A few items I thought I’d address, none of which quite rate their own post:
* I mentioned in Monday’s column that Sean had a doctor’s appointment the following afternoon. Well, the appointment went well, I think. It was my first chance to meet Dr. Abraham, Sean’s new pediatrician (and vice-versa), and she seems very capable, eager and optimistic, all good qualities. I think she may have been a little intimidated by me — I tend to do that by accident, as I’m pretty intense and stubborn and I look a little like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski (the one on the right). I try to tone it down, I just fail most of the time.
But it went okay. I got all my questions answered. We agreed to give her power of authorization for Sean’s feeding supplies and medications; previously, I was still having to go through the doctor at Children’s Hospital Oakland, which is a pain. And we decided to increase his daily intake of formula from 1000 calories to 1250, with a future goal of 1500 (say, a few months down the road). He has a follow-up appointment in a month — I’m looking forward to it.
* You may have heard the news that Anne Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire and more recently a very public convert to Christianity, has had it up to here with religious games and “quit being a Christian.” However, she is at the same time affirming her commitment to following Jesus; she’s just not willing to go along with the system anymore (specifically, the Roman Catholic system). Sound vaguely familiar? On my Twitter feed, I welcomed her to Outside-the-Camp (see Hebrews 13:13 for the reference). I don’t know if her future road will be anything like mine (or that of my friends who are also outsiders), but I pray that God’s will be done in her life, just as He wants to.
* My last Periodic Pingback referenced the upcoming cinematographic “battle of the sexes” between Eat, Pray, Love (starring Julia Roberts) and The Expendables (starring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, et cetera, et cetera). Both movies hit the theaters August 13, and there’s already a campaign among some men to pack showings of Expendables and help them win the box office title that weekend. But recently, a third candidate has emerged for that honor … a little confection called Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Scott Pilgrim (based on the graphic novel — read: comic book for grown-ups — of the same name) is a boy-meets-girl story with a twist — for boy to win the heart of girl, boy has to defeat girl’s seven supervillain ex-lovers in hand-to-hand combat. With slacker’s slacker Michael Cera (Juno, Superbad) in the title role and the whole comic-book-and-video-game-nerd ethos in effect (right down to the “BAM! POP! ZOWIE!” effects and Donkey Kong grafix), the previews were THE hit of the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego, blowing away, among others, Expendables. And it releases … you guessed it, August 13! If Scott Pilgrim does fulfill the promise of its movie posters to be “an epic of epic epicness,” it will have an effect on the weekend’s box office. We’ll keep monitoring this as the day approaches …
* Finally, an odd little blessing today. I spent an hour this afternoon pruning the smaller of the two olive trees in our backyard, in the hope that maybe some sunlight can hit the ground. But as I was wrapping up, I realized I was going to have to chop up all these cut branches so they’d fit in the yard waste bin — another couple of hours’ work in the hot sun. (And trash pickup day is tomorrow — if I wanted to be rid of the stuff, I HAD to deal with it today.
The last branch I got to was one that leaned out over one of our neighbors’ backyard. Noticing that someone was in their yard (I was up on the ladder), I called out to them in the hope that they’d push the branch over the fence to our side once it came down. Turns out that the wife of the house makes tea from olive leaves, and had been meaning to ask us for a few branches but had never gotten the chance! She wondered if she could keep the branch, and did I have any more I was willing to give up? (Boy, did I.) She ended up taking almost all the live branches I’d cut, giving her an ample supply of leaves and cutting down my further workload by about 80%. Thank you, Lord — and thank you, neighbor!