Sunday, June 27, 2010

Prince Caspian, the Movie: Regrettably, a Bummer

So I watched Prince Caspian for the second time. I tried to get into it. I really wanted to like it. I think it is so important to support family friendly movies no matter how cheesy they are, because they are so few and far between. Prince Caspian from a movie standpoint was very good. No obviously amateur actors. No cheap looking movie sets. No low-budget screenwriter. But I couldn't get past the gigantic gaps between the Prince Caspian C.S. Lewis introduced me to, and the Prince Caspian I saw in the movie.

Caspian in the book is uncertain about his fitness to rule as king. He fears that he is not ready to rule Narnia. He does not, however, have an unbridled sense of revenge towards his uncle that leads him to raid Miraz's castle (something which does happen in the movie).

Lewis's Peter tells Caspian early on that he did not come to claim the kingship for his own, but to help him regain his throne and establish Caspian as rightful king. Movie Peter has constant outbreaks of aggression towards Caspian as they engage in some kind of primal male posturing.

Oh yeah, and Caspian and Susan never have a barely cloaked passion for one another. In fact, in Lewis' book, there is no special chemistry between Caspian and Susan--ever.

I understand that of the seven Chronicles in Narnia, Prince Caspian is possibly the least movie-friendly book (the only rival for most boring movie screenplay being The Silver Chair, comprised of a long journey in the wilderness ending with one dramatic scene). The plot of waiting, gathering forces, trying to decide what an absent Aslan would have them do is not exactly thrilling big screen material.

Nonetheless, to depart so far from the character of the book as to, in my opinion, tamper with the integrity of the story, is intolerable, and that's the reason I won't watch Prince Caspian again, unless I just happen to forget how disgruntled it made me (I am still operating on about 65% of my ideal amount of sleep!).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Something to celebrate

I am gearing up for the Tour de France, running from July 3rd to July 25th. Last year I watched every bit of the last two-thirds of the race, and I was into it. Sometimes this amuses me since, growing up, I abhorred all sports save the two weeks of Olympics of which I watched as much as I could. So what happened? Well, babies happened. Any mama who has nursed a newborn knows just how much time you spend sitting on the couch milking. For those of you who haven't nursed newborns, the answer is A LOT.

With Nathan, I whiled away the hours by getting into golf (one of the sports I loved to hate as a child; isn't it funny how time changes us?). For Daniel, the sport was cycling. (Stephen keeps hoping I will pick up football as the next sport of choice; I told him we'd have to have a lot of kids, running out of other eligible sports for that to happen. In fact, the only sport I find more distasteful than football is fighting.) I watched these men push themselves to the limit, as I was pushed to the limit with a newborn who cried a lot, nursed a lot, and slept very little.

I didn't know that my own challenge would continue, day in and day out, for over a year. Actually, Daniel slept eight and a half hours without waking up last night. Unfortunately, I couldn't fall asleep until after four, only two hours before he did wake up. Yes, I am tired. But what's new?

Anyways, watching the Tour provided a much needed distraction for me. I was inspired to keep going, even as I had to keep going. After all, if these men could push themselves until their lungs were gasping for air and sweat dripped off their noses and fogged their sunglasses, when they didn't even have to, I could keep stumbling to the crib every two hours to feed and soothe my precious baby who depended on me for everything. So day after day, they fought to wear the yellow jersey, and I fought to keep going. It was the perfect sport for a time when I needed to see others persist through hard stuff.

So this year, as I watch, I will be cheering for more than my favorite cyclist. I will be celebrating getting through an impossible year. I will be celebrating the possibility of sleeping more this year. I will be celebrating Daniel, who is healthy and curious despite his skin disorder. I will be celebrating the Lord, who has carried me when I could not keep going on my own. I will be celebrating the prize that lays before me, and striving for it. I will be celebrating the joy of being a mother, the longest endurance marathon I can think of.

Oh yeah, and if my guy wins, I'll celebrate that too...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mommy Guilt

Okay, another moment in the hall of famous mommy guilt moments. I was feeding Daniel a little bowl of spaghetti sauce--maybe the messiest meal ever, especially since I was feeding him with the tip of my index finger. Because of his eczema, I try to be very careful not to leave anything on his skin for long, especially an acidic food like tomato, so I was frequently wiping his mouth off with a wet baby washcloth. About two-thirds of the way through, I glanced at the washcloth and was horrified to see hundreds of little black spots all over it, looking very much like mold. That's right, mold. Don't ask me how it happened, or even what was on the washcloth, but I felt terrible. Here I was, wiping my baby's sensitive little face, right on the mouth, with a cloth covered in who knows what disgusting substance. Not my best moment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shop at home

I was reading a magazine article about saving money. As expected, it was filled with the usual line-up of suggestions: don't pay fees on your credit card and checking accounts, use coupons at the grocery store, eat at home more. However, one tip did jump off the page as a fresh take on too much consumption.

Ready for it?

Shop your home. The article went on to say that most of us have made purchases of clothes, movies, and other sundry items that we have never worn or used at all. This started me thinking. I definitely have books I haven't read, games I have never played, and movies that I haven't watched. I thought about how much I already have that I could be enjoying if I would just get it out and utilize it.

I also have a ton of books and movies that are ready for a rerun. I think there's two kinds of people, those who do reruns and those who don't. For those of you who don't, the library and Redbox are probably your best money saving friend. However, for me, if I love it, I can never get enough of it. Just ask Stephen, who retreated into his sound blocking headphones while I watched Sahara last night for the fourth time (What can I say? I love a good, cheesy, action comedy!). And I've read Anne of Green Gables so many times that I literally wore the books out and am now preparing to replace them.

Shopping my home works for my kids too. Case in point, today I took out a Fisher-Price barn that had been in storage for a couple of months. Nathan acted like he had been reunited with a long lost friend. "My barn!" And Daniel gabbled and cooed the whole time he opened and closed the little doors, picked up the little animals, and slid the rooster back and forth.

So anyways, although I don't know that I'll give up shopping entirely, I am going to try to make sure I am maximizing my use of the things I already own, because if I'm not using and enjoying them, then they're just another thing that needs to be cleaned. (And we all know that's not going to happen!)