The April Five

Five things I'm digging on this month...

1. Cadbury Mini-Eggs

Perfection in a colorful candy shell.

2. The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green

I had several people recommend this book to me during a random February week. One “friend” even threatened violence if I didn’t read it. So, I read it! And I’m glad I did. I laughed. I cried. I reread essays more than once. And I annoyed the heck out of my family because I constantly interrupted what they were doing so I could read them passages about geese and Dr. Pepper and a dozen other things.

3. The Baseball Prospectus Annual

I bought my first BP Annual in 2011. The Reds had just won their first pennant in 15 years and I was high on life. I immediately fell in love with the uber-nerd collection of essays, stats, projections, and player profiles. Fast forward 11 years and the only things I have left from another lost baseball decade are a lifelong love for Joey Votto and my, um…annual BP Annual. It has become an indispensable part of my fandom. And, unlike the Reds, it never disappoints.

4. Talking like Jean Valjean

My oldest daughter and I like to talk like Jean Valjean – the original Colm Wilkinson Jean Valjean from the Broadway production of Les Miserables. Lots of falsettos. Lots of turning monosyllabic words into multisyllabic ones. Lots of weird pronunciations. It’s just something we do. Our latest kick is singing songs from other musicals as if Jean Valjean was singing them. It’s the highest of high comedy. So if you ever see two people on the sidewalk doubled over in laughter and you think you hear what sounds like Jean Valjean singing “Tomorrow” from Annie…it’s probably us.

5. The Lock-eater – Zack Loran Clark

My youngest daughter writes: “It’s about an orphan named Melanie Gates. She has the weird ability (which she’s never seen as weird) to unlock anything. Sometimes it simply unlocks, but one time, completely on accident, just by wishing to explore, she breaks every door and window in the house. Then one night, a mysterious Gearling (a robot, kind of, but only the fancy, high-ranking magic people have them) shows up at the door, claiming it works for a witch that needs a new apprentice. It asks if any of the orphans possess any uncanny abilities, and everyone points to Melanie. Melanie ends up going with it, but little does she know this is no ordinary Gearling. I like it because it’s fantasy and has created its own fun little world, with a villain who acts nice to the camera but has ulterior motives the whole time. The characters are well made, and so is the plot, and Melanie’s power is very intriguing, as is the strange Gearling.”