Sunday, August 5, 2007

I can't believe it has been two weeks since my last post. Last month was incredibly frustrating. I felt as though I couldn't do anything right. What I learned about my job seemed to get lost in the doing. I realize that have to be faster and more accurate than I have been ever before and that I am dealing with a complex computer system that makes mistakes almost inevitable. But so many mistakes???? I wonder too if I am putting too much pressure on myself. I know I am a would be perfectionist. "Would be?" you ask. Well I am a perfectionist who knows the futility of that on an intellectual level but I still get angry and frustrated with myself when I am not perfect. The problem is how to strive for perfection without beating myself up emotionally when I am not. In my needlework I often joke that I have never needed a 'humility block' because I have made plenty of inadvertent mistakes. The difference is that my mistakes at work are noticed while those in the needlework will rarely, if ever, be noticed.

Well, yesterday was a good day even if it was slow. Only one small and easily correctable mistake and everything was on an even keel at the end.

My brother's and sister-in-law's 30th anniversary was last weekend. I did not get her quilt done in time. I need another three weeks to finish. I told my mother we would invite her out to lunch and give her the quilt then. Then I really must finish the little embroidered figures for Mom's jacket. I have only been working on them, in between other things, for two years.

Of course, everyone needs a break now and then. Mine consisted of reading the last Harry Potter and watching 300 and The Fountain. The last was strange. I don't know what to make of it and it certainly was not what I expected. I will have to see it again sometime and try to get a handle on it. The photography was wonderful as were the effects in 300. And, as a sometime student of history, I found a good deal to quibble with regarding 300. First, the Spartans didn't start the war with Persia. That was started a generation before by the Athenians when they sent aid to the Greek city states on the Anatolian (present day Turkey) coast and islands when they rebelled against their Persian masters. The Persian Emperor Darias was not pleased and decided the Athenians needed to be taught a lesson. Unfortunately for him, he lost the battle at Marathon and died before he could try a second time and his son, Xerxes, was left with the task of disciplining the Greeks.

I find the words put into the characters' mouths about freedom somewhat ironic. After all, the Spartan economy was based on slave labor. How else could the Spartan men be dedicated soldiers? The film showed the young Leonidas killing a wolf as a rite of passage to manhood. But it failed to mention that another such rite of passage was the deliberate murder of a Helot, as the state owned serfs (slaves) were called, in hand-to-hand combat without being caught in the act. But then I have become disenchanted with our semi-religious cant on the theme of freedom. I often have to ask: freedom for what? Freedom from what? Freedom for whom? I suspect that those of our leaders who use the word most frequently would rather those questions not be asked or answered.

I have other quibbles concerning the film. And in spite of them, I rather liked it.

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