April 18, 2009

The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

by Diane Ackerman (2007)

The "One Book, One San Diego" choice for 2009... I didn't realize it was non-fiction when I chose it from the stack; the story of a family and their Warsaw, Poland zoo during WWII, and how they not only survived but helped many Jewish families escape the Nazis. Well done, the horrors of war are reported without overdone drama and there is a very personal sense to the description of daily life under extremely stressful, unsettling conditions. And lots of cute stuff about animals. It does seem to drop in historical events, such as the Warsaw Uprising, without any prior mention or discussion, so background knowledge in the subject would help.

For some reason I've always had a soft spot for Poles and Jews, probably due to visiting the Dachau concentration camp and Anne Frank's house as a kid. I'm still mad at my sister for ruining a Polish flag shirt inspired by Lech Walesa that a girfriend had made me. grrrrr...
Now I need a good book on the Warsaw Underground and/or Uprising; will need to find Michener's Poland as well. Any suggestions?

...also read Swinging for the Fences, the inspirational life story of a local boy born with only one complete limb, who went to Notre Dame and works for the Padres.

April 14, 2009

Detention Slip Week

Shark Week? pu-leeze... Courtesy of "Zero Out of Five" -- it's Detention Slip Week!

My "kids say the darndest most inappropriate things" moments in 5th grade caused me to bend, there was a slight smirk that briefly escaped, but not break:

After the Principal announced over the intercom that the mud and rain would mean no balls would be allowed outside during recess, a 10-year old female quipped "guess the boys have to stay inside" -- I was surprised, borderline shocked, but pretended I didn't hear her...

While discussing the difference between hearing and listening, one girl gave a real world example using one of her cute but disruptive classmates: "Well, when his 2nd wife is talking to him..." I know I shouldn't reward students for insulting each other, but her combination of concern and cleverness earned her extra reward tickets...

My Master Teacher nearly got me, and I know she was trying to, -- after reminder me of the Seinfeld "rectum, damn near killed him!" line she gave the students her pre-human biology body functions speech on being mature and respectful, repeating the word rectum so often I had to turn my back and thoroughly clean the bookshelves until she finished...
it just feels like a 70's kind of day... it's actually a do some creative accounting and figure out a way to pay the taxes day, but I'm procrastinating.

(Don't Fear) The Reaper -- Blue Öyster Cult
Just a Song Before I Go -- Crosby, Stills & Nash
Stay With Me -- Faces
Golden Years -- David Bowie
Freddie's Dead -- Curtis Mayfield
It's A Shame -- The Spinners
Me and Bobby McGee -- Kris Kristofferson
Jaws -- John Williams
Go Your Own Way -- Fleetwood Mac
Boogie Shoes -- KC & the Sunshine Band

April 13, 2009

April 11, 2009

spring break

too cold* for a ton of outdoor activity, so this has been a laid-back hang around the house vacation... cleared off my desk for the first time in years, redid my bookshelves so I can actually find what I'm looking for (and watch the Padres while I'm looking), read a book and a 1/2, bought a new camera that has me utterly and totally confused, and now turning attention to some much-neglected blogs: added a new-found quote ...

I know it looks small and cluttered, but compared to the mess it used to be...

I don't know how I skipped this one in my love of all things Chabon, but finally read The Yiddish Policemen's Union -- liked it of course, although the Yiddish terms/slang had me confused for several chapters (I kept checking the back of the book for a glossary)... and then in keeping with the Passover week Jewish theme, started The Zookeeper's Wife which I didn't realize was nonfiction. It's a little slow so far, but interesting, and it's the San Diego "One Book One City" choice for 2009 so I'll keep going...

*"too cold" means below 70 and cloudy in SoCal terms -- brrrrrr!

April 4, 2009

Ahhhh... spring break. Not since I was 15 or so have I welcomed and appreciated this little slice of (relatively) free time -- I do have one assignment due today, and the credential program starts back up a week from Tues, but until them I'm hoping for sun, sun, and more sun (as well as son, son, and son: I miss my boys!)... we're taking the boards and books to the beach and just relaaaaaaaaxing...

This reminds me of my first Christmas without being in retail sales; after 20+ years of trying to just survive (and generate maximum profit) during the most "wonderful time of the year" it was nice to actually breathe in and enjoy the season.

let's see what "shuffle" has to get my sleeping uglies up and out of bed --

  1. "In A Sentimental Mood" Duke Ellington
  2. "Looking For James Joyce's Grave" Andy White
  3. "Worse Comes To Worst" Billy Joel
  4. "Grace" Moby
  5. "To Love Somebody" Bee Gees
  6. "Losing Keys" Jack Johnson
  7. "You Know What She's Like" Derailers
  8. "Real Love" Mary J. Blige
  9. "Radio Free Europe" R.E.M.
  10. "These Dreams of You" Van Morrison