Tag Archives: Sesame Street

Kid show mutterings

We no longer have cable. Like more people seem to be doing, what TV we watch is from Netflix and Hulu. Now part of the decision was because most of the TV we watch are the kid shows the girls like. As I’ve stated in the past, there are some very good cartoons and such that the kids like. There are some that are irritating but still okay. Then there are those that are so horrible, so cringe-inducing that we do our best to prevent the kids from watching them.

The bombardment of child-focused television causes my brain to enter strange places. Are these thoughts normal for all parents? Is my chemically imbalanced mind alone the place these thoughts dwell? You be the judge.

#1) How does Telly from “Sesame Street” not have ulcers yet?

#2) I think most of the problems on “Curious George” could be resolved by NOT letting the monkey run around unattended.

#3) Also in regards to #2, Curious George is an ape! He is not a monkey!

#4) The merkids on “Bubble Guppies” seem to be the only ones of their kind, surrounded by fish and sea creatures. So are they actually mutant fish or some form of Missing Link?

#5) How does Ramone on “Peg+Cat” have so many jobs? Does he still go to school or did he test out due to a superior IQ?

#6) I find “Wallykazam” much funnier than I probably have any right to as an adult.

#7) Am I the only one who looks at “Doc McStuffins” and sees the potential for a future supervillain?

#8) What do the parents in “The Pajanimals” actually look like? Did the mom naturally give birth to four different animal species or is this a case of adoption?

#9) The puppets and makeup for “LazyTown” are terrifying.

#10) Has anyone involved with the creation of “Caillou” been brought to justice?

These are but a sample of the things I now consider. They pop into my head at unexpected times. The related show doesn’t even need to be on. What have I become?

 

Holidays: one day at a time

The turkeys have been sacrificed. The pumpkins have been pied. It is the official start of the holiday season. I like to think of it as Jingle Bell Ragnarök.

I think it is pretty clear that as an adult, I suffer from a little bit of Grinch syndrome when it comes to the holidays. I liked them fine as a kid. Then they just turned into one of those things you don’t look forward to so much as get through. You spend money you don’t have. You have the obligated time with relatives that you don’t speak to the rest of the year. And of course, you get to listen to people all over point out how their holiday is better or their holiday is overlooked or under attack or blah blah fart fart blah.

I don’t like this feeling. I actually really want to enjoy this time of year. So in the past couple of years I have been trying to focus on the things about the holidays that I like or the things I’ve added to make it better. I will share those in hopes that maybe this will help the festively impaired like myself.

1) Holiday Reading: I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. My fellow fans will not be surprised that I have made it a personal tradition to reread Hogfather during this season. This year I plan to follow it up with another read of Christopher Moore’s The Stupidest Angel. Should the mood strike me afterwards I may just reread L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. These are all great books I recommend anytime but particularly now.

2) Little Family: I will clarify that I’m not talking about the big holiday extravaganza with way too many relatives. Or hanging out with the relatives you have little in common with. Oh, I will be doing those things and being an introverted personality, those exhaust me. However, my wife loves Christmas. And I have two little girls who are just starting to experience the holidays. Phoebe is old enough that she gets very excited about it, which I honestly love. This helps me remember that at one point I would look forward to Christmas. So now, I look forward to her being excited. I look forward to Zoe getting excited. Also, I have a few close friends who we try to include in our holiday plans. One is going to be spending Christmas with us and that makes me very happy. When I think on the small-scale and focus on the family I helped build it makes things special again.

3) Eggnog Ice cream: I like eggnog. I like ice cream. This is a no-brainer.

4) Seasonal Viewing: I have a soft spot for the nostalgic TV specials, like the Rankin-Bass classics and the animated Grinch. I am not particularly religious, but I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so very much. I have it on DVD in addition to “Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas” and “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street”. Then there are the holiday movies that will be on constantly. I like “Elf” so I make a point to try to catch that. I also am a firm believer that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is both a Halloween and Christmas movie. I will accept no argument here!

5) Avoid the Mall Crazy: I think part of my holiday grumbling comes from having spent too much time in the customer service industry, especially retail. Do you want to see some of the worst of humanity? Work in retail during the holidays and it will happen. Now that this is no longer me, I intend to spend as little time in malls as possible. Yes, there is a little shopping left that needs to be done. If I can’t get it online or at a small store, then I will brave the mall. And I will be as nice as I can to everyone working.

6) Thank the Greetings: People can wish me whatever the hell they want. I have no issue with Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, or anything. Wish me a Festive Goat-Wrestling Day if that’s your thing. I appreciate any well wishes that you care to take the time to give me. I will thank you and wish the same to you.

The last thing I want to say is I’m well aware that there are much bigger issues around than my own curmudgeonly leanings. There are people who want to spend this time of year with others and they can’t. There are people who feel completely justified in being a modern Scrooge and will never change, no matter how many ghosts haunt the crap out of them. But if you are like me, and you want to enjoy the holidays but have trouble doing so then maybe this gives you some ideas. So Happy Whatever and may this be the year our hearts grow three sizes. Just not literally. That would be bad.

 

 

The quest for cool

I am a few months shy of my 36th birthday. For better or for worse, I am considered an adult. A grown up. A somewhat productive member of society. I like to think that I’ve had some success in my life to go along with some of the failure. For instance, I have never left the house without remembering to put on pants. Hey, I didn’t say I always set the bar high! You try walking around town with no pants and see how far you get. I dare you.

Anyway, one thing I don’t think I ever quite reached was that point where a person becomes cool. That’s right. One of the holy artifacts of high school. The mantle of cool. That point when you look in the mirror and not only think it yourself, but you KNOW that everyone else thinks the same thing. You are deemed to be cool. It’s a quest everyone starts in their youth, whether we realize it or not, and it never seems to go away.

So why am I not cool? For starters, this is not a word I’ve heard others use to describe me. That’s not to say I don’t ever get compliments, all of which I appreciate. Of course I’ve heard some less flattering things. Self-described beta male, remember? We kind of invite a certain level of mockery. But even that isn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes just teasing from friends (or a loving yet snarky wife) that is meant in fun. But the point is, I can’t say I get told that I am cool.

I’m pretty sure I don’t dress cool. When I’m not dressed for work, I wear jeans and a T-shirt I likely purchased from ThinkGeek . Maybe a flannel shirt or sweatshirt over that. My style hasn’t changed much since the 90’s. I just like to be comfortable.

The things I like tend to lean towards nerdy. I enjoy fantasy novels and I play Dungeons and Dragons. If you haven’t yet read it, my last post was dedicated to superheroes. I have an undying love of all things Muppet. Seriously, you don’t know how excited I am that I get to watch Sesame Street with my kids. I own an R2-D2 bottle opener. I make up songs about our cat. Now, I realize some of these things are more acceptable to love now than they once were. Saying you like comics or the Lord of the Rings won’t make you quite the bully target that they used to. Neither will playing board games. But are they considered cool. I doubt it. I’m pretty sure making up a song about the cat to the tune of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” will always be very far from cool.

The funny thing is, I’m not quite sure what would make me cool. What is the current standard? I’m pretty sure that by the time I caught up to it, the definition will have changed again. Is it about confidence? If that’s the case, I think there are fewer cool people in the world than we realize. I don’t know many people who are void of insecurities. The ones who are may very well think they are cool. Those few people also happen to be totally oblivious to their flaws or the consequences of their actions. If that is what it takes to be cool, I don’t know that it’s worth the trade. I like that I am capable of introspection. Sure, I sometimes do this to a fault, but I think it proves that I’m still able to learn.

One last thing. I am the father of two little girls. One day, they will be two teenage girls. There is no way in Hell that they will think I am cool. What teenager really thinks that their parents are cool? So I like to think that I have one up on any parents who, unlike myself, are of the opinion that they are cool. I have the benefit of saying to my kids, “You don’t think I’m cool? That’s fine. I’m used to it. Now help Daddy find his dragon coffee mug.”

Soothing the savage baby

My youngest daughter, Zoe, is just over a year old. She basically has two settings. The first is a sweet little thing who wants to get into increasingly more mischief. I think it just comes with the crawling and trying to walk. The second is this a very upset little doodle monster, inconsolable and acting as if the world is ganging up to torture her. I think they mentioned something like this in Revelations.

The other day she was having dinner and suddenly slipped into mode two. There was no apparent reason for this. My guess is that her mouth was hurting since more teeth are coming in. While this is happening, her sister Phoebe is at the other end of the table with her fingers in her ears. She hates it when Zoe starts fussing.

I  pick Zoe up from her little seat and try rocking her. That doesn’t help, so I start to sing. I like to sing and most of the singing I do these days is in one  of two scenarios: either in my car or to my daughters. I have been told I have a good voice. In my opinion, it’s not anything spectacular but I more than hold my own. No one will ever mistake me for an opera singer, but if I can do the musical theatre thing and I’m pretty comfortable with rock songs. So what do I sing to my daughter? While I can do a solid version of some Alice in Chains and some Warren Zevon, they usually aren’t my go-to with the kids.

That tends to be Muppets. More often than not, it’s Sesame Street. The one that I do the most is the Ernie classic, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.”

So I sing to Zoe. She starts to quiet down and stares at me as I sing. I look up and because Phoebe has left the table and followed us into the other room. Now I am trying to sing to Zoe while not laughing because of my older daughter. Phoebe has now begun to enjoy my singing by doing her own interpretive dance routine.

I want to crack up. I keep singing instead. Not only because Zoe is calm but because Phoebe is just having way too much fun. I finish singing and get applause from the baby and a “Nice singing, Daddy” from Phoebe.

I really hope one or both of my girls sings when they get older. Mostly because I want to be able to perform my own interpretive dance.