Monday, December 22, 2008

End Umbrellarage! Umbrella etiquette...

...aka "umbrelliquette," according to this great article by Melissa Kirsch:

The entire country beset by storms, umbrellas -- an at once brilliant (a little roof you carry with you) and unwieldy (given bags and winds and the inevitable presence of other umbrella-carriers) necessity -- explode across the urban landscape. In aerial view, any city in a storm is a riot of color, but on the ground, it's an ugly fight for survival. Enough, already. Herein, some pointers to ensure no one loses an eye, no one buys a super-expensive novelty.

Read the whole article at the HuffPost.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A snowy day

The snow is really coming down today and it's really beautiful. I had hoped for one good snowstorm before Christmas and this is it. The kids and dogs are enjoying it greatly.

Just a few days ago it was so warm that I went to the nearby playground to swing on the swing set. It was so liberating to experience that kind of motion, going up so high, practically flying.

My recovery is proceeding apace. I was told that this 2 weeks would bring "2 steps forward, 1 step back" moments, and that's certainly been true. My head is feeling a bit more organized and I'm starting to think seriously about work again. I want to really go in there in January and wow them again. There are some exciting projects for me to work on.

On the other hand, I will miss my leisure time. Not that I've had much; being surrounded by family seems to mean little time to oneself, and I'm not one who can thrive without time to myself. This is not something I really love about myself. I always thought I'd be a lot more happy if I could learn to live in proximity to people, but evidently that's not who I am.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo day 35

My niece and nephew with my dogs.

Photo day 34

My dad runs the "soap closet" at his church. They provide various personal and household cleaning supplies to people in need. We went one day to label dish soap and to repackage laundry soap.

Photo day 33

Calling Shelly, the cloud expert: what kind of clouds are these? They looked like billowing fabric.

Photo day 32

A corner of my dad's dining room.

Monday, December 8, 2008

873 channels and nothing to watch

Sometimes tv is so disappointing. I can't sleep and there's nothing on tv either.

I don't feel like doing anything. I'm still having trouble reading. I don't even want to look at magazines or catalogs. I'm restless. I'll think I want to do something and then do it for about 2 minutes before realizing that's not what I want. There's nothing to eat in the house and part of me feels like going out, just getting in the car and going somewhere. I guess I'm a little stir-crazy. What do you do when you don't know what to do??? That's a serious question.

I do have a puzzle with me so I might try that next. I'll report back, maybe. I thought writing would help but now I'm finished and don't want to write anymore.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A small request

Please follow my inane twittering, if you'd like. Shout out to Melissa: I blame you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sleep at last

Since I went on and on about the insomnia, I thought I'd mention that last night I had a good night's sleep. Amazing how that sets you up for the day. I still woke up early enough for the sunrise.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Photo day 31

Yesterday was a beautiful day and my dad and I decided to walk to the diner for breakfast. On our way home we passed this little flock of goldfinches.

Photo day 30

A corner of my living room, complete with Pomeranian throw pillow.

Photo day 29

Happy 50th birthday to me!

Extremely thoughtful and generous gifts from my friends.

Photo day 28

The sky, doing interesting things last month. Still having trouble holding the camera steady on those night shots...

Photo day 27

Two shots from Shenandoah Joe's, a terrific coffee place in Cville.

Photo day 26

The Perfect One goes upside-down.

Photo day 25

The Anderson Brothers building, soon to be a CVS, on the UVa Corner.

Photo day 24

aka Photo day omg I'm finally posting photos again. This is the first of a few.

Your friend the bun who lives outside of the old medical school.

The best thing about insomnia

... is watching the sun rise. It's so lovely to see the sky lighten and the pretty colors along the horizon as the sun comes up. In the 70's portion of my youth one of my favorite singers was Melanie (I am a sap) and one of her songs was:
We were meant to see the beginning of the day
I believe it was planned to lift us this way
Take you an apple and take you a song
Watch a baby day be born
Even as a kid, tortured lyrics like "take you an apple" bothered me, but if the tune worked I would forgive.

Right now I feel like an apple though.


Dad gets Rolling Stone because it's free. He calls it "The Rolling Stones, or whatever." I think it's funny that he would subscribe to a magazine just because it's free, but maybe it's a sign of open-mindedness.

I'm up at 2:30, but I actually slept 6 hours tonight. Yes, I went to bed at 7:30 pm. Basically I had a drink and the living room was warm and my niece was going on about how the dogs don't love her even though they do and my sister-in-law was encouraging me to go to bed if I was tired. I was tired. But 6 hours seems like an acceptable amount of sleep to me.

It finally occurred to me yesterday to inquire of the internet whether insomnia is a symptom of surgical menopause. It is.

I have the urge to end every post with "that is all" but I will leave that to John Hodgman.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


My father subscribes to Rolling Stone magazine. Trust me here, this is inexplicable. Although I will ask him to explicate it if the g.d. morning ever gets here. Ok, it's technically here, but it's still dark outside and everyone is sleeping.


I am secretly fascinated by insomnia and thus haven't been too annoyed by my current and only bout of it. It helps that I'm still on medical leave and don't have to get up in the morning. I can also nap during the day. Must readjust schedule in the coming weeks so that I can successfully return to work.

I suspect part of my problem is the interaction of pain and painkillers. The pain isn't bad, but sometimes I can turn funny in bed (just ask anyone -- Kidding!) and wake up from twingey pain. As for painkillers, I'm officially off, but this is the first day. I'm sure they muck with sleep and I think my life, not to mention my memory, will be much more normal without them.

Anyway, I'm up, I'm watching Bob Newhart, I'm reading 622 articles in Google Reader, and I'm downloading Privileged (do I really have to mention that it's a guilty pleasure??). At 4:46 am. I think the insomnia will go away soon, but if it doesn't perhaps I could learn to use this time wisely.

Although I don't think the wise use of time is what insomnia's all about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A one-sided Bob Newhart phone conversation

Oh, hello Mr Carlin. You sound down in the dumps.
You are down in the dumps? What are you doing down there?
Oh, just browsing?

The Bob Newhart Show has been a big part of my recovery from surgery. He's always there on Hulu, any time day or night (right now it's 5:30 am but I've been up since 4), 72 episodes worth. Just the right combination of humor and absorption. I lurve him.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Having nothing to say...

...naturally makes me want to write something. I keep having all these ideas of things to do, and then I nap instead. This is what we call "recovery." Things are looking up though: I'll be off vicodin after tomorrow, and I've been able to take a couple of good walks with dad. Not with the dogs though, who find it baffling that I could set off outside without them. I miss having them on the walks, too, but it's going to be several more weeks (at least) before I can handle even occasional leash pulling.