About Me

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I am a twenty-something second year teacher living in the midwest. I am a Christian woman and proud of it! I am the middle child of three girls. I am the proud aunt of the very beautiful Lil E and Lil C!! I love TV, movies, reading, and baseball. I am in my second year of teaching , but my first year teaching kindergarten. It has been quite the journey!

31 January 2013

Tyler Brunsman

Tyler Brunsman

Tyler Brunsman has basically just found time to be in the Potter Musicals. Like Brian Rosenthal, he also had a small cameo in the video at the beginning of Starship. 

In AVPM, Tyler played someone I think you'd find very interesting, Cedric Diggory:

During AVPS, he found himself filling the role of one Mr. Lucius Malfoy, the adopted?, step?, believed? father of Draco, who is a talented dancer/choreographer.

In portraying Malfoy, he found himself in a situation to show off more of his amazing voice in It's Not Over Yet and Guys Like Potter.

You may find it strange that in AVPSY he played the role of Professor Minerva McGonagall.
He also reprised his role of Cedric in a scene I found very surprising...

I find this interview pretty entertaining. Before I watched it I had no particular attachment to Mr. Brunsman, but it sorta made me love him.
e's so adorable! Also he sang with in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!!!

And I find his teeth to be amazing!

This has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post, but after I found it, I couldn't realize I'd never noticed the similarity before.

Here's the reason I used the words find and found repeatedly in this post...

30 January 2013

The Other Brian

Brian Rosenthal, aka Brosenthal, is today's Starkid of the Day.

Brian played one half of the Professor Quirrel/Voldemort combo in A Very Potter Musical. The part that is not a fragment of a soul, but the part that just wants to plant flowers when he takes over the world and misses the crazy serial killer when he is no longer attached to the back of his head and wonders if OK is good.

In the sequel, Brosenthal didn't get as big of a role. He was Seamus Finnigan and James Potter, both smallish parts.

During Starship, Brosenthal was still in school and so he wasn't able to be in the show. He was however able to be a part of the "Starship Ranger" video that played at the beginning of the show. You can watch the video here.

In AVPSY, he reprised his roles as Seamus Jillian Crockett and James Potter, including singing as James in the song Everything Ends.

Brosenthal was also a part of the Apovalyptour

Oh goodness. I was looking through google images pics of Brian and I found this hilarious one of he and Joey at a U of M football game. Joey looks like such a baby!

That's Brosenthal!

29 January 2013

Mr. Brian Holden (aka Brolden)

Brian Holden was nicknamed Brolden to distinguish him from the other Brian in Starkid Brian Rosenthal.

In Starkid's first production, Little White Lies, Brolden played Zach.

He, along with the Langs, wrote AVPM. He didn't act in that musical, but helped write the musical that started it all :) He has also helped write all of Starkid's shows and has helped direct a couple as well.

In A Very Potter Sequel, he played a hilarious Remus Lupin.

In Starship, he portrayed both Junior and Veeto Mosquito. 

For Holy Musical B@man! he was Superman opposite Joe Walker's Batman.

In A Very Potter Senior Year, he played Hagrid contributing to one of the funniest moments during the show, when Darren as Harry sits on Hagrid's lap. Darren could not keep himself together and it was hilarious!

Brian is also suspected to be the one who operates @TeamStarkid's twitter and facebook pages. He is often the one who speaks (narrates?) during Starkid's announcement videos. He'll be a part of their sketch comedy show Airport For Birds, which starts this weekend in Chicago. Can't wait to go see it!!

28 January 2013

Jaime Lyn Awesome!

Jaime Lyn Beatty is another one of the awesome ladies of Starkid. She has simply one of the most fantastic voices ever! So I've decided to just link to a bunch of videos of her wonderful singing voices. She's going to make an album soon, which I'm sure will be awesome.

Sami/Harry from LWL/AVPM

Not Alone from AVPM (Ginny)

Harry Freakin' Potter from AVPS (Rita Skeeter)

The Way I Do which she did not sing in Starship, but did sing on the Apocalyptour

Rogues Are We from Holy Musical B@man (Poison Ivy)

Senior Year from AVPSY (Ginny) (Sadly, when they intro Harry it is in fact not D-Criss singing, he only sang on one song for the soundtrack they put out :(   )

The girl can sing! I can't wait to hear her album.

27 January 2013

Yes, They Do Have Girls in Starkid

Not many, but there are some totally awesome ladies in Starkid!! One of whom is Miss Lauren Lopez.

Sadly she hardly ever gets to look like this while performing. In Little White Lie, she was a blonde (who was dating Darren Criss' character :)

In AVPM, she played Draco Malfoy. And was awesome, despite the fact that she is a woman.

Her Malfoy is fantastic! She somehow makes an 11-year old boy who still wears a diaper funny. She does excellent drawrings and rolls around the floor. 

There is a great video of someone asking Tom Felton, who plays Malfoy in the movies, if he's seen the show and what he thinks of how Malfoy is portrayed. When someone mentions how she rolls around the floor. He says, "She?". It's pretty funny. 

Here's a clip of him later, after he's actually seen it complimenting Lauren on her unique portrayal and mentioning when he met Darren (and Joey) at the Teen Choice Awards or something.
auren reprised her role of Draco in AVPS. In Starship, she played Bugette, a female bug with a crush on the main character, Bug.

As well as the rugged Starship Ranger, Taz. 

In Holy Musical B@man, she played Inspector Gordon and of course was again Malfoy in AVPSY.

Lauren is one of several members of Starkid that still live in Chicago. She and a few of the other ladies of Starkid have started a female empowerment-type website called, "Know Your Glow" to promote and encourage young girls to be themselves and boost their self-esteem. 

She also wrote a cookbook called, These Treats Don't Suck: A Gluten Free Cookbook. I haven't read it, because I don't need a gluten-free cookbook, but I hear it's pretty hilarious :)

She's sung songs for Starkid such as: Granger Danger, Voldemore is Going Down, No Way, Days of Summer, Get Up, and This School is Mine.

26 January 2013

The Brothers Lang


Nick and Matt Lang are the masterminds behind all of Team Starkid's success. Nick and Matt (along with Brian Holden) wrote the script for the musical that started it all. They are an incredibly talented writing team, who have written all of Starkid's musicals to date.

Their stories are funny, touching and mocking, but in a loving way. They tease because they care. They weave pop culture references (Zac Efron, The Hunger Games, the new Spiderman series, Taylor Lautner, etc.) into their shows and have jokes that span the course of several shows. Joey's always wearing that sweatband, Sirius tells Harry in AVPS(taking place in Year 1) that you should never tell a girl you like her because it makes her look like an idiot, a sentiment revisted by Ron in AVPM (taking place in Year 2). In short they are geniuses!

Nick has had roles in many of their productions, where Matt prefers to stay on the production side of things.

Nick played the comatose Kevin Bushwald in Little White Lies (Starkid's first venture, a "TV show" they made), Arthur Weasley, Sorty, Scarfy and Mama Umbridge in AVPS, several different bugs in Starship, Robin in Holy Musical B@tman! and Mr. Weasley, Sorty and Scarfy in AVPSY.

Here is is in a funny video that Nick, Darren and Brian Holden made after they posted AVPM, hoping that WB wouldn't sue them for the musical. 

While Lil Sis and I were at Leaky Con we saw both Matt and Nick Lang separately during the ball Saturday night. We did not approach Matt because there was like a line of people to talk to him and he usually seems pretty shy and tries to avoid the spotlight.

After rocking out to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" we left the ballroom and headed out to our car. As we passed through the hotel, I saw a glimpse of a shortish man in a purple sweatsuit. Having seen Nick Lang onstage in said sweatsuit earlier, I pointed him out to Lil Sis. He was just hanging out in the hallway, so we went over to him. We shook his hand and told him how much we loved AVPSY. He thanked us for coming and we were like, umm no, thank you for writing such amazing musicals and sharing your genius with us. OK, that's not exactly what we said, but a toned down version of that. Then we left. One of the biggest regrets of our lives is that we did not ask him for a photo. :( But alas, we were still super stoked to have met one of the founders and masterminds behind Starkid!!!

Please watch this adorable video of some of the members of Team Starkid supporting their friend Eric Kahn Gale's book The Bully Book. Matt Lang tears up and it is so adorable (Around 28:00). Also, there is a funny part that results from the fact that Matt can't see what everyone else is doing (35:00)...

Basically they are they are amazeballs!!!!!!!!! And this is a wonderful pic of some of our favorite Starkids.

25 January 2013

Jo, Joe and Joey

Joe Walker, everybody!

You may know him as Voldemort who loves to sing, dance and fold all his ties, who once said, "You think that killing people will make them like you, but it doesn't, it just, it just, it just makes them dead." A line which he helped write.

Or possibly a part of the male anatomy...

Or as Dolores Umbridge who loves her chill'un enough to kill them, has a crush on an obviously out Dumbledore and wonders if you got her text...

Or the once fierce Commander Up, who fought and was injured in the robot wars and needs to learn to get back up...

Or as the dark, sad, lonely, melancholy knight who blames it all on Alfred and who never had a pony and loved peanuts and shellfish,  once...

Or as a young Tom Riddle, with crazy grandparents, who changed his name and went insane and learned that since life always sucks, always dance....

Or as himself in this awesome episode of the Potion Master's corner where he called out for not being a "real actor...."

Or as the friend who was feeling down that Darren flew to London to go to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiere with him...

Or as himself in this video he made with Jeff Blim and Chris Allen, where he looks much more attractive than I've ever found him (is it the glasses, the hair, him not playing a crazy person, but playing himself??)...

Or from the Tasty Tests videos, where he and Joey play mad scienctists trying to discover what the heck red vines can't do..

Or the mastermind behind the brilliant new musical Shwarma Mia...

Or possibly you didn't know him at all before you read this post :)

24 January 2013

Joey Freakin' Richter

Another day, another Starkid. Today it's the adorable Joey Richter!

In AVPM and the sequel, he was Harry Potter/Darren Criss' BFF Ron Weasley:

In Me and My D***, he played Joey :)
He was the leading bug, Bug, in Starship, during the rehearsal process of which he commuted between Chicago and Ann Arbor, because he was still in school.

And of course he reprised his role of Ron for AVPSY this summer.

He has also done a couple of episodes on the Disney Channel show Jesse. He played Officer Petey and might have made Lil Sis and I watch Jesse a few times...

He's such an adorable little cutie. I love his crooked jaw :)
Also he is amazing in this "Call Me Maybe" video from Leaky Con. I watched it several times a day for like a week after Leaky...
d I love following him on twitter. He's silly and goofy and I just know we would be best friends. He once tweeted about how much he likes washing dishes (which I usually do), how it was one of those days where you wake up and hope you turned into a Newsie overnight (what? I love Newsies). 

He loves his friends and is an awesome singer.  Here's a link to his solo from AVPSY. 
It was awesome!!

And is real life friends with Darren. :) I cannot wait until he shows up on Glee on tonight!!!! Lil Sis and I imagined he and Darren freaking out together when he got the job and how excited they are to be on the same show. Hopefully he will find a way to stick around Glee :)

So excited!!!!!!! My little Starkid heart is so proud of him!!!!!!!!! He's just, just, just, just the best!!!!

23 January 2013


Joe Moses- the second best Severus Snape there is.

Joe Moses played Snape in AVPM, AVPS and AVPSY. He was an amazingly hilarious Snape. Alan Rickman plays such an amazing Snape, that clearly no one could ever do as good of a job, so Joe went the complete opposite direction. His Snape is hilarious, wacky and just plain absurd.

He also did a series of awesome interviews as Snape called Potion Mater's Corner. They were filmed during the vocal recordings of AVPS, with Joe in character as the Potion Master (aka Snape) and other members of the cast as themselves. They are hilarious!!!  Joe Walker's is especially awesome, as is Joey's. Name your favorite website, animal, band, color, store.

Joe also played Krayonder, a Starship Ranger, in Starship. It wasn't a big part, but it's nice to see him as someone other than Snape. 

Joe Moses has also been able to use his Starkid fame to launch a solo career in the form of the Joe Moses One Man Showses. These are roughly one-man sketch shows that he has performed in various locations around the country.  You can buy it on DVD from Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company. He did a show in Michigan this fall, but we were going to see Lil E and Lil C so we missed it. He's hoping to do a tour in 2013, so hopefully he'll come home to Michigan.

He also has a thing for pandas and panda hats.

Which I loved and almost bought at Leaky Con, until people started wearing them during the World Series for Pablo Sandoval... Also, being from Detroit, during the World Series, Joe totally tweeted good luck to the Tigers and stuff and he and D-Criss (a San Fran native) had a joking rivalry via twitter. Sadly, Darren was the victor in that battle. 

22 January 2013

How I Love Dylan Saunders

Oh, Dylan Saunders, How I love you!

How I love your cute, cute face and these awesome new photos on your website.

How your beautiful voice makes me swoon and ask if it is blasphemous to prefer your version of Sami to Darren Criss's! How Lil Sis and I have oft discussed getting Dylan to sing at her wedding, because his voice is amazeballs.

How hilariously perfect your Dumbledore is.

How amazingly strong your arms must have been to play Pincer during Starship.

How adorably you played Tootsie Noodles/Tootsie MegaGirl and made us forget the part was originally intended for Darren before he got Glee and how well you sang in The Way I Do.

How excited Lil Sis and I were to see you wandering around the crowd at the ball Saturday night at Leaky Con. How I thought I saw you making your way through the crowd, tried to tell Lil Sis, but she didn't believe me at first. How we gave you hugs and told you how much we loved the show. How pumped we were about this encounter.

How much I love listening to this song you sang with Jim and Povolos. And how excited I was when this song played on iTunes directly followed by your version of Sami. I was in heaven!
w I hope that the fact that you've moved to LA doesn't mean you stop doing Starkid things, but that you will in fact make a solo ablum which I will buy immediately for everyone I know!

21 January 2013

Starkid a Day

In the days leading up to Lil Sis and I attending Starkid's newest endeavor, Airport For Birds, a sketch comedy show at Second City, I will posting a Starkid a Day feature, highlighting one member of Team Starkid per day.

Today I'll start with the man himself: Darren Criss!

Our favorite, afroed Harry Potter.
Such an adorable cutie! Love the curly hair, it makes me miss it so much. I read a quote from Darren that he always has to wear hats in the winter now, when he didn't before because his hair covered his ears :) He chopped it off before he tried out for Blaine.

After they did AVPM, he graduated, did a couple of episodes of the show Eastwick, went back to to AVPS and then got Glee.

I fell in love with him as our favorite Warbler on Glee. He looked so dapper and adorable in his blazer every week. And of course leading the vocals of the amazing Warblers. Teenage Dream? Come on amazing!

Plus he is an amazing songwriter. He wrote several of the songs in AVPM, including Granger Danger, Not Alone and Goin' Back to Hogwarts. He wrote all of the songs and music for AVPS and Starship. I love listening to those soundtracks; those two are my favorite of the Starkid soundtracks, maybe because subconsciously I know that D-Criss wrote them, or because his superior songwriting makes them better than the others? I don't know. But I do know that Not Alone is one of my most favorite songs.
  Love it!

Lil Sis and I went to New York to see Darren's Broadway debut in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, last winter. We had such a blast!!!

We waited around outside of the theater after the show to see him. There were so many people that we had to wait across the street and they literally called the police to help with crowd control! It was absolutely freezing and we were dressed up in skirts and dress shoes. My toes were going numb as we waited for Darren to come out. While we were waiting, the fans would randomly burst out in rounds of "Goin' Back to Hogwarts." But he came out and was so excited to see everyone. He bounced up and down and got everyone to be quiet so that he could thank everyone for coming.

This summer we were super pumped that he was going to be able to be back as Harry for AVPSY at Leaky Con. They wouldn't have been able to do it without him and he was fabulous!!!

Was is sad that he didn't have his awesome curly Harry Potter hair? Yes, but it was soooooooo good that he was back, with his glasses, joking with Ron, sparring with Draco and singing his little heart out. And yeah, he didn't know most of his lines, but he did his best and sang wonderfully. And the tie!!! And the end, oh boy when he started tearing up and said that it had been, "totally awesome," there was barely a dry eye in the house.

 I read a quote from someone that said that they could get Darren to Leaky Con by telling him that all of his friends would be there, because he doesn't like to miss out on friend time. I love that even though he is famous, he is still friends with his college buddies and wishes he could be doing what they're doing, when he has to be away at Glee. He got into Chicago very early Saturday morning, did AVPSY, hung out at the ball that night and was back filming the freakin' break-up scene of Glee the next night... Poor guy. 

Then he went and published an awesome letter to his fans the night said break-up episode aired. It was so sweet and touching. He's such a sweetie pie. Plus he recorded his own arrangement of Teenage Dream live as they filmed the episode and played piano for the soundtrack version. Darren Criss, What the heck can't he do?

I love when he wears U of M shirts and stuff. There was one photo shoot for Faces of Fox or something and he's wearing a U of M shirt. Awesome!

 And his hot pink sunglasses that he wore to the Golden Globes.

And how can I forget him singing with Kermit at the Oscars!!!!!
mazing lyrics and quotes "There's nothing more badass than being yourself."

Love, love, love him!

20 January 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

This weekend Daddy and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty. We both wanted to see it and didn't know anyone else who did, so when I was home for the weekend, we made sure to make time to see it. I knew loosely what the movie was about, but I didn't really know much about it  (P.S. possible spoilers ahead).


That is about all I could say as a first reaction. The movie was extremely intense in several different ways. The opening of the movie is a black screen with, what felt like several minutes, but was probably more like one minutes of audio of 911 calls from 9/11. It was very intense, especially as a dispatcher tries to calm down someone trapped in one of the towers, until she can no longer hear the victim's voice. It was heart-wrenching.

Then the movie begins. The first 20 minutes or so focus on Maya and her colleagues torturing a man into giving up information on various suspected terrorists. I came in knowing that there was controversey surrounding the torture depicted in the movie, but I was not expecting what I saw. I'm not really sure I could ever have been prepared for it. It was awful and terrible and a million other adjectives that I can't even describe. I remember thinking to myself, "If this lasts for the whole movie, I am going to leave. I physically will not be able to stay and watch this." There were several minutes where I couldn't take a bite of popcorn, not because I was riveted or tense, but because I felt nauseated and wasn't sure I could stomach eating any.

Thankfully, that portion of the movie ended and gave way to the much less intense search for bin Laden. There were some points where I wasn't exactly sure that I was following what was happening (some of the characters seemed like they were never introduced, who is that guy? her boss? the CIA director?) mostly due to be not being in the CIA (that you know ov...) There were several explosions during this portion of the movie that had both Daddy and I jumping out of our seats.

Then came the big mission. I had convinced myself that since "I knew how it ended" I wouldn't be worried or tense. False. It was very riveting and intense. I spent the latter part of the movie tensed with my arms crossed. There was so much I didn't know (or maybe remember...), the helicopter crashing, how they had to raid all of the documents they could at once, the explosions, the lack of guards or soldiers at the compound, a random unlocked door to one of the buildings at the compound.

When I texted Momma that we were leaving, she asked if it was good. I'm still not quite sure how I would answer that question. I think I would have to say it was phenomenally well done. Jessica Chastain was wonderful, as were the other actors. It was intense and engaging, but I'm not sure I liked it. I'm not sure it's a movie you like or would say it is good. It was certainly well done, but maybe not good...

As disturbing as the torture scenes were (and they were one of, if not the most disturbing thing I've ever witnessed), the most disturbing thing for me was the fact that there were two, at the very oldest, ten-year-old boys there. The movie is rated R and that rating should be taken seriously. I have no idea what their parents were thinking. It is a movie that is completely inappropriate for anyone that age. I don't care how mature or worldly your child may be. There is no reason for them to have to see people being almost drowned or shoved in a very small box. They are images that I'm not sure that I will be able to forget and I am a (fairly) rational, educated, twentysomething. I can't imagine seeing those images and being a child. I saw the first child walking in with his mom on my way to the bathroom and I'm sure that my face was full of judgment, which I do not apologize for. That child had no business being there and the grown-ups charged with protecting him had no business allowing him to witness that movie. No excuse. *gets off soapbox*

I guess I'm glad that I saw it. It is nominated for several Oscars and it was definitely impactful, but not for the faint of heart.

P.S. I read a tweet from someone about a commercial they saw for Zero Dark Thirty during an NFL game that said that during the whole commercial there was not a single shot of Jessica Chastain, even though she is in almost every single scene of the movie. Apparently they didn't think that the presumed male audience of the football game would want to see a movie starring a woman, even if said movie is based on a real woman, with plenty of action, explosions and swearing. Sometimes I just can't believe the society we live in. *gets off soapbox again*

19 January 2013

A Day of Shopping

Today, Momma, Lil Sis and I headed out on a shopping mission: find a Mother of the Bride dress for Momma to wear to Lil Sis' wedding. We were also on the look-out for a dress for Lil E to wear as the flower girl.

(A little background. The wedding is happening in July. The bridesmaids are wearing "pool" which is basically Tiffany blue.)

We headed out to the local mall. We went to three stores and good choices at each. I think Momma tried on at least 20 dresses and had five very serious contenders.

We started at Macy's, where after trying on 5-6 dresses, we put three dresses on hold (one navy blue lacy/beaded number, a beige lace dress and a periwinkle beaded dress). (Sidenote: for being a semi-upscale place the fitting rooms at Macy's were sorely lacking, very bare, dingy and slightly dirty). After an ill-fated quest through their shoe department to look for silver shoes for me to wear at the wedding, we headed up to the little girls department. We found a really cute flower/tulley flower girl dress, but the shade of blue was just a little too green to match...

So we headed to Penney's, where we found about five dresses for Momma to try on. We found a couple of good choices for Momma (A navy blue and white rouched dress and an indigo dress with a verticle ruffle) and a really cute yellow and white lacy dress for Lil E. On our way out of Penney's we had to stop at the ICEE kiosk for a pre-lunch ICEE snack :)

At Sears we found 2 armloads full of dresses! Lil Sis also found some fetching hats, which I tried to convince her to wear as her headpiece at the wedding. After lots of, "I like it, but I liked other ones better," there were two contenders at Sears (a light pink ruffled dress and a navy blue satin). We found an adorable not-exactly-matching, but-far-enough-away-to-be-complementary blue flower girl dress. Unable to decide if the blue would work, we ended up buying both that dress and the yellow one from Penney's to compare to my bridesmaids dress and decide on a FG dress at a later date.

After reviewing all of the pics on Lil Sis' phone, Momma also decided to buy two dresses, show them off to a few more people and then decide which one to wear. She took home a to the knee, pink dress with some ruffles that angle diagonally across the dress and gather to one side (from Sears), and a navy blue, also to the knee, dress with a lacy overlay with some beads and sparkles (from Macy's). Both are great options and look beautiful on Momma! She also purchased a beautiful blue/purple number for the rehearsal dinner.

Not to be left out of all the shopping fun, Lil Sis got a bunch of cute work clothes at Maurice's (best fitting rooms of the day goes to Marice's- decorated cutely and chairs for those waiting!!) and I found some perfect silver, sparkly heels to complete my Maid of Honor ensem. I had been looking all over for these shoes I was picturing in my head and as we passed Deb to go into Payless, there they were in the window of Deb!

Overall, a very productive day! I can't wait for the big day to be here!!!

13 January 2013

Oscar Double Feature

A yearly tradition for me is to do an Oscar Double Feature, where I pick two movies up for big awards and go see them back to back. Some of these have been chronicled on my blog: 20102011. This year I decided to do my Double Feature earlier than usual, so that I would have seen the movies before the Golden Globes as well (which are tonight).

I really wanted to see Silver Linings Playbook, but it wasn't playing nearby. Instead of going to see Les Mis instead (which I wasn't super stoked to see), I decided to drive 45 minutes away to a theater where it was showing. This is the same theater I drove to see The Descendants and Mr. George Clooney last year :) They were showing Lincoln and Silver Linings with 15 minutes in between which seemed perfect. (PS there are some spoilers for each movie)

When I got to the theater, I was very grateful that the guy at the ticket counter made no comments about my buying single tickets to two different movies, even though he probably thought it was very odd. I got my ICEE and popcorn and headed in.

Lincoln was very well done. The 2 1/2 hours definitely didn't drag on. The acting was all superb. I loved Sally Field as Mrs. Lincoln and, of course, Daniel Day-Lewis as the man himself was wonderful. I liked seeing Joseph Gordon Levitt pop up as Robert Lincoln and the little kid playing Tad was great.

I was happily surprised at some of the lighter moments in the film. It was by no means a comedy, but there were definitely some times when I laughed, which I thought was great for a 2 1/2 hour, mostly very serious movie.

I also learned a lot! Going in I'd thought it would be more a biography of Lincoln's whole life, instead of focused on mostly just the passing of the 13th amendment. When the amendment finally passed, I'll admitted, I got some tears in my eyes. I loved watching how the grown men, elected officials, were wildly celebrating :) Overall it was an excellent movie that I would recommend for everyone.

After the movie ended, I left right away, hit the bathroom, refilled my ICEE and added butter to the second half of popcorn. Luckily I'd already gotten my ticket, because that showing of Silver Linings sold out! When I got to the theater, there was a worker helping people find seats in the crowded theater. It wasn't too tough to find one empty seat though :)

Silver Linings Playbook

Another great movie!!!!!!!! Again, the acting was excellent. Jennifer Lawrence was phenomenal and she continues to make me so happy that she was cast as Katniss. I mean, our Katniss, might win an Oscar. Take that Kristen Stewart. Bradley Cooper was great as well. At first I wasn't sure I could root for him as my leading man, but as the movie went on I found him more and more likable, which is not at all a rip on Cooper, I think he played it well and that's the journey you were supposed to take with him.

The whole time I was watching the movie, I was anticipating a sad ending. I'm not sure why, maybe because often, critically acclaimed movies tend to not end happily? Even at the very end, when you know they both love each other, when she's running down the street, I was thinking, she's going to get hit by a car!!! But I was pleasantly surprised that we did get a happy ending :) 

Both movies were great and I was very pleased with my choices. Momma and Daddy both asked which movie I would choose if I had to pick one. It's tough because they are so different, but if I absolutely had to choose one, I'd probably go with Silver Linings, probably because I'm a sucker for a good romance :) 

10 January 2013

Harry and Ron Reunited!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

A couple of days ago, I found an interview online of Darren Criss saying that "There’s somebody who’s going to show up in an episode, that if people know where I come from [...] Someone’s gonna show up. It’s really great." Cue Lil Sis and I having major freakouts. We interpreted this cryptic message as someone from Starkid is going to be on Glee!!!! This is pretty much a dream come true.

Starkid is the theater group founded by Darren Criss and his college friends while they were at the University of Michigan. Together they've written and performed six musicals, A Very Potter Musical, Me and My D***, A Very Potter Sequel, Starship, Holy Musical B@tman! and A Very Potter Senior Year: A Very Pottery 3-D, all of which are wonderful with great music and hilarity.

So the speculation and rapid texts began firing between Lil Sis and I. It must clearly be one of the Starkids who re-located to LA. Could it be Joe Moses, who recently re-located to LA? Maybe, but he's not the best singer, so maybe Dylan Sauders, another semi-recent transplant, in my opinion, their best singer? But we would die if it were Joey Richter. And so the conversation ensued.

Here is the aforementioned Dylan Saunders at Leaky Con this summer right after Lil Sis and I both gave him hugs and told him how awesome the show was!!!

Today someone on tumblr posted a link to a story saying that Joey Richter 

(aka Ron from the Potter Musicals and the lead role of Bug in Starship, aka my fav Starkid after Darren) would be in the Jan. 24th episode of Glee as a member of a Glee club trying to recruit Kurt. I immediately got super duper excited. Ron and Harry, Darren and Joey Richter, best friends reunited! However, when I clicked the link to popwrapped, the organization claiming this exclusive, their website said "Coming Soon." 

So our enthusiasm is tempered as we await confirmation that is true. I certainly hope it is, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up...

06 January 2013

Jillibean's Five Weeks to Healthier Eating

I decided not to start my 5 weeks to healthier eating until I got back from vacation, because there's really no point in starting while I'm at home eating out a lot and having so many yummy temptations around the house.

I've started my five-week program twice before. Once I got all the way to week five and then found out I'd be teaching kindergarten and all bets were off for two weeks... Then I restarted and got to about week three and then it was Parent-Teacher conference week, so again, my eating habits suffered. Here I am, ready to start again.

The way it works is each week I start a new way to eat healthier and keep going with the steps from the previous weeks. I find it's easier to follow than trying to give up everything at once :) I also like calling it healthy eating, not a diet.

Week One- No eating after dinner unless you are legitimately hungry.

Week Two- Eat healthy breakfasts (that means no muffins, donuts, etc.)

Week Three- No pop, unless you are eating out.

Week Four- No eating out during the week, unless it is a salad from Martin's.

Week Five- Have at least one fruit or veggie per meal.

It's a plan pretty specifically tailored to me and my bad eating habits, but you can make up a similar plan that's tailored to you. Clearly, I also don't mind cheating in extreme circumstances and having to start the program over :) Happy Healthy Eating!

04 January 2013

I'm Grateful for... Baseball

Welcome back to my weekly I'm Grateful for posts. They're a great way to reflect on the week as well as remember how truly blessed I am. Today's post is about baseball. I posted this as a super long facebook status the day after the Tigers lost the World Series. I might be posting this today because yesterday's news about Field of Dreams (as well as me going through Roar of the Tigers archives) has me missing baseball something often or because I'm feeling lazy and don't want to write out a whole post, you can decide...

Some people may have read my statuses over the past month (or eight years) and thought, It’s just a game. And to some people it is. But for me and my family it is so much more.

It’s family time. Over the past season, my family has attended roughly 30 games. 30 games, that’s roughly 180 hours including drive time, game time, eating, etc. 30 games, 180 hours of laughing, talking, cheering, groaning. I can’t think of anything else my family has done 30 times in the past year. And at a time when we are flung far and wide across the state, we still found time to come together to watch the Tigers.

It’s not just time, it’s bonds forged. Baseball came into our lives at a time when we were on the verge of splitting apart, heading to college, moving out. It’s something to unite us when we needed it most. It’s something to talk about, text about. It’s a way to connect as we watch games “together” from miles apart.

It’s our baseball family. It’s Mark and Susan, the older couple who sits next to us and always asks how the grandkids are. It’s the guy with the hairy neck in front of us and trying to guess how his various guests fit into his family tree. It’s the pony-tailed guy who sits next to us, that we worried about because he wasn’t there much this year. It’s the umpire and listening to his teenage daughters’ drama and the guys from Toledo who sit behind us. It’s Susan laughing at Dad’s bad jokes, when the rest of us roll our eyes. It’s Bob, the usher, finally recognizing me without Dad. It’s Bob always trying to find extra seats in our section for family and friends. It’s a pat on the arm and saying, “Second place ain’t bad,” and “See you in April.”

It’s brought joy and hope in a time when I needed them most. It’s a homesick college freshman meeting people watching Tigers games in her dorm. It’s evenings spent watching Tigers games alone in a new town, without family for miles. It’s a stressful summer and fall, lightened by the joys of playoff baseball. It’s the fact that the three toughest autumns I can remember have been the three times in my lifetime that the Tigers have made the playoffs. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

It’s winning $50 from Mom for touching Magglio’s hair. It’s Dad pushing through a crowd of people so that we can get a picture with Brandon Inge and then telling him the camera didn’t work so we can take another. It’s spring training trips to Florida with brother and sisters. It’s cheering in a crowded restaurant when Magglio hit that homerun. It’s watching Donnie Kelly be the hero in the playoffs, hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly. It’s Rick Porcello saying he hopes he doesn’t pitch in the World Series, because he wants our starters to do a great job. It’s jumping up and down and screaming with 42,000 of your closest friends.

It’s more than a game, it’s a huge part of my life. It’s a piece of my heart.

Excuse me while I grab some tissues and look up how many days it is until Opening Day.

P.S. It's 86.

03 January 2013

Is Nothing Sacred?

This morning I saw this article posted on Facebook by the Field of Dreams page http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/wade-boggs-buys-piece-field-dreams-plans-develop-212343823--mlb.html

I will admit that as I got to the end of the article there were tears in my eyes. I've previously chronicled the love my family and I have for Field of Dreams, the movie and the place. We had a seriously magical time there. The sky was blue, the grass was green, the field was beautiful and the corn was tall.
We played a pick-up game of baseball,

 had a catch in the outfield,

 disappeared into the corn,

 pretended to fall off the bleachers like Karen

 and just soaked up the perfect atmosphere.

At that time, there were two small souvenir stands, run by two different people/organizations that owned the land. Now it has been bought and they are planning to build a multi-million dollar baseball and softball complex on the sight.

So much of the charm of the Field of Dreams was the simplicity and the innocence of it. Besides the two souvenir stands, it looked just as it did the movies. It hadn't been built up or changed. There was the farmhouse, the field and a dirt parking lot. Now it will be built up with 24 fields and a sixty-team clubhouse. It just won't be the same. People will bustling all around, they'll have to put in parking lots and porta-potties and concession stands. Will they plow through the corn to build all of these fields? That would be a tragedy.

Strangers joined in a pick-up game. Nothing was scheduled or organized by anyone, it was simply people joining together. People took it easy on the little kids, letting them get "hits" and beat out throws. Now it's going to be organized baseball tournaments, with parents yelling at umpires and little kids striking out.

I read a comment about the article on Facebook, which basically said that what they're doing, "is exactly the opposite of what this movie is about. It's called a Field of Dreams, not a field of player development." People will come, but not because they love the movie and want to enjoy the beauty of the field and make their own family memories. They'll come to win and that's not the same at all.

I don't know if there is anything that can be done about it, but I sure hope someone can stop them. There's a Facebook page out there called, "Save the Field of Dreams." I "liked" it, but then looking at the pictures just made me sad.

02 January 2013

2012 in a Nutshell

Soooooooooo... Long time,  no blog. To be honest I haven't even thought about my blog in months. Life got busy in 2012 and my time was being taken up by many things. But over the holidays a family member asked if I was still blogging, which made me head on over and check out some of my old posts. I like looking back and having this blog as a sort of chronicle of major events and musings of my life. So, here I am, back and hopefully I'll stick with it this time ;)

Here is a rundown of 2012 (during which I didn't post even a single blog...)
- Went with Lil Sis to New York for 2 days in January. We stood in lines in the freezing cold a lot, but enjoyed riding the Ferris Wheel in the giant Toys R Us, seeing Sister Act on Broadway, seeing the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 memorial, shopping in Times Square and of course the reason for our visit- the Broadway debut of our favoritest favorite Warbler Darren Criss in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. It was truly an adventure and I am so very grateful that Lil Sis was able to convince me to go.

-Finished my first year of teaching! I got to attend a teaching conference with one of my teaching partners and we had a blast road-tripping, eating out and hanging out together outside of school.

- Found out that Big Sis and Bro-in-Law were expecting again! A little boy, who was born in August and dubbed Lil C. He is an adorable little guy, just like his big sister.

- Lil sis got engaged!!! I have not chosen a blog nickname for him yet, but I will think on it. I am so very excited for them and to be a part of their special day next July!!

-Spent the summer in employment limbo, which is a long story, but ended well with me back at the same district.

- Tutored some of my former kiddos over the summer and spent as much time as possible at the beach!

- Went to Florida with Momma, Daddy and Lil Sis. We spent four whirlwind days at Disney World and one magical day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was a fantabulous trip!!

- Spent 2 weeks learning to become a kindergarten teacher. Fell in love with both the colleagues at my new school and my 23 little sweetie pies.

- Watched the Tigers win the Central Division for the second year in a row. Made it to as many playoff games as humanly possible, including the incredible game when we won the ALCS and became American League Champs. It was a super special moment that Momma, Daddy, Lil Sis and I shared together.

- Went to my first ever World Series game! Which we lost, meaning we lost the Series, but Lil Sis and her fiance and I tried to focus on the amazing fact that we were witnessing the World Series!!

- Attended my Grandma C's 90th birthday party. There were roughly 75 people there and it was truly a tribute to her and the beautiful family she and Papa created.

- Became StarKid fans. Lil Sis and I have  been fans of A Very Potter Musical for years, but this year our Starkid love (fueled by our love for D-Criss) hit new highs. We attended Apocalyptour in May, had a truly amazing experience at Leaky Con in Chicago in August watching all of the old gang (including Darren) in A Very Potter Senior Year, the conclusion to their Harry Potter trilogy, spent way too much money on powder blue sweatbands, t-shirts, CDs and DVDs, etc. and way too much (or just enough) time watching their shows/livestream chats and listening to their awesome music!

That's 2012 in a nutshell. I may try to go back and post a longer blog about some of these events, but for now this will suffice to sum up the year :)