Saturday, September 18, 2010

A true story

We were traveling down to the Panama Canal Zone by boat as that was where my father was stationed (by the way, his 3 daughters were born there during two earlier tours of duty). As I did not remember any childhood boat trips, I was excited and curious to find out if I would be subject to "mal de mer".

Turns out I was not. My problem was the boat not only went up and down, it rolled side to side at the same time! For a person with little sense of balance to start with, this was a challenge!

Baby sister (newly graduated from high school) was victimized. As the dutiful 'big sister' (OK, so she is way taller than my 4'8"), I got her as settled as I could with a damp cloth on her head and trash can close by the bed before going to find my father, THE DOCTOR.

Given some Dramamine, I returned to save the green sister. Ah, magic! Not long after taking said pill, her green hue turned back to its normal porcelain beauty and she dozed off to sleep.

I returned to the report the good news to my father, THE DOCTOR. Happy parent proceeded to give me the same medicine!

"But Daddy, I am not sea sick!"

"Ah, but preventative medicine is a good thing."

In obedience, I returned below to take said pill, recheck sister's comfort, and read.

That, good friends, was about the last thing I remember until shortly before we landed. No joke, I slept for 3 days and 3 nights (trip took 4 days). (Little sister was never again sea sick. And I missed a lot of really, really good food!)

Moral: Sometimes my father,THE DOCTOR, was fallible. Sometimes preventative medicine is not a good thing. I dearly love my father, THE DOCTOR stories! ('Just wish he was still alive to share the laugh.)

My Father, the doctor

He said "preventative medicine is a good thing." I know, you didn't have a father to say this. You've read it. You've heard it. So why am I talking about it? Because they are talking about it right now on TV.

I have probably lived 35 years past my father's best expectation because I listened to him. I found good doctors that will communicate with me.

The number one killer of women is heart disease. It took my grandfather and father. I've had high blood pressure since my early 30s and have been treating it that long. I never could check my blood pressure with a cuff and stethoscope but when my doctor told me about new machines that didn't require a stethoscope, I got one. I used to use it daily. Now I listen to my body all the time and know when I need to check it daily and keep a record for my doctor.

Ah, they just said it....listen to your body and push your doctor to hear what it's saying. If you have a doctor that does not listen to you, FIRE THE DOCTOR! The program is called "Speak up to save lives". That's your job, to speak up.

Did you know that women do not exhibit the symptoms you have so often heard? Check it out! Knowledge can save your life. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU, YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO THINK ABOUT IT!  My dad's first heart attack was in his early 30s.

Take care of yourself! And share what you learn with your family and friends!

Why do so many books I read get such high ratings?

Easy...I read books I expect to really enjoy! Why else take the time to read (or listen) to them.

But how can you rate a book like say The Kitchen House as highly as The Secret History of the Pink Carnation?

Again, easy. They are different genres. Think of it like would you compare a great steak with a great pie? I wouldn't. I would appreciate each in it's own category. Like food, my book appetite varies. Consequently, my expectations start high (5) and if they meet my expectations, that's what they get. Rarely do books go below 'good' which means just that...I enjoyed them for what they are but...

Do you ever give anything less than a 'good' (3) rating?

Unfortunately, yes. It makes me sad when I do. Sometimes even angry. I've wasted time I could have spent with a book I could have really enjoyed! I wonder at my could I not have seen before hand this would not meet my escapist need? Why didn't the person that wrote the blurb write the book? What happened to my writer who normally gives me so much pleasure?

One didn't ring, it clunked but I couldn't figure out why. It was after all, 'fiction'. Half way through the book, I read every review I could find; every interview. Everyone else liked it. What was I missing? I read some more. Still not likening it but still wanting to like it. Then I researched the historical foundation. I talked to my 90yo mom about human nature of her youth and what she had learn about what it was like for her parents. Now I knew why the story did ring for me.

FYI, it is permissible to dislike a book. It's also OK to write a negative review. Reviewers should try to explain why it was 'amiss' for them. Authors should not take personal affront as the review just one person's opinion about the book, not about the writer.

I really want to enjoy books I read! I want to share my excitement as I do! When I do get into one that does not come up to my expectations, I will share that with you...hopefully with good reasoning for my opinion and with the knowledge that I may be in the minority. Sometimes broccoli is really good, but some times it just tastes bad!