Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can you feel me "vibrating" through the Internet? I am functioning on high octane flavored coffee and diet coke to keep myself going today. What a night! The neighbors across the way - it is barely two car widths between the garages - involved the whole complex in their garage party. The sound just echoes up between the tall building - it's like an echo chamber. They started at about 7:30 and ended at about 4:30 a.m. Don't know if that is because they passed out or if someone finally complained. They had grills outside and a pool table in the garage! Not only could you hear their shouts of elation or agony with each shot, you could even hear the pool balls hitting each other. At one point a couple got into an argument and the volume went ballistic. I had a pillow over my head and that didn't even work. Steve finally fell asleep when they quit but then he began to snore like a freight train coming through the bedroom. I figured I would get some sleep when he left, but our downstairs neighbor decided to open and close his garage door repeatedly. Gave up on sleep at that point.

I emailed Steve to see how he was doing and told him maybe he could crawl under his desk at lunch time for a nap! He said his boss accidentally kicked someone once who had been burning the midnight oil and had not woke up from his nap under the desk! The important thing to remember - nap under your own desk, not someone else's, especially the bosses!

After last night Steve is trying to push the closing on the house up to the end of March! I told him I was seriously not considering coming back from Greenville again until we were in the house! No one wants to be around me when I am sleep deprived. I am not a nice person!

Was reading an Associated Press blurb about a book challenge in Ramallah, West Bank. The Hamas-run Education Ministry rescinded their decision to "pull an anthology of Palestinian folk tales from school libraries and destroy copies, reportedly over mild sexual innuendo". Before the public outcry stopped them, over 1,500 copies of Speak Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales by Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana had been destroyed. The blurb states that "dozen of writers, academics and other intellectuals marched to protest the decision to pull the anthology." So clearly book bannings are not just a U.S. phenomena these days. I knew I recognized the name of this book and sure enough, I found it on Barnes and Noble online and recognized the cover. It was published in the U.S. back in 1989 by the U of California Press. I know I had it in at least a couple of the school libraries I worked in. Wonderful translations with great footnotes to help older students gain cultural knowledge. The authors were a bit like the Grimm Brothers in their wanderings to gather oral tales. Hopefully the Associated Press blurb will cause U.S. public and HS librarians to check to make sure it is in their collections. Nothing like a book banning to add to book sales! :-)

For the elementary age reader/storytime, go with a picture retelling of a tale from Speak Bird, Speak Again. Margaret Read McDonald has brought it to life for the primary age child. The little pot in Tunjur Tunjur Tunjur! is just like a sassy little kid. Boy does she learn her lesson when the king fills her with goat dung after she steals the queen's jewels. All Little Pot can do is call for her Mama! :-) The art is delightful in this 2006 Marshall Cavendish title. A must have for elementary school libraries. :-)

Now to less fun work than writing about books.