You know the drill.

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Action Lad explaining the Grandfather Paradox to me.  (Never mind he probably forgot that I was the one who explained it to him, first.)  That is not a conversation I ever would have had with my dad.

For a variety of reasons, not all of them holiday-related, most people were out of the office today.  Mid-afternoon, my buddy the HR Director emailed me to ask how things were going.

I replied (copying most of the folks who were in) that things were going great.  In fact, we were having a party.  We'd built a bonfire in the foyer, and everyone was doing shots.

Other people started to chime in with their versions of what we were up to, and the tale, as they say, grew in the telling.

It was awesome.

Every time I see the opening to Quick Pitch on the MLB Network, I mean to post about it here. I realize we are no longer in an age where something comic book related in non-comics media is a novelty, but this one is particularly well done. And yes, there are some big sound effects. I am not one of those fans who turns his nose up in disdain when he sees that in comic book stuff.

Today is my aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary!  That makes me smile.

Yesterday, actually:

A story written by Action Lad was adapted into a short (5-6 minute) play*** by the Story Pirates and performed yesterday as part of an SP show at Theater in the Woods at Wolf Trap.  As one of only 2 new authors "premiered" at this performance (and the only one present), The Lad was invited to come up on stage and join the troupe for its final bow.

Very cool!


*** Technically, it was a musical.  However, the only song was "We are dancing zombie banana-nanas!" (repeat).  I have to admit, it's a bit of an earworm.

My son and his girlfriend went out for a bite to eat, and encountered two of his best buddies, so all four of them went to dinner ... 

... and the best buddies told the girlfriend she's WAY better than the previous girlfriend. 

Today at my school was super-hero day, because in my school system there is a kindergarten student who hasn't been able to start school yet because he has a brain tumor.

We were all encouraged to dress as super-heroes today and post pictures with the hashtag #bebravebrooks. I had a classroom full of super-heroes today, we wrote about who we would be if we were a super-hero (I had them draw pictures as well), and I even had one student who dressed up as my favorite super-hero (Spider-Man) who, after he took off that costume, had his favorite super-hero (Flash) t-shirt on underneath.

In turn, while the kids were in Music, I changed from my Spider-Man shirt into my Flash shirt. We selfied as Flash at the end of the day, and hashtagged it. I had never hashtagged before today, but it somehow seemed right.

The unexpected reappearance of Tracy of Moon-T.

Ah, how things have changed ... 

I'm watching this year's Olympics, and Gabrielle Douglas is no longer the queen. In Rio, it's all about Simone Biles, who is, in a word, phenomenal.

Where Gabrielle Douglas made it by hard work, Simone Biles works hard too, but has more natural talent. She blew away the field with moves I've never seen anybody do before, moves that are uniquely her own. And she's so talented, she makes it look easy. Simone Biles makes it look so easy that when she stumbles -- like she did on the balance beam where she got bronze -- the stumble reminds you "This gymnastics stuff is hard!"

And Gabrielle Douglas is taking a lot of ridiculous flak, about her hair, about her attitude, about her patriotism, about the level of her support for her teammates, all of which is stuff and nonsense. It must be hard -- she's almost the elder statesman of this group, at 20, and three of them are so young and eager -- and she didn't make the cut for some of the events she was going for. And the Twitterverse is mercilessly mocking her.

But we love her. You go, girl!

ClarkKent_DC said:

Gabrielle Douglas.

The whole world is cheering for her -- I heard a reporter on the radio call her "the queen of the Olympics" after her gold medal wins in the women's individual all-around competition and team all-around competition in gymnastics. But what made me smile was this:

I watched the final event of the women's individual all-around competition, the floor exercise, and Douglas was in the lead based on her scores from the previous three events -- the vault, uneven bars, and the beam. Before she went up, there was this Russian girl, and she had this look on her face like I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. She did her bit and came away still looking like I don't know, I don't know, I don't know

Then Gabrielle Douglas went up, as confident as anything, and she stood straight and tall -- well, as tall as you can when you're 4 foot 11 -- and did her routine, all jumps and leaps and turns and somersaults and what not, and then she landed, and let out this smile that would melt a glacier, like "WHOA! I got this!"

Then the next girl went up, another Russian, and she knew Gabrielle Douglas was the one to beat ... and she had this look on her face like I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. Her family was watching her, and, while Gabrielle Douglas's family was cheering for her, and glad for her, this Russian girl's family was acting like somebody was going to shoot her grandmother if she failed. And she finished, and came away still looking like I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. And the scores were revealed, and Gabrielle won the gold! and this Russian girl started bawling.

So my joy in this moment is not only in the triumph of an American, in the success of the first Black woman to win the individual all-around competition and the first Black woman to win the individual and the team all-around in the same Olympics, and in the knowledge that, going into this Olympics, nobody thought much of her -- oh, they thought she was good, but not that good, certainly not great. There was another girl on the American team who was anointed, who everybody thought was going to win it all, who was going to come home with her neck straining from the weight of all the gold medals she was going to win .., except for the inconvenient fact that she didn't even qualify! 

So, I'm happy for Gabrielle Douglas for rising to the occasion, and for having that confidence and that poise and that talent and that skill and that pluck and for really really believing in herself when not everyone around her did. You go, girl!

This reminds me of a day when I had been reading Shakespeare. My kids were acting up, so, in Shakespearian English, I told them to settle down. Not missing a beat, my eldest, teen-aged, daughter replied "Father, get thee to thy chamber, lest you disturb us further".

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Today in my classroom, I was getting ready to lay out the attendance sticks as the kids came in. I was holding them and all of the kids were grabbing for them. I told them to back off. I said, "I will lay them down on the table and then you may pick them up. Now pull back your grabby hands."

One decidedly liberated and well-read female student said, "Mr. Carter, my hands are not grabby. They are purposeful."

“Attention Passengers:

I just want to remind everyone that when the conductor comes through the train to look at your ticket, he’s looking for three things.

He’s looking for the month.

He’s looking for the year.

And he’s looking for the time.

So that’s three th …

And, uh, the zone.  He’s looking for the zone.

So that’s … uh, that’s four.

He’s looking for four things.

Thank you.”

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