Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Audience Participation Monday

It's that time again! Today we're going to play a game called "Round Robin." It's more fun than mutineering! (So says the ad campaign, anyway.)

Here's how it goes. It's easy, trust me. I'll start telling a story. Then I'll stop. Then each reader will head to the comments section and add the next piece to the story. When you add to the story, try to stop just before something exciting happens--it will give the next person a bit of a running start.

Since we've never done anything like this before, we'll keep it simple. The only rule is that what you add to the story has to make some kind of sense based on what has come before. Think "teamwork," not "postmodern non-objectivism."

Here goes:

"It was late at night on a Tuesday. Winchell looked at his watch and saw that it was past time for him to head home. As he locked his office, he heard a noise coming from the darkness behind him. He turned around..."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Too hot...

I realize that I will not get any sympathy from most of you, especially my faithful readers (2) in the upper, easterly regions of the country, but it is the middle of March, and already it is TOO HOT here. It is 95 degrees at this very moment, 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. Just last week the leaves started coming back to the trees and springtime really got into full stride, and now it's summer already. That sucks. It's shaping up to be a LOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG, hot one, too, made longer, hotter, and more miserable by the fact that the power supply to our swamp cooler, or possibly the entire unit, is broken. Kaput. Out of commission. The worst part is that now it's too damn hot to get up on the roof and see if we can fix it ourselves. (By "we," of course, I mean Tyson. My a/c repair credentials extend solely to turning it off, replacing the pump, and turning it back on again.)
The nice thing about all this heat was that the icy water of Lake Mojave just below Hoover Dam was really, really nice about this time yesterday when we went kayaking with friends. However, it was hard to enjoy the weather when, nagging at the back of my brain, the thought occurred to me that it is still technically winter and we still have six months until temperatures are consistently tolerable again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Better Late than Never

Woo-hoo! I just found out from a mid-January post on George R.R. Martin's website that HBO will be producing his fantasy series, beginning with A Game of Thrones. Mid-January is just about the time that the new season of Rome started and I turned to Tyson and said, "You know what they should make a show on? The Martin series." You can be prescient but still two months behind the news, right?

Anyway, that started my day off just great. Then it was 90 degrees again and the only place I have a/c is in my car. Then I found out that when you apply for a job and don't hear from anyone for four weeks, you aren't getting it. Then I couldn't get a haircut because my girl doesn't work on Wednesdays. For having such an auspicious start, this turned out to be a day of disappointments. Fortunately, I am at home now with my cup of yogurt, my computer, and a cat on my lap to make it all better.

Here's hoping all your disappointments are minor ones.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Tyson!

Tyson's birthday is today, which marks the day he is officially closer to 40 than to 30 and I am married to an old man.
Stop by his blog and leave a comment, or call him if you haven't already. He'd love to hear from you.

Audience Participation Monday!

It's Monday again, so it's time for some community involvement. With some creative accounting practices, maybe you could even count this as volunteer work on your CV.

Scenario: You are sentenced to life imprisonment. What you did is unimportant, but you are placed into solitary confinement for the rest of your natural life. In a rare gesture of goodwill, your warden allows you to take one book with you that you will have to spend reading and re-reading forever. What do you bring?

As usual, there is a caveat or two. One, it has to be published in one volume. The GRRM series won't count. I could only take half of my OED. It can, however, be an anthology or collected works of a single author; I doubt even the staunchest William Carlos Williams fan could read about the white chickens for the rest of his or her life. Finally, a books entitled How to Escape from Solitary Confinement, So You Want to Appeal Your Life Sentence, or any others of that ilk are cheating.

Part 2: Now imagine the warden is having a fantastic day and really wants to share the joy with you. Would you rather have a cat or a dog as a reading partner?

Just off the top of my head, I think I would probably bring a thorough collection of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. That probably makes me a rank-and-file English-major wannabe, but whatever. I'm sure some other inspiration will come to me in the middle of the night, but isn't that just what would happen in that scenario, that you're think of something better after you'd already chosen?
For a reading partner, I would definitely want a cat over a dog. I'd take Windsor, if I got to pick which one. Heck, if I had him, I might not even need anything to read.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cat Proximity

This is seriously the funniest cartoon I think I have ever seen. I just keep looking at it and giggling. Who knew that an intersecting graph and stick people could keep me entertained for hours? (Don't answer that, smartasses!)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

All the Latest

Man, you guys are so awesome for entertaining me and yourselves for two whole weeks between posts! I will definitely have to do something like that again.

Anyway, in the days since we've seen each other last, a few things have happened, the most exciting of which is that last weekend I learned to ski! No kidding!

I understand that some of you are probably a bit skeptical, and understandably so, but I really did a good job. A student-parent at Tyson's school comped our lift tickets and ski rentals at Mt. Charleston last Saturday, then patiently skied down the bunny slope with me all day until I had the hang of things. I can stem my turns now and not fall when getting off the chairlift, and several other very impressive skills. I will need them in a few weeks because we are going to Keystone for spring break. Now I can actually show myself a good time while Ty and Nico go off and tear it up on the black diamonds.

On Thursday, I made Tyson come up to my school for a family night, which was the first time he had ever been to my school. He actually said he was jealous of my classroom, which felt awesome, considering I see 160 more kids a day and teach at the same skill level or lower to my 7th graders as he does for his 4th graders. Yesterday I subbed for a band class during my prep (for about $25, plus karma), and we listened to this thing about Tchaikovsky's life and music and everything, and it made me want to get all my classical stuff back out. I really, really loved Tchaikovsky back in my pre-Tyson, high-school life. It made me realize that I just stopped doing certain things over the past few years that I always thought would stay important forever. The funny thing is that I don't think I've really replaced those things with other stuff. I've really turned into a regular old boring grown-up in a lot of ways.

I'm not actually in the mood to do more than just comment on that right now; while it sounds as though it would offer a great avenue for personal exploration, I am simply in no mood. It's Saturday afternoon, the trees are just about to be all leafy again, and it's 85 degrees outside. Spring is no time for being depressed. Hope you all have a very good weekend, and I will see you for our next Audience Participation Monday.