7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #5

h1 April 8th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

It’s time for another installment of 7 Imp’s 7 Kicks . . . For those new to our series, this is where we all stop in every Sunday to report seven (more or less is fine) Good Things that happened to you (or that you read or saw or experienced or . . . well, you get the picture) this week.

*eisha’s list*

Grace Lin1* Thursday I met Grace Lin. She did a program at my library. In spite of woefully low attendance, and a bizarre series of mishaps that made the day feel slightly cursed (she even had to ride in my cute-but-trashy car Phoebe), she was utterly gracious and adorable and interesting and wonderful, and I think the children who did attend had a very nice time indeed. As did I.

2* Friday night I got to hang out with my friend Alison, whom I hadn’t seen in forever. We did our usual routine of going out for beer and veggie reubens at Charlie’s Kitchen, then tipsy-shopping at Urban Outfitters. I’m going to miss her terribly when I move.

3* I forgot to mention it last week, but the previous Friday I went to a reading by Brendan Halpin with my friend Jamie, which was nice – she’s another friend I don’t see often enough, and whom I’m going to miss terribly when I move. Am I cheating by including that in this week’s list? Whatever.

Amy Winehouse4* Amy Winehouse’s CD Back to Black. We had a lot of ’60s Motown records around when I was growing up, so I have a serious soft spot for that sound. Or, really, any song that lets me do The Pony. Amy does it up right.

5* The Cold War Kids’s CD Robbers & Cowards. Freakin’ awesome. I was in love from the moment I first heard “Hang Me Up To Dry” on the radio. Gotta love lyrics that compare a bad relationship to laundry. The rest of the CD does not disappoint.

6* We had snow Wednesday. SNOW! IN APRIL! And there may be more next week. I don’t have a favorite type of weather, but I just love it when the weather is totally WRONG. I love how nature just laughs at our puny human assumptions of how things are supposed to be and does whatever it feels like. I do feel bad for all those little girls having to wear long underwear under their Easter dresses, though.

7* I spent most of Saturday curled up on the couch with that Jon McGregor novel I mentioned last week, So Many Ways to Begin. Oh, yes. Very very good.

*Jules’ List*

In honor of the Academy of American Poets’ National Poetry Month (April, of course), my barbaric yawps screamed from my rooftop of the world this week will be poetry-related — though, as Liz Scanlon said last week (which is worth repeating and to which I say, word): “My only beef with National Poetry Month is the presumption that poetry be relegated to a single month — a terrible misinterpretation that would narrow the scope of the art rather than explode it wide open, which I’m sure was the founders’ intent. So, if we all agree that reading poetry only in April would be like granting love or chocolate just 30 humble days of our attention, then we can move forward and celebrate.” So, let’s move forward then, and I’ll mention 7 Poetry Kicks this week:

1>. “Psalm and Lament” by Donald Justice, which you can read here (and which I discovered, thanks to Liz telling us about Knopf Poetry’s Poem-A-Day emails). I love this from the poem: “Out spring the butterflies of recollection/ And I think that for the first time I understand/ The beautiful ordinary light of this patio/ And even perhaps the dark rich earth of a heart.”

2>. In thinking about poetry this week, I was pondering those singer-songwriter musicians whose lyrics are damn near the stuff of poetry, and I was reminded of these lyrics (this link has a mistake in it, but I can’t seem to find one that doesn’t) from one of my favorite songs by my very favorite musician, who is obscenely talented and criminally under-rated (yes, that’s her pictured. All hail to Sam, The Queen):

“Give up the ground
Under your feet
Hold on to nothing for good
Turn and run at the mean dogs
Chasing you
Stand alone and misunderstood”

I think I want to pass that bit of wisdom on to my daughters.

3>. My friend, Shannon, and I are going to try to publish an anthology of poetry (not original creations), based on a project I did in grad school. My impossibly and savagely cool advisor and prof had then encouraged me to consider publication. And Shannon and I have been slowly working on it for years, taking our time, scoping the world for poetry that fits our theme. And I’m grateful to Shannon for all the thoughtful emails he sends about the project. And when I start fretting, something at which I excel (Shannon once told me, in fact, that I could make a successful career as a Worry Consultant, as in my client would say, “I just finished my dissertation and did quite well. What is there to worry about now?” Me: “Have you considered global warming?”) . . . as I was saying, when I start to doubt my writing and poetry-anthologizing skills, Shannon writes and says something like this: “Jules, remember, we are on a good path. Things will come together as they need to come together . . . I don’t care if it ever is actually published; for once I’m more concerned about ‘getting there’ rather than ‘arriving there.’ Somehow this makes me think the work will actually be better . . . and easier—at least it will be more enjoyable.” Why can’t all colleagues be like that?

4>. Okay, not poetry-related, but speaking of great friends like Shannon, I had a visit from another Knoxville friend this week, and we had fun catching up over coffee.

5>. My friend telling me that he’ll possibly be spending a bit of time in the presence of the one and only Naomi Shihab Nye this summer; I won’t say why, in case she doesn’t want her summer teaching/lecturing/relaxing/travelling/what-have-you plans blabbed across cyberspace. She is one of my very favorite writers, and so here’s probably My Favorite Poem Ever (written by her).

Okay, so the last two are not poetry-related, but just humor me:

6>. I know I’ve babbled incessantly (in comment boxes anyway) about the brilliant show Six Feet Under, which my husband and I finally just finished watching on DVD, and you may be tired of hearing me say how good it is. Anyway, here’s Claire Fisher’s wonderful pantyhose song. Down with cubes, yo (and, uh, down with any job that actually requires pantyhose. Fashionable and funky tights are one thing, but pantyhose? Yeesh).

7>. Watching my three-year-old set out her empty Easter basket tonight, carefully choosing where she would place it (the middle of the couch won out). This is probably the first year she finally gets it (but not entirely, and I admit I felt weird telling her a bunny would be hopping ’round our place in the wee hours of the morning). Sometimes I wish I could instantly channel the cheer and wonder of a three-year-old (and also their brazen willingness to open their mouths and let their tongues hang, releasing food, when they’ve tried something they think is grievously bad — just like that scene with Tom Hanks in “Big”).

Happy Easter to all. Visit the Peep Research site if you never have before. And please do tell your Seven Things this week if you’re not off eating candy or ova-hunting today . . .

28 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #5”

  1. Eisha, I love it when the weather is all wrong as well, especially when it brings snow. Where are you moving?
    Jules, I took a class from Naomi Shihab Nye is the mid 80’s, she is one of my fave’s as well. And I love that poem.
    My seven, the spring break edition:
    1. I wrote seven poems in seven days in my quest to write a poem a day for poetry month. Let’s consider them works in progress on my other blog.
    2. A day at the coast with my husband, daughter and granddaughter. It was a glimpse in what our summer journey will be like…my gd loves the sand.
    3.Taxes are completed and there are still 9 dys left.
    4. The weather was gorgeous this week, including the rain yesterday.
    5. Our yard was given a spring spruce up and plants were transplanted . (that’s why the rain was welcomed).
    6. Hummingbirds discovered the backyard feeder.
    7. The week began with a fabulous lunch and foot spa with a friend.
    Have a great week. I begin what is considered “the long haul” until summer break.

  2. Eisha, I’m so jealous you got to meet Grace Lin. I’m so enamored of her work.
    Jules, I love the image of your daughter putting out her basked. This was the first year my son was really excited about Easter (and he’s six!), so there was a bit of wonder here last night.
    Without further ado, here’s my list:
    1. My sitter couldn’t make it on Monday, so I left work early and spent a glorious afternoon outside with my son.
    2. I finally got caught up on a stack of grading that has been hanging over my head.
    3. I went to a terrific lecture on a rising and changing China in preparation for my trip. It was very interesting and I learned a lot.
    4. I went to a lecture on Montessori education and how our local Montessori school is going “environmental” and getting kids to care for the world around them.
    5. An agent wrote to say she’s been reading my blog and offered to send me some books to review. I’m thrilled to know I’ll be getting some nonfiction texts to read in the very near future.
    6. My best friend in joining us for Easter dinner. We’ll have a quiet day, read books and play some games. It will be fantastic.
    7. William will be on spring break next week and hubby will be out of town, so son and I will get lots of time together. I’m thrilled!
    Have a great week everyone!

  3. This was kind of a rocky week for me and so i’m really just grateful it’s over. Most of it revolved around a fellow I call Mr. #20, aka my second mandibular bicuspid molar which was giving me some grief. Thankfully he was not necrotic but he did require exile from my mouth, which while initially tramatic was minimized through quick healing.

    And the dentist let me keep it to show my youngest who had a tooth of her own removed this week and was astonished to see the actual size of an adult tooth. Which is why I begged for them to give it to me, OSHA regulations de damned, this is a learning experience my girls won’t soon forget!

    So, not a list but a general heave-ho of gladness that all worst case scenarios were avoided and and I can now get on with the business of catching up in the blogosphere.

  4. This is going to be HARD this week, so I’m focusing. (David–yikes on the teeth issues, btw!) Like David, I’ve had a hard week and it’s hard to spin things postively.

    1) These lists. I love coming over on a Sunday and giving them a read. Makes me feel better 🙂 I love to hear about all the happy things in your lives.
    2) We’re all still alive!
    3) My dread illness that has really flattened me is most likely a full-on allergic attack, not a virus. This means I won’t be passing it on to the kids and, thus, losing more work time. I’m allergic to something in Iowa in April. This year I’m really going to try and figure out what it is. My fear is that it is pesticides. But, if it’s a tree or something, I could do something about it.
    4) I’m reading or listening to some really great books this week. I highly recommend Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know for all you mystery fans out there. It’s a good one. Surprised me all the way to the end.
    5) Editing the next TEOTF. It’s going smoothly.
    6) Project Runway will definitely be back this summer. And with my true love, Tim Gunn.

    Okay, guys, can’t come up with a 7th, but I got close!!

  5. Hey guys and girls… Here’s my list:

    1 – it’s a long weekend for us in the UK – and we’ve got actual Spring weather ! The chances of having decent weather on the weekend of a public holiday are practically nil, so this is a matter of much rejoicing !

    2 – I finished my third Doctor Who fiction on Wednesday night – and my readers have all enjoyed it (one reckoned that I could give Who Writer-in-Chief, Russell T Davies a run for his money – which made me laugh a lot, even if it is nonsense!).

    3 – 8.30 am on Friday I started the fourth story (the one that’s been buzzing about my head for nearly 2 weeks). I managed to write 9000 words between 8.30 on Friday morning and 6 pm last night – and type them all up. (Haven’t done quite so well so far today on account of waking at 3.15 am today, convinced I’d left an important scene out of chapter 2 but owing to being half asleep I couldn’t figure out what the scene was ! It continued to bug me until I’d long after I’d given up on trying to sleep and got up at 6 am! Silly brain!) Still, I’ll finish writing the third chapter tonight, even if I don’t get it typed up!

    4 – It’s Classic FM’s annual “Hall of Fame” countdown of the nation’s favourite 300 pieces of classical music this Easter weekend. I love listening to this chart – hearing the various pieces that have been voted for by the radio station’s listeners.

    5 – My head didn’t explode, despite fitting a four day week into the three days I worked this week (I’d had Monday off to travel back to Oxford from my parents’ home in Gloucestershire, and Good Friday’s a public holiday in England at least.)

    I think that’s it. I can’t comment on the excellence of the second episode of “Doctor Who” as I’ve only seen a three minute trailer so far (have to wait to get the disc from my workmate on Tuesday), though since it features a meeting between the Doctor, Martha (his companion) and Shakespeare, I’m sure it IS excellent… !

    Hope you all have had a good week – and have another good one this week too !

  6. 1. My daughter made it safely back from Alaska, filled with tales of ice slides, hot springs, uber-stinky sled dogs, earthquake proof library shelves, and preserved oosiks. (Yeah, I know, but she saw it in a library…)

    2. My feet are clean, and soft, and my toenails are painted a color named “Hong Kong Sunrise.”

    3. My husband is, at this moment, crushing vanilla wafers to make banana pudding pie.

    4. I finished reading Looking for Alaska. (Yes, as good as they say it is. I am still thinking, savoring, wondering.)

    5. I still have a whole pile of other good books to read.

    6. My son taught me how to play “Message in a Bottle” on Guitar Hero. Sending out an SOS, SOS, SOS..

    7. Easter sunrise service followed by cinnamon rolls. And my teenagers still get excited over their Easter basket. (OK, I cheat and put money in with the jelly beans.)

  7. Loved the Easter basket story, Jules. And Eisha, congratulations on being able to spend your Saturday curled up with a good book. David and Kelly, I hope that the coming week gets better.

    1. As I was leaving the haircut place this week, another patron, who I didn’t know, said to me out of the blue, “You’ve got a great head of hair.” The best kind of compliment is one when you know that the person was under no social pressure to say it, and hence must have geuninely meant it.

    2. I drafted the next issue of a monthly publication that I write for work. I’ve been having a hard time continuing to come up with topics (this is the 8th year of publication), and every time I finish another issue it’s a big weight off my chest.

    3. I read about a 10-year-old girl who won a great from the NEA for her literacy program, a book club for four to eight year olds designed to get more kids interested in reading. 10 years old and she’s thinking of things like this. It gives me faith in the future.

    4. Baseball season started. Josh Beckett and Dice-K both look great, although the Red Sox in general need some time to find a groove.

    5. I was appointed to the board of directors for the Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library (where I’ve been volunteering for a couple of years now).

    6. I was able to make a tiny dent in my To Be Reviewed pile yesterday, writing six reviews. I have some hope of getting more done today.

    7. I finally got to read the newest Julia Spencer-Fleming book (an adult mystery series that I like), and was completely surprised by a major twist in the plot. Now I want to read the Laura Lippman that Kelly recommended.

  8. Like Kelly, not my best week. I took the week off work since it was Spring Break and I could spend some time with the kids, visit some friends, and get some household chores done. I did spend time with the kids, but I couldn’t find any friends who hadn’t gone on vacation and I didn’t get nearly enough done in the house. The high spots though – and I can find them when I look- are:

    1. Buying this awesome $16 dollar set of pens at Staples knowing that their Get It Free Rebate really works. Free pens! Nice ones!
    2. Monday, the first day of not having to go anywhere or do anything and it being 75 degrees outside, freaking wonderful.
    3. A second warm day even if I spent the whole day waiting for any of my local friends to call me back to go to a movie. Ah well, read a great book, Leap Day by Wendy Mass.
    4. Took my kids to the circus, and liked it too! We hadn’t been for years and it was fun to see how it had changed for all of us.
    5. Got back Grace Lin’s interview for the Edge and loved it. Great that you got to meet her in person, Eisha.
    6. Got the one big chore of boxing up clothes done.
    7. Being in email touch with Kelly today and learning that (a) I could help her with an article (b) she missed my writing last week (c) we could share our week of woe. I felt more connected then I had all week.

    I’m back, baby! Blogging may suck up my time, but it keeps my juices flowing. I can’t forget that.

  9. Oh! Now I have a #7.

    #7 MotherReader. Her pens, her conversation and her saving of the Picture Book Review column for the April TEOTF 🙂

  10. Okay, seven…. Let’s see. the first one’s easy.
    1) It snowed this week (in Asheville, NC), and the lilacs are fine but the tulips are all bowing down and the new butterfly bush foliage is killed!
    2) i started reading Mal Peet’s “Tamar” and watched a YouTube interview with him, for which I am gratefyul, becauser I learned that the name is pronounced “TAY mer” and not “ta MAR. I’m also grateful that we do occasionally see and hear about Carnegie Medal winners in the USA. (And why are the Brits’ best children’s books so much more sophisticated than our Newberys?)
    3)I made biscuits this morning, and they were incredibly short and flaky.
    4)I’m also reading Andre Aciman’s “Call Me By Your Name,” an incredibly beautiful and erotic novel. (NOT for chidlren)
    5) Several friends and neighbors left for the beach in the snow!
    6) I joined a teacher-librarian group on Ning. And I got my school to UNbvlock Ning. Shades of the paranoid old school 1.0 days.
    7) I watched Cate Blanchett in “Charlotte Grey” and later Linda Hunt, Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson in “The Year of Living Dangerously and stayed awake for both!

  11. Woo, nice lists, everyone! Jone, I’m impressed – 7 poems in 7 days? That’s excellent! Dunno when I’m moving exactly, but it will probably be around July.

    Tricia, congrats on getting new nonfiction to review, and on what sounds like an intellectually-gratifying week.

    David, so glad you’re on the mend. And how cute that you were able to bond with your youngest over it.

    Kelly, I hope you have a better week, too. And I’ve heard good things about Laura Lippman before, now I simply must give her a try.

    Michele – spring weather and a long weekend, that’s a lovely combo. Enjoy!

    Sara, so glad your daughter’s home safe. I had to look up what an oosik is. Wow. I had no idea. You’re right, though, Looking for Alaska is really all that.

    Jen, congrats on your appointment. And that story about the 10-year-old literacy advocate is wonderful. And you would not believe the Dice-K buzz around here. Well, yeah, you would.

    MotherReader, sorry your week wasn’t all you’d hoped for, but at least you weren’t at work. And had nice weather. And free pens!

    Jane, I LOVED Mal Peet’s Keeper. I’ll look for that interview on YouTube – thanks!

    And thanks for sharing your lists with us, everyone.

  12. Thanks for the lists, everyone. I love reading them, truly and madly, I do. Our big easter egg hunt here at my mother-in-law’s is over, my daughters having had a great time and ingested lots of candy. I’m stopping in to read everyone’s lists as I wind down from the Big Hunt myself, though I don’t have time to comment on each one and ask questions. Maybe later. Glad I got to read the lists, though, and thanks as always and keep ’em coming. To those who had bad weeks, I didn’t necessarily have a bad week myself, but mine also wasn’t stellar, so I had to try hard with my list (and I think that’s obvious; it’s all over the place). Anyway, thanks to all.

  13. 1. My parents sent me an Easter lily.

    2. The cat did not die from eating the Easter lily.

    3. Our neighbors were so happy to receive an Easter lily, even if it was somewhat cat-chewed.

    4. Junior took complete control of the egg-dying and came up with some beautiful eggs.

    5. My husband made pancakes this morning.

    6. A friend and I made plans to go out for sushi later in the week.

    7. I signed us up for “No Child Left Outside,” a fun, treasure-hunt thing sponsored by the state parks.

  14. That should be “No Child Left Inside.” oops.

  15. Such varied lists this week. Here are mine:

    #1 – I ate a lot of really good brownies this week.
    #2 – My cat Benny got a clean bill of health at the vet’s on Wednesday.
    #3 – I got out to see Grindhouse on opening night.
    #4 – I had coffee and talked writing with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time yesterday.
    #5 – I had Easter here at my house. Nothing brings me quite as much joy as when my house is filled up with people I love and all of us are eating.
    #6 – We also finished a puzzle today.
    #7 – I’m leaving for my first-ever trip to Washington, DC tomorrow!!!

    Not a bad week at all.

  16. Happy April, Jules and Eisha!

    I’m not going to make a list today. I just want to say that I am truly appreciative of all the kidlit bloggers who have been so supportive of my launching my solo blog, Wild Rose Reader. Several bloggers added Wild Rose Reader to their blogrolls the very first day…and some even gave me shout-outs on their blogs. I decided it would be a nice gesture for me to dedicate an original poem each day at Wild Rose Reader to a different blogger who has given me encouragement publicly…or privately via emails.

    Thanks to you, Jules and Eisha, for posting my 7-Imp interview the day after I launched my blog and for helping to spread the word.

  17. Hi there, glad to be back home and back reading your lists! Here’s mine:

    1. Survived a last-minute visit from my brother and his two kids (age 7 and 9).

    2. Took the kids to a place called Northlandz, which has to be the coolest model train display ever. I don’t even like model trains and I was blown away by how impressive this place is.

    3. Filled, sorted, and hid 85 plastic eggs for the family egg hunt today. Got general acclaim and appreciation from 5 very happy kids.

    4. Spent Easter weekend with my parents, so a good amount of time laughing and talking.

    5. Put brother to good use during his visit and got lots of house-fixing things done.

    6. Got my dreaded pear trees pruned (see last July blog entries for the saga of the putrid pears) and started planning my landscaping.

    7. Did a postcard blog entry that made me particularly happy, and got a bunch more postcards from my mom this weekend to help me keep it going.

    Wow, I might have more than 7 this week, but I’ll stop there.



  18. Happy to see all these happy lists—especially from people who had hard weeks. Thanks, Eisha and Jules (and everyone who writes in with your lists), for making this such a special place to visit every Sunday!

  19. Aw, me too, Robin. I love seeing all these lists. Thanks for visiting.

    Susan, you just reminded me how much I miss egg dying. Dyeing? Whatever, I miss it.

    Adrienne, my husband mentions at least 3 times a day how much he wants to see Grindhouse. I’m assuming since it’s in your list it’s worth seeing?

    Elaine, your blog is awesome. We expected no less.

    Nancy, Northlandz sounds really cool! Jules should tell you sometime about the awesome model train her dad had in the basement. I love anything made miniature, and would just get so transfixed when I went to visit.

  20. It’s time to count my blessings. Right now, I’m feeling a bit rotten about what feels like a library career setback but what actually may be a push forward in my storytelling career. So, here goes:

    1) After two years of letting the yard go wild, I weeded, dug, delved, and planted until my body was one large aching (but satisfyingly so) muscle.

    2) The whole gardening kick started because my daughter wanted a sunflower patch.

    3) When the sunflowers go, my daughter’s going to want a rock to “pretty up her flower patch” a la Why the Tides Ebb and Flow.

    4) My husband says that no matter what I decide about what to do regarding my recent setback, he will support me (emotionally and financially).

    5) I’m playing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” at my upcoming guitar recital.

    6) My daughter named her new Playmobil dolly “Habibi,” which is Arabic for “sweetheart.”

    7) A few people have added me to their blogrolls (including you, thank you very much!) and that’s a bit of external validation that people enjoy my blog. I know self-esteem isn’t supposed to hinge upon external validation, but it’s definitely akin to a pinch of cardamom in a batch of French toast. Ever tried it? It’s just yummy.

  21. P.S. That’s sunflowers grow, not “go.”

  22. 1. All these little bits of uplift. Thanks, 7 Imp.
    2. Reading ANYTHING by Naomi Shihab Nye. I worked with her one semester and I truly think she was the clincher for me — that nice folk could be good writers, and happy to boot.
    3. A dinner party for 13 on Friday night — too many people for our tiny dining room so we ate at a looong table on the deck and when it got chilly we all wrapped up in blankets and kept talking.
    4. Ice-skating yesterday with my husband and daughters and they really truly got it — so much so that we had races around the rink.
    5. Learning my first song on my new, beautiful, birthday-presented mountain dulcimer.
    6. It’s cold in Texas!!!! I mean, REALLY BLOODY COLD!!!!
    7. I am rippin’ through the first real “chapter” of my W.I.P.
    Cheers, ya’ll….

  23. The list:
    1. Easter and what it means.
    2. Didn’t turn on the computer all day Sunday, yay! I’m not as addicted as I thought.
    3. Spring break this week – five more glorious days of bliss.
    4. This stamp set has raised over $2,000 so far for Autism Speaks.
    Can you mention it in the body of your blog, hinta-hinta?
    5. Babies galore! Ayda Parker age 3 months and Bailey (forgot her last name, Scotty Bailey’s neice) age 3 weeks came to church Easter morning.
    6. The news of your and Shannon’s journey towards an anthology. An autographed copy for our library, puh-leeeeez!
    7. Your 7-Imp — starts the week off just riiighhhht. Thank you.

  24. I came back to say I finished the 4th “Doctor Who” novella – can’t believe I wrote an entire novella in 4 days (no idea what the word count is yet, as I’ve still got to type up chapters 3 & 4 (plus the Epilogue) – but it’s *written* and therefore out of my head.

    Of course I’ve got about 6 book reviews to write now, but what the hey !

    Have a good week all !

  25. Woo hoo, Michele! Congrats!

  26. Eisha, Grindhouse was uneven, but what it did well, it did very well. I’m glad I saw it. I keep telling people that I hesitate to recommend it, but that’s mostly because of the content, which is… well, not for everyone.

  27. Ah. Well, that’s about how I felt about Kill Bill, so sounds like I’d enjoy it too. Thanks!

  28. Thanks Jules ! I’m just slightly appalled that I’ve done it !!

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