Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Bird Bath!

Many happy robins getting a little drink or a bath! How can you resist a bird bath shaped like a bird? It says on it "All Birds Welcome." A tree was cut down in our back yard and I had some extra petunias that I just stuck in pots and I thought"oh, they would look nice on that stump"..and when I put them on the stump...I thought, "A bird bath would be really great right here." Since putting it there on Sunday there have been many robins that have enjoyed it. I can see them from the bathroom, bedroom, and my office. This really makes me happy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What are you reading?

Before leisurely summer reading is here, I would like to know..what are you reading? Or what are you reading this summer? Maybe we can have a "summer Masquer book club".

Of course, I just finished reading (over 30...less than 100) YAL books for a graduate class (didn't read the book Liam is reading, though). Because I created a fiction Bibliography for Elizabethan England (Shakespeare as a character, the plague, the fire of London, the politics of Queen Elizabeth, religous persecution get the point), I read Gwendolyn Brooks Year of Wonders (story of the plague). One of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm drawn to the morbidity and grossness of Elizabethan England, but this book sucked me into moral dilemmas - when the gates of the city you live in are closed off due to the plague - do you stay, do you try to get out? Do you help anyone. And the ending- rocks my socks.

Book list #1:
Year of Wonders- Gwendolyn Brooks...please add on.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No More Dead Dogs

This isn't a post about weird adventures in the animal kingdom. It's a post about theatre. Really.

My son was reading a book called No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman. He found it hysterical and insisted I had to read it. Little did he know how much I would like it and why.

This is a story about a middle school football player who sees the light and joins the drama club. The football guy--Wallace--ends up at play rehearsals because he's in detention, and the teacher he's serving time with is directing the play after school. Wallace hates the play and starts volunteering ideas "fixing" it. The cast rebels on the director and starts following Wallace's ideas instead. (Imagine a secular, teen-age version of Best Christmas Pageant Ever.)

In the end, the play is a riotous success/disaster (depending how you look at it), the theatre kids are the heroes, and the football dudes are exposed for their shallowness! It was great! A moment of poetic beauty as Wallace announces to the coach, "I'm quitting the team to go back to the drama club"!!

And then Wallace muses, "I definitely wasn't friendless. I just made the switch to a different kind of friend. While the team had all been pretty much the same type of personality, the drama club provided an unbelievable variety..."

That pretty much nails it. If you want to find out what the dead dogs have to do with it, you'll have to read it yourself -- or convince one of your kids to read it and then take it for yourself once they are in bed.

Now I am heading out to my son's school for a variety show, where I am in charge of a young stage-crew-in-training.