I've been asked to do another book review for my denominational academic magazine. yay! I really enjoy doing these.
But this book.
Oh my god, this book.
It's so bad guys.
Like so so SO bad.
It's only 170 pages long and it took me two days to read. It should have taken 4 hours, tops. I have to stop at the end of every chapter or two (every 15-30 pages) just to walk around and do something else to get my brain off the edge of a headache-cliff.
It's dense and meandering and has no point, no pragmatic purpose, no raison d'etre, no nothin'. It's word salad. Self-aggrandizing, 'look at me, I'm so smart and learned' word salad. And about as nutritious.
Almost everything referenced is over 20 years old.
And written by an able-bodied white dude.
Not that there's anything wrong with being or citing an able-bodied white dude... but it shouldn't be 95% of your bibliography. Not in this field. Not today. And there's plenty of good material in this field to cite that's, you know, written in this millennium.
It's so awful.
And so now I'm working on the review. And it's an academic thing, so I have to be at least nominally neutral-ish sounding on the surface. And it hurts.
I should get it done today and we'll see what the editor has to say on Monday.
The review was accepted with no edits. And it was decidedly NOT a glowing review. I didn't outright say that it sucks, but I did say that it was unnecessary and overblown and failed to achieve it's stated objective.
So - yay?!
Until last night. I'd fallen asleep for an hour on the couch, then decided to do chores and work, getting my brain fired up like it was morning, instead of going straight to bed. So my brain then wouldn't let me sleep.
Second ever client on Upwork ghosted me after I give her my first draft of her photo edit. She accepted it a day later with no word and left me a mediocre score with no review or explanation. Guess I probably won't find a ton of new work on that platform.
Not Michael-Bay-explosion blow up, but "something broke, you keep driving and engine WILL stop working" blow up.
First hint was a strange smell when I had the window defogger vents on. Shrugged as nothing appeared to be wrong.
Then, about a couple miles down the road (and RIGHT in the middle of undeveloped desert), "OIL/WATER" light came on, followed by the temperature gauge shooting up and the oil pressure gauge dropping.
After a little musical chairs to get my one student off the bus and onto another, I finally checked the engine bay. The serpentine belt split, which meant no power to the oil pump, the coolant pump and fan, and probably the AC compressor as well.
So I'm sitting on the edge of a rural road in front of a trailer park that faces said undeveloped desert with a dead bus - and I'm a county away from our school district to boot.
When I finally get back to the yard, I've got maybe an hour or so before I have to come back for my PM runs (because Wednesdays are early release days, and of course today is a "extra-early release" day).
And while I'm in a spare bus, dummy me forgot to check the fuel level - and realized as I pulled in to my first school that I had just over 1/4 of a tank.
SCENE: Tue eve. Grocery-getting day after getting out of work at 7p
Just coming off six days in a row at work, looking forward to having Wed & Thu off. It's rare for me to have two days off together, even rarer that one of them is a holiday.
Snowpocalypse happens Tue night, 90min grocery shopping after work turns into 3hrs, don't get home until midnight.
Wed - School is canceled, school play is canceled, kid is home again all day, spend morning and early afternoon getting things done - taxes, setting up scripts, laundry, entertain the kid, etc. After 5p start attacking the snow because still no snowblower and I am literally the only person in the house capable of wielding a snow shovel. That's not hyperbole nor being catty, it's just reality. I call off the shoveling after about 4hrs' worth* since I have now freed a path to my car and a path to the street. Dinner, admin duties, and then I finally get to play some video games from about 1-3 at which point I finally pass out.
Thu morning - Up 3hrs later at 6a. School is NOT canceled, but the plows have pushed 2 feet of icy scree up into our driveway and I have to get it cleared out in time to take the kid to school, which I successfully manage to chop through by 8. Take the kid to school by 8:30, finish up the grocery shopping, collect all the medications I ordered up yesterday, get myself some breakfast, home by 10:30a, go to bed finally fo' realz by 11a.
Thu afternoon - get back up 3p, squeeze in a shower and then it's off to collect son from school. Come home to finish shoveling. Kid wants to play in snow, tell him OK so long as he doesn't make more work for me. Kid immediately avalanches back over where I already shoveled and tramples down a bunch of places I haven't shoveled yet. Mad at kid. Send kid inside. Rage shovel for another couple of hours. Break my snow shovel. No, not in anger, just exceed its design specs. Go to store to buy new shovel. Amazingly, store has no shovels, just rakes, gloves, seeds, potting soil, BBQ grills & grill accessories, all the "Spring" stuff even though there is still like two feet of snow on the ground everywhere. Finally find a handful of shovels way over in the clearance corner and buy a new one. Get back home and shovel until at least we can't get sued by the mailman or passers-by and then that's all I've got in me. Come in, eat dinner, sit down and write this novelette, then go to bed, because by God I have to be back up by 6a in order to get ready for work tomorrow after my nice, relaxing couple of days off.
If I had a snowblower it would've taken maybe 60-90min to do everything Wed morning, and then I could've relaxed at least SOME of this "weekend." Maybe even sat down for a movie or two with the wife and kid. But no. I am completely spent, with my next day off not coming until Monday and my earliest payday the following Friday. The wife has already been put on notice that I will not be entertaining any alternate ideas for the disposition of our tax refund until after a suitable snowblower has been acquired, and that if she wants to argue that point then I will happily go and buy a second shovel, because otherwise this weather may literally kill me.
*No, not 4 straight hours of shoveling. I'm not suicidal. But yes, 4hrs spent shoveling broken up with rest, meals, etc.
So I had finally fallen asleep around eleven the other night, and like half an hour later my phone starts buzzing annoying with an emergency alert. Why the fuck are the police interrupting my sleep to tell me a young girl has been abducted by her homicidal father? What's it to me?
. . . There are apparently a lot of assholes in my province who actually think that way, to the point where they called the police to complain. I really though we were better than that. But nope. One more reason for the rest of the country to hate us
My cat's abdomen started swelling up two weeks ago, accompanied by increasing lethargy and decreased hunger. Multiple visits to the vet (lot of tests and several medications), and we still have no idea what's going on. He eventually completely quit eating and his abdomen keeps filling up with fluid (despite a draining and starting furosemide), so I'm having to force-feed him emergency food (and his meds) 4 times a day, which is both exhausting and heartbreaking.
Since my vet ran out of ideas, he sent me to a specialist/ER referral-only hospital. They're keeping him overnight and they'll be doing more tests when their internist arrives. Several of the options they floated are not treatable. Leaving him behind there really finished fucking with me. It's probably not cancer (cytology negative), heart disease (looks normal on x-rays), or renal disease (fluid doesn't match)... Possibly some sort of weirdo infection, FIP, or who the fuck knows.
At least he's not in any pain, according to every veterinarian that's evaluated him, just tired and annoyed.
Anyway, I'm $2000 in the hole thus far, and I'm going to eat my feelings dusted on a frozen pizza.
90% it's carcinomatosis throughout the fat in the abdominal cavity, with the liver probably affected, and no treatment worth trying. 10% it's lymphoma, and aggressive chemotherapy could buy him upwards of 6-12mo at a reduced quality of life. Internist advised to go for palliative because of his age and the sheer amount of cancer found. He says steroids and GI medication might get him feeling better for anywhere between a day and a few weeks (months if the DM feels kind), but it'll make treatment much harder (steroid helps cancer) so the next step is euthanasia. I don't think I want to put Ali through chemo on a 10% chance he gets a few months of fucked up side effects.
Ali's the cat I credit with saving my life, so the idea that I now get to kill him so soon after is not thrilling.
Why? It'll be the same song all over again. I'll get help, I'll start feeling better so they'll stop seeing me, and then I'm right back to this again. As it's always been for fucking decades. And nothing changes.