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What was your favourite part about returning to school?

The NaBloPo­Mo prompt for today:
What was your favourite part about return­ing to school?

Back to School by Lel4nd (Leland Francisco)

That’s not an easy ques­tion. It wasn’t cool to acknowl­edge being hap­py to return to school each year, of course, so while I was glad, I didn’t real­ly acknowl­edge it to myself. As a result, it is more dif­fi­cult to access those memories.

Even though I knew there would be end­less amounts of review each year, I was always excit­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of learn­ing some­thing new. After we left Gads­den, I was able to look for­ward to school library access, too. (The ele­men­tary school I attend­ed in Alaba­ma didn’t even have a library, and back then, the Gwin­nett Coun­ty Pub­lic Library wasn’t the award win­ning facil­i­ty that it is now.)

I also had a secret hope that maybe this would be the year when I would meet some­one like me. Some­one else who didn’t fit in. Some­one who pre­ferred books to most peo­ple, who either didn’t go to church or was only there because his or her par­ents forced the issue, who would be will­ing to dis­cuss the ques­tions brought up by all the con­tra­dic­tions in the Bible and var­i­ous church’s teach­ings (and how preach­ers and oth­er church lead­ers actu­al­ly lived). Some­one who didn’t think it was bad to be intel­li­gent, maybe even some­one who would admit to day­dream­ing and mak­ing up new sto­ries about peo­ple they’d read about, or com­plete­ly new sto­ries of their own. The kind of peo­ple you didn’t run into just because your par­ents bought hous­es in the same neigh­bor­hood, or went to the same church, or worked for the same company.

I did meet some­one who became a dear friend in the first week of my Junior year, on the bus, in fact. She even lived in my neigh­bor­hood! I con­tin­ue to be amazed by the fact that I said some­thing to her first, as she’s far more extro­vert­ed than I have ever been. Dorothea is a trea­sure, and I will always be thank­ful for meet­ing her.

Maybe It Isn’t the Flu

Katie seems to be feel­ing a bit bet­ter. She slept through most of the day, and just got up a few min­utes ago (right at the end of my and Sam’s date) feel­ing like she could eat some­thing. Sol­id food, even! That’s progress. Since she didn’t have any antivi­rals, I don’t think this was real­ly the flu. She should still be much sick­er if it was. I’m not at all unhap­py about that. Read more

An Update Instead of a Book Review!

I looked back at my recent entries and real­ized that it’s been a real­ly long time since I post­ed much of any­thing sub­stan­tive. I’m com­ing out of a long peri­od of being near­ly zom­biefied thanks to one of my med­ica­tions. I didn’t real­ize that was hap­pen­ing, as I’d been on that drug for years with­out that prob­lem. Appar­ent­ly, the prob­lem was a com­bi­na­tion of my dosage being increased last fall and inter­ac­tion with oth­er meds. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I found this out because of an irre­spon­si­ble doc­tor who refused to see me as sched­uled when I was due for refills, and wouldn’t give me refills with­out see­ing me. Crash­ing off the max­i­mum dose caused insom­nia and seizures.

Yes, seizures. Some­thing I have nev­er expe­ri­enced before, and I real­ly didn’t need to add yet anoth­er square to my per­son­al Symp­toms Bin­go Card. I fell right out of the bed dur­ing one bad seizure last week. We have a captain’s bed designed for a water mat­tress, but have a reg­u­lar mat­tress and box springs on top, so the whole thing is much high­er than most beds. I have to use a step­stool to get in and out of bed. So falling out was much more painful than falling out of most beds. Hit­ting my fore­heard on the wheel­chair and whacked my chin but good on the lapdesk didn’t help. I have no idea what I hit with my right fore­arm, but it still looks like a per­son bit me. My left arm has funky bruis­ing and a cut, both knees are bruised and car­pet burned, and my tor­so is also bruised and sore. Lots of fun! Now my chin is actu­al­ly black, mak­ing me want to wash my face every time I see a mir­ror. I’ve nev­er been able to feel the swelling in a bruise as dis­tinct­ly as this one, either.

I’ve seen a new doc­tor, who switched me to a bet­ter med­ica­tion. It’s help­ing to slow down the seizures, but I’m still hav­ing some. I’m still sleep­ing a lot less than I was, which is good. What isn’t good is that I’m hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing well, peri­od. Hope­ful­ly that will go away soon.

Social Secu­ri­ty is still mess­ing around with my case and hasn’t paid out a dime yet, or sent me a Medicare card. If you ever have trou­ble with the SSA, don’t even both­er try­ing to find any­one to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for straight­en­ing any­thing out. Just go straight to your Sen­a­tor or Representative’s office. I’d been try­ing to get a straight answer from some­body, any­body, in the whole orga­ni­za­tion for about a month with­out luck. Less than 48 hours after con­tact­ing a Senator’s office, I got a mes­sage that my file is at the Bal­ti­more pay­ment office, that they have all the infor­ma­tion they need to pay out the claim, and that we should see mon­ey very soon now.

I was real­ly hop­ing to get the Medicare thing start­ed in time to maybe have a pow­ered mobil­i­ty device before Drag­on Con, which would let me go and enjoy the con for the first time in years. The last time I went, we rent­ed a scoot­er, so if the mon­ey comes through before the con I sup­pose we might try that again. 

In more fun news, we fin­ished watch­ing Torch­wood: Chil­dren of Earth last night. Talk about depress­ing! Gwen and Rhys were the only ones who came out of that as heroes. And now I read that there’s going to be a fourth sea­son? Who the heck will be in it?

I’ve slowed down on read­ing books, par­tial­ly because I can actu­al­ly do some oth­er things for a change. The house is slow­ly improv­ing! I’m hop­ing we can even enter­tain again before long.

I haven’t been keep­ing up with most people’s Live­Jour­nals or any­thing else, so if there’s some­thing I should have seen, I’d appre­ci­ate a poke in the com­ments here. 

Review: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, edited by Trisha Telep

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance by Trisha Telep

My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm extremely surprised by how much I enjoyed this anthology! I picked it up intending to just read the stories by authors I know I like—Kelley Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Holly Lisle, Jeaniene Frost, Maria V. Snyder. I had never heard of some of the other authors. A few names I remembered seeing in other anthologies and not enjoying their work.

I did, however, deliberately put myself in a tolerant mindset: this is a book of romance stories. It wouldn't be fair to judge them as anything else.

That worked rather better than it has in the past. I still got a little annoyed at having so much of each story dedicated to couples (and all het/mono couples, at that!) rather than some intriguing world ideas, but managed to stay on track.

In the end, I only skipped one story—I just don't like the Weather Wardens stuff at all. I found a couple of others substandard, but all in all, Telep chose very well. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance (maybe even those who usually stick to just romance), and most urban fantasy fans.

View all my reviews.

Miscellany

I lost track of who originally linked to what, so I can't credit them properly. But thank you to whoever they all were, anyway!

Filed under "another reason I'm proud to be a homeschooler": California court rules that private school can oust lesbian students. I do understand that it's a private religious school, and that their denomination doesn't approve of homosexuality. On the other hand, the girls' parents chose to send them to that school, not the girls themselves. And demanding that everybody in the school be heterosexual makes every bit as much sense as demanding that they all be right-handed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell overboard in interpreting the "evidence.")

Can I get an "Amen"?! Ending Weight Bias: The Easiest Way to Tackle Obesity in America

This is news? Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

Not Good News: Mercury found in kids' foods - and in pretty much anything else that contains HFCS. I'm confident of my ability to kick the soda habit, but totally avoiding HFCS pretty much means avoiding all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Thinking Brain

No surprise to me, at least: Watch out. The Internet will cut you

Reality check: Sorry, you don't have a 200 IQ

Another no-brainer: Video Games May Hinder Relationships

Book Joy! And Stuff

I'm so tickled! In the last two weeks, I've found not one, but two books that Sam and I have wanted for ages at good prices on eBay!

Seeing Red
First, I've been looking for
Seeing Red: The Rapture of Redheads by Howard Schatz for years and years. Seriously, it has to be at least five years since Sam first mentioned that he'd love to have it. Unfortunately, it's out of print, and the only thing I found for the longest time were used copies for $150 or more. It's a gorgeous book, but that's far more than I could pay for it.

I had the book on my wish list at Half.com, which is part of eBay, but for some reason I also set up an eBay search a few months back, and finally got found a copy going for $35.1 I didn't happen to see the email until a day later, and by then the seller had dropped the price further for some reason. It was more than I pay for most books, but after five years, it was more than worth it. We received it in the mail earlier this week, and it is just a beautiful as any new copy.

Your Guide to Metabolic Health
That gave me an idea, so I set up a search for another book I've wanted for a while, but couldn't afford. John C. Lowe's tome Your Guide to Metabolic Health came out in 2003, and I haven't ever found it in stock anywhere. It must have gone out of stock quickly, because Amazon has only ever had used copies that I've seen. And again, they were always pricey—$180 was the price I'd seen most recently.2

Today, eBay came through again! The "buy it now" price was very reasonable, so Sam encouraged me to go ahead and get it instead of chancing the auction route.

Dr. Lowe has also written another book that's specifically about the metabolic treatment of fibromyalgia, but it runs over $500. Apparently, that one is intended for physicians, rather than laypeople. I have an eBay search going, but I'm fairly certain the book I bought today has the information I need in it. From what I've heard, it's mainly about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.3

Keep Working Girlfriend
I'm busily reading my ARC of Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend! It's good stuff.


1 For what it's worth, Half.com still shows only the higher prices. Weird.

2 It's available more cheaply now, but I still got a deal.

3 Aha—the publisher actually sells the latest version of that one for $99.95. Why would anybody pay the used price? Why do the used sellers think they can demand so much?

Brief Update and Review of Witch Way to Murder

I’ve been doing so much read­ing because I’ve been sick and unable to do much else. We did get the girl to her doc­tor, so we know there’s no strep around here. The doc­tor wouldn’t rule out mono, but wouldn’t test for it either. (I don’t real­ly like this woman, and we usu­al­ly try to go when the nicer physi­cian is there.) She said that since they don’t do any­thing but treat the symp­toms if it is mono, and the con­ta­gion peri­od would have been 60 – 90 days ago, she doesn’t see any rea­son to run a test.
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