May 27, 2010

LIFE is Good 2010

We've been to the Maker Faire and back. The books are shipped. And the looooooooong drive to Vancouver, WA is finally over which means.....we're at the LIFE is Good Conference! Yippee! So I just wanted to drop a quick note to say hello. I'm really looking forward to seeing Mandy when she arrives today. And I'm looking forward to manning the Instant Gratification Table and to meeting Laura and Bonni. And to so many other things. I just hope Jerry doesn't get sick again this year (last year he had the flu!). Anyway, I'm going to make myself some coffee now. I'll keep you posted on the conference. :)

May 21, 2010


21 boxes of books are packed and ready to ship to Malawi!! Now I can enjoy our weekend at the Maker Faire, ship the books upon our return home, and then we're off to LIFE is Good for the week. Life is good, isn't it?

May 14, 2010

Upon College Graduation

Yesterday I was looking for notebook dividers in my old writing notebook when I found the following essay. It made me laugh and then cringe, and cringe again, and then laugh. Then it made me think about how much I love unschooling. Anyway, here it is in its embarrassing, unedited entirety:

Upon College Graduation, an unfinished essay
written by the girl formerly known as Colleen G.

Reality hit me smack dab aside the head just as soon as I removed my graduation cap, thus supplying a clear and easy target. True, reality had poked his thick callused fingers into the birthday cake of my existence once or twice before–but that was along the edges where intrusions sometimes go unnoticed or are, at least, easier to hide.

This time he meant business. He was going for more than just the trim surrounding those creamy white folds of frosting. He was going for the whole cake (with ice cream on the side). Yes, reality dipped his fat, grubby hands right into the center of my relatively untouched birthday cake. He dipped, grabbed, squeezed, twirled, and tossed. At times he gobbled. And then, he threw it right in my face.

So, I started my college-educated adulthood with a face full of frosting and a small lump the size of a plastic ballerina on the side of my head.
I swear I didn't mean for there to be any sexual metaphor going on there. It was just supposed to be about how graduating from college and joining the "real world" sucked. (Though I was heavily into Tom Robbins at the time, which could explain a thing or two.)

And why did reading it make me so happy to be unschooling, you ask? Because Jerry is already in the real world. By the time he is the age I was when I wrote that essay (or the beginning of what was meant to be an essay) he'll be so far ahead of me in life experience and self-knowledge that I don't think he'll ever experience those first few years after college (if he goes) as anything but joyful. For me they were the exact opposite. Anyway, I hope you got a good laugh out of that. Or at least a good cringe. :)

May 13, 2010

Facebook Song

We saw Ben Folds last night and Kate Miller-Heidke opened. She has an amazing voice and was absolutely charming. This song was a big crowd favorite. It's called "Are you F*cking Kidding Me?" It's hilarious.

May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Update

Sorry. I know sporadic posting is really annoying. I just don't have much to say on the ol' blog these days. After all, it was all about angst in the beginning and there's just not a lot of angst going around the house these days. Here's a quick update, though.

Mother's day was really nice. Jerry went to bed relatively early the night before, so he could spend the day with me without being zombified. Warren made me breakfast, then we walked around the reservoir, Jerry was up when we got back, so we all headed out to Manhattan beach where Warren and I shared a coffee and Jerry had a bagel. We walked out onto the pier, but the cold wind drove us back up to main street where we browsed at a book store (and I bought a few books for the book drive which I really have to stop doing). We looked at a rundown shack for sale near the beach and were flabbergasted when we heard the price ($2.9 mil). Then we drove up to Venice Beach and had lunch at my favorite restaurant, Gaby's Mediterranean, which is apparently becoming a tradition because we ate there on Mother's Day last year, too. Back at home we each did our own thing for a while (my thing was organizing book drive books--it makes me so happy). Then Warren and I walked down to the wine shop and bought several bottle of white wine, came home, sat on our lovely new deck furniture and drank a couple glasses of wine. It really was a lovely day.

In other news, the book drive is moving along splendidly. This Friday is my last day for accepting books, so naturally I've got several pick ups planned for this week. Then, this weekend will be all about finalizing the collection and preparing to box it up (with a brief intermission to attend the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest). By the way, if anyone has purchased books from the wish list at Amazon and had them sent directly to me, please tell me. I got some books the other day but there was no receipt so I don't know who sent them. If it was you, send me an e-mail so I can thank you!

We're going to see Ben Folds tonight (Jerry, too). So we're all looking forward to that. Classes are going well. I have to write a resume (due next week) which is a bit of a challenge since my paying jobs in the last 14 years have been few and far between (and extremely part-time). I'll just have to spin the volunteer stuff I've done into work skills.

Hmmmm. I feel like there was something else I wanted to mention. Oh, right! I have two articles to share with you.

This article is a celebration of slackers and a reminder that "once a slacker not always a slacker."

And Celebrate: Save a Mother, by Nicholas Kristoff on Mother's Day, is a call to change Mother's Day, a holiday which celebrates relatively few mothers, into Mothers' Day, a day to celebrate and make the world safe, for all mothers. He offers some great ideas for how to do this in the article.

Now, I need to get busy. No sitting at the computer for me today (unless I'm doing homework).

May 6, 2010


I haven't posted any poems in a while, but this morning I was visiting one of my favorite sites and saw a video of Bill Murray reading some poetry to construction workers in New York City. They were all kind of laughing and Murray was poking fun at the poems, until this one by Emily Dickinson. The workers got really quiet and serious as this poem was read aloud. And they applauded when it was done. It kind of sums up how I've been feeling lately–with people giving so generously to the books drive–so I thought I'd post it for you.

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

May 4, 2010

I Would Like To Say . . .

. . . that when you find yourself wishing you had a broken leg or some other kind of accident or illness, just so you can stay in bed and ignore your responsibilities for a few days, it's time to recognize that perhaps you have bitten off more than you can chew.

It's fine, though. I'm fine. It's all good. Book drive. Buddy system. Homework. Renter moving in (an astronomer!). LIFE is Good. Maker Faire. Ben Folds concert. Selling furniture. Pulling weeds. Groceries. Laundry. Book club. Dog to vet. Jerry. Warren. Summer plans. The list goes on. But they're all good. All tasty morsels, so to speak. I guess I just need to chew slowly.

May 2, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop

We went to see the documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" yesterday. It was awesome! The film is rated R, but it's only for language (Jerry says the f-word was used four times, but I only heard it once). It would be a shame for people to steer their kids away from this movie because of the rating. (Stupid MPAA–but that's another story.) The film gave us so much to talk about. Jerry's friend Augie commented that the main subject of the documentary didn't seem to notice any barriers when he set out to do something. Where most people would say, "I can't do that because I'm not an artist" or come up with other stumbling blocks, thus guy just barreled right through them. The story was fascinating and the film itself was really well done (and hilariously funny). Shepard Fairey features heavily in the movie, which was cool because his studio is really near our house. And we saw lots of street art that we recognized.

After the movie we walked over to Amoeba Music (we were in Hollywood) where Jerry's friend bought some t-shirts to take back home to New Zealand. Warren found a used copy of Idiocracy (one of the funniest movies ever) and I found lots of other documentaries that I want to watch, but haven't seen yet. We had thought we would go to the Santa Monica pier after the movie, but decided to eat dinner at home and once we got home and the boys started playing Halo none of us felt much like leaving the house. So Warren and I poured a couple glasses of wine and hunkered down for a nice evening at home.

Today is Augie's last day with us and we have a full schedule: Hollywood Farmer's Market, pick up Augie's Uncle Glenn, lunch at our house with Glenn, go to Whole Foods to stock up on goodies for Augie to take home to his family in NZ, meet up with friends in Topanga who have some pots (not pot) for Augie to take home, eat some dinner, get to the airport by 8 pm.

I have some very exciting book drive news. My friend Maria was able to get us an encyclopedia set for $8!! She got it at a library book sale on the last day when they were giving things away for $2/bag. I'm so happy! Not including the encyclopedia, we're up to 511 books, which is just past the half way mark. We still have two weeks to go and I'll be getting books from a friend in San Diego on Tuesday and from Corona and Sacramento at the end of the week. I have to admit that I did finally break down and but a few books off the Amazon wish list I made up. I've been trying not to spend my own money on books, because I know I'm going to end up paying for a good portion of the shipping, but it's really hard! So I ordered some of the books that were only $.01 used, which made them $4 with shipping. I ordered 11 books in all. One was more expensive, but I really thought it was an important book for the collection. I must say, this library thing has really made me stop and think before I buy something for myself. At Amoeba yesterday I was thinking of buying a used copy of Rivers and Tides (a fabulous documentary about landscape sculptor Andy Goldsworthy), but then I put it back when I thought about how that $15 could buy three books for the African library.

Time to get off the computer now and start the day!