Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Preparing for the...

...mandatory muster.

Orange is the New Black

We've arrived

Bruce is a liitle overdressed for 82 degrees!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sophie's Birthday Wish

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The 86lb dog

...that thinks she is a lap dog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Raspberry Pie

This is attempt número two.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter 2008

Believe it or not we have shoveled our walk numerous times and the
wind keeps re-covering our work. It's so deep that Bruce had to shovel
a path for daisy to get through.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Results of my Online Christmas Shopping.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I had to Laugh

This is a funny email that I got from one of my students - that I had to post.

Here's the background. And I will keep it short. I have a tough policy about naming your assignments correctly - if you don't put your name on it - it's a ZERO - yes I am pretty sure it's every teacher's policy. Yes, I am sure you have all heard the same thing - no matter how long you have been out of school, "no name, no credit."

So here's the email from one of my morning students - I see it as a Public Service Announcement for other students.
Subject: Re-submitting of nameless assignments

I have resubmitted all of the nameless illustrator files that have been rendered useless without a name or social security number.

Society has rejected these files because they had nothing to call them. The files were alone. They all lived in an abandoned warehouse together. None of them could directly address another because they had no names. They could not communicate with each other unless they tapped another file on the shoulder. Soon enough, all of these files had bruised shoulders from all of the tapping that was taking place. They would cry that their little nameless shoulders hurt so much. In time, their shoulders fell off. Once again, they could not be spoken to. These files are still alive today, hiding in the darkest of alleyways, and the coldest of caves. They prefer not to be seen because of the humiliation of not having a name.

So please, name your files, and save a life from facing rejection from society. A few clicks of your keyboard could define eternity for a PSD.
Our Trip to Urbana

Last weekend, we packed up Tony, Rock Band and headed south to see our friends in Ohio. This time we went to Urbana - to La Casa LaValley for a 7:11 meeting. We were greeted by Joe - standing in the front yard in his Swiss t-shirt, wearing his Swiss hat, waving his Swiss flag. It was pretty late on Friday night - so after some chatting - enjoying a little of the local city council on cable access - then we went to bed.

The next morning, we woke up - enjoyed Tim Horton's coffee brewed by Lori - and ate some delicious muffins. We had a big day of exploring Urbana ahead of us. However, we did get a disappointing call from Karyn - who decided to stay in Michigan because the roads were bad. However it wasn't too bad - for these trucks. Then we headed out to explore Urbana. First stop: TeaBaggers - a sandwich shop with a name that made us all giggle. The sandwiches were delicious. Bruce, Tony and Joe had to get their picture taken with the sign - well they had to because I made them.

Next stop: The local penny candy store. Where we of course were excited to find all the great candy we hadn't seen in years. Plus there was so much more. We bought our weight in penny candy then headed to the next stop. Joe was excited because it was the first time he had gone to the store in the center of Urbana - since he moved there. I believe it is 7 years - however, I am sure it will be less than seven years before he visits again.

Crabill's Hamburgers. How can I describe this small hamburger shop - well other than the fact they serve delicious hamburgers - ummm I think the word would be GREASY. Yes these sliders are so delicious because well they a cooked in possibly the largest amount of grease I had ever seen. I think that is what made them taste so good - but as Lori said - that once you walk in the grease stays with you - in your hair and on your clothes.

Then we headed over to Joe's school. We were surprised to find out that it looked like a castle. We all enjoyed our tour. Especially of Joe's classroom - where we laughed at the board - which I posted from my phone below. Yes this would be the one where the Ohio State grads decorated Joe's room with red and gray - and a sign that well you can check out for yourself.

Then we headed back tot he LaValley Homestead just in time for the Christmas Parade on cable access. And I am sure you are like - what, why? However - this is entertianment that you can't pass up. Plus we were waiting with baited breath for Robert and Heather's arrival - which didn't happen because the weather got bad. Now our Ohio friends say that they hardly ever get the snow - like the snow we get here - however in our past two visits it didn't seem that way.

We spent the evening - rockin' out with Rock Band 2 and playing games. It was a great time. Thank you very much Joe & Lori! We had a great time. I am looking forward to my next trip to Urbana. I just need to know what's on Cable access so I can plan my trip accordingly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

As close as we got to Robert this weekend.

The weather kept both Robert and Karyn from our 7:11 meeting.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pictures from the Tattoo Extravaganza
There is Max - with his awesome guitar stomach tattoo.
Please also take notice the forehead tattoo.
Sophie giving Aunt Jennie her third tatt.
Max showing us his newest tattoo. All the cousins are so proud.
Olivia and all her tattooed glory.

Here we all are (or everyone that fit in the camera's lens) with our Tattoos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving turned
Tattoo Extravaganza

So this Thanksgiving started out like any other Thanksgiving. Bruce and I woke up this morning - very, very, very early for the America's Thanksgiving Parade. It was my sixth year of working the parade. And it doesn't make waking up for it any easier. But it's always a fun time.

Then we hurry home to take the world's quickest nap before heading off to my family's Thanksgiving. This year we spent Thanksgiving in Flushing. We were the last to arrive - because waking up from the world's shortest nap was well difficult.

We ate our weight in turkey - then it was the usual banter with the cousins - until Krista broke out her goodies from Target. This included two packs of 500 temporary tattoos. Yes people, that is 1000 temporary tattoos. So I opened a tattoo parlor, now granted my first customers were all under then age of 8. And I am sure you have hear the tattoos are addicting and that proved to be true at this outing. (I will have to get the pictures from Krista.) It started with Max getting a ying yang in the middle of his forehead. Which meant that Sophie and Olivia needed their butterflies in the middle of their forehead too. Then well the fun just kept going. By the end of the night - Olivia had over 15 tattoos, followed closely by Max and Sophie - and everyone there (including my dad) had at least one Tattoo. Oh yes, the holidays are never dull in my family. I have included a picture of what's left of my temporary tattoos. Yes, don't I look fierce with my rooster tattoo. Don't worry there is another one on my other wrist.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The parade show... underway.

It's thanksgiving.....

.... and that only means one thing - a parade.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I went to Williams & Sonoma this weekend - I tried something on the
front of their cookbook.

Looks gross

....tastes good - I had extras and I didn't want to waste it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Taste of Summer in Berlin

This is video that I took this summer in Berlin. However, if I was grading myself I would probably fail due to the fact I didn't take the tripod (yes, I was very lazy - I hope my students really don't read my blog.) However, I hoofed it all over the city by myself and frankly how was I supposed to keep up with those trendy Europeans hauling a tripod everywhere. Really sometimes it is fashion before function.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So it's down to the final three and I must say this time they have it wrong with the final two. Samantha and McKey. Blah - I am not a hug fan of either of them. Apparently I need to be the guest judge. Because if I was - Marjorie would have been gone a long long time ago. And of course the soft spoken ice skater Annaleigh was booted.

Now I am begrudgingly watching the second half. And I am not sure who I am pulling for. The crazy-eyed boxer or the airhead Sam. Again just my personal opinions. So now I am watching Tyra call herself their "black mama." And again, I am questioning her judgment. Now I am listening to McKey talk and all of the sudden she has this strange British type accent. I am wondering was this boxer hit in the head one too many times that she has this wierd accent.

Now it's judgement time. And Trya looks like she is right out of Star Trek - did Scottie beam her down from the Enterprise. Does she not have friends that tell her - no? Really I can't take her seriously. So I must say now I am rooting for the air head - I think that McKey is just crazy. And of course they go for crazy - obviously considering Tyra's outfit today.
No Sleep - Sleep.....

Well I must say last weekend I was bracing for a weekend of ZERO sleep. My students had signed up to do the Insomnia film festival. It's a film festival that runs 24 hours 9 am - 9 am. The goal is to produce and edit a short film in 24 hours. However, it was postponed due to problems with Apple's website. At first I was really disappointed - because my team was PSYCHED - and I was wondering if they would still be as PSYCHED - a month later. But as it turns out they were pretty matter of fact about it - you can read their blog post. If you left them a comment - they would be thrilled - because they are pretty much convinced that I am the only one that reads it. I tell them otherwise - but none the less the don't believe me.

Instead Bruce and I used gift certificates to buy ROCK BAND 2. And our band "the next tuesdays" is back on World Tour. And let me say we are pretty freaking awesome. I think the best thing about the new game is well "Eye of the Tiger" is on it along with several Bon Jovi songs.

Other than that life has been busy with school. I am frustrated because I had a Volleyball accident the week after the marathon - when I was ummmm tackled by a teammate. Since that time I have not been able to run - I did something to my right ankle and it's driving me nuts. I want so badly to run - but then there is this throbbing pain that gets in the way. I actually bought a swimming suit and went swimming the other night - I am planning to go again tonight but I have to wait for open swim at 6:30 pm. I forgot how tiresome swimming can be - and well I miss my ipod - I think running is more my speed.

Also my cousin Babe made it into another commercial with her dog Teddy. When I was little she was featured in the Lands End catalog - now she is in a commercial for the Michigan Tech Credit Union. I am posting it here to spread her fame. Also many might see where my years of training to perfect the Palin accent come from.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas isn't until Next Month

Well I know this - however this just shows you how crazy things have been, this is a present from the Harding Family from oh last Christmas. I felt like a real schmuck when I treked down to Berkley last week - with nothing in hand. However - but I had a great time regardless. I only live 1 hour a way - but let me tell you sometimes it feels like I leave in another state. It's hard to get my butt down to the city, but it was worth the quality Helen time.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Moodle Maverick

So this election day - instead of having school we had professional development (PD). They decided that since so many of the local schools are polling places that they would close school that day (safety first.) So instead of doing our PD day at the end of the month like usual we did it at the beginning.

Well in the spirit of the election - I wanted to have well some fun. Really if you think about it that is the democratic thing to do. I wasn't attending the PD this year - I was actually one of the people in charge of presenting a session. I was doing Moodle - which is an online tool for instruction delivery. Basically it's an online classroom. Well I decided on this election day - since I can do the Sarah Palin voice (yes if Tina Fay needed a voice double, I could have stepped up to the plate - thanks to my frequent visits to the north (Michigan's Upper Pennisula) where well they have a wonderful cadance to their voice that I love listening too and have been practicing for years.

So I showed up in the morning with my glasses on and my best updo - with attention to creating fake bangs - as the Moodle Maverick. Please note however that my badge was pined on with my Obama '08 pin. The only thing was that I don't own a red blazer because well that would have made the outfit a little more convincing.

It all made it's way upstairs...

...but trust me there is still much work to be done.

The pile keeps moving.

The Metamorphoses of my Office

Okay this weekend, I promised myself I would clean the disaster which is my office. My office is the place where things go when someone is coming over and I don't know where to put something - so I stick in the corner or on my desk. Well over time there became no more room to put anything. So this was the weekend it would be cleaned. (And I am sure that despite my best efforts that this saga will continue - but here's hoping that I can keep it clean a little longer.)

This isn't the start - I didn't think about taking a photo before the cleaning process began. But this is me taking everything off the desk and using my floor as a place to sort.

There is lots of work to be done.

Desk is still not clean.

No this isn't the same picture from before this is about an hour later - after I decided in order to really clean the room, I needed to clean out my filing cabinet. If you notice stuff has been moved around.

...and then I move it back onto the desk - no wonder this takes such a freaking long time.

Visible Progress

Oh wait -there's where it all went.

But I am moving a long.

I see carpet.
And success.
See I am relaxed enough to drink tea.
Look at that carpet.

Oh wait - as it turns out I am not finished - I just moved the junk to the another spot. Looks like I should get started.