September 15th, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

Tuesday real life

I woke up at 8:00 a.m. for no apparent reason, and got up and had breakfast.  I was tired afterwards, and very bored with myself.  Being housebound is getting to me again.  I went back to the recliner to catch up on a little more sleep.  S.M. called at 12:30 to see if I wanted to come over and help her with computer things.  I was quite happy at the thought of getting out of the house.  She was going to go to the local Curves to exercise, and run a couple of errands.  She said she'd come get me at 2:30.  I took a sponge bath and was ready on time.  I was glad I'd thought to unlock the front door, because of course she came up and rang the bell there.  Out of everybody I've told, no one yet has remembered to come around to the back door first.

She had a transport chair from back when her mother had used it, and I'd asked her to bring it over so I could try it.  It has four wheels the size of the front wheels of a wheelchair.  It's just meant to be pushed -- the person in it isn't supposed to be doing anything.  I found that I could move it using my good foot, probably about as well as I can move when I'm in one of the kitchen chairs, except that the transport chair has brakes, and doesn't move in any direction the way the kitchen chairs move.  You really have to work to turn it if you're sitting in it.

I had asked one of my doctors if he had samples of a certain one of my prescriptions, as I'm between prescription drug plans for the month.  Yes, that was bad management on my part.  He said he'd put some at the desk there at his office for me to pick up today.  Since that's maybe a mile from S.M.'s house, I asked if we could pick up the samples.  She was willing.  The doctor gave me a month and a half worth of samples.  Since the medicine is three hundred dollars a month at full price, that saved me some money.  Thank you, Dr. T.

S.M.'s Japanese anemones are blooming.  They seemed to be a very pale purple or purple-tinged white.  They're very pretty flowers generally, so delicate-looking.  Her phlox were still flowering.  I think the white one is a cultivar named "David."  That was covered with bloom.

Once we got inside, and got me settled at the computer, I found that it wasn't just her having computer-illiteracy problems.  She'd had the computer "tuned up" to make it faster, and they'd completely changed Mozilla Thunderbird to make it ten times harder to use than the way she'd originally had it set up.  I had had to teach myself how to use it when she first showed it to me, but then I was good.  This time, I couldn't even find the inbox again once I opened up an e-mail.  Fifteen minutes later, I figured out how to go back to the inbox, after much experimenting with opening and closing tabs and learning the new way of how to move between all of her e-mail folders.  I got to where I could show her how to download document and PDF attachments to her documents folder.  Her attachments are miniscule, way at the bottom of an e-mail.  I could see how she couldn't find them when I tried to describe over the phone how to find attachments.

I told her that it wasn't just her.  She gets left behind when I experiment with left-clicking, right-clicking, and using shortcuts.  I tell her that I don't want to explain how to do something if the experiment is a failure.  By the time I figure out the right way to do something, I've done it too fast for her to follow.  I have to let her do it herself a few times and take notes for her to learn, which we did for how to download attachments.

Almost as soon as Mom got home, she asked if I wanted to take a shower.  I'd been making "wanting to wash my hair" noises for about three days.  I had put the no-rinse shampoo in yesterday, but that weighs down your hair.  I figured I'd better take my chance while I could.  I had to stop and rest several times on the stairs because of dragging the leg with the boot, and all of the walking I'd already done.  Trying to figure out where to put my bad leg while showering remains a challenge.  I don't want to put any weight on it, and the calf muscle is so atrophied.  The ankle only flexes a little at this point, and painfully.  I had that leg sort of tucked under the shower chair for part of my shower, and balanced on the edge of the tub for part of the time.  Mom was asking me what was taking so long.  "You're just shampooing once, right?"  Ha.

"Twice," I said.  "Go out and sit down.  I'll call you when I'm ready to get out of the shower."  I called, she hovered in front of the walker, and I pushed myself up off the edge of the tub with my arms, to standing.  She left while I was drying off, leaving the bathroom door wide open.  Of course Dad came upstairs then, right after he got home, and headed to their bedroom and then down the hall to his den.  I told him to keep his eyes averted from the bathroom.  Mom came back up and said that she didn't think Dad would go upstairs.  "Could you close the bathroom door next time?"

Dad picked up sandwiches from Wawa (a local convenience store chain), we had a quick dinner, and he headed off to a veterans meeting.  I finally caught up on my soap operas.


Paul Neyron rose 2

Tuesday soap operas

Today was the last edition of AfterElton's Gays of Our Lives, since there are no more American soaps with gay characters as show regulars, or even frequently recurring gay characters.  AfterElton is based in the U.S., and the big interest was in the American soap operas.  They say they'll have articles every so often about what's going on in the foreign soap operas.  This last, and short, edition was dedicated to the ending of As the World Turns.  Luke Snyder was it.  From what Anthony Langford and many others said, he was treated as a second-class citizen in his romantic relationships, but he was still a member of one of the big families on that soap opera.

I watched today's episode of Verbotene Liebe.  No Christian and Olli, but von Lahnsteins in every scene.  Nico, radiantly beautiful, was trying to raise money for the Jana von Lahnstein memorial fund.  At least the show is acknowledging that Nico had a twin sister.  I think they were raised separately, or perhaps even turned out to be half-sisters(?) (I think that would take super-fecundation or something.  It's not a normal kind of thing for humans in the way it is quite possible for dogs).  Of course it took Prince Phillip to charm the ladies she was trying to get funds from.  Nico is still bitter about being kidnapped by Antonia because of the scams Phillip and Antonia were running on her.  Also, I think Antonia turned out to be Phillip's wife.

Anyway, back to the other twisted branches of the von Lahnstein family tree, Elisabeth took all the blame for the financial crisis in the von Lahnstein holding, when Ludwig was going to take the fall for it.  She packed her stuff, she and Ludwig exchanged fraught glances, and she headed back to Konigsbrunn.  Lydia came to visit Sebastian.  Ansgar came in and made little innuendos.  I don't know what he said, but they were innuendos.  When Sebastian, Lydia and Ansgar got on the elevator, Ansgar gave Lydia an ass-grab when they were going down.

Lydia persuaded Sebastian to have some afternoon delight.  It didn't take a terrible lot of persuasion to get Sebastian in the mood.  Ansgar came in while Sebastian was in the shower, and Lydia told him to get out.  So at this point, Lydia had worn Sebastian out.  She went to some graffitied garage to meet up with and presumably talk to Ansgar, and slapped his face.  He said he'd missed her, too.  She pushed him backwards, and stared at him, fuming, and suddenly they were all over each other.  It was wild, sizzling passion, and they have a ton of chemistry.  That was Lydia's second man within a couple of hours.  (Damn, Lydia!)  This is such soapy fun.  I cannot wait until Lydia gets pregnant and has no idea which of them is the father.  Meanwhile, it means she has another man to protect her from the psycho who'd kidnapped her and threatened to kill her with a knife, and is now out of jail for no apparent reason.  The creepy old Sebastian probably would have done a decent enough job of protecting her, but I don't know about the new one.  Ansgar is pretty evil himself, but I think he'd try to keep Lydia from harm, and not really have scruples about how he did it.

Things were relatively calmer on Alles Was Zahlt.  Annette is having issues with an inspector who examined the construction of the newest version of the fry stand.  They were fifteen centimeters short at one point on the paving length they were supposed to have.  Ingo put a long planter of bamboo there, and asked Deniz to estimate the length the bamboo added -- or something.  Deniz gave his estimate.  Roman and Deniz were around in various parts of the episode, Roman reading a postcard from Ben and Isabelle to the workers at the Steinkamp Center, and them both enjoying the beach.

Florian was there, too, doing a little video for his friends back in Gunzenhausen, concentrating on the women in bikinis.  He protested someone blocking his view from the deck, then realized it was Richard Steinkamp.  Richard wandered back to the beach, and said to Roman and Deniz something about how they must be enjoying the girls-in-bikinis view.  They looked at him.  He said the German equivalent of "nevermind."

Simone figured out that Claudia was somehow blackmailing Werner Hallbach, the president of the ice skating association.  Max is a little distracted by his other problems, but will basically be on board with Simone as Simone works to crush Claudia Bergman.  (Go, Simone!)

So Roman and Deniz are done with DeRo angst plot for now, and involved with some Ingo and Annette plot, some plot with Florian, and some Steinkamp Center plot as far as Roman still working there.  There will also be plot coming up very soon of Deniz trying to find a job while having no idea what he wants to do with his life employment-wise, and being a high school dropout.  A big, though totally rushed-through, arc may have ended for them, but they're still around, still well-integrated with the other characters, and still having regularly-scripted parts.

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grist for the mill

Well, I got an e-mail from my brother, parts of which were hysterical.  Here's the funny part: "So I decided to take a break from reading articles for my LGBTQ class and decided to browse your live journal... you can rant about flowers, steeping tea and soaps for hours but my visit a few sentences between sponge baths and yummy carrot-cake-esque muffins... :(  I think it's cool you have a forum to share the minutia of the day as well as talk about your shows, books and plant life adventures."

In something of a defense, I didn't think he'd ever actually read it, though I'd told him my LJ name a few times.  I checked back on my entry for his visit (September 4th), and I'd actually given him several paragraphs.  And by the way, today's flowering tea was Shooting Star.  He e-mails me every so often, and calls on the phone probably at least three times a week.  It can depend who he wants to talk to, but he and I often talk for an hour or two over the course of a week.

I realize he's very busy between working part-time, going to school full-time and being just recently married.  I'd drive down to visit him once in a while if I could drive.  There was a while there that I was going to Baltimore every other weekend, when I played in a live-action roleplaying game.  It ran until midnight, so I'd crash at J.'s current apartment.  I think he'd gone through three or four in the years I was going down there that regularly.  To be fair, I never much liked driving on Route 95 at any time, and took winding back roads as much as possible, but his apartments in Baltimore County were mostly easy enough to get to.

The LJ started out as a gardening journal, and then I started putting in commentary about the books I was reading.  Since a year ago, it's mostly become taken over by soap opera re-caps, with entries about my volunteer jobs.  Now that I'm temporarily -- relatively temporarily -- physically disabled, I'm doing the majority of my entries on that.  I'm sure I'll go back to different topics sooner or later.

I actually did read an e-book, after months and months of not reading anything but the books I was editing and the occasional short story.  I'd been getting the books that were auto-buys and ones that sounded good as soon as I knew they were out, but not being able to settle down and read.  I finally snapped that streak.  I hadn't gotten into Heaven Sent: Revelations at all.  That was Gretchen's story.  It's totally not like I just read m/m.  I still read m/f romance.  Since that time period where I got nothing but menages to proof and edit for at least six weeks straight, I've read menages, too, so that aspect of the book wouldn't have bothered me at all.  I got Revelations over a year ago, right before we went to Bethany Beach.  So far it's a "did not finish."  I don't think I got more than a few chapters into it.

Returning to the present day, Indigo Knights: Squire just came out last week or so.  I'd been eagerly awaiting that one.  Rabin sounded like a good character when he appeared in Heaven Sent: Genesis.  I knew it would be light and fluffy, and that was just what I needed.  They're yaoi-inspired romances, and I'm not a fan of "Gay for You" storylines, but one out of the first four books really worked for me.  That was Hell, in which Brent was very definitely at least bisexual to start with.  That was established right away.  Hell was gay.  Nobody changed orientations from straight.  I loved both the main characters, too.

In Indigo Knights: Squire, Rabin was quite bi-curious to start with, and Izzy was gay.  I didn't feel like Rabin had changed from being straight.  He was just curious enough for it to work for me.  I liked Rabin from Genesis, and Izzy was a total charmer, just adorable.  Brent and Hell also appeared as major secondary characters in the first part of the book.  Squire was the first novella-length e-book I've finished in many months.  It gives me hope that I'll be able to settle back down into reading regularly.

The LJ is going to continue being probably close to half about my disability and how it's shaping my activities of daily living, for at least the next couple of months.  There will be a substantial chunk dedicated to soap operas.  I expect the rest will be filled in with flowers, books and bits about my volunteer jobs.

Paul Neyron rose 2

Wednesday -- district garden club meeting

Dozed off around 2:30 in the morning.  Mom came down at 3:30 because she couldn't sleep.  Then she came down at 6:00 and started emptying the dishwasher, with all the accompanying clinking and clattering.  Clearly she didn't think I needed any more sleep.  I had gotten about two hours by that point.  I called N.F. at 7:15 a.m. to see if she'd be picking me up soon for the district-wide garden club meeting.  She said she wasn't going.  Oops.  G.C. and I had just assumed she was going.  I called G.C., who was nearly on her way out the door.  She said she'd come around to pick me up, but that she didn't know if I could fit into her convertible with my cast.  I managed, and she somehow got my walker into the tiny back seat.

She's a nurse, so I told her the progress of my ankle.  I dozed off during the later part of the ride.  G.C. went in to the meeting place and found that they had a wheelchair.  I was happy to see that.  We'd gotten there before 9:00, when registration was supposed to start.  G.C. had heard that there was a meeting of the presidents of the individual clubs at 9:00.  It turned out to be at 9:30, so we had plenty of time.  G.C. got me a cup of tea.  I had hoped they'd have pastries as well, but it was only coffee and tea.  I went for decaf, which was a mistake.  Registration actually started at 9:15 or so.

People had started to set really cool raffle items out on a line of tables.  There were gift certificates for several garden centers in the tri-county area.  There were a number of handmade things, tote bags, baskets of goodles, a fern and orchid arrangement, a coffee table book about flower arranging, a terrarium and a gift certificate to Borders Books, among other things.  Raffle tickets were a dollar each or six for five dollars.  I ended up getting eight altogether, and put them on different items.  One raffle item was a tote bag full of food, including a baguette sort of bread sticking out of the top, and a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods.  I put a ticket in for that, as I was getting hungry.  I put a ticket in for a very pretty basket with jams and other things like that, and little gardening tools.  It was described as "Tea in the Garden."  I also put tickets in for several of the gift certificates, the terrarium, and for jewelry that one of the ladies had made.

G.C. had reserved a table, and the other ladies started to come in, including the carful P.M. was driving that had S.M., D.S., and J.D. in it.  S.M. had said that D.M. wouldn't be making it, as she had a bad cold, but she came anyway.  J.M. came in just as the awards and recognitions were starting.  It was nice to see the ladies.  S. (S.) won a "laurel."  She hadn't made it, but they collected hers for her.  They had spelled her first name wrong and given her a different last name completely, so the awards presenter promised to make a new one that was right.  I kept dozing off during the recognition of the various ladies active in the district garden clubs.  I wished that I'd gotten caffeinated tea, or coffee, after all.

At 11:30, they started to call out the ticket numbers for the raffle.  J.D. won one of those gift certificates.  I knew I'd put a ticket in for the $50 gift certificate to Longwood Gardens, but someone else got that one.  I've spent far too much money at Longwood Gardens over the years anyway, including getting my Felco #2 pruning shears there; and many, many plants and packets of seeds; not to mention gardening books and magazines.

I was anxious to get lunch -- I was really hungry by that point.  I filled up on rolls, then we got salad.  I had chosen salmon as my entree, and that was good.  With the rolls, it made a decent-enough brunch.  I had coffee with dessert, hoping it would help me stay awake in the afternoon.  The afternoon program was "Modern American Floral Design."  The presenter re-interpreted sorts of floral designs from the past, including a take on a Roman rose garland.  One design referred back to Ancient Egypt, and had black calla lilies representing Cleopatra.  There was one to represent the Druids, which had blue hydrangeas, sunflowers, and manzanita branches.  I know sunflowers are native to the New World, but I suppose she thought of it as a sun-worship connection.  She said, "And then you go from medieval times to Victorian times."  My history-major self noted that she'd skipped a lot.  The presenter did an Art Deco design and an Art Nouveau design.  They were offering raffle tickets for her floral arrangements, but they were $5 for a ticket, so I refrained.

After the program, there was more of the original raffle, and I won some jewelry.  G.C. went up to choose for me, and I said, "The pink, the blue, or the green."  G.C. returned with the jewelry made with pink beads and silver spacers.  It turned out to be a necklace, bracelet and earrings.  I said, "Well, that's Mom's birthday present."  Mom's birthday is next week.  I wouldn't be able to go shopping for her, so I'd already offered to make her a pair of earrings.  I didn't win anything I'd planned to keep for myself, but I was glad to get something for Mom.

There was something of a traffic jam getting out of the parking lot, so I sat in the lobby with P.A., and we waited for a bit.  P.A. had showed up at lunchtime, complaining that the meeting place was not well-marked at all, and that she'd been lost for a few hours.  We were wondering what had happened to her.  She didn't like any of the arrangements the presenter made for the program, but she's very picky about flower arrangements.  She generally has some tart observations to make -- she must be around eighty, but she's still very sharp, and quite the character.

G.C. brought P.A.'s car up when the traffic jam outside the entrance eased, then brought her own car up for me to get into.  She took back the wheelchair, and we headed home.  I got home perhaps half an hour before Mom did, and put my leg up.  It had been down on the wheelchair footrest all day, and was rather cramped.  I took Aleve.  When Mom got home, I showed her the jewelry, and asked if she'd want it as a present.  If you don't ask first, it usually just gets returned.  She liked it, so that will be what she gets from me for her birthday.  Dad had had a half-day, and been around running errands.  He'd picked up the prescription painkiller the orthopedist's office had called in.  I took that a couple of hours after I took the Aleve, and the pain in my ankle really eased up.

We debated for some time what to eat for dinner.  Mom wanted take-out from somewhere.  I suggested Applebee's.  I mentioned the Chinese restaurant we get take-out from most often.  Mom suggested [local Italian restaurant].  I suggested another couple of choices.  Dad said we should get barbeque sandwiches from Dairy Queen.  I like them.  I said I wanted a little hot fudge or butterscotch sundae, too, as long as we were getting dinner from Dairy Queen.  Dad eventually went out to pick it up.  We had our dinner.  Mom brought it down to me and I ate on the lapdesk.  I guess she figured that since I had the removable cast off and my leg up, I wasn't planning to move for a while.  That was before I'd taken the prescription painkiller.  Mom settled in to watch the Phillies game, and Dad went off to a veterans meeting.  Yes, he has two or three a week some weeks.  He's in that many different veterans groups.

I have some editing I really want to get done, or at least make considerable progress on tonight.  I don't know how long I'll be able to stay up at my computer, but I'll do some on the laptop.  (Added: I got a lot done on my computer.)  I still really need to keep my leg propped up.  I can take more painkiller, but I don't want to try to push through too much pain if my leg is cramping like that.  I have my first physical therapy appointment tomorrow afternoon.

It was a pretty good day.  I wished I'd been able to stay awake for the morning presentations, but at least I was awake for most of the floral design program, and it was nice to see the ladies.  It was really nice to win a birthday present for Mom.