I always feel guilty when I don’t keep my kids busy with art projects. As a child, I didn’t really bond with art.
I don’t know the reason. Was it a personality flaw? Was it the teacher who told me I sucked at it?
So I resist doing art projects with the kids for the simple reason I’m not good at it. Worse, my son is already better than me; how can I help him? I’m sure Lael – 4 or not – will be better than me soon, too.
While working on a weekend project recently, I decided to keep the kids busy with a relatively non-messy art project that required little daddy intervention.
About 10-15 minutes after returning to my computer upstairs, I heard a horrific crash, punctuated by the sound of smashing glass. Harmonic screaming reached my ears before I could reach the stairs. My sleeping wife burst out of her room inquiring about the end of the world.
As you can guess from the photo, my kids climbed up onto the table and tipped the whole thing, flinging beads, pipe cleaners, paper, crayons and other art supplies to the ground. Before I even saw the disaster, I was planning the trip to the hospital.
After I calmed the kids down enough to determine they were essentially unharmed – each had a small scratch from the broken glass – I put them into their respective rooms. I told them they were not to come out until I was done cleaning up.
When you consider there was glass spread across three rooms – and that I took my damned, sweet time – about two hours past before I allowed them downstairs. Actually, I not only cleaned up the mess, I cleaned the kitchen, mopped the floors and made their lunches.
My, how time flies. Work, projects, volunteering at the school. I need to spend the week just catching up on all the missed blog opportunities.
I’ll start with tumbling, which seems to be Lael’s sport. I put her in the park district class at the beginning of the fall semester.
She didn’t just like the classes – she LOVED them. The kid is a wiggly, bending, rolling, jumping dervish.
Sadly, I couldn’t get Lael into the follow-up classes, so for the past couple months she has been climbing the furniture instead. The instructor said Lael should be at one of those professional gymnastics gyms. Just find one that doesn’t encourage kids to starve to death, the teacher said.
The bigger problem, though, is finances. Wayyyy to expensive for me at this phase of my under-employment. At least I was able to get Lael into back-to-back classes starting in January and lasting until early April.
I’'m finally done working on that other project I mentioned last week. Below is the first few graphs of of Part III:
While nearly two-thirds of former Los Angeles Times journalists would like to remain in the news business, more than half believe their former paper eventually will fold – and nearly as many think newspapers in general have been mortally wounded, according to a recent informal survey conducted by TheJournalismShop.
Only 16 percent expect the Times to survive, and nearly a third say they were uncertain what will happen.
“It will either become all-paid like WSJournal or be privately foundation funded,” wrote a woman who volunteered for a buyout. “Guessing.”
The poll was conducted among former Los Angeles Times staffers who are members of a support message group. Seventy-five out of 124 members responded, and only a quarter of them expected newspapers to survive the current economic crisis.
“The stack of paper that used to arrive at your front door will disappear,” wrote one laid-off female journalist. “Already it seems quaint and wasteful.”
But another woman who took a buyout said there was still sufficient demand for newspapers to continue in some form.
“I am an optimist when it comes to believing that newspapers will survive because millions of people still read and want reliable, objective news,” she wrote.
I’'m still working on that other project I mentioned on Tuesday. Below is the first few graphs of of Part II:
Nearly three-quarters of former Los Angeles Times journalists feel less secure about their lives since parting the struggling Tribune Company, a recent informal survey has found. Some of the journalists also reported increased health problems, concern over long-term health insurance and heavy reliance on their spouses’ incomes.
The poll was conducted among former Los Angeles Times journalists who are members of a support message group. Seventy-five out of 124 members responded.
Despite the loss of security, several journalists were happy to escape the pressures of working for the newspaper and the constant threat of layoffs.
“I really could not have continued to have a productive work life with the job insecurity I had at the Times,” wrote a woman who left in April without a buyout but found full-time employment. “It was very hard on my family and on me to never feel secure in my job.”
“It’s odd, but despite the financial ruination and the prospect of never being able to fully retire, I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” wrote another woman who had been laid off. “Life is good, and the bitterness comes from the big financial losses and from the overall lack of appreciation by the LAT.”
I know my posts have been light as of late, but I’ve been working on a project for another website I manage. Here are the first few graphs:
Former Los Angeles Times journalists continue to struggle with severe underemployment, soon-to-expire unemployment benefits and worries about retirement, a recent informal survey of 75 former staffers found. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said they had been laid off or asked to leave by the financially troubled Tribune Company; the rest left the company voluntarily.
More than two-thirds are still receiving unemployment checks, though 68 percent expect those benefits to expire within 30 weeks of when the survey was taken in mid-November. The loss of benefits are despite the 14-20 week-extension recently signed by President Barack Obama.
The eventual end of benefits weighs heavily on the former Times employees.
“I’m hanging in there, but don’t know what I’ll do when I don’t have unemployment as a base,” wrote one female ex-staffer. “I’m in my 50s and it isn’t easy to find a job at my level and impossible to find one that pays what I used to make.” All comments were offered anonymously in the survey.
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