I am leaving for my MRI(x2) appointment in about 10 minutes. I am sitting at my desk in a shaky fog already fighting with my breath trying to keep it normal. Panic attack beginning. I am terrified of these impending tests because I HATE that burred-alive feeling the MRI induces.
Mind over matter. Yeah, right.
Anyhow, off I go and I hope they give me GOOD drugs.
Because all I do is bug Kristi, The Story Siren, about her dog and tell her I only visit her blog just for him – this is for Xander!
Happy 3rd birthday, puppy boy!
(Disclaimer: um, my voice cracked because I was trying not to laugh. I don’t normally sing like I’m just going through puberty. And my iPod nano camera, well, I need to learn where the hell the lens is so I stop sticking my fingers in it! Gah!)
(Also, this is as close to a video blog that you’ll ever get from me. I’m pretty sure. ;))
Yet another well-written and creative story from Kate Forsyth. It’s rare that you find a story where Gypsies are the main characters and focal point. This was unlike any other story I have read.
Two 13-year old Gypsy cousins, Emilia and Luca have to travel through England to help save their family from jail (gaol, as it is written in the book). Their travel companions are a monkey (ZiZi), a dog (Rollo) and a dancing bear (Sweetheart). Constantly chased by the evil Coldham, the two children must beg the other Gypsy clans for help lest their family be hanged.
Although I found the writing superb and the adventure exciting, I was not as enchanted with this book as I was with The Puzzle Ring. I might even say out of all books that I have read by the author this is my least favourite. I didn’t hate the book, I just didn’t connect as much with the main characters as I have with her other books. I found many of the characters unlikeable and can officially say I don’t really care for stories about gypsies. Not for any other reason than I’m just not enchanted by them. I also don’t care for vampires or werewolves either. I’m more of a witch/faerie kind of girl.
The best part of this story for me was Sweetheart the bear. The way she was described was eerily similar to my eldest dog, Annie. Always wants food, thinks everything might result in food, grumbles when she has to move or not get food. Sleeps on her back with all paws in the air. Also, large, black and fat. Yep, that’s Annie.
I did find the ending of the book rather rushed. It took so long for Milly and Luca to travel across country to reach each of the other Clans that it seemed that they got back to their starting point VERY fast in ONE day. And although the other families did send representation to help the kids get their family out of gaol, everything had been taken care of before they even all met up.
I believe this story was originally released in individual books (each “part” of the story) and it would be more akin of the way the Spiderwick Chronicles were released. The size of the one-volume book might be daunting for some young readers, but the story is simple and engaging. Teens might find it a little dull, but I think it’s a perfect Middle Grade read!
Ok, so I don’t mean to only blog on the weekends, but it seems to be turning out that way. Not being able to do this sort of thing during the day at work really decreases blog productivity. At the same time I am happy I am not sitting there, bored out of my mind all day. However it would be very nice if I had any downtime at work. Very high stress job and lately, with all these health things, I have been thinking about how I might need to reevaluate my career. I would love to do other things, but you need those other things to be able to pay the bills, you know?
Just to update those who might have wondered, the dogs are both doing better. We starved them for a day to make sure they had nothing left in their systems, and then we introduced food back slowly and it seems to have helped. We bought the Purina Beneful soft food to mix in with the kibble, in case Annie was having teeth problems. We’ve kept it that way all week. They each get one half of the soft food container, and two scoops (rather than 3) of the ProPlan kibble. And as always, this wet Beneful makes us want stew. They look really good! Dogs are eating better than we are. heh.
And as for me? Well, I’ve got my MRI date set – this Wednesday afternoon. In fact, the lucky dog that I am, I get TWO MRIs in a row. Yep. That’s right! (I am so going to die of a massive panic attack.) Apparently what the doctor is having them do the MRI for involves two complete MRI exams at 50 minutes EACH. (And $650 each. Ick.) One is HEAD FIRST and OH MY GOD IT WILL KILL ME!!
In January 2007 I went for my first ever MRI when they needed to look at my liver. “Don’t worry,” they said. “Your head will be out of the machine, since it’s your liver,” they said. They of course didn’t take into account the fact that I am SHORT and the only part of my head that stuck out of the machine was the top of my HAIR. Of course I panicked and I did not like the experience at all even though I could turn my eyes up and see outside. So the thought of going head-first into this machine for the first exam is terrifying me and the clinic already knows to drug me and I have a feeling I’m going to need something stronger than the last time. I am not looking forward to this. I’ll get a 40 minute break between MRI stints and then I am in for another 50 minutes where I go in feet first.
It doesn’t help that it looks like my insurance only seems to cover a maximum of $750 a year in MRI bills. At least it’s something and I am going private because I would much rather get to the bottom of all of this than have to wait 6-9 months or MORE for an appointment at the hospital. At least now, with the pain killers working, I don’t feel quite as desperate and despondent about my life. But I would still prefer to have answers sooner rather than later.
Oh, and these pills? They are miracle pills. Monday morning was the first time IN OVER A YEAR that I had NO pain. Nothing. I walked up stairs like I was a young, spry person and not a 90-year old woman. I didn’t feel like puking when I got to the top from the pain. I didn’t even need to use the railing! Wow! And this entire week has been pain-free. Only by the end of the week, well, now that the main pain is gone, my pills seem to have decided to tackle the rest of my body and my entire body is NUMB.
What isn’t fun are the sleepless nights, horrible night sweats and sort of vacant stoned feeling during the day. But I’m not in any pain, so I’ll deal. I ? my Naproxen.
Also this weekend – we finally put the nautilus gym together! Shawn is using it right now as I write this. It was taken apart after the fire, stuck in storage for a year and then just sat all apart in one of our empty rooms when we bought the house. This past Easter weekend we got around to cleaning out all the boxes and junk we still had in that room and the plan was to put the gym together before the summer. So that didn’t happen. But we did it today! I hope (now that I don’t hurt so much) to try and use it once in a while and I really should start using the elliptical machine again. Maybe when I watch TV at night? The problem is I don’t like doing something like that so close to bed time. Hmm. What to do? Getting up early in the morning to use it is so very, very much out of the question. 😉 I need to do something. Maybe now that I am not hurting as much I could go back to Curves? Of course not having to pay the $44 a month is better on my credit card, which is about to weigh an extra $1300 as of Wednesday. Sigh. I need to do something. I am starting to fit comfortably into my fat-pants. That is NOT good.
The highlight of this week will be the Girls’ Night on Tuesday. I’ll be going to see Fame with my wonderful work BFFs Maureen and Elise and Elise’s best friend Steph (whom I adore!). I am so happy! Dinner and a movie with 3 wonderful gals and I think I really need this. Next day – MRIx2 and then I might be off Thursday and Friday this week (because I have an amazing boss who knows I need some mental health time and to recover from the lack of mobility/strength/pain).
I would like to thank Yan of Books by Their Cover for this week’s IMM post because if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have had any books in the mail this week!
The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, Books 2, 3, 5 & 7. Woohoo! Now I have less to buy to collect the series. I wish that I had bought the first three when they first came out when I worked at the bookstore. I read them all on breaks (shhh, you’re not supposed to do that!) and I loved them – BUT – paying rent & buying groceries took up the bulk of my minimum wage paycheck even with the 30% book discount. Anyhow, when Yan mentioned she was giving these away I practically tackled her on Twitter saying I wanted them.
AND because she’s just that sweet and awesome she threw in her ARC of Once A Witch which (ha) I am dying to read!
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and on the day she was born, her grandmother proclaimed she would be one of the most Talented among them. Which makes it all the more difficult that Tamsin’s magic never arrrived.
Now, seventeen years later, she avoids her family as much as possible, spending most of the year at a boarding school in Manhattan, where she can at least pretend to be normal. But her summers are spent at home, working at her family’s book store/magic shop in upstate New York. One night at the end of the summer, just before her return to school, a handsome professor from New York University arrives in the shop and mistakes Tamsin for her extremely Talented older sister, Rowena. For once, it’s Tamsin who’s being looked at with awe and admiration, and before she can stop herself, she agrees to find a family heirloom for him that was lost more than a century ago. But the search–and the stranger-prove to be more sinister than they’d appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the truth about her Talent, unearth the past sins of her family, and unleash a power so strong and so vengeful that it could destroy them all.
I am very happy that the ARC has the same cover as the actual release in hard cover and it’s paperback, which makes me happy.
Thanks SO much, Yan! I really need to get my act together and send you those Irish Freckles now.
EDIT : Wow! I can’t believe I forgot to mention this! I received the FIRST chapter of Michelle Harrison’s The 13 Curses directly from her. I am so excited for this book to come out in January. This is going to be my birthday gift to myself as it comes out January 7, 2010 and my birthday is the 23rd. Yet another order from the brilliant Book Depository! The little chapter leaflet even has this beautiful cover on the front. Thanks so much, Michelle! I’m your number one Canadian fan! 😉