Fangland Review



I finished Fangland by John Marks this afternoon.  I have mixed feelings about it.  Not really what you want to feel as you finish.

The book centers on Evangeline, an assistant producer for a major network news show.  She goes missing in Romania while on assignment.  While there she encounters the vampire-like enemy, Torgu.  His motives and method of subduing his victims are outside the box, which was one of the highlights of the story.  Evangeline and Torgu get back to New York where Evangeline’s coworkers have been infected as well.  It’s a struggle for both readers and the news reporters to figure out what’s going on.  Complicating the effort is the minimum of three narrators.  It adds to the mysteriousness at first, but by the end it added only pithy filler.

There were times, the first half especially, that were quite thrilling.  I’m not usually a horror/terror  reader, so it was kind of scarey in my opinion.  The second half steadily declined.  It got wordy and drug out the ending.  The ending itself had a twist that I didn’t see coming, but to be honest, I was happier that it was finally over.  The story would have been much better if it stayed focused on its assets.  The struggle with the vampire in Romania was thrilling and nail biting.  Like all good things, it was over too soon however.

One of my biggest problems with the book was its incorporation of the terrorist attacks on New York in 2001.  I think it was intended to show the magnitude of the fear and the vampire’s power as the characters are journalists working in a building next to the Trade Towers.  It came off as irrelevant though.  It was interjected every few chapters to remind readers, yes, the setting is in New York, and it felt more like someone name dropping their celebrity clients than it helped the plot.  It wasn’t a big point, but I was so annoyed with it by the end that it overshadowed other, less irritatating points.

In general, the book was just ok.  I sound really negative about it, but it wasn’t terrible.  It certainly wasn’t the devourable (no pun intended) book I was looking for between classes.  I give Marks credit for creating a vampire character that is built on very few of the traditional stereotypes.  It was a unique take on a very written about figure.  I agree with reviews by New Dork Times and Sharp Words, though, that it failed to live up to many of its glowing reviews.  Lots of potential-less than impressive delivery.

The Patient’s Vitals

My mom’s doing really well.  She came home from the hospital about mid-day Saturday.  She has a slew of medications to take everyday, but her appetite is slowly returning and she’s walking more and more.  Everyone in the house has shifting their schedules to make sure that someone is always at home to fill her water cups and help lift things when needed.  We’re settling in to our temporary routines for the next six weeks.  As long as that time stays just as uneventful and infection free as these first few days have been, we’ll be fine.

In other news, DH is home for the next week and a half.  He got here Saturday evening.  His warm bum in bed combined with all the energy I’ve been giving to taking care of my mom has made me sleep like a rock the past few nights.  I’m so happy to know that he’s going to be here longer than a weekend this time.  I’ll take every good night’s sleep I can get.  Snuggles aren’t too shabby either.

DH and I ran to the mall this afternoon.  We just wanted to get out of the house for a little bit since my dad was home.  I realized that my one and only pair of shorts that got put into suitcases before the big move was too small this morning.  Arg…major fat moment.  It’s not that I outgrew them exactly.  (Sounds a lot like denial…)   I hadn’t exactly worn them in several years.  I’m not a big shorts fan.  Capris I can do, but shorts make me self-conscious.  Taking advantage of all the Memorial Day sales, I got two pair of Bermuda shorts.  I like them because they’re longer.  I don’t need my bum hanging out the back of shorts no matter how long I spend in the gym.  Plus those short shorts make me feel like I’m trying to dress like I’m 14.  I shamefully admit that I still shop in the juniors department when I’m ten years older than that.  It’s not that I especially like those styles.  They just fit me.  The missus and womens departments have clothes that are cut for different, post-child bodies.  I’m too tall for the petite departments, and struggle to find smaller sizes in the grown up womens’ clothes.  Here within the last year or so I’ve been feeling the need to dress a little older or at least distance myself from the high school and early college fashions.  It’s been difficult.  Luckily I had success today!

Other than that, not much has been going on.  I’m in between classes, so I have a lot of free time to do all sorts of things that I usually can’t.  I wrote a bunch of letters so friends while I was at the hospital.  I started a rather scarey, semi-vampire book called Fangland by John Marks.  It is not the traditional vampire story, but I’m enjoying it.  I’ll have to let you know what I think of it after I’m done.  I started a small cross stitch project too.  It’s a 5″x7″ cute little thing.  It’s on light blue aida cloth and has a dolphin lounging with a lei and sunglasses on.  He’s sitting in an inner tube shaped like a duck.  In the empty space surrounded by bubbles it says “When life gives you troubles…blow bubbles!”  I love rubber duckies and plan on decorating my bathroom with them whenever I get a bathroom of my own.  I want to hang this up in there too.  I guess I’ve been rather busy, especially combined with Mom’s surgery and DH coming home.  I kinda hate to think that school will be starting up again.  All this fun stuff has to disappear again.  Better go enjoy it while it lasts.

Hospital Update

I’m at the hospital catching a few minutes of quite while my mom takes a nap.  I’ve been here every afternoon taking over from my dad who pulls the morning shift.  It’s been exhausting, and I’m not even the sick one in the room.

Medically, she’s doing well.  No complications have arisen.  She’s getting weaned off of liquid pain killers and iv fluids tonight in preparation for tomorrow morning’s departure.  She’s started some solid foods today too.  She says the pain had decreased although she’s having really bad bladder spasms on and off.  The big concern yesterday was for her to have a bowel movement and gas.  The doctors wanted to make sure there wasn’t a microscopic hole in her rectum area.  It came and went without complications, but it was excruciatingly painful.  It made her very scared and tired.  Emotionally, she’s horrible right now.  Exhaustion has made her start having panic attacks that keep her from resting like she should.  The heavy duty pain killers are adding to the drastic mood swings.  It’s been tough.

She’s going to have to have a catheter in for six weeks with very minimal movement to give her bladder time to heal.  I’m so glad I get to be here to help out.  Surprisingly, it’s been a really rewarding experience.  Today I washed my mom’s hair, and I help her into her blood clot stockings every evening before I leave.  She’s been asking for me to do thing for her rather than my dad.  It’s way more tiring than I thought, but I feel way more capable and confident in my abilities.  I’ve been watering her plants at home, making supper, giving the dog attention, and cleaning.  It’s all keeping me hopping.

DH is getting leave through the 4th of June.  It was perfect timing.  I feel like I can help my mom better if I can recharge my batteries better every night.  I never thought we’d get to see each other so much during this period.  I definitely makes the separation easier and helps me stay mentally balanced.  I fear that his leave is going to be quite boring, but at least he can sleep in a good bed and have good meals for a few days.

Not So Good News

Today was a long and not so fun day.  My mother was scheduled for a hysterectomy this morning.  She doesn’t have cancer, but we have a crappy family history and has been experiencing more and more problems recently.  It was totally preventative, but it’s still surgery.  The recovery is long and not so great, and there’s always risks.  She went into it this morning optimistic, but the surgery didn’t go well.  One of the major risks is that the bladder can get nicked since it’s so close to all the important parts that are being removed.  Her bladder not only got nicked, it got severely torn at an angle which made it very hard to fix.  An hour long surgery turned into about five hours.  It’s never a good sign when the doctors are nervous.  My mom’s going to be in the hospital much longer than expected, and her recovery is going to be much harder too.  Not a good day all around.

I’ve known this surgery was coming up for a few months, and I wanted to be here for moral support.  I’m way happier about being here now though.  My dad will have to go back to work next week, and I’m gald that I can be here to help out.  I can lift stuff and cook and make sure the dog is fed and walked.  Plus, even while my mom was all looped up on pain killers she said she was so happy we’ve been going to the gym before all this.  Victory!

I hope this works itself out.  No more complications or surprises.  I’m ready to play nurse for the next six weeks.  Bring. It. On.

Shopping For Baby Red

My best friend since middle school, Red, is having a baby in August.  She still lives within a few miles of where we went to school together, the same area where she has lived her whole life.  I loved the area and am so jealous.  She feels the same about my transitory lifestyle.  We’re pretty  much opposite in most ways, but we’re cohorts in crime.  Anyway, we’ve stayed in touch and we the Maids of Honor in each others’ weddings.  Her husband, Mr. Red the Giant, is a deputy sheriff in a tiny town.  She’s going to nursing school.  They just bought a cute little house that needs a lot of work, but will be adorable once it’s done.  They found out she was pregnant right after Christmas.  She called me on New Years Eve, and we spent the night talking on the phone rather than celebrating.  (I’m pretty sure I had a way better time than most people.  I hate those kinds of parties.)  I’ve tried to restrain myself, but now that it’s only a few months away, I’ve started the baby shopping.  Yay!

I got tiny little socks and three classic books while I was out shopping today.  I’m so excited.  I picked up a camo onesie while I was out visiting DH a few weeks ago too.  As we went through high school and college apart, whenever we called with news about a new boyfriend, we’d always ask if they knew about the “best friend” yet.  I have to make sure this little baby knows about me too!  And Mr. Red the Giant is an avid hunter, so I know he’ll dig the camo too.  I’m going out for the birth, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to mail my baby goodies because I’ll have too many to take on the plane with me.

DH and I have no plans for babies in the future.  We’ve talked about it a lot and really don’t want them.  We really enjoy our time alone together, and having kids pretty much makes that a rarity.  And my mental state is fairly precarious right now.  I worry that I couldn’t handle the stress that comes with parenthood, the military, work, and life.  Once a kid is born though, there’s no going back, and unless I am 100% sure I’ll be ok, I don’t want to risk it.  I’d be messing up an entire person for the rest of their life.  There are lots and lots of other reasons too.  We aren’t enthusiastic kid people.  We have serious student loans and worry about financially being able to support another little baby.  DH’s military career is just starting and more unknown than normal.  Starting a family just isn’t practical right now.  But…

There are times when I really, really want a baby.  The catch is, I feel the yearning is for only parts of the baby process.  The making is always great.  🙂  I want to see DH’s face when he finds out and when he holds the baby the first time.  I want to read to it.  I want to see DH’s face and mannerisms in another little person.  I also don’t want to wait until I’m close to 40 and then decide I want to be a parent.  I don’t know.  I feel like those aren’t good enough reasons.  They’re not kid reasons, they’re lovey-DH reasons.  And the kid grows up and I still have to be a parent.  I don’t want to do school pictures and soccer games and Barbies.  I don’t want tantrums and Hannah Montana.  I don’t want the kid past the few moments I’d share with DH at the beginning.  To me, those aren’t very good reasons to make a person.

I am just feeling a lot of pressure.  DH and I have been married longer than most of our friends and they’re all getting into baby-making mode.  Half of my cousins are expecting in the next few months.  It’s all they talk about.  I’m overjoyed for them, but the question that always comes up is “When are you two going to start?”  Uhh…we have to start?  DH and I have talked about him deploying and how that impacts babydom.  I can totally see myself wanting a mini-DH if something happens and he doesn’t come home.  We’ve talked about banking his swimmers.  I have mixed feelings about it.  It takes a lot of the pressure off of deciding right now, so that’s good.  I know I’d want a piece of him if I could.  I have hesitations about my kid never knowing his father, although not deal-braking ones.  I would miss DH’s involvement in the whole process.  All those moments I want now wouldn’t be possible.  It’s a tough call.  For now, I’ll enjoy shopping for baby gear for other people.  It’s all so cute and tiny, plus it ignores my problem entirely.


The final for this class is finito.  Let’s hear it…aahhh.  I going to let it sit for a few hours and reread it for last minute spelling mistakes before I submit it, but it is done.  I could not be happier about my two week break.  I don’t want to even look at one school book during that time.

To give an update on my wagon status, I’m not necessarily back on but I’m close.  I haven’t hurt myself since Thursday and haven’t even really wanted to.  I’ve thought about it, but it hasn’t felt necessary.  I don’t want to jump to conclusions and say I’m starting my countdown over yet because I’m pretty sure I’ll have some more moments, but I hopeful that it’s passing.  On a side note, DH hasn’t brought it up once since I called and spilled my beans.  You’d think that’d be something you’d check up on if you knew of someone at risk.  Hmm…  I’ll hold my opinion, but seriously…come on.

Lastly, I checked Mark Hoppus’ site yesterday and saw that tour dates for this summer’s Blink 182 tour are up.  In all the traveling I’m doing this summer, I’m not going to be near any of these shows when they’re playing.  Major bummer.  It’s a cruel, cruel world.

Struggling, And Not Just With This Paper

It is indeed late.  I know, but my days are filled with school and I needed a slight respite before going to bed.  First, this is finals week.  Yay for another class almost done!  Boo for having to get through the last torturous week.  😦  I does not get easier.  One final research paper about 25 pages long.  I’m about 8.5 pages in, and it’s due Saturday night.  It will get finished.  It always does.   Man, I greatly, greatly dislike this part.  I’m writing on the Mughal Empire during Medieval India.  I chose the topic to write about something different.  Great idea in theory…  I realized how little I knew about the Mughals once I started researching.  So I ended up with a research project that was a bit more labor intensive than I’d planned.  Two more days, baby.  Just two more days with my butt glued to this chair.

In other news, I did a bad thing.  I fell off my wagon.  Over three years down the drain.  I just couldn’t take it yesterday afternoon.  I was two days into this stinkin’ paper, and I was upset.  I went too far before I even realized it.  Once I was there, it was so exciting again.  It was like exhaling after holding my breath for three and a half years.  I wish it hadn’t been so good because then it would be easier to convince myself that I shouldn’t all over again.

But I also did a good thing.  DH and I have been in limited contact the past few days by choice.  I was spiralling downward and wanted to be alone.  He was more than happy to let me.  I called this afternoon and fessed up though.  Not an easy thing to do at all.  DH has zero tolerance for that sort of behavior.  He can blow a fuse over it before I’m even done with the sentence.  I did it though, and DH was very disappointed with me but he didn’t yell.  Points for him, but it still wasn’t what I wanted to hear.  I wish I could have gotten some comfort, some understanding, some concern for my emotional level if I was bad enough to do that again.  Maybe I don’t deserve it if I’m doing stuff like that.  Either way, I did feel better after.  Scared and very weepy too, but better was in there.  I don’t exactly know where this is going to go from here.

Since I’m here I also wanted to add how disappointed I was with the Bones season finale tonight.  It was a great move on the writers’ part.  The ending was totally unexpected, but geeze!  I could barely work today in anticipation.  I guess that makes it actually very good, but I was left unsatisfied afterward.  Can’t we all agree that that’s what’s really important here?  And now I’ve become one of those people.  I’ve sunken to new levels of lameness.  Batting a thousand this week, aren’t I?




Chillaxin’ to +44 tonight.  “Lillian” is making my eyes droopy….excellent.

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