So it’s been quite a day—my last day before going under the knife. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of surgery?
This morning I had my tutoring student to prepare for and teach. Fortunately, my voice is doing better today than it was yesterday.
While working with my student, I received a phone call from a stranger who made some intriguing claims, so I told him to call me back later. I’m not going to waste tutoring time talking on the phone.
I squeezed in a brief nap before heading out to my first book club meeting. I was more than a little apprehensive, but at least I’d finished the book. I was the last to arrive—thanks to the pouring rain which slowed me down and the fact that I “had” to get a cup of tea from the coffee shop first before going upstairs to meet my fellow club members.
There were ten of us, if I remember correctly. One of the other ladies was also “new,” but the rest all knew each other. I had met three of the other members, and have spent quite a bit of time talking to one of them. They had some themed snacks but of course I couldn’t eat them and that is just fine. I’m starting to think of food primarily as decoration!
Anyway, that discussion woke up my brain in a way that I haven’t experienced for a long time, and I enjoyed it very much. I belonged to a book club years ago, which consisted entirely of people I already knew and liked, and that was wonderful in a completely different way. This group is diverse and smart and articulate. I expected that I’d sit quietly and just observe, but that plan went out the window quite early on, especially as the member I knew best kept directing questions to me in particular. I love feeling so engaged and focused mentally. The time flew by, and by the end I had realized something about my reaction to the book that I hadn’t been able to verbalize until our discussion.
I think I’m definitely going to try to keep up with the books so I can keep going, despite all the other reading I have to do. I know that I will get to read some books that I would never have chosen for myself—which is great. I’m always up for learning something new. In fact, I thrive on it.
I had to excuse myself a few minutes early because I was expecting another phone call from the man who had called during the morning, and sure enough he called while I was driving home after the book club. He wanted to talk about my memoir, This Rich & Wondrous Earth. He had a thick accent, but claimed to be calling from San Diego. He said he represented a hybrid publisher that wanted to “feature” my book at a massive book fair in San Diego in April. He knew a lot about it, including its sales rank in a couple of different categories and the positive reviews it’s had. So far so good, but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and sure enough, it did. All this positive promotion and marketing would only cost me $550, because his company would pay the other $100! What a deal!
I didn’t commit to anything and asked him to send me all the information by email, which he did. Meanwhile I Googled his company, ReadersMagnet, and discovered that, as I suspected, it is a scam—and it’s run from the Philippines, not California. (The phone number was a California number, but in this day and age, that means nothing.) There were a few positive reviews of the company, but they were all clearly written by someone who doesn’t speak English very well so I assume they were generated by ReadersMagnet staff.
So, I declined his generous offer and asked him to refrain from contacting me again.
Meanwhile, my husband got an early birthday gift this evening. His birthday is on Sunday, and the kids and I were having a hard time thinking of what to get him. He couldn’t think of anything to put on his birthday list. Then I remembered that a big Chinese show was coming to the university’s performing arts center this week. The tickets were very pricy, but I knew with my husband’s family background in China, he would probably love it. So several of the kids and I banded together to get him a ticket, Lina volunteered to do his cleaning job for him tonight, and after supper he walked over to campus to see the show.
He did really enjoy it, although he was somewhat surprised to find that the show was a propaganda arm of the Chinese Falun Gong cult. It still was an amazing show and I’m glad he got to see it.
It’s going to be an earlier-than-normal night for me. I found out this afternoon that my surgery has been moved up to 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, which means I have to get up at 4:00 in order to be at the hospital by 5:30. Yikes!