Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tune for Tuesday

Thanks to all of you for not laughing at me too hard at my dance video yesterday. Though I have to say, my hits tripled! Kevin Costner did say, “If you shake it, they will come.” Or something like that. One of the clips was filmed in Iowa!
If you missed me shakin’ it, the video clip is in the post below. I had a few comments about "The Reflex" clip, so today’s Tune for Tuesday is by a longtime favorite band of mine, Duran Duran. I had their poster on my wall in junior high. I spent most of my junior high looking at teenybopper and music magazines for pictures and stories about Simon LeBon and John Taylor. I was glued to Mtv watching their amazing music videos. I’ve seen them live in concert four times (the top right photo was taken before a Duran Duran concert). I own most of their CDs and cassettes. I primarily listen to rock music, but Duran Duran will always be one of my favorite bands!
"The Reflex" was Double Duran's first US hit.
Dananana doo doo doo doo, dananana. The Reflex. The Reflex. The Reflex. Flexflexflexflexflex.

1. I did have something to dance about. I was notified that my poem, "Winter Woes," will be included in the Stories for Children Best of 2008 anthology!

2. Cindy Pon’s debut book, Silver Phoenix, was released today! Isn’t her cover gorgeous? Go to her website and you can win a signed book, an original painting, or a gift certificate! Congrats, Cindy!Photobucket

3. C. Lee Mackenzie of The Write Game blog released her YA book, Sliding on the Edge on Friday! Congrats! Photobucket

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dance Kelly Dance!

Several weeks ago I posted about Ely Kim and his 100 songs in 100 locations. Here he is again.
BOOMBOX from Ely Kim on Vimeo. I love music and I love dancing, so I thought it would be so fun to emulate Ely and do my own dance compilation.
So I did! Really! Over the last six weeks, I had several of my family members film me in different locations. At times, I just danced and had fun. Other times I felt self conscious and thought, “Why the H am I doing this?” I’m sure some of my family also thought, “Why the H is she doing this?” But I did it. Embarrassing at times, just letting loose at times, silly at times. It’s done, and here it is. Thank you to my cinematographers (my husband, 9 year old son, 6 year old daughter, mother in law, hubby’s aunt, and my dad all filmed parts of this!), and thanks to Ely for making me dance!


1. Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
I think I dance slightly better than the Burger King dude in the commercials….
2. Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake
I’m no JT, that guy can dance!
3. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce
This was actually choreographed by my hubby’s cousin, Anna. This is filmed in her dance studio. She was captain of the University of Iowa Dance Team last year. She is an AMAZING dancer. Me, not so much.
4. Freedom by George Michael
That’s my son J-Man in the goggles. That’s the mother of three in the polka dot tankini.
5. Somebody Told Me by the Killers
I was trying to dance like Ely in this one. Isn’t the forest preserve behind me beautiful?
6. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
OK-Go’s treadmill video gave me the idea for this one!
7. Fergilicious by Fergie
What? This isn’t the moves to the Rain Dance?
8. The Reflex by Duran Duran
I SO love Duran Duran! Can you tell my six year old filmed this one?
9. Kiss by Prince
Yes, this was first thing in the morning. Me, no makeup, very tired.
10. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Didn’t you dance on Easter Sunday?
11. Disturbia by Rihanna
This was filmed in the foyer of my house, can you see lil JD on the stairs?
12. Super Freak by Rick James
My dad’s neighbors stopped to watch this one. Very embarrassing! If you didn’t see Little Miss Sunshine, you probably think I’m nuts. Oh, wait. If you just viewed this video, you already think I’m nuts.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poetry Friday

I love spring! One thing I love about spring is seeing all the beautiful birds at my bird feeders. My father is a bird nerd (Sorry, Dad. Love ya!) and helps me to identify all the different birds we see in our yard. He is also a very talented bird photographer whose photos have won many awards and been featured in several magazines. His beautiful portraits inspired me to write a book of poetry about birds. It was my first attempt at a poetry collection. The title is Words on Birds. I have submitted it to different publishers, with no luck so far. If this bird book does not end up with a publisher, I will self publish the poetry with my dad's photographs for our family and other birders.
Here is one poem from my Words on Birds collection. The photograph is by my father, Tom Maple. My goal is to share facts about each bird in a fun way. Children could then possibly identify birds in their own backyards using these facts and looking at the stunning photographs.

Lisa Chellman has the Poetry Roundup this week!

Photo copyright Tom Maple


The beautiful cardinal is a vibrant red.

He’s known for the crest upon his head.

His heavy bill is surrounded by black.

Bugs, fruit, and seeds are a favored snack.

A backyard favorite, high he rates.

He’s the state bird of seven states.

-Kelly Polark, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tune for Tuesday/I Heart our Earth

Tomorrow is Earth Day. What will you do to celebrate? Me? My family will continue to do what we are doing and spread the word. I’ll also wear a cool Come Together Earth shirt that I won on Katie Darby’s blog!
What has my family been doing? I’m proud to say our large recycling bin is more full each week than our similar sized garbage can. My husband replaced all of our light bulbs with the energy efficient CFL ones. We also have an energy efficient furnace and air conditioner. We wore sweatshirts in the winter and turned our thermostat down (I’m still wearing a sweatshirt to bed, it’s cold at night!). I switched to nontoxic, ecofriendly cleaning supplies (like Green Works). I bring reusable bags to the grocery store. My husband has started a vegetable garden. Hubby just brought used batteries, old oil, and other hazardous used materials to a SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency) drop off on Saturday instead of carelessly throwing them away. They offer chemical waste drop offs and electronic drop offs. We turn off lights when not in a room (my kids have trouble with this one!). Not only is this all earth friendly, but we have saved money, too. I’m really not saying all of this to toot my own horn (hee, hee…I said toot!), but to show examples of how you can go green, too!
What can my family still do? I still need to remember to unplug items when they are not in use. We also have an SUV. With the current economy, we are not ready to trade it in, but I would love to get a hybrid next. Also, taking cool showers is greener, and I likes me hot showers in the cold Midwest winters. Composting is good for our Earth, too!
Kim Kasch has an Earth Friendly Friday each week on her blog. Brenda has Tuesday’s Green Living Tips. Check ‘em out!
In other news, a big thank you to Christina Farley for nominating me for the Lemonade Stand award! I appreciate it, Christina! I also won a blog contest at Murphblog for recruiting his twentieth follower! Thanks, Murph (and SL Hastings for playing along!)!

Today’s Tune for Tuesday is “Rise Today” by Alter Bridge. Alter Bridge is a band made up of musicians formerly from the band, Creed, along with singer Myles Kennedy,
Take a listen. Let’s rise today and change this world.

Alter Bridge - Rise Today -

Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Friday

It’s National Library Week! Do you love your library? I do! With our bookshelves bulging, it is nice to take the kids to the library, read, and take the books back. I like to check out the childrens’ magazines and check out poetry books for myself as well. Once in a while I’ll even check out a book for adults! A few days ago I took my four year old to the library I went to when I was a child. I frequent that one and the one in my current town. The towns are close to each other, as I didn’t move far away from my home town. I’m crazy and adventurous like that.
The fabulous Cynthea Liu is having a Library Lovin’ Challenge. Stop by her site to comment, and she will give fast hard cash to a library! Her goal is 1000 comments! You can also receive a signed bookplate for her next book Paris Pan Takes the Dare and a chance to win the book, too!

I LOVE THE LIBRARY by Kelly Polark

Silent reading.
Lots of seating.
I like the comfort of the library.

Moms shushing.
No rushing.
I like the calm of the library.

Aisle browsing.
Quiet carousing.
I like the variety of the library.

Patrons learning.
Easy returning.
I like the value of the library.

Internet, magazines, DVDs.
Can we go to the library, please?
I love everything about the library!

Becky's Book Reviews has the Poetry Roundup today!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Keep Fishin'

I received a great surprise in the mail yesterday. The April issue of Nature Friend magazine was in an envelope with a check! I didn’t even know they accepted my submission. I did receive a few emails that they were considering my work, but I did not know it would be in print! My rhyming riddles titled "Fishing for Answers" is on page 7 of the April issue. Here’s a pic!Photobucket

Fishing is HUGE in my family and my husband’s family. I seriously got excited when my hubby (then boyfriend) told me he fished, because I knew he and my dad would be great fishing buddies! (and they are, they’re musky nuts!)
To celebrate my "Fishing for Answers" article, today’s Tune for Tuesday is the Weezer song, "Keep Fishin’". It’s a great video starring the Muppets! My kids say the last line of the video all the time, “That wasn’t half bad…It was all bad!”
Weezer is a Grammy award winning rock band from Los Angeles. Their songs are very catchy and fun to sing along to. Some hits include "Say It Ain't So," "Beverly Hills," "Buddy Holly," and "Pork and Beans."
"Keep Fishin'" is from their 2002 album, Maladroit.
Great song, funny video. Check out Kermit in a Weezer tshirt!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meet Daisy Mae

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. We had a blessed weekend with lots of family events and a new family member. We adopted a new puppy on Saturday from Have a Heart Dog Rescue!
I've been looking at puppies on petfinder.com (a website that shows animals in shelters and rescues who are available for adoption) for months for just the right dog. My first dog ever, Puppers, died in December. We also have a 12 year old miniature pinscher, Goofy. We knew we wanted to get a puppy, since our kids never experienced the craziness of puppyhood. I saw a pup on petfinder.com that looked like a cross between Puppers and Goofy. She had Puppers soft, floppy ears and Goofy's black and tan color.
Puppers and Goofy

Here's our new pup, Daisy Mae!
Daisy's mom was rescued from southern Illinois. She was a pregnant stray. They think she is a King Charles cavalier spaniel or a cavalier spaniel mix. We don't know what kind of dog the father was so it will be interesting to see how Daisy looks when she grows up! We just knew she was adorable and needed a home.
The kids are beyond excited about their new puppy. First we had to decide on a name for this playful pup. We were debating between Brandy, Lily, and Sookie. Then I looked on the internet to look at female dog names. We added Lucky and Daisy to our list. The kids really liked Daisy, and we liked it, too. So she is Daisy!
Here's when Daisy met Goofy.
Happy Tails!

Here is some info from the dog rescue's website.
There are approximately 45 cats and dogs for every person born.
Only 1 out of 10 dogs born ever get a home.
Approximately 800 dogs & cats are KILLED each HOUR in the United States,because there are not enough homes for them!
Please SPAY and NEUTER! If looking for a pet, please rescue!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Friday

Did you know that April 4 was Tell A Lie Day? I actually forgot about it that particular day, but I did write a poem about it a few months ago! There are actually e-cards for Tell A Lie Day! If you feel bad for lying on April 4, National Honesty Day is April 30. This day is to remind people that honesty is the best policy, and to try and tell the truth all the time (all the time that is except for April 4!).

Please check out my poem about Tell A Lie Day in the April issue of Stories for Children magazine here!
This week's poetry roundup is at Carol's Corner!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This or That Thursday

Rena has awarded me the Lemonade Stand Award! Photobucket This award is given for great gratitude and/or attitude. Thank you, Rena! You can pre-order Rena’s newest book A New Job for Dilly here!
I decided to go along with the lemonade theme for This or That Thursday today.
Lemonade, that cool refreshing drink…(Anyone remember that from the Eddie Murphy Delirious special long ago? Watch it on Youtube. He is impersonating Elvis, and it is so funny!)
Which refreshing drink do you prefer? Do you like lemonade or iced tea? Or an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea mixed)?

I can’t choose. I really do like both drinks equally. I’ve never ordered an Arnold Palmer, I bet I’d like it! So tell me, do you like this or that?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tune For Tuesday

I’ve been wasting time lately on Facebook taking quizzes about music trivia, Harry Potter, and state capitals, listing celebrity crushes, and general Facebook chit chat. After taking the music quizzes and looking over my silly crush list, I realized that I haven’t had a tune for my Tune for Tuesday by one of my favorite musical artists – Motley Crue. I liked the Crue in their heyday of the 80’s, but never bought a Motley Crue CD until after I read the book, The Dirt, by Motley Crue in 2002.
The Dirt is a detailed account of the highs and lows and general debauchery of the four members’ lives. Motley Crue is Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (lead guitar), Nikki Sixx (lyricist, bass guitar, and a crush of mine), and Tommy Lee (drums). The book is definitely entertaining, and they are definitely notorious bad boys. The book chronicles Vince’s manslaughter charge and jail time, Mick’s battle with a bone disease, Nikki’s heroin addiction, Tommy’s love life with blonde celebrities and his jail time, and crazy stories from tours in the eighties. I would read crazy parts aloud to my husband, because I could not believe they put some of this stuff that would make anyone cringe on paper.
After I read the book, I bought a greatest hits CD and listened to it over and over and over. I really liked their songs. I now knew the story behind some of them, and they were darn catchy. I became a fan, and bought many more of their CD’s.Photobucket I saw them in concert in 2003 in March, then again in August of 2003. Their live show is amazing. At the August concert, I bought a special ticket that allowed me to meet them, get an item signed (the book), and get a picture with them plus get front row. My husband was appalled that a conservative girl like myself wanted to meet the same guys that did the dirty deeds that I read aloud to him. I went to the concert with my mom and sister, and it was my first concert ever with an actual front row seat. That experience was incredible in itself, but I do have to say it was also a thrill to meet the musicians that I frequently listened to. They were all very cordial, gave me a hug, and chatted with me briefly. I’ve seen them live two more times since then. The lead singer, Vince Neil, also tours as a solo act sometimes, and I’ve caught his concerts as well. PhotobucketSo, here is my favorite Motley Crue song. It isn’t one of their big hits like “Girls, Girls, Girls” or “Kickstart My Heart.” “Afraid” is from a 1997 album, Generation Swine.
Check it!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back to Reality...and Snow!

I'm baaaaaaaack. I had a great family vacation in Wisconsin and Iowa. (My blog went to the beach in St. Lucia, not me. She had a fab time!)
My week started with a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband's cousin. Usually when his big family gets together, it is kids and all and always a good time, but we hired sitters (teen cousins) for our small children so the adults could have a night out. Needless to say, we all had a silly, fun time out at the party (as seen here).
My family of five then headed to my inlaws' vacation home for the week with my inlaws. We had a relaxing week of swimming, reading, watching movies, doing puzzles. We took a hike one day through the trails in the woods and found a tree shaped like a P (see top pic)! I read Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse during the week as well (my favorite so far of her series). My hubby and children also videoed me dancing in different locations for my condensed Dance Off with Ely...They think I'm nuts. Now I have to figure out how to transfer it and edit it on my computer!

I'd say the most eventful thing happened while I was driving my hubby, his parents, and our three children home from dinner. It was twilight, and I am not the most confident driver in the world. During the ride we were actually discussing my refusal to ever drive in downtown Chicago, because it creates such anxiety for me. Anyhoo, I was driving and noticed a large looming figure coming toward me in my lane. I thought it looked like a cartoonish large man in a black overcoat at first as I started pushing on the brakes. Then I realized it was a huge, freaking BULL walking toward me! Thankfully the suburban stopped mere inches in front of this behemoth! It looked at us then went around our car. I was shaking all the way home. A deer crossed the road in front of me when we were almost home, too! Then my hubby and his mom drove back to make sure no one got hurt and pulled into the farm, and the bull followed them into the driveway then ran into the farm field. Crazy! And that is no bull.
We ended the week going back to Iowa for a night where a cousin trained my oldest son at a baseball facility then we had another big family night.

Lastly, April is Poetry Month! Congrats to Laura Purdie Salas! Today her newest book, Stampede: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School comes out! Visit her launch party here!
Anything new happen in blogland while I was gone?