Monday, December 24, 2007

hannah's new favorite band

this group is called 'paramore,' and i think they're great. sort of like a real-live 'jem and the holograms.'

here's a video

lemme know what you think

Sunday, December 23, 2007

o holy be-jesus

okay. this is funny. and don't give up on it - it only gets better.

'tis the season

christmas vaca: day two

oh, i know what i want for christmas:

so much so that i can't really think about it anymore, lest i suffer a small stroke out of jealousy and excitement and resentful poverty. though the starting price of about $12,000 could be a whole lot worse for a mercedes-benz product.

check out the website

Saturday, December 22, 2007

stocking stuffers

as the proud owner of the 120-pack of crayons (with crayon-shaped sharpener), i'm not ashamed to confess my long-standing love affair with coloring. since starting at the preschool, the flames have been rekindled - in fact, i might just go out and buy a new barbie coloring book. that would, at least, give me something to do in buffalo. something aside from drinking. or to accompany the drinking... hmmm...

i used "pink flamingo" and "meadow green" to decorate my stocking. here's our list:

camry door handle
new wardrobes
tailor for one year
"magical water car"
good health insurance
mac book pro
personal trainer

is that really so much to ask for?

christmas vaca: day one

it's a blue steel christmas, ma bitches. check out my sweet new hoodie, courtesy of brian.

plans for the day include crapping around, drinking some sam adams winter pack (a steal at costco - full case for $22.99), playing nintendo, walking belle, cleaning up the house, crapping around, and maybe watching zoolander for further inspiration in my modeling career.

better go back downstairs and stop ignoring my husband.

Monday, December 17, 2007

christmas bling

i'm sure you can imagine how, before you're a real-live teacher (or grandma), your collection of christmas accessories would be somewhat limited. i was no exception. officially, i owned one pair of semi-tasteful christmas tree earrings, which were acquired within the last twelve months.

but today, a holiday angel opened up her treasure chest of tacky christmas jewelry to me.

here's what i picked:

get it?

p.s. erin, you can thank me later for that long-ass blog. :D

winter wonderland

this past friday was my directorial debut. oh, yes. the program was titled "winter wonderland: a holiday program," presented by the talented students of the learning palette preschool.

as music director (a.k.a. song-singer and butt-wiper) of thi
s fine academic institute, i played a big role in preparing the program. after a week of intense dress rehearsals, it went off without nearly as many hitches as we were anticipating. :) one of the littlest ones cried, i forgot to give the youngest group their bow, and there were a couple uncharacteristic clam-ups, but with the proud parents (and grandparents and uncles and cousins and siblings and sitters) sitting three feet away, nothing could stop this juggernaut.

it was a media circus. i knew there would be as many cameras as parents, but
i guess some part of me wasn't prepared for the unending flashes and multi-station film crews. hilarious.

so, we started by filing in a few at a time with our snowflakes and sweet snowman hats. the first few numbers were prepared by ms. heather: winter wonderland, snowflake flurry, jolly snowman (which concludes with everyone melting down to the floor), and sing-a-ling with jingle bells.

some minor stage fright

apparently, I LOVE SNOWFLAKES!!!!

you know you want one of these hats

next came my masterfully choreographed frosty the musical. i hope the parents keep track of who they send their videos to - i'm going to be pissed if i see these moves in high school musical 3. then, each age group was showcased: the littlest ones performed jingles bells, the 3's & 4's danced the snowy buffalo dance, and the big kids sang and played rhythm sticks to che che koolay.

jingle bells with a side of christmas tears

buffalo grazing in the snow

then they gather and make a circle

for che che, they're supposed to take tiny steps,
but always end up on top of each other

when the small groups finished showing off, it was time for the yoga demonstration. every wednesday, mrs. fortune does yoga with the kids. originally, she was going to try to fit some yoga poses into 'twas the night before christmas, but that wasn't happening. so, i wrote a "holiday" poem that incorporated about twelve poses. (on a side note: writing the poem made me sincerely think about writing children's books. after doing some research, i've since written that idea off as a tuesday-afternoon tangent.)

mouse pose

several things here: classic clam-up on the left, lingering dog pose
in the middle, and everyone else seems to be doing snake pose

lion pose

the finale was frere jacques sung in a round - a pretty mean feat for your average church choir, let alone a bunch of 2 - 5 year olds. the show received a standing ovation, and then we had dessert while opening a few presents from the pta. not a bad way to end the week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

things i do know

i know you have to take everything with a grain of salt, including 'zeitgeist.' but i think i'm about to gag on that tiny granule. we've all read 1984. we've all read brave new world. i'll admit a small amount of depraved and exhibitionistic romance at the idea of living a perpetually-observed life, but the fun evaporates when it ultimately affects my ability to function as a free-thinking individual. "i'm a human being, god damn it! my life has value!"

it's weird to be blogging about something not completely flippant. i don't really like to take things SO seriously.

i know you can't believe everything the media puts in your face. i know the more information you have, the better choices you're going to make. but where do you get good information? i'm feeling a little like agent mulder: trust no one. i know that there is more corruption than anyone expects or imagines. i know that a society living in fear is scarily susceptible to the power of suggestion.

so now what?

i know that i'm a good and generally moral person. i doubt i would have ever needed a law or commandment to convince me not to kill someone or to vandalize someone else's property. i know that i'm happy for the most part. i know that, even when i feel incredibly and inconsolably poor, i'm rich in love, friends, a good sense of humor, and an open-minded, can-do attitude. i have a job that's rewarding in a way that money can't be. i have a faithful, honest, kind husband, who is my partner in finding the light in the dark and getting shit done.

i know that no future is set in stone, and i know that i won't and can't be consumed by conspiracy theories. that's not the point. i don't know what else to do but be responsible for myself and rally around other good, smart, capable people.

"when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

well said, jimi.

Monday, December 10, 2007

you should watch this movie.

This is a very fascinating, fact-filled, question-laden film about our country. It focuses on 3 basic topics: reiligion, 9/11, and $$$.

I know that there are plenty of folks who will find at least something offensive in there, but I promise, that if viewed with an open minded, "that's certainly plausible" point of view, it might alter your view of our country and its leaders.


I've been thinking some more after finishing this film. While some of the facts presented are probably dubious at best, I think that this movie does a great job pointing out the holes and problems with some of these major events. It's the whole idea that while we may not be able to prove some of the claims made here or by Michael Moore in his movies, the U.S. Government and the folks involved haven't done much to disprove this stuff. For me, the simple fact that these conspiracy ideas are so convincing and plausible is worrisome enough. It reminds me of a scene from HBO's Carnivale where the boss is confronted by a local sheriff, and he claims that he is running a legit operation. The sheriff replies that he's "never once heard an honest man use the word legit." I feel like George Bush and his administration have been using the word legit a whole lot. They don't say legit, of course, they say things like terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction, and insurgency, and the war on terror, etc., etc., etc.

anyways - watch the movie - draw your own conclusions - ask your own questions.

Friday, December 7, 2007

in the potty

in each bathroom at school, there's a sign next to the toilet that says things like, "PLEASE do not flush tampons, maxi pads, paper towels, or anything aside from toilet paper down the toilet. the septic system is old and can't handle it."

about once a day, one of the kids asks me what the sign says. i usually tell them it says, "please do not flush your elephant down the toilet." they giggle. and i giggle.

today, it was this cutie.

"What's that say?"

"It says, 'Please do not flush your elephant down the toilet.'"

"'Cause he'll get mad."

(smiling. nodding.) "Yup, he'd be pretty upset, huh."

"Uh huh. All done."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

must be the leaves

you know that game kids like to play where they'll hide behind their mom's back and she'll say things like, "where's elijah? i know he came in with me, but now i can't find him. have you guys seen him?" cute, right? and hilarious to elijah, who does it every morning when he's dropped off at school, and all the kids who shout, "HE'S BEHIND YOU! HE'S BEHIND YOUR BACK!!"

now, imagine that same game with me and five four-year-olds. there's no way they're actually concealing themselves back there (i can actually see the cluster curving around one side), and when i shuffle around to look for them, their group breaks apart and they laugh loud enough to momentarily distract the kids sliding into the leaf pile. and this goes on for five solid minutes.

and this is why my job is awesome.

here's me and ben.

flip cup championship

captured forever. in all its glory.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

NovemberFest 2007: the aftermath

i guess "aftermath" isn't really the right word. but i figured our fans (hahaha) would want an update after all the hype.

the final standings:

champion supreme - the hop happy "hocks"

first loser - liberal lager lovers

flashbrew champion - the sudsy balls
flip cup individual champ - the sudsy balls

flip cup:
1st place - the sudsy balls
2nd place - the red stripes

3rd place - the hop happy "hocks"

beer pong:
1st place - liberal lager lovers
2nd place - the hop happy "hocks"
3rd place - the downtown browns


1st place - the hop happy "hocks"
2nd place - liberal lager lovers
3rd place - the downtown browns

it's sad, but true that the red stripes didn't even win one event. looks like we'll need to some additional training for next year. our uniforms were pretty sweet though.

gotta give props to the downtown browns and the non-competing chuggs of fury for their invaluable contributions (of yelling, swearing, and hysterical fits of laughter).

want more pictures? check it out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

the keg has landed

we're off to a chilly start....

... but the keg has arrived.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

novemberfest preview

if you're not coming to novemberfest, don't be offended. but we're really excited. :D

here's just a preview...

competitors: last-chance training begins tomorrow morning!

fire boy

also, i'm really pleased with this photo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the proof is in the shank

this is our dog, belle.

she's probably going to kill us.


lately I've been pondering the idea of inspiration. What is it? Where does it come from? Is it different for different people?

As this year gets closer to being over, I decided it might be a good time to look back and think about what things inspired me.

Most of these are musical things, since that's what I do, and I tend to be fairly single-minded.

In August, I got to play the Rutter Requiem with none other than John Rutter conducting. For those of you who aren't familiar with the work, it has a sizable cello solo. I don't really even like the piece, but Rutter was so into his music, and had so much energy/passion/etc., that it was really hard not to get caught up in that. As a musician, I think that I often forget about the emotional aspects of most of what I play. Yes, I have been lucky enough to largely pick my own repertoire through both of my degrees, and yes I sure do love all of the pieces that I've worked on, but after spending so much time and energy working out the hows, it's easy to lose sight of what the point is. I think that music is the best thing out there, and sometimes it takes some slightly cheesy music (like the Requiem) paired with a composer/conductor who showed us all how to be demanding, yet totally enveloped by his music to show us that you can be both exacting in execution, but still allow your heart to be in it.

The other thing that comes to mind (yes, sadly I can only think of 2 really inspiring musical things from the past year!) is the week that I spent at the Suzuki Institute. My teacher there, Dr. Beth, was/is the image of what I think good teaching is all about. I've studied with a variety of different personalities over the years, some of whom I would classify in the category of "never teach like that person ever." She helped me figure out how to put myself in the position of being a good teacher, and showing my students how to have fun while learning this very awkward, difficult instrument. nice. Prior to arriving at the Institute, I only had 7-8 students, and I wasn't feeling like my success rate was doing so hot. Each student had different weaknesses/needs (they still do), and I didn't feel as though I was really understanding how to address them. Fast-forward to now. Now, I only have maybe 2 students (out of 16) who I don't feel are achieving real success/progress. I can dig that.

So, that's that. I've been needing to remind myself of what inspires me, because for me, inspiration = motivation, and I am in need of some honest-to-goodness motivation these days.

Monday, November 12, 2007

back in the day

we can take absolutely no credit for this. thank you, molly, for the ever-hilarious forwards. enjoy.

Strap in, shut up and hold on. We're going back.

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickl y and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by simply adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom, because obviously nothing absorbs errant pee like a nice, thick shag:

There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place The belt loops have to be three inches long, for god's sake. And way to pull your pants up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here's how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

This "all purpose jumpsuit" is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden forced you to, and as a one-piece, it's a slightly better deterrent against ass-rapery.

Here's how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:

I'll bet these guys do ok with the ladies. If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob "No-pants" Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it hasn't happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his color-coordinated coffee cup.

Here's how to get your ass kicked at the beach:

He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:

If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fi ned and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit; which, frankly, is a step up.

How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day

Dear god in heaven, I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys.

As does your search for chest hair.

And this -- Seriously. No words.

Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are What. The. Fuck. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. I think the little tie must be the pull tab. If you look really closely, it says, "In case of chest hair emergency, pull tab quickly and back away."

Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, in 1977 it was apparently considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don't they?

I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled "Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best."

And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and an appreciative blonde with a look on her face that says "I love the way your junk fights against that fabric."

Then, after the lovin', you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:

I could go on, but I'm tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it's the colors. I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:

Man, that's sexy.