Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Home Again

Sorry to go dark for so long. I was expecting to do some posting from my parents' house, but for some reason, Blogger wasn't willing to let me log in while I was down there. When combined with the lovely two-finger typing of a Qwerty keyboard (I use Dvorak), I just couldn't seem to figure out how to post.

We had a lovely long visit with Mom and Dad. Rob spent a lot of time with Dad at the glider field, and got a surprising amount of flight time in - he has a log book and everything, and is now very interested in gliding. Unfortunately for his ambition there are no gilder ports or soaring clubs in this area (Unfortunately for him, fortunately for our bank account. Gliding ain't cheap.) It was generally a very unambitious vacation for us - much sitting around playing computer Scrabble, reading, or watching TV. I did yoga a few times, and practiced Kusanku (both Sai and not) as far as I've learned it a few times, but otherwise backed off on the exercise, which seemed to be a relief for my joints - my left knee and right ankle had both become constant low-grade aches - and I hope I can ramp the exercise back up without bringing the aches back.

Mom turned out to have quite a few interesting books in her collection (she always does). As a consequence, I now know a great deal more about nutrition specifically for insulin resistence than I did, which is going to result in some dietary tweaking in the next few months. We'll see how it goes. Plus, she had an excellent book (which I didn't finish, rats!) on reading like a writer. I barely even got started on reading all the cool books I got Rob for Christmas (the haul includes two John Scalzi books, the most recent Stephen Brust, a Patricia Briggs, and a history of Plumbing). I received no books for Christmas - possibly a first. Instead I got some lovely jewelry - an orchid earring and pin/pendant set from Rob, silver dangles and gilded green glass elephants from Dad, an opalescent fake amber pendant from Aaron (pretty, but very odd looking), and a big round colored glass/silver necklace from Robbie. Also a very pretty small brocade purse from Aaron (for occassions when the big hobo bag just won't do), and the requisite embarrassing gift from Rob (slipper socks - neon green frog, and hot pink kitty ones). Fortunately I was spared the Tweety Bird pajamas because they weren't in stock in my size (THANK YOU WAL-MART!!). Maybe I'll actually get the chance to kill off my last set of embarrassing pajamas (Scooby-Doo), and buy myself some warm pj's I actually like before next Christmas. I can hope, anyway.

Since a Christmas without book just won't do, I wandered out to a local bookstore and picked myself up a few. The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker has by now been recommended by so many different people from so many different places, that I could no longer excuse avoiding it, so home it came. In a more fun vein, I picked up the second and third of Elizabeth Bear's first series (Scardown and Worldwired - the first book was Hammered). I'm about halfway through Scardown, and I'm really happy I got them. Hammered was a mixed bag for me. I like Bear's writing and the particulars of her characters, especially Jenny who is just all kinds of cool. I mean, how often do I get to read a book about a character who is my gender, older than me, more battered than me (both physically and psychologically), and yet still kicks ass in spades? Yet, somehow, I just didn't connect with the book in any intense way. Scardown still has all the stuff I like, and adds in that connection. Suddenly I care about what happens to all these people in a way I didn't before, and it's a whole different experience. Hammered I read in two days because I'm just a fast reader. Scardown I started last night and got halfway through before I could bring myself to put it down, even knowing we had a twelve-hour drive today. I'm having to crawl off to bed tonight without even picking it up (Crud!), because if I do, I'm not putting it down again until I'm done, and I've got tons to do tomorrow (return car, retrieve dog, unpack, get to bank, get to grocery store - and that's just starters). Tomorrow afternoon though, I'm sticking something long and slow on the stove (stew anyone?), and crawling in. I'll comment on the other side.


Miss Chris said...

I'll have to check some of those books out. I love a real page-turner!

Bill said...

Since you mentioned them I, too, have been checking those books out on Amazon.

On an entirely different note, I was thinking about why you might be a "soup can" with your Kata, and came up with some possible insight: the major reason not to move your back would be because it hurt to do so when you were practicing. I see several possible causes there: pregnancy, back pain, or, more commonly, a full bladder.

The cause, whatever it was, is probably gone now, but it might help to recognize what the cause was in order to counteract it. On the other hand, perhaps "full bladder" could still be a problem - just be sure not to drink too much in the two hours before practice.

Perpetual Beginner said...

You may be onto something there, Bill. I learned most of my katas, the first time around, while I was pregnant with Robbie. Also, since Gabbard's dojo emphasized fighting much more than kata, I probably spent three or four times the time doing kata in the five months I was there and pregnant than in the preceeding year and a half. However, I didn't learn any weapons kata while I was there - and I don't have the "soup can" problem with weapons.

In short - you may be dead on.

The specific books in Rob's haul, for those who are interested were The Ghost Brigades by John Scalze (sequel to Old Man's War), The Android's Dream by John Scalzi, Dzur by Stephen Brust (most recent in the Vlad Taltos series that starts with Jhereg), Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (sequel to Moon Called), and the plumbing history is called Flushed: How Plumbers Saved Civilization. I don't remember the author, but somehow I doubt there's two with that title. I've started The Android's Dream, and read Blood Bound, both of which I like (be warned, Scalzi's book starts off with what amounts to a chapter long fart joke). I'm going slow because they are Rob's books after all, and I probably shouldn't read all of them before he does.