Sunday, January 20, 2008

Intellectual Giantess

Because there's nothing new to watch on tv these days Due to my intense desire for continued learning I've found myself reading more than usual at night. And I'm actually a little surprised at my turn in literature preferences. I mean I consider myself a fairly learned individual. I have a degree from a decent university and studied history (silence Tessie!), Russian, and dance (useful!). I've played in a number of symphonies across the country and one in Europe. (Do you like the build up? The intense need to justify what's coming next?) So really it's not like I'm sitting around all day building Lego castles and banging together pots and pans. Oh wait. Anyway, I've always liked to read. I enjoy the classics but don't love them. I'm not giddy at the thought of 6.3 seconds to myself so that I can run to finish All Quiet on the Western Front (unless that's one of your favorites in which case... no. not even then). I did quite enjoy Anna Karenina (this version please) and Cyrano de Bergerac will always be a favorite (digressing) but I would be a big fat liar if I said that reading books that "will forever stand the test of time" keeps me up at night with a flashlight under the covers. (What you don't still do that?)

I've read a couple "recommended" books these past few weeks and after about a hundred pages was clawing at my eyeballs. Love in the Time of Cholera? Am I twelve? Do I just not get it? Do I have the attention span of a sea-monkey? I got half way through it and could.not.go.any.further. Cold Mountain. Same problem. I just read The Russian Concubine (loved Memoirs of a Geisha. thought hey! maybe same same? no. not maybe same same.). LAME. Lame. Lame. And more lame. Sometimes it feels that these authors are writing merely to put words on paper. Lots and lots of pretty words. Why say something in four lines when one can stretch it out into seventeen pages? Again. I'm twelve. And apparently I'm okay with it.

So I've discovered that some of my favorite reads of late are actually in the youth literature section. I know. Not one word.

I won't lie, I loved Harry Potter. Read em all. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series and Lord of the Rings (even before the movies. oooh!). These authors write the best stories. It's all about spinning a tale and taking you to another place (one where you actually want to be. none of this incest/opium/rape crap. not to say that I don't enjoy a good adult novel, but hell sometimes I read to get away from all the heavy heavy) .

And so here are my recommends. Two thumbs right on up. Read em to your kids/with your kids/under the covers by yourself at night.

- The Bayern Series and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (I'm ordering Book of a Thousand Days tonight!) These are great great books for girls (maybe boys? maybe that's pushing it.).

- The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer (okay so this one comes with a disclaimer: while Hale's books are beautifully written and after reading Bayern you could easily talk about her use of imagery and prose and use all sorts of hoity-toity words to discuss your reading experience... Twilight not so much. but i couldn't put them down. (again twelve) but it was so fabulously deliciously fun that i don't even care.)

I'm starting The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.

And now it's your turn. Spill it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's a small world post-partum style

What can I say, when it comes to blogging consistency I'm a rockstar. But enough about my failings. Let's talk about my trip to Disneyland shall we? Yeah, so my post-partum issues are not getting better (Despite the thousands of cookies I've eaten. I'm so confused.). I've seen two psychologists, my OB three times, two regular doctors, and have been waiting three weeks to see a psychiatrist. Which I love. Because really, if you've finally caved and decided that you need to see a psychiatrist chances are that you can wait three to six weeks right? Hence my trip to Disneyland. And let me tell you, if you ever want or need to feel sane there are few places on the planet that will bring you to that conclusion faster than... or maybe I just got a particularly awesome Disneyland. Hard to say.

A few things I've learned since my last post (Or, things I took away from the mental institution spa vacation):

1- A "six" on the homicidal feelings chart in group therapy from the woman sitting next to you will bring about more anxiety than say the person to the left of you who habitually steals people's shoes.

2- If you think it's hard to fall asleep at night when you're at home, it is even more difficult to do so when someone checks on you every fifteen minutes throughout the evening to make sure you have not been killed in your sleep. My reasons here are twofold. One "the check" involves the need to open the door, let in light, and shut it, which is obnoxious. And two because this has obviously been a problem in the past, and that's not a bedtime story I want to think about right before my attempt at shut-eye.

3- Psychiatrists (or at least mine) in the hospital don't believe in post-partum depression for women who had their babies a whole six months ago. It has to be something else. Something bigger. More permanent. Fixable? Doubtful.

4-Hovering while you pee is exercise.

5- The institution is not a relaxing get away for individuals who suffer from severe anxiety and/or panic.

6-If you can't laugh about the ridiculous you have bigger problems.

7- Individuals receiving treatment in the institution are some of the kindest and most non-judgemental people in all the world.

8- The state of our mental health system is so abominable that I cannot even find the right words.

And so I'm back. And I'd say none the wiser, but really I don't think that's true. I learned much during my short hospital stint. Mostly about compassion and kindness and the strength of the human spirit. But also about keeping a close eye on my shoes.