1. Google Reader is going away, and I would be even sadder if I had more time to read blogs. However, I have now transferred things over to TheOldReader.com, and I am very happy with the results. I tried Feedly, but it was just too Magaziney.
2. For book group this month we read biographies and personal histories. I, however, decided to read a companion book to Reviving Ophelia about boys. The one that came up most in my searches was Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. This was a well-written book, and I thought it was a good complement to Reviving Ophelia.
This one was written by two male school psychologists, and they argue that we need to equip boys with more emotional skills than simple masculine anger. They used the metaphor of giving boys a toolbox with only a hammer. It is fine as long as you only need to pound nails. There were many fascinating studies and examples in the book, so I highly recommend it for parents and people who work with teenagers. I liked their tips in the last chapter. If you don't want to read the whole book, just check out the last chapter at the library.
3. This is also good reading material: don't forget to read Zina's latest lovely Malaprop Post!
4. What is with the humorization of violence in our movies? I enjoyed and simultaneously felt dismayed at Iron Man 3, which was so interspersed with funny stuff that my natural shock and dismay at the horrifying violence was completely numbed. Last night we watched Knight and Day, and it was the same deal. Don't count the number of people Tom Cruise just killed, because hey they are falling in love and kissing!
I probably would have felt less upset by it if it had not been for the terrible acts of violence in the news lately on top of having read Raising Cain. What message are we sending boys? There is no real consequence for violence, and actually it's pretty funny? This is the socialization that is failing our mentally ill people (mostly very angry boys), leading to psychotic episodes in which we fail not only them, but ourselves. Okay, enough about that. Time to go to my happy place.
5. The Community Garden! The Hurricane Valley School and Community Garden has been a lot of work all year so far, but it is finally starting to pay off in the form of beautiful green gold:
I took the organic pledge in agreeing to help manage the garden, and I decided to go organic at home as well. When I went to throw my pesticides away during our moving process, I found out that you can only throw HAZARDOUS MATERIALS away twice a year when the HAZMAT team is at the dump. I decided that I was right. Pesticides were the wrong thing to be pouring into the bed where I grew my food.
Incidentally, you can also throw away kitchen knives and your used syringes there at that time. I know my syringes are always piling up with me wondering what to do with them.
6. Speaking of the moving process, we are currently living with gracious family members. We closed on the sale of our house last week. Some people call it homeless, but we like to think of it as Home Free. We have an offer on a short sale, but it is in offer limbo la la land, where the bank sits around waiting while you agonize in seemingly endless torment, wondering if you will ever be in that magical place called "Under Contract."
7. That is all. Peace!