January 16th, 2009

20111112, Marilee


I took the first Lyrica when I got up and two hours later I was really dizzy and a little blurry-eyed. Now, I have lots of meds that have dizziness and blurriness as part of their side effects, but none have ever done this. I thought maybe I should eat, maybe low blood sugar, and I slid into the kitchen with the wheeled office chair on the laminate and had a cheese sandwich and skim milk. An hour later, still really dizzy.

So I called Kaiser Advice and told her all this and answered her questions and then she passed them on to the doctor on call who agreed with me. It's the Lyrica. So I'm supposed to be really careful with moving around, drink lots of water to get it out of my system, and not take any more. If I'm still dizzy in 24 hours, contact them again. Advice sent a note to the new neurologist who will get it Tuesday, since Kaiser is closed Monday. I earlier sent email to the nephrologist to ask if there were anticonvulsants, generics, that would be okay to take, even though they say not with renal disease. She's not good at reading emails quickly, so she'll probably get it later next week.

I've corrected a batch of things in this post, so I may be typing weirdly tonight.

It's 12F now, and won't be much warmer tomorrow, so I'm planning how many layers I can wear to bookgroup and still walk.
20111112, Marilee

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

I put myself on the hold queueueue for this at the library because the WashPost blurb seemed stfnal. It's YA, but it's not really stfnal.

This is the story of Honor and it's in four parts (I read a part a night). The first part has her and her family coming into a new place where things are very different. The second part has her trying to conform to the other little girls. The third part has her trying to fix a mistake she made while conforming that damaged her parents. The fourth part has her searching for her parents.

This is a pretty common story and could be told in all sorts of settings, but this setting is a polemic on fascism. Goodman pulls from 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 for this -- there are very strict rules and people who don't obey them are disappeared. The old people damaged the air and water and then the Flood came and it was Earth Mother (pictures show her with a white bun, glasses on a chain, and a sweater over her shoulders) and her Corporation that fixed everything. But they also now run everything. They tell lies and control people with medication given in their water and food. Stories and songs are changed to honor Earth Mother. Honor's parents are Objectors and that's why they Disappeared.

This is clearly a story to show kids that they should be working toward individual freedom and not be captured by governmental rules. I thought she shoved Honor's story into her rigid controlled example and didn't really give us much depth. There's a lot of infodump and not a lot of truly combined story. I'd say Little Brother was a much better example of this because it concentrated on the kids rather than the controlling society. Goodman might have done better by just writing an essay. It ends at a point that allows for a sequel.

I can't recommend it because it's not melded well enough, and too many ideas are cribbed from stories we already know. Read 1984, read Brave New World, read Fahrenheit 451, read Little Brother. You'll get a better story and a better feel of the oppressive world, too.