Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex in the City
The Premiere

Ok - Despite my strong desire to head to bed right now, I am committed to your requests to hear every burning detail. So I will divide my post into three sections 1. The Premiere 2. Jennie as a New Yorker 3. G. Love.
Capped off with a short story regarding the six degrees of Helen (Johnson) Harding.

Episode One - The Hottest Ticket in New York City
From the moment I arrived the city was buzzing with talk about the movie. I literally heard people discussing it on the street. The news media was all over the story. I got to NYC at about 8am which meant I had plenty of time to wander. I wandered past the Radio City Music Hall where they were setting up the red carpet. There were tons of news media setting up too for the event that didn't start until 6pm that evening.

When Mary arrived we headed over to Shoe Heaven at Saks 5th Avenue where she bought a fabulous pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes (yes, even with my fab new heals I was have what we should call shoe envy.) Then after that we headed to the Manolo Bhalnik on W 54th St. It was really cool because during the movie I recognized the shoes.

We stopped at will call on the way back to the hotel to see if we could pick up the tickets however they were not open, that's when one girl stopped us on the street and said, "You have tickets."
Which we both replied, "Yes."
To which she said, "Oh F*$#!"
Now really what do you say to that, so I take it you don't. Mary and I laughed about it for a while.

Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready - but the one hitch was the hot water in the hotel was out until 5pm, so I had to wait to shower. However even at 5:05 pm there was no hot water. Which meant I suffered for beauty in what could have been the coldest shower of my life. I heard Mary giggle when I let out a shriek from the bathroom.

Then we got dressed - Mary looked fabulous in her stunning black dress and her fabulous shoes. I got my mix-matched assemble together - if you are dying to know who I wore - here it is Forever 21, Bitten, Ann Taylor & Carlos shoes. I know what you are thinking - who, what? Well I am pleased to say that the entire outfit was put together for less than $75. I am sure all the NYC fashionestas can say the same about theirs.

Then we headed for the will call line. However as we left our hotel it started to sprinkle and I spent the best $10 ever, on two very cheap umbrellas from a street vendor. This proved to be very helpful when the sky opened up on the thousands of people standing in the will call line.

As we got close, we got more excited. At will call you could see the red carpet - we entered to a door just right of the carpet. We walked in just as Donald Trump and his newest wife were coming in, yes it was through different doors but it was still the same time.

Then we sat in our seats, which were very close. We could have reached out and touched Jennifer Hudson (Academy Award Winner.) We were also very close when the entire cast made their way to the stage for introductions.

The movie (which I won't spoil) was good. The reviewer in the Post the next day said that it wasn't that special - it was more like a very good television show but not a good movie. However I disagree it had everything I needed, which involved tears and laughter. However, I will not spoil it for you. The only thing I was disappointed in was that there was not as much of Carrie as a writer/columnist - it was different from the show in that way.

Then after the movie we headed over to MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) for the after party. When we arrived we quickly got the Sex in the City signature drink (that is when we nearly ran into the singer Fergie.) And then we got a table (because well you shouldn't spend an entire day walking around New York City in Flip Flops if you want to have a successful night in heels - just a word from experience.) It was a star studded event, along with all the stars from the cast, we saw Regis Philbin and Christian from Project Runway. It was really cool - I talked to a woman named Lisa (a publicist from Sony) for a minute or two, she was very friendly and her "former assistant" told me that I was one lucky girl - because we had the "hottest ticket in the city tonight." They both were amused that I was a teacher - I guess not many teachers frequent this event.

After a long night of people watching and enjoying ourselves (and in my case wearing uncomfortable heels) we headed back to the hotel. It was a blast and I am so thankful that Mary let me come with her! So thank you Mary, a million times, this was truly a once in a lifetime trip. Thanks for sharing with me.

Episode Two - Jennie and the City
So I hadn't been to NYC since I was a preteen. I always went with my dad and mom to visit my grandparents who lived in Queens. We went into Manhattan once during the trip and it was always a big deal, but I hadn't been there since my Grandparents & Aunt Mary Ann moved to Michigan. So when I arrived early in the morning, I really had no clue were I was and were I was going - which made it quite an adventure.

First things first, I set off looking for coffee. Since I left my house at 4:30 am, I needed some badly. As I began my quest, I managed to find my way to Rockefeller Center (home of NBC.) And it was so early they were still taping the Today show. So being the TV teacher, I needed to get some photos of the set up for my students. Well I got into the area which was surprisingly not crowded, but I stood away from the little crowd that was there (they were all holding signs and wearing cow hats and were too awake for me considering that I had not found coffee. So the goal again was not to be on television, remember I woke up at 4am, so I was not what you would call "camera ready." However, low and behold they do a pan of the crowd and guess who's mug ended up at the end. Yes, that's right mine. And I have proof, Mr. Paul Dingeman (avid reader of the TiVo Changed My Life Blog) saw me.

Then I walked a little further found coffee and ended up in Times Square. I immediately saw the HUGE Sex and the City billboard. I walked a little further to Broadway and then headed back. I managed to walk past the Empire State building, I opted out of going up - as someone who isn't a fan of heights the idea of spending $20 to go up in an elevator and look down from a tall building did not seem like a smart idea. I then found my way to the steps of the New York City Library - where I rested and finally looked at my free map from the hotel. Then I wandered over to Bryant Park. I stopped by the HBO Store for a pin for the dorky collection.

Next I was headed to 5th Avenue to enjoy one of the city's finer highlights - shopping. I did mostly window shopping, but fun none-the-less. It was also pretty cool going to the Apple store. I saw the edge of Central Park when I got the call from Mary that she was in the cab nearing the hotel. I had a great time enjoying the city, I can understand the lour that it has on people.

Episode 3 - G. Love Reunites with Biggest Fan
Mary headed back to the glove (ok it's a mitten but you see where I am going) state in the morning, since my plane did not leave until 7pm - I had a whole other day of exploring. I ventured out to Central Park - where I sat on a bench and enjoyed my lunch. However, after a day in flip flops and a night in heels, my Chuck Taylors could do little to ease my tired tootsies. So I decided to spend the rest of my trip enjoying the MOMA. I took full advantage of my student discount - yeah baby, I saved $8. THANK YOU - UM-Flint. However, without grad school and paying the $8 dollars I might just have broke even.... :)

So I am wandering around, enjoying all that the museum has to offer, which means great painting by the likes of Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Salvidor Dali, Andrew Wyeth and more. And then I get to the floor that is what I think of when I think modern art, it's almost where you become part of the art. And as I am walking into another room on the floor, a tall man passes me, with a very attractive model like woman. And I am like, wait a minute - that's G. Love.
So unlike the premiere were I was very hands off the stars, I head right over to him to say hi.

So I walk up and this is the conversation. First I look stupid because, I think he is with Tristan Prettyman - a song writer I thought he was dating - which he wasn't so that was a little foolish of me, calling the girl Tristan when she was Amber. However he took it in stride and introduced me to this very beautiful tall woman named Amber - I am guessing she is a model. Here's the rest of the conversation (not word for word, but the best I can remember.)

Me: "Hi, I am a big fan, I really love your music."
G.Love: "Hey, Thanks."
(Now I swear he is giving me that look, the look like I recognize her.)
Me: "I won your contest last summer."
G. Love: "Jennie! Are you here with your students?"
Me: "No, I cam for the Sex and the City premiere."
G: "Oh I heard that was in town, but we didn't have tickets."
Me: "My friend got me tickets."
This is where my voice starts to shake.
Me: "I am going to see you guys in Germany, I lived there in college and I am bringing my host mother with me. (Then because the voice shake is so noticeable) Sorry, I don't know why I am so nervous."
(Both Amber and G. Love smile - like isn't this dorky girl cute.)
G: "Will you be in Munich?"
Me: "No, Berlin, but I will miss you guys when you come to Detroit because I will still be in Europe. Well anyway I don't want to keep you, but would you mind taking a picture with me."
G: "No Problem."
Amber takes the picture. I thank them both. She was very nice and pretty - the kind of girl you imagine to be friends with rock stars.

Then I immediately called Olive. I was so excited my voice was still shaking. Then I got yelled at for being on my cell phone in the museum - which was when I decided that I had to leave, I didn't want to chance running into them again. Because well if it wasn't already awkward enough with me stumbling all over my words, what would round two be like. So I headed to the gift shop to buy Bruce a souvenir and Iu bought a pin because well know that will have a story for the archives.

And last but not least - six degrees of Helen (Johnson) Harding. I am on the plane ride back to Flint from Detroit (after my first plane a direct flight was canceled.) I am not sure if it was being by myself the whole day, but rarely are there times when I feel like chatting on the plane and this was one of those rare times. Well the woman was nice but didn't seem like she was interested in small talk - after some careful work, I broke here and we were chatting, well it turns out she is from Marysville, home of St. Clair TEC (my job) and Helen (Johnson) Harding - two time State Cross Country Champion. Well this woman worked as a sixth grade teacher and her daughter Anna was Helen's classmate. It seems that everywhere I go, I am just six degrees from Helen (Johnson) Harding.

For more photos from the trip click here... or scroll down.
Surprise - I ran into G. Love at MOMA.
(More on this, the premiere and my NY adventure later tonight! Now it's time from lunch.)
Here are a few photos - I will update with info later.

Here are a few photos - I will update with info later.
I just got home - it's 12 am. NWA was kind enough to cancel my original flight tonight and put me on a later one. This means that I will give all the premiere and G. Love and Special Sauce details tomorrow - oh yes, I ran into Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love) in NYC. I promise full details by tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)

30 Rock

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're inside the premiere we arrived with the likes of Donald Trump!

Waiting in the will Call line

The Big Apple's Apple Store

Saks 5th Avenue Shoe Heaven

Bryant Park

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm Proud

This is the trailer for my students short film - Another Customer. They completed it for their capstone project in my class. I hope you can see the hard work they put into it. I am such a proud teacher.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sex and The City Movie Premiere & Me

I am very excited because due to the fact that I have the honor of being friends with Mary Lobbestael since nearly birth - I am going to the movie premiere of 'Sex and the City' in the City - yes New York City. Mary called me yesterday with the news, which means I quickly bought a very expensive ticket to NY - worth every penny. I fly out Tuesday night, where I will go to the premiere with the likes of Mary and well SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker), Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall. I am such a big fan of the show - who doesn't love the light-hearted, smart, sexy, witty and very fashionable Carrie Bradshaw. You know these four women made the 30's the new 20's - so as a woman who's about to venture into the 30's I truly embrace the spirit of the movie. The only question is will I be able to embrace the fashion of the movie pull off something fab on the red carpet - well let's just say that I will be shopping for some totally over the top shoes at Somerset tomorrow to cap off the perfect outfit.

So how did Mary get these tickets - well I don't exactly know how - but I do know that she works placing automobiles in movies for General Motors and I pretty sure she got them through work somehow. Why did Mary pick me to go with her? Well I can't tell you that either, but I have to admit that I am very honored.

I am not sure how the premiere works, so I don't want to promise pictures when I may not be able to take a camera with me. But I will do my best... I am also excited because I haven't been to New York City since the last time I went to visit my grandparents, which was when I was oh about 12 years-old.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Panera Bread Leaves Me Longing for More...

Ok, I must admit that when I like something, well I love it. And this is especially true for food, and well my favorite pair of jeans. This is why I was so disappointed yesterday, when I finally convinced Bruce to take me out to Panera bread for a Fuji Apple salad and French Onion Soup, only to discover that there was no more Fuji Apple Salad. Oh yes, it was still on the menu, however, they ran out of the ingredients and it is now going to be a "seasonal item." Or at least so Nick, the assistant trainer and guy taking our order says. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I got the "fandango" salad, but let me tell you right now that it is no Fuji Apple salad. That's right my friends, I ate it but I wasn't happy. Bruce thinks I might be over doing it, but what I say, is how can't I get an email about this. Yes, I get emails from all these companies telling me just about everything under the sun, but I can't get an email notifying me of the cancellation of my favorite item on the menu. Well I intend to write a letter - because I need to know when the season of Fuji Apple salads begin, so I can once again be reunited with my delicious treat.
Borders TV: Captures Ira Glass, Mom & I

So a while back I wrote about my trip with my mom to Borders to hear Ira Glass speak. After the speech/question and answer we got a chance to get our DVD signed and snap a photo. Well it turns out our interaction had what it took to get included in the borders segment. Who knew? Well here is a snip it from the segment you can watch the entire video here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And the Award Goes to...

Today was my favorite day of the year at St. Clair TEC - Awards Day. They put a big white tent on the front lawn of the school and we all head outside to honor the students. Awards are given for perfect attendance, Academic Achievement (All A's), Overall Outstanding Student and Most Improved Student. The first two awards are easy - it's just the numbers, but the second two are much harder to pick. Why? Well I have a special spot for all of my students (not all of the time - but all of my students.) So it's hard to pick one over another - this year in my morning class - I relied on grades to pick my overall outstanding - which meant I had three - three seniors who got all A's all year. Then there is my most improved - this student has come a long way. I better say we have come a long way. At the beginning of the year - we didn't see eye to eye at all - everything was a battle - but he is a smart kid that had a lot of ambition. Then towards the end of the year - with a little help from SkillsUSA (our student organization) we finally met on the right page. I look forward to him coming through my doors every morning.

In the afternoon - my overall student was a bright junior girl who too had all A's this year. She was a dead ringer for the award - most of the students had picked her - so why disappoint. My most improved student is a senior - who last year won my in class - Church Mouse Award (more in class awards to be discussed shortly.) She was so shy - she would run away from me when I talked with her. This year, she is talking to me more and getting a little sassy.

So now on to my in class awards. I am one of those people who likes to honor everyone for outstanding achievement in my classroom. We have a lot of fun through the year - so this is my chance to reflect with my class.

For instance I give out an AM and PM version of the Bathroom Pass Super User - yes the kid with the most bathroom passes for the year. Then there is Nutrition award for the student that eats the most junk, The Armenian of the Year (well because he's Armenian and I'm Armenian so we celebrate) there is the Save Early Save Often Award - for the girl that lost everything in a competition because well she didn't save - Least Likely to Get in Trouble - The Front Row Award (for my shortest kid in class) - The Negotiator - The Instigator - The Honorary Holladay Award and the list goes on and on. Believe it or not it takes me a long time to come up with an award for everyone - I put a lot of thought into it. I print them out on official certificate paper with a gold star. The students usually enjoy them - maybe I enjoy them the most. But I had one kid ask if he could put it in his portfolio - I said go ahead. Overall it's a really fun day at St. Clair TEC - but it makes me a little sad - we are getting to the end of the year and I will have to say goodbye to another group of seniors. And it turns out after two years and two and half hours a day - you get to know these kids pretty well and like they too (and have them trained) but my juniors will become seniors next year and then I will start all over again with the training.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Spring Christmas Wreath

So why do I have a Christmas Wreath still hanging on my door this Cinco De Mayo? Well, it's simple, after Christmas, it was still fresh and pretty that I didn't want to take it down. Then I am not going to lie, I forgot about it. It was just there, and I liked how it looked, so I didn't think about it. Then some of Bruce's co-workers that drive by our house daily started giving him a hard time.

So when the weather got nice I ventured out to the front porch to take down the wreath, when low and behold there was a nest. Yes, a mother robin, had decided that out wreath was the best place to build a nest. Inside the nest was three little blue eggs. So we made the executive decision to leave the wreath up for the birds. To the left is the view of the wreath from my window when I removed the shade.

Well I checked tonight and it appears that those eggs have hatched and we now a baby birds in our nest. I took a photo when I noticed through the window that the mother wasn't there to guard her nest. These pictures I will admit are not the best, the window is a little dirty, but hey I didn't want to disturb the newborns. The fuzz in the middle are the baby birds. You might have to click on the picture and make it bigger to see them.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Best High School Production
(I've Ever Seen)

So I am going to level with you, when my students asked me to go see the play they were in this weekend at their "home school," I said yes. (My rule is if they ask, and I am not busy I will make an effort to go, that goes with plays, band concerts, sporting events and graduations.) But despite saying yes, I wasn't what you would call excited at the prospect of sitting through a high school production of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

Bruce is working tonight. So I got myself ready and drove the hour to the East China PAC (Performing Arts Center) to see Marine City's High School's Production. I arrived at the PAC - just in time. I paid my $8 admission and got my seat "just in time" to listen to the director give his thank yous before the play started.

Then it started with a very long intro song. At that moment, I was like ok this is good, but what did I get myself into - let's get this party started, I have a long drive home. But then it started and turns out these kids can sing. I have never seen this production before - though I am a big fan of most musicals - I wasn't sure what to expect. I was able to pick out my student right away - yeah go Matt. Then I heard my other students - she was rockin' the drums in the pit band. Yeah go Kate. I have included a picture of us above after the show.( which I will post tomorrow 5/4) Please enjoy Matt's stage make-up, don't worry, I gave him a hard time.

Overall I had a very nice time. And I am not going to lie, I do like it when my students ask me to come to things. I think that means they like me a little, even though I am their teacher - and I have my moments as Mean Mrs. Holladay. Just ask them.

The early part of my day was spent at Karyn's school running the First Annual Nellie Reed 5k. (Her school is called Nellie Reed.) I ran this race as a run, not a race. And it turns out that I was the only one in our group that did not get a medal. Karyn - the speed demon - was first in our age group, her boyfriend Rodney was first in his - her mom was first in hers and Bruce was third in his. Had I been 30 today - I too would have been first. Oh well, it was fun. We got to see Karyn's school and her room. It was nice event. So way to go Nellie Reed Elementary school in Vernon, Michigan.

I guess you could say it was a public school day for me. I woke up this morning to support a elementary school and finished my day supporting a high school. Yes, I support public education in Michigan. Tomorrow, I will be enjoying a day of laundry which give me many hours to watch TiVo - I've got a lot to catch up on. Hopefully - I am not too far behind and all my shows are still there for me to enjoy - like the new Grey's Anatomy, the Hills, and ANTM.