Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving update:

Good morning, all,

Just wanted to let you know that mom has been doing pretty well this week. She sprained her ankle on Sunday while getting out of the car at church, but thankfully nothing was broken, and she's okay. She started physical therapy in the rehab center at Kaiser last week, and this might be a tiny setback, but her spirits are good.

Tomorrow she has her first round of chemotherapy. She will have chemotherapy one day a week, for two weeks, with the third week off. Then she starts again. We don't know how long the chemotherapy will last yet - she'll get a check up next month and and the doctor will see how she's doing. She had a pretty good experience when she had chemotherapy before, so we're hoping this time around will be just as gentle, though she knows she will probably lose her hair. Hair loss is temporary!

We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Is it time to eat yet?

Today I am thankful for my family, and for you.

Love you,
Irene

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a mess!

Yesterday I allowed myself to feel like a 5 year old.

I was perhaps provoked but still - I'm the one who went there.

Let's chalk it up to stress and lack of sleep, and not talk about it anymore. Hopefully I will grow up at some point and not let my thin skin become an issue again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is not the news I'm looking for.

Yesterday kind of sucked. I had a really bad headache at work, and I ran out of Advil last week. All I could find in the office was some Excedrin Migraine that my co-worker gave me. I will tell you this right off the bat: I. Will. Never. Ever. Take. That. Again. Apparently it has caffeine in it. Caffeine and me, we don't get along. I get jittery, heart fluttery, and I was already kind of a nervous wreck. As I was leaving to meet my parents for my mom's doctor's appointment, two of my co-workers wished me luck (they knew where I was going) and I totally lost it. I had to leave, in tears.

I got to my car and cried for awhile, and I told myself, You can't do this! You have to be strong! I did not want my parents to see me cry. Or, frankly, my co-workers. So I sat there for awhile, and calmed down, and played an old Kevin and Bean podcast, because sometimes they make me laugh. Not so, yesterday, but I suspect it wasn't all their fault. The drive to Culver City was really fast: like 15 minutes (I took the 10 and there was no traffic. I wish I could do that all the time!), and I still didn't feel ready to go to my mom and dad's house, so I stopped at Target to pick up some stuff we needed at home (i.e., Advil).

When I got to my mom and dad's, they were both fine. My mom was cheery and fine. So I sucked it up and got cheery and fine, too.

Follows is an email from me to my "mom's army"  about the doctor's appointment. It's much easier to be "cheery" in an email.

...

Hi, everyone,

Mom had a follow-up with Dr. McRobot today to discuss the results of the CT scan. He found a small lesion on her liver, and is scheduling her to begin chemotherapy starting in the beginning of December. This wasn't the news we wanted to hear, but we're glad Dr. McRobot has a treatment plan, and of course we know that she's blessed to be getting good care.

Mom goes tomorrow for her first physical therapy session at the rehab center at Kaiser, and we're going to concentrate on her getting stronger and healing her leg and knee. On Friday she'll have more bloodwork done and meet with her very sweet primary care physician, Dr. Holly, and Monday, November 23, we'll go for a "teaching" session to learn about the chemotherapy.

Thanks for all your prayers! She's scared but thanks to you all knows she has a great support system.

Keep my dad in your thoughts. This is hard for him, too, and he appreciates your love and support.

Love you,
Irene

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yesterday I was in Target (shopping for a new cabinet thing for the bathroom... I bought one but when Patrick took it out of the box to install it today, it turns out there's a huge crack in the top. I hate it when stuff like that happens. Now I have to find the receipt, take it back, find another one: I just want the damn thing on the wall), and in the deodorant aisle when I heard a kid crying.

This was not the cry of a child who was hungry or hurt. This was the cry of a kid who was bored and whiny. Choosing a deodorant took a surprisingly long time, so I listened to the kid for awhile, and then I heard mom, who sounded young, pissed off, and desperate. Their one-sided conversation went something like this:

Mom: "Please stop crying."
[Crying]
Mom: "You have to stop crying."
[Crying.]
Mom: "Come on, ______, please stop crying. I can't shop like this."
[Crying.]

It went on like this for awhile, and then mom's tone escalated from exasperated to... slightly psycho. And yes, meanwhile, I'm wandering the nearby aisles, browsing the hair removal items. 

Mom: "God! Would you be quiet?"
[Crying.]
Mom: "What is wrong with you?"
[Crying.]
Mom: "Do you want to go home and see daddy?"
[Crying, but with an uplifted, hopeful tone. I suspect the kid was interested in going home and seeing daddy.]
Mom: "If you're quiet I'll get you french fries."

When I first heard all this, and then I saw mom, who was indeed, very young, I was kind of shocked. I'm not doing a very good job of describing just how inappropriate and scary what mom was saying and the way she was saying it was. When I got my first look at her, she was bent over at the waist, very close to her son, who was probably 2 or 3 years old. He was indeed crying. They were real tears, not fake ones, but there also seemed to be something going on here: it took so long (I eventually walked away and paid for my items, and mom was still there, talking to her now sobbing boy), it just felt wrong. But then I got off my high horse, and realized that I've never been in public with a crying baby. I've never had to reason with someone who is unreasonable, who I'm supposed to be protecting and caring for. Personally, I think I would just turn around and take the both of us home and do my shopping another time, but what do I know? She knew everybody in the vicinity, including a security guard who was hanging out in the hair removal item aisle with me, could hear her, and yet she continued to beg, yell (oh, yes, she yelled), and threaten her little boy. She never touched him, and he must've eventually stopped crying.

I know being a parent is something most people are totally unprepared for, I know most people learn as they go that bribing your kid with french fries is a bad idea, I know everybody's different and there probably was no underlying story with these two that I need to be worried about, but let's just say that exchanges like this don't make me any more eager to be somebody's mom.

My cats never cry in public. Never.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flute lesson - CMA awards

Last night I had my first flute lesson of the year. I can't remember exactly when I decided to take a break, but I think it was in January or February. I could research this but I'm too lazy, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. It wasn't really a lesson - we didn't do much besides establish that I'll be playing a solo at a recital to take place... next month. I played a couple of scales, and the two movements of the piece I'm going to perform. Since it's been so long since I've worked seriously on anything or since I've been on the spot (there isn't a lot of pressure involved in playing at these recitals - I've been doing them since I was a little kid, but I still get nervous), and there isn't a whole lot of time (I am very slow at learning new pieces) it seemed like a good idea to play something I know. We picked two movements from "Suite de Trois Morceaux," by Godard. Relatively easy, beautiful (if done correctly, which: we shall see), French: it's right up my alley. I'm doing the "Allegretto" and "Idyll" movements. Pretty!

Having a lesson was fun. Granted, I didn't have to perform: it wasn't like a real lesson, where you have to prove that you actually did some work since the last time you were in that spot (interestingly, I fell right back into place in Patty's living room... I did all the [obessessive/compulsive?] things I always used to do at a lesson, such as needing a glass of water and a tissue right from the start, constantly arranging and rearranging the music stand to fit perfectly in the corner of her green rug, surreptitiously [and I'm sure totally obviously] reviewing the music while she talked to me), but since I didn't have to pretend I had practiced anything out of a study book (ah, those were the days! Slopping my way through an exercise was always so much fun) because she already knew I've been slacking off, I felt totally relaxed. I really like these two movements and so even though it's been at least a couple of years (maybe more but let's not think too much about that) since I first learned this piece I like to get it out once in awhile and make sure it still makes sense. It does. I also like the idea that I'm older now and might have something else to say about the music. I remember working this one up and the ideas that I had in my head from that time, and I think there might be something a little different in there now. I've been playing a lot in flute choir and I do practice on my own, but I have to say that, for me, working on a solo is different. Even if the only people I'm performing for are Patty's young students, their parents, and the old folks from the retirement home she has her workshops in, there's something about working up a solo that's exciting. Maybe it's the thrill of playing with piano (her accompanist, Marc, is an amazing player, and manages to make even your mistakes sound good), or just being on your own in front of people, but I like it. And, I liked the feedback I got from Patty and having to get out of my comfort zone a little and really listen to myself - all the nit picky things!

...

After the lesson, and a quick dinner with Patty (we haven't had much time to chit-chat lately so catching up with her was almost as important as the lesson itself), I went over to spend a couple of hours with my mom and dad. We watched the CMA awards, and surprisingly, I liked what I saw. Not so much all the performances themselves (Taylor Swift is adorable, a wonderful performer, but not the world's greatest singer; Brad Paisley is gorgeous, a great host, and writes horrible, cliche-ridden songs; Darius Rucker sounded really rough and his song was pretty dull; same goes for the Daughtry/Vince Gill duet and the Dave Matthews performance...) but there were a couple that were really good, and I loved that there was so much live music. I totally enjoyed Zac Brown band's version of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (that fiddle player was hot - and talented), but my favorite performance was Miranda Lambert's song "White Liar." I thought she was clever, a great singer, and fun. I am not a huge country music fan, but I might seek her out. I also am now curious about Jamey Johnson, who won for song of the year. I wish they'd let him perform it or played it more.

Right now I think I'm going to go see if I can find "White Liar" on iTunes... I bet I'm not the only one downloading it today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not Quite a Book Review: Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Over the last couple of days I read two books by Suzanne Collins - "Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire." They're books one and two in a (trilogy?) sci fi/fantasy series for young adults. My friend from Rizzoli who (lucky dog) still works in a bookstore (another one) recommended and got them for me: we both love this kind of fiction and bonded several years ago over the Philip Pullman novels, "His Dark Materials."

I thought these books were really, really good. Lots of action, teen angst and yearning, they moved along very quickly, and were a very fun read. This is "not quite" a book review because I'm not going to tell you anymore than that.

Anyway, the best thing was, my friend also got me a funny little lapel pin that figures in the story. I probably won't be wearing it but it was nice of him, no?













Photo stolen from jabberjays.com, a fan site for the book, and, get this! The movie! It's coming out in 2011. Exciting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on my mom

Here's an email I wrote to Mom's Army with an update about my mom.

The scan I mentioned that she's getting on Thursday makes me a little nervous but I'm trying to start thinking about them like you think about x-rays at the dentist. Then again, I'm not the one who has to get in that machine and wait a week for the results.

Every once in awhile I read Dana Jennings' blog at the NY Times website on his own "battle with cancer" (the NY Times also has a column on "grammar, useage and style" where they point out misused and overused words that appear in the paper, and "battle with cancer" is one of them, which is why I put it in quotes), and though I don't really know what else he wrote before now, he's a wonderful writer and does a great job. This article about humor and a life-threatening illness is really good.

...

Hi, everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that my mom has been doing really well! She's had several visits with a physical therapist, is walking a lot more (with the walker) and getting out of the house to do fun stuff like go to the movies or to her friend's house to play games. Her scar is healing nicely and I think her leg/knee looks wonderful.

Last week a blood test showed that her potassium level was low again, but this may be caused by medication she takes for her high blood pressure (which is perfect, by the way). Her doctor is keeping track of it.

Mom will be having another CT scan on Thursday, followed by a visit to the oncologist next week. I think she's getting used to these scans but still, they're a little nerve racking for her, as well as the visits to the oncologist, so keep her, and us, in your thoughts.

Thanks for everything!

Love,
Irene

Monday, November 9, 2009

Like water off a duck's back, or something

This weekend, I spent part of the day on Saturday over at my parents' house. I took my mom to run a few errands. She's been getting out of the house more now, which is good for her. She's walking great with the walker and has been cruising up and down McDonald Street, but for outings like this, she uses the wheelchair. I was a little nervous about it because it was our first time out, but it was okay. I took her to the Dollar Tree, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond. I was afraid Target would be a madhouse. It was, but we managed just fine. Next time we're going to leave her wheelchair in the car and use one of the little motorized carts they have at Target. I hope those things have a horn or a bell installed.

We had a nice time. In spite of what I'm about to say, we have fun together. The only thing that is an issue is me.

How can I put this and not sound ungrateful?

My mom is sweet, and loving... but she can also be exacting. She is very, very sharp, and she likes things done in a certain way (I too have this trait, and believe me, it has been pointed out to me by my very patient husband). I vividly remember being a child and being instructed on the right way to dust the living room furniture. It made sense because even I remember that I was a lazy, dreamy child, more interested in whatever book I was reading than in keeping things neat, and without detailed instructions and supervision, I'm sure I would've done a half-assed job. As I got older, this kind of micromanaging made me rebellious, cranky, irritated, and pissed off. I never learned to shake it off, though, maybe my defense was to pretend to not care as much about how neat and clean my own home is now.

Besides household chores, my mom pretty much has an opinion on everything. It's cool, because you know what? So do I. I'm just as opinionated as she is. It's how we are. But when it comes to commenting on how I should drive, I kind of lose it.

Don't get me wrong, it's not just her: I don't like anybody criticizing my driving. I mean, why do people feel they can do that, anyway? If I don't like the way somebody's driving, I just make sure I'm buckled in, hold my breath, and count the minutes until I can get out. I think it's kind of rude to comment on it, right? (Though, Patrick, sometimes you really do drive too fast.) I guess I'm sensitive because it took me so long to learn in the first place (I didn't get a car, or my license, until I was 22), and it took me multiple times to pass the test... and my brother used to mock the way I rode a bike. But now I've been driving for quite awhile, and I drive quite a bit, and I think I'm responsible and safe and finally, a good driver.

My mom and I were driving around Culver City on Saturday, and she said something about something (possible the "right route" to take from their house to one of the places we were going, which was probably different from the way I wanted to go): I don't remember what, exactly. I just remember maybe losing my temper a little (it's possible she'd already made other comments), and I got pissed off.

There are, I guess, two ways to look at this. One is that I need more self-confidence, because a self-confident person wouldn't be bothered by anyone's criticism, even coming from their own mother. And the other is that I need to control my temper. After all she's been through? I felt horrible. I didn't really say much, I just got mad: I felt it, being mad, and I didn't like it. After a while we laughed about it and talked about other stuff, but I don't know. I felt bad.

When I got home, I mentioned it to my sister. I said, "I need to learn to be more patient when people are criticizing me." I was general because there was another incident with someone else last week that was kind of on the devastating level, which we won't be talking about here. My sister agreed. She's right: I should be better about handling this.

It's sort of obvious to me, now that I've written these paragraphs (and possibly was obvious to you, sooner, if you've been here before or actually know me), that the key words here are "self-confidence." Standing tall, and proud; not taking shit in a way that means I think I'm important but not in an annoying way - knowing when it's not worth it to get angry. This seems doable, I guess? I think controlling my emotions is something I need to work on, too. Being nice (instead of snapping back, or worse, sobbing) when someone is heckling you seems counterintiuitive, but what do I know? It might be a good idea to try.

So I guess I get to be the duck (you knew I'd get to the title of this post somewhere in here, didn't you?). It should be easy: I already walk funny.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm tired

I'm tired, had an exciting, busy and strangely overwhelming weekend, and I've still got this stupid cough that apparently annoys even my own mother (she's doing great, by the way! Her potassium is still a little low but the doctor thinks the culprit might be a water pill she takes so they're monitoring that. And: she has a CT scan on Thursday, and those are no fun for her at all [and neither is the waiting to discuss it with the doctor], but she's doing well using her walker, and getting out of the house more to do fun stuff like going shopping or to lunch with her friends, or to church). But don't worry: I still have plenty of codeine cough syrup (and if I run out, there's always the J├Ągermeister).

I did get a wonderful hug on Friday from an old friend, and yesterday I received a very sweet email from an unexpected person, and a lovely thank you gift today from someone else, and I've been a little high on that, so it's not all bad news over here

I'm not sure that the way I feel right now lends itself to interesting writing though, so I'll just say that after two weeks of rough tech rehearsals and an exciting and successful opening weekend at City Garage, I'm looking forward to getting back on a doable schedule and to getting some sleep. Starting right now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Please don't call me ma'am...? / or / Covering up a more important issue by talking about myself

On Saturday, I took my antibiotics and cough medicine and drove to Seal Beach, where I got a facial. Lili, my old (as in "former;" she's probably 10 years, at least, younger than I am) aesthetician retired awhile ago to pursue another career, and I've been without a trusted place to go. I had been seeing Lili's old ("former") boss but it wasn't the same. I didn't expect to find someone as lovely as Lili had been, and I hadn't even really been looking (I pretty much stopped getting facials in favor of this new foot massage place [Rivini Foot Reflexology] that opened by my house). Anyway, the other day Lili made a recommendation, and I made an appointment.

I was still a little concerned about being sick, but the cough medicine was working, and it turned out to be a great day to get outside during the heat of the morning. Seal Beach was celebrating Halloween in the daytime, and I saw a bunch of cute little kids trick or treating at the shops on Main Street.

It was a great facial, and Leako (isn't that a cool name? She also has a very cool voice) did a wonderful job. I think all the steam even helped my sinuses or whatever. I didn't cough once. I was relaxed afterwards, and comfortable with her, and I had missed the kind of personal care you get when you get a facial. Also, I don't know about you, but there's something about lying on that table with my eyes closed in that half awake/half asleep mode that gets very close to levitation. I love it. She complimented the quality of my skin and told me that she would've guessed my age at 6 years younger than I actually am.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I like being told I look younger: who wouldn't? Several years ago my masseur (the Great and Wonderful Bruce; at 60-something I suppose he could be described as "old" but that's exactly why I was so comfortable with him, and I don't mean because I considered him "harmless," which isn't what I mean at all. He was just a special guy who I was very comfortable with, and who I looked up to) told me that he thought I was 27 (I was not) and I had a hard time accepting that compliment then, too. I mean, I was pretty naked at the time, you know? Using his math and accounting for the years that have passed... both of them had me at around the same virtual age. I'm trying to not make such a big deal out of it - Leako reminded me that to keep my skin looking good, I need to wear sunscreen more often than just when I'm biking or baking in the sun for some reason. And to stop touching my face. It's good advice. I will try to follow it. She used a new sunscreen on me that felt like nothing (a vital quality). But my joy at her statement about my age makes me wonder how important being young and looking young has become to me, and how healthy that is (or isn't).

(And no, it hasn't escaped me that while both these people are very nice [Bruce and I had an almost friendship thing going on there - we talked about a whole bunch of things unrelated to whatever it is you're supposed to talk about when you're getting a massage, and he had lots of great life experience and stories to tell me that always, always helped me], ultimately, the truth is, they might be capable of saying anything in the hopes that I would be flattered into leaving a bigger tip. I don't think either of them is mercenary; they are earning a living. I get that.)

Anyway, my joy at being thought I'm younger than I am makes me a little nervous.

I'm not especially a "girlie" girl. I don't wear makeup often (lipstick: never), or pretty clothes. I don't like to dress up. My work clothes are very utilitarian (I pretty much wear a v-neck sweater every day; a couple of of them have holes). I have about six pairs of earrings but I usually wear the same pair all the time, and my very plain Swiss Army watch, which I wear on my right hand (I'm left-handed). These items, with my wedding ring and a hair elastic around my right wrist are usually my only "accessories." Given a choice, I would happily wear my ratty old Gap jeans rolled up at the cuffs with flip flops and any one of my multitudes of v-neck sweaters or t-shirts every day. Every day. On the weekends I'm rarely in anything else. Oh, I switched it up a little this weekend, I went to the mall to pick up a book wearing capri-length Old Navy sweats, flip flops, a t-shirt, and my hundred year old denim jacket. I'm a tomboy, or maybe just a slob. I get pedicures because honestly, I don't like touching my own feet. I'm slowly losing a few pounds but I'm not "thin." I like to look pretty but my idea of "pretty" and yours are perhaps not the same thing. My hair is too long and messy-looking; my current home dye job is passable but nobody's going to mistake me for Sandra Bullock (she's 8 years older than me). I don't know what I'm getting at with this excessively long description of what I am, and what I am not. Maybe what I'm trying to convince you of is that I'm not vain. But that's the thing: I totally am.

The other day I had lunch at this yummy Thai restaurant by my house. I was alone (I think it was a Friday). I don't mind eating alone - I had a book with me and I was fine. The waiters and waitresses were sweet, and it was a fine meal. Until the end, when my waitress called me "ma'am." I try not to let that bother me: it's just a way of being polite. Even if I were six years younger than my actual age, the fact that I'm married excludes me from the "miss" pool. Still. I love being called "miss." I love getting carded. I love having the young guys at Von's talk to me in a way I recognize as being reserved for people their own age. I love calling people "dude."

During the run of the last show at City Garage, one of the actresses from the company worked box office this one night. If they can't find any of the members to do it, I will; it's not a big deal. Though sometimes I bitch about having to do it (I already have a job at the theater, the other members should do it, blah blah blah), the truth is, I really like it, once I stop being nervous about the show. I'm pretty shy, normally, but the patrons are mostly nice and it's fun to talk to people. I miss interacting with strangers like I used to at the bookstore. And these people are not always strangers: some of them are repeat customers, or friends of the actors who I know too, or they remember me from the two shows I was in, and it's always fun when that happens. Anyway, this girl was going straight from the theater to another event in Hollywood. She was gorgeous, as the actresses (and actors) at City Garage tend to be, and dressed to kill. She had on a fringed, short black dress, and gold high heel shoes. She was beautiful, kind, fun to talk to, and interesting. She had a cool accent. She was perfect for the front of the house. I was wearing my uniform of a two-year old, very thin, navy blue v-neck t-shirt from the Gap, my holey jeans, brown leather flip flops, and possibly an army green jacket. Next to her, I looked homeless, or like a particularly endowed boy. I looked like I belonged backstage, possibly with a broom in my hand. It doesn't bother me: looking this way is comfortable and familiar, and I do like it. I can't imagine looking any other way.

This would be a good place to end today's post if this was really what I wanted to talk about.

I'm covering up what's really on my mind by talking about my looks. Isn't that typical? The thing that's really been bothering me is, a couple of weeks ago my mother asked me and my brothers to go to church with her (my sister goes more regularly than we do). My mom is a former Catholic, born-again Christian (for 30 years or so now) and attends one of those Baptist churches that profess love for everybody and then the next thing you know, the pastor is espousing opinions about what he considers the sinful lifestyles of the gay residents of Palm Springs that don't jive with the whole "love one another" theme. When I was a child and forced to go to church, the hypocrisy made me sick. I hated going. Catholic church, at least, tended to veil the message in long boring stories. Nothing was said (in those days) that was outright, or at least I didn't understand it to be a condemnation of people who were different. Granted, I was young, and I didn't pay much attention. She switched to Baptist churches when I was around 9 or 10, and went to a couple different ones before finding the one she's gone to for about 10 years now. The last time I went to there, they showed a movie that somehow managed to imply that global warming and the war in Iraq was caused by... sinners (not George Bush and Dick Cheney). Now that I'm older and realizing that my own feelings about religion are just as silly (apparently my beliefs are very similar to "the Force" from "Star Wars"), and my mom's health has become an issue, it bothers me that though she has asked on several occasions for me and my brothers to join her at church, and it seems like an easy request to grant, I just can't seem to make myself go. It would make her happy, it wouldn't hurt me much, it's over soon enough... but I don't know. I don't want to do it. I don't particularly want to discuss it with her, either - we've never agreed much about religion, though I know it gives her so much strength and hope, and her church family gives her so much support. I don't want to do or say anything that would hurt her or seem like I was trying to diminish that. She wants so much for us to believe what she believes. I just can't do it, and I don't know how to keep it balanced: what I believe, and respecting her.

If there's anybody out there who made it through this whole post who might have a suggestion (if talking about my looks didn't scare you away; it's kind of what I do with how I dress, now, isn't it), let me know. I'd love to hear what other people think.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bike ride... sort of

After not being on my bike for awhile, even though I am still coughing and on antibiotics, I decided not to waste this beautiful morning and to go for a bike ride.

At about 3.30 miles, I heard a strange sound coming from my front wheel. It went away, so I kept pedaling. Later, I heard it again - sort of a scraping sound. I stopped and checked that my wheel wasn't coming off. I checked that my brakes weren't rubbing. I couldn't figure it out, so I sat there for a minute, and I realized that I had a headache. So I blew my nose, drank some water, and turned around to go home. Then I looked at my computer, which had this readout: Exit.

Hmmm.

Then it said, "Reset Odo." My computer's name is Odo? I had no idea. 

I have a wireless computer, but that's the only thing I know about it. I assume there's some sort of magnet or something attached to the front tire but I have zero clues as to how the thing works. Alberto at the bike shop set it up for me, and I wasn't there, and as long as the thing works, that's all I'm concerned about.

So this ride was kind of a bust. I went about 7 miles, and the last 3: very slowly. I was tired, my head hurt, it was hotter than I thought it was. Also, my stomach started to hurt, and though I did take my pill this morning with food as instructed, the food was just cheese and crackers. I couldn't get a straight answer when I asked the pharmacist if the "take with food" instruction meant a full-on meal complete with waiters and a cloth napkin, or if I could just eat an apple or something. She was all, "If you don't take it with food you will get a stomach ache." Thank you, Robot Pharmacist. I figured cheese and crackers was "food" enough.

I figured wrong.

...

Update:

Oh, and when I got home, and walked in the door, I saw Franny, sitting in the corner, looking very wide-eyed and... guilty. I wondered what she had been up too, and she stayed put while I wheeled my bike over to the other side of the living room, where it lives. When I went into the kitchen to get something to drink, I discovered that while I was gone, she had gotten into the catnip I bought yesterday to go with the new cardboard scratcher thing we got the cats.

She knew she was bad. And oh, so cute.