Friday, October 30, 2009

Life Recess.

In a couple of weeks I will return to the world of office work.

For the rest of the term I will, like far too many teachers have to do, work PT after finishing up at school.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous about transitioning back into cubicle city. My last work experience ended pretty badly and I still have periods of actual, genuine anger about what went on and how the curtain finally came down.

With the exception of that sentence I just wrote though, I've gotten better at keeping it (1) to myself (2).

I don't know what's going to happen next (3) and I guess none of us ever do.

What I do know is that the time I've been able to spend teaching has been fantastic and I'm grateful that I found this opportunity at a time when I most needed it.

Ironic that the kid who hated high school found so much peace of mind by heading back.

1. Mostly.
2. I know. It's really time for me to let it go. I'm just not very good at that.
3. Since there is still a wild card or two out there for me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Till death, or book fair deal, do you part.

Well, it seems I blinked and totally missed it but...in case it comes up at a cocktail party...the folks at Scholastic asked author Lauren Myracle to make some changes to her book Luv Ya Bunches before they would include it in their book fairs.

They felt some of the language was inappropriate.

The girls in Myracle's books - four girls with nothing in common except that they're all named after flowers - said things like "God," "crap" and "geez."

And, as it turns out, one of the young protagonists has two moms.

So, the folks at Scholastic who now insist that they were NOT involved in censorship, asked Myracle to change the same-sex couple to a heterosexual couple.

So much for the sanctity of family.

I have to say, I think I would have less of an issue if Scholastic had decided to completely pass on Luv Ya Bunches. The idea of asking an author to entirely remove characters from a book because they are lesbian brings it to a whole new level of disturbing.

Almost as disturbing as the fact that the folks at Scholastic are still pretending that the plastic merchandise white elephant bazaars that they bring around to schools are still about books.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Afraid of the dark.

In honor of Halloween (1) I've been digging up scary stories.

In the course of my research I came across an NPR story on Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics.

I was completely blown away by the excerpt included in the piece, a little slice of terror by Jeff Lemire called "The Old Silo."

Gore is easy.

Terror is much, much harder.


Bring your nightlight.

1. A holiday I have never, ever liked.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miss Gorightry I plotest!*

Today is one of those days where I just don't feel quite right. Not sick. Not sad. Just kind of...not.

This mood always reminds me of the scene in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's where Holly explains the "mean reds" to Paul.

"The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of."

When Holly got the "mean reds" she hopped in a cab and headed to Tiffany's.

When I'm feeling blah I get the urge to go to the bookstore.

I also get the urge to order an extra-large pepperoni pizza.

I managed to fight the first one...but am starting to lose the fight against the second.

*Yes. I know. Very wrong.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Race to the bottom

The American Booksellers Association has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the race to the bottom pricing of some of the big box retailers.

For whatever reason...maybe attempting to prevent a full-scale apocalypse of those last independent booksellers out there...the ABA is taking issue with folks like Wal*(Not So S)Mart, Amazombie.com and Target (1) incurring intentional losses by selling books by authors like Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver and John Grisham for less than $9.00 a pop.

New books.

New hardcover books.

New hardcover books that wholesale for about $17.00 each.

So...not so much playing fair here.

Less worrisome to me is the fact that the big boxers have also put Sarah Palin's new book on the markdown table.

I think $8.98 to read what passes for the wisdom of Palin is just about right.

Assuming there are some crayons and 3-D glasses thrown in.

1. I don't think I'm ready to go after Target yet...sorry. Though, I have to say, the Michael Graves stuff looks nice but it's built with all the integrity of wet tissues.