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Ah la. Time to knock that pizza bite down the page.

We took the Corbchops to see his first ever movie in the theater. Actually, he had seen a short Dora movie at the Vancouver Aquarium, but that doesn’t really count.

He was pretty funny. He sat so still, and was so focused on the screen that he could hardly eat his popcorn and fruit snacks. It was like he didn’t want to miss anything. And that was just the ads before the movie started.

During the previews he asked me at the end of each one “What was that one for?”

WtP was a good movie to see for a few reasons. First, the Corbchops knows these characters. So it amuses him when they do funny things. He doesn’t have to try to figure out what’s going on or who’s who. Second, it’s not too long. Third,

There’s the whole thing about appropriateness. Which is basically “All movies” vs. Winnie the Pooh. Because there is nothing bad about WtP. Unless you count Pooh continually sort of putting down his own intelligence. Which is not insignificant, but fairly tame.

The Corbchops has seen Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Cars. He mostly sees old fashioned “book movies” like Corduroy. Even with the Toy Story movies, there are things I’d rather he not see. Fighting. Name calling. Etc.

I can’t really protect him from all this. Nor do I really want to. But I do want him to encounter things at points in his life when he can differentiate between movie and reality. And I don’t mean understanding that Cars is not real. I mean understanding that if Woody and Buzz fight, that doesn’t mean we fight.

It’s a difficult thing. And that’s why we celebrate Winnie the Pooh. And wish there were more movies like it. Quality. Harmless. Fun. With kids’ movies, it’s rare to have all three of those in one movie.

By the way, for those with kids especially, and those of you who find movie ratings completely useless, this is the best site ever: Kids in Mind.

‘Nuff said.

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We’ve been hearing, this week, about the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.

In my mind, I have a memory of a political event. It is one of two things: Either the fall of the Berlin Wall; or the Soviet coup attempt. If it is the former, I was ten. For the later, I was almost twelve. Now, as I’m writing, I think it was the coup. But the Wall fall anniversary is what reminded me of it, so I’m going to write this now, instead of in two years.

Here is what I remember:

I was at my friend’s house, in the car, about to go home. My friend’s mom was in the car, about to leave. On the radio they announced the event [Berlin Wall/coup]. At which point my friend’s mom, jumped out of the car and ran in to tell her husband.

I don’t think I really understood the significance of either event. But the fact that it couldn’t wait until my friend’s mom returned home, ten minutes later, made it different than other “news.” It was important. It was something that couldn’t wait.

This is the first memory I have of a political event that caused a significant reaction from a close adult. I think that is the foundation for its relevance in my childhood memory. Politics exist all around us. Who knows what makes us remember this rather than that, or the other. The only other political memories previous to it that I can think of are seeing Oliver North on TV, asking my dad who it was (I think because he had a military uniform on), getting an answer, and not really knowing or understanding anything about it until much, much later; hearing about “Star Wars,” (I don’t know the year); and my dad voting for Jesse Jackson in 1988. These were just passing moment, however. They do not carry any meaning or importance in my memory. Because of my friend’s mom’s reaction to that news on the radio, that event was different.

So I wonder what will be/is my students’ first political memory? They are too young to remember September 11. We read Time for Kids. They hear about things, as I did. Maybe more. What will be the thing they first remember? It is highly likely that it could be the election of Obama. They would have been eight or nine at the time (already a year ago, you know). I wonder if the reactions of the adults in their lives, positive or negative, may have resulted in the searing of that event’s importance into their memories.

And what will be the next thing they remember?

And what will the Corbchops’ first be?

And will they think back on it, twenty years from now?

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We planted pie pumpkins this year. The yield is seven ripe, ten green. What, oh what, to do?

It shall be noted that I had to carve all of these myself. And I did so, happily, and with surprising pace.

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Nonapus

Introduction:

People who know me can confirm that I rarely pass up a chance to make fun of my friends. If an opportunity arises, it’s very hard for me to avoid giving into these “urges.”

I’m just teasing. Relax. I do it because I love you. But friends, I would never tease you on the blog. That’s just mean. Well, maybe in the comments on your own blog…but I would never write a whole post about you. I promise.

However, I’ve used this blog in the past to point out behaviors by professionals which I find amusing in their ridiculousness. I would never claim to be able to coach a baseball team or publish a children’s book, but I do expect those who call themselves “baseball coaches” or “children’s book author/illustrators” to actually live up to their titles. And when they don’t, I find it amusing. And if it’s amusing to me, I’ll point it out. Or if it annoys me. Or if I conclude that said “baseball coach” or “author/illustrator” is an idiot. Which of course I can’t confirm. But it seems likely.  That’s what blogs are for, sometimes.

(more…)

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Yesterday we spent the day at the Northwest Washington Fair, up in Lynden.

The fair is a wonderful thing. When I was little, the fair was scones with raspberry jam and rodeos.

Now, it’s crazy chickens, a lot of pigs and cows and sheep and goats and horses and ponies that start looking all the same to me, seeing many of my students, and eating good bad food (Deep-fried Oreo, anyone? Don’t mind if I do…mmm…yum…er…ugh).

One of my favorite parts is the Collections.

I don’t remember ever seeing collections at the Kitsap County Fair. Maybe they had them; I don’t know. I do know that the fair collections fascinate me. Apparently, kids just submit their collections and then display them. There are lots of SpongeBob displays, My Little Ponies, baseball cards, Hot Wheels. Mostly consumerism-based collections–“Momwillyoubuythisformetoaddtomycollection? Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?”

Last year, I recall shot glasses (“They are great for drinking milk of juice”) and bottle caps, including many beers.

This year I enjoyed:

  • The napkin collection, with the Disneyland napkin placed on top, making it hard to tell if the rest of the napkins had anything special about them.
  • The combination SoBe bottle cap and energy drink can collection.
  • The collection of candy wrappers, most of which were not opened nearly as carefully as I would have if I was collecting them.
  • The cleverest this year was a Hotel scan key collection. I’m not sure how she got so many keys, but the 17 year-old who had the collection wrote a very tongue-in-cheek essay to accompany the display that was rather entertaining and well thought out.

Also of particular interest to me are the collections that only contain one thing.

“Mom, I want to have a collection at the fair.”

“But honey, you don’t collect anything.”

“Ye–but…I…unh…unh…unh…MY BLUE MINI DOLPHIN SCULPTURE! I collect blue mini dolphin sculpture!”

“Honey, that’s only one thing. You have to have more than one thing to have a collection. It’s not a collection if it’s only one.”

“I COLLECT BLUE MINI DOLPHIN SCULPTURE! IT’S MY COLLECTION! I COLLECT IT! I WANT TO TAKE IT TO THE FAIR! IT’S A COLLECTION! MY COLLECT–I COLLECT IT! IT’S MY COLLECTION!

Which brings me to this:

“OK, Corbin. Last day of school. What do you want to collect this year for the fair? Only two months to get it together.”

“Um…How about…rocks?”

“How about clumps of dirt?”

“No, Dad. No. I don’t want to collect clumps of dirt! That’s not a collection. That’s dumb.”

“No, it’s not dumb. Do you think they’d take it? What do you think we could get them to take?”

“Dad, no. It’s embarassing. Dad. Dad. No.”

“It’s like a challenge: What can we get into the fair as a collection?”

“Dad, I don’t think–”

“How about bugs that have died on the windowsill? We could date and label them, just like a butterfly collection.”

“No. No, Dad. That’s gross. That’s–”

“How about plastic bread clips? Or the plastic thing you pull off milk jugs?”

“Dad, stop. Stop. I’ll do baseball cards. That’s a good collection. Baseball cards?”

“How about baseball cards that you cut in half in fun and exciting zig-zag and curvy designs? You could share with Brody and you could both submit them. Ha! That would blow them away!”

“Dad!”

“What about the cellophane from junk mail envelope windows? Or just the return envelopes that you get in junk mail?”

“Da–”

“Or drops of water? Then we could bug them to keep opening up the case because our collection keeps evaporating!”

“D–”

“And after we get a collection in, we can sit across from it and watch people recoil in horror! So? What do you think? What do you want to collect?”

“Um…–”

“Dandelion leaves?”

“Uh…–”

“Tin can lids?”

“Ah…–”

“OK. You think about it. We’ve got some time still.”

“…”

“Used Q-Tips?”

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Hello there

Corbchops

Born June 17, 2008

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