Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm a geek girl

and proud of it. Loud and proud. By geek girl I mean that I go for the traditional boy fantasy stories, those dark and epic sword and dragon tales written mainly by men for the geek in all of us.

I blame it all on an overactive imagination and the librarian at the local library who let me read Tolkien when I was 8 or 9. I've been reading fantasy with a bit of sci-fi thrown in for light relief for 32 years now. It started with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and most recently Terry Pratchett, Chrisopher Paolini. And recently, George RR Martin.

I purchased the first two novels in Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series about 2 months ago. I must state here right now that I have not read them yet (it's a problem when you have such a vast choice of reading material when you purchase a Kindle!). I don't know when I will get round to reading them but I have been following the ongoing saga of Game of Thrones, an HBO series which started this week in the US and based on his books.

I have heard via the grapevine that there is a lot of graphic violence and sex. I don't mind graphic violence and sex in fantasy books. I prefer it to the schlock sometimes held up in highest regard where there are airy fairy storylines of the St George and his Dragon type, where the good boy soldier slays a dragon to protect his fair maiden. WTF is up with that particular storyline? Medieval times right here on planet earth was never all of that! It was a violent time, where people died in the most inventive and violent fashion. Rape and pillage was the order of the day.

While reading some book blogs, I came across the link for this woman's review of the show. I read it twice and then flung the mouse from me in disgust. Geek girls who like epic sweeping violently graphic high fantasy apparently are few and far between. She must think we all grew up playing house with our Ken and Barbie doll collections. (Hurk. I would never be caught dead owning a Barbie!)

To quote from her review : The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

Wow. How insulting, to just dismiss the fact that there are many more women out there who are just like me. Who adore high fantasy ala Dungeons & Dragons. Who prefer "boy fiction". I think someone has been spending too much time in lala land herself, where shows like Sex and the City reigns supreme. I will be waiting with breath held to see when DSTV decides it is a worthy show. We have True Blood already so I am sure this one will soon be bought for my viewing pleasure. I look forward to the day that my "boy fiction" will finally make it to the little screen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Desks and mundane Sunday stuff

Just as it was nearing lunchtime our neighbourhood lost power. Once again Tshwane Metro Municipality astounds me with their utter lack of care when it comes to letting their ratepayers know that there is going to be a substantial break in services. J&C had fun though, and pizza for lunch.

Himself and I finally got round to putting their desks and chairs together so that they have a proper place to study and do homework. They've spent much of the afternoon sitting at their new desks.

Weather is awfully cold. Just your typical lazy Sunday today minus electricity. It came back on just after 3pm.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Taking the mommy wars too far?

Over in SA's 10th province (otherwise known as Australia ;) ), there's a war brewing between moms and their government representative, Pru Goward (Aussie NSW's Family Minister). She found it necessary to attack a mom for bad parenting based on a photograph published in a newspaper of the woman walking across a road at a crossing holding her 3 month old baby and feeding her...with a bottle (if it had been a bared breast I would hate to imagine the further outcry there would have been).

The Family Minister accused this woman of endangering her baby by feeding her on the go, comparing her to Michael Jackson's famous lets-hang-the-baby-off-the-balcony incident back in 2002 in Berlin. She further stated (and I think this was even more of an insult) that she didn't think there was any woman or mother, even a hardened feminist, anywhere in the country, who would condone this woman's action. How wrong she is. Media personalities and others have come out against the Minister for her insensitive words.

The mother in question is a media personality who hosts her own radio show. To add insult to injury, Ms Goward also feels that the mother should never have returned to work 2 months after her baby's birth...working from home in a studio built specially for her.

Really? How antiquated a pov Ms Goward has.

I don't know about you, but life as a new mother with a brand new life is scary, fraught with indecision at every little thing you do. If Ms Goward had been a fly on the wall the first few months of J's life, she'd have locked me up for child endangerment and child abuse almost every single day.

His first night home from the hospital 4 days after his birth I managed to burn his entire mouth with the sterilising fluid I used to clean the breast shields I was using to breastfeed him. (No one had explained to me that I should dilute the liquid with water before cleaning them and I was too damn tired to read the instructions on the bottle.) Poor kid screamed until he couldn't anymore. Then he screamed some more. For an hour. I felt like an utter failure from the get go.

I breastfed him too many times to count in public toilets because the places I was at didn't have a baby room and I wasn't confident enough to breastfeed in public.

I changed his nappy countless times on the floor with just a baby blanket under him because the places we were at once again didn't feel the need to cater to their clientele who had babies.

He was born in February, the hottest time of the year. Countless times I let him sleep in just a nappy because it was so hot. I even took him out with just a nappy and tshirt sometimes if I needed to make a run to the shop for bread or milk in those first few months.

Oh the horror of it all! I should be locked up forever for endangering my child so.

Instead of berating a new parent how about we take a new tack on it? How about we support instead of rip the supoort out from under someone's feet? How about we give moms the chance to stay at home long enough without fear of losing their jobs? How about we work with moms instead of declaring war? How about we just leave other people alone long enough to get comfortable in their new roles instead of bashing them at every turn? How about we keep our opinions to ourselves instead of blundering in where we are clearly not needed...or wanted?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Hoarding stuff

I am a hoarder. There I finally said it. I cannot bear to throw anything away. I have boxes and boxes and BOXES of crap everywhere. I think it is time I start clearing out some of this stuff and getting rid of it. I need to declutter my life and my house. I'd show you all pictures of the hoarde of crap I have but I am too embarrassed.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Storms and routers

How to blow your router - leave the phone line plugged in during a thunder and lightning storm of epic proportions. That is what I did last week. You'd think I know better, but no, I unplugged the power and left the phone line in. Ok so it was 3am in the morning and I was in a zombie like comatose state when I unplugged the damn thing. Still, I'd have thought Himself would have unplugged it the night before, being an IT specialist and all.