Slice of Life: The Wimpy Kid, Jam Session and Blackout

Slice of Life(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

Today’s slice is a full load — three slices in one.

Slice One

I’ll admit it: I went into the theater with my older sons prepared to diss the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie because they turned what I thought to be a comical graphic novel into a live-action flick (and to be honest, I feel like I’ve been a grouch reviewer lately). But I have to say — the movie was OK and an enjoyable diversion on an afternoon. They did weave some animation in there, which nicely kept the flavor of the books intact, and there was a sweetness to the story that came through (but not too sweet, and they wisely avoided a Kumbaya moment at the end).

I do think, though, that the movie is probably better for elementary kids than middle school kids because although the movie is set in middle school, it is probably better if the audience is not there yet and can only imagine the hassles of that age. That is my opinion, and one I got from my older son who is in middle school. My fourth grader, meanwhile, really liked it.

In a way, the movie resembled Meatballs — remember that one? With Bill Murray? There was this fun underpinning to the entire thing and just enough goofiness to keep you interested. If you miss it in the theaters, no worries. The movie will be fine as a DVD.

Slice Two

Three hours flew by in early evening as I got together with a bunch of friends from school (plus, a drummer who is a friend of a friend) to play original songs and jam out. One of the guys writes tons of songs and I was able to crank on the bass, which is something I am trying to do more of (and my fingers hurt today, so it’s clear I have not done enough).

I played a few of my songs (the new one sounded very cool) and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I love how time goes by so quickly and unnoticed when you are full involved and engaged in an activity.

Here is a recording of us doing my new song, Ease Your Mind.

Slice Three

I got home and took our dog for a walk (he’s having some stomach problems … blech). We were down the street when suddenly I heard a loud BAM and the electrical wires overhead started shaking like mad. Everything lit up for a second and then we were plunged into total darkness. The entire neighborhood — completely black.

I stared down one of our side streets to the main road and knew something bad had happened. I could see cars slowing down and then, there is that eerie silence after an accident. I heard some shouts and maybe some cries. Not sure. I bolted home to get my cell phone but by the time I arrived, we could already hear sirens on the way. It was pretty scary.

And we spent the night in complete darkness, worrying about the accident and our food in the fridge and the sump pump in the cellar, until about 3:30 am, when the lights finally came back on. I walked the dog again this morning, and I could see the flashing yellow lights of utility crews still at work at the scene. I am avoiding that intersection this morning.

Peace (in the many slices),

  1. The diary books are popular with our 1-2 population who are able to read above grade level. Glad to hear the movie was okay. They are not my favorite books but what I like does not matter as long as the kids are inspired to read!

  2. Wow Kevin what a day filled with Slices of Life. Great to hear about your music, sad to hear about the blackout/accident and I’m thinking that I need to get back to my movie reviews. I need to be using my Digital Bonnie again. It was cool to hear the voice of your son chiming in.

  3. I always like a little music in the middle of the day- and you offer original at that. Can you post the lyrics sometime? I like to see those too. Also- love the little widget for the player. Can you share the technology? Nice slice.

  4. I knew the movie was coming out this spring, but the release snuck up on me. The trailer made it look funny. It will be interesting to see how many of my students see the movie when I get back from the break.

  5. It’s funny that your song is called Ease Your Mind because earlier tonight, before I read your slice, I had this lyric running through my head: “flow on, river of time and ease my mind.” I have no idea what song it’s from or where I heard it but it was there.

    also, we had a brief power outage today… but we are pretty far apart so i’m sure it wasn’t related!

  6. I hate that clench in the throat that happens in an accident.

    I was driving down the freeway to LA mid-morning and everyone was in their lane and “the grid” was moving, functioning. All of us in our little lives, in our little tracks, doing our little thing. All of sudden the white car to my right started swerving, and then really started going in a larger and larger zig-zag and we all slowed down and gave him room. He swerved right in front of me across three lanes of traffic and hit the left guard wall, then back again across all lanes to the right, did a 180 and ended up stopping by scraping along the right guard wall. We were still slowly driving, so I watched and several cars stopped to help. I slowly resumed my speed, just in time to have some •jerk• weave in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed, oblivious to what had happened. The clench in my throat returned and I slowed slightly again, letting this car zoom on ahead. I didn’t want to repeat that again.

    So after thinking about that, I went up and heard your music clip–I enjoyed it.

    I’ve been gone a bit from commenting and writing and blogging and posting and I’m glad to be back.

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