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Archive for May, 2008

I’ve decided that I need to give up Reality TV.  I learned several years ago that Survivor and I could no longer be friends—it was too much of an emotional investment and every week it would take me several hours to calm down after each episode.  The contestants were just so nasty to each other, and I found myself yelling at the TV and harboring bitter feelings for the people involved.  I watched until a really neat person won the game, and then gave it up.

But I’m here again.  This time the major culprit is Hell’s Kitchen, a reality cooking contest that comes on after American Idol every Tuesday. Last night as I watched (yea, DVR), I used words like “despicable”, “worthless”, and “ridiculous” to describe some of the remaining chefs in the competition, and I was struck by something really unacceptable in my behavior. However scripted, Reality TV does revolve around real people, and I am way too judgmental of them.  Yeah, they put themselves on TV and therefore up for scrutiny, but I just feel so icky after every show that I think I really need to consider letting them go.

Maybe as soon as this season is over…

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Today I drove by our neighborhood elementary school and was able to witness one of my absolute favorite pastimes.  It looked like the entire student body was outside decked in their homeroom colors, and as I watched the starting line of what appeared to be an awesome relay race, I had to sigh.  Field Day is undoubtedly the best day of the school year.

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My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

So I have been reading, but with Jordan napping less and going through this slightly unpleasant “clingy stage”, getting to a book is not quite as easy as it once was. I currently have two other books sitting on my nightstand that I intend to get through, but I’ve noticed that lately when I’ve got my nose in a book, my eyelids are also shut.

The reasons I chose this book were a) I haven’t made a trip to the library recently, and b) we had a copy of this novel in our house. This is the second novel I’ve read by Ms. Picoult since beginning my little book project.

This story centers on a very controversial current issue involving genetic engineering; more specifically, designer babies. When a young family sees no other viable treatment plans for their leukemia-plagued daughter, they decide to work with doctors to engineer a new baby with a similar genetic makeup. In other words, they choose to become pregnant with a donor. The controversy really comes to play when this younger daughter decides to seek counsel to have her body legally emancipated from her parents, in order to prevent further donations and transplants without her consent.

For the most part I thought this story was fascinating. Each chapter is told from a different perspective, making it difficult for me to determine what was truly “right” in this situation. There were no easy decisions here, and the complexity of the characters made the story seem real.

However, I did say “for the most part”.

I think Picoult created a painstaking story rimmed with controversy and tough calls, and as a reader I loved having my personal opinions waver with every chapter, anxious to see how such a case could be resolved. In my opinion, Picoult wimped out. Rather than “choosing a side”, resulting in possible judgment from her readers, she took the easy way out and ended the story in such a way so that no one could really find fault with her stand on this controversial topic. Such a shame.

I had trouble finding the motivation to write about this book. Like her first novel that I read, I enjoyed the story’s issues and characters, I just didn’t like how she chose to end it.

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