Here in Pennsylvania, one issue that will be making big news throughout this year is Gov. Rendell's proposal to consolidate our state's school districts. Right now, there are 501 school districts in The Keystone State, and by the end of the year, the governor would like to come up with a plan to reduce that number to 100. The idea is to drastically reduce local property taxes and administrative costs.
It will be most interesting to watch how this plays out. If this can be done without increasing classroom size and busing children long distances, it might be a very smart move. One thing is for certain, though: however this is achieved, it will be a complicated and contentious process. Which superintendents will keep their jobs? (I assume that reducing administrative costs means fewer people at the top of the payscale). Will the schools mostly stay intact? For now, probably, but sometime down the line, I would expect that a lot of these older, smaller facilities will be replaced much larger ones. It follows that more children will be bused greater distances. Will this affect the housing market? I would think so.
Oscars tonight! It's always fun to watch the beginning, because it opens with such excitement and the comedy is usually so good. I can never stay up to watch all of it, which is okay because it gets boring and a bit too self-congratulatory by the end, anyway. I work the earliest shift most days, so I need to hit the sack before it's too late. If anything truly funny happens, I'll catch it on Youtube later. Since I've only seen one of the movies, I don't have an informed clue about what and who should win, but it sounds like it was a good year for movies. I really look forward to seeing Milk, Revolutionary Road, and Batman. We will also hear a bit about which documentaries and foreign films we should put on our Netfliks que.
(That's what happens to grouches who don't get to bed on time)
I seem to be injured. Calf strain, I think. Just as I was trying to work the mileage back up for spring, too. So, it's elliptical time. We are going to The Magic Collectors' Convention this April, in Chicago, and my goal is to be able to run around the bean. I will be bummed if I can't.
For those of you with any interest in beer, I'd like to say that I've discovered Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale, from Idaho Springs, Colorado. It's my current Wednesday and Saturday night beer, and I'm very pleased with it. Tonight is pasta night, being Sunday, and that means red wine.
AND, we did watch a movie last night: Burn After Reading. It's got quite a cast! I love Frances McDormand because she's always good, funny, and not at all vain. This was a Fargoesque farce, a plot set in motion by John Malkovich's self-important character and carried by McDormand and Brad Pitt, who are both hilariously stupid individuals. George Clooney actually gets stretched a bit here in his role as a very strange and paranoid character who serves as a sort of lynchpin in the plot. Tilda Swindon is paired with Malkovich as his convincingly snobby, bitchy wife. It's not as good as Fargo, of course, but I recommend it. The acting is good and it is funny.
Enjoy Sunday night!