Monday, December 29, 2008

St Louis Symphony Orchestra Presents The Wizard of Oz

In the last year or so, the St Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) has been designing new programs and series in an effort to attract new audiences into Powell Hall to support the musical endeavors of the SLSO. If you haven't checked out what they're doing this season, please click here. I guarantee that you'll find something that fits your style.

One of these new SLSO series is called SLSO Presents. As part of this series, the SLSO was performing the The Wizard of Oz score live while simultaneously showing the movie. I immediately bought tickets since my kid LOVES Dorothy Gale and all of the Oz characters. She's only recently turned 4 yet we've already spent two Halloweens, two birthday parties, and countless other unofficial opportunities dressed as Dorothy.

On Sunday, Oz day arrived. We brought along the grandmas and headed to Powell hall on North Grand. Here are some highlights.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Theatre for the Kids

In some ways, teaching and acting are one in the same: you get into character, learn your script, and perform, sometimes to an appreciative crowd, sometimes not. It's precisely for that reason that I thought I could never love teaching and, now, that I do.

Don't get me wrong. Acting, as in the real art of acting, is not in my blood. But, I do love going to the theatre. Bill and I have had season tickets at the St. Louis Rep for almost 10 years now. At least once a season, we'll see something at the Fox or the Stray Dog Theatre or the Muny too. While we mostly see productions intended for older audiences, we started attending children's theatre and kid-friendly productions too when Wee Willa was about 18 months old. In case you're wondering, Willa's first show was The Wizard of Oz.

Last year, we bought season tickets for the Piwacket Theatre for Children which performs at the Black Cat Theatre in Maplewood. Piwacket is professional theatre that is informal and family-friendly. Each Piwacket production brings to life a classic, yet popular tale that everyone remembers from childhood (with a strong character education make-over). You and your kids will both give Piwacket a thumbs up because fidgeting, walking around, talking, and bathroom breaks during the production are not just acceptable, they're the norm.

If polished is more your style, then I would recommend the Imaginary Theatre Company. The Imaginary is the Rep's traveling theatre company for kids and they come home to perform a few times during the year. Like Piwacket, the Imaginary brings to life classic children's tales using simple sets, a few props, and great acting. Unlike Piwacket, the Imaginary's story selections, adaptations, and productions are a bit more sophisicated (think Robin Hood rather than Jack and the Bean Stalk). And, unlike Piwacket, the productions are not interactive, you have to sit in a real theatre seat, and talking, coughing, bathroom breaks, and the like are discouraged. But, did I mention that it's more polished? Previously, we've seen The Velveteen Rabbit and The Ant and the Grasshopper. Yesterday, we saw The Little Fir Tree. In addition to the polish, the Imaginary offers an opportunity to create art and crafts before the show and a chance to meet the actors/characters for photo ops and autographs afterward.

The only company that we haven't had a chance to see yet is the Metro Theatre Company but we've heard great things about them. In fact, I think that a wife of colleague of mine is an actor with this company. Any others that I've omitted?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Movies and the Mall

The Henske Three has officially started Winter Break! Yes, that was a resounding woo hoo that you just heard. Friday night and Saturday were filled with parties, wedding, and other activities but yesterday was wide open--but it was ~10 degrees! Good day to see a movie.

We picked The Tale of Despereaux, which was not showing nearby but was playing at the AMC in Crestwood Mall. I'm not a big fan of malls in general but I especially hate Crestwood Mall. Sorry, but it's true. Too many turns to get to it. Too poorly designed (how long is that mall?). Too boring: no unique stores; no reason to go.

Which brings me to the point of this entry. Have ya been to Crestwood Mall lately? Obviously, I'm no regular but, in the last year or two, I've had to go to there a couple of times. Business was really creeping along back then but nothing like yesterday. Seriously, not even a small crowd on one of the three last shopping days of the season! And, it was a weekend day! I'm guessing, aside from employees, there were maybe 30 people in the entire mall. No lie. And it was cold in there. I'd wager that the management company, whoever that is now--Crestwood is no longer a "Westfield Shoppingtown"--quit heating the mall to save a few bucks. Probably a good decision considering that there are only about 20 mall stores left.

Oh yeah, The Tale of Despereaux was a great little film!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Book Review: Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins by Steve Olson

The main point of Olson's research can be summarized into one simple but enormously important sentence: Race is a social construct. If you'd like to know why or you disagree then I urge you to read Olson's book. Its well researched, well written, and well worth the time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Break Art from the Dutch and Reflections from the Grind

Hendrick Avercamp, Winter Landscape, late 16th century, Oil on wood

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Hunters in the Snow 1565; Oil on panel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap 1565; Oil

From Pieter to Rubens to Rembrandt, I love the art of the Dutch. At the end of every first semester, as I embark a short, but necessary, reprieve from the grind, I'm always reminded of the lovely 16th and 17th century winter scenes done most exquisitely by the Dutch. Aside from the evocative appeal of the Dutch landscape, I'm not sure what else it is that beckons me back each winter.

So, here I sit tonight, on the eve of the eve of the winter solstice, studying those Dutch Masters. And, I realize that sometimes it's difficult not to get caught up in the past. That, sometimes, reflection must occur, even if you don't like to go there. And, I rarely do.

That said, this is what I think:
I eliminated the complaining and the whining and got right to the heart of that meat, which is where I realized that I've had a really great year so far. Minimal stress (unless you count arguing with Welker about religion...the guy self-admitted knows nothing), minimal frustration (well, kids are still children even if they stand taller and bark louder than you), and minimal regret (as in I'm glad that I took this job). Not perfect, but what ever is?

I can also say that, thus far, these things have made me extremely happy, appreciative, and bowled over with tears, joy, and pride: helping Dando cast 2 plays, spending another 1/2 year with the kids in my Lunch Crew (go Class of 2009! Good Luck Brandon!), working diligently, writing some of the best damn curriculum that I've ever seen (yeah, I'm boasting), being able to moderate real, thought provoking debate from "underprivileged" kids who can *surprise* use words like globalization, unilateralism, and coup d'etat and know what they mean (well, at least most of them), having the respect of my colleagues (the ones that matter), and forcing myself to rise above the shit so that I can admire the beauty and artistry of what the kids do and I do everyday (sometimes tough to do). And, trust me, this is the short list.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bloggin' Blah's

Since starting this blog in 06', I've never been at a loss of an adventure, an opinion, a photo, or any other reason to blog. But lately, I find myself with a serious case of the bloggin' blah's. I have suspicions why this is so, but I'll keep them to myself for now. In the mean time, here is a photo of two of my three favorite mammals.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pony Cake and Presents

12:04 pm, December 08, 2004. Willa Katherine Henske was born. 4 years ago today. Happy Birthday Willa!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prop 8, The Musical (Funny, Funny Stuff)

I removed the video because it's all over the internet now. But if you haven't seen Jack Black and his Hollywood crew doing Prop 8, The Musical it is very entertaining. To watch it, click here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

World Bird Santuary

About 10 years ago, Bill's brother asked if we would keep their pet conure, Bob, for an extended period of time. He and his wife had recently had a baby and didn't have the time to properly socialize Bob. Bob was attractive, smart, and came with interesting skill set so we agreed.

The honeymoon period with Bob was great. His squawking was lovable, his tricks were funny and novel, and his obsessive pacing along on his perch was mesmerizing. Eventually, though, I got frustrated with the poop, the feathers, the seeds, and the countless number of Bill's shirts that were in need of repair (Bob could unbutton and button your shirt but he, unfortunately, would create new "button holes" with his beak creating a shirt that looked liked it had been visited by some hungry moths). And as much as those things bothered me, I might have been able to tolerate them had Bob not turned on me.

Bob would appear in rooms that he wasn't in when I walked in. He would chase me around the house, wings fully extended, trying to land on my head, shoulder, or wherever. Bob even bit me, drawing blood, when I routinely went to offer him a finger off the perch. But, the incident that sent Bob packing was when he decided to not to back off of cleaning the tartar/foodstuff off of my teeth. Bob did this activity a lot. He'd force his head into your mouth and begin to scrape your teeth with his beak. It was an intimatidating skill at first but most of our friends got used to it and thought it was funny. I never did. Well, on this day, Bob pushed his head in my mouth and wouldn't budge. I had that odd feeling that this was going to end badly. When I finally had the courage to try and remove him, Bob bit me on the lip, held fast, and tugged and pulled my lip away from my mouth. Then blood. Lots of blood. Goodbye Bob.

While things didn't work out between Bob and I, I still do consider myself to be somewhat of a bird enthusiast. As the seasons change, I enjoy birdwatching and bird-listening, whether it's on a trail or in my backyard. Seeing the beauty of a common bird or one that is harder to spot like a kestrel can be an amazing thing. Which is why I totally respect what the folks at the World Bird Sanctuary are doing in trying to rehabilitate injured birds and provide homes for those that cannot go back in the wild. I go there as often as I can to view the birds and give my support to the birds because, let's face it, we owe them. Afterall, we've destroyed a lot of their natural habitats for our own perogatives. Anyway, you should go. It's a quite drive. Plus, you can drive through Lone Elk Park and see the bison and elk herds.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Autumn at the St Louis Zoo

Late fall and winter are my favorite seasons to visit most of the outdoor attractions here in St. Louis. No crowds! I especially love going to the St. Louis Zoo, which is where we ended up today. My dad, who has lived in Austin, TX for the last 25 years, was a good sport about braving the cold to go with us.

I also love finding winter berries. What's the attraction? Quite simply, I think it's the spots of bright color juxtaposed against such enormous grayness. They just pop, pop, pop (to quote my principal) when you stumble upon them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Weird Neighborhood Sign #2

This weird neighborhood sign was spotted on my street, about two houses south of me. It's been affixed to a No Parking/Street Cleaning Schedule sign.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Harvest Festival

It's the official beginning of the holiday season. Up first? Thanksgiving. Yep, time for family, friends, and feast. After you've eaten too much, watched too much of the football game, had one too many cocktails, you know, generally overindulged yourself, why don't you head on over to Heifer International and share the wealth. You'll feel good that you did!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lovely Day for a Walk

Today was our first day of Thanksgiving Break. What a gorgeous day! So, after lunch at The Royale, we took my Dad, who is visiting from Texas, to the Botanical Garden. Normally, we're at the garden a couple of times a month but for whatever reason we just haven't gone much since the spring. I'm so glad that we decided to go today; we practically had the place to ourselves. No crowds, no human noise -- just the sound of nature. Ain't it grand?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Cool Sunset , November 16, 2008

I'm a camera nerd. I have lots of different models for different kinds of jobs. But, for an everyday camera I carry a compact, very light-weight camera, a Sony Cybershot, with me where ever I go. It takes okay-to-decent indoor photos where the natural light is sufficient enough to require little to no flash. And, it takes decent-to-good outdoor photos (again natural lighting works best). I also like that the battery stays charged for an super long time. But, that said, it's not really a great camera (i.e. don't buy it if you're a picky photographer like me). Which brings me to my photos below. Bill and I were driving to a dinner party and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets. I decided to try and photograph it under these conditions: bumpy roads, moving vehicle, shooting through a windshield, a so-so camera, and a 3-year old in the back yelling about something that I've tried to tune out. So, I guess that you'll have to trust me when I tell you that this was an awesome sunset!

Date: November 16, 2008
Time: 4:50 pm
Location: In Bill's car, driving west on Hwy 40 near Kingshighway Boulevard.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jib Jab Time

Send your own ElfYourself eCards
The Situation: Recently, A.I. and I were having dinner at Pho Grand and we started grumbling about our illnesses and pains. Then, A.I asked if I had ever used a netipot. Talk about a surreal moment.

The Netipot Skinny: Two years ago my ENT doc recommended using a netipot sinus cleansing system to help relieve some of the sinus/allergies congestion that I get regularly. By coincidence, I had just watched a video of someone demonstrating the neti online. It looked absolutely torturous! My answer? No. Not now, not ever. Yet, the hope of long-lasting sinus relief kept me intrigued. So, I agreed to take home the doc's version of the netipot, the NeilMed sinus cleansing system. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to use it, even after doc after doc after doc said I should (yeah, I've been to a lot of docs in the last two years). But, for some reason, when A.I. mentioned it, I finally decided that I would dust off the NeilMed, read the directions, and maybe even give it a try.

The Conclusion: When I got home, I did follow through. In fact, I even used the NeilMed. To my relief, it wasn't too bad. The solution was noticeably salty and, at first, a little easy to choke on as you squeezed the solution to your nostril (but easy to stop the choking too). The weirdest part was the very strange feeling of the mucus and sinus slime draining out of your nostril while, at the same time, also creating a blockage of that same said nostril. I didn't feel any immediate relief but did feel a little clearer and less congested the next morning.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Insomnia, Nick's Pub, and Prop 8

What to do when it's 1:30 am and you can't sleep? Blog! My problem? Adventurous content. Blogging has taken a back seat to the variety of illnesses that seem to have declared my body cavity good real estate. That means no new adventures, no new experiences, and no new photos. Phooey. But, it doesn't mean that I don't still have a lot to say. Phooey squared.

My friend and co-worker Dando has great Spidey-sense and knew intuitively that a pre-holiday, pre-progress reports happy hour was needed by all. So she sent out the invite, picked the spot, Nick's Pub in the city, and hoped that a few friends would show. My district is not very big but we owned Nick's that night (well, at least for the 3 hours that we were there). We had almost a full MS showing and the HS turn out was pretty good too. Shout out to the MS & HS Math peeps! You get the "Most Drunks in the Department" award by having 100% turn out.

Okay. Big election news. Sorry, Barack. This rant is not about you. In a bold, dramatic gesture, we elected our first black president thereby showing the world, at least superficially, that as a nation we are trying to put our racist reputation behind us. But, hey, world! Don't get too excited. Prop 8 passed. It amended the CA Constitution to legally discriminate against gay rights(i.e. human rights). According to this source and this source and this source and this source, it is purported that many of the same groups that showed up in large numbers, theoretically to support Prez Elect Barack Obama, also voted in favor of Prop 8 in CA. True? False? What about the Mormons? Unless they publish the election results by demographic, we'll never really know which groups overwhelming voted for or against Prop 8.

But that said, why would anyone vote for Prop 8? Okay, okay we get that Jerry Falwell didn't much care for the homosexuals. And you other religious folk--trust me, we hear you too and we know that you are no friends of the gays either. And while I absolutely without a doubt believe that ALL people deserve equal rights, I can understand that you believe in a God (albeit one that hates 10% of the population that, according to the bible, he made) that tells you homosexuality is wrong. And, this belief, however oppressive in my world, is one that ultimately though I cannot argue against. Belief in God trumps everything, whether or not it makes sense (think 9/11). The other group that I could see supporting Prop 8 is white men. No offense white guys--but you have demonstrated for centuries your predilection for oppression and bias. Your point was made with slavery, Jim Crow, and keeping us all barefoot and pregnant. So, the fact that some of you white guys in certain demographics remain loyal to the oppressive mentality of the 1920's is disappointing but not terribly shocking.

But, that some members of the other groups would cast a vote in favor of Prop 8 leaves me speechless, confused, and pissed off. Women and minorities, what's our prob? We should be better than that for all the hate, violence, and degradation that we had to endure while we fought for our human rights, our civil rights, the rights that had long been guaranteed to white men. It just makes no sense to me why victims of discrimination voluntarily opt to discriminate. God, under no circumstances, shouldn't trump that argument. Where was your God when the man was in charge? Someone, explanation please!

Let's talk about this for a minute. Are we physiologically or psychologically engineered to always victimize certain group(s)? History would suggest so. But, history also tells us that when scientific explanation and understanding is lacking, people often construct their own strange, often draconian, explanations to make meaning of a new experience (i.e. Salem Witches). So which, if either, explanation holds true here: do people always, even when they've been victims themselves, need a group to hate and oppress or is this a case of misunderstanding (i.e. people don't know that science explains gayness).

The Colbert Report, always topical, always hilarious, did his own little funny something, something:

The bright ending for this controversy, is that thousands of Americans gathered from city to city, state to state to show support for the repeal of Prop 8. Hundreds of St. Louisians braved the cold today to stand on the steps of the Old Courthouse in protest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maybe It's the Percocet? Sick Day Diary

Dear Diary,
Something moosey is brewing here. Since B.O. became P.E. I thought that we'd stop hearing from Scary Sarah P. from AK. But, that's not the case. If you don't believe me, read the news. Bottom line: It scares me to think that Superficial Sarah believes that she has a political future. I guess that she didn't hear herself speak. Unintersting, uninspired, unpolished. And, guess what else Stupid Sarah P. from AK says? She states, "I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door." And you know what scares me even more? That Slow-witted, simpleton Sarah still has the support of her stooges.

Dear Diary,
So there was another pit bull attack on some poor, unsupervised kid and it got me thinking about how cliche that is. And do you know what else? Pit bulls are cliche. Want to hear some more? Sagging pants are cliche. Giving the peace sign while being photographed, regardless of your real or imagined celebrity, is cliche. Tattoos are cliche. Piercings are cliche. Smoking weed is cliche. Irresponsibility, of any kind, is cliche. Even cliches are cliches.

Dear Diary,
This is my fifth sick day this school year. WOW! And if you add in days out for curriculum writing you get an even bigger WOW! I haven't been out this much since I birthed the kid. What does this say about me? My impenetrable power to ward off illness is diminishing? I have too much job stress? I have Munchausen syndrome? I don't care anymore? Sadly, it's all true. Well, except the Munchausen. But it would be cool to have a friend with the Munchausen. You could be like.....yeah, this is Christine, you know, my Munchausen friend. She's just back from surgery. What was it this time?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day, or I Hate War, or I Can Still Be Grateful

Military service is, thankfully, not a tradition in my family. So, the only real memories of Veteran's Day that I have come solely from my childhood and having the day off school. And what American kid doesn't love having a day off of school? Woo Hoo! But seriously, I hate the military because I hate war. Hate it, hate it, hate it. No good reason for it either -- although I'd agree that going to war when the US is invaded might be justified as a temporary solution. Otherwise, I see very little evidence that problems can't be resolved without violence, i.e. peacefully, with sincere words and ethical actions. But, until everyone thinks the same way as me, I guess I have to live in a world where stopping violence or abuse or oppression with violence or abuse or oppression is the acceptable, even preferred, norm. Despite my personal feelings about war, and even military recruitment practices (that's another blog entry) I am still grateful for those Americans that have enlisted in the military, especially with the knowledge that they might be called to serve (and die). And I am grateful that we have a day reserved to honor people that have served and sacrificed. Both of my grandfathers served, Grandpa Dean in the US Army Air Corps and Grandpa Johnny in the US Navy. And while they have passed on, I am proud this Veteran's Day to put aside my personal beliefs about the war to remember and honor them for their service and sacrifice.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Day of the Dead

I've said it before, and I'll say it friend Colette throws a super mean party! Here are some photos from that we took from the Day of the Dead party she threw last weekend. Willa and the other kids had lots of fun making Day of the Dead art--skull masks, sugar skulls, papel picado, and altars. She probably liked decorating the sugar skull the best but I most enjoyed helping her make her altar (dedicated to her Great Great Grandma Ruth, her Great Grandpa Dean, Great Grandpa Johnny, and her Great Grandma Violet).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's Showtime!

Hopefully everyone got out there today, as I did, to cast a vote for our nation's next president. Wow! It felt good to vote. It felt good to throw my support behind a candidate that I hope will lead us away from debt, bullying, problem-ignoring, and embarrassment and toward domestic and foreign policies that not only help Americans immediately but that also work to eliminate the underlying socio-economic issues that cause the problems in the first place. I'll sign off for now. Got an election to watch. And, you betcha, I wouldn't miss that for the world.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sarah Vowell

Despite still being one hacking cough and gasp away from the netherworld, I decided to go to the Mad Art Gallery to listen to Sarah Vowell read from her new book, The Wordy Shipmates with my friend, Colette. Much to my surprise, my loud, unproductive coughing did not lead to me being thrown out by security. And I'm glad for that because Vowell was very smart, very interesting, and very amusing. In fact, I think that I'm going to require that my incoming 09/10 AP kids read this book over the summer.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween is not a favorite holiday of mine. Sure, I enjoyed it as a youngster but not at all since I entered young adulthood. The costumes, the haunted houses, the parties, and the pranks are just not my cup o' tea. Now, because Willa has figured out Halloween, I have to pretend to like it, even if it's just for one night. So, last night we put on our smiles and took Willa out trick or treating with her friend Evan (more kids in their neighborhood than ours). She had a great time and, despite my initial apprehension, I genuinely enjoyed myself. My beef (and you know that I have one)? The rude behavior of the questionably costumed, suspiciously tall, totally aggressive, I'm stocking up for the cold season kids and their parents. I get that, for some kids, it's cool to try to "fool" candy-givers into thinking that you're 8 when you're really 15. Ha ha. Good one. Didn't see that coming. So, okay, I'll play the game--I'll pretend to not notice the gianormous hobo with the smooth beginnings of a 'stache when he approaches for a treat. But, in return, is it too much to ask that the kids with pubes not push my kid (or any one elses kid), cut in line, or demonstrate any other aggressive behavior toward the kids that have a right to be out there in the first place? And that their parents, yes, some of them actually did bring along their parents, be adults and agree. I think not.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maybe Obama Will Win?

Eric Zorn is the columnist from the Chicago Tribune who made me a little nervous with his list of reasons that Obama would lose the election of Tuesday (see last post). Now, Zorn has submitted his thoughts on why Obama will win the election. I don't share all of Zorn's opinions, but did find myself very interested and, sometimes, in agreement.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election 2008

Let's get two things straight upfront. First, I have never supported McCain. Second, I do support and am voting for the Obama/Biden ticket. But, and I know that I'm risking my "I'm a liberal" bumper sticker status here, I've never really felt comfortable sharing the same political space with the rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed, tail a wagging members of the cult of Obama either. Call me jaded, hell call me conservative if you'd like, but I just don't see a lot of REAL change a happening while Congress remains the same (old, white, stagnant), while skinheads plot the death of Obama and a large group of black students, while we waste time talking about the legal definition of marriage, while we lag behind the world in education, while we put individual and corporate profits ahead of working for the betterment of our community, etc. But, I will say that I believe Obama is capable of laying the foundation that is needed in order to see the kind of REAL change that many of us so desperately want to see.

Cult of Obama or not, what I do not want to see is McCain win. Maybe it's all the medication co-mingling in my system but I'm feeling a whole lot anxious and shaky about the upcoming election on Tuesday. To acknowledge the obvious = yes, I know that Obama leads in the most recent polls. However, as an informed citizen and teacher of history I know enough not to trust that this lead is nearly as strong as it needs to be to ensure a victory. I've also been obsessed with this map - watching it, studying it, waiting to see if colors will change as we head toward Tuesday. I know it's a numbers game, but look at all that red! Then, I read this article this morning, which expresses some of the same opinions and concerns that I have held about Obama since his acceptance of the Democratic nomination. Weird co-winky-dink? Probably. But it has me worried. And, very, very interested.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Give Me Steriods. Lots of Them. Now.

Can't fight it. Can't change it. It is what it is. Twice a year--October and April--I get horribly, horribly sick, and probably will for the rest of my life. It begins as a sniffle or a tickle or even a shiver. Then, like Hurricane Ike, it gains momentum until it quickly, but finally, reaches shore. And by that time, you can't stop it, you can only brace yourself for the ride. And, yes, if you haven't figured it out yet, I am sick. Truly sick. Deathly sick. I have only a squeak of a voice left, beat up bones and internal organs from a cough so violent and so relentless that it has registered on the Richter Scale, throbbing temples and a headache that won't quit, asthmatic episodes, and dry heaving. Insult to injury? Everytime I cough, I wet my pants a little. Sexy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ye Olde Renaissance Faire

The Event:
The Renaissance Faire was last Saturday at the school where Bill and I teach. I played Queen Isabella of Spain. Brilliant choice, if I do say so myself. Bill played Sir Walter Raleigh. Um...I'm still undecided about that casting decision. To be fair though, Raleigh was a better role than his original, Head Bridge Troll by Food Court.

The Review:
Let's start with the good news first -- beautiful, beautiful weather, decent, well-behaved crowd, ye olde good times with friends and colleagues, a chance to laugh at yourself in an ill-fitting rental costume, good exercise, and a SUPER, SUPER play (Midsummer Night's Dream - way to go Dando and Company!!!). And now the bad news -- it was a long, long day, I was sun burned, sore, and exhausted by day's end, I had to pay for my own food and drinks (I spent at least 20 bucks) and --best of all--I didn't get paid a cent from the district for being there for 9 hours. Yes, you read correctly. At the very least, they could pay to have my carpet cleaned (dogs, like most other species, cannot hold it for 9 hours~poor Grover!)

The Kid & Hubby:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Emma, A New Musical

It's a Wednesday Rep night for Bill and I so we're off to see Emma, A New Musical. Most of the time, I think it's a bad idea to mess with a really rich, really exquisite, and nearly flawless work of fiction (or a classic literary character like Emma) by turning it into a movie, musical, etc. But, in this case, I'm thinking that Emma and music seem like a good match. UPDATE: It was a terrific Emma might say, "Well, it was just simply delightful." Very witty, very entertaining. This production is a perfect starting point for the Jane-curious. And, for the more Jane-expert, the musical is a perfect compliment to her written work. Emma runs through November 2, 2008 so go see it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Center for Human Origins and Cultural Diversity

Welker, one of the other MRH history teachers, and I took our Freshman Humanities kids to the Center for Human Origins and Cultural Diversity at UMSL. This little known anthropology lab has four-45 minute interactive stations for the kids to explore human evolution. Teachers that teach topics that involve human origins and evolution should definitely find a way to bring their kids here. The kids had so much fun that they forgot that they were learning!