Francis Bay, USVI. Photo: QT Luong
I've mentioned vacation a few times now: in terms of vacation as a socio-economic policy issue, and in terms of personally trying to go on one this summer. Labor Day weekend was once again supposed to be a vacation, and once again it was foiled. As late as about 8pm yesterday, I was looking for reasonable last-minute airfares to fly out of DC this morning for a three- or four- day weekend. Found a cheap one to the Virgin Islands - a bit too touristy for my tastes, but feasible, and I was ready to go immediately - but other things then conspired against purchasing it on the spot. Sigh....
I've also mentioned that I've been working on a major grant proposal to set up a center with me as director. If it happens (i.e., if it's funded), you'll know. But now the grant organization I'm seeking money from has asked that I write a sub-grant for the major grant that's already submitted. Fine, more money.
I now imagine myself burrowing deep into the world of grants, writing a grant proposal for each step along the way, each idea I have, every time I want something, every time I move. I write proposals to write proposals. I write and write, finding that whether I turn left or right when I leave the house requires a grant proposal, that Vietnamese versus Peruvian for dinner demands a new carefully-worded grant proposal, that the menu decision over whether to order the fried fish or the flat noodles requires approval from a major grant provider. The benefit to a world full of grants would be that they say, "Vietnamese, good choice!" and pick up the dinner tab.
In between, I work on my books. One done this year, another going to press this fall, a third starting up, and the fourth a longer-term volume I would do if that time weren't filled up with grant proposals.
I know this is no grand tragedy, and I'm lucky to have such choices. It's not much of a sob story, but it is a story about work in America. Regardless, even though the product of the grant proposals means I'm paid to do the things I love to do, it also means that, once again, I can't have this:
Leinster Bay, USVI. Photo: QT Luong
Or even this:
Uploaded by Martin Kalfatovic