End of Summer To Do List:

Dearest Readers,

The Spazz and I parted for the summer about a little under a week ago, leaving us each with three weeks of remaining summertime.  As everyone should absolutely know, I love lists.  Particularly fun, motivating ones.  I also love peer pressure, so I convinced the Spazz to join me in the creation of a most excellent end of summer list.  We’re each posting our list here, and will make posts to signify the completed events.  Wish us luck!  I, personally, have a lot of cleaning in my future.

Super Koala’s End of Summer List:

1. Catch Up on My 2015 Reading Challenge

2. Do 1,000 squats and 1,000 sit ups

3. Run 50 miles and do 50 total minutes of planks

4. Complete four postcards and wreckings

5. Cook three new meals

6. Plan the first month of my four classes

7. Reorganize my closet and desk

8. Watch five things off my Netflix “List”

9. Repair and organize our office closet

10. Straighten and purge the garage

11. Go to Silver Dollar City

12. Finish Kingdom Hearts I

13. See four movies

14. Write 25 pages

15. Research a run/concert/language learning software

Captain Spazzmataz’s End of Summer List: (Mine is much shorter)

1. Finally take the Jazz Band field trip to the City Museum

2. Read five books to catch up on my reading challenge

3. Memorize the marching show music

4. Complete 1000 Squats

5. Complete 1000 Sit-ups

6. Finnish my LEGO airplane

7. Do all of my summer math packet

8. Complete four postcards and wreckings

1001 Movies: Four Weddings and a Funeral

From the Couch of Super Koala, Do I Ever Leave?, You May Wonder:

Our streak of romantic comedies continues with the 1994 film, Four Weddings and a Funeral.

It was kind of strange to have a movie that spoiled all of the events in its own title.  But, Spazzmataz and I had fun guessing what weddings and whose funeral would follow.  The movie itself was cute; it was fun and refreshing.  I’m so used to seeing suave, playboy Hugh Grant that it was nice to see baby him looking sheepish and unsure.

My show stealer for this one was easily John Hannah.  My only John Hannah movies had been the Mummy series, don’t judge too harshly, where I also adored him.  But this performance was so different from the goofy, inappropriate character in the Mummy.  He was so heartfelt, soft, and endearing.  The eulogy he delivers at the titular funeral was so tasteful; I loved everything about it.

The movie basically summarizes everything a nine season sitcom does on television.  It presents a great group of friends, plenty of hijinks, and a sense of honesty.  The characters haven’t been given too much movie magic; they’re realistic and, as such, very lovable.

Four stars.

Butt Total: None.  Though it was precarious.

From the Chair of Super Koala, this is Captain Spazzmataz:

I too enjoyed the fun and charming attitude of this movie. Movies are almost always better when everyone (or in this case almost everyone) is British. It just makes everything more enjoyable to listen too.

All of the characters were all likable, his brother was hilarious, his friends are absolutely wonderful and I want them to be my friends. There were definitely parts that kept me guessing which is pretty amazing because most romantic comedies are very predictable. I felt many feelings. I was happy, giggling, upset, stressed, and everything in between. Basically this movie had all of the really great elements that made me happy. It was especially refreshing amidst all of the war movies that we have watched lately.

4 stars

1001 Movies: Bowling for Columbine

From the Couch of Super Koala, No One is Surprised:

So many thoughts on this movie.  As a precursor, this was my first Michael Moore documentary, so I’m pretty unfamiliar with his work.  All I previously knew of him was what the general, mainstream media says.

This documentary served the excellent purpose of exploring a problem.  The problem is not just guns in America but, more specifically, gun death in America.  Other topics roped in for the ride include the NRA, the emergence of school shootings, the media, racism, consumerism, and the general culture of fear and violence that surround our fair country.  Outstanding cameos include Marilyn Manson, Charleston Heston, Matt Stone, and this guy with crazy eyes:

I really enjoyed this documentary.  It presented its questions and concerns in a reasonable, intelligent manner, and it made me think.  At no point in time was Michael Moore screaming at his subjects or unnecessarily berating them.  The worst he does is subtly make fun of a few people that seem to have no idea it’s happening.  It left me curious as to why people have such negative things to say about Moore.  Obviously the film industry as a whole respects this documentary, it is on the list, but I’ve heard so many negative comments about the filmmaker.  The only reason I can find from this film is that he makes people uncomfortable by being unafraid to present them with difficult information.  I sort of think that’s what art is meant to do.

The assembly of the movie was also very interesting.  I like the pieced together style that still conforms to tell a clear narrative.  Sure, parts of it were painful to watch, but those parts were historical events in our country, no matter how you paint them.  The only thing I wish was different was the sense of resolution.  The film cuts pretty sharply to its ending.  As a slightly optimistic person, I would have liked to have some sort of solution presented, as many documentaries do.  Something that people could work toward to fix the problem.  At the same time, I realize that there is no clear solution to this problem, and it’s not really Moore’s job to create one.

Four stars overall.

Butt Total: Nary a one.

From the Chair of Super Koala, this is Captain Spazzmataz:

I also really enjoyed this documentary. It was extremely eye opening and informational. I am glad that this movie is on the list, because I do think that at least every American should watch this movie. I was so amazed at some of the facts and statistics that were given, and I had no idea how many more gun deaths we have in the US versus any other country. It was also flabbergasting to watch the president of the NRA just get up and walk out of an interview because he couldn’t properly answer a question. Also, I think it is a horrible idea to give out guns at a bank. Whoever thought up that plan was stupid. All someone would have to do is buy bullets previously, and then hold up the bank. Just plain stupidity.

I too have no idea why everyone hates Moore so much. I was kind of delighted by his work. It was hilarious when he was being sarcastic but the interviewee couldn’t tell, and in a movie with such a heavy subject, it was nice to smile a little. I would gladly watch another one of his documentaries.

4 stars

P.S. After watching this documentary, I was so delighted with Marilyn Manson. I had no idea how intelligent he is, and how insightful he can be.

1001 Movies: Silence of the Lambs

From the Couch of Super Koala:

It has been quite some time since we posted, particularly since we posted regularly.  Things got a little hectic there at the end of the school year, what with Spazzmataz being a student and I being a teacher.  Here’s hoping we can get back on track!  Starting with the discussion of this:

With neither of us being overly fond of fear, I can confidently say that this list item was not met with great excitement.  Somehow, despite being a child of the early 90s, I missed viewing this film earlier in my life.

I tend to find many thriller movies boring.  The plot is predictable, the characters stereotypical, and the logic tends to be lacking.  I was both delighted and slightly horrified to say that was not the case for Silence of the Lambs.  Even just scrolling through pictures on the Internet gave me repulsed shivers, but the movie doesn’t rely on cheap conventions to “scare” the viewer.  Any suspense is genuinely created through legitimate story development and masterful filming.  Also, I love crime drama, and it was interesting to see what obviously spawned many of the tropes seen in crime television today.

Four stars overall.

From the Chair of Captain Spazzmataz (but is actually Super Koala’s Chair):

I too really despise everything that has to do with horror and suspense. I just get so anxious and wind up spending most of the movie hiding. However, with some coaxing of Mammabird and Sparhawk, I allowed the movie to be played in the night hours.

This film was surprisingly good. I was not expecting to find it so captivating. However, Thomas Harris must be a scary man to have thought up all of these horrible things. Seriously, how does anyone come up with these ideas! It can only be the work of someone extremely creative and imaginative and slightly twisted.

(THE HORROR!!!)

Moving on. All in all, I did enjoy the movie even though I hated every single second of the super suspenseful music. I give it four stars as well.

Wrecking to the Max

Dearest Super Koala,

I did it! I officially was able to complete two postcards and two journal pages. I was not anticipating the time that it was going to take me to complete them, but I did it. For my first postcard, I did the one where you write a secrete and then destroy it. After I had already written my secrete I realized that I didn’t take a before picture, but you have done it before, so I figured it would be okay. While I was thinking of how to expertly destroy it, I came up with the great idea of making it into confetti. So, I hole punched the entire thing. It took about 25 minutes to complete, and afterwards my hand was very sore that it hurt to squeeze anything.

IMG_0121

This was my lovely pile of confetti, and I don’t think any would ever be able to put it back together again. I think it is literally in a thousand pieces. For my second one, I decided on a magical power.

IMG_0122

Of course I picked teleportation because we have only been talking about it forever. My first journal page I kind of fudged the rules a little.

IMG_0120

I tried to do this one this week, but as I was looking around for circles, I realized that it was much harder than I thought it would be, so instead I drew a lovely picture of only circles. I will say that I found the circles in my mind, and then I will have followed the rules. My second one isn’t as pretty.

IMG_0117

I decided that I would do this one, so I smeared the picture in the snow on the back porch. I guess I used too good of a pen because it didn’t smear that well. Whoops.

IMG_0118

This past weekend, as you know, was spent with the little kids and by the time I got home on Sunday all I did was sit in my room and read and watch my two episodes of Netflix. It was stressful. Saturday at the City Museum was fun, but after awhile it just got tiring. Monday night we had our Winter Concert at school. It went really well especially considering how it was looking a week leading up to the event. It was also pretty packed the entire bottom bleachers were full and the top was 3/4 full, so I would say that it was a really good night. Afterwards a group of us went out for ice cream in our tuxes and it was pretty funny. On Tuesday I signed up for the classes I want to take next year. I am really excited, and it is funny to see how the classes I thought I was going to take a month ago are completely different from what I signed up for. Wednesday we actually played music in jazz band because there was a guy at the school seeing if we could be a school of character, so Brakefield wanted us to look good in case he came in. He didn’t, but we still had fun playing. We played a song called On Green Dolphin Street, and Burritos to Go. The latter was my favorite. It made me want to get up and dance. Today there was a two hour early release at school, so I have had lots of time to get my homework and posting done. It has been a nice relaxing day. I guess that is all I have for you. Can’t wait to hear from you on Sunday.

-Captain Spazz

P.S. We didn’t read on Sunday!

#11 – The Giant Cinnamon Roll Adventure

One of our major quests of the summer was to find the best giant cinnamon roll in Springfield. We had three contenders. Hurtz Donuts, Lambert’s Cafe, and Alli’s Family Restaurant. All three places sported very tasty looking giant cinnamon rolls, but we had to figure out which one was the best. We judged on four different criteria: taste, price, size, and appearance.

Taste:

I thought that the cinnamon roll from Lambert’s tasted the best where as Super Koala argued that it was Hurtz. However, we both agreed that Alli’s was the least tasty. Sorry Alli’s.

Price:

This category was much easier to judge because it was based on fact rather than opinion. Lambert’s had the cheapest, Alli’s was in the middle, and Hurtz was the most expensive.

Size:

Both Super Koala and I agreed that Hurtz’s cinnamon roll was the biggest, and Lambert’s and Alli’s were the same size.

Appearance:

I believed Lambert’s cinnamon roll to be the most appealing to look at, followed by Alli’s then Hurtz. Super Koala thought that Lambert’s and Alli’s were lacking something special, so she gave them the same rating with Hurtz bringing um the rear.

We graded on a scale of five. Here are the official ratings.

Super Koala:                                                           Captain Spazzmataz:

Hurtz       Lambert’s       Alli’s                                         Hurtz        Lambert’s        Alli’s

Taste:               5                   4                3                                                4                  5                  3

Price:                3                   5                4                                                3                  5                  4

Size:                  4                   3                3                                                4                  3                  3

Appearance:      3                   4                4                                                3                  5                  4

From the very scientific data above. It is clear that Lambert’s with a total score of 34 out of 40 has won the Giant Cinnamon Roll Challenge, and is now deemed the best giant cinnamon roll in Springfield!

Alli's 28/40

Alli’s 28/40

Hurtz 29/40

Hurtz 29/40

Lambert's 34/40 Winner!

Lambert’s 34/40
Winner!

#17 – Zipline & #29 – Closet Project

Today, Super Koala and I had our last trip to Branson of this summer. However, we made it the best trip yet. At the crack of dawn (actually 9:30, but basically the same thing), we packed up and went to Indian Point Zipline. Super Koala was very nervous, and is still unsure as to how she feels about the experience, but I was uber excited.

Before

Before

After

After

We didn’t get to take any pictures while we were actually going through the tour, but I got a picture of the entrance and the first tower.

IMG_2992 IMG_2993

It was super fun. I even went upside down, TWICE! Super Koala was a big wuss-puss, and was scared pretty much the entire time, but we did it and everyone on the tour survived. Our guides were really awesome too. They were super nice and really helpful, especially with the stopping part. The entire experience was awesome and I am so glad we got to go.

Afterward, we went to Silver Dollar City one last time. We rode every roller coaster, got another red velvet funnel cake, and had a great last trip.

Later when we got back home, Super Koala and I finally finished cleaning and reorganizing her closet. Pre-cleaning, her closet was very messy and unorganized.

IMG_2920

It was a rough beginning getting Super Koala to get rid of some of her older clothes. She has one t-shirt that she loves, but it is too small and has lots of holes in it, so I made her get rid of it. Her reaction was very dramatic.

IMG_2923

However, she was very good at getting rid of some things all on her own; including her beloved speech and debate t-shirt.

IMG_2921

I was very proud of her and in the end, her closet wound up looking much nicer.

IMG_2996

She got rid of lots of clothes, and she is going to donate them to charity. How thoughtful.

IMG_2995

Even though there was some cleaning to be done, today was awesome.