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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The List

Lately I'm obsessed with wanting to have a clean teacher table.  You should see how horrible my desk is.  I try to spend 15 minutes at the end of every day cleaning the table, but it's nowhere near enough.  All day I just throw stuff on there. It's dispiriting.  I know I would feel happier if my table were clean and organized.  I haven't figured out how to make this happen yet.

 I have a laundry list of things I want to do differently in my life.  Write more. Get back to the slogging.  Collect more plastic animals. Feel care free 24/7. 

Probably I should leave well enough alone for now.  November is a month where I hang on by a thread.  I hope Judith's ready for our car trip tomorrow evening to St. Louis.  4 hours isn't going to be nearly enough to catch up on the talking.  I basically have to leave the state to have time to talk with Judith.  What's up with that?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Hybrid


There's an awesome Thirdlander I know who loves football.  He wants to play every minute of every day.  Unfortunately, his crew of footballers has switched over to a frisbee game they've invented. Awesome Thirdlander can not understand this.  He was blue yesterday and asked me to do something about the situation.  I said, "What do you think I should do?"
   "Make them play football with me."
   I told him I wasn't going to do that and maybe he should think about joining their frisbee game.  He glumly walked away.  When I looked for him a few moments later, he was in the middle of the frisbee game, throwing the football up into the air and running and catching it.  The other Thirdlanders continued to play their frisbee game. He seemed okay.  They seemed okay. It seemed strange, but that's how it is sometimes in Thirdland.
Speaking of strange, are you watching Stranger Things?  You probably should if you feel like it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Regret

Artist:  Betsy Glassey
This was a week I was happy to see end.  When the busy-ness gets overwhelming, I get frustrated with myself and with the world.  Yesterday I took the whole day off.  I've worked the last 2 weekends and that was a mistake.  I need to have fun and frolic as much as the next gal.  Anyway, we went to the handmade market and the quilt show in the morning.  It's neat to see the stuff people make.  I bought a raccoon jaw necklace for myself.  I almost bought a pin for myself that says, "Don't tell me what to do."  I wanted that pin in the worst way and it only cost 8$.  Why on earth didn't I buy it?  The thing is, it's a little abrasive.  Still, I'm filled with regrets.  If you see that pin anywhere, please get it for me and I'll pay you back. 8 bucks.  Geez.

After the craft shows, I went to see Blade Runner by myself.  Husbandman had already seen it.  It's quite good, if a tad long.  I think you should see it if you feel like it.  At the end of the day, we saw The Sklar Brothers at Comedy Attic.  I thought they were adorable.

A day off is a good thing.  Next weekend, Judith and I will be in St. Louis.  I wish #ncte was in a more exciting city.  No offense, St. Louis, but I have a real hankering for a trip to Chicago right now.  Or Tulum.  Or Vancouver.  I'll make do with St. Louis.  The Sklar Brothers recommend Ozzie Smith's restaurant.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

The Conferences

Art by RS
Conference season is here.  This week I meet with the parents of the Thirdlanders.  I worry about keeping these conferences on schedule, but the chats tend to be fun.  The parents like their kid and so do I. The parents think their kid is awesome and so do I.  We tend to be on the same page.  The Thirdlanders are amazing, so it's fun to brag about them with the people who love them the most in the world.

Then next week Judith and I head to Missouri for NCTE.  I'm not speaking this year and come to find out, I'm a little sad about it. Still, NCTE is usually fun. I'll hear some great talks and I'll get to visit Back and Forth hanging out with its new friends at the Heinemann exhibit.  I'll take pictures.  I'm talking about Back and Forth on Tuesday at our district PD, and I'm not done with the talk yet.  Today's the day to do my best and forget the rest.

I'm not done because I've been working on a presentation I'm part of for LRA with Mitzker and a new friend, Zawan.  I'm reading some stuff about New Materialism for this project, playing around with some Thirdlander book cover designs.  It's a cool project and I'm learning new stuff and I'm not confident that I really get what's going on yet.  So that's fun to be confused and nervous about the looming deadline.

A trio of conference events on the horizon.  November is Conference Month.  It's also Blog Renewal Month. I want to write on the blog 20 to 30 more times before the end of the month. Get ready for some subpar posts, my friends.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Treats

Fair or unfair?  We live on a somewhat busy street with no sidewalk.  So we don't get trick or treaters.  None.  For 30 years of living here, we just sit in our home alone, while the rest of the world parties in the streets.  We don't even carve up the pumpkin and put it out on the porch because why would we?  Since our children grew up and moved away, I don't even display my fine ghost collection any more.  It sits up in the attic, haunting me in its own way.  Halloween.... dispirited frustration and longing.  That's just the way it is.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Friday Freak Out


I'm heading to two doctor's appointments this morning.  Optometrist and then regular doctor.  My eyes are messed up.  Constantly watering, stinging and itching.  Now the skin around my eyes is drying up and peeling away.  I'll probably just have two old eyes floating around in the sockets soon, with nary a lid to hold them in.  It may be allergies.  It may be eye lid mites or flesh eating bacteria.  We don't know.  It's bringing me down and freaking me out. Why the eyes?  Why the eyes?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Boxes (Thursday Creativity Share)

Remember when I used to do Thursday Creativity Share?  Well, it's back my friends.  For probably this week only.  But who knows?
Yesterday I read a book called Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter.  I learned that he took care of his brother who had cerebral palsy.  He lived on Utopia Parkway in Flushing most of his life.  He had an exhibit for kids toward the end of his life where all the boxes were installed child height.

I love Joseph Cornell's boxes a lot.  You probably do too  Everybody does. You should look at some of Mr. Cornell's boxes today if you feel like it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Berserk Male Syndrome

We journeyed to Apple Works yesterday, where we tasted various apples, ate biscuits with apple butter, listened to Kevin play his beautiful tunes and wandered over to look at this alpaca. In short, it was a glorious afternoon.

Nancer brought Back and Forth with her, so we took some photos of Back and Forth enjoying the pumpkins and the fall foliage. Nancer came up with a grandiose plan for putting Back and Forth in the pen with the Alpacas for some truly groundbreaking photos.  The plan could have worked well, but there can be risks involved when you mix it up with alpacas.

While alpacas are usually gentle, some (mostly males) experience Berserk Male Syndrome and can be aggressive toward humans and books written by humans.  The alpaca pictured here didn't show any of the tell tale signs of Berserk Male Syndrome but Back and Forth didn't want to take any chances. A field trip to Apple Works should only be pleasant and carefree.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Connections


When we read a picture book with social justice themes, we do a lot of talking about it.  This week, we talked about The Case for Loving, about the Supreme Court case of 1967 that ended the ban on interracial marriage in Virginia.  It's a good book. Before we started writing, I read over the list of connection writing topics that the Thirdlanders had jotted down on their partner chat sheet.  The majority wanted to write about weddings they've attended, but there were some other original topics offered like:

  • I love people, too.
  • Someone tried to stop me from doing what I want before.
  • I want to end racism.
  • Black lives matter.
We got out our notebooks, grabbed our snacks, turned down the lights and put on some quiet music.  As we started writing, a Thirdlander yelled out, "I'm changing my topic because I want to end racism too. I want to write about that." 
"Sounds good," I told him and we all got into gear.  I wrote as well. Not about anything fascinating---just some memories of adults telling me to stay away from certain kids when I was little.  A pleasant start to our day. I'm really liking this class.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Felines



 Let's backtrack to the weekend.  Exotic Feline Rescue Center. The home of the rescued Big Cats. My mom's in the golf cart with the guide.  Husbandman, D.A.D., Li'l Sister and I are walking along.  There's one young woman in the party with a long braid.  I don't know her name.  I think about introducing myself, but what would be the point really?

This braided gal loves the big cats.  She keeps getting off the trail to approach the fences to speak to the cats in a babyish voice.  I keep my eye on her the entire time, anticipating the use of Husbandman's belt as a tourniquet for her bloody stump of an arm. This really detracts from my big cat enjoyment.

During the tour, the guide shares horror stories about the cruelty of the circus and the stupidity of people who buy tiger cubs.  At the end, we are checking out a couple of servals when braidedGal says, "But why can't they be pets?  Why would it be bad?"

We are silent, until Li'l Sister takes over. "They spray all over your house.  Smell that?  You want your house to smell like that?"
Braidedgal asks, "But can their glands be removed somehow?"
Li'l Sister stares at BraidedGal for a hot second and says, "They're. not. pets.  Not Pets."  She shakes her head and glares at Braided Gal. The tour guide echoes Li'l Sister's words. "They're not pets,"  she mutters as she drives golf cart down the trail.

We leave BraidedGal and the Big Cats behind. As we drive home, BraidedGal is our main subject of conversation.  You can probably imagine some of the stuff we say about BraidedGal.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More Favorite Frogs and some Fan Fiction





Ruth showed up unexpectedly with a 50 pound ham in a box.  It was cooked and cut in a spiral pattern. She was also grappling with a six pack of PibbXtra.
"That's a large ham," I said.  She told me it was a 50 pounder.  I said, "I didn't know hams could be that large." 
"The record is 180 pounds for a ham.  Look it up," she said in a combative tone I found unnecessary.
"PibbXtra?" I asked, changing the subject.  "Is that like Mr. Pibb?"
"Same drink, new name.  Can you move so I can come in please?"

Ruth walked into the kitchen to set down the 50 pounder and the Pibbs.  I wondered what to say because I didn't eat ham and I was pretty sure Ruth knew that.  She popped a Pibb and found her way to the livingroom, settling on the couch in front of the tv. I texted people I knew who might come over to eat ham on a whim. Within 20 minutes, people started arriving.  I created a macaroni salad while people collected around a Judge Judy episode I was sorry to be missing. 

All in all, it ended up being a pretty good last night of vacation.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Frogs



I took a bunch of great frog photos awhile ago.  I'm probably going to post all of them, bit by bit.  I'm on fall break.  My mom, dad, and sister are here.  Great times.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Cards

In Thirdland, I'm seen as someone with quite a bit of street cred when it comes to Pokemon.  #1 Son collected the cards way back when, so I shelled out quite a bit of cash for the cards, watched the show every day after school and came to have my own favorites, including Squirtle and Bulbasaur.  Sadly,  I had to put the kibosh on the whole shebang of Pokemon at the school site by announcing to the Thirdlanders that Pokemon is now banned.  They weren't surprised.  The trading had reached a feverish pitch and even they could see that they needed someone to step in and get control of the situation.  These kids were trading like they worked on Wall Street.  Recess became a hyped up Let's Make a Deal show.

Don't worry about the ban. They'll get in to something new soon, and after awhile, they'll start wreaking havoc with it. That's just how we roll. In Thirdland.