Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As I Was Saying.....

So when I am not reading Herbert Hoover's bio, etc., I read distracting stuff on the Kindle.  It's usually something short and fluffy.  A snack as opposed to my "meat and potatoes" reading.  Lot's of Zombie stuff.

The other night I wanted something different and I got an email from BookBub.  It's a free service that sends a daily email with one or two low price ebook suggestions.  I love it!

On July 27th I followed up on their suggestion of "I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry...".  It boasted a #1 rating in the categories "Travel non-fiction" and "Biographies & Memoirs/Travelers & Explorers".  It had lots of 5 star ratings and mentioned that it was primarily about a young English girl growing up in Kenya as it's time as a colony ended in the 50s.

So I downloaded it.  It was only 99 cents.

Here's the same spoiler alert I put in my review.  I am going to tell you what I didn't like and you have to read the whole book to realize it.  Susie Kelly, the author, goes through her whole childhood and lists all the bad things and then there is no revelation.  At least not as far as I was concerned.  Adults in her life say and do things that she doesn't understand - typical for a child - but then, she never finds the answers.  Why did her father do "X"?  Why did her stepmother say "Y"?

Now I realize that not everyone's life wraps up in a bow with everything in order.  However, I do expect some answers when the person bothers to put pen to paper.  I read this book (it wasn't that long) straight through the evening of the 27th.  I wanted to know "WHY?".  After I finished I was peeved and wrote the review detailing this.

Here's my review -
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easily the MOST disappointing Kindle purchase I have ever made.July 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry... (Kindle Edition)
This book was ridiculously depressing and dissatisfying. After you suffer through her whole stupid, sad life, no answers! The author dwells on all the awful stuff that happened to her - everybody has some lows - and passes over the good happy stuff. I must say I totally misinterpreted the title, lol! I thought, "I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry...." would finish up with "....but I'm not!" and there would be details on an interesting life well lived. But no, just drudgery and complaints.

I see it's rated highly and I am baffled. When you recount the people in her life who should have been there for her and weren't, I just want to line them up and slap them.

Hey, Susie, I'm here, you can apologize to me anytime you want. Thank goodness I only paid 99 cents.

The first reply comes from a woman identifying herself as Stephanie Zia, Susie Kelly's publisher.
Initial post: Jul 28, 2014 1:34:06 AM PDT
Thank you for issuing a spoiler alert, though I can't see any spoilers in your review. As you are requesting an apology here for wasting your 99 cents, as Susie's publisher I am writing to say sorry to you for having to go through the purchase of and the reading of a book that wasn't to your taste. A book you read remarkably quickly for something you disliked so much, the offer only went out a day and a half ago. I am curious to know exactly what you based your opinion on?
So I reply because you know I have no problem with discussions and people disagreeing with me.  Whatever, it's fine.

There was someone else who replied, but they were trollish.  Stephanie was engaging me in a discussion, so I paid more attention to her.  I understood she was a little hurt.  After all, she was Kelly's publisher.
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2014 10:06:42 PM PDT
Diane Miller says:
I am a quick reader. Also, I was eager to get some answers, some resolution; so I basically sat all evening and read it in one go.

For me personally, the point of an autobiography is to learn something from another person's journey and self examination. Kelly didn't learn anything and had no answers. I'm not saying everyone's life has answers and wraps up in a pretty bow, but this was just a pity party. It sounds like a hard life, but she was just rambling.

By spoilers, I meant that I was revealing that there was no resolution.
In reply to your post on Jul 29, 2014 2:47:43 AM PDT
That's not a spoiler but an opinion. To which, of course, you are more than entitled to. Of course she could have added a whole chapter showing what she learnt from this difficult childhood: her successful life both professionally as an author, traveler and animal rights campaigner; and emotionally as a wife and mother and friend to so many who love her dearly, including thousands of fans who have never met her other than through her writing. But she's not that type. The resolution is there in this book. In one line (I won't spoil it for those who haven't read). That's the skill of this writer. I find your review such a strange one: you read the book in one sitting, you are so angry you want to line up the people who weren't there for Susie as a child and slap them. That's an emotional immersion that only a highly skilled writer can achieve. I have to say, I think the unpleasant sneering directed at the author says more about you than the book.
OK now she is apparently offended.  But that is not germane to my review.  Susie Kelly may be a wonderful person, but I am still ticked that she wrote this ebook with all these loose ends and doesn't wrap them up for me.  So I reply in this vein.  I say I can't say anything about her other books and fans because I haven't read these books.  And I say I am aggravated with the whole "says more about you than the book".  Everyone's review is colored by their thoughts and opinions and says something about them.  That phrase is a smoke screen.  I vehemently disagree that my being upset with the people who were emotionally abusing Kelly is because Kelly was such a great writer.  I wrote that a kid could scratch out "Someone was mean to me" with a crayon and paper and I'd wanna slap them too.  And I didn't like the "unpleasant sneering" part and didn't think that was a fair representation of my review.  I said my review wasn't about grinding any ax.  I hadn't even heard of Kelly before I ordered the book.  I was just expressing my aggravation.  Or something along those lines.  I can't quote it because Zia complained and got Amazon to remove it.

Then she left another comment crowing about it and mischaracterizing what I said
Posted on Jul 30, 2014 1:44:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author 15 hours ago
Pleased to see that Amazon noted and have removed the earlier comment by Diane Miller who wrote that her comments were intended as aggravation. We appreciate feedback from all readers and respect their opinions. Why anybody would go to the trouble of posting comments for the purposes of causing aggravation are a mystery, unless for the purpose of attention-seeking?
Yeah, I never said I wanted to cause aggravation.  And congratulations Ms. Zia, you have managed to aggravate me EVEN MORE!!!

So I wrote to Amazon to ask for a copy of the comment and a fair hearing.

So here I am.....beefing at you guys.  For pity's sake, don't people know better than to try and stifle me by now????

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Ripley Laptop Is Back!

It's got a new screen and a new back and they even replaced the missing #6 key.

We are going to surf and play.  I am so happy.

Thank you CTS Computers, Inc. and thanks to my friend Kathy who brought it there, picked it up and shipped it to me!!

I was considering buying a twin bed because my room is a little small.....but what was I thinking!!  It will have to be at least a full size bed so I can sleep with my laptop again.

I've missed you laptop.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Reading List & My ADD

A while ago my cousin Martine recommended Amity Schlaes "The Forgotten Man".  It went on the list.  In February I ordered it from Amazon.

But we know that Jack Reacher has been interfering with everything.....he's my current obsession.  He is delicious.  I loved the movie, but after reading a few of the books, Reacher is less Tom Cruise and more My Marine.

I finally sit down with "The Forgotten Man" - right about now My Marine is hollering somewhere north of here "What about the list I gave you???"  Yeah, I'm getting there, I promise.

I'm probably 30 pages in when I realize how little I know about Herbert Hoover.  From what I am reading so far in this book, he is far more interesting than I ever thought.

So, I stop and I pick up a Hoover bio from the library on the fly.  When I get back to the house I realize that it's part one in a series by George Nash and covers only up to 1914.  1914 is the beginning of the time frame referenced in the beginning of "The Forgotten Man".  Of course!  It's not like I stopped and checked before I left the library.  LOL!  So what the hell, I start reading.  And indeed, Hoover's life reads like a novel of "The Great American Success Story".  Bonus, Nash writes well.  I am currently on page 398 out of 576.  It's been great, but I am dying to get to WWI.

Now I am concerned.  Nash has explained in the preface or forward...whatever, that he intends to attack Hoover's life in stages.  But what if for some reason he doesn't continue?  This has happened to me before; I start what I think is the beginning of a series and find out that for one reason or another, the author(s) doesn't continue.  I mean Nash wrote this in 1983 when he was 38.  What if there is no part deux?  Mon Dieu!

So I just checked Amazon and, whew!  Nash wrote part two in 1988.  As a matter of fact, there is a part three and a part four if I am so inclined. So, Schlaes (and My Marine's list) just got pushed back a little further.

As long as Jack Reacher behaves and stays on the shelf.

Oh, look...... a squirrel!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

So I Have Been Absent

For lots of reasons I haven't posted much.  They are emotional and physical and technical.

For the last few weeks I have been without my Ripley laptop, which I sleep with like a lover.  It's been repaired and coming back to me soon.  My Goering laptop is in Boston, I am in Virginia.

I lost my Droid and figure this is a good time to make the switch.  My boss Bette has been carrying my ass long enough.  I haven't worked for her for more than four years....I should get off the company phone, huh?  But I want to keep the number so it's a tiny bit complicated.

Then there was a delay, thanks to Verizon in getting DSL (no Fios here).  Just a customer service heads up, when you say on Thursday that you will be here anytime between 8 and 5 on Monday.......maybe you shouldn't wait till we call you at 4:45pm on Monday to say "Oh yeah, this order is on hold."  Clowns.

But now I am sitting here, surfing, tweeting, reading, Facebooking........reveling in the Internets.  It is marvelous!

My email is backed up ridiculously!  It will take ages to catch up.  But I don't care I love all social media.

However I did notice a few comments for the blog awaiting moderation.  One was pertinent, recent and funny and I released it as soon as I saw it a few days late.  But the other three are for a post that is four years old.  It's a post that gets crazy hits.  Even though it's four years old, I stand by every nasty, mean-spirited word I wrote.  And apparently that drives some people crazy.  Awesome, I love it!  And generally when people try to comment on it, they are too stupid to read the instructions and don't understand comment moderation.  So not only do they get all spooled up, but they do it multiple times because they don't see their condescending bullshit appear on the blog instantly.  Even better!


So sometimes, I publish the comments even if they disagree with me.  I generally only hold comments if I think they will hurt someone else.  Or if they are super hostile.  Or if I think it will bother the commenter.  Hehe!

Basically this married couple "minister" to people on how to be closer to Jesus.  Four years ago or so they wrote a book about living for 30 days like you only had a month to live.  Now I get the concept of "living like you're dying" and "living each day like it's your last" etc.  I believe in it.  And every day since my diagnosis, July 2, 2008 I have actually been grateful for the perspective.  I have done things I would have put off.  I think it makes me more grateful for what I have.

But the Shooks were on a news show talking about how this could be "an adventure".  There were jokes about maxing out credit cards and eating nothing but donuts for 30 days and woohee, what about when the 30 days was up.

And I didn't think it was funny.  Now that might have been because I had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer and the first stab at chemo had failed.  But I generally don't think I would have laughed no matter what.  Hence the title identifying them as "insensitive assclowns".

So people commented.  "Don't pay attention to such nonsense"  "We agree, what jerks."  Some people wrote me private emails about their own struggles.

But some people just wanted to come out and anonymously tell me that I "didn't get it".  And my answer was basically, even on all my prescriptions and through my turmoil, I am probably smarter than anyone who thinks I am too dumb to get it.  Not to toot my own horn, but I am smart.  And when the anonymous donkeys can't even figure out comment moderation, I am sure I'm smahtah!

So why talk about it now?  Well, there is this priceless comment from an anonymous commenter, blasting me for being anonymous (again, low reading comprehension - I am identified in the blog by my blog name and my Christian name and my married name and my maiden name....dummy) -

I was healed of cancer by Jesus. I've been given another terrible diagnosis and hope to be healed again with Him and God. 

Perhaps if you spent more time on positive healing and less time on anger you would be well.

Hehe!  Joke's on you fucktard, I am still here, six years and seven days post diagnosis.  Guess Jesus is pretty happy with me anyway.