To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

We have heat now. They finished installing the new furnace on Friday. I knew they would, because the sun came out and it was nice and warm. At work, walking between buildings, I remarked that the furnace must be just about finished up because otherwise it would have still been rainy and miserable.

It sounds very different when it comes on. Molly looks all around, trying to figure out what that new sound is. She is so observant and perceptive.

Things have been irritating me the last few days. After I finished ranting Thursday evening I asked R if he thought I had PMS. Startled, he replied that he certainly hoped so! It feels just like it but I'm not scheduled for it yet. A person at work offered his unasked-for opinion that something I was trying to do would not work ... he offered it repeatedly. Repeatedly. Irritated the living stew out of me. As it happened, what I wanted to do did work, but if it hadn't, it would have been no great loss; I'd have gone another way. Either way, it was none of his concern.

Then I encounted a conversation in which it was explained to a person that she should never tell an adoptive parent, who is discussing all her plans for being the perfect mother, that the child she was getting was a "lucky kid". Wrong! Bad! Dang, I hate that kind of thing. It's like those lists of rules Ann Landers used to publish, where people would write in to explain to the world how to talk to X person who was dealing with Y (divorce, cancer, bankruptcy, etc.): DO say this. DON'T say that. You'd think you have to memorize a million rules that some stranger dreamed up, just to know how to behave like a decent person. As if everybody wants to be treated the same way everybody else in that situation wants to, anyway.

And then people who pay no attention to their surroundings. Stop cold in a doorway to dig around in their purse. Park their car IN the drive when there are plenty of empty parking places - and this is a car with a handicapped plate, which always has the best places empty and waiting anyway.

So I stayed inside yesterday with the door shut. Took a nice long nap. I had a lot of stuff that needed to get done, but I didn't do any of it. R thought I needed to get out, so I went to supper with him and that was OK. Sometimes I feel like F, I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that I share the planet with other people.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ah, the race card.

The RNC made an ad about Harold Ford Jr. with a woman who claims to have met him at a Playboy party and who says, "Harold, call me!"

Apparently the ad is racist, according to the NAACP, because it's a white woman.

For God's sake.

Do they not see interracial couples every single day? Maybe they need to get out more.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A manatee has turned up in the Wolf River. How about that.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

F was in town this weekend for a flying visit. She and a friend came up on Friday. They went to the Agicenter Friday eve. for the corn maze (a little pun there, methinks - "maize" maze?)(well, yes, now that I actually look at the site I linked to), to the cat shelter and the zoo on Saturday, and the concert they actually came up for on Saturday eve., and to church with us on Sunday before they headed back to school. I have to say that it is gratifying when one's grown child takes for granted that she (and her friend) will be attending church, and takes the trouble to pack appropriate church clothes. She attends church in her college town, too - I know this because she got letters over the summer.

We have no heat in the house right now. Every year R has lit the pilot light on the furnace and said "this is the last year", and this year he said it really isn't safe and he isn't going to do it anymore. So he had somebody out to look at it, and this person balked at our old Midtown house (duh) and the stairs to the basement, etc. Apparently the original one wasn't installed according to code, which it might have been at the time because it was old when we moved here in 1990. But it will probably be a big deal to replace, she said sighing. It isn't very cold yet, but I'll be glad when we can warm up the house in the morning. This could get to be a bit more character-building than I really care for, even with the gas fireplace and the wall heaters in the bathrooms. (Oh gosh, I am spoiled.) On the other hand, our utility bills will be fairly merciful.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Work is still going OK. I am taking on Environmental (not Health and Safety, at least not yet,) even though the quality system still isn't in place. Why? you ask. Because I opened my mouth and asked some questions about the sewer permit. The sewer permit is just fine, but we have a copy of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater winging its way to us now. We needed it anyway. It has some really cool and useful discussions of significant figures, normality of concentrated acids, and statistical stuff like outlier tests, as well as specific procedures for things that should be no-brainers (taking pH with a meter) but aren't. Any self-respecting lab ought to have a copy.

In other news - I poached a person from my previous workplace, which is closing some time in the not-too-distant future. And there is one more person I want to poach. I am so bad.
: )

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

So we were practicing our Christmas music tonight, and I realized I really need to work on that Vivaldi Gloria. Came home and went online, went to my favorite search engine, Dogpile; clicked "audio" and searched on "Vivaldi Gloria", and found this. It's a little slower than we will be, but it will be fine to practice with.

I LOVE the internet.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Today was Personal Maintenance Day for me. It started out with a trip to the dentist at 8:10 to have a filling redone, a followup to the checkup I had last month in which I knew there would be something and indeed there was. Then my yearly physical at 10:30, then at 3:00 the mammogram redo which turned out as I expected - there's nothing there. Well, there's a little something there, happily, but nothing of concern. Now I'm done for a while unless there's something to follow up on from my physical, which could happen. I need to go back to the eye doctor because it's been 3 yrs since my last visit and I find myself taking off my glasses to read things, but that actually can wait. I've taken ibuprofen to deal with the toothache I developed after the novocaine wore off. It's windy and rainy outside, R isn't home from work yet, and I think I'll go out and sit on the porch swing for a bit.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

R and I just got back from the opera. See if you can guess what it was.

Me: "I know Robbins' wife loved him and all, but she was trying to save money for their burial and he kept gambling it away. Ibedanged if I'd work my butt off trying to bury him. I believe I'd let the medical students have him."

R: "I know you would."


R: "And let him be scattered."

Me: "Yeah."


The opera is Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess", of course. It's a bit controversial these days. A lot of black performers don't like it and don't want to do it. One sees why.

But it was a great performance. The featured singers were good, but the entire cast drew us into the story. I suppose any operatic story has its majorly flawed character(s). In this case, Porgy has the physical flaw: he's a cripple of some unspecified kind, and he spends the entire performance kneeling on the floor or on a little cart that he can wheel himself around on. But Bess has the more serious flaw: she's addicted to cocaine and to an abusive relationship with Crown. Porgy is drawn to her, he stands up for her with the church women, and he shelters her when she needs him. And she is drawn to his goodness and his love for her, but ultimately it's not enough. She leaves him for a life, one supposes, of prostitution and drug abuse in New York. To quote Jake, "A woman is a sometime thing." (A bit of irony there, because when Jake's boat is seen to have capsized in the hurricane, Jake's wife, Clara, hands her baby off to Bess and runs out to find him, and is lost in the storm. Clara is not a sometime thing for Jake.)

There are some cringe-inducing moments. The people who live in Catfish Row love Porgy, respect him, and look to him for leadership in some ways. But they plan a picnic that he will not be able to attend, and in his presence they invite Bess and tell her that "everybody" will be there. Their thoughtless cruelty is pointed up also in a little song he sings about how lonely he is. During this song you see the whole ensemble on the stage, but they're kind of frozen, while the spotlight is on him. It's to communicate the fact that his loneliness is something they could see if they would just look at him and think about the way he lives his life, but they can't or don't want to. Other cringe-inducing moments involve the white folks. They don't sing, they talk; which I suppose is to point up how colorless they are. The black folks have to say "boss" and "sir", which is authentic for the time period, I'm sorry to say.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

F went back to school today after fall break. Her dad took her back so I didn't have to miss work. I did go with him on Friday to pick her up.

Saturday we went to Shelby Farms because the weather was just too pretty to stay indoors. It's strange going there with her, a young woman, because it's so easy for the mind's eye to see her ten-year-old self struggling up the path on her roller skates. And apparently it's not only her dad's and my mind's eyes. She and I went into the ranger station so I could visit the ladies', and while she was waiting for me someone asked if she was lost. Poor F ... maybe she should wear a big sign around her neck: "I AM NINETEEN YEARS OLD."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I spent the afternoon at my sister-in-law's house in a small community outside Memphis. She needed babysitting for her four children. My SIL helped me so much with F that I can never pay her back. But even though her kids are very nice and well-behaved, they just about wore me out. I don't know how she does it. Little Sarah, who's four, used to not extend to me fellow membership in the human race. I was not supposed to be in the same room with her, or if that was unavoidable, to look at her or address her. I am very used to fractious little girls and so thought it was funny. This situation started to turn around this year. Today Sarah had to sit right next to me wherever I was, lean on me if possible, and copy the exact way I crossed my legs at the ankle, etc. And ask a million questions. "Aunt Wauwa, Aunt Wauwa - what do you call those pants you are wearing?" "Blue jeans." "Ohhhh!" and "Aunt Wauwa - what numbers do you use to make your name?" "L-A-U-R-A". "Ohhhh! That's like my name!" "Yes, it is very like your name." I let the kids eat pizza in the living room, which they thought was hysterical. We drew pictures of bugs. And so forth and so on. I ended up with a tremendous migraine by the time my SIL relieved me but it wasn't the kids' fault at all. I reckon I am just getting old.