Mark Your Calendars!


Hi everyone!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?  I know, it’s a month away, but there is an exciting event happening, so I wanted to let you know about it now so you can plan and get excited and stuff.  🙂

It’s Kids ♥ Authors Day!  Feel the love for independent bookstores, authors, and books!  Check out the link to find a participating independent bookstore near you (they’re all over New England!), and then stop by between 10am and noon on Valentine’s Day to meet some authors and get a book signed.  SO MUCH FUN!

I’ll be at Village Books in Roslindale, MA, along with these thrilling authors:

Karen Day

Marissa Doyle 

Kathleen Benner Duble

Look how pretty their books are!  And I’m sure they’re wonderful, too (the books and the authors).  :-) 

I’ll be signing copies of Avatars Book One: So This is How It Ends, although of course I’m happy to sign any of my other books as well.  :-)  So come by and say hi!  It’ll be so exciting! 

This thrilling event was the brainchild of author Mitali Perkins, who seems like a splendiferous brilliant lovely person (and she lives one town over from me!), so YAY MITALI!  And hopefully lots of enthusiastic people will come out to get signed literary Valentines and celebrate the wonderfulness of independent bookstores, where books are loved and cherished the way they should be.

We didn’t have a local bookstore in Asuncion, Paraguay, where I spent most of my growing-up (or if we did, I imagine they carried mostly Spanish books), but luckily there were two schools nearby with wonderful libraries and wonderful librarians, who I imagine came all the way to Paraguay to make sure the tiny heathen children (like me) had books to read.

The bigger library was at the American School (where all the embassy kids went), which had all the Little House books and all the Black Stallion books and even space for a stage where we had Girl Scout ceremonies and plays, and the way I remember it, I felt like I would have been perfectly happy living there forever.

The library at my own school was smaller but also inherently splendid, what with it being full of books and everything.  I remember reading all their Nancy Drew books and a series of biographies that were completely enthralling, although that might be mostly because the covers were kind of cool and pebbly textured, as that seems to be the thing I remember most about them.  I do remember one of them was about Louisa May Alcott and another was about Amelia Earhart, and as you can see, one lifestyle appealed to me a lot more than the other.  😉

OK, yikes.  I just Googled my old school in Paraguay and had the COMPLETELY WEIRD EXPERIENCE of discovering that they have a WEBSITE and they’re in WIKIPEDIA.  This may not seem that weird to those of you who (a) don’t/didn’t go to a teeny-tiny school in a Third World country and (b) are children of the Internet generation, but for me, this is FREAKY.  And it is seriously not helped by the fact that I just looked at their "gallery" of photos and nothing looks familiar.  AAAACK!  Am I a hundred years old or what?  It wasn’t that long ago that I was there!  (was it?)

I wonder if they still sell Don Vito empanadas (only THE BEST EMPANADAS ON EARTH, that’s what) on Tuesdays from the little cafe window during recess.  (We didn’t have to have lunch there, because school ended at noon, because it was too hot to keep kids in the un-air-conditioned classrooms in the afternoon.)  (I wonder if that’s still true.  I couldn’t tell from the website what their hours are, although they do still have summer vacation in February, like they should since it’s, you know…summer down there.)

These are empanadas:

(with thanks to the Wikipedia entry about them and the guy who posted this photo there)

Although I must object to how Wikipedia doesn’t list Paraguay as one of the countries that makes them, considering I’ve never found an empanada anywhere else in the world that’s nearly as good as Don Vito’s.  SIGH.

OK, I’ve decided to reassure myself that most of these pictures were probably taken over on the high school side of the school, which of course I hardly ever went to, since we moved away in the middle of fifth grade.  Yes.  I’m SURE that’s it.  I’m sure the elementary side still looks exactly the same as it did twenty years ago.  Most definitely.  🙂

Hey, [deftly changes the subject] did you guys all see How I Met Your Mother this week?  It was AWESOME, especially because it was all about Barney’s crush on Robin, which is my favorite thing the show has ever done (besotted Barney = even more adorable than puppies!).  Plus, of course, Neil Patrick Harris hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend (yay Neil!).  The awesome Doogie Howser theme song bit doesn’t seem to be online, but I really enjoyed this one, too:

Yay hilarious Broadway references!  I actually saw NPH on Broadway a while ago in Assassins, which was mindbogglingly cool, and that was before I even knew how adorable he was, because I was a deprived child and never got to watch Doogie Howser, M.D.

That’s a show I missed while we were living overseas, but I watched an episode recently and OMG I would have had the HUGEST crush on him if I had seen it (like, if I’d been allowed to watch TV back then, and if we’d had TV that wasn’t in Spanish, and if there weren’t rolling blackouts cutting off our electricity for a third of every day).  Cute AND smart and dorkily awkward yet secretly the coolest!  Totally my type.  🙂

I learned something cool recently about the show: apparently if he’d been able to finish it the way he wanted, the creator would have had Doogie leave medicine to become a writer at the end.  Isn’t that fascinating?  I guess if you’re done with med school by the time you’re 16, you have plenty of time to try out other career options later.

OK, that’s probably enough rambling for tonight — next week I’ll post more India pictures (unless something dramatic happens that I need to write about instead), and closer to Feb. 14th I’ll remind you again about the super-exciting event that I hope you’ll all come out for.  :-)  Hooray!

Quote of the Day:  
Patient:  You’re a kid!
Doogie Howser:  True, but I’m also a genius. If you have a problem with that, I can get you someone who’s older but not as smart as me.
Doogie Howser, M.D.