Monday, May 6, 2013

Watching All the Cars Go By...

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Since the weather has been warmer, Henry and I have been going outside every evening before dinner. Most kids would probably run around in the grass or throw a ball around, but do you know what Henry likes to do? He likes to sit on the grass at the edge of the parking lot a wave at the cars as people get home from work. He doesn't often wave at the same people when they get out of their cars. In person he gets a little shy I guess. But, he really enjoys waving at cars. When we read books to him he even waves at pictures of cars. When we take him to get ice cream he barely eats it because the shop is on a main road so Henry gets transfixed with watching all the cars that go by.

The other thing that Henry likes to do is run on the sidewalk around our apartment complex. He likes the sidewalk a lot better than grass, the grass is too uneven and he ends up tripping in each and every divot. There are a lot of kids in the apartment complex and sometimes if they are playing outside Henry will just stand and watch them. He's just soaking it all in.

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This picture was taken by one of Henry's school teachers. And I think she really caught his essence. Henry is looking out a window at who knows what, but he sure seems to be deep in thought.

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I continue to take pictures of Henry everyday at school. In the third one above, Henry has another kid's shoe, but he was in the process of taking it over to the other kid and helping him get it on. Of course Henry can't seem to keep his own shoes on anymore. He's learned how to take them off and he loves to practice things. The embarrassing part is when he takes them off in the car and I don't notice until I'm already at a store or something. I had to stand in a long line at the post office right around tax day. I was the dad whose kid was walking around with one shoe.

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So what new tricks has Henry learned in the last month? He recognizes a lot of words. I say Henry where does your hat go and he pats his head. He can point out his nose, ears, eyes and mouth. And sometimes he'll just randomly want to touch my nose and then he has to touch Carol's nose too.

Every night before Henry's bath time we have clean up time and we clean up his toys and books and Henry has to help us. One night he started cleaning up of his own accord. We're sitting there and he just starts putting his books back on the shelf.

He's very affectionate. Sometimes he hugs Carol and then runs over and hugs me and then goes back and starts over again.

In the last couple of days he's started to really enjoy clapping. He has this toy dog that will talk if you squeeze the paws or feet and if you squeeze a certain paw a couple of times it says "yeah!" and you hear clapping. Well he'll squeeze the paw over and over again because he wants to hear the clapping and join in. But now he doesn't even need the dog because if I say "yeah!" he'll start clapping.    

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Henry loves walking through the woods mostly because he can play with big sticks and try to eat leaves.

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Isn't this a great scenic local. I mean it's so pretty with the creek and the bridge. I think I'd have used it as a Christmas card or something, well except that Henry is screaming!
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Carol set the track up for Henry and then took a series of pictures as he took it apart piece by piece. But when you look at the pictures backwards it looks like he's putting it together himself.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Short Story of the Week (May 2013) Women in Science Fiction Literature

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Each week at the Classic Science Fiction Message Board we read a short science fiction piece (short story, novelette or novella). These stories are always available for FREE online so that anyone can participate in the discussion. The stories are chosen by a different member every month, so that we get to read a variety of stories. May's stories are being picked by Melanie. 

I'm 36 and have lived in Nashville, TN for 13 years now, which is about 11 years longer than I thought I would be here! I grew up all over the southeast US, spending time in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and finally Louisiana. I moved here after I graduated from LSU to live with a friend of mine and just never left. My husband and I got married this past summer and then bought a house. I'm also just finishing my 3rd semester of my Library/Information Science Masters program at UT, so life is pretty busy. That's pretty much why the majority of our books are still in boxes! 

I got my love of reading from my parents and my preference for sci-fi and fantasy from my father. I can't remember the first science fiction I read but I read things like the Hitchhiker's series, Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series, Michael Crichton and lots of short stories as my dad always got the big end of year compilation books. Now, my favorite modern sci-fi tends to be things by guys like Neal Stephenson and China Mieville. Classic authors: Ursula K. LeGuin, Bradbury, Asimov. I also read a lot of science non-fiction and by favorites are by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Mary Roach and Michio Kaku. Unfortunately, there are just too many books to read! 


Women in Science Fiction Literature

Melanie- There's been a bit of discussion around the group regarding women in sci-fi. Personally, I've been thinking about sex/gender, equality, and human interaction in general. As I was looking over the short stories we've read in the last year, it appears men wrote 37 and women wrote 13. And when you factor in all the short stories we've read, less then 30% were by women. I think there are a few reasons for the skew; the stories have to be available free online which leads to choosing older or public domain stories. The more popular an author is, the more likely some of their short stories will be available free online, and the biggest names in science fiction, historically, are male. For the next few weeks, I want to concentrate on female authors and see what the group's thoughts are. I hope to spark some conversation and to keep figuring out my own thoughts on all these subjects. Enjoy!


Week # 1 Hello, Moto by Nnedi Okorafor

Melanie- Okorafor is an American author who's parents were from Nigeria. She's won a few awards and had some honor/finalists works as well.

This story is a take on an old theme: person creates technology, technology used for evil, person tries to right the wrongs. here's a quote "There is witchcraft in science and a science to witchcraft. Both will conspire against you eventually."  What do you think? Do you like the ending?

Week # 2 What Would Sam Spade Do? by Jo Walton

Melanie-It doesn't appear that we've read any short fiction by Jo Walton before, though we will be reading her novel "Among Others" in October.

I mentioned in the comments of last week's story that I thought it was "ok" but that it felt very much like a woman wrote it.  For this week, I like the story much more, but it doesn't feel particularly female.  Hard-boiled crime doesn't usually.  I feel like there are a lot of ethical/philosophical questions that can be unpacked from this story; let me know what you think!

Week # 3 After the Days of Dead Eye 'Dee by Pat Cadigan   

Melanie-Jim posted an article about Top Women Science Fiction Writers earlier this week and, while I know we all disagree with various parts of the list, the article did send me off to read several really good stories.  This week's is one of my favorites.  What happens when aliens make contact with a helpless old lady, alone in the woods?

Week # 4 Nonstop to Portales by Connie Willis    

Melanie-A fun Connie Willis story this week!  Can't say too much or it will give stuff away but it's about a guy stuck in nowhere, NM with some time to kill, so he joins up with a tour group for an outing.

Week # 5 Annie Webber by Elizabeth Bear

It's been interesting picking these short stories this month.  I've read so many it seems! There were several that had striking images or disturbing plots but I decided to go with another fun story.  It has coffee in it!