Archive for February, 2003

Feb 28 2003

Love/hate: Subtitles

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Love/hate for Friday, February 28, 2003

I have a theory – I have many, but for today, I’ll just focus on this one: people grow to be more like themselves over time. Your core personality, if you will, is more or less formed by the time you are, say, five years old. Then you go to school and start the process of trying things on, especially during high school. You go through various fads and trends, some things you keep, others you cast off, but eventually, you revert to the Original You.

So when I was in college, I would go to foreign movies all the time, including suicide-inducing Bergman movies. I probably referred to them as “film” rather than movies, since they were Art with a capital A, unlike the crap churned out by Hollywood (insert disdainful sniff here). Now, you would pretty much have to resort to firearms to get to me to see a foreign movie. I have reverted to my Original, shallow self, the one who wants movies to be:

1. Less than two hours long.
2. Full of pretty people living in pretty places and wearing pretty clothes.
3. Amusing enough to take my mind off the alternating horror and dreariness that is everyday life.
4. Very low on: battle scenes and chase scenes and sex scenes. Just tell us who won and let’s get on with the story.
5. Completely devoid of: the noble terminally ill (especially children); romance between those who are any kind of challenged; the insane; show tunes and singing (children singing in unison in particular) and production numbers of any kind.

Now, in foreign movies, life is always horrible and there are always subtitles. The subtitles make it very hard to watch the movie and figure out what’s going on, particularly for someone like me who has a hard time figuring out what’s going on in the movie in the first place. I can watch a whole movie and not realize that one of the two guys in question was a bad guy. In Schindler’s List, I couldn’t tell Ralph “Don’t Pronounce the L” Fiennes from the other guy. The fact that they were both wearing hats pretty much guaranteed that I couldn’t tell them apart. If it’s a black & white movie with brown-haired guys wearing hats, they all look the same to me. And don’t expect me to try and tell them apart when I have to be reading subtitles, too. I just can’t pay that much attention.

One response so far

Feb 27 2003

For better or for worse

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It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but it’s not going to be a fun one for my [much, much] better half. In the true spirit of “for better or for worse” (good thing I’m so bad at math, because I suspect that the “worse” John has endured since marrying me far surpasses the “better” to the point that I owe him a National Debt sized amount of “better”, and I don’t think either of us will live long enough to pay it off), John has taken the day off to accompany my mother to her oncologist appointment.

We are hoping that he can get some answers on her current condition and her prognosis. She has breast cancer and it has spread into her bones. We know she won’t beat it, but we’d like to know what to expect and roughly how much time she has left. It’s been really frustrating up to this point. Partly because all the information we have been getting has been through Mom, whose grasp of reality tends to be on the creative side, and partly because we cannot seem to effectively communicate with the doctors.

I am convinced that both people mechanics and car mechanics deal differently with women than men. Car mechanics tend to inflate the bill. People mechanics tend to be condescending. Neither seems to feel compelled to tell a girl the truth. So I’m hoping that John can talk to the doctor man to man and find out what’s going on.

While he’s doing that, I’m going to work as usual then go and get my hair cut. It’s the true ideal of socialism in action: each according to his ability. But I’m nominating him for Husband of the Year on the way home.

4 responses so far

Feb 25 2003

Back in the saddle

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Well, I’m back. More or less, and for what it’s worth.

Really, there’s been nothing to report in the past two weeks, since my life was pretty much reduced to a treadmill which was even – if you can imagine this – less fun than the one at the gym or the one gathering dust in your basement. This particular one consisted of the following, repeated seemingly ad infinitum and definitely ad nauseam:

  1. Work for 9-11 hours with ever-changing deadlines and ever-new crises caused solely by those who never look at anything you give them until the very last minute, which in turn gives you that minute and that minute only to fix it. You can give these things to them two weeks ahead and it won’t make a whit of difference. Digression: when’s the last time you used “whit” in a sentence? And really meant it?

  2. Walk to the gym uphill and try to work off the tension accumulated during the day. Can’t be done, at least by me.

  3. Run errands on the way home such as shopping, picking up or dropping off cleaning. Get cleaned up from gym exertions, feed cats, make dinner*.

  4. Watch less than an hour of TV after dinner. Fall asleep. Be prodded to bed. Sleep exhausted for about four hours, then wake up for another three. Variation: have anxiety attack wake you up. Fall asleep just as the alarm goes off and curse the evil necessity of hauling your ass to work every day.

  5. Repeat Step One.

And then spend Saturdays with your histrionic and thankless mother, who still gives you a hard time no matter what. There you have it.

*Now, for those of you about to scream sexism, let me just say that I am a very good cook and John isn’t one. Also he does the dishes. And cooking is the only creative thing I do.

5 responses so far

Feb 24 2003


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We had server weirdness over the weekend, with the result that some comments and John’s post about my sleeping through a cat-induced semi-catastrophe on Saturday night have been lost in the mists of the ether. Our apologies.

And hopefully, my life will get back on track soon so I can start posting again and reading again. If anything really good or really bad happened to you in the past two weeks, email me. Enquiring minds want to know, even if they appear to be absent and/or uncaring. I promise!

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Feb 21 2003

Love/hate: Smoking

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Love/hate for Friday, February 21, 2003:

~With apologies to Candi~

Although I deplore political correctness, I unfortunately find myself on Their side on the issue of smoking. I hate it, both the smoking and being on Their side. I don’t know which is worse, come to think of it.

I realize that sometimes, you just have to deal with it, preferably without complaining, difficult though that is. I accept that when a girl goes to France, it’s inevitable. If you can’t take the smoke, get out of the country. In fact, you are the unsocial freak in that scenario, not the smokers. Worse yet, you’re one of those insupportable American tourists who want everywhere to be like the good ol’ USA and eat at the Mickey D’s on the Champs Elys&eacutees. I accept that if you go to someone’s house and they smoke, you have to put up with it, because you are in their house. But if you’re at my house, you’re going outside with John to indulge your tobacco addiction, because it’s my house.

As is usual, John and I are the opposites in this case, or as it might be, the yin and yang. He smokes, I don’t. However, I hasten to add that he has never smoked around me and the cats, even when we lived in Canada where there is real weather and from time to time, the sort of day where the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales meet (a horrifying and now unimaginable -40&deg).

I am sure that John is quite well aware of the dangers to his health, but I never nag him about it. I even buy him the fatal cigarettes not infrequently, mostly because I have more time after work than he does and because I walk by the Cigarettes Cheaper store every day (though cheaper is all relative: $35 a carton). I figure he’ll quit if and when he’s ready, and in the meantime, he’s smoking away from me so he’s not taking me with him to his untimely death.

Having said that, if second-hand smoke really is the evil we are now led to believe, the damage may well be already done. My mother, back in the halcyon days of the 1960’s, cheerfully smoked and drank cocktails throughout her pregnancies. Nor did she see any reason to curb this behavior after we were born. We were all healthy babies and suffered no ill-effects as far as I know. Now she’d probably be charged with child endangerment, or at the very least, be subject to remarks from holier-than-thou strangers, as friends of mine have been when indulging in a glass of wine in restaurants while pregnant.

It bothered me when Mom smoked in the car, though, especially in the winter. We lived in Upstate New York, where there is lots of snow and it gets pretty cold, though not in Canada’s league, of course. So whenever we went anywhere in the winter, the car windows were closed and the car would rapidly fill with smoke. In retrospect, we must have smelled pretty gross by the time we were decanted at our destination, especially on our frequent visits to Mom’s parents, who lived a 2 hour drive away from us.

Mom’s father was a reformed smoker, which is the worst kind, just like converts to religion. They never hesitate to press their new-found enthusiasm on anyone they can get to listen to them, and he was always telling Mom to stop smoking. I seem to think – they died 25 years ago, so my memories are getting a little hazy, as if painted by Monet – that they made Mom smoke outside, even in the winter.

What my grandfather neglected to mention was the only reason he was able to quit smoking at all was that my grandmother told everyone in their small town that he was quitting and they couldn’t sell him cigarettes unless they were willing to face her wrath. Nana was small in stature, but with a steely will (she left home in the early 1900’s when her father refused to send her to high school, saying “It made as much sense as educating a female cat.” Why female cats are less worthy of higher education than males remains a mystery, but Nana eventually went to college and became a teacher). So with the help of his town, he quit. My mother also quit, probably 30 years ago now, though come to think of it, she’s not at all self-righteous about it like many reformed smokers. But she does say that if she had even one, she’d be right back on it. That’s some powerful shit. I’m lucky I’m only addicted to harmless things like jewelry.

4 responses so far

Feb 17 2003

Cats & water

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that cats dislike water. Rarely, if ever, do you see a cat jumping off the rope swing at the swimming hole, or setting a new record for swimming the Channel, or cluttering up what little beach space is available on the Riviera. The only baths they like to take are sun baths, and they are pretty much unparalleled in their ability to sit in the sun for extended periods of time. Their fur makes them immune to skin cancer and wrinkles, so really, they have no motivation to cut their sun baths short or reduce them to utilitarian sun showers (“I’ll just get my fur warmed up and then get on with day’s business of napping and playing.”). There is no sunscreen for cats.

Despite this well-known distaste for the aquatic, our cats insist on sitting in the still-wet kitchen sink after the dishes have been done, and in sitting/lounging/playing in the bathtub after the water has drained away. Sometimes they are so eager to get in the bathtub that they actually get in it while there is still some water in it, and this does not, for whatever reason, lead to their immediate ejection from the wet surface. They just watch the remaining water go down the drain as if they were watching TV.

I think they must be attracted to the heat retained in the century-old cast iron bath tub, and the heat retained in the considerably younger cast iron kitchen sink. The need for heat must outweigh the distaste for dampness, at least temporarily. I once read that cats were originally desert animals, hence their lust for heat. My sister Megan once had a cat who singed her fur by sitting too close to the space heater. The singed fur smell alerted Megan, who separated cat from heater while cat complained. About being removed from the source of the singe. Our cat Jack routinely sleeps on a part of the stove where the pilot lights make it too hot for me to comfortably rest my hand on for longer than, say, 30 seconds. Amazing.

9 responses so far

Feb 14 2003

Love/hate: Tea

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Love/hate for Friday, February 14, 2003

First things first: happy birthday to Adrian, and my friend since high school, Alice, the former model turned math Ph.D. It couldn’t happen to two more stylish people. Hope you guys have a day, or preferably an entire weekend, worthy of your fabulousness, and tons of really great presents, too.

Sorry, no romance related love-hate for you, despite it being Valentine’s Day. Neither of us is a big fan of the idea of being told to be romantic on one particular day each year. We think it’s nicer for romantic gestures to be spontaneous and from the heart, rather than as decreed by Hallmark. For example, John came by my office last week with a bunch of flowers for no particular reason. And a couple of days ago, he called me to tell me I looked beautiful that morning, having had an unaccustomed three minutes with me looking half-way decent for a change on my way out the door that morning, and only because I was late for work at that. Maybe he was overcome with surprise/relief that I wasn’t in the usual d&eacuteshabille. Anyway, now that you are thoroughly sickened, here’s your love/hate for this week. Enjoy!

Though I must have coffee in the morning – and am of no use to man or beast before being caffeinated (just ask John or any of our four cats) – I drink tea otherwise. I can blame this on being half English, I guess, though the tea I drink is not the Indian tea of my ancestors, or rarely, anyway. It’s usually green tea or herbal tea, and I love to use my adorable teapot (note the snail on the lid). I can accessorize anything!

For the most accessorized tea ever, you must experience high tea at one of London’s grand hotels. Gentlemen: you will have to be accessorized to the point of a jacket and tie in these enclaves of tradition. You can often borrow one that the staff keeps on hand for the unaccessorized uncouth, but really, I would recommend avoiding the embarrassment and having to hear about it ad infinitum from your better-accessorized half.

Once properly accoutered, venture to any of the following establishments for a step back in time to a more gracious era, when afternoon tea was an occasion to pause and refresh the body and spirit. You will receive assiduous and courteous attention from the waiters in hushed and elegant surroundings. There will, of course, be tea, served with style in eggshell-thin porcelain cups after you decide which variety (Earl Grey, perhaps?) you’d like. There will be wonderful tiny sandwiches and gorgeous pastries. It will be pretty expensive – around ?25/$40 per person, but what price civilization in this uncivilized world?

The Ritz: The gold standard, and the hardest one to get a reservation for, although they now have three sittings a day. Served in the beautiful Palm Court, as it was for Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and King Edward VII. Service as exquisite as the food.

Claridge’s: A favorite of Queen Victoria’s. She would still recognize the elegant Foyer, right down to the silver cake stands so tall that they sit on the floor instead of the table.

The Savoy: Still has its famous th&eacutes dansants, but only on Sunday. Conveniently located near the theaters in the West End, the Savoy is not surprisingly a favorite of actors and actresses, including Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Taylor.

But in my mundane, everyday life, I don’t have high tea. Instead, I drink at least one cup of green tea a day. Not surprisingly, since my Mom is currently fighting breast cancer, Republic of Tea’s Sip for the Cure is my favorite. It’s green tea flavored with pink grapefruit, and part of the purchase price goes to the Susan Komen Foundation. So you’re doing yourself good, and others, too. How often does that happen?

Nor do I draw the line at drinking tea. Origins makes a wonderful product with white tea, which guards one’s skin against the horrors of premature aging. Tea is very good for you, body and soul. And how often is something that’s good for you so very pleasant?

4 responses so far

Feb 11 2003

Cafeti&egravere crisis

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Ever since I first got addicted to caffeine at the age of 17, I have used the same kind of coffee pot. Known in England as the cafeti&egravere and in the US as a French press, it combines both form and function, something that is such a rarity.

Usually, you just get form (say, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, all of which were very difficult to live in and all of which leak), or you just get function (say, a gas station or strip mall). This truth is one of the more frustrating for those of us who tend to the shallow and want things to be pretty and work, too. So when you find something that does both, you pretty much stick to it.

I seem to think that the first one I bought lasted me for years, but for the past six months, I have gone through about four of them. Knowing my severe lack of math skills, I won’t venture to guess what the average is per month, but it seems excessive. They seem to develop holes in the glass bottom which renders them completely useless, or the plunger part separates into its component pieces (including a very springy spring with a mind of its own), or variations on those themes.

I don’t know why this is, either. After more than 20 years of practice, you’d think I’d know what I was doing. Maybe the coffee pot objects to getting up at 4:30 in the morning even more than I do. Maybe it’s digging the coffee grounds out with a knife before washing it, so John suggested using a rubber spatula to try and reduce the hole incidents. Or possibly, just possibly, they don’t make ’em like they used to. I bought a new coffee pot yesterday and am trying the spatula, so here’s hoping I don’t buy another one this year.

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Feb 09 2003

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

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Well, I’ve been all kinds of bad this weekend. No gym (though in my defense, I really overdid it on Thursday and possibly Friday); way too much naughty food and alcohol; nothing but amusement and no errands. I’ll start being my usual Puritan self again tomorrow, I promise.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood yesterday. Cold enough for a coat, but so sunny that sunglasses weren’t enough to stop the blindness. But you have to love that in the depths of winter. That and the flowering ornamental cherry trees making a pink haze everywhere. Next to sparkly, pink is the best. I even wore my pink cashmere sweater so I fit right in.

First stop yesterday: local institution Swan Oyster Depot. Although it was barely 11:30, the customary line had formed, necessitating uncustomary patience on my part. At least the brothers who work there are sufficiently civilized to offer those waiting in line wine or beer to amuse them while they wait. Once we got our coveted stools, we shared a shrimp cocktail of perfection, followed by cups of the best clam chowder on the planet. Full of clams and chunks of potatoes and dotted with golden butter, probably about a zillion calories, especially when accompanied by the excEt crusty bread and butter. But what the hell. It’s so fun to eat there, watching the ballet in the narrow space behind the counter, the brothers cheerfully serving and joking, skillfully opening oysters (too bad I find them so repulsive – the oysters, I mean, not the brothers), slicing up the bread, stacking the extra bread next to paperback novels on the shelf above the cash. All without gloves. And you gotta pay cash. No plastic at Swan?s.

After lunch, we went to see 25th Hour, the brilliant and powerful Spike Lee movie starring the brilliant trio of Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Nominally about a dealer’s last day of freedom before going to prison for seven years, but so much more than that. Go see it.

After the movie, we decided to stop by and see if John’s barber, Sal, had time to cut his hair. Sometimes, especially on Saturdays, the line for Sal’s ministrations can rival that at Swan’s. But we were in luck. So while John got yet another perfect haircut, I chatted with Sal to catch up on his life. You know how men never ask what you want to know, so I finally had the chance to find out why Sal had moved to Santa Rosa, how he got his second dog, how he was doing at body-building competitions (that’s his passion), and so on. All this for $12 (not including tip), if you can believe that. Sal has been cutting John?s hair for more than a decade now, and only recently raised the price from $10 to $12. I don’t know how they do it. If Sal finds a job in Santa Rosa, I know John will go up there to get his hair cut, no matter what the cost in time and money. A perfect haircut is a rare thing.

Next stop: Bob’s, for the best doughnuts in the city, which I had for breakfast this morning with three very naughty cups of coffee. I better stop bragging that I only have one cup of coffee a day.

After that, I bought a bottle of champagne, or more properly, m&eacutethode champenoise, which just doesn’t sound as good, does it? We had pizza and drank all the champagne while watching American History X, the only possible movie to follow 25th Hour. OK, I drank all the champagne. But no hangover today. Yay!

Here ends my litany of badness. After all, tomorrow is another day. I’ll be good then. Really.

2 responses so far

Feb 07 2003

Love/hate: Going to the movies

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Love/hate for Friday, February 7, 2003
Going to the Movies

It’s no wonder that generations of inventors have been busily coming up with ways to avoid having to go the movies, since actually going is such an annoying experience. First, television was invented. Then some genius came up with the whole idea of VCR’s, and that was further refined and improved by DVD’s and home theaters.

Now there’s really no reason to go to your local multi-plex, where you will wait in line among the masses, and experience the mystery of all public lines, whether they be in the post office, the movie theater, or the airport: those ahead of you will engage interminable amounts of the employee’s time, making your wait even longer, but when you actually get to the desk, your transaction is completed in 30 seconds or less. Why everyone else’s transactions are so much more complicated is completely beyond me (but then so are all the times tables after 5).

If you opt to use one of the ticket dispensing machines instead of one of the minimum wage employees, the line will be shorter, but the machine will perversely refuse to read your credit card, or eat it (necessitating a wait to speak with the minimum wage employee) or simply refuse to work at all, which again returns you to the MWE line.

Supposing you can endure this without raising your blood pressure or your gun, your resolve will be tested further by the endless trailers and nannyreels that precede every movie. Trailers used to be, should be, teasers – giving you an idea of what the movie is about, just enough to make you want to go. They should not show you the whole damn movie, including important plot points. The art of the trailer seems to be lost.

Then there’s the creepy animated dancing candy and snacks. Is there anything in the advertising world more disturbing than food that wants to be eaten? Suicidal, death wish, kamikaze snacks begging me to put them out of their misery at a price more inflated than Anna Nicole Smith’s primary assets. Mmmm.

Nor do I brave being marooned in a room full of coughing, noisy and annoying strangers to be told to behave myself by a nannyreel. This to me proves that our society must have pretty much hit bottom, since people are in general so impolite and badly-behaved that they have to be admonished by inanimate objects to suspend their normal behavior for the 2+ hours it takes to watch a movie.

Surely common sense (which should be renamed, since it is so clearly un) should tell you to leave your squalling baby at home and turn your damn cell phone off. No-one is that important, and if they are, they should not be at the movies, but rather waiting for that all-important call on the Bat phone and leaving the rest of us the hell out of it.

It’s much better to stay home and watch a movie, where the audience is people you have invited, showtime is when you say it is, the snacks are what you want them to be (who decided that inherently noisy popcorn is the official movie snack food? Not only does it get stuck in your teeth, it flies in the face of the nannyreel by being pretty noisy while being consumed), and you can pause the movie for any reason that seems reasonable to you. You can even watch an especially amusing moment more than once. What’s not to love?

3 responses so far

Feb 05 2003

Pretty good

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“It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull, or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone.”

— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I gotta disagree with the divine Jane on this one. I think I’m fine for the public good. When left to my own devices and when I know those unknown to me are not going to see me, I don’t dress up. I don’t wear make-up. I don’t accessorize. It’s interesting that we are so much more considerate of total strangers than we are of our loved ones, and that those who are nearest and dearest to us often have to brave our least attractive selves, both in appearance and behavior.

Now that John and I are on different schedules, he rarely, if ever, sees me looking good. I leave for work before he gets up in the morning, and by the time he gets home from work, I have already scrubbed away the sweat from the gym along with the day’s make-up. Pretty much the first thing I do when I get home is to remove all traces of prettiness that I so carefully applied before leaving the house, so John mostly sees a make-up-less Me wearing bunny pajamas and glasses.

Yet I persist in getting dressed up, made up, and accessorized, including hair, before going to work, making my life something like Barbie’s, without the Malibu Dream House and with normal female proportions: endlessly getting dressed and undressed.

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Feb 04 2003

Gym hill

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Sometimes, your lightest remark can have serious consequences.

One day last week when I arrived at the gym and greeted my tireless trainer, I mentioned that it was a nice day. It was, too, especially considering it’s winter, aka the rainy season: sunny and around 66? F (or 18? C), and the caf?s’ outdoor tables were full of people enjoying the sun in a civilized manner, with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. But my remark gave my trainer a different idea of how we were going to enjoy this lovely day: doing lunges up this hill.

Now, this hill is a pretty steep one. It’s not like Filbert Street, where someone always annotates the “HILL” sign with a spray painted “No shit” – the Filbert hill looks more like a wall than a hill, and is the steepest drive-able hill in the city (31.5 degrees – in other words, a rise of 31.5 feet in 100 feet)*. BTW, the city used to keep erasing the “No shit”, but they finally gave in and just leave it there. My tax dollars taking a nap. Anyway, this particular hill is not in the Filbert league, but it’s fairly steep, and just walking up it should be enough for anyone.

But not for my trainer.

For those of you who are uninitiated in the pay-per-torture that is the gym and live in blissful ignorance of what lunges are, they are a sort of very graceless forward-moving curtsey and hurt like hell. I find it bad enough doing them all the way across the gym floor and back, so doing them up this hill with the added refinement of 10 pound weights in each hand was a truly exquisite torture.

I had to stop halfway to try and catch my breath, which abandoned me in horror soon after the proceedings began and went to have a glass of wine at one of the caf?s. I pointed out to my trainer that she should ditch her job in favor of being a dominatrix. My reasons were and are that she would get paid a whole lot more for inflicting pain on people, and would get to wear cuter clothes, especially the shoes.

She got a little defensive at this suggestion and protested that she was helping people and making them feel good, and I said that was, as far as I know, the same deal with the other pain goddesses. So that gave her something to think about as she strolled beside me as I labored up the hill. And when I got to the top and looked back, I was inordinately pleased with myself. I think my trainer was, too, notwithstanding the dominatrix remark, because she kept telling people how “we” did lunges up the hill, and they were all suitably impressed. Later, she admitted that I did have a point about the shoes.

Who says the weather is a safe topic for conversation?

*PS: A reader informed me that I was actually wrong about this:

What you are really talking about is a hill with a grade of 31.5 PERCENT! 31.5 feet in 100 feet is side opposite over side adjacent or the tangent of . . .
31.5/100 = 0.315 = 17.48 degrees +-.

Thanks for letting me know! You had to know that was way beyond what little math comprehension I have.

2 responses so far

Feb 02 2003


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Spent the day yesterday with my Mom and my sister Beth. Beth is heading home on Tuesday and is going straight to SFO from Mom’s, so it was the last time I’d see her on this visit. Of course I got all teary when I left last night, even though Beth and her daughter will be here in April. Saying good-bye is one of the many things I’m not good at.

I thought it would be fun for us all to go and get pampered together. Beth located a place in Petaluma with a masseuse who has done oncology massages for almost ten years, so she would understand Mom’s condition and the fragility of her bones. Beth and Mom got massages and I got a salt glow, which is being rubbed all over with salt mixed with herbs to detoxify and relax, followed by a body wrap, which is sort of like being temporarily mummified. If you’re claustrophobic, it would probably freak you out more than relax you, and it’s about as hot as a hot tub, too, but I loved it.

Come to think of it, I was kind of like a pot roast yesterday: rubbed all over with herbs and salt and then braised. Hmmm.

Anyway, after I was (well) done, I had a facial peel, so I was shiny and new all over. Mom had one, too, but Beth drew the line after the massage. She said that she wished she had brought her homework with her (she is working on her Master’s degree) so she could have read and gotten something done while she was having the massage. So she actually went to Mom’s, got the homework, and sat in the lobby working while Mom and I were being peeled.

Beth’s husband is right: that girl doesn’t know how to relax. But after all, she is the same girl who thought summer vacations were way too long when we were kids. But I love her anyway.

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