This morning saw me at the bank, trying to get Sallie Mae to expedite the refund they owe me and which I sorely need.  Although my bankers, Joe and Diane, are just wonderfully helpful and kind, it’s always anxiety provoking for me to deal with money, because with my condition, Bipolar Disorder I, it’s often a sore and destructive issue.  For the past two years I’ve been having BP-related spending problems, and then I got cancer and had three major surgeries from the end of March to July, with very bad recoveries, also due to BP reactions and my ever-present and increasing allergies.  So now the medical bills are pouring in on top of the impulse spending bills, and it’s a little hairy.  My bankers are great problem-solvers, though;  now all I have to do is my part.  “All.”  Hah!

Noon brought my friend Jim over, and I made the most ambitious repast for us that I ever have: rice and red beans (I’d never had them before, always black), plus black beans, corn and black bean salsa and plain yogurt (my great love ever since living in Turkey in 2006;  I will never willingly eat sour cream again!); an Asian salad in a bag to mix things up, with a lime juice and olive oil dressing; a banana and strawberry smoothie, and then the wonderful additions that Jim brought:  three kinds of chips (tortilla, kettle-baked potato, and rippled potato), salsa, a spicy white cheese (or queso) dip, Coke Zero with no caffeine for me at my special request, a block of extra sharp cheddar cheese that we paired with Breton crackers, and who knows what else I’m forgetting?  It was a gorgeous eclectic repast.  I’m just learning to cook, after stopping it for about 15 years, so every new dish, like the red beans, is an adventure!

Then we watched Netflix on my big flatscreen HD tv, a Mother’s Day gift from my programmer son Nick two years ago (this year he and his younger brother Jason, a combat vet in a teacher certification program, planted a perennial shade garden for me on Mother’s Day, because I no longer have the knees to plant an entire bed of annuals every year–wonderful gift!).  We watched The Artist and The Model (2012), directed by the distinguished Spaniard director, Fernando Trueba, who won a Best Director award for this film, and many other nominations were given the film and him,The_Artist_and_the_Model_poster_(US_Theatrical) about an 80-year-old French sculptor of the female nude, of great renown but in a big slump, who runs into a young Catalonian girl fleeing the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and helping various desperate people make it out of France into Spain, because it is now 1943.  Gorgeous black and white cinematography, gorgeous girl who became the sculptor’s last great inspiration, a little bit on the soporific side (no musical sound track, for one thing and little dialog), but I give it an 8 out of 10.  I forgot to ask Jim what his rating was…  We have such a great time together!