Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"The trouble with snark"

Love this article by Roger Ebert about snark, particularly as it relates to reviews of the Oscars but as applies to our society in general, too. I've certainly snarked before, and it's fun and cool and easier than really understanding something, but I agree with Ebert that the damage it does is probably not worth it. And unlike him, I have seen snark aimed at regular people rather than celebrities -- you can see it in blog comments and online forums pretty easily -- and nothing ends a useful discussion like it. Food for thought, anyway.

Oh, for goodness sake

My kids just got back to high school after a week of vacation, and now next week they have three half-days due to testing. This on the heels of four half-days before the break for midterms. All this testing seems to result in kids spending less time in school. Which tests parents, for sure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The new Miley Cyrus song makes me cry like a baby

Alright, so I'm a sucker for country ballads anyway. But the lyrics of "The Climb" (video below) just seem so appropriate to our children who bring such spirit to their struggles, and us parents who keep fighting those battles and climbing those mountains. Along the way, I think we do become aware that life isn't a race and the outcome is less important than the effort. I'm not exactly in Miley's target demographic, but I'll take inspiration where I can get it. Also, a good cry.

(I love how unstyled and age-appropriate she looks in those blue-lit studio shots. Wish she still looked like that on her show.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar reviews

So who watched the Oscars last night? I had to do so alone for the first time in a while, since my normal viewing companions were sidelined by sickness. My husband, who has absolutely no interest in the proceedings, tried valiantly to watch with me, but quickly nodded off. I wasn't close to dozing, though, even though I'd seen none of the performances and had no stake in the winners for the first time in a while. I thought the ceremony was really pretty enjoyable, the banter and musical numbers less cringe-worthy than usual, the montages fun, and the speeches trim and sometimes interesting. So I'm pretty surprised today to go online and find so many bad reviews for the show. Honestly, I think it's the old "it's easier to write a bad review than a good one" principle on display. You never look uncool for not liking something. I'm happy to see that Roger Ebert agreed with me, anyway. What did you think?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Honor roll worries

Both my kids made the honor roll again this marking period. We're in some sort of alternate grading universe, and I like it. Trying not to like it too much, because it's reasonable to expect that, even with continued effort, they will at some point slip somewhere in some class and not make that hallowed list, and then there will inevitably be disappointment. I've always talked a good game about being happy if my kids try hard and pass, and that will always be the case. But once you've gotten that pat on the back, twice now, it's going to feel like a smack if you don't. Though of all the school worries I could be having? This is certainly the one I'd pick.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Phone calls from politicians

It's bad enough when you get all those cheesy recorded calls from politicians and their supporters on the day or two before election day. But this week, I got a recorded call from a politician on the eve of his announcement that he was entering the race. I wouldn't even want to talk to the actual guy at this point, much less listen to his recorded message. If you want to rally my support this early, I don't know, send me chocolate with your name on it. Tape recordings aren't going to do it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Share your camp recommendations

Have you found a great special-needs camp for your child? I'm starting a user-suggested listing page on my site, and I'd like it to be a great parent-to-parent resource instead of a pathetic empty list. I contributed one recommendation to get started, of an extremely program-intensive camp my kids used to go to (before they priced themselves out of our budget). Please add any places you've found and appreciated.

Monday, February 02, 2009

On the ball

I've started using a therapy ball for my desk chair, and ... it's interesting. Not uncomfortable, but maybe not transformative, either. Kind of fun to bounce while I'm writing; can that possibly be good for my eyes? One thing it's shown me, though, is that I have an amazing talent for slouching, and am able to do that even when balanced atop a rubber sphere. Can't put my feet up and lounge back, though. Not if I don't want to go sliding across the living-room floor while the dog laughs at me.