Archive for February, 2011

Pokemon Snap Stations, Where Have You Gone?

All of my local Blockbusters closing down caused me to remember something about my childhood. It made me remember the days the Blockbuster of my childhood had a Pokemon Snap Station.

Remeber these?

I remember begging my parents to take me to Blockbuster so I could use it. If you had a copy of Pokemon Snap, you could bring it in and use the kiosk to make sticker pictures of the photos you had saved in the game. And if you didn’t own a copy you could play through the first level and print pictures you had just taken. To print the pictures you needed a pokemon card.

There were several others with different pokemon on them. I remember having all of them but one. I also remember the people that worked at Blockbuster had no idea who any of the pokemon were. They’d show all of them to you and let you pick which one you wanted. The internet claims they cost $3 each, which sounds about right.

Another thing I remember having was the strategy guide.What I liked most about this was the section it had in the back to keep all of your stickers. They actually had spaces for all 151 pokemon.

I remember my Blockbuster had the Snap Station for one or two years and then it just disappeared. I was pretty disappointed. I assumed they trashed it or an employee got it.

So I went online and looked them up. It turns out only 4,500 were ever made. The promotion started in 1999 and ended in 2000 or early 2001. They’re very rare these days but if you’re lucky you can find one at a flee market or online somewhere.

I’d really like to use one again. But I feel that if I ever got my hands on one and bought it, it’d be extremely selfish to keep it to myself. This is something that every old pokemon fan deserves to experience again. If I ever manage to get one, I’d call Nintendo World and offer to sell or donate it to them on the condition that they kept it in the museum section of the store and allowed people to use it to print stickers. They would be the ones most likely to be able to get more sticker paper made after all. I doubt they’d go for making the cards again but it’d be worth it to get another sheet of stickers.

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All My Local Blockbusters Are Closing

I first dealt with this a number of years ago when Blockbuster still rented tapes. The one that was within walking distance of my house closed, for reasons unknown to me as Netflix did not exist at the time. But it was still sad. I can still remember my days in elementary school when Blockbuster really gave a shit about its customers. Every so often (or if you rented enough) they’d give you a movie night snack box with a bunch of samples in it. We got a large yellow popcorn bowl from them and one October me and my sister got free trick-or-treat buckets from them along with Halloween safety information. But those days were long gone before that Blockbuster closed.

Anyway, since the one we’ve been going to for new releases (as Netflix doesn’t have them and Time Warner is a fucking ripoff) is closing in April, they started selling off everything in the store now! Time for a Blockbuster edition of What’s in the Bag? Yes, I am blatantly stealing the idea from Peter.

Games (10% off)

Bioshock – I’ve heard that this game oozes Ayn Rand’s philosophy, so I thought I’d give it a try. If I don’t like it, my father or sister might.

Beautiful Katamari – Because I loved Katamari Damacy.. and this game was for the 360.. and we have a 360!

Movies ($10 each for the most part) My sister was the one to get more of these.. as $10 is a bit too expensive for me.

Monster’s Ball – My sister is collecting all of Heath Ledger’s movies. This is one of them.

Carrie – My sister hasn’t mentioned it but she may or may not be starting a Stephen King collection. Otherwise, it is a nice modern horror classic.

Nightmare on Elm St. 6 – Honestly I have no idea why she got this one. She claims that she needs it for one of her collections, but unless Johnny Depp is in that one, I have no idea what collection of hers it fits into.

Random Crap (20-30% off)

King Size Kit-Kat – yes I admit this was a damn impulse buy. Don’t judge me. I haven’t had a Kit-Kat since November and I need to gain about 10lbs.

Jiffy Pop – My sister was pissed we’ve never experienced it, and my Dad would probably enjoy it.

Jack Skellington Fleece Blanket – My sister and I were torn between the Jack blanket and Jack snuggie which were both the same price. But we each have snuggies already and figured the blanket would be a bit more practical.

That’s all for now. Hopefully those cheap asses will slash the prices on their movies so we can go back and buy a ton more 😀

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Advant Garde: Just Say No

Last night was one of the weirdest most tedious nights of my life.  My father got tickets through work for a concert at the Park Avenue Armory. It was the most beautiful building I have ever been in, in my life. I should have brought a camera. But not even a camera could capture every intricate detail of the Tiffany stained glass and chandeliers and all of the wood carvings in the ceilings and on the walls.

Anyway, onto the horror of the night. So my dad got the tickets because the armory rented some pianos. My father figured the concert would be modern but pretty normal because it had pianos in it. How wrong he was.

We saw powerLESS, a part of the Tune-in Music Festival.  The first piece, “in vain” had a title that fit the piece. It was literally in fucking vain. There was a harp in that piece. And the harp made horrible dissonant noise. Believe me when I say it’s pretty hard to make a harp sound awful, but this piece managed to do it. There was no beat, no melody, constant tension and no resolution at all. At two points during the show the lights were shut off leaving us and the musicians in total darkness. The first time it hurt my eyes because they kept trying to see… in vain *eyeroll* The second time it didn’t hurt my eyes, but then they started using a strobe light in split second flashes to bring more pain to my eyes. The darkness bits were each about 10-15 minutes long, with the whole piece being at least an hour. Then it ended. I was so happy that damn noise was over. But to my surprise, the audience was cheering as if they *loved* it…. like they wanted a damn encore. I even overheard someone say, “they need more of this at Carnegie Hall” The only thing that would have been better about hearing that in Carnegie Hall is having more comfortable chairs to fall asleep in >.>

There were also some people that left over that. My dad over heard someone say “can you believe that they would leave now?!”  … I can, why couldn’t they?

There was an intermission and the next piece was going to be a “vocalist.” After the first performance I had a strong feeling the second was not going to involving singing. And I was right. The next piece was some average looking normal guy sitting in a chair speaking gibberish for half an hour. In retrospect it’s hilarious, but while watching it at times it was agonizing. And when he was finished, once again, the audience went wild. I mean I found it interesting but didn’t get it…

After that we left. It was getting kind of late and we had a feeling of what the rest of the show would be like. I may have been able to stand it if it was during the afternoon, but totally not a Friday night. On a Friday night I want a show that will get me worked up for the weekend, or a show that I can relax while watching and unwind. No avant garde. NEVER AGAIN!

Anyway, on the ride home my father and I were discussing where the hell the audience came from. His theory is that they were classical music burnouts. From very young ages they were raised on classical music and had it in their lives constantly, then they burned out and started seeking… well whatever it was we heard last night.

In the end, the Armory is beautiful and I really want to go back there to see more of it and avant garde is stupid.

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Back in Middle School

So after many phone calls and rejections I finally found a middle school that I could observe at to get the hours I need for my education class. I must say, even though I hadn’t been in a middle school in years being there felt like stepping into a time machine.

All of the kids are awkward. They dress in a mesh of children’s and junior’s clothing. Some kids are really tiny, some are really tall. And practically *all* of them think they’re on the top of the food chain, except the shy quiet ones.

The teacher who’s class I’m observing seems awesome. He said he’s going to have me teach a few lessons to help me get used to it before I student teach next year! Yesterday, I spent my time there helping 7th and 8th graders with their classwork. An interesting thing that I noticed was that none of the kids are really “bad” rather they’re smart asses. The kind of smart asses that are fun if you know how to handle them and horrible if you don’t. I know I’ll be able to handle them when I student teach >:D

The funniest thing several of the kids did was call me over because their “friend” needed help. I would then ask the child that called me if they needed help. They would say no, that their friend needed it. I would ask the child if they understood the math. They would say no… (yet they don’t need help). Then I’d help both kids. It was pretty fun. I find it really interesting how kids can have trouble grasping the simplest concepts in algebra.. and how sometimes all it takes is a different explanation for them to get it.

On another note, I still look like I’m 15/16 years old. Last semester when I was at a high school all of the kids thought I was a student and told me I looked 16. In the middle school they tell me I look 15. But at least 15 is older than 12! I swear when I get a job I will need to go on a daytime talk show and get a makeover that will make me look my age!

The other thing that surprised me about the school was how nice it was and how many resources it had. This school was in district 28, aka Jamaica Queens (not the best neighborhood). They’ve got a ton of programs and all of the teachers seem to care about their students. I’m really looking forward to the next time I go there to observe and when I’ll get to student-teach next year now 🙂

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My Early Valentine’s Day

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, (and I have a horrible schedule on Mondays) Scott and I decided to go out for Valentine’s Day this Saturday. I honestly thought we were just going to end up going out on a “normal” date but then Scott surprised me when he found out about Simply Fondue in the Atlas Park shopping center in Glendale. It was really nice inside, but still casual dress which was nice. Also, with it being a fondue place, each table has its own hot plate on it for keeping your fondue pot hot.

They had a Valentine’s special, I was kind of iffy because of the price, but Scott had planned on it, so we went with it.  It came with salads, a shared cheese fondue, entrees, a shared chocolate fondue for dessert, unlimited soda, a $20 gift certificate, a picture of us and a rose for me ^^

I had a Caesar salad (no photo taken). It was lacking croutons, but the amazing dressing and cheese made up for it. Scott had a Strawberry Spinach salad (also no photo taken) which tasted way better than I expected it too. Ironically there weren’t many strawberries in it, but the strawberry vinaigrette and almonds almost made up for it.

Next we had our choice of cheese fondue and we went with what sounded like the tastiest option. We had a fontina cheese fondue with added tomato, pesto and garlic. They gave us mixed vaggies and bread to dip into it. It was *really* good and very filling.

After that the waiter informed us that we would get to cook our own entrees on a grill or in canola oil. He told us the oil was the easiest and tastiest way to go, so that way we went! After our oil heat up enough we had fun frying all of our bite sized pieces of meat and fish in it. We also received an assortment of sauces. The scallops were the tastiest in my opinion.. they didn’t need sauce! They were their own wonderful flavor! However, we couldn’t stomach a ton because the cheese fondue we just had was way too filling. When we got full we asked the waiter for a doggy bag, then we fried up everything else on the plate and into the bag it went!

Next we moved on to our dessert choice. We decided to go with a raspberry chocolate fondue. It was alright, I kind of wished we would have went with the reese’s peanut-butter/chocolate fondue but I think I was way too full at this point to have totally enjoyed anything.We got fruit, cookies, pretzels, brownies and pound cake bits to dip in it. I ended up taking a few of those home because we couldn’t finish.

In the end, our waiter was awesome and this place was totally awesome, but it was more expensive than Scott led me to believe >.>I think he has a secret goal of surpassing every previous Valentine’s day we had. It’s really nice considering we’ve been together for about 4 years now, and I think he knows he doesn’t need to go all out for me.. but he still wants to ^^

We’ll probably go back because of the gift certificate (excellent business scheme) but we’ll probably only get cheese fondue because how wonderfully filling it is! I think the best option would be to go here with a group of four people and split a few things. That way things are cheaper for everyone, and you get to try more.

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