Monday, June 29, 2009

Tune for Tuesday/Summerfest!

Summerfest is “The World’s Largest Music Festival.” It is a festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that lasts 11 days and features 11 stages with over 700 bands. Can you believe that I’d be interested in going to something like that?!
For the last several years, some of my family and my husband’s family have either rented a limo or a large van to go together one night of the fest. Stages are set up on 75 acres near the lakefront of Milwaukee.. Where else can you walk around and sample different foods, different beverages while sampling so many different kinds of music? The fest features local bands throughout the day and nationally known bands in the evening from a variety of music genres. Admission for all bands is very reasonable ($8-$15). Only one major stage costs more as it is a major ampitheater.
Last Saturday we took a big van to go again. Our group of eleven walked by the Bodeans and heard a few songs, then walked by Sara Evans and heard her country tunes, others went to find the band, Barenaked Ladies. Finally my mom and cousin Liz texted that they were front row at rock band, Saving Abel! So my husband’s cousins Mitch, Jake and I decided to find them. We easily managed to get to front row and listened to the last three songs. They weren’t familiar, but we really enjoyed it! We could not find my mom or Liz in the front row though…. As we found the rest of our group by the Leinenkugel tent, the servers asked us how the band Our Lady Peace was! So that’s why we didn’t find them….we were at the wrong stage! The bands were not labeled well in front of each stage. So I didn’t get to listen to Saving Abel, but I did discover a new band I liked (Our Lady Peace)!
We also enjoyed watching the people stream out of the ampitheater at the end of the night where Kiss and Chevelle were playing. We saw many a painted Kiss face. When we did see some big Kiss fans with the painted face, I’d sing out to them lyrics from “Rock and Roll All Night” or “ Lick It Up.” In case you ever want to do the same, “Rock and Roll All Night” got much more friendly responses than “Lick It Up.”
Here is today’s tune “Somewhere Out There” from the Canadian rock band, Our Lady Peace.

I figured since I talk about music once a week on my blog, I can’t not mention the death of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was a musical genius. I had his poster on my bedroom door. I listened to his Off the Wall and Thriller albums over and over in grade school and junior high. I would watch Mtv for hours and hours just to catch the video, “Thriller.” I even tried to memorize the dance moves in Thriller so I could dance along to the video. He was one of the most talented entertainers in my lifetime. Due to his troubled personal life and allegations against him, I do have mixed feelings about him. He certainly had a bizarre way of life. I do not know if the allegations against him are true, but if so, that is unacceptable and terrible. But I don’t know. His personal life seemed sad in so many ways.
I do know that he brought joy to so many with his music, and the world lost a talented man. Here is my favorite Michael Jackson music video, "Thriller." Do you have a favorite Michael Jackson song?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Awards, a Meme and a Tune for Tuesday, er Wednesday

What a flurry of activity for my blog this week. Elliah Terry at Funny Poetry Girl has awarded me the Lovely Blog award (Thanks, Elliah!) and Brenda at Hazel's Crock Pot Kitchen has awarded me the Kreativ Blogger award, too! (Thank you, Brenda!) I appreciate you both giving me a shout out! Also, thank you to YA author, Suzanne Young. She sent me Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth as a prize for her blog contest. I will be reading that this summer! Suzanne has another contest that ends today! I was also tagged by Elliah and Paul Michael Murphy with this sinful meme! I really am a terrible liar, so let’s see what I can come up with!!
"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Pride -- What is your biggest contribution to the world?
My OCD cleaning habit. I must scrub my house and everyone else’s that I visit.

Envy -- What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours?
At my old teaching job, I wished I could drive that big ole bus with all the kids on it.

Gluttony -- What did you eat last night?
A stick of celery with a glass of diet Pepsi.

Lust -- What really lights your fire?
Blonde bodybuilders with bulging muscles that talk all day about their workout regime.

Anger -- What is the last thing that really pissed you off?
When trick or treaters came asking for candy. Get your own darn candy!

Greed -- Name something you hoard and keep from others.
Pokemon cards. I have 7 Stunkys and 10 Totodiles!

Sloth -- What’s the laziest thing you ever did?
Quitting my job to be a stay at home mom. I mean that’s not work at all!
I tag YOU if you’d like to join in on the lyin’ fun!

Today’s tune is “A Beautiful Lie” by 30 Seconds to Mars. The scenery is beautiful in this video (and I’m not just talking about Jared Leto).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Merlin's Beard! It's the Harry Potter Exhibit!

Last week my muggle family and I left Privet Drive to experience the Harry Potter Exhibit in Chicago. We left our brooms at home and took our trusty Suburban for the trek.
This Flying Ford was also unavailable for travel at the moment.
This exhibit is at the Museum of Science and Industry until September 27, so we knew we had to visit it this summer. The cost is $15 per child, $18 per adult for the exhibit only. We visited after the museum was closed so we would not have to pay for the admission to the museum as well. We went to the Science and Industry Museum a few years ago (which is great), but decided just to visit the Potter exhibit this time. I did think the fee for the exhibit was pricey as it was almost $90 for our family of five for an exhibit that took less than an hour to get through. The only other con was that photographs were not allowed. Other than that though, we enjoyed looking at the numerous props and costumes from the Harry Potter movies. The exhibit is definitely focused on the movie, not the books. I didn’t see any JK Rowling memorabilia. But of course the books were sold in the gift store!
When we entered the exhibit, an older bloke with a British accent (all the tour guides were “British”) greeted us and asked a few volunteers to put on the Sorting Hat. My oldest son was placed in Gryffindor! My other two were too shy to volunteer (surprisingly!). Another guy from our group (11 of us went together including my mom and sister who are also huge Potter fans) was placed in Slytherin!
We then walked through the many areas of costumes and props. Ron and Harry’s dorm beds and trunks from Gryffindor were set up with some of their belongings. Many wands, costumes, and significant items from the movie are showcased throughout the exhibit including the Triwizard Trophy, the golden snitch, the golden egg, the marauder’s map, and my favorite, the sorcerer’s stone. The wands were cool to see up close as each one is quite intricate and different. Professor Umbridge’s is pink! We also checked out Hagrid’s hut. I liked seeing how tall Hagrid was as his costume from the movie was on a mannequin. And blimey, his chair was huge! The kids enjoyed throwing a quaffle through three hoops. The quaffle was heavier than I thought it would be. We also enjoyed seeing stuffed replicas of Dobby, Buckbeak and Fawkes the Phoenix. The last room was the Great Hall where candles were hanging from the ceilings and many of the formal wear and food were showcased. Fred and George’s school uniforms were there along with many of the trick candy they sold to the Hogwarts students. Fred is my favorite character in the series. Fainting fancy anyone?
My younger kids moved through the exhibit more quickly than I’d have liked, so I know I missed some props. I also hoped that Cedric Diggory would make a surprise appearance at the exhibit, but alas he was a no show. His uniform and formal wear was displayed though.
Last stop was of course, the gift shop. The souvenirs ranged from fair priced plastic wands to expensive collector’s items. A marauder’s map was 50 bucks! They also sold chocolate frogs, Bernie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, and Fudge Flies.
Here is my children’s loot (thanks, Grandma). My oldest two decided on buying a wand. The left one is Voldemort’s, the other, Hermoine’s. My youngest son bought the plastic fun stuff. The kids have been playing "Harry Potter" ever since. I swear I've heard, "Expelliarmus!" five hundred times in the five days!
If you are a true Harry Potter fan, it is pricey, but worth the trip. We had a jolly good family outing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Poetry Friday

My daughter's recital was last weekend. It was fun to see all the hard work she put into learning her steps come to fruition at the recital. Her class was small, just five girls, and they performed two of forty five dances at the recital. She had a fan club of sixteen watching her do her thing. She was fantastic. Here is a poem of two voices I wrote about the recital. It isn't in the usual format of two voices, but the general idea is the same. I took a picture of it, because I could not get it formatted right on blogger!
My cyber friend and fellow facebook addict, Rena Jones, just released her new picture book, A New Job for Dilly.
Please help her celebrate by stopping by on her blog tour next week!
June 21st – Sherrie Petersen
June 22nd – Beth Reinke
June 23rd – Elysabeth Eldering
June 24th – Sharon Spray
June 25th – Adrienne Saldivar
June 26th – Nikki Shoemaker
June 27th – Vivian Zabel

Poetry Friday is at Carol's Corner today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tune for Tuesday

Today’s tune is by the band, Incubus (and I’m not talking about the movie that scared the bejeezus out of me when I was 10 or 11. My friend’s dad took us to see a double feature: The Beastmaster and The Incubus. Let me tell you the Beastmaster was much more family friendly than The Incubus. The Incubus gave me nightmares! Here's a link to the movie trailer. The bathroom scene haunted me for years.). But luckily the band Incubus does the opposite of that. I just discovered this band after my mom asked me if I liked Incubus a few weeks ago. I had heard of the name of the band, but couldn’t connect it to any song. Then last week I heard a new song on the radio that I really, really liked. It was by Incubus. I then spent the past week playing all kinds of Incubus tunes off the internet. I did not realize how many I knew! Lead singer Brandon Boyd’s vocals are downright beautiful. They have many catchy songs including “Drive” and “Pardon Me.”
Here’s a song that I have been playing over and over for days. I love when I find a new band that I love to listen to!
"Black Heart Inertia" by Incubus

On a completely different note, I bought tickets to the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry! This exhibit is only there until September so we had to make sure we went. I’ll give a full update after we go! My oldest son is so excited! (as am I!)
Also, I won a contest over at Suzanne Young's blog! Thanks, Suzanne! Her YA book titled The Naughty List comes out in the spring!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garage Sale!

Yup, we had a garage sale last weekend. I had been both looking forward to and dreading this sale since my husband and I decided to bite the bullet and just do it. For a few weeks, I’ve been going through my children’s drawers and closets for too-small clothes (there was a lot). Then we went through their toys. They were pretty good about choosing toys they didn’t want anymore. My six year old daughter gave up almost all of her Disney Princess things. She says she’s too old for that kind of stuff. (Sigh.) My hubby and I were excited about giving away large things that take up room and never get used and of course making a little money in the process.
We sold our wares all day on Thursday and Friday and a few hours on Saturday morning (since we had ball games on Saturday and a dance recital on Sunday). We set up a pop stand to keep the kids busy. They were arguing over who would sell the pop first (a very sugary variety of black cherry, grape, lemon-lime and Dr. Chill, yes a rip off of Dr. Pepper, but a tasty one!), but lost interest quickly. I rarely let them have pop, but I thought since it was the first week of summer and they were in charge of it, they could have two per day. Hello purple stained shirts, faces, and wired kids! Usually it was unmanned (or unkidded) as they were off playing with the neighbor kids most of the days (they had to run off the sugar somehow…).
Key items sold: large toddler outdoor play set, a battery operated Hummer that didn’t work –we were upfront with the state of it and sold it for $10, two tricycles, a double jogging stroller, a ride on battery operated train and a big ole plow blade. My babies are growing up! (Sigh again.) But then again, those are the big items that take up so much space.
The funniest thing sold was a Hannah Montana wig. My neighbor also had a garage sale, and her daughter and my kids came running from her house telling us that some teenage boys just bought all their play wigs and a blow up unicorn. They were coming our way so I raced into the house and grabbed my daughter’s scraggly Hannah Montana wig that she didn’t want anymore (and I didn’t put out because it was a mess). The boys walked in the garage, bought that scraggly wig, and even gave the kids some quarters for the pop stand even though they didn’t want any pop! Then with their wigs in place and the blow up unicorn sticking out of their sunroof, they sped off to impress some chicks who appreciate guys with a good sense of humor (that or they were going to go see the Hannah Montana movie).
We made about $500 which was a few hundred less than our last one seven years ago, but the best part is we have more room. We’ll pack most of the other stuff and send it off to Purple Heart or Goodwill.
Is anyone else attempting a garage sale this summer??

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Poetry Friday

School's out for summer, and my fourth grader (who received all A's again, yay J-Man!) brought home all kinds of cute projects and art from the year on Wednesday. I loved how his teacher incorporated poetry throughout the year. One of these projects was to illustrate a poem. Like his mother, J-Man enjoys silly poetry.

Here is Jack Prelutsky's "I Have a Pet Tomato" from his book, It's Raining Pigs and Noodles.

Colorful illustrations by my favorite nine year old.


Check out some more wonderful poetry at Critique de Mr. Chompchomp today!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tune for Tuesday

I had a totally different song all ready for today until I saw this video clip.

That's Poison playing at the Tony Awards. And BAM! That's Bret Michaels getting a beat down from a stage prop. That seriously HAD to hurt! I hope it didn't knock his wig off! Poor guy!
I wondered, "Why in the world is Poison playing at the Tony's?" The answer is some of their songs are featured in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages. That is one musical I so want to see! Like totally!
Poison is a fun band. It's not my favorite band. It's not the most prolific band. But they are really fun to see live. Their songs are catchy and just fun party songs. I've seen them live twice (see picture with me and drummer, Rikki Rockett) and I've even seen Bret Michaels perform solo.
PhotobucketAnd yes, I even watched VH1's Rock of Love. The first two seasons at least. It was a train wreck, but I had to watch. It was entertaining, yet it made me cringe, too!
Poison had many hits in the '80's including "Nothin' But a Good Time" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." I have tickets to see them and Def Leppard this summer, but have to sell them as a family wedding is on the same day.
Here's my favorite Poison song, "Fallen Angel." Get out your hairspray and rock on, dudes! What are some of your favorite songs from the hair band days?

Friday, June 5, 2009

When I met my husband, he was a huge Doors fan. He owns most of their CDs, Jim Morrison was all over his bedroom, and he also owned a few books of poetry by Jim Morrison. I also like the music of the Doors. I loved the 1991 Oliver Stone movie The Doors. So I thought I’d peruse the poetry of this musician. Morrison is a great talent, but also known for substance abuse. Some of his poetry is out there, some is simple, some is brilliant.
Photobucket“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.” –Jim Morrison

Here’s one that I enjoyed from Wilderness Volume 1. This collection was published seventeen years after his death in 1971.

What can I read her
What can I read her
on a Sunday Morning

What can I do that will
somehow reach her
on a Sunday Morning

I’ll read her the news of
The Indian Wars

Full of criss-cavalry, blood
& gore

Stories to tame & charm
& more

On a Sunday Morning

By Jim Morrison

Sara at Read, Write, Believe is hosting Poetry Friday this week.

A big THANK YOU to poet/author/blogger, Justin Matott, for sending his blog followers a CD of his poetry. My kids and I giggled at his silly poems from There's A Fly on My Toast before bedtime last night. Check out his blog and many books!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mtv Movie Awards Wrap Up

I DVR’d Sunday’s Mtv Movie Awards and watched it in two sittings. (I don’t watch my programs until after the children are in bed, and I am glad my kids did not catch any peeks of this! It was downright raunchy at times.) The Mtv Movie Awards are one of my favorite award shows of the year. It’s silly, the host is usually hilarious, the awards are quirky, and they usually have a few cool musical guests on. They did not disappoint this year.
Here is a random wrap up of this year’s Mtv Movie Awards. I’m not listing all the winners (who do I look like, Martha Quinn?), but for a complete list, look here.
1. Andy Samberg is so freaking funny! The SNL regular was this year’s host. His skits and commentary made me laugh out loud several times during the show.
Here’s his Twilight spoof.

2. Yes, Megan Fox is hot. But man, her hair did not look good tonight. Also, she was a sourpuss when Andy Samberg mentioned her in his opening song. Lighten up, girl!
3. Robert Pattinson, Robert Pattinson, Robert Pattinson. Man, that guy was all over the place! He got mentions from winners of awards, he or Twilight won several awards, and the camera panned to him several times during the show. (And I’m not complaining.)
4. Robert Pattinson. (again) When he and Cam Gigandett won Best Fight award, he gave all credit to his stunt double for the scene. He said Cam would most definitely kick his butt in real life. (He's humble AND hunky?) Believe it or not though, I'm Team Jacob! Taylor Lautner was also at the show.
5. My mouth dropped open at this shocking and funny part. Sascha Baron Cohen (of Borat fame) played Bruno (which is the main character of his next film) presenting an award. Bruno was “flying” across the audience and ended up falling on rapper Eminem. I had no idea if it was planned or not, but Eminem did NOT seem amused. (Though I heard the next day it was staged.)Here’s a clip (don’t watch with children). I was just laughing saying, “OMG!”

6. Yay! A sneak peek of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Can’t wait for that one! Also the trailer for New Moon! Very cool.
7. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds presented the Best Kiss award (to, of course, Edward and Bella). Sandra and Ryan were so darn cute. They have a movie out called The Proposal.
8. LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak, and Forest Whitaker beautifully sang silly songs from Saturday Night Live’s digital shorts including the …in a box one that Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg made famous. LeAnn Rimes has some pipes! Her voice is beautiful!
10. Ben Stiller received the Generation Award. Ben Stiller is quite the movie star comedian. I forgot how many funny movies he has starred in (Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, Tropic Thunder to name just a few).
11. Kristen Stewart won Best Female Performance for Twilight. As she was accepting her popcorn award, it catapulted out of her hands. She adlibbed, “So, I was just about as awkward as you thought I was going to be! Bye!"
12. Lastly, they had this funny yellow guy with a popcorn head on stage walking around with the winners. He was just....goofy yet perfect for the show!

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the oldest person watching Mtv. I figure as long as some of the guests are older than me I’m good (but not too many…let’s see, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, Will Ferrell…not sure anyone else??). Also, I grew up with Mtv. I had that channel on continuously the day we had cable until I went away to college. Then in my college dorm room, for some reason we only got two channels: Mtv and CBS. So at least I could watch my soap opera and music videos between my studies and extra curriculars. Mtv is just ingrained in my mind forever.
If you want to watch the awards for yourself, they are on again and again on Mtv (Saturday at 2pm and 9pm Central time, Sunday 5pm Central time).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tune for Tuesday

I like Third Eye Blind. In fact I like them a lot. Their 1997 debut album is one of my favorite albums of all time. I saw them in concert in 1998 with my husband and his aunt and uncle. We had a blast. So his aunt Beth and I decided to get tickets to Third Eye Blind and get the boys out of the house to see them again.
We started the night out to dinner then went to a venue called Riverside Theater. It was beautiful and ornate with chandeliers hanging from the opulent ceilings. By the time we got there, the floor was packed so we watched from the balcony seats. The acoustics were not great up there, which was disappointing, but it was roomier to hang out and listen to Third Eye Blind there.
It wasn’t the greatest concert despite my love for their music. It was sometimes difficult to hear the vocals over the music. The lead singer, Stephen Jenkins, seemed a little “out there” with his pontificating and bare feet.
PhotobucketWe did hear some of my favorite songs (my favorite song of the night was "Wounded"), plus four songs from their new album. We left early though before the encore, as we were meeting cousins that had gone to the Brewers/Reds game. Beth and I listened to their biggest hit “Semi Charmed Life” on the floor before we left, it was crowded, but the band did sound a little better there.
Here’s a clip.

Afterwards we met cousin Anna and her fiancĂ© at a restaurant to visit and snack a bit, then decided to go to yet another restaurant, Real Chili. It’s one of my husband’s favorite places for chili and if I go to Milwaukee for a concert, I usually stop there to get him a to go chili for the next day. So yes, besides the concert, we frequented three places to eat! Even though the concert was just okay, it was another fun night out with the family!
Here’s today’s tune for Tuesday. Third Eye Blind’s 1998 hit song “How’s It Going To Be.”