Tuesday, March 30, 2021


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.  

1. What are you currently reading? Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello. Psycho has always fascinated me. It's a beautiful film about a repulsive subject. It's made with more craft and care than any other "thriller" or "horror" film, but it doesn't back away from its subject matter: murder, incest and necrophilia. Will, the moderator of our classic movie group, always says Hitchcock's genius is infusing every day situations with danger. What's scarier than Psycho's shower scene, where we're all reminded how vulnerable we are every damn day? But I think it's more than that. Hitch is perverse, and he suavely seduces us to join him in his twisty worldview. I think Psycho is the ultimate example of this.

Rebello admires Psycho, too. This book reports how the classic was made without much editorializing. It's about how the material was turned into a movie, without re-reviewing or analyzing it. I'm so glad. I'm enjoying the journey as rather top-line newspaper reports about the Ed Gein case became Robert Bloch's novel became Hitchcock's masterpiece.

2. What did you recently finish reading? The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Oh, this book! I liked it, but I wanted to love it. It's about Lucy and Josh, two highly effective executive assistants who are stuck sharing an office. They become competitors who can't resist pushing one another's buttons and their rivalry festers into obsession and then slowly blossoms into lust, love and genuine friendship. 
I've had workplace romances and appreciate how delicious and dangerous this situation can be. I liked these characters. I cared about what happened to them. And that's why I got frustrated with the book. There is so much foreplay I actually got bored. I didn't think that was possible, but after a while I no longer cared about who bit whose lip. Maybe it's because I personally prefer tongues to teeth, but It felt less like romance than a how-to manual.

But the bare bones of this story is very good -- poignant, realistic and involving. In addition to the romance, there are some nice moments between Lucy and her mentor-boss. I just wish a good editor had taken a blue pen to it.

3. What will read next?  Something frothy. I'm enjoying the Psycho book very much, but Psycho is well ... more than a little dark!


I helped set a new record yesterday! I got my first Pfizer yesterday, along with 2,159 other Cook County residents. 2,160! Woo woo! By contrast, the community college makes 540 appointments every day, so 2,160 vaccinations is quite an accomplishment.

Unfortunately, it took 3 hours.

The problem wasn't with the County or the National Guard. Troops converted an empty Kmart store into a vaccination center and then handled crowd control and registration. They did everything except put needles in arms, and they did it all with kindness and grace. 

The problem was with us. 20,000 appointments (almost 10 days worth) came available on Sunday at noon. People had to wait so long to book an appointment that they clicked "yes" to whatever time came up ... whether they could get off work or not. Then everyone showed up at lunchtime.


No one with an appointment* will be turned away. After all, the goal is to get as many shots into as many arms as possible. So I understand it. I get all of it.

I am part of history. I'm taking it all in. This is, hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I want to learn from it.


*In Illinois, you must be in an approved group to get an appointment. I'm 1b -- under 65, but with an underlying condition.