Archive for the ‘television’ Category

What the #FF?!?: I’ve got a bad case of the ninjas…

What the Fudgsicle? A “What the #FF?!?” feature on a Monday, you ask?  What gives, Aunt Bethany?  Are you off your rocker?

image

Well, honestly…yes!  I am a bit off my rocker…or, at least, have been for the past few days.  A string of unforeseen events forced me off the Internet the past few days, which did not allow me to publish my Friday post, nor read up on all my blog subscriptions.  I won’t bore you with all of the dull, mundane details…but I will try, in one sentence, to summarize the world-turning events which led to my Internet Isolation for the past few days:

Wednesday night, I was alerted to an opening as a long-term sub, so Thursday morning, I filled out a lengthy application, finally watched Family Guy’s “It’s a Trap!”, played for a ballet class, then spent 4 hours at a rehearsal, which left no time for writing but plenty of time to plan my Friday post, which never got written because Friday I was called in to an unplanned job interview, which required me to gather odd and random documents Friday morning, and then I hastily readied myself to look presentable, played for another ballet class, and rushed across town to an informal interview at 2:00, which was followed by me giving a private piano lesson, racing across town (the other way) to a rehearsal, and then to a choral concert that night, which really exhausted me, so I crashed Friday night, got up way too early Saturday morning to complete a physical for my job interview, and gave a voice lesson later that morning, which was THEN followed by a 4 hour rehearsal and  a planned party with former cast mates, which ALSO tired me out, so I crashed until the wee hours of Sunday morning until I had to scurry off for church choir, which kept me out until mid-morning until I had to run home to give another voice lesson, prepare for my afternoon, and run across town (yep, again) for ANOTHER day of rehearsals, which kept me on the go and away from my laptop from 12-9 today, and THAT is why I was late for school…and couldn’t post my Friday article.

So, you see?  I wish I could say that I was kidnapped by a one-armed man with a spatula for a limb, or that I was abducted by crazed Yetis with blow-torches and CDs of Miley Cyrus, but I can’t.  I personally think a Yeti abduction would be thrilling.

image

But even Yetis understand the importance of “What the #FF?!?” Friday posts, so they have urged me to continue with mine.  Bless their poor, wild hearts.

Continue reading

How to Be an Outstanding Teacher: Plinky Prompts Thursday

Welcome back to another round of Plinky Prompts Thursday! If you’re just tuning in for the first time, each week I will select a writing prompt from www.plinky.com and post it every Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

This week’s prompt, however, is surprisingly not from Plinky.

image

THAT'S not a Plinky Prompt!

Yes, Denny…that’s right.  This week’s prompt is from another source, outside of Plinky.  It’s short, it’s brief, and it’s to the point.  Please don’t keep me from watching reruns of Boston Legal, okay?

I’m currently in the process of applying for substitute teaching jobs in the area.   With any application process, there will inevitably be a few questions which require writing samples from the applicants.  My teaching application is no different.  The paperwork requires three different “essays” to be answered, and I completed one yesterday, just in time for Plinky Prompts Thursday.  So, with no further delay, I present to you…the prompt:


Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.

In life, when you are passionate about an endeavor, you pursue a course of action which directly leads you closer to that interest. To become a professional in any type of venture, constant practice is required to hone your skills and become a master at your craft. To excel, you must be willing to accept advice and constantly yearn to learn more. One cannot be a source of inspiration to others without experience and true passion.

Teachers, like any other skilled artists, must combine their experiences with passion to foster an outstanding classroom environment. They must serve as eager encyclopedias to their students, willing to share knowledge on a specific content area with enthusiasm and spirit. They must act as optimistic fortune tellers, constantly encouraging students onward to success through realization their own potential.

Educators must also be active practitioners in their field of study. Students are extremely accurate esteem barometers; they offer respect when respect is due. Young mind are more inspired to learn when their instructors exude a professional work ethic, constantly sharpen their skills, and continue to cultivate their talents.

To teach, you must inspire…but to inspire, you must teach with enthusiasm, which is an attribute all outstanding educators must possess. Students thrive off of ardent mentors who embody excitement and zest. Of all the hats a teacher must wear, the role of “inspiration advocate” is one of the most important. You must be willing to proudly share your love of learning with your students, who will undoubtedly recognize a teacher with true passion and devotion for what they do.


Well, what do you think?  I’m very open to suggestions on how to improve my response, since this will be my official “Hi-there-and-hello” to my perspective employers.  What could I add?  What could I subtract?  And should I insert a portfolio of my Stick Figure Movie Reviews along with it?!?  What say you, William Shatner?

image

DENNY CRANE!

That’s what I thought you’d say…

Crossing the Finish Line: RAC Challenge Wrap-Up

October 31st: Reflecting on holiday seasons in the past, I wonder why Thanksgiving and Christmas have lost the magic they used to hold many years ago.

November 1st:  Seeking to re-establish that “spark,” I come up with a wacky idea to encourage a more festive holiday attitude within myself and others, as well.  I run it past two people, they give me a vote of confidence, and an idea is born.

November 2nd:  I decide to make the leap and chronicle my experiences on a blog somewhere in Cyberspace.  I research popular blogging sites, ultimately pick Word Press, and create Miracle on 32nd Street.  The idea for RACs (Random Acts of Christmas) is born out of my very first post.

November 2nd, 6:46 PM:  My very first comment arrives in my email inbox.  Heidi becomes my very first poster.

January 1st, 2011:  The first ever RAC Challenge officially wraps up its first season, and goes on hiatus until November 2011.


What a difference a day makes.  One minute, I’m on my way to rehearsal, daydreaming about Christmas and how the holiday spirit has been elusive in years past.  The next day, I’ve gained the title of “blogger”, along with a screen name, website, and one comment.

image

What a difference a month makes.  Compare November to December:  in the latter month, I had around 1150 views.  In the former month, I had 2500.  I gained more posters, but more importantly, I gained faithful posters:  people who, like clockwork, continually comment on my writing…people who I now consider as “friends,” although we’ve never actually met face to face.

You can read all about how blogging has changed my life in this article, but this post is dedicated to the RAC Challenge….the idea that started it all.  Now, two months and two days after I initially began my blog, I pause for a moment to reflect on my journey with the RACs and how they have had an amazing impact on who I am and my life in general.

How the RACs changed me…

Crunching the Numbers

Another year down, and another year of possibility has just begun.  It’s weird to think that this blog began “way back” in 2010, and even weirder to receive an email from Word Press giving me the low down on my site stats “for 2010.”  My blog only saw two months of 2010.  Don’t they know it was only yesterday when I endured a difficult birthing process, full of ice chips, epidurals, and breathing exercises, to produce Miracle on 32nd Street?!?

Still, it is pretty neat to see some analyzed site statistics, even though my blog’s just over 2 months old.  And, as you, my readers, are the responsible ones for these stats, I thought it only proper to share them with you.  You are the people responsible for turning this little “project” into a fully blown blog, so I bow down to you, ever so humbly.

It’s interesting to note which posts were the top attention grabbers (maybe they had sequins or glitter or aluminum foil on them to snatch your focus…who knows?).  Perhaps you saw some of those posts yourself, and perhaps they passed you by.  At any rate, have a look at “what you did,” and know that I’m appreciative of each and every one of you.

In the meantime, while you’re feasting on this little appetizer of sorts, I will be readying my final post centered around RACs and my holiday challenge, which ended on New Year’s Day.  Fear not, though!  Miracle on 32nd Street will still remain open for business!  The RAC Challenge, however, will take a hiatus until next November, when it shall return for it’s second run.

Enjoy the analysis work done by the folks at Word Press, and I’ll get moving on my own analysis of the past two months and my RAC Challenge.  Thank you all for a wonderful (albeit brief) 2010!  I am all a-twitter with what’s to come in the New Year!

Just the Facts…

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 54 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 624 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 14th with 190 views. The most popular post that day was The 12 Movies of Christmas.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were WordPress Dashboard, wordpress.com, My Comments, stumbleupon.com, and naziaiftikhar.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for miracle on 32nd street, miracleon32ndstreet.wordpress.com, uncle lewis christmas vacation, aunt bethany, and christmas vacation uncle lewis.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The 12 Movies of Christmas December 2010
21 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Two Hours November 2010
28 comments and 6 Likes on WordPress.com

3

About this blog… November 2010
7 comments

4

Random Acts of Christmas November 2010
13 comments

5

And there’s that line… December 2010
24 comments and 5 Likes on WordPress.com

8 Things I Did on New Year’s Weekend

1.) Baked white chocolate cranberry/cherry cookies with the help of my new Kitchen Aid Mixer

IMG_0896

After a lively debate via comments and suggestions to moi, I have declared a name for my lovely new, knight-in-shining-armor Kitchen Aid mixer…and that name is Lancelot.

Bob came up for such a name, and expertly defended his idea:

image

“I’m going to go with the obvious and say that you should name your fabulous mixer…Drum Roll Please….Lancelot! Lance rhymes with dance and celot looks like it rhymes with zealot. If I had a mixer that is what I would be. A dancing zealot. Whirling and twirling and dancing and singing and baking cookies galore. My kitchen would be a Broadway musical.”

Of course, every knight needs a full title.  Fellow blogger Pegoleg also suggested a moniker of “Sir Mix-A-Lot”, so, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen:  please welcome Sir Lancelot Mix-A-Lot to the family.

ighting

2.) Travelled to Pottery Barn (no, an ACTUAL pottery barn…full of pots)

IMG_0905

My highlight of New Year’s Eve Day was a trip out to a local potter’s warehouse, which comprised 3 floors of pots, pots, and more pots.  Most of his wares ranged somewhere between $100 and $400, so I settled on a nice, single flower vase for about $20.  And a $7 magnet.  I’m a big spender.

3.) Sang and played oboe in a New Year’s Eve Broadway Gala

IMG_0954

At our local playhouse, there is a traditional New Year’s Eve Gala held every year.  For the 2010-2011 crossover event, they presented a concert full of Broadway music, presenting over 100 performers who were all volunteer.  The event featured a full orchestra and a 70-member chorus, as well as several individual soloists.

I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off between the hours of 6-10 PM.  I had served as vocal director for this event, guiding the chorus with their material, and also subsequently became a member of their ranks come showtime.  I also played my oboe in the orchestra (correction, I squawked on my oboe in the orchestra), and I was lucky enough to have a vocal solo as well.

If anyone is familiar with musical theatre, a few of the pieces presented in the show included West Side Story Highlights, Phantom of the Opera Medley, “Agony” from Into the Woods, “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray, and my song, “Astonishing”, from Little Women.

Now, for #3…