Showing posts from March, 2010

Lab Notebook for Phantasma

Subject: Lab notebook pages 16 and 17 Hello parents, We have been very busy making observations of our organisms for our aquarium and terrarium.  Pages 16 and 17 of the lab notebook along with a page of questions to be distributed tomorrow will be collected on Monday and graded as a lab.  This is a requirement for all students even if they were absent yesterday or today. There is an organism database on sciweb your children can refer to if they did not complete the material in class.  All children were given a hard copy of the instructions for accessing the site in class today.  If they were out for the play or other reason, a copy was placed in the absentee folder for them.  As a reminder, school will be closed on Friday.  B. Fischer Tasma is loving this unit. She likes watching snails in the terrarium do their snail like things. She's already panicking about it ending, even though the fish and snails will stay in the classroom. (I guess she gets her anxiety over silly th

Stripey Perches

Stripey is a natural jumper. As a kitten, she would launch herself from the floor into the freezer to cool off whenever my roommate or me would be rummaging.She was small enough that she could find a space just for her. Since then, there have been no freezer-jumping shenanigans. A few mishaps with closed closets, but nothing involving the refrigerator until a few weeks ago. That's when she discovered the top of our refrigerator. The apartment Hubby and I live in is small and lacks too much storage space, so the top of the fridge is loaded with all things kitcheny. We stacked things according to usage, but we also made it so The White One wouldn't be able to fit up there. (He was a fan of opening the unused bread box.) I should've expected that Stripey would find a way. For a week straight, she would perch in the farthest corner and stare. Every so often her eyes would glow with her inner demon. Why do they always like the most difficult places? The devil shows thr

Dear Blog, Part V

Dear Blog, I'm sorry that I can't work on you today, but I'm busy recovering from last night's HIM show. To say Finnish bands have a tendency to kick my rocking ass is an understatement. See?

Fangirl Excitement

I'm seeing HIM on Sunday. They're my favorite band after all things Wednesday 13 , of course. And since I'm busy with 9-5 stuff and I'm excited, you get a video. HIM - New Music - More Music Videos Did you like it? It's not my favoritest by them, but it is from one of my favorite albums, Razorblade Romance . The best is Love Metal . When the single of this song came out, I was finishing or just finished college. I didn't learn about them until 5 years later when Hubby introduced me to them. What a sad five years. I hadn't geeked out over a band so much since Aerosmith. I liked the songs, the rockiness of the music, and Ville's pretty. The only place we were able to pick it up was Hot Topic. This was pre-sparkly vampiredom when I could go in and not have an upchuck reflex, but this isn't designed to be a rant on that particular trend. This is supposed to be about fangirl crush #2. (You should know who #1 is.) Like all things Wednesday, s

Zombie Thursday Double-shot: Chicken Brain Soup for the Zombie Soul

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . This weekend I am going to my first real horror fan convention-- HorrorHound in Indianapolis. I’m really very excited for a wide variety of reasons, but top on the list is that I will be meeting two of my favorite horror icons. The most exciting of these ‘celebrities’ will be my all time favorite author... someone who I am beyond obsessed with and with all his novels, short stories, and movies-- Clive Barker! Nothing or no one can top Mr. Barker in my opinion, but a very close second will be meeting George Romero. On my birthday, I gave you a small introduction to Mr. Romero (although he really needs no introduction to even the average zombie lover) and some fun facts about him (and me). I will be meeting him this weekend, and although I am sure it will be very brief, just enough time for me to get an autograph and maybe a photo (no lengthy zombie debates, unfortunately), I’m s

Zombie Thursday Double-shot: The Zombie Apocalypse Flowchart

In the first part of our Zombie Thursday Double-shot, I'm totally ripping off The Screaming Guppy and Carrie Harris . Sorry, guys. (And thanks.) Why this is awesome. Who doesn't like flowcharts? You can be Marty McFly. The real Zombie Thursday entry will be up later today. Make sure you come back.

All About Stripey

Earlier this month (and late February), I blogged about superstition , ritual , and habit . These were geared towards you and I, but cats have their version of each too. Like The Stripey One. Superstition Stripey believes that we're trying to poison her. Whenever we offer her people food, she sniffs at it. Yes, this is what cats do, but she does it with every single piece. Cat treats too. So, if you have ten treats in your hand and are feeding them to her one at a time, she will sniff each piece. Her paranoia prompts this. Ritual To avoid her paranoia poisoning, Stripey has taken to crossing her eyes when she takes her initial sniff. This must aid in determining whether it's safe to resume with the rest of the test: lick, re-examine, narf. Rinse, repeat. Habit Stripey's small - much smaller than The White One - and she gets cold in the winter. She likes to find the place that has the most warmth and stay there. This winter, she found a place that she really loved.

Cat Lunch

Today's blogging schedule yet again has been interrupted by life. As a token of my regret, enjoy a video of a tiger loving it's lunch complete with Hubby editorial comments. The video was taken when Hubby and I went on vacation in October. We visited the Land of Where? and their only zoo - the Brandywine . Facts About the Brandywine Zoo -  It's park of Brandywine Park, which was designed by the same guy who did Central Park. -  Next to the National Zoo, it's probably the cheapest one on the East Coast. -  It's the only zoo I've been too that has binturons . -  They have lazy otters. -  They exercise their Flemish Giant (the rabbit mentioned in the video) behind the owl display.

Beth & Phantasma Week, Bonus

Subject: egg shells Hi, Thank you all for the gallon jugs.  I received so many that I was able to share with the other teachers. I have another request from your kitchens if possible.  One of the organisms that will inhabit our terrariums is the land snail.  Snails require a source of calcium .  If you could send in some egg shells, they would be oh so happy.  Thanks again for all of the support throughout the year.  Warm regards, B. Fisher I'm not sure how I feel about Phantasma carrying egg shells, Beth. I mean, there's going to be traces of raw egg there. Raw egg contains salmonella. I'm pretty sure that Wolstein will have some kind of issue with this request. It sounds like something she would gripe about. On a positive note, Tasma's excited about seeing some snails. She'll probably ask to take one home. Beth, do not let her. I'm afraid The Stripey One or The White One will play snail hockey . We don't want that.

Beth & Phantasma Week, Day 5

Subject: Upcoming Quiz Hello parents, We began our new unit entitled Populations and Ecosystems this week.  The first quiz is scheduled for March 22nd.  I've attached a brief review sheet which will also be posted on my eBoard.  For more information about this newly adopted program go to sciweb and click on  middle school/populations and ecosystems.  It is a very hands on approach and so far the children are really enjoying it.  Warm regards, B. Fisher Thanks for the update, Beth. I know that Phantasma's been enjoying it. She's been singing an ecosystem song all week.

Beth & Phantasma Week, Zombie Interlude

Subject: Classroom updates and new unit Greetings, parents! My name is Meredith Thomas and I am your child’s 6th grade English and Literature teacher.  I apologize for not starting an email list sooner. As many of you may be aware, I recently returned from maternity leave; I thank you for all the warm wishes you sent to my husband and me after the birth of our child!  Now that I am officially back to work and have been able to reconnect with the children, I have am hoping to send you classroom updates and announcements on a regular basis, much like you already receive from my colleague, Beth Fisher.  And I am hoping you are all familiar with the eBoard program. I will also be using that on a regular basis. Since I have been gone for most of the year, I wanted to let the children have some fun and chose what to study in our next Literature unit.  The children had many wonderful suggestions, but one student was quite verbally adamant about wishing to study a particular subject, an i

Beth & Phantasma Week, Day 3

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Former boss informed me today that St. Patrick wasn't Irish, but English . This didn't stop Phantasma from donning her green and weaving 4 leaf clovers in her hair. Subject: directions for accessing sciweb Hello parents, I've attached a document designed to assist your children in accessing supplemental, web-based materials for our new Populations and Ecosystems module.  I've included a user name and password, so they can access just about anything.  There are games, resources and other fun activities to supplement what we are doing in class.  I hope this website proves helpful.  Warm regards, B. Fisher Beth forgot to attach the document and she also forgot to include the URL in her email. This isn't a major problem for Tasma though since she's been heading in early to handle all supplemental activities that are populations and ecosystems related. April vacation is only a few weeks away and I've put the bug in Phantasma&#

Beth & Phantasma Week, Day 2

Subject: milk containters needed Hello, I will be collecting gallon milk containers over the next couple of days.  If you have an empty one, please rinse it out (no soap) and send it to school with your child.  Next week we will be constructing two mini-ecosystems.  We need to allow the water for the aquariums to sit for several days prior in order to ensure the health of our organisms.  Thank you very much for your help.  It is greatly appreciated.  Warm regards, B. Fisher Oh, Beth. How I love your misspellings and double spaces after periods. My only other favorite thing is the subject heading "upcoming quiz" because it's so descriptive and all. I'm sad to report that we don't drink enough milk at Chez Phantasma to have gallons. We do have some water gallons that Phantasma could part with, I suppose. We have one for the cats and a few for her. She likes to make bird feeders out of them in her spare time. She's a crafty one, that Phantasma.

Beth & Phantasma Week, Day 1

Subject: student volunteers needed for science fair/fundraiser information Hello parents, Hopefully all will be back to normal as of tomorrow. We will be needing a few student volunteers to assist with some of the interactive tables at the science fair this year. Children would be needed beginning approximately six PM on Thursday, March 11th. If your child is interested please let me know as soon as possible so that I can forward their name to our lead teacher. Our fundraiser for Good Friends is scheduled to take place tomorrow. Due to the snow days , we have no parent volunteers scheduled for periods 6,7, or 8th periods.  If you are available and can come help out, please contact me or Mr. Johnson.  Warm regards, B. Fisher When I got this email from Beth, I talked with Phantasma about helping out at the science fair. We never had them in school, and if we did, I must've been sleeping. Anyway, Phantasma wasn't interested in helping out with the science fair. Her re

How I'd Spend $160

Remember the diatribe about Aerosmith and my fan contract ? Two weeks ago Dom Lawson at Metal Hammer blogged about Aerosmith's upcoming UK shows and the insane ticket prices . This guy is my new best friend because he says what I've been thinking for years. 106 pounds is about 160 in American dollars. So if you and your significant other were going, that's $320 just for going to the show. Why this bothers me Aerosmith doesn't make it to the UK very often and from what I remember they have a rabid fan base over there. How shitty is it to make it that expensive just because you can? Yes, I know it's not all the band's doing, that part of it is the promoter and/or venue. Still. There are other ways to spend $160 and much more out of it. I'm not talking the practical-it's-a-week's-worth-of-groceries way, but a fun way. Fun ways to blow $160 Plaster Fun Time for you and three friends. You can use the leftover cash for a pizza and coke. Mov

Zombie Music: Creature Feature

  Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here .   Hello, zombie fans! This week I am bringing you another musical review of a horror loving band. I honestly hadn’t even remembered this band until my iPod happened to shuffle on them this week while I was on one of my many long drives to and from work!   The band is Creature Feature , a two-man (or two-fiend, as they call themselves) band from LA that consists of Curtis Rx and Erik X. I haven’t been able to discover too much about them, or their specific origins. I’m sure it exists, but I think they like to be purposely vague. What I do know is that the band was formed one night in 2005 after a Halloween party. The band mates also run a multimedia production company called Last Man on Earth Productions. Currently, Curtis Rx is writing original music for a web-series called Playing Dead directed by Ted Raimi (actor and brother to Sam). Creature Feature music is also in the series. N

My Technology Fail

I'm not the most savvy person when it comes to technology, despite that all my work-related endeavors involve it on some degree. The best way to explain my knowledge is I know just enough to get me in trouble, but not necessarily out of it. The Set Up Our town has a parking ban in the winter that runs until April or whenever the city sees fit. This means that there is no on-street parking between the hours of 11 and 6. We have two off-street parking spaces for our cars in the driveway, our upstairs neighbors one in the garage and one in the driveway. This leaves a phantom space in front of the garage, reserved for the landlord to pick up landscaping equipment. The phantom space was used for the first time two nights ago as an additional parking spot. One of my sisters-in-law stayed with us for a couple of days. So did her car. And since I'm the first one out the door during the week, I was the Chosen One to the move the car. Enter the Fail SIL's car is a newer model


Today's entry will be very short. I will blame this on my woozy head and will hopefully delve deeper at another time. Last night, while editing, I finished watching the 6th season of Highlander . Alone, this doesn't sound exciting, but I've watched all 6 seasons back-to-back much like I did with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and will do with The Greatest American Hero. There's a couple of Highlander movies that need watching before I progress to the next bout of TV DVDs. I've got to say it: the season finale left me totally unsatisfied. In fact, the entire last season did. Out of the 13 episodes, only 3 have any continuity. The first two follow the finale of season 5 and the final episode piggybacks the one before. There are 6 episodes that focus around guest Immortals, most of who we never see or mention. Ever. (This was in hopes of launching Highlander: The Raven) Fail, Highlander writing staff, fail. There were somethings that were enjoyable about Season 6, bu

Emo Kids & Vikings

My brain is abuzz with thoughts of spring, so there is no time for a thought-out blog post. Instead, I think I'll go with an image of the day. Hubby had shown this to me in the summer 08. I instantly fell in love with it. My hope is that it will induce a bout of snickering with you too.

Ministry: A Love/Hate Relationship

I was 16 and jammed in the backseat of a 4 door car in the bitch seat. (There's no irony in the fact that I'm usually stuck in the middle seat - more frequently called bitch - and that I'm rather bitchy myself.) The song that played through the speakers interested me, but I didn't know what it was. I looked around the cluttered back seat and found a CD with a black cover and a sketchy winged figure on it. The band: Ministry. The album: Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and The Way to Suck Eggs, or Psalm 69 for short. Psalm 69 was too industrial to contain the more melodic song I heard on the radio; to this day, I don't know what song I initially heard and can no longer remember the tune. But because of that three minutes driving down Route 9, I developed a 15 year plus relationship with Al Jourgensen and Ministry. Ministry is very industrial in their sound with incredibly fast drums, loud crashing guitar riffs, and the extra noises that permeate standard industr

The Grammar of Zombies

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Today is National Grammar Day !  I really love grammar.  Like with anything in life, I will admit to not always using perfect grammar, but I definitely try to set a good example for those around me. I think my love and understanding of grammar came from two highly dedicated grade school teachers, Mrs. Schmidt and Mrs. Hawkins, who taught me the importance of speaking and writing well. Sure, at the time I bitched about all the essays they made me write and all the books I had to read. However, as an adult, I see how truly important grammar is. As a group on Facebook illustrates, grammar can even save lives--   “Let’s eat Grandma!” versus “Let’s eat, Grandma!”   See? In one case, Grandma is not going to have a very pleasant meal time. In the other, Grandma is being invited to gorge herself on brains. The importance of grammar is so obvious.   My absolute favorite grammar guide was Th

Phantasma's New Science Unit

Looks like Phantasma will be busy the next couple of weeks.  On March 1st we began a new program at the middle school.  The module is on Populations and Ecosystems.  Through hands on investigations, the children will learn about ecology.  Early next week we will study small populations of milkweed bugs .  To learn more and for some great resources as we move through the program, go to log on to the FOS* website   Click on middle school and then Populations and ecosystems.  There is a student area that includes a complete course glossary among other useful things.  There is also a course summary available using the parent link.  Enjoy the rest of the day.  Warm regards, B. Fisher Fortunate for Phantasma, I know a thing or two about populations and ecosystems. I know about the food chain and food webs. And I know a program that creates those too. I realize that most of Phantasma's updates involve Science, but that's all that Beth sends. If someone wants to volunteer up some e

The Time to Edit is Nigh

Yesterday marked the start of NaNoEdMo , or National Novel Editing Month for people who hate acronyms. The goal in NaNoEdMo (EdMo for short) is to complete 50 hours of editing on one project, which averages out to 97 minutes a day. If you were successful at NaNoWriMo and are serious about writing, then EdMo shouldn't be a problem. In fact, it should be a requirement. We know from shitty first drafts, that major editing has to take place. No one's writing is perfect from the moment of creation. We all have that one horrible sentence that talks about Reginald's quivering member; how the sky was a crystalline and radiant blue; or that long-winded sentence that puts the opening to A Tale of Two Cities to shame. Or maybe you don't have that in your prose, and instead you're the proud owner of passive language and an abundance of adjectives. It's okay to admit that your work needs work. Even though this is my first year participating in EdMo, I'm a vetera

Habit, Ritual's Less Superstitious Cousin

In last Tuesday's comments , Robert asked if picking certain mugs for specific projects would be considered superstition or habit. My answer? Habit. Little Phantasma has problems with her narrative voice whenever it rains. One day, she discovered that if she plays Bjork whenever she suffers from this, she can push through her narrative without too much tweaking later on. Now, whenever it rains, Bjork is played at eleven. What started out as a way to cope with something turned into a lifestyle choice. Ritual eventually gives way to habit, but they pretty much go hand-in-hand. It's a simplistic form of learning when reacting to a certain stimuli. And if responding to X by doing Y is the easiest thing, why would try Z? Of course, not all habits come from superstition. I can't explain why I have to fall asleep on my left side, but I do. What's fascinating is that everyone has them, and we all have at least one "quirk." One of mine is that all my first dr