Thursday, April 29, 2010


Many families have words or phrases that are commonly used (or uniquely used) in their household. Some are made up, some are overused, some are just plain goofy.
Here are some words and phrases that are used often in the Polark household.

Polark vocabulary (or Pocabulary or Polarcabulary...I couldn't decide which was better)

Famwich - my husband made up this word for when all three kids and two dogs come into our bed with us to giggle or talk or snuggle (this has on occasion turned into a Dutch Famwich which I will not elaborate on).
Meaner - my five year old coined this for well, someone who is being mean
Bob Georgenfeller - a character name in one of my fifth grader's stories. I just like the name so I am including it in the Pocabulary.
Toaster Paster - my five year old accidentally called his Pop Tart/toaster pastry this, so now it will always be known as a toaster paster.
Skin sweater - skin with hair on it, I guess
Broadzilla - my husband occasionally calls me this. Isn't he a romantic?!
buttocks - potty talk is rampant in this house
Taco Tuesday - yes, we try to have tacos so often on Tuesdays for dinner, that when we serve it on a different night, one of the children will be confused and ask, " today Tuesday?"

Phrases frequently used in our household (besides of course "I love you," "No," and "Wash your hands.")

"I was like.." - my five year old will do or say something and then recap it for us.

Justin Bieber's hair (or as my husband would say, Justin Beaver's hair) -thanks to this post by Murph, this topic has been used lately to make each other laugh or scare my five year old (who finally realized that he really won't be attacked by J.B.'s hair)

"Can I say the prayer?" - We have a competitive household that even after we say, "Wash your hands for dinner" the three children yell this so they can be the one to say the prayer before dinner. You wonder why we won't just rotate who says it? Because then it wouldn't be as big of a deal.

"That's cooooold!" - by my fifth grader twenty times a day, must be the new groovy phrase going around in the middle school

"That's where my babies were born!" I say that every time we pass the hospital where my babies were born (which is in the area). So, everyone expects it and chimes in now.

Words or Phrases that once used to be overused but are now "so two years ago" as my fifth grader would say.

Big Ticks. (see my old post for the reasons for this one. My son can thankfully say his "k" sounds correctly now.)
“Not so good, Al.” from the end of the Weezer video, "Buddy Holly." We'd say it when something was not good.
"Save that talk for dinner!" At dinner, our talk would always end up being ridiculous potty talk somehow, so that when someone would be talking about toots or poop during the day, I'd tell them not to say that because that kind of talk was reserved for the dinner table.
"Pool and a pond. Pond would be good for you." My husband has been saying this line from Caddyshack since I've met him. Plus other Caddyshack lines like "You'll get nothing and like it!" and "Thank you very little."
What words are commonly used in your home?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gettin' Funny Part Three

My husband and I finished our "Get Funny" online class a few weeks ago. We had a lot of fun in the class. I noticed he was better with one-liners and satire, and I was better at parody and exaggeration. We both received a 97% on the final exam (yes, there was a final exam). We didn't even get the same question wrong. The question I got wrong was about bathroom humor... (pfffft). Since our assignments weren't graded, but critiqued in the discussion area, there was no way to really determine which of us earned a better grade in the class. So I asked our instructor in the discussion area which one of us was funnier. Her answer, "I usually don't do this, but yes, one of you is funnier."
So, even after taking the class, we still can't prove who is funnier!

Here are the top five things I learned from this class..
1. Take notes in an observation notebook. You can write daily observations or things that make you laugh from a TV show or real life. This will be useful when you write scenes in your story.
2. Three components of good observational humor are keep it real, recognizable, and use a fresh approach.
3. The four rules of pop culture references are they must be relevant, recognizable, original, and well-stated.
4. More people will accept bathroom humor in a film or TV show if it serves a purpose to the plot. (That's the question I got wrong!)
5. If your submission is rejected, it's selection, not rejection. (Right, writers!?)

Of course I learned more than this. The assignments were writing exercises, which is helpful for any writer. I researched and learned about specific comedians, the history of comedy, the rules of improv, and so much more. It was definitely a worthwhile class.
I enjoy comedy very much. I don't have time for a lot of TV or movies, so when I do watch something, it is almost always a comedy.

My top three movie comedies are Elf, Vacation, and Old School.
My top four TV comedies are The Soup!, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother (see picture), and Community. Seinfeld and Friends are old favorites.
Favorite comedian? Joel McHale
Book that recently made me laugh out loud? Guess Again by Mac Barnett....unexpected silliness.

What are your favorite comedic TV shows or movies? What books made you laugh out loud?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Every day is Earth Day at the Polark house! We recycle regularly, use cloth napkins at dinner, use reusable grocery bags, buy and use energy efficient appliances (just had to buy a new washer, my old one just died), use non-toxic cleaners, and lower our thermostat (I wear sweatshirts to bed and use two comforters in the winter!).
And green is my favorite color! It seriously is!
My blog is even carbon neutral!
carbon neutral coupons and shopping with
Yours can be, too! Click on the leaf for further instructions on how to have a tree planted. It's easy! Post this leaf on your blog, blog about it, email the link, and a tree will be planted!

Click here for Laura's Seven Ways to be a Green Writer.

Find more tips to be green at .

Like the shirt my husband is wearing today (above)?

I am wearing this shirt today.
And my youngest son is wearing this today.
How are you kind to our planet?

Monday, April 19, 2010

30 Seconds to Awesome

Last week I went to...wait for it...another concert. My friend and I went to see 30 Seconds to Mars in Milwaukee.

Who was the actor/musician in my last post who is the lead singer of this band?
Did anyone guess hottie Jared Leto?? If you haven't heard of him, he started his career opposite Claire Danes in My So Called Life. Other movies you may have seen him in include American Psycho, Fight Club, Alexander, The Panic Room and more. He is also occasionally seen at Suzanne Cazamento's grocery store (lucky girl).

Photobucket30 Seconds to Mars is comprised of Jared, his brother, Shannon, on drums and Tomo Milicevic on guitar. Their first hit was "The Kill (click to see video) Other popular songs from that album were "From Yesterday" and "A Beautiful Lie." "Kings and Queens" (video attached) and "This is War" from their newest album have had a lot of radio play in the last few months.

Before I left, my friend did my hair for me. Then my dad (who is a photographer) came over to take some pics of his rocker daughter.

I got to meet the band before the show (see pic on top). It was just a quick meet and greet, they signed this Photobucket with not their signatures, but weird symbols ( WTH?), but Tomo and Jared were friendly.

Neon Trees and Mute Math opened. Since my friend and I were there early, we were right in front of the stage for the whole show (my favorite spot to be!). Neon Trees had an amazing dramatic, flamboyant frontman. I'll be buying some of their songs on Itunes. Here's me and the lead singer, Tyler, and Brandon, bass.

Mute Math was fun, too. But of course I was there to see 30 Seconds to Mars. This is the second time I've seen 30STM in concert. I saw them three years ago, and this concert blew the last one away. The venue was packed (okay, with mostly teenagers) and Jared's voice sounded awesome, and he was all over the stage and even jumped in the crowd right next to us Photobucket (see here).

30 Seconds to Mars sang all their hits that I love, songs from their first album, and new ones I like from their latest album. What amazed me was how the majority of the crowd knew most of the songs from their new album that weren't even on the radio yet. The crowd was an active part of the concert, which makes it fun, and Jared even invited the first 20 fans that crowd surfed to the front up on stage for the last song. You would think it would be chaos, but he told them to be respectful and for the most part, everyone was.

Here's a few very short clips of Jared singing at the concert. First is "Kings and Queens" and second clip is "A Beautiful Lie."

Lastly, here's "Animal" by Neon Trees! Loved them. I love when I discover new bands I like!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poetry Friday

April is National Poetry Month! Many bloggers are celebrating by having daily poetry posts.

*Greg at Gotta Book is featuring Thirty Poets in Thirty Days this month.

*Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting Poetry Makers. She is sharing poems and interviews from various poets. She also regularly offers a Poetry Stretch on Mondays for bloggers to practice different forms of poetry.

*Jama Rattigan is hosting a Poetry Potluck this month. Each day a poet is sharing a poem and a favorite recipe.

Check out their wonderful past and current poetry posts this month! This weeks poetry roundup is at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast today.
*Jama was kind enough to feature me in her Poetry Potluck this week. You can check out my poem "The TV Speaks" and pasta recipe here! My pasta recipe is served chilled and great for the summer!
I saw this guy's band in concert last night. Any guesses who it is? Hint: he's an actor/musician.


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I am off for a writer's retreat with my best friend, Becky, for the weekend. Let's hope we will get some writing in between the giggling and talking!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome to the Book Parade

I love parodies. I've written a manuscript of children song parodies with a Halloween theme. I've even seen the master of parodies, Weird Al Yankovic, in concert. Ahhh, parodies. They just make me laugh. Laugh, dance, and sing.

You've seen my "Won't You Be My Agent?" parody, read my "The Bogeyman" parody poem, and now I have another one for you to celebrate National Library Week.

Here's "Welcome to the Book Parade," a parody of My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade." It's a parade parody...or a parady!
(In case you were wondering, I used a form of the word "parody" ten times in this post. Overkill?)

(I know. Sometimes I wonder about myself, too. Why do I do these things? I just get a wild hair and do them. Then shake my head and think, "Why did I just do that?" I'm a goofball. I realize that. So, watch if you have time. If you don't, I understand, but hug a librarian instead!)

Here is the song/video that I parodied. "Welcome to the Black Parade" by one of my fave bands, My Chemical Romance; it's my tune for Tuesday for today! One of my characters in Rock 'n' Roll Princesses Wear Black is named after the lead singer.

How are you celebrating National Library week?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break 2010

Since this is my blog and you are my captive audience, I am going to make you look through my vacation pictures. (Don't worry. I won't post all one hundred of them.)

My inlaws, hubby, three kids and I drove through six states and another country (Ontario, Canada) in eight days for spring break. We logged 20+ hours in the car which for the most part went well due to Nintendo DS, movies, Mad Libs, and three kids who are used to road trips. I read lots of books in the car. I finished The Dead-Tossed Waves - loved it. Then I read some chapter books/early MGs for fun and research: reread Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Judy Moody, read Frindle (loved it!) and The Janitor's Son by Andrew Clements. I finished the trip with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I can't wait for Mockingjay to come out!

Here's a quick rundown of our 1200+ mile trek.
Night One: Waterpark in Indiana
Nights Two-Four: Near Cleveland, Ohio; stayed with cousins.
Nights Five-Six: Niagara Falls, Canada.
Night Seven: Battle Creek, Michigan.

While we were in Ohio, my daughter and cousin in law, Rhonda, made Easter soaps together! Aren't they cute? Rhonda has her own handcrafted soap business. You can click on the Hydriads pic on the bar on the right to see her wonderful selection of natural soaps and bath products!


Cleveland Rocks! Here's the ZZtop car at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, baby! I decked the family out in rock shirts for our visit. (We went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame the next day in our Bears wear.)


View of beautiful Niagara Falls from our hotel room. (The falls were AMAZING!)


Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Niagara. See the effect my kisses have on men?


Vampire Killing Kit from 1850 (also at the Ripley's museum). Watch out, Edward.


I want to Rock and Roll all night! This is at Rock Legends Wax Museum that just my son and I went to in Niagara. We were seriously the only two in there walking through the dark corridors with wax people all over. It was creepy!


BLT sandwich from Tony's I-75 in Birch Run, Michigan (also featured on the Travel Channel). I didn't eat the whole thing, but I ate enough that I won't be eating bacon again in a LONG time!


What have you overindulged in lately?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tune for Tuesday Concert Review

Heeey! I'm back in blogland! How goes it, peoples? I had a great vacation and Easter holiday with family (which I'll elaborate on in another post). I came home just in time to go to a concert! I hadn't been to a concert since November!!! That's a very long break for me, so I was very excited to go. My friend, Shanon, my mom and I went to The Brat Stop, (yes, the Brat Stop) on Friday night to see Australian band, JET!
A local band, Penguins with Shotguns, opened. They were more of a scream metal band, but not bad. My oldest son would like them. We did get the CD for free, because during the JET concert, the guitarist of PwS seeked out my mom in the crowd and talked to her and handed her their CD. I said, "Um....can I have one?" So I snagged one, too!
After the armed penguins, Crash Kings came on. They were a very talented trio with piano and great vocals. Their song "Mountain Man" is number one on the alternative rock charts right now.
Then JET came on! Five Australians in black skinny jeans. They were very Beatle-esque looking, which is probably why my mom kept stammering, "They are drop dead gorgeous!"
JET were energetic and fun to dance to. We planted ourselves close to the stage and except for the annoying drunk couple in front who decided to thrash and take up five times more space then needed to grind and flail their bodies about, the concert was awesome! JET played hits like "Are You Gonna to be My Girl?," "Black Hearts (on Fire)," "That Girl's A Genius," and many fun hits from their new album. I knew a lot of their songs, but they have such catchy beats, I enjoyed the new ones, too.

Here's my fave tune of the night: Black Hearts (on Fire) from JET's Shaka Rock album.