Pictures of the Week: January 24 – January 31

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The Glad Game, or Happy Birthday, Pollyanna

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The best contemporary children’s literature is usually not preachy. If there are good lessons in the book, they are natural byproducts of a good story. That’s how we best absorb what they have to teach us.

A book that most influenced me for the lesson it taught about optimism was Pollyanna, written by Eleanor H. Porter. Published in 1913, the book is 100 years old this year. Happy Birthday, Pollyanna!

Pollyanna didn’t teach through preachiness, although there is a preacher in the book. While it is sentimental, the characters, especially Pollyanna herself, are vital and memorable. I also fell in love with the beautiful dresses Aunt Polly bought for her niece, with the crystal prisms at Mr. Pendergast’s mansion, and with my identification with Pollyanna herself.

My first introduction to the story was the Disney movie starring Hayley Mills, which I saw the summer before I started school…

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Reasons *My* Son is Crying

Okayest Mom

pregnancy tantrumThis list is inspired by (i.e., “a copycat version of”) the groundbreaking “Reasons My Son is Crying”, which is the most accurate and ridiculous portrayal of how small children make no sense, ever. People of the world, rejoice! Your small children are not actually lunatics!

Reasons *My* Son is Crying

  1. I won’t walk to the fridge with him.
  2. I won’t walk upstairs with him.
  3. I won’t hand him the cup of water that is right beside his hand.
  4. The dog won’t stay outside with him.
  5. It’s too cold out.
  6. It’s too hot out.
  7. He doesn’t want to be at the playground.
  8. He doesn’t want to leave the playground. (Same trip as #6, by the way)
  9. He doesn’t want to be naked.
  10. He doesn’t want to put on clothes. (Same tantrum as #9, by the way)
  11. He has to go to the bathroom.
  12. He doesn’t want to go to the…

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Revolutionary Eggs and the Pop-cult Basket

BINARYTHIS

Currently I’m reading Catching Fire from the Hunger Games trilogy. This has mostly been triggered by the fact I’m going to see the movie on Saturday, and since seeing the first one I thought it might be a good idea to actually go and read the books. It is also a nice way to switch off for a while after uni each day, especially since I don’t own a TV. Since I have such a shoddy memory, I have been struck by how fantastically political the series of books actually are. As easy access young-adult lit, it really draws out quite an amazing Marxist critique of society (compare this to the John Marsden we were all reading when I was in year six, where the main theme was fighting against the invasion of Australia…).

1984_2

Suzanne Collins’ treatment of the characters from the Capitol is part of what I find most…

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musical interlude

kidlingville

Ah, life with The Kidling. Never do I feel my life is more absurdly charmed than when she composes a little ditty or two. Lucky for me, she wrote not one, nor two, nor even three songs this evening. Oh no, she wrote four beautifully perfect and odd little songs and sang them for me right in the middle of our kitchen. It wasn’t until the final song that I felt justified in sprinting away for a pen, so I only caught one. My apologies for that. You’ll just have to have your own kidling if you want to catch them all.

Without further ado, I present Opus4:

It’s very nice. To love so many people. And be kind. And generous. And if you have a BFF, that’s good. And it’s wonderful to have so many people who love you.

Correction: who love the shit out of you…

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portland rain again

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Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
This past weekend I went on a brief jaunt to Portland, Oregon, on a mission for food, beer, comics, bookshops (well, one big bookshop), rain, great people, sketching and pirates (mostly for the pirates). I like Portland. I wanted to go somewhere to just take it easy, and Portland is that place. I didn’t even mind not doing too much sketching – if I did it, good, but if not, well that’s ok too, I just enjoy being somewhere like Portland. Of course I always do more sketching than I realise, but I’m glad I finally got to sketch the building above, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, that is, the big theatre downtown with that classic Portland sign. Built in 1928 It was raining, and so I stood across the street under some convenient cover and sketched away. Rain is nice. We have some here in Davis now but we’re…

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Hard to Swallow

The Quotidian Diary

I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year.

Before you invite yourself over, you need to know it’s one of those holidays where I pull my famous I’m-going-to-cook-all-new-recipes-for-one-of-the-most-important-meals-of-the-year stunt, and the results are rarely appetizing.

One year I was jazzed about making a Brussels sprouts recipe I’d seen in a beautiful food magazine. Curiously, I’d never eaten the vegetable, let alone prepared it, but they looked so green and healthy and happy in the glossy photo spread that I could only envision smiles on my family members’ faces.

Alas, those innocuous-looking bastards emitted a smell I’d never quite endured before, and the odor had a way of clinging to the decent food others had prepared.

So you’d think I’d have my menu planned, preparing only the tried-and-true dishes we’ve been eating for Thanksgiving my entire life. However, I can’t help but have lofty thoughts of new stuffings, casseroles, desserts, and breads I should…

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