I am so glad that you collectively know everything because you are magnificent at solving all of my domestic woes, big and little. I would say thank you but I am too busy sobbing gratefully at your feet. The neurotic cat (excuse me, I should say the male neurotic cat- we have two. two crazy ones. four in total) has stopped using the basement like a subway station at 3am* AND I was able to completely eradicate all traces of his naughtiness** AND Patrick's scab is finally going away*** AND the basement, tastefully painted in an array of colors recommended exclusively by you****, is finally ready for furniture. I am beside myself with gratitude for all your excellent advice.
I am also a wee stressed about the upcoming trip to DC. Although I could write all of my travel/IVF related fears in small print on a piece of cash register tape and unroll it as far as the sun, the anxiety du jour seems to revolve around reading material. No, really. I woke up in the middle of the night and worried about what I should bring to read. Last IVF (and I am only confessing this to you so please don't tell anybody because I must protect my reputation, much deserved, as an intellectual,) last IVF I kept myself amused and stress-free by reading about 50 Regency romances. Now I am at a loss. If I re-read an old favorite I am afraid it will fail to distract me. If I try something new it might wind up being about serial killers and that would distress me.
So I thought maybe you could tell me about your absolute favorite books of all time and I could see if anything sounds good (your favorite books may very well be about sociopaths and that is totally fine and absolutely normal but if your taste does run toward the Powerful rather than the Frothy you might add a little note like: "I adore this book but you should know that the main character winds up dead from a botched embryo transfer"- that sort of thing.) I loved it when we all shared our favorite books from childhood, so same thing minus the juvenile slant (or not, I suppose.)
Mine (these are the books that always make me feel happy and I read and re-read and buy them again when they start to lose their covers) are:
Everything by PG Wodehouse but most specifically the school stories: The Pothunters, The White Feather, Tales of St. Austin's and The Prefect's Uncle.
Pride and Prejudice
The short stories of Kate Chopin. Pretty much everything except "The Awakening". That story bugged me.
Middlemarch by George Eliot.
The collected works of Dorothy Parker.
The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.
The Mapp and Lucia series by EF Benson. This is from the 1930s and is such a delightful read. There are six books and I think I have read them all at least a dozen times.
Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. I love this book. Also The House of Mirth.
Everything Dorothy Sayers wrote.
"Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Most of the books Agatha Christie wrote in the 1920s and 1930s. Some from the 40s.
The short stories of John Cheever.
Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter.
Everything by Anthony Trollope, especially the Palliser novels.
OK. Now you tell me. Favorite book or books, please.
* We already had six litter boxes in the basement (and one upstairs in the closet for the cat who lives in there) but we moved one closer to where Kelvin has been... expressing himself. We also put a food bowl there. Then we covered most of the area of horror with aluminum foil and plugged in a Feliaway for good measure. Finally we have been smothering the little fink in love and attention. It all seems to be working so far.
**Anti Icky Poo is the BOMB! If you have "pet odors" or "decomposing corpse smell" you owe it to yourself, your neighbors and the investigating officer to pick some up today! And by "pick some up" I mean "order online" as I was unable to find any local place that actually carries the stuff.
***You would have thought that I would have been clever enough to trim Patrick's nails extra-short, but no. I tried that and have been using Cortisone and Neosporin anti-pain and it is actually working. I liked the hemorrhoid (a word I do not know how to spell, nor do I wish to know) cream idea, too, but opted for what was in the closet first. Ditto that Bag Balm. Will pick up for later use, though.
****Basement photos pending. Also this week I am going to put up photos of our soon-to-be empty living room and ask for your help in decorating it. Simple stuff like: where should the chairs go and should we buy a grand piano if I PROMISE I will learn to play it and practice every day and... well, you'll see. I am baffled.