The first few days after knee surgery, I'm supposed to rest and keep my knee elevated.* This gives me lots of time for books and movies. Here we go:
The last time I had knee surgery (I'm hoping not to make this a habit), I ended up reading lots of John Grisham, Dan Brown, and Michael Crichton books - absorbing books with fast moving plots but not lots of emotion, although they usually do feature either a significant other or kids to add some zest to the dangerous scenes (think Jurassic Park II, which adds kids to the mix so that the scientist can be even more worried**). Not my usual preference for reading, but they were the only type of books I could concentrate on.
I've diverged a bit this time. In chronological order:
Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux. I always enjoy her books, however many of her 40+ books I've actually read. One, A Knight in Shining Armor, is one of my favorite books. Lavender Morning was not one of my favorites, but it was pretty good (though there were a few too many convenient plot twists). It takes place near Williamsburg, VA, which is always a plus. It continues the pattern in Remembrance of having two different plots going - one modern and one historical - but they mesh far better than in Remembrance. It did seem to end too abruptly.
Utopia by Lincoln Child. This one I found by Googling "If you like Michael Crichton...," and it's a worthy successor to my Crighton/Brown/Grisham phase. Utopia is a theme park - like Disneyworld, except historically accurate and far more technologically advanced. Criminals have cracked the technology in order to extort, and the computer scientist*** is the only one who can beat them. It's one of the best novels of this genre that I've read - gripping, fast-moving, and nary a scene nor a character are extra. I read it in an afternoon.
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I quit after 100 pages because the main character got on my nerves. Daughter (who had nothing else to read one evening) said that it gets better after the first half. So far, it strikes me as all the parts (deservedly) edited out of Bridget Jones. Of course, since I have little interest in shopping (besides books, music, and plants), this probably isn't the best reading choice for me, although I really enjoyed one of her other books, The Undomestic Goddess.
Austenland by Shannon Hale: A Jane Austen/Colin Firth addict spends three weeks at an Austen themed resort. Everyone there must always act as if they're in an Austen novel - no electronics, few modern conveniences (fortunately flush toilets are included), maids, manners, etc. She's looking for the love which, as the introductions to each chapter demonstrate, she's failed to find. This one is interesting for the romance, modern reactions to Regency manners, and demonstration of how boring Regency life must often have been (and I say this as a fan of Regency stories). I passed this one on to daughter because she'll enjoy it as much as I did.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher: Interesting, but a bit too one-note for me.
How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, friendship & Musical Theater by Marc Acito: The title is quite accurate. It's a coming of age about the final year of high school and making college choices - if your coming of age includes coming out of the closet (although I thought it was rather obvious in the first chapter), and your college choices aren't affordable so you have to resort to extortion and embezzlement. The Sex part is also quite accurate - more TMI than I'd like in a book, and books about sex in high school are usually rather... fumbling and awkward (Knight in Shining Armor has far better romantic scenes that don't leave you with pictures in your head that you'd really rather not have). Even with the TMI scenes, it's a hilarious book. This afternoon's reading.
One quote that hit a bit too close to home for me - the main character has gotten a job singing in a church:
I feel the same way about Mass as I do about Gilbert and Sullivan: it's a lot more fun to do than to watch. To actually be an integral part of the worship service, as necessary as the [bread] and the wine, is an experience that's both heady and humbling, and every weekend I walk away from it feeling refreshed and invigorated. (p. 272)
Is that part of why I enjoy choir so much? Must ponder...
I started reading The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett but, being still influenced by How I Paid for College, kept misreading everything as excessively bawdy, so I decided to come blog instead.
We've also watched:
Monsters versus Aliens: Fun, and a good thing to watch the first day after surgery.
Boston Legal: The episode in season four after Alan's assistant is acquitted of... I won't tell you since you might want to watch it.
Star Trek: We didn't have a chance to watch this when it came out so it was one of my first choices to rent this week. Having grown up with the original series, I wasn't sure what I would think. I absolutely loved it! It took me a bit to get over the different actors playing the characters, but the story was involving, and the humor was well placed.
Still to go: Speed and The Pirates of Penzance, one of my all-time favorite movies which younger son doesn't really remember (therefore part of our homeschooling this week).
The post title is from How I Paid for College. The main character is legally an adult and legally independent, but still in high school. This means that he writes his own absence notes, such as:
To Whom It May Concern,
Please excuse Edward's tardiness. He was mentally ill this morning.
Love and kisses,
The people who live in Edward's head
* Last year, I didn't rest enough with my foot elevated so I ended up with too much swelling by the third day (purple toes). I wasn't going to have that happen this time so I've been a fanatical foot elevator.****
** But at least that time, he kept his shirt buttoned - unlike that scene from Jurassic Park which always makes me laugh because of its total gratuitousness.
*** With a significant other, a former significant other, and a daughter. He has to keep all three safe and save the day.
**** For those interested in the surgery results... I'll try to make a long story short. Last time, the orthopedist found a meniscal tear and trimmed it. That's all. I was in lots of pain, had to take strong painkillers, had reactions to them, and was on crutches for a week. This time, the new orthopedist found five different things wrong in my knee, any of which could have been causing pain, and took care of them. I took the prescription pain medicine once - the first night - half a dose. I've just been taking ibuprofen since. I only use crutches on stairs and when going long distances. I don't use them around the house. I can bend my knee already, even though it's all wrapped in bandages. I'm still waiting for the pain I had last time to start, but it hasn't. Which reminds me, I'm late for my ibuprofen, which I'm supposed to take for anti-inflammatory reasons, but which I keep being late for because there's not enough pain to remind me. I'm amazed. Tomorrow, I go for my first physical therapy (last time that didn't start for two weeks), they unwrap my leg, and I get to take a shower!!!
It's the little things. :)