7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #89: Featuring Jeffrey Palmer

h1 November 16th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Here’s what I highly recommend you do right now: Click here on the web site of the photographer we’re featuring today, and turn it up, man. For serious, crank it. To eleven even. Get your groove on. Don’t you just love that tune-age? I mean, the web site is beautiful and designed like nobody’s business, but the addition of that funky groove really gets me. Most of the time, if I visit a web site and the song won’t go away, even when I click on a new link, I want to hurl something across the room, but not with that groove. Be still my hips, that makes me dance all over the room.

And that would be the web site of a friend and former Knoxville colleague of mine (as in, that first career I haven’t visited in a while, sign language interpreting), Mr. Jeffrey Levi Palmer. Jeff is also a photographer, and his work makes me spew forth many superlatives. He’s really talented with the camera, not to mention a terrifically friendly, inordinately smart guy. And this morning—taking a break from illustration—we’re going to feature some of Jeff’s photography.

These are a collection of photos—some new—that Jeff describes as some Fall photography (at least back when I was asking him about doing this, Fall was still fledgling) and some from his recent travels. Jeff’s latest photography news is that one of his photos was chosen for Knoxville’s Arts & Culture Alliance 2008 National Juried Exhibition, the second year in a row one of his photographs has been chosen for this competitive show. This year the jurors selected only forty-five works of art from two hundred submissions by artists in five states. (Categories include: Painting, Graphic Art, 3D, and Photography.) Congratulations, Jeff!

Jeff also just found out on Friday that he passed what is called the NIC, or the national certification test for sign language interpreters provided by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the National Association of the Deaf. Translated: It’s a big deal, and congrats to him!

I thank Jeff kindly for stopping by and sharing this morning. Sit back and enjoy. (Oh, and to any and all readers, now and forevermore: Be cool and remember all rights reserved, all photos © Jeffrey Palmer and all that good stuff. Thanks.)








And for those who know well the beauty of East Tennessee (Eisha, Sara, Zoë, who else am I missing?), these mountains are for you . . .

Thanks again to Jeff . . . There are way more of his photos at the aforementioned groovin’ site.

As a reminder, our 7 Kicks posts are the weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week—whether book-related or not—that happened to you.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Remember this? I finally got my library copy of Hyewon Yum’s Last Night, and the illustrations are just as great as you thought they’d be. Captivating. Hyewon Yum is one-to-watch.

2). Same for David Ezra Stein’s The Nice Book. I want to give this book to everyone I know. Really, do yourself a favor and check it out.

3). This week I read the two best descriptions EVER of our blog, with all due respect to anyone else who has ever done a shout-out to us before. One is here from Little Willow, and I love it, because she mentions the friendship between me and Eisha. And then…

4). Minh at Bottom Shelf Books up and wrote this about us:

Like the storm in the Wizard of Oz, the ladies at 7-Imp hit your dull world like a tornado and suddenly the whole world is more colorful… if also disturbingly surreal and with the occasional flying monkey attack.

HOO HA! Those pesky flying monkeys…That comes from here, in which Minh also did a fine, fine job of nailing some of our other favorite blogs. My favorite part is the Cartoon Network AquaFortis & TadMack bit. I’d watch that show.

Jon Bard at The Children’s Writing Web Journal also started a brand new video series (“Best Children’s Lit Blog Posts of the Day”), and 7-Imp was featured in the inaugural installment. Thanks, Jon!

5). A comment I left inspired a post about ASL over at JES’ (John’s) blog. How neat is that? And John found a lovely ASL poem I’ve never seen before.

6). I’ve been looking for a good novel (in the realm of adult fiction, that is) to really hook me, and I’ve gone through a handful of titles which I just flat-out gave up on and chucked mid-way through. But a friend recommended Lionel Shriver to me, and—while waiting on We Need to Talk About Kevin, which she insists I read—I’m reading The Post-Birthday World, and I can’t put it down. Score. Finally.

7). A tale of such carnage (and frightening trees and animals-who-are-poor-and-in-jail and baby-eating crocodiles and suicidal, allergic hippos and rings that kill witches and Other Things Going Amiss) was never so freakin’ CUTE. As the post from which this comes states, if you can watch this without smiling, you’re broken. Thanks to Robin Smith for the link:

Bonus Kick: Re-discovering my Squirrel Nut Zippers CDs after hearing they’ve re-grouped and are touring again.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

You know… it’s been one of those weeks for me. There were kicks, but they were mostly of the “it sucked, but it could have been worse” variety. For example:

1* My husband flew off for Round 2 of Design Job in Seoul Friday. His flight was a three-parter, and the main one, from Detroit to Tokyo, was delayed for hours due to a plane maintenance issue. He ended up missing his third flight, from Tokyo to Seoul, and had to stay in Tokyo overnight. The kick: at least they put him up in a hotel and gave him a free meal voucher, so he didn’t have to sleep in the Narita airport. And hey, I’m glad they caught the problem before takeoff and he didn’t fly in a plane with a faulty cargo door.

Seoul - click on image for source.

2* The whole week he was frantically trying to prepare for the trip, running errands to buy plug-adapters and stuff. As a consequence, he had the car most evenings and I didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping. The kick: we compensated by ordering take-out three times this week.

3* He was also starting to worry that he might be getting sick, which is never fun, but this week the timing would have presented a logistical nightmare. The kick: one of those take-out nights was for Chinese food, because he always wants egg drop soup when he’s sick. I just about always want Asian food of some kind anyway, so I was happy. And at least as of Friday, the cold never materialized.

4* Poor Jules and her whole family DID get sick, and had that nasty stomach bug all last week. The kick: they’re all better now. And Jules is back with a vengeance, with that excellent illustrator feature on Isabelle Arsenault, which made me swoon, and that beautiful Poetry Friday post on Marie Howe. Really good stuff.

5* The smoke detector in our apartment building went off around 10:30 Thursday night, in the midst of B.’s packing frenzy, and we all had to go outside and wait for the fire trucks — yup, just like a school fire drill. The kick: it wasn’t a real fire, and at least it wasn’t really cold or raining or anything. Plus we got to say hey to our neighbors. It was almost like a mini-pajama party.

Then there are pure pleasure kicks, caveat-free kicks, like…

6* All those great things that Jules posted about: that adorable child storyteller, and Jeffrey Palmer’s photography making me homesick, plus that fabulous song on his website, and those lovely mentions we got from Little Willow and Minh Le (thanks!)… excellent!

7* One of the funniest things I’ve run across in a long time: a website featuring 30-second animated adaptations of your favorite films… starring bunnies. Oh yes. It’s 30-Second Bunnies Theatre, by Angry Alien Productions. My favorites so far are probably Fight Club, Reservoir Dogs (unbleeped), Pulp Fiction, and It’s a Wonderful Life, but I’m still working through them all.

BAMF bunnies.
7.5* Oh, and a bonus kick: GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. My favorite time of year. I’ve got two boxes of the-cookie-formerly-known-as-Samoas (now unfathomably called Caramel deLites – can anyone explain why they changed it? What’s wrong with Samoas?) already, and two more on the way, and they are ALL MINE.

So, how ’bout you, Dear Readers? Any kicks you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it…

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30 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #89: Featuring Jeffrey Palmer”

  1. Whoa. The photography! La petite cutie! What a great post. But again: the photography! Some of it was so beautiful it just didn’t look real. I have to go back and just stare… Wow. You have awesomely smart friends.

    Hang in there, Eisha… some weeks are like one long game of “Fortunately, Unfortunately.”


  2. Thanks for the glimpse of the ET mountains—I get to see the NC side of them soon! I love his photos of children too—it’s like he’s showing us their inner world with respect, you know?

    La petite raconteur!! It’s not just her imagination that I love—it’s her confidence in it.

    My kicks:
    1) Watched Persepolis last night.
    2) Indulged in a reading binge at last.
    3) Wrote a poem for my son, something I’ve never done before.
    4) The sky this morning. Walking to the creek yesterday. Fall in general and in specific and in all things.
    5) Heard from a favorite couple that they’re pregnant. And adopting too. Doubly blessed.
    6) This was last weekend, but…A very well-done production of The Laramie Project at my local HS
    7) Hey Jules! Finally saw Anchorman!


  3. Yay for the little storyteller! Too adorable :)! Between her and Sara’s daughter going to Paris, we should all celebrate today with croissants!

    Thanks for featuring Jeff today — great photos and website (did I see soba)? And Eisha, your ability to find the silver lining in the week’s events is inspiring!

    Le kicks:

    1. Had a lovely dinner with DH’s cousin and a professor from Ohio who resembled St. Nick.

    2. Working on two upcoming interviews with people I’ve admired for a long time.

    3. Sara’s poem for Poetry Friday.

    4. Scott Magoon interview here.

    5. Saw “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” and liked it! There’s hope for us all!

    6. Heard some awesome news that one of my half-sister’s former cooking class students is now a chef with three of his own restaurants!

    7. Got my 50th Anniversary copy of A Bear Called Paddington (HmCo edition), which has full color illos throughout.

    *Bonus Kick: flying monkeys.


  4. Hi, TadMack. I hope your Work in Progress is still going well, as well as your weightlifting. You’re a better woman than I for lifting heavy things when you don’t have to.

    Sara, “Anchorman” is a trip, huh? It’s mildly funny in most spots, but then Will shows up. As I’ve probably said a trablillion times before, Will Ferrell could just stand there and stare at the screen and I’d laugh. In fact, it’s almost the time of year to be watching “Elf” again, which makes me laugh so embarrassingly hard in spots that I usually have to leave the room to spare others.

    And your poem for your son was absolutely beautiful. I’m linking it here so that anyone who missed it can see it, and forgive me if I’m embarrassing you. Please just oblige me barbarically yawping on my part of the 7-Imp rooftop about your great poetry for a moment.

    Is there anything better than a reading binge, too?

    Jama, dinner with St. Nick: WOOT! And I had to go look up “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” and now I’m intrigued. Also, I keep meaning to ask: Didn’t someone here rave one Sunday about “Death at a Funeral” and say it was hilarious and wonderful and all that? I saw it at Blockbuster and almost got it. I can’t remember who recommended it.

    Eisha, you scared me for a moment there, and I thought you were about to say that Samoas had been retired.

    Hey, everyone, I have a surprise for you: I had emailed David Ezra Stein and asked if I could share my favorite spread from The Nice Book this morning, and he just now got back to me, so I’ll put it here. Check out that nuzzle. I love those heavy paint strokes on those horses. What a great book for the youngest of children (and, okay, thirty-six year olds)…

    Thanks, David!


  5. The phtography is utterly stunning.Wow! What a find.
    Jules, I hope you and your family are feeling better. I have a copy of We Need to Talk About Keving which I need to read.
    Eisha, I love the bad-good kicks scenarios. I hate weeks like that!
    Sara you poem to your son was wonderful. Jama, Paddington is 50? Seriously? Wow
    My kicks:
    1. We had our first Portland Kidlit drink night and it was well attended. Thanks to Laini for organizing.
    2. The blog comment challenge. Quite fun.
    3. Getting the guest room ready for my aunt’s visit next weekend.
    4. Working on a photo order for my daughters for Christmas. Wil put into albums.
    5. Finished March for book club tonight at my house.
    6. Serving vegetarian lasagne.
    7. Discovering the poetry of Marie Howe. Her poetry has appeared on two Poetry Fridays.


  6. It’s SUCH a pleasure to stop by here on Sundays and find so many kicks I wish were mine, and so many people whose kicks I begrudge not at all!

    Like Sara’s reading binge (which would be for me a sinful indulgence, like eating pizza and cheesesteaks and peanut-butter TastyKakes and real non-diet Coke for a whole week, but like that, wow, what a way to go!).

    Like Jules’s encountering that little storyteller. God love the Web that it makes sharing such kicks easy!

    And ditto Eisha’s kick — the pleasures of finding Jules back and, well, kickin’ here again. (She does have a gift, hmm?)

    Like jama’s dinner with St. Nick… and everyone else’s kicks they haven’t gotten around to recounting yet.

    And damn these photos by Jeffrey Palmer are haunting. And Eisha’s bird’s-eye view photo of Seoul isn’t anything to sneeze at either!

    Some from me:

    * Finding out about dog toys that make the little darlings think, and can keep them occupied for hours. Hooray! (Also found out about a special kind of dog harness which defeats their desire to tug on the leash — because it turns them right around to face you. We don’t have one of those yet so it will be a kick for next week, maybe.)

    * A week with dinners dominated by comfort food, for some reason: pasta, meat loaf, baked potatoes… Not to be indulged in every week, for sure, but a real nice change of pace.

    * Jules mentioned (thank you!) the blog post about ASL. But I gotta say, finding out from her comment about ASL “ABC poems” (and stories) was a rainbow of enlightenment for me.

    * M.Night Shyamalan obviously has never (yet) done anything with Sixth Sense‘s impact. (And he’s regularly slammed for that non-followup success.) But after seeing The Happening last night, I continue to really, really like his movies. He is SOOO good at atmospherics, and non-CGI special effects, and we love his “concepts.”

    (Also saw the new The Hulk and was tickled to see they’d worked both Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno into the film.)

    * Thinking about Dad on Vets’ Day, and suddenly thinking after two straight weeks how much I was liking Tuesdays these days.

    * Starting to talk with my brother and a nephew about maybe just maybe “spending some time in NJ” for Christmas this year, for the first time since 1992 — via the miracle of Web-cam chat.

    * Finding a YouTube video of Celtic Woman’s rendition of “Ashokan Farewell,” and in the course of including it in a blog post finding out enough of it to make me want to see the PBS Civil War series all over…

    Thanks for the kicks everybody, and keep your eyes open for this week’s!

    P.S. Jules, the Death at a Funeral kick of a few weeks back was mine. Oh gawd that was a funny movie. Do see it if you get a chance.


  7. J&E, I LOVE Jeff’s photos. Gorgeous. And you both deserve those lovely shout-outs for 7-Imp. Love the flying monkeys thing, Jules. Eisha, I love how you turned questionable events into kicks.

    1. We’re getting this freakish late-season summer weather here this weekend – sunny and nearly 80 degrees. We had people over Friday night, and we were actually able to sit outside (even in mid-summer it’s usually too cold to sit out after dark).
    2. After the socializing of Friday night I was a bit drained. So Saturday I had myself a movie marathon. I still worked on the computer, but I did relatively mindless things, and relaxed my brain with movies (the new Journey to the Center of the Earth, Volcano, and Bounce). I have an endless appetite for disaster movies like Volcano, which I can’t explain. I’m planning to watch Deep Impact sometime soon, too.
    3. Sitting outside in the lovely weather yesterday, I re-read Then There Were Five, by Elizabeth Enright (the third Melendy Family book). I have to say that while I love the others, this one has the most heart. I was definitely teary-eyed. Of course, re-reading books that I truly love will do that for me anyway – I’m just so happy to spend time with the book again.
    4. I was also tapped for recognition on Jon Bard’s children’s book blog posts of the day this week, and for a post that was near and dear to my own heart (about favorite fictional rooms from children’s literature).
    5. Several other people picked up the favorite fictional rooms idea (which originally came from Charlotte’s Library), and made their own posts, and reading them gave me joy.
    6. Ditto Jone’s kick, about the comment challenge.
    7. Mheir brought home double-chocolate creme cake from the store the other night just because… Do all men realize the power of random gifts of chocolate?

    Happy Sunday, all!


  8. Jone, isn’t Marie Howe great? I’ve gotta get my hands on her new anthology. …And I hope you have a great visit with your aunt. …You didn’t list the wonderful photos of your grandchildren over at your blog this week. Everyone, for even more adorable-ness, head on over there.

    JES, you go on with your comfort-food-eating self! That’s great. Everyone needs weeks like that.

    JES, do you mean you haven’t seen your brother since ’92? If so, that is going to be lovely, indeed….Oh, and thanks for the tip about Death at a Funeral. I’ll have to get it for sure. And, right after typing that up there earlier, I thought, hmmmm….I bet it was John who recommended that.

    Jen, it occurred to me this week (I think it was over at emmaco’s blog) that, if I had been organized enough to respond to Charlotte’s wonderful idea, I’d pick the room in Ruth Krauss and Sendak’s A Very Special House, which is “right in the middle—oh it’s ret in the meedle—oh it’s root in the moodle of my head head head.” Krauss + Sendak = one of the world’s greatest wonders.

    Congrats on a weekend of beautiful Fall weather, Jen, and re-reading a favorite.

    And, speaking of the movies you saw, Jen . . . I hope everyone has a good afternoon, and I look forward to reading kicks when I return. I want to see this and this and this and many other movies, but today it’s Bond. James Bond. An actual kid-free date with my husband, too.

    So, as mouse would say, toodle-oo, and I’ll catch you all later today.


  9. It’s good to read the kicks! And I can commiserate with the kicks-in-the-pants. Speaking of fire alarms, I’ve been inadvertently setting ours off more with the steam from the shower. Yesterday, I had to leap out of the shower with the water still running and cancel the alarm so that the security system company wouldn’t call the fire department.

    Here are a few kicks:
    1) The local newsletter is going to do a small article on me in conjunction with a storytelling program coming up in December. I’m just beyond the official borders of the neighborhood, so even though I use their library, work in their coffee shops and have their school as my polling place, I sometimes feel as if I have to jump up and down to get noticed. Because, you know, I’m all about being noticed.;)

    2) I wrote two new letters to the library systems to which I’d approached last year to be on their performer lists, and this time I got responses from both of them. Those SASEs may have had something to do with it. There are no guarantees that they’ll hire me, but at least I’ll be on their radars after I submit my application packets. I wonder if they do auditions. I’ve heard that some systems ask for auditions, and that makes a lot of sense– if they’re going to take a chance on relatively unknown performers, the librarians should have an idea of what they’re getting for their money.

    3) I’m pleased with my reworking of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” as “Green is the Color of My Merman’s Hair.” Last year’s draft was purely silly, but this version that’s developing is kind of eerie and unsettling. It’s definitely not intended for the toddler/preschool set.

    4) Knock on wood, my daughter’s managed to avoid catching the lice that’s been popping up here and there at school. Every time I think about it, my ears start to itch.

    5) Voice lessons are going well.

    6) I’m starting to let myself dream about putting together a homegrown song and story album. I have no idea where to begin! There’s going to be lots of research involved. Ideally, I’d find someone who wants to help record and produce it for the, oh 6-8 people who would actually buy it. I’d like it to have the accessibility of a Beatrix Potter book– attractive (good to look at as well as to listen to), affordable, with a fun gatefold.

    7) I bought the Klutz juggling book. Can you believe it? I still need to figure out more string games before I even think about juggling, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.


  10. Jules, that’s a ridiculously cute video!

    Sara, a walk to the creek (I miss hearing people use that word! Here it’s all about the streams) in fall and a reading binge sound perfect.

    Jone, you sound like you’ve been busy, but with lots of fun stuff!

    Jama, your croissant idea is inspired!

    Eisha I hear you about this being one of those weeks. By the end of the working week I was mentally rolling my eyes and snapping at everyone, the kick being that I managed to keep my irritability mostly inside my head.

    But some nice things:

    1. Last night we went to a Swiss friend’s place and gorged ourselves on raclette, which is cheese melted on a tabletop grill that we spread on potatoes and other things like gherkins (something I generally don’t like but can recommend with raclette!)
    2. For dessert I made a maple and pecan layer cake that tasted great despite the top layer cracking into quarters while being iced!
    3. We ordered some presents for our rellies in Australia that weren’t expensive but will be adored by all – am paranoid one of them will follow the link over here so no more details sorry!
    4. Yellow daisies on the table
    5. I’ve found a pilates dvd I like that means I can exercise/relax at home (it’s too dark to walk home after the session at work now)
    6. I can’t remember if I mentioned that my local library is shut for refurbishment until March, but the library in the town next to us is working out well. The librarians don’t know me and get my reserved books out as I come in the door but it’s still a good place :)
    7. There was a huge storm in the part of Brisbane where my sisters and other peeps of interest live, but fortunately a flooded bedroom was the worst damage, all people and pets safe.


  11. Love the pictures of the boys. The face of the one in the hat is so expressive.

    My week started with having to terminate someone and then just went downhill from there. The bright spots included:
    1. The giddiness over comments. I’ve not been great about commenting, and I know you have to leave ‘em to get ‘em, but this has been wonderful.
    2. I have seen all but seven of my Cybils nominees and am thoroughly enjoying reading them.
    3. Spent the afternoon at the library with William yesterday. He’s asking for a guinea pig for Christmas, so we spent lots of time in the 600s looking at books about pets. It’s fun to see him so excited about something.
    4. Went to Krispy Kreme after mass to watch them make donuts. (We ate a few too!)

    Have a great week folks!


  12. These photos make me want to load new batteries and film into my camera and go make wonderful photos. Of course, the reality of my photos is never equal to the fantasy photos I’m capable of in my mind. But still. Those were pretty wonderful.


  13. Thank you Jules, for mentioning the grandgirls. They are so sweet! How could I not? I try to hold back a bit on the gushing grandma thing.


  14. BEAUTIFUL pictures …. wow!! He’s so talented … i need to look him up to see if i met him back in the day! Thanks for sharing.


  15. Alkelda, will you share the local newsletter’s link, assuming it’s online, once it is printed? And I love your idea about the story-song album. I’d buy it.

    Emmaco, now see, raclette is the New Thing I Learned From You this week. Yum. I read that link, and I have to say that, though I normally prefer red, I’d drink white wine just to have it with raclette. Yum again.

    Glad you’re still getting library action, even though yours is closed ’til March.

    Tricia, yikes, sorry you had to lay someone off. Or, er, fire or terminate or all those awful words. ….I assume William might actually get that guinea pig for Christmas, if you’re all researching it. Very neat.

    Kelly, I know. Me, too. Not that I’d be as talented as Jeff, but I really want to learn more about photography — and get a better camera.

    Jone, I know, as a mama, that it’s hard to suppress the gushing urge. But you can gush away here.

    Hi, Aly!


  16. Jules, I love when you spew forth superlatives, and I think Jeffrey’s photos are totally worth it. You rock on. Also, I love the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Little known fact alert: my late husband and I used to swing dance, and sometimes we’d dance to the Zippers, although it was usually a mess. But fun.

    Eisha, How have you only now discovered the 30 Second Bunny cartoons? I saw the animator speak here in Rochester a couple years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

    Alkelda, I’d buy your album.

    My kicks:
    1. Ooo! I saw Don Hertzfeldt speak at the Dryden here in town last night, and I got to see his two newest films, which surprised me with how good they were (and I’m a fan).
    2. I planned a going-away party for one of my staff members, whose last day was Friday (so I guess she’s not my staff member anymore, but that’s not a very kick-y thought, so I’ll ignore it), and it went really well.
    3. Speaking of things going very well, we hosted a reading night for one of the local schools on Thursday evening and wound up with an audience of nearly 300 people. I’ve never told stories to that many people before; it was really something.
    4. I got my flu shot. I needed to do that.
    5. I made this no-mayo cole slaw last night that I am officially in love with. Yummmmm.
    6. And there was also that macaroni and cheese I made earlier in the week that was so good I had to take some to my mother’s house immediately so I wouldn’t eat the entire pound of pasta in one sitting by myself.
    7. The magic combination of squash, ginger, butter, and pepper.


  17. I love the photography! What a great way to mix it up this week! Initially, I thought my response was based on the color, but as I looked longer, I realized that it was the combination of deep color with texture that made it so gorgeous.

    #1 Did anyone else hear about this???? The national Toy Hall of Fame inducted the stick. http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/11/10/national-toy-hall-of-fame-inducts-the-stick-is-there-a-better-toy/

    #2 Joey has pulled some classic three-year-old moves this week. I wish I could remember more of them because it’s been quite a show. For a couple days now the only shoes I’ve been able to get him to wear are his frog rain boots. And after a week of refusing to wear his warm coat, he fell for this today: “But Joey, you’re going to ride in a booster seat in the car, and your coat will fit, not like your other car seat.” On Friday he hid his peas in his napkin. This evening, while walking backwards into the bathroom, he was beeping. I asked, “Are you beeping because you’re going backwards?” He said, “Yes. I’m a dump truck.” He backed onto the potty and said, “And here is where I’m going to dump my load.” And he did.

    #3 I had a longish drive alone, which gave me a chance to finally listen to a CD I can’t listen to with the kids: Emmanuel Jal’s Warchild. I especially like “Emma,” but I don’t have time to hunt down a link. So here’s another one by him: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=19iBFj0sa3E

    #4 The longish drive took me to a kitchen gadget party at the home of my college roommate and her husband. Seeing as he is the special events director for the city opera, this was a pretty sophisticated kitchen gadget party. It’s always awesome to see them. The superb food and drinks were a yummy bonus.


  18. Adrienne, we’d like to learn to swing dance, too. We’ve been saying that for years…I’ve always said, too: The Squirrel Nut Zippers always always always manage to lift one’s spirits; if they don’t make you wanna dance, there’s not blood running through your veins. Or, as Eisha said once, “they make me want to dance in ways that could get me into trouble” (I paraphrase).

    THREE HUNDRED folks at your reading? Wow. What’d you read to ‘em?

    Macaroni and cheese: Mmm. My favorite comfort food of all (we make it with gouda. Gouda = gooda).

    Kathe, I LOVE THAT THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME INDUCTED THE STICK. I love it so much I’m yelling it. It’s about damn time, I say. And they’ve already inducted the cardboard box, according to your link. Brilliant. Antoinette Portis would be proud of both selections.

    I’m sorry for you that your three-year-old is refusing things like most of his shoes and certain coats, but I’m also relieved, ’cause my three-year-old is a huge ‘ol handful in this way. My heavens, she is just contrary all the time. I hope it’s just this age and not a permanent personality trait (though I suppose contrariness has some good points, too).


  19. TadMack, true dat. Thanks for the support.

    Sara, reading binges rule. And have fun in N.C. – it’s one of my favorite states.

    jules, I don’t know if I could live in a world without Samoas. What would be the point? Ooh, and lemme know how Bond is.

    jama, can’t wait to see those interviews. And I absolutely LOVE Paddington – I’d better look into that fancy 50th anniversary edition.

    jone, a Portland Kidlit drinks night sounds like a blast. Wish I could’ve gone. And vegetarian lasagna… yuuuum.

    JES, I start craving comfort food when the weather turns cold. Your week’s worth sounds delicious.

    Jen, NO, I’m sorry to say that all men do not realize the power of chocolate gifts. You hold on to that man with all your might!

    Alkelda, gotta love overly-sensitive smoke detectors. And YOU GO with that album/storybook dream of yours. I think it sounds fabulous.

    emmaco, glad you made it through the week too. And YUM, raclette sounds delish. Also, I’m totally going to start using the word “rellies” now. I love it!

    Tricia, glad you also survived such a crummy week. But I’m also glad it included Krispy Kreme and guinea pig-planning.

    Kelly and Alyson, he is something, isn’t he?

    Well, adrienne, how come you never told me about the 30-second bunny cartoons? Huh? And OMIGOD you’ve been eating well this week. That all sounds amazing. Plus – stories in front of 300 people? Is that even logistically possible? You are officially a superhero.

    Kathe, yay for the stick finally getting its props. And double-yay for your hilarious 3-year-old – the dump truck thing made me snort-laugh.


  20. I’m a little late this week. I was away in Amherst and Northampton on Sunday with my daughter Sara.

    MY KICKS

    1. Sara and I went to the Eric Carle Museum (Amherst) to attend the In Celebration of Children’s Literature program with panelists Jerry Pinkney, Kinuko Craft, Paul O. Zelinsky, and Rosemary Wells. It was wonderful!!!

    2. We left the museum and headed off to Northampton for the19th Annual Children’s Illustration Exhibit Reception at the R. Michelson Galleries. Lots of the children’s illustrators were there–including Mo Willems, Jarrett Krosoczka, Diane deGroat, and Mordicai Gerstein. The gallery even has originals by Dr. Seuss!

    3. I had a chance to chat with Jarrett–and to meet his lovely wife. The couple is expecting their first child in a few weeks.

    4. I got a new computer!!! I love it!!!. It’s not a laptop. It’s a Sony “all-in-one.” It has a wide, flat screen, which houses all the computer components and a keyboard that’s great for typing.

    That’s about all for now.


  21. What a great week, Elaine, and what great news for Jarrett and his wife! Congrats to them. Something tells me he’d be a very wonderful, very fun father.

    Congrats on your new computer.


  22. Those photos are stunning. I love the leaf on the road, and the children are simply beautiful. What an eye Jeffrey has. Thanks for posting the ET pic too.
    Jules – I read “We have to Talk About Kevin” when I was pregnant with Ruby, and it was like reading a horror novel. It is an excellent book, but terrifying. That’s all I’m going to say. And thank you for sharing your favorite spread from “The Nice Book” – the nuzzle page makes me want to snuggle with my kids. Too bad I am at work right now.
    Jama – I love Paddington (I’m British – it’s the law). Whilst I was doing my library internship at a local elementary school, I was so surprised to learn that the kids had never heard of Paddington Bear. If I get a job as an elementary media specialist, I am definitely going to share the Paddington love.
    Emmaco – I have only had raclette once, and it was yummy.
    Kathe – 3 is a great age. I love the Joey as dump truck story. Please be sure to share that with all of his friends when he is 15.
    My kicks this week (in no particular order):
    1 – Ruby is pulling up (or trying to) on whatever piece of furniture or box or basket she happens to be next to. It is so cute to watch.
    2 – We have a brand-spanking new stainless steel refrigerator and stove. Finally, appliances that work!! Now we just need to get a dishwasher and range hood (and a computer).
    3 – Because we can no longer take walks around the neighborhood after supper, we dance around the house instead. This past week, we have boogied to James Brown, ESG and the Red Stick Ramblers.
    4 – Online Christmas shopping. I love finding parcels on my doorstep when I get home.
    5 – The Tennessee Titans are 10-0!!!! Of course, like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect, but I don’t care because they are 10-0. 10-0!!!!!! 10 and 0!!!! (I never get tired of saying that).
    6 – College basketball season is under way, and both the Vols and Lady Vols won in convincing fashion. GO VOLS!!!!
    7 – Plowing my way through a couple of “Between the Numbers” Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich over the weekend. They are not great literature, but they sure are fun.


  23. Zoë, actually, it was Jinx who recommended Lionel Shriver and the Kevin book, and she never stears me wrong. Now I’m even more intrigued by the Kevin book.

    Congrats on your new appliances and dancin’ round the house. James Brown — HEH! and HOO HA! and HAVE MERCY! His Christmas CD is my favorite. Christmas. CD. ever.

    You can even dance now to the song on Jeff’s web site, ’cause I still think it’s eminently dance-able.


  24. Just to clarify: 1992 was “just” the last time I spent Christmas with my family. We’ve made numerous trips up there at other times of year, and they’ve come down here at other times too. My wife is phobic (pretty much literally) about flying in the winter, though — at least to northern climes — and of course her own daughter and son live here, so I never make a big deal about it. That said, it’ll be FUN to see people’s faces on that day again!


  25. I’m way too late for kicks (and, like Tricia, not feeling terribly kick-y anyway) but I am loving everyone else’s, and the photography, and, yes, the fabulous sound track with it. Thanks for letting me know about it–I so hate most soundtracks on websites that I usually keep the sound turned off on my computer, but I turned it on for that one just to check it out. Such happiness! (There, a kick after all!)


  26. Of course, I almost lost my voice reading to 300 people. Mostly I told stories (“Monkey Face,” “Three Little Pigs,” “The Mosquito”), but Jason and I did one of our co-readings of I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems, which everyone seemed to love, including us.

    Re: the stick, the National Toy Hall of Fame is here in Rochester, NY, so The Stick was big news, as was the fact that it won out over THE MAGIC 8 BALL. Seriously, how is THE MAGIC 8 BALL not yet in the Hall of Fame in my own HOMETOWN? I have to start a nonprofit or something to further the cause.

    Eisha, YES! I’ve always wanted to be a superhero. Tammy and I like to talk about what our superpowers would be. Reading seems a pretty appropriate one for me, more achievable than, say, flying.


  27. Adrienne, I finally saw the new Elephant & Piggie book this weekend. As usual, my four-year-old and I were laughing out loud.

    The Magic 8 Ball’s not in the toy Hall of Fame yet? Oh my stars and garters, as Fuse likes to say. Yes, you’ll have to fix that. And I’m not being flippant. I mean, it’s right up there with the stick and cardboard box. Well, maybe just under it, but still….

    Libby, glad that song gave you one kick for this week…or last week. And I’m sorry last week was overall not kick-worthy for you.


  28. Don’t forget the silver slippers! *grin*

    I am digging that cat scratch picture!

    I have TWO MINUTES so I have to read the other half of this post (and everyone’s comments!) later! Aah! Okay, kick time from last week:

    1) Making my schedule work for me
    2) One-on-one conversations
    3) Friends doing well at events
    4) Prep
    5) Into the Woods
    6) Run-throughs
    7) Costume fittings


  29. LW, Oooh! Into the Woods! Fun.

    p.s. I love late-coming kicks-listers.


  30. wonderful


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