you go word girl!

Submitted by la miller on 29 April, 2009 - 01:31

Run, don't walk, to your nearest TV and watch [w:Word Girl] on PBS. Srsly, this show rocks. Superhero Word Girl's got a bountiful vocabulary and a sidekick monkey named Captain Huggy Face. How fabulous is that?

[|] recently spoke to the show's creator: How did you come up with the idea for Word Girl?

Dorthea Gillim: I trace the origins back to my love of language, which started when I was in ninth grade and asked for a dictionary for Christmas. Not just any dictionary; it had to be the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. I was the kid who marked all the words I looked up. I've always aspired to be eloquent and articulate, because I come from a family of great orators and I never felt like I measured up. I thought it would be cool if eloquence was a super power. I knew I wanted to create a new character for kids. I wanted it to be a girl and I wanted her to be ethnically ambiguous so all kids could identify with her. She has all the powers of Superman, but then she's got eloquence too.

Perhaps all hope is not lost for the rhetorical capacity of the Twitter generation.


Submitted by la miller on 27 April, 2009 - 00:18

This is where I spent Friday afternoon. I read [w:Louise Erdrich]'s "[|Birchbark House]." A good read for a bright 8-year-old or a 38-year-old on a slow day.

It felt verrry good to lounge in the sun. Yes, yes, I should've been blogging and sending emails and working on a new article, but sometimes you just need to read. I picked up a couple children's books at Powell's recently for a young friend's birthday. And if my trend for the past year says anything, I'm very resistant to the idea of presenting a young friends with books I've never read. It's just too enjoyable to reading something easy and fun. And then you can ask about the book later.

On Wednesday, I read [w:Ida B.] . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan. Ida B is a great character—she talks to brooks and trees and runs all over her parents orchard in Western Wisconsin. Life doesn't remain perfect, however, for Ida B. Her mom gets cancer and, after several years of homeschooling, she has to go to school.

As her life feels like it is spinning out of control, Ida B decides she is going to be miserable—no enjoying new friends, no laughter, no sharing with her parents anything good about school. How long can she stay miserable? Read it and find out.

r.i.p. ernie

Submitted by la miller on 23 April, 2009 - 21:35

My boyfriend Bob's dad Ernie died last night. He was 80. I met him for the first time earlier this month. Then saw him on Sunday. Now, he's gone.

Ernie was diagnosed with cancer a year ago or so. He had ups and downs with it, but nine days ago, no longer able to handle food or water through a stomach shunt, he refused IV feeding and set his heart towards death. He had made his decision. His children and wife all were able to say goodbye. He had last rites. Now, his life as Ernie has ended.


Submitted by la miller on 21 April, 2009 - 15:07

Bob's bees are buzzing. I got to help with them for the first time over the weekend. "I've got no problem with bees," I rather blithely proclaimed before suiting up in veil, gloves and jumpsuit. But as we opened the hive and pulled out frames to look for larva, a lot of bees started flying around me. I noticed I felt some fear—what if they get angry? what if one gets in my veil?

the practice of self-esteem

Submitted by la miller on 16 April, 2009 - 13:50

As I’ve move my mind into thinking of myself as a writer, I’ve had to square up with my self-esteem issues. These, of course, come up in other places, in relationships, at jobs, traveling, etc., but since I’m writing this for public consumption, I guess I’m approaching it from the point of view of accepting myself as a writer. These are a few of my thoughts, written quickly this morning. They may be incomplete, and I’m sure there are typos, but I wanted to get something down about this.


Submitted by la miller on 16 April, 2009 - 01:30

I've been doing some volunteer work for the [|Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition], an amazing international organization with centers spanning the globe. Anyway, I came across the website for [|Lawudo Gompa], a FPMT-affiliated retreat center high up in the Himalayas of Nepal. Check out the [|link]. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be there.


Submitted by la miller on 14 April, 2009 - 13:21

First off, let me say that with my consumer camera equipment crows are difficult to photograph. I have yet to get a really good shot of a crow.

Secondly, my neighborhood crow family is nesting. I haven't quite figured out where the nest is, but I've watched them selecting and gathering twigs. They are so clever. They know exactly what they're looking for.

reclaiming easter

Submitted by la miller on 12 April, 2009 - 15:46

Easter was never a favorite holiday of mine. As a kid it meant getting up before dawn to make breakfast at church: scrambled eggs, little sausage links, pancakes, juice, cinnamon rolls. If I was lucky, I could stay in the kitchen during the sunrise service and make juice from the shiny orange frozen concentrate.


Submitted by la miller on 12 April, 2009 - 02:47

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah.