July 5, 2011

Today I realized that I might very possibly be an idiot. I’ve been dealing with an on-again/off-again migraine for the better part of a month and I honestly couldn’t figure out what was up. Truth is my headaches have been loads better for the last six months or so to the point that both my GP and neurologist have stopped making me come in every one-to-three months.

Then, on the way home from the library, I started getting those telltale signs of a migraine coming on and it dawned on me that the library is probably the cause. Thinking back I realized that every major headache day has been directly after a visit to the library. Most recently Friday.

The library is currently dealing with an asbestos issue and I really doubt it’s being nice enough to stay behind the partition that has been erected.

Oh, well, probably better for my school work if I don’t have a pile of books on my nightstand distracting me with the need to be read. And hopefully things will be all fixed up next month when my current books are all due back. I was told weeks ago they were expecting it to take three weeks, which I believe would be the end of this week. So, I guess we’ll see.

For now, though, I’m off to go lie down. I feel pretty awful. :-(

Nonsense

Bullets for your Monday:

  • The fourth Assistance Dog Blog Carnival has been announced and this time the theme is The Difference. As per the usual, all are welcome to join provided your post is related to assistance dogs in some manner. Submissions are due by July 22nd. (Which, if history says anything, means I’ll start mine on July 21st.)
  • After nearly six months, I think we’ve finally established a meal routine in the house. In the morning, Uschi heads straight for her crate when we come in from our first trip to the end of the driveway. And she seems to recognize when it’s dinnertime, too. She’s only very sporadically not eating all of her food, which thrills me beyond words.
  • Speaking of the furry one, she’s taken to claiming my spot on the sofa. Reclaiming this spot (where the light is best for me to read) instigates a rousing game for Uschi that entails moving to the other end of the couch only to leap back into my spot before I can plant myself in it. A few times she’s leaped right on top of me and let me tell you 70 pounds to the gut is like falling down a flight of stairs: it really knocks the wind out of you!
  • New television premieres last night. Was rather underwhelmed by both Leverage and True Blood to be honest. Though, my greatest moment of amusement for the day was hearing Pam say “Fangtasia was everyone” including pets. And it may just be me, but the open button way that Jason is poured into his deputy uniform makes me feel like he’ll just start shaking his ass and stripping at any moment.
  • In another realm of entertainment, found out the other day that I was selected as one Kat Richardson’s minions. I am shocked and amazed and pretty darn thrilled to get some mail that isn’t a bill or junk. Not that I really needed the excuse, but it should be fun to spread the awesome of the Greywalker series in an “official” capacity. Heh.
  • On the topic of books, it’s worth mentioning that after a little under eight months as a member, Spirit Bound became my 100th registered book on BookCrossing last night. I thought it a rather applicable book for such a milestone being it’s a favorite in a few respects. Will probably pontificate more on BC at a later time seeing as…
  • I have a metric ass-ton of schoolwork to get done this week. I don’t know what crazy power possessed me to take two eight week courses. They really suck.
  • Though, somehow managed to get all my work in on time last week even with a horrific migraine. Still have the tail end of it. (Meaning that I’m feeling slightly head achy and very nauseated. Blargh.) Was asked the other day how things are going in this department. Between that assignment, the fact she posts every new assignment late (giving us less time to work on it), and she takes forever to grade everything, well, I rather detest her.
  • Oh, in completely other news, I believe I might make some cupcakes this week. :-)

Mostly Miserable

I’m at the tail end of a migraine that invited itself into my life sometime late Thursday. So, of course, to couple this the dog is sick. I don’t think it’s anything major, just an upset tummy. However, in a move that only defies all the common antics of a dog, she got sick in her crate. It’s actually the second time she’s done this. And both times the crate was open. Anyway, she’s been acting dejected about the whole thing all morning. It’s pretty pitiful, but I feel bad for her because I’m pretty miserable myself.

My mother wants to steam clean my rugs and paint my office today. Both things require basically every window in the house to be open and personally I find it a might too chilly for that. Not sure who will win this argument, but perhaps the lingering headache and sickly pooch will sway her to my side. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for rain basically every day this week and she really has this project set to be done since she’s on vacation. I told her I’ll be away over the weekend, so she’s welcome to spring clean all she wants here if she pleases. I think she took that as at least partially a joke, but I really would rather not have a paint smell induced migraine.

I’m reading Rosemary and Rue. Or more accurately, I’m devouring it. I borrowed an audio copy from Alice and Josh and after two days fighting with my computer to cooperate, I’ve spent the last two days listening to the book on my Droid via Amazon’s Cloud Player. I really like the concept of the storage space — and it’s definitely an incentive to purchase music through Amazon since it doesn’t count against your allotted space — but I much prefer iTunes to organize all that on my computer. It is a much less irritating way to get music to play on the Droid, though, especially since it syncs through Windows Media Player but won’t play that file type and at least for me the conversion during the sync always seems to conk out after awhile.

Stuff and Nonsense

Yesterday Uschi and I had our first follow-up with our instructor, Jay. His timing, I must say, was rather perfect because we’ve been incredibly busy the last several days. So, Jay accompanied us as we ran around downtown Schenectady checking off my long list of errands. We even stopped by the antique shop that we wandered through during training — wherein I picked up a perfect birthday gift for a certain patriarch. Mostly, we walked and walked and walked. And other than the fact that she decided randomly to defecate whilst in harness and working, Uschi did flawlessly. Not really sure why she ended up having that accident, especially since I’d given her the opportunity to go before we’d left the house and she seemed quite convinced that she only had to tinkle. Oh, well.

We even managed to find a dog to walk by a few times to show Uschi’s improvement with her animal distraction. In fact, other than an initial startled jump at the fact the other dog was barking its head off at her, she was pretty much nonplussed by his presence. Jay seemed pleased with us as a team, which I am hardly surprised about as I’m pretty pleased with us, too.

And in continuing with our frenzied and active schedules of late, we headed off to a SWAG Write-In a few hours after Jay left. Last night’s was at Flavour’s Cafe in downtown Troy and it was the very first time I had been there. Actually, that’s only partially true as I did step all the way inside the doorway when we were at the Victorian Stroll last December, but it was completely full so we ended up going elsewhere. It’s a wonderful cafe and we were able to nab a large table in the side room to spread out our laptops, books and food. I was very impressed with the food, which was incredibly yummy! Their portion sizes are ridiculously huge, too. Quite a rarity on both counts in my cafe-going experience where usually I find I only marginally enjoy the food and/or I’m still hungry afterward because I only had enough to nibble on.

The Write-In itself was kind of a non-event for me in terms of writing since my head decided it was the prime time to be annoying. This particular migraine came with some random nausea that seemed to be directly correlated to the amount of light I was exposed to thus making it impossible to look at my laptop screen. So, I spent the majority of the night reading Rage and I don’t regret that choice at all. Actually, I’m hoping to get my copy of it and/or Hunger signed by the author tomorrow at the Empire State Book Festival, which is happening for the second year and I am beyond thrilled!

On a somewhat related topic, the other day I gave my stats a casual glance and very nearly fell out of my desk chair. I tend to ignore my stats as a whole other than to give a passing look at how traffic arrives here. Generally I check my referrers often and usually peek at my search terms. The former has led to many an interesting read and the latter tends to give me a good laugh. But what caught my eye the other day was a substantial spike in traffic. I did some investigating and discovered some chatter on the ‘net about my experiences with a certain author. Honestly, it amazes me the longevity that whole thing has had. There hasn’t been a day go by since that incident that at least one person hasn’t come to this site through some mention of the entire event and usually it’s a good deal more than one visitor. Personally, I’ve put it all behind me. Though, a few months back I had some rather disturbing confirmation that the author has not, which is a shame for her and had she not had the audacity to call me such vile things I would probably have some concern about her mental stability. But from the cursory search back it seems there are more than enough replacements for her to keep Internet drama alive and well.

I was asked recently if the whole thing had left me wishing to avoid writing reviews, especially those that aren’t glowing. Honestly, it hasn’t. For all the crazy that occurred and the slanderous things said about me and spread about the ends of the intarwebs, I have had an exponentially greater number of wonderful experiences with authors. Both those I know quite well personally and strangers alike. I think, for me, the thing that was the most difficult to get over was that small personal connection that I had with the author because there had been a dialogue there between us, albeit formal and short, which led to her sending me the a copy of the book for free. Thus I was obligated to read it and give my thoughts, which was exactly the reason for my gentle tactfulness in what I wrote, as it was only expected she would read them. So, having that blow up in my face was kind of astounding. And I’m not naive enough to think it couldn’t happen again, though, if it ever did I do hope it isn’t such a wide-scale event!

However, completely ceasing sharing my thoughts on books I’ve read (or for that matter anything else) is a disservice to those that are looking for such insights.1 There are many things in my life — especially books — that I’ve only decided to try because of the reviews that were written about them. In the end I may not agree with those reviews, but they were still an asset. As for shying away from negative reviews, I think such a thing is completely pointless and am the first to avoid sites and specific reviewers who will only do so. I find that without that comparison of things that did not appeal to the reviewer, it’s impossible to know how much their viewpoint truly meshes with mine. Basically, it’s a skewed image. So, in case you haven’t been following my sporadic reviews enough to gather, I don’t plan to cease reviewing or censor myself and only publicize the things I strenuously adore. I plan to do exactly what I’ve always done: write about things that I feel passionately about as it strikes my fancy.

  1. While I am always thrilled if something I’ve written proves useful to someone else it is worth noting that essentially this website is for me. It will forever astound me that anyone has even a passing interest in anything I write here.

March 5, 2011

Been dealing with a horrid migraine for the last few days, which has left me a might cranky given the combination of excruciating pain and subsequent social isolation from canceling with friend after friend. On the flip side, I have had the most bizarre dreams. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing, but it has been somewhat entertaining.

All this is to say that not much has been taking place at casa de mi and as such I have not much to post about. And while there are many fallback drafts waiting to be finished, my head isn’t cooperating nearly enough presently. So, apologies for the radio silence today; hopefully I’ll be back in the swing of things soon.