Run out all the clocks, cut off Street’s hail mary pass,

Prevent the Panthers from growling, stop maintaining the Lions’ grass,

Silence the Rally Girls and with muffled drum

Pack up the football equipment, let the mourners come.

 

Let boosters circle crying “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts” overhead

Yelling into the sky the message Friday Night Lights Is Dead,

Take down the crepe bows round the houses of the players we love,

Let the Friday Night faithful pray “Can’t Lose” to Him above.

 

It was my Alamo Freeze, my Landing Strip, my Dillon East and West,

The end of my working week and my Friday Night rest,

That coach, that quarterback, that rivalry, that theme song;

Riggins told me Texas would last for ever:  He was wrong.

 

The lights are not needed now: put out every one;

Pack up Julie and Tami,  Coach Taylor is done.

Lock away the field and return Vince to the ‘hood.

For nothing Tivoed now can ever come to any good.

 

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.

"Almost, Maine" written by John Cariani

Iowa City’s City High School Theater’s production of “Almost, Maine”

This fall I spent six weeks at City High in Iowa City following the preproduction of their fall play, “Almost, Maine.”

Please take a look.  The kids and teachers worked very hard and I am so grateful they let me hang out with them.  They are a great group!

This spring they are performing “The Wizard of Oz.”  GO SEE IT!

Lizzie Skurnick linked to my blog!  Every blogger’s dream come true; someone read your blog (and liked it!).

Thanks!

 

Out with the old...

Out with the old...

...in with the new!

...in with the new!

I noticed this at work the other day when we got a new shipment of books in for a display.  Is it just me, or is the new “Witch of Blackbird Pond” kinda, hot?!  

She’s looking good for being 51 years old. (Originally published in 1958)  

I love her hair!

 

I know what you did this summer...

I know what you did this summer...

 

This summer I picked up a book called “Shelf Discovery” by Lizzie Skurnick.  I had never heard of the author before, but the cover was cute and the subtitle got my attention:  “The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading.”

Since I oversee the teen/children sections at work I thought this would be a fun read.  Covering works by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and award winners like “Bridge to Terabithia” and “A Wrinkle in Time,” I thought it might be a shortcut to reading about the books I never read as a young adult.  I was dead wrong.

Skurnick’s analysis is insightful, smart and, most of all, personal.  Reading the book is like having a discussion about books with your slightly older sister’s BFF.  She is funnier and wiser than you without talking down to you.  She “gets” you.  And you would give anything to be as cool as she is.

Whether Skurnick is searching for common themes in Lois Duncan books or wishing she had a boyfriend straight out of Madeline L’Engle’s imagination, Skurnick is a champion of young heroines.  Strong, pretty, smart heroines.  Heroines that are hard to come by these days in the pages of “Gossip Girl” or “Twilight.”  Not to knock those books, at all, you should see my copies of them, I ADORE those books.  But the books from Skurnick’s young adulthood were more authentic.  Maybe the girls had ESP or could travel through time and inhabit other people, but they were girls that were normal until this other thing happened.  And the magic of that is that this girl in this book facing all these challenges could be you, the reader, sitting in the library or on your bed reading about her.

As much as I have dreamed to be as gorgeous as Serena or have a boyfriend as undead as Edward, I know it probably won’t happen for me.  I’m 26.  I’m not a teenager.

Which brings me to the other magic of “Shelf Discovery.”  When I’m reading it sitting at the pool in the sun with my feet in the water, I get to be a teenager again.  What could be better?!

Thanks to Skurnick I have spent too many paychecks on Alibris.com, a used book site, tracking down the books she talks about and more.  Just like the younger me, I am saving up my money to buy books.  Cool.

 

**NOTE:  I sent the picture above to Lizzie Skurnick via Twitter.  She used it as her wallpaper!  Follow @lizzieskurnick.  Follow me @hawki.

Mary Poppins Broadway PosterLast night my mom, sister and I went downtown (Chicago) to see Mary Poppins.  We had gotten the tickets as a gift for my mom’s birthday.  We headed down early and went to some cute little shops around Sheffield and Armitage.  Then we parked by the Cadillac Palace Theatre and walked to Petterino’s for dinner.  It was a really nice, fun day (and dinner was delicious).  We got to the theater early and my sister and I both got Mary Poppins umbrellas, you know, the one with the parrot head on the handle!  They don’t talk, but they are adorable.  

We found our seats and settled in for a supercalifragilisticexpealidocious time, but 20 minutes into the show (right before they sing “Jolly Holiday” with Burt and jump into the paintings) the curtain came down and they announced they were having “technical difficulties” and needed to make it “safe for the actors on stage”.  Okay.  So 20 minutes later they announced they were still working on it.  Sadly, the director finally came out and told us the show needed to be cancelled because the set is run by a computer and the computer had crashed.  The actress playing Mary, Ashley Brown, came out to wave and apologize as well.  They promised we would either be given tickets to another performance or a full refund.  Hopefully we can work our schedules to go see it another time (it ends July 12th) because I really want to see it.

While we were all disappointed, the saddest thing was a little blonde boy, about 6 years old, who was sobbing outside the theater in the rain after the audience left.  He was so sad he wasn’t going to see Mary Poppins!  His grandma was trying to comfort him, but I think he needed “a spoonful of sugar.” 

 

Article about cancellation

 

**UPDATE**  

Had to get the refund because there were no seats together at any of the remaining shows.  Effing ridiculous!  We would have all rather seen the show.  I wish the cast had sung some of the songs, even if there were no sets.  Or signed playbills in the lobby.  Disappointing.

Roger Ebert is a robotist.  He apparently also hates fun.  Guess what, Rog…no one wants Transformers 2 to win an Oscar.  They want to have an awesome time at the theater.  Mission accomplished.  I loved it!

I wasn’t a Transformers kid…and while I probably like the first one more, since it was the first and so amazing that Michael Bay could make robots transform on screen, the second one is just as entertaining.  And Shia is actually better looking, if possible.

Dear Mr. Ebert,

For F’s sake, Roger….can’t you just have fun watching a summer blockbuster. Stop being so pretentious and eat your popcorn. You wonder why no one notices the pyramids being destroyed…HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE ALIEN ROBOTS AT ALL!?!  

I’m surprised you like the robot dog humping Megan Fox’s leg…that seems very “frat boy” of you, and living in a college town, I saw the movie with a bunch of frat boys who all seemed to love the whole thing.

One last thing…they’re DeceptiCONS…not Deceptibots. Loser.

Sincerely,

Jackie Witkowski

(Ebert gave it one star, I would give the story a three, but since its a summer blockbuster meant to blow things up and show attractive people on screen while you eat your popcorn, I give it a 4 because it completely accomplishes that.  I hope TPTB come to their senses and let Michael Bay have the time he needs to make the 3rd one…it wouldn’t be Transformers without him.)

 

“Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.”  – Optimus Prime