Thursday, April 26, 2012

RIP, Ching Dow

I still can't believe it, but it's true.  Ching Dow is no more.  There are other Asian restaurants in Fairfield, but Ching Dow is (WAS... sigh) the only place to really order off-a-menu-takeout-in-little-boxes Chinese food.  How am I going to live without my broccoli chicken or my moo shu vegetables?  I NEED THEM!

I don't really know why they closed down on April 1, but I'm guessing their business was hurting from the new Hy-Vee store's Chinese food and also the Chinese buffet place that Andrew and I call "The Trough."  Both of those are OK.  But they AREN'T Ching Dow!  I can only hope something even more wonderful will come into town in its place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Literature Matters

My friend Kevin gets a daily poem in April (National Poetry Month), and he sent me today's.  It really touched my heart.

Because of Libraries We Can Say These Things

She is holding the book close to her body,
carrying it home on the cracked sidewalk,
down the tangled hill.
If a dog runs at her again, she will use the book as a shield.

She looked hard among the long lines
of books to find this one.
When they start talking about money,
when the day contains such long and hot places,
she will go inside.
An orange bed is waiting.
Story without corners.
She will have two families.
They will eat at different hours.

She is carrying a book past the fire station
and the five-and-dime.
What  this town has not given her
the book will provide; a sheep,
a wilderness of new solutions.
The book has already lived through its troubles.
The book has a calm cover, a straight spine.

When  the step returns to itself
as the best place for sitting,
and the old men up and down the street
are latching  their clippers,

she will not be alone.
She will have a book to open
and open and open.
Her life starts here.

                   Naomi Shihab Nye

This is a picture of part of our new Fairfield Middle School Rabid Readers Book Club.  These kids are amazing, and we meet once a month to talk about a certain book.  The picture comes from an article that ran in the Fairfield Ledger last week.

This month it was The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  The poem Kevin sent me really made me think of our book club and of the opportunity it gives kids to get lost in literature.  We have wanted to start a book club for many years, but this is the first year we have made it happen.  4 of us teachers and a spectacular parent volunteer make the group happen, and it's awesome.  What they discuss blows our minds every single time... how deeply they analyze and think... the connections they make.  Reading literature is so important.  Even though our club isn't huge, I'm so glad we're giving kids one more chance to connect at school and with books and with each other.  And this poem reminds me why it all matters.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Past & Present Post

I started the following on Friday:

Wow.  I'm posting for the first time on the new blogger.  It looks weird.  Anyway, enough of that... ;)

I have three shows left of Forbidden Broadway.  The costume changes are a nightmare, but it's a very fun show to do.  I have fun every night, and the cast is very talented.  Theatre is such a cool family that grows every time you do a show.  New friends are always good!  It's fun doing shows with Way Off Broadway because you work really hard for a couple of weeks, then you perform for a couple of weeks, and then you're done.  I love the quick process of it all.

Emma & Suzanne are coming down this weekend.  This is the first time they've ever stayed with me.  They're coming to my show tonight, and then they're going to Wizard of Oz at the high school tomorrow night.  Luckily, it runs for two weekends, so I'll get to see it next Saturday, I hope.

I'm trying AGAIN to refinance my house.  I had the papers all signed today.  I need to get a few documents rounded up to take in to them on Monday, and then the waiting game begins.  I'm not optimistic after the debacle this summer, but it's worth trying.

Then, I got busy, and I never finished the post.

So, NOW, I can write about how the weekend actually went!

It was GREAT having Emma & Suzanne here.  Emma and I cleaned out all the stuff in my Barbie house, and she reorganized the whole thing as only an 8-year-old can.  I loved having them stay with me.

We had the best show on Saturday night.  It was electric.  It's such a funny show.  Every show was good, but the houses were disappointing.  I'm choosing to remember Saturday night the most because the crowd made it so fun.

 Finally in the Annie dress after 30 years of waiting!

 I Dreamed a Dream parody

 Mamma Mia parody

Rent parody

One very cool thing happened on the Sunday matinee, our closing show.  One of my mom's best friends drove down from Iowa City to see me.  It was awesome seeing her again after all these years, and in a way, it felt like a little piece of my mom was there at the show.  There's a part of my mom that lives in her friends.  That part is not easily accessible to me, so when I see them, I can feel her there.  I think it's that way with all of us.  I think there would be part of me that would live on in Tracy, Jeff, Suzanne, Andrew, and others who really know me.  It made me so happy, and hugging her, well... it was a little like hugging my mom.  Thank you, Kaye!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great Blog Post

Food + Sound of Music? Could be my favorite blog post ever on Delicious Delicious Delicious.

Click here for bundt cakes and Captain von Trapp.
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