Thursday, February 19, 2009
I'm posting on another blog, Shot-a-Day, now as well. It's a fun one - there's a bunch of us who post one photo a day. Quick, interesting little glimpses into various lives.
I'll put a link on the sidebar as well. Enjoy!
P.S. Two books on Monday and another one yesterday. Binge cycle ending nowhere in site.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
See? Here he is:
He also had his brother and a friend from his youth with him, both of whom are featured in the books:
(And, honestly? The friend is kind of hot. He smiled in a very nice way at me, but it might have been because he was wondering "Why is there a clearly adult woman standing in a line of children, none of whom are attached to her?" He's the blurry one in the blue sweater. No athletic, muscular guys for me - nuh-uh. My genetic selection wiring is set to Nerdtastic!)
Who is Jeff Kinney? He wrote this book series:
which is hilarious! I read it after the signing last night, and it is awesome. You should read it, too.
Okay, speaking of reading books last night, I should reflect a little bit here on my addiction. Normally, I read evenly - every day, here and there, healthy doses. However, the past two weeks or so have found me in a massive binge-and-purge cycle of reading. I think it's stressed-related. I've read... wait, let me count... 10 books in the last two weeks. and they're not all quick reads like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," either. That's not healthy, if only because I wind up staying up way past my bedtime because I'll say to myself, "You'll just lay awake thinking about the book if you don't finish it, so you might as well finish it." And I readily give in, even though I am 100 pages from the end.
The 10 books have all been good ones. John Green is an especially favorite new author of mine. He wins the Kundera Best Title Award (for "An Abundance of Katherines"), and "Looking for Alaska" is a great read in the vein of "Thirteen Reasons Why." Plus, his books are narrated by gifted, intelligent teenage boys. It's refreshing because 1) most books narrated by gifted, intelligent teenage boys are in the sci-fi/fantasy genre (see Harry Potter, Ender's Game, Pendragon, etc.) and 2) I think reading about how/what gifted intelligent teenage boys think is fascinating.
I'm just worried, though, because I can't exactly pinpoint what's causing me to do so much reading suddenly. Yeah, I have some guesses. The fact that I keep slipping up and calling my new principal "Howard" might clue some of you DPJH-people in on some of my current stresses. Still, stress is not an anomaly in my life. So why the insatiable reading? And why did I spend 3 hours on a Monday night waiting to see an author in bookstore filled with 500 tweens?
Chatting with Linda over a white chocolate steamer was a nice reason. But in between paragraphs of our conversation? I was thinking about reading a book.
Monday, February 09, 2009
But have you seen this?
It's so pretty and new and doesn't have the annoying long "Next Page" button on the right that I hit accidently and... sigh. I kinda get now why a person might have an affair.
EXCERPTS FROMTHE COLLECTED
OF LYRICIST TIM RICE.
BY JULIE KLAUSNER AND RACHEL SHUKERT
- - - -
August 12, 1967
Timothy? Is that vous? Fetch the crayons, Timothy. It's Andy Lloyd Webber.
Guess what I have? A ghastly idea for a show. I'll need you to make some sketches. Crayons, Timothy!
Now: Joseph. Not Stalin! The Jew, from the Bible. Yes, Tim, I read the Bible every day. But this is new! I mean old! Old Testament. Ahem. Do you know what Joseph had that we don't? I'll give you a hint. A waistcoat? No! A dreamcoat! A coat made of dreams. It was red and yellow and green and brown and purple and gold and ochre and green and blond and black and poop and pee and cinnamon red and red and red and dragons and bugs and teeth and teal and lemon and black and white and mauve ... Where was I? Oh, yes. Dictation, Timothus!
We need to discuss the Joseph Stalin musical set in Jewish times with Jews, remember? Get out your grease pencil. There will be a narrator. The narrator will be played by a sprightly he/she in harem trousers and a fez. She—or is it "shim"?—will look exactly like Markie Post. Who is Markie Post? I don't know, Tim! I don't know! But the name came to me in a dream. Do you know what this means, Timaphus? I'm a prophet! A prophet! A—
(Speech is drowned out by the sound of rushing water. A bloodcurdling scream, then silence. Beep.)
June 16, 1969
(Prolonged coughing fit. Spitting.)
Tim? It's Andy. Good news, old chum! Guess where I am and guess what I'm reading! The desert! And the Bible! You see, I've been eating peyote, Tim-Tim, and I have a terrible idea. Are you ready? Write this down. Write my vision down! Jesus, Tim. Have you heard of him? Oh, you have? Fine, fine. But have you ever noticed that he and Jim Morrison are the same bloody chap, Tim? Tim! Think trousers, Tim! Tight, tight unguent trousers. "Unguent" not the right word, you say? Well, you're the bloody lyricist—act like it! Mary Magdalene needs a headband and a song about ointment. Or unguent, if you like. The tune should go like this: "Dah ... dah dah dah dah ... daahhh dahhh!" Get out your typewriter. This is a real parable, mate. Jesus was betrayed—tragically betrayed!—by Ben Vereen. And now, thanks to the me-people, the you-people will finally know the truth!
(Howls like a coyote. Beep.)
November 14, 1979
(Muffled groaning, grunting, huffing, then the sound of liquid "release." Throat clearing.)
Timmmmm. Guess who? Wrong! It's Andy. So. I've an idea. It's awful. Pencils ready? Ready? Ready them, damn you!
(Long pause. Then, in a whisper.)
Cats, Tim. Felines. All sorts. Mewing about in a junkyard. Describing one another. Flitting about acrobatically. Cleaning their fur with their pink tongues. I want actual cats onstage singing songs about what kinds of cats they are! Understood? And if that's not possible, Tim, I want you to write songs for human beings to sing whilst they're wearing unitards adorned with clumps of yak fur and their faces are painted like Ziggy Stardust if he were a chimney sweep. Now. This show won't make a dime and it won't run for more than one night, but I want it to be exorbitantly expensive. Really obscene. You see, I've read a book, Tim. Written by one Eliot, T.S. It's called The Waste Land. But, as I read it, all I could think about was cats. Cats!
(Amid a background noise that sounds like hand-licking.)
Rum Tum Tugger. Mr. Mistoffelees, the magical cat! Skimbleshanks, the railway cat! He hops from one train car to the next, with a spindle and a bean can, the tramp! Name the ingénue after the queen! Cast a belter. The overture should go like this: "Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dahhhh." Good? Great. Go!
(Grunting noise. Sound of dry "release." Beep.)
January 10, 1985
Tim, are you there? Pick up, it's Andy. Oh, bollocks—I really can't be bothered if you aren't even going to answer when I make the time to bloody ring you. Listen, I know that technically you're dead to me, but just for old times' sake I wanted to let you in on what I'm certain will be the most successful show that any human being has ever conceived—though, actually, I'm not really a human being: I'm made out of star stuff and the moon and am also God. So.
(In the background, there's the sound of a gunshot, followed by what sound like the screams of Mandy Patinkin.)
I hope you're in a safe crouch, Tim. We both know how you love to crouch. Ha.
I'm thinking about trains, Tim. But the trains have names. And they are symbolized by people, who are really actors, on roller skates. I'd like the actors to be nude, and if they are not I'll be forced to have you killed.
Do you know what happened to me last night? I had a vision of a masked genius. An angel. Of music, Tim. And he lives all alone in a cellar, with only an organ and a private steaming lake for company, and so he has to symbolically rape an innocent young ballet dancer in order to feed his muse. It's a beautiful love story. In fact, I think it will be the most beautiful love story about symbolic rape ever told, apart from that film with Cher and the deformed boy. And it will run for a thousand years. Oh, by the way, Princess Diana is going to die. She's marked for death and only you can stop it.
(Snorting. In the background, Soft Cell's This Last Night in Sodom LP is becoming louder and louder.)
And do call me back about the singing trains. Ta.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
A student just made my day.
I am teaching verb tenses today, a task I was rather dreading because
a) it is completely idioic that 8th graders are expected to answer a question like
Which is the past perfect progressive form of the verb?
b) has taken
c) had been taking
d) is taking
on the state standardized tests and
b) this is stuff that I barely understand, and what I do understand only comes after 20 years of school, studying 2 other languages besides English, and looking up explanations on the internet.
And yet, I must teach it, so I am teaching it. Then, in the midst of explaining the future perfect forms of verbs, a student blurted out, "Miss, this is fun! Why can't we do stuff like this every day?"
And so I have achieved perfection as an English Teacher. It's all downhill from here - I don't know how I can ever top making verb tenses FUN for a squirrly 8th grade boy.
P.S. Do you know the answer to the CSAP question?
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Let's start with one I've posted about before, but it is my go-to happiness movie:
With the awesomeness that is Pixar, this also always makes me smile:
And the Super Bowl this weekend reminded me of one of my favorite commercials:
Speaking of cats...
Even Scrubs knows the power of the kitten:
If kittens don't work, here's what cheers people up in a musical:
And you can't have tap without:
Then again, you could always get a superhero to shove you in the garbage:
And if nothing else works, well, there's always: