Suffering from end-of-school-year fatigue?

The end of the school year can be overwhelming. As it all winds to an end – the grind of tracking down missing shoes, remembering permission slips, helping to pull together class projects – a mother can feel just plain fed up. So fed up that she can’t come up with words to convey the ridiculousness of it all. 

Then lucky for us, we can read and delight in Worst End of School Year Mom Ever on Jen Hatmaker's blog. Judging by the 1500+ comments on this post, she might have struck a nerve. Or, as our friend Catherine said, when she posted this on Facebook, "Oh yes." Thanks, Catherine for sharing. 

Have a great weekend, mothers, the finish line is in sight.

The curly bracket is here to stay... {Brace yourself}

I've been seeing lots of brackets these days. To be precise, curly ones like {these} which are also known as curly braces. And I can't decide: are they a little mis-used and maybe a tad pretentious? Or, are they fresh, fun and whimsical?

I'm probably reading too much into this micro trend, but I can't help wondering: what are you trying to say if you surround your initials, an invitation, or some particular words with curly braces? Are they simply a fancy substitution for parenthesis? A decorative embellisment? Or, to a cunning grammarian, do they mean something highly specific?

I like to consider myself gramatically well imformed, but the only place I've ever used curly brackets is in anxiety-inducing mathematical equations. Yet, curly brackets are a part of a standard keyboard, so they must have some importance. Feeling I might be missing something, I decided to do some research. When I struck out in Strunk and White, I turned to the internet and found this helpful post on Grammar Girl. (I had never encountered Grammar Girl before but it looks like great fun for anyone with a case of general grammar grumpiness).

According to Grammar Girl, the curly brace serves no gramatical function whatsoever, and exists primarily for mathemathics. In the exponent-free world, I guess that makes curly braces fair game for anyone wishing to add little whimsy to her written communication. In the age of the emoticon, the curly brace seems quaint and whimisical indeed.

* image from Mark and Graham

Friday Frivolity: Sandwich Bag Art

Day in and day out, packing school lunches can be tedious. The thrill of a clever and functional new lunchbox can wear off. The time and inspiration for perfectly adorable bento style lunches can run short. Leave it to a father, then, to come up with a speedier way to infuse his children's lunches with a sense of fun and whimsy, express love for his children and exercise his own creativity.

David Laferriere is just that father. Since 2006, he has be drawing quirky and clever pictures on the sandwich bags in his sons lunches, and posting photos of his creations on flickr.

The assembled photos are a thrill to peruse, and so its no surprise that they have been written about in more than one place, and slowly but surely his lunch bag photos have gathered a following.

We might not all be as deft with a Sharpie as Mr. Laferriere, but we can dream.
Have a wonderful weekend!

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