Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vocabulary mystery #98 solved

A "poopette" is, in fact, a goldfish cracker.

Yeah, I have no idea.

Baby Grendel

The end of the semester is getting very close, and I decided (hee hee) to end my students' sojourn into poetry with Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf. I dearly love Beowulf, perhaps mainly because I never had to read it in high school or in college or in graduate school, but instead came to it in my own time and way. Of course, I am depriving my students of that possibility...oh well.

Today we watched a little of the DVD of Benjamin Bagby's performance, which I find completely enthralling and amazing. You can see parts on YouTube, and Netflix has it. :) Some students were not into it, some were, one guy said it freaked him out, and one said he was trying to figure out, "if this guy is great, or is he wasting his life?" (Um, well, I think that really depends, doesn't it? Clearly Bagby doesn't think he is wasting his life, and that's the opinion that matters most.)

Sunday I was watching the part where Beowulf and Grendel fight, and Cora was playing with her puzzle blocks on the floor, but got very interested in Bagby and especially seems to enjoy hearing the Old English. I thought this was weird. Then I remembered that one of the things she really reacted to in the womb was when I would read Beowulf outloud - to myself or to students. Hmm.

So tonight at dinner, when she started making horrible faces, and then asking Chris to reprise his fake-Old English imitation of Bagby, we realized that she is in fact a total Beowulf junkie.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paper Cuts

No, this is not a post about how I have lacerated my fingers with student papers (although I did somehow manage to gouge a chunk out of my knuckle while peeling a garlic clove. ouch). Over at the New York Times online they have a set of blogs, most with rotating guest authors. The ones with a literary focus of some sort are collected under the umbrella Paper Cuts (because if it's online, it has to be cleverly named). One of the Paper Cuts offerings is "Living with Music" on Wednesdays.

In the Wednesday column, some book/publishing person gives a playlist of 10 songs - a desert island playlist, a currently-in-rotation playlist, an "I love the blues and you should too" playlist, whatever. I think the people chosen must all be very hip NY people that we in the Land InBetween don't get to hear too much about. But, their lists are still interesting, mainly because, of couse, it must be an annotated list, and the comments, stories, backgrounds, rationale is often entertaining.

And then there are the comments from the "Living with Music" readers, who seem mainly content to rip on the guests for being too studiously trendy or hip or arcane. And there is nothing worse - nothing more phony, as our friend Holden would say - than being these things studiously.

Well, come on, people! Don't you remember the dreaded question that begins around jr. high and never lets up? "So, who's your favorite group?" "What kind of music do you like?" And the stomach-grinding moment as you try to catalog every song you've ever listened to and rate its social acceptability to the person asking the question? The fine calculations required to answer correctly would make you dizzy.

When A.M. Holmes says she likes Johnny Cash's version of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" I think two things. One, she probably really does like it (what's not to like?). And two, the sheer brillance! It's like ordering devil's food cake with seven-minute frosting flavored with pomegranate - retro, current, trendy, nostalgic, ordinary, innovative, quirky, and homey.

The other brillance of the blog is that it is an irresistable lure for writers, especially. Make a list, say a little something, sure, you can have a theme, you can make it a story, you can be all pomo or tell it straight, shape it how you like! So where's my playlist? Well, I'm thinking about it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Remember last weekend?

I would rather think about last weekend right now. It was warm! It was payday! We grilled steaks OUTSIDE!!
It is true that we escaped the worst of Spring BlizzardFest '08, but we did have "Thundersleet" last night (our weather people are trying to pass that off as a real thing) and today was icky and gray and cold and we didn't go do any of the fun things I'd wanted to, and Chris went to a concert, and Cora and I went off to start the bedtime stories and songs at 6:30, and here we are at ten to nine and she has JUST NOW gone to sleep.

So, really, I would rather think about last Friday and this:

Oh, but she can also be really cute when she is tired but refusing to go to sleep...once I go upstairs and pick her up and wipe her nose and dry her eyes and bring her back downstairs and wrap her up in a blanket and sit on the couch with her. She pretends to sleep for a while, then starts gently patting my face and saying "cheek" "nose" "eyebrow" and then lays her head on my chest, snuggles in a little and says with great contentment "Mama" before sticking her thumb in her mouth and slowly getting heavier and heavier. So, yeah, last Friday night was easier...but tonight wasn't a complete wash.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Llama llama red pajama/ feels alone without his mama!

Boy do I know how that llama feels!

Good news: We finally have two of Cora's favorite books back in the house, and copies of her own this time too. Those pesky library people always want their books back!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The basic difference between an adult and a toddler

I would be very disappointed if I received this in the mail from Payroll.

Cora would be delighted.