Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"And knowing ahead, there comes a fork in the road. Pants have got to go, we're on an island on the Fourth of July, it looks like the tide is going home. In time, I'd find a little way to your heart, down to the general store for nothing specific, gonna wash my bones in the Atlantic shore, only for you and me." ~band of horses

I was so thrilled they played that song when I saw them at MSG in December; it's one of my favorites. I think it's a great summer song.

The school year is over! Here are a couple of highlights since school let out.

I'm not a Maroon 5 fan, but I got to spend about six hours in the same room as the lead singer yesterday (am I allowed to say his name? I'm not sure, so I won't, but I'm sure you all know it), and I have to say I was really impressed with him. He was incredibly fun, good-natured, and friendly. I signed nondisclosure forms so there's not much I can say about the experience right now, but once a certain movie comes out I'll say more. During downtime (of which there was a lot), he impersonated Johnny Cash, the Beatles, Kings of Leon, Creed, Al Green, Elvis, Sting, Prince, Cee Lo Green, and more (he took requests). He was entertaining and made the experience (that I can't discuss now) very enjoyable.

Every year I love attending Random House's Author Event for Educators, and this year's event was wonderful as always. They had a great collection of authors. Susan Cain was a highlight for me; her bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking has been on my radar for awhile, and I loved hearing her speak about introverts, focusing on how teachers can support introverts in the classroom. Julie Otsuka has won many writing awards for her novel When the Emperor Was Divine, and her long awaited follow-up, The Buddha in the Attic. I can't wait to read both books after hearing about them. Darin Strauss is another writer whom I was excited to hear from; his memoir Half a Life has been on my must-read list since it was released and critically lauded. Matt De La Pena (an author my students enjoy), Said Sayrafiezadeh, and Sam Bracken also spoke very well about their books and their experiences. It was a great day.

I've been to the movies a LOT since school ended. I enjoyed Savages, The Amazing Spider-Man, People Like Us, Magic Mike (so much eye candy it was overwhelming), and Ted, although I still think my favorite movie of the summer is Moonrise Kingdom.

I'm super excited to see my friend Denise, who's visiting this weekend along with her friend Alicia, whom I really liked meeting last year. Then on Tuesday I leave for Italy and Greece! My grandmother and I are flying to Rome and spending a couple of days there, then we head to Venice for a couple of days, and from Venice we'll embark on a cruise of the Greek islands. I cannot wait. Hopefully internet will be available when I get back. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures and stories to share.

I'm sad that I can't be at Comic-Con and NerdHQ this week because I had a blast last year; it was one of the best weeks ever. I hope everyone going has fun. I will be looking at pictures and videos and will be jealous.

Some of my newly signed books: