Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Working Girl

I'm ready.

Do you hear me, world? I'M READY!!!!

Some day soon I will be going down to part-time work for my company, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it. I thought it would actually happen before the month of February was over, but it just didn't work out that way. I'll be honest; it upset me last week when I realized that I would still be working full-time into March.

I am amazed by the women who work full-time as mothers AND as something else in addition. That's two full-time jobs to me. I can't work two full-time jobs, especially when Isaac is only interested in sharing my keyboard with me if he's in the office at the same time as I am. Fortunately, we are currently in a position that I don't really need to work full time, and I am incredibly grateful. Many women HAVE to work full time in addition to being moms and don't want to be in that position. Heck, even working full time I've been lucky to be able to work at home! That in itself has been a blessing for our family.

But I'm ready for this darn goal-making-for-the-year process to be over so I can officially go down to part-time and not feel like I'm doing half my best at either editing or being a mom.

Of course, once the part-time thing really does happen, I'm probably going to take the plunge and start teaching piano. I've already got requests. But you never know . . . maybe I'll be a terrible teacher. Or a fantastic one. It could go either way.

But for now . . . really. I'm ready.


"Work is the curse of the drinking classes." -Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Nerdy Kind of Love

I would like to talk about a love story.

There was once a young woman who lived with much sorrow in her life, enough so that her chief desire was glory in death. Her life had been pretty hard; her parents died when she was a small girl and the uncle who had taken her in died before her very eyes in battle (yeah, she was totally disguised as a man so she could fight). But in her efforts to protect him, she was freaking awesome and took out the captain of the enemy with the help of a small friend. She nearly died herself (she got better). But even once she was healed in body she was still unhappy.

There was once a young man who had no doubt that his father's favorite child was his brother. But he grew up still being a wise and noble guy, and men followed him gladly. He faced GREAT temptation and totally won against it like it was nothing. In battle, he was badly wounded, and his father almost tried burning him alive. Yikes! Fortunately, he was saved, again with the help of a small friend. The same hand that healed the woman healed him. Although surrounded by the imminent threat of destruction, he was at peace with himself.

This is when they met.

And that's where Peter Jackson freaking left it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, this post is about fictional people. I admit it: I get riled up about how fictional characters are treated. Okay, I am a fan of the LOTR movies. You don't deliberately buy the extended editions if you're not. (except arwen's freaking breathy voice. seriously. galadriel's an elf and she doesn't talk like that. annoying much?) But no matter how much you enjoy the movie, and no matter how much you may understand the necessity of changing things around and excising/combining people, places, and events in movie adaptations, if you're a fan of any book that's been made into a movie, there are parts you wish had been done better or done at all.

I love Eowyn, and Glen will tell you my deep admiration for Faramir (although you'd have to refer to the book to truly understand how awesome he is, but what peter jackson did to him in Two Towers is another rant entirely). But their story is completely cut out of the theatrical release, and in the extended version . . . Really? We're supposed to buy the Faramir/Eowyn story in THREE LINES??? It's more like, "Hey, we're alone here while everyone else is fighting. Hi, Faramir, would you like to be my rebound since Aragorn rejected me and I went to battle hoping for death?" Uh-uh. That's not what actually happened. And that's what you gave us. The people who have seen the movies without reading the books have no idea how cool their love story in the Houses of Healing is! I mean, sure, it's quick and it doesn't take up that many pages (although even a paragraph is more than he dedicated to arwen in the ENTIRE book!), but it's still cool!

I mean, here you've got Faramir, who has been on the brink of death, who will totally fight for his country but is man enough to say that he doesn't actually like war (which is a bigger deal than it sounds since all these people have ever done is fight; thanks, sauron), who let Frodo freaking go on to Mordor without being tempted by the Ring, who is more than ready to accept his post and prepare Minas Tirith for the return of the true king (something his father sure didn't want to do), and who Eowyn sees is a competent, good leader and totally cool dude. And he just hands his heart to her! From the get-go. AND he isn't afraid to tell her, either.

Plus he's wicked observant. I mean, he has one little chat with Merry and totally knows what's been up with Eowyn and the heartache she's gone through, what with stupid evil Wormtongue and her uncle Theoden becoming a living corpse, and then being rejected by Aragorn, etc. He knows what a dark place she's in, even if she doesn't tell him so. Paging Dr. Faramir! Dr. Faramir to the Houses of Healing, please! And he knows exactly why she admired Aragorm. But he also knows that she's into him, even if she tries to change the subject if he broaches it. AND HE CALLS HER ON IT! (are you getting that i love faramir?)

He lays out exactly why he loves her and tells her, no B.S., no flowery language, just straight-up declaration, and then outright asks her, "Do you love me?" I mean, who in the world today does that? Really? Who has the guts to just come out and say exactly what's going on? Boom. Faramir. Awesome. No stupid dating games for him.

And then Eowyn understands herself! And she's brought out of darkness! No more desire for death! Wahoo! Who did that? FARAMIR. Maybe some people get upset that she's going to give up her warrior ways, but come on . . . what was her ultimate goal in going to fight? I said it above: death and glory. That's what matters to her; you've got to know those aren't the purest intentions of fighting for your country. Even after she was first healed, she said she wanted to still fight and die because THEN she would have peace. What a terrible outlook on her life! When she says she's going to put war and fighting behind her and become a healer and glory in things that grow, it's this awesome turn-around! She has a purpose beyond seeking death! And, oh yeah, this awesome guy who loves her. Who's not afraid to kiss her in public, which is exactly what happens when she oh-so-slyly says she no longer desires to be a queen. I LOVE THIS PART!

Who doesn't want to see that? Apparently, Peter Jackson. Apparently Faramir and Eowyn's love story isn't all that special to him, even if they did awesome things. Apparently he'd rather have multiple scenes of Arwen walking around Rivendell, whining that her dad doesn't like her fiance. Oh, no, your hands are cold, Arwen? That's not dying, girl. That's winter; put on a coat.

You want to put a love story into the movie, Peter? Try putting the one in that Tolkien actually deigned to include IN the book itself rather than relegating it to the appendices (which is where you'll find aragorn and arwen).

I know the movie's ten years old; I know I've probably talked about this to several people. But every time I re-read Lord of the Rings, when I reach this part, I get slightly (if slightly means greatly) annoyed with Peter Jackson. So I implore you, read the book. Read about this awesome love story about two wicked-cool people.

I guess this was actually about two love stories: Faramir and Eowyn, AND my intensely nerdy love for them. I wouldn't get so provoked about their movie counterparts if I didn't love them. Because you want the people you love to get respect. Even if they're not real.


"It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." -Mark Twain

Friday, February 7, 2014

Every Day I Write the Book

When I was pregnant, I was recommended all kinds of books and websites and other sources to help me along the way to motherhood and beyond. I'll be honest. I skimmed maybe half of one of the books. (i did refer to plenty thanks to their weekly emails . . . and occasionally still do.) Considering how much I love to read, it's kind of strange I didn't take the excuse to read all of those baby books, but oh well.

Despite my lack of book knowledge about parenting, I think I'm doing all right so far, tumble down the stairs notwithstanding. I still get upset with myself for my short temper (i've never been known for being excessively calm), and I do occasionally wonder if I'm doing things right for Isaac, but overall, I feel good about my motherly skills. He's alive, after all, isn't he?

Our little ninja

I'm not saying anything against the people who do read a bunch of parenting books; it just hasn't been the path I've taken. (again, surprising.) But in the end, no matter what you've turned to for advice or tips or knowledge, you take your own way raising these little people. And hope you don't screw them up too badly. Or that you've put enough into savings for their inevitable therapy.

And then there are the times I think that I have absolutely nothing to do with how he's turning out. I didn't know how long I'd take or what efforts I'd go through to get him on a sleeping schedule, but it fell into place on its own. I attempted a couple of times to give him a sippy cup a few months ago, and while he wasn't too keen on it then, when he started consistently using it last month, I didn't do anything beyond leaving it within reaching distance.

He is sure living up to his name (Isaac meaning "he will laugh"). He will be by himself in his crib sometimes (usually during my attempt to get him to sleep in the afternoon. suddenly afternoon napping isn't cool, mom) and just start giggling. He always laughs when I walk in the room, he laughs while we eat, he laughs at my "oink" noises, he laughs when I tickle him . . . all right, so that last one isn't much of a head-scratcher.

He almost looks like he could be reading, right?

So, whether he is turning out his way is because of me or him or a combination of the two, he's definitely fun to have around.

Latest Isaac news:
  • He's getting into stacking things. Especially his wooden rings.
  • As of this week, we're basically exclusively on a sippy cup.
  • He stood by himself for at least five seconds. New record!
  • After being naturally apprehensive about the top of the stairs since last month's "incident", he's turning himself around again to go down backwards.
  • He'll let us walk him around and quite often appears to enjoy it!
  • New bedtime routine as a result of the move to sippy-cup-only: no more bedtime bottle. After less than a week, he might be getting the hang of it.
  • The move from formula to milk is over. No more mixing of the two (he didn't love straight milk at the first offering last month). Wish I could allow myself to drink whole milk. Does he know how good he's got it? 


"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." -Winston Churchill