Friday, February 4, 2011


We're still snowed in here in Texas, sigh. It started snowing again last night. It is, in fact, still snowing. Baby Girl's music class was even canceled today. The thing with snow (and ice) in Texas is that in most cases, the day after we get any kind of frozen precipitation, by the time the sun comes out the temperatures have already risen back up to above freezing (even if it is only a degree or two) and stuff melts during the day. Sure what's left usually freezes over again when night falls once more, but after a day or two of this cycle, it's all gone and things get more or less back to normal. This week, however, the temperatures never got back up out of the twenties, so nothing melted. This has resulted in general mayhem, almost a full week of snow days, and severe bouts of cabin fever.

I did brave the roads yesterday to go to the grocery store, and I was very, very careful (though there wasn't much I could do about the idiots tailgating me except to go even slower than I was already going). It all went well, and now we are stocked up. I have to say, I was severely tempted to purchase one of the electric blankets the store had prominently displayed near the entrance--until I saw the $64 price tag, that is. What is up with that? Electric blankets can't really cost that much, can they? That's got to be someone taking advantage of the current situation, surely. Anyway, hopefully by Monday we can get back to the regular routine.

I've been spending a lot of time with my husband over the last week (he has been working from home and his trip to Boston was canceled), which has mostly been nice. It took us a day or two to get used to each other again. The other day I was playing my video game during nap time while he was in the office as well. At dinner that night, he told me he was going to play some of his game that night, seeing me play mine had made him realize he hadn't played in over three weeks, and got him wanting to jump back in.

We've been doing that sort of thing to each other for years now, since long before we were dating. One of us will be watching a television series or movie, or reading a book series, and it will get the other one interested in picking it up as well, or remind us that there was something else we've been meaning to try.

I have long credited my husband with getting me hooked on science fiction, and I stand by this. Granted, in junior high and high school I did watch SeaQuest and Quantum Leap, but that had nothing to do with either being a science fiction series. I watched SeaQuest because Jonathan Brandis was in it, and there was a talking dolphin. Quantum Leap because it was about time travel and because that was something my family enjoyed watching together. But actually enjoying science fiction for the science fiction aspects of a product didn't occur until college, when my not-yet husband placed a copy of Ender's Game in my hands and made me promise to read it. I did, and I loved it, and I then consumed all of the other books out at the time (and most that have come out since) in that series and its parallel series focusing on the character of Bean.

Clearly I was open to idea of science fiction, but it was my husband who helped me along the path to becoming a true fan of the genre.

But then I started thinking about fantasy. Usually we lump science fiction and fantasy in together without even thinking about it, but they really are two separate (though compatible) genres. (Though some of the really good, nay, best, stuff blends the two together.) I joke that my husband got me  into all of that stuff, but when I actually sit back and look at the progression, I had already started to find fantasy before he came along and encouraged me.

Spring Break during my freshman year of college was an odd week. I didn't have a car, and my mom was in California, so I couldn't go home. I only had a part-time job and didn't want to ask for even more money so I could go party somewhere with friends, so I just planned to hunker down in the dorms for a week and enjoy not going to class and having a fairly quiet campus. Then a friend told me his uncle had a cabin a little ways outside of the metroplex and a few friends were going to just go hang out for the weekend, and invited me along. I decided I needed to pick up a new book to take along and dropped by the campus bookstore. Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince book caught my eye (dragon on the cover, the word dragon in the title, you get the drift) so I picked it up. I don't think I ended up reading the book on my trip, but once I did start to read it, I had returned to the book store to pick up the rest of the series before I was done with the first book. So that was actually my first real foray into the world of fantasy novels.

I enjoyed the Dragon Prince and Dragon Star books enough to look for more in that section of the bookstore, so at the end of the year, I also picked up a book by Kristen Britain called Green Rider. I read it that summer and I think I polished the thing off in about two days. That is one of my personal favorite series of all time. The fourth book in the series came out this week, and my husband can confirm I squeed like nobody's business when I opened up the package from Amazon.

The next summer, I had heard that a trilogy of movies based on The Lord of the Rings were in the works. I was somewhat familiar with The Hobbit, but had never read any of the books. But when I heard that Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood (both favorites of mine) had been cast in fairly major roles, I realized I had better get up to speed fairly quickly. So that summer I read The Lord of the Rings and, well, wow. (Okay, before you go and get all indignant that I got into LOTR because of not just the movies, but two actors in the movies, don't. It was enough to peak my interest in the trilogy, certainly, but I did it right and read the books first. By the time The Fellowship of the Ring came out I was already quite well versed in Tolkien's world, and I fully appreciate the books and the movies for what they are, and both of them are awesome in their own ways.)

Coming fresh off of that, you can imagine I was susceptible that fall when my not-yet husband was telling me all about a British YA fantasy series his mother had been teaching in her classes that he had read and thought I would really enjoy. So I eagerly let him press the first four Harry Potter books on me, and then proceeded to gobble those up. I mean, seriously, I remember going out to see Hubby play in his band, then coming home from the bar and curling up in my dorm room closet with the door shut and the light on so I could keep reading, because my roommate was asleep but I had to find out what happened next. Craziness.

Imagine my delight that Christmas when my mom gifted me with a hardcover set of the first four Harry Potter books! I don't think I had told her about them, and she saw them and picked them up for me on a whim. That was one of the most awesome gifts of awesome ever.

Seeing his success with the Harry Potter books (and then Ender's Game shortly after that), the next semester my not-yet hubby felt I was ready to try out his true fantasy love--The Wheel of Time.  I think, if you read this blog with any regularity, or know me outside of this blog, you know how that turned out.

So while I did manage to stumble on to fantasy by myself, and while maybe I would have eventually discovered how awesome science fiction is, I still owe a debt of gratitude to my husband for broadening my horizons in those genres. I mean, if he had never gotten me interested in that stuff, I might never had discovered Stargate, and I think that would make me a far, far less happy Cori than I am today.

Ah well, that's enough introspection for today, I suppose. I blame the cabin fever, really. I hope you have a lovely weekend, and that you stay warm, wherever you are. If you watch the Super Bowl, feel free to curse the Steelers and Packers for bringing their darn winter weather to town with them.

Finally, don't forget to check out this week's new Gronk. Katie is back, huzzah! I wonder if monsters have to worry about cholesterol?

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