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27 September 2012 @ 12:59 am
I had plans for today!  
They included updating LJ, and going to spin. Alas, I had blood tests to find out what I am allergic to (doctor is threatening cats, I am hoping for dust, since I will continue to live with both but at least I can make a cursory effort to clean more, whereas shaving the cats is right out), after which I decided it was apparently nap time. For five hours. They didn't take that much blood!

The post points that were going to be covered include:
* The two black swans we saw moving into the Sydney Park Wetlands last year now have three cygnets. Well done swans!

* Read Sarah Rees Brennan's new book Unspoken on Kindle, due to the fact Australian bookshops seem to have declared a fatwa on it and finding an actual paper copy was impossible. My 'I wish to read no spoilers!' policy led me to overlook the fact that this was Book One of the Lynburn Legacy ('Legacy' being what the cool kids are calling a trilogy these days if my guess is any guide), and due to the fact that Kindles start reading at story page 1 rather than the fiddly info pages that come before them, I was most of the way through the book before I went 'Hang on, I don't think this is going to wrap up before this book ends.' I enjoyed it very much, especially the fact the heroine has two active and loving parents. I really hope they both survive the series so I can add to my list of Awesome YA Books with Awesome Parents, which currently stands at My Friend Flicka and Verdigris Deep (by Frances Hardinge – AMAZING book). At some point I will update my book list, which has been languishing since March and review it properly there.

* Also read Terry Pratchett's new book, Dodger, in actual book. It was a love letter to Dickens and Mayhew and the best of Victorian London and I adored it, especially the running Dickens scribbling gags. He really is the most humanist author of our times, and I am so thrilled that reviews of his novels these days ignore the genre origins of most of his work. Again, longer review will come with updates.

* The allergy thing? Mild asthma and hayfever out of nowhere. The asthma is probably post-viral from my cold, 'but you definitely have reactive airways', said the doctor. 'I'm not for them! I want them back to being lovely trustworthy airways!' I replied. 'Do you have cats?' 'Yes. Why?' 'You're probably allergic to them.' 'It's not much of a wheeze, I'll be fine …'

Blood tests today to rule in or out the most common things. I say wheeze, but I still hit 490 on the peak flow monitor, which is apparently in the top 5% of lung function for people my age or height (not sure which, doc asked for both before reading the table), to which I replied, 'I used to get well over 600! Give it to me again! I can do better!' She suggested I may be a little bit overly competitive, which is clearly ridiculous. AND she refused to arm-wrestle me.

* And finally, there were birthday wishes. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to tsosh! May you be surrounded by Colin Morgan and Bradley James look alikes who feel the sudden and inexplicable need to take their shirts off! I miss seeing you around the traps more often, but that's more my fault! Looking forward to next season Merlin as I know you will be lured back to LJ. I hope your freedom is being filled with loads of fun days, and that presents have been appearing all day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALSO to knic26! I meant to comment on your photos recently, but failed due to falling asleepness and general ineptitude. Not enough heavy books on that young man's head, that's what lets them grow so tall so quickly! Still, he can get everything down from the top shelves :-) I hope that he spends today being but one of the people who appear in front of you laden with loving wishes, fab gifts and cake!

And because it's a fab day for being born, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to gossymer! YAY for your news! I hope it is followed by even more fab presents in the form of other things you really wanted this year! May the whole year be filled with equally good news!

I am sure I have forgotten several important things, not least of which are the late birthday notes (Sassy! I'm sorry!), but I want to do a bit more work on my hols fic before going back to sleep. I have a dream of submitting one at a point close to the actual fest deadline.

Yeah, I deserve the laughter …
Dedicated Escape Artistjadzialove on September 26th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Oh how I miss you! I'll giggle all day thinking about you trying to arm wrestle the doc.

I've been meaning to read Terry Pratchett but he's so prolific it's daunting and I don't know where to start! I wonder if there is a guidebook somewhere...

Keeping my fingers crossed for dust over cats. Is it possibly something ourtdoorsy or seasonal? (For instance here, right now, we have ragweed pollen, even though it's autumn, and it has me sneezing and wheezing to a small degree.)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 26th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
There is definitely A Plant, or Several Plants, as I had a big attack of 'I cannot breathe!' last year walking down a street in spring and then actual hayfever at Easter, which is just ridiculous. After a lifetime of impeccable lungage, I expect to continue on with no need for steroids or antihistamines!

Doctor seems to think it is a few things, all of which can be controlled with drugs. And if it turns out to be cats, you know it will mean my Old Lady cats (the next generation) will be Sphinxes, so I will be able to spend my dotage surrounded by scary naked cats that will require jumpers to be knitted for them every winter!

Terry is uniformly fab, though I say this as someone who has been reading him from the beginning, so maybe you'd be best off starting with something like Dodger, which is a standalone, to see if you like his style before lurching into Discworld. Nation, his other recent standalone, is also very good, though some people didn't like it as much as I did, but I think they were just not as into politics as one ought to be.

If you want to start reading Discworld, I do think it's worth reading from the beginning, but the Colour of Magic is not his funniest book and his style develops a lot in the years after.

The Wee Free Men books are all good, too. Check out this post for the order of all the Discworld books, if you wanted to do the Wee Free Men ones separately and first, you can find them in there -- all the Tiffany Aching books: http://www.goodreads.com/series/40650-discworld
Dedicated Escape Artistjadzialove on September 26th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
That is fantastic! Thank you. I am a Dickens fan (I don't know if that's a good thing to admit or not, but it's a fact.) so I think I'll start with Dodger and I'll likely enjoy it very much.

Controlled with drugs is an absolutely doable option. As long as there are no funky side-effects, though I think today's allergy meds are pretty good for that. Maybe the next-gen kitties won't have to be nekkid, though I think we all know you're up to the challenge of creating a wardrobe for them!
Janey Procrastinatorjaney_p on September 26th, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
Arm-wrestling with docs? Quite the amusing image in my head here. :D

And I bet, even though I'm healthy, my lung-capacity is MUCH worse than yours. I compensate for that by not getting into situations where I might need it - which is making it worse, because I'm not training myself, I know. But laziness wins every time. ;)

I've run into the "Oh damn, this book belongs to a series?" trap a couple of times myself. Thing is, I lack the time for reading. Currently there are 70+ unread books on my Kindle, plus 10+ in hard copy... Reading fanfics is stealing too much time. >.>
So I'll skip your book pimping, just to keep sane. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 26th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
She did not dignify my suggestion with much dignity. And rightly so :-)

Yeah, I can't complain about my actual lung function, which is fab, but it used to be perfect! Wah! It's usually better after exercise, thankfully, but I did have one bad day where I could feel the lack of oxygen in my muscles at spin, which was what made me actually make the appointment.

I should have known. That Rees Brennan is a serieser! Though I did think that this one could have worked well as one long Wynne Jonesish book. However, I am saying that after the first one, I might believe very differently after the last!
Janey Procrastinatorjaney_p on September 26th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'm imagining right now what it would be like to make such a suggestion in jest and then it's accepted. Haha. ^^

Don't think I've ever heard of spin. And I have a feeling that the links Google gave me are not what you were talking about... What exactly is it?

Now I went and looked her up despite promising myself not to. Eeep!
Looks like it IS worth reading. Just the kind of fantasy I like... *tries to forget about it*
drgaellon on September 26th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Currently there are 70+ unread books on my Kindle, plus 10+ in hard copy... Reading fanfics is stealing too much time. >.>
I have the same problem! I have a dozen paper books (and three text books) - and my Pocket+ reading list has over 60 fics on it. Damn those Big Bangs.
Janey Procrastinatorjaney_p on September 27th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
Haha. Thankfully, I only have one fanfic series on my reader - but that one is epic and I've been reading that on and off for almost a year now. XD
It's the fic sites and recently LJ that keep me away from the reader and all its awesome original stuff. Oh well, one of these days I'll hopefully be able to take a break and focus on "normal" things again. :D
Geneva2010geneva2010 on September 26th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know there was a new Sarah Rees Brennan book - so thanks for the tip. Maybe I can stop my re-reading of Drop Dead Gorgeous for the umpteenth time and pick up a copy.
E McGeemelusinahp on September 26th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
I'm almost finished with Unspoken and enjoying it very much. I love Kami. I don't think I've read a female protagonist like her before.

And Dodger is on my Kindle. Looking forward to it a lot.
pioniepionie on September 26th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, I'm glad you enjoyed Unspoken - it's now on my wishlist. I loved the DL trilogy, but was feeling a bit old for YA lit, not sure why so suddenly. But if you enjoyed Uspoken, chances are I will.

Good effort on the lung machine! You've obviously got a fine pair of lungs on you :-D
drgaellon on September 26th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
The formula for peak expiratory flow rate accounts for both age and height, which is why she asked...

Cat allergens, unlike dogs, are not from their hair. The allergens come from their saliva. It is aerosolized on their dander when they lick their fur, but shaving them would only be of limited utility, since they'd still shed allergens, and would be miserable to boot.
Hollyhollyxu on September 26th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
My parents both have mild hayfever, and they seem to be managing it quite well. I don't know about the asthma, though. I hope it's not serious!

It's a funny thing about Sarah Rees Brennan's works - I know she's going to have some sort of traumatic cliffhanger at the end, so I'm resolved to wait for at least the next volume. Which is a silly attitude, because these are fictional characters, and I shouldn't care that much, but...

I have so many unread books but it's Pratchett! *sigh*
Hot Wheels Hannahhmufson on September 26th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
I think I have every Pratchett ever written (even the cat one) and all of the art books and the maps. So, yes, I'm a fan. But my husband and I have not thought that the latest couple of books were up to his old standard, and were wondering about this one, especially after his recent health issues. Did you think it compared favorably, or was it simply a good read that you enjoyed?

Also, my previous car had the license plate CRIVENS. My current one is SCUNNER. We are now teaching our daughter about the Stinging Nettle Fairy. We're invested, is all I'm saying.
Nennenenne on September 26th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
I think you might need a new doctor. No arm wrestling at all?
Ann: Feed Your Headtsosh on September 26th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the birthday wishes! =D
It's my fault. I'm still around, but mostly lurking.

Good luck with the blood test. I hope it's something easy to diagnose and easy to avoid.
Doctors always blame the cats, but what do they know anyway, right? people just like to blame cats for everything...
knic26knic26 on September 26th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind birthday wishes! The young man is growing faster than the weeds in the garden! I'm already asking him to reach the top shelves :D

Alas, there was not enough cake in my day, but I am about to bake 2 so maybe I will get some before the night is out!

Thanks again!
mrsquizzicalmrsquizzical on September 27th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
aaahahaha. so hilarious about the competitiveness. reactive airways. *sigh* i get that post viral, too. every time. i am also allergic to cats. i don't take any medication for it, though.
Fanartist in trainingkath_ballantyne on September 27th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
I've always had asthma and allergies though the only other person in my science class who had a better lung capacity than me was the chick who did triathlons. I think it was the not smoking thing. And the swimming. I used to be able to swim almost all of the 50m pool without coming up for air.

I was told I was allergic to furry pets, dust and pollen and there was no escaping any of them. There was about 4 months after our last pet died and mum getting a new dog where I was a bit better but I figured that if dust and pollen were things I couldn't escape I was going to have pets anyway.

Spent many, many years being so sick with the allergies that I'd lay awake at night unable to move because if I did I'd start sneezing again. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years on polaramine though it never worked very well. Once I was 17 I started taking Rhinocourt nose spray and Seritide puffer and things were much better. A few years ago they stopped working though and I changed to Phenergan 25 each night. My god the dry mouth was awful.
I'd tried the new non-drowsy allergy meds though and they didn't work and cost a fortune.

January this year the doc suggested I get a sinus rinse bottle and try that. I was skeptical but now for the first time in my life I'm not on any allergy med. I don't even remember to do it every day but the trees are in blossom and my eyes aren't itchy and I'm not sneezing all the time. I'm still taking the seritide and my lungs aren't perfect but I can walk to the post office without needing a puffer.

I'm kind of pissed that I wasn't told about the sinus rinse when I was a kid. Squirting water up my nose is not pleasant but compared to the shit I was getting from allergies it's a walk in the park. A walk in the park without sneezing. *g*

Hope you sort out the breathing thing.
valkyrie17valkyrie17 on September 27th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
I'm three quarters of the way through Unspoken, and am quite enjoying it.I ordered it through www.bookdepository.com. They have good prices and ship free all over the world. You might want to check them out when you are unable to obtain books locally:)

Looking forward to Terry Pratchett's latest.

Hope you are not allergic to your cats. I recently became allergic to mine, so have to pop an allergy pill every 24 hours...I am not giving up my grandcat.
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on September 27th, 2012 09:54 am (UTC)
"Give it to me again! I can do better!' She suggested I may be a little bit overly competitive, which is clearly ridiculous. AND she refused to arm-wrestle me."

Sin: text - quick! look normal!sinden on September 27th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
One alternate thing if you have reactive airways that may not be mentioned is bronchial hypersensitivity. It's kind of reverse asthma where your major airways get all funky because your mast cells are partying a little too hearty. They pretty much treat it the same way as asthma.
feathered_inkfeathered_ink on September 27th, 2012 10:32 am (UTC)
I will admit, the first thing I thought of when I read this was, MUST GET HANDS ON TERRY PRATCHETT'S NEW BOOK, haha. It sounds rather brilliant!

Speaking of brilliance, though, asking your doctor to arm-wrestle with you is absolute ♥ I do hope your allergies clear up, though, and that the cats aren't to blame! I adore cats but I've got a - thankfully mild - allergy to them, too, so I always end up snuggling them and sniffling at the same time. So I feel your pain!! x