I passed! I'm now a Red Stripe Belt (oooooh! Look out! She has a Red Stripe Belt and she's not afraid to use it.). My left knee gave me just a little grief--my kicks weren't as high or quick as I'd have liked, but it held up during the form and during the stance exercises better than I figured. It was a doozy of a test, too. One air conditioner was out and the Black Belts had their test before the adult class so it was plenty warm when we began. There was never a break in the action--self defense, form, combinations, endurance--an hour later I was walking tall with my certificate and crisp new belt. What does this mean? One more year before Black Belt qualification. I might be looking into that knee brace, Ree!
The other day I was digging in the "liquor cabinet" (really a large cabinet above our fridge that we happen to stash our booze in) for a bag of chips and discovered most of a bottle of Sour Puss Sour Apple Schnapps is gone. Amusing? A little. I suspect Lefty or his girlfriend--our other main babysitter doesn't seem like the type and the other kid we sometimes employ doesn't know about the cabinet. Mr. D and I don't drink much at home--when we do it's a couple beers when grilling out. But well-meaning people have lavished us with bottles of rum, wine and novelty booze over the years so our "liquor cabinet" is extraordinarily well-stocked for a couple of beer drinkers. I'm trying to re-gift the unopened bottles because they're taking up space we could use for storing napkins and bags of chips. Anyway, the discovery of the nearly empty bottle gave me pause. Must become more diligent in the re-gifting!
And speaking of corrupt teenagers... A teenage girl in my karate class gave me a couple pieces of her writing after learning about my, ahem, hobby. I read teen poetry for a few girls, earnest girls with strong feelings and whirlwind emotions. Girls who enjoy a ringing rhyme and metaphors involving tears and oceans. I do my level best to give them a good critique--taking their poetry into the next level of revision with pointers about word choice, rhythm, meter and so forth. I'm proud of one girl in particular who sends me her rewritten poems, she's a dedicated poet and "gets" craft. It's fun to read a few teen poets--preferable to reading an entire English classroom's worth of poetry. And I keep my English Teacher Skills sharp, just in case.
Back to the short pieces. The first was interesting. A bit dark, goth, but inoffensive. The second? Morphed into soft-core p@rn. Seriously. I felt like I was reading a submission for Penthouse's Forum. Goodness! This child isn't even licensed to drive yet! I struggled to find the redeeming bits that I could complement--I found two. I ended up giving her a page and half lecture on plotting and character development all the while wondering if it's even legal for foster siblings to have a sexual relationship--I mean, it was one thing in Bronte's Wuthering Heights, but that was as much about the passion and longing as it was about the physical love. This? Was all about the physical attraction--and subsequent action.
I was in my thirties and it took a good deal of effort for me to spice up my first chick lit novel. And my spicy revision is probably rated PG-13. I wouldn't have done it in the first place without the encouragement of my pal Nina. Perhaps I'm a prude, but I was pretty shocked by this. Any English teachers out there care to remark?
Just finished Louise Penny's book The Cruelest Month. Auntie M? You Rock for giving me her books! Thank you! I triple puffy heart loved each one of them! I want to move to Three Pines and drink espresso with Clara and Myrna in the bistro while laughing at Gabri! I hear the Old Hadley House is for sale... Here's a little something just for you: