Back in Seattle. It’s so cold.
Doctor’s recommendation for the back and the arm: anti-inflammatories and physical therapy, “pending approval by insurance.” Am determined that December will be a month of renewal, both of body and mind, therefore: less time in front of the computer, more time reading books, more time being active outdoors, more time being social, more time in the sun (or what passes as such in the Northwest). Hopefully this will equate to some semblance of a healthier, happier life.
As part of this grand plan, I’ll be attempting to keep a booklist here, as I start trying to attack the backlog of books building up at home. The hard-and-fast requirement will be one book a month (ambitious? ha, but sadly, almost ten times my rate of the past five years), but I hope to far exceed that.
Without further ado, the first entry: Henry Petroski’s The Book On the Bookshelf, completed 4 December 2002. Yay! Next up: Connie Willis.
One of those uncertain health days. Woke up today at the edge of something terrible, and have been waiting for the axe to drop all day. So far, nothing, but I can feel it sitting there, just outside my consciousness. Keeping the meds close at hand. Just in case.
Just another Thursday night: mango daiquiris at Wild Ginger and Dance Dance Revolution and racing games at Gameworks. My new secret vice is mango daiquiris. God help me. They’re like candy in a glass!
Saw Cindy for the first time since college. Once upon a time we were in a show together, but now, in her secret life, she is a DDR monster. I was witness to this, and also to a slender wisp of a blonde boy who nonchalantly swept his way through catastrophe-level (9 feet!) “Paranoia” mixes. After we congratulated him, he said: “Oh, this is the first time I’ve played in months.”
I think it’s time to buy DDR Max and some pads and get practicing.
Frida was good. Unexpectedly restrained (considering 1999’s Titus), which made the occasional leaps into la-la dancing skeleton land seem more jarring. At first, I thought it rather passionless for a story about one of the great love affairs, but it seemed to come together before the end. General agreement between Rav and me that certain steamy Trotsky bits should have been implied rather than shown. (0_o)
Survived the weekend without incident, health-wise, though I had to beg out of a much-anticipated ice skating outing to ensure it. However, when suddenly placed in a number of social situations, I found myself otherwise handicapped, completely and utterly unable to make intelligent conversation. Felt like Bridget Jones at that literary launch party, a completely tragic and disheartening experience, given the fabulous and creative people involved.
I guess I’d take it over debilitating pain, any day, but still. Ack.
Things to do this week:
Busy, busy, busy, but working my way through Monday’s checklist. Of the seven likely items on the list, four have been crossed off so far (#1-#3, #8). Also, there are plenty of things I’ve managed to do that I completely forgot to list in the first place. Go go gadget productivity!
Oh, and tomorrow I’m going Christmas caroling! I haven’t done anything like that in years, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Happy birthday, dear freesia! May all your wishes of horns and ponies come true.
David Rees. 12/02
… which totally made my day!
The Way Home is a quiet, beautiful film from Korea that shows the evolving relationship between a young boy and his mute grandmother over the course of two months. It’s a very honest film, the kind that makes one feel intensely guilty because we know deep inside that yes, we were just as cruel, selfish and unthinking to others when we were children; not because we were awful people, but because, well, that’s how children are. I was bawling my eyes out by the end of the movie, which was pretty embarrassing. Afterwards, I wanted to call my parents, my grandmother, my teachers, anyone to whom I could possibly apologize for the thoughtless words and actions of my youth. Luckily, it was almost midnight and etiquette prevented me from making an utter fool of myself.
Tomorrow I call the physical therapist, who finally left me a message. Wish me luck!
Quick poll: On the off-chance that I should be able to get vacation days during next week, should I go to (a) San Francisco, or (b) Boston?
Alternatively, I could sit and gather dust at home.
Attended a holiday crafts party hosted by nari in Seattle, where I ended up creating pipe-cleaner sushi and other decidedly non holiday-themed ornaments. Also made some kusudama origami with Eglantine, who was a dear and brought me Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy to borrow. Yay!
Despite the wonderful party, the personal high point of my evening was listening to Benjamin Britten’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” (from A Boy Was Born, written when the composer was only 19), as performed by the women of Opus 7 and the Seattle Girls’ Choir in St. James Cathedral. When the heavenly choir of angels returns with the soprano descant in the second half of the piece, it’s just heartbreakingly beautiful.
It was hangëd with gold so red.
And by that bedside there standeth a stone,
Corpus Christi written thereon.
Lully, lulley, lully, lulley
The falcon hath borne my mate away.
Britten is my favorite twentieth-century composer; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything of his that I’ve even thought was mediocre.
If the this all sounds familiar to you, it’s because janjan blogged about the piece less than a month ago! Really, it’s beautiful. If you’re looking for a holiday concert, here’s a tip: avoid the umpteenth Messiah and find the hidden treasures scattered around town.
Craving sushi at midnight equals frustration.
Really, this twice-a-week post pattern is not what I had in mind when this all began. The good news is that I’ve been occupied with fun, social things: chatting with good friends, watching films, restaurant- and bar-hopping. There was even gelato involved last night, which was wonderful.
I’ve been going through a lot of mood swings in the past few days, moving back and forth from dark depression to incoherent elation. These used to be a fact of life for me, but I can’t remember having them so strongly since… well, college. That was a clue, and I think I’ve worked through what’s going on, but I won’t bore you with that now (maybe sometime over the weekend!). Right now I’m happy, and cradling a glass of cranberry lambic to boot, so I don’t want to waste that feeling.
B. will be arriving on Sunday night (yay!!), much cleaning to be done in preparation. Other possible weekend plans include last-minute holiday shopping, Adaptation, and maybe a theater thing or two. If mango daiquiris happened to fall into my lap, I wouldn’t turn them away, either!
Finally, finally, finally! B. and I are going to see The Two Towers tomorrow, so the first order of business after getting home from the airport was to pop in the extended version DVD of the first film, and, safely cocooned against the elements under flannels and blankets, immerse ourselves in the flavors and sounds of Middle Earth once again. Secondary goals: mortadella, lambic… lots of vitamin C as well, as the dreaded specter of illness has also struck.
It was a wonderful plan, in theory. Alas, the reality of time zones worked against our idealism, and less than an hour into the film, I’m the only one awake. No matter! Tomorrow will still be great! There’s something to be said for going into a new experience cold.
As for tonight, lovely readers, sometimes there are more important things than blogs. Sweet dreams!
Whatever you may celebrate during this holiday season, have a happy that!
B. bought me a Pilates ball! Now v. eager to explore relaxation and health benefits of yoga.
That is, just as soon as I get over the damage caused by the forty minutes of continuous air pumping to get the thing filled, and now the stressful, glowy green glare it’s giving me under the incandescent lighting (a la Rover from The Prisoner, but with more of a malevolent, radioactive aura — “Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space”).
Moving on to more legitimate complaints, I can’t believe that the instructional video is on VHS. How… 1997! :-D
Really, though, I’m looking forward to playing with it. Besides, it bounces!
[Total aside: Is Pilates “yoga” really yoga? Somehow the whole concept screams “yuppie infomercial” to me; I swear I heard Yanni playing when I opened the box!]
I got crushed.
In Chicago again, and the Viagra racecar mice have multiplied — three boxes’ worth.
Before flying out, B. surprised me with a new, very pretty cel phone, which I’ve been playing with all day. If you get an otherwise random-seeming phone call from me in the next couple days then you’ll know why!
Day one of potential New Year’s Resolution #3 (“eliminate processed sugars from diet”) ended in abject failure after I discovered that the happily gorged-upon dried cranberries from Costco are absolutely swimming in the bad stuff. Will attempt to start again, tomorrow.