Two Weeks of Sleeping In

A couple days ago was Nefarious’s Christmas concert, AKA the only time you’ll find me in a church. Their class group sang five songs (two in French I think), and we also got to listen to a ear-tormenting string group, a recorder performance, and various other musical interludes. My camera isn’t too good in low light, let alone at a distance, so the kids have a certain “Children of the Damned” charm to them.


I think Nefarious had the most fun waving at us and making faces at me whenever she noticed the camera. Because it was her last night here, after the concert we had a “sleepover” — she has two beds in her bedroom — where we read books by flashlight and stayed up later than normal which was lots of fun.


The last day of the schoolyear was “pajama day” — since I picked her up after school and went straight to the airport, I’m sure many people wondered why she was wearing PJs for the trip. On one hand I think people will just assume it’s a dress, but on the other hand… no. I got her a tiny little movie player for the trip and loaded it up with kids movies… I hope she managed to figure out how to play a movie to pass the time. We sure are going to miss her while she’s gone! The house feels so empty, and I don’t know what to do with myself at suppertime.


And, I did some painting today and watched a pile of movies — and played the new country music update to Rock Band which I highly recommend. I’m not really very happy with this painting. I might re-do it. I might still make the decision to do the book illustrations as water colors because they take so much less time. The odds of that are actually very high — I’ll probably pick up some materials so I can paint/draw on the beach.



  1. Richard Larratt wrote:

    i love it

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  2. Richard Larratt wrote:

    okay that was my first reaction.

    I think the rats will yield at least 50 stories and there are two favours of rats – Dumbos and wild – and at least in the illustrations the two favours should be distinct

    If you want to keep it real simple and more like a cartoon

    getting the dumbos right is ears and color – Raymond is a two tone dumbo and since most the rats are his if they evidence as dumbos that is what you get – the ears – lower and larger and two tone paint job

    the rat snake in reality is so much bigger than a rat you will have to take license – look it up – biggest wild snake in ontario

    I do like the fox as already drawn and likewise the rats

    when this thing hits critical mass there will be no reason for the kids to not act out the stories

    I see a totally audio series of just that for kids at sea and that just might full circle was theorists have been waiting for 50 years

    a kind of global audio story telling world villiage

    what I like about your style is that it will invite the kids in

    the way the stories are delivered with a parent guide and serious reference

    is that these stories can be as interesting as the old disney animals but nearer to the truth

    not something to belabor and it has to work at the beginnin without that overburden

    but come on

    you, Raymond, go out for your morning hunt, you come back and the bottom of the cage is filled with a dozy rat snake about to hibernate for the winter

    that is what they do

    but what do you Raymond do

    it takes a few tales but you wake him up feed him and make him the rat god

    and that makes all the difference between wild rats without a god

    and dumbos with one

    the story works in layers
    and if it works it really works because whereas a lot of excellent stuff for kids works for the kids there is no back story

    these are rough notes to shannon but everyone is invited and trust me I will take into account anything anyone has to add

    if any of you have listened to audible books you know how a turned on family who could make it a play and have the voices – versus one reader

    this thing can work at all levels

    good science
    good politic

    but it must always begin as a story your children want to hear

    I did a bit of this 40 years ago b

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  3. Richard Larratt wrote:

    the whole thing is so much in the character of “taking back”

    The other day Shannon and I were exchanging ideas about just what is the problem with some of the teaching and as per Gatto if you want the full story it is that the teacher knows the right ans and much of the drill is to drill into the kids the right ans and they be able to give it on prefab tests which the teachers teach to at risk of losing their jobs

    the thrust of these storys is not to teach that the right ans is to “feed the snake”

    or to “not shit where you sleep”

    but rather to present in a fashion that the kids your kids see how Raymond and his rat buds came to those ans and how like all ans they are provisional moreso than right or wrong

    I mean sometimes maybe it might be best to not feed the snake

    oh yeah – I did this as I started to say – it worked with the kids to the extent that when devon went to Berlin for a semester of high school he sent back tapes – not about rats – but 40 years ahead – the skinheads and the turks and the whole foreign worker thing 40 years early and any kid could understand it

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 11:39 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *