Monday, April 09, 2007

In Which Our Boy Gets His Ass Up Off of the Sofa

Sunday was the opposite of Saturday. I mostly did errands (cleaned the house, grocery shopped), and, except for a poorly conceived trip to the library (closed for Easter, silly), it was a pretty good day. Took puppy for a short chilly walk around the lake, and watched a crow chase a red tailed hawk up Hinkson Creek. Pretty awesome.

I did manage to skip the return of Sopranos Fellowship Sunday, however. I had a bit of work to do to get ready for school today, and I got engrossed in the latest episodes of Planet Earth. This is one nature show that puts Jacques Cousteau out of mind. The cinematogragphy is amazing. They pulled all the stops out for this one. It is amazing enough watching great white sharks flying through the air as they ambush fur seals, but to watch a night attack by a pride of lions on a full-grown elephant was brutally unique. One thing you do get from this show is a real idea of how rough life on Earth really is. We humans are so far removed from the reality of natural life on our planet that it is not even funny. Don't get me wrong. I am more than content not to have to worry about getting yanked out of my house by a patrolling cougar, but, as I putter to work each morning, it would be beneficial for me to remember that every robin has to kill a worm to survive, every red tailed hawk has to take down some sparrows to make it through the day. That's just the way it is. "Nature, red in tooth and claw," said Tennyson. He was right.

Today, I finally finished East of Eden. Boring Election and Monkey are correct. It is an awesome book. I haven't yet decided if I like it or The Grapes of Wrath better, but I think I am leaning toward Eden. It is just so well-written. Artfully conceived, beautiful prose. A sprawling and heart-wrenching story (I do love those). And a clear philosophical through-line. How have I lived so long without reading this book? Steinbeck, indeed, rules (along with Flannery O'Connor, Louise Erdritch, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and a host of others).

In addition, basketball was cut short tonight because I torqued my ankle...again! It hurt like a bitch, but it is behaving itself, at the moment. I predict I will not only be able to walk tomorrow, but I'll be able to play in the first softball game of the season on Sunday. That's right, loyal reader, the season starts this week. I'll be playing on two teams, a Sunday co-rec league with some folks from work/school and the old Wednesday Deadliners league. Of course, I will only be able to play in a few games before it's off to Lincoln with the Monkeys, but I plan to have a bit of fun and drink a few beers while I can.

The annual MAP testing starts tomorrow for us. The No Child Left Behind-mandated, state-devised assessment of whether we is learnin' the churlen good is always a fun time for everyone. The best part is constantly explaining to the kiddos why they have to take the test, knowing full well that the only real answer is, "Just because you have to." It means nothing to them, simply because it has no direct effect on them. It is not a graduation requirement. It does not alter their grade in any way. They have no stake in the test at all. The real wonder is that so many of them do it without question. Jesus, they don't even get their scores back until their senior year. Maybe I ought to grade their papers on the same schedule?

The saving grace for this episode of the school year is that it only takes two days, now. When I first started, we used to take a full week to do the testing. It was brutal. A death march of testing.

On a completely unrelated topic: why is Don Imus still on the radio?


Anonymous said...

Your final question has even more umph to it in light of the bigger picture (of which I was mostly blissfully unaware until I found out more):

(Where else but the wiki???)

I think that in general Sunday tends to be the opposite of Saturday.

Hm, nature killings. You may not get yanked outcho house by a cougar, but you may want to watchyo back when it comes to the whistle pig. Whistle pig be bidn its time.

Here in DC, I run with the animals of the human variety all the time. Murder driving out there, I tells ya hon.

I think I should read EoE.

Dude, your ankle! Feel better soon!

MAP testing: So glad it did not = part of my youth. That isht cray.



Jami said...

I guess I better figure out this posting thing...can't be that difficult, right?

A couple of unrelated questions - Why did Jaque Coward get"fired" I am watching the school board meeting and I just can't figure out what's going on here. Unlike "Boring Election" I am facinated by the drama of a local school board meeting - haven't missed one in many years.

On another unrelated note - I am so damn glad that Dannilynn is going home to her daddy!

Aunt James

ATR said...

Aunt James, with her finger on the pulse of both local politics and international who gives a shit! That's my girl...even if I am not your boy.

Squeaks said...

Don Imus isn't on the Radio anymore, or so the discussion around the dinner table implied. Advertisers began pulling ads thus losing the network monies and, well, monies always win out.