Today I found out that the Bodhi Tree bookstore on Melrose in LA is closing in the next year. I first started going to the Bodhi Tree when I was about 12 years old. The store, which specializes in spiritual/metaphysical books, was one of my mother’s favorites. I spent many a Saturday afternoon with her there looking for books through my teens. At the time, I was more a fan of their fiction section and their used bookstore. Many of the older books on my bookshelves today came from those trips with my mother. With its creaky wooden floors and the smell of incense, the Bodhi Tree is where, thanks to my mother, my love of independent & unique bookstores started. And probably my love of literature. One of my favorite purchases was a collection of E.M. Forster’s works. I know my love of British literature started with that book.

The Bodhi Tree is a landmark on the independent bookstore scene. In the last year, Vroman’s bookstore–another fixture in my bookstore/reading life–saved Book Soup–also one of my favorite independent bookstores in LA. Maybe the Bodhi Tree can similarly be saved. If not, I’ll be sad to see it go.

To bad we can’t trade a few Borders and Barnes & Nobles just to save it.

Leo had his 4th chemo treatment today & the last of phase 1. He gets a week off before he starts phase 2, which spreads out treatment to every 2 weeks. He’ll have an oral dose of chemo medication in 2 weeks, & then 2 weeks after that he’ll go get the injected chemo treatment. This cycle will go on for the next 5 months. One new side effect we’ll have to watch for with the oral medication is liver disease. Apparently, it’s a known side effect, so he’ll have labs done every 2 weeks to monitor his liver function.

It will be  nice to spread these vet visits out a bit–for Leo & me. Even though the appointments only take about an hour, with travel time, etc., it ends up being about 2 hours. (more…)

Yes, I can honestly say, today was a good day.

It started off mundane enough. If anything, it had all the makings of a bad day: gray, cloudy, rainy outside; didn’t sleep well the night before; & woke up later than I’d wanted.

But finally got out the door & went to meet one of the members of my writing group for coffee. I dragged my laptop along with me, I guess with the intention of writing; but I didn’t. Instead, we ended up having a 3 hour conversation that really just made my day. We talked about writing & our respective novels, & our respective procrastination. We’re both on the same page. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone. I explained the plot of my WIP & it was nice to hear someone else say it sounded interesting. It was also good to bounce some ideas off on her & get feedback. If anything, it gave me a little kick in the butt that I really have something here & I need to get it done already!

But for the most part we talked about our lives. The nice thing about her is that she actually has a lot of the same spiritual beliefs as my mother. My mother was very involved in metaphysical/new age thinking, as well as her Native American belief system. So, she wasn’t exactly your typical mother. She always kept it interesting to say the least. So talking to her, it was nice to be around someone who thinks the way my mother did. Our get together really put me in a great mood even though we were talking about death. Go figure.

Then this evening I got to have fun. I went to the New Kids on the Block concert here in LA. Yes, I was/am a New Kids on the Block fan. Nsync & Backstreet Boys were after my time. I went to my first New Kids concert here in LA when I was 14 with my oldest/best friend C. Funny enough, my mother bought me the tickets for my 14th birthday. I went on to see them 2 more times in concert as a teenager. One trip even involved my mother driving me from Albuquerque to Phoenix. And the other involved her booking us a room at the same hotel they were staying at in Albuquerque in an attempt for me and my 15-year old friends to try & meet them. We didn’t succeed. She supported my teenage obsessions to say the least. Later, when I was in college in Boston, I went to a record signing & got their last CD before they broke up signed by all of them. So, to say the least, I was SOOOO going to see them in concert on this reunion tour. Admittedly, my music taste has matured to say the least. And I’ll be the first to admit their old material does not hold up well when listened to now. But still, C & I got tickets & saw them on October 6 here in LA, a couple weeks after my mother died. Then, it was a great distraction. We ended up having such a great time that we decided to see if we could get tickets to their 2nd added LA date. The tickets only came through this morning. Really short notice, but we were there. Again, it was so much fun. Before we went to the October concert, I hadn’t listened to their new album. Not really my taste. And I’ll be the first to admit I really thought that October show was going to be painful. I was prepared to be tortured. So, when it wasn’t & it turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun, I was pleasently surprised. And yes, the old songs actually held up pretty well live. Shocking I know. This time I had actually listened to their new album. I hate to admit it (REALLY, I do), but it’s actually kind of good. I’ve struggled when trying to listen to music in recent weeks. Apparently the bulk of the stuff on my iPod is depressing, serious, or sentimental. So, this album is just pure fluff. And fluff is what I need these days. So, yes, as much as it pains me, I have been listening to it a lot. So, this time I actually knew the new songs as well as the old ones. The whole thing was just fun. I’ve been to a lot of concerts in a lot of genres & surprisingly, these last 2 concerts of theirs rank as the funnest (yes, I know that’s not a word) concerts I’ve ever been to. Everybody was up out of their seats the whole time, at both. Yes, there were cringe worthy moments, but still, they were a good laugh. And that just made my day.

To cap off the evening: We had taken the metro to the concert. When we went to catch the last train to head home, we’d missed it. We had to call to get someone to pick us up. The funny thing: the exact same thing happened in October. Then we had to have my younger brother come pick us up. This time C’s younger sister had to pick us up. It just brings so many flashbacks of having our mothers pick us up from the New Kids’ concerts when we were teenagers. An amusing way to end the evening.

Oh, and when I got home, I got a text from another one of my best friends who was in India on business. I was concerned about him with the attacks that have been going there all day. I knew he was leaving today, but wasn’t sure what time. I got a text when I got home tonight saying he had just landed in the US. Good news.

A good day. Kind of nice.

Image: nigel appleton via flickr

Today I finally got back to the gym. Haven’t been since…. Not that there was any connection between the gym & my mother’s death. I guess it was just part of my old routine that for some reason I hadn’t yet reintergrated into my new routine. So, we’ll see how good I am about going. Fingers crossed. It’s good for me.

It’s pouring rain now; a novelty here in LA. While I usually love the rain, I’m not such a big fan right now. The fact that I just drove home in it in the dark doesn’t help to improve my opinion. It’s not exactly conducive to a happy mood. But still, I’m ok today. And the day is over any way.

Another one down.

Oh, and don’t worry, I haven’t forgot about the upcoming holiday. Thanksgiving. Honestly, I’m not too worried about it. Thanksgiving really hadn’t been a major holiday for us in a while. Plus, I spent 10 years away from home on Thanksgiving. I’m kind of used to a low key Thanksgiving. For the most part that’s what this will be. I will be meeting up with a couple of my uncles & my grandmother to go eat dinner out–our family tradition. Yes, I’m definitely going to notice my mother’s absence. This is her family. Besides, she hated eating out & last year swore she wasn’t going to do it again. It’s my grandmother who is against anyone cooking. She doesn’t see why anyone should go to the trouble. My mother had planned to make a point of either cooking for the family this year or doing our own thing without her family. But now, I’m going on my own. After that, I’ll probably go to a family friend’s for dinner with my father. There should be enough distraction there that I won’t notice, but at the same time, I know I will. There’s no sense in fighting it or thinking otherwise. What I’m really dreading is Christmas. But I’m not ready to go there yet. I’m putting those plans off until I have to make a decision. Honestly, I’d be happy if the next 4 weeks would just disappear from the calendar this year. No chance of that I guess.