A Girl Moment

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This weekend, I decided to cater to my inner adolescent and go and see Twilight.

Okay, I'll admit that I was excited for it. I loved the books, the reviews weren't too bad, and many bloggers (like here) said they liked it.

So, I took my mom and my sister, and prepared to enjoy a truly girl moment.

I liked the movie. Despite the reviews that said it was flat, and would only appeal to die hard Twilight fans. And even then, it might still disappoint. I still liked it. Even my mom liked it (and believe me, that's saying something.)

The characters were well casted, the story line true to the book, the soundtrack fantastic. The special effects were a little lacking, bordering on cheesy. But who cares, when you can look at Edward Cullen?

I was sure that since the movie came out last week, I would be able to get through the movie without the, um, "enthusiastic" viewers who went during the opening. But apparently, that was not to be. When Edward first made his appearance on screen, there was a wave of whistling and squeals. And every romantic scene was accompanied by more squeals and nervous giggles. (Seriously, is this the first silver screen kiss these girls have ever seen?!)

I thoroughly enjoyed my girl moment, and look forward to the DVD release.

Before the Holidays

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Every year, Christmas items show up in stores earlier and earlier. Some stores are barely letting Halloween hold the spotlight. And Thanksgiving? It's really just an excuse to have crazy sales.

I'm not really complaining. Although I do think that having Christmas displays in October and Christmas carols playing November first is a little ridiculous, I love Christmas. That right. Love, love, LOVE.

But I always try to pace myself. I don't play the carols or put of decorations at home until it is good and truly December. And I try to not buy anything until after Thanksgiving. You know, just making sure every holiday gets its due time.

And this year, I did pretty good. I only bought two rolls of beautiful wrapping paper and two (okay, fine, three) presents (which were way too cheap to not buy at the time). (And if I see the perfect wrapping paper, I have to buy it, regardless of what season it is, because it is slim pickins' later in the year. And the quest for the perfect wrapping paper never ends.)

But in two days, I will not have to make excuses anymore.

Let the holidays begin!!

And Happy Thanksgiving.

The Problem with Being Cheap...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recently, I decided that I couldn't afford to keep buying books at the same rate I was reading them.

(You know, with times being what they are, we all have to cut back.)

So, I went somewhere I haven't been since I first got married: The library.

And at first, it was great. I checked out six books, and it didn't cost me a penny. I nearly skipped out to my car with my armload of $100+ worth of books.

I was able to finish Le Guin's series.

I started the Inheritance cycle.

And that's where the joy ended. I was able to get the first two Paolini books without any trouble. But the third book. Well, that's another story. The book just came out a few months ago, and there is not a single library in the valley that currently has it on its shelves. I reserved it, only to be told "Your queue number was 659."

I think it is going to be a while before I get that book. At least the free way. The book is only $14.86 at Costco (Hardcover!). It is very tempting. Especially since I can't really read anything else while I'm mid-series with other books. And since I can't really write a great post about the books until I've read the entire series.

Needless to say, this is a dilemma.

Maybe I'll re-read Twilight, waiting for the other 659 people to hopefully quickly read Brisingr.

Mark Twain

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Before I go out of town and completely abandon both my family and this blog for an entire week, I thought I would leave some parting thought.

These thoughts come from the brilliant mind of Mark Twain, who always has a quote that fits my mood when I being particularly sarcastic.

So, ponder on these:

"Supposing is good, but finding out is better."

"The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so."

-Mark Twain


Saturday, November 15, 2008

While I'm on my fantasy kick, I decided to re-read some books that have been sitting on my shelf for years.

My grandmother got me a collection to Ursula Le Guin books while I was in middle school and on a huge science fiction reading kick. Let's just say I wasn't entirely pleased, but did read them. I had forgotten much of the details, but remembered that I enjoyed them, and was excited to read them again.

The first three, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore are a must read for fantasy lovers. The style of writing and epic adventure story line reminds me of Lord of the Rings. The "main" character, Ged, is an amazing hero, that I really want to support. Each of these stories can stand by themselves as an individual story (unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy). However, reading them in order adds a depth to each successive book that would be missed otherwise.

I was excited when I found out that Le Guin had continued the series with Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind.

However, after reading Tehanu and Tales from Earthsea, I must confess that I'm not as excited to read The Other Wind as I previously was.

The collection of stories in Tales from Earthsea was a great collection of short stories, each with intriguing characters and interesting plots.

However, the difference between the original three books and Tehanu is striking. You can tell that Ursula K. Le Guin has undergone some personal changes. The book lacks the epic adventure that was at the heart of her first three books, moving at an often painfully slow pace with adventure and plot development few and far between. The book does focus on roles of male and female in society, not so carefully disguised under the cloak of magic. The theme was intriguing for me. Unfortunately, the story line, while interesting in parts, was not enough to engage the reader.

The interesting thing about these books is Le Guin's incredibly original twist on dragons and their origins and relation to people. (Sorry, no plot spoilers here.)

I still plan on reading The Other Wind, just because there is no way I can leave a series unfinished.

So my final recommendation: Read the first three books. They are FANTASTIC. But feel free to stop there.

The Female Ego

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We hear a lot, A LOT, about the male ego.

And supposedly this explains the majority of their behavior. Anything from problem fixing, chest thumping, job ambition, remote controlling, and door opening all arises from the sometimes frail male ego.

But we never hear about the female ego.

I never thought about my own personal ego until about 5 years ago. Before this, my feelings go hurt, I studied hard, and tried to fix my friends problems, not from an ego stand point, but because I was female and I was me.

I first became aware that I had an ego just as fragile and ambitious as any male when I went to medical school.

As an undergraduate, I think that all pre-med students are used to being at the top of their classes. I know that I was. I did better than most other students and had the grades to show for it.

So I entered medical school with these same expectations, even though I don't think I had ever given them the time of day to properly define them.

However, after our first anatomy exam, I scored right in the middle of our class.

And at that time, I realized that I am only an average smart person.

My egotistically way around this was to study harder than the above average smart people. And it paid off for the most part.

I am writing about this because I just had another run in with my ego. I got my first interview rejection. I wasn't necessarily bothered by it. I hadn't planned on interviewing at Stanford anyway. (And honestly, I'm not just saying this because they turned me down). The cost of living is ridiculous in Palo Alto, and there is no way to afford a home that my family desperately needs. But I wondered why the rejection carried with it a little bit of a sting. Being completely honest, that's because I liked to think of myself as Stanford material. And to have Stanford tell me I'm not hurts my ego.

I'm going to go nurse it with some plane tickets to a program that wants me.

Two Places at Once

Thursday, November 6, 2008

There is a problem with having two blogs.

When I initially started blogging, I, like so many other busy parents, started one to keep friends and family updated on the comings and goings and life-happenings of my little family. I regularly post photos, school events, and birthday parties on my family blog.

(I have also poked and prodded nearly all of my family members to start blogging as well, so that I can keep up with what is going on in their lives. It so far, has been to no avail. Although three of them have set a blog, none of them have posted since the day they first logged on.

But that is neither here nor there...Just a continuation of my guilt trip.)

I initially started this particular project when I felt that I had more to share than was appropriate on a family newsletter type blog. I wanted a place to talk about books, poetry, quotes in particular, random thoughts and life in general.

And it has been great so far, each blog respectfully maintaining its boundaries.

But I find that there are some topics that don't pigeon hole as nicely as I would like them too. Do I talk about the election on this blog or the family blog? (I decided to write on both.)

When I am feeling overwhelmed by the joy and struggles of parenthood and career and marriage, do those thoughts belong to my family, or to the more anonymous world of this blog? I'm not sure.

The blogs have more defined roles than my thoughts do.

While I work that out, I will share this.

That I am fiercely proud of my children. Even now, after and in the midst of the messes, power struggles, teething, and frustrations, I am deeply in love with them. I tear up when I am presented with drawings done especially for me. I feel the heart crushing pride at each new idea, statement, leap of faith, and step of independence.

I love my children.

Yes We Can

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I have attempted to make this blog a random collection of thoughts, opinions, and self-reflection.

I have attempted to avoid politics (despite how much I talk about them personally).

But tonight, I will say that I feel priviledged to have seen America come together and vote a black man into the highest position in the United States.

Regardless if you are for Obama or McCain, big government or small government, for the war or against it, this is an amazing milestone in not only our history, but the history of the world.

I know that there is no perfect politician. That promises made on the campaign trail are mostly empty. That there is more red tape and interia against change than there is for it.

But I will say that when I listen to now President Obama speak, that for the first time I can remember, I feel hope. That things will get better. That I can stop being so afraid of what the future has to offer my children. That finally, I have reason to believe that we can make a better world.

And nothing has made me feel like that in a very, very long time.

Having been raised in a extrememly "red" state, by conservative parents, I have always considered myself conservative, right-winged, red, or any other label you would choose to put on it.

But today, I am proud to have contibuted to what I feel is finally, a reason to hope.

Yes we can.

Tickle Me Pink, or blue, or yellow...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Apparently, I have a lot of free time on my hands.

I don't really, I just think I do.

Apparently, I have time to read random blogs, take online personality tests, and watch cooking competitions. So really, I should have time to put away the growing pile of laundry, write my research paper, finish some of my art projects, and cook dinner.

However, is there anything better than online personality tests? This one is interesting, since it is based on colors. Apparently that fact that I like blue more than purple, and lime green more than gold says a lot.

Like that I'm an "Organizer" and a "Persuader."

My husband's only comment: "You really need a test to tell you that?"