Saturday, April 4, 2009

3 Good Things (Grammar, Virtue, & Twilight edition)

Grammar Police

If this question were phrased properly, my answer would be 'yes'. Although my youngest doesn't have the advantage of having Lisa VanDamme (or an intolerant nun) as a teacher, she has been diagramming sentences for a while, has done some work in Rex Barks, and has two parents (both taught by the same intolerant nuns) who try to speak correctly. One of these parents, on occasion, may affectionately be referred to as the Grammar Police. Anyone who might also wear that hat proudly will enjoy Ms. VanDamme's article in Principles in Practice, the blog of The Objective Standard.

Virtue Pays

Having the oil changed in my car has never felt so good. Not only did I change my routine by bringing my car to a local garage instead of the dealer where we had been going, but I made a point to tell the garage owner why we switched: after begging for and then taking money from the government, GM and its affiliated outlets will no longer get any portion of my money which remains under my control. I felt virtuous not because of my stand against GM, but that I bothered to explain it to the garage owner. While I'd guess that he could not care less why I brought him my business, I was pretty sure by the look on his face that no one had ever told him that they came to him out of principle. Best news - on two different days, he had both cars in and out of there within a 1/2 hour. I was able to have the same work done, for the same amount of money, save myself between one and two hours in extra travel and waiting time, and enjoy better coffee.

Tidbits of Twilight

My teenage daughter and I had a small, last-minute Twilight watching party last night. We bought the movie the day it came out last week, but waited for the perfect moment to watch it together and ended up sharing it with some friends: one, a former college roommate of mine, and another mother-daughter duo we've been friends with for a while through homeschooling. Like us, only the mother of the duo remains homeschooling a younger sibling at home while the teenager is in public school.

Both my daughter and her teen friend had devoured all the books in the series. Unlike me, my friend, who read only the first, I think, was certain that she did not like the message the books gave to teenage girls. I completely understand her point and shared a good portion of her concern over the portrayal of dark brooding boys who can kill you as attractive. But with one notable exception (I was quite sure Bella had pajama bottoms on in the book), the movie helped solidify my underlying feelings that the novel (the first at least) is intensely romantic and explores the subjects of sensuality and self-control rather than exploits the teen sex drive. Okay, there's some of that, too, but overall, I really enjoyed it.

It was a particularly interesting movie to watch with my old college roommate who remained mostly silent during the movie. She didn't hesitate to mention to the others in the party, however, that the pale skin, red lips, effeminate face, and scary, dark looks of the main character bore no small resemblance to those of my college boyfriend. They did, too. And while I thought my first love was beautiful in a scary, but non-sparkly Rutger Hauer meets Tom Petty kind of way, any similarities to Edward ended with those not too impressive physical attributes.

Worth noting, my daughter and I rewatched the movie this morning because in the party atmosphere we were all too busy enjoying each other's company, the witty heckling, and the amusing running commentary to fully appreciate the movie. Well, I'd like to think they were witty and amusing anyway.

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