Friday, January 22, 2016


Just when winter lulled us into thinking it would be mild and easy, we got the ol' one-two arctic blast punch to the gut. Today I came home from work and running errands to do the Friday night chores. Then I went to the garage to get the very last Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown Ale. It's taking me a while to drink it because it's mostly frozen.

I'm really not looking forward to filling the bird feeders tomorrow.

Mr. D is busy getting fit since it's January. I got him one of those fitness wristbands for Christmas and he calculates his daily steps like my students calculate their final exam scores. I also bought one of those NutriBullets. Pulverized fruit and vegetables are part of our new daily diet. It's pretty easy to use and clean, which is nice. It's not a bad thing that we're getting a daily quadruple-dose of fruits and veg. As a consequence, I've shed a couple pounds and feel a bit more energetic. I mentally mocked these gadgets for years, thinking they were a lazy way out of eating healthy. As it happens, I am more prone to eating kale if it's mashed up and ingest-able through a straw. Turns out chewing was the real barrier between me and a more nutritious diet. Who knew? 

Across the River is with a book designer now, but here's a sneak peek of my author photo on the back cover:
That's me, about age 5, behind the bar in my grandparents' basement, circa nineteen-seventy-something. It seemed fitting since one of the main characters in the book is a bartender.

Check out this link! I discovered today that Mr. T's Eagle Scout boardwalk project is visible from above!  Pretty cool, huh?

Mr. G brought home some work in his backpack the other day and I got concerned when I saw this:
"-2 for the inappropriate bloody sword"
I felt apprehensive flipping the page over, but you can imagine my relief when I saw this:
Just your average Darth Vader turkey drawing. Turns out not everyone is as well-versed in Jedi-speak. Bloody sword. Harumph. I didn't go raging to his teacher, though. It's only 2 points. Instead I hung it on the fridge next to other great accomplishments by Team Testosterone, like Mr. T's first (and only) noon detention (for being late to class without a pass--another B.S. moment, but also a battle not worth fighting). My kids are just bad-ass, aren't they?

To help get through the grind of mid-year (and mid-winter, too), the AP kids in Room 212 are studying humor. I got to introduce them to David Sedaris (dark!) and The Onion (satire!) and Jen Lancaster (sarcasm!) last week. This week they'll meet Steve Martin (wit!), Nora Ephron (observational!), Birdbox (absurd!)and Robert Redford (parody!). The grand finale in a couple weeks is Jonathan Swift because everyone should know A Modest Proposal (although some of the current suggestions from politicians strike me as so outrageous that I fear the kids might not perceive the satire).

My beer is nearly thawed out, so I'll wrap up this post with a thematically appropriate joke: Why does no one eat Wookie meat? 

It's a little Chewie.


  1. Bloody sword? Bloody ridiculous, I say.
    But reading The Onion in AP English - awesome. When I heard Palin had endorsed Trump, I hoped it was an Onion headline. No such luck.

  2. Oh, good grief. Two points off for DRAWING a sword? And it's not even a sword. I say 5 extra positive points for thinking creatively and drawing a Darth Vader turkey, of all things.

    I love the curriculum you are teaching. My daughter's class is currently reading "The Importance of Being Earnest."

    I can't wait to tell that Wookie joke to my daughter tomorrow morning at 7 AM, on the way to her first SAT test.

  3. BWAH HA HA! That is my new favorite joke. Also? I don't have a Magic Bullet, but I have a pal who not-so-jokingly refers to hers as her life partner. Big smoothie fan. But most importantly? I can't wait to read Across the River! Yay!

  4. Okay, I cannot get on board with -2 for an awesome turkey picture--the weaponry is a bonus, says this mom of a boy--but I can totally get on board with the way you reacted to that -2.

    Your book is SO exciting, and I love the bar picture.

    You know what else I love and can get on board with? Beer.

  5. Huh, kale through a straw. Still no :-)

    What is it with school rules? Sometimes it honestly seems like a prison --Emma can get demerits for being late to lunch. I just can not.

    I wish we were closer --I'd love to talk to you about AP classes. What you're teaching sounds great, and yet Emma's experience with AP History has made all of us determined that she'll never take another AP class. Sigh.

    Emma is wearing my Fitbit now, and racking up the steps.

  6. Confession: at first glance, I thought the turkey was holding a feather quill. Darth Turkey is much better!

    We eat a lot of green soup here (immersion blender after cooking) so I understand the chewy (Chewie?) kale issues. We're definitely using your joke.

    Hooray for the book getting that much closer!

  7. Points off for individuality to a turkey? Looks pretty creative to me :-)

  8. I don't know. I think I would at least inform the teacher it is a light saber, because she seems to be forming a not very charitable opinion of her student! Weird. And I wish we had studied humor in my high school English class! Although maybe I wouldn't have listened anyway...

  9. OMG, love that photo! That was a trip to find it, right?
    And I would not have let the bloody sword thing go, but then, it's only two pts. Lighten up and maybe ASK the kid what it's all about? SO wish I could take your class, some of my faves in there . . .

  10. My girl recently got a detention for something ridiculous. I was all for fighting it, but she decided otherwise. I did voice my objections to the vice principal however, so that this did not happen again.
    I'll have to share that joke with my wookie-loving husband.

  11. Frozen beer! Yikes.
    I remember a hundred years ago when I was a kid and the milkman used to deliver milk to our door step, that it would often be frozen on cold Ohio mornings.

    I cracked up about the "Darth Vader turkey drawing" comment.

    Stay warm and cozy. And, Happy New Year!
    xo jj

  12. Bloody sword? To me it looks like an extra feather. Congratulations on Across the River!

  13. Bloody sword? Hmph! Totally looks like a light sabre to me. What the heck is wrong with that teacher? You were much nicer than I had been. I would have stormed in wearing my Vader tee and stormtrooper necklaces and demanded answers. ;)

  14. I'll have to pass along the wookie joke to my three. Shouldn't it be +2 for creativity... Bloody sword or light saber?

  15. Sounds like things are rolling along up there this winter. I might need to get me one of those veggie smashers as I'm with you on getting the kale down my throat.

    I'd love to be taking your AP English class.


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