Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Only Tuesday

I almost never get sick, but this year I think it was inevitable. With Bob working retail, as careful as he is to wash his hands a lot, it was almost certain that he would get a bad cold, and then, as careful as he was to try not to give it to me, I got it anyway.

I stayed home on Friday; I called in and said that I was staying home so that I didn't expose anyone else to my cold, but that I would be working, and I ended up working, I think, more than I do at the office. At the end of the day I checked my "sent" email folder, and I had sent 117 work emails. I was really very efficient -- I just sat in my chair with the laptop on my lap and sent email after email, sending off instructions, following up on things -- maybe I should just stay home all the time, there are a lot fewer interruptions.

Our wedding anniversary--33 years!--was Sunday, but it didn't seem like it made sense to go out to eat when I was feeling lousy, so we bought shrimp at the wholesale club, and I got a steak for Bob, and was going to make salad and baked potatoes, and just have a nice dinner at home. So on Saturday night he had the steak and I had a baked potato, and we both had salad, and he said he wanted to save the shrimp for Sunday night, and we had a bottle of champagne that we hadn't opened over the holidays, so we would have that, too.

Then on Sunday, I went out to run errands, and I was hungry, and I passed a Long John Silver's, and stopped in and got some fish.

Well. After being so careful about what I was eating after that gallbladder attack this summer, I had pretty much forgotten to pay any attention at all. I had been eating whatever I wanted and not watching it, but on the way home, it was evident that I had gone a little too far. Bob met me at the door when I came in, and I said, "I think I may have done something really stupid . . ."

I ended up spending the entire evening in bed, and he ate the shrimp by himself (he saved me some, of course), and we didn't open the wine.

I wasn't able to get to sleep until around 2:30 because of the pain, but by the time I woke up on Monday morning, it was gone. So I've decided to really dedicate myself to trying to keep from having another one of those attacks, since I can't afford either the time or the expense of having surgery right now. Bob went on the internet and printed out some "gall bladder diet" articles -- beets seem to figure prominently in them -- but it seems, at least as far as I'm personally concerned, that it's fried food that does me in.

So this week I've been eating rice and beans and bread, and everything has been fine so far. Except that the cold has turned into what may be bronchitis. My sister called yesterday afternoon at work, and after I croaked out, "Hello," I basically couldn't talk at all. She was on the other end going, "Are you okay? Hello?" and I was trying to stage whisper that I was fine, I just couldn't make sounds, but she couldn't hear me, so it was more or less a comedy of errors.

I ended up bursting into tears, because I felt so frustrated, and she said, "Are you crying?" but then I definitely couldn't say anything. After a little while, she hung up, and I went outside and walked around and composed myself, then came back inside and emailed her so she wouldn't think I had died or something. Bob went to bed early tonight because he has to be up at dawn to go into work; I'm trying to decide if it would be best for me to try to sleep sitting up so I don't cough and keep him awake.

What a week. And it's only Tuesday.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What I'm reading

I used to read a LOT -- normally over a 100 books a year, at least since I started keeping track. Over the last few years, though, that has gone down considerably, I guess because I converted a lot of that reading time over to time spent on the internet. I've kind of gotten to the point where I feel guilty for sitting and reading, feeling that I should be doing something more productive. But on the other hand, I feel kind of guilty for not reading, too. It's a vicious circle.

Over the last couple of weeks, and particularly this past weekend, I made up for it a little bit, though. There were several books that came out that I was very excited about, and I pre-ordered them in ebook form, a couple from Amazon/Kindle, and one from Fictionwise.

I also picked up a few books this weekend from the library. Our library recently went through a renovation, and for the last few months the library has been operating out of a storefront in a strip mall. The new, improved library opened up the first of October, and I checked out the "new books" shelves over the weekend and got several things that had been on my wish list.

Bob was out of town, on a fishing trip to the lake, so I spent quite a bit of time reading. I went to Jason's for a late lunch on Saturday, took a book with me, and basically moved in for a couple of hours. Then on Sunday, I never even left the house. It was cold and rainy, and I spent a large part of the day on the bed, reading. It was great.

What I've been reading:

Juliet, Naked:, by Nick Hornby (ebook from Fictionwise)
Most of Hornby's books involve music (for instance, "High Fidelity"). "Juliet, Naked," is about a singer-songwriter--Tucker Crowe--who hasn't been doing any singing, or song writing, for decades, but is still the focus of a group of obsessed fans, and one in particular, a British fan, who is so obsessed that he makes a trip to the United States to stand outside some of the places that the singer had frequented. In fact, the book opens as the fan and his girlfriend are visiting, and taking photos of, the restroom that figured prominently in the singer's folklore. The fan, Duncan, asks his girlfriend, Annie, to take a photo of him pretending to use the urinal.

Then, shortly thereafter, Duncan falls into a relationship with a woman that he works with, and he and Annie break up. "Juliet" was Tucker Crowe's most famous album, written about a woman that he idolized; "Juliet, Naked" is the "unplugged" version that may or may not be an actual album. In a sequence of events that have more to do with some kind of gentle revenge than anything else, Annie starts an email conversation with Tucker Crowe that ends up being more than either of them expected . . .

A wonderful book. I devoured it.

Vicious Circle, by Linda Robertson (paperback from the library)
This was my Sunday book, the one that kept me reading in bed, reading in the bath, reading in my chair, until I finished it. It's one of the witch/werewolf/vampire genre that are so prevalent recently. Persephone Alcmedi is a witch who supplements her income by kenneling werewolves in her basement during the full moon. One of her werewolf friends is murdered, and she is hired to investigate the crime, which turns out to be not as simple as it first sounded. Even without the murder, her life had been getting complicated--first, her grandmother is kicked out of her nursing home and moves in with her, then she finds out that one of the werewolves, a tattooed, pierced lead singer in a heavy metal goth band, has a very strong crush on her.

I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to two more books in the series, due to be published next year.

Rough Country , by John Sandford (hardback from the library)
This is the book that I took to lunch with me on Saturday. This is one in the Virgil Flowers series rather than Sandford's more usual Lucas Davenport books. Virgil is on vacation, taking part in a fishing tournament, when he gets a call from Lucas that a woman has been shot at a nearby resort, and is asked to go take a look. He does, and it turns out that the resort is a woman-only resort--not specifically lesbian, but mostly. It turns out (as it always does) that there is more there than meets the eye, and Virgil ends up investigating the murder.

I always enjoy Sandford's books, and this one was especially enjoyable.

A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories), by Charlaine Harris (ebook from Fictionwise)
This is a collection of Sookie Stackhouse short stories that have been printed in anthologies over the years. This one was a little bit disappointing in that I had read all of the stories already, but I got it at Fictionwise on a 100% rebate promotion, so it wasn't really a loss. The stories are good, and I like having them all in one place, I would just have been happier if they'd been new to me.

The Mall of Cthulhu, by Seamus Cooper (ebook)
I actually picked this one up in the library, and I looked it up at Amazon on my iPhone to read the reviews. I found that the Kindle version was only $2.99, so I went ahead and bought it.

Ted, a barrista at a chain coffeeshop in New England, is still trying to get over the horror of killing a group of vampires when he was at college ten years ago. During that massacre, he saved the life of Laura, who is now an FBI agent. Laura is basically Ted's only friend, since he can't talk about the vampires to anyone else. They aren't actually a couple, since Laura is a lesbian, but they might as well be, bound together as they are.

Ted accidentally finds out about a plot by a group of Cthulhu worshipers who intend to awake the Old Ones and bring about the end of civilization as we know it, and Laura, by virtue of her connection to law enforcement, tries to help stop them. This one is especially fun if you have any knowledge of the old H. P. Lovecraft "Cthulhu Mythos" stories, but it isn't absolutely necessary.


Demon Ex Machina, by Julie Kenner (ebook)
I've been kind of saving this one. I adore Kenner's "Demon Hunting Soccer Mom" series, and this is the latest.

New Amsterdam, by Elizabeth Bear (ebook from Baen)
I'm not totally sure about this one, but I read the sample chapters and, since it was a $5.00 download, went ahead and got it. It's kind of a steampunk/vampire/detective story that reminds me a bit of Kage Baker's novels. I like Elizabeth Bear; I don't generally like "historical" fiction, but we'll see.

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