Friday, June 17, 2011

unwritten theses & well-read books

Why can I only see the "Amazon Associates" widget from my work computer but not my home one?  (Also, all of the annoying ads which will probably never earn me a cent.)  Anyway, I'm adding the most recent book I read.  It's one of the worst-kept secrets in publishing that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son.  And damned if he doesn't have some of the old man's chops!  I don't make any secret of the fact that I adore Stephen King.  His characters are likable if not complex, and his plots are very good, spooky or not. But mostly what I admire about his work is that it chronicles the present-day so beautifully.  He really captures the current culture, in a way that it blends seamlessly into the story.  He doesn't clobber you over the head by saying things like "Susan's favorite show was 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' and she never missed it."  He's a lot more subtle.  (See the thesis I'll never write, "Chronicling Their Times:  Theodor Dreiser and Stephen King."  File that next to the other thesis I'll never write, "One Story, Two Eras:  The Wizard of Oz and The Odyssey.")

Which reminds me: one of my brother's friends had a thesis he was never to write, about how Larry of the Three Stooges was always the one who set up the plot.  The three of them would be walking down the street, and Larry would say, "We need jobs!"  (It was much better with the spot-on imitation of Larry.)

I'm zipping through books like crazy these days, between having the Kindle and two hours of subway reading five days a week.  I have about a thousand books on the Kindle now (don't tell the Amazon folks, but they're largely bootlegged), and another 300 or so saved on my hard drive.  I've been trying to alternate between fiction and non-fiction, and every six books or so I throw in a reread of something I really love.  (Last reread was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; I'm currently in a reread of Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone.)  Please buy these books.  Granted, Geek Love is kind of weird -- about a family of carnival freaks.  But Tender at the Bone is one of the best foodie books ever, easily as good as Kitchen Confidential. 

Had two dreadful sick days this week: Wednesday, I was getting over a terrible panic attack from Tuesday night -- got lost on buses on the way back from OT, dark, deserted, rainy, no bus shelters, etc.  Kept crying for an hour after I got home.  Thursday morning, my stomach fairly exploded; after something like five unpleasant bathroom visits, I fell back into bed and slept for hours.  Finally managed to eat some cottage cheese around 4, and Barry made tofu and rice for dinner.

In trigger finger news:  during my third session of OT, the therapist told me that the doctor had not simply given me an injection of cortisone -- he had done something called a "percutaneous trigger finger release," which means he basically busted up the part of the sheath that the swollen tendon couldn't fit through.  He basically did the same thing he would have done if I'd had surgery, only he did it through my skin.  That's why I had so damn much pain.  So why did I have to learn this from the OT?  I'm going back to the doctor after I'm done with OT, and I will not be wearing my Happy Hat.  The finger is still achy and bent and swollen.  The OT is lovely and exercises my finger, plus I have daily exercises to do on my own.  Love the OT.  Hate the doctor.  Also hate the bus ride home from the OT (two buses).

We are seeing as many doctors as we can before our Medicaid is cut off.  We'll be getting other insurance, but Medicaid has no co-pays for anything they cover.  We're both seeing a new psychiatrist tomorrow, since our old one takes no insurance, charges $135 per visit, and won't renew our prescriptions unless we see him again.  I think I need a slightly larger dose of lamotrigine (antidepressant) -- I still have big dips for a couple of days every month or two.  I think I also need a bigger dose of lorazepam (anxiety -- more a rescue than a preventative), since bus mix-ups make me weep for hours.

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