Da Vinci Code and sinusitis

While traveling, I picked up a copy of Dan Brown's huge bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. I haven't indulged in popular fiction since junior high, but the dearth of English-language books in South America broke down my snobbery defenses. At every bookstore, the choice came down to embarrassment minimization: which trashy novel would I be least embarrassed to be caught reading? Authors with a lock on English language shelf space in South America include Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Richard North Patterson, and an assortment of other names who are vaguely familiar as icons of American pop fiction.
Many pop fiction authors write glowing reviews for each other, and these decorate the back covers. Dan Brown's book won out because of the glowing reviews I'd seen from less biased and somewhat more respected critics online, from journals like The New York Times and Salon.
I finally got around to starting the book this weekend, and I haven't been able to set it down. It's hardly fine literature, but it is pure thriller, with a cliffhanger at the end of every short chapter, some only a page or two long. What's most intriguing is that it mixes in ideas and legends from the real world in such a way that you can't tell what's fact or fiction. I'll try not to give any plotlines away, but one of the central clues in the novel is that Leonardo Da Vinci's painting The Last Supper depicts Mary Magdalene, and not John, seated to Jesus' right. If you look closely enough at the painting, the apostle seated to Jesus' right does look like a woman. The novel discusses the number phi, 1.618, and the Fibonnaci sequence. Key characters in the novel include secret societies like the Knights Templar and the Priory de Scion, and the Opus Dei. That Brown weaves all these together in a complex but believable plot is its primary appeal.
If I don't finish the book this weekend, though, it will be because of a nasty sinus infection, my second this year. I had one after returning from Brazil, and I've brought another back from South America. I suspect it is the result of inhaling some river water outside of Cusco, Peru, when I leaped from a 25 foot bridge into the Urubamba River at the end of a white water rafting trip. The river water probably wasn't very sanitary considering how much trash had been tossed into it by the locals. We could see thousands of plastic bags along the river's edge, plucked out of the water by branches of trees and bushes.
I had never had a sinus infection until this year, so it took me longer than usual to diagnose it. I finally realized it Saturday, but my doc doesn't have an on-call number so I've been craving antibiotics all this holiday weekend. So miserable am I, with my aching teeth, throbbing sinuses, runny nose, and mild headache. It prevented me from enjoying to the fullest the pleasant weather, the Sasquatch Music Festival, my first road bike excursion in months, my first tennis match in years, and the play Over the Moon by Steven Dietz.