July 10th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Medical Bills

I have a folder of the medical bills (mostly copays for doctor visits, tests, and meds) for each year, but I've had to put together a folder just for the stroke-related things. A few things have mounted up and I decided to take care of them today. It turns out that the reason I'm only getting bills for three of the rescue squad transports ($377 each) is because they actually sent the fourth to Medicare already. All four bills have the same patient number, but they only sent one. I've been calling their billing company for four days and just getting voice mail, but today I got a person, even though I was on hold for a bit.

I filled out the form for one hospital to release the records from the ER visits and hope I typed up the info for the other hospital properly. They'll both go out tomorrow.

I also took a DVD to the post office and am wearing the lavender pants with my wallet, phone, and keys in the pockets to see how well they do. I think I need another inch off the waist because just that weight is pulling them down so the hem is over the heels of my shoes which might make me fall.

I'm going to try to make the cauliflower & pasta recipe today.
20111112, Marilee

Schultz Gets The Blues

I don't know much German and this is sub-titled, not dubbed, but I felt like I missed big bits of the movie. Schultz and two of his buddies get "early retirement" from the mine with a light made from a piece of rock as a reward. They hang out, live on the dole, so forth. Schultz plays polka on the accordian and is known as their small city's best accordian player.

But one night he's skimming the channels on the radio and finds zydeco accordian. He turns it off and moves away. Goes back and turns it on. Turns it off and plays the 8-bar melody over and over, gradually gaining speed. He becomes sufficiently interested in Louisianan things that he makes jambalaya for his friends, which they think is good, but very spicy.

Schultz wants to play the zydeco piece for the music club and when he does, only his friends applaud. One of the other people there shouts "No nigger music" and Schultz' friends say "yaaay nigger music." I sure wasn't expecting that.

The sister city in Texas has invited a member of the music club and they decide to send Schultz, I think to make the fiasco up to him. When he gets there, there's nobody to meet him or translate for him, or help him out.

One night he goes to an open mic for accordians and when a Hispanic piece is played, he puts his accordian down and walks away, leaving it. I'm not sure how he gets to the little boat, but the rest of the movie has him on a little boat going through swamps and other places. He stops wherever he hears music. One place clearly has non-actors dancing because one man has that fixed "I'm on camera" grin and another couple have their arms up to hide their faces.

Eventually he gets to a houseboat where the only black people in the movie live and the adult woman is named Aretha. She invites him in to dinner with her and her daughter and then they go out to dance. He has heart pain while dancing and they go back to the houseboat where she covers him up in a blanket.

The next scene is back in Germany where his ashes are interred and the German band plays the zydeco piece.

One of the most interesting things about this movie was finding out from the credits that all the bands that play are real bands. I can't really recommend it unless you know German, and even then, I don't know how good it is.
20111112, Marilee

Lost Burgundy, The Book of Ash, #4 by Mary Gentle

This is the fourth and final book (in the US, they were published as a single tome in the UK) of this series. Here are my comments on Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3.

We left Ash under siege in Dijon with people starving as well as dying from attacks by the Carthaginians. In this book, her sister Faris surrenders to them, but the King-Caliph from Carthage comes to fight with more warriors and some of the leaders Faris has conquered. Ash needs to find a way to keep the Duchess of Burgundy safe, but it doesn't look like she can. If she can't, the Wild Machines will destroy the world. What can she do?

This gives a satisfying ending to the series, and the interleaved pieces plus an afterword from the author-character give a firm SF base to the entire set. I really liked this series and highly recommend it.
20111112, Marilee

Pasta with Spicy Cauliflower and Walnets

Back on June 3, I said I'd try this recipe that week. Well, a month here and there isn't so bad.

It tasted good, but there are some things I'd do differently.

First, I'd move a chair in. By the last few minutes I was close to having to brace my forearms on a range with two burners going.

Second, I'd probably leave the walnuts out. I didn't think they blended well either taste or texture.

Third, I'd cut the florets up more. I was holding an edge with the fork and eating around it.

But in the end, what I'll probably actually do is to flavor some olive oil with the crushed red pepper, garlic, pepper, salt, and parsley. I could use it with a lot of pastas or veggies, which I'm really good at boiling/steaming.