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January, 2009: 9 10 12 30

1/9/09-Fri.-Drove up to Waco for a visit there with Mom and my nephew, Joel, who is now in school and living with her.

We went to Mom's two banks today and clarified my official account situation at each, to be sure there would be no IRS complications affecting either Fran's and my taxes or the settlement of an eventual estate. All was resolved satisfactorily.

Later, Mom, Joel, and I went to Horace and Leila's for grilled steak suppers. Supper was quite delicious, and it was good to visit with folks from that household. Keith was there, but Charley was absent, working at Taco Bell. Abel and Virginia were still at Horace and Leila's, as yet on their holiday and between semesters breaks. They are likely to return to college at Denton in about a week, when their new classes start.

1/10/09-Sat.-Mom and I had breakfast with Joel, then went on some morning errands, and later ate out at our favorite Thai food place. After good naps we rented movie DVDs, fixed and ate a great supper, watched the "Pineapple Express" DVD, and, almost at bedtime, saw "Cold Mountain" on TV.

I learned yesterday that Virginia has given up a long planned career in theater or vocal music, fields in which she was quite talented, intending now to marry Abel next June instead.

1/12/09-Mon.-Have stopped for brunch in Salado, on my way back to Austin.

Yesterday, like the day before at Mom's, things were low-key and relaxed. We watched another DVD movie, "The Black Knight," and I completed needed stocks research. That evening, I washed up the day's dishes and also did exercises as we watched the televised Golden Globe awards ceremony. I am interested in soon seeing a number of the event's featured movies in theaters.

While heading home, I listened to an audio CD that included a couple excellent lectures the promoters hope will convince folks to register for CD extension courses. One, on Gibbon's The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire was particularly well done and interesting, inspiring me to acquire and read that classic and showing parallels between the ancient Roman superpower, awhile before successful attacks against it by the peoples of what are now Russia, Eastern Europe, and Iran, and 21st Century America. The other lecture was on black holes.

In Gibbon's autobiography, he reportedly offered three main avenues for a meaningful existence: 1. a traditional family life; 2. a religious existence and belief in a heavenly afterlife; and 3. a significant accomplishment one might strive for and then achieve. For himself, he felt the main sense of fulfillment had been from the completion of his Rise and Fall... book, which became a coveted read in his day, made him wealthy, and is still recognized as an exceptionally worthwhile and relevant work of history. It is also well written, apparently the quality of its prose having informed many others, among them Winston Churchill, helped by studying it with writing his superb speeches.

1/30/09-Fri.-It's been a busy but productive month. Have most of our 2008 taxable account transactions recorded in Quicken for the CPA, have lost six pounds in my current dieting, have gotten (even if I do not entirely like it and so am still adjusting to it) a big Lazy-Boy type recliner-rocker chair, and have volunteered to do some extra (e-mails and such) help for my meditation group.

Janet (the former dream group member whose analyses and dynamic, positive influence are so sorely missed in the recent, more dysfunctional-family-like interactions among the other members) and I have been corresponding about dreams, and I even helped interpret one of hers.

The book groups I lead are doing either OK or quite well these days.

Our investments, of course, took a major hit in the cataclysmic markets last year, but are overall modestly on their way back up.

Fran and I seem to be getting along reasonably well for an old married couple. Last night, thanks to a comp ticket she had provided, I went to see the Austin Lyric Opera performance of "Rigoletto." Impressive!

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