1. Geeky kids' books. It's standardized test season here in Florida, and the kids are stressed. Because of this, I'm reading chapters from two books a day instead of just one. I wanna keep their brains stimulated, but they need some down time. I had been reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick already, but I still have to say how much I love this book. In it's estimable plot, one finds automata and historical sci-fi films. So much fun, and I get to use my French accent on the kids. Another great thing is the amount of illustrations. Selznick uses them to tell(rather than just enhance) the story. It's no wonder he won the Caldecott honor, but it is neat to see it given out to a novel, and not just a picture book. Once testing started, I picked up Cryptid Huntersby Roland Smith. Mr. Smith is coming to our school this month, and it was the perfect time to start one of his books. So, I'm going from the automaton writing machine in Hugo to cryptozoology in Smith's book. It's like I'm reading to my 3rd graders straight from Boing Boing. 2. I am fitting into jeans that did not fit four months ago. Thanks to: my bike, sensible eating, Tuesday work-outs with my co-workers, and Thursday walk/runs after work!
3. Trees My students and I went outside today to stare at the trees and write about them. I haven't looked at the photographs they've taken yet, but I have seen some tremendous artwork, and I've read some amazing poetry from them. Go trees!
4. Standardized testing Officially, teachers hate the standardized tests, and technically, I'm no exception. It was tough work to get everyone to a place where they may all pass the test, and it was really hard to watch some of the kids struggle on things they normally wouldn't. That said, getting past the FCAT always gets us to a point where we can do some awesome and strange group learning activities.
5. hulu I technically shouldn't be getting all excited over network TV on my internet, but I like hulu so far. I can watch 30 Rock and Arrested Development there. I can also watch the Addams Family (my favorite old school sitcom ever), and the Rockford Files. Jim Rockford is the coolest TV detective ever. And when I watch Rockford, I don't have to sit through insurance ads and commercials for the Hoveround.
I was inspired by my friend Steve's assemblage piece about Dad's Desk Drawer to take a look inside my desk for tonight's post. Here are some of the things I found.
1. A Harry Truman campaign button. I was impressed with it's history, until I found the word 'Reproduction' on the back. I looked around, and found out that in 1972, old campaign buttons were being given out as promotional materials.
2. This is a long, thin strip of cardboard that I drew on in 2003. I was really into drawing derivatives of people. Trapezoidal heads, and very simple features were my thing. I really like this, and may use it as a bookmark.
3. Sketch I did for a painting. The painting is long sold, but I still have the originating artwork. That's halfway a lie, though. I stole the pose of these three girls from an Entertainment Weekly cover with Nelly Furtado, Alicia Keys, and India.Aire.
4. Poppin' Fresh, and his wife, Poppie. I got them in the mail from Pillsbury when I was a kid. They're in pretty dirty shape now these days. They've been in the desk forever, but when I shook Poppie, she still had pepper inside.
5. Neat fold-out knife promoting GMC Parts T.O.P.S. program. I have no idea what that is, but I dig the knife. 6. When I lived in Michigan, I found this button on the ground. It must've been about 1999. That would make these girls 25-27 years old today. They were cheerleaders for the high school in Ferndale. This is kind of a strange thing to still have.
7. Guest book for my art show, Eindunzwanzig Frauen. It was a show of 13 paintings with 21 womens' faces in the paintings. The show was at Xhedos Cafe in Ferndale, MI in 2002. A quick search online tells me that Xhedos changed hands in 2006, and is now AJ's Music Cafe. I miss Xhedos. They had good sandwiches, good music, and they gave me my first art show.
8. A photo I came across somewhere (a flea market, maybe?) marked on the back, "Dad and mum," and, "31." She looks happier than he does to be sitting, fully dressed on a beach of stones somewhere. 9. My grandfather had very large belt buckles. I wore the eagle one once, but it was just too large. 10. A photo from my show at the 2'x2' Gallery. Many of the pieces are still available at Simple Gestures in St. Augustine.
Looking at these things makes me feel like Templeton, the rat, in Charlotte's Web. Well, kind of. I am a pack rat, but I'm not voiced by an aging, acerbic gay man.