All things considered, Mondoville has barely been brushed by the various storms dominating the local news. I heard a bit of sleet last night on the patio as I read. We got an ice storm warning around ten last night. That put the college and local public schools on a two-hour delay. The resulting freeze (which has brought some power outages and “debris in de roadway”) wound up closing the public schools altogether today, so the girls got to sleep in. As it happens, my classes take place during the first two hours of each day, so I got what amounts to a snow day as well. I’ve spent it downstairs in my den, getting caught up on grading papers, fiddling with my online gradebook, and listening to music.
The current temperature is hovering just above freezing, but the trees, butterfly bushes, and such continue to look like lacework, and I think I hear a chainsaw in the distance.
So what else has been going on? Well, Valentine’s went nicely. Mrs. M received a gift certificate for a one-hour massage from a local therapist. The three of us then went to Real City, where the Spawn and I watched the new Spongebob movie. (We both enjoyed it quite a bit — the Spawn loved the different styles of animation, while I appreciated the fact that in one scene, the background music is Morricone’s “Ecstasy of Gold” from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. As it played, I wondered if I was the only person in the theater who got the joke. Meanwhile, the tune has been popping up in the strangest places lately — including commercials for Nike and AT&T). Afterwards, it was off to the used bookstore, where I grabbed one of the books in Gordon Dickson’s “Dragon Knight” series, a collection of short fiction by James Ellroy, and a biography of Peter Roget. A good day. (Meanwhile, I’m also waiting for the arrival of the new Matthew Shardlake novel by C.J. Sansom and the latest Back from the Grave garage collection.)
Yesterday afternoon was occupied by one of Mondoville College’s periodic professional development/assessment days. This one was less nettlesome than usual, and involved a survey intended to allow me to identify my teaching style from a set of four archetypes. I discovered… well, I didn’t discover a great deal, actually. But the survey confirmed that I maintain a balance between viewing the class as a group and as individuals, while I lean toward a planned/structured/old-fashioned teaching style. That balances me between “Coach” and “Governor” (“Advisor” and “Shepherd” were the other archetypes.) Personally, I was hoping for something like “Warden” or “Coroner”, but those weren’t on the menu, alas.
I’m also trying to figure out the ins and outs of a new project I’ve been handed at work. While it’s not entirely unfamiliar to me, it’s something I’ve not done from the ground up in the past, so I’m doing some pondering.
The Berries continue apace as well — we have another show in about three weeks, so we’re rehearsing for that. Our show last week went well, and the venue has invited us back. We’re also starting to put some new material together, and there’s even talk of a return to the studio later this summer — if only for the Middle Eastern cuisine. Of course, one can still buy our first album here (in physical format) or here (in downloadable form).
And with all that said, here’s a bit of music, a favorite of the Spawn’s. The Chymes were a girl group from the L.A. burbs who were already a bit behind the times in 1966. However, they happened to catch the attention of Howard Kaylan of the Turtles, who got the group to back the girls for a single. Said single essentially disappeared without a trace, but was rediscovered a few years ago on Rhino’s L.A.-focused Where the Action Is box set. Here’s the A-side.