Books, books, books. I freaking love books!

Last time I talked about books, I was getting into Black Sun Rising, first in the Coldfire Trilogy. I didn't make it very far, I don't think. I know I didn't make it to the end of the book. The Gods they worshipped conveyed their powers through bodily fluids, which didn't really seem that... appealing? So I eventually stopped reading, and never went back. To that book, anyway...

Cormac McCarthy's The Road - Grade: A+ Hands Down. This book is just beautiful in its desolation. Even the lack of quotes in the book is telling. It was just really impressive all around, and I didn't find any parts slow or drudge-y. Highly recommended.

Orson Scott Card's Xenocide (Book 3 of the Ender series) - Grade: C. I don't know why I came back to these. I guess because my bro offered them to me? Ender's Game was INCREBILE, and life-altering, and so moving that when I finished it on a plane I used the only thing I could find to immediately express what was bubbling inside of me: the airplane paper throw-up bag. Speaker for the Dead wasn't nearly as impressive, I'd maybe give it a solid B. So here I was back again, after not having read book 2 for quite a long time. Book 3 was mildly interesting, I liked the God-spoken and the Planet of Path. But mainly, this book just drug on and on and on. And Card even split was supposed to be the 3rd book into the 3rd AND 4th books! Egads. The only thing I remember of the last 200+ pages was wanting it to be over.

Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue - Grade: B. This is the companion (not really the official sequel) to The Giver, though none of the characters from Giver feature in this novel. Lowry's style and prose is much the same, beautiful and rich. I enjoyed this book, though it didn't really evoke anything in me like Giver did, so it didn't rate nearly as well.

Orson Scott Card's Children of the Mind (Book 4 of the Ender series) - Grade: B-. Again, this book didn't compare at all to Ender's Game. That book set a standard that could in no way be duplicated. Book 3, and subsequently, 4 went way more "science-fiction-y" than the first ones did, sometimes to the seemingly absurd, but Card continued to paint his picture anyway. I again felt the plot and characters dragged, but the ending I felt nicely wrapped up the series and had good conclusions, though I don't really know how I feel about Ender's "redemption," or if he ever even achieved it.

Lois Lowry's The Messenger - Grade: B+. This book is the sequel to Gathering Blue and I guess a tie-in to The Giver? Sort of. The third book really, really made the 2nd much more enjoyable in the way it played with the previously developed characters. The storyline was pretty interesting, though the ending was just bizarre and answerless, much like the first. On that note, if you read these other two books by Lois Lowry, it decidedly and definitively alters the ambiguous nature of the ending of Giver. Asked if I would recommend the other two, I'm not sure how to reply to such a query. I think in some ways I liked it better not knowing, but in others I like had the solidity of knowing.

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies - Tentative Grade: B-. This is a collection of short stories, which I'm afraid I didn't get all the way through. The ones I did read were kind of interesting, though in some ways vapid. But that may have been the point. Before I had to give it back, apparently, I didn't get to the best stories, so this one may have to get another go before I give it a final grade.

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go - Grade: A++. One of my top 5 favorite books of all time. This was my 2nd go, and I read it aloud to Turtle. I have always said this book is The Sixth Sense in book form. The more you read, the more you figure out what's really going on. And, as this was my 2nd go at it, nothing was the same as the first time I read it, because I already knew. I especially loved torturing Turtle by stopping whenever they dropped a humongous clue, and saying, "Did you figure it out yet? Did you?" :) This is a must-read book for any list.

Brian Jacques' Doomwyte (Book 20 of the Redwall series) - Grade: B. This book actually went back to the Mossflower days, centering the storyline around one of the mischevious characters of that prequel to the first book in the series. While this was wholly refreshing, the storyline did not hold, nor keep my interest like, say High Rhulain did. So I was kind of disappointed by that. But Jacques' stories are always enjoyable, though the songs get old sometimes, and I have now read all 20 of the books in this series.

Dave Pelzer's The Lost Boy - Grade: B. This is the sequel to A Child Called 'It' which is an absolutely heart-wrenching account of a young boy being abused. This being the second installment, young David has now escaped his cruel and abusive mother and tries to adjust to life in foster care. It's interesting for the most part, though I don't know how critical I can be of someone's biography - after all, it was his life.

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore - Grade: F. This book is honestly Oedipus Rex on bad Japanese crack crossed with a stilted, wacky porno, is more of an acid-trip than The Island and wrapped up with less overall meaning than Watt. It was just, that horrifically bad. The biggest irony here is that Turtle got me this book for Christmas. Her mom's best friend (whom I lived with for two months, and we exchanged books a number of times, because we have similar tastes) recommended this book. Turtle asked if there was any sex, and she said maybe one or two paragraphs, but I could skip them. Well, I don't know what book she read. Because the book *I* read was definitely X-rated. I think there were 17 or 18 sex scenes, all detailed. Then there was the violence so graphically described I couldn't read it or I'd throw up - it was just that detailed. Then there's the disjointed, broken-down pieces of story Murakami wants to call plot. I may just not be Japanese enough to get this stuff, but nothing in this book gets explained. From the beginning where the mushroom-picking shool children curl up unconscious while their teacher watches and then wake up two hours later like nothing happened, except for that one little genius boy who's in a coma for three weeks, and then is stupider than a rock when he does wake up, all the way to the end where the 15-yr old runaway main character after all the insanity of the 48 chapters in between just decides that now that he's fulfilled his Oedipal-ness (in full I might add) he's going to go home and go back to Junior High. NOTHING GETS EXPLAINED. It's like 5x worse than watching Spirited Away for the first time. This is the type of book that makes me want to get stupid drunk and stupid high until I can't form coherent sentences and then write a book. Because it would still be better. Perhaps I'm being too critical. Perhaps I just failed to suspend my belief - but leeches falling from the sky, meeting soldiers from 1812, raping your sister in a all just doesn't work. After he relased Kafka Murkakami purportedly set up a website so readers could ask questions about the meaning of his novel, and over 8,000 were asked. He responded to about 1,200 personally.

"Murakami states that the secret to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times: 'Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren't any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It's hard to explain, but that's the kind of novel I set out to write.'" -Jacked from the illegitimate source, the Wiki

Sorry ol' man, far as I'm concerned you're just trying to rationalize the fact that your acid-trip of a novel meant something, when all I see is that you're a depraved, really horny weirdo who can't write cohesively enough to have a solid, explainable plot.

I'm done ranting. But there's not going to be a second read from me. I already donated it to my local library; only because I couldn't bring myself to burn it.

My next reads are: Richard Curtis' How to be your own Literary Agent and Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle. Mmm, scrumptious.

On the third day of walking, I went with Turtle to Disney.

But not to ride the rides or enjoy the magical experience...

To audition.

That's right. Audition for a character. They had casting today and about 300 people showed. I was number 103. Turtle found out about it, and then I decided what the heck, I'd tag along and see what happened.

We got our picture taken and measured for height and filled out this form, then we went back to audition. The audition consisted of learning a simple routine, aka dancing. Oops. It was ala parade style and we had to march 4x, do a jazz square, skip 4x, and then do two pivot turns. Simple, right? They wanted to see my personality and pizzazz in those 14 counts. Ooh la la.

Except I failed. Because I can't skip. Or really dance. Not on this leg. I can barely walk. My jazz square had spirit fingers and okay footwork, and the marching was amazing, but the pivot turns were more painful than pretty.

After the audition we sat down and chatted with some of the 280's who hadn't gone yet. Then they called us up, and oh yeah, we were in the very very first group of cuts. Granted I didn't tell any of the people that I had a broken leg and have only been walking for three days so that's why my skipping was pretty much eye-rending, only the people nearby we were auditioning with. Some said that I should have told them, but I didn't really want an unfair advantage. I hadn't really expected to get anywhere once I knew what the audition was, but hey, you can hope.

The lady who cut us went on and on about how fierce the competition is, and how we can come back for acting or dance calls, etc., and said like 5x the same thing over and over before she said we aren't keeping you. Say I'm out and be done with it.

Then as we were leaving we had to go through all the people still waiting and they totally started clapping. I'm sure to them they wanted to be consoling and congratulatory for our attempt, but it was a) embarrassing, b) patronizing, and c) wholly offensive. When they clapped the message I saw was, "Hey, way to suck so I have a better chance." Frickin' stuck-up jerks.

There were also people there who are so totally actors or so totally over-dramatic, and suddenly, I wasn't sure I all that much miss acting anymore. Some of the people just made me want to commit suicide right in front of them so they'd stop being so gosh darn cheesy and bubbly. Just settle down a bit and stop trying to behave like everyone in the entire room should be paying attention to you and only you. Eesh.

So dancing on the leg after only 3 days = fail. Better luck next time to me.

This one just happened and I had to blog it in its immediacy while I'm still laughing because it was just that good. This one's from my lil sis again. She's really good at this game.

Stas: "D, guess what? I took a math test today [Note: She's really bad at math] and there were 32 questions. I totally only missed one! That means I got like...28!"


Yesterday I went to the doctor.

And he told me everything I wanted to hear. Like that I could "stomp around" on my foot as much as I want, so NO MORE CRUTCHES!!! *Dances* He said that I am healing great and that the xrays show there's new bone growth in the leg. Only way I can break it again is if I get hit with another car. This makes me entirely overjoyed. He also said as soon as I can hop 5x on my foot without trouble I can return to sports, hiking, and other vigorous activities. I tried, and so far I'm at 0 hops. ;)

We'll take it slow. Doc says that the swelling and some of the bruising could take up to 6 months to go away completely, so I'm not done being careful. But it's nice to not have the crutches anymore; I was getting to hating them. Basically he says that the muscles in the leg are packed super tight like saran wrap, and then when you go and cut a slit in it (the incisions in both sides of my leg), when it heals again it doesn't go back together as tightly. The only major downside of this is that my leg will never fully recover it's stamina, but that will only be noticeable if I try and use it a ton. So there is no future for me in marathon running, darn it all.

That's also alot of the reason there is swelling and bruising; all the nerves and everything else has to find new pathways from the slicing when they did the surgeries.

So with that happy news under my belt, today Turtle and I headed out for some overdue geocaching (lil sis came too). We decided to make the journey on bikes, since that's easier at this point that actually walking.

And then in accordance with our "take it easy" rules...

...we rode twelve miles. HAHA.

There's just no keeping me down. I'll be at 5 hops in no time. Just as soon as I can walk normally again.

I'm not blogging, not because I'm upset or angry or pissed or frustrated or stressed or stir crazy (though I am all of those things).

It's because Turtle is here. She finally got home from Africa, and then rushed over here to see me. Because you know, Florida is right next to California, so it wasn't a long trip. :P

And we all know very well that when Turtle is here, there's no time to blog.

The last staples came out. One of them had grown with the skin so when my dad yanked it, the skin pulled apart and it bled. Awesome. The redness continued to go away as I took antibiotics, kept my foot elevated, and wore my compression sock. The bulge in my leg is also doing relatively better. So for the most part, I'm on the mend. Walking with crutches got old real quick though, not to mention that sometimes I stumble. Up until a few days ago, I hadn't ever fallen, and technically, I still haven't; but I have put full weight on my broken leg twice now, and that's not fun, or pain-free. So there is some new bruising on my ankle and my leg continues throbbing.

We finally found a doctor that will see me, after looking for almost two weeks and exhausting every source we could find. I have my first appt March 18th, so look for an update then.

Moving into my room happened a bit ago, but I never talked about it. I had my bed moved over to the window so I can look out and see the sky and trees, also had the mattress switched for the one in the guest room because the other one was too hard. Then I had the wall unit moved further down so I could get a bedside table. I don't know what it is about these, but I've become one who absolutely needs his bedside table. There's just something about having a lamp right there; my candle warmer and my radio too. Then I needed a bookcase, because, hello, books. (I still miss my 150+ books that got left behind. I don't that I will ever recover from that separation. So my dad went to wherever he has things and got out my bookcase from waaaaaay back when. Like High School. He still has it for some odd reason. It's jungle green, as was my room when we still lived in Ohio, and makes me miss my childhood. This is odd because I don't usually (maybe never?) miss my childhood. It was a pretty lonely, dark, and confusing time that sometimes I still don't understand how I made it through. Must've been the strength of the few and far between, but oh so important friend, like Emmy. We moved the Big Blue Chair over by the wall unit so I could sit close and hurt my eyes when I watch HEROES or The Sarah Connor Chronicles or play video games.

All I needed was a desk. I went with my mom to a Christian Donation Store, and my parents looked at Goodwill and IKEA. There was nothing good for a reasonable price. So my pops just built one. That's part of why my pops is cool. He built our giant playcenter in our backyard that we played on for years and years. He just does that. So he built me a desk. And when he was done, my mom was like, "Wow. That is a nice desk. If the legs matched the top, I'd buy that." Lol Well, the legs don't match, but I don't care. I have a desk now, so I have a place for my pens and my notebooks and my computer and I have a space for writing, and that's so important to me I can't even explicate it satisfactorily. It's just vital, okay?

As I said previously, I'm doing okay. At least that's the lie that I tell myself and all of you, to try and stay sane.

I'm so sick of just sitting around. I want to go skateboarding, play frisbee, go swimming, go geocaching, even run. Anything active and out-of-doors. That's who I am and what I do. I don't do sit on the couch for days on end and watch movies and read books and write a little. I did that a little in Idaho, but the option was at least there to at any second get up and go do something outside. I feel like a prisoner. In a prison that is not entirely of someone else's making. How many of these bars are mine? How tight have I made my own shackles? I just want to be free again.

One of the things I'm most sick about is the deep mark this event has left. It's like a milestone, a marker, something to measure before and after, and that bothers me. This does not rank with my mission, or my wedding, or having my first kid. This...this was a tragedy and it is a stain that I don't want around me. But it is, and I can't do anything about it. It's become a marker, and I don't know how to reverse that. "This is the first time I've done/worn [insert activity/item] since my accident." Or when my mom points out, "Those are the shoes he was wearing when he got hit." It just makes me feel ill to know that this will ALWAYS be with me. I'm not ready to be okay with that. Why SHOULD I be okay with that? I need my time to grieve, I need my time to be less than strong, I need my moments where people can scream at me, tell me to get over myself, and move on. I need that. Okay?

Sigh. This is not what this post was supposed to be about. But I guess this is boiling in my heart so I need to let it out before it becomes infected and I have to go to ER again.

Likewise, I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of telling the story. Just like when you were in school and you broke your arm or something and then you'd have to tell the story in every period, to every class, to every teacher, over and over and over. Well, now my friends circle spans continents and knows almost no bounds, and so the story-telling is indefinite. It just goes and goes and goes. And I'm a little sick of it, okay? So no offense to you if you haven't found out, or you're just finding out, and I just send you a link to my blog. I'm just sick of this damn event and I'm ready to move on with my life... that's broken, and stuck, and can't do anything normal again yet.

I'm always the strong one, the leaning post, the person everyone turns to when they have problems, and I'm fine with that. I've always been fine with that. I'll hold you, and hug you, and talk to you at any hour of any day, and I'll change your world bit by bit. But you have to realize that I'm just as human as the next, and this rant is me needing to deal with the pain and suffering, and super thick icicles that are taking over my heart. I have a right to break down, a right to cry, and a right to be pissed off about this. Just because I was hurt doesn't mean I shouldn't bleed. Just because I help you doesn't mean I can't call a time out and have a little breakdown myself. So there it is in all its whiny teenage angst.

Having a broken leg is like mashing my face repeatedly into a fresh cowpie.


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