Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Almost Productive Week

I decided that this week was going to be productive. I had plans to reset my pantry because it is disorderly again. I was going to clean my laundry room because it is gross. Then, I was going to make a dozen capes because there was a fleece sale and I still had bank from Christmas. Today is Wednesday and I have yet to do any of that. I have good reasons. Here is how I killed my productivity thus far.
1. Monday I changed my sheets and put on flannel sheets
2. Fuzzy socks that keep my feet warm but discourage shoes
3. I made rice bags and keep heating them up
4. I used a french press to make tea, which then required sipping and savoring because it was wonderful
5. I had refrigerated cookie dough
6. Netflix has episodes of Chuck
7. I realized that I didn't have a favorite My Little Pony yet. (Twilight Sparkles)
8. Probably worst of all, I turned on my computer.
9. I learned that I like hummus. You can't really eat that stuff while working
10. I started back walking yesterday and have sore legs today
11. The possibility of snow makes me look out the window a lot. Actual snow hypnotizes me.
12. Arm knitting (maybe not, but I felt like I needed an even dozen)

I still have half a week. I could still get it all done. It might happen.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Part 3: JD's Dream

Over the years JD has had several typical little boy dreams. At 4 he wanted to be a policeman because he really likes it when he goes to cross the parking lot and it makes cars stop and wait on him. It gave him a power trip. You get a gun and a whistle. What could be better?
Next was the fireman phase. It was based solely on getting to drive the big red truck. It was a short lived dream. He realized that picking a career based on the color of the vehicle you got to drive was a little silly. He went back to policeman for the remained of his preschool years.
I have a very clear memory of what came next. We were in the car, where all deep conversations start, and he asked me how one can make a living telling jokes. He wanted to be a stand up comic. He was 5. There is something a little scary about that to me, mainly because I think he is serious. Moms want their boys to grow up to be doctors and lawyers and things that provide a stable life. Stand up comedian is the exact opposite of that.
The most recent questioning has turned out a similar answer. His dream is to be a comedic actor or a spy. If recent headlines are to be believed, he could be both as long as he doesn't ask to be paid in cocaine.
I'm struggling a bit with this dream. I want to be supportive. I can totally see him being some sort of comic. He has those things you can't teach, like timing. He takes it seriously. He actually works on it (that is a struggle in pretty much every other area). We are letting him take drama classes this year. He is the only boy in the class. That did not stop him. He has to read and memorize lines. He does this without us helping at all. The only school project he has really gotten into this year involved dressing up as an explorer and giving a short presentation. He was one of the few kids who didn't use notes. He is good at this. So, why do I struggle? Do you know how many people want to be actors? Do you know how many of those people actually make a living doing that? On top of that, it is not a pretty industry. There is rejection and even at it's best it is still harsh and unpredictable. I don't want that for my baby.
He was Henry Hudson. We went for clever over elaborate. 
I'm not exactly excited about the spy idea either. He is too cute to be sneaking around Russia to uncover secret plots. He is too funny to be Jason Borne. I don't want people shooting at my little guy, or him shooting other people, for that matter. I'd never sleep.
That is the thing about dreams. They are rarely practical. They aren't always what other people would want for you. They are often scary. For now, I am finding a healthy balance of supporting the kid's dreams while also encouraging a realistic backup means of support. I can not wait to see what happens. No, wait, I take that back, I can wait. Seeing it comes at the cost of my babies growing up, and I'm not ready for that.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Part 2: Nix Dream

In continuing with what I started, I asked Nix what she would want to be if she didn't have to worry about education or money, or even skill, what would she want to do. It took her awhile to answer. She isn't sure what she wants to do with her life at this point. She wants to get married, have children, and teach preschool kids in Sunday School. These are all very lovely goals but aren't exactly college majors. The school system has had her take some really lame tests that are suppose to help you figure out your goals, but those haven't helped. They suggest things like music video choreographer and a brew master (not even kidding). These are probably suggested because she likes taking ballet and enjoys chemistry. For now, she is taking the broad approach and studying a little of everything in hopes that something clicks.
Back to my original topic. Nix finally decided that if she could be anything with no limits she would be a writer. I suggested that she might want to major in something to further that dream, and was met with an argument that I have yet to refute. Her point is that after a certain point, grading a person's writing is subjective. She could get professors that hate fantasy books and will despise her work no matter what. If she did adjust to please the professors then her writing would be their taste not hers, and if they were so good then they would be authors not professors. She has a point.
Thinking through this has given me an idea for her. I think she would make an awesome editor. She'd get to read a lot, correct people's grammar, and make other people's dreams come true while still having time to work on her's. It would also give her a foot in the door to the industry. Bonus! That is even a job that, if you are good at it, can be done from home while you have kids and teach Sunday School. The more I think through this, the better it sounds for her. I just have to be extra careful not to push my idea of perfect on her while still guiding her. It is one of those fun fine lines we walk as parents.

Dreams Part 1

This morning my bestie texted me this picture.

It put me on a thought train.
My first thought was of Tangled and the "I've Got a Dream" song.
From there I went to Molly Lewis and "I Pity the Fool".
Then I really started thinking about what my dream was. Do I have a dream? Is there something that I consider my version of riding a unicorn over a rainbow? There should be. I like to ask my kids what their ultimate dreams are. If you didn't have to worry about how much schooling it took or how much money you'd make, what would you do with your life? (parts 2 and 3 will be their answers)
I have two. The first one, I've shared before. I'd like to be Erma Bombeck. Well, not the dying young part, but the humorously honest writer part. This one bugs me because there is part of my that thinks I could actually do this if I sat down and really got serious about writing. The one thing that stops this dream is me. Do you know how introverted people who can not bring themselves to self promote get books out there? It is really easy, they don't. Unless I change who I am and how I approach presenting myself, I'm going nowhere with this one. I haven't decided yet how I feel about that.
Moving on from that somewhat depressing thought, my ultimate unicorn dream is to be the voice of a cartoon. Seriously. I'd probably pay to have that job. Ever since I saw the Animaniacs, I have wanted to be Dot Warner or a Power Puff Girl or a chipmunk in a Disney movie. I recently freaked my children out by breaking into cartoon me. They made me do different voices until I went hoarse. The look of astonishment on their faces was great.
The first time I remember really wanting this it came from the rant at the end of Dot's song, "I'm Cute". I don't know what it is about angry cute voice that tickles me so, but I love it, and I can do it, and I can't believe people actually get paid to do something so fun. More recently I was watching a reading done at Emerald City Con (Seattle convention). Each year they get a panel of voice actors together to read through a famous movie script in different character voices. They gather legends like Rob Paulsen,  Maurice LeMarche, and Tara Strong to read Star Wars or something like it. (major swear warning on that link) I don't even know where one would start on the road to become Billy West. If anyone finds out, let me know. Right now I am going with the plan of JD becoming a Disney prince and me having a small part being in his contract. It could happen.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Secret Ship

There has recently been this list floating around with trendy words that people over 30 need to stop using. I'm going to ignore that list just for this post. There was one word that wasn't on the list, and I think it is because it hasn't really caught on with the over 30 crowd. That word is "ship". It is when you wish to see a relationship form between two people (usually fictional ones, but it works for real people, too). Then you make a cute name that is a mesh of the two people's names like Brangelina. After you have picked a ship to hop on you are a full member of a fandom. The next thing you know you'll be reading fanfiction, joining tumblr, and trolling pages of people who want a different pairing. You are full of feels and squee each time your ship progresses towards reality. (translation: overly emotional and making an excited noise only dogs can hear each time you think the couple might actually happen).
I haven't gone completely down that rabbit hole, but I do have a couple I ship.
It is my belief that one day Isabella Garcia-Shapiro is going to wake up and realize that she has been wasting her time following around Phineas Flynn because Ferb Fletcher has been appreciating her and taking care of her. That's right. I ship Ferbella, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

It totally makes sense. We know she ends up with one of them. What if all this time Ferb has been a man of few words because he is too nervous to talk around her. What modern teen girl doesn't go through a British phase sooner or later? Phineas gets so caught up in his grand plans that he doesn't stop to consider her. Phineas is a guy you crush on, Ferb is a guy you marry.

Sometimes for fun Nix and I debate her shipping of Sherlolly (BBC Sherlock Holmes and Molly Hooper). I maintain that it is because I like them both that I don't want to see it happen. Molly deserves better. Sherlock would hurt her, which would hurt him in turn, he'd go back to drugs to dull the guilt, and crimes in London would go unsolved. We can't have that. There are reasons he is alone. Mostly I am just hoping to avoid my daughter dating a smart but emotionally unavailable sociopath no matter how high functioning he is.

Now that I have fessed up, it is your turn. Who do you ship?