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The World Languages Department 2014-2015 Season

The World Languages Department – SVH – Weekdays 8:40am-3:33pm

With the fall season upon us, audiences are sure to be thrilled by the return of SVH’s The World Languages Department.

Frequent viewers of The World Languages Department are bound to be excited by the kick-off of this season with the return of everyone’s favorite cast members. Of course, last season began with the cast travelling to a magical realm in the unforgettable episode “Madame Stephens’s Adventures in World Language Land” and ended with Mrs. Ham and Mr. Grantham preparing to head off for an action-packed trip to Europe while Mrs. Schwarzbauer took a brief hiatus from her performance to introduce a brand new character, Baby Kyle.

(Click here for an exclusive sneak peek at Baby Kyle!)

Math, science, history–they’d all be very hard to learn about without language, so for those readers who have yet to experience the joy that is The World Languages Department, here’s a brief introduction to the cast, pictured below (left to right):

Spring Valley's World Languages Department as the cast of The Big Bang Theory

Bernadette (played by Mrs. Schwarzbauer), the bright and bubbly biologist who harbors the ability to unleash a tide of fury belied by her diminutive size. She’s married to

Howard (Mrs. Ham), the engineer with a truly dazzling fashion sense and only member of the gang to have travelled to space.

Leonard (Mr. Grantham) Self-deprecating and neurotic, but unquestionably the core of the group, Leonard is willing to step out and engage with the world, as long as the world isn’t wielding lactose.

Penny (Mrs. Stephens) The wild card of the group, Penny may not be a genius, but she is beautiful, fun, and outgoing. While her acting career hasn’t yet taken off, she has found great friends among these misfits.

Sheldon (Mr. Ugro) Brilliant, impatient with the mental shortcomings of others, and from a far off land (Texas), Sheldon would like to be left in peace so that he can advance the world of science, provided someone will drive him to the office (and the train store).

Amy (Mrs. Hernandez) A neuroscientist who still struggles to understand the complexities of human interaction, Amy is a devoted friend who has a lab full of cocaine-addicted monkeys with nothing to lose.

Raj (Mrs. Nazario) Howard’s best friend, Raj has a sweet heart and a gift for party planning (as well as astronomy). Named one of People Magazine’s “30 Under 30 to Watch”, he’s sure to eventually sweep the right woman off her feet (provided he can bring himself to speak to her).

 Like all fans of The World Languages Department, I have my favorite. Personally, I love Mrs. Stephens–I mean, I’d marry her in a heartbeat! (Have you seen her in Breaking Bad? Amazing!) That said, every one of these characters brings something great to the table and this is, above all, a magnificent ensemble production. Check out this promotional still from the 2012-13 season.

The Cast of The World Languages Department from Vanity Fair

So tune in to SVH Monday through Friday at 8:40am for laughs and lots of language learning.

 

P.S. – If you’re a student who wants your senior photos to be anywhere near as cool as your Spanish, French, or Latin teacher’s latest picture, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do.

Carolina CrossFit Famously Hot Showdown – Day 2 – Teams

(Hey! If you’d like to see all 1400+ images from both days you can do that (and order if you’d like) here.)

Okay, I promised a follow up to our previous post about day one of the Famously Hot Showdown, and here it is.

I know what you’re thinking. “Man, these fitness posts can be pretty intimidating! All these people are so darn…FIT!” Don’t worry, though, because day two of the Famously Hot Showdown was teams meaning the competitors were…

A very fit guy lifting weights

…still obscenely fit.

So, when they said “teams”, they apparently didn’t mean that you got to lift the weights together or pick one another up on the pull-ups. So much for Wendy and I entering next year.

Woman lifting at CrossFit

Yet despite people making faces like this:

Front squats

this:

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and this:

Guy in a Captain America shirt

…other people made faces like this:

Rowing

and this:

Guy with a banana

(Okay, in all fairness, eating a banana isn’t quite as challenging as doing front squats.)

Still, I’m pretty sure the competitors were having a good time. If I’m not mistaken, the guy below is setting his personal record in this photo. (Dear guy in photo: if you’re not setting a PR here, just email me and I’ll Photoshop some more weights onto the bar until you are.)

Personal record

And what could be more fun than swinging from the rings?

A woman doing muscle-ups

(Wait, Wendy tells me she’s in the middle of doing muscle-ups. Nevermind.)

Wall ball

Wall ball

Wall ball

You know, in all the online arguing about the pros and cons of CrossFit, the one argument I’ve never heard is that you ought to do CrossFit because it makes your kids adorable. I know this is a small sample size, but I think there’s a case to be built here.

Kids at the Famously Hot Showdown (The little girl is on her 37th pull-up. Not really.)

Box Jumps

You know, though, folks who are serious about CrossFit often develop really big muscles…

Strength

Barbell across a man's back

…and you know they’ve just got to be completely inflexib–…

Very, very flexible

Never mind.

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Famously-Hot-Showdown-Day2-1474

Famously-Hot-Showdown-Day2-389

One of the coolest things about day 2 was watching teammates cheer one another on.

Success

Overhead squats

Teammates

And speaking of teams, here’s the one that made it happen:

The Famously Hot Showdown volunteer team

Thanks for visiting with us! We hope we’ll see you at the Famously Hot Showdown again next year!

 

Carolina CrossFit Famously Hot Showdown – Day 1

Once again, it’s time to return to the theme of people who are in way better shape than I (J.P.) am!

Last year, you might remember, we photographed Carolina CrossFit’s Famously Hot Showdown. This year, we returned for not one, but two days of events, this time located inside their Laurel Street location. If you don’t know much about CrossFit (or if you just want to see some more photos of people who look like Greek gods and goddesses (Why do we only associate Greek gods and goddesses with great abs?  Nice marketing, Greek pantheon!)) I’d suggest checking out our last post on Carolina CrossFit here.

But you’re not here to listen to me tell you about the competition, you probably want to see very fit people engaging in feats of athleticism that would leave me gasping for air, a defibrillator, and probably a milkshake.  So here are some highlights from day 1. (Day 2 here!)

(Note: all 1400+ images from both days can now be seen and ordered here.)

An athlete does overhead squats at Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

A woman doing a CrossFit WOD lifts a barbell over her head

One of the most fun parts about shooting fitness is the great faces people make.

The Joy of Lifting

Athletes wait to compete

An athlete does muscle-ups at Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

A man squats during a CrossFit WOD

Raising the bar

The DJ kept the music loud and pumping all weekend long. (For some reason, there wasn’t a lot of Iron and Wine played.)

DJ

Mid-swing muscle-up

An athlete at Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

I didn’t catch this athlete’s name, but Wendy and I both loved photographing her. She smiled the entire time she competed. There may be something to it, too, because I’m pretty sure she won her division.

A female athlete smiles while performing overhead squats

Over the bar burpees

Speaking of positivity, it’s one thing that I just can’t get over about CrossFit–the overwhelming sense of camaraderie that exists among those who enjoy/endure it. As absolutely disciplined as these people are, as strong as they are, I didn’t catch even a whiff of macho posturing at this event. Everyone was kind and supportive of one another. It’s a refreshing break from a lot of what you see in sports.

A woman does wall ball during Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

CrossFitters lifting

This is a muscle up. It’s basically a chin-up, on rings, where rather than getting your chin above your hands,  you get the entire upper half of your body up there. It’s every bit as easy as it sounds and there were lots of them this weekend…

Muscle-ups

Jumping rope

Step-ups

A man does wall ball during Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

A woman does box jumps during Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

Box jumps

As you can imagine all this was pretty exhausting.

An exhausted athlete

An exhausted athlete at Carolina CrossFit's Famously Hot Showdown

The sad thing is, that’s what I felt like doing after photographing these folks. It’s probably time I get my butt back down to Carolina CrossFit and let Paul whip me into shape. If you see me there, please say ‘hi’. I’ll be the one panting on the floor after the warm up.

Cuteness Abounds

Our neighbors Toxie and Robert have two dogs…correction: they had two dogs–Baby and Storm. Baby and Storm being a boy and a girl, though, things happened…cuddly things…adorable things…

Boxer puppy with boxing glove(Welcome to the worst advertisement ever for having your pets spayed or neutered.)

Let me begin by saying that Wendy and I are not pet photographers. We’re both pretty allergic to cats and dogs, but sometimes the cuddlyness is just freakin’ worth it. You suck it up, take a Claritin, and take some pictures. That’s what happened here.

Also, if you decide that you need one of the puppies to come and live with you, keep reading to the bottom, because three of these puppies are still unspoken-for.

Yawning boxer puppy(Yawning puppies…that’s what it’s come to.)

These are the boys of the litter. Yoda, JoJo, and Nitrate. (Note: names most likely don’t correspond to puppy order.)

Puppy butts(And puppy butts.)

Two boxer puppies in a bucket

These are the ladies, Frankie and Pink. (Wendy says Pink is the one with the smaller head. Please note the pink ribbon.)

Boxer puppy resting his head on a boxing glovePuppy: “Come on, man! A boxer puppy on a boxing glove–isn’t that a little cliché?”
Me: “Do you want to get adopted into a loving home with people who will rub your belly and feed you treats?”
Puppy:”Yeah…”
Me: “Then quit your yappin’ and look adorable.”

What are you looking at?“Do you think it will help if I make eye contact with the camera?”

A boxer puppy with a boxing glove“No, wait…this is my good side.”

(Okay, that’s actually three different puppies, but we’re going with the narrative, okay?)

 

A nice yawn

Puppy: “All this photography is tiring!”
Me: “Then go to sleep. There’s not much cuter than a sleeping puppy.”

Sleepy puppy

Me: “Okay, yeah, that’s pretty stinkin’ cute. Is there anything else you could do that’s super, insanely cute so people will just absolutely have to adopt you?”

The Tao of PuppiesPuppy: “How ’bout this?”

So yeah, if you’d like to take one of these little guys (or girls) home with you, send an email to adorableboxerpuppies which is a google email address, and you’ll get a reply with the info you need.

If you’re looking for a cat or a less pugilistic puppy, I strongly suggest paying a visit to Pets Inc, a rescue shelter  here in Columbia that has a great mission and a lot of wonderful animals who are looking for homes.  Finally, all joking aside, these puppies were planned and are loved and taken care of, but far too many pets aren’t. Bob Barker is right–spay or neuter your pets.

Babies and Bug-Vacuums

We have a new niece!

In May, our sister and brother-in-law Betsy and Loren welcomed a new little girl into their family. We’re delighted to introduce Lydia:

Columbia newborn photography

(She’s pleased to meet you.)

In case you’re new to this blog, Lydia is baby sister to Brooke

Little girl in a pink tutu(I swear we did not pose her. This is just what she does in front of a camera.)

Little girl in a pink tutu

…and Ethan.

Little boy missing teeth

IMG_8230

Brooke and Ethan are loving this adorable new addition to their family. Specifically, when Wendy asked Ethan what he enjoyed most about his new sister he replied, “I like it when she’s awake and isn’t crying.” (I imagine that’s a sentiment a lot of new parents can identify with, too.)

Mother and baby

As far as we can tell, so far Lydia’s favorite things are eating, her brother and sister (Teachers, feel free to use this sentence as an example of the importance of proper comma placement.), and the bass line to Chic’s 1979 hit “Good Times”.

You might also recognize that as the bass line from The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”, but Wendy went with the closest approximation with which she was familiar: Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”. (On that alone I nominate her for coolest and, simultaneously, most kid-inappropriate aunt.)

Obviously, we had to get some photos of our precious new niece.

Baby with tongue out

Baby

Betsy and Lydia

Wendy also just finished painting a series of canvases for Lydia’s room to, I guess, remind her parents which kid lives in there. Wendy constantly amazes me; despite not having painted in years, she picked up her acrylics and brought these little faeries to life. (I’m a big fan of the one with the ‘A’.)

Canvas baby name

While we were visiting, we also gave Brooke and Ethan one of the coolest toys I’ve seen: hand-held bug-vacuums. (Don’t worry, folks, no bugs were harmed in the making of this blog post (well, maybe a couple of mosquitoes), and all the fireflies were released.) Basically, they’re clear plastic tubes with a gentle vacuum attached that pulls bugs in and then lets you observe them up close through a magnifying glass. The kids loved them. They also caught a lot of fireflies.

      Little boy

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Loren and Brooke

Yes, Wendy actually captured an illuminated firefly sitting on Brooke’s fingers. Also, Brooke poses like a champ.

Little girl with lightning bug

Keep and eye out for more photos of Lydia (and Brooke and Ethan, of course), as we predict years of escalating cuteness!