Medical update

My orthopaedist says my ankle is healing normally, it feels good. Symptoms I’ve described are normal, and can occur for up to 6 months (ye gods). He doesn’t want me to wear the cast anymore, and gave me a sheet of strengthing exercises. I may go back to the pool next week, maybe start a new Pilates DVD I got this week.

Jill had to return to the ER for a checkup today. They said her leg’s in good shape, but to keep taking her medication and redressing the wound. It was a long couple days at work for her, and she’s going to try to take it easy. Her mom comes in on Friday until Wednesday, so she’s off work, and hopefully she won’t overexert herself.

More ER fun

Saturday I went for my neurosoma visit, then a couple errands before coming home. I picked up some first aid stuff for Jill, but it stung like the dickens and she washed it off. I thawed some graound beef for burgers and walked Illa. I decided not to go see the Crue. 4 nights of shows wore me out, and Jill was kinda out of it, although she did rally enough to walk Illa once. I was up ’til 2 or so reading, then crashed.

Sunday morning I walked Illa and made an omelette. Jill was in significant pain, and was really worried. So she made her own trip to the ER, which was much busier than when we went for me last month, and didn’t get home for 3 hours. They gave her antibiotics and Percoset, she slept for a little while. I had marinated some chicken thighs in jerk sauce and grilled them after she woke up. She sauteed eggplant while I grilled, then we ate. She wasn’t feeling good and went for another nap. Now she’s up and watching the dog. Of course now my ankle is throbbing and I’m getting those nerve twinges again after the long walks I’ve been taking Illa for, so I hope she’s better soon, otherwise he’s going to have to walk himself. I think I’m going to have to go back to the cast before Tuesday’s visit with the orthopedist.

Eclectic taste

If there was any doubt I had eclectic taste in music, this week confirms it.

Monday: Listened to Dar Williams in the studio at Sirius (which we get over Dish Network), talking about and playing songs from her new album. I was looking forward to hearing her cover of “Comfortably Numb”, and was perversely upset when she played it live, because afterwards they talked about the intertwined vocals her and Ani DiFranco share on the recorded version.

Tuesday: Saw Great Big Sea and the Saw Doctors at Wolf Trap. Great Big Sea opened right at 7; we were a little bit late due to the show starting at 7. GBS tried to cram as much music into their 90 minute set as possible; not as much banter as usual, and during the encore, they didn’t even pause for applause. Saw Doctors were good, but we were mostly there for GBS, and since Jill had an early start the next day, left halfway through.

Wednesday: Saw Brian Wilson perform Smile at Wolf Trap. Or more accurately saw him do a set of Beach Boys and his songs plus some covers, then a second set of Smile straight through, then an encore of more Beach Boys songs. The highlight for me was during the first set when he did “California Girls”, “Sloop John B,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” in a row. Smile certainly must be some kind of record for length between start and finish by the same guy (1967-2004). I’ve listened to the live version enough times where I was pretty familiar with it, and it’s pretty good. The problem for me is that “Good Vibrations” which ends it is so familiar to me and so great it outshines the other stuff. Small complaint, I know.

Thursday: Saw the Boston Pops with Linda Eder at Wolf Trap. We picnicked with my mom and dad and their friends Roger and Betty. Mom brought food from Wegman’s, making it easy for us. We had chicken and potato salad, and we brought some Magic Hat (Stuart had found out Trader Joe’s carries it now, as we’d run out). We had bought tix at different times, and all had different seats, Jill and I were in the front orchestra. The first set was good, a bunch of American classics (“American In Paris” is always nice, and thematically appropriate since Brian Wilson’s “Smile” was his nod to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”). Linda Eder reminded us of Barbra Striesand, and that was not a good thing – we left several songs into the second set.

Friday: Saw Robbie Schaefer (from efo) at Jammin’ Java. Edheads were representing; we went with Stuart and met up with Shelly there. We had dinner there (turkey sandwich and chili for me, chicken salad sandwich for Jill). Mike Morris was pretty good, but I was itching for Robbie and his new songs. First solo show in the area since New Year’s, and we got 6 new songs (my favorites: “Leon’s Going Down” and “Do No Harm”)! Also, after a 90 minute set, we thought he’d finish up quickly with a couple songs during the encore. 50 minutes later, he finally finished.

And if I can handle another one,
Saturday: See Sum 41 and Motley Crue at Nissan Pavilion. Of course I was going to go solo – with Jill potentially on the couch, I may stay home.

Jill’s turn

Jill’s decided one person in the family with a limp on the right side wasn’t enough. Illa wanted to go running when she took him for a walk tonight, and she fell and scraped her leg up pretty badly, and may have done something to the ankle. She’s all cleaned up and asleep now, though.

Dog days of summer

Saturday I got up after staying up way too late the night before and went to Neurosoma. Not nearly as painful as last week, I didn’t have her work on the foot as aggressively. I went to the post office and dropped off the paper recycling on the way back home. Jill was finishing straightening up, and I had some quick breakfast. We drove over to Seven Corners to meet Janette, one of the CHAMMP volunteers at 1. Lezlie wasn’t supposed to be there as she had an appointment in Maryland at 2, but she was running late and brought Illa out for us. Janette soon arrived, and we followed her to another volunteer’s house in Falls Church where we picked up a crate, and I met his huge Malamute. Getting Illa in the car was getting to be a trick, and Janette showed us we should open both doors, and pull Illa into the car. We stopped in South Lakes at the Pet Valu store there to pick up some Eagle Pack dog food (Lezlie said they need food where meat is the first two ingredients to keep healthy) and look at the ducks on Lake Thoreau before heading home.

Illa was pretty excited, but calmed down after Jill took him on a long walk. I heated up some ribs I’d cooked earlier in the week for me, and heated up Jill’s leftover pizza for her, then she took the rest of the ribs to work. I took Illa for a walk, then read the paper. I thought I’d watch the Brian Wilson DVD, but Illa thought otherwise, as he started barking. I think it was the HDTV, as when I was watching non-HD stuff he didn’t mind. I just switched off the video, and he settled down. I was worn out from lack of sleep and the long day, and went to sleep shortly after midnight.

The next morning Illa was whimpering and howling around 8:30. The plan was Jill would come home and take him out of the crate and walk him. She called and said she was just leaving at 8:45, so I got dressed and walked him. We were just getting in when Jill got home, and Illa got all excited again, and Jill took him for another walk while I showered. She went to bed and I made some breakfast and gave Illa his food. I started reading the paper and watching “Batman Beyond:Return Of The Joker”. I hadn’t seen that show before, and that had a nice tie in to the older Batman animated series. Around 11 Illa wanted to go out again, so I started recording that and we went out. Most of our walks are on the perimeter of our subdivision, mostly to the back as that’s where the woods are. On this particular jaunt we went around the edge of the woods and were coming back up Herndon Parkway when a small grey dog (some kind of wiry terrier) on the other side of the parkway saw us. He headed straight over and they sniffed. Illa wasn’t aggressive, but I still didn’t want any incident. I grabbed the little dog’s collar, and he had some kind of device, but no tag. I took Illa home, and the little dog followed us. I was trying to get Illa inside, and the little on slipped in too. I quickly got the liitle one outside in the back on a lead, and got some water for him, then called animal control.

The little dog started whining (but no barking) immediately, but I was worried about keeping him with Illa, so I ignored him. Phil, my neighbor, came home about a half hour later and I heard him outside. I went out to find him untangling the lead as the little dog had gotten himself all wrapped around the Japanese maple. Phil (who used to have a Jack Russell), volunteered to keep the dog at his house until animal control arrived. They didn’t show up for another hour. Officer Lewis was very nice and understanding, said it was the third one that he’d had to pick up that day that was obviously a house pet but had no tags. He also said the device on the dog’s collar gave him a shock if he tried to bark, so that’s why he hadn’t been barking.

Illa was pretty excited about the whole situation, and I had to give him another long walk. I had been wearing my cast pretty constantly since the injury, but after the first walk it was obvious I couldn’t keep using it, so I switched to sneakers. At first it was still pretty painful (especially around the ball of the foot), but it’s starting to feel almost normal – I haven’t worn the cast since Saturday, and may not again. Well, my ankle aches some and my toe is pinging right now.

Illa still had energy, so I took Lezlie’s advice about what must be the finest thing every made: the Kong Ball. I put some peanut butter inside, gave it to Illa, and that was the last I heard from him for almost two hours. By then it was 4:30 and Jill was planning on getting up at 3, so we went up to check. She hadn’t gotten to sleep until nearly 11, but reluctantly got up. We needed to go to Petsmart to get Illa some more toys. He was not happy about going in the car, but we finally got him in. However, he wasn’t much help at picking out toys – too distracted by other dogs. We got a squeaky ball, a plush squirrel that squeaks, and a pull rope. He came back and Jill walked him again while I made chicken fajitas (really heated up – nice Safeway frozen bag). I started watching a Brian Wilson documentary and Jill watched the end of it with me. Pretty good, I liked how they got George Martin to comment on the Beatles’ view of him. We watched a Simpsons we hadn’t seen, then turned off the TV as I was recording “Eternal Sunshine” to watch later (I also recorded “Collateral” and “Empire Records”, after I watch those it’ll be the most HBO I’ve watched in months). We read for a while, then Jill took Illa on a walk and tried to get him to go in his crate. He did not want to, and it was mostly pushing and pulling to get him in.

Jill got up first this morning, walked him then put him back in the crate with no problem. I had no such luck, it took a Kong loaded with peanut butter to entice him in. Hopefully he’ll get used to it soon, but I ordered a DVD on crating from petsmart.com (along with a hands-free leash – both of our wrists are aching after the number of walks we’ve done). She walked him again before I got home, then I did the final, rainy one tonight. Still not happy with the crate, but he went in ok.

Pictures up here.

Reading feeds

In the interest of spending a little less time surfing at night (I tend to spend over 2 hours when I go online 2-3 times a week), I’ve been playing around with RSS readers. I’m using Sunrise to grab feeds and convert them to Palm database files, and Plucker’s handheld viewer to view them. I’ve been using this system for a couple weeks now, and it works nicely. Anytime I go online I’ll start reading the feeds in the background, then sync them down to my Palm for reading later (like at a long traffic line or in line at the grocery store). It’s a nice little setup.

FYI, to get a LiveJournal feed, just add /rss after the username.

Liz Phair

We saw Liz Phair’s acoustic show at the Birchmere last night. She’s also playing tonight. When the shows were announced a while back, I waited to find out the best one for Jill’s schedule before I bought tix, and by the time I went to buy some, they sold out. So I’d been monitoring eBay and Craigslist for a pair. Demand was much higher than supply, and I hadn’t obtained any by yesterday.

Jill was so sure I wouldn’t get any, she wore scrubs to work. Around 4:30, a new entry popped up on Craigslist, and I emailed the guy. Jill was leaving work about that time, so I told her to hang in Starbucks for 30 minutes. When I hadn’t gotten a reply by 5, I told her to head home. At 5:15, I finally got a reply. I emailed him my phone and called Jill. She pulled over while we mulled what to do, then we decided we’d meet at Dick’s in Fair Lakes. I got a call from the guy, and agreed to meet at the Birchmere. So I met up with Jill, and we took 66 -> Beltway -> 50 -> Glebe. Traffic wasn’t too bad, took us about 45 minutes, and we met the guy, slipped him the cash, and were at a table at 7:20, with 10 minutes to spare before the opening act.

We ordered food (a pitcher of Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale, taco salad to split, bbq pizza for Jill and bacon cheesburger for me) and watched Cary Brothers (not too shabby, his voice reminded me of Howie Day), then chowed down on our food. Liz came out looking great in a red top and short skirt with a guitarist, and launched right into “Polyester Bride” and “Never Said” (my favorite songs from the third and first CDs). I found it interesting how her new stuff blends right in with the older stuff. She played several brand new songs, as well as all the classic tracks. “Flower” is even better slowed down and acoustic – I even heard gasps around me from people whom I suppose hadn’t listened that closely to the song. We left during “Supernova” as Jill continues her punishing week of working Monday-Thrusday at her regular job and then pulling a 12 hour shift today and tomorrow night at Georgetown.