And Franken - I hope you are right about being past the danger zone for a dry socket. I'm still being insanely careful, though. I am still smoking ONLY with the gauze in, salt water rinse every time I eat (a gentle, tipping-the-head-side-to-side sort of rinse) and not blowing my nose or doing anything that creates a pressure vacuum in my mouth.
I'm going to call the clinic and see about getting a follow up visit. Failing that, at least another script for pain relievers. I woke up this morning and immediately downed a 5/325 Norco, my last 50 mg Tramadol, an Excedrin Migraine and 2 500 mg Tylenols.
This is getting ridiculous.
(And don't give me any lectures on how hard all that medication is on my liver or kidney. I don't give a flying fuck about my liver or kidney right now. What I care about is being able to breathe without every inhalation feeling like the air is made of chewed up glass.)
The Department Head seems to be understanding - I hope my teacher is. I've been emailing them updates every single school day that I've missed. I've gotten EVERY make up attendance assignment and other assignments in on time (or early), so here's hoping.
In other words - I have been keeping up on my end of the deal when it comes to students missing class. I really hope that is recognized. (I always have a permanent worry that it won't be. Hello, insecurity and inherent distrust in authority?)
Come on, food in the oven. FINISH COOKING SO I CAN EAT YOU SO I DON'T FEEL SO NAUSEOUS WITH ALL THIS MEDICINE IN ME.
Someday I will have dentures. Perfect, fake, wonderful dentures. That will be awesome.
Or I'll be one of those old, toothless grandmas who somehow wind up on a fetish porn site. YEAH, THAT'S A THING. THAT'S AN ACTUAL FETISH OUT THERE. TOOTHLESS GRANDMAS.
At least I wouldn't have to worry about money to feed my cats.
The Player of Games (the second of Banks' Culture books) was a massive improvement on the first in terms of clarity, structure, point, and being able to relate to the characters. The way he brought the various games to life without going too much into detail was masterful, and it described the difference between the Culture and its enemies far more clearly than Consider Phlebas, where the attempt to introduce these civilisations through a third, mercenary party (with a preference against the Culture) was interesting but - to me - unsuccessful. (I think it was his decision to have a Culture character in the story, but have her hang around without doing anything or having any insightful POV sections, that messed it up.) I'm glad I gave the second book a go because this was a proper page-turner and I finished it in two days; it was easy to tell what was really going on but this didn't ruin my enjoyment one bit.
Two peeves I still have: one - and again, this might be the formatting in my epubs, but I think it's Banks - there is never any visual or structural announcement of a change of narrators, not even an extra paragraph break. I don't understand how this got past the editors. Two, Banks really - and I mean really - loves the "(x) was like (y)" approach in describing things, literally so as there are dozens of "... was like a ..." throughout the books, but the problem is that the second part tends to obscure rather than clarify, which is the opposite of what a descriptive comparison is supposed to do. An example that brought this home well was a line where a character's hair "swooped down his robe like heavy smoke" and frankly I found hair simply sweeping down clothes a lot easier to picture than what an effect of "heavy smoke" would mean in this particular context. Gonna blame the editor for this too.
Meanwhile, Camilleri's Age of Doubt had some really unpleasant parts. The plot itself was fine, and fun, but the attempt to portray Montalbano's middle-aged Italian guy insecurities misfired horribly. Normally I'm okay with the police squad being mildly sexist in this old fashioned Mediterranean way because I don't want every story and character I encounter to follow the same value set. In this book, when the inspector falls head over heels for this hot young lieutenant and goes to comical lengths to hide this from his long-suffering long-distance-relationship girlfriend, I hoped this would come to an equally comical end and things would resume as normal.
Instead, she not only fell for him too but also had a LDR boyfriend and, in a move worthy of George Lucas, Camilleri had her shot at the end and simply give up on the operating table despite being young and fit, with Montalbano ruminating on whether she did so because she didn't want to make a choice between him and this other guy. I found this gross, and it soured the whole series for me. To make it even worse - if this is possible - Livia, Montalbano's girlfriend, never appeared in the book again after a spat on the phone. We don't see him make any amends or apologies (come to think of it, he didn't really think of her feelings throughout this whole thing either) and she even figured out the detail that helped him and the French police track down the guy that was crucial to the operation.
To top it all off, he has Mimi (who is at this point newly married and with a little kid) bang the lady who they suspect is the criminal ringleader so that he can infiltrate the gang, and the only thing Mimi complains about is how physically strenuous this is, and nothing at all about this maybe not being a great idea, or the task given to somebody else. What the hell?
Tl;dr I had a lot more fun reading Banks this time around even if at the beginning I felt like I was cheating on a book with another book. Which is more thought given to the problem of fidelity than either character in the Age of Doubt ever showed. So much for the titular doubt! Bleh.
Suffering from insomnia in the stilly watches of the night, my mind went to an article I read recently (?by that woman who just produced a whole book on her life with Middlemarch, or possibly by someone inspired by/reviewing it?) which said something like 'though Eliot was not as good on men as women' -
To which I was
(And 'But why always Dorothea?' - verb. sap.)
It adduced Will Ladislaw, and personally I have never been on board with the Ladislaw-hate (he is charming talented hot young man who is not an alpha-male type and has already undergone a significant maturation process, who is crazeee about her, what is not to like?) and Dorothea/Lydgate as OTP. Because it is our considered opinion that to a significant degree Dr Tertius deserved Rosamund because of his unthinking masculinist assumptions about marriage and what help and comfort between spouses actually meant. We are not at all persuaded that even with a less egocentric helpmeet he would be The Ideal Husband, even without the 'dissecting things is a fun way to spend evenings by the conjugal fireside' hobby.
Either Dorothea would turn into doing for him what Casaubon hoped she would be for him, only for SCIENCE rather than musty old mythologies, like those Victorian spouses to scientists who learnt German to translate relevant texts, catalogued their specimens, edited their articles and monographs for stylistic coherence, took up watercolours in order to illustrate these, and got no credit for their contributions: i.e. unpaid research assistant/secretary/PA/editor.
Or, I have just thought of an AU sequel in which Dorothea does marry Lydgate but conflict arises between his desire to Do Research and her belief that he should use his medical gifts for the benefit of the suffering poor; and that's before they find themselves at odds over the Contagious Diseases Act, 1864.
But, anyway, how can you possibly say that Ms Evans Couldn't Depict Men. Pray what gender are Mr Casaubon, Mr Brooke, Lydgate, Fred, Bulstrode, Rev Farebrother, Sir James, not to mention the plethora of vividly depicted peripheral characters from Rev Cadwallader to Raffles and the seedy low-lifes who sell Fred the vicious nag? They are just as convincing as Rosamund, Celia, Mary, Mrs Cadwallader, the landlady of the Green Dragon, etc etc.
( Spoilery thoughts for both eps )
Give me your hand out of the depths
sown by your sorrows.
You will not return from these stone fastnesses.
You will not emerge from subterranean time.
Your rasping voice will not come back,
nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets.
Look at me from the depths of the earth,
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays--
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.
Strike the old flints
to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips
glued to your wounds throughout the centuries
and light the axes gleaming with your blood.
I come to speak for your dead mouths.
Throughout the earth
let dead lips congregate,
out of the depths spin this long night to me
as if I rode at anchor here with you.
And tell me everything, tell chain by chain,
and link by link, and step by step;
sharpen the knives you kept hidden away,
thrust them into my breast, into my hands,
like a torrent of sunbursts,
an Amazon of buried jaguars,
and leave me cry: hours, days and years,
blind ages, stellar centuries.
And give me silence, give me water, hope.
Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.
Let bodies cling like magnets to my body.
Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth.
Speak through my speech, and through my blood.
Pours a very pale yellow. The head is large but fades away rapidly to a thin lacing. Lots of carbonation visible through the glass.
First sip: Bland. slightly sweet with a faint malt and grain flavour. A little hops that fades quickly. Carbonation tingle on the tongue. Mouth-feel is thin and watery.
This is a very ordinary, bland, mass market lager. Not bad but not very good, either, in that "At least it's not horrible" way. A beer to drink if there is no other good brew to choose from. It's one for a stinking-hot summer's day where you're a little dehydrated and the beer goes down fast.
Not a yummy beer.
Bavaria Brouwerij N.V.
Same again, sir? Um... no.
* If you're going to read only one thing about the Fatah-Hamas reconcilation, read Zvi Bar'el: Hebrew, English. Both are behind a login wall, but this is where I remind that a free login is still 10 items a month and in the case of Haaretz, you're really not going to get this quality of reporting from the neighbourhood elsewhere.
* Amos Harel, who's really someone who's probably praying for the reconciliation to catch, remarks - in a tone of unconcealed I'm-laughing-so-I-won't-cry - that no, really, there is no one on earth better at blowing up agreements than Fatah and Hamas when you put them together, and go on to list the many reasons this may go down in a whisper. (Hebrew, English, and the English has no login wall.)
* *quietly dies laughing* To understand the humor of the following, consider that it's modeled on ads for a recent Reality TV show in which divorced couples try to win a nest egg for their children. The show's name is "Until the end of the world".
( Today's caricature. )
Remember Me, by Danice Allen, is free in the Kindle store and from Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo, courtesy of publisher Diversion Books.