I am going to be the most easily manipulated grandparent in the world. I can see it now. We are babysitting my grand dogger Gypsy while my daughter and her husband vacation in Puerto Rico. Gypsy just has to whine a little bit for me to take her outside. She likes to walk around.  Now, i took her out three times yesterday and she did her thing as she was supposed to. I took her out once this morning, and we had positive results.  However, less than one hour later, she’s at the door whining again.  Like a good grandpa I took her out, but she did nothing this time.  My wife is talking to our daughter, and my daughter informed her that Gypsy is being manipulative. I am not easily manipulated — just ask all of my many students over the years.  Well, maybe that isn’t a good idea after all.

I am enjoying the summer thus far and find it impossible to believe that June is half over. We are going on vacation for about ten days later in the summer, and when that is over, we won’t have any time at all left before school starts again.  I thought that I would do a lot of preparations this summer for the school year, but so far I haven’t. Next year is my last.  I’ve been teaching for 30 years. If I can’t do it right by now, I am never going to do it right.

I have done some writing this summer. I am struggling a little with a novel so I thought I would try something different. I planned what I wanted to have as my final scene, and I am working backwards from there.  Is that weird? I hope not.

This past Friday, we went to a Cardinals game. Jamie Garcia pitched eight innings of shutout ball, and the Cards won 4 to 0. It was a really good game.  The Cardinals have the best record in baseball despite losing Adam Wainwright, Jordan Walden, Matt Holiday, Matt Adams, and now Lance Lynn for at least one more start. Resilient and tough are the best words to describe this organization. It’s kind of amusing that the Cardinals have become one of the most hated teams in the country. The Cardinals and their fans have class.  Last night a former Cardinal, a bench/role player named Shane Robinson who is now playing for the Twins batted, and the Cardinals fans gave him an ovation. The crowd gives ovations to other teams’ players when they do something spectacular. I am proud to be a part of Cardinal nation.

Last but not least, I finally watched the movie Juno last night. On Monday nights my wife teaches a night class, so while she is gone, I watch movies and shows that she is normally not interested in.  Many of these are what folks would label teen flicks. Now, I don’t watch them because I am some kind of weirdo. I watch them as kind of research because that is what I write. Not movies specifically but YA novels.  Young adult movies and books are two of the healthiest markets in the country. And of course, everyone is jumping on that bandwagon.

Now, me, I like the dystopian stuff well enough. Hunger Games, both books and movies, are fantastic, but I tend to be more enamored of the quirky or realistic stuff. Perks of Being a Wallflower, for instance, is a really good movie. I love John Green and Rainbow Rowell. I guess maybe I am still a teenager in heart even though my body would definitely disagree.


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