Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Wiggification

May Bee starts tomorrow.  I'm starting to get all jazzed about it.

Yesterday Husbandman and I saw the worst movie ever.  It's called Colossal.  The plot was so dumb that I kept being distracted by Anne' Hathaway's hideous wig. I kept thinking she was going to yank off the wig and have horns and/or a scary scar on her bald head.  Her character did get struck by lightning as a child, so it could have worked.  Plus one of her tics was to play with her hair / wig constantly.  I wanted that wig yanked off in the worst way. Ultimately, nothing exciting like that happened and the movie was a colossal waste of time.  Maybe you should see it.  I don't know what to tell you.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The May Bee

Maybe I'll blog every day in May.  Maybe I'll blog about the maybes that are rolling and roiling today and every day.

   Lately I'm wondering about this beautiful old blog.  Maybe it's run its course, gotten repetitive and predictable.  The amazing comedian, Michelle Wolf was at Comedy Attic a few weeks ago.  I loved her set, except for her attack on bloggers. She said that blogging was like having a conversation with yourself that no one wants to hear about.  She said that not even your computer wants to listen to your blog entry. She singled alittleleeway out in particular, reading several blog entries aloud. The audience groaned as she read.  Rats, I thought, fighting back tears.  Those were some of my favorite entries.

Maybe I have to accept that this blog is not only inconsequential, but in the age of evil Trump, my attempts at amusing distraction might actually be frivolous, self indulgent, even complicit?

Maybe I'm just down on writing because stupid NCTE rejected my convention proposal and now I won't be speaking about my book to handfuls or pairs of interested teachers. Guess what NCTE?  You're dumb and I hate you.

Maybe I need to get myself to a good old fashioned blog bee to get back to what really counts, which is remembering that this blog is one of the best blogs around. And that I'm free to write whatever I want whenever I want because this is still a free country. To hell with Michelle Wolf, Trump and NCTE. You mean nothing to me. (Except for you, Michelle Wolf.  I actually like you a lot so your words about blogs really stung.  Just FYI).

  Join me if you want.  The May Bee begins on May 1.  All you have to do is blog one or more sentences every day in May. You have to start and end each blog post with the word "MAYBE" or include the word maybe somewhere in the blog post.  It could be fun.  Maybe not, but maybe.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Design

America:  Sculpture by Will Ryman

The barn swallow is found all over the world and it's the most common swallow of them all.

This morning, Husbandman and I woke up early and sneaked out of the house.  #1 Son is home for a visit and we had musicians sleeping in all the rooms, hither, thither and yon. We figured they wanted their morning sleep because that's how musicians seem to be we've noticed.

So like I already said we sneaked out and we went to breakfast.  Then we browsed through our local book store.  I bought a book called Designing Your Life:  How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life.  I actually feel I'm living well and joyfully most of the time, but maybe there are a few tips in there that could be game changers.  Who's to say?

  Then we went to Leonard Springs and took a hike.  We saw the barn swallows zipping about over the sludgey pond.  I'm pretty sure they were barn swallows.  Maybe they were swifts.  Or house martins.  Who knows?

Now it's time for me to get back to editing the book.  I have ten files and two weeks.  This is my last chance to make changes.  Husbandman has strongly suggested that I not make changes, but there are always a few sentences that need tweaking here and there.  On Friday, the publisher also sent me a PDF with some samples of the book's design---the cover and some of the inside pages.  I can't wait for all of you to see it.  I think the book looks splendid so far.  I'm so freaking excited!!!!

Basically this is turning out to be a damned good Sunday.
Monday, you've got a hard act to follow, my friend.  And big shoes to fill.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Fuel

We had 7 hours of standardized testing this week and it wasn't much fun.  I am not pleased with the whole standardization machine. If you love standardized testing, I'm sorry, but I think you're insane and possibly dangerous.  So please seek help.  If you hate standardized testing as do I, please know that this week of testing added even more fuel to my fire of hatred.  We haters of the testing are in the right.  All others are wrong. Society, please stop all standardized testing of school kids.  All of the Thirdlanders are fabulous in all ways.  Every single one. We defy your scorish findings that try to tell us otherwise.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Flaw

 I don't have a good closing game when I'm on the phone.  I often hang up on the person when they're still talking.  It's weird because it seems like I'm hanging up at an appropriate time, during a pause.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The The

The conundrum of the Saturday morning.  The free time stretches out ahead of me.  How should I spend the free time?  We're talking about the possible hike and the likely picnic.  But what do we predict about the destination?  The Cedar Bluffs hike has the patches of the wildflowers this time of the year.  The new peninsula hike has the great views of the lake and sometimes the eagles appear.  There's the hike in McCormick's Creek where you can check out the remnants of the Old State House quarry.  That last one might be the ticket because we are presently studying the Indiana limestone with The Thirdlanders.  Did you know that if you drop the chunk of the limestone into the beaker of the vinegar it will start the fizzing?  That's because it has the calcium carbonate.  I will now share the interesting facts about the limestone from the WIKIPEDIA.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coralforams and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate(CaCO3).
About 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, in which water erodes the limestone over thousands to millions of years. Most cave systems are through limestone bedrock.

Friday, April 07, 2017

The Comments

Well, the book covers arrived yesterday.  The same cover comes in 3 different colors.  I think I like the green one best.  I'm going to ask The Thirdlanders what they think.  As usual, I'm hesitant to decide.  In short, I like them all.

The book title is surrounded by brief statements that an editor might make to a writer.  These have been put in there just as place holders.  I have to replace these with new statements this weekend.  Husbandman, ever helpful, thinks that comments like, "Rubbish!" and "What is this monkey business?"  should be added to the cover.  I wonder what the team would think if I sent them a cover full of rude comments for kids?  Too bad it's not April Fools Day any more.  That could have been a good prank.  PSYCHE!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Apology

As we walked in to the classroom, small Thirdlander looked up at me and said, "We've got a salamander."  I ignored him as I tried to direct the Thirdlanders toward a calm transition from recess to silent reading. After a minute, I came to my senses and said, "Is there a salamander somewhere in this classroom?"  Bouncy Thirdlander came running up, squirming salamander in hand.  "I didn't bring it in, but here it is."  I directed him to return it to the wilds of the playground and then I lectured about not bringing wild animals into the building.  Disappointed in my reaction, several Thirdlanders hostilely glared and scowled at me.

An hour later we were back outside for an extra recess.  I told the Thirdlanders that now I would like to see a salamander and I would like to take a photo of one.  I regretted those words as Thirdlanders began wildly flipping over logs and rocks near the creek.  Within seconds, all the searchers had at least one salamander and some Thirdlanders held three to four.  It was kind of horrific.  I took some photos and then asked the Thirdlanders to stop bothering the salamanders.  There was no stopping these salamander hunters at this point. They were in their glory.

Sorry, Salamanders.  I'll do better next time.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...