Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy Sunday

So today will be a home day. Yesterday was fun: Gena was apartment hunting around here and we met her midday for a couple of cocktails and catch up. Great to see her, much fun. One game of Scrabble outside in the yard -- sorry, Nick -- I did have all the advantages that game (though you had both blanks but we won't mention that.) Liv came out to dinner with us at a local Indian place (I was going to say "joint" instead of "place" - that's Nick's influence.)

I've been up for a few hours, catching up on work stuff and wedding and other stuff. It's 8:30 now and I think I'm still the only one awake. Even Holly is sound asleep.

Today we'll hang out, shop for dinner and cook. A new cookbook arrived in the mail from Cook's Illustrated (my favorite cooking magazine, bar none) which was really interesting because it's all lighter and healthier recipes. I told Olivia we can make anything in the book. Right now we're down to three dishes: chicken tacos, Asian lettuce wraps and a cold soba noodle salad. Not sure we'll make all three but on the other hand it's a long day ahead. Liv and I talked about getting manicures today but it's not a day to do much outside. We'll see.

The weather sucks. I don't feel any pain increase from the weather (mine's pretty steady.) Nick gets achy in this weather but as long as he keeps in mind that it'll improve when the weather does (which is what happens every time) he's ok.

I go back to the physiatrist Wednesday, and I'm hopeful that she can help and that I'll be in fighting form for the Peru trip, which is a very active one. Nick is concerned that I'll be able to manage this, but with 5+ months to go I want to believe I'll be better enough to handle it. I want to go to Peru. Peru. Peru. And I want to go when we're planning to -- right after the wedding reception. Nick thought we might want to delay it for a a few months but I reacted poorly to the suggestion.

Mirwan sent us tons of info about Peru and exactly what to do and where to say. I forwarded all of the info to the travel agent. She doesn't seem to mind this kibitzing approach to planning, at least not so far.

The week ahead is crazy, busy and intense with back-to-back meetings, overlapping meetings, evening events, etc. And the following week I head to the West Coast for a few days. Very busy time of year.

And so a quiet day sounds exactly right.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


One more play we loved: The Glass Menagerie. Beautiful production that restores the humor of Tennessee Williams. So 3 plays in a show all worth seeing (Red and Enron.)

Very busy week and now a very relaxing weekend. No firm plans, a 180 from last weekend. More hanging out, catching up, mojitos and Scrabble. We'll start trying next weekend to cycle again, though we'll start slowly with a shorter ride.

Wedding plans continue. Not too much to do for the reception/party except find a photographer and deal with clothes, hair and makeup. Plenty of time for that. For the ceremony we're checking out the NY Society for Ethical Culture end of day Monday.

Pain continues but I'm getting relief from my drug cocktail. I'm skipping the Vicodin, but the Lyrica, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant return the pain to somewhere inside the band of tolerability. Before the drugs the pain was outside the band. I return to the physiatrist Wednesday; by then she should have all the medical records and will have spoken to the ortho. Hoping that the pain relief is sufficient so she can start the other parts of the treatment -- physical therapy (on hold til she spoke to the ortho) and injections.

Such a beautiful day today. Everything is better in the spring. The Arizona immigration law is Draconian and shocking, but if it spurs federal action it'll have been worth it. It's good to see our systems conspire to make possible the reforms we need. Thank you Anthem for healthcare reform. Thank you Goldman Sachs for the imminent financial reg. And maybe soon we'll thank the citizens of Arizona for the impetus to address immigration reform.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Enron, the musical

Tough week but ended well. And last night we went for dinner (Bobby Van's -- bit too much of a WASP stronghold for our tastes but food was good) and then to see Enron, still in previews. We weren't really expecting to like it, but in prep we'd watched "The Smartest Guys in the Room" just last weekend.

It was a blast. Very well done, funny but meaningful, with some great touches, ideas and acting. Much of the dialog was familiar -- the playwright picked up the actual statements by some of the leading actors like Lay, Skilling and Fastow. But some great expressionist elements (the Lehman brothers, the raptors, three blind mice.) We really enjoyed it. John Lithgow was in the audience (that's the second time we've seen him at a play.) It came across as broader and more relevant than the story of a single company gone terribly wrong. It felt like a classic tragedy with a fall from grace, and the points and lessons of the Enron story have broad applications to our sense of who we are in business and as Americans, about our values and what matters.

Today is about errands and straightening up the house -- some people from the open house are coming back. Among the errands is a drugstore visit to get all the prescriptions the physiatrist gave me. She was great in terms of time spent, thoroughness and a non-silo'd approach to what's wrong with me. She said it's the piriformis muscle which isn't functioning well and is pressing on nerves causing sciatica -- that's the pain that's lately gotten worse and wakes me in the night. Quite a cocktail she prescribed: muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, pain killer and something else for nerve pain. That's part one of the treatment -- to try and get the pain under control and manageable so that we can move on to the plan she thinks I need, a combination of injections and physical therapy, leavened by drugs.

Also on the docket for the weekend is addressing the save-the-date cards and mailing them. That's exciting.

Tonight we have dinner with Lamia and Mirwan. Really looking forward to it. Plus they've been to Peru and we're anxious to hear all about it.

Tomorrow more house stuff for another buyer. Then a matinee in the afternoon: "The Glass Menagerie" at the Roundabout. I hear it's an unusual production but I love love love that play so I'm curious to see what they've done.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


lots of good stuff getting dropped by. Yesterday's UPS guy brought the save the dates and the stamps, a book about Peru, plus some more mundane stuff. I do love deliveries, I have to say. And these wedding-related packages are the best.

Early Thursday

Up since 5. Really since 3 but I dozed a while. It was pain that woke me and kept me awake, and at a certain point I said the hell with it and got up.

Fortunately my day is relatively easy: a trip out to see a client this morning, then back to the office for work and meetings and a day that ends with PT. Tomorrow I see this new doc -- a physiatrist -- so will figure out what that's all about.

Looking forward to a fun weekend. Tomorrow night dinner followed by the new show about Enron. (A musical about Enron -- really?) Then dinner Saturday night with Lamia and Mirwan, and on Sunday we're seeing The Glass Menagerie. Not a particularly restful weekend but should be a good one. Someone's coming to see the house Sat afternoon -- one of the people from the open house. Nick has some things to do Saturday and I'll use the time to do the great clothing shift in honor of the season's change. And together the 3 of us will address the save-the-dates so we can send them on Monday. All good stuff. We'll try to keep next weekend open to inaugurate the cycling season. Per PT, I can ride, but they suggest less resistance, less speed and a shorter duration that is my wont. Better than nothing.

Matt and I have been in touch all week, working together on his paper: propaganda in 1920's Germany. I had an art book of period drawings that turned out to be very helpful.

Liv's new SAT tutor is working out well -- all hail Glen. That's a relief.

It's early not only in the day but to characterize the week, but I'll try. It's been a good, busy productive week and the change in weather makes everything better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A beautiful family day

That's what Nick said about yesterday, and he's right. We went to services to hear Dad read the haftorah and be honored (as Nick said to Murray: "best haftorah I ever heard." And the inevitable question: who is reading the other haf?) It sounded perfect to us (though eagle-eyed bar/bat mitzvah tutor Aunt Shirley found one mistake; not really a mistake but the substitution of one word for another.

But it was beautiful.

The whole lot of us were there, so happy and proud of Dad. After the service and kiddush we went back to the folks for dessert and some hanging out. Later my brother came over and we hung out with the kids, who for the first time in a long time got along. Maybe it's detente, maybe they've just tired of the stress of holding those extreme positions. But it worked.

Great day for Dad and for all of us.

Later Nick and I went to see "Red" with Alfred Molina. Great play. 90 minutes of fantastic language, ideas and intensity. I felt like I understood Mark Rothko for the first time. Really great, tight, brilliantly acted and cunningly written. A blast.

Today is maiden voyage open house of 2010. Let the cleaning and pretense that we don't really live here begin.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


That's a big part of my life right now: lists. Lists of to-do's -- for Olivia's college plans, for wedding prep, for Matt's travels, for the honeymoon, for work. Lists of names -- for the wedding. My bulletin board is covered with lists (I still like hard copy.) But even with all this going on, it's not terribly stressful. The wedding planning is pretty simple, at least relative to other major events I've planned. The restaurant makes it pretty easy. For the ceremony we're looking into the Society for Ethical Culture. We'll review their info this weekend, check with Matt about dates and decide if that's how we want to move forward.

Today we'll celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday, and the gang's all here. Laur flew in from Berkeley, Matt came from Mass. Jon stayed over. And we'll all meet at the synagogue at 10 to hear him read the haftorah. Very nice.

Tonight Nick and I will see "Red", the new play about Mark Rothko with Alfred Molina. Look for a review tomorrow.

Tomorrow's the first open house of the season, so fingers crossed.

It's an invigorating time, with all these things in the offing, the weather changing and so much to look forward to. Still having quite a bit of pain, but in the better weather and with the energy of spring it's not getting to me as much. Need to schedule an appointment with this physiatrist person soon. Took my first post-THR flight, and was expecting problems at the airport metal detector, but nothing happened. No beep, no nothing. And my energy is fully back, so I can work without limit, see friends and do everything else I need to do.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beehive of Activity

suddenly everything has come to life, just as the weather changed and our long bleak winter morphed into a beautiful warm spring. We're both very busy with work, and starting to do social things (though I find I still can't do everything I like -- I still get tired and there's still quite a bit of pain.)

But a couple of things are going on that will make this spring and summer bursting with activity. There's Liv's college planning -- a new SAT tutor, scheduling interviews, reviewing applications. There's her summer program at Berklee and the plans to get her there and set up. There's wedding planning! We have a date and are now starting to work on the plans. It'll be simple and intimate to be sure, but even that requires thought and attention to detail. There's a potential trip to Louisiana to see Nick's folks, since it's been too long. There's paperwork for Matt's year abroad, which is looming. There's my Dad's 80th birthday -- no work for us; we'll just be part of the events -- but it's on the radar. There are summer trips to PEI to plan. There are bikes to be taken out of storage and taken out (we'll see how that goes.)

All good things, all happy things, just an awful lot of things especially compared to the lost month of February when nothing of interest was in the offing.

And this weekend is the most beautiful I can remember, and our last quiet weekend for a while. After this one we've got lots of plans to do things and see people, so we'll really enjoy the solitude and simplicity of a quiet weekend with just the two of us.