mail nor sent me messages to pass on to him. His e-mail was right there!  Oh, well, people are too “busy” – that’s what many claim, and some are truly so.

Here it goes again.  I think it is great, and there are pictures, as well as useful information for architects, present and future…  http://www.arch.umd.edu/Faculty/GFrancescato/

It gets dark so early now, that I think it is night when it is only 5:00pm.  I had to get up to take a shower and get dressed, but first I had a strong urge to come here and write.  That’s the reason for this blog!


About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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4 Responses to Of Birthdays, Friends, Books, Blog, and Hair

  1. Elli Dumont says:

    I am so glad that you were able to celebrate Guido’s birthday “in style” and really happy that Jean-Paul could be with you to represent this side of the pond.

  2. martisima says:

    My dear Elli — I just got your email, and it made my day!!! It would have been great to have you here too, but we’ll have to wait. As soon as you can make it, we will celebrate again in style! I do miss you…

  3. Hi, we’re home safely!

    Re the stuff at work: It was a lot more than 3 people who were laid off, just 3 reporting to me (out of the 4 that do). Don’t know yet how many total, but a lot in my department. Including my best friend there of 12+ years. They were laid off on Tuesday morning and had to leave by the end of the day (except for the ones “on transition,” which means we have work we really need for them to finish so they stay another 2 – 3 months). At least in California, there’s a law that requires them to be kept on the payroll for another 2 months. So although they had to leave on Tues, they get paid for another 2 months and they also get some severance in addition to that. Still, it’s really awful.

    Sorry that was happening while we were there, but I’m glad we were there to celebrate the big occasion with you! And got a few things done, too!


  4. martisima says:

    Good to know you got home safely! And thanks for the help with the books … and my hair! Father likes it this way…


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