Friday, November 30, 2012

On not buying books

I've made one of those impulsive decisions that seems  like a good idea.

I have decided - from now and for the whole of next year - to not buy any books.

Any books at all.

Not a one. Not from bookstores, or book depository, or amazon, or charity book sales, or the library sales ... well, you get the idea.

We're saving for a big move, probably at the start of 2014, from where  we are now to near where Jeremy's parents live. I'm simply transferring offices rather than jobs, so it's going to be costly, which means that sacrifices have to be made.

The good thing is that we have an excellent library here, and I have more than enough books on my own shelves to keep me occupied for the next year.

For MORE than the next year, let's be honest.

So. No new shiny books for me for a year or so.

That'll be challenging. :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Boy Meets Boy short review

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Paul is a pretty average teenager. He goes out with his friends, he goes to school, he takes part in extracurricular activities.

He has problems of course, like any teenager. His – closeted - friend Tony can only go out if his extremely religious parents think he’s going out with a girl. Paul’s best friend Joni keeps going out with the wrong guys and his ex-boyfriend Kyle has issues.

Then, of course, there’s Infinite Darlene, homecoming queen and star quarterback.

And then, Paul meets Noah. The Boy. And everything changes.

I sped through Boy Meets Boy yesterday. At 185 pages it’s a quick read, and Levithan has a nice writing style.

Paul is engaging as a character, moving through his somewhat charmed life pretty easily, and his somewhat rocky relationship with Noah is sweet.

I did have a couple of issues with it – Jodi’s boyfriend Chuck through most of the book is basically a caveman, and she does a terrible thing to Paul that I don’t think was properly dealt with, but perhaps I should be philosophical and say something like, well, not all loose ends get tied up.


A few weeks ago, I read Every Day by Levithan, which I recommend to everybody – it’s original and heartbreaking and all of the best things.

Boy Meets Boy – as far as it goes – is a sweet, somewhat tender coming of age love story, if a little problematic in some of the finer details.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On cats

It's been nearly two months since I blogged anything. Well. How about that.

There's been no real reason for it, that I can pinpoint.

I just ... haven't. However, I've found myself missing it lately, so here I am, back yet again, with a post about cats.

Well, sort of. Some cats. Some of my cats.

We lost one of our cats  a few weeks ago. Scout - in the picture to your left - had been losing weight at a rapid and alarming rate. She'd always been a big-boned girl - at least dating from the time she spent about a year living in my bedroom because of anxiety (that's another story) - so the extreme weight loss was concerning.

So I booked a vet appointment and Jeremy duly took her out to be checked under the hood.

The most likely cause of such extreme weight loss, the vet said, was lymphoma. They would open her up for exploratory surgery and if indeed it was that, they would simply not bring her out of the anasthetic.

And ... so it proved. My poor Scout had been basically starving to death because the tumour pinched off her gut. Her end was - at least - pain-free but by gosh I miss her.

It's the first time we've ever had to make the decision to have a pet euthanised, and although there was no other decision to be made, and it was on poor Jeremy's shoulders to make it, it's still a very, very hard way to lose a beloved pet.

Scout was eight years old. We got her from a pet store that has since closed down, when she was about 7-8 weeks old. She was a loving, if shy, cat, who's biggest joy was pinning a human down and 'munching'/'making biscuits'/'kneading' (whatever your preferred definition) until she looked slightly glazed. She would then settle down and fall asleep.

RIP Scouty. You were secretly my favourite. (Don't tell the other cats.)

Bracketing this small tragedy we had two cats - Casper and Misty (both elder statescats of the household) in at the vets for teeth removal/cleaning, and Misty somehow managed to get a laceration on her tongue. We still don't know what happened, and she's still a bit unhappy with us (she had the surgery on Tuesday.)

So it's been a pricey and sad month in our household cat-wise, this month.

"Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place."- Paul Gray