Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book # 60: How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff. 
+ Unexpected and unusual, yet entirely compelling events.
- Some awkward and incorrect sentence constructions, but likely due to the narrator rather than the writer.
+ Setting and tone appeal to me, as does the journey...bleak as it all is.
+ Teen fans of this book may graduate to The Road.
Perhaps I'm enjoying the current market fixation on dystopias and apocalyptic tales too much.  Keep them coming, publishers!
(Warning: plot contains sexually aberrant behavior)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Movie #40: Spy Kids.  Yup.  Family went to the movies.  Pretty bearable until the final 15 minutes or so.

Movie #41: Hall Pass.  Truths and laughs.  Not as lame as I feared, but not great either.  Rent it and see.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Movie 39 was fun to watch: Red.  Malkovich, Willis, Mirin, Freeman, and Parker team up in this comic book adaptation that's far-fetched and fun.

Book 59:  One Day, by David Nichols--I wanted to read it before going to see it.  Mission accomplished with joy.  Fun, escapist book slightly in the vein of Nick Hornby.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to school reading

Book 57: Readicide, by Kelly Gallagher.  meh.  I agree, but prefer more applicable ideas than data.
Book 58: Formative Assessment for Standards Based Grading, by Marzanno.  Another meh.  Too much technical stuff, not enough direct "how to."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More, more, more

Book #55  Silver Girls (a great tale of a bigamist's two families...until the end.)
Book # 56 The Book Whisperer (brought me to my senses and changing my whole intentions for this year at school)

Movie #38 The Help (better than the book--didn't leave me feeling as uneasy)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Attempting Art

I really wanted some original artwork for my bedroom.  Alas, my exquisite taste does not match my limited budget.  Then I saw this artsy fartsy tutorial / narrative.   An idea was born.

When buying lumber, I had picked up a couple of free pallets.  At the time, I had no specific plans for them.  I just knew that the rough planks could be used to create something fun.  (Ana White also has many pallet plans, from Adirondack chairs to shelving units that I will get around to making, eventually.)

I began with my least favorite action: tearing the pallet apart. 

Then, I nailed the boards together to create a canvas of sorts. 

I  stained the front to match my bedroom furniture, and let it dry for a day before sanding it a bit.

Next, I taped off the edges and painted an area in the center.  (color: oatmeal, left over from painting the basement walls and "ceiling" two years ago.)  Immediately after painting, I removed the tape and brush-beat the edges so they wouldn't appear so stark.  Again, I had to let it dry.  Without all the drying time, this whole project would take about an hour.

The next morning, I pulled a bunch of paint (yes, all leftovers from wall colors) and began applying it to the barn wood-looking canvas I'd made.  No sketching, no planning, just "here goes..."

I made wheaty looking things, one color at a time, until it seemed like I'd used almost too many colors.
Then, I added some brown to the bottom. 

Oops, that looked crap-tacular.  The sander helped obscure it into a nice, negligible blur.

I touched the sander all over the piece to distress it, vacuumed the dust off, and applied a top coat of clear poly.

And here are the cost-free picture-hanging materials I never used because, although I am fairly pleased with the end product, it doesn't look right in the room it was intended for.

But it didn't cost anything!  

Time to start over.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Movies 36 & 37 and book 54

Crazy Stupid Love gets a full endorsement from me.  Maybe it was just the right flick on the right day, but I adored it.  Solid scriptwriting (since the cliches are self-aware, they're okay), great acting, and beautiful camera work.  All-around human and endearing.

Horrible Bosses aims for a male audience, but I laughed so hard that I pulled a muscle.

What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippmann kept me up late, had me dreaming about the plot all night, and then nearly made me late for work because I had to finish it this morning.