All Fall Down review and a Max update

All Fall DownAll Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This review contains SPOILERS!
Allison Weiss begins abusing pain pills because she has to take care of her kid, deal with her father who has Alzheimer’s (but not really, because he lives with her mother), take care of the house and write five blog posts a week.

This…this is what most of the women I know do every day, except those women actually have to leave the house to go to work and have to do more than 500 words. But fine, I’ll suspend my disbelief a bit and go with the idea that Allison is a special snowflake.

By the way, this isn’t Allison’s fault. Her newspaper reporter husband got a book advance and then made her leave Philadelphia to live in a McMansion! And then her blog was discovered and she was hired as a writer and made so much money! And she has to take her child to school!

My gripes:

I’d take pills too, if Ellie were my kid. Methinks the wrong Weiss had prescriptions.

I ROARED at the notion that Dave, the Philadelphia newspaper City Hall reporter, having conservative attitudes. I worked at a newspaper too, and I think it’s genetically impossible for a newspaper reporter in this area to be anything less than 100% DNC-4-lyfe.

Why AA and not NA?

For an author named Jennifer who wrote a main character named Allison, she did a lot of ragging on the popularity of the names Ashley and Brittanys. As a Kimberly, it’s my duty to tell you that the names Jennifer, Allison, and Kimberly were REALLY popular in NJ/PA in our time. We were the Ashleys/Brittanys of the 70s/80s.

I’m about the same age as Allison, but her mother who should be slightly younger than mine is written as so very old. Not just because of her … problem … but her hair, makeup, etc seems more of my grandmothers’ styles. I don’t know why she’d be some sort of Meghan Draper wife when she came of age much later than that.

And her mother managed to solve her lifelong problem in a few weeks, by the way, without rehab.

I wanted to read more about Allison in rehab. We went from the events surrounding Ellie’s birthday and flashed forward to Allison out and living her clean life again.

At the end of the book, how in the hell did they manage to have two separate households in Philadelphia with only Dave working and Allison having blown so much of her own money on pills?

Here on Goodreads, two stars means “it was ok.” And there were parts that were very, very good. I found her scenes with Dave heartwrenching, and her aching for how they used to be punched me in the gut. But the book was about 85% a leadup to rehab, and 10% what happened afterward. That 85% was very redundant.

Disclaimer: I grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ and still live in the area. I experienced a great amount of schadenfreude at Allison’s descent because I would have gone to high school with her hoity-toity, nose-job-at-16 self.

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***

Max’s blood glucose level actually went up yesterday (wtf?) so in addition to increasing his insulin dosage (we are up to 6 units 2x a day) we are switching him and Ollie to a higher-protein grain-free dog food. He has another blood test Saturday. Sigh.

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Friday 5 (yes on a Sunday) : Cards against Humanity

This is a blog so I have to put up the obligatory boot on ground pic.

This is a blog so I have to put up the obligatory boot on ground pic.

Hello hello! I am back from my Fall business trip to Atlanta, where the weather was sunny, 85, and GORGEOUS. I came home to a dreary Delaware Valley that was shrouded in low-hanging clouds and a mere 55 degrees. Today I am swathed in fleece.

I LOVED Atlanta! Granted, I was in the Midtown area most of the time, but that section was beautiful, green, and hilly. It was a joy (and a challenge, fitness-wise) to wander the prettily-named streets. The meeting was a great success and I came home with three new members. Not literally – that’s either kinky or kidnapping, depending on your point of view. More on Atlanta once I get the pictures off of my phone.

And speaking of pictures, I finally got off of my ass (actually, I stayed on it) and backed up most of my photos to OneDrive. It’s $1.99 a month for 100 GB of storage. Right now I organize my photos either by event (Atlanta2014) or by month for the random photos. This way my 6 dozen photos of Ollie sleeping are safe forever!*

We are both off tomorrow, he for Columbus Day and me for “worked on a Saturday so I get a comp” day. My weekdays are all messed up.

***

Keeping with the messed up theme, here’s Friday Five on a Sunday night! This week’s theme is Cards against Humanity, a game I played once and thought “this is what the hype’s about?” Eh, to each his own.

1. How many of those frequent buyer stamp-cards are you carrying around, and which promises the best reward upon completion?

Zero. I never end up finishing them, so I just toss them.

2. How many of those magnetic-stripped discount cards are you carrying around, and which offers the best rewards?

Overall, the Barnes & Noble member card has given us the most back. It’s $25 a year, but we get at least 10% off of books and stuff in-store, free shipping from the dot-com site and coupons to boot. Second place is our Silver Diner card, which is free and gives us $5 off every fifth time we dine there. Since we have breakfast there almost every weekend, that works for us.

3. How many other people’s business cards do you carry around, and which do you refer to most?

I carry mine became I can’t remember my work phone number.

4. How far away from you is the nearest deck of playing cards?

About 25 feet behind me. They are a pack of literary playing cards that I received in my Book Riot Quarterly box.

5. How many identification cards with your photo do you carry around?

Two. My driver’s license and during the week, my work ID.

***

Tomorrow I haul Max to the vet for another glucose test. Fingers crossed that it’s where it should be. He seems fine. I’m growing impatient with his pancreas and the “okay one more unit” every two weeks crap.

*Not a guarantee.

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Blockhead forever

I’m away for work – won’t be back until Saturday night – but I saw this and it made me smile.

And sure, these stars are purchased. But I don’t care. It’s a good picture.

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Working at the Philadelphia Zoo

TNP took us all to the Philadelphia Zoo for a team-building exercise. After a big ol’ picnic/buffet lunch (hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque chicken) in the Peacock Pavilion we divided up into four teams and went on a scavenger hunt. All of the clues were in the various exhibits, and there were bonus questions from non-exhibit signage.

Peacock pavilion / disinterested kangaroo / the underside of a sleeping cat

Peacock pavilion / disinterested kangaroo / the underside of a sleeping cat

We did a lot of running around and although we *saw* a lot, we didn’t get to *see* much of it because we were in a hurry. Even though my team came in LAST place (obviously, the other three teams cheated) it was a lot of fun. I haven’t been to the zoo since the 90s. It’s a LOT nicer now than what I remember! There are walkways overhead where they let certain animals walk on throughout the day. I assume they schedule it so that the leopards and gazelle aren’t on the walkways at the same time. I also don’t know how they handle the possibility of the Zoo patrons being peed on. I guess it’s a disclaimer on the back of the ticket.

Lions /  Peacock / ZooBalloon

Lions / Peacock / ZooBalloon

It’s the last year for the ZooBalloon. I hate it because it’s a huge distraction when I’m driving westbound on 76 and 676. It rises up ominously from behind the trees and when you’re praying that nobody runs you off the road into the Schuykill River, you don’t need anything ominous in front of you. The balloon was damaged in the winter storms earlier this year. Channel 6 (the sponsor) made a big deal that the balloon wasn’t coming back because it was only due to fly until this October anyway and couldn’t be fixed or replaced. People in the area eulogized the balloon as if it was their best friend. Tears were shed. But not by me.

But of COURSE Channel 6 became heroes when they ordered another balloon anyway. Channel 6 is an ABC station and their news programs have dominated the local airwaves for decades, so they had the money to get another balloon. Now the balloon says “Soar once more” and there’s no word if October will be the really real end of the line for the balloon. I guess no.

WM and I will definitely put the Philadelphia Zoo on our daytrip to-do list!

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