Friday, October 31, 2008


I’ve been tagged by Kim Kasch to write Seven Unknown Facts about me. I have done a similar tag titled 12 Weird Random Things About Me….but I’m strange and mysterious (okay, I’m stretching the truth a bit)…so I’ll add seven more…
I tag whoever would like to disclose their seven facts about themselves…you know you want to join in on the fun!

Seven Unknown Facts about Kelly Polark
1. I have had three c-sections.
2. I’ve stood on a glacier in Alaska (see picture).
3. I’m an alumna of Kappa Delta sorority.
4. I was an All Conference and All County pitcher on my high school softball team.
5. I have no sense of direction (my husband bought me a GPS for Christmas so I wouldn’t get lost).
6. I am a homebody, just like my astrological sign, Cancer, suggests.
7. My favorite holiday is Halloween!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BOO! Blogapalooza!

Welcome to my BLAAAAAGH! Thank you to Angela Nickerson from Just Go! for hosting this Blogapalooza... There is a list on the right side of "Just Go!" of all the blogs that are participating. For your spooky blogging trip, visit these sites, and post comments!
Don't forget to enter the drawing for a goodie bag!...Just drop by Just Go! and make a comment in the Goodie Bag post, and you have a chance to win.
Now to my true, scary story titled
My best friend, Becky, and I moved in a little closer to hear Grace tell the story around the campfire. Grace’s gray, bobbed hair glowed from the reflection of the fire. She continued, “And every once in a while, Bill and I can hear the faint sound of a siren in the night.”
Even though the night was humid, and the fire was hot, I shivered. Becky gave me a sideways glance and said, “You’re just joking, aren’t you, Grace? We may be only ten, but we’re not that gullible!”
I laughed nervously, hoping Becky was right.
Grace smiled, “Becky, I have never seen McGregor. I’ve only heard the stories from Old Joe, who owned this place before us. If McGregor is still living somewhere in the woods, he’d never hurt you. He’s probably just a sad, old soul who lost his family and became a little unbalanced. The siren we hear almost sounds like a wailing cry.”
Grace and Bill were old friends of Becky’s parents. They were an older couple who had retired to this isolated cabin in the deep northwoods of Wisconsin. Surely she wouldn’t lie to us.
“Let’s hope that McGregor is vacationing in Florida right now,” Becky’s dad joked. I jumped as he spoke. I was thinking intently about the legend of McGregor, the crazy old man who lived among the tall pines.
“Let’s get to our cabin, girls,” Becky’s mom said. “It’s getting late.”
“Goodnight,” I called to our hosts. “Thanks for dinner tonight!”
“Goodnight, girls! Sleep well!” Grace called to us.
“Yeah, right,” I thought to myself.
“Mom, are you scared?” Becky asked her mom.
“No, honey. Grace and Bill were probably having a little fun with you,” she replied.
Becky’s mom laid out our sleeping bags on the screened in porch. We were hoping the breeze would cool us off a little on this hot, sticky night. I was a little nervous sleeping on the porch after hearing the McGregor story.
Becky’s mom gave us a flashlight, and we said our good nights.
“Becky,” I whispered. “Are you scared?”
“A little,” she hissed.
“Me, too,” I said, but that was a lie. I was a lot scared.
We heard a rustle outside. I stiffened and croaked, “What was that?”
Becky bravely turned on the flashlight and shined it on the hundreds of trees. We saw a raccoon’s rear end scurry off into the darkness.
“It was just a raccoon,” Becky sighed.
I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. All I could think about were things that could be lurking outside: raccoons, bears, coyotes…and McGregor. Finally I fell asleep, only to be awakened by Becky’s foot kicking my leg.
“Listen!” she squeaked.
It was the long, wailing sound of a siren. I was so scared, I couldn’t move.
Becky whispered, “Let’s go!” and we ran into the house.
“Mom! Dad!” Becky called.
“What?” Becky’s mom asked sleepily.
“Can you hear that?” Becky gasped.
The siren sounded like it was getting fainter.
“I bet that’s McGregor!” Becky’s dad said excitedly.
Becky and I huddled on the couch as her parents peered into the woods. The siren stopped.
The headlights of a vehicle startled us all. Bill and Grace rushed inside. They cried, “Did you hear that?”
“Was it McGregor?” Becky asked.
“It must have been. We came to check on you,” Grace continued.
“Oh, no!” I cried. “I can’t sleep here with McGregor outside!”
“Me neither!” said Becky.
Grace and Bill tried to calm us down, but Becky and I wanted to get the heck out of there.
“C’mon, girls. You’re safe here. McGregor’s not real,” said Bill.
“Was it you?” Becky demanded.
Grace and Bill looked at each other. “Yeah. Sure it was. We were playing a trick. Now go on to bed, girls. You don’t need to be scared.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yep,” Grace said unconvincingly. “Now go on to bed. Sorry you were spooked.”
As Becky and I lay our sleeping bags on the living room floor, I asked, “Do you think it was really them?”
Becky hesitated and answered, “I think so.”
I still wasn’t so sure…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tune for Tuesday

Since it is the week of Halloween, today's video features various Halloween spoofs. The tune is "Psycho" by the band Puddle of Mudd. "Psycho" is off of their lastest album, "Famous." I played this tune all summer long. It is definitely catchy, and a little humorous, "Maybe I'm the one who is the schizophrenic psycho..." I also find it funny, because for some odd reason, my four year old loved this song. He'd sing along, "Maybe I'm the one who is the stitsophenic psyto!" I hope he won't need therapy in the future...

Click to hear PSYCHO

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ghosts of Halloween Costumes Past

Halloween is big in our house. It all started when my oldest son, JC, was two years old. We went trick or treating with our cousins; he loved it. After that, he talked about Halloween throughout the year. He loved everything to do with Halloween, the costumes, the spooky decorations, the celebration we’d have with our family each year. JC loved the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Every time we were in the car, he’d shout, “Graveyard!” when we passed a cemetery. In fact, we’d take him to the cemetery just for kicks.
When JC was three, his preschool had a career day where the child came to school dressed as his/her future occupation. JC wanted to be a gravedigger. Yes, you read right, a gravedigger. My husband and I tried to convince him to be a fisherman, a businessman, a football player…we were a little embarrassed to send him as a gravedigger. JC was adamant about being a gravedigger. So, I put overalls on him, went outside and rubbed dirt all over him (I got a few weird looks from passing neighbors), and sent him to school with a shovel. I told him, “I guarantee that you will be the only gravedigger at school today, JC! Have fun!” And he did. His aspirations have changed since then…to a meteorologist, director, and now a rockstar (he just started guitar lessons). I know they will change again.
And all of this brings us to a big Halloween Hoopla every year. We go all out. I’ve collected more and more decorations as the years go by, indoor and out. We have our very own graveyard set up in our front yard, skeletons and ghosts hanging from the trees, and jack-o-lanterns greeting our guests. We also have family party every year so the kids (okay, and the adults) can dress up in their costumes and play with one another. Last night we had our annual get together. Here’s a fun picture from it…and some of my costumes from Halloween past.
As you can tell from the picture above, my husband and I were Todd and Sarah from Alaska this year.

Last year I was a beer wench, he was a scary dude, I guess.

The year before that I was Wonder Woman. When I was little, my mom used to tell my sister and I that she was Wonder Woman but had to give up the title when she got married. Yep, we believed her for a while. Is my family strange? Or imaginative?!

And lastly, I'm throwing in one from my youth. I'm the football player. No frou-frou costumes for me, I was a tomboy and proud of it! The witch and the clown are still two of my best friends today!

What were some of your favorite Halloween costumes?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Senior Moments

Some fellow bloggers are daring their blog peers to expose their past and post a senior high school picture! I accept that dare with delight.
I may be one of the few who loved every year of school from kindergarten to college (which may have led me to my career in teaching). In grade school, I soaked in the knowledge like a sponge. I loved racing friends at recess. I truly liked my teachers. High school brought a fresh variety of friendships, more clubs and sports to enjoy, and increased challenges in my education. My biggest challenge: chemistry! UGH!
My senior year began in the fall of 1988. I was laughing at Rosanne and Cheers on TV. My favorite movie in high school was “About Last Night,” but my senior year I remember loving “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy.
Hair was permed and big. Music was either syrupy pop or hair metal (I loved the latter).
Some of my fave songs of that school year were “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns n Roses. Other notable hits were “Father Figure” by George Michael,“Angel” by Aerosmith, and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. Man, I love the 80’s.
I was extremely involved in high school: homecoming court, yearbook staff, cheerleading, basketball, softball…not to mention filling out college scholarship applications, fun with friends, and of course, a steady boyfriend. And don't forget Spring Break. My best friend's parents invited three of her friends to sail with them on a sailboat in the Caribbean for a week. It was unbelievable!
Oh, wait, you just stopped to see the embarrassing pictures.
Fine, here you have it.
A cheerleading pic taken the summer before my senior year. Our team won first place at cheerleading camp that year! Go! Go! Fight! Fight! Gee, I hope I look all right!

Ahhh, senior prom. Here's me behind my big hair and blue eye shadow.

Next year is my twenty, yes, twenty year reunion...I'll have to search for some cool 80's music for that. Oh, wait, I have them all on one of my fave Itunes lists.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tune for Tuesday

I'm not a sap. I am so not a romantic. But today's Tune for Tuesday is more of a love song. "Love Remains the Same" is the first single from Gavin Rossdale's first solo album, Wanderlust. Gavin Rossdale was the British lead singer of the 1990's group, Bush. Bush had many hits including "Machinehead," "Glycerine," and "Little Things." You may also know Rossdale as Gwen Stefani's husband; I enjoy Stefani's music as well, especially her No Doubt days.

Rossdale's solo album isn't as heavy as Bush's music, but does have some of the same 90's grunge, angsty feel to it. I chose "Love Remains the Same" this week, because I seriously cannot get this song out of my head! The chorus is quite memorable. I find myself replaying it on my Ipod over and over. Another great song from his album is "Trouble I'm In."

But first take a listen to

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And We Laughed

Last night I took my mom to see comedian, Joel McHale, for her birthday. My mom and I regularly watch Joel McHale host The Soup on the E! channel. McHale basically shows clips from TV and makes fun of them in a very sarcastic and blunt way. The clips themselves are usually funny, but Joel’s take on them make it laugh out loud funny. The Soup is one of my few “must watch” shows every week.
Here’s a clip from The Soup, the funniest show evah!:

When we arrived to the theater for the performance, my mom and I had a drink, then I led her to our seats. Unbeknownst to her, I had purchased second row seats for us. She couldn’t believe our awesome seats, it turned out we had no one in front of us either!
The warm up comedian, or “fluffer” as he called himself, was Chris Hardwick.
PhotobucketI had never heard of him, but he had us giggling like school girls. Chris started the show making topical, sarcastic jokes about the general vicinity and Wisconsin (which we live near). It’s refreshing to hear jokes tailor made for the audience, and obviously new material. About midway through his act, Chris also mentioned he was the voice of one of the cows in the Nickelodeon cartoon, “Back to the Barnyard.” My kids watch that show so I yelled out, “Which cow?” Hey, I knew my children would want to know! He proceeded to heckle me which was fun, even as my face turned red. Second row seats have its advantages.
Next Joel McHale walked on the stage to loud applause by his adoring fans. After watching him every week, my mom and I enjoyed having Joel right in front of us making us chuckle. McHale joked about many of the fellow shows on E! and pop culture that he repeatedly makes fun of on The Soup. Much of his act was talking about his parents, his young sons, and other family topics, things the audience can relate to. My mom’s eyes were red from tearing up and laughing so much. He also heckled two ladies in the audience throughout the show that made us laugh even harder. I imagine they took it well, because you had to have a sense of humor to be there in the first place! He is just so freaking funny! I love sarcastic, inapproprate humor...I get to hear it every day from my husband, too!
After his performance, a long line formed to meet him and buy Soup T-shirts. I convinced my mom to get in the long line, even though we were one of the last ones. It seemed there were about 150 people in line, so we gave up after a while knowing we’d be there for an hour or two. I thought it was gracious of Joel though to sign autographs and take pictures with his many fans after the show.Photobucket We left the theater with big grins. If you enjoy biting wit, check out the Soup on E! on Friday nights or even check out that guy Joel if he performs near you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

12 Weird Random Things About Me!

This comes from another Blog tag/meme, which is great, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. So let’s just talk about me in this meme! Or should I say ME!ME!
My oldest son tells me I’m weird just about every day, so I thought this would be easy…I had to ask my hubby and best friend for ideas!
Please keep coming to my blog after you discover the weirdness of Kelly Polark…

1. My first ever writing published was in Us magazine (now titled Us Weekly). It was in the Reader Mailbag section-which they don’t even have anymore…the topic was Matthew McConaughey!
2. I was mistaken for a boy more than once in my tomboy youth.
3. I (and my two sons and dog) have a brief cameo in the Brides of Destruction music video, “White Trash.” I’m not white trash, but I play one on TV… (Look for us at around 1:55 and 3:34)

4. I don’t like onions, but I love onion rings.
5. When we were in junior high, my best friend and I were Vice-President and President of Student Council. A few times when we forgot to do our homework, we called a student council meeting to avoid going to class.
6. I received my only detention in high school for chewing gum three times in Spanish class. “Chiclet, Margarita!” My only excuse was there was a cute boy in my Spanish class, and I had to have fresh breath!
7. I hung a poster of Kip Winger in my dorm room and then in my room in the sorority house at college. I got teased mercilessly for it! When I was in junior high, my posters included Michael Jackson and Duran Duran.
8. My college roommate, Becky, and I once spent an afternoon talking with the squirrels and really thought they were communicating back to us (and no, we weren’t even drunk…yet, anyway).
9. My husband and I had a pretend puppy when we were first married, because we couldn’t have a real one yet in our apartment.
10. I manically check the Doppler Radar every few minutes during storms.
11. I sing along with the car radio at the top of my lungs.
12. I was the Homecoming Queen in high school, my sister was Prom Queen, and my Dad was Prom King (obviously not the same year ;0). We did not grow up in a palace, however.:0)

OTHER BIG NEWS: The Sixth Bi-Annual Biz-Over Event to Honor Chicago's 12 Most Powerful and Influential Women is being held tonight. I want to congratulate my sister, Denise, for being one of the twelve honorees! Denise is the founder and president of VaVaVroom, a motorcycle apparel for women company. Congrats, sis! I am VERY proud of you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tune for Tuesday

Today’s Tune for Tuesday is “Hypnotize” by System of a Down. System of a Down is an Armenian-American hard rock band. “Hypnotize” is from their Hypnotize platinum album released in 2005.
I first heard this song on the radio and purchased it right away on ITunes. My daughter was in preschool at the time and would always take a long time getting buckled in the car after I picked her up. Instead of getting frustrated (okay, sometimes I did get frustrated…), I would just put this song on and wait for her to be ready. (She’s still a lollygagger by the way!)
The chorus fits the situation perfectly.
“I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my girl!”
We now refer to this song as her song. The rest of the song lyrics are somewhat political, as many of System of a Down’s songs are, but obviously it is "her song " due to the chorus.
The harmonizing in the song by lead singer, Serj Tankian, and guitarist, Daron Malakian, is absolutely beautiful. I purchased many more System songs after listening to this one. Serj Tankian has an amazing voice, and I’d probably buy his CD if it was him singing his grocery list! My husband and I also saw System of a Down live when they headlined Ozzfest a few years ago. They were an amazing band live as well.

Click here for Hypnotize!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tic Tac Oh!

My kids and I occasionally play tic tac toe. It is a great way to keep them busy while waiting in a restaurant. My children are generally pretty well behaved while eating out. Which is great, because my husband and I love to eat out! Tic Tac Toe is much more fun than some of the shenanigans my kids have pulled at a restaurant....crawling under the table, whining two minutes after they order, "When will my food get here?", my youngest talking in his usual SUPERLOUD voice (poor guy has to, he has to talk over four family members older than him), my daughter making true, but inappropriate observations about other diners...You get the point.
Back to tic tac's a fun, simple way for all ages to pass the time. A friend emailed me a cute tic tac toe game on the computer. I had all three kids try it out...they were surprised at how much more exciting tic tac toe can be on the computer. It 's a great way to procrastinate.

Try it out! Tic Tac Toe

Don't forget to comment to let me know what you think!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It’s playoff time! Are you a baseball fan? Me? I don’t really follow professional baseball, except watch a few games here and there with family. My family and I are Cubs fans though. There were a lot of disappointed (okay, ticked off) family members last week when the Cubs blew it.

My favorite baseball games to watch are my kids’ little league games. May and June were packed with games between my son’s farm league and my daughter’s tee ball. It is really fun to watch the kids’ skills improve throughout the season. Tee ball was pretty entertaining this year. It was lil Missy’s first year in tee ball. The age group was 4-6 year olds. We giggled through the first few games; the players are just so darn cute. When my very social daughter played first base, she’d chat with each runner from the other team on base. When Missy was the runner going to second base, her teammate forgot to run to third, so she ran to second base and shoved him towards third. My favorite play was when a runner from our team was on second base and ran out into the outfield to get the ball when his teammate hit it!
This summer my mom took my daughter to her first Cubs game (along with me and my oldest son). The four of us walked to our seats while the team was warming up. My daughter’s mouth dropped open and exclaimed, “Adults are playing?!” My son loved the game, my daughter liked visiting the concession stands…

Hey, while you are in the baseball frame of mind, go ahead and check out a baseball activity I created for Stories for Children magazine.

Click HERE!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Tune for Tuesday

Today’s tune is from one of my favorite bands, the Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters was formed in 1995 by Dave Grohl, the drummer of Nirvana. On the first Foo album, Grohl played every instrument and sang every vocal on the tracks. That is one talented feller! More members were added when Foo Fighters went on tour. “This is a Call” and “Big Me” were some of the hits from that first album.
I always enjoyed hearing Foo Fighters songs on the radio, but I never bought a CD until 2002 after I heard the song, “All My Life” from their fourth album, One by One. I played this CD over and over and now own most of the Foo Fighters collection on my Itunes. “All My Life” won a Grammy for best hard rock performance. You’ll see more of Foo in future Tunes for Tuesday…many of their music videos are hilarious.
This one is rock n roll-plain, loud, and simple.
I love the beginning guitar riff of the song…
Click to hear.. All My Life

Done! Done! On to the next one! Done! I’m done, I’m on to the next…

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bless the Beasts

Yesterday our church held a Blessing of the Animals to honor St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He was a Roman Catholic saint who joyfully followed all that Jesus said and did. The blessing custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.
My husband, three children, and I brought our dogs, Puppers and Goofy, to be blessed just before noon. My husband’s parents and their dog, Sam joined us. Already a line of owners and pets stood on the sidewalk ready to be blessed. We enjoyed seeing all the different breeds of dogs, large and small. There were a handful of cats also waiting to be blessed, as well as one bird in a cage.
My dogs sniffed other dogs while Father Tim led us in prayer and reminded us of what St. Francis stood for. Father Tim’s dog also attended the blessing. After the prayers, we waited for our pets’ turn while conversing with the other pet lovers. It was a warm, friendly atmosphere. When we brought Puppers and Goofy up, Father Tim asked about what breed they were and noticed Puppers was shaved on her sides. We explained that she had been ill and had tests this week at a university hospital two hours away. He gave Puppers an extra blessing, knowing that she might not be with us much longer. The dogs flinched in surprise when Father Tim shook the holy water on them. He laughed that it was the cats that really don’t enjoy the water.
Afterwards, we meandered through the throng of wagging tails and smiling members of our community happy to be part of this event.
The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between the two is basic love. Hug your pet today! We are indeed blessed to have such loving companions in our lives.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Meal Fit for a Jedi

Star Wars is big in our house. My husband has a huge collection of vintage Star Wars toys (oops, I mean collectibles). Some he purchased on Ebay, some he saved from his youth. I was a young girl who loved Star Wars, too, but alas, did not save any of my old toys.
Fast forward to now, my children are also fans of the galactic blockbuster. I attribute most of that to our own fondness for the Star Wars movies, but also four new movies have come out since my first pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with JC, I watched The Phantom Menace in the theater (and he wriggled a lot during that movie!). When I was pregnant with M, we succumbed to his jedi mind trick and took JC to his very first movie ever, Attack of the Clones. I admit he was probably too young to see it. In fact we left about three-quarters through the movie, but hey, we are fans. When Revenge of the Sith came out, it was PG-13, so my husband and I watched it without the kids. My nine year old finally convinced us to let him watch it a few weeks ago (I never allow my children to watch PG-13 movies). I know, the Dark Side made us do it. We recently enjoyed the latest installment, The Clone Wars, and it rejuvenated my children’s enthusiasm for everything Star Wars.
And that brings us to tonight. The Clone Wars television series premieres on Cartoon Network. The force was strong as my mother in law and M cooked up a Star Wars themed dinner. (I was busy trying to make my hair look like Princess Leia's.) The recipes came from a cookbook titled, The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookie Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis.
Our meal included Yoda Soda, TIE Fighter Ties, Han-Burgers, Cosmic Carrots, and Jawa Jive Milkshakes.
The young padawans were voracious in their consumption of these delectables from another galaxy. Though we did have to remind them…Use the fork, Luke.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Picture Book Writer

I discovered this fun TAG on Brenda’s blog, (thanks Brenda!).

Find a song that sums up what you think it means to be a writer and post the lyrics on your blog and why you've chosen it. It doesn't have to be your favorite song, it just has to express how you feel about writing and/or being a writer. It can be literal, metaphorical, about a particular form or aspect of writing - whatever you want. Then tag 5 others to do the same (reprint these instructions).
I'm tagging any blogger that would like to do this!

The first song that came to mind was “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles. Obvious, isn’t it?
I’ve been enjoying the songs of the Beatles since I was a little girl. I would put on my mom’s albums and sing along for hours. I’ve changed up the words a bit to fit my own aspiration, to be a picture book writer!

I give you, The Beatles!

Picture book writer, picture book writer.
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on my family who I love so dear,
And I need a job,
So I want to be a picture book writer,
Picture book writer.
It's a silly story of a little girl,
And her baby brother doesn't understand.
Her mom is working at the local mall.
It's a steady job, But she wants to be a picture book writer,
Picture book writer.
Picture book writer, picture book writer.
It's thirty-two pages, give or take a few.
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I could make it longer if you like the style.
I can change it 'round,
And I want to be a picture book writer,
Picture book writer.
If you really like it you can have the rights.
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it you can send it here,
But I need a break,
And I want to be a picture book writer,
Picture book writer.
Picture book writer, picture book writer....