Saturday, November 21, 2009
Another Week, Another Blog Post
Remember when I used to post once a day, or sometimes even more than that? Yeah, so do I. I remember those days fondly, but don't know if I'll be getting back to them anytime soon. I'm just too busy in through here.
Various updates and bits o' news:
* I'm still fiddling and writing every day. I've now invested in a fancy Kun shoulder rest rather than my previous foam pad; the Kun's improved both my posture and my tone, although the second still has a long way to go. The sound's no longer muffled by the foam against the bottom of the instrument, though, so I'm getting more resonance. I also bought an inexpensive backpack case for the fiddle so traveling will be easier. I'm already wishing I'd spent a bit more, since this case has already developed zipper problems, but they won't endanger the instrument -- they're on the outside pouch -- so I'll use this one as long as I can.
* Harley's still letting me brush his teeth, but a few mornings ago he smelled alarmingly of urine, so on Monday we're taking him to the vet for his followup bloodwork and urinalysis. I haven't noticed the odor since then, so I hope it was just temporary.
* The book contracts came this week, and it turns out that I'll get half the advance on signing. I thought I wouldn't see any money until I delivered the manuscript, so this is good news. With that money, plus what we saved from my summer teaching gig, we're going to attempt to: 1) go to Honolulu for Spring Break, 2) get the ductwork redone in our house so we actually get some benefits from our furnace and AC, and 3) go on an Alaska cruise in May. This is both ambitious and decadent, but we're going to do our best anyway. It's been a tough year, and we're both acutely aware of having to have fun while we can.
* Monday would have been Gary's father's birthday; I'm going to try to call his mom that day. Today I got a sweet, wistful card from Fran, who often dreams about Dad and was writing to thank us for everything we did for her while she was here. I called -- I've been meaning to write her and hadn't, so I felt guilty -- and it turns out she's doing well: she has friends, is spending Thanksgiivng with family, and generally sounds more chipper than I've heard her for ages.
* Speaking of my father, the other day I got a call from the RN at his assisted-living facility. "I remember you told me after your Dad died that you'd found a place that would take partly used medications. Can you remind me where that was? I have a lot of stuff I want to donate." So I told her. I also told her that the phone call made me feel really good; Dad would thoroughly approve of medications going to the homeless-outreach clinic rather than being wasted, and her phone call made me feel as if something positive came from his death.
* Speaking of medicine, I learned this week that the Literature & Medicine program at our local VA is a go. I'm facilitating it, so I'm very happy and excited.
More news in . . . oh, in a week or so, if I run true to form. And there will be a homily tomorrow!