Friday, August 29, 2008

South Jersey Livin'

New Jersey Monthly came out with their annual list of New Jersey's best high schools. Since the list is 316 schools deep, I'll just list those most relevant to this little blog and their respective rankings.

(14) Haddonfield Memorial -- (Camden)
(59) Point Pleasant Beach -- (Ocean)
(79) Eastern Regional --- (Camden)
(80) Haddon Twp --- (Camden)
(96) Cherry Hill West --- (Camden)
(102) Pitman High School --- (Gloucester)
(110) Ocean City --- (Cape May)
(116) Mainland Regional (Linwood) --- (Atlantic)
(130) Clearview High School --- (Gloucester)
(149) Washington Twp --- (Gloucester)
(151) Gateway Regional --- (Gloucester)
(168) Haddon Heights --- (Camden)
(172) Point Pleasant --- (Ocean)
(173) Bogota --- (Bergen)
(185) West Deptford --- (Gloucester)
(190) Gloucester City --- (Camden)
(195) Audobon --- (Camden)
(197) Glassboro --- (Gloucester)
(202) Delsea Regional --- (Gloucester)
(203) Woodbury --- (Gloucester)
(210) Clayton --- (Gloucester)
(217) Egg Harbor Twp --- (Atlantic)
(218) Kingsway --- (Gloucester)
(221) Triton --- (Camden)
(225) Sterling --- (Camden)
(230) Absegami --- (Atlantic)
(237) Collingswood --- (Camden)
(239) Hammonton --- (Atlantic)
(240) Timber Creek --- (Camden)
(252) Deptford --- (Gloucester)
(253) Wildwood --- (Cape May)
(254) Oakcrest --- (Atlantic)
(256) Atlantic City --- (Atlantic)
(259) Williamstown --- (Gloucester)
(269) Highland Regional --- (Camden)
(274) Winslow Twp --- (Camden)
(276) Overbrook --- (Camden)
(277) Paulsboro --- (Gloucester)
(286) Buena --- (Atlantic)
(290) Pennsauken --- (Camden)
(316) Camden --- (Camden)

For the complete list, click HERE:

A Non-Partisan Post

In case you missed last night's speech by Barak Obama at the Democratic National Convention, the presidential candidate gave a masterfully crafted, and flawlessly delivered acceptance speech. I can honestly say that it's been quite some time since anyone has made me think the art of oration is still alive and well. He allowed himself some flights of fancy without actually taking flight into inspirational cornfields, he addressed the areas he is most widely called to task on (experience and celebrity), and even proved to be quite pugnacious, no doubt to prove he could handle the role of Commander in Chief that many have doubted.

It was a history making speech and nomination....leaving McCain with no choice but to take the competition up a notch.

And he choosing Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. Though she is not very well known, his choice was clearly a necessity of strategy. And a stroke of genius.

Some things about her:

*She's 44 (younger than Obama by three years, and also younger than 2 of McCain's children)
*She is a mother of five and her youngest, born this past April, has Downs Syndrome
*She seems to compliment McCain in that she is a recognized maverick of the Republican party, often coming to blows with her own party members
* She runs marathons
*Her husband, Todd Palin, is part Yup'ik Eskimo, and is a blue-collar North Slope oil worker who competes in the Iron Dog, a 1,900-mile snowmobile race

Things are going to get very interesting.

Both candidates picked someone on the other side of their respective age bracket to address the relative concerns, and both picked someone whose record has complimented their own.

What is the greater signifcance in all of this???

Come November, history will be made when either an African-American man or a woman finds themself elected into an executive office.

Look for another poll to elicit your voter choice at the close of the RNC.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

O says to me:

"Oh Mommy, you look beautiful!"

"Thanks, Pud."

"You look just like Miss Hannigan!"

And I thought we were finally out of the Annie phase....

I Will Survive

It appears (at least for now) that the blog has survived a hacker attack.

I don't know how or why I got it, all I know is that my layout was altered and my advertisements suddenly consisted of graphic pictures of women attempting to clean with no clothes on....both things I find offensive.

Here's the funny part.

I make money off the blog every time someone clicks on one of the advertisements. I have signed an agreement with Google not to click on my own ads, otherwise that elusive deck would certainly be closer within reach. So, I make small change each day thanks to your occasional clicks on one of the ads.

Until yesterday.

Hmmm....I suddenly have ads that would be considered "objectionable" to most and what happens?

I set a personal record for money made by ad clicks in a single day.

It seems we have some prevey pervs among us!

And I send you my thanks.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've Been Hacked

I am trying to get the objectionable content off my site, but Google may shut it down before I can. If this happens, I will set up a new blog under the name:

Hopefully I won't have to do would kill me to lose all the stuff related to the kids....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not Slogging!!!!


How do you say DOH! in teckie??

Beverly Hills 90210

The latest rumor about the return of 90210 is that not only will Kelly and Brenda return, but Kelly will also have a 4 year old son, who was fathered by Dylan.

Though Luke Perry had previously refuted any rumors that he would be a part of the cast, multiple, non-credible sources are suggesting he will appear at the end of the first season to try to be a father to his son and get back into Kelly's life.

Please let it be true, please let it be true.

I need more time to investigate what possibly went wrong with Luke Perry's eyebrow....six seasons in the 90s just wasn't enough.

One of the Million Reasons My Husband Rocks

He believes "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" shouldn't be limited to an annual event.


A few weeks ago, I noticed my daughter's face was crumpled in confusion.

"What's on your mind?" I inquired.

"Mommy, what does cacophony mean?"

After I took a few moments to process both the absurdity and unbelievability of the question, I responded in true English teacher fashion: "It's a fancy way of saying loud banging pots or screeching sirens."


Satisfied with my explanation, she hopped off to find something new to play with, leaving me wondering how on earth my little miss managed to pronounce the unusual word, let alone come upon it.

But the answer was obvious: Pinky Dinky Doo

This is one of those shows that my daughter will catch when we take a little longer with our morning obligations. The premise of the show involves Pinky, a youngster who likes to make up stories for her brother and pet guinea pig as a medium for teaching a lesson they may apply to their own lives (yes, the guinea pig has some real issues).

In addition to the stories, the cartoon also encourages viewers to identify chronology (the segment entitled "What came first?"), and identify main ideas (What's a good title for the story?). Furthermore, each episode begins with a "Word of the Day" that is used throughout the episode and highlighted by the ringing of a bell everytime a character uses it.

Based on all of this, I love this approach to teaching kids about story development as well as a host of other useful comprehensive tools. My problem lies, however, with a lot of the "Word of the Day" choices.

And that brings us back to cacophony.

Before I continue, I must be honest when admitting that the only reason I know what this word means is because it is a poetic device I used to teach (think Poe's use of "clang clanging" in "The Bells"). Had I not had that in my background, I would never have had an answer for my inquisitive O.

Cacophony? Really? What toddler is going to use that? Is the point just to have a child use a word to impress others, leading the parent to identify the show and, consequently, advertise?

Here are some of the other "Words of the Day":









I will say that I think introducing challenging words is great for little kids. Our little sponges will never have a better time to absorb language (especially foreign language...shout out to Muzzy), and so using a lot of synonyms to add to a word they are already familiar with is great.

However, while words like "frustrated" and even "scrumptious" offer great parallels tp familiar words and are therefore good "fancy" words, others like cacophony and unflappable may be a bit of an overstep as they will almost never see them reinforced.

Or perhaps I am the one overstepping.....


Quote of the Day

"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." -Dave Barry

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Remember Pilot Inspektor???

His father, Jason Lee, welcomed a second child into the world and, given his history with wacky monikers, the world is bracing itself for something equally....uh, intriguing?

Lee and his girlfriend had a baby girl three days ago, but have yet to choose a name.

Their prolonged indecision can lead us to assume only two things:

1) The are trying to be more cautious in their choices, having learned what can happen when your own naming whim trumps a child's future identifier.

2) They are having a hard time coming up with something worse than Pilot Inspektor....or a more appalling spelling of an already troublesome name choice.

My vote: Aviator Examiner

An Equal Opportunity Offender

One of my latest challenges to tackle is trying to curtail my daughter's very loud and public proclamations of women she believes to be pregnant. Though not as frequent, I have yet to get through an outing without at least one "incident". My trick of making it a big secret and encouraging her to whisper the news has had some success, but sometimes her excitement just can't be contained.

For the most part, the women either have not heard or pretended not to, with only one saying, "Oh, ha ha ha."

So, I was contemplating sending out a general warning to all the women of the world, until yesterday's trip to the grocery store when I discovered that her offenses know no gender.

We were in the checkout lane and I was breathing a quiet sigh of relief as the two "impregnated" women my daughter outed seemed to have been out of earshot. As the groceries were tallied and my daughter munched away on some rice cakes from the front of the police car, I actually allowed myself to think that the worst may be behind us.

And then a middle aged man who is clearly a fan of beer hustled right by....

"Hey, Mommy! That man has a baby in his belly! That's amazing!"

Truly amazing...and entertaining, at least to the cashier and teenage bagger.

He Loves Technology

As I previously mentioned, my children enjoy rendering my cell phones useless and yet I continue to use them as means to surviving a long line or traffic jam.

Well, it seems such allowances have actually revealed something of benefit. My son seems to be showing a knack for technology.

As I still try to slowly figure out the ins and outs of my latest phone, my son has not only figured out how to turn it off and on, place phone calls, and set it to vibrate, he has also figured out how to activate the V Cast option...on purpose.

Scenario 1: We're driving along and suddenly the opening lines of Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" make their way from the back seat. As I look back to say, "What the...?" I find my son with a large grin and phone in hand, swaying back and forth to one of my favorite songs.

Quote of the Day

"All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them." -Erma Bombeck

Picture of the Day

What has palm trees, sandy beaches, and brand spanking new haircuts and clothes??

The first day of school in Florida.
Send your favorite kid pictures to:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Eye Candy

The First Game

In case you were watching Saturday night's phantastic Phillies game, you may have enjoyed the remarkable 1st inning home run by Pat Burrell that lasered out of the ball park.

As is custom at Citizens Bank, the home run brought on the ringing of the neon Liberty Bell, the screaming of overzealous fans, and some entertaining girations of the Philly Phanatic. It also brought on some pretty distinct cries from one of the fighting Phils littlest fans.

Saturday night marked the introduction of my children to a sports legacy that is pretty devout in their paternal heritage. My husband and his father are not just phairweather Phillies fans, but also collectors of memorabilia, retainers of statistics, and critiquers of every possible Phillies play, trade, and performance.

This was a big deal.

So with perfect weather, a convenient 4 o'clock start, and the 1st inning started off with lots of action in the Phillies favor, it had the makings of an ideal day. And it was!

Cotton candy, hot dogs, popcorn....sugar coma.

Both kids had a blast, which was highlighted by the appearance of the Phanatic in all his green glory.

The only moment of surprise came when my son, overwhelmed by the sheer cacophony** caused by the homerun celebration, started to cry.

Though it was just a quick, sad moment....there are a few possible reasons that may have accounted for it:

1) Crazy and loud fans are scary (at least it wasn't an Eagles game)
2) Too much sugar, too much fun.


3) Perhaps the realization of swearing allegiance to such a ball team'd cry too.

****cacophony--- look for a post on this word later

The Talk

One of the better monologues in cinematic history....


Congratulations to my partner in crime of yore, the Amazing Amy, who correctly identified this week's Guess Who? as Taliesin Jaffe. I know, I know...with such a common name you may not be quick to recall who this actor is, but he played Kenny (the blonde son) in Michael Keaton's magnum opus Mr. Mom.

Clearly, there is not a parent among us who hasn't had to experience a "woobie" like sit down with one of our darlings (and if you haven't had's coming), and this battle to overcome dependency is one of the most memorable parts of the movie.

Where is Taliesin now? Enjoying a very succesful career writing and directing anime for New Generation Pictures. Much like D&D, I have never remotely understood the interest in anime, but it remains a booming business and Taliesin is reeping the rewards.

**Also of note, Michael Keaton's other son in the movie, Alex, is played by Frederick Koehler, who went on to play Chip in one of my personal favorites...Kate and Allie. Unlike Taliesin (yes, I like to write his name), Frederick is still very active in various sitcoms.

Quote of the Day (In Honor of My Parents' Anniversary)

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." ~Mignon McLaughlin

Picture of the Day

A Guessing Game:
Which one was a little apprehensive about the ocean?
And which one's excitement left her with no other option than to erupt into spontaneous dancing?