March 27th, 2017


Your responsibility to strangers? (Weight loss)

Last week when I donated blood, I had a conversation with the tech drawing it. She told me how good my veins were, and I told her I thought that must be because I had lost weight, that they used to have to take it from the back of my hand because they could never find one at my elbow. She asked me how much I had lost, and I told her. As usual, she was all smiling and happy for me and asked me if I was happy, if it had changed my life, all the same questions everyone asks.

I'm so tired of lying about that. Everyone who asks that always asks with a big smile. They want me to say yes. They expect me to be happier now. They want me to say that yes, it changed my life.

But you know what? That's not really true, and I'm really tired of lying about it. With a few exceptions, I was happier when I was heavier. It sucks that now I always have to worry about what I eat, to weigh myself and worry all the time. To endlessly be worried about regaining my weight. It had been wonderful to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted! Now? I eat a piece of sugar free candy and worry it will start me on the road to regaining my weight back.

The problem is, the tech who drew my blood was heavy. As soon as I said that it hadn't changed my life as much as I had expected it to (I did give her two examples of positive ways it had changed things), I saw the disappointment on her face. It wasn't until hours later that I realized that by me not being positive about weight loss, it might have made it harder for her. (If, when I had been heavier, someone who had lost a lot of weight spoke not-positively about it, it would have made me less interested in trying to lose weight myself.)

Ever since then, days now, I've been thinking about that. Where does the responsibility fall? Do I lie and help people, or do I be honest and maybe not? (I suspect that I'm an exception, I think most people would be a lot happier after they lost the weight.) The thing is, it's bad enough to not be happy about losing all this weight, but it's even worse than I have to keep lying and saying I am. (Usually I try to keep the subject from coming up at all, but sometimes it pops up before I realize it.)

All that being said, I wouldn't switch back to heavier, just for health reasons. Plus it's nice when I meet new people at work, to no longer know I'm the fattest person they've met in their whole life.

2017 books: The Zanzibar Cat, Proving Grounds, Girl at the Center of the World, Cold Moon [Book #8]

Cold Moon by Harry Quinn
Rating: Hated (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Remember the days when fanfics always started with a line "Making no money off this, please don't sue me"? Well nowadays, people are self-publishing their fanfics and selling them on Amazon. I don't mean "filed off the serial numbers" fanfic, I mean unchanged -- with the canon characters' names and everything.

I hadn't realized that this "book" was an example of that. But luckily, between the time of me getting it and writing this review, Amazon pulled it down (thus no link to it).

How was the story/writing? Awful. AWFUL. It was "Warrior cat" fanfic (based on that talking cat series of books), but every single sentence had major issues. Basic things like your/you're confusion, the charcters' names being misspelled (major character names from the series! Simple names, like Firestar, sometimes with more than one issue in a single name!).

Point reached before giving up: 1%

Growing Pains: The Proving Grounds by Wade Adrian
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I really like "RPGlit", though in my experience thus far, it should be called MMO Lit instead of RPG. The setup of these books seem to always be the same: Someone's whole self (body, soul, whatever you want to call it) gets sucked into a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game, such as World of Warcraft) and can't get out.

The problem is, that's not where the similarities end. The main character (who is always, always a man) is always trapped in the game... yet happy to be there. He is always overpowered compared to everyone else in the game. He always solves the issue that even tons of other people can't fix. That just doesn't work for me... That's boring!

Why not make the main character WEAKER than others? Make his time in the game harder, more challenging? That would make it more interesting, instead of having it be a story that some teenage boy would drool over.

The writing in this one was actually good, but the story was following that same exact pattern of overpowered male main character saving the day, so I lost interest in it. Point reached before giving up: 55%

The Girl at the Center of the World by Austin Aslan
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This was the second book in a series. I read the first one a while back, but I had LOVED it, so was looking forward to reading this one. All I could recall from the first one was that "something" had happened and everything electronic stopped working. A girl and her father were stuck on one of the small, far islands of Hawaii and had to get to one of the other ones to reunite with the rest of their family.

When I started reading this one, I was left scratching my head. It seemed like a completely different book, or maybe like this was the third book instead of second and I had missed a chunk of story somewhere.

In this book it turned out that aliens did it, and because the main character had epilepsy, she could talk to them. (Everyone who had epilepsy could talk to the aliens.)

I guess I should have gone back and read the first book first... HM. I checked through my reviews, and I can't find one for the first one. But I swear I read it and liked it a lot. Very strange... Anyway, I gave up on this one at the 17%. I liked the end of the world parts, but the whole thing with the aliens was too different from the first book(?) for me... (Could there be two 'the world ended and a father and daughter need to travel between Hawaiian islands to reach their family' YA books out there?)

The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

A collection of short stories, most of them published in the 1970s. Unfortunately this ebook version seemed to be an unedited scan of the paperback version, which is where all my issues with it came from.

The first story, When It Changed, was pretty darned good and I enjoyed it a lot. It was set on some other planet where humans went to colonize, then generations ago a plague killed off all the men. The women were able to survive, and through skill and technology, keep the human race going there. Then men showed up. Though written in the 1972, it felt WAY WAY WAY too current to today. It left me disturbed and sad.

Unfortunately the book went downhill from there. Not the writing, I can't comment on that, but the "editing"/scanning. Words and sentences (and paragraphs?) were dropped at random, there were tons of misspellings and "typos" (scanning issues), and sentences were littered with odd control characters.

I powered through the second story (about time travel), it seemed interesting but the missing sentences/sections made it hard to follow.

The third story had even more formatting/scanning issues, and was basically unreadable. Unfortunately I gave up on the book at that point (13%).

Running tally of unfinished books (the math of keeping track of this is going to doom me):
Point reached in these books: 1% + 55% + 17% + 13% = 86%
Previous abandoned book total: 68% (one book credit + 68% towards the next)
New total: 86% + 68% = 154% (running total of two book + 54% towards the next)