Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day

I totally raved about this before today, but Turkey Day is back for a special 2013 streaming YouTube LIVE EVENT! Joel Hodgson hosted an MST3K Marathon. Between classic ep sodes of MST3K a real live Joel had all sorts of fun bumpers of flashbacks, tearful moments, and new hilarious moments.

But before I ever even got to sit down and cross my fingers for some Wi-Fi at our Meal-Time-Destination. . . my daughter and I participated in the 6th Annual Festival Turkey Trot in Oshkosh. Yes, yes, the 2 mile walk, but what could be better to work up an appetite than walking two miles in 20 degree weather with snow flurries all around and dogs pooping even couple of feet?!?! It was a great time for me and my daughter. We even had our matching turkey hats and our matching Turkey Trot shirts. We had a ball.

And what trot-type-activity would be complete without a stop over at Starbucks on our way down to Milwaukee? Some tea and hot chocolate were just what the weather ordered and kept  us going for the two hour drive to our friend's house.

Once we arrived we had all sorts of issues trying to get on to watch the MST3K Turkey Day. Not that there was anything wrong with their broadcasting, it was all of our equipment and location and all that. I got on through my phone for a little while and watched a little bit of the first movie. Then we were at the mercy of the Packers vs. Lions game. . . and the epicness of the Packer loss.

We tried again a little later to watch, but we were having youtube issues on our kindle device. When we finally arrived home, at the end of a long day we got to sit down and watch the live streaming of Turkey Day. And it was amazing! Joel is always such a breath of freshair and is such a talented individual. He has such a knack for coming up with hilarious comedy that somehow resonates in a positively meaningful way.  Joel was able to do that with his return to MST3K hosting. Especially so with the ending. . .where we got to see Crow and Tom return to feast with Joel and we were serenaded with A Patrick Swayze Christmas. Here was the schedule for the episodes if you feel compelled to recreate the day:
  1. Space Mutiny
  2. I Accuse My Parents
  3. Werewolf
  4. Cave Dwellers
  5. The Final Sacrifice
  6. Mitchell
I hope they do this again some year. This was incredibly awesome and I was glad to also be able to watch the clips and break out the movie when I couldn't finish watching them streaming. Here's a compilation of the host segments from this very special Turkey Day presentation.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 - 25th Anniversary

Posted by MST3K on Facebook this morning. . . I'm borrowing it, because I thought it was perfectly written.

25 years ago a guy named Joel, not too different from you or me, debuted a little show in Minneapolis that featured a ground-breaking comedy style and started a cultural phenomenon. That little show went on to produce 197 episodes, a movie, inspired followup ventures like Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax, developed a huge fan following, and influenced many in the entertainment world. It's incredible for a show that's been off the air for 14 years to still have such an impact today, and shows how special it was.

Let's celebrate 25 years of Mystery Science Theater and keep circulating the tapes so we can celebrate in another 25 years!

According to Satellite News on This Day in 1988: “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ premieres on Minneapolis UHF TV station KTMA with a double feature: K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP and K02- REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS.

If you've read me, you'll know that my love of MST3K is no secret. Additionally, my husband is an even bigger geek about MST3K than I am! He has a journal that he's been working on for well over a decade. I've shared my love for the show and my continued passion about MST3K. Granted, I was only 7 when they started the show and I was about 10 when I started watching, but this show has been a big part of my development as a geek girl. Thanks to those who kept the tapes circulating and for those who continue to produce the amazing compilations today.

Thank you, members of MST3K, for the amazing years of awesomeness.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg, & Beastie Boys "Princess Machine"

I bought GoldieBlox for my daughter back in July for her third birthday. She LOVED it! We played with it together at the beach. Soon, she was making her own little experiments with the materials. Now she still creates her own things, but all the pieces have been blended with her Thomas tracks and Mega-Block cities that she builds. She's well on her way to be a little geek completely enamored with the way the world works and all its integral parts.

When I arrived home I saw this awesome video and article posted by George Takei. Sure, there are all the jokes out there that a GUYS built the Rube Goldberg machine, but honestly. . . I used Rube Goldberg in my classroom last year when I taught Science and girls are totally capable of this. So just to have that wonderful moment of GIRL POWER, watch and enjoy and think about how you can help your girls break the gender-mold and be their own, original, investigative-selves removed from the cattiness that comes with the immersion in the overly pink princess lifestyle.

Also, you can vote for this to be one of the Super Bowl Half-Time Ads! DO IT! EMPOWER THE NEW GENERATION!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I saw this article not long ago and was beyond joyful at the announcement that Turkey Day will be with us, once again, this year. As a celebration of their 25th Anniversary, Turkey Day will air via SHOUT! Factory, hosted by Joel himself. A popular tradition was for MST3K to host a whole day of MST3K watching on Thanksgiving.

Long after MST3K went off the air, my husband and I hosted Turkey Day specials. We'd choose about 4 MST3Ks show share with family and friends. Most of our friends and family at the time weren't the sports watching type.

When I became a teacher, my first year I chose to impart the magic of Turkey Day to my students. I chose to share a MST3K with my students, which prompted me to explain what Mystery Science Theatre was and explain the connection it has to Wisconsin and the Midwest in general. It was an amazing experience, which led to me teaching my students about riffing as a form of text comprehension.  I'll be sharing some MST3K with my kids this year, but I won't be able to do a movie this time. Instead I'll have to find some great shorts to share. Either way it'll be awesome!

So you want to be part of this tradition on this very special occasion? Well, all you need is the internet or a Smart TV with access to the internet (especially a web browser). At noon (ET), 11AM (CT) or 9AM (PT), turn in to and follow along on twitter! It is going to be awesome! And I am so excited! I'm hoping me, the hubby, and the wee-one get to a WiFi location in time to watch. It will be an amazing Turkey Day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

What Does the Shark say?

My daughter (3) likes to pretend that she's a shark. . . or a dog. . . depending on the day and time. She's got the puppy noises down, because we have a dog who she mimics. We don't, though, have a shark. Additionally, I've tried to convince her that sharks are the soundless predator. They don't make any kind of noise, which is why they are so scary.

Not to encourage the idea that I had her thinking that sharks are scary, I'd like to back-up my story for a second. My daughter and I have had a long love-affair with sharks. I had started taking her to the Chicago Aqarium when she was only six months old. Then we took her to Sea World when she was almost two and almost three. There is also "shark" on Word World on PBS Kids. Finally, there was the classic Sharknado that aired over the summer. She heard mommy and daddy constantly talking about it and making jokes and she watched the trailer with us. Mommy also got a shirt with a Sharknado on it and she loves to point out that there are sharks on mommy's shirt.

Even before my daughter was born, I had been passionate about sharks. I had wanted to be a marine biologist and study sharks. This was during my time in elementary school. It didn't work out that way for me, but it's still something I'm passionate about. I always geek-out a little when I see an article in the news about sharks or it's Shark Week on Discovery Channel (um. . . except this year, which kind of sucked with all this overly dramatized stuff).

My daughter, though, is beyond fascinated by them, demanding we see them whenever we can. It was a wonderful day for her when she got to meet a shark in person and talk to them. Not only did she get to pet real sharks swimming in a shallow petting-pool, but she got to meet a Land Shark. The Land Shark gave her a temporary tattoo and she was in heaven all day. She even needed to purchase replica sharks in the gift shop at the Myrtle Beach Ripley's Aquarium after her encounter. This little kid just LOVES sharks!

So for my daughter to be into sharks and want to pretend to be a shark, was a-okay with me. Yet, when she's pretending to be this vicious, yet friendly, predator, she "swims" around saying "Shark, shark" and substitutes all English words with "shark," but speaks in proper sentence structure, so you know exactly what she's saying despite the swapping out of words. I begged and pleaded with her to give it up and I tried to use toddler-logic to encourage her to see my way on this. Sadly, I don't think this "toddler-logic" is a real thing and I couldn't make my convincing arguments work.

Instead, I pulled up the classic John Williams score to the original JAWS and let her listen to the classic, first 55 seconds.

She was smitten! Trying to open her mouth as wide as the shark on the poster and demanding to hear the shark song over and over again. When I asked her, "What does a shark say?" she actually was "singing" back the score!

This then prompted my husband to engage the hilarious "What does the fox say?" He turned it into a "What does the shark say?" spoof and the sounds like the  26 - 30  second marks with the first french horn spot.  I wish I could duplicate it or that my stubborn husband would let me record his genius, geeky quip moment! It was so brilliant and caused us to erupt into all kinds of laughter. Then, of course, we had to watch the video and my daughter just laughed and laughed.

The moral of the story? It's good to be a geek mom. Look at all the cultural stuff my toddler just engaged with in a positive and self-affirming way without gender-stereotyping or bias. I love that I can do these things with her and it's fun for everyone. . . and I can hear John Williams instead of a shrill "shark, shark" during imaginary play time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Epic Volvo Moment

I frequently arrive home to links on my messenger that my husband insists I should look at or watch. Today, I didn't have many, but I became the messenger. As I sent an image over, he sent a link back and so forth. All while making faces at each other from across the room while our daughter and puppy run wild! Maybe I really do live in a zoo!

So Ray sent me this link. I watched it over and over and over again. I watched it so that I could focus on the trucks, the drivers, the road, the camera angles. . . EVERYTHING! It is seriously amazing. Enjoy Jean-Claude Van Damme's Volvo Truck Epic Split!

Then go watch the other video of him learning about the stunt he's about to perform. You can just seem him processing the information and actually thinking about how seriously epic the whole thing is.

Then go watch all the other ones (like the hamster and the tight-rope walker and the running of the bulls. . . seriously awesome watching and quite impressive).  And I am still geeking out about this four hours after I originally watched it. My husband cannot believe I am still going on about it. This is too awesome. Who else can I show!!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2 Geeks Are Better Than 1

Also Known As. . . CAH's 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit

I was at work this morning and I got a message from my husband that he needs our card number so he can buy an awesome $12 purchase (yeah. . . yeah. . . we have to share a debit card for just one more month. . . it's his, but. . .I'm the wife). So I quickly sent him over the info and didn't ask any questions. Then he tells me it's something fun for him and I. Well. . . that could be any number of things. Maybe he signed us up for some sort of awesome tasting menu or purchased something movie related. I mean, there are lots of things it could be.

I had actually forgotten about it with all the hectic things going on at work. When I arrived home from work, my husband kept giving me these little hints about the $12 purchase, telling me I'd probably see it online or on twitter or something. Being the snoop that I am, I jumped on twitter, but wasn't really sure what he was talking about, so I didn't even know what I was snooping for. Finally he broke the news to me: Cards Against Humanity was doing this 12 Days of stuff. 12 Days of stuff? What in the world? What could this possibly mean? My husband just said they'll send us 12 gifts over 12 days.

Ya' know, that's pretty cool. I'm game for that kind of cute holiday neatness. Me, the lover of advent calendars and St. Nick (not. . .another name for Santa. . . no. . .no. . .the stocking filling guy on like December 5th). So I was super psyched and super proud of my husband for catching wind of this.

And that is why 2 Geeks are better than 1. Without my geek husband, I would have been too bogged down at work, teaching and enriching young minds, to know that this awesome deal was going on and I would have missed out on this elite opportunity sponsored by the card game that will make you feel dirty just for thinking about playing it.

I can't wait to post more about this as the gifts arrive. ::GIRLY SQUEALS OF EXCITEMENT::

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Olympic Torch Space Walk

I'm going to be honest. . . I was rather naive about the International Space Station until about a year ago. It wasn't until Canadian Astonaut Chris Hadfield took youtube geeking of his Space Station exploits to a new level that I became interested in what kinds of things were going on with the ISS. Hadfield is probably most geekingly famous for his farewell video from the Space Station. There are a good handful of pretty interesting space videos from teeth-brushing in space (and the difficulties of such an elementary task) to making Space Burritos. There are a good number of liquid oriented ones and they are seriously interesting. The one I remember the second most after Space oddity is the video on shaving in space, because my husband was awed (facial shaving = super hard in normal gravity).

Commander Hadfield totally hit my geek-strings with this video and, after entering back into the tweetisphere, I started following NASA on twitter and I was getting all sorts of awesome information to share with my students. It was around this time that Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory started his story line about the ISS and I was hooked in even farther. I thought it was pretty funny and I actually wanted to find out more about what was going on with space programs around the world. Were they really taking off from Kazakhstan or was that a Borat joke? Are the Russians dominating space travel at the moment?

So I started watching Hadfield's incredibly interesting videos about how things work in space. It gave me renewed hope in the international space program and what it could mean for our future or our children's future or our children's children's future. Sci-Fi seems that much more closer to reality, but it also makes you wonder why more isn't being done with setting up orbiting colonies or that steps aren't being taken to actually move forward (hello moon. . .it's still out there waiting for us). Even in the bleak state that the United States has put NASA into, the worldview on space travel is not directed solely on the United States. What a horrible self-centered world view.

As I was keeping tabs on major events, I missed such cool things as the launch of the Olympic Torch into space, but I wasn't about to miss the live footage of the Olympic Torch being handed off right outside the ISS! So I logged on this morning and watched live as Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy took the torch outside of the ISS and passed it back and forth, relishing the special historical moment. Here is the footage that I watched (after waiting like 36 minutes for it to start).

This was incredibly cool and I even got my daughter to sit and watch it for a little bit with me. It was incredibly watching them outside of the Space Station and listening to them list off every single thing they have to do. They then had to set-up the camera and move this and shift that and it was CRAZY! I said "you have got to be the most patient person in the world to be an astronaut!" This was just too cool and I had to geek a smidge today about the awesomeness of the ISS and how they really are trying to reach the rest of the world and remind them about how incredibly amazing the global space program is. . . inspiring a whole new generation.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Geeky Halloweeny

I just want to go on record saying I had my most, hands-down, favorite costume ever! My husband tried to say it wasn't a costume, but 1) I had to think about functionality in my class and 2) something I can handle doing on my own. This birthed. . . ZOMBIE TEACHER, Great Minds Taste Alike.

I committed to this costume 100%! I zombie-walked (Romero style) and posed with my kids for whole-class pictures of costumes and I always ate one of the brains of one of the kids. Also, in my first hour class, I was eating an apple cake from Starbucks and it looked like a brain cake! So there was some gross fun with that.

The shirt I got from snorgtees forever ago and I knew I wanted to wear it for Halloween. And I know I didn't commit to the full face paint or the full body paint, but I had to work. . . all day. . . with kids. . . in a black shirt. . .  But I was very thrilled with it. More than last year's Ghost Hunter costume. I just wore my Ghost Hunter t-shirt that I purchased while at Ohio State Penitentiary. Then I wore a bag and had some of my ghost hunter equipment with me. It was neat, but not as cool as this.

I got to school Halloween morning and I pulled out my cream paint and hair spray and went to town. I started out a bit too green (and turned a bit too blue by the end of the day), but I really pushed the whole grey look and the bloody mouth. I told my first students who came into my classroom who reacted to me that this was from the first student who tried to come into class early. Even when I had to go around the school, whenever I ran into people in the hall I'd act like a zombie. It made getting places slow-work, but it was well worth it. Later in the day, I had to return the Chromebook Cart to the Library and I really sold pushing that cart as a zombie. It was HILARIOUS!!! I won best drama personality, because I thoroughly commit to my personalities. So for my kids who are counting. . . I've had Aviator Bonilla, Beatnik Bonilla, Yogi Bonilla, Bonilla the Bard, Ghost Hunter Bonilla, Gamer Bonilla, and Zombie Bonilla.

This particular Halloween costume was a huge success and a great deal of fun. Other awesome costumes that showed up in my classroom this year: Philip J. Fry, complete with can Slurm can and Pizza, Captain Kirk; Slenderman, Princess Peach, Properly Dressed Jedi Knight, and the Apocalypse Prepared Guy. My kids were awesome and their creativity was impressive.

Halloween Eve was also the first time we would be taking our daughter out into our new neighborhood to Trick-or-Treat. Last year we didn't realize that our neck of the woods was devoid of houses to visit and no one out here does anything, because they're all snowbirds. This year we knew to go in a bit farther to the main town and Trick-or-Treat along our walking route. So our daughter dressed up as a pink unicorn and I still was a zombie and we went out Trick-or-Treating.

To top off the evening, Ray and I were hosting our first Thursday game night. Sadly, only two people came. Ray had worked hard to create a nice environment. He cleaned and made sure there was enough open space. The house looked quite impressive and Ray was really keen to impress any visitors. Two of our awesome club members showed up, but I was so exhausted from the long school day and going out with our daughter that I had to call it a night. The night wasn't over, though. Our daughter was so excited that people were there that she couldn't help herself and wanted to constantly come downstairs. She was was interrupting the gaming and our dog was being a pill. I felt bad for my husband, because it wasn't as perfect as he wanted it to be. But I do hope that he had fun. . . and that we didn't scare away our gamer group friends. Poor kid was hopped up on candy and the need for GAAAAMMMESS!!!

So all and all. . . it was a Happy Halloween. The Ghost Adventures Dracula Special was really quite fun and the Halloween Scooby-Doo was fun for me and Isabelle, too. It was a good Halloween.