Friday, February 26, 2010


February 23rd is a special day this year. It's the first day I buy daffodils. Daffodils have been my favorite flower since I was 7 or 8, I think. In my adult life, I have grown to appreciate others, namely irises, red & yellow (together) tulips, amaryllises, among others. But daffodils will always be in my top five.

Although I live in Wisconsin and the winters are long and usually stretch into late March/early April, the small pot of daffodils in my living room is a little reminder that there is an end to the cold and snow. It can't last forever; daffodils need to grow.

I open the blinds at night before I go to sleep so the flowers can see the sun, which rises hours and hours before I do.

And the next morning, they're almost all open.

They look like sharp baby birds

I love that I can look back at my blog entries from just about a year ago and see such similar and beautiful things that were in my life. In fact, when I listed my favorite flowers a second ago, I hadn't yet looked at these pictures. But in glancing through my blog entries and pictures, I found...

The irises

The charming cousin of the daffodil?

The red and yellow tulips

The amaryllis

And my lovely daffodils.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Benny Hill?!

Oh my god. I'm laughing so hard! Okay, so a year or two ago, I came across this video on the youtube that ended up being one of my favorite things of all time. In fact, I included it in a previous post about how to get out of a bad mood. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Check it out:

Oh lord, that one gets me every time! So my wonderful L'il Brudder, Emil, loves Lord of the Rings so much. And while I do hate to mock what he holds dear, that about which he is so passionate, I just can't stop. As if the Lord of the Rings Funny Voices wasn't enough, I had to find this one youtube:

The Benny Hill Theme?! This totally ruins the seriousness and beauty of Lord of the Rings, doesn't it? It's sacrilege really, to be laughing at something so passionate and pure. But...maybe we should just have one more giggle...Aragorn?! Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh???

Damn you Benny Hill!!! I'm shaking my fist at the sky and grabbing your collar simultaneously. Why are you such a genius? This song, also known as "Yakety Sax" (oh I'm very serious), is pure comic gold. Although I was more than satisfied with the Lord of the Rings clips, I wondered if there were any more out there, and whether they'd be as funny...

I recommend focusing on the storm troopers:

Look at Shelley Duvall's face! She thinks it's hilarious too!

Explosions in the water! People dying! WooooOOOO!

And of course, the thing that scared me the most out of anything when I was a, hilarious!

Oh Benny Hill! You certainly do slay me! There's a Matrix one too, but I can't embed it. I strongly suggest you check it out though, as all the identical guys falling down is bound to make you bust out. Whew!

Alright, that's probably enough. So, to close, I'll just show you this video of a shrimp. A SHRIMP. Running on a treadmill somehow. To a certain perfect and hilarious soundtrack. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Kids, Part One Zillion

I'm sorry. There. I got it out of the way. I am aware of the fact that nobody likes a braggart, but sometimes I have to brag. And I do believe people will still like me despite it. Come on now, I'm pretty charming! Anyhow, there's your damn apology. Now, please enjoy my bragging about how great my day was and how awesome my job is.

Tuesdays are long. Actually, Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays are all extremely long, but I think that somewhere along the way, I must have subconsciously and strategically planned my schedule to be the way it is. One hilarious kid after another, a few moments of breathing time here and there, and short driving distances; it all works out perfectly and makes the long days go by quickly. I go to seven houses on Tuesdays and teach eleven students. And they're all great. Here's a little breakdown of today:

House #1: S, 12 and P, 10 have both requested the song "His Cheeseburger" from Veggie Tales. I bring them the music and the entire family (of 8) gathers 'round to look at the music and display their excitement. Here's the song:

Later, P and his mother are talking and she sort of half-sarcastically pinches his cheeks and says how cute he is. He reaches up, pinches her nose, and says "you're pretty cute too, Mom." Also, while his brother was playing "Down by the Bay," I could hear (not see, mind you) his 5-year old sister singing along made up words that included "down by the sea, with all the things, I have to go, down by the day."

House #2: This is the house of the girl (K, age 6) who touched my tooth once. You know she's a winner. Today we did a song called "The Crawling Spider" and she told me about the time she put tiny fake spiders next to her babysitter, and her babysitter screamed and ran to the bathroom and threw up 60 times. Mmm hmm.

K's sister, L, age 13, participated in the Solo & Ensemble Festival this weekend, which is when students prepare a serious classical piece to play in front of a judge and get feedback. I already knew she'd done wonderfully, and that she'd received a 1 (you can get a 1, 2, or 3, and 1 is the highest) but when she showed me her critique sheet from the judge, I saw that she got an absolutely perfect score; she couldn't have gotten any higher and the judge had absolutely nothing negative to say! Amazing. There's a fantastic Teacher Moment if I've ever seen one.

House #3: There's a lot of hugging and love and smiles. A, age 12, talks to me about how she composes. "I don't know, I just think of a song in my head and then my fingers do it. I don't know." This girl will probably be famous some day. Her compositions are amazing.

House #4: Previous A's friend, another A (also 12, we'll call them A1 and A2) has been taking lessons from A1 for the last year. She's never had a lesson from an adult teacher in her life, yet at her first lesson with me today, she knows about as much as a student who's been studying seriously for four years. All because of what A1 taught her. As a tiny person with very small hands (comfortable reach of about a 7th for you music nerds out there), she can somehow play this song. Beautifully:

House #5: K, age 13, received two male gerbils for Christmas this year. Except that one was a female and got knocked up. The babies were born a week ago, and we spent the first 8 or so minutes looking at baby gerbils. They are tiny, about half the size of my thumb, and just beginning to grow gray fur. All the babies were piled on top of each other in one corner. So cute. Oh, we also played some piano for a minute.

House #6: Oh this family. I love them. Every Tuesday I come to their house at 6:45 pm. And every Tuesday, they forget I'm coming. Today I arrive as they're finishing dinner. M. age 7, asks me if I "notice anything different about his top half." I guess that he got a haircut. His mom calls out from the other room, "Reem, do you think M looks like a girl?" I look at him closely and say "Definitely not." He looks at me doubtfully and informs me that instead of getting his hair cut at his regular barber, he had to go to "a beauty shop." Which meant that he looked like a girl. Of course. At the end of the lesson, the mom gave me two giant cookies; one was chocolate and peanut butter chip, and the other was dark chocolate chip, pecans, and dried cherries. Omg.

House #7: L, age 15, also participated in S&E this weekend. She also got a high 1; she played beautifully. I have videos, but feel funny about posting them on my blog, so message me if you'd like to see them.

Ah, what a lovely day! These kids make everything rule. Thanks for your patience in my Braggy Braggerson writing...sometimes I just feel like the world needs to know about all of these brilliant kids...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good Lighting

You know what's fantastic? You got it: good lighting. If I were to ever be a food critic (and I couldn't, because everything is too delicious all the time), I'd only go check out restaurants on sunny afternoons. I'd request a seat by the window and hang a sheer scarf or piece of material over the window to soften the bright of the rays. On rainy days I'd stay home and eat bowl of Special K Red Berries and sulk around in my pajamas, craving a delicious lunch and a radiant sun.

It's mainly because of this:

Cucumber Salad

Fresh spring roll with a vietnamese egg roll inside. It's like a double decker taco! Oh lord, I do love one food inside another...

Tofu Pad See Ew

Yellow curry with chicken

I'm obsessed with these pictures, especially the appetizer ones. I mean, I'll admit, this is probably my most favorite food in all of Madison, so I'd be infatuated with them anyhow, but these pictures made it all look a million times better.

If you're interested, the food is from Ha Long Bay on Willy St. Amazing.

That's all I got tonight! Good lighting.