I have a new blog for 2012 – Assignment 35.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of my move to Denver, I’ve adopted a random set of assignments which involve the number 35.
See you over at the new place.
Posted in Blogging, Books, City, Culture, Current Events, Denver, General Suz-ness, Good things, Life and death, Movies, Music, Travel, tagged 2012, blog, blogging, books, Denver, Movies, music on January 7, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
I learned about interarticular ankle fractures and avulsion fractures of the metatarsal, by doing them. Both of them. Ten months apart. Now I’ve learned about bursitis. Of the hip, yet. Yee-ouch. Serious pain, people.
Thanks to my primary care doc’s prompt diagnosis and treatment, the serious pain part is over. If you’ve never had this problem, I hope you never do. Just take my word for it, OK? Save your boundless curiosity and zest for life experiences for other things.
I’m home again after a 25-day vacation trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Going on this trip was the second best thing I’ve done this year, among those things appropriate for public mention. (Number one on the list, of course: retiring from that job.)
Reentry is taking longer than expected, complicated by either a bad case of seasonal allergies or the beginning of a cold. I don’t have the time right now, or the energy, to say much more here. In the meantime, you can always visit the links to the right, or The Chalkboard Manifesto:
Yes, I did retire. As of March 1. I’ve been busy for the past ten days even without a job: a homeowners’ association project, personal business, and [bless their hearts!] colleagues, friends and family have variously celebrated my retirement transition with parties and dinners and event tickets and lunch invitations. I also have a sinus infection; I think the prescribed antibiotics are finally turning the tide – although yesterday I wasn’t even up to leaving the house.
I’ve had time to go to the movies. I’ve seen some excellent films: The Lives of Others, mentioned here. The Departed. This afternoon I saw Breach, the dramatization of the final weeks of the FBI’s work to capture its own mega-traitor agent Robert Hanssen.
On the list of possibles for this week: Happy Feet, Babel, and The Pursuit of Happyness, which are all at the nearby bargain movie theater ($1.25 before 6 pm; $1.75 after; all shows $.50 on Tuesdays). I’d like to see Dreamgirls but I may have waited too long; there are only a couple of places it’s showing, neither conveniently located, and both with late evening show times only.
Sometimes I visit blogs on the Today’s Hot Blogs list at the WordPress main page. This morning it was a feminist blog that says it’s “anti-subordination, woman-only, woman-centered, woman-friendly, and open to all women.” Which is a lot to contemplate before dawn over my first cup of coffee.
I went there in preference to clicking the link to number 1 on the WordPress list of Today’s Hot Posts, which is: “IO doesn’t matter: telling C programmers the key to the Haskell weltanschauung.” Uh-huh.
So there I was, scrolling down the main page of this feminist blog which warned me at the top that the proprietor isn’t the “fun” kind of feminist, and (more…)
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.
On this date 30 years ago I moved to Colorado.
On this date 20 years ago the Denver Broncos won a big NFL playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland: Elway and The Drive.
On this date last year, my little old dog Dusty died.
I’ve never regretted moving to Colorado.
I’ve had phases of following the Broncos and even going to the games.
I still miss Dusty a lot.
Today I have a routine appointment at the dentist, followed by a routine day at work (I hope it’s just routine). And I have 49 days left until retirement from this job.
But the blog doesn’t. The management apologizes to those (two or three) kind souls who browse by here now and then, for the lack of new content lately.
The proprietor has been otherwise occupied. With her job. And her life. Moving up to a big life change. Living and working through a couple of big bad holiday blizzards.
Things are fine. I’m just not here much. I’ll be back.
” I am not ashamed of my spiritual beliefs, I just don’t think they should be pulled out of my purse as a ploy to sell make-up.” – comment [currently listed as #17] posted by “pinkstinks — cranky consumer” over at Mary Kay Sucks.
And run like hell from anybody who bills themselves as a “Christian” whatever – investment advisor, makeup consultant, plumber, contractor, ad nauseum.
I don’t need the windows prayed over. I need ‘em fixed.
I’m not looking to have the kitchen sink shutoff valves converted. They need to be replaced. And unlike theological doctrines, those pipes have to hold water.
Okay, okay, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and I often remember my friend Linda Palmieri, who lost her valiant fight against the disease nine years ago. I like to think that wherever she is now, she’s comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable with her irrepressible sharp wit. A woman who never thought that “irony” was something you used to press shirts. (HT to Jeffrey from whom I stole that line.)
But lest this thing get too sepulchral or saccharine, let’s turn in our hymnals to yesterday’s post by Dooce aka Heather Armstrong, who’s turned her blog masthead pink for the month in honor. Recounting her aunt’s recent bout with the disease, she writes:
Lola had reconstructive surgery on both breasts last week while we were out of town, and by all accounts she’s recovering well, although my mom says she’s a tad grumpy — how my mother differentiated that from the mood Lola has been in for the last 40 years I HAVE NO IDEA. Seems she doesn’t like the look of the new ones because one of them is looking in the wrong direction in an exact imitation of a lazy eye, but that should correct itself once the swelling from the surgery has subsided. Whose boobs haven’t gone wandering once or twice in their lives? You can’t sit there and tell me that you haven’t ever had a bad day when one of them was staring blankly at the floor while the other one was frantically searching the menu for French fries. OR WAS THAT JUST ME?
Blurbodoocery, Inc., will be making a donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation this month with the hope that ongoing research will make a true difference in the lives of millions of women. This also gives me a chance to talk about boobs in nauseating detail like I haven’t since I stopped breastfeeding Leta and lost the ability to shoot milk at the dog’s head from four feet away.
And Heather: it’s just you.
Can diet soda make you fat?
This is not a silly question. I love Diet Coke. I am not getting any younger and my days of maintaining a normal weight while blithely ignoring nutritional common sense are (sob!) well and truly over.
Prevention magazine cites research that drinking diet soda does not make you fat, at least when compared to drinking non-diet soda.
Just in time for Monday morning, too. I’ll raise my first can of Diet Coke in salute to the Prevention writers at lunch today. (Yeah, I know, there are other reasons not to overindulge in Diet Coke, but the weight thing is important too.)
I leave early tomorrow morning on a road trip and won’t be back behind this counter until at least Friday night. Talk among yourselves while I’m gone.
A dear aunt, aged 90 and under home hospice care for several months, died last night. I’m driving the 10 hours to the old family stomping grounds to spend some time with my cousins and pay my respects, etc. My late aunt was one of those rare people who are strong and steady and quiet and patient and unselfish and just plain GOOD. A woman of faith, who believed deeply and never found it necessary to preach at people.
I think she was wise enough to know that it’s not about standing on a corner waving a Bible and hollering about Jesus to passers-by. It’s not what’s on your T-shirt, or the messages on the bumper stickers on your car. It’s not about waving your finger at someone in the grocery store and giving them an uninvited lecture on the Commandments. The most powerful sermon you will ever preach is life you live.
Her sermon was the best.
This past weekend I helped a friend move some things from her home of 25+ years to her newly purchased condo.Things weren’t going well for her. She had the condo almost totally gutted and renovated, and the work was behind schedule – with moving day set for Monday, also the day for closing the sale of her house. She hired a great moving company – they moved me six months ago – for most of the stuff but I helped with some last minute packing, big furniture disassembly, waterbed draining and schlepping houseplants and such like.
I’d called her one evening last week to see how she was doing. Hadn’t heard from her for a few days, when there was a building permit/inspection glitch which they had just resolved.
Me: “Hi, how are things going?”
M: “I’m sorry. Can I help?”
F: “Can you drywall?”
Uh-huh. Trouble indeed. Fortunately my friend is quite emotionally strong and resilient. She’s needing every shred of it. She did get things moved, and the house sale closed, but has yet to spend a night at the condo which is still not quite ready for prime time although it did pass final electrical inspection yesterday.
And over the weekend I moved – actually I copied – my Blogger blog to Typepad.
Then after that I discovered WordPress which has many features that Typepad offers, and more than Blogger, and is FREE. So I’ve been creating yet a third alternate blogoverse over here. As noted below it’s not been without glitches.
Your purse could be making you sick. Really. Hundreds of thousands of bacteria all over it, especially on the bottom. Think of all the floors it’s been set down on.
Now, it would have been helpful of ABC News to explain not only how gross and unsanitary our handbags can get, but how the heck to clean them, especially the bottom that’s usually the part in contact with the worst-dirty surfaces.
And they didn’t mention briefcases, backpacks, and other such bags toted by men as well as women. Which also get set down on train floors, sidewalks, you name it.
Friend stirred her coffee and grinned. “What?” I ask, thinking do I have spinach stuck in my teeth.
“Come on. You’re up to something.”
“Well . . .”
“Hmm. OK. It’s like this.” She sat up straight. “I was just thinking of an, um, hypothetical situation which would be funny.” Looked right at me.
I decided to play along. “OK, this is just hypothetical, this thing. Right?”
“Yes, exactly.” She paused to collect her thoughts, a little smile curved her mouth before she started. “The story would go like this. Early one morning on the way to work a person stops to pick up dry cleaning and parks her car in a space right in front of the cleaners. It’s early enough that there are several empty ones there.
“She goes inside, has to wait a minute for another customer to finish her pickup, and picks up her items.
“When she walks out she sees that a car has just been parked next to her car in the empty spot to the left – and really NEXT to it. The car is a shiny sporty thang with leather seats, which is sitting over the line well into her space, leaving maybe 24 inches of clearance on the drivers side of her car. Male driver of said car (let’s call him Clueless Dude), Bluetooth headset and all, is just getting out of the car as she exits the building, right in front of him.
“Clueless Dude doesn’t make eye contact, may not have even seen her. She’s very annoyed that with all the space available, CD slams his stupid car right up next to her car. She, well, sort of accidentally bumps the side of his car with her car doors as she maneuvers her dry cleaning into the back seat and herself into the driver’s seat. ‘Cause to tell ya the truth, there’s no way to open either door and get in without touching CD’s ride.
“She’s just pissed enough to desire some sort of revenge, but not crazy enough to do any actual destruction. Belting herself into her seat, she sees that CD is still occupied at the cleaners’ counter. Hey, maybe he just accidentally parked like that, after all.
“Somehow – she would claim if ever asked that it was just an accident – some water ends up on CD’s fine leather seats just before she drives away. See, she rolls down her car window right after starting the engine, then reaches for the 24 oz bottle of water she has in the cupholder, for a drink. And somehow ends up clumsily holding that bottle sideways facing toward CD’s car’s open window that is so VERY CLOSE to her own, and grabs it and squeezes it real hard for a few seconds as she tries not to drop it.
“Anyway, there is a nice strong stream of pure clean water there for a second or so, from her car window which arcs satisfyingly into CD’s car, clear past the mid-point and probably nicely landed on the driver’s seat.
“And no doubt CD would come out of the cleaners, sit right down in his car – and have a real little surprise.”
She stopped, realized she was smiling again, and looked serious. “That would be very immature behavior, if it really happened. And wasn’t an accident.”
“And,” I added, “hypothetical.”
We exchanged grins this time.
One of my favorite book titles is The Grace in Older Women, a Lovejoy novel by Jonathan Gash. I must admit that I recall not a bit of the plot, a sad fact in light of my personal relationship to the whole Lovejoy thing – I’ll have to explain that here sometime.
Today’s column by Garrison Keillor which ran here in the Rocky Mountain News, reflects the grace – and perspective – of a man looking back at his youthful attitudes with wiser eyes. I enjoyed it hugely and you can read the whole thing here.
Sipping coffee as he thinks about his young daughter’s chalking “I Love Dad” on the driveway, Keillor wonders if he should spend more time teaching her how to work, the way his own hard-working family taught him to hoe weeds when he was still of tender years. He writes:
Work is a blessing. There is enough passivity and mediocrity in the world without us adding to it. . . .
The good people I come from were graduates of the College of the Crash, Class of 1929. They valued hard work and persistence. They enjoyed their coffee breaks, not the $3.50 kind with froth and a shot of caramel . . . but the kind where the waitress brings around the glass carafe and says, “Let me warm that up for you.” It was the work around the break that gave the break its sweetness, not the coffee.
Of course he rebelled against this, seeing his father come home tired every night after work, falling asleep in his chair after dinner and going off to bed – to rest up for another day of work. He told himself, “My life will be different. I will think, I will read books.”
Now in his own late middle age, it looks different and he admits his errors:
We rebelled on the basis of poor information. We considered our people to be “vanilla,” as we used to say, meaning bland, but we were ignorant of vanilla. The vanilla bean itself is not bland or simple, nor is vanilla extract; it’s as rich and complicated as chocolate. If the only vanilla you know is what McDonald’s sells, then yes, vanilla means emptiness. But the emptiness is in you, my dear, not in your people.
So you read books and thought big thoughts and sought a different life, and you achieved it, if you did, by virtue of the very qualities you rebelled against which your dad instilled in you. He may not have hugged you or encouraged your fantasy life, but he taught you to buckle down and attend to business and to thrive on it. It was this persistence that enabled you to become the self-absorbed romantic you are today. And now here you are in your pregeriatric years, drinking $3.50 coffee and worrying about how to bring up your children.
Solomon said, “The thing that has been is the thing that shall be; and the thing that is done is that which shall be done: There is nothing new under the sun.” But he never went to Wal-Mart. I miss the old times . . .
We all went to public schools and we knew certain songs by heart, the one about the E-ri-e is a-rising and the gin is getting low and Dinah in the kitchen and the spacious skies of course and praise God from whom all blessings flow. But then the schools started encouraging creativity and kids wrote their own songs, which were crappy, but teachers pretended they were wonderful so as not to stunt the child’s imagination, and the old songs, which truly were wonderful, got lost, which was symptomatic of a general loss of standards carried out by romantic narcissists my age, some of them friends of mine.
I’m groping for grace in my life these days. I’m sure the clothes I wore in my teens and 20′s were ugly as hell to many of my parent’s generation. So I’m holding my tongue about some of the stuff I see young folks wearing now. Reserving the right to certain basic aesthetic opinions, of course, and my disapproval of the “street ho” look being sported by so many young girls and sold by the industrial-fashion-retail complex.
And call me a fuddy duddy, but I still think the Denver Art Museum Expansion is ugly as hell. The good news is that no terrorists would consider bombing it because it already looks like collapsed rubble so what would be the point?
So sue me. Confined as I am to wearing hiking shoes everywhere until the right 5th metatarsal bone is all healed up from its fracture – more here – I have acquired a second pair of the things. The Merrell Passage Ventilator model, pictured here, sports summery blue and gray colors with accents of spring green, some might say chartreuse.
It’s probably a girl thing. If I didn’t have this broken foot thing I’d have two or three main pairs of shoes to wear throughout the average work week. Why lower my standards on account of a little broken bone?
Anyway, it’s sposed to be good to switch between your everyday shoes; give ‘em a chance to dry out etc. for a day between wearings. Especially, I think, in summer.
Miami 5, Rice 0. Uh-oh. That means Rice plays Game 13 tonight against Oregon State. I haven’t followed it that closely but I think tonight’s game is a must-win or the Owls are eliminated.
There’s so much information over at Rosenblog that I could probably find out for sure – if I felt like it. I have awakened with a headache from Hades and looking at this monitor isn’t making me feel better. Yick.
I’m wearing hiking shoes.
Until further notice, you’ll see me in a pair of the Merrell Mesa Ventilator II, pictured. Yes, it’s summer, and no, I don’t work outdoors.
But my broken 5th metatarsal is still healing and this is what I am told I should wear while the bone continues to mend. The rigid sole protects my foot from getting bent out of shape and tugging the bone in ways that would be detrimental.
The good news is that Merrell makes a super-comfy shoe; the footbed said “welcome” when I tried them on – after chasing all over town and trying on more hiking shoes than I can remember.
Hey, I’m glad to be done wearing that black boot-cast contraption. The hiking shoes are not as much fun as a nice pair of sandals on a summer weekend, but way cooler than the boot!
I have another checkup at the ortho clinic in two weeks. I hope to learn then how much longer I’ll be flashing the Merrell hiking shoes beneath the tailored trousers of the outfits I wear to work.
The big plus: you don’t have to wear pantyhose with hiking shoes. Heh, heh.
As explained here: “This occurs when the foot or ankle rolls in (an inversion injury). When this happens a tendon that attaches a muscle to the fifth metatarsal can pull off a piece of the bone.”
This happened on April 29 and so far it seems to be healing without complications. I’ve been wearing a black walker boot cast thing as in the picture. It’s much better than an old fashioned hard plaster cast. It is removed to sleep and bathe and change clothes. And it’s not very heavy to walk around in. Stairs are kind of scary with it, though.
Last year I learned “intra-articular” – as in intra-articular fracture of the ankle.
This learning by doing has got to stop.
Hard work has killed lots of people.
I drive 28 miles each way between home and work, Monday through Friday. Alone in my car.
The people who promote carpooling are of course hawking a worthy thing, which reduces traffic congestion, hydrocarbon fuel consumption, and global warming.
Please join a carpool. Because I would rather swim in boiling oil than ride in a carpool, and somebody has to do it. (more…)