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Archive for September, 2007

MIA

Sorry that I’ve been missing in action for a while. I’ve truly been feeling lousy.  But I seem to be getting used to the medicines again, as the nausea is wearing off and the constant tiredness is beginning to wear off as well.

Topamax–at least for me–has two major side effects. One of them is positive and one is negative. The positive side effect is that anything carbonated tastes absolutely disgusting. If I try to drink a soda pop, all I can taste is the chemicals. So that’s good. Of course, I’ve replaced my pop addiction with a vitamin water addiction, which is still high calorie, so not so good, but probably slightly better for me. The negative side effect is this absolutely horrendous painful tingling (for want of a better word) that I get in my lower legs and feet. It will come on without any warning and last for what seems an ungodly amount of time. It’s worse than when your foot falls asleep because you were sitting on your leg funnily. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just awful. But it doesn’t last forever, and it’s worse than constant headaches that no drug can make go away.

The only side effect I’ve noticed with the Effexor XR is the usual side effect of anti depressants, and that would be the lowered libido. And since Joe’s gone all the time, it’s not really a problem.  And it’s better than the depression. So yay and all that jazz.

We’re kind of at a crossroads right now.  We might end up moving. I honestly don’t know what will happen. Whether we stay or go, I’d like to know. This period of indecision is worse than the actual uprooting would be, should that end up being what happens. If we move, it could be to the St. Louis area, or it could be to the North Hollywood CA area. I know what my preference would be, but that doesn’t really mean anything. I could get myself all geared up mentally for a big move, only to end up staying right here. Which would be good as well.

Don’t anyone get all freaked out. At this point it’s just discussion. I promise I’ll let you know as soon as a decision is made.

It would definitely be hard for us to leave here. We’d be leaving family, friends, MoMentuM. But it wouldn’t surprise me if we were to end up going. I feel a change in the air. Something’s coming. If it’s not a move, it’s something else.

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a fun meme-EDITED

I haven’t posted much lately ’cause on account of how I’ve been feeling puny ’cause on account of how when I started taking my meds again last week they made me feel all sicky. Anyway, I saw this fun meme at procrastamom and it made me giggle. And frankly anything that makes me giggle right now is good.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) —-EDITED because Mom says I misremembered what I called my first cat
John-Kitty Grey Lady (or do you mean the make of my current car, in which case it would be John-Kitty Malibu) (or if we were to use my first pet’s full name, it would be Sir John Boyer Grey Lady/Sir John Boyer Malibu).

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Rocky Road Oreo

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
F-Ste

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Purple Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Lee Lone Star (sounds more like a western name to me!)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
STE-FA

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink put “The”)
The Green Margarita

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Linden Charles

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy)
Mania Snickers (That’s just wrong!!)

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Anne Hayden

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Daniels Denver

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Daffodil (That sounds a little too fake to be a good spy name)

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Pineapple Shirtsie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Doughnut Magnolia

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Reading Thunderstorm Tour

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42

That’s the answer, right? Life, the universe, and everything?

Sorry. Needed to show my dorkiness for a moment or five.

When I got up this morning, I found that Molly had peed and pooped by the back door. Normally I’d find that highly annoying. I didn’t this morning, for two reasons. First, she did come wake me up to tell me she needed to go, and I didn’t feel like getting up. And second, she’s been off her feed since Joe left again, and it’s to the point it was really starting to worry me.  So last night when I fixed dinner (a large baked potato with broccoli & carrots on top), I split it with her.  As I went into the living room this morning, I saw that during the night she’d finished the rest of the dog food in her dish and drank all her water.  So I’m feeling relieved. I cleaned up the mess by the back door, left extra pee pads out before I left this morning, and filled her dishes again.

I truly don’t feed her people food often. And I wouldn’t have done it this time if she’d been eating her dog food like she usually does. But she’s only gone through about a cup of food since Saturday, which is very unlike her, and also very unhealthy, considering that she weighs a good 50 pounds.

On other fronts, the books I ordered through half.com have been trickling in. I read Maisie Dobbs and will review sometime in the next day or two.  I’ve got 3 more books sitting here waiting to be read, as well as the free book I got from Barnes & Noble for signing up for an online book club. And I’ve been cleaning house. Haphazardly, but as long as it’s getting done, I guess I won’t worry about how haphazard it is for now. It’s in such a shambles that it’s going to take a while to get it clean enough that I can do a routine to keep it clean.

I watched Aeon Flux last night while I was cleaning. It was okay. Nothing spectacular, except for Charlize Theron’s looks, and a little odd. I liked it. Not enough to watch it again or anything, but, meh. I really don’t have much to say about it.

I’m having to get back on all my meds. 😦  I was really happy about not needing to take them, but the depression is slowly creeping back; the chronic daily headaches that had disappeared with the Topamax have once again become chronic daily headaches. I hate having to take all this stuff–hormones, antidepressants, topamax. I will say this is the longest I’ve gone without the antidepressants and stayed reasonably sane, so that’s something, right?

Not much to say today, so I guess I’ll quit yakking.

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This is the theme for the S-Project this month.

And ever since I read the theme, I’ve been playing it over in my mind. What do I not allow myself to want?  It’s hard to think of an answer to that question. I want a lot of things. I want to not be fat, or at least be comfortable with being fat. I want to quit my job and stay at home and write between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and sleep until 11. I want chocolate to make you lose weight. I want lots of money so that I can carry out some of my pet projects (and have some fun as well). I want to live forever. I want everyone in my life to be strong and healthy and happy.

I don’t allow myself to want things I know I can’t have, though. And I’m not talking about the silly things I just listed. I’m talking about reality. I don’t allow myself to want kids. That’s the biggest of the things I know I can’t have. I always wanted to be a mother. It never dawned on me that I wouldn’t be, frankly. But I know it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to give birth (no uterus, kinda puts a damper on things) and I’m not going to adopt. No kids. It’s a fact. So I don’t allow myself to want it, and when those moments come up that the facts sting unbearably I allow myself to have a little weep and then I try to move on.

But there’s something else that has kept coming to mind as I’ve pondered this question. Rainbow joy. I don’t allow myself to want rainbow joy.  I remember reading one of the Emily books, and Emily has shown her poetry to her favourite teacher. One poem starts off, “Life, as thy gift I ask no rainbow joy.” Her teacher asks her if that’s true, and she mulishly replies, “No! I want rainbow joy, and lots of it.”  And–I’m paraphrasing here–her irascible teacher says, “Of course you do. You won’t get it, nobody does, but you want it. Don’t be a hypocrite in your poetry.”

I want it, of course. But I guess maybe that, like children, it’s something I know I can’t have so wanting it is futile. Life’s been hard. I’m not unaware of my blessings, and I know there are many. But rainbow joy? Not so much.

I think I’m seeing a thread here. I let myself want things I know I can have–either easily or with some effort–and I let myself want silly things that cannot be. But the things that really mean a lot to me, and I know they’re forever beyond my grasp–those things I don’t let myself want. Even though I really do, deep down, want those more than anything else.

I don’t know if this even makes any sense. I’ve been pondering this for days, and this is the best I can come up with. I just don’t know how to express it any more clearly.

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Friday Fill-In

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If you play, please link back to me and leave me a comment letting me know you played, so I can come visit!
In honor of Krista and Matt, who are getting married Saturday, we’ll make this a wedding Fill-In!

1. I met him/her in the parking lot at the Institute Building in Salt Lake City.
2. We dated for about a year before we got officially engaged.
3. I knew he/she was the one on our first date.
4. The thing I like best about him/her his good heart.
5. When he/she proposed we were in the car driving down State Street in Salt Lake City. It was far from the romantic proposal I’d always dreamed of, but it was so characteristic of him.
6. The song we had/want at our wedding I wanted Proud Mary, but the accordianist (!) played the chicken dance instead.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a Buffython with the incomparable Izzybella, Soleil, and Amethyst, tomorrow my plans include going to Weight Watchers, getting the exterminator to get rid of the multitude of hornets’ nests around the house, going to work, doing laundry, and cleaning house and Sunday, I want to go to church and do nothing else! 

For those of you not inclined to do this one, I give you the Food FIll-In Friday!  (Heck, I’m ambitious–I’ll do ’em both!)

1. Chips or chocolate? You mean I have to choose?
2. Pickles on your boca-burger? Yep. But Molly hates pickles, and if I forget to take the pickles off before I give her a bit, I later find the naked pickles laying on the floor. 
3. Baked potato: with everything or it used to be with everything. But I (a) became a vegetarian, hence no bacon; and (b) just learned that I have a serious lactose intolerance. So I guess now it’d just be with salt and pepper, which is actually quite good. Or black bean chili. mmmm.
4. The perfect meal I’m still exploring this one; formerly the perfect meal would have been cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, and warm tortilla chips with tomatillo salsa.  Now it might be my famous black-bean salsa and brown rice with some mango. Or it might not.
5. Martinis, wine, beer or virgin margaritas.
6. Your favorite pirate is (technically not food, but still yummy)Captain Jack Sparrow. Who else could it possibly be?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to eating yummy food at the Buffython, tomorrow my plans include wearing myself out thoroughly and Sunday, I want to watch movies and snuggle with my Molly-dog!

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Have you ever had a dream that was so funny you laughed out loud, thus waking yourself up? And as you remembered the dream, you continued laughing?

Last night I dreamed that I was having trouble sleeping (which I was–apparently since cutting meat out of my diet, my body has also decided for me that I need to cut out dairy as well), so I turned on the television to a rerun of Saturday Night Live. It was one of the early shows, with the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. As a sidenote, it might interest you to know that Margaret Atwood was one of those players. (I think that came from reading book blogs before going to bed.)  They were performing a skit set in South Carolina, using those execrable fake Southern accents that Yankees fondly fancy to be accurate, and it was just an appalling take-off on old Southern attitudes towards race and gender and everything else. After the teenage kids had taken off to go to a wild party, and the parents had taken off for their own private party, the two servants were left in the room alone.

I just knew that they were going to do something rotten to get back for all the horrible ways their employers had treated them, and I was curious to see what it was. All of a sudden they started flicking bogeys all over everything in the room. It was simultaneously disgusting and hilarious, and I started laughing.

And woke up. I have NO IDEA where that came from, seeing as how I haven’t watched SNL in years. I mean, it hasn’t been funny in years, right? And every now and then I’d remember the final scene, start chuckling, and wake up again.

It was a long, long night.

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Challenge Status

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  1. AUSTRALIA: The Broken Shore – Peter Temple 
  2. INDIA: The Space Between Us– Thrity Umrigar. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  3. JERUSALEM: Someone to Run With– David Gossman, Vered Almog & Maya Gurantz, translators. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  4. MOSCOW: The Archivist’s Story – Travis Holland
  5. WARSAW: The Polish Complex– Tadeusz Konwicki, Richard Lourie, translator. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  6. CAIRO: The Cairo Diary– Maxim Chattam, Susan Dyson, translator

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  1. I, Elizabeth– Rosalind Miles. I’ve started reading this one.
  2. Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading– Maureen Corrigan.
  3. So Many Books, So Little Time – Sara Nelson.
  4. The Historian– Elizabeth Kostova. I’ve started this one.
  5. The Man with the Beautiful Voice – Lillian Rubin. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.

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  1. Chasing Vermeer– Blue Balliett. Edgar winner.
  2. Acceleration– Graham McNamee. Edgar winner.
  3. The Boy in the Burning House – Tim Wynne-Jones. Edgar winner. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  4. Coraline– Neil Gaiman. Hugo winner.
  5. Maisie Dobbs– Jacqueline Winspear. Agatha winner. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  6. Amelia Peabody’s Egypt: A Compendium– Elizabeth Peters, Kristen Whitebread, Dennis Forbes, editors. Agatha winner.
  7. Feed – M.T. Anderson. National Book Awards winner. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.
  8. Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy – Carlos Eire. National Book Awards winner. I’m about halfway through this book.
  9. March – Geraldine Brooks. Pulitzer winner.
  10. A Confederacy of Dunces– John Kennedy Toole. Pulitzer winner.
  11. The Sea– John Banville. Booker winner.  I’ve started reading this one.
  12. Behind the Scenes at the Museum– Kate Atkinson. Costa/Whitbread winner. This book is on order, and should arrive in a week or so.

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Two Books, Two Challenges

Acceleration, Graham McNamee

I read this for the Book Awards Challenge. It won an Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

Did I like it? Well, that’s a little hard to say. It was well written. The characters were believable. But the plot, well, not so much.

Duncan is spending his summer working in the lost and found section at the Toronto Transit Authority. That sounds more glamourous than it really is, as the majority of his days are spent packing up boxes of unclaimed items to go to the YMCA sale. He snares a cool leather jacket. One day, bored, he picks up a book with no title or author on the cover, and sits down to read. Instead of finding a novel, though, he is horrified to find that it is a journal of a sociopath’s experiments in animal torture, then arson, and his desire to move on to something bigger.

Duncan enlists his friends Vinnie and Wayne to help him track down the book’s author before a murder is committed.  In the end, though, the man who Duncan has christened Roach turns up at the lost-and-found, asking for a book that he’d lost.

You know, I kept asking myself whether a sociopath would really go to the lost-and-found department looking for the book in which he’d written down all his bizarre experiments on animals and torture, and in which he’d recorded his plans for attacking a woman next, along with detailed notes on the three women he’d been following. I suppose it’s possible, but it seemed a little unreal to me.  Okay, yeah, Duncan did take the journal to the police, who brushed it off as a kid’s summer prank. So he stole it back on his way out of the police station.

This thread was far-fetched enough that it really distracted from my enjoyment of the book. And the descriptions of Roach seemed as though they were taken right out of “Profiling for Dummies.” They were a little too far-fetched, in an already far-fetched book.

So I can’t say I enjoyed the book, but I would be willing to give the author another try.

The Archivist’s Story, by Travis Holland

I read this one for the Armchair Traveller challenge.  This is a fantastic book!

Pavel Dubrov is a former teacher now working for the Soviet bureaucracy during the Stalin years. He is responsible for archiving and, tragically, burning works of literature. We meet him as he is querying Isaac Babel about a short story that was informally ascribed to him.

Pavel’s life quickly unravels through the course of the book. His wife boarded a train eight months ago; the train derailed, and her body has not yet been released to him. His best friend is being very outspoken in public forums, and Pavel fears for him. His mother has begun having periods where she blacks out, and he takes her–against her will–to a neurologist to see if the problem can be identified.  While he is dealing with all these things, as well as a truculent junior officer with whom he works, Pavel is growing closer to Natalya, the building manager. Their relationship is not a typical love affair. They are both damaged emotionally, but there is a solace there nonetheless.

Holland’s prose is austere yet simultaneously rich. The atmosphere he creates is stiflingly terrifying.  It is easy for the reader to identify with the tortured Pavel, trying to make the best sense he can out of the world in which he was forced to dwell. 

This is an incredible book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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I can’t exactly say that the muse has ignored me. She hasn’t. The problem is that she gives me these grandiose, glorious ideas that I can’t fit into the context of a blog post. So I’ve been writing, honest, just not anything that I can share here.

Well, that’s all about to change. Anonymous Assclown is taking over the helm of the Scheherazade Project! And the first theme is about something we don’t allow ourselves to want. I’m going to have to think about that one for a while. Some preliminary little idealets are coming to mind, but let’s see what happens after it has time to set.

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Bye, honey

It’s been a few months, so you’d think I’d be used to it by now.

I’m not.

I’ve been teary off and on all day because Joe left again and I won’t see him again for almost 3 weeks. And to think we’ve got another 5-6 months of this, minimum. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy having some alone time, but this is a little excessive.  It seems like we’ll invariably have an argument or two over the phone while he’s gone, and then we have a couple of good rip-snorters while he’s here. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s just tension. And I’m getting used to doing things my way without having to justify what “my way” is.

Anyway, I’ll be fine, of course. Tonight I’m planning to watch the Netflix movies that have been at the house for a couple of weeks so I can send them back and get some new ones. And he’ll call me when he gets to the hotel. And tomorrow night the incomparable Izzybella is coming over and we’ll work on our book. Who knows–in a couple of years it could be me leaving him at home while I go with Izzy to promote our book.

Wouldn’t it be nice?!

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