Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

TV Commercials

I like commercials -- good ones, of course, as everyone would be quick to add. What makes one good and one lame, well, that is largely subjective. But recently Volkswagen switched ad agencies, and it's showing up in the commercials. You may remember that VW ran a very quirky series of ads, largely inclusive (which is to say one of those couples was gay; we didn't see many women in them, though).

How, however, the new ad agency has decided -- or VW has decided -- to go after a different demographic. From the 2/28/06 NY Times:
VOLKSWAGEN Strange spots introduced a bizarre character named Fast, symbolizing the need for speed when behind the wheel of the new GTI sold by Volkswagen of America. The commercials were compelling but sexist; only men drove the car and all the women were portrayed as annoying whiners. Gold for getting noticed, lead for sensitivity. Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky, part of MDC Partners.

Being a woman I didn't find them all that fascinating. While I was tempted to buy a VW back when the gay couple took the sofa off the curb (and soon regretted it), I am not only not even remotely tempted by the new GTI, hell, I'm blogging about the ads. The ad I want to see is where a woman gets fed up with Fast and hurls him from the car while it's travelling at 90 mph, or pulls it from the front seat and stomps that sucker flat.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Physical Therapy

First off -- congratulations to the US Men's Curling Team on their bronze medal. Well done, gentlemen, and hope to see you at the Worlds in April.

Also on Friday, I started up physical therapy again. I used to have chronic back pain. I went to George the miracle physical therapist (hereinafter PT) for about six weeks, and felt great. Good enough to start riding lessons. Laura, my teacher, competes in dressage, so balance and centering are key --and very good for one's back and muscles.

What is not good for one's back and muscles? Being virtually inactive for, oh, eight months. Not completely inactive. I do some chores around the house. I go to work. I walk Vixen, but where we used to walk 3 miles a day, we (I) do a half mile now. Which George actually says is a good distance for me right now, thank heavens. So I know George will be able to help. It may not always be fun...

I was right, the man is a sadist. A PT god. A dear, funny, talented sadist, but a sadist. Basically it seems that everything connected with the sciatic nerve that could be inflamed is inflamed. He asked many questions, did reflex tests, did some traction work, showed me how I could do same at home, showed me how I can lie on my side without pain... I was there about 90 minutes. Crap, I've lost a lot in the past 8 months, but it seems to me especially so in the last four weeks or so, but that's probably because of that muscle finally deciding it had had it. I mean, I can't get up from a crouch without help, or something to pull myself against. I'll be seeing him twice a week for a while. As I said, he thinks walking a half mile a day, which is what I do with Vix, is perfect for me right about now (phew!). And I have to ice my back 2-3 times a day. It's freaking freezing out! The idea of pressing a pack of ice against the small of my back is not attractive... but I am doing it. See? I am capable of following orders, even if Melissa doesn't think so.

And hey, he likes curling, too, has even been curling. Once. This guy's a gem. A sadist, but a gem.

It really does take it out of one, though. I'm glad it's the weekend. I was going to go shopping with Melissa after my appointment, but I just let her drive me home. This worried me, though, because she had to go to the fish market. Which is right next door to the yarn store. I figured I was doomed, but she turned up trumps and didn't even go to the yarn store -- which, given that she is nowhere near finished her project for the Knitting Olympics is a darned good thing! (You want all the gruesome details, check out her blog).

And of course, we got 9 inches of snow yesterday. Which makes walking more difficult, especially on brilliantly sunny days like today. Complain, complain, complain! :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tumped Over

I'm not sure of the spelling of the verb "to tump." I do know it is Southern, possibly peculiar to Arkansas, where my partner's parents live, or to Mississippi, which much of the rest of her family comes from.

A truck that, say, goes a little too fast on a snow covered highway and ends up on its side (in a ditch adds style points) is said to have "tumped over." A tree can tump over. In fact, almost anything, in the right conditions can tump over.

I know. I did it.

I'm going to have to try this vacation day thing again, because it sure didn't work on Monday. I got up and was getting dressed. One leg into the jeans -- hey, that was pretty good, I was on one foot for, oh, seconds at a time! Let's see what I can do with the other one....

What I could do was lose my balance, "tump over" sideways and -- major extra style points here -- hit my head, which is still bald, on the corner of my dresser. And whoever moved that dresser is going to be sorry!

Melissa bolted out of bed. "What happened??"

"I hit my head on the corner of my dresser," I wailed, thinking that was pretty damn lucid for someone who had just hit her head on the corner of her dresser. She looked at my head: no blood, no broken skin, "But you have a dent with a squidgy spot!" I crawled out from between the bed and the dresser and clambered up onto the foot of the bed -- and that's when Melissa got really worried. I guess I passed out for a minute, because next thing I knew I was laying back on the foot of the bed and Melissa was in my office on the phone. While she was talking to 911, I was pulling on my shoes and socks (I was cooking!). By the time the extremely nice firemen arrived, I was standing up in my office. "Where is she?" one of them asked. "Ummm, right here."

I answered all the questions perfectly -- even my age, damn it. My blood pressure was normal. The firemen helped me downstairs when the ambulance arrived (Melissa does not do things by half, nor do I blame her). Actually, the firemen said they might not have bothered with the ambulance were it not for my history of cancer. The EMTs were delightful. I got to ride in an ambulance, though after tumping over and substantially knocking one's noggin, riding backwards is probably not the best thing. I wasn't sick, but made sure I had a basin when I got to the ER.

No headache. No broken skin. Damn little bruising. Eye movement -- normal. No vertigo. No nausea aside from what can be attributed to motion sickness. All of which said to the doctor no need for a CT scan or MRI, especially since I had an MRI less than a month ago, and I'm having all sorts of blood work done next week, and you really, really do not want to make the phlebotomist's life harder than it is by trying to locate my veins twice in a little more than a week.

We were home by 10:00AM. If, heaven forbid, you have to go to the ER, first thing on a Monday holiday is a pretty good time. As I curled up on the sofa -- STILL no headache, but those muscles that hit the floor... and the dresser... and the weight bench... were starting to get sore... I realized (a) how stupid it had been to test my balance quite that way, in that place, then (b) it was just bad luck I had fallen in that direction, then (c) this was the kind of thing that lost Lindsay Jacobellis her gold medal, and (d) it's damn lucky I have a hard head and that I didn't kill myself! I confess, I felt rather freaked out later in the day and had this intense desire just to go to bed. The lucky thing is, I'm so sore from having fallen that lying in bed ain't comfortable!

I felt good enough to go into work the next day, but by the end of the day I was sorer than ever, and a little unsteady (to be expected, Dr. Bonnem said), so I chose to work at home today, with a stack of manuscripts by my side and right next to the massage pillow Bran and Elane (bless them, how did they KNOW?) sent us for Christmas.

Not unrelated to this -- I start physical therapy on Friday. I know it will make me feel much better. The question is, is it going to make me feel worse, first?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I am not a knitter...

Nor do I play one on TV. Yet somehow or other, I have found myself deep in the company of knitters, cheering on Teams Wales (the Jamaican Bobsled Team of Knitting) in the Knitting Olympics. This past Sunday, I found myself at the new local yarnshop -- comfortably ensconced in a wing armchair usually reserved for trailing husbands -- while Melissa picked out yarn for two sweaters. To be fair, one is for me -- but I had the yarn picked out for it within 5 minutes, I kid you not. Yet we were there almost an hour.

Nor do I have any hope of seeing my new sweater -- a rust-orange gansey -- any time soon. Melissa wants to finish the crochet top for which she bought yarn on Sunday, and then there's the project for the Knitting Olympics. The Olympics projects is supposed to be completed by the end of the games, that is, in sixteen days, including the opening ceremonies. The fact that both Daytona and the Westminster Kennel Club show are on TV during that period may actually help speed things along.