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Showing posts from May, 2014

To the Moon...and Beyond!

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I am a member of a teacher group at a local museum called Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. I joined this group totally by accident; I was looking for more credit hours so that I could renew my teacher's license, and the museum offered a teacher course where I would get a kit of Science activities to do with my students, they'd spend the day teaching me how to use it, and I'd get credit hours. I Googled it, and it changed my life.

After I did the class in the winter of 2012, I got invited to participate further in a "Teacher Envoy" group sponsored by the museum. If I agreed to do it, I would promote museum activities at my school, and then the students and I would get to do cool stuff. My kids got to visit the museum for $1 each as a school group, and that summer I got to fly in a 2-seater, open-cockpit biplane! Then my kids got certificates to go to the museum with their families for free for one visit, and a couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail i…

In The Middle of Disney World

It's hard to believe, but this summer it will have been fourteen years since my family last visited Walt Disney World (or WDW). I don't remember everything, but I remember loving the heck out of the Main Street Electrical Parade, taking excellent pictures on our film cameras, getting to ride on a speeder bike (kind of), wearing a fisherman's hat that I thought was cool, and racing to be the first people to ride Splash Mountain for the day.
Ah, those were good times.
But for my family, it's been fourteen years! So much has changed since then. Luckily, a show that I know a few of you watch - The Middle - spent their season finale at WDW. If you watched carefully, you may discover some new and amazing things at the Magic Kingdom that may not have been there in your last visit. There also are a few things that were clearly stuffed in there for product placement. (ABC is owned by Disney, after all.)
If you want, you can catch the episode here. I'll do my best to point out …

My Journey to Friends

The TV show Friends has millions of fans around the world, and for the longest time I was not one of them. My journey to finally watching the show was a long one, considering that I only started to watch it ten years after the series finale. But I'm glad I waited that long.

Back when the series premiered in 1994, I was a mere 9 years old. Although some of my friends in grade school said they "watched" it, my parents were firm in the fact that I was not supposed to watch it. The show was on Thursdays at 8pm, which meant my parents were probably watching the first part of it as I got ready for bed. I did manage to catch little bits of it here and there, and eventually learned the six main characters' names: Joey, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Ross, and Rachel. It was easy to do, since the theme song became a hit single and the actors filmed the music video (remember this?).

In high school, I lived away from home and didn't have the time to catch up on any network telev…

Spoilers Aren't the Devil

We are in the season of TV show finales. Usually, when a TV series is wrapping up a season, it usually resolves a year-long arc and/or blows everything out of the water with a sudden reveal. This usually ends up blowing up the Internet for a couple of hours, as people say everything from "That was dumb" to "I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Marketing executives live for this time of the year. If their show can generate buzz to last into the next morning, then it's a likely guarantee that the show is a hit and will carry over into next season.

Of course, ultimate finales and the like often prove to be the bane of Spoilerphobes, too. You know the type: refuse to click on preview posts of shows, avoid anything with a "spoiler" tag, yet take waaaay too long to watch those same shows and get angry at other people who end up slipping up on the big reveal of the show or movie.

I have been subject to spoilers before - no one has found t…

Looking Forward!

My birthday was last week, and I turned 29. Most of my friends are also that age now, and in the coming school year we'll all be turning 30. We've been friends since we all turned 20, so that means we've known each other for ten years. It used to be that when one of us was dating a guy who was 30, we would say, "He's so much older than you!" Nowadays, dating a guy in his 30s isn't a problem at all!

Still, though, there is some apprehension. Many people say that the 20s are the prime of a person's life. By turning 30, people might say that your prime is done, and that it's all downhill from here.

But personally, I am really looking forward to my thirties. My 20s were a developing time in my life. I started the decade optimistic, believing that I had my life figured out. I thought everyone in their twenties had it figured out. (I'll give you a minute to laugh. Done? Okay.) Eventually learned I still had a lot of growing up to do. Was I going to …

Why the original Star Wars trilogy is the best trilogy ever:

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Yesterday (May the Fourth) I had a lot of stuff going on, so I decided to dedicate today to the viewing of the Star Wars original trilogy. And not the "special editions," either; I own the DVDs that have the original theatrical cuts of all three movies, and I hadn't watched them yet.
I was born after all three movies came out, but my older brother's first movie in the theater was Return of the Jedi (he would have only been 1 year old). He was a gigantic Star Wars fan growing up, and my parents were happy to indulge his excitement by buying him the toys and, eventually, the VHS copies of the trilogy. Through all this, I was able to catch the fan train and became a big follower of Star Wars myself. In fact, when I was in grade school, my brother, his friend, and I often spent hours on our bikes on the parking lot outside of our house pretending that our bikes were X-wings. I've got a New Republic pin and everything - and this was before news of the prequels came out…

Track and Field: Something for Everyone

Today I was able to attend a grade school track meet, featuring my school and several other schools in the area. The meet was for kids in grades K-8, and there were lots of families there.

My school was in charge of the softball throw, and that's an easier job than you think. There were anywhere from three to twelve children participating at a time (we split into age groups), and they each got two throws. We've done it so long that we have a system that is very efficient, and even the largest groups get done in 20 minutes or so.

When I wasn't helping out with the softball event, I was busy perusing the other events taking place, and it made me realize how fun Track and Field days are. No matter where you are or what abilities you may have in sports, there is something for you.

In high school I tried playing softball in the springtime my first two years. I made the team my freshman year but got cut my sophomore year. They promoted me to "student coach" and offered…

Fears and Star Wars

On Tuesday, J.J. Abrams introduced the new cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. To my surprise, the casting announcement got major press, and not just by nerds and geeks everywhere. I watch the NBC Nightly News, and it was one of the stories on Tuesday night!

Personally, I'm apprehensive. I know the new trilogy (and pretty much everything that comes out of the Star Wars universe) is no longer under the strict control of George Lucas. That means we're probably not destined for another prequel-like trilogy.

However, that doesn't mean my doubts about these films are squashed. For one, I didn't mind the prequels. They came at a time in my life where I was ecstatic to get new Star Wars (as we all were, just admit it) and was willing to go to a 4:00 a.m. showing of The Phantom Menace to prove it. (This was before theaters just added other showings at midnight - they actually had two night showings back-to-back. I can't believe my father thought that was a good idea to take me…