Monday, May 25, 2009

Urmston Family Reunion t-shirt. Thoughts?

Stupid blogspot would not add the "widget" to my post, but it would add it to the "gadget" in the layout (good story, I know), so look to the RIGHT for my idea for the Urmston Family Reunion t-shirt; I am obviously ripping off Uncle Peter. (CORRECTION: ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY COOP-A-LOOP.) I tried out various fonts and colors, and this is the best result (according to me and my impeccable taste). The image on the back should actually be the same shade of yellow as the text on the front, but I seriously lack Photoshop skills, so use your imagination. The numbers in the Uranium box (for all those non-science fools) can be changed from 92 to 61 (for the year of establishment) and from 238.03 to 620.09 (for the month and year of reunion).

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Spiritual awakenings? Religious antecdotes? Please leave here! Merci beaucoup.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

From the makers of "The Wonder Wand"...

My honors kids really didn't want a written final, and I obliged by giving them a few project options, including making an economics music video using an already recorded song or an original. I posted a video a few months back of a commercial for "The Wonder Wand" made by some of my boys, and I'm sure all who saw it would agree it was quite fantastic. This video is their newest creation. Thank you to Brandon Carter, Brian Williams, Jean-Luc Slagle, and Ryan Sitton for continually amazing me. Enjoy.

Follow-up: Channel 29 news did a story on them today. Sweet.

A few other projects were also quite fabulous, including a remake of Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat"-theirs was "I Bought a Boat." (If you haven't seen the original, check it out-there is a clean version available for those with sensitive ears.) I'll post it soon. I know, you're all on the edge of your seats.

I'm going to miss these kids.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Who's got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and is seeing No Doubt in 6 days? This moi."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For Shnee!

Jesus broke the connection because we were talking so much crap.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Mama...

Go to Shnee's blog for the sweet stuff; I work hard to maintain my status as the cynical one.

Anytime I bring up issues fom my past, Mom offers to send me to counseling. We successfully cleared up one such problem that has existed since my high school days.

As senior class president, I gave the welcoming speech at graduation; I then was the first to receive my diploma. Following this, my family left, which meant after the ceremony, when everyone is on the field, taking pictures, etc., I was without family. I brought this up for the fiftieth time a couple months back, to which Mom asked "if I give you $20, will you never complain about this again?" Fo' sho'. Mama didn't raise no fool.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

10, 11, 12. Shoot me in the face, could've done worse, now we're getting there; respectively.

All the big reading I was going to do during Spring Break didn't really happen. I submit two reasons for this lack of literary consumption: 1) napping is sometimes better than reading and 2) the selection I brought was so incredibly craptastic that I think I temporarily lost interest.

Before heading over to Leo Carrillo, Courtney and I did some shopping at the Goodwill bookstore (one of my favorite frugal finds EVA). Unfortunately, my discerning taste must have been on holiday, as I managed to purchase some truly ridiculous beach reads. I don't know what I was expecting, as they were typical "chick lit" selections (I wasn't looking to get through Atlas Shrugged or anything like that), but geesh...I actually BURNED one of the books in the campfire after I read it, Nazi Germany style, as I did not want to place it on my beloved bookshelf or donate it and subject someone else to such trash. #10-two thumbs down to Janet Evanovich's Plum Lovin'.

The Guy Not Taken (#11) was a collection of short stories that really weren't so bad but, after the mindless dribble I had just read, I think my brain was shutting down. They were by an author I've read before, Jennifer Weiner (the brothers and cousins got a big kick out of that), and I would recommend some of her other books for those looking for some very light reading. (I love how I sound like some snooty New York Times reviewer. Excuse me while I continue Anna Karenina now.)

#12 was borrowed from Melanie and was pretty engaging: The Mysterious Benedict Society.
A preview...

Reynie Muldoon sets off one day to take an important and mysterious test. He and the other children do not know what the test will be or what they will win if they pass, they are all simply answering an ad in the newspaper: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

And thus begins the adventure of a lifetime. The test-takers are soon narrowed down to four extraordinary children: Reynie, George “Sticky” Washington, Kate “The Great Kate Weather Machine” Wetherall [reminds me very much of our own cousin Kait-will tell it like it is, creative, and resourceful], and Constance Contraire. These kids all possess an impressive combination of intelligence, bravery, and that certain je ne sais quoi that makes a hero, which is good because they pretty much have to save the entire world from Evil.
(Thanks to Gracetopia for the blurb.)

Trenton Lee Stewart's writing has been compared to both Roald Dahl's and Lemony Snicket's, and I must concur. Moreover, the illustrations done by Carson Ellis are quite enchanting and truly add to the story. I always love finding great children's books and, while I wouldn't put it in the same category as some of my favorites (e.g. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself), it's one to be checked out. With vacation ahead (YAY!) it will entertain your kids (and it's 400+ pages!) and you could do some cool projects (art, discussion, etc.) along with it. might be fun to have some sort of kids' book club/day camp this summer. Anyone think they or their kids would be interested?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In my experience, "let's think about it" usually ends up with me watching Solid Gold in my basement on prom night.

I think there is a part of me that would have preferred such viewing pleasure to the day I had a couple weeks back. The BIG EVENT for which the junior class was responsible occurred-PROM-and, thankfully, it went quite fabulously. The girls and I spent the days leading up to it shopping and painting, designing and shopping, and shopping and creating. Needless to say, we definitely did our part to support the economy, all the while finding AMAZING bargains on Chinese paper lanterns, glow necklaces, the whole sha-bang. How did we ever accomplish anything before the Internet? Just Google coupons for whatever website you're using the next time you do some shopping, and the deals that pop up will astound you. Anycheapskate, the decorations were amazing (I know, who looks at them?), the candy bar and bathroom amenities were a hit, and the kids danced/reveled in iniquity (according to Mom) the night away. The event was capped by one of the swimmers hopping onto a lighted dance platform and stripping down to his Speedo, tie, and tube socks-inappropriate yet hilarious.

Huge THANK YOU to Aunt Jaime for her amazing seamstress skills, as she took my $14 Ross dress and turned it into a Queen of Hearts costume. (I'm sure she whipped the adjustments and flair into place in less than an hour, but I am a sewing retard and probably would still be stabbing myself in the eye with a needle if I had done it. This is why we engage in trade, oh proponents of increasing trade barriers to protect crap American industries.); Nicole for braving an incredibly tall ladder for hours to hang the 70+ lanterns, all the while dealing with my anal retentiveness; and Mom, who spent countless hours making the cake for the Mad Hatter Tea Party table (which I had planned to let my classes gorge on the following Monday, but every single kid felt the need to touch/poke/rub it, trying to determine if it was real or fake), made vinyl cutouts for the centerpieces (red and white roses with playing cards popping out), helped with last-minute (hour?) set-up, and especially for swiping some chicken from the hotel restaurant in an attempt to help me gain back my sanity-apparently you need more than a handful of Swedish fish in a 12-hour period? Crack was invented for days like this-you can see the crazy in my eyes.

Earlier in the day I was setting up for a few hours by myself, as the girls left to do the hair/nail ritual, and in the ballroom next to me was a "Fashionata" show (what the crap is a "Fashionata"?). I had to endure a couple hours of listening to the catwalk commentary, courtesy of rich old women-quite enlightening. Some of the event attendees popped in to watch me do my thing, with one woman referring to me as the "help" (what century is this?), while another asked me if we were serving "light hors d'oeuvres." When I replied in the affirmative, saying we were having cookies, chocolate-dipped strawberries, mozzarella sticks, and chicken strips (the food was part of the package), she condescendingly told me that those weren't light, as there were items with protein. Well la-di-freakin'-da.

Fun fact: I received a phone call AND had to have a face-to-face conversation with a parent who was incensed over the fact that her child had not been elected for Prom Royalty, as that had been his/her "only high school dream." Priorities, people.

PS-For those who didn't know, I went back to the blonde in February. I know, alert the press. This required 3 boxes of color stripper and 7 bottles of hair color in one weekend. How my hair did not fall out remains a mystery. It stayed a funky color for about a month (still a little weird looking when worn down), and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the helpful comments from my students. Case in point: one kid asked when I was going to fix my hair, to which I replied "when are you going to fix your face?" I know, my professionalism astounds you.