Thursday, October 11, 2007

Becky - Wednesday 10/10/2007

Stopped by to sit with Becky the Cat for about 20 minutes. When I brushed her, she got up and arched into it, and flipped her tail back and forth.

Her owner, Gia, had to leave quickly. She'd received the news that her mother was passing away and called to let me know before she flew north to be with her. (Her mother has had Alzheimer's for years.)

Sad times.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bobless - Tuesday 10/9/2007

Big Boy was closed for their monthly deep clean. Sigh.

It was kind of nice to hang out and have a good cup of coffee with a shot of espresso. Mmmm.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fear and Perception - Monday 10/8/2007

The illustration above clarified my thinking about the gall bladder: it's green, it lurks, and you have to go in X-Files style and route it out. Afterwards--or maybe even during the surgery itself--you will be able to eat a cracker with a big lump of cheese on it.

All right!

For those of you outside the range of my whimper, this will be news.

I'm going to have my gall bladder removed on October 22nd. I have a 2 cm+ gall stone that periodically causes me pain and discomfort. I've been convinced, as the surgeon said last night in the pre-op consultation, that "The risks of not having this surgery are greater than the risks of having it."

Plus, I don't trust the state of health insurance in America. If I should leave or lose my job, this would be a pre-existing (read that: non-covered) procedure. As it is, it's a common and low-risk surgery.

Still, I'll be taking off work for the two weeks the surgeon recommends. My mom's coming out, so we can talk a lot and she can make sure I keep walking more every day, etc.

I feel a lot more confident about this after having the consult last night (with Hydra there for extra questions.) They also ran tests, most of which I have the results of already (kudos to the Internet and Kaiser's use of it), which identify me as in good health going into this. Better than in a crisis, which a gallstone can create.

Seriously, if you'd asked me yesterday morning, I would have described Dr. Z (the surgeon) as looking kind of like this guy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's ultra-creepy episode, "Hush," but with wispy hair and a fillet knife behind his back.

After seeing him last night, I realize that I would actually cast James Olson--remember him as the single guy with the key from Andromeda Strain (1971)?--as Dr. Z.

Much nicer.

Cool Thing: On a side note we watched a PBS show about California during World War II last night and I learned that Kaiser Permanente really started the concept of HMOs with the Kaiser Shipyards. When I looked up their history, I see that it's earliest incarnation was in Mojave, CA and that it treated workers on the Los Angeles Aquaduct that brings water from my beloved Owens Valley to L.A.

I've Had It - Sunday 10/7/2007

With this bag. It's too big, too unstructured, and the strap is too long.

What was I thinking when I bought it?

Probably only that I wanted a black bag big enough for my camera and my notebook. Sigh.

But here's a Cool Thing! It's a post called "How to Hide an Airplane Factory." You will like it if you a) have any interest in World War II or b) Are familiar with Burbank, CA or c) simply enjoy learning cool things you might not have known before.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saturday with Braveheart - 10/6/2007

I stayed over after the service and reception. So much nicer than driving home very late. In the morning, Braveheart offers yellow tomatoes.

Figs hanging in the kitchen. It's easy to find interesting photographs in Braveheart's home.

This slightly threatening outer space flower lurks in the shadows of the back yard.

The Raven, a place for massage. We met Tomasina and Maya for lunch in Silverlake, next door to this massage place. Just the way the light streamed through the incense smoke from the skylights inside made me happy.

Saturday snoozapalooza.

Their mom came around to see what they looked like, since I'd asked to take their photo. Sweeties.

Memorial - Friday 10/5/2007

Remember I went to a memorial two weeks ago? That was for Tomasina's father. Today we all gathered again for the funeral of her mother. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be to lose both parents so close together.

This is the lovely portrait of Tomasina's mother that stood in the chapel where the service took place. She was expecting Tomasina when the portrait was painted.

At the graveside, we were each given balloons to release. Just as Tomasina's partner was explaining what we would do, a rush of wind rose from the ocean, visible from the cemetery. People laughed that it was her mother, impatient to be off.

They scrambled up the hilliside and away.

View of the Laguna coast from the back seat of Braveheart's car. Gorgeous.

We gathered at Tomasina's mother's house overlooking the sea. Tomasina gave away some of her things. Aren't these rabbit head canes beautiful?

And yes, we went in for a swim again. Tomasina, Marian (the 80-year-old who was with us last time!), Braveheart and I. It was cold and very rough, but there was less seaweed in the water. We walked past the privileged teens and Braveheart and I whooped and yelled as we went in.

Later, after a hot shower and a change into a comfy track suit (I learned my lesson last time), Marian and I shared a smile over our pair of swims.

"Last time I felt--" she said, and paused, looking for the word.

"A sense of joi d' vivre?" I filled in.

She grinned. "I was going to say, 'kelp in my suit.'"

Oh yeah. That too!

Portos Revisted - Thursday 10/4/2007

Emily, the waitress at Big Boy, was telling me how to avoid the always troublesome transition from the North 170 to the North 5. I recognized the route as the one I take if I'm picking up from Porto's on the way home (which is rare.)

She said, "I love those guava and cheese strudels! They're so good!"

Oh, they are. Later that morning I got to thinking about those and the Pan con Lechon (fabulous pork sandwhich), so I went around the office taking orders. Ah, the flutters! The cries of guava strudel! potato ball! Cubano! butter cookie!

They're so good on the same day they're made. I stopped by Big Boy in the middle of the lunch rush.

"Emily!" I said, finding her next to an empty table, "I went to Porto's!" I handed her the small waxed white paper bag.

"Oh, I love you honey!" she laughed, taking it, "See you tomorrow!"

As I made my way back to the front, the waiter D tapped on his watch and shook his head.

Hee hee! Fun.

Saying Goodbye - Wednesday 10/3/2007

Adios, amigo. Yeah, I sort of fried my computer at work by trying to double the RAM on the old beast. (The guy at Fry's said it would either work or not work, but never said it might make the computer go boom!)

Hey, I earn my keep around here computer-wise in spite of this, because I can install programs and hook up to network computers instead of calling in the tech, who charges much more an hour than I make. Some of you probably know that these are not advanced skills, but it's more than everyone but OneL and I are willing to chance.

It was slowing down, grinding to a halt, having a hard time getting started in the mornings. Really, this was mercifuPublish Postl for both of us.

Now I have a shiny new Dell with 2 gigs of RAM. (512K in the old one.)

Yes, baby, come to mama!