Betty and I went for sushi tonight. We like to go to the Tokyo Cafe, where I am in a real rut--I order salmon sashimi, the appetizer portion of chicken yakitori, and the dinner salad, which has a slightly sweet dressing that I would dislike anywhere else but really like there. But they have a new chef, who's brought new ideas, and they got a great review in the newspaper, along with several recommendations for dishes I didn't know they had. So both of us branched out. I had the abalone tostada--an abalone salad (much like I'd make crab salad but with a real subtle kick of spice) on a fried wonton--absolutely wonderful. Betty had something with shrimp (she always does that, and I say she does it to spite me because I'm allergic) in an avocado half, which she declared was equally wonderful. Then we split a "Crunchy Roll"--salmon, scallions, cream cheese, and I don't know what in rice topped with panko crumbs to make it crunchy. Terrific! I particularly liked that the roll didn't have seaweed around it--I do try to be "trendy" but I don't like dealing with seaweed (texture, I guess, not taste) and I don't like seaweed salad.
Old age is fast creeping up on me. The latest sign was that I went to the podiatrist today to have my toe nails cut. If you'd told me a year ago that I couldn't cut my own toe nails, I'd have scoffed. But they get tough and thick, and I have one unmanageable nail--it grows so thick I can't cut it. He cut, trimmed, and generally cleaned up all my nails and my troublesome corn and told me to come back in two months. I remember a podiatrist friend who said if you can keep elderly feet comfortable you can keep patients happy and functioning. I think it's true, and I intend to take care of my feet, which I took for granted for too many years.
My Scotland trip is almost upon me, and I'm making practical plans all the time--someone to stay in the house, getting the sprinkler system repaired, animal care, etc. And I'm making travel plans--checking the medication supply, laying out clothes, etc. I've never been "across the pond" so this is a biggie for me--and one of the longest vacations I've taken. I have lots of mixed feelings--mostly excitement and anticipation, but a bit of anxiety that is accompanied by a wish that it would just get here so I could stop anticipating. I truly know that once I'm there I'll have a wonderful time, and I'm envisioning all kinds of happy scenes in ancient castles and on windswept coasts--okay, I'm a bit of a romantic!
Meantime, I can't settle down to much work, so I've given up the idea of serious writing for the next two weeks. And I've requested that Jordan and Christian come for a send-off dinner the night before I go--and maybe Jamie and his family. I feel about this trip like I do about my approaching 70th birthday--it's a big, once-in-a-lifetime deal!
This weekend TCU Press has its big springtime event--Books & Music in the Garden. We've got about 150 people registered, so I'm pretty excited. And I need to marshal my thoughts on that and not Scotland. Someone asked if it was being catered, and I replied, "Yep. Jeannie and me." Lots to be done.