Amateur philosopher, deep but impatient thinker, not much time on my hands, exremely opinionated on certain subjects (America, dog food, pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, math education ....)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Few Words

Yesterday something kind of neat happened. I'm a fan of the bucolic lifestyle, or at least the idea of it. I imagine a place in the country with a big herb garden, a few chickens, some paints, lots of paper for writing, a couple of friendly, goofy dogs, and of course, cats curled up on cushions on sunny, wicker porch swings. Okay, okay. I know it's like something out of a bad Maeve Binchy novel, but sometimes ... sometimes ... you can actually get glimpses of this, even in the city. I was upstairs changing yesterday before heading out for a meeting, and I come out onto the landing and there's one of the cats at the bottom of the stairs curled up in the laundry basket. The laundry basket had been set not far from the front of the grand piano, which, truth be told, would have made the picture more complete had it been uncovered and had its lid been up. Meanwhile, I'd forgotten a classical music station I'd turned on was still on, and some nice, light baroque music drifted up at me. The cat gazed up at me sleepily, and I took in the scene, which was flooded with natural morning light (east facing room) and it hit me ... this is a page from a magazine! Very cool. You simply have to notice moments like that.

I've lost 22 pounds and still going strong. None of my clothes fits me anymore (boo hoo). Yoga continues to be wonderful. I find yoga creeping into my every day activities and mindset, though I'm not consciously trying to make it do that. Piano playing has slowed down since work started again full tilt in September, but I continue to make progress, and am still loving it. My only complaint at the moment is that I really, really miss writing. I've read so much good fiction lately and I feel bits of stories, images, characters, conversations, for stories creeping into my head on an almost continuous basis. I must create! Man, how to carve out the time to do so, though, is completely beyond me.

My last surviving grandparent (grandmother on my dad's side) died on September 23. I had not been close to her. She lived in Germany and the last time I saw her I was 10. Since then there've been a few phone calls and letters and cards, but nothing major. It left a curious hole, though, when she died. Sort of made me feel smaller. I think it's a combination of two things: it reminds me of my mortatlity, which I never like to be reminded of, because I've not yet dealt with the fact that I will not, um.... live forever; and the other thing is that, generation-wise, my parents are next, and that is a place I cannot go to in my mind, not at all. It terrifies me.

The same week, my husband's son's father-in-law died. He was only 52. Had a heart attack at work and died on the spot, and had never had any history of heart diesease.

Well, that brings you all up to date. I'll be by to visit your blogs soon. I miss you all ...

Monday, September 26, 2005

So flippin' busy

Hey Chandira & other blogger friends. Thanks for dropping by, and sorry I haven't posted in ages. I'll be brief as I'm off to yoga. Updates: I've now lost 19 1/2 pounds. Woo-hoo! 10 1/2 more to go. Wow. Weight loss has never before been this successful. Yoga is fantastic. I'm now going twice a week for 90 minutes and STARTING to incorporate it at home, though not nearly enough. Music is going very well. I've learned Lord of the Rings music and am now learning "When I'm 64". That's so much fun. Been gardening, reading tons (recent books: The Kite Runner, The Poisonwood Bible, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Girl With the Pearl Earring). All fantastic. The horror in New Orelans (though I've never been there) had me mute with shock for a couple of weeks. Any comment on my blog I think would have been trite and not done my own sense of the horror there justice, so I stayed silent on the subject.

That's it for now. I've got to run. More soon, hopefully.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Brad Pitt's been spotted in Calgary! And so has Angelina Jolie! Pity I live in the suburbs. Doubt my mortal self will get a glimpse of either of the gilded "pair", frequenting, as they do, the trendy spots as opposed to my local Tim Horton's. Is my life somehow less charmed as a result?

Question: are there are any famous people you'd go way out of your way just to catch a glimpse of? I will have to think if there are any for me. Certainly I don't think any Hollywood actors would make the list. Now, if they did a reconstruction of Lord of the Rings, with Aragorn and Legolas riding over the prairie plains on horseback, I might be induced to try to catch a glimpse. Doubt it, though. What is it with the fascination of the celebrity life? Who cares?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Violation !*($#&*!

My last post was terribly unexciting, so I didn't mind deleting the whole thing, but I want to know: how does one selectively delete other people's comments from a particular post, without disallowing future comments? Some ingrate put some dumb investing ad scheme on the comments section of my last post. As this person obviously has a blog (my site doesn't allow nonblogger comments), my plan was to go there and give him several nasty pieces of my mind, but there was no actual site, just an identity page with absolutely no info on it. Help! I am so mad. Is nothing sacrosanct? Now they're finding a way to put spam on our blogs!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Little Scare

Yesterday we noticed that Sam (our dog) was squinting a lot and seeming like he didn't want to open his eyes fully. It got worse as the day progressed, and it seemed he was sleeping a lot. Finally, at 9:00 last night, we'd decided enough was enough and we took him to the vet. Our clinic nearby is a 24-hour facility, and I don't think they charge a whole lot more for drop-in, after hours, "emergencies". Turns out our old vet, whom Mr. P and I both really liked, is back there again! (She had left there not long after we met her last year when Sam got his first shots and we were quite upset about it because I DO NOT like vets, generally I figure they're about as trustworthy as lawyers, and of as high integrity as well, but this one I really, really liked; so it was a major disappointment, but now she's back, and we didn't even know until she came out to say hello to us last night in the clinic, and she's there to stay. Whew. One less thing to worry about.)

Anyway, Sam had (has) a bit of inflammation in his eyes, and we think it's possible that it's from the sanding Mr. P was doing in the upstairs bedroom, getting it ready for painting. We got drops for him, etc., and he is almost back to his old self. What a relief. We were very, very worried last night. He was barely opening his eyes at all. I guess with his eyes that sore he really only wanted to sleep because it felt best just to keep them shut, but his energy level seems to be returning.

We have been watching a DVD called "House of Cards", a BBC miniseries with Ian Richardson (the one who plays Bill Hayden in John Le Carre's Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy, for those of you in the know). It is very, very, very good. We keep on seeing more and more BBC miniseries and we always marvel at how they continue to outdo themselves. This one is about political intrigue in the British House of Parliament early 1980's, I think.

I've been reading The Poinsonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I must admit I thought Kingsolver was a Danielle Steele or Maeve Binchy-type author (apologies to Maeve Binchy, for I like her books from time to time), and I am not really into that sort of fiction. You know the Country Club, women-finding-themselves sort where deep friendships are forged in a mansion on the shores of Britian or Ireland, where people are always inheriting things and never seem to have to work. Like I said, I like them on occasion, but not that often. Anyway, Kingsolver is about as far from one of these authors as can be imagined. That I had not heard how good her writing is before now is bizarre. I pride myself on knowing my fiction: who's good, who's not, who's underrated, who's overrated. I keep an eye on all the lists, read reviews, and of course, read positively voraciously. How did Kingsolver escape my notice? With apologies to American authors, I do prefer the British ones, and this is possibly one explanation. Kingsolver is American, at least born there, and lives there now, though she has travelled and lived extensively in both Europe and Africa, which to my mind goes some way to setting her apart (in the literary sense) from her American compatriots. Anyway, the Poisonwood Bible may be the best book I have ever read. And I don't think it would be exaggerating to say I have read 500 books or more since my mid-teens. (I wish I had had the foresight years ago to list them all ... alas.) THE BEST BOOK of all of them. Strip away any categorical organization to listing a best book or favourite; remove genre-typing, etc. THE BEST BOOK. I can say that now, and I haven't even finished it yet. I've got about 150 pages to go. It is so good, and I am so sure I will read it again one day, we just ordered it from Amazon in hardcover. (Also the Lord of the Rings sheet music, from the first movie).

Just a few more holiday days left. Monday it's back to work. Where on earth did the summer go?

Friday, August 12, 2005

What a weird day

Today we went to Ikea again. I bought a wrong sheet so had to return it, and I wanted a new bookcase. We got everything we wanted so that was good. We had two more stops planned afterwards, and got neither of them done. Instead of taking 15 minutes or so to get home, it probably took about 40 minutes. Our main route home was closed completely, probably due to a traffic fatality, and then there was more out-of-the-ordinary weirdness the whole afternoon, too. Hubby and I were nattering at each other (slightly) while we were stuck in traffic due to ... nothing at all. Sheesh. Makes the whole "living in the present moment" thing a challenge, let me tell you.

Met with the doctor yesterday whom I edit for. It went extremely well, but I am now in the throes of editing a book-in-progress which is about modernism, post-modernism, epistemology, critical realism and other philosophical intrigues, and to own the truth, I feel a bit out of my depth, though not horribly so. Luckily, the doctor is also a good friend and very kind, so he's patient with my misunderstandings.

Time for dinner ...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Summer's Already Waning

I can't believe that summer is nearly over. Thanks to all of you who keep checking in ... given that there hasn't been much to check in with! Also, I've been remiss and have not visited anyone lately. It seems that all that extra time you think you'll end up with gets sucked up quickly by a vortex of activity and extra time vanishes.

Here's an update on what's been happening:
  1. Yoga is going fantastically. I have decided to up my yoga to twice a week in September. It's been fun, hasn't it, K?
  2. I have lost 13 1/2 pounds so far and going strong. Even with the holidays and Mr. Carnivore Man home.
  3. Have read another Nabokov book since Lolita: Laughter in the Dark, which I thought was almost as hard to describe as Lolita, but not so much. It's a quick read and devatsatingly unflinching. I highly recommend it to anyone (especially anyone in a happy marriage whose eye occasionally wanders). And, no, B2, it's not simplistic to say that you liked them. In fact, my hubby feels as you do. The books did not evoke the same reactions from him that they did from me.
  4. Gardening projects have not yet broken ground (haha). Neither has painting the upstairs bedrooms, but hopefully both will start over the weekend or Monday at latest.
  5. I AM enjoying my summer. Thanks, Chandira!!
  6. I have read the most incredible book; just finished it yesterday. It's medeaval (sp?) fiction. The book is called Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick. This book is so good I actually did not touch my piano for an entire day. I couldn't put it down. Well, that's what holidays are for. Losing yourself in a good book is as good an activity as any.Now I am reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I've never read any of her books before, but I think I'm in for a treat. So far I really like it.
Has anyone out there seen the miniseries Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People? Both John Le Carre books. Excellent miniseries (both are BBC). I highly recommend them.

Okay, my hubby's been on the phone to his son, and I think I sense an end coming. I'm hoping we can get a few more minutes of our movie in tonight (The Great Escape: it's pretty good).

Talk to you all soon. I hope to be by to visit everyone soon.