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  • “How do you know the summer is really and truly over? My dad says it’s over precisely one second after midnight on September 21st. My friend Ellen says it’s over the minute you start thinking about whether to buy a binder, or a spiral notebook for school. But for me, the way I know the summer’s a goner is when my brother Pete and Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, go to the beach and try to beat up ocean.” - Pete Wrigley (the older one), from The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

    September means school. Even for those of us who aren’t in school anymore, September still means school. It means shorter days, hooded sweatshirts, and getting abnormally excited about CVS having a huge sale on composition notebooks (whatever man don’t judge I do most of my first drafts in those things). Whether you’re moving, losing those precious Summer Fridays, or even just looking forward to finally getting rid of the kids so that they can go back to school, the cycle of the seasons still tends to revolve around that last hurrah of Labor Day, when something ends, or at least something changes, and we’re forced to face the coming fall, for better or for worse.

    And yeah, okay, it could definitely be better. But at the same time, keep in mind that it could be a whole lot worse. So to cheer you up, here’s a list of 3 of the best fictional schools*, accompanied by a list of 3 of the worst fictional schools. Whichever helps to ease the pain of the coming autumnal onslaught. The kind of places you look to and wish you could attend -- as well as the schools that should make you glad that hey, at least you’re not starting there this fall.

    * Excluding our own Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Lovecraft Middle School, of course, which are clearly the greatest educational facilities in which you could ever possibly enroll, ahem. Anyway, where were we? Right. Moving on.

  • Computers and video games may be fun, but summer is the best time to get outdoors and active! Physical play has numerous benefits for kids and parents alike. The Art of Roughousing by Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. and Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. includes tons of games, activities, and exercises for you and your child to try together.

    The “Greek Catapult” is a particularly fun trick that launches your kid through the air onto his feet or a soft surface with the help of a spotter.

  • Have you ever had a grilled pizza? Well, you’re in for a wholesome treat! This delightful, light and easy artisan pizza is extraordinary!

    How many times have you yearned for pizza but it’s been too hot to turn on the oven? This is a great opportunity for you to enjoy the nice weather, and let the outdoor grill do the work for you. Use store-bought artisan pizza dough or buy the uncooked pizza dough from your regular pizza place. Lightly brush the top with extra virgin olive oil, seasonings and grill a few minutes. Then layer on the toppings – meat, some favorite vegetables, peppers, onions and all.

    Return the entire pizza on the grill. Before you know it, the blended aroma of pepperoni, cheese and tomatoes will float around the air. You’ll know then your pizza is ready. Top it with some crisp bacon slices and your grill-licious pizza dinner is ready!

  • So, this was it.

    I heard her showering in the hotel bathroom. The hollow echo of water followed the steam, up and out of the open doorway and into the bedroom. I laid back on the bed with a scratchy towel wrapped around my waist and my feet still flat on the floor.

    My eyes were closed as I listened to the bursting staccato rhythm of water drops on ceramic. I imagined cascades of water trailing off of her elbows and whipping the tiles. She might have been washing her hair.

  • Butterbeer via Food Through the Pages

    Though the idea of exploring fantasy worlds through their food has been around for decades, sharing recipes taken from the pages of favorite books has become a rising online trend. If you know where to look, you can find instructions for baking lembas bread, groosling stew, or Fruity Oaty Bars.

    Some enterprising chefs and fans of Game of Thrones have even ventured into the world of medieval grilling with wild boar, snake, and birds not commonly found in the refrigerated case at the grocery store.

    Many of the web sites devoted to fictional feasting are still growing, but their collaborative efforts bring cooking, community, and literature together in one place. Check out a few of them with the links below:

    Geeky Chef

    Food Through the Pages

    Fictional Food

    Inn at the Crossroads

    What recipes from your favorite books are you dying to try?

  • Photo by Steve Snodgrass

    Did you know that September is Classical Music Month? Me either! And while I'm sure there are plenty of reasons to listen to classical music (Mozart effect, anyone?) our favorite broet, Brian McGackin, has the one and only reason you should bother.

    John Williams.

    So in honor of Classical Music Month, we've got Brian's poem, Why You Should Listen to Classical Music, excerpted below. Enjoy! 

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