wednesday

wednesday

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Slowed way down today.  As expected.  Trying to not be a big baby because I don’t feel good.  I had fun talking about banned book week today.  Kids always get surprised when I tell them about Harry Potter and the Hunger Games being taking out of libraries.  And the story of Brown Bear, Brown Bear being banned because the author was mixed up with someone else!

 

 

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tuesday

tuesday

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Today I was excited about how many kids wanted to take home an audio-book.  I spent a big chunk of my summer office hours on setting up the A/V collection so it is nice to see it get some use.  Now I am just hoping that all of the book sets come back in one piece!

Tonight I am going to try to get a lot of rest.  I can feel a sinus infection coming and that would be such a bummer for my birthday weekend!  On my way home I will be listening to Lincoln in the Bardo though audible (free trial)!  I usually don’t like audio-books by my new library collection inspired to me to give it another shot.  So far, I love it.  This book seems made to “read” in this format.  Also, this audio-book has the world’s best cast:

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monday

monday

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Favorite part of today was talking about author and illustrator Yuyi Morales.  She was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to San Francisco in the early 90s.  She learned English by reading picture books to her son at the public library.  She started illustrating books and then started to write her own!

 

 

I love the Niño books! They are fun to read and have great illustrations.

thunderboy

She illustrated Sherman Alexie’s first picture book, Thunderboy Jr. All of my kids love this one and it sparks great conversation!  Here is the presentation that I gave to the 1st graders!

My favorite part of tonight is going to me watching the second episode of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War.  It is great so far!

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friday

friday

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Have a great weekend!  I’m hoping to get out a bit, hit up some brunch spots, and reconnect with some friends!  Here are some things I have been loving lately:

  • Singing Jon Secada’s Just another day, loudly, on my way to work
  • Brightly’s list of multicultural fairy tales, many on my August order list!
  • Watching the sitcom Life in Pieces on Netflix, I ignored the show, thinking it was a Modern Family rip off, and I don’t even like Modern Family!  But I have been loving it, laughing out loud and finding Colin Hanks and Zoe Lister-Jones to be charming as all get out!
  • Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning…I put this on everything! Eggs to another level!
fuzzy mud

fuzzy mud

fuzzymud

I really liked Louis Sachar’s book Fuzzy Mud.  It is about a couple of kids who cut through the woods near their school in an effort to avoid a bully.  They find something that is way more trouble than a fight with a kid at school.  What I took from this book was that the problems that you think you have now could be much much worse.  And when you are faced with something catastrophic, the daily things that bother you fall away.  Rivalries that you have with people, fears you might have about your friends liking you or not, don’t mean anything when your community is truly threatened.  Some heavy stuff!  But Sachar’s books are always approachable and enjoyable for readers.

 

 

noras

noras

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I like to collect Nora Roberts novels whenever I am at library book sales or used book stores.  I completed a couple of series thanks to a book stall in a market in New Orleans, and actually read a series while road tripping all summer.

Nora’s Bride Quartet has been a favorite of mine since their publication in 2009 (missing in the picture above is Vision in White, the first in the series).  It is a modern series following life long friends who go into business together planning weddings.  I think I love it so much because it reminds me of a grown up baby sitters club, even taking the time to describe what all of the characters is wearing.

This series is peak romance, and perfect for long road trips.  But only if you are into sugary-sweet romance!

poem by Sherman Alexie

poem by Sherman Alexie

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img / poem

Hymn

Why do we measure people’s capacity
To love by how well they love their progeny?

That kind of love is easy. Encoded.
Any lion can be devoted

To its cubs. Any insect, be it prey
Or predator, worships its own DNA.

Like the wolf, elephant, bear, and bees,
We humans are programmed to love what we conceive.

That’s why it’s so shocking when a neighbor
Drives his car into a pond and slaughter–

Drowns his children. And that’s why we curse
The mother who leaves her kids—her hearth—

And never returns. That kind of betrayal
Rattles our souls. That shit is biblical.

So, yes, we should grieve an ocean
When we encounter a caretaker so broken.

But I’m not going to send you a card
For being a decent parent. It ain’t that hard

To love somebody who resembles you.
If you want an ode then join the endless queue

Of people who are good to their next of kin—
Who somehow love people with the same chin

And skin and religion and accent and eyes.
So you love your sibling? Big fucking surprise.

But how much do you love the strange and stranger?
Hey, Caveman, do you see only danger

When you peer into the night? Are you afraid
Of the country that exists outside of your cave?

Hey, Caveman, when are you going to evolve?
Are you still baffled by the way the earth revolves

Around the sun and not the other way around?
Are you terrified by the ever-shifting ground?

Hey, Trump, I know you weren’t loved enough
By your sandpaper father, who roughed and roughed

And roughed the world. I have some empathy
For the boy you were. But, damn, your incivility,

Your volcanic hostility, your lists
Of enemies, your moral apocalypse—

All of it makes you dumb and dangerous.
You are the Antichrist we need to antitrust.

Or maybe you’re only a minor league
Dictator—temporary, small, and weak.

You’ve wounded our country. It might heal.
And yet, I think of what you’ve revealed

About the millions and millions of people
Who worship beneath your tarnished steeple.

Those folks admire your lack of compassion.
They think it’s honest and wonderfully old-fashioned.

They call you traditional and Christian.
LOL! You’ve given them permission

To be callous. They have been rewarded
For being heavily armed and heavily guarded.

You’ve convinced them that their deadly sins
(Envy, wrath, greed) have transformed into wins.

Of course, I’m also fragile and finite and flawed.
I have yet to fully atone for the pain I’ve caused.

I’m an atheist who believes in grace if not in God.
I’m a humanist who thinks that we’re all not

Humane enough. I think of someone who loves me—
A friend I love back—and how he didn’t believe

How much I grieved the death of Prince and his paisley.
My friend doubted that anyone could grieve so deeply

The death of any stranger, especially a star.
“It doesn’t feel real,” he said. If I could play guitar

And sing, I would have turned purple and roared
One hundred Prince songs—every lick and chord—

But I think my friend would have still doubted me.
And now, in the context of this poem, I can see

That my friend’s love was the kind that only burns
In expectation of a fire in return.

He’s no longer my friend. I mourn that loss.
But, in the Trump aftermath, I’ve measured the costs

And benefits of loving those who don’t love
Strangers. After all, I’m often the odd one—

The strangest stranger—in any field or room.
“He was weird” will be carved into my tomb.

But it’s wrong to measure my family and friends
By where their love for me begins or ends.

It’s too easy to keep a domestic score.
This world demands more love than that. More.

So let me ask demanding questions: Will you be
Eyes for the blind? Will you become the feet

For the wounded? Will you protect the poor?
Will you welcome the lost to your shore?

Will you battle the blood-thieves
And rescue the powerless from their teeth?

Who will you be? Who will I become
As we gather in this terrible kingdom?

My friends, I’m not quite sure what I should do.
I’m as angry and afraid and disillusioned as you.

But I do know this: I will resist hate. I will resist.
I will stand and sing my love. I will use my fist

To drum and drum my love. I will write and read poems
That offer the warmth and shelter of any good home.

I will sing for people who might not sing for me.
I will sing for people who are not my family.

I will sing honor songs for the unfamilar and new.
I will visit a different church and pray in a different pew.

I will silently sit and carefully listen to new stories
About other people’s tragedies and glories.

I will not assume my pain and joy are better.
I will not claim my people invented gravity or weather.

And, oh, I know I will still feel my rage and rage and rage
But I won’t act like I’m the only person onstage.

I am one more citizen marching against hatred.
Alone, we are defenseless. Collected, we are sacred.

We will march by the millions. We will tremble and grieve.
We will praise and weep and laugh. We will believe.

We will be courageous with our love. We will risk danger
As we sing and sing and sing to welcome strangers.

©2017, Sherman Alexie