Books Books Books!

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Yes, the girl and I man­aged a library run (to the GOOD library) on Fri­day. It took more time and ener­gy than expect­ed, of course, but we got a bunch of very good books. 

I read My Big Fat Super­nat­ur­al Hon­ey­moon last night, with much gig­gling. The sto­ries were a bit uneven (nor­mal for an anthol­o­gy), but worth­while overall. 

I espe­cial­ly liked “Heo­rot,” the Har­ry Dres­den piece from Jim Butch­er. I love the way he brings in mythol­o­gy from so many dif­fer­ent cultures. 

Kel­ly Arm­strong’s “Stalked” was fun, too. Her were­wolves are just more wolfish than most, in my opinion.

P.N. Elrod’s “Her Moth­er’s Daugh­ter” was­n’t bad at all. I’ve obvi­ous­ly missed some of her Jack Flem­ing nov­els, and I’m look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up.

I want to find some of Mar­jorie M. Liu’s longer works, as “Where the Heart Lives” isn’t the first of her short sto­ries that have impressed me. What’s even bet­ter is that WtHL is a total depar­ture from the ear­li­er sto­ries I remember.

SBQ: Sick of a WIP?

The Stitch­ing Blog­ger’s Ques­tion of the Week is:
Do you ever get to a point work­ing on a project that you’ve had for so
long, you start to won­der what pos­sessed you to start it in the first
place?

Of course! It has always hap­pened with pat­terns I chose to do for some­one else, though, rather than those I chose because I was inter­est­ed in them. There are a few WIPs that have out­lived the rela­tion­ships that inspired them, and they may nev­er be fin­ished. That’s a bit embar­rass­ing, but in at least one case I would­n’t have ever start­ed the piece if I’d real­ly known what an unsta­ble, vicious being the intend­ed recip­i­ent was.

Review: Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease

Women, Work, and Autoimmune DiseaseI read Women, Work and Autoim­mune Dis­ease by Ros­alind Joffe and Joan Fried­lan­der a few months back, but for some rea­son my review on Ama­zon nev­er showed up, and I did­n’t think to keep a copy for myself. It seems to final­ly be there now, so I’ll put it here, too (slight­ly expanded).

This book is one the best I’ve ever found for those of us who have chron­ic ill­ness­es, but want to con­tin­ue work­ing. It goes beyond the stan­dard “cop­ing tips” to talk blunt­ly about pac­ing your­self, search­ing for a job, keep­ing a job, nego­ti­at­ing with your employ­er for accom­mo­da­tions, and being self-employed. Top­ics like “when do I dis­close a disability/illness?” are cov­ered by authors who have exten­sive per­son­al expe­ri­ence build­ing their careers despite chron­ic illnesses.

The title does refer specif­i­cal­ly to women, but I think the book can also be very use­ful for men. Like­wise, there’s no rea­son to lim­it read­er­ship to peo­ple with autoim­mune diseases.

I’ll be buy­ing copies to send to some of my friends. I don’t plan to let mine out of my sight! I hope to get a copy of the accom­pa­ny­ing work­book soon, as well.

Jof­fe’s blog, Work­ing With Chron­ic Ill­ness, is also good reading.

Vicious Teacher Leads Bullying of Disabled Child

Teacher lets kinder­garten stu­dents vote 5‑year-old “out of the class”

After each class­mate was allowed to say what they did­n’t like about Bar­ton’s 5‑year-old son, Alex, his Morn­ing­side Ele­men­tary teacher Wendy Por­tillo said they were going to take a vote, Bar­ton said.

By a 14 to 2 mar­gin, the stu­dents vot­ed Alex — who is in the process of being diag­nosed with autism — out of the class.

The teacher, Wendy Por­tillo (portillow@stlucie.k12.fl.us), has acknowl­edged that the inci­dent hap­pened. She had been par­tic­i­pat­ing in the child’s IEP team since Feb­ru­ary, so she knew that Alex was being eval­u­at­ed for a dis­abil­i­ty (most like­ly Asberg­er’s syn­drome, from the infor­ma­tion in the article).

There isn’t be any excuse for any adult treat­ing any child that way, but a teacher to encour­age chil­dren to ostra­cize a dis­abled child? That’s even worse.

The school dis­trict has refused to fire Por­tillo, but claims that she has been moved to non-class­room duties. That isn’t near­ly enough.

Oxygen for CFS?

A research abstract from Dr. Paul Cheney offers an inter­est­ing conclusion.
Oxy­gen Tox­i­c­i­ty as a Locus of Con­trol for Chron­ic Fatigue Syndrome
“We con­clude that CFS is an oxy­gen tox­ic state and that oxy­gen tox­i­c­i­ty sta­tus appears to deter­mine out­come in ther­a­peu­tic tri­als and is there­fore, a locus of con­trol in chron­ic fatigue syndrome.”

The pos­si­bil­i­ty of an effi­ca­cious treat­ment for CFS is excit­ing. I’ll be watch­ing the news for more infor­ma­tion on this angle.

Civil Rights Win in Florida

Months ago, I post­ed about Ponce de Leon High School in Flori­da ban­ning the wear or dis­play of any kind of gay pride sym­bols or words, claim­ing that they indi­cat­ed involve­ment in an “ille­gal orga­ni­za­tion.” I lat­er found out that the prob­lem start­ed last fall, when a les­bian stu­dent com­plained that she was being harassed. Instead of inves­ti­gat­ing or try­ing to stop the harass­ment, the school admin­is­tra­tion cracked down on any show of sup­port for her. The prin­ci­pal lat­er said that he was sure that gay pride sym­bols would cause stu­dents to visu­al­ize gay peo­ple hav­ing sex, lead­ing to dis­rup­tion.1

Any­way, Flori­da man­aged to get some­thing right, or at least one judge there did so. Oh, wait–he was a fed­er­al judge, not a state author­i­ty. Any­way, on May 13 he issued a per­ma­nent injunc­tion against the school! He told them that they must stop their uncon­sti­tu­tion­al cen­sor­ship of expres­sions of sup­port for gay peo­ple, and warned them not to try retal­i­at­ing against any­one involved in the case.


1 Damn, those are pow­er­ful rain­bows! Won­der what kind of porn they’d find in a raid of his house?

Review: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

From Dead to WorseAfter read­ing From Dead to Worse, I feel as if Char­laine Har­ris is fin­ished with the South­ern Vam­pire Mys­ter­ies. If so, she’s doing so well, as vol­ume sev­en is the most sat­is­fy­ing book of the series.

This is not a “hap­pi­ly ever after” book, but it isn’t an “oh my God what’s going to hap­pen next,” either. I’m sure that more could be writ­ten about Sook­ie Stack­house and her very inter­est­ing life, but Har­ris has a his­to­ry of leav­ing series on a high note. The Auro­ra Tea­gar­den and Shake­speare sequences felt a bit more “done” at the end, so maybe I’m wrong. I cer­tain­ly don’t hold Ms. Har­ris’ confidences.

In any case, I hope that we’ll see more books by Har­ris before long. She’s a good author, and I enjoy her ideas.