Friday, June 29, 2007

In Which I Am Officially Disabled
I received a letter yesterday stating that the Department of Motor Vehicles has been informed that I am unable to drive at this time; therefore, I am to turn in my driver's license and apply for one of those handicapped stickers so I can park in the handicapped spots.
Obviously, because the vertigo makes it impossible for me to quickly turn my head, I knew it was not wise for me to drive but at least I legally had the option to do so. I mean, if there had been an emergency and I wanted to get someone to the hospital or something, I could have jumped . . . okay walked slowly . . . to my car and then driven to the hospital. If I had to, anyway. I wouldn't have tried it without a dire emergency and, let's face it, if there were that dire an emergency in front of me, I could just call for an ambulance.
In any event, it is now official. The good thing is that now the disability people who were debating whether or not I qualify for disability can't really argue against it now. I mean, you can't get anymore proof than having your driving privileges taken away from you.
Can you?
I finished reading M M Kaye's The Far Pavillions yesterday. Historical romance . . . epic story . . . political intrigue. I had debated on what book to take with me on my trip back in May. I eventually ended up choosing this one and enjoyed it but for some reason didn't continue reading it when I first came home. So earlier this week I thought about being halfway through the book and maybe I could/should pick it up. I figured that I would read three more chapters and if I was not caught up again in the story then I would just give up on it altogether.
I guess my finishing it says as much as I need to say. For what it is, the novel is a good one. The characters are interesting and memorable. The style of the writing is a bit frustrating and I kept wondering how an Indian person would read the novel and feel about it. Still, I can't deny I enjoyed it. A nice bit (long bit) of escapist fluff. If you liked Gone With the Wind or Shogun or novels along those lines, you'll like The Far Pavillions.
I was supposed to go out today with my friend Gina. We were going to do lunch and then go to my favorite little bookstore/gift shop. She is not feeling well. So it looks like I am home alone with Marc which can only mean one thing . . . We're going to watch Harry Potter!!! Yes, my son and I are watching all of the Harry Potter dvds in preparation for the new movie. I won't be going to see it but he will and, when it comes out on dvd, I will buy a copy. I also want/need to reread book six in preparation for the new book's release in less than a month but I don't have to start that now. I have two other books I am reading and can finish those first with enough time to get the sixth one knocked out before 21 July.
Yes, I am a geek. I don't deny it. I think it is important that one should embrace one's inner geekness.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

In Which I Have Some Solitude




One would think that with my being home all of the time the thought of being home alone would be dreadful. On the contrary . . . I love it. The silence is glorious. I can meditate without the frequent distractions of various household members passing through. Yesterday, by way of example, I was doing my qigong meditation and Romanov was lying on the floor, stretched out in perfect relaxation. Rei and Marc had walked in out of the kitchen several times and apparently Rei wanted to take a picture of Romanov in full relaxation mode. The flash from her camera distracted me and broke the stillness of the meditation.

However, this is not a crisis. Qigong meditation is different in that you allow for distractions. You sit with eyes open, gently focused, aware of your environment. Very much a part of the world but not of it . . . transcendant and yet grounded.

And so today, I have the house to myself for five hours. I have lunch warming up and when I am done eating I will go into the great room and try to do some deep relaxation myself. Maybe Romanov will join me and lead the way.

Aries Horoscope for week of June 28, 2007

Welcome to Part Two of your outlook for the second half of 2007, Aries. We're checking up on how you're progressing with the long-term tasks you were assigned six months ago. I hope that by now you're seeing how much you have to learn. This has been and will continue to be an ideal time to act like a student in every phase of your life. But I also hope you've started to realize how much you have to offer as a role model, mentor, and guide. Amazingly, this is a year when you can generate unpredictable magic as both a student and a teacher.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In Which I Write About Writing




Marc and I have agreed to do a writing challenge next month and I still have no clue what I want to write. I have a rather vague idea for a concept but a concept is not enough to write a good story. I need a character, someone I care enough about to tell his/her story. It is not enough to have an interesting idea. Especially given that what is interesting to me today may not be interesting enough in a couple of weeks.

I was talking with someone about Jodi Picoult's book The Tenth Circle. The premise is that one of the protagonists writes and draws a comic. Intermixed throughout the book are pages from his work in progress which reflect what the character is experiencing so that the graphic novel images actually show the reader this character's emotional state throughout the evolving novel. Unfortunately, I thought that the book was very disappointing. I far prefered The Pact, written by the same author. I explained to this person that I thought the reason The Tenth Circle didn't work as well was due to the story and characters being superficially forced to conform to the concept of the story. I simply didn't find myself as intensely invovled as I had hoped to be.

And that is my concern. An interesting concept, without the right story and characters is meaningless. Without a compelling character, I won't be invested enough to write the story, regardless of the concept. Given that today is the 27th, I also do not have much time to make a decision. Either I am going to do this or not . . . and the fact that I am even suggesting that I might not is probably indicative of what I am going to do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In Which Rob and I Eat Out


Rob and I have gone out twice for dinner the past few days. One time on his birthday and again last night because his brother, Shawn, was in town.

For Rob’s birthday we went to Ted’s Montana Grill where he ordered bison and I had steak. We had an appetizer (shared) of crab cake which consisted of one rather insignificantly sized crab cake served with a scoop of coleslaw and a scoop of guacamole. I don’t like the latter so I ate the former and we shared the crab cake. The cake was good; but I’m accustomed to a crab cake appetizer consisting of more than one cake.

When the food arrived, my meal was good. Kansas strip with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Rob had Kansas strip with green beans and mashed potatoes. He said that the beans tasted funny and when I tasted one, I am sure I made a face. The initial flavor was weird but was quickly replaced with nothing but pepper. I couldn’t place the peculiar taste because all I could taste was pepper. There was also a great deal of silver skin in his piece and he ended up leaving most of his food on his plate. The only thing he said was any good was the shrimp . . . and they were too salty.

We did not stay for dessert but opted to go to Hagen Dazs instead where he got a strawberry milkshake and I had a single scoop of rum raisin ice cream. That was almost the best part of the evening but the discovery that Cumberland Mall now has valet parking was the highlight of the evening for me because I have a hard time walking, tire easily when I do, and being able to pull up and just walk where we wanted to go was perfect for me.

However, last night’s dinner more than made up for the disaster on Rob’s birthday. We went to Maggiano’s where the portions or not only generous, they are HUGE. I had leftovers which Rei pounced on as soon as we came home and today I had some of the chicken for lunch and then some of the sauce served over leftover pasta for dinner. Rob and his brother both ordered the same thing (baked ziti) while I had chicken cacciatore.

And speaking of food, I may as well confess that I have officially killed two of my herbs . . . the sage simply is not thriving, barely surviving, slowly dying. So I went ahead and made some soup. After all, there’s no reason for the sage to go to waste.
I suppose I should talk more about the conversation during which Shawn and I both bitched about Pearl Jam and David Caruso and he and Rob talked about their friends from school who are in professional football now and about how Dave Matthews was a tool in school, according to one of Shawn's frat brothers . . . but I think that is more interesting to me than whether or not you can get good food when you go to these restaurants.