Best Superhero Movie Ever?

After watching this video a couple of times, I think there’s a very good chance that Joss Whedon has managed to top himself and create the best superhero movie ever.  The bar is set high, and I’ve got a feeling he’ll clear it with ease.  May 1 can’t come soon enough.  This is going to be pure action, story-telling and awesome comic book fun!

Merry Christmas from Wendel’s Worlds!

This is my favorite version of my favorite Christmas song of all time, “Still, Still, Still” by Mannheim Steamroller.  It is a reminder of the significance and the beauty of Christmas Eve, my favorite day of the year.  Each time I hear it I feel the Spirit of Christmas wash through me.  I think of my family, those with me and those who have left.  I think of Christmases past, the sleepless nights, the late night services, the twinkling lights, the chilly air or the snowy skies.  I remember studying for finals in college when this song came on, and I looked out the window into the dark, snowy December night and remembered that peace on Earth is possible, that joy can be found in any moment if you slow down, listen, feel and let the joy of existence and the Christmas season into your soul.  I hope this video finds all of you well, surrounded by happiness in all the forms it may come, and may you revel in the beauty of the world that we live in.  Merry Christmas!

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Savior’s birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Savior’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Christmas Songs I Can’t Stop Listening To – 2014

I am a huge fan of Christmas music.  I’ve always listened to music from Thanksgiving through Christmas night to get into the spirit of the season, to remind myself of all the good things about the holidays, to feel the Christmas Spirit flow through me.  I’ve got a long list of Greatest Hits that I listen to each year, but every year I try to find a new album, new songs, new ways to experience the spirit.  So, I’m going to try giving you a list each year of the songs I’ve found and/or just can’t stop listening to.  You’ll see the list is pretty eclectic and isn’t made up of songs that were just released in the last year.  Each Christmas is different, so each year my list is bound to be different.  I hope you enjoy listening to each song and feel the Christmas Spirit flow through you.

“Cold December Night” – Michael Buble – Such a great, happy song about falling in love at Christmas time.  Makes me think of Mindi and watching this Christmas special together.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Katherine McPhee – Such a great, sultry version of this song.  It makes me think of a smokey speakeasy in the early 20th century on a quiet, starry night with a slow jazz band and a great female singer to set the mood.  Good stuff.

“Let It Snow” – Captain Picard – The heroes of my youth, mashed up into a hilarious version of the song.  Another great example of the best stuff that can come out of YouTube.

“Text Me Merry Christmas” – Straight No Chaser with Kristen Bell – I’m a big fan of Straight No Chaser, their beautiful harmonies and their great takes on Christmas songs.  But this little gem, with the help of Kristen Bell (whose voice is really growing on me), is one of the best, new/modern Christmas songs (i.e. something written after the 1950’s) that I’ve heard in a long time.  I would think anyone, especially younger fans of this blog, who grew up with texting/Facebook/Twitter/etc. will appreciate this even more than I do. By far one of my favorite modern Christmas songs now.

“Silent Night” – Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire – Chills, joys and tears.  This is what Christmas music is all about.

“Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” – Mannheim Steamroller – I grew up on Mannheim Steamroller, and their albums are a staple in my annual Christmas music feast.  Each year there’s a song or two that just stick with me and have a whole new impact on me.  This song makes my heart warm, makes me think of Christmases past, happy times with my grandparents who are no longer with us.  Good, happy memories with each hearing.

“Still, Still, Still” – The Piano Guys – My favorite Christmas song, played by one of my newest favorite bands whose mixture of piano, cello and Lord knows what other instruments always make for brilliant music.  They set the tone just right with their version and put their own little tweaks into it to make it there own.  Another great recording of this song.

“Mele Kalikimaka” – Bing Crosby – 2014 is the first year I’ve been introducing my 2-year old son Alex to Christmas music.  I thought this song would be a sure thing with its funny words and catchy little tune.  He smiled, but that was about all I got.  When his classmates at day care did it in their pageant, the song took hold in me.  I just want to dance to it whenever it comes on, and I will keep playing it for Alex until I can get a smile.  Also, I’m really missing palm trees this year.  Good thing there is one in our nativity set.

Finally! A real grammar teacher.

I’m not ashamed to admit that:

  1. I didn’t know most of the rules in this video that well.  Now I will.
  2. I am, and always have been, a huge Weird Al fan. (see, I think I messed up the commas there …) (and misused an ellipse)
  3. I’m going to be watching this video a lot to improve my own writing.
  4. I think high school English teachers should use the video as a final exam and have their students explain sections of the song to show they understand the material.
  5. It will never happen for me, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have “Cunning Linguist” on your business card.

Thank you #Yankovic.  This was pure awesome.