Reading books again

I just started the new Chuck Wendig novel Invasive, and boy do I want to rush ahead and read it all tonight. I’ve skipped a bit in my reading list because the premise is so intriguing to me. It reminds me a little bit of Frank Schätzings The Swarm which is a favourite from a few years back.

http3a2f2fmashable-com2fwp-content2fgallery2fbook-lovers2funcle-fester

Reading can be difficult for me, I really have to pace myself. I used to read a lot and read really fast. It’s been years since I’ve read much at all but looking at long term disability I have to find ways to entertain myself. Before I got sick I could finish a book like Invasive in a few hours tops, and then I’d read another book just to finish off the day so pacing my reading is just annoying as hell. But if I don’t, I end up three chapters in with no idea what’s going on. I also have problems reading physical books. I read on my iPad or online via the kindle app. It’s something about the screen being back-lit that makes it easier for me to see the words.

I’m reading SHRILL by Lindy West as well right now. The book is a collection of essays so reading a chapter at the time is great. I love Lindy West. The awful thing is that I became aware of her going through one of the occasional bouts of harassment someone as visibly feminist as her do. I wish I had found her anyway if you know what I mean. She is really funny, and has things to say about acceptance and positivity about the body you have, not the one you are supposed to want. This rings very true with me. I have never managed to look the way I’m “supposed” to no matter how much I’ve dieted or exercised. I wish lifting heavy stuff was more accepted when I was younger, I was hella strong before illness took it and could have done really well with that I think.

When I’m done with these two I have a little list of authors I want to check out this autumn. I follow Pat Rothfuss and John Scalzi on twitter cause they are fun, but I have never read their books so that is changing soon. N.K. Jemesin just won a Hugo, and I’ve only heard great things about her books so she is on the list. I bought Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and I’m starting that as soon as I finish Shrill. I also have a book about the Black Death that I’m gonna ease my way into (I like the plague. I’ve accepted that I’m a bit weird.). Feel free to make suggestions of what I can read next. Just remember that I confuse easily.

what-gif

 

Getting your groove back – or something

Sometimes life is a tinsy tiny little bit difficult. I’ve just had another conversation with the disability people, and I’m wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape and it’s taking for fucking ever! It’s easy to get discouraged and down when nothing seems to go your way, and you are on your third night of not sleeping much. For me though, this is when I end up at my silliest and weirdest. These are a few of my coping mechanisms:

Reading something sad: I’ll have a really good snivelling cry (works with sad movies too). Trust me you’ll feel better after. Being a good ol’ geek means I’ll always find some  fanfiction full of angst somewhere. Crying from fictional angst has nothing to do with my own life, is for some reason pretty helpful. YMMV obviously. In the end I’ll be redfaced and swollen, full of snot and somehow feeling better anyway.

Movies: I’ll watch my version of guilty pleasure* movies; monster movies. The stupider the better. Giant fish, mutated sharks and alligators, defrosted mammoths and genetically engineered bats. Another fun activity is watching them on silent and do a bad lip reading of the thing. *I don’t actually believe in guilty pleasures, but a lot of people call them that so…

Comic books: I’ll read a new comic book I haven’t read before. I’ve discovered a lot of new stuff since I started reading comic books again. So much new fun stuff. If you want some recommendations check out Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, the Hawkeye run by Matt Fraction and David Aja, Hellcat by Kate Leth and Brittany Williams. Lots of new writers and creators to be excited about.

Internet fun: I find silly and stupid gifs, videos and memes. Cats failing to jump and falling off stuff is always good. There are a lot of creative and silly people on the intertubes. That’s how I found Nimona by the way. It started out as a webcomic before Noelle got a book deal. Following funny people on twitter, and reading fun blogs is a good way to distract as well.

Making up stories: I have a detective story in the works that I’m writing just for fun. My mom and I came up with a premise of a mother daughter detective team who solve a murder at our local train station. It’s truly ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense. It will never be published, and probably never read by anyone else either. I love silly detective stories so much, and it is fun making up stories on my local neighbourhood.

British comedy series: The obscure ones are the best. My love for the Mighty Boosh for instance led me on a journey to find out what everyone in that series had done and to gems like Snuff Box and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

My coping mechanisms might not be for you of course, people are individuals. I just think it’s good to take a time out and be silly for a while and I hope you can too. Those of us with chronic illnesses need some time to be ourselves, even if we only can manage it when we are alone or online. It’s bloody hard work being sick all the time, I think I’ll watch a monster fish in a swamp instead for a while.

Best part of the summer is starting today

Every year I watch the Tour de France. Pro cycling is the only sport I follow these days, and le Tour is the big event of the year. It’s the only sport I share an interest for with my mom. I’ve tried many times to explain why I find it so fascinating and I’ll try again here.

giphy

The history of the race is long and involved. It only stopped for war, and when war was over it picked tight back up again with limited infrastructure and barley any equipment. That’s not true today of course, the teams have budgets in the hundreds of millions each year and the support system for the 9 riders of each team in a grand tour is pretty large. There are bus drivers for the team busses, there are masseurs, doctors and physiotherapists. There’s a professional team of cooks often with an executive chef that has done his or her time in top restaurants (the riders eat and drink around 8000 kcal a day during the race). There are team managers, equipment managers and mechanics.

My mom and I were in London a few years back following the start of the tour. I didn’t manage to do much more than stay in the fanpark although I was having a good period, but my mom was following the riders down from the start in York and she really had a blast. I got a fabulous sunburn on my face as well this day. Don’t forget sunblock when you spend a whole day outside.

What I find so fascinating about the sport is the mixture of highly trained sportsmen (and women), the long long races, the fantastic vistas of wherever they are (France usually brings it to 11) and the gentlemen’s agreements that still exists in a professional sport that is over a 100 years old. The personalities of the racers, some you like, some you don’t. The team managers and owners making a spectacle. Sitting with your hearth in your throat when the big and the small crashes happens. Hoping no one gets seriously hurt. It’s not exactly relaxing but I love it anyway.

By the way, if you happen to watch TV the final day, the pro women’s team gets to race and finish with a sprint on the Champs Elysee a couple of hours before the men come in. They are savage!