d_trektone_w: (chocmice)
In recent times I've been focused on work, mom's cold and Medicare Part D for 2008. Am behind on work assignments and will be taking time off at the end of the year, so I need to get stuff done. Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, mom's gotten better, then worse, then better, then worse, and now on the "better" track. Here's hoping for no back-sliding this time. Fortunately, sis has been around to take her to dr appts and watch her for changes.

In the meantime, I've been reading up on the Medicare Part D blah-blah-blah for the upcoming year. Ick, costs going up! Am ready to change insurers for mom. Whew, almost done with this task. Need to deal with my own financial planning (or hire someone else to help me), probably in early 2008.

We celebrated mom's birthday last weekend and, despite the cold, she was in good spirits. Yay!
d_trektone_w: (dimsum)
Spent the weekend w/sis and mom. The main downer was brunching with a family friend (she's my age; our parents were friends so we kind of grew up together) and her partner: she wanted to get together to tell us in person she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One tumor the size of an apple, another a walnut. I'll need to do more research, but this sounded bad. Still, she was upbeat, describing the chemo and (likely) subsequent surgery to remove stuff. Sigh.

The rest of the weekend was pretty good. Lots of talking and eating. Sis and I had errands to run, and mom was happy to ride along with us. My non-iPhone cell is slowly falling apart and I'm looking for a sturdy replacement without a lot of extras. Maybe I'll get a Chocolate just for the name.

Sunday dim sum lunch was a longer-than-expected wait (1/2 hour) at Asian Pearl, but very yum. An item I'd not previously had and would get again was one of those deep-fried Chinese "donuts" with the exterior covered with rice noodle. Sis said it was a variation of a typical Taiwanese dish. Mom consumed an entire bowl of the sweet, soft tofu. The scallop-shrimp steamed dumplings were particularly good.

Oh, yeah. Sis also brought a box of fudge for me to try. A friend of hers was looking to market organic fudge and wanted feedback. It was decent, but a bit grainy and I felt the chocolatey-ness was obscured by the sweetness. I'm not aware of any company in the U.S. doing organic fudge, although I think I had some at a farmers' market or harvest festival a couple of years ago. Anyone heard of such a thing?
d_trektone_w: (chrysP)
Spent July 4th through today w/mom & sis.

The best part was being with them. Did our usual talking & reminiscing, especially keeping dad in our thoughts as the 4th marked two years since his passing. Mom was upbeat. We were happy to be together even though we had "family business" to take care of. Had a couple of mom-related appointments, but they were okay.

Not so fun was noticing mom often asking the same question again and again within several minutes' time. I think she started recognizing the expressions of sis and me when it happened, and it made us all kind of sad. We didn't talk about it much, though.

Also, at mom's house where we were the five days we found ants starting to invade. Bleah. And evidence of mice/rats in the corners and along the walls. Ick.

Still, I'm so glad I'm able to take work time off to be w/family.

relieved

Feb. 3rd, 2007 12:16 pm
d_trektone_w: (pom)
At the moment mom's doing okay, but yesterday was another stress-o-rama for me.

ER fun and TMI )
d_trektone_w: (bop)
Glad to get to the end of the week. Hasn't been much fun. Working too much because I've been feeling guilty about not accomplishing much for a new project. Sore throat on Wednesday, sniffling-turned-to-head-cold yesterday. Bleah.

A friend at work, JD, whom I've known for at least a decade, has been having a tough several months. An only child, she's been taking care of her parents who've been having more and more health issues. They all live in San Francisco, but she has her own apartment. Her mom was diagnosed with lung (?) cancer in July and went downhill very quickly. JD had gone on a family leave just before Thanksgiving. She called me on Tuesday to let me know her mom passed that morning. I hope JD is able to take her time for herself now, since she'd been trying to do so much herself, despite her circle of friends volunteering to help.

For me, last weekend was very enjoyable. Took mom up to spend several days with sis at her place in the Sierra Foothills. All things considered, the drive up and back was okay (despite traffic in both directions and icky rain on the return). We mostly just hung out and ate and talked. Mom is definitely slowing down, sleeping more, and forgetting recent events, which I mentioned before.

We were in good spirits the entire time and, in a surprise us kids, agreed to see not one, but two movies in theaters! She had not wanted to go with us the last few years. Her assisted care group was taken to "March of the Penguins" last year and she grumped about being forced to go even as she said she ended up liking the movie but remembering the sad parts more than the happy ones. We gave mom a couple of choices and she opted for another penguin extravaganza, "Happy Feet." Afterward she said she it was too loud in parts so she covered her ears, but it was still fun. Yay! And mentioned she'd go to the other one we suggested, so we Bond-ed the next night! (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] debmats, I saw it again, but this time without the alcohol beforehand and still really liked it, though the slow parts felt slower. Daniel Craig, though, definitely works for me. Hee!)

I look forward to seeing more movies with mom (& sis) in the future!

(And speaking of booze, mom surprised sis & me again by happily partaking of a flight of red wines we shared one dinner out. It used to be that mom would take one or two sips of a regular red and then ask for something sweeter. Not sure what to make of this development. She was pleased with an ice wine I brought as well. I'm sure we'll deal.)

Anyway, back to bed to get well.
d_trektone_w: (The End)
On Sunday I took mom to the extravanganza in celebration of The End, the final installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

Lemony Snicket was absent, but Daniel Handler and Stephin Merritt stood in for him ... )

"Jojishoji," Sunny said, which meant something like, "I don't believe that abridging the freedom of expression and the free exercise thereof is the proper way to run a community."

Page 223, The End, by Lemony Snicket.
d_trektone_w: (meyers)
July 4th with mom was relaxed and very pleasant. Thanks to all for your thoughts/hugs/good wishes. Spent the day at mom's house and she puttered around, both inside and out. I'm still afraid she might fall while chopping off dead flowers and trimming bushes, so I accompany her to the front and back yards. She complains she doesn't need an escort, but ends up having me haul stuff around, so I guess it works. :)

Root beer floats were yum!

The rest of the week: Superman, dinner, tennis. )
d_trektone_w: (bop)
My sister, mom and I went for a drive today, just to be driving around. We went inland to Benicia and looked at some docked ships, then back west through Vallejo to the ferry landing. Drove around looking for a place to eat. I saw "Max's of Manila" and headed there, because I liked the meals I had at the one in Daly City (introduced to me by my ex, Lewis, over a decade ago). The shopping center turned out to have a number of Filipino shops. Max's is known for fried chicken, but has a lot of other familiar foods like pancit, kare-kare and lumpia (but not adobo). And, directed by me, we had the fried chicken, pancit bihon (a rice-noodle dish, a bit like chow mein), lumpiang ubod (like a spring roll, but fresh, not deep-fried) and kare-kare (oxtail stew in a peanut-butter sauce). Dessert was a shared "milkshake" of shaved ice with sweet azuki beans, tropical fruit jello with coconut milk, topped with a scoop of avocado ice cream.

Mom didn't remember, but Lewis and I had taken her and dad to the Daly City Max's. Dad loved the fried chicken and kare-kare. Sigh, but oh, well.

Nice drive and yum meal.
d_trektone_w: (orchidO)
Spent Saturday with my mom, so we did my birthday and Mother's Day together. One if the things she really seems to like to do, though she only hints at it when asked, is being driven around just to be looking around. So that's mostly what we did.

After mom had breakfast at the assisted care place I picked her up and took her the Berkeley Farmers' Market. Walk and taste, walk and taste. We had cow cheeses and goat cheeses; at least four different vendors' strawberries; several flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils; pickled organic veggies, including beets, green beans, squash and cucumbers.

Then we brunched. :)
At Liaison (remember that, [livejournal.com profile] debmats?) we shared pain perdu, eggs benedict, sides of spinach and pommes frites, and an especially yummy blueberry clafoutis. Mom mentioned liking it well enough that she'd return for lunch or dinner.

From there we drove around Oakland's "historic" Jack London Square, then went to the island of Alameda where I showed mom where I'd be a week later (Rosenblum Cellars' open house) and then around to various ships (and buzzed by St. George Spirits distillery). After that we drove through the suburbia that is most of Alameda, but did stop in on a couple of used bookstores.

We talked a lot while I drove and even mom remarked how she's become more hard of hearing. She sighed when I brought it up, but agreed to do the hearing test again in preparation for getting hearing aids. We'll see. I'm hopeful about it.

After more driving around Berkeley we had a small dinner at a tiny restaurant, Sushi Banzai. It was surprisingly empty. Mom got the two things she wanted, tekka-maki and cucumber sunomono, and I had hamachi-kama and rolls of una-kyu and negi-hama. As we left the waitress gave mom both a carnation and a mylar "Happy Mother's Day" balloon. Mom was grinning and so pleased as I had her wait in front of the restaurant to take a picture. A customer came out and offered to take a pic of us both, which was nice.

Happy Mother's Day, mom! And Happy Birthday to me!


(Mom had gotten the new mobile phone a couple of days before and I did the activation and programming, then went over to see her today after running some errands. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of the new flip phone, so we'll need to work on it.)
d_trektone_w: (jpLVchoc)
With mom's health situation stabilized for now (and at least somewhat known, I hope), I've been trying to catch up with folks and stuff in general. So here's some lj catch-up:
Dating? And ketch-up? )
d_trektone_w: (noble)
Dad )
d_trektone_w: (Default)
Last Thursday I saw Wicked, the musical. Took my sister and she really liked it, too. Oh, yeah, there were a bunch of other people I knew there since [livejournal.com profile] debmats and I did the group tix thing.

My thoughts on the pre-Broadway version of Wicked from two years ago.

In that time Wicked has become a successful and popular (hee!) Broadway show. While it received mixed reviews when it opened and lost out to Avenue Q in many of the Tony Award categories, it's still running and there's the touring show as well as a Chicago company.

While I cherish the memories of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in the main roles, there was much to like about the post-Broadway version. In general it seemed better paced, though "No Good Deed" still seemed long, but less so than the first times (I spoke with [livejournal.com profile] herefox, who pointed out there's more physical movement by Elphaba now, but I still think the song was shortened). While I don't think "Dancing Through Life" is a significantly better song than its predecessor, "Which Way is the Party?" (I think that's what it was called), I was pleased with Derrick Williams as Fiyero, yummy vocals and other parts. Wished he did more dancing/movement. Or just standing on stage close to where I was seated in the fifth row.

The dancing was still excellent as were the amazing costumes -- I think there were more scenes with men in dresses this time -- but there were fewer non-dancer body shapes in the ensemble than before, which saddened me. Maybe I was too close to the stage, but I didn't like the choreography of "What is this Feeling?" nearly as much as the first times. It seemed a jumble whereas before the groupings of people seemed to come together in fun combinations more cleanly.

I cried and cried during "Defying Gravity."

This Glinda was a bit more cuddly and less shrill. [livejournal.com profile] cadhla (belated Happy Birthday) found her more believable as a girl-becoming-a-woman than what she'd seen of Chenoweth, but I prefer the latter. This Elphaba, while lacking Menzel's fire and power, was good, too, and I believed the on-stage chemistry between her and Fiyero in the main romantic moment more than Menzel with Norbert Leo Butz. Okay, maybe I was projecting myself into the scene as the green girl. Anyway ...

The "big names." Carol Kane as Morrible was decent, and David Garrison as The Wizard was probably better than Robert Morse. Now I really wonder what Joel Grey did with the role.

Glad to have seen the show! Yay for winged monkeys!

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