Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the lamb (cake) of god

Melissa and I hosted our very first holiday get-together on Sunday. That's a big deal - there is a lot of pressure to not screw things up, especially when 15 people show up! It was crazy - both of our families came along with some extended family and a few friends. We made a ton of food including my famous mandarin orange-glazed pork roast (the same roast that Oreo ate off the counter a few months ago) and, what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, the Easter Lamb Cake! Yes that's right, it's a pound cake in the shape of a lamb with candy eyes and coconut fur and Easter in the Turney household would not be the same without it.

These are pictures from last year. As you can see, the lamb cake must have a theme. Last year we had the Tyler Hansbrough "Psycho L" Lamb. See how fierce and determined he is? He is unquestionably the hardest-working lamb cake in the history of lamb cakes. . . .

Melissa will probably not be happy with me for putting this next picture on here, as it is not her most flattering, but I feel it is necessary in order for you people to understand not only the scale of the lamb cake's size but also they uncontainable joy the cake brings to the faces of all who come near to it.
So that was lamb cake 2008, which brings us to lamb cake 2009. This year the theme was different. Seeing the good fortune the Tar Heel lamb cake brought on the team the following season, I decided to bestow that good fortune on another of my favorite teams - a team that desperately needs all the good fortune it can get: the Chicago Cubs.

I present the (Mark) Grace and Peace Chicago Cubs Lamb Cake:

Mark Grace was a former first-baseman who is a Cubs legend and whose last name fits well with the reason for the celebration. Out of the 15 people who attended our shindig on Sunday, only my Dad understood what the lamb was supposed to represent. Melissa thought that the lamb was a captain? (captain of what? I do not know. . . ), my mom thought the red C stood for Carolina, and Melissa's dad thought the lamb was a dog. Despite the haters and misunderstanders, the Cubs lamb cake 2009 was a big hit and tasted very good.

If you are wondering why we make a lamb cake, there are a couple reasons. 1) Jesus is the Lamb of God. He represents the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed to atone for the sins of God's people. We mean no blasphemy by eating it. 2) A lamb seems like a Spring animal - Easter occurs near March which is the month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. 3) My Grandma Sheila, who lives in Chicago, used to make one every Easter when we were growing up and my sister Carolyn gave us our lamb cake mold as a wedding gift in order to carry on the tradition. It was definitely one of the best gifts we got and I'm excited to keep this going for many more years with my family.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

where the wild things are

So I came across this, and it immediately jumped to the top of my "must see" list: (make sure you click the HD button!)

To be honest, I really don't remember much of the storyline from reading the book as a child, but the imagery of the kid wearing a bunny suit and a crown on his head and the big old wild thing brings back really good, old memories. I get similar feelings of nostalgia when I see books like Harold and the Purple Crayon or Goodnight, Moon. I can't really tell you a lot about what the stories are about, but I know they are awesome and I'm sure I learned some sort of timeless truth or moral from them. Reading to your kids is so crucial. I'm really thankful that my parents took the time to read to me, and also encouraged me to read on my own as I grew.

Apart from the sappy fuzzy feelings this film provokes, I'm also really excited about it because Spike Jonze is directing it. Who is Spike Jonze you ask? Well, he is simply one of the greatest music video directors of all time! OK, that does not really seem all that impressive, until you take a look at some of the iconic videos that have sprung out of that man's mind. . .

Watch more Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars videos on AOL Video

and this. . .

Watch more Weezer (Blue Album) [Deluxe] videos on AOL Video

and this crazy one . . .

Watch more Post videos on AOL Video

He's done a lot of really cool videos and he's obviously creative conceptually as well as the shots he gets with the camera. So I'm pretty interested to see what kind of angle he's going to take with Where the Wild Things Are. Already from the trailer you can see that some of the shots look gorgeous.

Another plus is that the song from the trailer is "Wake Up" by the Arcade Fire. They're awesome.

how we got really good seats at a bobcats game

I just finished making a science test for my students at Agape. This is the second night in a row that I've been up late preparing stuff for my classes. I did not realize that teachers have to do more homework than students. Maybe it means that I should be giving more homework. Hmm. . .

So a couple weekends ago, Melissa and I headed down to Charlotte to attend a Bobcats game (Just in case you are a part of that 97.6% of the population that have never heard of the Bobcats, they are an NBA basketball team that plays in Charlotte. . . no, the Hornets aren't there anymore, they moved to New Orleans like 7 years ago . . . and no, Mugsy Bogues doesn't play for them anymore. . . ). I am a closet Bobcats fan. I'm not really sure why or how it happened, but I keep tabs on them every now and then and have been secretly rooting for them for a couple years now. This year though, the team may actually make the playoffs for the first time in their short history and to generate excitement and get more than 17 people to attend their games, the organization had a brief ticket sale where you could get tix for 40% off the regular price. Well, TicketMaster screwed up my order and I ended up not getting my discount. Perturbed, I contacted the Bobcats' ticket office and after several emails back and forth to a team representative to convince them that I was not lying about when I made the purchase, they decided to reward me for going through all that trouble and mental anguish by refunding all my money and moving our seats to the lower level! The seats were great. The team played close to the worst basketball I've ever seen and they got smoked by the Pacers. It was still fun.

Here are some pictures:

Melissa's parents' car broke down and we had to walk about 2 miles to the stadium.
A couple days prior to this I rolled my ankle attempting to dunk on an 8 ft tall basketball hoop at school.
Walking 2 miles on a badly sprained ankle is not recommended.

See we were pretty close to the action. . .

A Sean May sighting!
{insert fat joke}

Somehow the family remained in the good spirits
despite the merciless beaten being taken by the Cats.

And now we come to one last picture. I was uploading this batch of pictures from the camera to the computer, and I noticed that Melissa had taken some pictures of Oreo. . .

Yes, that is my side of the bed. Thanks Melissa. There are about 10 if these pictures from various angles and with Oreo doing different poses. I'm worried about Melissa. I'm worried that she has a little too much time on her hands. I'm also worried for any future children we may have, and all the "fun" they are going to have to endure if this is what Melissa is putting our dog through. . .