May 18, 2006


Last night, while enjoying the final episode of The Amazing Race, the phone rang. I was surprised to hear Mother's voice because she rarely calls me. The following is pretty much verbatum:

Mother: "I have something that I want to tell you and, after I tell you, I don't want any discussion - and I don't want you to go into a spin. I told Kathleen and I told Rita and I want to tell you."

Leah (about to "spin"): "Okay."

Mother: "About five years ago, I found a lump in my breast. I didn't tell anybody about it because I decided then not to do anything about it. It didn't bother me much and, when it did, I exercised my arm and the discomfort got better. When Rita made the appointment with Dr. Buchanan, I knew that he would probably want to do an upper cervical exam..........upper body exam. I told him about the lump, that I had had it for five years and that it didn't bother me. I also told him that he was not to say anything to Rita about it. He assured me that, because of privacy laws, he would not. He examined me and tried his darndest to make it hurt - but, it didn't. Finally, he said that he thought that the lump was fibrous tissue."

When I responded to Mother, she couldn't hear me and said to Rita, "I don't think she heard a damn thing I just said!"

I asked Rita to thank Mother for her confidence. I also said that I would blog about it - but only with her permission. Rita asked Mother and she said, "Okay." I said that I would take her secret and share it with the world. Mother laughed. In this way, Mother's "news" is shared but she doesn't have to make each individual phone call.

I hope never to receive another "I have something to tell you" phone call from Mother. And, if I do, I hope that it will have the same non-event result. Cynthia, who surprised me here at work today and took me to lunch, agreed that, after five years, it is doubtful that anything serious is going on. Mother sounded robust; it was good to hear her voice.

Posted by leah at 04:16 PM | Comments (11)

May 15, 2006


Margaret visited me for four days last weekend. We had such a good time. We took a drive along Michigan Avenue where the city had planted over hundreds of thousand tulip bulbs in the impressively hard-scaped mediums (concrete planters) and along the curbs. It was such a beautiful display. You can see for yourself at the following site. Cynthia arrives today but I think that the tulip heads have already been plucked and that the display is finito.

Then, we had dinner at a restaurant that is the practicum location for a culinary school. It was awful. The food was unremarkable; the service was nonexistent. We learned that that particular night was the aspiring chefs’ last night before becoming certified chefs. As we were leaving, one young lady affiliated with the restaurant pleaded, “Please don’t tell!” The place is under new management. New management was appalled, too, though not enough to comp the entire meal. Dessert was free……and unremarkable.
The incredible awfulness of the experience made it also very funny.

We spent a lot of happy time playing with my three cats, watching several excellent DVDs of Margaret's, and purging my closet of unwearable clothing. I think that it was a special time for us both.

I interviewed for a new position here at the University of Chicago this week. If I’m selected, the advancement will be significant. It is interesting that the new position is a mirror image of my current one with only a few unique challenges. One must move around, from job to job, to move up. I wish that I had figured this out much earlier in life. Though my druthers are to relocate to Texas in order to be of assistance to my mother, a better, immediate situation works well. I am hopeful.

I received an email this AM requesting letters of reference; there was also a comment about "moving the process forward." If I am accepted, the new position will look good on my resume and the search in Texas continues.

Posted by leah at 11:38 AM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2006


In my cooperative apartment building, we have many committees and groups. I rarely participate in any of the planned activities. But, a couple of weeks ago, the leader of the Gamenight Committee asked me to be in charge of card games - only because I had expressed enthusiasm for Texas Hold'em. Without enthusiasm, I agreed. Our first Friday Gamenight started slowly with only Gayle and me in our Hospitality Room ready for fun and games. We poured delicious wine and settled down to wait. We were soon joined by a young family and started with a "hot game of bingo." That is what is described on the flyers. The bingo set was very rinky-dink and was a challenge in itself. After more players arrived, the group settled on a game of dominoes unlike any that I've ever seen. We had so much fun and quite a bit of wine and played for 2.5 hours.

I would like to introduce this fun game to our Karl, etc. families. I think that it would become a favorite activity.

Last Friday night, I was on my own because Gayle was out-of-town. I wasn't particulary excited about leading the event but did all of the planning and set-up. Fewer players were there but the evening was a success - we played Mexican Train dominoes for over three hours..........accompanied by robust wine and a bit of Rum..........okay, a lot of rum.

Posted by leah at 02:03 PM | Comments (3)