Blood Tests, Boat Flags, Election Madness, Book Quotes, Exercise, Food…

It is almost the end of another rather unproductive week, and I am still feeling weak… I had to go on Monday for a blood test, and it meant fasting until 2:30PM, when the test was done, and having breakfast at 3:15PM, when I got back home .  The test had to be done six hours after having taken the thyroid medication.  Since I can’t wake up and function too early, I had taken the med at 8:30AM.  Then, on Tuesday I had to wait until 2:30PM to take the medication (fasting until then) because I had to go back to have another test 24 hours after having taken it. It means I went yesterday at 2:30PM.  Now, to wait until Dr. Hedaya comes back from vacation in a week to find out if he is satisfied with the tests this time, and get some results, maybe.  Hope nobody starts asking yet.

When we got home, Ramón brought us another great dinner.  My friends are spoiling me! I guess it is because finally some have realized I am really sick and I need their help. Others still urge me to do things they should know I cannot do, so I simply ignore them.  And now I prefer to go to doctors’ appointments and to grocery stores with Guido. It is much easier, and I can make up my mind to go when I feel like it. And, although also he gets easily tired and is somewhat dizzy, it makes him get out of the house.  He cannot go to the boat these days because of the relentless heat we have been experiencing for a very long time. He has been ordering some very important components for the boat, namely, flags! The one from Argentina arrived without the sun, so he is trying to exchange it, and the Italian one was available only frpm an Italian web site, so we are waiting for it and wondering what we’ll get.

I can’t believe election madness has already started! I have been seeing lawn signs everywhere, and today they put one that I had requested in my lawn, to re elect Van Hollen, an excellent congressman.  The elections are in November, but it is almost August and they are already getting started. I never understood why so early.  It gets to be too much.  I am also beginning to get mail urging me to support some candidates.  Today I got the typical and utmost “americana” from one candidate –  a photo of him with his wife, son, and daughter (all clad in the customary blue jeans), plus … their dog. If Guido or I had ever run for office, can you imagine a photo of us – Guido, very thin, with his gorgeous white hair and beard – I, sitting next to him, probably clad in black, our two daughters nearby (no sons!), and… four cats?  Phenomenal, but extremely unamerican!  No dog, two daughters (no son) — unacceptable.  No good planning here 🙂

This may somewhat tie in with the previous commentary. I don’t know. All I know is that it has stuck in my head.  It is a passage from a book I read.  I got Daniel Silva’s The Rembrandt Affair on Tuesday, the day it was out. I couldn’t put it down, even though I tried to read slowly and savor it. I didn’t want to finish it too fast, although it has 480 pages, but I did.  It would mean waiting another year for his next book, so now I have to wait and read other books in the meantime, which I hope I can find.  The main character’s wife, Chiara, is described as being “taller than Gabriel by an inch and blessed with the square shoulders, narrow waist, and long legs of a natural athlete.  Had she been raised somewhere other than Venice, she might very well have become a star swimmer or tennis player.  But like most Venetians, Chiara regarded sporting contests as something to be viewed over coffee or a good meal.  When one required exercise, one made love or strolled down to the Zattere (a waterfront promenade in Venice) for a  gelato.  Only the Americans exercised with compulsion, she argued, and look what it had wrought – an epidemic of heart disease and children prone to obesity …  Chiara believed there was no malady that could not be cured by a bit of mineral water or a glass of good red wine. …  She also believed that food hastily consumed was food wasted.”

This passage is very much similar to my own philosophy.  And it is not that the author is Italian.  He is not.  He is a U.S. author (see how I try not to use the term “American”. For me, it is too vague, and it applies to many of us who were born in America too, but not necessarily in the U.S….) I also believe that exercise and sports are overdone here, to the point of becoming an obsession in some cases.  I know some people who sleep less than they should because they need to get out and exercise.  Of course, it helps if you live in Venice, with so many bridges to cross and stairs to climb, but it is also true of many other European or Latin American cities, where one walks all the time, night and day.  And the comment about food is also very true.  How many have dinner while watching TV?  That is blasphemy for us.  We have always believed that food needs to be savored slowly, and we always do that, even if nowadays I cannot cook as much as I would like, and cannot concentrate on it.

These have been truly musings, and I guess a blog is precisely the place for them.  I relish the idea of sitting down at the computer and letting the words flow, even though I only use two or three fingers for typing.  I have never learned how to type, but I love doing it while I think.  And I have not written anything lately…

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About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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5 Responses to Blood Tests, Boat Flags, Election Madness, Book Quotes, Exercise, Food…

  1. Anna Amato says:

    I finished – we can discuss – I love the description of Chiara – I love all the descriptions – I laughed and I cried and I too tried to read it slowly – I actually stopped to sleep and meet friends for lunch and it was still completed in less than 24 hours. I really enjoyed it – and Gabriel didn’t get shot or beaten which made me happy.

    • martisima says:

      Guess we all had the same experience, Anna. I also read it slowly, but finsihed it fast. To tell you the truth, there was something missing. I don’t know what yet. Some scenes are extremely poignant, and it was good for a change that Gabriel didn’t get shot or beaten, but I didn’t much like Zoe and the “villain”. The end is too abrupt — but that happens in many of his other books, and the theory somewhat far fetched. I don’t know why I have this feeling. I would also like to read other reviews in established journals. Have you found any? Tell me what you think.

      I have to leave now to get my B12 injection, so I’ll stop for now and wait for your reply.

      • martisima says:

        I am back now. I have had lunch, and, invigorated by some light food, realize that I want to add a couple of comments. Gabriel and Chiara hardly ever go on a mission without backup. How come, then, that they go to Buenos Aires and Mendoza on their own, knowing that it may be dangerous? They do refer to Eichmann’s case, and now they are after the son of another SS henchman. So, what happens to them is highly predictable because the readers know they are being tailed, but they don’t. This is another flaw — They have always been extremely careful. Why not for this trip?

        Also, when Zoe and Mikhail go the the Zurich villa, we know something will go wrong there. Maybe you can help me with the answers. Thanks!

  2. Daughter #2 says:

    You forgot to mention – no grandchildren!! You can’t possibly run for office if you have no grandchildren. Very, very un-American. 😉

    • martisima says:

      Many candidates for office, especially congressmen/women, don’t have grandchildren yet. I have not seen any photo of grandchildren. Anyway, we would not qualify then…

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