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What was your favourite part about returning to school?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Education, Memories | Posted on 05-09-2011

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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.

Book Review: Night’s Edge

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Book Reviews, Reading | Posted on 04-04-2010

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Night's Edge Night’s Edge by Mag­gie Shayne

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
“Dancers in the Dark” by Char­laine Har­ris is set in the same uni­verse as the South­ern Vampire/​Sookie Stack­house sto­ries, but with none of the incred­i­bly annoy­ing char­ac­ters. How refresh­ing!

Maybe It Isn’t the Flu

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Fun, Health, Reading, Relationships | Posted on 06-03-2010

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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.

An Update Instead of a Book Review!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health | Posted on 27-07-2009

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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

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading | Posted on 22-06-2009

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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

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Links | Posted on 30-01-2009

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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

Books & Cute Photo

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery, Reading | Posted on 26-06-2008

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Total­ly unre­lat­ed to any­thing else: Squee! (Thanks, AMQ!)

For some odd rea­son, I got this weird notion about track­ing down as many of the books I’ve read as pos­si­ble. No, I don’t know why.

Book Joy! And Stuff

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Art, Health, Reading | Posted on 29-03-2008

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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?

Bookcase Bedroom!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Home, Reading | Posted on 05-03-2008

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New tiles for the Uroko house

Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by akamé

I sup­pose it could be called a Book­case Tree, because of its iasic deis­ngn. It wouldn’t be the best choice of design for sleep­ing quar­ters for a claus­tro­phone lke me, and pro­crati­na­tors wpuld find it even hard­er to quit read­ing and go to sleep. I would love to have this for a lit­tle one

Brief Update and Review of Witch Way to Murder

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health, Music, Reading | Posted on 18-02-2008

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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.