Saturday, April 28, 2007

Outside Reading: A Must Read for Parents

Hey - I finally figured out how to post here! (How many months has it been? Duh. I'm a Wordpress girl.)

Anyhoo, it's just in time to tell you about the BEST book. I'm currently reading Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Becker and it's so amazing I simply can't do it justice. It's about protecting ourselves and our children from violence ~ including sexual predators and also things like how to choose a babysitter. I think it should be handed out to all parents & prospective parents. It's just that good.

I am reading so many books at once right now for upcoming reviews at The Opinionated Parent that I've given up on the book for this month but hopefully I'll join in for some summer reading.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I think we are a bad book club.....

Okay, nobody take offense.... I mean this with the utmost love and affection.... but ummmmmm we suck at being a book club!

I'm wondering if we've been too ambitious... if we've raised the bar too high.... I mean, we are all Mommies, Daddies, Students, (insert label here) and have a lot stuff going on in our lives, so maybe a book a month is too much right now -- maybe we ought to be doing a book every month-and-a-half or every other month -- that way we actually read the books and actually have the discussions.

I guess my point is (get to the point already) that we have the potential to be the SUPERCOOLEST BOOK CLUB EVA -- but we aren't really living up to that potential. We were supposed to have read CTICP by yesterday and I know that I'm only at the half-way point..... I don't think I'm alone (am I????)

I'd like to propose a revised discussion date of May 11th -- that gives us another two weeks.... anyone want to second the motion? or tell me to stuff it?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Calamities All Around

I have not finished reading the book yet (this was my only goal for my vacation and I failed, ugh). I do have to say I am really enjoying the book so far though. Two things I would like to point out while reading:
1. Note every time you encounter reference that you know is a real reference but you don't know it and you think you should. Many of her literary references are real (maybe all) and some down right hilarious but some I just know I should know but I don't know (and then I have to Google it and then I feel like I smoked too much pot in college). I feel like she must have hung out in a library finding all these references.
2. I read this passage the other night after hanging out with my ultra-Christian friend (we went to see Pan's Labyrinth and then have a cup of tea). This paragrahp resonated with me and I am not sure why. Maybe because I used to move every year, maybe because of the scintillating conversation I had just had pertaining to religion. Here it is (page 35):
Every now and then, at night, before I fell asleep, I found myself staring at the ceiling, praying for something 'real' to happen, something that would trandform me- And God always took on the personality of the ceiling at which I was staring. If the ceiling was imprinted with moonlight and leaves from the window, He was glamorous and poetic. If there was a slight tilt, He was inclined to listen. If there was a faint water stain in the corner, He'd weathered many a storm and would weather mine too. If there was a smear cutting through the center by the overhead lamp where something with six or eight legs had been exterminated via newspaper or shoe, He was veangeful.

I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I am.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Outside Reading -- Self Help

I don't want to steal anybody's thunder.... Kara (a.k.a. Cape Buffalo) reviewed this book not long ago here and Darren (a.k.a Clare's Dad) spoke to it here. Although I find myself agreeing with these guys the majority of the time...... I found this book to be a little bit fluffy and at points insulting to Dads.

Some background.... I didn't buy it, the Big Dubya got it in the mail for free. I was done reading Easter Rising and we hadn't established a book for April yet, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

In fairness, the book did raise some good points -- the whole score keeping thing is very true. The Big Dubya and I don't argue too often, but when we do it is often because I pick at him for not doing enough around the house or with the kids.... he counters with my not giving him enough "credit" for the things he does do and and I come back with my feeling unappreciated by him for my contribution. I sense this is a universal theme and that we could all do better in this area.... but, it was helpful to see it written out.

I also though they made some good points about women tending to over-manage their husband's relationships with the children. I know that I tend to do this.... if the Big Dubya does take the initiative to feed the 'lil man, I won't just appreciate the gesture -- instead, I'll critique what it is he's choosing to feed him (c'mon -- couldn't you give the kid some fruit?). This is not productive, as it discourages the Big Dubya from taking initiative in the future. I need to embrace the concept that it doesn't have to be MY way in order for it to be acceptable.

When the authors get into issues of intimacy (that's polite-speak for sex), I got a bit annoyed. Any couple that says the intimacy in their relationship didn't take a beating after the birth of their child(ren) is lying. I'm sure some relationships suffer more in this area than others, but.... they all take a hit. That being said, they kind of imply that offering up sex will get chores done around the house. Although it may be true, the last time I checked, people who trade sex for money (or services) got arrested. Is that what marital relationships have deteriorated to? What happened to romance?
They also discuss the "Training Weekend" -- many Dad's are involved enough in the raising of their kids that they don't need to be abandoned for 24 hours to appreciate their wives -- it's a little insulting to suggest otherwise.
Yes, the Big Dubya does recognize how much I do when I go out for a few hours and he's got to juggle the kids on his own. But similarly, I recognize how much he does when he has to work on a Saturday or travel overnight and I'm left on my own.

Was it an okay free book to read? yes -- would I suggest people go pay for it? no

Friday, April 6, 2007

Oh, heck...I belong to a book club...

So Kara was reminding me the other day that I belong to a book club. I literally didn't read a book in month of March. I meant to. Really. Then I read that people who were raised on the south shore could really relate to Easter Rising. I grew up on the south shore, now I really feel like I lost out (Dubs and I have waxed poetic about the Weymouth landing and Sacred Heart - it was a strange 'we haven't actually met but we ran in parallel circles kind of thing.') .
Kara knows me well. She knows that if I am actually going to get involved I have to be responsible for the activity.
So here it goes: Special Topics in Calamity Physics is the book for April. Here is why it will be great: the author is from Asheville, NC...home of the Biltmore Estate and Thomas Wolfe (if you don't him you need to read Look Homeward, Angel). And my daughter, Noodle. The book is about physics and calamities. Calamities people! And it is a mystery! It is going to be great, or we will pan it for all its worth.
I will start discussion in about 14 days (maybe 21). My vacation starts tomorrow so I will read a boook this month (as the Count would say: one, ha ha ha).
Review of the book: