Tuesday, April 05, 2011

While "Waiting to Happen": Reading Recommendation of the week

Onward! Today I caught up on sleep, and slept in for the first time in several years. I hear that this is common with an increase in pain medication as the fatigue builds up when the pain brings me awake. Also, due to being weak from a long series of seizures on Friday (I think?), where Linda found me fallen on the floor in the study and having seizures. I continued having many more which made the weekend, my ‘rest from the hospital time’ instead a ‘strange bruises and exhaustion from seizures’ time. Also in the final weeks of life, a person sleeps more, but I have decided to go with the ‘fatigue’ theory, and decide that after several years of 'go, go, go', one day of sleeping in is okay, particularly as I couldn’t get up (I was supposed to go to boxing, but was unable).

It feels like life is waiting to happen. My body simply doesn’t have the stamina to cut corners or push myself anymore. Things take how long they take, whether that is 40 minutes to pee, or an hour to eat a meal. And I need to sleep eight full hours and have a 2 hour nap. If I don’t, I simply can’t get up. Plus, cutting corners means my heart fails for the last six hours of the day. I do not recommend this.

In order to have enough energy to keep my heart beating in a way that does not tax or stress my other body functions, I can only do one thing a day. And even then, I can accidentally go over. It is hard to relax.

Saturday I matched postcards, but was unable to stamp them because of some sort of fatigue which occurred (my memory is blurry due to seizures from around then). So I will work on them this week. Did you know that with Linda and Cheryl’s help I did 220 postcards in March? This means more than 6,000 individual postcards have been posted. Many postcards sent this month were from readers who sent in the best (and lest I get attached, out they go again), some were museum quality ones I got from an estate, and some were saved to send and beat back the grey ‘blah’ which exists between winter and before the arrival of spring.
Linda and I have been working on an ebay auction of some of the manga sets as well as Region 2 and 4 DVD’s which will start in auction on Thursday. I hope this will help provide some emergency funds for after April and help me get some supplies in Seattle (as due to a special 'grant a wish', I am going to Sakura-Con, as much as that is possible for me). Though I am still waiting for my celebrity make-a-wish, which was a baby oil massage by Angelina Jolie OR giving corporal punishment to the head of Ex-Gay ministries. I don’t know why he won’t, as it is for a poor dying nun (well, I’ve sex cosplayed a nun), and I’m calling it ‘reparative therapy’. Until then, saving for the Seattle supply run of shopping.Due to a year and a half economizing, there are many things which are needed:

a) haircut – I have my hair in braids all the time due to tangles as I had my hair cut last for last year’s Sakura-con
b) panties – down to three pair, and two are the kind which one is advised not to end up in the hospital in (Go go Victoria Secret!).
c) Socks – two pair, these two pair are gifts from the last time I asked if anyone would make socks for me. I have tried to make them last as long as possible, as I don’t want to have to ask again, but I really, badly need a few new pairs of socks
d) Melon and Lumina soda: this is japanese flavors of soda available at KK, a Japanese store in Seattle. I also get the stickers I send on postcards there.
e) Toothbrushes: something good to have after a year. My bristles are all flat...odd that.f) Sleepshirts – I have three sleepshirts, which are two years old, so I am needing some more, as when I combine hand shaking, neuropathy and food and you can imagine the problems over time.
g) Summer tops – The Edema isn’t going away, so I need a few new tops which are comfortable but also 'cool' saying stuff like: ‘Halfway in the grave, and if you piss me off, I’ll take you with me!’ or ‘Zombie Busker: Brains much appreciated’ ("Zombie Grad Student: REALLY need more brains")
h) Olive Garden: Linda loves the Olive Garden, which is on the way to Sakura-con, and I want to treat her to the lunch buffet ($7.99). She does a LOT for me, so a favorite lunch in a strange and foreign land (Tacoma?) seems a start to the thank you's.
i) Earrings: I seem to have 12 of one earring in a set, where the others have gone off to, I don’t know, I think emo boys keep sneaking into my house and taking them (girls would take both earrings, right?).
j) Hair Conditioner: I have ‘baby fine’ hair due to the Autoimmune disease so I have to use a specific conditioner good for baby fine, with tangles and delicate hair (I make this last by using it once a week and then braiding).
k) Old Navy: Linda has already been working at her part time job for the conservation, weddings and concerts at the Saint Anne’s Academy, which requires her to have some new professional tops, best picked up at Old Navy in Seattle for $5-$12.
l) Red Vines: Sometime during my seizures, I suddenly twigged to needing Red Vine liquorice. Since I don’t get hungry, I assume that the portion where my like of Red Vines lies in my brain got zapped, turning on the idea of a ‘good taste’, though I taste very little at all.
m) Haribo: from the gummy bears, to the balckberry and raspberry gummies, I love the Haribo products, and they are ‘fat free’. And work well as if I don’t eat every few hours a little, I get low blood sugar, also, sugar helps me boost my blood pressure at times when I can’t take another heart pill or caffine.

So, that is part of my big shopping trip, which I am raising funds for by selling DVD’s of military, crime and series from Amazon UK, as well as some rare complete manga sets I have been keeping for reading. There will also be some Graphic Novels, if there is time to prep to sell them, yaoi, action, Viz Signature line.

My reading recommendation this week is Chew: Taster's Choice, which won not only best indie graphic novel for 2008-2009 but also every significant award out there from the Eisner to the Harvey’s. I typically don’t recommend US graphic novels because they aren’t tightly written, mind blowingly good, like this one. The two authors decided to not go the commercial route but write again and again, books until one got published that was so good it immediately went on the New York Times Best Seller list. On Amazon, it has an ‘intro’ price, and is part of the 4 books for the price of 3 offers and can combine with regular fiction, manga or graphic novels, so if you want to try something humorously different with your spring/summer reading, pick up volume 1 of Chew for $7.50. (for those who want some other graphic novels on the 4 books for 3 offer, the Victorian True Crime series might tempt, like The Borden Tragedy: 1892 (Treasury of Victorian Murder (Graphic Novels)))

The tale Chew is of an alternate USA, where SARS spread, making chicken illegal, and poultry the hottest illegal drug out there, with ‘Speakeasy’s’ where chicken can be eaten, and new crime bosses who control the golden nuggets of the east side. And our hero, Tony Chu, works vice, who left drugs for the big bosses, the chicken smugglers. Tony’s brother is a famous chef, who went loco on his TV show one day, ranting about chicken conspiracies, while his partner John believes that all bosses who shout too much are due to pent up mano-a-mano sexual tension (a theory which comes up in stake outs, and John’s bed). Thow in the F.D.A. (now more powerful than homeland security), a Russian Telescope, Arctic Vampires, and a one sided crush between Tony the Cipopath (he connects psychically to what he eats…including victims or perps) and a newspaper food reviewer who can make people taste the food she writes about and you’ve touched the first dozen pages. It’s that tight, well written, and doesn’t say what a picture can tell and vice versa.

For those who enjoy a well crafted non-linear narrative, I recommend finding Lost At Seain your library or from Amazon. It is from Oni press, and is written by the author of the Scott Pilgrim books (or movie if you saw that instead about defeating the ‘evil ex’s’). Lost at Sea is about THAT road trip, the place and space in life, when you are with people, who seem to be bonding, or buddies and you aren’t. Indeed, you are lost at sea and only going because you don’t want to arrive. The book has a non-linear story telling that stays with you, and gives name to that emotion you feel at the end of the day, when you avoid the conclusion that lying in bed offers. It is stark, clean, engaging, and is read with pathos, seeing your emotions or life acted out in the pages of another’s hand.

A thanks to many people over the last three months. To let you know: If you use the Amazon links embedded in the post or wishlist link up on the right, Amazon gives me a gift certificate in 90-110 days with a total of couple percent of total purchase ($14 for example). This month, the first I got a certificate, that meant I got a graphic novel at the end of the month (4 days ago). Thank you everyone very much, I will pass it on as a gift when it arrives and is read. When you use the link, whether it is a gift for me or others, or shopping for you, anything you get from Amazon (for you, for others) for 30 minutes after using the link is credited a couple cents to the future gift card. I only have the Amazon link as I buy from Amazon, they have free shipping, I send Amazon gifts, buy with gift certificates and they have excellent customer service and returns. And this way, you can 'give' a gift to Linda or I if you chose simply by buying through here, or not.

Films and DVD’s next time. I just watched the BBC Sherlock and have a keen desire to a) avoid London traffic and b) see if I can get ‘acute thinking’ with nicotine patches.


Vanessa & Gang said...

I'm glad you got some sleep. How are you feeling? I'll try to see about sending some of the things you have on your list.

Ty for the book reccomendations. I enjoy reading the books that you've liked. You have good taste. :D

Tina Russell said...

Ohhhh, thank the Lord! After the last post and then not hearing from you for a few days, I thought you might be dead. I know, I worry too much; it’s my job to cherish you now rather than worry about later.

I haven’t been to the Olive Garden in a long time... I want to go, though, because I love love love Italian food and buffet restaurants. Whenever I finish a big project, I pig out on fried chicken at Izzy’s. I’d love to do that with Italian food sometime, mmmm.

When you recommended a graphic novel called Chew, I was kind of hoping it was a vore comic (hope springs eternal!). But, chicken smuggling sounds good. But... I don’t know, the premise sounds too clever for its own good, like it’s going for broke on novelty (or “edginess”... but with chicken). Maybe I’m just jaded, though.

As for the other one... I don’t know, I read the first volume of Scott Pilgrim because I’d seen the author’s art style and loved it, but the comic disappointed me because it seemed kind of shallow (relying on retro game chic... and I’m a gamer) and misogynistic (women are prizes to be won, yep). It’s hard to think of reading something of his again, being drawn in (errr, so to speak) by the art style and then being like, NO, there are major shortcomings of the premise that bug me. Whatever...

I hope you have a good week, Beth! Much love!


Noisyworld said...

I'm very glad that sleep is coming easier, if for all the wrong reasons :(
Please let me/us know how to find your ebay auction, when it's up and running, it's my birthday soon so I'm sure I can convince somebody to buy me stuff as your taste in so many things is impeccable :)

Lene Andersen said...

I was really worried after the last post. Of course, I still need to worry, but it's so nice to see you posting again.

6000 postcards? I remember when you started, your goal was 1000. You are absolutely amazing!

please post a link when your eBay sale start - I'll definitely buy something to contribute to the trip. And I really don't understand why Angelina Jolie won't give you a massage. if she does, make sure you take pictures. ;) (I'm straight but would make an exception in her case)

Bonnie said...

I'd pay very good money to see the head of Ex-Gay ministries get a public flogging!

Neil said...

Not too impulsive, please, Beth. Nicotine patches aren't necessarily a good thing. ^_^

I'm not sure I can get into any of those books, but I'll reread the post, and see what I can find in the library. I did get season 2 of Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles out of the library, but just couldn't watch more than one episode at a time. I'm finding that I just can't sit and watch television any more. Weird.

I'm glad you got some sleep. Now, if you can get another good night's sleep and still wake up, that'll be even better. Then lather, rinse, and repeat. Um, so to speak...

Love and zen hugs,

Tobi C said...

I second Tina's huge sigh of relief. I am so glad you are even a little better, although I know you aren't telling the whole story. A bit of sleep is better than the alternative, that's for sure. I hope it lasts for a good while, and that you have a burst of energy for Sakura-con.
I am curious - what/where are the Japanese-looking line drawing postcards from? They're really intriguing and unusual-looking. I am going to pilfer your photo and put it on my desktop!
May you be peaceful, may you sleep well.

wendryn said...

I'm so glad to read this! I'm glad you are still here & glad that you got some rest.

I will see if I can find the books!


cheryl g said...

I am so glad you slept and slept in. Your pain has been so extreme and the fatigue has been growing. After the long seizure cycle I am not surprised you slept a lot. That is a fairly common reaction in the post-seizure state. It is easy to over do and when the pain is draining your strength it makes it worse. That’s why I am hopeful that the increased and different pain meds will help so your energy can be used for other things.

Interesting that the brain focused on Red Vines. Interesting because I bought some Red Vines the yesterday to bring over to you.

The reading and watching recommendations all sound really good. I do advise against the nicotine patches. I also can’t endorse the 7% solution Holmes used.

Baba Yaga said...

Sleep is good. Pain medication is good, too: I hope I read rightly that you've managed to come by more.

Pain, of course, is lousy. I'm not too struck on the seizure business, either: I'd hoped you were having fewer (and feared that they'd got to be so routine you'd ceased mentioning them).

Making your clothes last because you'll only be needing them for so long? But tuthree pairs of knickers and socks ain't enough. I'd offer, but I'm just not a sock knitter: a couple of inches in and I'm already screaming for mercy. My last (possibly also final) attempt at socks went to be reincarnated by someone who didn't hate the very sight of the yarn as much as I did, only half way to the ankle...

Imagine the you-tube phenomenon that would be a fillum of you, flogging the head of Ex-Gay Ministries.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Added some postcard project stickers and stationery to the wish list - if you want non-postcard project stuff, just scroll down, or go to page 2.

Vanessa: I am feeling pretty punk but hanging in there. I really recommend Chew, it is kicking, book 2 is good as well.

Tina: Well, I've found that the difference between preparing to die and the final dying stage is one allows me to write about dying and the other keeps me too busy trying to stay alive. Which is why I wanted to write about something other than dying (as I get that 24/7 now).

Thanks for the concern. Is Izzy's slang of Olive Garden? Chew actual has vore, but I would recommend, I, Zombie - about a zombie P.I. who needs 1 brain a month for her to keep active. There is some vore in Chew though. And some in Wormwood, another tongue in cheek, graphic novel illustrated by the wonderful Ben Templesmith.

I think Chew is simply the best written book I have seen in this genre, it doesn't explain the chicken aspect, you have to figure that out for yourself (or reread a few times like I did).

I fail to understand the shortcomings of the premise of Lost at Sea - if you have a problem with Scott Pilgrim, well, it is sort of like saying the Raven is crap because you disagree with Poe's essays on the afterlife (Which are pretty out there). But I just make suggestions, I just think the energy spent avoiding them could be spent reserving them at your local library (Chew wasn't sadly, but Lost at Sea was).

Elizabeth McClung said...

Noisy: the ebay auction starts Thursday and adds on Sat for over 50 lots, including a bulk lots of Yuri (girl/girl manga), Yaoi (boy/boy love), Shojo and One shots (first manga volumes and complete volumes in one) and Shonen (action manga). But also many out of print sets including W Juliet, Queen's Knight (wonderful, but strange how now the last few volumes are so pricy to get!), and a favorite like new 'Boy Princess', which got me searched at customs for bringing a volume through, by six customs officers on the basis that yoai and gender bender equals child porn. It is a tale of romance, dash of comedy, court intrigue and such - like if Princess Bride was told but the 'Princess' was the younger brother of the sister who ran off with the gardener.

Lene: I was worried too! Yes, 6,000 and still going. I try to avoid publicity as I can't afford to sent to 100 new people simply because they read about it. But I try to get the postcards out, slower but still going.

Bonnie: Oh, so would I!

Neil: well, you might try anime, as it is 22 minutes each, perhaps your attention has gotten shorter? Sometimes I find what I can watch or not depends on mood. I hope they have these in your library, my only sadness in finding good graphic novels is a) reaching the end and b) having to go to bed - I should continue with a flashlight under the covers.

Tobi C: They are a gift from someone in Japan, but I can't get more. I love them also, which is why I got rid of them, do you want me to send you the enlarged photos of them - that is why I take photos of the postcards, so I have a record of all the LUSH postcards that come through - I like the British Sign Language tapestry card too.

Tina Russell said...

No, Izzy’s is a buffet restaurant chain in the northwest US. I should’ve remembered that it’s regional and I needed to explain it, urp...

As for Lost in Sea... no, I didn’t see anything wrong with the premise at all, it’s more like I’m biased against Brian Lee O’Malley now from my earlier experience. It’s like, I don’t want to be drawn in and disappointed again. It’s more emotional than rational.

Raccoon said...

Chew sounds a little bizarre.

Some great-looking postcards. I like the two silhouetted girls with epee and the catacomb.

I like the concept of fatigue. Isn't it strange that cutting corners is supposed to make things easier and less stressful, but instead does just the opposite?

I'm looking forward to both the DVD reviews and seeing what you put on eBay.

Aviatrix said...

Sleep is good. I'm glad you have a chance to catch up. Do you like thick fuzzy socks or sleeker ones?

Elizabeth aka blah-blah said...

Just want to say YOU'RE ONE AMAZING woman! I came online to find a picture of giant redwood, and ended up reading your blog for an hour. (Isn't cool to find out how someone actually gets to a blog?? Anyway...) I love your attitude, your biting wit, and your honesty. Thank you for sharing!!

Tobi C said...

Beth, I would love it if you could email me the photo of the Japanese line drawing postcards, if and when you are up to it...for some reason I can't download the picture from your blog. Grr.
I hope you are having a relatively-problem free couple of days.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Socks: I need thin ones for day night time, when the feet can't get rid of heat and thick for daytime when they are on the cold footplate of the wheelchairs. I wear a 11 UK/43-44cm/13-14 US womens/12 US mens

Thanks, I have been out for a day after boxing, and busy that a day and half for the whole day before for ebay.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Most pro'bly why you're in a wheelchair: you have that lesbian tendency which is FAB-YOU-LOUS for the world ruled by the Liar. Not so for God. God doesn't want that. God wants you to be free. Free to join Him in Heaven without mortal sin. Meet me in the Great Beyond, girl, where I will definitely kiss your adorable feet, as we move on to my BIG-ol party-hardy celebrating our resurrection for years and years. God bless you.