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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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ode to jodi's gerbil

Working on my book edits this weekend. Yes, another working weekend. I am rewarding myself by going to see Mission Impossible 2 with Scott Murray tonight (he called from his New Car late last night). We might do Fune, depending on how my book is going by dinnertime. If I still need to work, Scott says he'll get take-out and bring it over! What a sweetie!! I can't believe he's still single. Or maybe this is all just a ruse to cover up his true intentions towards Jeff (see his April 29th entry in his Scribbles).

Hung out with Allison and Jodi last night in Richmond Hill. Did the usual dinner at the Pickle Barrel at Centerpoint Mall, wandered around the mall afterwards. We all bought peasant skirts. :-) I got to ride in Jodi's new car for the first time! Very cool, though I kinda missed the continual roar and rattle of her old Firefly. Jodi says she doesn't miss it at all. I even wrote a poem about the Gerbil (her nickname for it):

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

O Gerbil dear, you've served us fine
We drink a toast of good plum wine
to your rusted innards, we
love your soft upholstery,
We yell to be heard above your roar
and fiddle with your cranky door
But yet we feel a special bond
and we'll miss you when you're gone.


Jodi printed the poem out and keeps it in her new car.

I've resolved to start filling in some of the huge gaps in my General Knowledge of the World. I never seemed to absorb certain facts that other people did during their developmental years, like basic history and geography (the Yellow and Blue pie pieces always eluded me in Trivial Pursuit). So I went out and bought The Complete Idiot's Guide To American History. I'm sure my friend Scott Dixon (history prof in the UK) would be horrified; I'll have to make sure I hide the book when he comes visit this summer. Jeff was horrified, too (he says I could have at least bought the Idiot's Guide to world history).

Ironically, I always got A+ in history back in school...that was more because of my ability to memorize than from a true love of the subject. I didn't retain anything useful from those courses, sadly, except for the vague memory that we seemed to spend far more time studying the War of 1812 than the duration of the War itself. Then again, I always had the impression that Canada didn't have nearly as exciting a history as the U.S., so perhaps there wasn't anything else for our teacher to talk about.

Anyway, I've been shocked to find out that history is actually much more interesting than I previously thought. I'm up to the 1600s now.

I'd also be interested in hearing from any of you who can recommend interesting, non-academic books related to history that might help someone like me, particularly a general world history overview. Also BASIC GEOGRAPHY (my next big self-education project).

p.s. Larry Fisher has been send pics of his progress on my harp, so I'll be posting those as well as photos from my Dad's Japan trip.

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