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January 11, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Jury Duty, Kung-Fu Teas, and Books

It's pretty funny.

With all the other things that have been going on in my life, today I got a summons to jury duty. The funny thing is that I really want to do it; but the summons date is February 5th, and my due date is the 11th. Yeesh. I'll ask if I should disqualify myself as I really don't know when the delivery is going to 'disable' me from doing my duties.

The day was a day. I even walked on the treadmill while John was doing his late meeting. John had to move out of his cublicle that was just four from mine, as his group was going to a new area that could hold him and his people. I was sad about that as I won't likely see him quite as much as I do now. Harder to stop by his cube and just get a hug in the middle of the day when I'm feeling bad.

My feet are now really swelling. I think they know what I wrote the other day about them not being so bad. They're now Stay-Puft feet, even when I prop them up for part of the day. The exercise is supposed to help with that, too. I only went through two ice packs today, but was more miserly with my typing time. I had to get some minutes done for a meeting, but that was nearly all.

I drank a lot of pi lo chun, a green tea that might be translated as Green Snail Spring, but that doesn't catch any of the poetry behind the name. The English translation also doesn't really capture the taste of the stuff, either, as it's this gorgeous green that's sweet and light and beautiful when I treat it perfectly, i.e. a low enough temperature for the brew and not too long. If it's treated badly, it gets bitter quickly. Look at the Upton Tea Imports site and search for ZG93.

I giggled when Carl asked me if Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy really was a real tea. He said it sounded more like kung-fu tea than gung-fu tea, and, actually, the two terms have the same roots. The tea is very real and a couple of on-line places sell it, including my favorite Imperial Tea Court, which is in San Francisco and the Renton areas.

We went home latish and I wanted pizza. Mom, when she had us, couldn't have pizza because of the salt. They don't do salt restrictions anymore, but I didn't want to be blimpy with water retention, either, so I wanted to make my own. Problem was that I was really hungry and it was going to take a while. Ricolli's also has really good crust, so I wasn't really going to be buying myself anything by making it at home, tastewise. I then realized that a lot of the salt was in the pepperoni and the salty meat toppings, so we went to Ricoli's and I asked for mushrooms and onions and no extra salt if they did that. Most of the salt, it turns out, is in the sauce and the cured toppings.

So I had good, hot pizza that didn't make me feel at all bloated afterwards.

While we were waiting for the pizza we walked around town a little, went to the bank and the post office, hoping to be able to get the one cent stamps. No such luck.

Had a pretty quiet evening. I drank a lot of cranberry juice cocktail, ate pizza, and even ate some of the angel food cake. It had actually turned out to be not too bad. It had fallen a little, but it wasn't brick-like in density like the last one. It was recognizably angel food cake. I wandered about the Web for a while, looking for angel food cake hints at high altitude and found that, instead, most high altitude bakers said that that was the one thing that would just never work at high altitude. Ah well. That's when I remembered that at nearly all the grocery stores around here, when I looked at the angel food cakes they were all about half to two-thirds the size of the pans they were being sold in. So even the commercial setups couldn't make them quite the way the sea level folks could. It wasn't just me.


The evening was pretty lazy, all together. I propped my feet up and willed them to stop swelling. I kept my hands to myself, mostly. John was good and started exploring the Crash Bash game in single player mode. I watched. I finally sighed and said that I really wanted to play a little. So I played a little, consciously trying to grip the darned controls more gently. It worked some, but we mostly just stopped after a few stages, so that I wouldn't push it.

I was going to take a bath, but I got caught up and read two books. Quick reads really. The first was Gon on Safari, which actually has no words at all. It's really, really good. The art is really nicely expressive. Kathy pointed me at it to begin with and I'm very, very glad I got it. The second book was T.S. Eliot's children's book of cats Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which the musical Cats was based on. I really love T.S. Eliot, while I've never really had the time for the musical, so I bought the book of poetry and I zoomed through it happily. Yum.

There's another book in the same Amazon order that I peered mildly at, but only skimmed the beginning chapter of, and the table of contents that I peered at made me very, very glad that I'd taken Cera's advice to buy it. It's Gavin De Becker's Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (And Parents Sane). The parenthesised bit really had me grinning when I first saw it, but the actual contents are astonishingly useful and address, directly, questions I've long had about how to keep a kid safe without smothering them in too much control. I mean, no matter how much a parent 'controls' a child, there are things that are beyond the parent's control and things that the kid is just going to have to learn and use eventually and learn about the dangers of the world. A parent can't keep them from all the dangers of the world. Then to balance all that is that while there are dangers, how can one teach a kid to not be too afraid? Fear can be useful, but overwhelming, unreasoning fear, fear that makes it so that one can't try is something I don't want to pass on. While I knew that I wanted a balance of the two, what always stumped me was the 'how' and where is that point of just enough?

This book seems to have a good handle on that balance and how to figure it out for myself and how it can be taught to a child. I am *so* glad. There's even a set of questions and statistical information on what to ask caregivers in interviews and what kinds of things to look for to indicate danger. So I have this well before I start interviewing. Hoorah!

I didn't get my bath.

Went to bed with a right hand that was numb in the tip of my middle and index fingers, and it didn't get any worse all night, but wasn't too much better, either. Mostly dreamed of egg whites, recipes, and over-rising. There was one bit with Fezzik coming with us in a very posh hotel and scaring the other guests as he always did eventhough he behaved impeccibly. Ended with me learning how to fly jets, mostly 'cause I wanted to do some quick commercial hops and make a quick buck selling cheap stuff for a lot of money to tourists in really, horribly remote areas. Navigating a jet through a fueling station (with trains, semi's, commercial airliners, cars, and cruise ships) was pretty fun.

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