Nothing Much

It’s been a while, huh?

I’ve been pretty quiet over at the ole LJ as well. Stuff’s going on, but not enough to write about every single day, I suppose.

Here’s the quick rundown:

Work is the same. Just work. Actually, I spend a lot of time reading and reviewing books for VOICES. THAT part is fun. Getting paid to read books all day? I love it. Although, I do miss copyediting a nice, raw and really messed-up proof. But that time will come again soon enough.

Winter’s finally ending, but there is a bit more of me (like 8 pounds more) than there used to be, so I am hesitant to wear anything really cute. I have got to get this taken care of.

Reading a lot. Reviewing some books here:

Loving the movie Mean Girls all of a sudden. Good times.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to pop in and say hi. So hi.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Adventures in ZB Land

Oh man. Fridays at ZB are sure interesting.

Not only did the Rollo Fairy leave me a Rollo this morning, but s/he left me a little Nestle Crunch bar as well! :)

A few people set up a mini beach retreat for all of us. They took one of the conference rooms, added a beach chair, some beach towels, beach scents and sounds (Jimmy Buffet CD & Homedics noise machine set to “ocean”). The kicker was that one of those REALLY BRIGHT sun lamps was added, and people could sign up for ten-minute sessions. It was AWESOME. In addition, they made smoothies for us (but I drank plain pineapple juice, because honestly, I don’t like lumpy drinks, and even though they’re called SMOOTHIES, let’s be honest. They should be called LUMPIES.)

So, there was the mini beach retreat. We’re all rallying to make it a permanent thing.

Then, there was a mini reception for the mini art gallery. Some of the art and design (A&D) people got together and made this little gallery, and the installation changes every 2-3 weeks. This week, there is a domino exhibit up. Last time, it was an actual “Art” gallery. Meaning, it was a gallery full of pictures of guys named Art. Anyway, there was a reception for that at noon.

THEN, I was copy editing some ancillaries, and came across this lovely sentence:

Ronnie was passing so fast and so hard that Xander couldn’t catch his balls.

After laughing for five minutes, and discussing it briefly with some other copy editors, we decided that the sentence NEEDED to be changed. NEEDED. I wanted to check, because I know I have kind of a dirty mind. But everyone was thinking what I was thinking, and if WE were thinking that, then who KNEW what a 5th grader would think, so yeah. Red pen, commence. It was fun.

I changed it to:

Ronnie was passing the basketballs so fast and so hard that Xander couldn’t catch them.

Better, yes?

Now that I think of it, I should have changed it to:

Ronnie was passing the basketballs so hard and so quickly that Xander couldn’t catch them.

Poop. Oh well.

One more mistake I noticed this week: A story about a female lion. The problem? The picture of the lion had a mane. So um… yeah. FEMALE LIONS DON’T HAVE MANES! I changed the text, rather than change the art. Much cheaper. Plus, the art is super cute.

Someone’s cell phone played a lively tune which caused all the people in her pod to either dance, or say “I didn’t do it!”

Yesterday, after the staff meeting, I came upstairs, wrinkled my nose and kept it wrinkled til I got to my desk. Then I yelled out “WHY DOES IT SMELL LIKE A BIG POOP BACK THERE?” Heather thought that was really funny.

Tonight, a bunch of them are going bowling, but I have other plans. Good times.

I like my job.

See ya!

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Lists & Such

It’s February 1, 2007, and I have a few resolutions for this month.

1. Write something, even if I ultimately deem it as crap.
2. Reduce fast food intake. I was “treating” myself twice a month or so, but I think I want to stop it all together.
3. Eat more vegetables.
4. Read four new books.

I also made a few decisions.

1. I am going to start using Mane N Tail products on my hair.
2. I am going to use my Barnes & Noble gift card to buy a copy of adamselzer‘s book for my mom, and I’ll have him autograph it for her.

Chores I did today:

1. Tidied up my room.
2. Washed (most of) the dishes.
3. Got a few groceries.
4. Did a load of laundry.

Interesting things I found out:

1. It’s VERY possible that it wasn’t the Ramen at all that made me so sick earlier this week. At least two other people were struck with it this week, and I remembered that I also threw up Saturday night. But I’d swallowed the wrong way and was coughing my head off, so I figured that was what had caused me to puke. As for the Ramen, I may wait a while before I actually test that theory…
2. The Columbus Metropolitan Libraries now have free wireless internet access!! Can I get a whut-whut??? As if I needed another reason to love the library. :):):)
3. A .54 lb steak does not need five minutes to defrost in the microwave.
4. Aidan plays VERY nicely with Play-Doh! :D

* * *

I got to see Aidan today, which was a treat! Chris had to come by and pick something up and he brought Aidan along. Aidan’s such a good little boy, so funny and cute. Tomorrow I pick him up and we get to spend the whole weekend together. I think he’s excited. Especially since he discovered the Play-Doh. I’d like to take him to the library at some point, and maybe teach him some handwriting.

Today at work, I was checking some confirms/googol (which means that I’m checking revised confirm pages, even though confirms are supposed to be the VERY LAST STEP before PDFs and F&Gs and then bound book), and I found a page that I’d put a comment on. I’d requested that they put in the new SE redux, but apparently no one knew what I was talking about, because there was a self-stick note with THREE questions marks. Different colors, which means three people had no clue what I was talking about. My confusion came when I asked myself “why didn’t anyone just come to me and say ‘what do you mean put in the new SE redux? This IS the new one!'” And I could have said “No, see, the apostrophes are different sizes, and in the SE, that was fixed, but here in the TE, this SE reduced page is showing the old page with the different sized apostrophes.” Oh well. It got fixed anyway, and I got told I have a “good eye.”

And THEN I was copyediting these mazes for… well, a surprise to be launched May 31, 2007, and the instructions said “Help the gorilla find the grapes.” But at the end of the maze, there was a carton of JUICE! No grapes to be found, unless it was supposed to be grape juice, but I don’t know. It’s going to be a blackline master, so no one would have any way of knowing that it was supposed to be grape juice because it’s not in color. I love catching stuff like that. It’s fun.

Or maybe I’m just sadistic. I do enjoy making red marks all over things.

Lucy is on the floor, waiting for me to stop fussing around with stuff so I can give her loads of attention. She’s lying that way I love for cats to lay, with her front paws tucked under her. I think cats are so cute when they lie like that! :)

Lay/lie. God help me.

I think I’m ready to get off of the computer and read a bit. I got the sequel to Peeps out of the library yesterday, called The Last Days. I hope it’s as good as Peeps. I also just read the latest A-List novel. I swear, those books are like a train wreck. The name-dropping is sooo annoying, and the stuff that happens in them is way outlandish and over the top, but I can’t stop reading the damn things. It’s like Desperate Housewives for teenagers or something. I also read Anatomy of a Boyfriend, and that book is Judy Blume’s Forever for the 21st century.

Ta ta!

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Fascinating Stuff About Handwriting

The past two days, I attended the Zaner-Bloser handwriting workshops. Yesterday was Manuscript, and today was Cursive.

Did you know that handwriting is the gateway to learning to read? It’s true. And also, I can tell you why the letters are referred to as uppercase and lowercase!

Back in the days of typesetting, the uppercase letters were stored in a case that was up high, because they were not used as often. The lowercase letters were stored in a case that was low, and easily accessible. Hence, the names uppercase and lowercase! :)

I learned that it takes a LOT of fine-motor development to be able to write legibly. With a four-year old son who is an emergent writer, I am now armed with all sorts of knowledge to help those little muscles of his grow. Things such as Play-Doh, playing with a Magna Doodle, putting pennies or checkers in a stack all develop the fine-motor skills needed to write legibly.

When learning handwriting, children actually have to learn 52 letterforms, not only 26. Once cursive is in the mix, make that 104 letterforms. Children have to learn to recognize these letters, the sounds they make, and the roles they play in words and sentences. Then they have to learn to write these letters. It’s a tall order!! And a fancy one. I’d had no idea that occupational therapy played such a large role in handwriting. And that handwriting played such a large role in literacy.

I learned the proper way to hold a pencil, to position my paper (of course, I’ve been doing it wrong!!), why chalkboards are better than dry-erase boards for teaching handwriting, and the way to teach it to children using the three primary learning modalities–kinestetic, visual, and auditory. I also learned it’s best to start big, then work down to writing on paper. Teach muscle memory, so that when kids get it, they’ll have “automacity,” which means they will be able to focus more on their thoughts, rather than the handwriting process.

Zaner-Bloser has been around for a VERY long time. It was one of the first three handwriting companies. Its letterforms been simplified over the years—the cursive Q no longer looks like a big, floppy 2, for instance (this, at the request of the US Postal Service!)—but it’s still one of the very best programs out there.

If any of you are teachers of handwriting, what programs do you use? How do you feel about it?

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Normal Life is Underway

Just about everyone’s back at work. The traffic is back to being thicker on the highways. It’s noisier at work than it had been the past couple of weeks. The holiday decorations have come down. My place is almost back to normal. And by that, I mean the main rooms are actually clean. I walk in after work like WHOA, it seems awfully bare in here…oh yeah, it’s clean. HA. Clean and smelling of incense. Mmm, Nag Champa.

I wasn’t going to do my “read 100 new books,” thing this year, but seeing as it’s January 3rd and I’ve already read two and I’m halfway through a third, I don’t think it will be a challenge to do again. This time, I won’t lose track of them. I have them in a Word document! :D

Work. Oi. PDFs and PDFs and PDFs. Lots of handwriting. Lots of kids out there, going to be learning the ZB way of manuscript and cursive. It’s good stuff. Simple strokes, easy moves. Oooh, today, my project manager gave me Wikki Stix. They’re basically yarn covered with wax. FUN! I can’t wait to show them to Aidan! And, I might be allowed to test some of the new ZB Pre-K handwriting stuff on Aidan. She said it’s for four-year olds–guess who just turned four! So exciting. My job’s turning out to be way cool.

It’s amazing what a clean dwelling can do for the soul. I feel uncharacteristically cheerful. I keep looking around and smiling. Let’s see how long this will last.

‘Til next time! :)

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