Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun Game (with a little charity thrown in)

At work, we are sponsoring several second grade classrooms in a DC public school. When we got the list of "needs", I have to say I was a little appalled. I mean, I realized that DC schools have a bad reputation and are very underfunded, but seriously. The main request is for copy cards from places like Kinkos or FedEx, because there isn't a working copy maching in the entire school and as such the teachers are spending their own money to make copies of worksheets for the kids. They also requested used books for the classrooms, anywhere from pre-K to 4th grade reading levels. So being that I once was a reading nut (and still have that nut somewhere deep inside of be, which will be nurtured in approximately 1.5 days when I leave for Texas on Christmas break and have free time), I went to Border's over the weekend, just to see what I could find.

Shopping in the children's section of a bookstore is some serious reminiscing fun. I wanted to buy everything in sight, and I really wanted to buy some of the books for myself, just to have. Who wouldn't want to curl up with a nice new copy of the Berenstein Bears or Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel? I did a quick texting poll of friends to ask what their favorite books were at the age of 8, and got this list: Little House on the Prairie, Captain Underpants, Choose Your Own Adventure, anything by Roald Dahl, Hardy Boys, The Hurry Hurry Book, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Seuss, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and "something about animals." What I failed to take into account in my texting is that my friends were probably a wee bit more advanced readers than the average attender of a DC public school, so many of those will be over their heads, for now anyway. So I settled on Amelia Bedelia, Little Bear (the same guy that illustrated Where the Wild Things Are did the illustrations for Little Bear too, which was a fun thing to learn), Curious George, and a children's world atlas that was on sale and had pretty pictures.

So now I'll ask you - what were your favorite books when you were 8?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two Songs and a Phrase That Confused Me at the Age of Six

"Hark the Harold angels sing...."

"Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Harold Square..."

"Okay kids, get in the car so we can run some Aarons..."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just some Christmas stuff

I absolutely love the holidays. I do not, however, enjoy in any way the most of the holiday commercials. Most particularly, the jewelry commercials are wearing me out. Between the vapid "every kiss begins with Kay" to the stupidly named "Jared's Galleria of Jewelry" (this one, really, who knows anyone named Jared that they also would associate with diamonds? I've known many a Jared, none of whom brings to mind any sort of gemstone), I want to throw things at the TV. But they are EVERYWHERE, on the radio, on my computer...and most of it is really ugly. Guys, not that any of you read this for shopping advice, but just in case, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES buy the featured Christmas gift. They are all ugly, and it will not end well for you.

I'm still behind on my Christmas shopping, but progress is being made. I haven't had any particularly brilliant ideas this year, but I'm slowly working through what I hope will be meaningful gift ideas. I've still got some movies to see as well, to get me into the reminiscing that I so enjoy. These include, but are not limited to, Santa Claus: The Movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Babes in Toyland. I have already seen the Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas, so they're crossed off my list. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Mostly I'm looking forward to being away from my desk, which is currently involving things including, but not limited to, intellectual property rights, university administration, and natural disaster relief. But not all in the same project, thankfully :).