She instructed me to: “Walk across the room on the heels of your feet.”

I obliged, tottering along in Chaplainesque pantomime.

“Now back the other way on the tips of your toes.”

And, suddenly, I was a ballerina, capering back the way I came.

“Bend over sideways as far as you can go.  Good.  Now the other way.  Good.  Now lean forward and show me how far you can go.  Wow.  You’re flexible!”

It was kind of her to say, but: “Not really.”

“Now lean back.”

I leaned back and felt a familiar twinge in my lower back, winced.

“Un huh,”she noted and then consulted a note pad that, I suspect, contained some information wholly unrelated to my visit: a shopping list, her personal poetry, a recipe for pound cake.  “It looks like a muscle strain.  Would you like something for the pain?”

“No, thanks.”  The truth is, it’s less a pain and more of an ache that presents itself only occasionally, just enough to remind me it’s still around – and worry me enough to visit a walk-in clinic.  “So it’s nothing serious?”

I was looking forward to a reassurance, a dismissive hand wave, maybe even a derisive snort.  Instead, she fixed me with a suddenly serious look: “Come back in two weeks if you’re not better.”

Okay then, I’ve got two weeks to take it easy, take a break from the weights and workouts, and focus on some less strenuous pursuits like movies, whisky, and books.

With regard to the latter, I’ve decided to join a bunch of online book clubs in order to motivate me to read more.  The truth is, I read A LOT, but I always feel I can do better.  And so, here are the book clubs I’ve joined and the books I need to read in October:

For the Scifi and Fantasy book club (SciFi and Fantasy Book Club):


For the You’ll Love This One! book club (You’ll love this one…!! A book club & more):

1For the Around the World in 80 Books book club (Around the World in 80 Books):

11For the Genre Specific Review Group book club (Genre Specific Review Groups):

1The Evolution of Science Fiction book club (The Evolution of Science Fiction):

1The 2013 Reading Challenges book club (2013 Reading Challenge):

1Who’s in?!

22 thoughts on “September 28, 2013: On Backs and Book Clubs!

  1. Hey Brother man hope your back feels better don”t lift anything……be safe.

  2. Sorry Joe I’m a bit busy reading the likes of Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs and such on my free books app on my iPad. I figure there must be enough classics that I never read as a child and plenty that I want to read again (The Mysterious Island) to keep me busy and not have to pay for reading material for years to come.

  3. There’s this quote our family likes to say…it had to do with a vacation my folks took to Mexico, and there was this loud guy on the trip who was constantly complaining and trying to outdo his wife. They were walking along this hill and his wife meekly said something about her back hurting, and the guy angrily responded, ‘Well, if your back felt like MY back feels…!” My parents don’t remember what he said after that – they were laughing too hard. That was about 30 years ago, and to this day whenever someone complains about a backache someone in the family says, ‘Well, if your back felt like MY back feels!’…

    So, Joey…if your back felt like MY back feels, then I’d take some pity. 😉

    Honestly, this is killing me…KILLING me! Physically and mentally. The weather is GORGEOUS – in the 70s, dry, and sunny – and I can’t do a thing. You have no idea how it’s torturing me – I am not a ‘do nothing’ sort of person. I’ve spent the last two days mostly in bed. I get a twinge in my spine, but worse than that is the muscle pain on my sides – from my ribs down to my hips. I can’t move forward or back, or side to side! I can’t even sit up to read for any length of time (though I may try tonight). I was supposed to go to a party tonight, but couldn’t. I can’t get into the car to go shopping (which I was able to do earlier in the week), so relying on Mr. Das to tackle that chore, even though he’s been crazy busy with work. I think I did too much during the week and it caught up with me yesterday. This morning I thought I’d cry…it just hurt sooo bad to do anything (and that was after taking the muscle relaxant last night). I’ve been living in my jammies. I slept most of the day, though I did force myself to do dishes and laundry (I’m using my grandmother’s ‘grabby claw’ cane thing that old people use to pick stuff up…I LOVE this thing!). And then I just had to take a shower, which was quite painful, but at least I don’t smell like doggy poo anymore. I actually feel a little better since the shower – maybe because it forced me to move in ways I haven’t been able to the last couple days. Washing my toes nearly killed me!

    And next week is going to be just as lovely as this past week, then next weekend I’m supposed to go out of town for the day. I just have to get better!!

    Not sure the aspirin is working, not sure the muscle relaxant is working…Mebbe I should just drink more booze. 😉


  4. I feel so bad that we can’t fulfill your needs here on your own blog within your own book club. 🙁 I feel like a failure that you have to go elsewhere. Truth is, it’s not us, it’s YOU! 😡 You’re addicted to books and no matter how hard we try, how many we read, how enthusiastic we get, it’s never going to be good enough. I hope you find what you’re looking for. 😉

  5. With regard to the latter, I’ve decided to join a bunch of online book clubs in order to motivate me to read more. The truth is, I read A LOT, but I always feel I can do better.

    who needs sleep, right? 😉

    what do you do with the books when you’re done reading them? give them away? keep some to reread?

  6. @ KathyC – Put. The bottle. Down. 😉

    @ Deni – I do not feel sorry for you, you lucky devil. Enjoy these times, they will not last forever. Cute, cute, cute baby boy!! Look at that widdle tooth! Awwwwwe!

    @ Das – Sorry you are in such pain. Your bath helped? Maybe it was the heat? Maybe a heating pad would help. Well if your back felt like my… knee did when I broke it… 😀 😉 Get better!

    Anybody else…?

  7. I forgot my password…yeah, that’s it. That’s why I haven’t been around at all. Assuming this works, I’ll be able to post this. If it doesn’t, well, you will never know because I won’t be able to post….

    You must have survived that earth shattering storm the B.C coast was supposed to get on Saturday. We Albertans were expecting people from Vancouver to be blowing across the mountains and into our back yards all day. We even set up the nets. Of course, there were a few with badminton rackets ready to volley you people back, if needed. But those were the ones who especially do not like being labelled “red necks”. What can I say? I was fine with doing a bit of entertaining when you arrived. Joe, I was all set up for you and Akemi. I even ordered a pizza.

  8. I hope you feel better today. As far as reading more, I find I read in spurts, alot and then slower, I went to our fall book sale yesterday and always spend too much, but I can always find some author you have mentioned here or something that peaks my interest, so thanks for that and the suggestions.
    ~Aww Deni, how cute.
    ~das, take care of yourself.

  9. You really need to talk to a sports Dr. There are stretching exercises I’ve done when I was dealing with lower back pain that work pretty well. I was doing heavy power lifting at the time. Stretch out flat on the floor; raise the right knee and slowly pull it toward you, hold for five seconds, lower and repeat with the opposite leg,; after ten or twelve reps, draw both knees toward you and hold for five seconds, ten or twelve reps. Raise your knee toward you, keeping your foot flat on the floor.Then place your right leg over your left knee and, keeping your shoulders flat on the floor, slowly press the left knee toward the floor and hold for five seconds. Do the same for the left over right leg. This stretches the muscles of the lower lumbar region. If it hurts, then don’t do that. You may have more than over stressed muscles.

    Peace Dude…

  10. I will join you in reading Ubik and The Graveyard Book, the two that I own, as soon as I finish Earth Afire.

  11. Seriously Deni, that may be the cutest baby I’ve seen in a long time. What a joyous face he has!

    arcticgoodness: Glad you survived the storm! How cold is it there?

    Das: I pray you are feeling better soon! Are you going to the doc? Have you tried Aleve? Do you have access to a hot tub?

    So sorry for your back problems too Mr. M.. I’ve never had a doctor ask me to do all those stances during an exam. They usually just question me and X-ray my back. Sounds like sound medical advice on taking it easy though. Thanks for the book suggestions! I’ll check those selections out. I’m not sure I have enough attention span to join a club but I may try.

    Yesterday, we had a band competition for my son’s high school. I felt like a baked potato sitting on the stands watching the bands in the full sun for hours. We got home at in good time last night and I slept until 8:30 this morning. I’m usually up at 6:30 by the latest. I’m still exhausted from yesterday. It must have been the heat.

    I did get to catch up with an old co-worker yesterday who became a vet. She (Eve) was going to vet school when I worked with her. Her son is in band this year. When I knew Eve, she was just a kid. Time flies. I gave her the low-down on band mom life. Poor dear, she didn’t even get the matching shirts. 😉

  12. Joseph
    Some time ago you asked us for show ideas. I think I’ve come across the perfect formula. You take one of today’s big hits and combine it with a yesteryear show, or combine two shows from any time:

    Breaking Bad Schoolhouse Rock edition. A fun animated edition about a small band that gets anthrax. They teach children about English and government through song while building a meth empire they can leave to their family. Could also be The Monkies Break Bad.

    Breaking Bad All In the Family. Starring Carol O’Connor and Meathead. The racist patriarchal head of the family competes with his son in law to create a meth empire. His daughter is disagreeable. Rated E for Everyone.

    Breaking Bad Bread with Father Dominic. A lighthearted edgy new comedy where a Franciscan monk is trying to save his monastery from foreclosure by the bank. Murder and mayhem ensue. Hilarious new family show.

    The Walking Dead Under The Dome. No Escape. The Game Show. Season 37. Contestants are put in a dome where zombies compete for brains. If the contestant can survive three months, they win! If not, they join the zombies battling for brains. Everybody goes home with a prize! Now available: The home game!

    The Walking Dead – the Sesame Street Refuge. Muppets battle for survival using their wits while teaching children about numbers and letters. Each show has a valuable moral lesson and a new way to kill a zombie. No Muppet is safe. Or their operators.

    Strike Back Storage Wars. They battle international terrorism while searching for that hidden gem of a storage unit.

    For the science fiction fans:

    Weeds on Battle Star Galactica. The ships fall apart as everyone shows up late and baked or not at all. Not as interesting as we had hoped.

    Armageddon: the Cocoon’oning. Starring the original cast of Armageddon. Also not very interesting.

    Game Of Thrones Big Bang Theory. Sheldon and Leonard come to blows over Sheldons spot on the couch. Number one hit. Unfortunately the talent priced themselves out of work at the end of season 4 and everyone was replaced with look a-likes. The fans did not buy the plot line that everyone was magicked by the evil sorcerers. Cancelled without plot resolution. All the props were sold off as well as thousands of tiny bags of the actors hair, who are all currently in litigation with the production company.

    Star Gate Arrested Development. (SG-AD) About a man who tries to hold his family together while traveling to other planets to setup frozen banana stands and sell suburban developments to parasitic evil overlords. Now on Netflix.

  13. That’s what happened after listening to the first 12 episodes of the podcast “Welcome to Night Vale”

  14. @Tammy, Airelle and Ponytail: Thank you, sweethearts! He keeps me laughing (mostly). Unfortunately, he also keeps me sick. Was not able to escape this new virus of his and we’re both getting double nailed this time. 🙁 No idea how I’m going to do with this coming on the heels of the last one. Ugh.

    @Joecito: “I obliged, tottering along in Chaplainesque pantomime.” I love the way you write.

  15. @JeffW The almond crust was good enough to be its own dessert. Mine didn’t catch fire while making the cheesecake or even the puerco pibil that followed. It was a 450 deg. pre-heat that did it in. The fire ran out of O2 from the door being shut, too, but I did a test-spray for the extinguisher before reaching for the oven handle. I don’t think the oven’s damaged.

  16. It is reading weather, isn’t it? I want to read Stephen King’s Shining sequel after catching his interview on The View of all places, it was interesting to see that the View ladies love them some Stephen King.

  17. Sorry to hear about the pain. Hope it gets better soon!

    These books and book clubs look great! I’m going to have to add them to my list of when I have time to read books that don’t directly relate to my dissertation.

  18. I didn’t really dig The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. I liked the main character and the look at Botswanan daily life, but the actual story didn’t do much for me. I only ever read that first book in the series, though, so maybe it got better, and I ducked out before I could find out.

    That’s a crapload of book clubs, dude. You must read a lot faster than I do. I can read nonfiction fast, but anything with dialogue I read at the speed of someone actually saying the dialogue, because I’m watching it play out in my head in real time. And aren’t you supposed to comment on these books when you’re done with them? That’s a lot of discussing!

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