Sunday, June 30, 2013

Maternity Math

Things you may hear about how long you're pregnant:
- 40 weeks
- Nine months
- Ten months
- Forever (oh wait, that's just me loving being pregnant. :-/ )

All of those are true, but really none of them are.

Forty weeks is based off first day of last menstrual period. But you're not actually pregnant for all of that. That assumes a perfect 28 day cycle (what is that?) with ovulation on day 14. So really you're only pregnant for 38 weeks, but because when you ovulated is hard for most people to pin down, it's easier to make the little spinny charts using last menstrual period.

But. Some of us are special and can tell you pretty much exactly when we ovulated. (Yay, science!) So really, it's more accurate to just count 38 weeks from then, right? Either way, now we've figured out my due date (September 8th ish, depending on what method you use). Go us. And now that I finally look pregnant and not just like I've put on a few pounds, people are asking how far along I am.

Ah, "how far along are you?" Here's the thing. Most people don't want it in weeks. I get that. I was that. To me, the difference between 12 weeks and 14 weeks wasn't that big. (IT IS NOW, for that's when the puking stopped. Mostly.) They want it in months. No one really has any idea how long 27 weeks is, unless they are or recently have been pregnant. It's just a weird measurement.

For months, most people just divide weeks along by 4 (which, incidentally, is how they come up with ten months, since 40 weeks/4 is 10 months), but do we live in some magical land of year-round Februarys? Nay, our months vary anywhere from 4.29 to 4.43 weeks. Okay, not anywhere. It's 4, 4.29, or 4.43 weeks. So based on last menstrual period, I was one month along at the end of December, two at the end of January, etc. At the end of June, I'm 30 weeks or seven months. But if you divide 30 by 4, I'm actually...seven and a half months along? But if we keep going with this, nine months is the last day of August, and I've still got another week until my due date! (And then, if I'm anything like my mother, another two to three weeks until I actually give birth. Fingers crossed that I'm not.)

All I'm saying is, the numbers don't match up and it's really annoying to me. Pregnancy is super frustrating because it totally removes the ability to control or plan. I don't know when I'm going to go on leave, when this precious parasite will vacate my uterus, when I'll be back at work, how the birth will go, what kind of baby she'll be, how I'll end up feeding her, even how well I'll sleep tonight. I like to plan, you guys, and I can't really do any of it. I can't even be specific with how far along I am because the numbers don't match up. It seriously irritates the part of me that loves precision. I guess I just need to channel my "eh, close enough" side. That usually manifests when I'm tired of doing something, which, hey, I totally am!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Peculiar Children

I realize I'm a couple years behind the times, but I just finished Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children this week. The fact that it's only been out for two years is actually pretty impressive; I'm generally not one read a new release unless it's part of a series I'm already reading or it has been out for several years and generally well-liked. (Which still means nothing *cough*Water for Elephants*cough*.) Even an author I already know and love doesn't necessarily warrant rushing out to read something. (I still haven't read Mary Roach's Packing for Mars, let alone Gulp.)

Anyway, I managed to force myself to the library a while back to get a card, and now I can check out kindle books from the comfort and laziness of my own home! (Did I mention it's 1000 degrees outside and I'm 30 months weeks pregnant? I scowl at everyone who tells me the time has just flown by. Maybe for the people who didn't vomit in their sleep last week. So yeah, pregnancy definitely agrees with me, no?) They don't always have what I want, and there's usually a few days' wait, but it is more convenient than actually going to the library, and I'm definitely too cheap to buy a book I don't know if I'd want to read again.

Which brings me to Miss Peregrine. I had a general idea of what the book was about, but it turns out it was very general and not particularly accurate. At any rate, the book wasn't what I expected. Which isn't to say that it was bad, it's just kind of unsettling when you're like, "Oh. So it actually takes the first third of the book to even get to the home for peculiar kids. Okay." I guess I just assumed that it was set there not discovered. Whatever, that's my fault.

You know what's not my fault? The book has the crappiest "Wait for the sequel!" non-ending of any book I've ever read. I get that people want to leave their books (and movies) open for a sequel. It's a business, and this is about maintaining revenue stream. But that doesn't mean each installment can't have an ending of its own. For example: the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie definitely ends. Curse is lifted, Jack's back on the Black Pearl, everybody's happy.  But it leaves it open--Jack's got his compass, bring me that horizon, new adventures, etc. Who knows what madcap thing he'll do next! The second movie, though...la la la, it's ending, everything's great--bam! Barbosa's still alive! (I refuse to give a spoiler alert for a movie that's been out for seven years. If you haven't seen it by now, that's hardly my problem. I'm a big believer in spoiler statute of limitations.) It's opening a whole can of question worms, but oh ho ho, you'll just have to wait and see in the next movie. I hate that.

Unfortunately, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children doesn't have an ending at all. Here's what it feels like. Author spends half the book world-building, trying to figure out what story he's trying to tell. Author finally figures out the story, gets into the action, realizes, "Crap, I'm running out of pages to finish this properly!" Author tacks on a last line that is supposed to be some sort of dramatic, literary ending. It is not. I don't even know what the denouement is supposed to be. I mean, there's a small fight scene, but the purpose of it is actually to inform the main characters of the real conflict, which you won't actually see until book two. I have no patience for this. I wasn't swept up enough with the book or the characters to want to read a whole nother book to find out what's actually happening. If I wanted to read half a book, I would have read half a book and then given up on it, like I usually do!

So that's annoying, and I can't really recommend this book. I mean, I was all on board until I got to the "end." I was like, "Wait, is that it?" and had to click back and forth to check. (The downside to a Kindle is when you still have six percent of the book left but it turns out that's all just end filler and pages from the sequel [which should have been part of the first book to begin with.] It can be rather confusing.) The sequel comes out next month, so I guess if you're interested, you can start reading the first one now and then find out what actually happens when the second half of this story comes out next month. Blerg.

The other thing that bothers me is that I heard the other day that Tim Burton is going to direct the movie of the book. So, that will be terrible. You know why? For the same reason that Helena Bonham Carter gets every "crazy lady with wild hair" role that comes along. Because as they get older, they become more and more hardened into this particular type. Tim Burton did the Michael Keaton Batmans, you guys! Can you imagine the director of the creepy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake doing Batman now? No, because all he does now is weird and/or macabre stuff. There is no Pee-wee's Big Adventure for him anymore. Whether he's put himself in the niche or has been pushed there, the man really only does one kind of movie. And the thing with Peregrine is that it needs a subtlety and nuance that his recent movies lack. If the WHOLE WORLD of the movie is weird, than there's nothing peculiar about these children. Can he really show the dichotomy between the commons and the peculiars if everything he does is peculiar? I dunno, but I don't hold a lot of hope.

So there you have it, a bajillion words about a book that I didn't dislike while I was reading but ended up being seriously disappointed with when I finished it.