Nightmare

I woke up half an hour before my husband this morning and was unable to fall asleep again. I had one of the most disturbing dreams I’ve been subjected to since before our marriage. Like all dreams, it seems pretty silly in the light of day, but that didn’t stop me from waking up crying and making sure Steve was still breathing.

There was an assassin that was kind of like a demon and kind of like the villain from No Country for Old Men… but why say it twice. We knew what he was capable of because we were in a city during his last kill, and he had no compunctions against chasing his victim out into the open and killing her for the world to see, but we had no idea he was after us next.

Then Steve and I were somewhere there was a SkyCoaster to celebrate something (maybe an anniversary?), and we did that, and it was awesome. Then we got off and were walking away from the happy crowd when we saw the assassin. We didn’t bother running once we realized he was after us, so we tried to talk him out of it. First, he said he didn’t even know which one of us he was supposed to kill, something to do with emotions… hey, it was a dream, it doesn’t have to make sense now that I’m awake. Then he decided he was supposed to kill Steve, and I tried to talk him out of it, convince him he was supposed to kill me instead, etc. From there, it went on to several different endings, each decidedly more unpleasant than the last. In one, he killed Steve and everyone blamed me because, hey, I wasn’t even wearing my wedding ring–how attached to my husband could I be? Well, I’m wearing it today; what’s a little skin rash compared to that?

I blame watching Steve play Morrowind while I fell asleep. No more late-night video-game watching for me.

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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

If you haven’t heard of Stephenie Meyer’s book, Twilight, and the movie that recently came out, the pending movies, etc., you’ve probably had absolutely no contact with any girl under the age of 15 for the past year and a half or so. It’s also taken over pretty much every facebook application (flair, bumper sticker, etc.) and, over Christmas break, my sisters-in-law told me grown people in their offices were reading the books.

From the quotes I’d seen, I had already decided I wouldn’t like the books. However, I get mad when people judged my favorite books, like Harry Potter, without reading them, so I decided I should read Twilight before making any judgments. Now I’ve read it.

The book was written much better than I thought it would be. Stephenie Meyer gives her character a unique voice and avoids getting bogged down in details that don’t matter. That said, her 17-year-old girl of a character thinks like a 25-year-old and the high school details are unrealistic and blase.

The plot line is almost as unimaginative as it is predictable–if you don’t know, the basic premise is that a girl falls in love with a vampire, who goes to high school with his “family” for some reason–they don’t really like interacting with humans, and people “instinctively” avoid them, but here they are in high school for the umpteenth time in their lives. What’s the point in being immortal if you’re just going to have to repeat high school over and over? There isn’t even an interesting conflict until the last 20 pages of the book.

The vaunted perfect relationship between Bella and Edward is full of petty arguments and pretty much the same dialogue about how they love each other but shouldn’t because he’s dangerous. He’s dangerous, but he glitters. In the sun. The dreaded vampire glitters. He’d have a hard time convincing me he’s dangerous, too.

It’s a great book for a rainy day. Or a girl’s hormonal day. I laughed a few times. Might’ve cried if I had a slightly more vested interest in the characters. For a teen romance, it stays nicely inside the bounds of propriety, which is pretty refreshing. However, if you’re looking for something innovative and intriguing, this is not a read for you.

An eye for an eye, and the world’s only half blind

When I was in middle school, I hated my neighbor with the furor that can only arise between two people who had once been best friends. I wanted justice for everything she’d done wrong to me. For example: once, she and I and several mutual friends were playing around at a car wash, throwing the soap suds at each other. She got some in my eye; only luck made me gain control of myself while I was in the process of trying to slam her into a brick wall in retaliation.

That’s how human justice goes: not only do I want you to receive what you dealt to me–I want you to receive it twice as bad, or ten times so. Consider, for example, the case of the woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap and demanded millions of dollars in restitution.

When God told His children, “you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise” (Exodus 21:23b-25), He was not demanding justice; He was setting limits on it. We would want to take two eyes if one of ours was damaged; God conceded that His children will not overlook every wrong and allowed us to ask for fair compensation.

All Grown Up

I remember sitting on my bed at my parents’, reading or studying, with my purring cat at the foot of the bed, wondering if adult life could be any better than that. I knew how good I had it: no bills to pay, working maybe 10 hours a week, parents who trusted me enough to let me do pretty much anything I wanted because I didn’t want to do anything they’d disapprove of. I didn’t relish the idea of ascending into adulthood–I was terrified of it.

Now, however, things aren’t that much different. I’m sitting in bed with my laptop, surrounded by bookshelves and candles. I work on the same kinds of crafts I did then and am reading the same types of books. I’m even doing similar work. I don’t have to face the 9-5 drudgery I feared, though even when I did, it was a delight rather than a drudgery. And I’m married, which I definitely never imagined when I pictured my adult life. I thought I’d be the mad cat lady, and instead I married a man who’s allergic to cats.

Are there any images you had of your adult life when you were, say, high-school age that turned out to be totally off or right on?

What’re We Gonna Do Today, Pinky?

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I was cutting celery for a salad and decided that the first joint of my pinky might make a good salad topper, too. However, I failed at completely severing it. Instead, that joint has remained swollen and painful.

I finally decided to see a doctor about it. He taped my pinky to the finger next to it and told me to come back in a couple weeks if it’s not better and he’d take X-rays and see if he needs to send me to a specialist. For my pinky. How many people do you know who have managed that feat?

In the meantime, I think I might be able to win a 9-fingered speed-typing contest. I’m getting pretty good at it, which is fortunate, considering that I got some more freelance work today. Yay work! And yay for being able to do that work, despite an unfortunate slip of the knife.

Free Books

Normally, my Christmas list reads like a card catalog. I always want more books. This year, however, that was largely unnecessary.

Why?

PaperBackSwap.com. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Ok, not exactly–members swap all kinds of books, not just paperbacks. You join, list the books you are ready to send on to new homes, and wait for people to request them. You get a couple credits for signing up and listing 10 books; you get more as people request your books. When your book is requested, you pay the postage and send it. When that person receives the book, you get a credit to request a book.

I actually got a couple Christmas presents for other people that way. It’s wonderful. And has saved me lots of money.

A Quick Look Back

It’s time for the obligatory reflection on this past year or the projection of the year to come. Since I like being surprised by the future, I’ll take a quick look back. It will demonstrate why I like being surprised.

I began 2008 working with an awesome company, Randall House Publications, which had just become simply Randall House. I was an Editorial Assistant for the teen curriculum and still thanking God for my ascent from the world of fast food and waitressing. I was living with the best roommate ever, Jessi, and dating an awesome guy, Steve.

In February, when I thought Steve was going to break up with me, he proposed, and shortly after, he was accepted into a university in a different state. We got married, I went to the Rockies for the first time, and we moved 6 hours away from my family–also a first for me.

He started his grad work, we made new friends, I very much enjoyed my short stint as a housewife, and then I returned to the world of food service–but at a deli and coffeehouse, which is infinitely better than fast food or waitressing.  I picked up my first few freelancing assignments, and that’s been a pretty wonderful adventure so far.

My car got repossessed even though I’d been paying Wells Fargo, but we got it back in time to go visit all the family for Christmas.

My brother and sister-in-law, who were never going to have kids, are going to have a baby girl, and we got to see pictures of her. In one of the pictures, you could even see a baby instead of a Doppler radar image.

It was a good year of “firsts,” and this year begins with another: this will be my first full year of being married. It’s only been getting better, and I am excited to see how this year will go.

Happy New Year to all!