Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why can't my kids be this awesome

So many times I look around the world (or, you know, internet) and I think to myself, "Why can't my kids be this awesome?"  Why can't my kids see the value in being this creative, articulate, and self-motivated?

Jezebel showed me this darling nugget, with all the familiar fifth-grade earmarks ("Well let me give you a quick lesson") but with all the unfamiliar comfort and suaveness that I never see!  She uses the word "despise"!  She says "give it a ponder"!  She has all kinds of delightful reasoning and flow and argument and logic and ugh it just makes me so happy.  As Mom notes in the comments, daughter writes way better than she does, which is odd, but okay.  The day any of my kids would take it upon themselves to react to anything like that is the day I know I have succeeded as a teacher.  Until then, it's fail city for me I guess.

Then I found this character, with whose writing habits I am unfamiliar but with whose dancing skills I am overjoyed.  The few seconds he speaks are articulate and a little hilarious, and even though I'm usually all about behaved kids, I am also all about dancing and public displays of joy.  And, he knows all the words.  And, when he kicks, it's totally safe for all people and computers in his range.  In this one, he wears awesome glasses and actually gets shut down by an Apple Store Guy.  If you keep watching them, not that I did, you'll see that eventually, an Apple Store Guy (a different ASG, I assume) dances alongside him for a second as he passes by the camera.  Oh man.  My heart!

And then, speaking of gimmicks that I love, I saw this trailer for this movie about a day in the life of Earth.  This kind of thing makes me so happy.  Yeah, I know it's self-selecting, that most of our lives are super boring, and they are filled with anger, jealousy, hatred, and unrest in general.  I know this probably doesn't represent the millions living in hunger and destitution.  It might actually depict war zones though.  But, without having seen it, who can say!  All I know is that these snippets of everyone else's secret lives thrill me.  Justin hates them; he says it's a bunch of YouTube clips.  He's right.  So, who will come with me?!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Things I Recently Declared Were Going to Be My New Thing*
  1. homemade scrubs
  2. pretty mugs
  3. jewelry somehow incorporating prior "love" stamps
  4. plantains
  5. teaching grammar
  6. H&M

Things That Inadvertently Became My New Thing**
  1. eating like crap
  3. panicking about summer
  4. ~5 hour car rides
  5. ignoring my students' friend requests on Facebook

*carried out with mild to moderate success
**carried out to an unreasonable degree

Monday, April 18, 2011


Favorite Places: North Carolina.

We're all surrounded constantly by the idea of place.  It's coming up a lot in the Race (and 'friends') household, what with the new digs ever nearer, and it's coming up in my friend's blog, and it's coming up in basically anyone who's going, or who has ever gone, anywhere.  And here, furthermore, my very own Christmas present took the distinct form of place!  It was North Carolina.  Greensboro, specifically, for Cirque du Soleil. 

Justin and his leaves.
After an 8pm - 2 am drive, we crashed in our swank hotel in preparation to live it up the next 24 hours.  The hotel room is its own "place" microcosm; it tries to be your home away from home, with your hair dryer and your ability to have milk and cookies whenever you want, while stepping it up a notch with a pool and a gift shop.  In the second floor restaurant the next morning, Justin and I were both just so calm and happy; somehow, North Carolina afforded us a sensation of pure delight.  We have talked about NC for years.  We idealized it!  And now, after a long and stressful journey, we were there.  Was it that we were removed from house drama -- both the housemates and the buying process?  No, it was still very much on our minds, and we're not out of the woods from it yet.  Was it the weather?  No, it was nice in DC too that day.  Was it different, in some way?  Not really, it mostly looked like any other darling town with a historic district that we love to visit.  The breakfast, the acres-big farmer's market overflowing with flowers, the shops along the main street, the people were all the same!  We were just experiencing them in Greensboro, and they were unmistakably lovely.

I love my North Carolina flowers.  The same as, but way better than, Lanham flowers.
After we had done the whole literal side of place, we went to that symbolic side at that crazy show, Alegria, where the ringleader marched around the crowd, pausing at parts of the overture to cry, "Alegrrrrrriiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaa!!!"  Luca's question is about your sacred space -- where do you go when you need to calm and just be?  I don't have a good answer yet, but something always in the running is theater.  A theater, a (live) show in a theater, etc.  Maybe because that arena formed me in high school, and is forever filled with those most important memories; maybe because my soul just jives with the idea of plays and performances in general; maybe because when you go, your job is to suspend disbelief and be with the scenes.  I firmly believe that an unspoken implication of theater (really, of books, television, paintings, movies...) is that the audience, ideally, is supposed to believe that they're just glimpsing these people's lives, that when the curtains close, the characters just go on being themselves, just not watched anymore.  You know, when they come "on stage," they're not coming from "backstage," they're coming from another room in their house or field or whatever.  We're supposed to be getting that one tiny window to see what their life is like, and when all those crazy acrobats are done flipping around for you, they go back to wherever land they came from and they keep flipping around there, for each other, because that's what their life is.  How magical of a sense of place is that!

Just another Tuesday afternoon, hanging out

PS, Speaking of flipping, I hope you will flip out just as much as I did when I discovered this friendly notepad in a gentle basket at one of those independent, local-artist-supporting stores (appropriately titled "Just Be") in Greensboro, NC: