What It Really Means

So, as you have probably heard, the United States government is currently shut down.

Full-stop, out of service, gone fishing… however you want to put it, most government employees are not at work today.

I haven’t been paying attention to the “who” or the “why” or the “what,” so I will admit that I don’t really get what’s going on.

But I do get the effect of what’s going on. The government shutting down means my students are having an even harder time getting the funds they need to pay for school. It means Yosemite is empty. It means my friends can’t get a social security card for their recently adopted son.

And it means this:

from http://www.reddit.com/user/superbonnie

A Sad Day

*Photo Credit: from Reddit user “superbonnie

Poor Vanna White

Overheard at work:

“I feel so sad for Vanna White.”

“What? Why?”

“Well, she’s had just such a rough life.”

“She has?”

“Well, life’s just tough when you’re deaf.”


“Yeah, she’s deaf. That’s why she never says anything, and the letters light up so she knows which ones to turn.”


“I’m sorry for being so… ruining.” A beat. “I don’t know what else to call it.”

“Ruinous, Dani, ruinous. You’re ruinous! It’s been two years!”

“I’m sorry! I didn’t know until recently.”

“What, like twenty minutes ago, when I told you?”

I love my roommate, even if she’s a bit crazy and interrupts me when I’m watching Community.

i carry your heart

Rediscovered this lovely poem by e. e. cummings. Enjoy.


“i carry your heart (i carry it in)”


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear


no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of the tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wordle: i carry your heart with me

Today I Found Out

There is a delightful little website I recently discovered called “Today I Found Out.”

Today, I found out how trick candles work. They’re really quite simple, really. Just a little extra mineral that’s highly flammable at low heat. No big deal.

I also found out how Albert Einstein got his wife to agree to a divorce: he promised her the prize money if he ever won the Nobel Peace Prize (he did, in 1921 – guess he thought he wouldn’t win).

So poke around, read some fun stuff, add the site to your Google Reader. You’ll learn something new every day!

Oh, and yesterday I found out that my dad is a real-life Sandlot kid. More on that soon…

It’s been a while…

And for that, I apologize.

This post won’t do much to make it better. I’m a little busy watching the FIFA final game between USA and Japan.

But I ran across a few fun things I wanted to pass along.


Re: the final NASA shuttle flight that launched a few weeks ago. Moon perspective.

Re: being a good leader (going along with hiring good people and then getting out of their way). Be a leader, not a pusher.

Re: when happiness is not enough. Calvin and Hobbes.


Sixty-nine years later, December 7th still continues to be a “date which will live in infamy.”

But this year, now that I’ve seen HBO’s “Band of Brothers” and am watching “The Pacific” this week, the impact of what happened at Pearl Harbor and its resonation throughout the world is hitting me a little bit harder. I wish I could say “thank you” enough to the men and women who have fought for this country.

Today, I especially wish I could thank all of those who served in World War II. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to be so cut off from every bit of life you knew before you left.  War is so different nowadays, fought with technology just as much as it is fought with bodies.

The method has changed, but the effect is just as devastating and lingering.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”  — G.K. Chesterton

Casting Call: “Superman: Man of Steel”

I’m gonna go ahead and just throw this out there:

I think Leonardo DiCaprio should play Superman.

There, I’ve said it.

In election-speak, Leonardo DiCaprio is my write-in vote. He is a gambler, taking risks and choosing projects that are ambitious and on-the-fence (the kind of movies most people would pooh-pooh as “a nice idea, but not box office money”) and turning them into compelling, must-see films, not to mention worldwide blockbusters (Inception, anyone?). With Zack Snyder on board to direct “Superman: Man of Steel,” DiCaprio could be persuaded to sign on and I’d be first in line to buy tickets to see the result of their collaboration.

Plus, he’s tall, handsome, looks good in a suit and he’s an American boy (I’m looking at you, darling Henry Cavill – much as I love you, I don’t think fans would like a Brit playing their beloved Superman).

So while the folks over at Entertainment Weekly (who, I’m pretty sure, don’t have any actual say in the casting of our next Clark Kent) didn’t mention DiCaprio at all in their recent poll, I’m still hoping for a blue-eyed Superman.

And Spain Wins!!

My boys won! I’m so proud of them! And it’s a good thing I don’t have high blood pressure or anything, because those 15-minute quarters of extra time were crazy intense! I don’t think I sat down the entire time. 🙂

And good job, Team Netherlands. Way to make the boys in navy work for it.

So until 2014, viva España!


Why are we more concerned with making truth than finding truth? Does this affect who we are? How can it not?

Sometimes, I wish life were as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And it is, sometimes.

Lately, however, life’s been pretty exhausting. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I’m exhausted.

I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Top 100 Children’s Books

What have you read? I’ve read 50 of these books. This list, by the way, comes to me from Janet Batchler.

#1 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

#2 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

#3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

#4 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

#5 From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

#6 Holes by Louis Sachar

#7 The Giver by Lois Lowry

#8 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

#9 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

#10 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

#11 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

#12 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

#13 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

#14 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

#15 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

#16 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

#17 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

#18 Matilda by Roald Dahl

#19 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

#20 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

#21 Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

#22 The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

#23 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

#24 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

#25 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

#26 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

#27 A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett

#28 Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne

#29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland /Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

#30 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

#31 Half Magic by Edward Eager

#32 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

#33 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

#34 Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

#35 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire JK Rowling

#36 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

#37 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

#38 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

#39 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

#40 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

#41 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

#42 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

#43 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

#44 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

#45 The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

#46 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

#47 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

#48 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

#49 Frindle by Andrew Clements

#50 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

#51 The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright

#52 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

#53 Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

#54 The BFG by Roald Dahl

#55 The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

#56 Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

#57 Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

#58 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

#59 Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

#60 The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

#61 Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

#62 The Secret of the Old Clock (The Nancy Drew mysteries) by Caroline Keene

#63 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

#64 A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

#65 Ballet Shoes by Noah Streatfeild

#66 Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

#67 Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville

#68 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

#69 The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

#70 Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

#71 A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

#72 My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

#73 My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

#74 The Borrowers by Mary Norton

#75 Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

#76 Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

#77 City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

#78 Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

#79 All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

#81 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

#82 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

#83 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

#84 Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

#85 On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

#86 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

#87 The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg

#88 The High King by Lloyd Alexander

#89 Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary

#90 Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

#91 Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

#92 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

#93 Caddie Woodlawn by C. R. Brink

#94 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

#95 Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

#96 The Witches by Roald Dahl

#97: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

#98 Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

#99 The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

#100 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder


Welcome, 2010.

I remember graduating from high school in 2001 and thinking that the century seemed still so new, and now here it is, 10 years old.

Anyone got some resolutions they want to share?

I’m planning on running the Los Angeles Rock and Roll half marathon (13.1 miles) in October.  My runner guru Sheryl told me that I should tell tons of people my plans so that I can’t back out.  She’s right – I’m already groaning and whining that I’ve told people, because now I have to do it.  But it’s a great motivator to get out there and train.

So, cyber world, my goal is to run a half marathon in October. Wish me luck and hold me to it!

From Wil Wheaton

I grabbed this directly from Wil Wheaton’s blog. Enjoy!

“The Twelve Days of Pirate Christmas”

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me …

12 ships to plunder,

11 cannons firing,

10 crewmen leaping,

9 sharks a’ swimming,

8 rum-filled bottles,

7 lusty wenches,

6 jolly rogers,

5 gold doubloons,

4 eyepatches,

3 earrings,

2 wooden legs,

and a parrot for my shoulder – Arrr!