Friday, May 09, 2014

Cold and quiet

Hello. It's cold and it makes me quiet. I just want to curl up and read in bed with my hotwater bottle. I know this is feeble but I'm still trying to shake off my 'whatever illness thingy' it is that is hanging around. I've had tests, all negative so far. Need to do poo tests for parasites, the doctors are 'seeing so many parasites at the moment.'


Quiet weekend ahead. The week has been fine if a little busy. Taught Tuesday afternoon/evening, a parent-child session at a school nearby. It went really well so that was good. A huge group in the first session, about 40 people, which is big for these types of things.

Then taught Years 9s at a secondary college out east yesterday and Wednesday, covered six sessions over the two days, so I'm pretty tired. Then went out to dinner last night with my Dad and that was nice. It was the restaurant we used to go to as a family in the late '70s and through the '80s, and the same people are running it, a bunch of Lebanese brothers (it's an Italian restaurant, you know it, it's quite well known, there was a big food poisoning case a few years ago, big fines etc but so well patronised because the portions are so huge, I'm supposing, and the food is not bad.) Anyway, the guys all remember my dad and they just love him. He's like the big man walking into the place, feted by everyone and we hadn't been there for probably 15 or 20 years before we went once last year and then again last night. They kept coming over, telling him how good it was to see him. Brought us port (blech; they are still living in the '70s man) and it was a fun night especially as my daughter spotted a man at a table who looked like Hitler would have, if he'd lived to mid-sixties. he had the moustache, he had the facial features, so then of course we were saying that Hitler had a son, to a French nurse when he was a soldier in WWI. That kind of thing. And here was the secret son. And then we were saying imagine growing up with people telling you that you looked like Hitler; imagine growing up with you not knowing who your father was and then you work it out somehow.

That's a story. Dinner with Hitler. Maybe it's already been done. So. He was there, he ate fried calamari and took a doggie bag with him when he left. They didn't stay that long, maybe they heard us talking about Hitler.

In other news, there isn't any. Not really. So. Am writing (revisions) and rewatching GIRLS (again. I just love it.) We finished watching Puberty Blues, it wasn't terrific. I am not investing in Master Chef, those days are over. Am loving Game of Thrones but only one a week: deprivation. Have started the second book but am having a break and reading other stuff, including at the moment I just started We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler which I'm really enjoying so far. Yesterday I finished The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker: very badly written but I could not stop reading it. It was compelling, annoyingly so. So, what is the mark of a successful book? It has to be that people read it and finish it. That has to be the first mark of whether it works or not. So I suppose in this case, it is true. There is so much buzz about this book, I get it but I don't get it.

Hope everyone is okay, and keeping warm if you're down south.


Alex said...

It's still quite warm here, which I am thankful for. I hope you do get over whatever it is you have before too much longer. It seems to have been going on for such a while now. Urgh, I hate being sick. Poor dear. You have my sympathies.

Yes, I suppose a successful book is a book that people read all the way through. Or maybe it's to do with sales. Or that people really enjoy it. Does it have anything to do with how well it's written? Do you need to have a goal or target in order to succeed or fail? Maybe it's all a bit arbitrary?

I can't wait until this season of GoT ends, so I can watch it. I'm having trouble avoiding people talking about it since I got back. I've already had one major plot point spoiled.

I've sometimes wondered about what it must be like to be immediately related to someone like Hitler, or Stalin, or Pol Pot, or Dick Cheney. I mean, there's nothing you can do about it, and it's not like you've done anything wrong; but how would you feel about it? Would people keep bringing it up in conversation?

suze2000 said...

The last time I thought I had a poo parasite, I just made the doctor write out a script for the cure without the testing. It's not that my poo is precious or whatever, but I'm not going through the mortification of handing over bits of my poo unless it's really necessary. Though you need to know the side effects of some of the treatments can be pretty drastic, so you don't really want to take them unless you are sure of the parasitic presence.

Hubby and I came across a Young Hitler (because if he lived, he would be well over 100 by now) recently - I wonder if it was the same guy? I definitely think Dinner with Hitler is a good short story idea. How does this man cope with looking like the most evil man in history? Why doesn't he do something different with his hair/beard so the resemblance isn't so striking? Perhaps he likes looking like Hitler. Perhaps he is Hitler's child (would be about 72 now if born during WW2). Actually, exploring all those thoughts (and more keep coming to mind), it might make a novella.

Hubby and I got fed up with being cold in bed because the other person has stolen the doona and spent almost $1000 on the bigest mofo of a doona we could find. It's 80% goose down, so there's no fear we will ever be cold again in bed. I don't think it will end the fights, but it will reduce them as it's 2.7m wide. You'd think that would be enough. It's really really warm, hot in fact, under it, so at least we won't be paying massive bills to heat the house while we sleep, because heat will no longer be necessary. I do NOT like the cold, but could cope with it if it wasn't so damned grey in this city all the time. Thursday was nice, I was out in that - why can't it be like that through winter? Of course, if there is an El Nino coming, I may get my wish next winter. Though that also means drought, so I'm torn.

Alex said...

So, poo parasites (poo-rasites?) are a common thing now? What are these things? I mean, I know about threadworm, obviously -- but if you had them, the worst symptom you'd have is an itchy arse, and the treatment's nothing more than a couple of Combantrum.

I know this isn't the point of anything, but do people really reckon Hitler is the most evil man in history? I mean, he could be, but history's full of those who presided over whole-scale suffering and murder. Is he really that much worse than the Pol Pots and Joseph Stalins and Genghis Khans?

Melba said...

I don't know about the Hitler question, there's been equally bad if not worse, how do you measure such a thing. As for the parasites, I think they are bowel/stomach ones different to the regular old threadworms. One I know of is this one:

My friend who travels a lot had this a couple of months ago. I think it's this sort of thing they are seeing heaps of, from water and food from OS/travel.

Suze would know more?

Nice to see you Suze. I LOVE the sound of your doona, wow. What a monster width. Our central heating got fixed today so we are now in the temperate zone again, I felt positively chirpy today while working here at my desk.

I'm guessing our Hitler was mid to late 60s, possibly into his seventies. There was some talk of him having a son with one of the Mitford sisters or is that complete bunkum? (I know it's a rumour only but you know.. these things can be true?)

On the book thing Alex. Yes it's all arbitrary, no one can work it out not even fucking publishers. HAH.

Anyway I'm going to bed, I know it's early but want to read. Teaching early tomorrow, Year 10s at a school where they don't really open their mouths. Hard work.

Alex said...

Hmmm. Those Blastocystosis sound like miserable little buggers, don't they? Are you feeling any better?

So. Anyway. Speaking of miserable experiences, I finally got around to seeing Girls. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it very much. So, I was wondering what it was you saw in the series? I almost feel like I must be missing something.

I put my thoughts up on mine if you don't want to get into it here, but I'm easy either way.

Melba said...

Nooooo. Really? Probably I like it because, well, I am Hannah. So you won't like me any more now? I'll head to yours tomorrow for more in-dept discusione. Have to go to bed now.

suze2000 said...

Actually, the first poo-rasite that came to mind was Giardia Lambla. Especially as Melba has recently been to Turkey. It's quite common there in the tap water.

I have watched GIRLS based on your recommendation, and once you get past the instinctive revulsion at how nacissistic Hannah is (surely you are not that bad Melba, the very fact of you being a stepmum means you can't be), it's easy to identify with their struggles. Though if I was them, I would have cut ties with Shoshanna because she seems so destructive. I'm not sure I could ever say I love it, but I can see how they get to where they are. I also hated the way they glossed over the emotional fallout from the death this season. I couldn't figure out if Hannah's getting blotto was an immediate reaction to it, or if it was just another drunken day for GenY, just slightly worse than usual. Could have been months after, there was no context. Grrr.

Alex said...

So, is this why doctors are seeing an increase in these types of things -- because travelers are bringing them in from overseas? Or is there a local problem?

surely you are not that bad Melba, the very fact of you being a stepmum means you can't be

Funny, I just said the same thing about Melbs (though worded quite differently) somewhere else.

if I was them, I would have cut ties with Shoshanna because she seems so destructive

I find that a very surprising statement. Are you sure you don't mean Jessa? If not, can you elaborate?

I also hated the way they glossed over the emotional fallout from the death this season

Of the publisher bloke, or Hannah's grandma? I don't think Hannah gave too much of a shit in either case. See your statement regarding how narcissistic she is.

Melba said...

Hey Suze and Alex.

The poo-rasite - well my stool sample was normal so no parasites there. Moving to the next thing on the list. Yes, Alex, the GPs are saying people are picking these things up overseas. But Suze, no one drinks the tap water in Turkey. I mean no one, nowhere. It's bottled water all the way.

As for GIRLS, yes Jessa is the destructive one (my second favourite character) but I really don't think Hannah is a narcissist, not clinically anyway. Sure she is all about herself but fuck, she's 24 and has obviously been brought up with a lot of attention and indulgence from her parents, only child etc etc. But thanks for saying surely I'm not as bad as her. It's true, I'm not that bad, never have been that selfish and self-absorbed. But of course she is an exaggerated character, yes? She's fiction and with fiction you just want to take it to the extreme sometimes. The death of the publisher, Hannah just cared about getting her ebook published. With her grandmother, yes, it wasn't a big deal. But often for 20-somethings, these things aren't such a big deal? Because they are so self absorbed and wondering about how things will affect them.

I think the value of this show, for me, is that it's a commentary on people, growing up, all that jazz.

Melba said...

And it's been really warm here the last few days. Positively BALMY.

suze2000 said...

I meant Hannah's grandma. The next ep she went out and got completely trashed and I was unsure if she was upset or just getting trashed.

And yeah I meant Jessa. I put up with my drug-addicted and destructive sister because she's my SISTER. I would cut ties with a friend like Jessa, no matter how long I had known her. Though perhaps that's because of my experiences with my sister.

suze2000 said...

And yes it has been mild. Though with it, I have suffered some asthma. Still worth it though. :)

Melba said...

Re the grandma, that was Hannah being Hannah, so whether she was upset or whatever, she wasn't going to show it in a conventional way I don't think. Jessa, she is so extreme and I know that addicts can be hell on families and friends, so I feel for you Suze. It's tough.

Alex said...

I'd be amazed if the writers intended for Hannah getting trashed to have anything to do with her grandma dieing. I never felt like the connections between episodes were that strong or subtle.

I'm sorry to hear about your sis. Thankfully, none of my immediate family are anything like that; though I have kicked around with people who were even worse. Mates you couldn't let in the door, because things would go missing. Houses completely destroyed in manic fits of wanton destruction. Shit, I'm glad I grew out of all that. It's still strange running into those people from time to time.

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