Monday, September 7, 2009

blurring days

Monday overall

Not much to report on Monday. Even the low-level, low-commitment projects didn't get done.

I did get to watch the President's speech to the AFL-CIO, which was fiery and stirring.
Otherwise, a lot of resting, some actual sleeping, and reading .

Word games

We played two games of Scrabble, one late morning and one late afternoon. They were probably the two best back-to-back games we played. Both were squeakers, and right down to the wire. In the first game Nick had great words, including hording and a couple of stinkers ("unplant"? "birna"?) That game ended 402-396 in my favor. In the second game the highlight was Nick's 7-letter word -- siltiest. The lead kept going back and forth between the two of us. At the very end I was barely ahead, just by 4 points. Nick went out with a 3-letter word (ora), got one point from me and the game ended in our first-ever tie: 348-348.

We played the first game outside, because I wanted to experience some of the exquisite weather. The second one we played in the living room, and during both I got up and paced every few turns so I that I didn't sit for too long.

Arts and Letters

I finished more of the Fed book, enough that I can now put it away and feel like I've read it. Today I'll start a new one: "The Battle for America 2008" by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson. They were featured last night on PBS The Newshour and it looks interesting (and less of a hagiography than Richard Wolf's "Renegade", which I read up in Canada.) I'll read and then report. (vs. "we report, you decide." Indeed.)

Pain report

Lots of pain yesterday, more than I anticipated. It's not so much at the incision site as deep aches in my thigh, hip, butt, leg and knee. The pain has a stretching quality that reminds me of a bad menstrual cramp or a labor pain. I felt more of it yesterday, either because the pain worsened or because the drugs weren't helping as much (or I was waiting too long to take them). When I take enough of them to dull the pain I find it harder to hold a thought. I can originate a thought, just can't hold on to it for very long.

The kids: part 1

Spoke to Matt from Amherst and he sounded better. More hopeful, more encouraged. Bought himself a new bike (actually a used one but a vintage model in good shape.) He's going to ride around campus and get his bearings. He met two of his apartment-mates. Both are partiers (one was filling the fridge with beer, the other reeked of weed) but all he needs to do with them is peacefully coexist. He'll find his own friends. I'm confident that he can make new friends; he's much more facile socially than he used to be. His first class is "Fixing America's Foreign Policy." As an outsider that seems a presumptuous course title. Shouldn't there be a pre-requisite like "Understanding America's Foreign Policy"?

The kids: part 2

Liv did some back-to-school shopping with Jon and Joe. Not traditional school supply shopping, more the Manhattan/LaGuardia/artsy back to school shopping -- a few key items of clothing and accessories. Gues the notebooks and pens will wait. I used to love back-to-school shopping when the kids were little. Loved checking the items off the list, organizing and labeling them, seeing an array of fresh supplies. When they were very little they enjoyed it too, it was only later that their dread of school clouded the joy of brand-new school supplies. The apple store fixed her MacBook (no charge) and I ordered a new ipod (her last one beat the dust, in the proud tradition of our family). So now she's set for school. She did try about a month ago to dupe me into a new phone. She was entitled to an upgrade but the phone she picked out was still about $400, and that was with the discount. I demurred, and even Jon agreed that she didn't really need a phone that advanced or that expensive.

Today, and some random musings

Nick's going into the city this morning to deal with criminal histories, so he'll be gone til about 11 or 12. Then Joe comes over so they can review cases, which means that Nick will be here all afternoon. He won't have the same kind of free time he's had the last few days, but I'll take what I can get.

Liv will be in last-day-of-summer-break denial, but maybe the exigencies of the situation will get her to finish her summer reading. It's Malamud's "The Assistant" -- great book but she doesn't like it. That's expected, she rarely enjoys the books assigned. Oh well. The English major genetic inheritance stops with me; neither of the kids is a great reader. Matt's gotten better and now carries a book wherever he goes. But neither was the kind of voracious, insatiable reader I was when I was a kid -- I read everything: cereal boxes, shopping lists, books, magazines, newspapers, anything I could get my hands on. The kids have always made fun of my English major but they also appreciate it when it comes to book reports, essays and anything having to do with reading and writing. So it was a useful major from their point of view, mockery aside. I've always been glad that I studied literature and linguistics. I believe -- and I've told the kids this a million times -- that college isn't trade school, and that they shouldn't view it as merely a way to get skills to land a job. College should teach you how to think, and to know what educated people know, so a liberal arts major is desirable (I use that word deliberately because Matt used to make fun of me when I used it. Never sure why, but the word always struck him as funny.)

If nothing else, this recovery time gives me time and opportunity to muse. My thoughts may be narcotic-impaired but I still enjoy them.


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