Bouncing back.

A little update on my personal life. I have started working, yessiree, I have found a job at a department store.

Otherwise known as (ominous drum roll) …retail.

I ask every single person who’s worked retail to forgive me for thinking it was simple and easy.

Two days, I’ve done it for two days, for a four hour shift, and I already know this is going to be hard.

And I’m doing seasonal. So it’s about to get really crazy.

I’m  a young person, but I was sore after putting stuff on shelves for a couple hours. My hat would be off to anyone who does that all day long.

Or to those who work (gulp) harder jobs for a even longer.

I guess necessity is the mother of stamina. Even though I have voluntarily done hard work, needing a paycheck really makes you stick to it. Even when you feel cruddy, as I have been. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. I bet all of you guys have already had this experience.

The one thing I can’t claim to have superior understanding of is having a job. This is my third, but my first set up like a regular position that most people would even think of as a job.

Though I maintain that dealing with parents and children every week is just as challenging in it’s own way. My babysitting position was at least as complicated as retail, even if it was less physically demanding (in some ways.)

Anyway, so this is all pretty new.

I don’t even know if I’m good at it yet, and neither do my bosses. Two days doesn’t tell you that. But I’m not terrible, so there’s that consolation.

By the by, if i sound pessimistic, that’s just my sarcastic sense of humor. I’m actually not a pessimist. I try not to be.

I’m wavering between hoping I’ll exceed all expectations, and feeling certain I’ll blow them.

Maybe you guys are in a place like that right now. Or you have been, certainly, in the past.

I’ve had to except that while academically I soar, when it comes to just plain work, I have to learn with as much trouble as anyone.

I may be a smart worker, but that doesn’t mean I automatically know how everything should be done, or even how I can do it. I didn’t learn to ride a back faster than the average person, I’m not learning how to drive any faster, I don’t have exceptional sports skills.

I actually have a terrible time opening a combination lock because I never went to a high school that used one.

If you’re also a person who tends to be really good at a lot of things, and just average in others, you can probably relate. There is usually a balance.

every now and then we hear about those Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson types who are all around good at pretty much everything. (Not fair.) But the rest of us tend to fall into one of three broad groups:

Academic. Physical. Or Relational (being a people person).

I wish I was a better people person, or that I had a natural aptitude for being fit. But I’m a mix, just like most people.

I am lucky enough to have co workers who were nice enough to help me out, and to have been involved in sports only with a positive team.

But maybe you don’t have such positivity around you, and if so, I’d just like this post to encourage you to keep improving and not beat yourself up for making (let’s be honest) dumb mistakes. We all make them.

It’s not because we’re dumb (hopefully.)

My theory is, sensible people make dumb mistakes simply because when you learn something new, you cannot take it all in at once and retain it. The dumb mistakes happen when something slips your mind. Like when you can’t remember that one word that would you perfectly understood in a conversation.

Basically those who do not do it all right the first tie learn the most about themselves, so bounce back.

I do get frustrated and embarrassed when I do something wrong, but I can’t let myself stay there because I have to improve. Why would I do something (willingly) if I was not going to do it wholeheartedly and with effort?

We have to at least try.

At the end of the day, if you hate what you’re doing, do something else. But if it’s just hard, I’m not willing to say I’m defeated.

(The most important motivation for me is actually that I asked God for this, and now I have to do it in a way that would glorify Him, or else I’d be an ungrateful brat. To be honest, for me, that is often more important than doing a good job just because I should, which I am not sure is a virtue. But whatever works.)

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

 

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A lesson we should heed

Some of you bloggers out there know that awkward moment when you read the first post you ever did (next to your “about me” page,) and its been two years.

Yep, I finally reread the “My passion” post.

I was afraid it’d be really immature sounding, but aside from a few things, and grammar mistakes, I actually am pretty satisfied with it still.

It just goes to show when you set a theme for yourself, you tend to stick to it, subconsciously.

I am one of those fortunate people who can merely think that they need to wake up early tomorrow, and then they’ll do it automatically before the alarm goes off. (I hate being woken by an alarm, so I wake up naturally as a subconscious defense, in my opinion.)

I think a blog theme is kind of like that. Even while yo’re unaware of it, your thoughts are veering in that direction.

I do think it was a smart decision to let go of my today’s truth: ending. It was kind of corny.

Anyway, that’s all in retrospect.

I am just glad that I have no regrets aobut starting this blog after two years and a quarter.

How many things do we start in life and then wish we hadn’t? or we wish we waited longer?

I could name a few off the top of my head.

I can’t write long today because I have to get to the DMV and retake the Written test. Fun I know.

But I really think five years from now I’m going to be glad it took me so many tries to get something as simple as a Driver’s License. It’ll be such an encouragement to my children to hear that their mom flunked something that many times. (I’ll probably be that mom who had all those impressive sounding accomplishments to tell about, but if I’m wise, I’ll make sure to tell them about my failures too.)

I can’t tell you how much better it made me feel to know other adults I know failed the first time…not the second and third I grant you, though my Grandma knew someone once who failed over and over again because of some dumb equipment on the test.

Anyway, like I said, I have to go soon. But those are my thoughts for the day. Trial and Error is my motto at this point.

And parents, please tell your kids the things you used to suck at and got better, it’s super inspirational.

Kids, ask your parents. It’s very enlightening.

And I just have to say the cliche:

“If at first you don’t succeed, blame modern technology–I mean, try, try again.

Tis a lesson we should heed, try, try again.”

–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-4

I hope I am not wearying anyone of this topic, I could probably go on about it for hours.

But I promise this is the last installment.

This last thing I want to look at about the two couples in question is what gives each of them the foundation they have/

I’ll start with Batman and Wonder Woman this time because they have the more common kind of relationship.

What attracted these two to each other?

Despite the flaws I’ve covered in the previous three posts, we can all agree both these superheroes are good people. we don’t hear much on Wonder Woman’ side, but we do hear Batman once explain some of his reasons for liking her. She’d a remarkable woman, he says; she’s a devoted friend, she’s…standing right behind him, isn’t she?

Awkward.

But there we have it, she’s loyal and devoted to her relationships. Just the opposite of him in some ways, and opposites attract.

But like also attracts like. They are both selfless when it comes to saving other people. they both care about the good of mankind, and they both enjoy being in the League.

This is where most relationships start from. Two people meet and find thy like the same things and so they spend time together  and eventually it may turn romantic. OR it may not. But I always found there to be plenty of chemistry between Bruce and Diana.

They both esteem each other. Just like most healthy couples at least start off as seeing only good in the other person.

So why is Batman afraid to move forward? Because of trust.

This is where we see that trust cannot really be built just on another person’s merits. You could be mother Teresa levels of kind and unselfish, and someone might refuse to really trust you because you are still human and they don’t trust people.

I have seen this in my own life and the people around me. Trust is earned but it is also a choice.

And the choice must be made even when we allow for the other person sometimes letting us down. Trusting human beings is in essence saying “I know you aren’t perfect, but I know you well enough to know you’ll be as good as you can be, so I will trust you because I trust you overall character, and not just by your individual actions.”

Clearly people sometimes trust the wrong person because of this, that’s where they mistake the overall character to be better than it is.

However, I submit to you that the obstacle in Batman’s case is different.

He doesn’t trust anyone (as superman fondly admits in episode one.) This is not their fault. It is because he has unresolved issues in his life.

Ladies and gents, you will not have a healthy relationship for long if you do not resolve your issues either before entering it, or at some point early on. (I do not mean you cannot fix it later, but it is better to do it sooner.)

The problem here is that Wonder Woman wants to move forward before either of them have really faced their deep issues with themselves and the world. She has made some steps forward in t he course of being in the League, but he has made baby steps, or none at all in some areas.

Ladies especially may want to do this. But plenty of men will do it to. Only they fear commitment because they know they aren’t ready and so the relationship often ends after appearing to be getting serious.

But is Batman right to use issues as an excuse not to be together?

Let’s return to Scott and Barda:

The important thing about both of them, and the path I admire Kirby for taking, is that both their journey’s start apart from each other.

In the Fourth world, people who still have a shred of conscience and self awareness are referred to as having the Divine Spark. We know Scott has it from the get go, but what is less obvious is that Barda had it too.

Barda’s journey to escaping Apokalips actually began with Auralie, the weakest of the girls in her force, but one she had a particular fondness for that she never showed to any of the others. Barda disobeyed the laws of Apokalips while trying to protect Auralie and was ready to disobey them again when she found out she had been tortured to death. That marked the first moment when she and Scott actually had one mind, and thought hey were not a team yet, they stopped being suspicious of each other.

Scott’s journey began with Himon, the e one free mind on Apokalips.

more importantly still, Scott went to Earth without Barda and continued learning about freedom and goodness until she arrived. Barda in tur mad her choice to complete her training, which came in handy later, and then broke free herself of its grip.

Barda began to hate the system because of her friend, not because of Scott. Though he was the reason she continued to move forward.

These two are not independent of each other, but the y are not codependent on each other either. Barda did not need Scott to leave Apokalips, and he did not need her. They only come together after both making several independent decisions.

My point here is to show that Barda and Scott both work to become the person that is right for each other, before they even know they’ll be together. Barda makes sure to please Scott even before she thinks of them as a couple, because she esteems him. Scott tries to keep Barda healthy and happy even just as his friend because he is grateful to her.

If they had not been committed to doing what they thought right before hand, they could not have suited each other so well.

To be honest, the principle of “Become the person who the person you want is looking for” is one I have yet to hear talked about outside of Church, but it applies just as much to people who are not religious as to people who are.

Like attracts like. Sluts attract whores, criminals attract criminals, nutjobs attract other nutjobs. And good people attract each other.

Very rarely will any of us be Scott and Barda in every way when we meet out spouse, but we can at least be them in this way. It’s not really about getting someone to fall in love with you. It’s about the kind of person you are.

Resolve your issues now, and when you meet the one for you, you’ll have a super good relationship on your side, and not a super dysfunctional one.

But one more thing:

I still ship Wonder Woman and Batman for this reason; broken, messed up people are the only people you’re ever going to meet. Though they may be very healthy, they will always have some weak points.

And we cannot let that stop us from loving deeply and trusting other people, because we share this earth with them, and we need each other.

I would tell Batman he needs to try, and I would tell Wonder Woman she needs to be humble about letting him work his way forward, and always be striving to be a better person herself.

But what I would tell all of you is that it is better still if you have a perfect God in you life who can never fail you. Because then, as the saying goes, you can let man be man, if you let God be God.

(And by the way, Barda and Scott have an equivalent of that known as the Source.)

All right, I’m finally done with this, until next time–Natasha.

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How to have a super relationship-3

Part three here we come:

So, I covered the foundation, the way they handle each other’s values, and disagreements. I didn’t exhaust any one of these subjects by any means, but I touched on them.

Now we come to the worst part: Fighting.

Fights are not the same as disagreements. Disagreements can be unemotional, but fights, for the purpose of this post, will be classified as the times we actually hurt each other deeply.

Barda and Scott have only one real fight on record, as I mentioned in the previous post. From what I understand, they split after Barda complains that Scott is ignoring her needs because he is so caught up in what he does, even when it’s a good thing, that her feelings are put on the back burner.

At first I discredited this. How could someone so unselfish as Barda complain about this?

But then I realized, with a little help from my sister, that it is actually a pretty rational fight to expect of them.

Barda and Scott both have traumatic backgrounds in which they were never taught that they deserve any love. (Note the word deserve.) Both of them believed that for a long time.

For the first few years of their marriage, I’d venture to say, they didn’t have a problem because both of them believe the other to be worthy of love and preference more than themselves, they would pour into each other so much that they would never stop to ask if they deserved more.

But… I could easily see Scott, who is always the absent minded professor type at the best of times, getting caught up in helping other people. (I think maybe it was even with the Justice League) and thinking that his wife would be fine. She’d never made demands on him before. (How many men get caught in this trap?)

Meanwhile, Barda suddenly finds he’s not home, or not paying her much attention when he is, and since she has few other interests to occupy her time, she starts to resent that.

You can imagine the rest as easily as I can.

So they separate for awhile though I don’t think they ever think of divorce. There’s no two people more suited for each other. They could never find anyone else just like the other person.

I imagine they reunited after both realizing that they are better off with each other if only for a few minutes a day, than apart forever.

AS far as I know, they have no further problems beyond small disagreements that are bound to happen and are forgotten the next day.

The important thing about this story is to ask what changed? You probably got my hint. They started thinking about what they deserved. In other words, Pride.

Normally you would not find more humble people that Scott and Barda. They are willing to give everyone a fair chance, to take in people they know have emoitonal issues and try to help them, and to bear with each other’s own weaknesses.

Barda is convinced Scott is the better person, but I think he considers her to be the most loyal of the two.

So what could have caused them to change? Simple, they came to expect one thing, and when they didn’t have it, they felt threatened and started to demand it.

I have a feeling Scott was probably surprised when his beloved bride started resenting wheat she’d always supported in the past.

There’s another issue too, Barda started trying to be a regular housewife before that time. She’s not so unsuited to it, but to someone like her, staying at home keeping house has to sting when her husband is out doing what she used to do all the time.

No one’s making her stay at home, she put limits on herself.

That’s where we find trouble so often. We decided how far we can go and no further, then we blame our spouse or our other family for our unhappiness.

Bard and Scott work it out in the end because they have true love and common sense on their side. But our other couple suffers from almost the same problem.

Wonder Woman is a Princess, as Batman points out to her, and he is a rich kid with many issues. Though his excuse is lame, his point is not necessarily without merit.

These two are not ready for emoitonal intimacy.

I think the ladies will all agree with me when I say Wonder Woman would be in for some shocks if she were to get close to any man, let alone Batman.

She’s from an all female island, and she has guy friends, but she doesn’t really get why men are they way they are sometimes she complains about it.

I relate becuase I am typically surrounded by women myself and I don’t claim to really get men. I know that’s an obstacle I have to overcome, but she is in blissfu lignorance of that fact.

Batman onthe other hand is the DArk Knight for a reason. He has his allegiance (Gotham) and he prowls around on his metal steed looking for anyone in distress.

I want you to try to picture these two sharing their turf.

If you can’t laugh at that, you’ve probably never watched either of t hem in action.

Oh my gosh, what a nightmare. Batman’s worst nightmare in fact.

I think men often overlook this when they get married or get into a serious dating relationship. Women want to be a part of your whole life. They want to feel like you value their company in whatever you do.

Men tend to want to separate their lives into categories. Work. Batmanning it. Home.

I will not say either is entirely wrong. Standing alone is necessary, so is getting help.

Batman would probably feel like his criminals and his city are his personal property, and the guys in the League, or the other girls, would never dream of swinging around Gotham without his consent (like Batgirl.) But Wonder Woman would naturally expect to be able to help him out.

I know that was speculation, but there was plenty of evidence for it on the show. Often Batman will hold her back from interfering in a situation where he feels like it’s someone’s personal call. He also did it with Robin on the Animated Batman Show. Batman believe you’ve got to stand on your own sometimes, and that makes perfect sense.

Diana probably never fought a single battle without a whole crowd watching, ready to step in if something went totally wrong. She might understand giving someone breathing room, but utterly leaving them to themselves, she’d probably find that a bit hard. Though she’s been known to take on problems single handedly, she tends to do that from a belief that she is totally over-capable of beating them.

Scott and Barda had perfect teamwork because they never made any bones about dong things together, unless there was a good reason to split, then they allowed it without making a fuss. The one exception being what I mentioned above.

Pride. It gets us every time. If there’s one thing Batman and Wonder Woman both have in abundance, it’s pride.

This may have made it sound like I don’t ship these two at all, or like I expect people to e perfect. But I don’t. I’ll get to that in part for.

Au revoir–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-2

Continueing on from where I left off…

So, our two power couples are a lot alike and very different.

One couple is operating out of a place of mutual trust and admiration, the other out of a place of mutual attraction but no commitment.

I don’t think I really need to say which of these is more common to us.

Scott and Barda actually have the most functional relationship of any supers I know.

I’m going to highlight a few instances that show more differences between the two and also some examples we could do well to heed.

First of all, when Scott and Barda are reunited, Scott is right in the middle of a battle with this spirit-demon thing that causes panic and hallucinations in mortals. Scott is protected against falling for it, but the demon, Bedlam, is determined to have him killed through the panic. Scott ad to figure out how to escape without hurting the people who are only temporarily out of their minds.

Barda shows up prepared to kick the crud out of all and any who are threatening Scott, and Scott greets her only by warning her not to interfere because he promised to have no help in this.

Now, I know if I was received that way after crossing galaxies to fight some demon creature with a sick mind, I’d be kind of put out if that was my hello.

But Barda is totally calm. And later when Bedlam accuses Scott of using her help, she says outright “I would risk my life for Scott, but I would never make him go back on his word.”

If you can not see how romantic that is, you need help. If a man were to say that to me I would be like “Oh yeah, you are awesome!”

This is the first principle I want to bring up: In a healthy relationship, the other person will not only respect your values, but they will support them even when it hurts them to do so. They will stick up for you.

I’ll tell you guys right now, if I met a couple who believed entirely the opposite of me, I would still respect them more if they stood up for each other out of loyalty and honor then if they caved under pressure and agreed with me.

How do our other subjects handle this?

I think one of the most notable examples was in Maid of Honor. To Batman’s credit, he does not totally disregard Wonder Woman’s perspective.

Both of them have instincts about the villain and the political situation of the plot, and both of them end up being mostly right. But Diana nearly costs them the mission when she recklessly crashed Audrey’s wedding without waiting to hear Batman’s plan. batman doesn’t think the less of her, but it’s important to observe that they don’t solve anything till they start working together as a unit and not just as two concerned parties.

See, even if two people in a relationship are both right, it doesn’t do any good if they cant work together. That’s what makes the real bond between them. Diana makes a classic beginner’s mistake of thinking she can handle it on her own. But her passion clouds her judgement and almost gets her killed and loses her friendship with Audrey. Batman’s cooler headed approach works out better.

But in all fairness, he was wrong in suspecting Audrey and her father and Diana set him straight on that. SO when they come together at the end, you can see they’ve made progress and whenever the two team up after that there’s a certain understanding between them that doesn’t exist between the other members.

Onto another example: Disagreements.

I have yet to read any real disagreement between Scott and Barda, I’ve heard that they have one really bad fight during the course of the comics, and I’ll deal with that later. For now I’ll talk about how they resolve their different points of view.

there are multiple times when Scott prefers to settle things peaceable and through reason or through cunning, while Barda prefers to just crush the problem with her mega-rod.

I would say at least 50-60% of the time, Scott’s way is what prevails. After Barda arrives he establishes his role as the leader of the house by right of arriving first (which is fair, he knows more about Earth than her) and tells her that they will all act as friends. “The strong don’t rule here.” Barda may not see the sense of this, but she accepts it out of respect for him. She never actually tries to harm Oberon or any of Scott’s “Guests” again.

Barda could be the poster girl for feminism, a thing which if often joked about in the comics itself, but she chooses to let Scott lead most of the time because she trusts his judgment. (Remember, mutual trust is what their relationship is built on.)

But, sometimes it goes the other way.

When the people Granny Goodness sends after them start attacking more and more often, Barda does not hesitate to physically drive them off. When she and Scott return to Apokalips, Scott wants to do things his way, but Barda decides there’s been enough of that. Scott lets her have free reign when he sees she’s determined.

This is important, Scott is not looking to tame her.

There is a difference between tempering you’re love interest and taming them. We all need tempering, we all need more control over some areas and more sharpness in others. But true love will celebrate the strengths of the beloved, and when it is right, allow them to go full throttle with them.

Scott enjoys Barda’s toughness, and that it=s what makes it so darn irresistible to love these two. Even before they are romantic, they enjoy each other’s personalities and character’s and learn to respect them.

On the other hand, our other couple does things a bit different.

I would not dump on them just to prove a point. Wonder Womana nd BAtman both enjoy each other too. But that happens to them is that because of that trust thing, they hit a wall.

Batman and Wonder Woman often take two different approaches, and when they disagree they don’t spend time trying to understand the other. Nor do they submit to the other even when it would be wisest to just pick a way and stick to it.

When they do argue, which is only once in my memory, they both push for their own way. Batman does this by blocking out everything but his own reasoning and laying that down in a very insensitive manner. (Guys, you know you do this. It’s ok, girls do it too.) Wonder Woman does it by not really hearing what’s behind his words, or if so she does not speak to it, but just keeps pressing for her own way.

These two deeply care about each other but nether knows how to express it in the best way to the other. The real problem is that Batman at least is determined not to try. Again, Wonder Woman is less at fault for being willing to go there.

Okay, wow, that took a lot longer than I expected. I hope you’re still interested because there’s more to go into in part three.

–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-1

Today I’m going to do something fun.

After all my Justice League related posts I’ve been anxious to do more, I have fun pulling things out of those old memories.

So, just to be different, I want to talk about superhero relationships. (Yes, that was a joke.)

Still the reason superhero relations ships are so fun is because they take the same problems real relationships have and below them up to a much bigger scale.

Actually, a good rule of thumb when you’re judging superhero films and comics is to ask if the supers are dealing with common problems but on a magnified scale, like Spiderman/Peter Parker always is. I find that to be the most believable, because it doesn’t matter how may powers you have, you’re still human.

That especially applies to relationships.

I have two couples in mind today. I’ll be referring to the JLU show again, and the Mr. Miracle comic, because the similarity between these two couples struck me almost as soon as I read the latter.

I present for you consideration the power couples Batman and Wonder Woman, and Scott and Barda.

You may not like the Batman=Wonder Woman dynamic, but it’s the best one to serve my purpose so bear with me.

Over the course of the first two JLU seasons the writers teased the viewers with hints that Wonder Woman and Batman had, in their words, “a quasi relationship.’

I think it started from the moment Batman saw her take out some alien freaks int he first episode, and gradually they built up a mutual respect and trust, Wonder Woman somewhere along the line learned both his and Superman’s secret identity and became one of the big three. She keeps a good balance between the two more sober men.

But Batman eventually began to feel like they were getting too close and started saying he had no time for a serious relationship. Wonder Woman thought this was crud, but she couldn’t really force the point.

Scott and Barda I’ve already covered, they met on the hellish world of Apokalips, she saved his life, then followed him to earth, he saved her life, she stuck with him and it was a match made in heaven.

But if we were to take a closer look at these couples we could compare a lot of their stories.

Batman and Scott both share a traumatic past, losing their parents, and having few friends. They also share a talent for escaping and a love of justice.

Barda and Wonder Woman both share a fierce loyalty and a quick temper when they feel they or their friends are disrespected or threatened. They both were raised to be tough warriors, the best of their kind, and they both left that life, though for different reasons. (Not so different if we went by the old Wonder Woman, but the JLU one is not the same.)

They even look a lot a like.

But when we put these two couples together, there’s a huge difference in how they interact.

Wonder Woman did almost all of the advancing in the relationship, and not in what I would consider a bad way. Batman thought none the worse of her for it, I think he liked it. That was actually the trouble. Batman would not be honest about how he felt. Though on several occasions he showed a reference for her that was almost foolish, (and very cute,) he would never admit to it afterwards. She spelled it out as far as a woman can with any self-respect.

Those of us who have studied Batman’s character know the reason he was so hesitant. He is scared to be close to anyone, most especially someone he could really love. and more than that, someone like Diana who he could not control or intimidate, and who is not a criminal. She was his equal and that’s what freaked him out, because he couldn’t use any of his typical excuses not to let people get to him. (Which is always they are either too young, they work for him, or they are evil.)

How many men, and women, see themselves in Batman? They maybe date people, but they date people who are no good for them, who the y could never marry, or whom they feel distant from. If they ever meet a person who would really challenge them,t hey back off because they’ve been hurt too badly in the past.

I think with Batman, and most of us, it goes back to being left alone and helpless by his parents, with neither him nor them being able to do anything. he is always afraid of the same thing happening again. And he knows even Wonder Woman is not safe from all his enemies, though his fear that they could go through her to get to him seems a bit ludicrous. She faces enemies just as bad or worse than his on a regular basis and nothing he could do is going to change that. IF they aren’t after him they;ll be after her.

Wonder Woman herself seems to realize this is stupid and even insulting, but we never ear a satisfactory end to that conversation.

This is known as a dysfunctional relationship. Notice that Wonder Woman is mostly the functional part of it, she had a secure bringing up, though she couldn’t’ begin to understand what men are really like, and Batman knows it. but she’s at least willing to go there. She has a lot less issues then him, but he doesn’t want to mess her up. the thin is, he probably wouldn’t. It’s just an excuse.

That’s where we get to Scott and Barda.

Scott takes a similar path to Batman, but he starts it when he’s a lot older though young in doing the right thing. Scott also realizes that relationships should not be avoided, though he does not take them as seriously as some. He quickly makes friends with his assistant Oberon, and with other people he meets. He is similar to Bruce Wayne in that he has an older and (inferior in ability )servant/friend. And that eventually he has a young prodigy.

But Scott wants to involve Barda in his life and his work almost as soon as she shows up. When she first saves his life, his one regret is that she would not come with him. Perhaps from the beginning then Scott learned that you can never be quite satisfied when you leave people you care about behind.

The best men in real life, and women to thought hey often need less encouragement to do so, are the ones who bring their friends and family along for the ride. They are willing to show them what they do. But they aren’t pushy about making them join in. They invite and encourage but they don’t force people to be part of their lives.

I’ll close with Barda and then the rest will have to be in part two.

Barda is by nature a small circle person. Like Diana she often is the one to advance the relationship, not by trying to however, just by being herself and being honest. What you love about her is that Barda never wastes words. She says what she feels plain and simple.

She’d jump down a shark’s mouth for you and never expect you to thank her for it.

Barda, to put it succinctly, does not over complicate. She is not catty. She doesn’t nag or do things for selfish reasons. I’ll get more into this in part two.

Until next post–Natasha.

 

 

 

Graduation!

I have an announcement: I graduated highschool! Diploma and all.

It’s official now, my diploma arrived today.

Homeschoolers have to take the test a little differential than the public schoolers do. by the way, I’m pretty sure only homeschoolers even use the term public-schoolers.

You know what’s funny is how often people forget I’m home schooled after I tell them and when I remind them they’re like “Oh, right.”

I on the other hand have a hard time keeping public or private schools straight. Actually I tend not to think of people in connection with school at all. Which to an adult I’m sure is normal. And I guess now I don’t have to worry aobut it anymore.

Anyway, so I had to go to the Adult education center near where I live and take a special equivalency test. Which generally only people who’s second language is English, or who had to drop out of highschool for some reason take. The general assumption being you want to be able to say you’re a highschool graduate on your job applications or you just want to have more self respect.

Well, I guess I fit into both those categories. I was getting really tired of saying I was still in high school and not even knowing what grade I was in. And I’m pretty sure it affected my job hunting.

But the test was a breeze and I passed with more than enough. I actually scored as high as possible in three subjects, not to brag or anything.

And one of those three was math. Which is by far my least favorite subject and one I profess no real skill in.

Well it turns out I understand some things better than I thought and other things not as well as I hoped.

Other than that though, the test really tells you nothing. I can say that now that I’ve been through the process. The information covered can’t really prepare you for life, all it can do is tell you you retained basic knowledge of the world around you and how it functions. And to be honest, I guessed at a lot of answers.

Really that Id id so well I attribute to the Grace of God. Though many people would tell you I’m super smart. (I know because they’ve told me to my face.)

Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. I don’t know what smart really is nowadays. And smart and wise are two different things. But I am glad to not have to do geometry anymore.

I’m not going to tell you that now that I’ve completed required schooling I’ve had this big revelation about how sort life is, how much more value I need to put on my time, and how unprepared I am for the future.

That wouldn’t be true. Because it didn’t take graduation for me to start thinking aobut hose things.

I also am not a fan of being worked up over how short our time is. Because time is going to pass whether you worry about it or not. And I’ve tried to run ahead and get more impressive stuff done and it has never worked for me.

My life right now isn’t glamorous. It’s not that fulfilling from an outside perspective. And nit’s not the life I would want to lead for years. But my life isn’t empty either.

You want to know what I started doing as soon as I graduated? I went back to studying languages every day. Something I couldn’t find time for before with my other obligations but now I’m free to do. I didn’t start just because I graduated, but because I want to. I enjoy it.

I have plans to start some heavier reading again. I’m already reading more.

Once I have a job my schedule will change of course, but at least I won’t have to worry about keeping up with school (until college.)

Never tell me reading isn’t a good preparation for graduating. That test was mostly reading.

So if you’re home-schooled and haven’t graduated, or if you’re thinking about homeschooling, don’t stress it is my advice. Just pace yourself.

The way I see it I’m a few years ahead of a lot of millennials because I’m already wondering at eighteen what they might be wondering at nineteen or twenty, so maybe I’ll figure it out sooner.

Anyway, this had probably been unnecessarily long since it’s just my thoughts on my personal life, but I hope you enjoyed. Until next time–Natasha.

 

How to recognize a weasel–part two.

This is not really a continuation of my Beauty and the Beast review, it’s more a commentary on films in general.

I said when I reviewed The Hunger Games that the movie was trying to make you think it was good, but it really had no strong message.

It turns out there’s a lot of that going around. I just saw La La Land and it was the same thing. It seemed good because it was trying to be like an old fashioned romance, but it totally lacked morals. I’m actually surprised that many good people thought it was great.

I get why, I wanted to like it. But I kept waiting for a moment where the characters did something I could really admire, but they didn’t.

I think my Grandmother thinks I’m just predisposed to dislike every movie that recently (in the last five years) came out.

But I liked “Hidden Figures” and “The Intern.” And heck, I like “Guardians of the Galaxy.” I liked the new Cinderella movie.

I’m not impossible to please.

I am hard to please. I missed the memo when pleasing the more difficult audience suddenly became not what movie writers were supposed to go for.

Which is not to say I should just get to say any movie is bad because I personally didn’t like it. I didn’t like Hacksaw Ridge over much, but it’s not a bad movie. Some things are just taste.

But some aren’t. Like caring what a movie is actually trying to say. And if it’s not trying to say anything, then it’s smoke and mirrors, because no one can come up with a decent creation if they don’t have a goal in mind.

My sister is a painter and drawer, she never paints a picture of nothing in particular. I know some artists do to express freedom, but even they are trying to express something. I write, I never write a story or  post about nothing. My other sibling crafts, she never makes nothing in particular.

Whether you’re a good or bad artist, you can’t be an artist without a goal or a point in mind.

And a film without a real point is just trimmings and trappings over a bare framework.

But we’ve gotten really good at those trimmings.

We have realistic looking CGI to the point where most of us have seen more vibrant landscapes on TV than we have in real life.

We have actors who can be airbrushed to perfection.

We have locations to die for, almost.

We have surroud sound. We have cool scores. We have promotional ads!

What we don’t seem to have is stories. Everyone is talking about how unoriginal Hollywood is getting. I guess the directors figure if you can’t make up a new idea, you have to dress up an old one.

But lest we be too copycat-ish, we’ll throw out all the old morals the plot used to entail. Let’s have more sex, shooting, explosions, and dumb throwaway lines that will become t-shirts and memes and be forgotten a few years hence. That’s what people want to see.

Well, unfortunately, I’m starting to wonder if that is what people want to see.

I can still remember the feeling I used to get when I finished watching a really good movie. I felt braver, better, and like life was more beautiful because of that film’s ideas. I felt like I had a glimpse into something I wouldn’t normally see or think about. Every now and then I get that feeling again.

But not form these big hits that have recently come out. They just don’t do it for me. I could look every recent superhero film I’ve seen in the eyes and tell it “The Incredibles was still better than you.” And forget the romantic comedies.

Well, I digress.

I read in one book that since the Fall we’ve gotten really good at covering up our shame with fig leaves Whether they be ordinary fig leaves or designer fig leaves.

Or as Shakespeare put it “All that glitters is not gold.”

Shakespeare tells us that if we are “young in limb, in judgement old,” we will not stake our happiness on things that are shiny and seem valuable on the surface, but inside contain dead men’s bones. (Merchant of Venice.)

The fig leaves represent the way we try to cover up our shame. And our current shame as a culture is how little we understand right and wrong. A lot of us feel confused about a lot of things, so we cover it up by making movies and other things that sound good, and sound profound, but if we were to really examine them they would be as fragile as leaves and one yank would destroy the facade.

The words of Shakespeare warn us not to value things that are dead inside just because they satisfy our senses.

I look for life in a movie. Some movies are just too foolish, others are deliberate garbage, others are the result of poor writing.

We need to be able to tell, because if we can’t, we’ll admire all the wrong things. And you can’t admire garbage on a screen, and then appreciate gold in real life.

Let’s just say that anyone who takes fool’s gold for the real thing will never recognize actual gold when they see it. They don’t look the same when you’ve seen both.

And can I just point out that the people who are telling us it doesn’t matter and to just enjoy the garbage are usually the ones making it… don’t you think they have a slight agenda?

I’m basically giving you all permission to dislike popular films for good reasons. And to like good films with all the enthusiasm the youth are showing for the bad ones. That’s where the “young in limb” part comes in.

Wisdom and Passion are the two great helpers of life, and they have to be forged the right way.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

What does the song say?

Today I want to talk to you all about respect.

A particular kind of respect.

First, however, I have a short anecdote to explain why I feel this is important.

A while ago I was stuck with a group of millennials who were listening to some pop music. I’m not against pop, but I am against pot, which I’m pretty sure got referenced once or twice. The real problem came when some songs featuring guys talking about getting…you know…with girls, came on. More than once a song that I considered highly inappropriate played.

I promise I was not listening by choice, I was stuck. With that clarification, I’m going to be kind of vulnerable with you all.

Deep breath: Those songs, sung by both girls and boys who were right by me, made me feel embarrassed.

It was humiliating as a woman to hear young men singing about that sort of thing with me right there.

I’m aware that guys will talk about it a lot to each other, but usually guys who will talk about it openly in front of girls are perceived as rather jerk-ish, to put it mildly.

These weren’t even bad kids I was hanging around. That was the worst of it, they were totally unaware that anything they were saying might bother someone. At least to the point of embarrassment.

That’s why I’m posting this, because in the moment, I couldn’t say how I felt properly, but now I think this is worth discussing.

I wish I didn’t have to explain but here goes:

Young men (and old) whether or not a girl shows it, she is going to notice how you treat her and other girls. How you talk about them; how you think about them. And she may not care, even if she should. That’s because a lot of girls are treated like crud by the other men in their lives and there’s nothing you could do to fail her worse than that, so she may think you’re okay.

But that doesn’t make it okay.

You may be a great guy, but if you even so much as joke about certain things, it will send a certain message. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

It’s not my place to tell men or boys what to do, but they should know that any healthy girl will have standards to measure by, and no girl wants a guy to take her purity lightly.

Please don’t think I’m overreacting. I fully understand that often teens just don’t think about songs or jokes as indicating their character, but they do.

I also understand there are probably some guys out there just as uncomfortable with this as I am. Good on ya, in that case.

Young women: Guys need you to have a problem with this. I know that sounds strange. But men cannot read our minds. If we act like we’re cool with the total crud these songs are singing about, and like it’s fine to hear the guys around us spew the same things out of their mouths, then the guys are going to think we are fine with it.

Simple as that.

I don’t like to have things said in my presence that imply I’m a slut; because unless I was, why would I be okay with hearing this?

That’s not overstating the case. The fact that we don’t know this as a generation is an indictment against the kind of morals we’ve been taught, but it is not an excuse.

I’m not thanked for saying things like this to people’s faces, I doubt they would thank me for writing it either, but nonetheless, it has to be said. And by more people than me.

We need to treat each other and ourselves with respect.

By the way, my complaint was written off as just my opinion. But I assure you, there are lots of people who share it. Unfortunately, none of them were present when I objected. But they are out there. Some of them will probably read this.

I don’t really know if I can change someone’s mind about the kind of stuff they listen to, but they at least need to know how it will sound.

And it doesn’t matter whether it bugs one girl, or a million, because it’s still wrong. It’s dishonoring to any girl to make her feel that she’d being reduced to a sex object. In song, in life, or in thought.

So just…don’t do it. If you have any real respect for girls.

And girls, we need to stand up for ourselves and stop making this an okay pastime. If more of us made an issue of it, it’d be less frequent.

But I don’t want to get too preachy, so I’ll end on that note.

Thanks for reading and until next time–Natasha.

Fail me once.

Well, to those of you who may think I’ve got my life together, today I failed the Driver’s Test for the second time. 

Oh, the humiliation, (anyone get the Mr. Peabody and Sherman reference?)

To anyone out there who has done the same, I feel your pain.

I’m not a bad driver, ladies and gents, I’m a bad test-taker.

Seriously, I don’t generally do well at tests, even though I have no problem learning things. Maybe it’s because I remember things differently than the test.

I don’t like to fail. Who does?

But at least I still have one consolation; I get one more chance.

Plus it was partly the instructor’s fault.

It’s been a couple days now, and though I was initially pretty upset, I now feel strangely un-bothered by this.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me and I don’t take criticism as seriously after the first time.

To be honest, I hate to feel like I’ve failed at something. Especially something I thought I understood okay. At least well enough to pass the test.

Fail me once, shame on me; fail me twice, shame on who? I wonder.

I’ve realized since I began house sitting that I probably have a problem taking responsibility seriously. One of the drawbacks to having a stay-at-home mom can be not having to do all that much for yourself. Which seems great when you’re a kid, but when you get older you realize how little you know.

It doesn’t help when you get people telling you how much trouble you’ll be in once you  get out into the wide world.

Is it really the best thing to tell someone on the brink of leaving the nest that they are totally ill-equipped to handle life?

And even worse, to tell their younger siblings the same thing.

It shocks me how little older folks believe in me sometimes. There’s not a lot of “You got it girl,” in my life.

And maybe I deserve it. Maybe I really am unprepared. But I have my doubts that anyone ever is truly prepared for adulthood or the world.

You may have seen the movie “Stepbrothers.” I haven’t seen it all, and I don’t recommend it, it’s a bad example. But it portrays two brothers in their forties who still haven’t moved out (or is it their late thirties?) They aren’t prepared for adulthood yet and their lives are half over, most likely.

I love movies like The devil wears Prada; The Intern; Raising Helen; and other such films in which the protagonist has to deal with high pressure situations and ends up rising above and beyond. Were they prepared gong in? No.

I feel like that’s a pretty accurate portrayal of everyone when they first start being independent. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we know we have to do it.

That’s how this whole country got started for crying out loud. The founding fathers didn’t really know what they were doing. They had knowledge of how government works, but it took them quite awhile to figure out the practical application of those principals.

So, do I understand how hard this is going to be? No.

Is it something anyone could have taught me? I doubt it. No one can teach you how to mature, they can only help you to do so.

And guess what, the naysayers are never the ones doing the most to help you out. It’s the people who give you the right to learn and step out that are the most willing to help you do so. It’s the people who spend less time worrying about your future and more time investing in your development.

I’ve had people put faith in me and though sometimes it never came to fruition, I still remember that they believed in me.

You see, the Driving Instructors, they don’t really believe you are capable. As soon as you make one mistake they lose most of their confidence in you, and if you’re like me and make major mistakes because of miscommunication (or lack of knowledge) they have nothing further to offer you except “Try again next time.”

Well they’re just doing their job, they’re supposed to keep bad drivers off the streets. (I would say this, it’s not working.)

You can’t expect people who don’t know you to really care about your success…or can you?

We all tend to be business-like wit people we don’t know, but those are also the people we don’t usually remember. And what do they remember us for? Not really as people. I’m not against business, or making impersonal decisions, but I am against looking at other people as only a means to an end. This business-like attitude ca spread to all of our interactions.

The regulation you have to got through now to do anything, it’s not only unfair, it’s ridiculous, and the regulators enforce it because they have detached themselves from the fact that these are real people who need real livelihoods.

Even if I’m not ready to drive yet, I do need to do it. People used to learn by experience.

I’ve been told “I guess you’ll just have to experience it for yourself” like it’s the worst thing that could happen to me. But until I experience something for myself, often I can’t understand it.

(Social graces were like that, I could never get outside my own head enough to comprehend them until I interacted with more people I didn’t know very well. Then it finally started to make sense.)

I get one more try at this test before I have to renew my permit, I guess. I hope I pass.

My nugget of wisdom for this post is to be one of the people who helps others mature, and not one of the ones who tells them all the ways they aren’t ready. because I have yet to meet one person who seems to be ready for the trials of life.

No one is. We all need to grow, and we all will fail, so in my book, it matters more whether you let that intimidate you and decide to stop trying.

I’m getting back behind that wheel first chance I get.

Until next time–Natasha.