I’m pretty sure I’ve written before that one of my all-time favorite books is Johnny Tremain.
Often, for a lot of people, Johnny Tremain is grouped with My Brother Sam Is Dead as ‘books for middle schoolers dealing with the American Revolution’.
And, despite my love for Johnny Tremain, I’ve just never made the time to read My Brother Sam Is Dead.
But we’re considering possibly adding an alternative to Johnny Tremain for the students to read this year, so I gave My Brother Sam Is Dead a chance.
Warning – this review will contain spoilers…spoilers slightly more revealing than the spoiler that is the book’s own title.
On Friday night we hit the mall for the one night of the holiday season when we spend a night at the mall as a family.
(It actually wasn’t all that crowded, which worked out well since my wife hates crowded malls and my youngest daughter got tired and cranky, forcing us to leave sooner than we wanted.)
We decided to have dinner at the food court, since we thought the restaurants would probably be crowded, and we suspected our youngest might be too tired and cranky to sit at a restaurant.
The problem was, I didn’t feel like food court food.
Then, when we sat at a table I saw our solution: Cheeseboy.
I’m pretty proud to say that since becoming eligible to vote almost half my lifetime ago (yeesh) I’ve participated in most elections.
It was hard at first because I was voting by absentee ballot as a registered voter in New York living in Massachusetts, and I might have missed some non-presidential elections because of that extra step in getting the paperwork.
Once I became a full Massachusetts resident, I’ve been a regular voter.
But I’ve never exercised my democratic right as much as I have during this calendar year.
I had written off Boston’s version of ‘Play Me I’m Yours’ a while ago.
It seemed like it could be a great New Thing, but it was only going to be around Boston through early October.
I knew it would be hard for me to get into Boston just to play a public piano at that time of year.
(If you don’t know, ‘Play Me I’m Yours’ is a public art installation featuring pianos left around a number of cities. This edition had them in Boston and Cambridge in September and October.)
Turns out, though, that while the Boston and Cambridge pianos still in good condition were given to charities, two remained: one at Logan Airport and the other at Quincy Market.
Turns out, I ran into that Quincy Market piano last week when I went to the Bodies exhibit at Faneuil Hall.
I’ve never been to Meeting Street Cafe in Providence, Rhode Island.
But I have had one of their cookies.
My co-teacher had raved about the food there on more than one occasion.
She spent some time there in October, I think, and floated the idea that she’d bring me back one of their big cookies.
I was kind of bummed because it was at a time I was kind of desperate for New Things.
She promised to get me something the next time she went…and that next time came over Thanksgiving weekend.
Here’s a terrible thing that’s happening more and more lately:
I keep forgetting certain passwords.
Not like e-mail or Facebook passwords – ones I use often.
The ones I use more rarely are the ones that don’t stay in my head.
Two factors contribute to this – one being that I always log out of a site when I leave it, and the other is that I use different passwords for most sites.
I think I might have to change my approach, because it’s preventing me from signing up for new online accounts.
But I tell you all this because I have yet another account to keep track of.
There’s just one thing standing between my family and a regular movie night:
We don’t really like movies.
Me? I think I’ve stated before that if I’m spending more than an hour or two sitting and watching something it’s a sporting event, not a movie.
My daughters? Well, they’ve found that movies are often quite perilous, and they can do without the peril.
But last week we ordered in, we cooked up some popcorn, and we ordered up a movie.
As the girls get older I could see this becoming more of a regular occasion.
For a few years my holiday house-decorating routine has been the same:
Icicle lights hanging over the garage.
The colorful lights shaped like a tree under the living room, where the sparkling ball hangs at the top.
There’s the string of snowmen in the living room window, and the wreath on the door.
I love it, but I was always on the lookout for just the right thing to add to the display.
This year I found it.
Science isn’t exactly my favorite subject in the world.
This is in part because some elements of science make me uncomfortable.
I’m a fainter.
I won’t get into it now, but if something causes me discomfort (usually that something involves another person being in pain – like childbirth), I could black out.
So when my co-teacher proposed checking out the Body Worlds exhibit in anticipation of a possible class trip, I wasn’t sure how I’d respond.
But I knew it would make a great New Thing.
So on Monday night we walked through the exhibit.
When I was growing up we had a simple little Advent calendar.
It was a square piece of felt that hung on the wall with 25 pouches, and there was this little mouse that moved from square to square.
We liked having it out each year – well, at least I did.
I think my brother and sister did too.
For a while now, I’ve been looking for something similar for my kids to enjoy each year around Christmas.
This year we found this one.