Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I am SO Shallow

My husband has been sick, on and off, it seems like forever. Well, actually just since the beginning of January. His latest bout with stomach flu took away his appetite, and he went days without eating much of anything at all. By the time he went to the doctor he was starting to feel better, which is good, because the doctor did nothing, but I'm still glad he went. I'm thinking, though, that he got weighed in at that doctor's visit, because when I commented that he seemed to have lost weight recently, he said, "I lost ten pounds."

That's a lot of weight to lose, even over an eight-week period. Especially when it wasn't done on purpose. So did I feel sorry for him that he was SO sick and lost all that weight? Did I express sympathy or distress? No, I said "You look good like that." And I'm thinking that I'm going to stop putting dessert in his lunch.

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Books

More Books

Herewith some more notes on children's books, because I'm never going to be able to remember all this:

Dave Luckett

The Girl, the Dragon, and the Wild Magic

This book is OK, but the dragon doesn't make an appearance till the book is almost over.

Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing with Dragons
Searching for Dragons
Calling on Dragons

These books also sound more dragon-y than they really are. What they are, mostly, are the almost standard revisionist princess ("Embroidery is so BORING! Why can't I study fencing?") done really well. I enjoyed reading them quite a bit. It's kind of odd the way the dragons are definitely an essential part of each plot, yet remain so firmly in the background at almost all times.

Jenny Nimmo

Midnight for Charlie Bone
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors

The American publishers of these books want you to think that Charlie Bone is Harry Potter's doppelganger. In fact, these books are so much more. There is magic, there is an academy, there are evil relatives, there is (most suspiciously of all, in my mind) a big, bustling, red-haired (it's the red hair that seems a bit too much, to me anyway); there are many differences though. Definitely worth reading.

Maya Angelou

All God's Children Need Travelling Shoes
A Song Flung Up to Heaven

Time for a change.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

So here's the thing

Did you ever hear anyone follow the phrase, "Let's be honest (get real, tell the truth, whatever)," with something nice? One of my own little pet peeves, for a long time now, has been what I see as a general tendency to equate "honest" with "unpleasant" (or "unpopular" or "outspoken"). Number one, I think that the whole truth is generally more complex than that, and number two, it seems to me that sometimes people who use this particular phrase are just patting themselves on the back while shooting their mouths off. As in, not taking the time to examine a situation fully, and be accurate about what they say, but just go for the obvious unpleasantness. (I know, I shoot my mouth off a lot, but I'm not proud of it. So now I guess I'm flouting my humility, which is not a whole lot better. God, you just can't win.)

So what made me think of this? I found something in Maya Angelou's book of collected essays, Wouldn't Give Nothing for my Journey Now, that just leaped off the page for me. In her essay, "Brutality Is Definitely Not Acceptable," she gives her response to people who say, "Don't mind me, I'm brutally frank."

...I do mind brutality in any of its guises, and I will not be lured into accepting it merely because the brute asks me to do so.
Thank you, Maya Angelou, from the bottom of my heart. I only wish Ann Coulter could learn from her.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Rare Moment of Confession

Honestly? I am just so sick of myself right now. 51 years of having to live with my glaring character flaws and just plain inability to cope have left me really, really, sick of myself. And the annoying thing is that I've spent enough time and energy trying to change to know that there are parts of me that are just here for the duration. So I try to make the best of it, and get through life as gracefully as I can, but in the end, there it is.

Now this is nothing like being suicidal, and though I've been depressed in the past, I don't think I am now. Just deeply, enormously, disgusted with myself and my oversized overdramatizing of everything (including this) and the way it always comes down to just how truly obnoxious I can be without even trying. With the best of intentions! With love in my heart! And what have I done for anyone lately? Not too friggin' much. Besides aggravating the life out of people that is. And if you're one of those people (and you know who you are) all I can say is "Sorry! Really!"

Inadequate, but it's all I've got right now.