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Sep. 30th, 2015

reading tiger

Earworm Tuesday and Reading Wednesday are just hanging out together coincidentally this week

This week's Earworm Weekly is on the gender politics of Linda Ronstadt's version of "Different Drum": http://www.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2015/09/29/earworm-weekly-a-different-drum . Did you know that "Different Drum" was written by Michael Nesmith of Monkees fame?

Today is the twins' 7th birthday. Later this afternoon I go in to school with fruit kabobs to celebrate. We have been reading "The Last Unicorn" together, as you may recall. It's been decades since read this book, and I think the dark sardonic side of it -- especially the dialog! -- went completely over my head at the time. It's certainly going over the kids' heads, despite my attempts to relay the tone, at least, via dramatic interpretation. But we are all loving it.

I've also started reading Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas by Kazuki Sakuraba. I'm definitely intrigued so far.

At the bookstore, I am getting ready to put up my Staff Picks. So much pressure! I'm pretty sure I can handle it.

Sep. 23rd, 2015

reading tiger

Earworm Tuesday Marries Reading Wednesday and Has a Baby Too

This week's earworm column is about both Prince's "7" and Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings.


Which means that, yes, I finally finished the book. Loved it for its ambition, its scope, and most of all its characters, especially Nina, a one-night-stand of Bob Marley who nonetheless gets to take up a substantial narrative thread.

Sep. 16th, 2015

reading tiger

Earworm Tuesday Meets Reading Wednesday

My latest SF Weekly column is about Ella Fitzgerald and the weather: http://www.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2015/09/15/earworm-weekly-september-has-been-too-darn-hot

This week, the kids and I finished Un Lun Dun and took a brief detour into Sex Is A Funny Word, which was *intense*. (The book has questions for readers to answer out loud. Many discussions ensued.) Now they have chosen The Last Unicorn as our next bedtime "long book."

Meanwhile, I have been reading Positive Sports Parenting, a booklet put out by the Positive Coaching Alliance. It was assigned to parents participating in the soccer league I signed the kids up for this season, but it's really quite an excellent resource.

Expect more book chatter henceforth, as I just started a part-time job in a bookstore, Laurel Book Store in downtown Oakland to be precise. If you're a local, stop in and say hi once my schedule firms up; I'll probably be working closing shifts for a while, twice a week and some Saturdays.

Sep. 9th, 2015

reading tiger

Reading Wednesday...

...is still plugging along in 7 Killings, and is also up to its armpits in kid birthday party planning, beginning-of-school stuff (first PFA meeting tomorrow!), and job-hunting stuff (redacted!). And other paperwork stuff. Which cuts into the reading time, you see.

Sep. 2nd, 2015

reading tiger

SF Weekly: "Shake It Off" Is My Divorce Anthem

My latest column for the SF Weekly is up; it's on Taylor Swift and "Shake It Off" as my divorce anthem. You can read it here. I am amused at how personal/memoirish these columns are turning out to be. I didn't think that they would be quite so personal when I pitched the column, certainly, and as a rule I find it very hard to write about myself in any coherent fashion. But this seems to be a good frame for me.
reading tiger

Reading Wednesday!

A Brief History of Seven Killings isn't actually all that brief. But I am still enjoying it.

(I also read nihilistic_kid 's novelette We Never Sleep, which I highly recommend.
reading tiger

(no subject)

April lost her first tooth from her upper jaw at school yesterday. (Actually, she plucked it out herself. Again.) The tooth made it all the way home from school safely only to be lost somewhere in the house just before bedtime. The tooth fairy delivered a sticker but no money last night. Morning discussion considered why that might be and what the tooth fairy does with all those teeth anyway.

Meanwhile, I might have started to develop a theory about how Santa and the Tooth Fairy rituals (et. al.), far from inculcating a dangerous belief and trust in the not-true, (can) challenge kids to make sense of -- and continually revise their theories about -- the empirical data they observe. Eventually they figure out "the truth" and that, too, is part of the process.

I am 3/4 serious.

Aug. 28th, 2015

reading tiger

(no subject)

Parent at school's Friday Morning Coffee Circle: "I'm drinking decaf. I hope it's OK to join you."

Me, the Coordinator: "I'm drinking tea."

Another Parent: "I'm drinking caffeine-free tea!"

Aug. 26th, 2015

reading tiger

Reading Wednesday: First Day of School!

I'm still reading A Brief History of Seven Killings, slowly. The week has been very busy, what with the last few days of summer and the first day of school today and all the preparations thereof. I am about three days behind on my e-mail, too.

Enjoying it so far. (The novel, not so much the e-mail.)

Aug. 19th, 2015

reading tiger

Reading Wednesday Has Been Writing

So obviously I've been busy this week pitching and writing a music column, and doing the legwork around that whole process. Plus more hustling for work and pitching articles that I'm waiting to hear back about and things.

I have literally just started Marlon James' A Brief History if Seven Killings. As in, I am on page one. I am so, so looking forward to reading this, though. So stay tuned.

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