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maninthemoon

As a follow up to my post on child development, I wanted to introduce the Man in the Moon program at the Vancouver Public Library. The program helps fathers, boyfriends, grandfathers and uncles learn nursery rhymes and stories with babies up to 18 months of age. Led by a male facilitator, the six to eight sessions help the men and babies grow more comfortable with each other and other children. It also gives mom a bit of a break.

More importantly, reading helps babies acquire language. The more you read and talk to your infant, especially in the critical zero to two years age, the more you help to imbed language in his brain. And, especially for little boys, it’s really important that there be a male reading role model since reading is often something associated with mom. In fact, boys traditionally have been slower to learn to read, perhaps because they associate it with “girl stuff”.

Man in the Moon began in 1999. Janice Douglas, Vancouver Public Library’s director of youth services and community relations, developed the program after meeting with early child care development workers who suggested men needed to become more involved with the children in their lives. Marcus Mendes, a library technician and storyteller, has led the groups for the past two-and-a-half years. Since then the program has expanded to six locations, including a Cantonese version at the Renfrew branch.

Since the only thing I have ever been taught about pregnancy is to avoid it, I was pretty much in the dark when it actually happened to me. But, thankfully, my parents did encourage literacy and it is to literature that I have turned.

Pregnancy for Dummies

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The first book I read was an obvious start: Pregnancy for Dummies. My mother-in-law laughed at me, but where was I supposed to go? Anyway, it was definitely a good start and well worth its $20CDN price. Unlike many pregnancy books, this one has plenty of helpful information for the mother’s partner, including ways to deal with vicious, and frequently violent, mood swings. Thankfully, Anne hasn’t had any of these yet, but I figure I should be prepared. The book is well-organised into tri-mesters, but has a large and scary section on everything that can go wrong during pregnancy. I guess this is necessary information, but I would suggest that first-time readers skip this section if they have any history of panic attacks. The book’s definitely geared toward first-time parents, but for moms and dads confused by the many new medical tests and modern options (such as the doula [pregnancy coach] dilemma or decision to freeze the baby’s umbilical cord or not – yes, this is now an option in the modern age of science), there’s a fine education to be had between this book’s covers. There’s even a section at the back entitled “The Pregnant Man: Having a Baby from a Dad’s Perspective”, that discusses such topics as sex during pregnancy and the feelings of jealousy I apparently will feel when I see junior suck on his mom’s boob (somehow I think I’ll learn to share).

The Mother of All Pregnancy Books

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The next book I read was The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. This one was very useful and full of information in easy-t0-read prose. This book also tends to focus heavily on what can go wrong during pregnancy but, unlike Pregnancy for Dummies, this one included a good dose of reassurance. I would have skipped Pregnancy for Dummies if I knew this book existed beforehand.

The Pregnancy Bible

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A friend bought us The Pregnancy Bible. This is a good companion book to either of the above two books, since it provides many more visuals and easy-to-skim boxes and charts. Since the baby’s out of sight for the first 9 months, I found the illustrations to be quite interesting and helped remind me that there’s actually something happening. The last third of this book goes beyond pregnancy and focuses on the newborn, which saves you from having to run out and buy another book while your wife is giving birth. For this reason alone I give it my recommendation. But what’s really nice about this book is that it is written in a way that includes the father. Practically every other book I’ve looked at approaches pregnancy from a woman’s perspective (the Pregnancy for Dummies’ section for fathers is actually only a 6-page appendix hidden at the back) or is written in a woman-to-woman way, leaving the information-starved Dad-to-be in the

indiana_jones_and_the_kingdom_of_the_crystal_skull_ver2Well it seems that Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford wanted to revisit another classic trilogy but they were going to have to take a cue from the STAR WARS debacle and give the fans more of what they wanted. How could they do that? Here’s how: You get the same Director/Producer team, you get the same star, you get the same composer, you get the same costume, you write a story that takes the star’s age into account, you give the hero a young sidekick, you give the hero back the leading lady fans have been clamouring for, you acknowledge the past, you move towards the future. Sounds like it should work right? Well it should. But it doesn’t and for one simple reason: George Lucas.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is a disappointment, the action is there, so is some of the comedy but the story is not strong enough to keep the film or the legend afloat. I must admit though, it’s great to see Indy back on the big screen, I just wish I left with more of a smile on my face.

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I saw it last night and laughed my ass off, it was awesome. TROPIC THUNDER is the story of actors trying to make the biggest war movie ever in Vietnam and get tangled up with real-life drug smugglers who are convinced that these “soldiers” are actually D.E.A. Everyone is at the top of their comedic game here, Jack Black is actually funny, Downey Jr is out of this world and Stiller is nowhere near as annoying as he is in his other “comedies”. There are also some really fun supporting parts played with zest by Nick Nolte, Jay Bucharel, Steve Coogan, Brandon T. Jackson, Matthew McConaughry, Brandon Soo Hoo and ofcourse as you have already heard about, Tom Cruise. Cruise was great, my friends were laughing everytime he was one screen, imagine his character from MAGNOLIA on crack and running a movie studio and you get the idea of what he’s doing here. Now the real question is, was his character funny or was the fact that Tom Cruise was playing this character funny? I’ll leave that for the big brains to decide, I laughed, I was entertained, to me, that’s what matters. TROPIC THUNDER is great, there’s laughs, action, some gore and f-bombs dropped every 3 seconds (man, there is a lot of swearing), it’s the type of dark-tinged comedy you would expect from Ben Stiller the director (and co-writer) and he sure doesn’t disappoint here.

blindnessHi all, I would like to talk about a movie called Blindness.

I enjoyed this movie however it had its flaws, and coming from the director of one of my favorite movies of all time I was quite disappointed.
The pacing was off, the characters development was questionable and the main character was the most unlikable character (eye doctor) his politically correct attitude had frustrated me throughout the movie and at points I was questioning what was going through his head, in my eyes (Ha!) when things are that bad, all bets are off! Now it’s a time for survival not rational!
I found myself questioning, “what would I do?” and there are many thing that I would have attempted but it seemed like everyone was a sheep being led to slaughter, no rebellion, no unity and no leadership(except for ward 3).
My friends disputing this already, and I understand that I have not been faced with that particular situation, however I still do believe there is something called survival instinct which I do not feel was displayed well.
Blindness displayed that people do not work together well in stressful situations, it showed me how powerful suggestion can be and how one person with power can influence a whole group.
It seemed like it was based on a template of the holocaust, just a reminder of what transpired and how history could possibly repeat itself.
All in all it was very depressing and in the end I was more interested in how the world was going to pull itself back together more than anything.

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