Writer Tamago’s Top 10 Reads for 2014

And here is the follow up to the films–my top reads. Again, in my very sloppy fashion, the only criteria is that it was new to me this year, not new this year. Also, these can be short stories, comics, graphic novels, novels, anything in print. In no particular order:

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Writer Tamago’s Top 10 Films for 2014

What do you mean we’re almost out of December? Well, okay, then, I guess it’s time for the top films that I saw this year.

My criteria are sloppy. I can pick anything I watched for the first time this year, even if it didn’t come out this year. Strangely enough, though, for a change, more came out this year than didn’t. And when I say film, I mean something I watched with my eyes, so it could actually be a tv show or a short disguised on my film list. Here we go! In no particular order:

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Ribsy Triumphs; Reflux Triumphs; Student Tsunami

Three quick things

1. Ribsy lost a pound and a half last week. I won’t be doing the Weight Watchers weigh in until after the New Year, and then I will get back to my weight reports.

2. I went to the emergency room to have a fake heart attack Monday night. It was significantly different from the usual reflux attack, so we were all a little worried. However, after a two day intensive round of cardiac testing, I am pleased that it wasn’t my heart. Yippee! I suspect it is my reflux acting in different ways because I have changed my food and exercise habits lately–eating late and exercising more. So, I need to learn how to manage reflux within new parameters. Dr. Banks and I talk next week. Meanwhile, the highlight of the evening was watching Matrix 2 while jacked up on morphine at 1 am. If this weren’t a family show, I’d recommend you give it a whirl. 🙂

3. We will probably hit 500 ELA students at work this spring. My job is even MOAR intense than usual. Which could have contributed to number 2, although I do try to relax. Honest. Anyway, we have six interviews for new teachers, and I’ve blocked off some time to interview students. This is an amazing thing. I’m so impressed that students have pegged Kirkwood as THE place to come and study English.

I’m moving right along on draft 3, considering. 🙂 I also had a letter from a fan of my old Harry Potter fan fiction, asking for Substance in its original incarnation. Gratifying to be remembered.

With that, I hope to be back sooner rather than later. We live in hope.

The Sleep Lab

My journey into restoring my health began last October, when we discovered that my thyroid was off. I started into some counseling to help with anxiety, and I tried to slow down. I lost around 20 pounds. Things were pretty good. Working out, eating better, more secure. This fall notwithstanding, the overall prognosis has been excellent. And, as you might remember from yesterday’s post, I’m ready for phase 2, and to knock off the backsliding.

At my checkup in October, I was sure that the doc would adjust my thyroid meds, because I still feel tired often. I get enough sleep. I call it a night at 9:30 and I’m up at 5:30. Do the math. My problem, it seems, is sleep apnea, which to my way of thinking is a better diagnosis than, “you’re old now.” So, in order to both diagnose, and to get my CPAP up and running, I’ve been to/will be returning to the sleep lab.

What’s it like to have a sleep test? Well, you go to a room that looks like a hotel room with an intercom and all sorts of fun wires and monitors. When you get a sleep test, they paste a bunch of diodes into your hair, and put monitors on your heart, your rib cage, and your legs, just in case your problem isn’t with your airway. Then you take a couple of sleeping pills and fade in and out of consciousness all night.

This time around, they’ll be fitting me with a CPAP. I don’t have serious apnea, because they didn’t do the adjustment the first night I was there, but I do have it. On the scale of apnea, where a 4 is normal, I scored a 16, so we were pretty sure that’s what was going on. As women get older, our likelihood of apnea evens up with men’s. It increases 20 fold. And I have tiny little air passages in my nose, another sign.

So, this is where I’ll ring in 2015. At the sleep lab, wired for sound. And then we’ll have a CPAP, and we’ll see if we have more energy.

Hope all of you are well.

The Return of Ribsy

Still working on the novel, ending the semester, hiring a boatload of new teachers, all that.

I have gained a bit of weight back. I am now at these stats:

Beginning Weight at Weight Watchers: 224.8
Current Weight Watchers Weight: 210.2
Lost: -14.6

Beginning Wii Weight: 223
Current Wii Weight: 207.2
Lost: -16.6

The last time I made goal weight, Bryon gave me the nickname Ribsy, affectionately after Henry Huggins’ dog. Sure, Ribsy was a boy dog, but the point was you could count my ribs. I am now beginning phase 2. I’ll be monitoring what I eat more closely and making sure I work out each day. Why? Well, I’d like to lose another 30 pounds before we go on our cruise this summer. I have a lot of–um–voluptuous cruise pictures already, and I’d like to have some differently shaped ones.

The battle for good health continues!

In other health related news, I will be getting my second sleep study on December 31st. Yes, this woman knows how to party on New Year’s Eve. What’s that, you say? You didn’t know I was getting a sleep study? You don’t even know what a sleep study is all about? Well…next entry then. Hardware for slumber.

Penguins of Madagascar

In an attempt to distract ourselves from our cat grief, Bryon and I went to see The Penguins of Madagascar movie over the holiday weekend. I do like my penguins, their punny humor, their wry caricatures, and just the witty delivery of the script. It’s kind of off beat, but so am I.

I bring Penguins to your attention, because I’ve been working with My Story Can Beat Up Your Story this year, and if you would like to see a movie that brings all of the script writing theory in that book together, it is this movie. It sets up the story arcs perfectly, the characters are archetypal, there are items introduced early in the film that will become pivotal later, and so on. Get the book, read it, and then go see Penguins.

If you feel weird about seeing Penguins, two of the voices are John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch. There. Now you can feel high brow about seeing Penguins.