Tuesday, September 20, 2022


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

1. What are you currently reading? Orson Welles by Barbara Leaming. Orson Welles was one of America's most complete Renaissance men. Actor-writer-director-painter-magician-puppeteer. He was also a mess. He could be no other way with the childhood he endured. He was so favored by his parents that they seemed to feel nothing but relief when told their other child died. His mother had an affair with a local doctor who was as obsessed by toddler Orson as he was with her. His father was business wiz with a drinking problem and wanderlust. Told by adults , almost from infancy, that he was a genius, Orson was never one of the gang, never able to relate other kids.

As I post this, he's still in high school. I can't wait till he gets to Broadway and then Hollywood.

Welles was complicated, glorious, and grotesque. Barbara Leaming is a good and sensitive storyteller. So far, this seems like a good match of author and subject.

2. What did you just finish reading? For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing. The halls of Belmont Academy are filled with unsavory people. The students are so driven to get into the right college that they will do anything -- including blackmail and bribery -- to raise their GPAs. The teachers resent their wealthy, entitled students, and they aren't crazy about their fellow educators, either. The parents never let anyone forget how rich and powerful they are. Oh yeah, and at least one of this illustrious crew is a serial killer who successfully racks up quite a body count.

The plot is filled with shocking twists and turns. The setting is insular, which ratchets up the paranoia. And yet, I liked it but didn't love it. I think the problem is that the bar was so set high by the first book I read by this author: My Lovely Wife. That had a delicious wit that's missing here. 

I'm not sorry I read it. I'm just sorry I read Downing's better book first.

3. What will you read next? I don't know.


Home run #31

My favorite ball player Anthony Rizzo had not been on the field since August 31. First he was experiencing back tightness, then he had a botched epidural an epidural that did not go as expected, resulting in crippling migraines. He then endured a blood patch, a procedure where his own blood was injected into his back to seal any leaks caused by the botched epidural.

But Sunday, he was back with a boom. After 18 days, he went 3 for 6, including his 31st home run of the season. I saw it on my phone from my bed in the ER. It made me so happy and distracted me from the scary business at hand.

Celebrating #31 for the cameras

So how was your weekend?

Friday night into Saturday I had terrible abdominal pains. I had to pace, take meds, and soak in a tub before I could finally get back to sleep. It was my fourth consecutive night of this. My doctor did not believe I was in imminent danger but understood how frightened I was. So she recommended a CT scan of my gut, and since her urgent care didn't perform them on Sundays, sent me to a local ER.

I ended up being there for 8 hours.

For those of you who wonder what I look like, here's a self portrait

Lots of tests, two bags of fluids and the prescribed CT scan later, and a kidney stone was discovered. Just one. But it's nowhere near my kidney anymore. It moved and lodged in the ureter. No wonder I hurt. 

I have meds to take and lots of water to drink and hopefully it will break apart on its own. I have an appointment next Monday with a urologist. And I'm seeing my doctor this Friday to discuss the CT scan. It seems a pancreatic abnormality was revealed. No one can tell me what it is without an MRI. I'm trying not to freak out. Naturally my mind jumps ahead to pancreatic cancer. That would explain my months long lack of appetite. 

But I shouldn't jump ahead. My GP thought I had diverticulitis when she sent me to the ER. WebMD led me to believe it was IBS. No one predicted kidney stones. So maybe the predictors are wrong this time, too.

But I am scared. And tired. And overwhelmed.