Wow! The month of January has come and gone in a flash. My friend Nawal was here from Paris from Christmas to January 14, which may explain why the month went so quickly. Winter quarter started on January 6, the same day I was supposed to see my surgeon and the hospital for the pre-op visit. I ended up postponing the appointments until Friday, January 8, because just as I was leaving for the hospital I discovered that my wallet was not in its usual place. I knew it hadn't been stolen or lost, but I had no idea where I had last stashed it. After frantically looking for 15 minutes (this episode included me screaming so loud that I scared Neko), I called the hospital to say I would have to change my appointment. They were nice about it. Fifteen minutes later, I found the wallet in the pocket of a coat I don't usually wear. I had put it on to take Nawal to the doctor the day before. I didn't want to take my purse, etc. etc. etc. I hate it when this happens. Nothing good ever comes of these shortcuts.
The weekend before the operation, we went to Camp Waskowitz for Dahli's 50th birthday party. The food was unspeakably bad; I think the flakes used for the mashed potatos were taken from a box that had been in storage since the 60's. We built a huge bonfire. We saw elk in the field and took the flag down.
After my surgery, I was supposed to take it easy for two weeks. Normally, I am the kind of person who sees doctor's orders as rough guidelines. But this time, I decided to act like a responsible adult and do what the doctor ordered. I must confess it was wonderful to take it easy. I have already noted that I decided to forego the percocet. For one thing, I had some translation work to do (though my clients were very nice to me). I also decided not to miss my once-a-week seminar and so needed to do a lot of reading. But that's all I did. My wonderful, loving, sweet husband did everything else. He cooked and cleaned and fluffed up my pillows and fed the animals and most of all took the week off to hang out with me and watch Law & Order. It was very nice to have him around the house during the day.
By Friday of the first week, I felt healed enough to walk. I wanted to get back on the elliptical and resume my stick/weight workouts, but decided to wait until after my post-op visit. Sometimes, taking it easy is the best medicine. I took Dahli to Le Pichet for her annual birthday dinner the second week of my recovery. We both needed a good meal after the Camp Waskowitz fare. On Friday of that week, we went to see Steve Earle at the Moore with our neighbors. Thanks for the invite, neighbors. It just so happens that they wanted to have dinner at Le Pichet before the concert, so I got to have dinner there twice in one week. I had quail on Friday night. So tiny and delicate, so delicious. Steve Earle did an acoustic show, a total change from his last visit to Seattle. He did a few Townes Van Sant songs in addition to his own. The audience was much the same as last time (read my Steve Earle post from last year; it's here somewhere).
The weekend featured more walking and some shopping. I'd been watching a pair of grey boots at Clementine, waiting for them to go on sale. Got 'em. Love 'em. Then I bought ten soup bowls for 4.95 a piece, because Wonder Hub invited his Magnolia Baseball people over for Sunday lunch and we decided I would make a big soup before realizing that we only have about 4 soup bowls. I made that delicious bean and farro soup (I wrote about it in December), plus a roasted winter vegetable salad with arugula and bread from Bakery Nouveau. Karen brought a huge selection of cheeses so I put mine away. We'll be eating them until spring. At least I will.
On Monday, I was given the go-ahead to resume normal activities. The surgeon was amazed that I didn't take any percocet. He showed me some graphic photos of my innards. Now that this operation is behind me, I feel like I accomplished one of my major goals for 2010. I can move on! Yay! We celebrated by going to see Patti Smith at Benaroya. On my list of personal heros/role models/idols, she is very near the top. She did not disappoint. She was in town to talk about her book, Just Kids, in which Robert Mappelthorpe looms large. After reading from the book, she was interviewed by local self-styled rock guy Charles Cross. He did his best, but mainly served as a foil for Patti. She is quite funny. When he mentioned that she had been featured in Oprah's O Magazine as a style icon and seemed to expect a reaction from her (was he going for embarrassment?), she waited a moment, glared at him, and then said, when he glared back: "Well, that's not my fault!" To end the evening, she picked up her guitar, confessed that she wasn't a good guitarist (she isn't, but she is good enough), and then sang three or four songs. Banaroya is the perfect venue for acoustic music when the performer has a strong and unique voice. Patti delivered. She ended with an a cappella version of Because the Night, with her audience doing the chorus. It was magnificent. On the home front, we are listening to Patti Smith and The Who these days.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, as I prepared for my seminar, the work started flooding in. Bad timing, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. I got through my presentation yesterday, felt well prepared, and enjoyed the discussion. We are currently doing Molière. I had never read Molière, but had seen one of his plays performed by the Comédie française troupe. At the time, I did not really understand enough French to appreciate what I was seeing. It is nice to know that Molière can be studied at leisure. The Comédie française stages at least one play be Molière each year. In 2010, they are doing L'avare. It would be fun to plan a trip to Paris around that!