Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ready as I'll Ever Be . . .

. . . for summer reading. I've made extra copies of the lists from the public schools and I've bought extra copies of required books. I'm lucky to have sufficient funds for book-buying; what I don't have is space. I do have storage space, but a book marked "storage" in the catalog is an invisible book, so I try to put there only extra copies of things that only check out when they are required.

The other facet of summer reading is the "club" we run. In short: read stuff, keep a list online, win prizes. I think I have memorized the prizes, so, yeah, I guess I am ready for summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

On Thursday, I finished Tanita Davis's Happy Families, about a family with a father coming out as transgender; then on Sunday I read an article about a family at the other end, with a small child who is transgender. That story, in the Washington Post, is here; and here's the short blurb I wrote for my Shelfari to help me remember the book so as to suggest it appropriately* to readers:

Ysabel and Justin, twins, have a great family. Each twin pursues a passion -- making glass jewelry and debate team; mom has a catering business and dad's a businessman; they're close to their grandparents, and are active in their church. Then dad comes out as transgender and moves out. Much of the action of the novel happens during the spring break Ys and Justin spend with Dad, going to a therapist and participating in activities with a support group for families with  transgendered person in them. The twins are mad and confused, each in his/her own way -- will the Nicholas family find its way back to happy?
Terrific realistic fiction with conflicts small and meta, teased out at a pace that is slower and thoughtful where it needs to be, and fast in enough places to keep us wondering what's next. Would be fine for a middle schooler who needs/wants to know about a transgender person as there's (almost?) no swearing, no sexual content. Useful appendix explains terms, instructs which terms are offensive. 

*which is the point of my Shelfari, all the time

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Plan R

Lots of changes of plans this weekend (don't ask); spent a pleasant day yesterday at Jamestown and in Smithfield. History, ferry ride, ham. Only the most casual of birding; imagine if we had tried:

blue bird
carolina wren
red-winged blackbird
pine warbler, probably 
some egret, flying
g. c. cormorant
laughing gulls
other gulls
bald eagle
osprey (one siting was baby looking out of nest - on channel marker - while parent eyed the ferry-full of humans)
crows - because their voices were certainly "different" I am calling them fish crows

Evidence that I am turning into my parents: I wanted to take pictures of gulls on ferry ride. Evidence that I live in a different time: it took one snap with the automatic 35 mm to get a satisfactory in flight shot, and I could tell right away that it was OK.

Returned home to find some clown stole one stretch of copper gutter off the garage. I'd call Do-Over if I could figure out how far back to go to change the karma.

Monday, May 14, 2012

American Modern

I've been enjoying participating in a Facebook Russel Wright group. I posted this picture recently as part of a conversation about colors we like together. I like it, so I posted it here so I can have it in more than once place. My colors are granite, chartreuse, cedar, and black chutney. (This is a good color chart.)