Actually: fevers. About a week ago. Running gorgeous all that weekend. Add some crushing congestion headaches and you've got some heartfelt prayers for death. Starved myself to turn any kind of corner. Then it seemed to boil down. Dripping away for a week. Still: popping noises in my head last night. And these headaches, a bit dizzy. Everything feels far away.

A friend of mine says I have the immune system of a pet store parakeet but really I just need to stop kissing my baby -- all that wet sloppiness, tongue sticking out sideways ... and that's just on my end.

Believe me, no one is more sick of writing posts about being sick than I am. It's like Groundhog Day littered with kleenex.

Anyway: I've sweated and shivered and finished up some reading, even watched some dvds. So there'll be a lot of that here for awhile.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

I read this a very long time ago, and remembered most of the good bits, but not the ending and certainly not the sheer mendacity of the main character, Frank -- a young man who rules the Scottish island he shares with his father like some kind of misanthropic witch doctor, guarding the place with his "Sacrifice Poles" (adorned with animal skulls) and conducting all manner of staged wars (Ordinary Soldiers versus the Aerosols, for example, or a vengeful but calculated killing spree against the local rabbit population) and strange divinations (in fact, the Factory of the title is a sort of fortune-telling torture chamber for wasps). Almost isolated from the outside world entirely (aside from drinking binges with the local dwarf), Frank certainly channels a highly individualized ... creativity. His human murders, all committed in his own childhood, almost have a theatrical quality -- one tiny victim is attached to a giant kite and sailed out across the North Sea. And of course there is an older brother who is very insane, and now escaped from custody, and making his way back to the island, which will lead to a lifelong mystery being solved.

In keeping with the spirit of the thing, the publishers of my (old) copy included many disparaging reviews. The Irish Times? Hated it. Sunday Express? Hated it. The Times? Hated it. And many others. The Evening Standard wrote:
A repulsive piece of work and will therefore be widely admired. Piles horror upon horror in a way that is certain to satisfy those readers who subscribe to the currently fashionable notion that Man is vile.
This was 1984. It has since become known as something of a modern classic.


  1. so sorry about the germies. I always feel so horrible when I'm sick from Jake because I wonder if he feels the same way I do, but it does seem that it hits us grownups harder.

    Also, this might be my favorite sketch of yours ever. I love bug art. My whole living room is decorated with bug art.

  2. I am intrigued with the story..I might have to find it..even if it creeps me out. Love the bug too..wonderful use of line.
    It seems you have had a lost week due to the fevers..sure hope you get better soon..maybe some spring like weather would help?

  3. Fabulous
    good creations

  4. hope you get better soon... Kafka.

  5. I've been looking for a new book to read - I don't think this is the one! Nice drawing though.

    Everyone sick in our house this weekend too - usually DJ starts it, I think I did this time, or else it just got a grip on me first. I am assured it will end once he goes to Uni :)

  6. May I request a crab book-page sketch?


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