Thursday, February 28, 2008

Booking Through Thursday 2/28/07

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

1) The obligatory but totally heartfelt mention of: Lizzie Bennet
2) One of my absolute favorites, with whom I would like to actually be friends: Mary Russell (Laurie King's series)
3) I grew up with (and a little bit into): Anne with an E
4) I bow down to: Taylor Greer (Kingsolver)
5) I really enjoyed: Door (Neverwhere)
6) I loved: Meg Murray and Vicky Austin (L'Engle)
7) I enjoyed accompanying: Harry (McKinley)
8) The obligatory but heartfelt mentions from the Bard: Beatrice, Rosaline, Lady M.

Good thing we could pick more than one! But that's actually, let's see... 11. Not bad, considering I definitely left off big female characters of books I love. Only if I love the character did she make the list. Although I'm sure I forgot some and I'll hopefully re/discover some excellent reads from others' responses.

1) Lizzie Bennett rocks because she is strong but playful, honest yet kind, confident and still learning. She sticks to her guns when it matters but clearly can still refine her understanding, to her benefit and others'. Humor and wit dancing upon a rock solid foundation are so more enjoyable than just a ditz, or just a rock.

2) Mary Russell because of the mind Kingsolver creates for her, a peculiar and expansive personality that makes any of the series' books an enjoyable read. She's brilliant, stalwart, wry, hardworking, religious, fragile in surprising places, and comfortable dining with nobility and squatting with beggars. She can speak a dozen languages, and can stand up to Sherlock Holmes! She's a remarkable yet utterly real person.

3) Anne Shirley can be annoying but mostly I love her for her romantic imagination and her dedication to the people and purposes she encounters, which she's always balancing with her dedication to herself. She was a friend when I became a teacher and went through, funnily enough, many of the same things. She's tough, too.

4) Taylor Greer from The Bean Trees is hilarious, naive, wise, human.... she speaks in great Taylorisms and doesn't just stand up for the abused and marginalized, she gives of herself to them, directly. I think she is exactly what the world and every nearing-twenty-year-old needs right now.

5) Door was just awesome. Gaiman writes cool female characters and Door is both thoughtful when it matters and kick-ass.

6) I think I actually prefer Vickie Austin to Meg Murray... I'd have to reread all those L'Engle books to recall, but I really liked Vickie the writer and bike-and-bum around town girl. Meg had better adventures overall. Both were admirable and companionable female protagonists.

7) Harry just lets you fall into her narrative. She's a tomboy but utterly a woman. And she takes that act wherever she needs it.

8) Beatrice because she is funny and flawed and deeply loving under it all. Her love comes out in flawed ways and her flaws flip around to love... weird and wonderful. Rosaline could have whimpered and wept but mostly just makes lemonade and fixes the mess of a kingdom all the men have made. And Lady M is of course evil, but delightfully so, a more real evil than the scores of wicked women in books.

Ah, Satire!

Lest we forget the good old times as we look forward to next January...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catching up on Booking Through Thursday

In preparation for tomorrow's question. What?! Sometimes I just can't type when I'm online; it would wake the sweet slumbering babe at my side. And that's good sweet slumberage I'm not willing to give up for the ability to clickity-clack away at the ether of cyberspace.

So here we go:

Okay, even I can’t read ALL the time, so I’m guessing that you folks might voluntarily shut the covers from time to time as well… What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time? Walk the dog? Knit? Run marathons? Construct grandfather clocks? Collect eggshells?

Exactly, yes. All of those things. Okay, not really. I breastfeed for fun in my spare time. No, wait, it's the other way around-- when I'm NOT nursing sometimes I do other stuff. Like teach myself to knit, teach myself Italian, teach myself to cook better, go for long walks to exciting places like the grocery store with a baby strapped to my back, teach people and learn how to wear babies strapped to your back, stuff pocket style cloth diapers... I used to just grade English papers in what would have been my leisure time but that got old so I decided to try a career in full-time lactation and poop-wiping.

Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

Not really...

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

Paperbacks! They look lovely enough and sooooo much easier to read/hold above your face burrowed down in bed/hold w/ one hand as you nurse etc etc etc.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

There are so many amazing things our daughter does and I wish I could record them all, but I'm too busy watching her do them, really. Just now she once again blew air through her little lips when we read the baby signs book and got to "hot." And then there was yesterday, when we were reading a book that said, "Daddy," and she started looking for you, looking at your picture on the wall, so I took her in to where you were sleeping and she said "Da Da" with such deliberation it must have been naming you (and not just exclaiming at everything as she does). What a birthday present for you! And then how she looked in the mirror to admire her new amber teething necklace, clearly aware that it was a tool she could use to see the necklace that was too close to view directly. What a genius! But it's just the million adorable things she does all day every day that endear her to our hearts more and more and more!

Here's your girl lately:

Hugging Daddy

My tree!

Mommy, why are you outside in the rain?



She ate the whole bag

Happy Birthday to three!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Non-Toxic Tips

Just started looking through this site, full of tips for parents about the products that come into the most contact with our precious kiddos...

Washington Toxics Coalition

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

In honor of the imprisoned and martyred saint, here's a picture of my adorable daughter with the valentine from her great-grandparents:

Smiling Valentine

And a sideways video (sorry, all images were in a mirror and hey, I'm used to rotating the pics!):


I'm sorry, but COME ON! How cool are we women?

Dashing Daddy always likes to say, "Just put a little breastmilk on that" when Tiny Face or I have a scratch, or a rash. He likes to remind me how breastmilk kills cancer cells. Well, hot dang, here's more fodder for him. Making milk really IS a superpower! I always knew ultimately it would be us women who were going to save the world....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here comes trouble...

I'm waiting for tomorrow's comic! I always liked Stone Soup...

Stone Soup comic

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Booking Through Thursday 1/31

Sometimes I find eccentric characters quirky and fun, other times I find them too unbelievable and annoying. What are some of the more outrageous characters you’ve read, and how do you feel about them?

Well, I hated Dobby in Harry Potter (til the last book...), always going off on tangents and hitting himself and screaming, blah, but I think a house elf starts off rather unbelievable already. Hmm.

I suppose Jonathan Saffron Foer comes to mind, and then his wife Nicole Krauss. The young narrators of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The History of Love were both precocious eccentrics, as was brother Bird in Love. Actually most of the characters in those books are. And Leo G especially. I really enjoy these characters because I think we all feel odd and bizarre, compared to what's so often presented as normal behavior by the commercial media and mimicked by the pretty people. So even if it seems random, it's more real than something common. I like the imagination that it not only displays but imparts, reminding us to live the way we feel like living, whatever it may look like.