Sunday, October 28, 2012

In need of a costume idea? How about being one of Disney's 10 most underrated characters?

In need of a costume idea? How about being one of Disney's 10 most underrated characters?

10. Rex, Toy Story

I know that this flawless trifecta of computer-animated films is centered around the machismo astronaut with the heart of gold and his cowboy friend, Tom Hanks, but Rex is just such a crucial part of what makes this so good. He’s not vocal like Mr. Potato Head, or sweet like Jessie, but Rex’s adorable voice and terrified reaction to everything is more than deserving of its own movie. Could we just have an hour and a half of Rex needing a Xanax?

9. Kevin, Up

You are an unrepentant liar if you say that a huge part of the appeal of Up wasn’t watching Kevin’s bug-eyes look awkwardly at things and hit people with her head. Her getting the walker with the little tennis balls on it stuck in her throat and proceeding to cough it up all over everyone was clearly the Citizen Kane scene of that movie. Don’t deny it.

8. The Featherduster, Beauty and the Beast

Apparently this chick had a name (Fifi, for those it may concern), but she was clearly just the hot French feather duster maid. Her job was to run around the castle getting boned by Lumière in the kitchen pantry and having an adorable French accent. Why wasn’t there more of her? Why couldn’t their little romance get some decent attention? And how creepy was it that her punishment was getting her feathers ripped out? What does that imply for her human-equivalent body? Poor feather duster girl.

7. Vanessa, The Little Mermaid

Let’s be honest, Ursula’s brief stint as a molten-hot human chick was clearly one of the high points of this movie. Her singing voice, her fabulous hair, her constant state of bitch face — you could make a pretty solid argument that she was hotter, and a better catch (Catch?!?! Like fish?!?! Oh my god I’m hilarious, you’re welcome for these jokes) than Ariel. I would have probably stayed with Vanessa, and frankly would enjoy an entire movie of her just running around looking at things bitchily and throwing hair combs into walls.

6. The Muses, Hercules

I’m just going to say this, and I know that it will definitely alienate some disciples of other Disney classics, but sometimes the truth must be spoken. Hercules had the best music of any Disney movie. There, I said it. I know, I know, enraged comments ensue. But seriously, gospel music combined with ancient Greece and a hilarious James Woods as the devil — this movie is solid gold. Every thing that comes out of these muses’ mouths is simply perfect, and I would give several appendages to have them narrate my life. Why can’t they do more movies? Casablanca was missing one thing, and it was these muses.

5. Frollo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

How is Frollo not more appreciated as a Disney villain? He’s arguably the most terrifying, given that he’s the closest to actually being someone that could have existed, oppressing minorities and killing non-believers at will and just generally being terrifying. I mean, for God’s sake, his entire song was this insanely creepy ode to the Virgin Mary (?) basically giving her an ultimatum to either force Esmeralda to love him or send her to hell. This is all during his periodic, sexual predator whiffs of the scarf he stole from her. I mean, seriously, could this guy be any worse?

4. Nani, Lilo and Stitch

Can we all just collectively take a moment to appreciate how awesome Nani is? She never gets any love but, aside from being smart and funny and brave enough to become the parent for her little sister when her parents passed away, she also showed a kind of beauty that we rarely get to see in kid’s movies. She isn’t perfectly thin, her nose isn’t a tiny button, but she’s still so gorgeous and easy to look up to. We need more Nanis in movies for little girls everywhere, and there’s no reason why we can’t have them.

3. Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m just gonna go ahead and point out at this juncture how criminally underrated The Hunchback of Notre Dame is as a movie. It is seriously so complex, so fascinating, so well-written and animated, and it never gets the proper amount of love with the rest of the Disney canon. Perhaps it is due to its own complexity — its tendency to err towards the more adult themes — that makes it as hard to take in as a film for kids. But seriously, Esmeralda is so amazing. She takes shit from absolutely no one, she could teach your Monday night pole dancing class, and she has a heart of pure gold. Why isn’t she put in the upper echelons of Disney ladies? She deserves to be there as much as anyone else (even if the movie was technically about Quasimodo). I guess people are just threatened by her perfection.

2. Milo, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I know that no one loves this movie, but seriously. Not only is he a hot teacher, not only does he have that vaguely Goldblum-esque nebbishy hottie thing down to a science, not only is he an adventurer — he has that 90s-era center part with ear-length hair thing down PAT. I’m sorry, but Milo would clearly make the best IRL boyfriend of all the princes. Clearly.

1. Pocahontas, Pocahontas

Pocahontas gets the least love of any major Disney Princess, and it is nothing short of a crime. The fact that we don’t love her more, when she is not only badass and beautiful, but actually teaches something close to resembling a real lesson about history and environmentalism and humanity itself — well, it really reflects poorly on us as a society. Pocahontas should be more than a vaguely racist Halloween costume, she should be respected for being the most subdued, intelligent, and mature of the Disney Princesses. Even her voice was different, it was so much more rich and adult than the rest of the girls. And that’s good — not every princess needs to be wide-eyed and naive. Some might actually have something to teach her prince, and we could all use more characters like that.

Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

As October comes to a close and Halloween is soon approaching, my love for all things pumpkin grows! Just like Charlie Brown welcomes the Great Pumpkin, so do I. Why pumpkin you may ask?

Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and potassium. They are also high in fiber. The conclusion you should now be reaching is that they are therefore good for you. 

From a medicinal standpoint, pumpkins have been used for a variety of ailments:
  • They were once recommended as a cure for freckles.
  • They were used as a remedy for snake bites.
  • The seeds help avoid prostate cancer in men.
They also make for an incredible addition to an already classic cookie...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Then enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk while still warm. Sweet pumpkin perfection. You better believe my students will be getting a sweet surprise tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The many marvelous things about Manny

So, I admit it, I'm slightly obsessed with my dog. My friends and family always make fun of me for spoiling him, making him homemade treats, and referring to him as the "baby." But you have to understand how truly precious this pup is and how he has changed my life, as well as his dad, and made me a better person. Manny is our sun, moon, stars, and everything else in between. We've definitely had our growing pains but it has all been worth it. We love you Manolo!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Manny's Biscochitos

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit
Recipe with Oatmeal

This peanut butter dog biscuit recipe is what you're looking for if you want easy dog treat recipes. With only four ingredients, one of which is water, you're likely to have all of the ingredients on hand in your pantry.
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use another type of flour if your dog is sensitive to wheat) All we had was regular
  • 1 cup rolled oats>I substituted apple cinnamon instant oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
Additional flour for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. peanut butter dog biscuit recipe

  4. Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.

  5. peanut butter dog biscuit recipe

  6. Knead the dough well.
  7. Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness and cut into shapes with dog cookie cutters.

  8. peanut butter dog biscuit recipe
    Note - This recipe doesn't call for it, but I put an egg wash (one egg whisked with a fork and then brushed on with a pastry brush) on the treats before I baked them. It gives them a nice sheen once they're baked. Here's how they look before baking.
    peanut butter dog biscuit recipe

  9. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let them cool overnight.
peanut butter dog biscuit recipe
If you and your dog can't wait that long, cool them completely on a wire rack before serving.
Instead of cutting out more shapes with the left over peanut butter and oatmeal dough, I rolled it into balls. Then I made a cross hatch fork mark on the dog cookies. This is the same way you would do for human peanut butter cookies.
After: The cookies get very hard, just the way dogs like them!
peanut butter dog biscuit recipe
Storing: This peanut butter dog biscuit recipe makes biscuits that will last in a sealed air tight container at room temperature for one week. You can store them in therefrigerator for 3 weeks and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The story of my life..Sh*t Student Affairs Professionals say

But seriously, this is the story of my life...

Sh*t Student Affairs Professionals Say

If any meme experienced overkill this year, it was the “Sh*t People Say” videos. What started with an abundantly clever “Sh*t Girls Say” exploded into videos that explored what everybody (or nobody) says. The great thing about these videos is that they sparked conversation: “I definitely say that!” “I never say that!” “Do I say that?” One of my favorite iterations was “Sh*t Nobody Says,” which was completed by Tyler Stanton and Tripp Crosby (great comedians!).

The “Sh*t Student Affairs Professionals Say” contains so much of the jargon and buzzwords that we incorporate into our everyday work lives – yet spoken in such a monotone that it makes them much funnier.
  • “I’m going to have a developmental conversation…with a barista.”
  • “I started a blog. That pretty much makes me a social media expert.”
  • “I assessed your work-life balance against your learning outcomes. You fail.”
And then, an even better response: “Sh*t Student Affairs Professionals Wish They Could Say
  • “Oh, your dad is going to call me? Unless your dad is Chuck Norris, I don’t really care.”
  • “You’re not busy. You’re lazy. Those things are different.”
  • “Let me get this straight: You did what I asked in the deadline I asked you to do it, and you expect to be recognized. Boy, you crazy!”

(I wish I could embed the videos, but clearly, I’m no social media expert.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012's getting chili in here...

So fall is here, well...sort of. At least it was last weekend so I decided to make my mom's famous turkey chili to encourage the cooler weather to stick around. This recipe is the perfect combination of spicy, savory, and completely comforting without cracking open the caloric bank account. Sound good?

This is what you'll need:
1 box of Carol Shelley's White Chicken Chili mix
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes
2 cans of Bush's White Northern beans
1 countainer Light Sour Cream
1 Spanish Onion
1 pound Jennie-O lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Fresh parsely
Olive oil

First, in olive oil sautee together the chopped parsely (how little or much as you want), onion, and the (drained) fire roasted tomatoes.

Next, brown the turkey in the pan with a dash of salt and pepper

Once the meat is browned add in the sauteed veggies, the drained beans, 2 cups of water, and the packets in the chili mix

In the box there is also a cayenne pepper packet, you can add a small dash like me, since I'm a wimp or A LOT if you like it spicy

Once everything is mixed together cover the pot and let it simmer on medium for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot and let it cook until the majority of the liquid is absorbed

Once it's ready add a dollop of Light Sour Cream and share it with someone you love!

Harry Potter And The Sorting Of The American Nominees

Harry Potter And The Sorting Of The American Nominees

Oct. 15, 2012
WARNING: spoilers, libel (this is fake). FAKE!
To the delight of her fans, particularly those across the pond, J.K. Rowling has announced she’ll be adding to her much loved Harry Potter series. A new chapter, “The Horserace,” will appear as an insert in a rerelease of book six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, available in the U.K. and U.S. later this month.

The new material features a Muggle Studies (the study of non-magic peoples) lesson with professor Charity Burbage, first named in the opening chapter of book seven. Students, including Harry and Ron, (Hermione, raised by Muggle parents, having declined to take the course in favor of more scholastic pursuits), will be required to go over the political records and historical contexts of American presidential nominees and, based on their understanding, classify the gentlemen into the houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin.

“Puritanical, New World superpowers don’t have magical communities,” Professor Burbage explains. “Making them ideal regions for Muggle settlement and the perfect theatre for the observation and codification of their behaviour. Remember,” she says, “Politics is calculation, not magic.”
The insert is aimed at adult fans, offering a balance of sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek comedy and topical social commentary, pulling them, perhaps unwillingly, into an adult context, both in time to bear on the November U.S. election and boost the sales of her freshly released adult novel, The Casual Vacancy.

“Kakis.” Professor Burbage instructs, conjuring a demonstrative projection from her wand. “Spangled signage.” Another image. “Power neck ties. Indirect Election.” — This one requires an extended explanation. “Money. Lots of money made of paper with former leaders printed on it — similar to chocolate frog cards.” The conjured data on this horrify the class.
The addition also provides a better introduction to Burbage, who spends her time in the Deathly Hallows suspended in mortal peril above a table before being killed and eaten by a snake. According to most informed, dedicated fans, what’s missing, and dearly missed, in book seven is seeing the kids at school, daily life at Hogwarts. With this move Rowling gives fans more of what they crave, enriches a character with a very dramatic death (and no life) and cracks wise at American politics with a bit of enterprising cheek.

Harry and Ron work together to compile the list of nominees they must sort:

Originally, their answers differ slightly:

Seeing that Ron labeled every candidate: Slytherin and forgot to classify George W. Bush entirely, the boys get into a pretty good row. Ron is adamant. Harry is concerned that they’ll be marked down for failing to include a Gryffindor. Neither believes there’s a Gryffindor – someone who could belong to their own house — in the bunch. Spoilers: Ron hangs onto most of his Slytherin responses, “squib” (a magical person with no magical ability) is used as a prefix and there’s a hilarious passage concerning the “house status” of Al Gore.

As a cross-cultural literary mogul enjoying a mixed demographic support seen only by the likes of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Rowling neither needs nor has the time to tweet cutting burns following nominee gaffs, but she seems to notice, astutely, that this current election has remarkable similarities to the election that immediately preceded the publication of Half Blood Prince in 2004: an incumbent with desperately low approval ratings, having disappointed his base and royally enraged contrarians, up against an un-ideal, somewhat unacceptable alternative figure.

An unexpected turn from Rowling but, predictably, asking more of her audience than contemporary easy-reach fiction: condoning curiosity outside of existing paradigms and casting light on received, supremacist ideology, oft vilified in her work. Intelligent, as always, she avoids tossing her hat into the fray and offending partisan readers by tackling only the politics of the past and, more importantly, offering substantive content to her hungry, worshipful public. Fairly irresistible.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy versary to me!!

It's hard to believe it but two years today I came to work for the MSC. The past two years have been filled with laughs, some tears, great relationships, successes, mistakes, disappointments, celebrations, and lots of lessons learned... I thank my friends at the MSC (as well as other departments on campus) and my incredible students for making the past two years incredibly unforgettable. I also want to thank my amazingly phenomenal husband for putting up with my insane schedule, ocassional grumpiness, and for supporting me and my job that I love. I love you all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Falling in love with fall

Long time no blog, so I thought I would share my favorite things about this time of year. For those of you who have known me for awhile you know how much I love fall.

The changing color of the leaves (in some parts of TX), the air becoming more crisp and breezy, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, pulling my boots out of retirement (which they have been really excited about let me tell you), transitioning my wardrobe, and most importantly, not being so damn hot all of the time makes me reminiscent of my days at KU (where there are 4 full seasons...imagine that).

This time of year always takes me back to walking around campus and seeing the leaves changing colors, feeling the temperature shift right before, or on, Halloween, and turning off the AC and keeping the windows open all the time. Now granted, I'm not saying that I loved all of it, winter pretty much kicked my ass, so I'm not complaining about our mild winters here...Plus I get to finally pull back out my gamma gear!!!!

Now get out there and take advantage of this amazing time of year!!

About Mariam

Life is sweet

Life is sweet

And they lived happily ever after

And they lived happily ever after

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

About Me

For those of you who know me, writing has always been one of my passions, with the exception of my Masters or any ridiculously long testament within the wide world of Academia. I've only had the pleasure of blogging a couple of times, mostly for a few classes in graduate school, but figured it was time to organize my numerous thoughts and musings with all of you out there in cyber land. I created this page because my mind is always running and often times my thoughts get lost in the hubub. Plus, my friends have always said that I'm a great storyteller, so I'd love to share them now with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this... Throughout the past 33 years of my life I've seen, heard, and experienced so many different things as well as had many adventures and dream of so many possibilities. But in short, what it comes down to is this..I'm just a little Jubana trying to make a difference in the world. Everyday I live my life to the fullest and have fun doing it. Life can't always be about work or how much money you make. There's so much more to life than that.