Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Since last I posted...

I've been to the Pittsburgh Ballet.


It strikes me that the last two hours of a two and a half hour ballet, is really for those who have actually danced. Knitnightalison loves ballet so I'll try to go easy, but I knew I was in trouble when the audience clapped after the orchestra tuned. The dancing was perfection. And then people clapped. After each dancing pass. To me it was like a gymnastic meet with really great costumes and about twenty minutes of story line. The day and the venue and the brunch prior were perfect. I just might not need any repeat performances.

I went on a WV adventure with BFFAmber.

It started in Martinsburg WV. BFFAmber had a business meeting that we skipped.

Instead we went to a bizarro flea market that looked a little like this:


Lots of country crafts with an occasional splash of Hello Kitty. As we had been pondering the lack of Hello Kitty emoji during the am drive, we took these sightings as a sign we were on the right track.

Plenty of ironic humor all around with this sign in one stall.


Snugglebug Blessings Primitive Handmade Wares

Note the primitive handmade boom box and the Primitive Pittsburgh Penguins wreath. This is but a small sampling. Truly it was a vortex of hilarity.

One reason we skipped the meeting was because we were looking forward to this:


The Martinsburg Chocolate Walk and Book Fair.

Those of you who have lived life have already realized that the unplanned is always more entertaining than the planned. What we had imagined the walk to be is not what Martinsburg had planned.

Our first stop (after receiving our neon orange participant bracelet) was a Subway-like Mexican restaurant. The food was good. We collected our chocolate from a lady who was also selling Tupperware. It was a peanut cluster. Yum. While there, we

  • Watched a huge film crew break for lunch, only to find out later that a good bit of p@rn is filmed in that fair city.
  • Found a treasured and impossible to find bottle of hot sauce that we thought was given to us as a gift that we may have (in our naïveté) stolen.
  • Listened to the author of this particular venue tell the story of how he was once the planned news feature at the New River Gorge Bridge festival only to be upstaged by someone's unopened parachute.

Yes. It was that kind of day. I quit having them for a while but they seem to be making a comeback.

We discussed our lack of preparation in not having brought small bags with which to carry our chocolate.

We trekked on.

I have picture documentation but this post is getting long. The rest of the shops on the Chocolate Walk distributed one form or another of Hershey's Halloween sized mini bars. This was superseded by cheap and tacky matchstick pretzels pre-dipped in chocolate. At then end of the street was a cupcake decorating contest where all but 6 of the 20+ entries had been removed and/or eaten.

Should your burg ever plan on hosting a Chocolate Walk on Main Street, please allow me to suggest that you purchase your chocolate from the local CHOCOLATE FACTORY and not the dollar store. Also, if you are the local chocolate factory, I'd like to suggest that watching a video tape of your inner workings does not really constitute a tour. Just sayin'.

Finally we headed 30 miles east to the healing waters of Berkley Springs, WV, where, after visiting the new age shops and purchasing a singing bowl from a Nepalese man, we soaked our dogs in the healing waters of the hot springs.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Walking the Dog



Give a girl a handy icamera some filters and some lenses and she will bust out blurry grainy picture all over the place.


Friday, April 04, 2014

One day at school

Today was microphone day in first grade. All that was required is to "say your name" in the mic. If you like talking, say your whole name. If you don't, just your first name.

Things progress, as they are wont to do. Children get braver, try some things out. Mostly before they do they stand at the mic and we endure a few seconds of obvious nervous silence. Noah, a quiet, unassuming six year old, is either the master of hiding the nervous in his silence, or he has better timing than most stand up comedians.

He walked to the mic on the stand, put his hand on it and paused. There were titters in room. He was unphased. He paused some more, scanned the room again and in a way that only Steven Wright can understand, said in a near monotone, "what am I doing here?" Kids are giggling. He pauses some more, deadpan, waits for the laughs, and at the exact right moment says "no, seriously...." The room explodes into laughter. I watched Noah learn the power of a captive audience. It was one of the intentionally funniest moments I've ever witnessed involving a first grader.

But wait there's more...

Earlier in the week I began a little unit on Caribbean music. The introduction of this lesson involves viewing some relevant pictures and listening to Harry Belafonte sing The Banana Boat Song. When we listen to new music, I try to guide their listening enough to focus their attention and help them get over the awkward nervousness of not knowing how to respond to something new. Mostly I say "listen and then see what you can say about it."

As the music ended and the discussion began, one student raised his hand and very genuinely, inquisitively and with the appropriate accent on the last word said, "what is a banana?" He wasn't used to hearing accents and just assumed it was a foreign language. I paused. I watched as every single 4th grade brain in the room thought did I miss something? Is this song in English or not? And then as clarity ensued I watched them realize Adrian just asked what a banana was!

It was hilarious. This is my job, people!