Monday, December 30, 2013

My Last Swap-bot Trade of 2013

I sent out my last Swap-bot trade, ATC Profile Trade, on December 27. This trade was sent two partners based on something in the partner's Swap-bot profile. One of the partners I had, listed in her favorite television shows Doctor Who. My three daughters are Doctor Who fanatics, and they have hooked my wife on the program. Curse Xfinity on Demand and all the Doctor Who seasons that are available. My wife is watching them all the time! I admit to watching a few of them with her. We used to watch the show every Saturday night back when Tom Baker was the "Doctor," but there have been a lot of regenerations since then, and I am a little lost.
I made two Doctor Who themed cards for my Australia partner, though only one was required. (I like to send extra ATCs and decorate the envelopes if I have time.) I didn't over do the card hoping that "less is more." I didn't want to cover up the backgrounds, which were made of stained cardstock that I made in 2012. I used the same backgrounds for some Halloween ATC trades in 2012. The color was supposed to be black, but it turned out gray instead. You never know what you are going to get with my paper staining technique. It is always a surprise, usually pleasant, but occasionally a disappointment. I was hoping these backgrounds would suggest the atmosphere surrounding the traveling Tardis. I took these photos with my phone because my scanner is not working, and the digital quality is not very good.


My other trading partner had an alphabetical list of likes. For "Z" she listed zentangles, so I experimented with some zentangles. These may no longer qualify as zentangles, but I like the results of my experimentation. Again the quality is not very good. Scanning gives a much better result.


 
Happy New Year to all. If you contact me, I will send you an original Artist Trading Card to add to your collection, or get you started on collecting. Just remember that you should always reciprocate with an ATC of your own.

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Mickey Rooney Film List


My wife is a member of a little group of teachers who call themselves “The Oldies but Goodies.” They used to be curriculum facilitators for Jordan School District and are now back as teachers in the classroom. They meet once a month to discuss curriculum. One of the group was able to obtain tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert featuring Deborah Voigt last night, so the oldies went together. My wife was happy to go, because she has gone with me to the HD broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and has seen Voigt in four operas. The other oldies had never heard of her, the low brows!
I got to stay home and babysit the dog, because our family didn’t enter the “lottery” for concert tickets this year after not getting tickets for the last four years. What did I do? I watched a Mickey Rooney movie at TCM On Demand: Stablemates co-staring Wallace Beery, with Margaret Hamilton before she was the Wicked Witch of the West. Rooney was 17, playing a14/15-year-old. Most of his teens and early twenties he was playing younger teens and he could cry with the best of them.
 
Mickey Rooney was in 147 films from Manhattan Melodrama 1934, to Night at the Museum 2006. This does not include the almost two hundred television movies and series episodes he appeared in from 1952 to 2008. I have seen 38 of the movies he appeared in between 1934 and 2006, most of which were made between 1934 and 1944. Some of these I have seen multiple times. Rooney was the star of 96, unless I miss counted, Mickey McGuire comedies, cartoon voices, and short comedies between 1926 (age 5) to 1934 (age13). I have only seen two of the Mickey McGuire shorts (silent), and I don’t recall the titles. Here is a list of the Mickey Rooney films I have seen with the year, character name, and Rooney’s age during filming:
Manhattan Melodrama 1934   Blackie as a boy (13)
 
A Midsummer Night Dream 1935   Puck or Robin Goodfellow (14)
Ah, Wilderness 1935   Tommy (14)
Little Lord Fauntleroy 1936    Dick (15)
The Devil Is a Sissy 1936   “Gig” Stevens (15) One of my favorites.
A Family Affair 1937   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (16)
Captains Courageous 1937   Dan (16)
Hoosier Schoolboy 1937   Shockey Carter (16)
Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry 1937  Timmie Donovan (16) First film with Judy Garland.
Your only Young Once 1937   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (16)
Judge Hardy’s Children 1938   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (17)
Love Finds Andy Hardy 1938   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (17)
Boys Town 1938   Whitey Marsh (17)
Stablemates 1938   Michael “Mickey” (17) Second horse race movie.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1939   Huckleberry Finn (17/18)
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever 1939   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (18)
Babes in Arms 1939   Mickey Moran (18)
Judge Hardy and Son 1939   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (18/19)
Young Tom Edison 1940   Thomas Alva “Tom” Edison (19)
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante 1940   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (19)
Strike Up the Band 1940   Jimmy Connors (19)
Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary 1941   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (20)
Men of Boys Town 1941   Whitey marsh (20)
Babes on Broadway 1941   Tommy Williams (20/21)
A Yank at Eton 1942   Timothy Dennis (21)
Andy Hardy’s Double Life 1942   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (21/22)
The Human Comedy 1943   Homer Macauley (22) Another favorite.
Girl Crazy 1943   Danny Churchill, Jr. (22)
Andy Hardy’s Blond Trouble 1944   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (23)
National Velvet 1944   Mi Taylor (23)
Love Laughs at Andy Hardy 1946   Andrew “Andy” Hardy (25)
Words and Music 1948   Lorenz Hart (27)
The Bridges at Toko-Ri 1954   Mike Forney (33)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961    Mr. Yunioshi (40)
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963   Ding Bell (43)
Pete’s Dragon 1977   Lampie (56)
The Black Stallion 1979   Henry Dailey (58)
Night at the Museum 2006   Gus (85)

 


 
 
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Postal Art I

I joined an ATC swap for the first week of December. The challenge was to create a card with two or more Christmas seals, or any of the stickers that charities send out at this time of year seeking more donations. I have made 10s and 10s of ATC backgrounds. Of the backgrounds I especially like, I make multiple copies. So I pulled out a bunch of background cards and started to explore what I could create. It was a bit more difficult to create an interesting card with a couple of stickers than I had anticipated.

My wife's sisters, Jennifer and Lora, were visiting from California for the weekend and a few days before Thanksgiving, so I thought it would be fun to give Lora the ATC challenge as well. She is a very talented quilter, crafter, and ATC artist, of whose work I have several pieces. Amelia, my grandniece (Lora's granddaughter) was also at the house for a big family dinner for the California visitors, and she also wanted to make a card with us. I thought she made a great card for a six year old. My daughter Rachel also got into the act and made a zentangle card. She didn't follow the rules of using two "charity" stickers on the card. Naughty daughter.

We each chose a different background for our cards which enhances the variety. I wonder what variety we would have had, had we each use the same background. We will never know now. That exists in another time stream.
This is my card:

This one is by Lora. It has a very Salvador Dali-esque flavor to it, I think:
 
My daughter Rachel penned this one. It reminds me of a Pysanky egg:
 
And finally, this is the one six-year-old Amelia created. I don't know what the little drawings represent:

I am sending the three extra cards to my Swap-bot partner as a little Christmas bonus.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

The time between Thanksgiving and New Years was the best time of the year when I was young. Everything seemed perfect. Even though there were problems in the world, they did not impose any worries on us.  Even when we didn’t have much, we had plenty to eat and too many presents for our own good.
Now this season for me is what some people call “bitter-sweet,” a time of joyful thanksgiving edged with a layer of melancholy. So many loved-ones, friends and family, gone now or scattered far and wide, the kids all grown, and the grandsons growing up too fast.
Some Christmas songs are hard to listen to for long, like Johnny Mathis singing “The Christmas Song” or “Sleigh Ride.” He was one of my mother’s favorite singers. She played his Christmas records throughout December. Hearing his voice and those songs takes me back 50 years to foggy Christmases in Huntington Beach, CA. She has been gone for ten years, and I still miss her. My dad at age 90 thinks she is still around.

Other seasonal songs I love but can’t listen to very much are “The Christmas Waltz,” by Peggy Lee, one of my dad’s favorites, and Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” I haven’t the faintest notion of why they inspire melancholy in my little brain, but they certainly do. I just must have a morbid temperament. Or it could be my annual fall-winter light deprivation depression kicking in. Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Invasion of the Language Zombies, Part 2

We are indeed in the midst of an invasion of  language zombies! The ignorant twit who started the horrendous misuse of the reflexive pronoun "myself" in place of the correct object pronoun "me," should be flogged with a grammar textbook. He probably thought it made his speech sound erudite, cultured, and sophisticated, above the hoi polloi. Nope. Just made him and all the nincompoops who followed suit sound stupid. If you are one who misuses this pronoun, let me explain: You (subject) may give the money (direct object) to me (indirect object-receiver of the object of the action), but you may not give the money to myself. Only I am able to give the money to myself. You must give the money to yourself. Get it? It's not that difficult. Oh, and if you do have some money, you are most welcome to give it to me.

I see multitudes of misused words and misspellings in the comments sections of online articles and news reports. Most of these problems stem from poor pronunciation. I have told students for years that they can spell most words correctly if they pronounce them correctly. Two problems I see often are the use of "of" for "have" and the use of "then" for "than." For example: "He should of voted for the bill," instead of, "He should have (or should've) voted for the bill." And, "He is taller then me," instead of, "He is taller than me." Both of these errors are the result of negligent pronunciation.

I understand that language is not stable, that languages change over time and that vowel sounds shift and consonants become faint; but it seems to me that in this age of mass communication there should be a much slower shift and more stabilization. When we constantly hear the lazy-mouthed talking heads in all facets of the media flatten the long vowel sound into a short vowel sound such as "fill" for "feel," "sell" for "sale/sail," "mill" for "meal," and "fell" for "fail," etcetera, we subconsciously adopt the same mispronunciation. It's an epidemic of viral lazy-mouth. I want to wash my mouth with soap and hit my head with rocks when I catch myself (correct usage) flattening a long vowel. Oops, I just heard three students and a teacher with lazy-mouth! Maybe I should throw rocks at their heads to keep them away from my infection prone subconscious. The language zombies are everywhere. There is no escape. Resistance is futile.





The Invasion of the Language Zombies, Part 1

Noel Coward said, “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”  Unfortunately, I am unable to influence all the incompetent speakers and writers of English, the language zombies, to take a long walk and stop inflicting their substandard usage on me and the language deprived rising generation. We are confronted daily by illiterate grammar and syntax in newspapers, letters, posts, e-mails, tweets, ubiquitous text jargon, readers' comments online, television, film, modern "literature," etcetera, et al., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

There was a time in my teaching career when one could advise students struggling to choose the correct verb form in a sentence they were writing to say the sentence out loud. Once they heard themselves say the sentence they could with few failures select the correct form.  Because they rarely hear or read correctly spoken or written English, students cannot use that trick today.
While we do teach implicit vocabulary in English language arts classes, we no longer formally teach grammar and syntax on a regular basis. Language conventions are given short shrift. Students are supposed to pick up correct usage in speaking and writing by osmosis from reading. They are certainly not "picking it up" from reading social media messages from peers who are just as illiterate as they are. And then there is the teacher in faculty meeting a few weeks ago who, in a discussion of tardy problems, said, "Students are still moving slowly in the halls even after the bell has rang." AAIIIEEEEE!  That hurts my ears as horribly as the proverbial fingernails scraping the chalkboard. It's RUNG, not rang; has RUNG = auxiliary verb + past participle! It is not that difficult. No mental osmosis going to transpire there.
(I know everyone, even educated, intelligent people, makes an occasional mistake when he or she is speaking and sorting multiple thoughts at the same time. A slip or two is forgivable. I, even I, have made a few grammar and punctuation mistakes, typos, misspeaks, and actual misspellings in my 66 years. But, I do own a dictionary, several, and I do proofread 99% of what I write before I publish. [That includes texts, tweets, and e-mails!] Is it too much to ask that others do the same?)

Then there is the flagrant and mass mispronunciation of words. One that is especially noxious is the verb "harass" with the noun form "harassment." People see the a double s, and seemingly loving to say the "a" word as much as possible, put the emphasis on the second syllable instead of the first where it belongs. My school district requires that all teachers view a policy presentation at the beginning of each year. One module of the presentation is on forms of harassment. The narrator must have said "harASS" and "harASSment" twenty times. Doesn't anyone have a dictionary? Just Google the word. There will be a dictionary listing showing the diacritical markings to help you correctly pronounce the word. If that is too difficult, there is a little speaker icon, which when you click on the icon, the  nice computer will pronounce it for you. It's not that difficult.

ha·rass·ment
həˈrasm(ə)nt,ˈharəsm(ə)nt/
noun
noun: harassment; plural noun: harassments
  1. 1.
    aggressive pressure or intimidation.
    "they face daily harassment by the police"

I shall not even try to eulogize the wonderful subjunctive of "to be." It has been bludgeoned to death and sucked dry by the language zombies. Would that I were eloquent enough to raise it from the bone yard. But, alas, if I were to do so, it would wander a stranger to all save me. Maybe I should just take a long walk with a medicinal dose of Bach.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Wife Says That I Am a Pessimist

My wife says I am a pessimist, having a predominant disposition to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen in most situations. I say I am a realist. I just subscribe to Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." I also happen to believe that Murphy was an optimist.  Experience has trained me that everything wears out and falls apart sooner than it should, and the enemy no longer make spare parts for the thingy you haven't gotten your money's worth out of yet. To survive, one must always expect the worst and gain an occasional happy surprise, rather than always expect a good outcome and always be disappointed.
My recent round of pessimism is rooted in the abomination called "computer." You spent a truck load of money on a device of dubious character only to have it betray you at the first opportunity. All the optimistic experts and all their gadgets cannot restore order to the world when a "1" in the binary universe decides to betray its nature and become a "0."

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
 Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,"*


At such times, the only thing that is able to restore sanity is a little Bach.


* Yeats, William Butler. "The Second Coming." 1919

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Mickey


Happy ninety-third birthday, Mickey Rooney, A.K.A. Mickey McGuire, Andrew “Andy” Hardy, Puck, Tommy Miller, “Gig” Stevens, Dan, Shocky Carter, Jerry Crump, Timmie Donovan, Chick Evans, Terry O’Mulvaney, Whitey Marsh, Huckleberry Finn, Mickey Moran, young Tom Edison, Jimmy Conners, Tommy Williams, Timothy Dennis, Homer Macauley, Danny Churchill, Jr., Mi Taylor, Killer McCoy, Mr. Yunioshi, and so many others I can’t name here for lack of time and space. Thanks for all the happy memories you have given me and all your fans during the 87 years you have been in show business. Many happy returns of the day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer's Over, School Is Here

This was certainly a busy summer. I had to move Mount Jordan Middle School library from the old building, which is being razed and rebuilt, to a temporary "new" building. 14,000 books along with tables, chairs, AV carts, computers and a profusion of other paraphernalia had to be packed, moved and unpacked. I have all the books up on the shelves and have circulated about 700 books since school opened, but I still have piles of boxes that need to be unpacked and organized. I can't find anything. We will not be moving into our rebuilt school for two years. I plan to divest the library of as much superfluous STUFF as possible before the next move.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Appreciation

This has been Teacher Appreciation Week. As a teacher librarian, I do not teach the same students every day as a classroom teacher does, but I have interaction with many students every day. There are thirty to forty students in the library before school every day looking for books, chatting, using computers, doing homework and reading. There are about the same number of students during each of the two lunches and after school. I am always helping students find books for recreational reading and homework or research projects, and I often recommend books I think they might enjoy reading. I recently received a little note of appreciation from an eighth grade student. It was a class assignment to write to a teacher, and he chose me.  The following is his letter without any corrections of spelling or grammar:
Dear Mr. Goodman.
Thanks, I go to the libary everyday in the morning, & lunch. You always let me hang out there, & doen't mind to much talking. You all so help me make friends in the libary. I didn't like the libary to much, but you libary is diffrnt, I's comfurting, & loving. Thanks for teaching me proper english when asking for something. Thank you!
Caleb B...  computer #10 "B" lunch

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Few More Swap-bots

I did three swaps on Swap-bot in April. Two were ATC trades and one was a handmade envelope trade made from a magazine page. I found an old LIFE Magazine (Dec. 1999) and used an ad page for a vacation in Costa Rica as the base for the envelope. I then cut out a few bits and pieces from other pages and glued them on.


The ATC trades were a "Blue" and a "Yellow" trade. Color ATC swaps only have to have the specified color somewhere on the card. The first idea that flooded my little brain for the blue swap was Elvis and the movie Blue Hawaii from 1961.


 For the yellow, I did a series of five cards using the famous St. Francis of Assisi Church at Rancho de Taos, NM. Yellow was mainly on the first two cards. Anyone who has been to see this church in person or has seen photographs (the most photographed and painted church in America) will see that the bottom of the left wall of the building has been modified in my drawings. I was more interested in the overall shapes than accurate details.
 
The first swap I have done in May was a 50 State ATC Swap. There was one swapper for each state. The states were claimed on a first come basis, and I grabbed my state, Utah.  I used Delicate Arch to represent Utah for the ATCs. I often do more than one ATC for a trade, even though only one is required. The first is a crayon wax resist with a blue water color wash on a half tone photo of the arch. On the second ATC I used gel pens and cutouts from a postage stamp catalog.

I always send my swaps in a decorated envelope. For this swap, I made an envelope with a page from an old book about games that had been discarded from the library. The pages show different decorated game boards from around the world. Is there any doubt that this letter came from Utah?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Salt lake City St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013

The Goodman family once again made the trek up to the Gateway Plaza in Salt Lake City to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We have gone to the parade for at least ten years, since our daughter Emma has been dancing in the parade with the Irish dancing school from which she and her friends take lessons. It was the Crawford School of Irish Dance for many years and is now the Scariff Hardiman School of Irish Dance. We are always at the north end of the Gateway by Old Navy come rain or wind or sunshine. This year we had sun for the first time in many years. The theme this year was "Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, and Shenanigans." the parade is usually made up of Irish dancing schools, Catholic schools, pipe bands, trade unionists, Shriners, family clan organizations, dog clubs, and a few other groups thrown in from year to year. It was an especially long parade this year.
Looking south along the parade route from our spot in front of Old Navy. There are never big crowds where we sit. Most of the people are to the south of us by the fountains and the grassy areas passed the sky bridge.

Gabriel with Aunt Rachel.
The police escort begins the parade followed by the flags and the Hibernian Society banner.
 
Bagpipe bands are always popular.


 How did this joker get in here. He's lucky this isn't New York, or the food police would be chasing him.
 The Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point is gobs o' fun. Every laddie and every lassie should go!

 Civil War contingent.

Little Caesar missed his meeting on the Ides of March and came to the parade.
This is the dancing school my daughter dances with. Most dance schools have their dancers all dressed in their school dance dresses or their competition dresses for the parade.  But Scariff Hardiman decided this year to have the dancers dressed as snakes with St Patrick. They won the prize for the best dance presentation.
St Patrick leading/driving the snakes out of Ireland.
The big, green snake is Emma.
And around they go.

The Utah Renaissance Fair.
Bicycles,
balloons,
and barbershop!
 
The parade was much longer than this, but I am ending it here. Some of these pictures are out of order, you you get the idea.