Monday, March 27, 2006

Since I last blogged...

  • We took our kids to the County Fair. It was pretty fun, though wildly expensive. A highlight was the racing pigs (see them on video!). So now I've seen racing pigs and swimming pigs (back in the day...).

  • In the evening, when we had babysitting, my husband & I returned to the fair sans kids and rode some big rides. The best was, I think, called the Spin-Out. Was it worth $5 a pop? I'm not sure, but I think everyone should occasionally have that experience of being whipped through the air at crazy speeds, seeing bright lights and hearing carnival sounds all around, not knowing if you're right side up or upside down, and not having a care in the world. (The other ride we rode, though, gave me plenty of cares, as I would have sworn I was about to be hurled at great speed into a Winnebago. Or at least, that something would get hurled... It just wasn't fun!) Despite my belief that rickety carnival rides are disasters waiting to happen, there were some truly magical moments there. (I also had a new appreciation for the dunk tank guy after reading David Lubar's novel Dunk!)

  • I saw two magic shows. The first was at the fair with my husband. My favorite trick was when he set the inside of a pan on fire, closed the lid, then removed the lid and a (non-burnt) ferret came out. The second magic show was one for kids this morning at the library. Note that the two magicians used at least 4 or 5 of the same jokes! Magicians of the world, please learn some new jokes. Naturally, out of 60 or 70 kids in the audience, my 5-yr-old monster was the only child acting up. I had to wrangle him twice & hold him on my lap as he struggled to escape. Fun.

  • I read the latest Newbery winner, Criss Cross. I wrote up a lot of thoughts on it for an online book discussion earlier, and made a copy of those thoughts here.

  • I read about 2/3 of the friendship book, which is very insightful, and all of the photo book by teenagers with cameras. What surprised me most about that was how little the teenagers seemed to be learning or doing in school--the classes seemed to be mostly busywork or note-taking with little interaction, so they were falling asleep in class instead of having lively discussions. Sad! I was also surprised so many of them were talking on cell phones, using iPods, etc., even during school.

  • My family tried to watch the first Harry Potter movie last night, which was my kids' first direct exposure to the HP stories (but my oldest has often been told he looks like Harry so we figured he should at least know who that was). However, the DVD of it we got from the library was in such horrible shape, we could not get it to play certain parts even after stopping to clean it and trying all kinds of fast-forwarding, backing up, etc. The sound kept going out, too. We had to skip a few short parts and rely on my poor memory to let the kids know what had happened. Finally, when Harry was supposed to get his invisibility cloak but we absolutely could not get the scene to play, we gave up. That's too good of a part to miss! We'll have to try a video store tonight.

  • I gave up on trying to revise my novel by today to submit it to Carolrhoda Books (today was the deadline in their call for submissions). But I'm still glad they called for submissions, because it got me over a hurdle with the manuscript and I'm getting stuff done!

  • My kids started Spring Break. Somebody save me from Spring Break! I doubt I'll get much writing done this week.

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