June 12th, 2009


Friday Five (influential relationships)...

As I hiked/ran this morning, I started thinking about romantic relationships in my life and how I got here (partly because the DJs on the radio were discussing this). So here we have it, my five most influential relationships with males:

1. My dad -- clearly :) Whether for good or bad, I think most girls' view of romance and their role in a romantic relationship begins with their relationship with their dad. I was (and am) very blessed in my relationship with my dad. He's strong, encouraging, giving, thoughtful, wise -- truly, in many ways, the perfect dad (for me).

2. First kiss -- I was 16; the guy, named Chris (but NOT DH), was in a community music group with me (he was a drummer). Anyway, we were at summer music camp, and I knew he liked me. I thought he was cute -- we went on a little walk together one evening, and he kissed me...and it wasn't good. He frenched me (a bit of a shock for a first kiss, I must say), and it was gross. Seriously gross -- like I wanted to vomit-gross. There's no doubt that this experience shaped my ideas about kissing. To this day, I'm not a huge fan of french kissing -- though regular kissing is fine ;) Plus, I have nightmares about gross french kisses.

3. Senior prom -- I was 17; Reed was a guy in my show choir (a junior). We'd gone a few hours away to sing in a competition (we won), but on the way back (at night), I got a migraine. Back then, I seldom got migraines (though I had regular headaches frequently), and this one was a humdinger. The headlights totally did me in, and I had my head leaned against the seat in front of me, just trying to keep from weeping in pain. Suddenly, I felt someone rubbing my head and neck, very gently -- it was Reed. I was so shocked -- it was the sweetest, most thoughtful thing any guy had ever done for me (other than my dad). We only dated a couple months, but that's when I first realized that guys my age could be thoughtful and tender.

4. College boyfriend -- we met during my first senior year (ha!). I was 21, and he was 19. We both fell hard for each other, but we had two serious differences: faith and sex. I wasn't going to marry him because he wasn't a 'Christian', and I wasn't going to have sex with him outside of marriage...interestingly enough, we lasted 3 1/2 years. I learned a ton -- mostly how to stand up for myself and how to know what I really believed about life and death. During our relationship, I went from being a conservative/traditional Christian to something very different (and much greater, imo). My faith changed radically and so much for the better. And I learned what I wanted in a guy, a partner -- as well as what I wanted in myself.

5. DH :) -- we got in touch again (because we went to jr/sr high and college together) when I was 29. After only a few phone conversations, I knew he was going to change my life -- one way or the other. We both feel strongly about being 'partners' without one of us leading the other. We also don't fight dirty -- no name calling, no condescension, etc. If either of us is too upset to be semi-rational, we wait until that person has calmed down. We try to respect each other all the time, whether the other person is around to hear, or not. There's no doubt in my mind that he has changed me (hopefully for the better), and that he will continue to do so.

How about you? What are some of your influential relationships with the opposite sex?

Happy weekend :)

Book Reports (113-118)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact the I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- definitely will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite!

Stray, by Rachel Vincent **** As I mention often, I'm not really a huge urban-fantasy enthusiast. But I've seen Rachel's name around the blogosphere (and especially here on LJ), so I decided to at least look into her book -- and I liked it. I like the MC, but I think my favorite part is the way she makes it very clear that the characters are not human. There are things (like the MC and her boyfriend making out in front of her brothers) that I can't see a human doing ;) Anyway, I like Faythe's spunk, without a doubt (though the book has some gory/violent moments that I definitely skimmed over). (adult, btw, not YA)

Rogue, by Rachel Vincent *** I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first, but it was still enjoyable -- enough so that I have the next one on hold at the library. Werecats are definitely interesting critters, heh (and Vincent's depiction is making me look at my sweet kitty differently, hehe).

Genesis Alpha, by Rune Michaels ***+ This is billed as a thriller, and I'd say it fits that. It's more of a psychological thriller, even, and it has some intense moments. I like the science fiction involved -- as well as they underlying moral issues. Interesting read (the MC is 13, but the book is for older teens, imo, because of the intensity -- the MC's brother is accused of a horrible murder).

Shine, Coconut Moon, by Neesh Meminger ***+ This is a very intriguing book! I like the MC, Sammy. I like how she's curious about her culture and her family. I love her loyalty to her uncle...she's very naive in many ways, imo, but she certainly grows throughout. It's one of those books that I'm glad I read and experienced.

Warrior Princess, by Frewin Jones *** I liked parts of this, without a doubt. To me, there were places where the MC seemed pretty passive, however. But she did rise to the occasion in the end, and that's where it counts, right? :) Although I'm not an expert on mythology, I suspect this has its fair share of Norse/Viking influences too, for those who are interested.

Egghead, by Caroline Pignat ** I didn't really like this -- not because of the writing, but because it's troubling. As a parent whose kiddos still have high school ahead of them, it bothers me to read books about bullying like this one. I was very impressed with how Will handled the bullying, but the book made me sad. I wonder how it strikes teen eyes?