Random Things I Love

Since I’m short on time with no blog post prepared and my NaNoWriMo novel calling, I thought I’d quickly share a couple of my favorite random things at the moment. Do what you will with that. 🙂

Disney Princess. There has been a lot of flack around Disney Princess lately, what with the vast number of people who claim that the Princesses teach little girls lots of bad lessons about the important things in life (yes, most of the princesses are out looking for their prince, I’ll give you that), but I personally think it’s a major overreaction. I was obsessed with the Disney Princesses my entire life. My cousins and I must have watched The Little Mermaid about 10,000 times – we could quote every single word – and when I first got Beauty and the Beast I would literally watch it to the end and then hit “play” again. And guess what? I became an industrial technologist who hates cooking and cleaning and would rather sit around in jeans and a t-shirt than primp up with pretty clothes and makeup. The lesson is that watching cute, fun, musical movies with lovable characters does not define who you are going to become, even if some of the plot-lines are a little bit misogynistic. Let the kids have their damn cartoons.

Scentsy. Much to the chagrin of my husband, father, and father-in-law, I’ve climbed about the Scentsy train. I’m not a great lover of the big burners that need a big flat surface to lay on because my house is not abundant in clear flat surfaces. But I love the cute little plug-ins, and some of the scents that are available just make me melt. I also fell in love with the “buddies”, which are cute little stuffed animals that you can stuff a scent pack into. My daughter has an adorable little teddy bear whose scent pack (“Newborn Nursery”) has lasted for over two years now. I recently started collecting the holiday burners to use as decorations, and I haven’t been disappointed yet…they’re so cute!

My vacuum. This one might sound weird, especially since just two paragraphs ago I mentioned that I hate cleaning. But the fact that I hate cleaning is exactly why I love my vacuum. I’ve gone through a couple of vacuums now – we’re hard on them because we have two cats that refuse to keep their fur on their bodies, and I have an incredibly thick head of hair that is constantly trying to escape my head – and this is the best one I’ve ever had. I spent a little more money than I wanted to in order to get a Shark Navigator Pro, which seemed to have a lot of great reviews, and I couldn’t be happier. The swivel head is great for corners and tight spots, and the extra-long arm and detachable bucket make it super-easy to do stairs. Vacuuming is significantly less of a chore since I splurged on this particular piece of equipment.

Scrivener. I’ve mentioned this before, but since I’ve been working on my NaNovel I’ve fallen in love with Scrivener all over again. There’s a bit of a learning curve, it’s true, but if you can convince yourself to sit down and just play around with it for a while you’ll find that it’s an extremely versatile tool that can make a writer’s life a hell of a lot easier. I especially love it for the organizational purposes. If I decide that an entire scene is meant for the trash pile, it is super easy to extract it from the story. If I have a dozen characters I can easily organize scenes so that I can locate the particular character I want to deal with today. I haven’t exploited even a quarter of the things that Scrivener can do and it’s still my favorite writing program ever.

Retro Cartoon Reboots. We all know that reboots aren’t always the greatest things. Re-making a much loved movie, TV show, or video game has great possibility to destroy years and years of dedicated fan base. But in recent years there have been a few reboots of the cartoons that my generation watched when we were kids, and they’ve thus far been amazing. I regularly mention Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Hasbro’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and I will continue to do so because both shows take wonderful, beloved old cartoons and turn them into something updated and amazing. They make homage to the old cartoons while still doing their own thing and being fun and cute and lovable.

Pizzaronis. I know, I know, they’re not exactly health food, are they? But I had some this weekend at my mother’s party and it rekindled my love for the little pizza bundles. I ate these like they were going out of style when I was younger, and I would happily eat them every day even as an adult. YUM.

NaNoWriMo. Even when I’m doing poorly (I’m two days worth of word count behind already) I still love this yearly challenge. Which is why I am now going to wrap up this post and get back to my new novel. NaNo participants, ho!

A Regular Little Mini-Me

Children are funny little creatures. They’re little miniature copies of ourselves, and how we interact with them affects who they will become, how they will grow and act. And sometimes, despite the choices we make and the actions we take, they grow and learn in a way that takes us completely off guard.

My daughter is inadvertantly causing me to relive my childhood, and it genuinely cracks me up every time I think about it. It started with little things that my husband and I fostered without thinking about it. She loves books because we encourage her to explore them and we taught her the alphabet earlier than might be usual. She loves being outside because we made sure to allow her plenty of time to explore and enjoy the outdoors. She loves to talk and sing because we always made sure to speak to her in proper English and I would sing to her whenever I got the chance.

Then, as she moved on into toddlerdom, other interests began cropping up that continually amazed me because they mirror my childhood so closely, despite the fact that I have in no way attempted to push these things on her. One of the first thing that caught my eye was when I noticed how much she loves playing with the dinky cars at her playgroup. When she first took interest with these she had no toy cars of her own at home, and I never specifically attempted to get her to play with any of the toy cars at playgroup. It made me smile because I used to love playing with my cousin’s dinky cars when I was young, and it seemed funny that she would take a shine to them as well. A small thing, to be sure, but funny. Then, one day as my husband was flipping through some movies, she caught sight of the dvd cover for the original live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. “Wassat?” she asked. So my husband put the movie on for her, and lo and behold, she fell in love with it. She took to all of the movies, the original cartoon, and especially the new cartoon. These days she doesn’t go one day without watching at least one episode, and most nights she wants the show on her tv when she goes to bed. She even has the new action figures, which she recieved for Christmas, and they’re some of her favorite toys. This makes me chuckle on a regular basis because, not only is it odd that a 2-year-old girl would fall in love with a show marketed toward 10-year-old boys, but I also loved the Ninja Turtles when I was young. My cousin and I would watch it every day while we ate lunch at my grandmother’s house, and he and I would act out many a battle with his cache of action figures.

And then, before you start declaring my daughter a full-on tomboy, along came My Little Pony. I’ll confess to this one: I looked up the show myself. I loved My Little Pony when I was young and I had tons of the little toy ponies, so I was interested to see what the new show was all about (the appearance of the word “brony” all over the net may have prompted my curiosity as well). So it was that I found a few episodes of the new show and introduced it to my daughter. The discovery was not at the same level as the Turtles, but over the past few months her delight with them has become nearly as strong. She now has a small collection of miniature ponies, as well as a few of the hair-styling variety, and on a regular basis she will request ponies for her bedtime show instead of Turtles. 

These things, along with several others, have made me seriously wonder about the idea of genetic memory. It just baffles me to no end that, with very little proding from my husband or I, my daughter has somehow come to fall in love with so many of the things that I loved as a child. She loves sitting and playing with the loose strings on her pillow (I did the same thing with a particular towel), she has a strange love for robots (I loved Transformers), and (perhaps as a result of watching Ninja Turtles) her favorite food is pizza (I ate so many mini pizzas as a child that my parents should have purchased stock in McCain). I’m sure I could come up with at least a dozen more similarities that seem to have sprung up from nowhere as well. It makes me wonder what other striking similarities may pop up in the future. Will she enjoy writing? Drawing? Will her favorite subject in school be math? Will she prefer RPG-style video games? Nothing is certain except for this: despite any similarities or dissimilarties her childhood may have to mine, at two years old I already think she’s the coolest little kid in the world, and I know that she’s only going to become more and more amazing in my eyes. Whatever interests you adopt as you grow up, baby girl, mama thinks you’re just the awesomest kid ever.