Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Give in to the cuteness.

You know you want to.

Funny Baby Photos - Oh Penguin, You So Funny!!!
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Funny Baby Photos - My Heart Just Exploded
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Funny Baby Photos - Death By Cuteness
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Funny Baby Photos - Put Em Up!
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Funny Baby Photos - Ba-roo?
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See more at babiesmakingfaces.com!

Monday, April 19, 2010

State Finals Tournament

This past Friday, Mom, Ian and I drove up to Houston (Katy, technically, but it's in the near vicinity so people simplify by saying "Houston") for Texas Odyssey of the Mind's State Finals Tournament. *insert impressive echo effect*
The night before States, many teams choose to attend a mixer at the hosting school. The mixer consists of large numbers of kids grade 3 on up partying and trading cutesy and useless doodads, usually homemade, while popular tunes are loudly played and even more loudly sung along to, pizza and drinks are served, and TX OotM merchandise (pins and t-shirts) is sold.
Sounds fun, right? Well in spite of the joy we all find in listening to 8-year-old girls singing Taylor Swift karaoke at the top of their lungs, our team chose not to attend. We went to the movies instead. Those of us that went to an earlier movie killed some time while waiting for the others' flick to end by stopping by Target to get a couple of things the team needed, and do some impulse buying.
Then we all went back to our respective hotels to rest up for the long day ahead.

April 17th dawned...we were all asleep when that happened, actually. But eventually we roused ourselves and went to do war - figuratively speaking, of course- upon our opponents. Our performance was pretty good; a couple of things didn't work the way they were supposed to but generally it went well. We got good judges, especially this one guy who absolutely l o v e d our vehicle. We did get penalized, but it was just for one teeny mistake, and they only took off three points for it.
I didn't get to watch Ian's team, but I've seen their skit before. By all accounts the judges loved it, especially one part where "Spock" gives himself the "Vulcan nerve-pinch" and knocks himself out. That got lots of laughs. :-)
I can't tell you much about spontaneous, all very confidential you know. Plus I didn't actually participate. I took the part of lowly spectator this time. Quite gladly, I wouldn't have been very much help with that particular problem. We scored nicely on it.

We were done, so we returned to the hotel, whereupon the middle-schoolers and co. proceeded to take over the swimming pools. I dropped in for a short while later when they were done. We went to dinner and then....to the awards ceremony. *cue tense, suspenseful music*

*drumroll please...*

In first place for Problem 1, Division III....SA HERO TEAM B!
That's right! Us!

Later that evening, the Ranatra Fusca Award, the highest award given by Odyssey, was given to three teams. Among them, us.

So yep, we're going to Worlds. :-) Michigan State University, here we come! It'll be the third time to Worlds for Ellie and I, and the second time at MSU. It's a beautiful campus, but I swear there is no worse cafeteria food in the country.

World's is in late May, so we have about a month to plan, practice, fix what needs fixin', and find the necessary funds. Wish us luck...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clash of what titans?

Seriously, there's not a single dang titan in the whole show! I know, I know, it sounds cooler...
Clash of the Titans was a fun movie, and if you want to see it at all you should definitely see it on the big screen. Liam Neeson rocks and Hades, though evil, was way cool. The witches were spot on, and though they might seem reminiscent of Pan's Labyrinth, the eye thing IS originally from the myth. I did like some of the interpretations, and I know that Greek mythology by its very nature allows for tweaking, but:

Io shouldn't be in this movie at all. I could go into her story, but I'll save it for another time.
What happened to Hermes' winged sandals? OK, so that would have been a little weird for a movie... and where are the other Gorgons, Medusa's sisters?

And pray tell, what is up with the ending? He defeats the bad guy, makes up with daddy and gets the girl...the wrong girl! Like I said, Io doesn't have a darn thing to do with Perseus in the old story, and throughout the movie I was getting an idea of good friend/sister/guardian/teacher...not love interest! Sure, the actress is beautiful. Sure, Andromeda has a small part in the movie. But e v e r y b o d y knows the age old deal: You save the princess, you marry the princess. End of story. Doggone screenwriters.

So if you're a Greek mythology nerd/purist, don't see this movie. It'll only tick you off. If you don't care that much and you like giant scorpions and cool effects, it's worth it. If you don't have anything better to do and want to watch something fun (like me), might as well.
That's my opinion anyhow.