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Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Oscars

Yesterday we saw Ray . I didn't know much about the musical force that was Ray Charles.
I knew his songs, but didn't know his story and the music powers up his string of life events. Disclaimers at end refer to fictionalization but isn't it all? Or most of it? Or ...would you believe...some of it???
Today I plan to see Aviator. Then I'll have seen all 5 nominated for best picture. Kudos to me. Best picture preferences?
Reading more of Ursula Nordstrom's letters. In her letter to Syd Hoff about the now classic Danny and the Dinosaur, she made suggestions page by page. Many of her suggested sentences and illustration revisions made their way in to the book. Syd Hoff died just last year at age 91. He wrote over 200 books for kids.
I need to read The View from Delphi. The author, Jonathan Odell, lives in Minneapolis and the Star Trib had a great interview with him today. The interview begins with a "learning to be white" story that could have come from Thandeka's book. I've never read Odell's books. Any Odell readers out there?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Johnny On the Spot

Today I decided to make my work goal modest. I tried to simply finish one little section of analysis, involving 3 questions. 3. Got one of them done. Not good. But my friend Beth said I was Johnny On the Spot for sending in our jobshare proposal on time. We may be teaching sixth grade next year. I've taught em all, but sixth I only taught for 3 months 20 years ago. Yikes.

I'm reading more about reading and writing shaping who we are. Ever been changed by reading and writing...in any way? If so, or if not so, please be johnny on the spot and comment here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


After maliciously eyeing some ducks, he flew across to the other side of the river.  Posted by Hello

Bald Eagle Sighting

Bald Eagle sighting on Monday.
The week has picked up.
The mousetrap car has been created and tested.
Visuals for the history project have been collected and xeroxed.
The book has been read and duly summarized on the book poster.
The data analysis.....has slowly been grinding to a halt as I figure out new ways to
redo what I've already done.
Maybe today will be the day...that I break through to the other side, completing the comparison of rough draft and revisions using the Ivanic model of language. It could happen.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Saturday, February 19, 2005

President's Day Weekend

Written Conversation with Rosalyn

Me: I'm stuffed with Japanese food.
Ros: Dad said the vegetarian menu was actually rather limited.
Me: It was bogus. Last night we watched Bottle Rockets, as I'm sure you recall. I loved it. My favorite part was when Luke Wilson decided to be a thief with Owen.
Ros: Gee, Mom, TOTALLY don't remember that! "Sure you'll recall" indeed. But yeah, I liked the part where Mr. Henry keeps dumping water on their heads from the top of a building.
Me: And that reminds me of the scene in Unscripted when Godard spills water down the back of that guy who imitated him. Godard is usually uptight so i was surprised that he was enjoying something.
Ros: Yeah, I think that guy's name is Nick. That was a cool scene. But Godard sucks.
Me: He's on the twisted side. No one seems too fulfilled on that show, so I wonder if they paint too negative a picture of the world of the struggling actor.
Ros: I don't think struggling anything is too fun. If I were an actor and I knew I wasn't going to be a huge star, I would come to Minneapolis and work at Children's Theatre. All my teachers seem to really like their jobs.
Me, the mom: But when would you know that? How long should you put in before bailing? I think the Children's Theater is amazing here. But what about Wes Anderson? When will he make another movie?
Ros: Oh, my god. Calm down! One question at a time, thanks! Anyway, it's hard to say when I would know, because I already pretty much know I'm not going to be a famous actor or even try to be. I hope Wes Anderson's next movie is about girls. All of his other movies are about boys.
Me: True. But Cate Blanchett had a fairly significant role. I need to sleep now.
Ros: Ok, goodnight. I think I will talk online for a bit. If anyone is on, I will tell them to check out this nifty nighttime negotiation! -Ros.
Me: Yay. I need comments. But let's add a few links first. -M.

Downy Down by the River Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005


If I could walk through these gates... Posted by Hello

Don't Think of An Elephant

I'm reading Lakoff's book about how conservatives have "framed the issues" of the political
debate, having strategically worked on their agenda for the past 40 years. I feel our side is hopelessly behind.
Today I did not get much done because Quinn was home from school sick and my sacred routine was disrupted. Spent too much time reading blogs. But I did finish Thandeka's book Learning to Be White. A good read about the links between racism and classism. Another recommendation.
Quinn is almost done reading Taggarung and now he must create a book poster. Rosalyn has to make a mousetrap car and conduct physics experiments with it. This weekend sounds like homework weekend to me. I have a bad attitude about this. I wish I could see the gates in Central Park instead.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


The Famed Mississippi Jellyfish Posted by Hello

Linking to Air America

Today I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how
to make the links section of my blog work.
I changed my template because I thought it would be easier, but
it made no difference. I was trying to put Air America on there because I'm so addicted to Al and his radio pals. Maybe I'll change my template again. This green is drab.

I worked on my dissertation this morning. As I tried to figure out where to go next with
data analysis, I started making a list of all the loose ends I should try to organize. The list was
getting pretty long by the time I stopped working on it. Maybe tomorrow I will have more of a plan.

Also read some of the Dahl biography. He was not the nicest guy on the planet.
Last night I read some of Ursula Nordstrom's letters. She suggested to Margaret Wise Brown that she rewrite the ending to Runaway Bunny, and MWB did. Have a carrot.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Girl Culture

Last weekend we went to see this exhibit of Lauren Greenfield's photographs.
It's called Girl Culture. (Click on photo essay.) Quinn called the photos, "a bit depressing" and we all had to agree. But we've been talking about the show all week so there is a power to them that has kept the conversation going. Check it out.

Another Minneapolis field trip today brought us to Lake Tamarack. We saw 10 deer poking along grazing. But I was looking for otters and bald eagles, since we were in Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park. Maybe next time.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Minneapolis Skyline Posted by Hello

Editing Thoughts

Still thinking about editors and their work with writers...

Bought Berg's book, Editor of Genius, about Max Perkins yesterday at a used book store. I want to read more about his work with Thomas Wolfe.

NPR had a piece about Dashiell Hammett this week. His biographer talked about the influence of Lillian Hellman on The Thin Man. The book has a different tone than earlier books perhaps due to Hellman's editing. Hammett also influenced Hellman's work, The Little Foxes, and allegedly wrote some of the play's speeches.

Next I'll purchase Treglown's biography of Roald Dahl that includes details of his "near collaboration" with his editors. I read a review of it awhile ago, but haven't tracked it down yet.

If you have worked with an editor or as an editor, please comment on those experiences, here on my blog.

My friend Bob warned me against making the blog a laundry list or a whine. That might be hard to do. I'll count on him to edit for me.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lee's Blogbirth

I'm blogging at last. I invited my kids to create a family blog with me, but both declined.
I was inspired by my the savvy mom's blog and am finally getting on blog here.
Right now I'm working on my dissertation, I'm on leave from my teaching job, and I'm living
temporarily away from my home for a year because husb. Peter's on sabbatical. I was denied sabbatical and no one at my school felt a need to explain why.
Today I found out my university lost my file with years of grad. school paperwork in it.
I wrote back to tell them the news was inexpressibly frustrating for me, and I heard nothing further. I tend to have bad luck with paperwork, so I'm not surprised.

This year I bought a crock pot. Slate has a good review of the best crockpots and I found out that I didn't buy one of the best. That's okay, it seems to work fine. I made a mushroom soup this week. The only problem with the crockpot food is there's so much of it.
Check out the slate reviews:
http://slate.com/id/2113226/

My friend Dorothy sent me a book about Ursula Nordstrom today, Dear Genius. I'm interested in editors right now, especially editors of small presses with social aims.
http://www.charlottezolotow.com/ursula_nordstrom.htm

Today I didn't run, but usually I run in the afternoon. I like to report on what I saw during my run. Yesterday I saw a black squirrel. We don't have them in Bloomington. I hope I can figure out how to add pictures to my blog.