Sunday, November 25, 2012

O, Wow, O, Yeah!

Psst... What's in the bag?

I attended the very first Nuffnang Blogopolis Summit last week and one of the biggest surprises they had for all the bloggers there was this mysterious, huge bag.
It says OISHI so you can somehow assume there's gotta be chips in there.  So no real surprise, huh?

Oh, yes, there is!  The big surprise was when the bag yielded a load of these similarly packaged yet undescribed chips.  Which now makes you think, "Oh, Wow.  What kind of chip is this?  A gazillion of this and I might not even like it."

Au Contraire, good reader!  Because that's the whole point.  You can't tell what kind of chip each pack opens to.  It can be anything, it can be intriguing, and it can be exciting.

So far, my husband has been pleasantly surprised opening up to O, Wow chicharon chips.  Our son, Miro, has ripped the pack to yummy potato chips.  And our son, Kenji, has happily discovered string chips and ridged chips on two separate occasions. 

We've started making a game out of it.  We take turns guessing which O, Wow chips we have in our packs.  For every correct guess, you get the option to swap your chips, or get another surprise pack for snacks later. :P  (Our family can cook up party games with almost anything.  Haha!)  With the wild guesses and fun surprises flying about, we've never had this much fun at snack time.

Ok, let's see what I got today.
Oh, Wow!  Cloved Fish Chips!

Monday, November 19, 2012

When Age-Inappropriate IS Appropriate

We were lost, seriously.
Usually, I would've had the whole weekend planned.  Like, which age-appropriate experience should we tackle, where would we go, exactly what time we had to be there, which activity to take on first, where to eat, what time to pull out.  I'm a closet field trip organizer.
But this weekend, my husband conned me into an unplanned weekend.  Which, I can tell you now, scared the polyester pants off me.

We showed up at Powerplant Rockwell and then the rest was complete winging it. Overstaying at Fullybooked, overstaying at Data Blitz, overstaying at Build City, and finally (surprisingly) overstaying at Powerville Fun Rides.

Powerville Fun Rides.  Never-ending fairy princess party inside.
Miro (11) and Kenji (9) had the silliest time trying kiddie video games and rides that were waaay beyond their tastes (and sizes, I might add).  And they had the most sincere giggle fits as they enjoyed each age-inappropriate activity.

"Yay!  I can reach the pedals now. Haha!"
"Wow!  I'm finally the king of this game!"
The UFO catcher only catches cutesy toys.  "We used to like this game?!!"
"Woohoo!  This was so hard before.  Now it's sooo easy!"
I... I can explain.  Lol!
What's cool about this spontaneity is that my boys got to see how much they've grown and how long they've gone.  In their youth, they actually had a trip down memory lane.  It was priceless watching them being silly and nostalgic as they relived their preschool years.

So what life lesson did we get here?  Eat that, age-appropriateness.  And, eat that overplanning.  Winging it is hell more fun!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Papier Macheniacs: Strike a Pose!

Look at this fine set of Animaniacs paper sculpture.  They seem to be walking towards you, huh?  In fact, the guy at the right seems to be walking straight for your wallet.  Lol!
That's the magic of dynamic posing.  Our copyrighted contribution to the papier mache community. Eherm.

Papier maches are never popular for dynamism.  They usually just stand straight.  Unless transformed into an exciting pinata at party time.
But it doesn't always have to be that way.  You can do papier mache in action poses.  The secret is in the Propping While Drying (yet another copyright, lol!).

While sopped in glue and tissue, your figure is at its most flexible.  That's when you can start propping it to your desired pose.  It's pretty easy.  You can use just about anything lying around in the house.  Like this pencil, for that all-important 'legs apart' stance.

If you want a walking pose, you'll need more props --to keep one leg forward and the other at the back while keeping your figure's balance with yet another prop pushing at its back.  You have to hold the pose with a heavier prop in front so the figure doesn't slide.

You have to remember that the combination of wet glue and tissue makes your figure heavy.  It can droop all over the place if you don't hold it up with more props.  This figure with a huge head had to be held up while maintaining a 'Bring it on!' hunched pose.

Putting on that GRRR! face adds so much to the dynamism we're going for.  Uh-huh.

And... VOILA!  Head low, arm curled, right knee slightly bent, and one foot teetering --it looks like this Sonic is about ready to run.  Or, have only stopped after a run.  Either way, at least he's not just standing there waiting for a bat, right?

Mess with the passive papier mache stereotype and create your non-action action figure today.  Haha!  Loads of fun to ya!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Meanwhile, in the classroom...

My whole classroom life can be summed up in two words:  Sardine Can.

From Grade School to College, I can clearly remember how at awe I was knowing that there were 40 to 45 of us jampacked into one tiny classroom hour after hour.  It was a convenient arrangement.  I remember how there was virtually no space between each desk, thus, making cheating a happy piece of cake.  I also remember how going to the bathroom in the middle of class meant begging other kids to stand up to pave a way for your nature call --which they can make difficult for you and your poor little bladder.

Alas, those were the days.  Nowadays, there are more flexible seating styles.  Like the one in my boys' school.  Their school champions individualized learning.  And they couldn't have made that more clear with their uber unique Learning Center Offices.

These 'offices' are the students' personal cubicles.  Kinda like the ones you have at work.  Except they're a little smaller, don't have an old moody PC on it, and a bunch of rants against the boss written on Post-Its stuck to the wall.

Functionally, these offices allow each student to work at his own pace, without being pressured to compete with the performance of his peers.  Aside from a more comfortable leg room, it also gives him the drive to rely on himself than on the age-old classroom tradition of cheating.
On a personal development note, having an office to himself teaches a student independence, responsibility, and respect for others.  Since my older boy keeps his office spic-and-span, he's applying the very same neat streak to his bedroom, too.  Yay! :)

Being 'self'-owned, the office also empowers a student with some kind of freedom.
Which, unfortunately, some kids (read: my youngest son) might just over-enjoy.  Oh, boy.

The ups and downs of classroom seating space.  What style is your child's school sitting on?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There's an alien in my drink!

Alien skull in frosted bottled water! 

Oh yeeeah!  You don't get to see sh*t like this everyday, huh?  Or maybe they're there, and you just failed to notice.  Because you're busy.  You can't be bothered with... *sigh* ...imagination.

But kids-- they see things.  They have a keen sense of detail.  They have gears that are perpetually moving in that magical place in their minds.  That's what makes them discover monsters in bathroom tile grime, creepers in a dirt-encrusted wall, zombies in the trees.

Miro discovered this alien skull in his bottled water and had me take a picture of it.  He said it's a rare find, a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.  CLICK!

And then he chugged at that alien skull like it was anyone's business.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This weekend, 'Wreck-It Ralph' it!

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), Wreck-It Ralph is the Toy Story of video gaming.

As it was in Andy's room, we have an arcade where kids' play things come to life as soon as human's aren't looking.  As it was in the blockbuster enterprise where popular toys did cameo roles, here, we have popular video game characters popping in here and there to tickle kids and adults alike with warm, fuzzy familiarity.
(I gotta admit, seeing gaming pioneers like Street Fighter's Ryu and Ken, Pacman and the Blue Ghost, Super Mario's Bowser, and Sonic in a full-length movie gave me goosebumps.  I'm a geek.) 

As it was in Monsters Inc, Up, and Brother Bear, the movie's lead characters, Ralph and Vanellope, presented that Disney tried-and-tested, most heartwarming visual and emotional dynamics of Big and Small.
As it was in Finding Nemo, Wreck-It Ralph's hour and a half mission from one adventure to another was Finding Medal.

Buuut... despite riding on animated film formulas, Wreck-It Ralph does have something fresh to offer.
Its story is hinged on acceptance --and it was delivered pretty tight.  From Wreck-It Ralph's wanting to be accepted as a hero rather than a villain, to Vanellope von Schweetz wanting to be accepted as a true blue Sugar Rush racer, to madman Turbo wanting to be re-accepted as the gaming world's top game, to the dorky Fix-It Felix wanting to be accepted into the steel cold heart of Sargeant Calhoun.  It's all about wanting to make a huge difference in your life and actually breaking some molds to do so.

It's an empowering movie with a spattering of nostalgia and a huge dose of sweet success.

Plus, Sergeant Calhoun whom Jane Lynch voices looks EXACTLY like her.  How's THAT for the ultimate formula!  Haha!

It's the perfect package that should have you and your kids getting to the theaters this very instant.  Catch Wreck-It Ralph today!