I have no excuse

I just didn't feel like writing.

My infection seems to have gone, although I won't be convinced for another week or so. My Osher classes began this week. I wasn't taking anything for the last month because I expected to be away; I'm glad the new term has begun. Tuesday morning I'm in a class called "Representing the Devil." Last week we looked at readings from both the old and new testaments. This week we are reading Christopher Marlowe's, "Dr. Faustus." We will also read "The Master and Margarita" and "No Country for Old Men." I started reading M & M and it's excellent. So is the professor; I'm very pleased.

Tuesday afternoon is a film class. We watched "Sunset Boulevard," which I saw back in 1950 or 51. I remembered absolutely nothing except the shooting scene. Amazing how completely these things disappear.

Wednesday afternoon is a journaling class. You're probably laughing. How can I keep a journal when I can't even keep up with the blog. We are supposed to write three pages a day. I wrote something yesterday, but not three pages. There are many things I don't want to put in the blog. Keeping a journal would be a good thing if I wasn't so lazy.

Thursday afternoon's class is called "Behind the scenes at the Carnegie Museum." I don't think this will be the best class. We only get behind the scenes once, the rest of the time we're in lectures. I've spent lots of time volunteering at the Field Museum in Chicago and often got behind the scenes. It was fascinating. I'm sure the Carnegie would be also. Maybe I'll look into volunteering there.

I got back to the health club. I've been walking (even did the 5k Race for the Cure last weekend) but avoided other exercise because of taking Cipro. I don't know if I'm happier with or without all the exercise. I'm certainly happier without the Cipro.

This week

Lots of things happened.

Still taking Cipro (until Tuesday). Slightly better each day, but still a problem.

I am going to move again. I didn't really plan to do this, but I've been unhappy with this apartment for some time now. After my fight with the landlord I think it's best if I get out. So I've been spending a lot of time looking, online and otherwise. There are lots of apartments for rent but not many I want or can afford.

Because of this, and because I should do it anyway, I'm trying to get rid of stuff. Last week I shredded or threw out tax returns from 1988 through 2002. I didn't even know I had them. They came with my divorce.

Last weekend I went to a benefit concert for Japan, actually the second one I've been to. This was at Pitt and included some Japanese cultural things as well as good music. This photo is from the tea ceremony.

I found it strange and interesting to have the camera man right in there with the participants while a ghostly image of the action was projected onto the screen behind. It reminded me of the Bunraku performance I saw in Osaka where the puppet masters stand directly next to the life-size puppets. All the camera man needed was a black hood around his head.

More beautiful trees from the 'burgh. These are in a somewhat run down park that was once the site of George Westinghouse's mansion.


Missed deadline

I'm still writing the paper; this will probably go on until Christmas, or maybe New Years. The due date, last Thursday, was for the students getting a grade. Since I will get no grade it doesn't really matter. I spoke to my professor and she will read the paper whenever. She's very good to me.

The tooth extraction was relatively trivial. I'm healing well. But it had all kinds of other implications. I've been on an antibiotic for four weeks. That's a killer all by itself. The antibiotic affects the blood thinner I take. I don't remember how many blood tests I've had to endure, or how many more until it all gets straightened out. Nothing is ever simple these days.

I've been wanting to tell about Eli. He and Charna and his gf drove in from Chicago for Thanksgiving. We had a lovely dinner, then, Friday morning, Eli and gf, Adele, drove to her home where her sister would be coming out at a cotillion on Friday night. Eli and Adele had to dress for the party; they looked beautiful. Adele could wear rags and look beautiful. My grandson, of the torn jeans (rags) wore white tie and tails. Amazing how well he cleans up.

This kind of society stuff is way beyond anything I was ever exposed to. My most interesting foray into high society came when we went to a wedding (or party, I don't remember) at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. We had Aunt Ev (one of my ex's wealthier relatives) with us in our somewhat beat up VW beetle. The doorman wanted to ignore us, but she got out of the car in her sable (really) jacket and told him to take the car from us. He did. It was probably forty years ago, but I still remember it vividly and with pleasure.

Back to the paper. I'm about half finished. It's hard for me to know when to stop doing research. Makes the whole thing longer.


One less tooth

This is the first tooth I've lost since I had to have four pulled for braces when I was a kid. The thought of losing it bothers me much more than the reality, although I'm still numb. I'm writing this in the twenty minutes off of the icepack (a bag of frozen peas). I haven't been bleeding very much yet, but I'll have to see what happens when the numbness wears off and I can try to eat. Didn't eat much breakfast this morning. I'm getting hungry but I can't figure out how to eat. I could probably go for days without eating and it wouldn't do any harm.

I'm still struggling with the paper, but I've made great strides. I kept writing around the point of it, because I wasn't sure what the point was. I think I finally got it. I hope to have it done by Thursday, but the icepack doesn't help.

I am taking time this morning to catch up with everyone else's blog. In my next twenty minutes off the icepack I'll write some comments.

Dear Alice and Mage

I'm OK. I've been working on the paper, and of course, this is the time life catches up with you. Nothing terrible–Just my first tooth extraction since I was a kid. It will happen next week. In the meantime, I'm on antibiotics and they're not kind to me. Don't ask what happens.

We had Thanksgiving at Robin and Steve's. Charna, Eli and Eli's friend Adele, came from Chicago, Steve's mother, Renee, came from New York, and my two Chinese students (and one's wife) joined us. I have pictures and stories but that will wait until after the paper is finished, I hope before the tooth goes. Thanks for your concern and hugs to you both.

Blogging, tachycardia and root canals

As part of my blogging class I found I had to clarify my ideas about why I blog and make it part of my fourth class lecture. I began blogging almost four years ago in Live Journal, when I found I was going to move from New Jersey to Pittsburgh. It is a record of my feelings and the events leading up to my move. After I was settled in Pittsburgh I began this blog to record my adjustment to and exploration of the city. I saw the blog as a way to express myself and to combat the feeling I am invisible that I've had since I was in my fifties. Today I see the blog as a way to show what it's like to be 70 something. Next month I will be 75.

I want to be on record as someone who remains active, curious and interested in the world around me. I also want, to some extent, to write about the problems that have come with age, not as a qvetch, but as a matter of fact. What I did not write about all week is the echo cardiogram.

I was doing fine with the stress test until the last full minute when they increased the speed and elevation of the treadmill and got my heart rate over 120 or maybe it was 140. Dr. G said my heart rate recovered quickly, was back down to 100 by the time they got me back on the machine. He thinks the pictures showed a possible blockage. This is a separate problem from the tachycardia part of the reason for my pacemaker. So we're back to the medication my insurance didn't want to cover. The substituted medication wasn't controlling my heart rate. Dr. G thought the original stuff would also be be useful for the blockage.

It seems that the generic version of this stuff has been back ordered for several months. I had a three month supply before I went to Asia and was able to renew it in January, so hadn't realized it wasn't available. We finally got the insurance to cover the name brand stuff. It's an old drug, not very expensive. I was ready to pay for it myself if necessary.

I'm not happy about the idea of getting a stent, the next step, and I'd like to see if I can have a cat scan or some other non-invasive test to find out what's really going on. My next appointment will be in June, time to see if the meds do anything.

My hard won medication is doing well: I haven't had another bout of tachycardia since I began taking it. I had three or four episodes in the ten days I took the other stuff. But getting older you fall apart bit by bit. Now it's a tooth. I've been very lucky with my teeth: they are still all my own, even though drilled, filled, filled again and a few root canaled. There is something wrong with the last root canal and my dentist suggested gum surgery would be the easiest option. I am appalled.