Monday, December 31, 2007

Old and New

One way in which my reading shelf grows:

Discover a favorite author has a new blog. While reading said blog further discover that author is an avid change ringer. Briefly wonder if this is related to certain gentlemen's habits of jingling loose coins in their pockets. Presume it can't possibly be that but remain uncertain as to what it might possibly be.

While randomly perusing the web find a pattern for change ringer socks. Note that the pattern maker refers many times to the Nine Tailors.Briefly wonder, wth? Before moving on.

Go to book shop. Discover book titled the Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers. Stand agahast at one's ignorance in not recognising a Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Promptly purchase book. Pour pint of cider. Remain not at home for rest of evening.
Another way:

Go to morning practice after which do banking as planned and then walk for a loooong way to a yarn shop only to find it is closed. Mutter then head back and after another loooong walk duck nto a cafe and finish current read (The King's Fifth by Scott O'Dell). Look at watch decide that there is enough time to go down the street and check out the used book shop. Arrive to find that it is: CLOSED.


Walk all the way back to where practice was in the morning only go across the street to a shop which is open until (look at paper sign, look at watch) one more hour. Enter. Browse. Leave with two new books :)

Firebringer, David Clement-Davies
Complete Grimms Fairy Tales, ed. Jack Zipes

Oh and Happy New Year.

I do believe I will be reading it in.****CV

Saturday, December 29, 2007

ringing the changes

I went into the city today. Didn't spend all that much time there. Just long enough to walk up and down Haight street looking for some things. Of the things I was looking for I only found one:
The Nine Tailors, Dorothy L. Sayers

But that's okay. Before heading across the bay I went to practice this morning. I can really tell where I've been slacking. The last few days I've felt muscles I had forgotten were there. Well they are not letting me forget now. I'll have to do something about maintaining the regularity of class when break is over.

When I went to Article Pract the other day I not only found one of the books I was seeking (Book of Yarn) I also found some bone knniting needles. Not being sure at the time what exactly I could use them for I did not pick up a pair. However I have since discovered that I do not have any 9 needles. And as there was a set available then I will go back and see of they are still available now. Minus the extra few miles of walking.

I already have such wonderful story ideas to explain the ficticious origins of the needles ***CV

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


*Sigh* apparently I have read all of the Shakespeare Stealer tales and unless Mr. Blackwood is writing another there are no more to be read. I did return the volume I meant to today and instead got Hush by Donna Jo Napoli (a story based upon an Icelandic saga in which an Irish Princess is kidnapped and sold as a slave to a Norse nobleman*) and Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb.
I keep intending to go into the city but so far I haven't made it yet. There are a couple of places I would like to go to as well as I received some movie passes which I would like to use. And yet being able to do nothing is so lovely that the thought of going to town, much as I love and miss SF, is proving a challenge. I did actually go to practice this morning and visited the aforementioned shop. But I then immediately came home, did some weeding, and read.

Perhaps if I played the Feynman physics lectures I have on CD I'd get some knitting done....***CV

* And yes I consider it so much better than the book I returned. Blame the historic textiles mentioned in it,the Cuchalainn references, or the fact that it is actually teaching me some real world geography: something that could prove of more use to me then mastering the art of whingeing (Which I already have down pat).

Monday, December 24, 2007

slightly sloshed seaons greetings

Gary Blackwood is a fun writer. He's the author of the Shakespeare Stealer series in which the main character, Widge, first attempts to steal Hamlet and ends up becoming a player of the Globe. So far I have only read three of the stories but I am looking forward to the others. Pagan is another YA historical series I would strongly recommend.

So, having read two Blackwood's, finished off the Silver Donkey as well as Teach Like your Hair is On Fire (like, like, not with) I started to read the first of the Fairytale Detectives series. Ugh. I realise that cynical children's stroies are really popular right now (please lord let it stop soon) but I have never been fond of them. Wednesday morning this book is getting returned. ( I refuse to have this book in my collection and so will brave the boxing day return hordes in order to get rid of it: this is how much I detest cynical childrens stories.)

Which leaves me....the Black Arrow! That should go nicely with my two bottles of Blackthorn (and it is so good to be back in CA where they actually stock the stuff!) I do believe.

Verily a merry christmas to ye.***CV

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I started and finished Lord of the Flies yesterday morning. While not as horrible as I thought (the story not the writing) I'm still glad I did not read this as a teenager. The Plague by Albert Camus did not bother me but this would have. As it is I can't really understand the Captain not being a bit warmer, y'know? After all it was children and Ralph was only 12. Doesn't childhood provide some lattitude for feeling? Of all the characters I most identified with Simon. Out of curiousity, does anyone know if he was an epileptic? There was a moment there when he was in his hiding place where it seemed he had a seizure. But that wasn't gone into.
Today I finished the Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Custer. It's the story of Nicolaus Steno the original founder of Geology. He was the first person to actually propose that shells people found in the mountains and glossopetrae (tongue stones) originally came from the sea instead of being generated from teh earth itself. He also proposed that one could tell how old fossils were by determining what layer in the earth they had been discovered in.
I have some new books :)

The Black Arrow, Robert Louis Stevenson
(yay Robin Hood meets men in armor in Scotland)

The Mirror: A History, Sabrine Melchior-Bonnet
(we have a large mirror in the class which, when engaged in conversation the children prefer to watch themselves in rather than their conversation partner *oy*)

The Aeneid of Virgil, Robert Fitzgerald
( I'm planning on reading Watership Down with the upper elementary students, and as Adams based his tale on the Aeneid, I'm trying to see if we should read it first or not)

The Sisters Grimm v.1, Michael Buckley
(Fun light reading)
Shakespeare's Scribe, Gary Blackwood
(More fun light reading)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sing sing sing

Oh my goodness: Holiday baked goods.I think no more need be said.
During the rest times before performances we started reading By the Shores of Plum Creek. Laura Ingalls appears to appeal. We read 22 chapters in two days. Meanwhile I have decided to face my resistance to reading Lord of the Flies and I picked up a copy the other day. I'm working my way up to it by reading I Am the Messenger first. Before that I just finished Incantation by Alice Hoffman. It was about a girl named Estrella who lived during the times of Torquemada and the conversos (Jews who converted to Christianity).

Of course this could be avoidance rather than preparation.
How did I miss that sockwars was happening?! It's over now.Maybe next year****CV

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stopping by......

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Spin you right round

So many families have wanted to checkin this week. I can't remember a time when this has happened. Usually there is so much holiday preparation going on (rehearsals, crafting, family coming or family travelling) that the last thing parents have thought of is checking in. (And considering conferences were three weeks ago?!)

So far I have had at least one meeting every day in one capacity or another and I have two more tomorrow. One at 4pm and one at 7:15am. The last means I have to cath a 5:45 train, at the latest to be ther on time. This after a parrent get together tonight. And of course there is the class party, secret santa and another birthday circle tomorrow as well.

The fun never stops.

And for myself I want to record that one of the meetings today ended with the mom saying that she thought this was the best year in elementary so far :)***CV

Monday, December 10, 2007

And then there were 7

I wonder if schools have winter performances to make faculty really appreciate winter break? Perhaps its a way of channelling all that extra energy? Something needs too that's for sure. We were one staff member out on expected holiday and one called in sick which means that we were operating at low ratios today. Combine that with a fluctuating rehearsal schedule (what we planned last week is not going to happen except when it is but only for the moment and subject to change) and we were high, high energy today.

I'm about ready to give people assigned rooms to work in (we have several as the class is located in an Amish style barn house). But I go in late tomorrow as I will be closing so perhaps things will be calmer.
I went to a local book shop today to pick up Pillers of the Earth because I distinctly recall there being easily half a dozen copies there yesterday and one of the moms really recommended it. So of course when I got there the wind was whistling down the shelf that they once occupied. Oh well. I did find a cheap used copy of the Pat Hobby Stories by F. Scott.***CV

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I think I prefer Lupin.......

Fantomas, Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvstre (295pp) According to the introduction this series of tales based upon the crime spree of a madman was made into silent films and was a source of inspiration to the originators of the surrealist movement. (Goodness mayhap this goes someway towards explaing my preference for magic realism, yes?) I can see where this would be appealing to the silent serial making filmster. I love the scene where the female hotel securities clerk after being hit upon by pseudo sherlockian Inspector Juve goes to the home of a wealthy entrepeneur for aid and is revealed to be his (the entrepeneur's) son - who, in an earlier chapter was proven to be not only dead but a murderer, because, you know, his mother is insane. Take that for serial twist of plot you would be soap opera buff!

But the ending?! What an ending. No I certainly couldn't have seen that one coming. Should I spoil it? But you might read it so I won't. Let's just say that madame guillotine does not always get her man.
On another note I think that wool skeins are really hibernating tribbles. How else to explain the 26 I found this afternoon? ****CV

Saturday, December 08, 2007

to dye or not to dye

Yesterday I left at 5:45 a.m. to go to work. I arrived in plenty of time to sit in a cafe and have breakfast then off to open up. Imagine my surprise in find the doors all ready unlocked and no one there. Hmmm.

Children arrive, music begins and I go to our team meeting. Then back to escort the children to class and the day begins. We had a special presenter planned but I forgot and he was late so we continued our day and then he had arrived and it was hurry, hurry he's waiting. In fact we had a phone call and two people in person within minutes of each other to let us know that he was here. Yes? but wasn't he late and so can't he now wait for us? apprently not. So everyone tidies up and we walk to the presentation which was planned for and hour at the most but ended up being an hour and a half so lunch was late and playtime was later and I got whacked by a dodge ball in the middle of negotiations about whether soccer or dodge ball had rights to the playing field.

So I go to lunch two hours late and I'm thinking: we were suppose to dye yarn today for holiday knitting projects do I even feel like doing it now? But if I don't do it now then the yarn won't have the weekend to dry and that'll be a pain and a half so, ok we'll do it. I get back from lunch and two of my assigned seat people are not in their seats (long story) and that has to be dealt with, and is.

Finally the dying gets started at 2:30, and we only have one pot and two tubs but 4 dyers. I'm supposed to leave at 3:30. We get to work trading off presoaking tubs and a beaker to mix the dye in (and the beaker, which is glass, ends up having been broken during a crystal growing experiment so we switch to flasks), filling the first dye pot and setting it on the stove to "cook" and then switching the "cooked" yarn into a cooling bowl while the next dyer puts in their yarn.

I ended up leaving at 5:45 p.m. with all yarn having been cooked and rinsed and laid on the drying rack for Monday morning detangling and ball rolling. ***CV

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I just counted: 14 days until winter break. Umm 14 business days that is (I refuse to include weekends).

On Friday I had the worst headache. I can't imagine why. Could it be because last week the children, for whatever reason, decided to go on full test mode? Let's see what happens if we do this and let's see what happens if we do that. Could it be because I had not one, not two, but three full morning observers walking around last week? Could it be because three families decided their child's birthday needed to be celebrated on the same day at the same time and that candles kept going out and three of my major testers decided to go into action during the ceremonies while all six relatives were present?


Anyway. 14 days. And we have secret santa and crafting for family projects to start.***CV

edited: I just realised how many multiples of three happened in all those situations, anyone know about any planetary bruhahas???

Saturday, December 01, 2007


38,655 and I am quite satisfied thank you very much. After all it 38,655 I wouldn't have had if I hadn't joined at all. And I think at least 3k of it is stuff that really doesn't need to be in there. Stotiires and exposition I put in just to be writing.

Funnily enough I was thinking that I had enough characters but I couldn't understand why not one of them wanted to get up and start doing something. Until I retold or revised (or what ever you call recreating a myth) of Raven discovering light. Then all of the sudden a huntsman entered the picture and he started stirring things up- in a good way.

I was explaining the elements of my story to one of my friends and she had this,

"I have no idea what's going on" expression when I stopped and asked, Did she knew the films of Jean Cocteau.
Yes, she said. So I then asked her,
Did she remember the set designs for Orphee?
It's like that.
Oh, now I get it.

(The basic premise of my story is what happens during the dark period in the moon's regular cycle.)

So the tale is not done but I can feel it now has a unifing force who is going to bring it together and move towards an ending. My story last year ended in a not very satisfying manner, which was due to my wanting it to just. stop. all. ready.

Most of the class who participated achieved their goals though there were two who hadn't. We talked about what had been the hardest part for each of them, and surprisingly it was getting the idea and then figuring out what happened next. I say surprisingly because no one said sitting down to write. But then, judging from how many wanted to go straight from lunch to write and not to play I guess it should have been obvious :)

They are all reaady discussing doing it again next year***CV