November 10, 2013

Right Back What is Wrong, We Move Along

I’m kind of struggling with how to even start this post.  On Monday, I resigned from my current teaching job.  Just typing “I resigned” brings up a lot of emotions of disappointment, relief, shame, hope, and shock.  So I get it if you feel any of those things, too.  I would have written this sooner, but I had to wait until it was public information (my position is now posted for someone to apply to).  Not only did I turn in my resignation, but on Tuesday I gave my 30 days notice at my apartment complex and began making arrangements to move back to Orlando.

For most, I feel like all of this is coming out of left field.  Those who are close to me know it’s not.  I have been unhappy for a long time feeling like I can’t be me and take care of myself as well as do my job.  Between working at home and working at school, I was putting in about 70 hours a week towards teaching.  Even though I’ve been cleared for boot camp with my knee, I can’t imagine having time to go.  I don’t call my friends to hang out as much anymore.  Whenever I have a free moment, I want to nap or at least lay down in front of the TV for awhile.  I don’t wake up excited to mold the minds of America, but instead worry about how I will get through the day without crying and/or passing out from frustration and exhaustion.

I see all of my Facebook friends post pictures of going fun places, eating out, falling in love, getting married, traveling the country and the world….each picture just served as a reminder of things I can’t do because I’m barely keeping up at work as it is.  The last two years were hard, but I had my weekends mostly free, and I’d usually come home during the week done with work instead of putting in a couple extra hours developing worksheets and lessons for the next day.

Some of my co-workers seem to be managing so much better.  Some are always offering to take on more and pioneer new initiatives to make things better.  Others seem to cope with the workload better because they have good friends at work.  I think I’m still closer to the staff at my old school than I am to the one I work at now.  Whether it was my knee and mom visiting, the amount of work I’m trying to get done on my own, or me just not making enough of an effort- I just never got as close to anyone this year. It shouldn’t feel like a constant struggle to get out of bed every morning.  I shouldn’t be crying 5 out of 7 days a week.  I know you need to give a lot to your job, especially as a teacher, but it’s not the right fit for me if that is how I feel.

As for moving to Orlando, I actually started applying to teach in other places in Tulsa first.  Then I started to realize how few things were actually keeping me here.  Orlando may not be the place for me either, but at least my family is there.  They can support me through this transition until I find my next home.

My last day of work will be the 22nd.  We have the week of Thanksgiving off, and I felt that would be the best transition point for the kids if I couldn’t make it to the end of December. I will be moving in the first few days of December back to my parents house as I wait for my Florida teacher certification to go through.  I know it’s not glamorous to say you are moving back in with your parents, but I am grateful to them for giving me a place to stay while I can put this all behind me and move on to a new opportunity.

My family and friends have been extremely supportive as I made this difficult choice- I am thankful to all of you.  This was not an easy decision or one that I made lightly.  My students deserve someone who’s heart is in their fight and is excited to get them on their way to college.  I feel like I can’t be that anymore since I can’t take care of myself.  Hopefully I can find my way back into that fight once I’ve had some time to recharge.  I know I am meant to be a teacher- I just have to find the right school for me to be at my absolute best for the kids.  All kids deserve that.

May 5, 2013

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

Now that most people in my life know, I can finally share this news:  I have accepted a job offer at KIPP Tulsa as a 6th grade social studies teacher for next year!


If you had asked me last year what I was thinking of doing when my TFA time was up, I would have told you that I would be staying at my current school and teaching my second graders again (moving from 2nd to 4th grade had them looping back to me).  Many things have happened this year, though, that made me consider other options.  In January, I was recommended for a position to teach in a new charter school in Tulsa.  I figured I’d go for it and completed two phone interviews and a sample lesson at the end of February.  When my interview was done, though, it became clear that they weren’t sure of what open spots they would have for months.  I was discouraged that there might not be any spots open, and I wasn’t sure if the school was a good fit after the interview.  I started to think that staying at my current school another year might be better than switching to the unknown, but then KIPP came my way.

The principal (or school leader) of KIPP e-mailed me personally inviting me out to chat about teaching opportunities at KIPP.  Apparently, the same person who had recommended me to the last charter school had also mentioned my name to KIPP.  Even though I was starting to sway back to my own school, I decided there was nothing to lose by meeting up with the principal.  Business school taught me that if the head of any organization is going to take time out of their schedule to spend one on one time with you, take advantage of the opportunity and learn all you can.  So I did.

We were probably out for about an hour and a half, and by the end of our meeting I was sold.  Here was a school leader who had a strong vision for the next decade that I wanted to be a part of.  I filled out an application that night, and had a sample teaching lesson scheduled for the week after spring break.  Now I am not one to make decisions lightly- anyone who really knows me is aware of this.  I talked to several teachers at KIPP to get a good, well-rounded perspective of what it is like to work there.  I feel like different teachers have different experiences, and it’s good to hear what they all have to say to get a good feel for the school environment.  I also tried to be observant as possible at my interview and drop by as many classrooms as I could during my free time to tour the school.  One class was dissecting frogs, another was dissecting a novel, and a third was receiving a stern talk from their teacher about not quitting in the final days before testing (I can’t count how many times I’ve given that speech).

Overall I loved the atmosphere, and I really enjoyed teaching a group of their 5th graders for an hour.  I saw a bit of my students in the class (ex. the one who ALWAYS has the right answer), which made me miss and wonder about my 4th graders that morning.  I came back to hugs and smiles from my whole current class, and it was hard to even think about leaving.  The truth is, though, they won’t be my kids next year.  They are moving on to two very strong 5th grade teachers at my school who will take just as good care of them as I could.  I know I will love my class wherever I am- it’s just time to take another leap of faith with my career and hope it works out for the best.

I signed my job offer at KIPP on April 3rd.  This means I will spend the next two weeks at my current school finishing up the year, and then take a two week vacation home to Orlando.  I have to be back by June 5th to start summer school as a faculty adviser (I will FINALLY be on the other side of the TFA process), and will work in that position through mid-July.  I’m hoping some of my family will come up to visit then before I leave for the annual KIPP Summit in Las Vegas (last year it was in Orlando- that would have been so convenient!).  I am so excited to meet with KIPP teachers across the nation and learn as much as possible before I start there the following week.  KIPP starts in August with professional development and then a couple weeks of summer school for their kids.

Thank you to all those who have been really supportive of the move.  It is not easy to leave the school that has been my home the past two years, and I did think about all aspects of the decision before making it.  Yes, I know the hours are longer.  Yes, I know I’m on call for the kids.  Yes, I know that it is not a contract position.  I promise I’ve thought of these things, but I do appreciate you looking out for me, too.  I’ll keep you posted on the transition.  Until then, you can see a little about KIPP’s story here:

February 24, 2013

Live Blogging The Oscars: Let’s Do This Seth MacFarlane!

Tonight is possibly my sister’s favorite night of the year: Oscar Night!  She has seen 36 of the nominated movies, where as I have seen less than 10…I’m guessing this may affect the amount I picked correctly on my ballot tonight.  As the night goes on, I”ll be sharing my fairly random picks, commentary on the glitzy fashion, and judgements on the quality of acceptance speeches (you know you judge these, too!).  I’m hoping the night will live up to the hype.  Apparently there are a lot of performances packed into the presentation, and of course, Seth MacFarlane is hosting.  It should be an interesting night ; )

oscars seth macfarlane

7:07:  I can’t decide who is best dressed!  I really like Jessica Chastain’s dress.  Kerry Washington’s was pretty, but it doesn’t seem as fancy to me as the others for some reason.  I don’t love the gray of Amy Adams’ dress, but the simple styling (effortless hair, dangling diamond earrings, etc.) was perfect.  Stacy Keibler just walked up in this black/gray/white sequin dress that fit beautifully!

Stacy Keibler Oscars 2013

7:14:  I TOTALLY guessed the red slippers awhile ago when they said it had a bunch of pieces to it.  That was kind of a letdown.  I was hoping they would actually surprise me.  No Oscar mysteries next year ABC.

7:18:  Does anyone else think Kristin Chenoweth is a horrible host?  I feel like she’s made a lot of celebrities feel awkward and just kept talking about how short she was….no one cares.

7:22:  I also think Nicole Kidman looked fabulous.  She even coordinated with the Oscar billboards behind her.  I think I may be in love with form-fitting sequins.

nicole kidman oscars 2013

7:24:  ABC is going crazy trying to fill in these last 5 minutes.  I feel like they are literally pulling celebrities out of their chairs in desperate need to talk to someone.

7:30: Ooooooooo PRETTY!  So many lights on the stage!

7:31:  I’m kind of sad they didn’t do a little montage or comedy intro like they usually do, but they did just announce that the theme is music in film.

7:32:  So far I am not impressed with the jokes.  Please get better ASAP.

7:34:  Oh no.  A joke about the Chris Brown violence with Rihanna….why Seth MacFarlane?

7:35:  I like the shout out to Tina and Amy!

7:38:  Wow…I don’t know what to say about that musical number.  Did they really pre-tape audience reactions to that?  All the ladies were wearing different dresses.

7:39:  Channing Tatum is on stage and not doing a Magic Mike bit????  REALLY?  I’m shocked.

7:42:  LOVE Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Daniel Radcliffe!  They’re so cute dancing ❤

7:46:  Now they are mixing Disney songs with Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt!  Better : )

7:47:  My pick for Supporting Actor (completely random) is Christoph Waltz.  I’ve only seen Silver Linings Playbook out of the movies the nominees are from.  Let’s see who wins.

7:50:  Christoph Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor!  Hahahahaha!  I’m already 1 for 1.  Yes, I am already getting cocky.

7:56:  I am not a fan of Melissa McCarthy’s dress.  The fabric doesn’t look very expensive.

7:57:  My pick was Paperman.  It was the only one I saw out of the bunch.

7:58:  Paperman wins Best Animated Short!  2 for 2!

7:59:   I only saw Brave and Wreck It Ralph out of the Animated Movies.  I heard others were better, so I picked Paranorman.

8:00:  Brave wins Best Animated Film!  My first loss.  I should have stuck with Pixar.

8:01:  Here is a montage of a bunch of movies I have not seen…Oh!  It’s Little Q!  I want this girl in my 4th grade class!

8:05:  I like the lighted silhouettes of The Avengers.  Where is this spiel going?

8:07:  My pick for cinematography was Anna Karenina (haven’t seen).  Life of Pi wins for Best Cinematography!  Now I am down to only a 50% average.  Laaaaame.

8:08 Is anyone else distracted by this man’s copious amounts of white hair?

8:09:  I picked The Hobbit for visual effects.  I’ve actually seen that one!

8:10:  Life of Pi wins Best Visual Effects!  I did hear that movie was incredibly pretty.  Now I am down to 2 out of 5 correct picks.

8:11:  OMG.  That was awkward.  Not only do they play music to get you to shut up, but they play threatening music to get you off the stage.  I like Nicole Kidman’s consoling nod to the group that was played off.

8:16:  Love Jennifer Aniston’s red gown!  It’s simple and stunning at the same time.

8:17:  Anna Karenina is my pick for Costume Design.  The Hobbit is my pick for Make-Up and Hairstyling.  Fingers crossed!

8:18:  Anna Karenina wins Best Costume Design!  Back to 50% with 3 out of 6.  This lady also did Pride and Prejudice?  Love that movie and it’s costumes!

8:19:  Listening to The Hobbit music play while they announce the film nominees makes me want to go buy the soundtrack!

8:20:  Les Miserables wins Best Make-Up and Hairstyling!  Sigh.  Back below 50%, with 3 out of 7.

8:21:  The sleeves make Halle Berry’s dress look too matronly.  If she turned that dress into a halter, she’d look much younger.

8:22:  I bet my dad is loving this James Bond montage.  I will be looking out for the Goldeneye scenes where I have killed people off in the N64 video game ; )

8:27:  I really thought they were going to do a compilation of songs there.  Are they going to continue the James Bond stuff throughout the night instead?

8:31:  That Scandal preview was awesome!  It had a very James Bond vibe.  I love that show.  I’ll try to embed the commercial soon.

8:33:  Buzkashi Boys is my pick for live action short.  I saw the kids featured on the news a few days ago, and how they got to come to Hollywood for the Oscars.  Curfew wins Best Live Action Short!  Oh well.  At least I had heard of one of these.

8:35:  I very randomly picked Redemption for Documentary Short.  Inocente wins Best Documentary Short!  I am now down to 3 out of 9  -_-

8:40:  More movies I have not seen- Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty.  This must be the dark and intense group of movies.

8:42:  “I feel like we might have to call him Benjamin Affleck.”  That got a chuckle out of me.  Why are we talking about the films now?  I feel like this belonged at the beginning.

8:43:  I picked The Gatekeepers for Documentary.  I don’t even know what it is about….

8:44:  Searching for Sugar Man wins Best Documentary!  I don’t know what this is about either.

8:49:  I like the color of Jennifer Garner’s dress, but  really want to cut off that back poof.

8:50:  Amour seems the obvious choice for Foreign Film (my pick), but I’d be happy with Kon Tiki!  My kids just learned about the history of this journey in class last week : )

8:51:  Amour wins Best Foreign Film!  4 out of 11.  Maybe I can crawl my way back to a better percentage of correct picks?

8:52:  Wait?  The orchestra isn’t really there?!?!?  #mindblown

8:53:  Ooooo, movie musical review of the past decade.  Bring it on Travolta.

8:54:  Oh man.  Chicago.  This brings back a lot of memories from high school.  I think the whole drama department was obsessed with this movie.  I wish they were performing Cell Block Tango right now instead of All That Jazz.

8:56:  I don’t think Catherine Zeta Jones was singing live…thoughts?

8:58:  Jennifer Hudson, on the other hand, I believe IS singing live.  I think I’m one of the few people that really dislikes this song.  Sorry to the people who love it- I just find it loud and annoying.

9:00:  Did anyone else catch that standing ovation with the Asian lady clapping her purse?  Haha!

9:01:  Fact: Hugh Jackman becomes more attractive when he sings.

9:02:  I still have no idea what Les Miserables is about.  These people sound great, though.  Just kidding- Russell Crowe just started singing.

9:03:  Helena Bonham Carter is in this movie?????

9:04:  I like how when they all sing, you can hear Crowe (the worst singer) over everyone else.

9:05:  Every time I type Les Miserables, I have to think to myself “Miz-errr-ahhh-bless” to spell it correctly.

9:09:  Only Zoe Saldana could wear a belt with an Oscar’s dress and pull it off.

9:10:  Sadly no one cares so much about the scientific awards…

9:11:  Wow, I’m actually really impressed with the Ted special effects on stage right now.

9:12:  I picked Les Miserables for Sound Mixing….Les Miserables wins for Sound Mixing!  This was well-placed after that big performance.  5 out of 12!  Side Note:  What is the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing???

9:14:  I picked Skyfall for Sound Editing.  Go James Bond!

9:16:  There’s a TIE!  I like how Mark Wahlberg clarifies that he’s not joking.  Zero Dark Thirty AND Skyfall win Best Sound Editing!  I’m totally counting this as a win.  6 out of 13!  I need the next one to get back up to 50% accuracy!

9:17:  I guess to be a sound editor you need to be a dude with long, blonde hair.  At least this guy doesn’t have lipstick on his upper lip.

9:18:  Haha, I like The Sound of Music joke.  Now I feel like watching that movie again.

9:19:  Christopher Plummer is getting OLD.  I don’t think i could match him with his character from The Sound of Music.

9:20:  I picked Anne Hathaway for Supporting Actress (she had to sacrifice her hair people!).  OH.  I forgot Sally Field was in Lincoln.  I couldn’t remember what she was nominated for.  I really should have seen more of these.

9:22:  I love Helen Hunt’s necklace!  It’s so sparkly!

9:23:  Anne Hathaway wins Best Supporting Actress!  I love you Anne Hathaway, but I do kind of hate your dress….

Anne Hathaway Oscars 2013

9:29:  Yawn.  No one cares about The Academy’s new museum…well at least not tonight.

9:30:  The college students are dressed really nicely- I love some of those black dresses!

9:32:  Sandra Bullock- why is your hair so boring???  Just straightening it is not enough for the most elegant night in Hollywood!

sandra bullock oscars 2013 hair

9:33:  I picked Zero Dark Thirty for editing, but Argo wins Best Film Editing! 

9:35:  Jennifer Lawrence’s dress looks great on stage.  I like how it poofs out at the bottom.  It’s a nice contrast from the many straight dresses.

9:36:  Adele mentioned on the red carpet that this dress weighs about 13 kilograms (28 pounds!!!) and it was hard for her to take deep breaths when she was performing.  She looks stunning, though.

9:40:  Okay, I think we have nine categories left and less than an hour of planned run time…they must be going over.  The ones left are the two writing, two music, production design, director, lead actor/actress, and picture.

9:43:  Yeah, I think Nicole Kidman has my favorite dress of the evening.

9:44:  This is the only grouping that has a movie I’ve seen before: Silver Linings Playbook.  Wow, they just gave away the ending of it in the montage.

9:47:  What was with the creepy watery floor and hand grabbing scene in the Amour montage?

9:48:  Two movie franchises collide- Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart!  Radcliffe is perfect, Stewart is awkward as always.

9:49:  I picked The Hobbit for production design.  This is it’s last chance to win something!

9:50:  Lincoln wins Best Production Design!  Damn.  Well Peter Jackson, you didn’t really get credit until your third LOTR movie, so maybe that will hold true for The Hobbit.  Did that guy just say he’s married to Adele???  Okay, well your wife is so cool I will allow you to win over The Hobbit.

9:51: Salma Hayek looks like she is choking in that collar.

Salma Hayek Oscars 2013

9:57:  Let’s knock out some of these awards.  We are running out of time, and I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence is still starving (she said this on the red carpet earlier).  I wish I could send her snacks.

10:02:  Somewhere Rachel Berry is ecstatic to see Barbara Streisand singing.

10:08:  No I did not miss that instrumental Titanic interlude : )

10:09: Renee Zellweger looks like she can’t walk very well.  I like how they are all talking normally and then Catherine Zeta Jones uses her fancy presenter voice.

10:10:  My pick for music score was Life of Pi.

10:11:  Life of Pi wins Best Original Score!  Yay!  Another one I completely guessed correctly.  I’m up to 8 out of 17.

10:12:  I picked Skyfall for best song.  Who would root against Adele???

10:16:  I guess the world agrees with my logic.  Skyfall wins Best Original Song!  Back to 50% accuracy- 9 out of 18.

10:17:  Adele’s so cute in her acceptance speech.  Maybe she is only scary powerful when she sings?

10:23:  I have Django Unchained for Original Screenplay and Silver Linings Playbook for Adapted Screenplay.

10:24:  Argo wins Best Adapted Screenplay!  Well, Ben Affleck is probably happy.  I on the other hand, just lost some ground on my accuracy of Oscar picks- 9 out of 19.

10:26:  Django Unchained wins Best Original Screenplay!  YES!  10 out of 20!

10:31:  Sorry if the commentary is lacking.  I’m getting tired and thinking about my 6:30 am wake up call tomorrow.  Hurry up famous people!

10:33:  I picked Silver Linings Playbook for Director.  That movie hasn’t gotten much love tonight.  Also, Jane Fonda’s dress is REALLY yellow.

10:34:  Life of Pi wins Best Director!  I’m disappointed I lost, but I love Ang Lee for making Brokeback Mountain many years ago.  I’ll let this one go Ang Lee….but just this once.

10:36:  Ang Less just said the only word I know in Chinese- Thank You!

10:37:  We’re going to commercial AGAIN???  Now I’m getting pissy.

10:39:  They just came back with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  : )

10:41:  I have Naomi Watts for Lead Actress.  I LOVED The Impossible, so I had to back it here.

10:42:  OHHHHHH!  That old lady in Amour just got slapped!

10:43:  I feel like crying just watching the clip from The Impossible.  But…Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress!

10:44:  Hahahaha, I love that she pointed out that she fell.  That’s a great way to make us all feel comfortable about it.  Way to recover!

10:45:  Bradley Cooper looks like he will about fall out of his seat in excitement listening to Jennifer Lawrence’s speech.

10:47:  I did not see Lincoln, but I have it picked for the Best Actor category.  This category is chock full of important people.

10:48:  Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor!  The audience seems happy about this.  As am I- 11 out of 23!  I still have a chance at 50%!

10:50:  So Daniel Day-Lewis is a comedian now?  I would also like to see Lincoln with Meryl Streep as the title character!

10:52:  C’mon Argo for Best Picture!  I want my 50%!

10:53:  Oh man!  They just brought in the First Lady!  I am still loving her bangs (I cut mine first!!!).  I wonder if she really is speaking live??

10:55:  That was kind of too serious for a Seth MacFarlane hosted event…

10:56:  OOOOOOO!  Michelle’s going to announce it!  Argo wins Best Picture!!!!!!!  My final total was 12 out of 24.  Not too bad, and much better than I expected ; )

10:57:  Love the comment about the “three sexiest producers alive.”  I actually did not know Clooney was involved in this movie….I need to pay attention to things more.

10:59:  Ben Affleck is talking so fast- like that one teacher from Saved By the Bell.  Awwwww!  Jennifer Garner’s reaction is so sweet : )

11:00: Okay.  I’m ready for this ending performance.

11:01:  Is this seriously the “big” number at the end of the Oscars???

11:02:  Nothing says lame like when credits are scrolling while you sing.  I wonder why they pushed Kristin Chenoweth so much tonight.  I liked her before, but after today I’m kind of over it.

11:03:  I bet Jennifer Lawrence is like OMG PLEASE STOP SINGING SO I CAN EAT!  I feel the same way Jen- just replace eat with sleep.

Well that’s a wrap folks.  Hope you did better than me on your Oscar ballots and possibly won money over it in work contests!

February 4, 2013

Best of Superbowl 2013 Commercials

I gotta be honest.  This year didn’t have an amazing range of commercials, but there were still a few contenders.  Here are my top five favorites (in no particular order):

1. M&Ms: I Would Do Anything For Love

Not only was I excited to see Naya Rivera from Glee, but it was also fun to see the different things the M&M would not do for love, including be part of a cake decoration or be a sleepover snack.  Poor guy.  This commercial came on early, so it stood out better.

2. Doritos: Fashionista Dad

You knew the dad would go all out playing princesses with his daughter, but it was a fun twist to see the group of guy friends join in at the end.

3. Budweiser: Clydesdale

This was the commercial that almost made me cry.  It’s just a simple story of a man and his horse, and their bond over time.  Cute!

4. Kia Sorrento: Babylandia

This answers the question of what is the best answer to “Where do babies come from?”  I want to book some tickets to Babylandia as soon as possible.  It would be about the cutest petting zoo ever.

5. Doritos: Goat for Sale

I didn’t love this commercial at first, but I’ve watched it a few times and I always burst out laughing at the 0:18 mark when the goat screams.

Honorable Mention- Calvin Klein

I don’t even think I need to explain this one.

Which ones were your favorites?  I also liked the Best Buy one with Amy Poehler, the Toyota RAV4 one with Kaley Cuoco, and Psy’s “Crackin” rendition of Gangnam Style for Pistachios (that song is so damn catchy).  These just weren’t able to crack my top five.

You can check out my full blog of the Superbowl here.

February 3, 2013

Live Blogging the Superbowl: From a Non Football Watcher Perspective

Here are my thoughts on the Superbowl as it goes on.  I don’t EVER watch football (this is the first time I had to add “sports” as a category for blog posts), so my commentary may be focused on things like fan fashion, awkward commentators, and of course, the best of the commercials.  I also do not have a preference for who wins.  Look for this to be updated every commercial break.

5:20: Alicia Keys did a good job with the National Anthem.  The Sandy Hook choir was nice, but I don’t know if its appropriate on Superbowl night.  You don’t want to be sad as you stuff your face with chips and dip and watch a bunch of guys create a pile up on the field over and over again.

5:30:  Way to go on calling heads Ravens.  You are already off to an *excellent* start with your coin flipping wisdom.

5:33: There’s only been one play and they are already busting out the yellow highlighter in replays.  Was it really THAT important??

5:38: Nice catch by the Ravens.  I would have totally missed that.

5:40: Another Ravens catch!  And this one resulted in a Touchdown!  Oh, and you got the field goal, too.  Way to go guys.

5:42: Naya Rivera is in love with an M&M!  Love it!  I like all the examples of things the M&M won’t do (don’t lick me!).

5:45:  I think I almost just vomited watching the Go Daddy commercial.  They made it worse by zooming in on the girl and the guy kissing.  Gross!  Is that supposed to be funny?

5:46:  I didn’t love the goats Doritos commercial, but I love how he screamed when the chips were gone, haha.

5:50:  I like the Ravens uniform more, but the 49ers are sporting near *identical* Seminole colors.  I’m torn.

5:51: That catch was awesome by the 49ers!  It was a catch, slam, roll, and then he’s up and jumping.  The U.S. gymnastics team would be impressed.

5:53: That, on the other had, was NOT  good catch.  I like how both 49er players in the end zone just kind of watched the ball fall down.

5:54: At least Akers got 3 points with a good kick.

5:55: Oh Amy Poehler “Will this read 50 Shades of Grey to me in a sexy voice?  No.  Will you?”

5:56: I really like the primarily black outfits in the Black Crown commercials.  I kind of want to know who styled the commercial….

5:57: Yay Big Bang Theory!  Haha, Leonard “I think the pads go under the clothes….and the cup.”

6:01: I really appreciate that the clock keeps counting down even when they are just resetting everyone.  Otherwise this could take forever.

6:03: AGAIN.  Ravens are great catchers.  That guy wasn’t even near the ball and came out of nowhere to get it.

6:05:  That Ravens guy just kind of of walked around in a circle with the ball and then was tackled.  You need to throw it dude.  Your team is skilled in catching!

6:07: Wow Kaley Cuoco.  Way to dominate the Superbowl commercials so far.

6:08: So excited for the return of Robin Sparkles on How I Met Your Mother tomorrow!

6:10: Whoa.  Did you see the Ravens guys start pushing around Davis from the 49ers after the play was over?  Those guys were pissed.  This is way too much testosterone in one place.

6:13: What the heck is Jones doing?  He like danced out with the ball.  We get it.  You got the ball.  No need to prance around.

6:14: Love the Doritos commercial this time.  Aww man.

6:14: Okay, loving this Calvin Klein commercial more.  Daaaaaaamn.  I’m not a guy, and I will probably go out and buy that underwear now.

6:15: Cute wolf puppy!  Oh no.  Pissed off the momma wolf.

6:20: Another Ravens catch, but oh no!  Flags are flying everywhere.  I guess it was against the 49ers since the Ravens are super close to the end zone now.

6:21: Touchdown Baltimore!  I feel like the 49ers should go after anyone who might throw the ball.  The Ravens will ALWAYS catch it.

6:23: Uhhhh, the voodoo doll commercial was weird for Bud Light.

6:24: How is CBS really America’s most watched network?  I watch a gazillion shows and only TWO are from CBS.

6:26: Oooo, Star Trek: Into Darkness.  I like the line “I am better.”  “At what?”  “At everything.”  I say the same thing to my class all the time, hahahahaha.

6:27: I always judge the cars in front of me like in the Hyundai commercial.  If any big truck is holding a bunch of logs, I am convinced my life will become a Final Destination movie if I don’t move around it.

6:30: I want to call “Unnecessary Roughness” fouls on kids at my school.  I could use the X hand motions and everything.

6:33: I feel like they are not doing a lot of fan shots.  I want to see their signs, outfits, face paint, and reactions!

6:35: Okay, I can’t blame the Ravens for not catching that one.  That was waaaay too far right of a throw.

6:36: That camera man in the background just went DOWN in that tackle.  Poor guy.  I wonder if they get protective gear.

6:37: I might have slapped the Minnesota guy with the Jamaican accent if he told me to turn my frown upside down.  Wow.

6:38: Awww, a little girl football player.  You go Sam Gordan!

6:41: I am rooting for the guy with the camel in the Coke Chase.

6:42: The Subway Jared has really been around 15 years????

6:44: Oh no.  Another missed pass by the Ravens.  Maybe they are losing their mojo.  And grabbing the helmet? Fouls all around.

6:45: During the whole Taco Bell commercial I was thinking, why is We Are Young playing in Spanish?!?!?!

6:48: WOW.  Such a good touchdown.  I take back my comment about the Ravens losing their mojo.

6:49: Oh!  I saw one smiling fan in front of the goal posts smiling at the camera.  They really need to give the fans some attention.

6:51:  I think they just did that replay so they could play with the rewind/fast forward buttons…

6:52: Oops.  The ref just pointed to defense in the wrong direction.  We all saw that ref.  Don’t try to cover it up by switching your arms quickly.

6:53: Oh good.  The 49ers finally caught something.

6:56: They are playing Dynamite in the background!  That’s my jam!  Oh they just cut it off…  Thanks NFL.

6:57: The 49ers quarterback looks so little compared to everyone else.  Is he right out of college?

6:58: So far Akers is the MVP of the 49ers.  Just sayin’.

6:59: Are these people cheering for the players, or for Beyonce coming out next??

7:04: I like the purple squigglies (yes, that is their official name) they using in these replays to show where people have run.

7:06: Nice detailing on the ends of the commentator desk.  Extreme Home Makeover would be proud.

7:07: THAT was the halftime report?  That was like 5 minutes of guys trying to talk over each other to yell something senseless.

7:08: At least Pepsi showcases their fans.

7:09: OMG FIRE.

7:10: I don’t think anyone struts quite as good as Beyonce.  How did she just sit down like that without falling on her ass???

7:11: Oh Beyonce is laying on a platform of multiple Beyonces.  This lady is going to take over the world.

7:12: Well if anyone was worried about Beyonce dressing more conservatively after being a mom, I think you can relax now.

7:14: Oh no, she’s duplicating herself again.


7:17: I want to grow my hair out like Kelly Rowland’s to have that long hair with bangs look!

7:18: Destiny’s Child has learned how to start fire.  We should be concerned.

7:19: Is Beyonce’s mic louder than both the other girls’ ones??  That seems biased.

7:19:  I love that they are singing Single Ladies!  Ahhhhh!  they are even doing the original choreography!

7:20: I think Beyonce is sitting during Halo because she is EXHAUSTED- not for dramatic effect.

7:24: I think this commercial would be more meaningful if its purpose wasn’t to get people to buy a jeep.

7:26: The blonde girl from 2 Broke Girls had soooo much eye makeup on O_O

7:32: Oh look it’s back for the 3rd quarter.  WAIT.  Somebody just scored a touchdown in the first play?!?!!?

7:33: The 49ers coach is having an “I hate my life” face right now.

7:36:  Here we go.  A bunch of the players are shoving each other again after plays.  Calm down guys!

7:37: Not sure what that little bent knee dance move was by Jones…

7:37: What’s going on with these dark shots of the upper bowl?

7:38: Iron Man sneak peek!  It looked a little like Superman would show up instead.

7:40: Ooooooooo!  Power Outage!  Way to add some drama.  I like how even with half the lights everything is still *completely* visible.

7:44: The power is out?  Okay, let’s all do Yoga.  This is hilarious.

7:46: These commentator guys must be ecstatic to get more screen time.  Too bad they keep cutting away from them to show the yoga class going on with the football players.

7:50: Did anyone just see the really impressive cheerleader throw behind the commentators???

7:54: These players look so bored.  As do the fans they are finally showing.

7:55: They keep saying “Another 15 minutes.”  You said that 15 minutes ago.  I don’t believe you!

7:59: Do we really care about what knocked out the power?  Just play.  I assume it might be all the pyrotechnics used in Beyonce’s half time show anyway.

8:03: Wow.  The power outage gets its own count “up” clock.  This is serious.  In other news, the Ravens coach looks PISSED.

8:06: I think every power outage joke has been said.  Let’s move on.


8:11: Play is finally resuming!  I feel like the cheers should be louder.

8:14: This is officially my most viewed post in a single day.  REALLY?  The one time I, of all people, comment on sports?!?!?

8:17: They got Zoe Saldana for a Bud Light commercial?  Impressive.

8:22: Nothing beats an astronaut…okay.  These commercials are pretty lame this year.

8:22: I will not buy anything that uses Tracy Morgan yelling at me in a commercial.

8:24: FINALLY 49ers.  I was beginning to think you were asleep.

8:25:  This is now the third kick Akers has landed.  Way to go man.

8:27: Oh Psy.  I smiled at your Crack em’ style commercial for Pistachios.

8:31: Ravens screwed that kick up.

8:33: Another touchdown for the 49ers.  If they win, are the Ravens going to blame the power outage and say “It threw off our groove!” like Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove??

8:37: I almost cried during the Clydesdale commercial.  So I am almost ashamed of myself.

8:41: Just confirmed after hearing a comment earlier that the head coaches are brothers.  Awkward….And this also proves how little I know about what’s going on today.

8:44: Did someone just foul Akers????  You better not be messing with the only player I know on the field!  Oh, he got a redo.  Much better.

8:48:  Jeez.  That Ravens player just got thrown down on the sidelines.

8:50:  Now another Raven player is thrown down by the head.  How is this not a foul?

8:54: FINALLY made it to the 4th quarter.  The 3rd quarter felt…oh…34 minutes too long?

8:59: This farmer commercial is really long.  Oh, wait, it’s not to promote farming.  In the end it’s about a Dodge Ram.

9:01: I just remembered the Coke Chase is going on.  Is that ever going to be resolved????  Still on the guy with a camel’s team.

9:03: I think the game would have been over now had the power outage not occurred.  I really need to take my dog out….

9:05:  WOW.  The 49ers quarterback just pulled a fast one over everyone.  There’s only a 2 point difference now.

9:06: Oh man.  That Sorento commercial is a good contender this year for best Superbowl commercial.  I want to visit Babylandia now and play with all the cute baby animals!

9:14: The only part of the Tide commercial I liked was when they were selling “Stain on a Stick.”  I could totally see this happening.

9:17:  I think when there’s 5 minutes left they should play “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha to warn the players.

9:20: And the 49ers coach just had a huge hissy fit.

9:24: Why do we keep seeing shots of players chewing their mouth guard?  They aren’t teething right?

9:26: Is Flacco seriously making a phone call during the last few minutes of the game?

9:27: Uh oh Ravens.  49ers might also have catching skills.  This is going to be close.

9:30: “I’ve never seen you this excited about something that isn’t food.” Nice Paul Rudd.  The secretary girl in the background was Ashley from Greek!

9:34: Nice defense from the Ravens.  Is that the game?

9:35: Hissy fit #2 from the 49ers coach.  Poor guy.

9:37: I like how that one 49ers guy is laying down in the background for a quiet moment and Gangnem Style comes on in the stadium.

9:40: Why do you need a timeout when you are ahead and there is only 12seconds left??? I really need to take my dog out Ravens!

9:41: I don’t know what a Safety is, but it is wasting more clock time.  4 SECONDS!

9:43: Another time out????????  Are you F-ing serious?

9:45: Game over.  Congrats Baltimore Ravens and  Baltimore Raven fans!

9:45:  Oh!  We got some bromance action between the Ravens coach and owner.

9:46: Ooooooo pretty purple confetti!  I feel like if I was at this game I would be rushing to leave to get out of the parking lot before the mad rush.

9:49: The show girls won the Coke Chase.  That camel guy was robbed!

Alright guys.  Thanks for checking back to this blog throughout the night.  Hopefully I’ve given you some insight on how non-football fans interpret football games : )

January 28, 2013

Downton Abbey React: Season 3 Episode 5

Note: If you have not watched the Downton Abbey episode that aired on Sunday, January 27th in the U.S., please avert your eyes now.  Nothing beyond this past week’s episode is spoiled.

Way before this season started, I accidentally stumbled upon a mountain of Downton Abbey spoilers.  Mixed in the spoiler article  was “Oh yeah, and Sybil died.”  I was frustrated at this because it wasn’t even the main spoiler I was reading about and I had just ruined yet another plot point for myself.  But, I still watch the show every week to see the events leading up to everything.  When my mom started making “I called it” comments about this most recent installment, I figured this would be when Sybil dies.  So, I grabbed some comfort food and pillow and watched the tragedy unfold.

I would like to go on record as feeling pretty neutral about Sybil.  I neither loved nor hated her.  She was just kind of there for me, occasionally doing something important like nursing.  She has really faded out of the show recently after running off with Tom, which has probably added to my indifferent feelings.  None of this means I wanted to see her die, but damn.  It made for a bunch of great scenes.

Sybil Neck

First, we need to give props to Jessica Brown Findlay for showing us what the most painful way to die looks like.  I was almost too distracted by her giant neck, but I definitely felt her pain.  At several moments I was actually worried her head might explode by how strained every  movement looked.  This was made even more powerful by the various reactions in the room- including Tom and Cora’s pleas for a loved one’s life, the fancy doctor having a serious case of “Oh s***!” face (yeah, we all hate you now), and random back and forth shots of a stunned Edith and Matthew leaning on a bed post.  I feel like Matthew never really fits in during these group scenes….

carson tells staff about Sybil

Although this quick death scene was jam-packed full of drama, I felt the quiet scene where Carson tells the staff downstairs of Lady Sybil’s passing had ten times the impact.  They all just looked shocked with grief, and I think this whole theme of how caring goes beyond class hit home here.  Thomas’ breakdown right afterwards was a little awkward, but poignant in its own right.  I think  Carson’s watering eyes were more meaningful since that man is always so stoic.  His moment with the Dowager Countess, who also rarely shows such frailty, continued the waves of sadness as the episode finished out.

Edith and Mary

I was a bit of a fool to get hopeful when I saw Mary and Edith together at Sybil’s bedside.  Mary had made a comment a few episodes ago before Edith’s wedding about how even though they didn’t get along, she still wished her well.  I figured this would be a time for them to come together.  Edith tested the waters and asked Mary if maybe Sybil’s death might finally make them close as sisters, and Mary was almost too quick to say no and offered only a half-hearted hug as a consolation.  Seriously?  At least Mary’s mention of how Sybil was the only one that thought Mary and Edith were nice people shows me she might realize just how much of an a-hole she is turning out to be.  I know Edith did some crappy things to her sister, too, but it’s not like Mary is suffering right now for it.

cora says goodbye

Finally, I want to recognize Elizabeth McGovern.  She played Cora beautifully in this episode.  I loved her line when Tom is trying to decide which doctor to listen to:

Tom: Would you take her to the hospital?

Cora: I would have taken her an hour ago!

There was so much urgency in her voice that you knew this couldn’t end well.  Then she later had the scene where she had to say goodbye to her already deceased daughter.  This was extremely sad, and I think the only thing that stopped me from crying was the frosty comment about Mary asking her father to sleep in the dressing room.  I was like annnnnnnd, things are about to get a lot worse for Robert.  Cora’s last line in the episode which essentially blamed Robert for Sybil’s death (yes Robert, there IS truth in that) confirmed that a reconciliation between the two is far off- if at all possible.

RIP Sybil.  A lot of people will remember you as the sweet and passionate Crawley sister.  I, though, will remember you as the girl in the poofy Jasmine pants.

lady sybil pants

January 28, 2013

Glee’s Sadie Hawkins Episode- Most Awkward One Yet?

To me, Glee has been going WAY down hill since the first season. This fourth and most current season has definitely been the worst. I think they have transitioned the new and old characters okay, but the plot lines are pretty bad and not very genuine. I mean, has anyone really DEALT with the fact that Marley fainted from an eating disorder? Nope. All the characters just blamed her for their loss at the competition. If you are a TV show taking on an eating disorder plot line, you need to see it through and not make the character with the disorder even more of an outcast. It doesn’t really make sense.

Anyway, this Sadie Hawkins episode which aired last Thursday had so many awkward moments where I was literally cringing that I had to share my top five. In no particular order…

1. The Creepy “Baby Got Back” Performance

It took me about 30 seconds to realize this show choir group was singing “Baby Got Back.” In the beginning, I thought it was kind of amusing how they made it sound like a ballad, but I kept waiting for them to lose it and sing it in its pure form (or even go back and forth). Nope. It stayed a ballad the whole time. And it was weird. Unlike Kurt, I think this would convince me NOT to join the creepy college kids in their song change-ups. I’m kind of scared to see what this group will perform next if they are featured in upcoming episodes.

2. Rachel’s Random Outburst

Rachel waits for Brody

Rachel waits for Brody

I was kind of put off by Rachel’s whole “seize the moment” thing with Brody. It so obviously screams DANGER AHEAD to me when she’s saying she’s in love with him. Didn’t they just (sort of) get together in the winter finale? I figured this would come to a screeching halt in a later episode, but I was taken aback at the scene where Brody arrives 45 minutes late and Rachel throws a hissy fit. I have definitely dealt with late boyfriends before. If it happens over and over again, that’s one thing. But it’s the first time AND he shows up with flowers? That seems a little extreme. Plus she started throwing away food! I would have just gone ahead and eaten my half while I was waiting.

I might have been able to get past this when Brody fed her all those cheesy lines. This made me dislike the pair even more. He did seem like a liar with how thick he was laying on the charm. But Rachel eats it up, and instead of just accepting his apology, she asks him to move in. SERIOUSLY?!?! I don’t get it.

3. Tina Asking Blaine to the Sadie Hawkins Dance

Blaine's Reaction

Blaine’s Reaction- also love Marley’s face!

OMG AWKWARD. I was like….wait, is she serious? I can understand liking a guy who may or may not be gay. But a guy who is openly gay AND who has dated one of your friends? This makes no sense. I feel like Tina from past episodes would never do something that stupid. Even if she did develop a crush, she’d be smart enough not to announce it publicly. Jeez. I felt so bad for Blaine in that awkward 10 seconds after she popped the question, and I was kind of glad he said no. She kind of deserved it after making bad life choices. Get it together woman! Didn’t we cover this already with the Mercedes/Kurt love story in season one?

4. Tina and Blaine STILL Hung Up on the Wrong People

Tina and Blaine

I started to feel much better about the Tina/Blaine situation after they said their peace in the hallway and agreed to go to the dance as friends. I was like, okay- at least this is a one episode plot line and we are moving on. JUST KIDDING. By the end, Tina still thought she had a future for Blaine and called him perfect, and Blaine looked on longingly at Sam and Brittany while they danced a few feet away at the end. Apparently this warped, no happy ending in sight, doomed to fail love triangle will continue to plague the show as the writers give up trying.

5. What Ryder does at the 1:06 mark

Yeah, I don’t think I need to explain this one. This was my favorite song from the episode, though.

As if these awkward moments weren’t enough, here’s what we have to look forward to in the next episode (yes, those are pumpkin bottoms):

Glee Calendar Shoot

Take note of the bunny on the left, too.

January 27, 2013

Can YOU beat Table 7?

Last night I got to attend Bishop Kelley’s annual Trivia Night fundraiser with a bunch of my fellow teachers.  I went last year and had a blast, so I was excited to return for a second time.  The event is run in two separate gyms of the school- the large “serious player” gym and the small “loud player” gym.  Last year we had a back table in the small gym, and this year we were put in the quieter gym called “Material World” (yay Madonna!) after their 80’s theme this year.

Material World Trivia Night

One of the alumni walking around working the event had on a Kellly Kapowski shirt from Saved By The Bell.  I complimented her (because I love that show!) and she told me she bought the shirt two hours before the event and had no clue who was on it…..REALLY????

Kelly Kapowski Shirt

This was the design on her shirt.

The people working the event were supposed to be the graduating class from 1988, so I figured they would know this even better than me (Quick note:  When they announced this was the class of 1988’s year to run the event, I shouted “That’s the year I was born!” which was immediately met with eye rolling and groans from my whole table- I have so much payback coming my way in a couple decades, haha).

They had 120 tables split in two gyms- it was packed!

They had 120 tables split in two gyms- it was packed!

Each gym gets the same questions over six rounds with 12 questions each.  They go through the questions and give you about two minutes to answer them, with an extra few minutes at the end to go back and write down any other answers you needed more time to debate over.  Every round has a title, but this has no bearing on the questions.  The questions range from history to politics to pop culture to business.  You’ll see in the questions below that pretty much every topic is covered.  We ended up getting 42 out of 72 correct, which landed us in the top 30-40% of the table groups (as you can see there were a LOT of people competing).

I wanted to post some of the questions to test your own trivia skills.  We were given the same pictures for the ones that have an accompanying photo.  I’ve posted the answers at the bottom of this post.

1. What ship was the first and only ship to come to the RMS Titanic’s aid when it sank?

2. What was this structure called in New Hampshire before it collapsed?

new hampshire

3. What did Lego call the sets it marketed specifically for girls in 2012?

4. What movie won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Writing in 1988?

5. What object represents a threat or death in all three of The Godfather films?

6. What airport boasts having the longest runway in North America?

7. What is 100 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit degrees?

8. What was the “Friends” spinoff from 2004 called?

9. Who is the oldest living person to win Best Actor (not actress!)?

10. Who wrote the poetic verse “Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me?”

11. What Korean singer came up with the popular 2012 hit, “Gangnam Style?”

12. Who designed this past year’s US Olympic team uniforms?

olympic team uniforms

13. Which state joined the union right after Oklahoma?

14.  What does the blue logo represent?


15.  What city and team was Kobe Bryant originally drafted to in 1996 before being traded for Vlade Divoc?

Between rounds they would do little mini-games for door prizes, like which lady had the most lip products in her purse (the lady who won had 18!) and who was the youngest player in the room (a 21-year-old beat me out for this).  That helped pass the time while they tallied all the scores.  They also had these giant 1 and 2 balloons they would put on the tables who were in the lead.  We never got the balloons, but at least we were in the top half of the scores throughout the night : )

One thing that I find hilarious is that the tables always build beer can towers from their leftover cans (keep in mind- this is a Catholic high school).  Only a few tables participated in our “serious gym,” but when I went to the other side to check out the architecture, it was pretty epic.  These people swung string over the poles in the ceiling to keep their towers up.  I took a picture of one of the highest ones right in front of a giant cross, haha:

Beer Can Tower Trivia Night

I am so glad Bishop Kelley does this fundraiser every year.  It’s a lot of fun for the guests, and they must make a huge profit off of it.  Tables for ten are $200 (so each person only pays $20), and they sell snack items and drinks for $1-3 throughout the night.  Another big moneymaker for them is the 50/50 pot.  Tickets for this are sold for a dollar with no limit on how many you purchase.  They put all the proceeds in a pot, and split it 50/50 with the winning ticket.  Last night I know the winner went home with over $2,000.  I didn’t buy a ticket, but I’m starting to think I should have!

If you are interested in attending Trivia Night at Bishop Kelley next year, it will be on Saturday, January 25th.  If I’m still in Tulsa, I know I will be there.  Check out the school’s website for more details and contact information.  Tickets go on sale early, and this year sold out in less than a day!  Make sure you get on their mailing list ASAP!

And now for the answers to the trivia questions listed above.  The seven in bold are the ones we got right:

1. RMS Carpathia   2. The Old Man in the Mountain   3. Lego Friends    4. Rain Man   5. An Orange    6. Denver   7. 212 Degrees   8. Joey     9. Sidney Poitier   10. Emily Dickinson   11. Psy    12. Stella McCartney    13. New Mexico    14. Decepticons   15. Charlotte Hornets

P.S. I finally tried out the Forever 21 jacket/shirt I mentioned I hadn’t worn yet in this post.  It went well with skinny jeans and black heels, and I got a few compliments on it.  Success!

Finally sporting some peplum!

Finally sporting some peplum!

January 25, 2013

Winter Break Haul: SHOES!

Okay so I don’t know if three pairs of shoes is considered a “haul,” but it might be the most amount of pairs I’ve gotten in one shopping spree.  First I stopped at Payless with my mom.  I always can count on Payless to have practical shoes that actually *fit* my foot.  I, Kelly Schrumpf, have wide feet.  There.  I admitted it.  This condition makes it difficult to find shoes anywhere, and I usually feel like everyone else but Cinderella as I go through pair after pair, never able to fit my feet into shoes.  Payless has been a savior to me in this area because about 30% of their shoes are in wide widths.  It’s not uncommon for me to tell the sales person when I check out how thankful I am to have a haven where my wide feet are accepted and accommodated : )

I have some great black flats from American Eagle that have been very dependable as I wear them day after day to work.  However, the lining is starting to wear off on my feet throughout the day because they are getting old.  I even had bought a back-up pair of these, and recently have worn them down, too.  I was hoping to find similar flats and was lucky that American Eagle had created these for Payless:

American Eagle Black Flats

These look pretty close to my old ones, but the knot at the top is a slightly different detail.  I’ve worn them several times, and since they are a wide size, my feet aren’t killing me at the end of the day.  They also have this cloth lining that prevents the disintegration problem that happened with my old shoes.  Unfortunately, after the *first* time I wore these, the right foot cloth lining started to pull down from the toe : (  This didn’t happen on the other shoe and I try to just flatten it back into shape when I wear them.  This was a little disappointing to happen so early, but they are fine besides that.  I don’t even notice it after a few minutes of wearing them.  Just be careful if you buy them to see if that fabric lining has started to pull at all.

Lower East Side Nude Flats

I also grabbed these Lower East Side flats because I only own different variations of black flats.  I figured I could use these nude ones when I am not wearing any black or want a slightly fancier look (they have that glossy shine that brings them up a notch from basic flats).  They are a little stiff and gave me a blister on my heel when I first wore them.  I would recommend breaking them in a bit by wearing them with socks around the house, or putting a secure band-aid on your heel the first few times you wear them out.

Dress Barn Black and Gray Faux Suede Boots

After Payless, I was lucky enough to go to Dress Barn and find these boots.  I initially went to Dress Barn to look for slacks for work.  They actually have a great selection for all sizes that fit comfortably (so many places sell slacks that are tight around the top and then have really loose and long pant legs- or maybe my body shape is just weird).  I decided to just glance at the shoes on my way to checking out and found these black and gray boots.  Now, you need to know that it is impossible for me to find boots.  Boots require getting around your foot AND your calf, and with my already wide feet problems, this gets a bit ridiculous.  I really liked these faux suede boots, though, and decided to try them on for fun.  I’ve been wanting boots with a slouchy top, but have never found any that fit right.  I was really lucky that these fit near perfectly.

They were a bit on the expensive side ($60 then, now they are only $29.99- you can buy them here), but my mom took pity on my never-ending boot quest and bought them for me.  I am so grateful for this because I have been able to wear these a lot to school with my sweater dresses and black leggings.  I have learned to wear double layers of socks, though, to add some extra padding.  My soles hurt a bit by the end of the first day I wore them with only one pair of socks.  I’m glad this was an easy fix.  I love my new boots!

Note: This is part three of my Winter Break Haul series.  You can also read about my Ulta Haul and my Forever 21 Haul posted earlier.

January 24, 2013

The Impossible: Why You Need to See It This Weekend

I saw The Impossible over winter break with my mom. I was trying to find an excuse to see a movie at AMC’s Fork and Screen theaters, and the day before I left, this came out as one of the options. It had been on my list to go see, and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Here’s the trailer below to give you some background. I don’t want you to feel as if I’m spoiling anything major- a lot of plot points are already in the preview- but if you like to go into a movie knowing anything, than feel free to skip my review.

The Impossible is based on the true story of a Spanish family vacationing Thailand when the 2004 tsunami hit the country. The film starts with the family on the plane and a short collection of scenes of their vacation to sort out for the audience who’s who and the relationships between the parents and three sons. Pretty soon, though, it’s the day of the tsunami. As an audience member, you just feel this sense of dread as you wait for it to happen. The wind picks up, electricity goes off, the ground shakes a little, and a swarm of birds starts heading away from the beach. You have about as much time as the family does to realize this is it just as the wave hits.

the impossible wave

The screen goes black when the wave is actually going to hit the family, and then reappears as Naomi Watts, who plays the mom, is clinging to a tree in the midst of rapids screaming as loud as she can. She sees her oldest son, Lucas (played by Tom Holland), rush past her as the rapids carry him away. She immediately lets go and swims after him, and the next 10 minutes is torture as you watch the two get so close and then separated and then so close again. Watts gets impaled by branches, Holland gets violently pushed underwater and bangs his heads on loose objects, and you, as an audience member, pretty much wince every two seconds and start drawing your knees into your chest as a coping device.

impossible mom and son

This panic eventually subsides as the pair are finally able to reach each other in the water and find land (still flooded, but at least able to stand in). This is when Lucas starts becoming the hero of the whole movie. He recognizes early that his mom’s injuries are life threatening and that he will very quickly need to become the caretaker. He watches over his mom and summons up immense emotional and physical strength to get her to safety.

The dad, played by Ewan McGreggor, doesn’t appear until about halfway through the movie. Instead of doing side by side story lines, the movie goes back to the beginning (right after the wave) to show you what became of the dad and the other two boys. All three are together and relatively unharmed, but the dad feels the need to keep looking for Lucas and his wife.

impossible dad and kids

The final act of the film then flips around from Lucas to the dad. Lucas is trying to save his mom and also come to terms with the fact that he may become an orphan. The dad is shown searching through hospitals and dead bodies on his quest to find his remaining family members. He breaks down a few times thinking his search might be in vain, especially one poignant scene while on the phone with his dad. I thought it was interesting to show the different viewpoints of the tragedy and how various rescue efforts were handled. I’m pretty sure any doctor who survived did not sleep at all that week.

Warning: This movie is extremely stressful and emotional. My mom cried through a lot of it. I didn’t because I had more knowledge of the true story behind it, and I kind of felt too much panic to give into crying. My mom mentioned it reminded her of Titanic (the scenes post-iceberg), which I agree with. It balances compelling characters with this catastrophic event setting in a way that keeps you engaged with the film the whole time. I never felt as though they spent too long on action sequences because even those were motivated by characters.

the impossible naomi watts

Naomi Watts has received a lot of praise for her role in the film (she’s nominated for an Oscar). She is the heart of the whole story, and seemed to basically get the crap beaten out of her in this film (I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD because I would love to see “making of” footage!). However, I thought Tom Holland was just as excellent, if not even more central to the story line. This kid has a LOT of screen time, and does some pretty amazing things for a 10-year-old. I kept thinking of my fourth graders, and if they would have been as brave as this character if faced with the same situation. It’s pretty crazy.

Anyway, please go see this movie over the weekend. It hasn’t gotten a ton of publicity, but it is incredible. It will be one of those films that stays with you for a long time, that gives you that rare sad and happy ending, and makes you appreciate life and the loved ones you share it with.