And the weekend is here. The weather is warm and tomorrow promises to be warmer. Mr. B plans to start cleaning out the backyard shed, I plan to go through the girls' clothes, Big Sis has rehearsal for Aladdin Jr., and I'm sure Little Sis will be making mud pies while Daddy works on the shed. And at 5:00, we'll take a time-out to gather 'round the old telly to watch the first NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball game.
I don't have a bracket. I don't watch basketball often at all. Whenever a Kansas team does well in any sport, I root for them. When it comes down to the wire, that means I'm cheering on K-State in football or KU in basketball. But something cool happened this year. Our hometown team from my alma mater, the school where Mr. B and I met doing theatre, our team is in the Final Four for the first time since 1965. For any of you from a big basketball town, you may be used to this kind of thing. But we're the underdogs. Today, everywhere I went, the city was a sea of black and gold. Employers encouraged their employees to wear their Shocker garb. The kids and staff at Big Sis's school wore their Wu Shock t-shirts, or whatever black and gold they could come up with. Big Sis, who really doesn't care about this stuff, found herself wearing her WSU shirt twice this week: today (see above) and a couple days ago. Look how awesomely her daddy dressed her! He layered her tee over a black dress with jeans. Unfortunately, that was the day the temperatures started to swing upward, and she had to lose the dress as the day went on. Too hot!
So if you don't have a team to root for, or if you just feel like being contrary to that college basketball fan in your life, root for the WSU Shockers tomorrow. The pundits say they don't have much of a chance, but they've said that the whole tournament. If you want a good read, check out this lovely blog post by Shannon Sutherland in The Huffington Post. If you want more reasons why you should root for the Shockers, Buzzfeed has 24 right here. (Oh, and if the Shockers win the whole tournament, Pizza Hut will reopen the first Pizza Hut and will give free pizza to the campus.)
In other news, Big Sis did an awesome job in her two performances of her first grade school musical, It's a Jungle Out There. She had one of the main speaking parts, along with some of her very best friends!
Little Sis didn't like the noise, as you can tell from the picture above. Oh, my funny girl. She loves to be silly and funny and crazy at home, but she is so surly and shy in public. The girls had dance tonight. I snapped this picture while we waited for her sister's ballet class to end.
Both girls got their recital costumes tonight! (Big Sis gets a second one Monday.) Little Sis loves hers. We tried them on in the studio before we left, to make sure they fit.
Little Sis, by the way, is pretty much obsessed with The Mighty B on Netflix. Bessie Higgenbottom is her hero. During her playdate with her best friend on Wednesday, she formed a band called Pretty, Pretty Princesses and proved she knows all the words to "Running With the Rainbow Unicorns." Meanwhile, I'm staying up late watching Powerpuff Girls on Netflix with Mr. B. He's very indulgent. That, and he likes Mojo Jojo. The "Meet the Beat-Alls" episode is genius.
In book news, I finished a lovely book this week, the latest by Jerry Spinelli.
Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013.
The first thing I thought when I finished Hokey Pokey was that this is another one of those books I really liked, but I wondered what younger readers might think of it. It's about leaving childhood behind, symbolized by the magical, surreal world called Hokey Pokey. Jack wakes up to his bike missing. He knows it's been stolen by a girl called Jubilee. You became aware of the fact that there are no adults in Hokey Pokey. The landscape seems like a child's view of the Wild West. Wild bikes are caught from herds, like wild mustangs. There are references to strange things like "sleep monsters." Spinelli doesn't make it easy. I think any reader will be lost at the beginning of Hokey Pokey.
I first heard about this book via Rebecca at Sturdy For Common Things. She loved it. I loved her description of it. Then another blog commenter said she hated it. It's that kind of book. It isn't perfect. The plot is confusing and the symbolism may come across as trite or heavy-handed to the cynical reader. The sentimental sap in me was caught up in it, however, and by the time I reached the poignant final chapter, I felt like I'd relived the summer days of my own suburban childhood. It sucked me in.
For more on Hokey Pokey, check out this interview with Jerry Spinelli from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. Or watch this video:
The girls and I are about two-thirds of the way through The Magic Half and we are loving it. Twins, time travel, mean relatives... I'll tell you more about it when we're through. We have a huge stack of kids' poetry books checked out from the library. Thanks to this post by Becca at Once Upon A Bookshelf and YouMustReadTheseNow!!!!! emails from Melissa at Julia's Bookbag, I have All-Of-A-Kind Family sitting in my library bag, ready to go. With summer coming, I should have time for more grown-up books soon!!!!
Merry Weekend, one and all! Happy Reading!!!
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