“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
“Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.” — Alan Moore
“Tell all truth but tell it slant.” – Emily Dickinson
“You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair,” said Anne reproachfully. “People who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is.”
– Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I’ve always felt a fondness for Anne. Poor little Anne who tried so hard to be good, but was so curious and sometimes let her temper get the better of her. Reminds me of me. I also always loved her for her red hair and her “Anne with an e” bit – my middle name is Anne. Yep, with an E.
“An author doesn’t necessarily understand the meaning of his own story better than anyone else.”
– Lewis Carroll
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
For Weekly Geeks this week, we’re supposed to post a quote a day for a week, starting on the day we sign up. This is good… it’ll get me back in the habit of posting regularly.
I thought I’d start off with a quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (erm… by J.K. Rowling, but you all knew that).
“Well, obviously, she’s feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she’s feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can’t work out who she likes best. Then she’ll be feeling guilty, thinking it’s an insult to Cedric’s memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she’ll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can’t work out what her feelings towards Harry are, anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that’s all very mixed up and painful. Oh, and she’s afraid she’s going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she’s been flying so badly.”
A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, “One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.”
“Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have, ” said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.
I particularly like this quote because it illustrates – for those who have “the emotional range of a teaspoon” – what it is like to be caught up in a range of emotions all at once. Sometimes, I can feel overly emotional and overwhelmed by it all.
I was planning on going through my list of reading challenges, see how I’m doing, update them, etc. even before I knew it was the Weekly Geeks challenge for this week. I notice that a lot of other people have said that, too. I think this is coming at a perfect time: June is almost over and that means that half of the year is almost gone (eek… where does the time go?). So, it makes sense to review these, no?
I haven’t been so good about doing updates on these. I’ll count this as an update for all of them, then start working on keeping more up-to-date with these.
Here are the challenges that I’m in right now:
The biggest challenge that I’m in is to read 100 books this year. I’m about to finish 48. I’ll have 50 read by the end of June, which makes me happy. Also, after reviewing the answers everyone gave when I asked “What counts?”, I’ll be expanding what I’m counting for that challenge. I’ll start including all the non-fiction that I read, as well. (Thanks for all the thoughts/suggestions on that one, btw. I posed that question on my blog and a few communities I’m in. It was helpful to get so many different perspectives, especially since a lot of them said much the same thing.)
The Herding Cats challenge is probably the one that I’m doing the most poorly on. I’ve only read one of the three books. I have until November 30th (my wedding anniversary, btw) so I’ve got enough time to get the other two in.
I read all of my books for the Spring Reading Thing 2008 – a lot more quickly than I’d thought, actually. Next time, I’ll have to try for more.
And, finally, we have Weekly Geeks. It’s not required that you participate every week, which is good. I was sick for a while there then got busy and didn’t really have time to do much. But I’m posting this week, aren’t I?
What does the future hold? I really enjoy these challenges, so I hope to join more.
Remember the post about my decision to be child-free? Well, I actually got around to reading one of those books: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin. Bad news.
I HATED that book. The ending bothered me so much that I was disgusted.
Now, to be fair, some people have said “Well, the ending is kind of ambigious. You could take it the other way.” If you’re planning on reading this book and you don’t want it to be “spoiled”, click away now. Seriously. Are you gone?
Ok. On with this. The book is all about a happy child-free couple who becomes not-so-happy when one of them changes their mind (the husband, not the wife, btw). They break up. She goes out with another guy for a while, but she’s miserable. She misses her husband. Much goes on with the other characters in the book, but, in the end, she decides to do anything – even have a baby(!), if she needs to – to get back together with him. Now, some say that she didn’t necessarily have the baby, because before she could tell her ex-husband about he said that he wanted to get back together with her.
I don’t care if she ACTUALLY had a baby. What makes me mad is that she was willing to give up so much of herself, to give up something she had taken a stand for, in order to get back together with her husband. COME ON. Be strong. I don’t care if it’s children or your hobby or WHATEVER. If it’s really important to you, don’t give it up just because some guy wants you to. Husband or no.
Geez. I HATED that book.
(Edited to remove a little mini-rant that got waaay off topic.)
This week’s theme: Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. Find several books addressing that issue; they don’t have to books you’ve read, just books you might like to read. Using images (of the book covers or whatever you feel illustrates your topic) present these books in your blog.
I immediately knew what issue I wanted to use, but I was somewhat hesitant to post about it. It seems more “controversial” than any of the issues I’ve seen posted so far. While some of them are controversial, they at least all have a LOT of people behind them. My issue might alienate some of my readers. I really hope not, but because it is so important to me, I’m going to post about it anyway. Please understand that I’m not judging anybody here. All I am hoping for is a little understanding. And maybe when you meet somebody like me in the future, you’ll be a little bit nicer about their point of view. So, here goes.
My husband and I have made a decision in our lives that is surprisingly controversial. I have to defend my position over and over again, even within my own family. My grandmother chides me about it. My mother was disappointed in me over it. I’m sure my father, who is Mormon, thinks it’s a huge sin, though he hasn’t actually said as such. I even have friends who think I’m “weird” for living this way. The “big issue” that’s so controversial?
I am child-free by choice.
That’s right. The thing I take so much flak over? Deciding not to have a baby. I’m continually surprised – and frankly angered – by the way people treat me when they hear this. Suddenly, I become a pariah. It’s as if I said “I eat babies for breakfast and torture little kids in my basement.” This is ridiculous. I don’t even have a basement. (Ha ha…) But seriously, I don’t understand the problem here. I don’t begrudge anybody else having a child, as long as it’s for the right reasons. I will admit that I don’t think that you should have several children as it isn’t socially or ecologically responsible. One or two is fine, provided you care for them well and teach them some manners. (Kids these days…)
But here’s a list of questions I get:
“What are you going to do when you’re old?” Frankly, having a kid doesn’t mean they’ll care for you when you’re old. And even if it did, I’m trying to make it so that I can care for myself when I’m older. I don’t think “I want somebody to sponge off of when I get old” is a legitimate reason to have children.
“Well, what do you do with yourself?” What did you do with yourself BEFORE you had children? Surely you had a life of your own, no? Let’s see… I work. I read. I do crafts. I watch TV. I hang out with friends. I cook. I go to the movies. I play with my pets. I surf the net. I blog. I immerse myself in various projects. I go places. I do stuff. Theoretically, you probably do some of these things, too – I just have more time in which to do them. I also have more money to do them than a parent who makes the same income we do.
“Don’t you want to leave a piece of yourself behind?” I actually don’t really care about this. I’ll be dead. If I leave something behind, some way for people to remember me, that’s great. If I don’t, it won’t affect me much.
This next one is probably my least favorite: “But, don’t you want your life to be fulfilling?” This also manifests itself as “Don’t you want to have a happy life?” I have to tell you that my life IS very happy and fulfilling. In a lot of cases, the people that I know who have children – friends, family members, coworkers, etc – are LESS happy than I am. In fact, many studies show that couples who have children are likely to experience a “drop in maritial happiness”. See also “Well, what do you do with yourself?”
I’m not asking anybody to give up their children. I’m not even asking you not to have children. What I would hope that you would consider is to possibly only have one or two. Or consider not having children at all. It isn’t a requirement in life. But mostly, I just want people to stop harassing me over my choice. It doesn’t really affect you. It isn’t a drain on society’s resources. Please consider that before you say something like “That’s so weird!” when you hear that somebody doesn’t want kids.
(PS – Some of these pics are clickable.)