Leslie and Kyle Episode 10!

Did you see that? Did you like it? Well if you did, send this link right away to as many friends as you can, because we want this to be our greatest show ever! 

Comments and feedback are always welcome. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Signed, Annette (a.k.a. The Funny One)


Movie Review: Strangers on a Train

I just finished watching this excellent movie! If you've never seen any of Alfred Hitchcock's movies, don't watch The Birds, don't watch Psycho, watch Strangers on a Train!

I remember seeing only a few snippets of the movie from another great film called Throw Mamma Off the Train, with Danny Devito and Billy Crystal, only I never knew that they were watching Strangers on a Train. Anyway, the plot in a nutshell is that two complete strangers, one a tennis player and the other an unsuspicious-looking guy who in actuality is a psychopath, meet each other on a train, and before they part ways, they have a very interesting conversation about the perfect murder: two strangers who each had someone they wanted done away with could hypothetically commit the other one's murder, and neither one would have motives for doing so, thereby leaving both killers to get away with the crimes. Mr. Tennis thinks it's all a strange, harmless joke, but the other guy is dead serious. Later on, he kills the tennis player's nasty wife thinking that he's keeping up his end of the "bargain", and that the tennis guy should repay the favor by killing his mean old father, who rightly says that his son should be locked up somewhere. I mean this guy, Bruno, he's completely creepy, and crazy! Of course you wouldn't tell just by looking at him, but take it from me, don't let him give you a neck-rub under any circumstances!

One of my favorite parts was when the tennis player goes to Bruno's house to warn the father, but Bruno is in the bedroom, and then they argue, and Mr. Tennis says that he wants no part of this scheme, and he walks out, and then Bruno takes a gun and follows him out the door. It was so thrillingly suspenseful with both of them walking down the stairs! When the tennis guy turns around and sees Bruno with the gun, Bruno says "Don't worry, I'm not going to shoot you. Wouldn't want to disturb mother. I've got a much better idea anyway." And then a cut to the next scene. It was so suspenseful I felt absolutely tickled! Do you know I wasn't scared at all about this movie, but it's just like the feeling you get on a rollercoaster ride; it's not entirely scary, but it certainly is a thrill! 
Speaking of rollercoasters, the climax actually took place at an amusement park, and the Merry-Go-Round is spinning out of control, and both main men are fighting and holding on for dear life at the same time. Innocent bystanders are on the ride! I was smiling and thinking to myself, "Oh how scary...for them!" My imagination was captured, and my funny bone was nudged at (it's the dramatic irony that did it). I'm so grateful that my little brother, Adam, consented to watch this movie, and I believe that even he enjoyed watching it. It's a wonderful movie, please, watch it!


Improv Class #Eight

Finally! After taking a three-week hiatus from Improv Class (for Passover reasons, remember it takes place at a Hebrew school), it's time for *trumpet fanfare*...another blog post about Improv Class! Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to be as fun as it usually is because the whole group is feeling the pressure. In just about 10 days there's going to be an Improv Show that will be sort of a culmination of all that we've learned to do; make up a personality, put yourself in a specific and identifiable scene or location, and go with the flow.
Tonight we tried practicing a game that we would play later at the show, but it didn't turn out very good. Half of the group, the more experienced half who took this class before, showed us how they come up with personalities and phisicalize their environment and take whatever comes at them. It took a long time for them to finish though, and not everyone in the "audience" was being respectfully quiet. People were murmering to each other, and critiquing the performers.
Anyway, after the first half was finished, there was only about 45 minutes left in the class, so the second group, the newbies, had to make do with the time we had. Me, Bettina, and Adam were in that group. I would think that after 7 weeks of attending this class (at no time did I ever arrive tardy or miss a session), I would have no problem improvising a scene. The problem is, when it came time for me to do my monologue (it was about cruises) I had no idea what to say after establishing that I have never been on a cruise ship. I could have made something up or said something about the Titanic being my favorite movie, but my mind was eerily blank, and I panicked. I just stood there for about 3 seconds saying nothing, until someone came to save me with a monologue of their own. 3 seconds may not seem like much, but if you count to yourself "1 mississippi, 2 mississippi, 3 mississippi," then you might get some idea how much longer it is when you're standing in front of an audience with next to nothing to say.By now I've gotten over it, but I'm still pretty worried about how the show on May 3rd is going to be like. Maybe it'll be better, maybe it'll be worse. But by this time, I've told myself, "Either way, I'm still okay. It's not the end of the world. I'll just give it my best shot." Still, I hope I can find a way to practice improvisation so that I don't make too much of a fool of myself. Even if I do, it's no big deal. I've hardly ever made a fool of myself, so it might be an educational experience.
Before I finish up, I want to remember that my mom made spaghetti for us right when we came back home, and then we unwound with the movie "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" with the great Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. They are the best! So hilarious! Pryor is blind, and Wilder is deaf, what a scenario! I've seen the movie before, but it's still as funny as ever!


My Doodle Collection #8

Hiya peoples! I haven't been very good about keeping up with my doodle posts, so to start it rolling again, here are 5 new pencil drawings that you haven't seen before! 
Oldest to newest:
---> Here is a kind of test drawing I did when I was learning about the effects of light and shadow on a sphere. I haven't practiced very much at that, in fact I think I copied it from the book. But I did add the ants and the blades of grass, so that makes this piece an original. September 17, '08.
<--- This one is a blatant copy from a "how to draw manga" book that I took out from the library. It was fun to draw, but I can't help thinking: how does someone come up with a character like this? I have no idea whether this was based on a real person or drawn from imagination, but either way the original artist has mad skills! April 10, '09.
---> I am learning that to be a good artist, one has to practice, practice, practice. It's especially good to practice subjects that you don't pay attention to normally, so you really see what you're capturing on paper. That's why I copied this chameleon out of a book of reptiles, because I normally don't think about chameleons. I think I did a very good job! April 14, '09.
<--- This one was extremely satisfying to accomplish. I have drawn a human eye! A woman's eye! Not my eye, a magazine model's eye. It's not on a face, but who cares?! I think this is a product of reading a "how-to-draw-manga" book yesterday at the library and studying the different eye-types that artists use to convey expression. I have always wanted to draw eyes perfectly, because they're so challenging, and I believe this is only the first out of future well-drawn eyes to come. I did it. Yes, me, I did it. Aren't I awesome? I even gave it a clever title, and I have a scrawl to my signature. April 21, '09
---> This one was drawn several minutes later from the same magazine that I drew the eye from, only it was an ad for Smart Cars. They are so cute and tiny! I would like to own one of these babies one day, but I still need to earn my driver's license. I wonder if the tires came out right here? Oh well. It's still cool, huh? Tell me it's cool!

Well there you have it! Almost a month since I last posted attractive hand-drawn doodle posts on this blog, and what do I have to say for myself? Please forgive me!


Happiness is...

I feel so happy today! I decided to make a list of everything that I'm happy about in honor of my 5oth blog post. Some of the things I mention happened today, and others earlier this week. All of them made me happy, and I'd like to share my happiness with the web so everyone can have a sample.

Happiness is...
  • A couple hours in Borders and salad wraps for lunch (homemade).
  • Walking through "Home Depot" and opening all the drawers in the kitchen section (and reading the names on color swatches).
  • Finding a few pretty looking tops, trying them on, and putting them back.
  • Opening greeting cards with songs in them
  • Driving home to "Motown" (I got a "remixed" album from the library). 
  • Reading music and playing the recorder. (It's not just for kids, you know.)
  • Writing an original short story.
  • Thinking that you're thinking of something that no one else is thinking about. (e.g. What if someone tried watering plants with orange juice?)
  • Remembering a great movie I watched and playing back the best parts in my head. (For example, "Coraline"!)
  • Taking a walk early in the morning.
  • Working at something I believe in.
  • My hamster scurrying around my bedroom floor with the door closed. 
  • Listening to the iPod on a cool, cloudy, breezy day.
  • Dinner with family.
  • Listing things to be happy about.
  • Writing your 50th blog post!
It's fun when you don't have a particular reason to be happy, yet you're happy anyway. I don't care if this feeling goes away tomorrow, as long as I don't forget about the things that make me happy.


Monopoly Win #2!

I won Monopoly again today! Remember the time I wrote about the last time I won a Monopoly game? Well me and my sibs haven't played again until today, and I won again! Ain't I a stinker?


Life Choices

Hi everyone. I apoligize for not being on the blogging scene for a while, but I figure you all have your own lives to pay attention too, as do I, and so I've taken a bit of a timeout to take care of my personal business. I've been thinking a lot about my future. Should I go out into the world and have adventures of my own, or should I stick around here like a pot of soup and simmer a while longer until I'm ready to serve (excuse the food metaphore)? College or no college? Animator? Puppeteer? Teacher? Performer on stage? Voice Actor? I would love love love to have any of these careers, but which am I best suited for? Or should I do a little bit of everything and therefore suffer quality of work for lack of focus? How much time should I set aside for movie watching (which I love to do), or Photoshop study (which I'm very good at), or doodling in my notebook (I love this also), or brainstorming for Leslie and Kyle (will this venture ever amount to anything other than small-time fame?)...

I am, in short, taking myself seriously. I know that I am young and talented and I have my whole life ahead of me. And I also know that I'm not the only one who has this kind of angst, for that I am grateful because it means I am not alone. I just wish that someone could just send me a letter telling me exactly what I should do with my life. But then that would take all the fun out of figuring it out for myself, wouldn't it? Such an uncooperative double-standard. I want direction, but I want it my way.

I wonder if any of this anxiety is coming from the book I'm reading, "What Should I Do With My Life"? Silly question I guess. On the one hand I am inspired by the stories told from people who have stumbled through life to finally find what they always wanted to do in the first place.  On the other hand, it's leading me to question my way of living; I am homeschooled, and so I have much free time to pursue my interests and passions, but I also feel I lack the discipline one gains from going to school every day and handing in projects and assignments every so often. Then again, all coins have 2 sides to them, don't they? Yin and Yang, pros and cons. I suppose I should consider myself pretty lucky.

If any of you readers have any advice or common thoughts, please share with me. It would be nice to know that there are people out there who feel the way I do about their future.


Updates on Me and Other Stuff.

Just so everyone knows, I have republished all the posts that I have rescued from the terrible land of "almost deleted forever". I have also given each of them their own appropriate dates, so they're all back in the order that they were originally published in. I am so happy! Moving on...

My dad Benny's birthday was a blast! (If you want to guess how old he is, here's a hint: his age is now a prime number.) I made pancakes for everyone, and Benny was so happy, and a good time was had by all. Since the end of April Fool's Day, I've worked hard on my homemade birthday card for him, and here is a picture of the front. --->
He loved it, as well as the other cards he got from the rest of my family. It is a long-honored tradition in my family that on someones birthday, no matter if there are no presents or cake, the very least one can do is give a birthday card, either store-bought or hand-made.
My brother, sister and I hold great pride in the fact that we are accomplished personal greeting card writers; we keep getting better and better each year.

Anyway, after card-reading, we had present opening. My mom got my dad a new hat, some sunglasses, and a great new shirt. Adam, Bettina and I all chipped in to get our dad a Flip camcorder! We opened it up and admired how small it was, and we read the directions on how to use it. It can hold up to an hours worth of footage, and you can play back the videos you take on the device, and edit them on your computer. It's called a Flip because if you push a little button on the side, a USB cable pops out, and you can just stick it in the computer without any extra accessories and such. So cool!

We went to the beach after that, and boy did we have fun! We celebrated with all our friends there, and we bought 3 boxes of Publix croissants to share with everyone.
We also had a luscious chocolate peanut-butter stack that our generous friends Anna and Danny gave us, which was perfect for a birthday dessert. Then we went back home and my siblings and I stayed up and watched SNL and "Romeo and Juliet" with Leonardo DiCaprio while my parents went out to a party somewhere. Seth Rogen was a good host last night.

Yesterday, I was at a loss at what to do now that Benny's birthday was done already. It's weird when that happens, isn't it? Like when you're waiting for Christmas or something, and you get so impatient for it to come already, and then you get an empty feeling after it's come and gone? Well my mom said that we should clean our room in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Pesach, now that the birthday is out of the way. It wasn't quite the suggestion I had in mind, but after seeing it would be the most productive way to spend my free time, I grudgingly set about the task of dusting, rearranging, vacuuming, and generally tidying up my bedroom that I share with both my brother and sister (I sometimes wish I had my own space, but being roommates has it's advantages). After we were all done cleaning up, we felt how satisfying it was that we made our room that much more livable and organised. Take it from me, it's a very good feeling.

After that, Benny had fun testing out his new Flip camera, and we decided to take a walk to a Chinese restaurant to get something we never tried before. Usually when we go to Chinese restaurants we order spring rolls, but this time, we tried out egg foo young and lo mein noodles, with white rice and plenty of vegetables. (Plus plenty of MSG, but everything in moderation, right?) It's pretty hard to find Chinese food that doesn't have any chicken or fish or other meat stuff in it, but we made good choices, and we had a good time indulging ourselves this treat. (On the back of a chopsticks wrapper, I learned that chopsticks originated in China in the Shang Dynasty around 1600-1100 BC, and then all the other Asian countries that use chopsticks followed afterwards. Neat stuff.)

When we got back home, I was browsing around Google when I found out about Google Sites, an application that allows you to create your very own website with as many pages as you want all for free! Me and Bettina only got so far as starting up a website for our Leslie and Kyle show and making a few starters for pages before we had to go to sleep. Today has been a day of great discovery, in that we learned a lot more about creating web pages and came up with a bunch of new ideas for future content. So far we have a page for Leslie and Kyle's "bio" and a page for a list of episodes. I'll give you the address when me and my team are done developing.
But that's not all! This morning, I tested out downloading the movies we took with the Flip camera yesterday, and this device has all this cool video-editing software that comes with it! You can edit the beginning or the end of any movie, you can take snapshots of any individual frame within a movie, and you can make video mixes with awesome transition effects and background music and stuff! It is so cool! You can also connect the Flip camera to the T.V. for viewing, because it comes with it's own connector cable.



What did I do and why did I do it?????????
I wanted to remove a label from some of my posts, and what do I do? I delete the whole bunch of posts! D:
Now they are gone forever! And there is nothing to do about it! Is there? Can anyone please help me?
23 posts. Gone like the wind. Practically all my Leslie and Kyle show posts are gone, and my lists, and my experiences, and my dreams...
All that I wanted was to remove a label, and I remove the whole post! Is there anyone who can help me with my problem? Please! I pray for a miracle!

Edit: Okay, I've searched a bit around Google, and it seems the only way I can get a COUPLE of my posts back is by copying and pasting from Google Cache. You ever notice how when you search Google, the results have a couple links saying Cached and Similar Pages? Well if you click Cached, it shows your post just as you saw it in cache memory. only problem is, I got only a couple of my old posts back, and if I publish them they won't go back to their respective dates! Oh if only I can turn back the clock and stop myself from making such a stupid mouse click like that. Oh woe is me!

2nd Edit: Everyone, take a collective sigh of relief! (moment of sighing)
I believe I've got all my deleted posts back saved up in draft mode! All my memories, my experiences, are now safe, unpublished yes, but undeleted. What saved me was going through my sister's GoogleReader account and copying one by one the posts that she subscribed to. HUGE SHOUTOUT TO BETTINA FOR FOLLOWING ME!!!!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Learn from this cautionary tale, my dears: before you go off wanting to delete a label off of your blog posts, make sure you are not in fact deleting the entire post!!! At least this story has a happy ending for me. Peace out. Time to celebrate my dad's birthday.

P.S. Gee, what should I do with all my drafted rescued blog posts now?


Improv Class #Seven

Yesterday's Improv class was a lot of fun. It was the night after April Fool's Day, and when Adam, Bettina, and I got there, we arrived like 5 minutes early, and so we talked with other kids about how their April Fool's Day went. Sammy said that someone fooled him with this gag: "Tarantula in your hair!" "Whatthe..." "April Fool!" 
He also said that he was tricked by Google's April Fool's Day prank, the Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed Intelligence Entity (a.k.a. CADIE). It's a shame that CADIE had to shut down her blog after one day.

Robin had a bunch of great games. The first thing everyone did was write on a piece of paper a couple of pet peeves, things that annoy them, for a game we'd play later on. Then we played a kind of tag-like physical game which I didn't quite understand, but it was a short game anyway. We also played a slow-motion samurai game, where your arm is your sword, and you need to strike someone above the waist, and if you get touched by someone elses "sword", you have to dramatically "die", which is pretty fun.

After that, Robin went over all the things we learned at Improv class, and all the rules like: respect your performers and treat them as if they were artists or geniuses; move to the front of the stage if you want to get attention, but only if it will move the scene forward; there are no mistakes, the audience doesn't know wrong from right; and try to keep a straight face while in action, if the performer laughs, it takes the laughter away from the audience.

Then we played a game with those pet peeves written on pieces of paper, 2-people scenes in which 2 characters have a bunch of papers in their pocket, and they have an argument about something, and when they run out of ideas, they pick up a prompt from their pocket and continue in that vein. I played this game, and I pretended to be a gardener at Buckingham Palace not letting someone in to see the queen. I said things like "I hate bugs," and "when people call girls 'guys,'" and "when people talk to you and they have bad breath". These are all other people's pet peeves, not mine. Later on my pet peeves came up in someone else's argument; "I hate when people get me and my sister mixed up,"and "I hate roller coaster lines."

Last of all, we played old reliable: The Bachelor game. It's a dating show, and 4 people take on different characters, and the person who wants a date has to figure out who each character is supposed to be. I was a muscly-man. To play the part, I imagined having a deep voice like "the Rock" or Ah-nold. When asked what my favorite thing to do is, I replied "I like to admire myself in the mirror and flex my muscles. This one is Frank (pointing to one arm muscle) and this one is Joey (pointing to the other one)." I suppose I played a heavy stereotype, but I had fun, and I'll try to be more original next time.

Speaking of which, we won't have another Improv class for another two weeks, to make way for Passover (seeing as the class takes place in a Hebrew school, after all), and so the next class won't be until April 23, so now my Thursdays are pretty much free now!

P.S. This has little to do with Improv class, but I just wanted to share that our Leslie and Kyle April Fool's episode's got about 70 views now! I insist that you check it out.


What I did for April Fools Day.

  • Me and Bettina finally put up Leslie and Kyle's April Fool's Day episode! It is our best show ever!!!! (Check it out! It'll do both of us a lot of good. You'll laugh, and I can say that the video made you laugh. Win-win! Today we got quite a few emails about how good our video was, plus a couple comments. As of publishing time, it has garnered almost 50 views! How about that for first day debut?)
  • I put an eggplant shaped like a stomach in Adam's bed before he woke up. (He was all, "What is an eggplant doing in my bed?" and I was all, "Ha-ha! April Fool!")
  • Wore my shirt backwards. (And why not? It says "Live, Love, Rock On". That's exactly what I'm doing. An interpretation of it anyway.)
  • Said good-night to a stranger even though it was daylight. (I don't think he got it though.)
  • Rode my new Rip-Stick instead of walking to the supermarket.(I've had it for about 4 days now. I'm sorry I didn't tell about it sooner. It's so cool! I now know how to go down a skating ramp with it.)
  • Browsed around Google. (They had an artificially intelligent entity named CADIE, check out her blog! Trust me, it doesn't take long to read through the whole thing.)
  • Found ELIZA. (Another artificially intelligent computer program, although in my opinion noticeably less intelligent than CADIE)
  • Watched a bunch of "Fred" videos on YouTube. (Don't do it. It's pretty much a waste of time. I only did it to search for any "good ones", but trust me, it's all beneath your intelligence level. I'm not even putting a link anywhere on this item. So if you still want to see Fred, you're going to have to search for them yourself. Not that it's really that hard anyway, so whatever. I've just gotten you curious now. Dang it.)
  • Learned how to play the Jonas Brother's song "Burning Up" on the piano. (My dad Benny taught me. Then I taught Bettina. She picked it up quickly. We pretty much played it all afternoon.)
  • Wrote the rough draft for my dad's birthday card. (Sshhh! Don't tell. ^.^ It's on the 4th BTW.)