Archive for March, 2013

Regal Rhino

photoI finally got around to doing the companion piece to Gentleman Giraffe, Regal Rhino. That feels pretty self-explanatory, actually.


My Only Regret: Thunderdome Rules

I want to take a moment to confess my one and only regret. Deep breaths. Here it is:

I regret not implementing Thunderdome rules in the classroom.

Classic 80's cinema

Classic 80’s cinema

“Woah, wait a minute there, crazy!” You are probably screaming at your computer screen at this very second. “I love the film as much as the next person, but I don’t think parents would be too pleased if you made kids fight each other to death under a steel cage!”

To that I’d say, “Yeah, obviously.” Then after quieting you down, I could continue.

More often than not, when certain kids were getting rowdy, I’d be forced to remind them who run English town in a fashion that made me think of this scene from the film every time.

Who. Run. English Town?

You know who.

Say it.

Amanda Teacher.

Say it, loud!

Amanda Teacher.

Amanda Teacher, what?

Amanda Teacher runs English Town.

Honestly, I like the Thunderdome laws. It’s more than just “two men enter, one man leave” you know. There’s “Bust a deal, face the wheel,” in which the person who busted the deal (hereafter referred to as “bustee” must spin a wheel (ya don’t say) to find the punishment. In the film, Max landed on Gulag (and I don’t think they knew what that word really meant.) To make it socially appropriate, my wheel would consist of punishments such as: write lines, sing a song, stand up for twenty minutes, etc. The standard punishments already implemented in the classrooms over there. Hell, if I’m feeling generous (and I am) and I’m a gambler (also true) I may even have a thin sliver that says something like “you got lucky” and they don’t have to do anything. Of course, the entire class would chant “bust a deal face the wheel” as the bustee walks up to and spins said wheel.

But alas! That time has passed and I don’t see myself returning to teaching anytime soon. I can’t believe I let this one slip through my fingers.

Favorite Things: Episode Adult Activity Book


I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way: when I say ‘adult activity book’ I’m not referring to ADULT as some weird sex thing, although now that I think about it, that could be pretty interesting. Someone get on that and make it happen. I mean it as an adult ACTIVITY book.

Remember activity books from your youth? Coloring books, puzzle books, general, well, activity books. I was pretty big on Klutz books myself. Remember Klutz? I was all about them. Hell, I recently got the Write in White Doodle Journal to leave on my coffee table for visitors to leave their mark in, in addition to my own doodlin’s.

Anyway, while there’s a cornucopia of activity books for kids, there just aren’t enough for adults. I suppose there’s always This Book Will Change Your Life, which I remember getting in high school, but there were activities that I simply couldn’t do due to financial restraints mostly (see: trip to France). On a recent trip to Monterey, I was browsing through Tesutti Zoo (Fabulous shop) I found this little gem: Finish This Book and my activity book crisis was assuaged.

The gist is this: The creator Keri Smith (since you are supposed to be the author) found some loose pages on a park bench and put them together. First, you must decide if you’re willing to go through with this ’til the end. Obviously the answer is yes since you bought it. The instructions are clear: do the activities in order, don’t share your findings until instructed to do so, and if you can’t complete the tasks, give the book to someone who can. Turn the page. Now you begin on a series of activities to complete your Secret Intelligence Training, followed by documenting and observation methods, and then artifact examination techniques. Once your education is complete, it’s time to take on the instruction manual and finish this book (hey, that’s the title!)

I love the concept (who didn’t play spies as a kid? Or as an adult? Hey, don’t tell me you don’t pretend you’re training to join the ranks of Assassins Creed when you’re working out at the gym and letting your mind wander. No? So it’s just me then? Well… I guess I have a lot to talk to a therapist about. Carry on then) and that the activities are very doable. Hey, I don’t have to book a trip to France! Not that I wouldn’t mind going to France, I just don’t want that as a road block in order to reach the end of this thing.

In sum I’ll leave it at this (as I don’t wish to give to much away, and as it is a book you do, our experiences will be wildly different anyway): If you believe that growing older and growing up aren’t mutually exclusive, and that imagination and adventure make life worth living, this book is for you. It’s certainly for me, and the people whom I’ve recommended it to seem to be enjoying it as well.

I’ll end this with a quote off the dedication page, as I like it immensely:

This book is dedicated to all explorers and future explorers of the world.


It’s beer o’clock!

Fun fact for cool cats: it’s always beer o’clock somewhere.





Today’s beer o’clock beer is the Black & Tan, which seemed approps what with it being St. Patrick’s Day and all. There’s a science to layering it in the American fashion, and having a proper spoon can make the difference. Personally I use this one, which in addition to being wide, is shaped like a turtle and thus it pleases me immensely. Then all you need is a pale ale, a Guinness, and a pint glass. Remember, Guinness on top, and you’re good to go! Practice makes perfect, and even messed up ones are still delicious.





Favorite Things: Episode Coffee



Awhile ago I came across this arts and crafts project where you decorate some ceramic with permanent marker and bake it thereby creating personalized dishes. At the time I was living in Korea, the land of no ovens, and I had to put that on the back burner where I promptly forgot about it.

Fast  forward to my American homecoming. I was getting coffee at the Starbucks in my grocery store and saw that they offered a black ceramic cup with a white ceramic pen (pictured above) and I remembered that it was something I wanted to do. I picked it up since I liked the idea of inverse color scheme and decided to make myself a Fallout Vault-Tec mug featuring the energy weapons Pip Boy. Turned out great, and is my favorite cup! I plan to revisit the Sharpie project and run some experiments with that in the near future.

Needs More Sandworms (Thrift Shop Revision #3)