August 17th, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

Monday continued to early Tuesday

It was a work night at the secondhand bookstore.  I had e-mailed to say I could make it if someone had room in their car for a wheelchair, and could lift it into their trunk.  I also said that the driveway was steep and evil, but that I couldn't make it down to the street.  E.M. called to see if I'd heard from anyone, then came and picked me up.  She definitely wasn't supposed to lift as much weight as that wheelchair is, and I really hope she didn't aggravate any of her back or shoulder problems.  She squished one of her fingers under the wheelchair trying to get it into the trunk.  Poor E.  I had tried to say what all transporting me would entail, but apparently some things you have to experience for yourself.

I ended up sitting in the wheelchair with my leg propped up on a child's chair, advising about books in the health and wellness section.  I said to to dispose of any pill books more than a year or two old, as those date so quickly.  I was also saying that anything over ten years old on a particular disease or medical condition was very likely dated as well, as medical treatment for so many ailments has advanced quite a bit in some of those cases.  Some of the books in the health and wellness section were from the seventies or eighties.  E. didn't want to toss things if we didn't have another book or two on the same topic, but I was definite on the point that outdated medical information could be dangerous.

I weeded a bit in the "special needs children" area.  I said several of those books were dated, too.  Really, things have changed a lot there from even the nineties.  At some point, I started reading What To Do  About Your Brain-Injured Child.  I don't have any children, let alone brain-damaged ones.  There's certainly an argument to be made that my brain isn't terrifically functional in some ways, but it's quite functional in other ways.

I asked E. to go down a couple of doors in the shopping strip to get a menu from the Chinese restaurant.  I called in an order for shrimp with snow peas, steamed dumplings, and fried dough balls.  I was planning to go get it -- I just hadn't meant to make two trips there, but a new volunteer, M., told me she'd get it.  The restaurant and bookstore share a sidewalk.  I could have managed that trip.  She insisted, though, so I gave her money.  The shrimp with snow peas wouldn't have been bad for me if I hadn't had any rice with it, but it goes so well with white rice.  I shared the fried dough around.  I thought I'd get one or two dough balls, but they come ten to a package.  I'll know for next time to get them if it's a good-sized sweet-loving group.  I saw another interesting book in the health and wellness section, an aromatherapy massage book.  I'm more interested in aromatherapy than massage, but it's exciting for me to learn about petitgrain and neroli, and the uses for cananga oil.

This week's Gays of Our Lives: had some interesting analysis and spoilers.  Anthony complained about Olli's clothes being so tight he couldn't figure out how he could breathe.  From the fan comments about it on Ichglotzutube, those white jeans were deeply appreciated for how well they outlined Olli's legs and so on.  Anthony thought it was a shame that such a very handsome man was generally dressed so badly on the show.  I could agree with that.  Things should be interesting for Chrolli next week, from the spoilers.  I'm still hoping for improvement with Roman and Deniz, but it didn't look like that was coming too soon.

There were major spoilers (*yes, spoilers*) for As the World Turns -- they're going to kill Reid off.  I was very upset to hear that.  I love the character.  Why is it always the gay character who gets killed off in a show or movie?  That way Luke and Noah can get back together, is the rationale, supposedly.  I was a big fan of the Luke/Reid pairing, even if they haven't had sex yet.  I had no investment in the Luke/Noah relationship.

Apparently the gay characters on ATWT are supposed to be sexless, and are generally treated like second-class citizens, which infuriates the viewers who are interested in a positive way about the storylines of the gay couples on the show.  Just having gay characters on the show infuriates the other side, whether they're second-class couples who aren't even allowed to kiss for a year or so, or who may be able to kiss occasionally, but aren't allowed to have sex.  Someone in the show''s Powers That Be said if the show had continued, Luke and Reid might have become one of ATWT's supercouples, but since it was ending, they had to get Luke back with Noah.  I think it sucks.

It was nice for me to get out of the house, though I'd think caring for me was a bit of a pain for the bookstore volunteers.  M. said I was bringing out her motherly instincts.  I guess that's good.  She certainly got the idea that I was strongly opinionated about what to do with outdated books, and that even if I couldn't get into the back room book storage areas, I remembered a good deal about what was in there, and some about where things were.  There's no way I'll get back through the very narrow aisles back there between the boxes of books, not until I get a walking cast.  On balance, I don't think I was much use, but I had fun.  I finished reading What To Do  About Your Brain-Injured Child the next day.  That was the first book, besides the books I edit, that I'd read in several months.  Somehow it really grabbed my interest.  I have eclectic tastes that way. 
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The physical therapist, S.R., came.  We went upstairs, and I found a completed and fairly important tax form.  I was relieved.  Mom was happy about that.  S. says I'm doing really well.  We looked at whether I could hop up or down the steps from front door to porch and from porch to the path to the driveway.  It didn't work too well, but at least I didn't fall.  S. was right there to steady me if I started to tip over one way or another.  She'll visit one more time, and then I'll have pretty much graduated.  I was pretty tired after doing the stairs.

Mom and I fought over several things.  One is me not wanting to call an insurance person I should call.  I'm mailing in the information, but I don't think there's any reason to talk to her before she gets the information I mailed.  "That wasn't the bargain!" Mom said.

"Bargain?  There was no bargain.  Why are you calling it a bargain?"  I really don't understand her.

Another disagreement was about me eating the leftover fried dough from yesterday's Chinese food dinner.  Apparently it's the Chinese equivalent of doughnuts.  It's still good heated up the next day.  "I'm ashamed of you!" she said.  "It's bad enough you ate it last night."

"Ashamed of me?  About what people will think?"

"You're being bad."  Counting carbohydrates and sticking to a strict, no-junk-food diet just isn't happening for me right now.  Maybe it would if I wasn't mainly concentrating on doing what I can to have as much mobility and independence as possible with this cast on.  The surgeon was pleased by the way the incision he made healed, and that was my concern there.  Otherwise, I'm trying hard not to get depressed.  The first couple of weeks, my spirits were relatively good, though I was in bad physical pain when I moved.  This last week has had some highlights, but has not been great.

Mom was also complaining about how much my wheelchair is in the way when it's parked at the top of the stairs from kitchen to family room.  "You can move it if you're home and I'm not trying to get upstairs," I said.  I can bathe and dress myself now, which I think are great accomplishments, considering.  Mom seems to still think I am now a huge burden and inconvenience.

The rural area paratransit people I've been dealing with wanted me to pay full fare -- $11.50 each way -- to transport me about a mile and a half to an appointment.  They said it was because it was in an area that SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority or something like that -- served.  I said I'd sent in an application to SEPTA and been turned down twice.  Apparently the people at SEPTA thought I was already on Pennsylvania's medical assistance plan.  Of course I never said anything like that.  I said that I was temporarily disabled and could not drive for three months, and had the orthopedist sign the papers to that effect.

I'm not surprised it was goofed up, because it is SEPTA I was dealing with.  It's just annoying that the other paratransit company wants me to pay full fare for transportation.  They transport senior citizens and retarded people for free or close to it.  The SEPTA people are looking into processing my application again.  Mom was very upset about it all, because she can't take off work all the time to get me to the doctors or to physical therapy.  I wasn't happy myself, but that one wasn't my fault.  

Since Mom's been doing the shopping I'd ordinarily do for myself, she brought over a bunch of receipts for me to add up.  I said I'd just write her a guesstimated check that would leave me with some money in my checking account.  I'm being my usual self when it comes to finances, and Mom is furious.  You could make a strong argument that I'm in the wrong on all of these things, but I'm just dealing with what I feel I can deal with.

Mom had a pretty good idea of my diet and finances, but now she wants to change them to what she wants -- the "right" way to do both.  Again, I'm not going to suddenly change how I've been doing things for quite some time, especially when I'm trying to cope with a disability.
By your average person's standards, let alone Mom's, I'm managing many things in my life poorly.  By my standards, I'm nearly back to what's normal for me.  Except for not being able to walk, my life is much the same.  I do my editing, I watch my soap operas, I talk to real people sometimes and and my "imaginary invisible Internet friends" frequently.  I can get into the refrigerator and get to the microwave, so I can feed myself.  The ladies from the garden club are coming to visit, I got to a work night at the bookstore, and I'm really hoping some of the kids from the GLBT organization at [local university] will come get me for events.  I could do any event prep that doesn't involve standing.  I'm sure they could think of things.

Mom and Dad are off to a Reading Phillies (Double A?) baseball game.  I was supposed to go along.  We jointly decided that although they have handicapped seating and restrooms, it would be a huge pain in the ass to get me into the stadium and around the stadium.  Also, I'd want funnel cake, which is just another kind of fried dough.  I downloaded more editing jobs and worked on the garden club handbook instead.  I caught up with the full episodes of Alles Was Zahlt (see next entry), though I missed another Friday and Monday.  Apparently those days were heavy on Lena and Celine, so I don't think I missed much of the storylines I'm really interested in.
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catching up on soap operas

I spent much of the afternoon and early evening catching up on Alles Was Zahlt.  I missed another Friday and Monday, the 6th and 9th, I think.  (*spoilers*)  I saw some of what was going on with Lena.  I got the gist of the doctor or nurse saying that she couldn't find the fetus' heartbeat.  Lena went home, got drunk, and had a cracky dream sequence about what would happen when she told Max the baby was dead.  Later, Celine pushed Lena out of the way of a car.  Lena was just standing there.  Celine took her home, and figured out what the problem was.  Lena made Celine swear not to tell Max.  I think Celine said he'd figure it out sooner or later.  The show just doesn't do justice by some of the characters, especially some of the women.  Lena went back the next day to have whatever the modern equivalent of a D&C is.

Celine apparently broke up with Richard when he asked her to marry him.  I'm not sure I'd understand it if I had seen those two episodes.  Meanwhile, the younger crowd had found an abandoned house by the lake.  It looks like the lake and dilapidated house are respectively a new location and set.  There was some of Vanessa humming and directing as Katja tried to teach Ben to waltz.  The younger folks -- Ben, Isabelle, Tom and Katja -- also slept out under the stars, and Ben and Katja ended up holding hands and snuggling in their sleep.  When Vanessa came out to wake them up, she recognized that as a sign.  It was certainly a major sign to her during the Killer Virus plot, when Roman and Deniz ended up snuggled in their sleep in the men's locker room.  I still don't know why Vanessa went into the men's locker room to start with, but she was majorly bitchy the whole time.

Back to the present, Oliver found Celine at the lake, and tried to kiss her.  Celine said she had to go.  It's totally like a Harlequin (Mills & Boon) plot, where the hero falls in love with a pregnant woman and wants to raise the baby she's carrying.  I couldn't understand why men would fall in love with pregnant women, or women whose babies they ended up delivering at the side of the road.  I don't think a woman giving birth would be all that attractive.  At some point, I realized that those plots, and the plot of a man coming back to the town he left and finding out he'd fathered a baby, and instantly wanting to raise the child, were pure fantasy.  I can understand that those plots might greatly strike a chord with single mothers.  It's not a chord for me.

In much more sparkly fashion, Roman got into Vanessa's wedding tape for Ben.  He said that if Ben ever decided to join the right team, he could talk to him.  Now there's a nod to a fangirl (and possibly fanboy) fantasy.  That was totally encouraging the slash writers.