Friday, November 27, 2009

the tired shopping warriors

we, a.k.a the tired shopping warriors in mom's words, have come back alive from a mission to single-handedly stimulate the economy on black friday! today, me, my mom, and ella went shopping on black friday, but my dad didn't come since he "doesn't like crowds."

the landing
my mom was all worried about parking. she asked if she could drop us off, and meet us some 30 minutes later. i said we would stay with her, so me and ella were prepared to die of boredom in the car. i checked the clock so i could keep track of how long it took. 11:34. and...... parking at 11:35! mom was beaming.

the mission
we were surprised that abercrombie had deals because usually it doesn't. spend $100, get a $25 gift card. apparently i'm getting a $25 gift card for christmas.

then, we went to justice where we were able to hunt down some stocking stuffers for ella. hopefully ella doesn't read this... we got her 3 pairs of furry socks, and a pack of 6 cute food erasers. the erasers are pretty cool. they are sort of like puzzle pieces that connect. check out this site: http://www.iwakousa.com/id70.html .

we looked at some uggs, where ella decided to get some knit gray ones shipped to our house... and, it's just my luck, after ella made up her mind, i realized that i liked those the best as well. then, they didn't have it in my size. and also, they don't have it in stock anywhere at all so the earliest they would be able to ship it is february. i guess they are popular...

by the way, just mentioning, as i was typing the paragraph before this, ella read about her stocking stuffers. it was only after she read it that i realized that she was sitting next to me, staring at it, smiling. even after it says, "hopefully ella doesn't read this..." god.

the success
after going to some more stores like, gap, macy's, sears, benetton, etc. we left a little more than 5 hours later. phew. i think that's a new black friday record! but at least we completed our mission, right?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

turkey day

i've always loved both cooking and eating the food on thanksgiving. our whole family starts cooking dinner together in the morning. this year we made: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn bread stuffing, and pear cobbler.

top chef (s)
on a typical trip to a restaurant, my entire family is usually satisfied with two dishes. my mom says it's cheap to feed me and ella. so at the grocery store, we always try to pick the smallest turkey possible. even still, we enjoy many (many) turkey sandwiches after thanksgiving.

my dad always does all the stuff with the turkey. he marinates it in broth, stuffs it with a whole lot of stuff, and carves it (which, by the way, disturbs me... apparently ella is completely fine with it). the turkey was really good. so tender and juicy. mmmm...


meanwhile, me, my mom, and ella make the other stuff!

cranberry sauce
we start making the cranberry sauce in the morning, so it can harden in the fridge by dinnertime. this year, i think we started too late because it didn't harden at all! oh well, at least it was easier to dip the turkey into. :)

the good kind of crummy
last night, we made cornbread for the cornbread stuffing today. ella cut the cornbread into a lot of small cubes. after we put all the ingredients in it... we got to mash it up into crumbs!

it's better with butter
mom and dad did the hard part: peeling the potatoes... then me and ella did the best part: mashing them! then, of course, we added butter. *drools.* i love butter. my mom always says, "it's better with butter!"

sugary goodness
last thanksgiving, we made pear cobbler for the first time. before that, we always made pumpkin pie. honestly, i'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but it's just traditional, you know? the pear cobbler is actually really easy to make, and it is delicious. it requires a lot of sugar though. the first step is to shower the pieces of pear in 2 cups of sugar. it was so tempting to just take a piece and pop it into my mouth.

we served the warm cobbler with vanilla ice cream. ella even added some whipped cream, haha.


i've realized something about cooking thanksgiving dinner: it requires a lot of mashing. we mash the cranberries into cranberry sauce, we mash the potatoes into mashed potatoes, and we mash the cornbread into corn bread stuffing. ahh, mashing. just one reason why thanksgiving is so much fun!

Friday, November 20, 2009

ghost of pictures past

school pictures. they are really stressful! well at least for me. what if you mess up the picture that goes into the yearbook that everyone will look back on for eternity?? i guess that's a bit melodramatic, but it's true that i do get really anxious before school pictures. today, they gave me my picture. let me just say, i think these braces are messing up my face. they even ruined my new passport picture. anyway, i thought that i would put all of my pictures of the past onto this post, so i can remember them long after i've lost all the copies.




before preschool:
i was 2 and a half. i guess this was sort of a daycare stage. hey look! i still had some chub back then. :)












preschool: here i am, in preschool. check it out, my two front teeth fell out. by the way, my hair is pulled back... it was longer than that!












kindergarten: are you starting to wonder what that tree i keep leaning against is? well, for these 3 pictures, i went to greenwood, and they took pictures with trees. it looks so, nature like...









1st grade: this was my first year at bannockburn elementary. i even remember picking out my outfit for this picture. that sweater i am wearing actually says "101 dalmations" on the back. plus, do you see me proudly wearing my girl scouts necklace? :)












2rd grade: wow, my dress and the background matched perfectly (in both 1st grade AND 2nd grade). hmm... i can't remember whether or not i planned that...











3rd grade: i don't know why i decided to go with the background. just wanted to mention, in case you thought i went to some pond to get my school picture taken.








4th grade: if you noticed, i am wearing the same sweater as in 3rd grade. if you didn't notice, i guess i'm stupid for pointing it out. it was a good school picture sweater, though! does it look like i'm laughing in the picture? that is the year that the photographer tried to make me laugh... and i am the easiest person in the world to make laugh. in this picture, i'm just trying my hardest to stop laughing.











5th grade: ermm, i'm not a huge fan of this picture. let me just say, those photographers need to tell us they are going to take the picture... before they take the picture!











6th grade: in this picture, you can tell i was stressing out. i was so tight that the muscles on my neck are sticking out!










8th grade: don't ask where the 7th grade picture went, because i truly don't know. anyway, i'm thinking that all my experience with school pictures helped. notice how i was ready to smile. that's because, as soon as i went to sit on the stool, i put on my smile. after about 30 seconds, the camera man told me to relax since he was setting the camera up the whole time. :-/

Thursday, November 19, 2009

wii will rock you

on wednesday, the wii came in the mail! it is me and ella's big christmas gift this year, but we couldn't wait, and got it early! my dad ordered the wii separately from the mario game, wii fit, wii play, extra controller, and numchuck. what is really aggravating is that almost everything came on tuesday... except the wii!

but, i'm so excited that it finally came! when we went to california in october, we played with allie and adam's wii. it was so awesome! we did a lot of virtual hula hooping and skiing. unfortunately, the day that the wii came was sort of busy since ella had a cello lesson, and i had some homework to do. but, of course, i squeezed in some wii time at 11:40 pm.

the all important... wii fit age
let's see...
  1. when we played the wii at allie and adam's house, ella was 28 (+20), and i was 13 (+1).
  2. during my 11:40 wii session, i ended up being 17 (+5).
  3. yesterday, after school, ella was 9 (+1) and i was 12 (+0). by the way, my parents also tried the wii fit yesterday, and were both 45 (+4).
hmm... i am yet to find out what my wii fit age really is. it is different every time! this whole wii fit age thing is sort of blurry.

wii fit awesomeness!
i love the wii fit! it literally senses your every move. the major thing that the wii fit does is measure your balance. for example, in the yoga section, me and ella like to do the tree pose. they show you a dot that traces your balance, and it's really hard to keep totally still! the only thing about the wii fit is that it can't tell most things other than balance. i'm guessing that this is why they call me "shaky" on the balance exercises and a "body builder" on the strength exercises.

this is mii
i loved creating my mii. i'm not sure how realistic it looks. one thing is for sure: the proportions are not realistic. i copied the mii's from the wii screen. does this look like our family? can you guess who is who? please comment :)

as if having braces wasn't torture enough

last week, i had an orthodontist appointment. or, in other words, the torture trigger. when i get to the office, the assistant says, "good! none of your brackets came off." but, of course, that's because they threatened me! last time, when my bracket came off from eating a nut, they said that the next time it came off they would "be forced to put a cap on my back tooth." as always, i asked if it hurt, and they said yes. well, that was a successful tactic.

as if having braces wasn't torture enough...
they added in a new torture tool. a rubber band. *shiver*. they are tiny bands that they put on your teeth to... move your jaw? i'm not really sure. well, at least i only have one on the right side. look at me, looking at the glass half full (even though it completely isn't).

snack on!at first i was really annoyed since i couldn't open my mouth more than half way. they told me that if i yawned, it might snap! eeks! but, when i got brave enough (which took a while), i tried opening my mouth really wide, and it was fine. what are these orthodontists teaching us nowadays? these bands are also a real pain in the butt. i have to take them out when i'm brushing my teeth and when i eat. being me, i eat at random times. i come home from school, eat some chips, study, get myself a bowl of ice cream, talk to my friends on the phone, eat some more chips. actually, i figured out that it's fine to leave it in when i'm just snacking.

the only problem with that is, since i don't take it off when i'm snacking, i forget to take it off for meals. so if a take too big of a bite, the rubber band comes off sometimes. in only a week, i have swallowed 2 rubber bands! i'm pretty sure it's ok, or why would we be putting them in our mouths? the first time it happened, i only realized my rubber band was just gone afterwards. the second time, today at lunch, i took a big bite of a soft pretzel, and felt my rubber band pop off. i spent a while searching through the mush in my mouth, but then decided it was hopeless.

bag-o-bandsat first, i carried the little ziploc bag of rubber bands around in my pocket, so it wasn't a problem if i swallowed it. but now, i guess i'm not as obsessed. actually, come to think of it, i don't have a rubber band on right now (since it came off at lunch)! i better go put one in though, because they also threatened me about keeping my rubber bands on. orthodontists are evilly clever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

music marathon

yesterday i went to my second all county orchestra audition (last year's audition). before the audition, i was freaking out. not because i was nervous, but because i didn't have a banana that could prevent an anxiety attack. magnesium is magical. my mom comes home and pulls out 5 bananas! sigh, i love her. she knows me so well.

longest practice period ever
i got to the auditions at 6:55 pm, since i was auditioning in the last block from 7:30-9:00. well, i auditioned at 9:44. people cheered when the numbers changed, literally every 20 minutes.

the reason it was so slow was because there was one room with an etude (2 minutes), one room with sight reading (2 minutes), and one room with 2 excerpts plus 2 scales (5 minutes). so the line for the longest one built up fast. last year was much better thought out. wonder why they changed it...

it was obvious that everyone was getting more exhausted as the night dragged on. at first, everyone was practicing frantically. as we were walking towards the practice room, my mom says, "can you spell cacophony?" which, i can't (i had to use spell check to write that). then, as the room emptied out painfully slowly, there were those long patches of silence which i hate. they make it so hard to practice without seeming like a show off. like, once, there was complete silence with no talking, no playing. and one girl just continued playing the slow piece. everyone laughed but she still continued to play. i'm not sure if she knew she was playing a solo, but i'm pretty sure she knew.

honestly, maybe it was better that they were so late. at first i was really worried since i felt so unprepared. but, after more than 2 hours of practicing, i wasn't nervous at all. was it the banana? was it the practicing? maybe a combination...

me and my mom as the night slowly ticked by:


strangely lucky auditions
mr. herman: he conducted the all-county orchestra last year and described our playing with animal analogies... some about elephants... so, i'm outside the first room (with the etude), and the girl waiting next to me looks into the room and says, "hey! that's my teacher." after i auditioned, i asked her who it was, and she told me it was mr. herman. i asked her how she knew, since the judges were behind screens only showing their feet. "the pants." i'm just glad that she told me after i auditioned.

the sightreading wasn't too bad. they only gave us 30 seconds to look at the music before playing it. i thought that was a little weird, since usually they give us as much time as we need. my mom thinks that they shortened the time because they were 44 minutes after the auditions were supposed to end. the time went by fast, so by that time, i had only looked through half of the piece. luckily i was able to wing it ok (i hope). the rhythm was pretty hard, and we had to shift to 4th position once, but other than that, it was all good. :)

when i went to the last, super long room, there was only one person in line, even though they said the line would take forever. they had the music posted outside the room showing what we would play. it turned out that for the hardest piece, brahms 2nd symphony, we only had to play the last half. half of me felt relieved but half of me was really bugged. i mean, the first half was probably my weaker half, but after all that practicing, we didn't have to play it!

me and my mom left and were like "finally!" we only got home at 10:07 pm. i was half asleep. for the all-state auditions on saturday, my mom says that we could get my number, then go get ice cream or something. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

candy junkie

yesterday was... halloween! my 2nd favorite day of the year. my friend emily was having a bat mitzvah, but ella wanted to go trick-or-treating with me. so i figured, why not do both? i went trick or treating until 7:30 pm, and went to the party 30 minutes late.

into the rabbit hole
at first, i was just going to wear one of my old costumes, and ella was going to be a candy corn witch. then, my friend emma asked if i wanted to go trick-or-treating with her. i really wanted to, but ella wouldn't go with the theme. so i made my costume at emma's house and then made a matching one for ella at home!

hint: we aren't a deck of cards
i ended up going trick-or-treating with my friends emma, anais and andrea, their friend mary, emma's sister laura, and my sister ella. it was so much fun!

from left to right: andrea (card), mary (queen of hearts), ella (card), me (card), emma (tweedle dee), laura (cheshire cat), anais (tweedle dum).


can you tell what our theme was? when we were out collecting our candy, people asked, "hey, are you a deck of cards?" hmm... maybe they didn't see all of us.

i can be a zombie card next halloween
in the afternoon, before trick-or-treating, i was raking leaves with my mom and the temperature was perfect. i was thinking how great the weather was for trick or treating. but then, it rained. my costume was made with cardboard, tissue paper and glue, and ella's costume was made with cardboard, paint and markers. not exactly waterproof costumes!

i'll take the unwanted candy
once back at emma's house, we dumped all our candy onto the floor. first, we sorted them into piles to make candy trading easier. well, ella just left hers in a big pile. we also developed a "trash pile": you just throw any unwanted candy want into the middle, and it becomes a free-for-all. once andrea said, "who wants to trade me something for this?" after the silence that followed, she said, "ok, i'll just put it into the trash pile." then, everyone lunged towards it. i guess it wasn't good enough to trade, but it was good enough to take from the trash pile. i found myself taking a lot of stuff from the trash pile... i really should have been more selective.

lol moments:
when we were waiting in line for candy at one house, the man was saying "choices... choices..." i get to the bowl, and it is: snickers and crunch. wow. lots of choices you got there.

when my mom was driving me from emma's house, she saw someone's costume and said "hey, it's a hobo! wait... it's a witch..." apparently it was a very ripped up witch costume.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

after trick-or-treating, my mom drove me home so i could change into a different costume for the bat mitzvah. i imagine i would look very awkward as a dancing card. i changed into last year's outfit: a harajuku girl!

technical difficulties
the party was at a hotel. i had some trouble figuring out where the party was. i asked the front desk where it was, and they told me to take the elevator down to the ballroom. in the elevator, there was no button to go down! i just hope no one saw me standing in the glass elevator staring at the buttons. i walked out to ask for more help, and, of course, in the other elevator there were completely different buttons. one huge one that said "BALLROOM."

bat mitzvah swag
there was a candy bar, but since i got there late, all that was left were m&ms, gummy bears, hershey kisses, and tootsie rolls! i missed out on the junior mints, kit kats, and skittles. i comforted myself by remembering my my giant bag of trick-or-treating candy.

there was also a green screen, where you could pick a background and then pose for a picture. there were so many themes choose from! skittles, tootsie rolls, shrek, star wars... haley and i ended up going with star wars, so we striked a battle pose. haley was holding her light saber (well, actually an inflatable guitar), and i was kneeling on the ground all freaked out.

free giveaway
we got a cozy black sweatshirt as the bat mitzvah favor. it is ginormous on me! it has a cute orange ghost and says "emily's bat mitzvah!"

happy halloween!

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