Sunday Wrap Up

I was not particularly organized this week- I think I’m suffering some sort of end of summeritis.  But here is what I did do this week.  All events take place in New York City unless otherwise stated.  Ratings are 0-5.  I have received no compensation for any of these things- though I often wonder if I should be reimbursed for time taken out of my life…..

Television

Food Network Star– I’ve been Team Jason and Team Corey from Day 1.  I do not know who is going to be crowned this evening- but I am going with Jason.  It’s been a fun, if predictable, season.  4.2

Sharknado 5– No- I didn’t watch Sharknado, or any of the franchise.  But Husband did have them on yesterday afternoon- I don’t know which one…..does it matter?  It’s sharks flying around- I believe 5 is subtitles “Global Swarming”……I think I have missed my calling, because who wouldn’t want to write for this franchise?  And….lest we forget….I heard a rumor that Fabio is doing a cameo as the Pope.  I may have to watch it just to see that……As I didn’t watch it- I can’t rate it…but wow-

Movies

The Nut Job 2:  Nutty by Nature- This is one of those situations where, having not seen the original, I was totally lost as to what was happening.  Not.  My daughter and I going to see this movie signifies that she is regressing due to increased stress levels, we were bored and hot, and this might be worst summer for movies ever.  It’s silly, and the message gets lost in stupidity- which is bad, because the message is to work hard and nothing comes easy, and working as a team helps to solve injustices.  I just wish the creators of the movie worked hard, and worked together, because the whole thing is disjointed. 2

Exhibits: Force of Nature at The Museum at FIT Fit is a fashion school.  There museum is amazing, and free.  If you like fashion (and I mean enjoy it, you don’t have to be fashionable- I love beautiful clothes, but I am least fashionable person in world) you need to check out this place.  The present exhibit is both odd and gorgeous.  Per the exhibit brochure, “Forces of Nature examines the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world”. Curating an exhibit about fashion always amazes and impresses me- to know that much about clothing is mind boggling.  Venue 4.5.  Exhibit 4.5

Food

Street Taco  You know when I say you’re never too old?  Well- I lied.  I am too old to go to places like this.  The music is ear shattering.  The food is average. But I truly believe that if I was in my twenties, I would love this place.  Attractive people, having fun, drinking what appeared to be refreshing cocktails.  But for me 3.

Rosa’s Pizza Middle Village Queens This was a great quintessential New York slice of pizza- the regular, the Grandma, and the Sicilian.  Great dough, cooked properly.  Good cheese to sauce ratio. 4.5

Shake Shack- I know- I’ve extolled the virtues of Shake Shack before- but they have a hot chicken sandwich now- hot as in spicy- as in I’m a chili head and love spicy food.  4.3

Ample Hills Creamery Ice Cream at Baked by Melissa- My daughter got an ice cream- so to be fair, I just had a taste- but this is seriously good ice cream.  Rich, and creamy and delicious.  If you ever see Ample Hills ice cream- try it.  4.

Housekeeping:

I forget to mention last week- my gym has still not properly fixed the air conditioning in the spin room.  It is not pleasant.  I might need to join twitter just to complain about the gym.

I did not finish reading a book this week!!!!  Horror!!!  That alone shows you how off I was!

I just realized that there is a SPAM folder for comments.  This confounds me because I discovered really well versed comments stuck in there.  It also confounds me because somehow, the person talking about their favorite game of thrones character, 16 times, did not make it into SPAM folder…..so I apologize for those of you who had taken the time to write comments that appeared to go unnoticed….

Speaking of comments- thank you to everyone who joined the conversations this week.  The best thing about the internet was on display this week- a bunch of people, from different backgrounds, sharing their opinions on subjects.  At the end of the day, communication really is the key to everything.

 

 

 

Real Neat!

I would like to thank http://inspirationpie.com/?author=1 for presenting me with the Real Neat tag!  If you do not follow her blog, please check it out.  She is an amazing book reviewer, and writer in general!

I am WAY behind on tags!  Pesky vacation gets in the way again- but if you’ve nominated me- no fear- they will be appearing soon!

Okay, the rules for sharing the Real Neat Blog Award:
• Display the award logo on your blog.
• Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs.
• Answer the seven questions asked by your nominator(s).
• Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award and give them some linky love.
• Notify the nominated folk.
• Ask your nominees seven questions of your own

And here’s my questions for you:
1. What is your favorite genre?  My taste is all over the place, but I gravitate towards what would be considered Women’s Fiction.  I like when books have characters similar to me, ie fabulous.  Oh wait- I mean middle aged, or technically, of a certain age, as when I looked under the tag middle aged the other day, someone who is 24 had written a post….

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2. What is the last book you read that you gave 5 Stars and what did you love about it?

On principle, I rarely give out 5 starts to anything.  I have yet to find anything utterly perfect.  But a close to 5 review would be “The Children Act” by Ian Mc Ewan.  I thought this book was fantastic because it made me think.  The highest compliment I can give anything is “thought provoking”.  If something makes me think in a different way, or in a new way, I am hooked.  The protagonist was an intelligent woman, of a certain age- but it was so much more than that.  It brought up social issues, religious issues, family issues.  It was also beautifully written- gorgeous prose.  I wish I could write as well.

3. Who is your favorite author?

All time- Jane Austen.  She was a genius at deciphering personality types.  And her characters were witty and intelligent.  Contemporary- I used to LOVE Susan Isaacs, and presently I love Liane Moriarty.  They are Austen like to me – they feature strong, intelligent female characters.  The writing is witty and clever.  Again- I wish I could write characters as well as they do.
4. What keeps you from attaining your goals?

I am fairly goal oriented, but I am also blazingly realistic.  I’m presently working on a novel.  I will say my self doubt abut my writing ability is stopping me.  I write things and I am never satisfied- I am constantly reworking sentences and paragraphs looking for the perfect words.  I want to be clever 100% of the time, and realistically, I don’t think that is possible.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Accepting an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Seriously- working on another novel.  Still living in New York.  A content empty nester figuring out how to help my daughter pay for law school.
6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Meeting and communicating with other bloggers.  I have had the opportunity to chat with amazing people.  The gift of the internet is a bunch of people from all over the world, chatting about a topic.  Learning about cultures and people that might be impossible under any other circumstance.
7. How do you start off your morning?

My days have different patterns during the year, due to all sorts of things, but for the most part, I check the weather, check texts, check personal email and read for 10 minutes.  Then it’s either gym, walk dog, shower, or help my daughter with breakfast/lunch preparation.

My questions are as follows:

  1. What song motivates you ?
  2. Coffee or tea?  And when do you enjoy it most?
  3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  4. Favorite movie adaptation of a book and why?
  5. What would you want to tell your teenage self?
  6. What is your favorite vacation memory?
  7. Do you have a nighttime ritual and if so, what is it?

I nominate the following awesome bloggers!

http://ayearoflivingkindly.wordpress.com

http://www.teaandtales1.wordpress.com/

http://theycallmetater.wordpress.com/

http://anorexiarevealed.wordpress.com/

http://justdrivewillyoudotcom.wordpress.com/

http://amyinthegreyarea.wordpress.com/

http://kerrymckim.wordpress.com/

http://thefeatheredrose.com/

http://russelrayphotos2.com/

http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com/

I have chosen blogs that I would love to get to know better, but as always, participation is optional.  This is supposed to be fun, not torture.  If you don’t want to do it, no harm, no foul.

No- Say it isn’t So…..

I ran into a neighbor the other evening.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  Hey.  All ready for college?

Young Woman:  Just about.  Can’t Wait.

Me:  When do you leave?

Young Woman: A few weeks.

Me:  Great.  Good luck.  What’s a recent high school graduate up to this evening?

Young Woman:  Tinder date.

Me:  Ohhhh…..sounds fun….have a good time???

And my voice trailed off into the sunset….

I remember when this girl was born.  She went to the same elementary as my daughter.  She just graduated from the same high school my kid attends.  I knew her.  I watched her grow up.  And she’s on a tinder date.

I feel old.

I realize people date.  I realize people use tinder.  I didn’t realize young woman that I remember running around the lobby would use tinder.

I feel like a prude.  I didn’t think I was a prude.  I thought I had a pretty healthy appreciation of sex.  I thought I was pretty open and realistic about what actually happens in life.  But I think I’d rather be an ostrich.  I’d rather have my head buried deep in the sand.  Because I don’t want to think about any kid I know, male, female or indifferent going on tinder dates.

If my daughter were to go on a tinder date, I would want to know.  Well- not really, obviously I want ostrich mode.- but I would want her to trust me enough to tell me what she was doing.  I would make sure she was as prepared as possible- has what she needs physically and mentally.

But I would not be happy about it.  I don’t think I can ever prepare myself enough for my daughter to go on a tinder date.  There is no “Dummies Guide to your Child going on Tinder dates.”  (But I guess that’s a book idea right there……)

I’m a fraud.  I’ve always said I would support my daughter no matter what she does.  But as of this moment- if she comes to me in 2 1/2 years and tells me she’s going on a tinder date- I don’t know what I would actually do.  Other than cry.  And bang my head against the wall.  And you  know, alienate her forever, and make sure she doesn’t trust me or ever tell me anything else again.

I know I’m jumping the gun, that this may  never happen.  But us control freaks- we always like to anticipate everything….

But for now, I’m- I going to borrow a line from Mojo, and just go LA LA LA LA LA I’m covering my ears with my hands……..

In it to Win it

Name an 11  letter word that would be used to describe my family?

You have 30 seconds.  Cue the Jeopardy music-

The answer is:

COMPETETIVE

We played mini golf on vacation.  When we approached the entrance and picked out our clubs, the attendant asked if we wanted a score card.  We responded “yes please”, but  we looked at each other and telepathically communicated – Duh- who  plays mini golf and doesn’t  keep score?  Where’s the fun in that? Don’t they care who wins?  Now- for the record- no one in my family is a candidate for the mini-PGA.  I can get a hole in one  and follow it up with a 5.  But we have fun and we try to play on every vacation.  (FYI-the Husband won both mini golf games we played- he would want the blogverse to know that).

We’re a competitive family.  We like to play games with each other.  When the daughter was younger we would have weekly family game nights, and while we still have them- they are now on a monthly basis.  They’re more like death matches tournaments- we play 5 different games, and the winner gets to choose our next dining excursion.

If we’re at a fast casual restaurant, we will take bets on what time our food will be out.  If we’re walking somewhere, we will each take a different route to see who gets there first. We will scout out a Cracker Barrel just so we can play the peg IQ game they leave on the tables. We just can’t help ourselves.

But…… we are not cutthroat.  We don’t cheat.  We don’t throw tantrums if we lose.  We try not to go back to the rule book/instruction guide if we have a disagreement.  (That part doesn’t always work so well- playing mini golf daughter actually told me I brought my ball out too far when it was flush against the edge….and she made me redo the shot.  There was honor at stake……)

Then there’s resilience.  What better way to learn about resilience than to keep playing games.  Husband is a great Words with Friends player.  I am not.  (FYI- this kills me- he is an accountant with a vocabulary of about 12 words.  I pride myself on being a wordsmith, with at least 20 words in my arsenal.)  I could beat him on a vocab quiz any day of the week- but I rarely beat him at word games.  My guess is, he wins 3/4 of our games. ( Ok- who are we kidding.  He beats me 73% of the time.  Did you really think I didn’t know the exact statistic?)  Yet, I continue to play him.  And I will continue to play him.  I can be down by about 150 points, and I will not resign a game.  Because sometimes I do win, and  I’m only going to get better if I keep playing.  There’s no secret formula- it’s just play and learn.  That’s all.  Play and learn.

I realize that some people don’t like to keep score.  I realize that there are situations where everyone gets a trophy.  But I don’t know how good this is.  I don’t think it’s realistic.  Like it or not- there are times when you win, and times when you lose.  You have to learn to do both, with grace and with honor.  Maybe you don’t have to be like my family (I actually highly advise not being like my family, cause, well- you read my blog- isn’t that enough of a reason not to be like my family?) but competition can be good.  And sometimes, it can even make a family closer……

 

 

The Hard Part

Raising children is hard.   It doesn’t matter how many you have, what gender they are, where you live- parenting is just difficult.  But as with anything, every parent has specific challenges that they must face as they bring their child to adulthood.  Being a city parent- that’s sort of my cross to bare.

The Daughter has spent her existence on the isle of Manhattan.  Do you know what that’s like?  Let me give you the playground scenarios….

Scenario 1- Homeless man showers in the sprinkler at the park.  What do you wear when you shower?

Scenario 2- A “pretty woman” enters the park with her twins.  While all the Mom’s are trying to be blasé, one of the kids goes up to her and asks “Do you know Dora?”

Scenario 3- Apparently, drug dealers were leaving bags of pot taped to the underside of the water fountain.  What does that mean?  Twenty armed undercover officers raiding the park to apprehend the alleged drug ring.  At 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

This all happened during April of my daughters pre-k year.  When she was 4.  Literally the good, the bad and the ugly.   This is the life of a “middle class” urban child who lives in a “good” neighborhood.

So what was/is my specific parenting issue?

Trying to make sure my daughter is not too jaded.  To allow her to have a certain childlike innocence, while remaining tough and street smart.

To a large degree, I think I have achieved my goal.  She can navigate the transit system, she’s honing her inner radar as to when a situation just doesn’t seem right.  She knows not to leave anything valuable in her backpack, but to keep them in front of her.  She knows not to engage anyone who appears a little off – and is aware of our neighborhood shouters- like the man who curses at the mailbox everyday.  And she knows a thousand other ways to protect yourself as much as possible.

But she does have certain childlike qualities.  She can text with alarming speed and quote pop music lyrics.  Pretty Little Liars was a religion to her.  The break-up of Anna Faris and Chris Pratt almost sent her into a tailspin. She giggles with her friends, and pets about every animal she comes across and visits the adoption cats at Petco when she has a chance.  And when we were on vacation, she wanted to go to the Boston Tea Party Museum because she wanted to “throw” the tea over.  She wanted to go to “Plimouth Plantation” and she engaged with the reenactors and listened to what they said, because some of them are really quite knowledgeable.  She doesn’t find things like this silly or lame- she finds them charming, and hopes at least a few kids learn a little about history.  By seeing other teenagers at these places, I know she is a bit of a rare bird- because there was no eye rolling from her.

(Don’t think she’s an angel though- trust me- she may seem like a great kid- but she tests me at every turn.  Because she knows everything.  I mean- she practically wrote Wikipedia- that’s how well versed she is in EVERYTHING)

But this year she is about to face a different challenge- she’s what is known as a rising junior.  For a college bound child, this is the hardest year.  School doesn’t start until after Labor Day, yet I already see the stress on her face.  She has an assignment that is actually due on Monday- about 3 weeks before school officially begins.  And as I watch her trying to edit her well written evaluative essay from 3 1/2 pages to the required 3 – I can foreshadow how this school year will play out.  Hours spent studying.  Paragraphs being rewritten in an attempt to chop 50 words off of a paper. SAT books littering the tables.  Law Team notes piled on her bed.  Figuring out a costume for the required “Scarlet Letter” day.  Less sleep than she had last year- which was minimal at best.

I’m not sure how I’m going to parent her this year.  I know how badly she wants to go to a top college.  I saw her face when we visiting highly selective universities, and I know she felt like it was home.  I want her to reach for the stars…..but, I also don’t want to her lose sight of the small things.

So I’m going to try to get her to sleep a bit, stay hydrated (these are my answers to everything).  I’m going to insist she schedule in social time with her friends.  I’m going to make sure she watches U tube videos and “Riverdale”.  I’m going to pay attention to her, to make sure she has balance.  I’m going to let her yell at me.  I’m going to let her cry on my shoulder.  I’m going to make sure we stock just a little bit of chocolate, because I know you shouldn’t eat to feel better, but eating a piece of chocolate while studying is supposed to be beneficial.  I don’t know where I read that tidbit, but I’m sticking with it as sound advice.

And I’m going to hope there is just a little bit of childhood innocence left to get her through the next year and a half.

 

 

Is That Really The Worst Thing?

Welcome to another episode of “How Pretentious Can One Woman Be”.  In yesterdays episode, we saw our heroine take on Big Tech.  Today, we discover a hidden side of our heroine- we call it the Princess Side.

Episode One

While on vacation, our heroine had the ability to go on two nature oriented boat rides.  The first one was whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts.  The heroine had a banner day- their group saw 6 different whales, and was treated to almost an hour of whale activity.  The whales practically swam along side of the boat.  People were in awe- many of the passengers had been on whale watch expeditions before and had come home disappointed.  Even the weathered crew was astonished at how many whales were seen.

The next water journey took place in Maine.  On this nature trip, the heroine saw seals, porpoises and a bald eagle, as well as many other sea birds.  The guide said he hadn’t seen that much wildlife in the four previous trips COMBINED.  It was a rare treat that people aboard the Sea Princess experienced that day.

But as Maine and Massachusetts were just a blur in the rear view mirror- the Heroine sighed.  She exclaimed- “I know we got to see all sorts of wildlife this trip.  But we never got to see a moose.  That would have made the trip great.  If we had just seen a moose.”

Episode Two

Our heroine wanted to see a movie.  She found the perfect time at a conveniently located theater. This theater had been recently renovated and boasted stadium seating, and big reclining seats. When she went to purchase tickets online, she noticed that the description of the theater did not specify “reclining seats”.  This sent the heroine into a tizzy.  She started frantically looking at what theater number it was – and was searching her memory to figure out if theater 4 did indeed have reclining seats.  She wanted reclining seats.  She needed reclining seats.  And her prayers were answered- theater 4 did indeed have reclining seats.  Whew.  Dodged a bullet there.

The good news:  After each episode, our Heroine realized how she was acting.  She knew how pretentious she sounded.  She was able to laugh at herself, and was actually heard to say- “Wow.  Am I really that precious?  What’s become of me that great things are not good enough?”

The bad news: Well, even though it was only for a second- she actually had these thoughts.

The verdict: Heroine needs a reality check.  Especially as she is having computer problems and her first thought is- Oh no!  I might not be able to pull up a good picture for the blog.  Could anything worse happen?

Call me Chicken Little

The Husband and the Daughter don’t read my blog- they figure they live it first hand, so why should they read about it.  But my daughter does ask me what I wrote about that day, and we discuss it.  When I told her about Friday’s post, and how I portrayed it- she said she wanted to read it.  After she read it she told me that a) there was a typo in the first sentence, and b) she thought I didn’t explain myself properly.  She felt I was coming from a position of anger.  Was I?  I asked her why it was bad, and she explained that when you’re angry, the only thing that comes across is that you’re a little crazy, but your point doesn’t always make it.  So I’m going to give you what I hope is a clear mission statement, and then I’m going to expound.

I like technology.  I have no doubt that technology has made things easier.  I have no doubt that technology has made things better.  I love my computer, the internet and my smart phone.  I even like audio books.  I am not a luddite, and I make use of many tech gadgets and apps and whatever.

Here’s the problem as I see it.  Though tech is great, we have to watch that we are not overdoing it.  Everything should be done in moderation.  To rely on technology to a degree that we are literally always holding a tech device is not good.  To replace traditional learning methods entirely is not good. I feel that you need to understand the process before you can proceed.

I really started to fear for our society after reading 2 books- “The Circle” by Dave Eggers, and “Feed” by MT Anderson.  I am now going to give some details about each book and why it scared me- if you don’t like spoilers continue to the next paragraph.  In “Feed”, children are no longer taught to read and to write- these arts are considered ancient.  People have chips implanted in their brains that tell them everything, enabling them to telepathically send messages to others.  Think this sounds great?  Think about if you never used words- how do you think you would speak?  Do you think you could form sentences?  Do you think you would personally know more that about 100 words?  Do you think any great scientific advances will be made if no one can think about what might be possible?  If no one has imagination?  In “the Circle”, people are so busy liking things and participating in social media, they no longer experience life.  Why actually travel- you really only need one person to travel, and they wear a body camera and send you back pictures- you don’t need to leave your couch to climb a mountain- but you can like and comment.  Oh- and privacy is a thing of the past- there are no secrets in the circle- every knows everything about everybody.  The possibility of these things scare me.  The fact that I think they are entirely possible scares me.

But am I wrong?

I don’t say those words very often, so pay heed.

I was out with friends yesterday, and began discussing why I thought students should not be using audio books for school lessons.  My friend said “Why not?”  Do we need to read and write?  If tech can do something better, shouldn’t it?  This is how we advance, by using technology.  You’re old.  You don’t want to change.”

Ok- I admit.  It was the “you’re old” part that got me.  Am I becoming a crotchety old lady who is going to go around saying “In my day, we actually looked at words on a page……”

Let’s look at my title today: Call me Chicken Little.  I think I’m clever, playing on a combination of two different literary works- I think I’m using my base knowledge.  But does it matter if most people don’t get what I am referring to?

Do we need to read and write and do basic math skills?

I’m going with a big resounding –Yes we do, because it helps us learn and think.  I don’t think we can advance by forgetting the basics.  I think not knowing the basics will only bring us backwards.  So please, call me Chicken Little.

But am I wrong?

Am I crazy?  (about this- let’s limit the crazy to one thing at a time)

What do you all think?  Should we try to tame the tech monster?  Do we need to?  Is it too late?  I’ve had many discussions about this with many other bloggers the past few days- and I think we really need to think about this.  Before the sky falls.

 

 

Sunday Wrap Up

Re-entry from vacation is often difficult.  There is laundry to wash, errands to run, blogs to read…..But I’m slowing catching up.  As always, I received no endorsement for anything mentioned in this was post.  Rating are 0-5.  All locations are New York City unless otherwise specified.  And you know I’m not a critic, but especially not an art critic- so my exhibit critique is purely my initial impressions.   Here’s the gist….

Books:

The Feed” MT Anderson.  I’ve had some discussions about this book with various people.  Frankly, it mentally scared the pants off me.  It’s a dystopian world that seems oddly relevant.  Is it a great book?  No.  Does it make you think?  Yes.  I think every teenager should read this book (which is appropriate as it is YA, and my daughter was given it as a summer assignment) 4

Television:

“Broadchurch“- I’m ambivalent about the story this season, but Not about David Tennant.  3.8

“Suits“- I love the relationship between Harvey and Mike- great writing.  Now they add Dule Hill- from the much missed Psych (but don’t worry- movie coming in December).  The show has trite plot points, but I don’t care. 4

Movies:

Despicable Me 3″- This movie is exactly what you would expect from the third in a series of animated movies aimed at young children.  My family was tired of laundry and we wanted an air conditioned escape that was close to the supermarket.  3

“Dunkirk“- I normally like movies that are heavy on dialogue and interplay between characters.  This really has neither.  But it is a spectacular war movie.  Brilliant direction- staging was spectacular.  4.7

Museums:

New Museum–   Located in the East VIllage/Noho area (I don’t know what they’re calling the Bowery these days)- building is small but conducive to exhibits.  Exhibits tend to be newer contemporary works that are usually pretty thought inducing.  It expounds the definition of what art actually is.  7th floor has a small viewing area that is pretty neat, but view is Ok.  Cute coffee shop.  Venue- 4.3

Exhibits:

“Half -Truths” Paul Ramirez Jonas- Loved this.  Exhibit is literally fueled by attendees.  I’m loving the trend of people contributing to a work of art- it adds and edge and an authenticity to works, and makes it socially relevant.  Downside- it is not meant to last.  I’m not sure how I feel about the non-permanence. 4.8

“Under-Song For a Cipher”Lynette Yiadom-Boakye  Paintings.  Old fashioned paintings.  Nice. 4

“Good Thing You Are Not Alone” Kaari Upson.  Huge installation piece “Idiot’s Guide Womb Room”.  Loved it.  The rest of the exhibit was interesting, and, as all contemporary art does, it makes you think.  4.3

Antibodies” Carol Rama This didn’t do anything for me.  It seemed sort of generic, which is saying something if you describe contemporary art as such. 3.5

“Viscera Has Questions About Itself” Elaine Cameron-Weir   This was a small exhibit, but actually pretty interesting.  Use of generic materials in different ways.  You can sort of immerse yourself in the works, which makes it interesting.  I’m going to call it installation art. 4

Food:

The Palm Too- Old school steak house.  Meal is fine, but I think it’s too highly priced, and I would rather go to other places.  That being said, it is perfect restaurant to take Father in Law for his 80th birthday if he is a carnivore. 4

Rubirosa- We went for lunch.  Pizza very good- thin crust.  Chicken pesto sandwich also delicious.  I’ve had better pizza in New York though.  We didn’t get pasta, but table next to us did and it looked amazing.

Housekeeping:

My daughter did not get picked to be a US Open Ball person.  She was sad but not devastated.

We did not visit my nephews at their camp.  Husband realized that it was prohibitively far from our destination, both going to, and leaving Maine.

Emoji Movie.  At one point this movie had a Rotten Tomatoes score of 0.  As of Saturday night- the rating stood at 7%.

I am almost done reading blogs.  I read them in a weird pattern that even I don’t understand- but it doesn’t matter because I am almost caught up!

My high score on Ballz is 121.  This is a personal triumph as I am not good at app games.

 

 

 

Liebster Award

I would like to thank  http://inspirationpie.com/?author=1for nominating me for the Liebster award.  Vacation, and life, got in the way of me answering sooner!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
3. Nominate 11 blogs.
4. Give them 11 questions to answerSo here are my 11 questions for my nominees!

Here are the questions given to me:
1. What’s your favorite genre to read?

Hmmm- fiction.  To narrow it into a specific sub genre?  Women’s fiction- specifically books dealing with women over the age of 30.  I also like cozy mysteries and historical fiction.
2. What other hobbies do you like to do besides reading and blogging?

I like cooking and baking- though I’m a better cook, because baking is very precise, and I like to experiment a bit.  I find it very relaxing to look at recipes and choose something to make.  I tend to try out new recipes almost every time I cook, so I feel like I’m always learning about a new technique or flavor combination.  I also love photography.  I rarely go anywhere without my camera, and I love playing with perspective.  I love taking photos of flowers, and nature in general- but I honestly don’t know the names of anything I take a pic of.
3. What is your ideal vacation?

My ideal vacation is one that has a little of each of the following:  sightseeing, history, kitsch. local food, nature, culture, a spa trip, and just a little time to lay on a chaise and read.  This was my trip that I just returned from, except I never got in a spa treatment.
4. Do you have any pets?

Yes, a 9 year old yorkie, Sally, and a 3 year old grey cat, Penny.  I love them more than blogging.
5. What is the last movie you saw? Did you like it?

“Dunkirk”.  Loved it, even though it is not a dialogue move- and is mostly a story told through images.
6. How long have you been blogging?

Almost 3 months.
7. What is the best book you’ve read in 2017? What is the worst?

Best book:  “The Children Hour” by Ian McEwan.  It was amazing.

Worst book: “The Sound of Gravel” I don’t love memoirs, especially when the parents are totally dysfunctional.  I just want to shake the parents when I read books like this.
8. What book character is your twin?

I would love to say it’s Elizabeth Bennett, because she’s witty and independent- so I’m going with her.
9. Do you prefer to swim in a pool or the ocean?

Pool.  I like a controlled environment.
10. What is your favorite genre of music? Favorite musician/band?

I really love all music genres except for death metal and misogynistic rap, but I’m a rock and roll girl at heart.  Presently, I never turn off U2, The Goo Goo Dolls and Adele
11. Do you prefer the country or the city?

Hmmm.  Let me think about this.  I LOVE the city.  It is the air that I breath.  But I enjoy being out in the country when I get the chance.

My questions for bloggers are:

1. What’s your favorite food?

2. Describe your perfect date.

3. What do you do to relax?

4. Are you a morning person or a night person?

5. What is your least favorite thing about blogging?

6. Are there any apps that you love or are you “anti-app”?

7. Do you have a favorite fictional mystery detective? If you don’t like mysteries, who is your favorite fictional character?

8. What is your biggest pet peeve?

9. Describe your favorite memory from childhood.

10. Choose three adjectives that best describe you. 

11.  What was worst date you ever went on?

I nominate the following bloggers:

http://stuffmydogtaughtme.com/

http://roseelaineblog.wordpress.com/

http://declutteringmylifeweb.wordpress.com/

#Iforgive

http://ayearoflivingkindly.wordpress.com/

http://www.jamesonvinyl.com/

http://caterpillars2butterfliesblog.wordpress.com/

 

I chose blogs that I would like to get to know a little more about!

As always- if you don’t want to participate- no worries!  This is supposed to be fun, not an assignment!

 

A Proper Education: A play in 1 act

The Setting: A restaurant in New York City

The Players:

  1. Parent- Resides is affluent suburb of New York City, which has a top rated school district.   Mother of twins who are about to enter 7th grade.  Twins have always attended public school, but after first year of middle school, parent did not like the education they were receiving and has enrolled them in private school.  They will begin classes after labor day in new, expensive school.
  2. Me- I hope you know a little about me by now
  3. Father in Law
  4. The Husband
  5. The Daughter
  6. Husband of Parent

Players 3-6 are present, but for the purpose of this play, imagine them eating.

Parent- When I went to camp visiting day, I found out Twin Girl used audio book for her summer reading assignment.  Isn’t that clever?

Me- She did what?

Parent– You know- audio book.  She didn’t get to choose the book and she was really bored by it, so she got audio book.

Me– What….What….What book was it?

Parent-  “The Outsiders”?  I think that’s what it’s called.

Me- SE Hinton?  The Daughter had to read it in 6th grade.  Didn’t you read it when you were a kid?  Pony Boy?  It’s not a hard book.  It’s actually a pretty good book.

Parent– Is that the movie with Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe?

Me- Well, yeah- the movie.

Parent– Oh maybe she should watch that when she gets home (types what is assumed to be a reminder into her phone)  But don’t you think it was smart of her?  I couldn’t think of a good reason why she shouldn’t listen to the book.  Because she didn’t get to choose it.  Her other summer reading book was fine.  She didn’t need audio book, because she got to choose it.  She wasn’t bored by it.

Me- Ummm- she probably should start, you know, actually reading things.  Because she’s going to get assigned reading as the grades go up, and really, she needs to like look at the words on the page and…you know understand them, because what’s going to happen…..

The Protagonist (or antagonist- you choose) turns to the audience:

Me: WTF?  She was bored?  She didn’t get to choose?  You’re putting her in private school because she wasn’t being educated?  It’s school.  It’s about education.  Part of education is learning about things you don’t know.  Wait- isn’t that the definition of education- to learn about things you don’t know?  How are you supposed to grow as a person if you never go out of your comfort zone?  If you want to read something of your choosing, read in your free time instead of playing on your phone, with snap and insta and whatever other app is out there.  Sometimes we are bored.  So what.  Is there a job that is exciting every minute of every day?  Why is our society so fixated on not being bored?  And listening, while sometimes a lost art, is not the same thing as reading.  It’s just not.  Nor is watching the movie.  The object is to look at the words on a page.  Visualize what the author is saying- get the mental picture.  Look at the words- the structure- the punctuation.  These are a fiction writers tools- these are the things you need to look at.  It’s why it’s assigned.  And…speaking of…the teacher gave an assignment in good faith.  They are expecting you to read the book.  What gives anyone the right to not listen to a teacher when the teacher has realistic goals of a student?  I’m going out on a limb and saying that reading a book is a realistic goal.  And how can you, as a parent, say to me “Isn’t that clever?”  No.  It’s not clever.  Clever is writing a book.  Clever is inventing something.  Clever is creating an awesome science fair experiment.  Using audio book is not clever.  It’s lazy. AND….let’s not forget my favorite statement: “I didn’t see anything wrong with it.”  REALLY?  REALLY?  How about, there is not one thing about her using audio book that is right.  Nothing.  She has perfect vision- there is no impairment.  She knows how to read.  (I assume this because she does use snapchat- so there is some proof that she knows the alphabet and that letters put together form words, and word form sentences….wait- I’m actually not sure if she knows that, as she usually speaks emoji) How can you say she wasn’t getting a good education at the public school?  Does she know about work ethic?  Does she understand giving 100%?  Does she understand that you need to learn things in stages?  That education is starting with a base layer, and then adding, and adding and adding?  That reading a book is about completing a task?  And if she thinks “The Outsiders” is boring- what is she going to think about some other classic works of literature?

The Protagonist turns away from the audience, and looks back at the parent:

Me– When do the kids get home from camp?