Advice Column

By: Farah Standley

There are so many words of wisdom that could make your life better, and you may not even know you need them! Let’s go over a few…

  • “Would your seven year old self be proud of you right now?”

This is a very good question to think about. If you think very deeply, you might find the answer is yes, or maybe you’ll find the answer is no. The thought that a younger, more sweet and innocent version of yourself might not approve of the person you are today can hit hard. This question can serve as a small motivation for someone to change! Would your 7 year old self be proud of who you’ve become?

  • “If you have two good friends… you’re rich!”

This quote makes a very good and important point about how in life, it is the quality of the friends you have, not the quantity. I feel like most people could say they would rather have one or two amazing friends than 100 toxic ones, because you aren’t bettering yourself by surrounding yourself with people that don’t make your life better.

  • “Pay no attention to those who talk behind your back, it only means they’re two steps behind you.”

This quote is expressing that people who talk behind your back are less mature, and most likely envious of you, and you shouldn’t waste your time and energy over people that are insignificant to your lifestyle. So surround yourself with people who are on your level of maturity and will appreciate you for who you are, and do the same for your friends.

  • “If you don’t have the courage to take a step forward, you will always be in the same place.”

This quote is showing that you can get out of any situation as long as you have the courage to get yourself out of it. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep walking! We are put through certain situations to make us stronger, and if we jump out of our comfort zone, we will only take a lesson and a memory from those times.

  • “Be careful what you say, words can be forgiven, but not forgotten.”

There are no erase buttons for words. Everything you say is out in the air forever! If you decide to say things that affect someone else in a bad way, they may decide to give you another chance, but the words might stay in their memory forever! So be careful what you decide to put in other people’s minds.

Thanksgiving

By: Wanish Tortes-Mcginnis

Ever since Thanksgiving became a holiday, the history behind it has been tattered and torn into lies and some truths. Although know one really knows as to who killed who and who’s responsible for the outcome. Many people and historians have different opinions and attributes as to what happened on the feast of thanksgiving day. For many Americans Thanksgiving nowadays is a holiday to be thankful whether that be family, the food on the table or just to be alive and well. For many indigenous people Thanksgiving is a day of mourning remembering the people that died for their land and those who were taken by disease. Thanksgiving is based on the period of time when the pilgrims came from England to North America, nowadays called Plymouth Massachusetts. The small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the “New World.” After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth. Although the pilgrims made it to the” New World” they were not ready for the days to come. Harsh winters and small supply of food and goods almost killed the entire colony, however in march when winter had passed the pilgrims got an astonishing visit from a member of the Abenaki tribe who spoke English. Several days later the same man brought a man by the name of Squanto. Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery the last of his tribe. Squanto taught the pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, fish in the rivers, and even formed an alliance between the pilgrims and the neighboring tribe the Wampanoag. In November of 1621 Governor William Bradford organized a feast with the Wampanoag and neighboring tribes to give thanks to their first successful harvest which is called the First Thanksgiving.           

True Crime vol. XXIV: Covina Massacre

By: Courtney Henson

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, born on March 23, 1963, graduated from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, Los Angeles. Further graduating from California State University, Northridge. Pardo met his wife, Sylvia Orza in 2004, they later married in 2006. For years, Pardo bounced between jobs and the family struggled heavily with finances. After a big fight over the couple’s finances and conflict involving their children, all coming from previous marriages, the couple divorced in June of 2008. 

 On December 24, 2008, in the city of Covina, a suburb of Los Angeles, a Christmas Eve party was taking place at 1129 East Knollcrest Drive. At 11:30pm, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, dressed as Santa Claus, knocked on his ex-wife’s parents house armed with a homemade flamethrower and at least 4 handguns disguised as Christmas gifts. As the door opened, Pardo revealed a handgun and shot his 8 year-old niece Katrina Yuzefpolsky, who is the daughter of Leticia Yuzefpolsky, who is a sister of Sylvia Pardo. As the shots rang out, the other 24 occupants of the house began to run, using the handguns, Pardo shot into the fleeing party-goers with no discrimination. 

After he finished shooting, Pardo unwrapped the gift containing the homemade flamethrower, and used it to set the home ablaze. The fire burned at roughly 50 feet high and took 80 firefighters an hour and a half to extinguish. The intensity of the fire made it difficult to identify the victims causing identification to be done by dental and medical records. 

There were 9 deaths from the whole incident. Sylvia Ortega, Alicia Sotomayor Ortega, Joseph Ortega, Charles Ortega, Cheri Lynn Ortega, James Ortega, Teresa Ortega, Alicia Ortega Ortiz, and Michael Andre Ortiz. Three victims died from gunshots alone, 2 from the fire alone, and 4 from a combination of gunshot wounds and the fire combined. 

After the attack, Pardo drove 30 miles away to his brother’s house in Sylmar, where he was later found dead by suicide. Police found $17,000 in cash cling-wrapped on his legs. His rental car, found one block away, contained four 13 round capacity handguns, all empty, at least 200 rounds of ammunition, and the remnants of the Santa suit. While trying to remove the Santa suit from the car with a robot, the bomb squad started a fire in the vehicle, burning and destroying any evidence. At Pardo’s house, police recovered 5 boxes for semi-automatic handguns, a shotgun, and a container for gasoline. They also found what police described as a “virtual bomb factory.”

Police believe the motive for the attack was the divorce of Pardo and Sylvia and extensive financial problems. 

The Ortega family is laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. Bruce Pardo is buried in an unknown location.

Movie Review: King Richard

By: Kristina Mertz

King Richard is a new film that was released to theaters on  November 19, the film managed to score a 90% according to Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 98%. Notable actors in this film include Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Will Smith, and John Bernthal, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, one of his most notable films was Monsters and Men, which was played at the Sundance Film Festival. 

The film stars Richard Williams, played by Will Smith, as he is passionately determined to get his daughters to be future tennis stars. Originally from Compton t,the now famous Serena and Venus Williams, used to practice on abandoned and run down tennis courts in their town. Through Richard’s firm determination and strong familial bond with his daughters and wife, this remarkable film demonstrates how the now best tennis players in the world persevered through the hardships and rose above all obstacles. 

This movie had a wonderful plotline, and stunned the audience with the breathtaking story of the uprising of Venus and Serena Williams. I highly recommend this movie as it had such an inspirational message to never give up and that hard work will pay off. There were plenty of sad moments that tug at the heartstrings, but the humorous scenes really make up for it. The film also stuck very  true to the original story of the sisters, as shown by the end credits scene.

Overall, the film had a strong sense of family bonds, which made the movie have that fulfilling feel. I would definitely recommend this movie to uplift the spirits of anyone around you, including yourself.

"Theatrical release poster": A father embraces his two daughters. Underneath them is the tagline: "Venus, Serena and a plan for greatness".

Poem of the Month

To Mrs K____, On Her Sending Me an English Christmas Plum-Cake at Paris

What crowding thoughts around me wake,

What marvels in a Christmas-cake!

Ah say, what strange enchantment dwells

Enclosed within its odorous cells?

Is there no small magician bound

Encrusted in its snowy round?

For magic surely lurks in this,

A cake that tells of vanished bliss;

A cake that conjures up to view

The early scenes, when life was new;

When memory knew no sorrows past,

And hope believed in joys that last! —

Mysterious cake, whose folds contain

Life’s calendar of bliss and pain;

That speaks of friends for ever fled,

And wakes the tears I love to shed.

Oft shall I breathe her cherished name

From whose fair hand the offering came:

For she recalls the artless smile

Of nymphs that deck my native isle;

Of beauty that we love to trace,

Allied with tender, modest grace;

Of those who, while abroad they roam,

Retain each charm that gladdens home,

And whose dear friendships can impart

A Christmas banquet for the heart!

By: Helen Maria Williams

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Break and get ready for Christmas Break. Winter is here and even Christmas may have presents and other gifts, it is also a time where you can just spend time with family that you don’t see often and just catch up with them. 

Sincerely,

The Passionate Poet

Sweet Treat

By: Alexandra Garcia

Wanna satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your kitchen with these no-bake strawberry desserts ?.. Try the Strawberry Pretzel Pie. 

This cool no-bake Strawberry Pretzel Pie is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Made with pantry staples and as easy as pie. It becomes one of the favorite sweet treats around.  The strawberry pretzel pie has lots of ingredients added into it such as… butter, sugar, lemon juice, marshmallow creme, and cream cheese. Reviews of this sweet treat are quite good although most of the reviews recommend adding strawberry whipped cream cheese or just taking out the cream cheese. Of course, everyone has their own opinion of this delicious treat. 

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups of miniature pretzels
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup boiling water 
  • 1 package (6 ounces) strawberry gelatin,1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, divided  
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • ⅔ cup of whipped cream cheese (not necessary) 
  • ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk  

Directions to the strawberry pretzel pie

  1. Place pretzels in a food processor; pulse until chopped. Add butter and sugar; pulse until combined. Reserve ⅓ cup of pretzel mixture for topping. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. Springform pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until you feel like it’s enough.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, add boiling water to gelatin; stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.
  3. Chop half the strawberries; slice the remaining berries and reserve for topping. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Beat marshmallow creme, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk into cooled gelatin mixture until blended. Gently fold in chopped strawberries and whipped cream. Pour into the crust. 
  4. Refrigerate, covered, until firm, 4-6 hours. Beat remaining 1 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form; spread over pie. Top with reserved strawberries and whipped and pretzel mixture.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 350 calories, 19g fat (12g saturated fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 284mg sodium, 39g carbohydrates (30g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.   

Horoscopes

By: Autumn Webster

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)- 

You’ve been more tired than usual lately, but it’s for a reason. Try making your schedule more healthy, even if only slightly. The difference it can make will certainly surprise you. 

Pisces (February 19- March 20)- 

You recently had a falling out with someone who was close to you, and you’re devastated about this. Give them some space, and after a while, reach out. Despite the results, the closure will be nice.

Aries (March 21- April 19)- 

You’ve found that your hygiene has progressively been getting worse, and you’re unsure as to why. Try out new hygiene habits, you will find something new that you like a lot.

Taurus (April 20- May 20)- 

Your financial position seems to be a bit in the dumps as of late. Make sure you start to watch your spending habits, and your financial situation will surely improve.

Gemini (May 21- June 20)- 

You’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Take a trip down memory lane, you might just find something that will make you happy.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)- 

You’ve noticed that you’re becoming more distant with someone that you deeply care about. Try talking to them, and you will definitely not regret it.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)- 

You seem to have been slipping up more than usual. Do some self-reflection, be proud of the progress that you’ve made, and you will surely find yourself to be happier.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)- 

You seem to be feeling stuck. Do some dreaming, or set some realistic goals. Reaching them will definitely grant you some extra motivation.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)- 

You feel burnt out and overworked. Take some time off, focus on your personal and social life a bit more. The results will be very refreshing. 

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)-

You feel as if you’ve been treated unfairly by someone who you could never dislike. Don’t hesitate to sit down and talk with them. No matter the outcome, you will be satisfied.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)- 

Despite the new year having passed, you feel weak. Remember that it’s never too late to make a change, and you will certainly be happier.

DIY Christmas Gift

By: Noah Ramos

It’s that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we scramble to get last minute gifts for family and friends while also getting into the Christmas Spirit. If you haven’t gotten a gift for that certain someone yet then I have a gift you can make at home that your family will surely love to receive this year.

Hot Chocolate Snowman

This gift is sure to leave a sweet taste in your mouth when you use it.

Steps: 

  1. Grab 3 small empty jars, Black marker, small cloth, object that resembles a hat.
  2. Add hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, & any other sweets in the jar.
  3. Stack them up & make facial features & whatever decorations you want to add.
  4. Repeat.

Chocolate kisses tree 

This is a good way to get your family members with a little prank

Steps:

  1. Get some chocolate kisses, square chocolates, construction paper, & ribbon.
  2. Fold the construction paper to make a big triangle then make small ones to make sure the kisses are separated inside the big triangle.
  3. Make the base at the bottom as a square & add the square chocolate in there.
  4. Tie the ribbon around the big triangle and place the big triangle on top of the base.

Homemade snow globe

Sometimes it just takes a couple things around the house to make a gift.

Steps: 

  1. Get a jar, fake snow, mini trees, & glue
  2. Glue the tree to the inside of the jar lid and put some fake snow in the lid too.
  3. Then screw back on the lid and you have yourself a homemade snow globe.
  4. Repeat.

True Crime vol. XXIII: The Candy Man

By: Courtney Henson

Ronald Clark O’Bryan was born on October 19, 1944. Living a relatively normal childhood, O’Bryan did not struggle with domestic violence or trauma as a child. O’Bryan married Daynene O’Bryan and had two children, son Timothy O’Bryan on April 5, 1966, and daughter Elizabeth O’Bryan in 1969. The family lived in Deer Park, Texas where O’Bryan worked as an optician, served as a deacon for the local church, and was in charge of the local bus program. 

On October 31, 1974, O’Bryan took his children trick-or-treating in a local Pasadena neighborhood. One of O’Bryans neighbors and his two children went along with them. After approaching, and leaving, a house where no one answered, O’Bryan stayed behind while the children and neighbor went ahead. Minutes later, he caught up to the group and revealed five 21 inch Pixy-Stix which he claimed came from the unoccupied house. O’Bryan gave four Pixy-Stix to his kids and the neighbors kids, and gave the fifth to a boy he recognized from church. 

That night, Timothy wanted to eat one piece of candy before bed, according to O’Bryan, Timothy requested to eat the Pixy-Stix. After tasting the candy, Timothy complained that it tasted bitter, soon after he began vomiting and convulsing. Timothy O’Bryan died on his way to the hospital less than an hour after eating the candy. 

O’Bryan was not suspected of any wrongdoing until Timothy’s autopsy revealed that the Pixy-Stix he had consumed was laced with a fatal amount of Potassium Cyanide. The other 5 Pixy-Stix were recovered by police and were found to have been opened, filled with Cyanide powder, and resealed with a staple. The Pixy-Stix consumed by Timothy contained enough cyanide to kill two adults, while the others were filled with enough powder to kill three to four adults.

After canvassing the neighborhood, O’Bryan led police to the house that no one occupied on Halloween. O’Bryan claimed that after the children went ahead, the owner opened the door and handed him 5 Pixy-Stix. The owner of the house, Courtney Melvin, was ruled out as a suspect after over 200 people confirmed he was at work until 11pm on Halloween night. 

As police progressed into the investigation, O’Bryan became more and more suspicious. He was in about $520,000 worth of debt and had a long history of being unable to hold a job. Their home had been foreclosed on, the car was about to be repossessed and O’Bryan has defaulted on several bank loans. During the investigation police also discovered that O’Bryan had taken out 3 life insurance policies on his children. One in January for $52,500, another one month before Timothy’s death for $20,000, and a final one days before Timothy’s death for $20,000. O’Bryans wife did not know about the policies. After learning that O’Bryan called the life insurance the day after Timothy’s death, he became the prime suspect.  

On November 5, 1974, O’Bryan was arrested by police for one count of capital murder and four counts of attempted murder. With evidence and testimony from co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends, as well as his wife rejecting the claim that Timothy chose the Pixy-Stix, stating that O’Bryan had forced him to choose the Pixy-Stix O’Bryan was “done for.”

On June 3, 1975, a jury took 46 minutes to find O’Bryan guilty of capital murder and four counts of attempted murder. The jury took 71 minutes to sentence him to death by electrocution. Soon after, Daynene filed for divorce, remarried, and took custody of Elizabeth. 

In prison, the other inmates expressed extreme dislike for O’Bryan. On March 31, 1984, shortly after midnight, O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection. During the execution, a crowd of 300 demonstrators gathered outside the prison cheered while some yelled “Trick or treat!” Others showered anti-death penalty demonstrators with candy. 

O’Bryan is buried in Forest Park East Cemetery in Webster, Texas. Timothy is buried in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston. 

Ghost Story: Be A Doll, Would Ya?

By: Libby Sanchez

This story takes place in prime time Covid-19 during 2020, when the whole world is shut in from one another. Chloe, a victim of covid at the time, is without a doubt one of the biggest horror fans and would say 100% that Halloween was her favorite holiday. So you can imagine her disappointment when she tested positive and was forced to quarantine. Though it wasn’t as great as it usually was anyways because not many parents were letting their children trick-or-treat due to the virus. 

Chloe’s story begins with her being in the early stages of quarantine, already bored out of her mind but still wanting to get into the spooky feeling that comes this time of year. What other way to do that than by watching scary movies and paranormal youtube videos? One evening, she’d stumbled upon a corny looking video on youtube about a doll from eBay that looked like it had been shot from a little girl’s basement. Chloe, who was slowly feeling sicker by the hour, was just looking for a good laugh and decided to check it out. Immediately, a porcelain doll with blonde hair and bright blue eyes filled her laptop screen. The doll spoke in an old-english accent, but even people back then would’ve told you how forced her voice was.

“Hi-ya, my name is Margie.” Followed by a toe-curling cackle, the kind you only hear in horror movies. 

“You’re quite the gal, huh? A real catch.”

To which Chloe retaliated with her own laugh, thinking that whoever was on the other side of this video was trying way too hard to scare viewers. Though in her state, laughing led her to coughing, the painful kind too. Pausing the video to catch her breath and grab a glass of water from her kitchen, she returned to her laptop with a crushing feeling in her chest. Not thinking much of it because of the illness she tested positive for, she pressed play on the video again. 

“Poor little you, all cooped up like an animal. Must be lonely, I know how that is.”

Now that line struck a small chord with Chloe, it was odd how specific and fitting it was to her situation of being quarantined. But nothing too unnerving, many others were also quarantined during this pandemic, it could target anyone. Letting out a chuckle at her own paranoia, she indulged in another coughing fit. Deciding her cough wasn’t going to go away anytime soon unless she acted upon it, she left the video playing and went to her medicine cabinet to grab her cough syrup. Just as she was about to take her first dose of medicine, the doll, who had remained quiet and just stared through the screen as if it was watching her, finally spoke again.

“Ah-ah, the giggle water isn’t gonna help the lonely, sweetheart.”

Freezing in shock, Chloe dropped the bottle of medicine, leading its contents to pour all over the counter in front of her. Now that was too specific, the chances were too slim for that to be a coincidence. Deciding she’d had enough, Chloe slid her cursor over to the top right corner and was going to close the tab when her attention shifted to the doll one last time. Finding the doll with its head tilted upward and to the right, almost as if its eyes were following Chloe’s movements, was enough for her to continue her mission of closing the tab.

“Hey lady! Hey! Don’t you dare give me the silent treatment, we’re friends lady.”

Once again, Chloe froze in fear. Was it possible she was hallucinating? Was she really that sick? Margie sat silent on the screen with a wicked smirk upon her face. Allowing her eyes to scan the full screen, Chloe settled upon the account view. It was then that she felt her heart drop to her stomach, suddenly becoming nauseous. No subscribers. One view. Her view. 

Certain now that things were getting too creepy, Chloe closed the tab and turned on every light in her house before going to bed that night. Sleep didn’t come easy, it’s hard when the pit in your stomach keeps telling you you’re being watched, but eventually she felt her eyelids give way. She woke up the next morning and had convinced herself that she was dreaming or Covid-19 had gotten in her head. Laughing at her panic from the night before, Chloe went about another day of quarantine. 

It wasn’t until mid afternoon that day, that her doorbell rang. It was odd, she hadn’t ordered food and her friends and family knew she was sick and quarantining. 

“Who is it?” 

“It’s Margie, be a doll and open up the door, would ya?” The voice from the night before replied.

Chloe claims it was a rush of adrenaline and anger, thinking maybe someone was playing a prank on her, that made her open the door in a rush. Who would be cruel enough to play a trick like this on someone who’s sick? Upon seeing nobody on her porch, Chloe let out a huff and went to close the door, only a package was blocking the door from closing. Upset at her brain for playing tricks on her in broad daylight, she grabbed the box and brought it inside. She didn’t remember ordering anything recently, but maybe she’d forgotten or her mother had sent another random gift. Eager to know the answer, she ripped open the package. Only what she found wasn’t a gift. But instead the same blonde hair, the same blue eyes, and the same porcelain doll that was Margie, staring right at her. The fear could only be described by one word: paralyzing. Giving herself a while to process, Chloe once again decided this was all some big hoax and someone was probably getting a kick out of scaring her, so she walked the doll right out her front door and into her trash can.

Though, to this day she still tells herself it was all some big joke or hallucination, she still has doubts about her standpoint, and the toe-curling cackle she hears every night since then doesn’t do anything to prove her right.

Book Review: Ready Player One

By: Kristina Mertz

Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline and released in 2011 took the world by storm, kicking off as a New York Times Bestseller. Selling 1.7 million printed copies worldwide, it garnered an outstanding review of 4.2 out of 5 according to Good Reads.

This book combined Sci-Fi and fantasy to create a breathtaking new world that refreshes the soul with incredible originality. Reading this book was definitely a fun and invigorating experience that left me wanting more and more. This book was recommended by a friend and I must say, I highly recommend this novel. It had everything you could possibly ever want in a book, it had romance, action, comedy, and so much more. For those who don’t want too much romance in a book, there was a great balance between the various other elements presented in the book that allowed the romance to not remain the core focus. However, the romantic aspects contribute to the overall effect of the novel, making you want to follow Wade and Art3mis’s love story.

The novel truly sucked you into its interactive story, for fans of the eighties, this book is definitely for you. There were numerous references to the amazing decade from, the wide selection of John Hughes movies to The Iron Giant, all the way to Back to The Future. The novel also included the classic arcade games we all know and love, such as Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong.

Because of the raving reviews, Ready Player One was adapted for the screen, which was directed by Steven Spielberg, a highly notable director. His most popular films include, Back to The Future, Jaws, and E.T. The movie is personally not my favorite, as I don’t believe it captures the essence of the book, however it’s a good movie to watch at least once. I highly recommend this book, it’s in the PHS Library, so be sure to get a copy!

 

Poem of the Month

Leaves-

“How Silently they tumble down

And come to rest upon the ground

To lay a carpet, rich and rare,

Beneath the trees without a care,

Content to sleep, their work well done,

Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly

Until they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the air

Till all the trees stand stark and bare.

Exhausted, drop to earth below

To wait, like children, for the snow.”

By: Elise N. Brady

Colder weather is finally here only for the night right now, but as the days go on, the days and nights will get colder too. The leaves are starting to fall down  more, now that the wind has picked up. So, start raking the leaves for your grandparents for money.

Sincerely,

Passionate Poet

Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Sweet Treat Article)

By: Autumn Webster

Ingredients:

1 (15 Ounce) can pumpkin

1 (14 Ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into the crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Step Two:

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

DIY Halloween Costume

By: Farah Standley

Many Halloween costumes can be expensive and hard to make, but worry no longer because today we are going to talk about some cool, cheap, and easy-to-make DIY Halloween costumes! The costume we are going to highlight in this article is the hilarious “Chick Magnet ” costume!

I don’t know about you, but I would absolutely love to spend my Halloween having fun in this fun show-stopper. I would definitely say that this is worth the time, and will be a great conversation with everyone! Here are a few simple steps to follow when making this costume:

  1. First, use cardboard and colored construction paper, or cut cloth to make the big magnet. 
  2. Then, with color, glue, or tape on the chicks. The photos demonstrate plastic, rubber, and cloth baby chicks as examples. 
  3. Lastly, use all black or all white clothes as a good background for the magnet. DRESSING CLASSY COULD GO BETTER WITH THE COSTUME!

List of materials:

  1. Cardboard or Cloth
  2. Any Glue
  3. Scissors
  4. Possibly Red and Grey Colored Paper
  5. All black or all white shirt and pants or fancy clothes
  6. Plastic, rubber, cloth, or any other material toy chicks

Horoscopes

By: Ricky Fabrow

Aries: This month you’ll be able to show off your glory and success by smiling brightly in life and doing your best work in anything.

Taurus: This month will be all about relaxing and laying back. There won’t be much work to do and people will finally be leaving you alone for some well needed peace and quiet.

Gemini: There will be a lot of activities for you to talk about and do this month. From setting up decorations and using the aesthetic of the outside to please the eyes of your inside.

Cancer: This month you will be able to flow through life and enjoy its small details as your good deeds will be repaid with small yet sweet actions from others 

Leo: You´ll be beaming with energy as you race off into the day and weeks enjoying life for its beautiful scenery and people you are soon to meet 

Virgo: You will improve in whatever job or work related thing you are in and will blow everyone out of the water and get a much deserved reward

Libra: Evil will come your way but you will swiftly and quickly deal with it as soon as it happens and stop whatever negative forces happen.

Scorpio: You will be comforted and appreciated for what you have done for yourself and will improve on many things you have had trouble with in the past.

Sagittarius: Your uniqueness will let you make friends easier and not have to go through life alone as they will notice how different you are then the rest.

Capricorn: This month you won’t have to worry about the tons and tons of work that life throws at you but instead be a straight steady path of relaxing.

Aquarius: You’ll be able to open up to others and get the help that you deserve while also having some much needed fun along the way.

Pisces: This month you’ll be able to control your emotions and finally do the things you have wanted to do for a long time.

I felt a breeze, it’s Fall.

By: Libby Sanchez

Fall is pretty much everyone’s favorite time of the year. It’s the only time of the year that Texas has a decent idea of what kind of weather it wants for a while. Everyone is usually relieved to get rid of the scorching heat that comes with summer. Fall is the time when the cool breeze starts to set in and everyone can finally run around like they’re not about to pass out from a heat stroke. Stores have started selling pumpkins, pumpkin spices, cookies, and my most favorite, Halloween decorations. People are settling in with their goodies and getting ready for cool nights outside by the fire, the smell of fresh cookies, and scary movies. Or if you’re Wanish you’re raking leaves and jumping in them, which is so basic and gives off main character vibes but whatever. It’s the season that Disney channel starts replaying old Monstober movies, which brings back the best nostalgia. It’s the perfect time to go to a pumpkin patch with your friends and family, or even a corn maize to add to the spookiness of the season! 

Fall is known as the “Meteor Shower Season” across the northern hemisphere. Be on the lookout for shooting stars and multi-colored meteors almost every night this season. The color of a meteor depends on its chemical composition. Red usually consists of nitrogen/oxygen, blue consists of iron, purple is calcium, orange is sodium, and light blue is usually magnesium.  Below are some of the top five meteor shows to look for! Make the most out of this year’s fall season!

Draconids: 5-10 meteors/hour                           estimated peak nights: October 8 & 9

Orionids: 20 meteors/hour                                 estimated peak nights: October 21 & 22

Northern Taurids: 5 meteors/hour                      estimated peak nights: November 11 & 12

Leonids: 10-20 meteors/hour                             estimated peak nights: November 17 & 18

Geminids: 120+ meteors/hour                           estimated peak nights: December 13 & 14

Movie Review

By: Kristina Mertz

Marvel’s latest released movie, Shang- Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has rocked the theaters, totalling a whopping Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% with an audience score of 98%. This film has mainly been praised for its adventurous action fight scenes and incredible choreography, as well as it being the first Marvel movie to feature an Asian lead. One of the biggest reasons this movie has been anticipated is because it’s a new and fresh direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, his most popular films include Short Term 12, Just Mercy, and The Glass Castle. Featuring Simu Liu as it’s main lead, he has a few acting credits, most notable include the CBC sitcom Kim’s Convenience, Taken, and a guest appearance on Fresh Off the Boat. This movie featured more well known actors and actresses as well such as Awkwafina, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Yeoh. 

The cast gave a respectable impression that everyone worked together very well, which ultimately gave a beautiful performance that flowed together beyond adequately. The fact that Liu hasn’t been in many films adds to his uniqueness and leaves the audience wanting more of his performances in the future. 

However while there were multiple positive reviews, the film has received some negative input online. Due to the heavy reliance on CGI and special effects or graphics to tell the story, many were frustrated with the loss of the overall details of the film, more towards the plotline and story. This can also be compared to Marvel’s previous release, Black Widow, which critics also said that the graphics took away from the intimate family dynamic, which was the main focus of the movie. China has even gone as far as banning the movie from being released in their country. 

The storyline and plot of the story kept the audience hooked throughout, with numerous small and minor details to add to an overall well directed masterpiece. This is a great, one of a kind movie, that everyone should watch at least once.

Poem of the Month

September Light-

Air

cool and dry

drifts down on a breeze

under a shade of trees. 

A subtle hint of change is near.

Light

a fire in the wood

to warm the chill,

and ready yourself for the cold.

Autumn will soon be here.

Inhale

a deep breath

again and again,

in just the same way as before.

By: Kiesha Shepard

The leaves are falling down the trees now and the weather is getting colder as the days go by. Soon you can drink hot chocolate in the morning because of how cold it gets during autumn. 

Sincerely,

The Passionate Poet

DIY Halloween Costumes

By: Kristina Mertz

Halloween is more widely known for the candy, movies and the creepy aesthetic but today costumes will be the main focus. Halloween is a chance for people to get in touch with their creative side, as making costumes can be lots of fun.

Skeleton:

Materials: Black and white face paint, White T-shirt and black tank top.

Instructions: Begin cutting horizontal holes on the left and right side into the black tank top with your scissors, make sure to cut horizontal holes left and right on the shirt, but be sure to not cut in the middle. Put the black tank top over the white shirt, and now you have the body. Next either by yourself or with assistance from a friend, paint your face white along with your lips black. Done!

“That’s none of my business” Kermit costume:

Materials: Light Green shirt, Scotch bonding strips, Sheet of green felt and finally a mini poster board

Instructions: Cut 3 wide triangles and 4 thinner and longer triangles out of the green felt. Next, use the scotch bonding tape to tape the felts onto the green shirt, after that you can write the quote “But that’s none of my business” onto the whiteboard to complete the old viral internet meme.

Happy Halloween!

True Crime XXII: The Plainfield Ghoul

By: Courtney Henson and Autumn Webster

Ed Gein was born on August 27, 1906 in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. His mother, Augusta Wilhelmine Gein and his father George Philip Gein soon picked up Ed and his older brother Henry George Gein, and moved to an isolated 155 acre farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin. During their time at the farm, Ed and Henry rarely left the house. Augusta was very religious and preached the impurity of the outside world. This led to the boys only leaving to go to school, still at school their mother made sure they never made friends. 

After roughly 30 years at the farm, Ed Gein’s father George died of heart failure caused by his alcoholism, at age 66 on April 1, 1940. After this, Ed and Henry began to take on odd jobs to take care of living expenses on the farm. After their fathers death, Henry worried about his brother’s attachment to their mother and often spoke ill of her around Ed, who responded with shock and hurt. On May 16, 1944, Henry and Ed were burning a pile of brush when the fire got out of hand. When things cleared up, Ed reported his brother missing. After a while, Henry was found lying face down, dead. The official cause of death was asphyxiation, no burns, but many bruises were found on Henry’s head. The police did not look into this. 

This death left Ed and his mother alone, shortly after Henry’s death his mother had a paralyzing stroke. Ed devoted all of this time to taking care of his mother. About a year later, after an incident with a woman neighbor, Augusta had another stroke. She died on December 29, 1945, at the age of 67. This devastated Ed. Over time, Ed’s obsession with his mother grew. He boarded up the rooms in the house she used and left all of her stuff untouched. 

Ed committed his first murder on the December 8th of 1954. After robbing Pine Grove Tavern, Ed shot and killed the owner, Mary Hogan. He brought her body home to the shed on his land.

On the Morning of November 16, 1957, a Plainfield store owner Bernice Worden went missing. After a substantial amount of evidence was uncovered against Ed, he was arrested by the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department. The department searched Ed’s house, where they discovered human bones, fingernails, human skin, along with many more gruesome human remains made into “souvenirs.” In a shed on Ed’s property, Bernice Worden’s decapitated body was found. He had shot and killed her. 

When interrogated Gein told investigators that between 1947 and 1952, he made as many as 40 visits to local graveyards to dig up recently buried bodies while he was in, what he referred to as, a “daze-like” state before returning home and dismembering the bodies. Ed also said that one roughly 30 of these visits he broke out of this daze like state and returned home empty handed. The bodies Ed made it home with, often were middle-aged women who resembled his mother. While being interrogated, Gein admitted to killing Mary Hogan, but later denied knowing the details. 

During questioning, Waushara County Sheriff, Art Schley, reportedly assaulted Gein by banging his head and face into a brick wall. As a result, Gein’s initial confession was ruled inadmissible. Schley died before Gein’s trial.

On November 21st, 1957, Ed was brought to court on one court of first degree murder in Waushara County. Ed pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Ed was soon diagnosed with schizophrenia and found mentally imcompetent making him unfit for trial. He was then sent to The Central State Hospital For The Criminally Insane, and later transferred to The Mendota State Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. He stayed here for about 10 years. 

In 1968, doctors decided that Ed was “mentally able to confer with counsel and participate in his defense.” This led to another trial which began on November 7, 1968, and lasted a mere one week. 

By request of Ed and defense the trial was held without a jury present. Judge Robert H. Gollmar found Ed guilty of killing Bernice Worden. He also admitted to killing Mary Hogan. A second trial for determining Ed’s sanity found him “not guilty by reason of insanity” and ordered Ed to Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Ed spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital.

Ed died in the Mendota Mental Hospital due to respiratory failure and lung cancer on  July 26, 1984, at the age of 77. Ed is buried beside his parents and his brother Henry. 

Ice Cream Tacos

By: Noah Ramos

Ingredients:

  • 10 Frozen waffles (Waffle cones optional)
  • 3 cups of vanilla ice cream 
  • ½ cup chocolate syrup 
  • 10 Maraschino cherries 
  • Whipped cream & sprinkles (nuts optional)

Instructions:

  1. Lay the frozen waffles flat on a cookie sheet and allow to thaw, around 10 mins. Form the waffles into a taco shape and fit together side-by-side in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Fill each taco with vanilla ice cream evenly before adding a drizzle of chocolate syrup then freeze until firm.
  3. Top each with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry. Now keep frozen, and allow tacos to sit for 5 minutes before ready to serve.

Poem of the Month

Silence is beauty 

 

the silence before the sound 

is a quiet envelope between

the now and the after

your last moment of 

unknowing 

before the sowing 

of whatever

whoever 

wherever 

comes next

By: Unknown

School is back and homework has already hit some of us at school. Sports have also already started for many kids and coaches. So remember to take breaks and to not overwhelm yourself and do what you like in order to relax and calm yourself down. 

Sincerely,

Passionate Poet

Horoscopes

By: Brian Avery and Courtney Henson

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)- You overthink yourself a lot, but you are stronger than you think. Keep pushing, and make sure to try new things along the way. It will turn out better than you think.

Lucky Number: 31

Compatible with: Taurus

Pisces (February 19- March 20)- You will see something differently than the people around you. Remember it, and use your vision to better the situation around you.

Lucky Number: 46

Compatible with: Scorpio

Aries (March 21- April 19)- Revisit some joys from your childhood. They might make you happy once again.

Lucky Number: 39

Compatible with: Capricorn

Taurus (April 20- May 20)- Reflect on yourself, and see how far you have come. Now, look forward, and dream about how far you can go.

Lucky Number: 60

Compatible with: Aquarius

Gemini (May 21- June 20)- Try breaking an old habit of yours, and replacing it with another habit. See how well you do.

Lucky Number: 87

Compatible with: Libra

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)-Make sure you appreciate those you rely on. They need it more then you think.

Lucky Number: 36

Compatible with: Leo

Leo (July 23 – August 22)- Stand out this month and start leading. You will be surprised how many people will seek your guidance.

Lucky Number: 1

Compatible with: Cancer

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)- Remember not to judge a book by its cover. You may be 

shocked what the results yield.

Lucky Number: 71

Compatible with: Sagittarius

Libra (September 23- October 22)- Be impulsive this month. Make that new purchase, talk to the quiet one in your class, and try not to think too much.

Lucky Number: 59

Compatible with: Gemini

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)- You need to relax, and stop worrying about every little happening around you. Take a while to breathe, re-focus, and better yourself.

Lucky Number: 18

Compatible with: Pisces

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)- This is the month to finish all those projects you have been procrastinating on, no more waiting. 

Lucky Number: 15

Compatible with: Virgo

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)- Spend time with the ones you love most this month. They miss you.

Lucky Number: 82

Compatible with: Aries

Progressing In Pride

By: Eileen Jaksik

Flag for Pride Month.

Pride Month is a month dedicated to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. The month of June is completely dedicated to those who celebrate pride. There are many celebrations to show appreciation to pride, such as rallies, marches, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals.Pride month is celebrated in the United states to remember the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots occurred at the end of June 1969. Many pride related parades and marches were created as a result of the Stonewall riots. June was declared Pride Month in 1999-2000 and has been celebrated every year since then. Since pride month became a national celebration more and more things became legalized and available to the LGBTQ+ community. Same sex marriage became legal in 2015 and same sex adoption became legal in 2016 in the United States.

As a result people started to become more comfortable with coming out with their sexuality. Large amounts of bullying are still seen, and there are still a lot of people being treated differently. An anonymous contributor said “I’ve definitely been treated differently in high school. There’s been times I’ve felt very uncomfortable by other students and teachers.”, but as time goes on, the amount of bullying for same sex relationships is decreasing.
If you would like to support the LGBTQ+ community there are many opportunities to do so, including events even here in San Antonio, Texas. Show support and show the community that it is okay to not be ashamed of your sexuality.