Tuesday, September 14, 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? Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline. Benedetta "Bennie" Rosato is a successful attorney. She's more than a litigator, she's the head of one of Philadelphia's most successful firms. She doesn't like to lose. And now she's face-to-face with one of her losses: she defended Jason when he was 12 and in trouble in the juvenile system and the case went awry. Consequently, he spent his life in and out of trouble with the law and now here he is, 25 and accused of murder. He calls Bennie, because he's got no one else. Here's her chance to make it up to him.
The Rosato & DiNunzio series, about an all-female law firm, is very popular but I'm not always a fan. Two of the central characters, Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier, feel more like "types" than real women. But I've always liked Bennie Rosato, and so far she's center stage. When warned, "Don't get mad, get even," she replied, "Why should I choose?" That's my girl!
2. What did you recently finish reading? Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen MeisterPoet, essayist and critic Dorothy Parker is bored. She's been dead awhile and is haunting the bar at the Algonquin Hotel. At first when she died, she passed on Heaven because the idea of eternity with her "loved ones" doesn't appeal to her, but now she's lonely. She needs to find another spirit who would be satisfied with forever trading bon mots with her at the bar.

She sets her sights on Ted Shriver, an extravagantly talented  but scandal plagued author. He has a brain tumor and decided the surgery to remove it isn't worth the risk. His friends can't believe his decision and try to convince him to fight for life. Mrs. Parker knows the secrets that are motivating him and begins meddling.

As Ellen Meister portrays her, Mrs. Parker is sharp, sad, and witty. The plot is complicated and some of its messages are surprisingly sophisticated: about family and faith and obligation and eternity. I enjoyed it.

3. What will read next?  A biography.

When a lie becomes the truth

Rey upon his return Monday afternoon
I admit it: I was never going to attend my niece's wedding celebration next month. I went to her wedding last October -- an intimate affair in her in-laws' backyard. Seeing her happy and content meant a great deal to me. The guest list was covid-short, and I was touched that she wanted me there. 

The celebration next month will be the wedding reception she long planned. I'm happy she finally gets to realize it. I also know that, with (I believe) 150 people, I wouldn't get to see as much of her. She'll be partying with her friends, dancing to the DJ. 

And, frankly, I can't bear the thought of both of my sisters in the same room. Even a really BIG room. They don't like me, I don't like them and they only sporadically like one another. I don't need this agita.

So I told my niece a plausible lie: I couldn't afford to go because I had to help my oldest friend financially. First, my niece knows my oldest friend. When my niece was still in high school, she helped my oldest friend around the house for money. My niece understands how important my oldest friend is to me. Second, my oldest friend's life has been one crisis after another for the last decade, so what's not to believe?

Then fate intervened and made the lie true. Now I can't afford to go. 

Reynaldo needs to see a kitty cardiologist. Who knew such a thing existed? We had a very bad weekend, and I was prepared on Monday for him to rendezvous with the vet's green needle. I carried his limp, skinny body around and took him from room to room, telling him stories of mischief he'd made. I let him amble down the common hallway he used to run. I snuggled him and told him I would miss the way he squawked at me, bossed me around and tormented me. I reminded him that I have always loved him since that snowy evening we met at the animal shelter in November 2004.

We got to the vet who felt that, even though Rey is sick, it's not his time yet. Sure, he suffers from glaucoma, chronic thyroid and kidney disease, and arthritis and now a heart murmur, but his lungs sounded good and his gastrointestinal tract is OK and he was alert. Tired, but alert. 

He was dosed with intravenous fluids and given an appetite stimulant and we came back home with a referral to a cardiologist. Rey may have a good year or two left, after all. 

He started showing improvement as soon as we got back home. This morning he woke me up, complaining about his empty food dish. (And Saturday and Sunday, I couldn't get him to eat!) He's back to knocking shit over to get my attention. My dictatorial little monster is back!

But now I've got to get him to a specialist to maintain this. 

Now my niece understands my attachment to Rey. He's been my cat since she was in middle school. She and her bridegroom are also very committed to their own cats. She is 100% on board with me putting his welfare over her second ceremony.

"After all," she keeps reminding me, "You saw the real wedding!"