Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wake Up and Boogie, Marshmallow Style

This will NOT be happening
at our What the Fluff Festival today.
 Today is the annual What the Fluff Festival in my part of the world.  in 1917, Archibald Query starting making Marshmallow Fluff in his home in Somerville, MA.  Because of his ingenuity, and the magic that came when Fluff was added to peanut butter, hot chocolate, and Rice Krispie Treats, our little neighborhood celebrates his invention every year.

I am heading that way in a few hours and I can't wait.  Every year, the festival is full of food made with Fluff, Fluff inspired games, and The Flufferettes, a G-rated burlesque group for the entertainment of all Fluff-lovers.

I don't have a marshamallow dance, but here is a video of what went down one year the What the Fluff Festival.  Happy Saturday!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Heading to the Ball!

Well, not really a ball, but my own Cinderella story to be sure. I'm currently on board a bus to NY for the Carle Honors Gala. My sister helped me get a dress and I have an appointment to get my hair done as soon as I arrive.

I plan on swapping the pumpkin coach for an Uber cab and at 5 pm I'll be sipping champagne at the VIP pre-party.

More updates (and pictures) later!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wake Up & Boogie!

Today is a beautiful New England fall day and it is my first day of real sleeping in since school started.  My roomies (aka my sister and her bf) and I have a jam-packed day ahead of us.  It may involve one of the infamous corn mazes 'round these parts and it may involve more furniture shopping.  We still have a little bit of work to do in order to get our new place ready.

In just a few minutes I plan on hopping out of bed and getting things done.  In the meantime, ever wonder what my victory dance looks like?  Well, sort of like this.  (Side note...I must go get a tutu so I can really make this happen.)  Big thanks to my friend Arlene for sending me this video!

Happy Wake Up & Boogie Saturday folks!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thank You!

It took around 3 years to hit the first 10,000... And less than a year for the next 10,000! Thanks for all your support!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wake Up and Boogie Saturday

Dance Friday is over but Wake Up and Boogie Saturday is here!

The real house from the Fresh Prince!
A photo opp with some fantastic friends
who came to visit LA last year.
This morning I am boogie-ing around my half empty apartment because today is the day my sister moves in with me!!!!!!!! 

Everybody has a victory dance, right?  Mine looks a little like this one.  What's yours?

Also, I'm thinking this is my inspiration for dancing the Eric Carle Gala.  There was no mention of dancing but I might try to make it work.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Be Warned...This Post Contains the Highest Level of Bragging

Here's the short version.

THEY PICKED ME!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so obviously there is a story behind that but I just wanted to cut to the chase.  This is one of those stories that could drag out a bit and part way through you might be thinking, "Yeah, but are you writing this because they picked you?"  So, the answer is yes, they picked me.

What do Chris Van Allsburg...
(Polar Express and Jumanji)
...and Eric Carle have
in common?
(The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
...Jon Scieszka
(Stinky Cheesman, Math Curse)

They all get to have dinner with me!!!
Every year, Eric Carle and his wife Barbara host the Carle Honors Benefit Gala and Art Auction.  This fancy schmancy evening takes place in New York City in the fall.  The Carles, and co-chairs Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi, honor important folks in the children's literature world.  In addition, they get some fantastic illustrators to create art that gets put up for silent auction.  Basically, it is like the Oscars for children's the ALA Awards but with fancy outfits.  Tickets for the event range from $20,000 a pop to $500.  Many of the illustrators who donated art show up and it is a pretty fantastic guest list. Check out this year's list of honorees here.

Every year, I want to go.

This year, I actually clicked on the reservation link because I thought maybe I would spend too much money and just do it.  That's when I noticed that folks buying a ticket can also purchase a ticket for a teacher to go...for free.  So I emailed the Eric Carle people and asked how to get on the list to be one of those teachers who might get picked to go.  The lovely lady said I had done what I needed to and I was on the list of hopefuls.

Today...THEY PICKED ME!!!!!!!!!

That's right folks, in two weeks from today, I will be in NYC all gussied up, rubbing elbows and sipping champagne with Eric Carle, Tony DiTerlizzi, Chris Van Allsburg, Rosemary Wells, and I don't even know which illustrators.  It also means I get a complimentary educator membership to the Eric Carle Museum.  *sigh  What a freakin' day!

(All this on the heels of my wonderful evening at the inaugural Children's Books Boston event.  This is a new organization in Boston linking all the folks interested in children's lit.  We had authors, editors, was amazing!)

Yes, I'm bragging.  Years ago when I started this blog I described it, in part, as dedicated to the creation of a dream come true.  Today, I had a dream come true. I'm doing a victory dance around the unpacked boxes of my new apartment. Ok, I'll stop now.  But you will hear about it later. :-)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hopeless Wanderer - Wake Up and Boogie Saturday

I woke up today in the converted-ski chalet my parents live in, gripping my blankets as it seems fall arrived overnight.  The leaves haven't quite changed yet but the warmth that surrounded us the past
few months has packed its bags and headed south. This is a change I am welcoming with open arms as I plant roots back on the East Coast.

Home. Before the snow.

For the past 14 years I have been wandering around the world.  I left this neck of the woods when I was 18 for college in the Pacific Northwest.  Since then, I have found myself in various homes from Rome to LA to Boston.  It has been quite the adventure and I cherish every moment of those 14 years.

However, I have decided to put a halt to my wandering.  This summer, my cat and I packed our things again and headed across the country.  We are settling in Boston, the place that in all my travels stood out as the place I felt the most at home.  Last weekend Nikolas James Pumpkinhead and I moved in and next weekend, in a dream-come true series of events, my sister is moving in with us.  Despite the ups and downs of the move and the long hours at the new job (Special Education teacher in a 4th grade inclusion room), I wear miles of smiles every day.

My parents' home.  This is coming soon.

I missed my Dance Friday last night because I was driving home to Buffalo in a borrowed car.  (Side note: this wanderer sold her car of 10 years this summer.  Talk about staying put!)  I'm here because my dad has been the leader in bringing the Belle Starr Music Festival back to Colden, NY.  Belle Starr was a famous American outlaw and the name of a saloon in this tiny town in Western NY.  It hosted musicians such as Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gregg Allman. Over 30 years ago a fire put an end to the show.  However, my amazing father has helped bring it back.  Today marks the return of the festival!

After a long legacy of wandering, here is my Wake Up & Boogie video for you.  While I don't feel quite so hopeless, I love the song and this hysterical music video.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Labor Day! A Move-In Story

I found this on
Pretty accurate.
I'm going to take just a minute of this post to educate the world about what happens in Boston today.  Today is "Move-In" Day.  Yes, sorta like the move-in day that former high schoolers experience when they move in to college, but on a massive scale. See, Boston is a small city jam-packed with colleges and universities.  So the chaos of a regular move in day for a normal college town with one, maybe two universities is magnified.

Add to that the fact that most leases in the city, whether you are a student or not, also begin on September 1, and you have sheer  pandemonium.  Uhaul trucks get stuck under bridges, streets are littered with furniture that people don't need/want any more, every street parking spot is filled with a moving truck or van, couches and mattresses that don't fit up our tiny stairwells are hoisted over decks and through windows.  Yeah, it is a mess.

Today, I am moving in too.  I'm taking a deep breath this morning to prepare myself for what is about to happen.  I am a little lucky in that I was able to store most of my stuff in the apartment last weekend.  However, the ominous thunder and grey skies don't look promising for the rest of the moving today.  Add to that I just found out the current tenants in my apartment had a mini-crisis in their attempt to move out and I can't get in until this evening.  Yes, it will be a day to remember for sure.

However, September is rolling in with some pretty stellar events! Let's all take a breath together and think about all the lovely book events happening this month.   And then, if you don't mind, let's crack open a beer.  It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?


September 5
* Author Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) presents her new book, The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, Cambridge Public Main Library, 7 pm

September 12
* Author Caroline Carlson launches her first book, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot, at Wellesley Books, 7 pm

September 14
* Celebrate Hat Day with the Eric Carle Museum!  A day filled with hat making activities will take place in honor of the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Check out for a cool way to contribute!

September 15
* Celebrate International Dot Day with celebrated author Peter H. Reynolds at the Eric Carle Museum. Activities will happen all day.  Mr. Reynold's presentation will begin at 1 pm.

September 17
*  Award-winning authors Erin and Philip Stead present two new books at Porter Square Books, 10 am
* Teen author Sara Farizan will present her book, If You Could Be Mine, at Harvard Bookstore, 7 pm

September 18
* Teen author Sara Farizan will present her book, If You Could Be Mine, at the Cambridge Public Main Library, 1:30 pm

September 21
* Meet ERIC CARLE! At his museum!!!!  There are, as might be expected, some guidelines for this event.  Check out the website for more information.
* The Cambridge Public Library is hosting its second annual Boston Teen Author Fesitval, featuring of 20 YA authors, 11 am - 3 pm

September 24

* Author Jasper Fforde presents the second book in The Chronicles of Kazam series, The Song of the Quarkbeast.  This ticketed event is at the Coolidge Corner Theater.  Tickets can be purchased at Brookline Booksmith, 6 pm

September 25
* Authors Marissa Meyer (Cinder, Scarlet), Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life), S.A. Bodeen (The Gardner, The Compound, The Fallout), and Alexandra Coutts (Tumble & Fall) stop by Wellesley Books as part of the Fierce Reads Book Tour for young adults, 7 pm

September 26
* Author Matthew Kirby shares his new book, The Lost Kingdom, at Wellesley Books, 4 pm

September 27
* Author Julie Berry presents her new YA book All the Truth That's in Me at Wellesley Books, 7 pm.  The author will host a meet and greet at 6 pm prior to the reading

September 28
* Author Peter Mendel will present his book Zoo Ah-choooo! at the Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm

Los Angeles

September 6
* I don't know how they managed this, but the Pilgrim School will host author Markus Zusak at 7pm.  PLEASE find someone to get me a signed copy of The Book Thief.

September 8
* Local Author Day at Vroman's celebrates three authors: Tyrone Eason, Michael Mayo, and Patricia Olson at 2 pm.

September 11
* Award-winning authors Erin and Philip Stead present two new books at Vroman's, 10:30 am

Yep, that's them, the most adorable couple
in children's literature...and me!

September 12
* A panel of YA authors discuss their realistic fiction books at Skylight Book's "Keeping it Real" evening. Join to see Corey Ann Haydu (OCD Love Story), Maurene Goo (Since You Asked), Stephanie Kuehn (Charm & Strange), Amy Spalding (The Reece Malcolm List), and moderator Aaron Hartzler (Rapture Practice). 7:30 pm

September 14
* Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity, presents her new book at Once Upon a Time Books, 7 pm

September 17
* Co-authors of two young adult books, Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins will present and sign their books at Mrs. Nelson's, 6:00 pm

September 18
* Co-authors of two young adult books, Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins will present and sign their books at Vroman's, 7:00 pm

September 25
* Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be at Mrs. Nelson's to sign his new book Sasquatch in the Paint, 7 pm

September 28
* Author Sarah Maizes presents her book On My Way to Bed, a picture book, at Children's Book World, 10:30 am

September 29
* Alex Morgan, star soccer player, just wrote her first middle grade series.  She will read and sign the books at a ticketed event at Mrs. Nelson's, 4 pm.

September 30
* The one, the only JON SCIESZKA will appear at Once Upon a Time Books to present a new middle grade series.  YOU MUST GO!!!  (He wrote The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A.Wolf, and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Stories and Knucklehead.) 7 pm