June 20, 2006

Iowa and Update

Well, Iowa was something! We flew first to Detroit and then to Omaha, Nebraska, where we rented a car and drove to Sioux City in Iowa. Before we left, I'd done some research and learned a bit about the area we were going to. I knew that we'd be driving along the Missouri River and the geological feature of western Iowa known as the Loess Hills, loess being a kind of wind-deposited glacial soil that built up following the last ice age, mostly east of the river (so I gather, due to the prevailing westerly winds). I looked and looked at pictures of these hills, both close-ups of outcrops and from far off, and so when we saw them from the highway, I recognized them immediately. It was quite thrilling. I have studied a bit of geology for a while now, but since I know no one to take me out and actually show me the sorts of things I study in pictures, it was the first time I'd actually matched what I'd learned in a book or on the internet to the real thing. Likewise I wanted to do the same with the Loess Hill wildflowers, but we never stopped long enough for me to see any up close...Too bad as I am quite familiar with flowers and would have found that delightful. I was able to do something like that in Arizona, when I went botanizing in Tucson with my friend Rose, but alas, there was no chance for that in Sioux City or Omaha....

Anyhow, in Sioux City, we did our CME lecture (CME=Continuing Medical Education, a course presumably for nurses and other providers of mental health care as well as students of various sorts) for around 300 people, then had lunch in a hall that was packed with the same 300 people, followed by a workshop, which almost the same entire group of 300 people came back for (despite there being two others to choose from) and a booksigning. Then, without notice, we were asked to do a TV interview...Well, at first I was resistant, and Lynnie was going to do it, but she balked, freezing up and getting angry at them for springing this on us at the last minute. So then I said I would do it after all. And instead of getting nervous I just talked to them without Lynnie, deciding that they could find something in what I said to cut and paste into a piece they'd either use or not. I didn't care what I looked or sounded like. I figured, what did it matter how well I spoke or how good I looked? I was tired and it no longer mattered to I relaxed and just conversed, casually, as if the TV people were friends. I don't know what the piece they ran came out like, but iin the end, I don't really care...I'm just glad I could do it, and without Lynnie, could actually do it by myself so Lynnie didn't have to...It felt good to be able to "rescue" her for a change, rather than have her save me from having to do it. Finally, after the TV crew left, we were taken across town to do a radio show, and then we were free to drive back to Omaha. We flew home the next morning and I've been recuperating ever since. Now there is one more trip to go -- NAMI in DC at the end of June, and then we are done till October. Finally, I'll be free to write and read and not worry about when I next will have to pack and go away again....

Sorry for that boring synopsis of our trip. I promise to write something more interesting next time, but I just wanted to update people on the last of our travels. Otherwise, I am doing pretty well. I had an endometrial biopsy done yesterday, which will most likely be fine, but was taken "just in case." And so that is over with. And the music is greatly diminished in general. When it does play, I tend to drown it out with input from a walkman or Ipod, either one of which generally does the trick. Have been reading Michael Pollan's new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is even more positively irritative to the cerebral hemisheres than his other one, The Botany of Desire, which has long been one of my favorite books...If anyone feels like discussing this newest one, do drop me a line, or comment here. I could write a dozen pages just about corn at this point...and if you have read Pollan's book or his blog or any of his recent writings, you know what I am talking about...If not, I recommend looking him up. He's got a lot to say that is relevant to food, health, the environment and energy use that I think it behooves us all to think more about...

Posted by pamwagg at June 20, 2006 02:20 AM



I just read your blog of your trip here to Sioux City and the conference. Your presentation was terrific and the news taping was very good, they did a nice segment on the news that evening. You should give yourself more credit for your recovery and for being so courageous as to speak in front of 300 people as well as stepping up to complete the news taping. Thank you so much for your willingness to share your story with us, you really shined last week! Continue the journey!!

Kim Fischer-Culver

Posted by: Kim Fischer-Culver at June 21, 2006 02:33 PM

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