Sunday, October 25, 2009

German Chocolate Sunday Pie with Half-Readathon Results

<-----Chocolate! From Germany!!! This is the only reason I tolerate my husband's journeys, let me tell ya.

Please bear in mind that we're not keeping all the chocolate, at left (huzzybuns likes to bring treats to the secretaries to thank them for their hard work on arranging overseas travel), but that's the pile of chocolate my Beloved brought home. Quite something, isn't it? The tons of Karamell Nuss (caramel nut) were brought home at my request because it's the "chocolate of the year" and allegedly will disappear after 2009 ends. I hope not. It's my all-time favorite from this company. However, we don't buy chocolate often because of the slave boys in Africa, so it's not like I'll be running out to get it regularly. I have a painfully heavy conscience.

So, how was your weekend? I had an interesting one, beginning with a kitty emergency on Friday. Miss Spooky's bad eye was looking worse to me, so I took her in to have it looked at. The vet said pressure was building and she appears to have developed secondary glaucoma. He gave her a shot of diuretic with a little tiny bit of painkiller, although he said the only painkiller that really works on glaucoma is marijuana. That's a pretty neat picture -- cat smoking marijuana.

We got some eyedrops to give Miss Spooky every 15-20 minutes, 6 times in a row, then every 6 hours. I followed the rules and by the 5th dose, I noticed my hand was getting wet when I dosed her, even though a drop is not a lot of moisture. But, it wasn't till the 6th dose that I realized my cat was staggering and drooling. She had a virtual river of drool running down her chin. Then some other bad things began to happen, which we'll simply call Intestinal Disturbances and she started to hiss at me. My cat never, ever hisses at me. I called the vet and they said, "Bring her back." Back we went. The vet gave her a shot and told me to back off on the eyedrops to twice a day, gave me his private numbers in case of further trouble and said bring her back Monday. If we can't get the swelling under control, she will lose her eye but it looks better, today. Wahoo for that!

How did the Readathon go, for those of you who participated? I did an unofficial half-readathon (sort of a fun run as opposed to a marathon), partly because I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of time to read and partly because I figured if I turned the computer on at all, I'd waste time on it -- and I wanted to just get a feel for this readathon business.

I starting piling up books and just kept on piling. You can see from this photo that I ended up well stocked with 4 stacks of books, reading glasses, a pile of homemade bookmarks and some Post-Its. I'm not sure if you'll be able to enlarge, what with the blogger hinkiness of recent days, but there's some good stuff in those piles and way too much to list.

Friday night, with the cat locked into the bathroom because of Intestinal Difficulties (didn't want to have to chase her around to clean up after her) and loudly scratching at the door, crying out "Bookfool is an Evil Cat Mommy", I turned off the house lights, closed my bedroom door in the hope that the cat would settle down and started to read Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl, a memoir that I chose because it's only 112 pages long. It depressed me because I'm basically a 50's housewife transplanted into a decade when women who stay at home get funny looks and it was about how unhappy her mother was being stuck at home. Beautiful writing, though.

The next day, I woke up . . . well, not particularly early, but at about 9:30 I staggered around and began reading with the aid of a Mt. Dew (my caffeine of choice). I finished Not Becoming My Mother and then just went from book to book. These are the books I worked on (although I bought two of those while picking up my husband, so I didn't begin reading Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy and Out of Boneville (the first Bone graphic novel -- more on that whopper book of Bones in a minute) until after returning from bookstore, Target, airport and Mazzio's:

Out of Boneville by Jeff Smith (Graphic Novel - Book One from the One Volume Edition) - 149 pages
Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl (Memoir) - 112 pages
The Sneeze by Anton Chekov (Plays) - 77 pages

Partial Reads:

Psmith in the City by P. G. Wodehouse (novel) - 122 pages read (35 to go)
The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (pulp fiction) - 38 pages read
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (YA) - 34 pages read
The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton (novel) - about 30 pages read (kept falling asleep, oops)

Between Chekov and Wodehouse, I was immersed in a good bit of comic genius and that kept my attention nicely. I bought the Bone book because I wanted to toss a graphic novel into the mix but all that was available was the volume of all nine graphic novels. Bone is terrific: adventurous, scary, funny! I can't wait to read on and I'm so glad I forked out the big bucks for the huge collection. The only downfall is that it's not colored, but I used my 30% coupon on it (while waiting for hubby to call saying he'd arrived at the airport), so a $40 volume became $27.99 before tax. With the full 9 books, that averages to $3.11, per book. Yeah, I think I can handle B & W. While at Borders, I also bought Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfeld and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter, so the photo of everything was taken after we returned from the airport.

The Warlord of Mars is an odd choice, isn't it? Obviously, it was the cover that caught my eye. See that green creature? That's the warlord's Martian dog, Woola. Woola makes me snort. The book itself is total crap. I don't know how else to put it. But, it's mildly entertaining crap, if you can stand the fact that Mars is a racially-divided, misogynistic world. I couldn't help but wonder if Edgar's true colors were showing. I don't have the book handy, but I believe it was originally published in 1910 -- certainly a very different world. I'm not actually sure whether I'll be able to finish it. We'll see.

I cannot wait to officially join in on the next readathon!!! I learned that there were some things Bookfool had pegged . . . trying to do a readathon with the husband around is impossible unless he's asleep. While he was awake, he was annoying. Fortunately, huzzybuns was jet-lagged and went to bed around 8:00. Wahoo! So, my reading was done in chunks but I did get to read a bit, last night. I'm a slow, slow reader and I'm very happy that I managed to finish a few books.

Now, I'm off to finish Psmith in the City. I just love Wodehouse, don't you? Hope those of you who joined in on the readathon are recovering. Since the posting is usually exceptionally heavy during readathon weekend, I'll do a mass delete in my reader for my sanity. It's okay if you don't have time to read this. For those of you who can focus . . . thanks for making it to the bottom of my post.

Smiles all around!



  1. Yummy chocolate! It's a shame you can't keep it all for yourself. It could last you awhile.

    Poor Miss Spooky! I hope her eye continues to improve. We had minor mishaps Friday--the dog and one of the cats vomited, but it was an isolated incident in both cases so no need to worry there, thank goodness. Just annoying messes for human mommy to clean up. Ugh. Why do they always vomit on the carpet?

    From all the posts about the read-a-thon, it sounds like those who participated had a good time. It looks like you had a successful unofficial read-a-thon. :-)

    It's been years since I read Bone. It was one of the first graphic novels I read as an adult.

    I hope you have a great week, Nancy!

  2. Oh it will be so much fun to have you in the next readathon :D and I'm so glad that you had a little unofficial readathon! And that you bought Bone!!! Isn't it wonderful?? I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    Oh no about Ms. Spooky :( I sure hope she's Ok, Nancy :( I'll keep her in my thoughts. Poor little kitty. Just give the cat a joint and help her feel better :p Seriously though, I hope that eye gets better!

    And that chocolate! Lets just say I'm drooling as much as Ms. Spooky on painkillers over here!

  3. Wendy,

    Yes, pity. And, I have to share with the guys, too, darn it.

    Thanks. It's really weird - between eyedrops, her eye starts to look better for a while and then it looks worse, then better after the drops, then worse. If we could do the 6-hour schedule, it might clear up but she can't handle too much of those drops, apparently.

    I don't know what it is about pets and carpet, but they sure do know how to zone in on the carpeted areas! We've currently got our new den carpet blocked off so she doesn't get the chance to mess it up!! Sorry you had to clean up, too. We had quite a mess, but locking the cat up in the bathroom helped contain it a bit.

    I've been looking at readathon posts and my reader wasn't anywhere near what I expected. Maybe fewer people I know participated than I realized. I enjoyed what little I did. I'd love to use it as an excuse to spend a night or two in a hotel, seriously!!

    Really? I hadn't even heard of Bone till recently! I was surprised to find that there was a big, fat volume. I don't normally buy fat old things, like that, because they take up so much space. But, I knew my son would enjoy it, too, and I really wanted to stick in a graphic novel or two.

    Thanks! I hope you have a great week, too, Wendy!

  4. Chris,

    I was just getting set to go check out your readathon results and here you are! Thanks, I'm really looking forward to next time around. I'm going to get myself a hotel room and have some fun!!! In the meantime, I did have a good time creating an excuse to read as much as I could possibly squeeze in. ;)

    Thanks for the wishes for Miss Spooky. She's a mess, but at least the scary bit is over. That was really something. She was so out-of-it that when she had a diarrhea attack, she actually let me wipe her butt with a wet wipe!! Cats do not stoop to such indignity (stole those words from Capricious Heather -- she's so right). Seriously, she could use a joint. And, for the record, I am in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. I think it's ridiculous that a bunch of uptight politicians keep a decent painkiller from people who need it, merely because it's smoked. That burns my a**.

    Back to normal, now . . . after stepping off my soapbox . . . heh. Maybe I should come down to N.O. to give you a square of chocolate and talk books. Can you tell I'm in a mood to get out of Dodge? :)

  5. Thank you for reminding me of the Reichl book. I love her other books and keep meaning to track this one down. Glad you had fun during the readathon. I had kind of an unofficial one as well. I think I may do it for real next year.

  6. Thomas,

    You're welcome. I'm in the opposite boat -- I need to track her other books down. Her writing is rather breathtaking, isn't it? Cool that you had an unofficial sorta readathon, too! I noticed fewer people than I expected were involved (although I knew plenty that joined in). I had fun, so I'm definitely planning to join in, next year. A hotel room will be a prerequisite, although I'm going to miss the cat. She's quiet and companionable. The husband . . . noisy and obtrusive. Maybe I should send *him* away! LOL

  7. Love the chocolate! I was an executive secretary for 15 years and one of the gentlemen I supported traveled a lot. He always brought me chocolate when he returned. I think I've had chocolate from nearly every country imaginable. If someone brings you Cadbury's made in Kazakhstan, don't eat it. Trust me on this!

    Glad Ms. Spooky is better.

  8. I'm glad that your spooky cat is feeling better.

    Wahoo for finishing all those pages! I hope you had a great weekend.

  9. I love Ritter chocolate, especially the Peppermint flavour. Yum! haven't had it for so long!


  10. I would keep all the chocolate and give the secretaries a postcard or something! LOL Poor Miss Spooky - I hope she's even better today. You had a great mini read-a-thon.

  11. You know, it's rather sad but I am not a chocolate person at all! I hope you enjoy it, though!

    That's terrible about the cat! My sister has a rabbit and it has an infected eye that they have to put drops in, too. For some unknown reason she decided to send me a picture of the eye...

    You just talked me into buying BONES. I have wanted it for a while, but wasn't thinking about it and I have a pretty gift card that I got for my birthday and haven't used yet! So, once I look into how much it is, there is a good chance that is what I will buy!

    I am glad you managed to get some reading done on the weekend. I hope you can participate in the read-a-thon next time. :)

  12. Those sound like great books, I am a very slow reader too, for a slow reader I think you did wonderfully.

    Also, yes, I jsut love Wodehouse too!!

  13. Love the post! Although the part about Ms. Spooky...I hopw she's doing better! The poor angel...

    Regarding the readathon...I wanted to participate as well, but alas, couldn't spare the official time..maybe next year.

    Have fun finishing the books left in the mini-stack! =0)

  14. Holly,

    Okay, I'll be sure to skip any chocolate from . . . that place. I'm not sure I can spell it without looking back and forth 10 times. :) The German chocolate is great. Hubby said he gave it to someone who did him a big favor and edited a paper for him, last-minute. Not sure if he took any to the secretaries, actually. They might have gotten some of that funky sausage, which I won't touch with a 10-foot pole, but huz loves.

    Thanks! Spooky has a check-up, today. Gotta get the kiddo first, though.


    Thank you! I had a great weekend, although it's always rough for a while when the husband comes home. He is Super Bossy.

    Kitty's eye looks better, then worse, then better, then worse. It's kind of exhausting. She's getting a check-up, soon, so we'll see what he has to say.


    Yep, the mint is really good. I think that's my husband's personal favorite. I've always leaned toward hazelnut and other dark chocolate with nuts, but it's all good. Thanks!


    LOL! If we ate all that chocolate, we wouldn't be able to get through the door! But, we can freeze some of it and I'm wondering if he took some German sausage to the secretaries. I found out there was someone who got some of the chocolate, but it was just one person.

    Thanks and thanks. Soon we'll find out how the cat is doing. Her eye looks like it's about to explode, to me. I'm not happy with it, at the moment. I guess we'll see.

  15. Kelly,

    My youngest used to hate chocolate -- absolutely hated it. But, he got over that. When he gets over his hatred of coconut, there won't be anything left that I can buy without knowing he'll eat it.

    I opted not to post a photo of the cat's funky eye, although I took photos of her outside when she went out to play. It's not attractive, so we'll just stick with the old, pretty shots. Poor bunny. Hope he's okay.

    BONE is so good! I've read three out of the 9 books, so far. I'm so glad I got that! I had that gift card I found under my keyboard -- $25 worth. So, that helped. I did splurge a bit. :)

    Thanks. I can't wait till the next readathon, now that I know what I need to do and how to go about it. If I go to a hotel, I'll have to take a cat cut-out like Trish's. Did you see Trish's fake Maggie? It's a hoot!


    I enjoyed everything I read. The Warlord of Mars . . . still not sure I'll finish it. I'll have to post a quote so people know what I mean about it being an apparent product of the times. I finished Psmith in the City, this morning. Loved it, loved it! Wodehouse was all kinds of awesome!!


    Thank you! Yes, poor old Spooky. She's a bit of a train wreck, although much improved over Friday, of course. She's 15 and my son read in a Cat Fancy at the vet's that 15 is about 80 in human years. So, I can see why she's having a little more health trouble, these days.

    Yep, I didn't feel like I could officially sign up for the readathon, but I'm glad I did a test run on my own. I feel like now I know what I can handle. It's not necessary to stay up all night and I wouldn't do that unless I had insomnia. I'm too old. It makes me miserable! LOL But, I do want to join in on the real thing, next time.

    I finished one, this morning -- the Wodehouse -- and read two more of the Bone books. That was a good buy. If I hadn't had the gift card I found under my keyboard, I might have felt guilty, but I thought, "What the heck. Got a gift card. Need something light for my little mini readathon. I'm going for it." Glad I did that!

  16. OK, obviously there's a ton of goodness to comment on here, but I'm going to completely lose focus as a result of one thing you mentioned. Mazzio's!!! Is that a pizza joint?? If so, there used to be one here when I was growing up. I had numerous birthday parties there, it was my favorite place, and I was CRUSHED when it went out of business. If it's the same chain, you are SO LUCKY and if it's not, then disregard everything I just said.

    Glad you got to do the read-a-thon fun run! :D

  17. Andi,

    Yeppers, Mazzio's is a pizza joint. The closest Mazzio's to our home is now 30 miles (used to be about 50 miles) so we rarely go there, but I am awfully fond of their taco pizza. Now you know where to find it! Also, they have several Mazzio's stores in Tulsa, if you're ever that way, and if you're in Oklahoma City just skip the Mazzio's and find a Hideaway Pizza store because it's the best pizza I've ever had in my life *and* they have a very cool tie-dye shirt you can buy with their emblem. SOLD!

    Thanks! I saw your readathon post but didn't comment. I think I was running out of steam, by the time I got to "T" for "Tripping", last night. Sounds like you had fun, too, and stayed up later than most! Got a reading hangover?

  18. Well I read thole darn enchilada. :)

    Oh my heart is breaking for Miss Spooky. I hope the drops can start to work a bit as I would hate for her to lose her eye. Poor baby!

    I actually hadn't heard of Wodehouse until this weekend when I was reading Frankie Landau-Banks. Truthfully I thought he was just a made up author but now I'm really curious. The context in which his novels were mentioned was surrounding a lot of wordplay, which I love. Does Wodehouse really use a lot of wordplay?

    I do hope you'll join us more officially next time--you know I'd make you a good cheerleader!!! :D LOL--the trick with the computer is to keep a timer and when that timer goes off to step away. This doesn't actually work for me but I imagine it would work for someone...?

    Have a great week.

  19. Yum, pizza. And chocolate.

    I hope Miss Spooky is doing better! Poor kitty!

    Warlord of Mars sounds.......yeah, I'd expect it. Some of those older sci fi books amaze me. And from what I hear, women in science fields aren't welcomed with open arms much nowadays either.

  20. Trish,

    I know you did. I'll bet you're still recovering, aren't you?

    The vet says her eye is improving and I get to bump up her eyedrops to every 6 hours. Spooky says, "Cut that out!" She can move VERY fast, when she wants to get away. LOL

    I don't know that I'd call it wordplay, but Wodehouse has/had a startling mastery of the English language. His characters are clever and funny and the situations can be a riot. I can't imagine anyone not loving him, to be honest. Have you ever seen Jeeves & Wooster with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry? He wrote the books upon which the series was based.

    Oh, a timer! Excellent idea. I used to have an adorable chicken timer, but I lost him. I've resorted to using a timer to get myself to limit computer time, on occasion.

    Thanks, I wish you a wonderful week, too!


    Pizza, chocolate . . . girl heaven and a shoo-in for forgiveness. ;)

    Miss Spooky is improving. She does not appreciate the updated frequency of eyedrops (we've gone from 2 to 4 doses per day) but the vet said her eye looks better. Wahoo for that!

    I'm thinking I'll post a little bit from Warlord of Mars and compare to Wodehouse. Why everyone feels like they have to comment on the general character of women is beyond me. Men. Har. Yeah, sci-fi is still not welcoming to women. There's been a bit of a furor about that, lately. I think a few sci-fi buffs and writers of the male persuasion need to basically stuff it.

  21. Oh, poor Miss Spooky! Hugs and cat nip filled thoughts to her.

    That chocolate pile is EPIC. Yum!

  22. Rosemary,

    Thanks, I'll pass on those hugs. No cat nip around here, but we'll have her smoking weed in no time (kidding, kidding -- she would never inhale).

    LOL! I love it. "Epic" is a perfect word choice!

  23. When I lived in Germany, all the children loved those Ritter bars. They were in every grocery store, every train station, every place I looked. And to think I wanted my M&M's! They're not my very favorite, reminding me a bit of a Kit Kat with the cookie thing going on, but I do hope you enjoy your stash! It's quite a worthy pile.

  24. Bellezza,

    That's funny. I've preferred European chocolate since I went to London in 1980. There's a really broad variety of flavors -- some of them are really KitKat-like, yep. I'm finding I'm fond of the kind that has gingerbread in the middle of the chocolate layers -- but not all of it's crunchy cookie-filled stuff. Hubby's favorite has peppermint cream in the middle. Kiddo likes the strawberry yogurt flavor. Yuck.

  25. In case you're ever craving Ritter Sport chocolate, let me know and I'll send you a care package, okay? ;-)

    I love your blog, by the way, and subscribe to your blog posts!

  26. Kathrin,

    Aw, thanks. You're too sweet. :)

    Thank you! Are you Kathrin from Book-a-Week? I'm not a member, anymore, but I know we had a Kathrin in Germany.

  27. My pleasure, I mean it!

    And yes, that would be me :-)

  28. I thought you must be our BAW Kathrin! We go a ways back, then. Are your university years behind you? I can't remember if you said you're out in the working world, yet. I left when Donna died. It just didn't feel the same.

    You're so sweet to offer. Chocolate melts on its way to us, most of the year, since we live in a hot climate. Someday I may take you up on that offer, though. ;)

  29. Yes, we go way back :-) baw still isn't the same. I miss Donna a lot. She was a great person!

    And I'm still in university - working on my MA, which takes a bit, unfortunately.

    As for the weather: Winter package? ;-) If we set our mind on it, I'm sure we'll find a way. But I'm just saying!

  30. Kathrin,

    It just seemed a little stiff and uncomfortable after Donna left, I guess. I was feeling kind of burdened by the formal reviewing method, anyway, so it just seemed like the right time to go. Donna was a lovely lady. I still miss her, even though I'm no longer in her little group.

    Still chugging away at university, eh? I kind of envy you. I loved my university years and wanted to go for an advanced degree, but then we moved a little too far away from a decent university.

    LOL! It would have to be winter. Our winter is rather like an extended spring or autumn - cool but seldom freezing, just cold enough for a sweatshirt or a mid-weight coat (unbuttoned, usually). I do love our Mississippi winters. I think of them as Mother Nature's apology for the rest of the year. ;)


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