» Saturday, October 30, 2021
Doctors and Dinosaurs
How amazing! It seems like we wait years for October to arrive and then the whole month goes by like the wind.
Still looking for some real fall weather, but the temperature is dropping to better levels, and next week looks heavenly: nothing over 68℉! (Fifties would be better, but beggars can't be choosers, as they say.) Plus I had a first this week: cooked my first "stir-fry." It was actually pork bits in a sesame-seed sweet sauce, and it came out pretty well, especially when I did a reduction on the leftover sauce.
Thursday was our usual shopping day, and then I started uploading some of my fanfiction to Fanfiction.net. This is fine for my Remember WENN fanfiction, since there's already a category for it, but there's no category for the other fic I want to put up there: my Lassie, Doctor Simon Locke, and Addie Mills stories. I contacted someone at the website and still haven't heard from anyone yet.
Friday James had two doctors' appointments. In the morning we went out to Glenlake to see his cardiologist as a followup for him being in the hospital a few months ago. That worked out fine, and he doesn't want James to have another echocardiogram as his last one was so recent. Since we were so close we went to Trader Joe's, and it was actually chilly enough for us to buy things and leave them in the back of the truck! So we got chicken sausage and pub cheese and other good things; alas, no more pumpkin bars.
There was a Mellow Mushroom nearby, so we had lunch there. Their crust is almost, almost as good as Uncle Maddio's, and I got quite full on a personal pizza and still took a slice home. Then we went next door to Half-Price books for about a half hour. I bought Jill Lepore's history of the U.S., Mike Douglas' memoirs, and The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, plus a Blu-Ray copy of Jurassic World for only $6!
Then we got to go to Kaiser again, Cumberland this time, for James' podiatrist appointment. He was only supposed to have his nails trimmed, but the nurse didn't like the look of his "ring" toe on his left leg and got us in to see the podiatrist. He has this small ulcer on the toe and it had become a little irritated on Wednesday night, so we were glad we were seeing the doctor. He didn't like what he saw either, and gave me some collagen to put on it and says James is not to get that foot wet (so I basically got chewed out by the doctor for not treating it the way he wanted me to). He also gave him doxycycline for any infection.
I had kind of a bad night on Friday. Snowy had been acting kind of quiet when we got home, and I was worried something was wrong with him, so I spent a lot of the night crying and James a lot of the night comforting me, and of course that did a number on my lower GI. He seemed better in the morning, but I was a mess. Finally we did go out—we had to go back to Half-Price Books because the Blu-ray disk in my Jurassic World combo pack was actually a copy of Jurassic Park. There was a new Lidl two stores down and I went in and found eggs for James and some pork chops for dinner. We also had lunch at Panera, but that was a dead disappointment. I haven't been to Panera for a couple of years, and I don't know what the hell they've done to their chicken soup, but it's dreadful now: tastes like a can of Progresso!!! I ate half, enough to dispose of the nice big piece of French bread they gave me and some of the noodles, and James dipped his bread in it and ate the rest of the noodles, and we left some of the soup. Ugh.
Labels: books, food, health, movies, seasons, shopping, sickness, weather, writing
» Saturday, October 23, 2021
Saturday on the Sofa With Vincent
It was a quiet week, thankfully.
Spent most of the work week not doing much except the usual chores on Sunday and refining and revising my story. Thursday was the usual shopping day, and we filled it up with not only the usual Lidl/Publix/Kroger run, but we also went to Sam's Club because we were looking for their multipack of Dial soap. Alas, like Costco, they have abandoned having real soap to have endless supplies of moisturizing soaps. Apparently Dove has a corner on the warehouse market, to our extreme disgust. To make up for it, we stopped at Bernhard's bakery on the way home and bought Florentine cookies for me and a German chocolate cake square and a gingerbread cookie for James.
Friday we had a nice day: had lunch at Oy! (a breakfast/lunch place) with Alice, Ken, and Aubrey. They were all a-chatter with plans for their upcoming trip to Disney World. After we were done, James and I had to pick up meds at Kaiser, then went to do something fun: stopped at Barnes & Noble and then at Hobby Lobby.
Saturday James had his annual IPMS modeling contest and left the house not soon after breakfast. I had plans for the day and, after doing the vacuuming and unloading and loading the dishwasher, sat down to have a nice Vincent D'Onofrio film festival for the afternoon. I watched his half-hour drama "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles" (about Orson Welles' mercurial behavior while filming the classic film The Third Man), plus two films. Sherlock: A Case of Evil is a meh TV movie involving a younger Sherlock trying to recover his reputation after he supposedly kills Professor Moriarty, but then the dastardly professor "rises from the dead" and makes his reputation suspect. Then Moriarty kidnaps him and gets him hooked on drugs until he's rescued. Notable for an interesting take on Dr. Watson, but Sherlock himself is kinda dull, and the only lively scenes are D'Onofrio chewing scenery quite well as Moriarty, and the ending where the two have a swordfight in the tower where Big Ben is hung (ala Disney's Great Mouse Detective). Much better was a charming little rom-com from around 2000 called Happy Accidents. It's about twenty minutes too long, but Marisa Tomei is adorable as the girl who keeps picking loser boyfriends (to the point she's seeing a therapist about it) and D'Onofrio is delightfully goofy as a guy named Sam Deed that she meets who eventually confesses to her that he's from the future (2478, to be exact). You really don't know if Sam is just a kook or if the story he's telling is true until the very end.
I can see I'm going to have to check out Mystic Pizza, even though I'm not a big Julia Roberts fan.
Labels: friends, movies, shopping
» Saturday, October 16, 2021
Bejacketed, Trimmed, and Reworded
A considerably more low-key week and weekend than last, but also very profitable. The big news (for me, anyway) is that I finished a piece of writing I started a couple of weeks back. This is the first bit of fanfic I've worked on since my Dan Palmer story in 2015; it's been a long dry spell and one that's left me depressed even if I hadn't let on it was happening. Now I have to go back and put all the details into it; I hadn't written any fiction at all in so long that I figured I'd just better get the bones down first and do the rest later. I know I'll be tweaking this one for weeks to get the voices just right.
(Plus I finally reviewed my September books, which is a relief.)
Still having strange gastric upsets every so often; this iteration seems to be since I got the third vaccine. Alas, my digestion has been troublesome for over twenty years; I doubt it's going to get any better as I get older.
Besides the usual weekly things (chores on Sunday, shopping on Thursday) we had a stop at the shopping center out on Dallas Highway that has Petco and Sprouts because Snowy was almost out of birdseed. Found the budgie enclosure full of a dozen baby budgies, some with head tucked under wing, a couple playing, several looking askance at this vertical living thing with the horizontal covering over the head. These days every time I go past the budgies, I always pray that each will find a loving home with someone who cares for them and understands they are little "bird persons" and not just toys to be stuck in a corner.
Saturday was Hair Day—we had to skip last month because Sheri had badly injured her ankle—and James finally looks neatly bewhiskered again, rather than looking like a refugee from Duck Dynasty. I trimmed the hair on his neck and around his ears a couple of weeks earlier (before Jessie's wedding), but I really don't have Sheri's chops in hair cutting. From there we drove up to Town Center to the DXL store because James needed a decent winter jacket; his old plaid with the hood, which he likes best, even over the "Rhode Island-weight" winter coat we got him in 2005, was on its last legs, as I had mended and patched it where it got mangled in front by one of the clasps on his koala bag. Since I am not a seamstress by any means and this involved patching plaid, it didn't look very good any longer, even if it did keep him warm. We found a very nice black jacket with a hood and a quilted interior for $90; as a plus it is also water-resistant, which the old jacket wasn't, so he has a good raincoat as well.
Labels: birds, books, friends, health, shopping, writing
» Saturday, October 09, 2021
Over Roads and Undercover
The rest of the week was not quite as solemn, and even a little fun. Thursday, of course, it was shopping, and then James had his six-months visit to the dermatologist. She froze off two little moles on his left earlobe, but otherwise gave him a clear bill of health. Unfortunately we should have popped in the pharmacy and picked up a new box of Ferrex. Now we're going to have to pop in at a Kaiser facility sometime in the two weeks he doesn't
have an appointment just to get Ferrex. Bother. (Don't suggest online. Everyone is five dollars a box more than Kaiser.)
And Friday it finally happened! The first time in two years there has been a library book sale! Report is here. Later in the day we went to Kaiser's TownPark facility and got our COVID-19 booster.
On Saturday we spent the afternoon at Monsterama/Spycon, a combined horror/spy convention put together by Anthony Taylor and others. James and I are not big horror fans, so basically we were there for the conversation and the spy panels. We saw Louis Robinson for the first time in ages, and stopped to talk to local author Bobby Nash in the dealer's room. James bought one of his books, an old-fashioned pulp-type aviation adventure. Sue Phillips was also there, and when we took a break to get something to eat in the con suite (since the hotel restaurant didn't do any lunch specials like last time) we sat together and got to talk (although mostly eat since we were pretty hungry by that time!).
Our first panel was a little disappointing. It was supposed to be about spy cars in different movies and television, but we just talked about the Lotus Enspire (sp?) car used in a James Bond movie. The presenter had a Lotus car which he mocked up to look like the Lotus in the film, and also the "submarine" version of the car which he also owned. (He also has a killer Jaguar convertible, all three which were out front. I'm not into sports cars per se—the only car with a place in my heart is still Twilight—but the Jag looks like it would be fun to drive.)
We then went to a panel about doing research—which, of course I get off on, because doing research on something you're interested in is fun!—and did have to laugh about them talking about doing research on murders and making some really dicey records in their browsers!
Other panels were one about the music of spy music in films and television series. Again, much Bond orienting, but then the James Bond theme by now is iconic. And how you can't hear the Get Smart theme without thinking of that corridor with the doors! And how no one is writing great theme songs for television anymore because of the need to shove more commercials in, and lots and lots about the classic composers like Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, and more. And one other panel that was a "spy fight" of television spies versus movie spies done like a Fantasy Football competition. Black Widow won eventually.
Our favorite panel was the spy trivia. I did well on some historical stuff, fictional stuff, and a couple of others, and started out well out of the gate, but James pulled ahead with more technical stuff. Also playing were two other guys, Kevin and Lee. We had a great time and the moderators, including a woman (Bernadette Johnson) who wrote a book of spy trivia, were absolutely great. I hope they do another panel like this next year; it's been years since we played trivia at Rockford's on Saturday nights, and I do miss it!* We all got prizes: James and I both chose the book, of course!
James said wistfully as we were leaving that that was what we had really missed: just talking to people with like interests. I really wish I'd checked the calendar when we made the vaccine appointments, or we could have come on Friday, too, but by the time we fought our way through traffic up to TownPark (it was hideous...you might have thought the entire city was being evacuated) and then gotten the shot itself (mine began hurting immediately), neither of us were in any shape to go anywhere. And of course we couldn't go tomorrow because James works. Maybe next year...
* We'd get to trivia early and everyone would end up meeting at Media Play in the same shopping center. I remember when Jake and Nancy showed up with a Cyberhome DVD player and told us you could make it region-free. We had three of them eventually! We loved when Matt showed up because we had our movie expert for the night!
(Plus I have never had anything that was as good as Rockford's Asian salad—with grilled chicken strips in it—and haven't found an Asian salad dressing yet that was as good as theirs.)
On the drive home—Rockford's was way out past Stone Mountain—in summer, it was usually cool enough to ride with the windows down and we'd have the Sixties channel on SiriusXM playing Cousin Brucie...those were the days!
Labels: books, conventions, food, friends, health, shopping
» Monday, October 04, 2021
Betty Louise Bouler, 1947-2021
Betty's funeral took place today. James got up and worked ninety minutes so there would be sure to be coverage in the early timeslot. We then left to go to the service at the West Cobb Funeral Home. This was held in the adjoining chapel, and a box of tissues was passed from pew to pew as it was a lovely service, and Betty's husband, John, and our friend Juanita especially made us cry as they spoke. Juanita was so overcome John went to stand behind her and put a hand on her shoulder to steady her.
Next followed the funeral procession. We had been lined up outside before we went in for the service, and now we proceeded north with a police escort. It was fascinating watching the different police cars do their work to keep the line together: the Cobb County Police doing the overall procession, but the different community police handing off as we rolled through different neighborhoods, Sandy Springs, Woodstock, Holly Springs. It was like watching sheepdogs work. One car would stop to hold traffic and the second would race ahead to the next spot where coverage would be needed, and the community police blocked exits so the procession would not be interrupted. Despite that, at least three people cut into the procession; two of them stayed in the procession for several miles. One of them even put on his flashers like he was part of it all! The third was the most blatant: the neighborhood police had blocked one of the entrances to the freeway and this dork in a big SUV went around the police car and tried to get into the procession! We could see the folks at the end of the procession blocking him from getting in, and then a police car herded him to the side of the road, then let him go on as we got past.
Betty, who was a military veteran (Air Force), had her ashes laid to rest in the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. The cemetery is nestled in the middle of rolling hills and from the entrance you can see the North Georgia mountains in the distance. The first stop for our little procession, after an hour of driving, was at a restroom facility where we could all have a little relief and discuss the dork in the SUV. Then military honors were accorded to her at the little outdoor chapel area near the columbarium where her ashes would be stored. There was a beautiful flag ceremony that made most of us cry and then huddle around in groups to exchange hugs.
Finally a few of us went to Chili's for lunch. I can't say I'm anywhere more pleased with Chili's than on the last occasion that I was there, but at least the music was lower! I remember the last time we were at a Chili's the music was so loud we had to shout to be able to talk to whomever was next to us. But it was the only place Alice could find that would let us sit together, and that was really the most important part, being together.
We got home about four and James worked for the rest of the day until seven.
Labels: events, friends
» Saturday, October 02, 2021
All This and October, Too
It was a...well, rather buggy week. Literally. Both James and I had been seeing little roaches feet up periodically in the kitchen (and we were glad they were dead!), so it was providentially we had the quarterly extermination service in on Monday because when I went into the kitchen that morning there was yet another roach on its back, feebly waving its legs. Squish! You're dead!
Evidently one still was hiding out in the house because it ran skittering underneath my bedding on Friday morning, which definitely made me not want to sleep in any longer and instead wigged me out enough to make me change the bed on what was a very busy day already and a fat pain in the neck to juggle. I also gave the dog a bath on Tuesday and washed all his bedding, which made it a triple-threat week.
So, yeah, we did the usual route for Thursday grocery shopping: Lidl, Publix, and finally Kroger, but we did it all in an hour, and it was so nicely cool for a change that we ate a hasty lunch and then went out again: drove out to Trader Joe's as well, so we could stock up on fruit bars and also get some of their yummy orange chicken for supper. Glad to drive "through the back" up Lower Roswell Road and see trees starting to turn, even if just minimally! Goldenrod is everywhere.
Between the bedding tradeoff on Friday, we had a nice lunch at O'Charley's with Alice and Ken, Mel and Phyllis, and John Bouler, and then had to go see James' rheumatologist at Kaiser. He says James' right hand has developed "knots" in the tendons and has referred him to a hand specialist. So now he has that to look forward to. 😩
James spent the rest of Friday afternoon cooking while I wrestled with the bed, so that on Saturday we could run a couple of errands. I wanted to get more of a good type of LED light bulb I'd found at Home Depot, then we skipped to Hallmark to buy a special card and also found a Christmas gift for someone. Dipped in Barnes & Noble for a few minutes, and by then it was after two and James was starting to get a little light-headed from not yet eating lunch. So he stopped at Lidl and I ran in for a cookie for the bakery for him and some chicken that was thawed that we could have for supper. Instead I emerged with sweet Italian sausage and a big bag of grapes that we both enjoyed. Later James cooked something we'd found at Trader Joe's, butternut squash cut as crinkle fry shapes, in the air fryer. They were a little overdone, but still tasted delicious as a side with the sausage. If we do that again, James should knock them out of the park!
I'm happy for October to be here! Just wish it would get a little cooler. Looks like we are going to get a barrelful of rain next week.
Labels: events, food, friends, health, shopping