Last night, I slept like a log. Not as propped up of a log as I should have been, but good enough that I didn’t get too much gunk going down the pipes. My sore throat came back with a vengeance, thanks to the gunk that did drop in, but it was a different sore throat. (The croaky stiff kind, not the stabbing painful kind.)
I thought I had woken up at 7 when I really woke up at 8. Fortunately, I figured that out before I had to be at work at 8:30.
I’ve been drinking grapefruit juice the last couple days. I have to cut it with a lot of water, but at least I can taste it. The brand I’ve been drinking has a cap that actually is shaped like a little orange section (or ruby red grapefruit, in this case). I don’t know why I find that so charming, but it just is.
Tonight for dinner, I had one of those steamed bags of vegetables with a pack of tuna stirred in. It tasted pretty good on my plate, although I think that if I’d added rice, the flavors would have balanced better.
I got a lot done at work, mostly by listening to audiobooks while I worked. It’s usually audiobooks or podcasts, with the odd helping of music or the local classical station. I don’t know why I don’t listen to as much music anymore. It’s not that I don’t like music. Possibly I bought too many angsty albums when I was an angsty young person, or possibly I just am too easily depressed when I can’t refrain from analyzing some love song which doesn’t bear too much examination. Possibly it’s because I get into music more, and hence can’t focus on both work and music. Shrug.
Anyway, I ended up listening to this urban fantasy I bought off Audible for cheap last month. Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy is pretty good so far. I had a lot of trouble with the first 45 minutes or so, which was entertaining and fast-paced but read way too slow by the reader, IMHO. I can’t stand suspense getting stretched out, so that annoyed me. Then there was a description of a church building which made no sense in terms of current denominational trends, and which I’m expecting will later be explained by fantasy world events. (But all the same!) Then, there was a bit of Celtic mythology historical info that I figured was false (no, Gaulish Celtic gods are not Irish Celtic gods, and although it’s likely there’s some relation we don’t know enough about it — certainly no reputable anthropologist would make declarations like the character did!), so that annoyed me. But apparently the annoying bits stopped after about an hour in, and they haven’t returned. (One new annoying bit, but it’s not a mistake so much as an authorial choice I don’t like.)
But here’s the thing. At one point, for no particular reason, the heroine is feeling troubled and decides that, although not Catholic, she’d like to go to Confession. The priest ends up sharing his depressed mood and his reasons for it with her, which ends up being an interesting way of exposition of story current events. But sheesh, is this what people expect to happen in Seattle? And why didn’t the priest stop her and get to the Confession bit? Especially since her words indicated that she might be going into danger?
And why doesn’t anybody in a book ever decide to seek out…. Well, okay, we Catholics know why everybody shows up at the Catholic church. But seriously, why don’t we ever have somebody in a book figure that, since they’re having, say, giant snake problems, they should consult the people at the local snake handling denomination? That would be awesome, you’ve got to admit. Very pedal to the metal. But no, it’s always “local tradition of the foreign country”, “random local neo-pagans”, or the Catholic Church. I guess that’s the Rolodex for writers.
I have to say that my favorite part of the book is that the author “hangs a lantern” on nearly every bizarre thing she wants to do. If she wants her Cherokee character to start seeing Coyote a lot, said Cherokee character first will complain about how Coyote isn’t part of Cherokee belief. (Of course, it would have been cooler to spend more time on Cherokee stuff and let Coyote sit and spin, or at least have Raven get a look in since the book is set in the Pacific Northwest. But I’m okay with mix and match myths, as long as everyone involved knows that’s what it is.)
However, the reincarnation thing is going to get annoying. It pretty much always is annoying in stories (at least Western ones), and it’s twice as annoying when the writer is pretending first to treat various mythos equally. As soon as you say that everybody is reincarnated lots and lots, and have in-story proofs of this, you’re definitively saying that in your story universe, Christianity and Judaism are wrong and a total waste of time, to boot. So the author lost a lot of my interest right there. At the moment it’s only a minor piece of worldbuilding, but I think it’s going to get important to the story; so that’s twice as annoying.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I stopped listening to the book soon afterwards and didn’t resume for the rest of the workday. I probably will resume listening tomorrow, but only for the comic relief.
I do have to sing the praises of Adult Robitussin DM Max. It has twice as much guaifenesin as the regular kind, and thus actually does the job of degunking very well. Of course, I have to supplement that with some kind of decongestant (and yesterday, with some pain reliever, though not so often today). But I’m okay with that.