Showing posts with label sesame street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sesame street. Show all posts

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Big Bird Made Me Cry

I have been trying to organize my thoughts on this post and continue to be interrupted.  I do not have permission for the pictures that I use and will remove them at the artist requests.  I will continue to keep the links on where the pictures come from so that they may still be viewed.

                When I was in my teens I remember many  people trying their hand at doing impersonations of different characters - the most popular being Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Kermit the Frog.  I didn't view it as a talent would take anyone anywhere.  Boy, was I wrong.  Fast Forward to being a mom.  Jenna and I had been watching an episode that Sesame Street had re-aired after Hurricane Katrina as the cast had experienced a similar disaster and perhaps children could better deal knowing that Big Bird had experienced the same trauma.  It wasn't until I had watched the documentary of said episode that I learned Steve Whitmire was able to utilize his impersonating talent and ability to impersonate Jim Henson's Kermit, who was the news reporter for the hurricane disaster.

muppet wiki
             I was fascinated at watching the behind the scene footage and all the work that is involved by those puppeteers who move on their knees while having their hands in the air (I could not find the hurricane footage use as a demonstration for just a few minutes - but perhaps you'll get the gist with this wonderful tribute to soldiers featuring Rosita and Elmo)

            I took Jenna to the Riddle Library on Wednesday.  While there, I checked out a video called "I am Big Bird: the Carroll Spinny Story" directed by Dave Lanaltina released in 2014.  I won't be using the APA style to reference as I am not being graded on this post, but will include several links.

            We watched it that night, and I got to tell you, it took me on a journey in which my eyes leaked (big surprise) as I learned that Spinny had been bullied, abused, had felt like a failure to the point of expressing interest in quitting his position with Sesame Street.  He had divorced, was suicidal.  It didn't help when Debra Spinny also teared up as she explained about the connection to Lianzi Ouyang and how hard it had been to leave her and how they had fallen out of touch - but I think I'm getting ahead of myself.



             Carroll Spinny was 81 at the time the documentary was released - and still working on Sesame Street.  How sweet that would be to be not only to be at the same job for 46 years, but to love being there.  I had always thought that it would be awesome to grow up on Sesame Street and have a steady income before you even understand what the word "income" means. 

abc news

muppet wiki
abc news

            Carroll loves his work, maybe even more so than when he had started out - though he had always been interested in puppetry.  I think it's awesome that his mom encouraged him to work with puppets. 



So many people don't see it as "real work" - but it is real work.  It is real hard work.   Very few positions in life come easy - and just a magician or puppeteer may make it look easy,  there are hours upon hours that go into it.

Toronto Starship

            Jim Henson had asked Spinny to do Sesame Street with him. 


            I was fascinated to learn that Spinny is also a cartoonist.


 I was happy to learn he had found love again with his sweet wife, Debra



I was floored to hear that NASA had asked Big Bird to promote the space program by going to the space station with them (here).  Big Bird was replaced when Ronald Reagan announced that they'd be sending a teacher.  I had posted that here not long ago


 I don't believe that is all I had on my mind when I initially tried to create this post. This post does not do the film justice.  They aren't kidding about a MUST SEE.  (Be sure you have some tissues handy)

Links to

abc News    here
Big Bird in China here
Copperpot    here
Entertainment    here
Esquire    here
 I am Big Bird    here
Journal China    here
Muppet Wiki    here
Rockcellar     here
Time     here
Toronto Starship     here 
Tribecca     here 
Tumblr     here

more great pics and story here, here and here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another Guilty Pleasure

We haven’t always had cable – cancelled due to lack of finances – we’ve even cancelled the Internet.  I was okay with going to the library, but Roland wasn’t.  And now that he’s taking classes through the Internet – dropping the Internet would just frustrate him even more.

When so many stations were converted to HD and even the local channels needed some kind of box or connection, it seems like we always had TVland.  For a while it was our primary source of entertainment.  That, and going to the library for offered programs and to check out DVDs.

The station has added original programs including a reality show called “ForeverYoung”. The advertisements intrigued me, but I hadn’t watched it when it initially debuted.  But I did check it out yesterday. I was laughing so hard at watching these two (obviously) generations try and communicate.  Having lived between the two, I understand the frustration of the other – also having had to experience it myself.

Jenna is often asking, “Did they have such and such when you were little?” 

“Yes, we had Fisher Price people.  They weren’t made of plastic, they were made of wood.  They were smaller than what is offered now. “

“No we did not have iPods.  We didn’t even have CD’s.  We had phonographs and walkmans.

“No we did not have DVD’s.  I don’t recall the VCR coming out until I was a teenager.”

“Yes. We had cracker jacks.  But they offered cool prizes back then – well, at least compared to the lame prize that comes with cracker jacks today”

“No, we did not use slates back then.  We used paper. How old do you think I am?”

“There was an Electric Company.  But it didn’t come out until after Corey was born. It was different from what you watch today” (I had actually checked out a DVD from the library not realizing it was from the ‘70’s.  She couldn’t stand it)

She is far more superior at modern technology than I am.  She has found things on my phone that I didn’t even know existed.  She prefers Roland’s phone with his touch screen.  Roland is older than me and seems comfortable using his cell phone, but I hate it.  I actually have small fingers (one of the few parts of my body I can still refer to as small) but put me in front of a touch screen and they become clumsy fat hot dogs.  I can never find where I need to go and get so frustrated in trying to do so.

I appreciate the GPS – and the one that we had was not complicated and much easier to use than the map.  But I have used street maps before.  I must admit that I have texted messages – but it annoys me to go through each letter at a time – I’d much rather have a keyboard.  I do own a cell phone but started out dialing a rotary. 

I haven’t been on roller blades – but I know what they are.  I also remember the old time roller skate that fit over the shoe.  I owned several pairs of shoes with marks left from the roller skate that I used to glide around in my parents’ unfinished basement.

I’m actually too young to remember the car seat that my parents used vs. the ones that are out today.  Mine hung over the seat – front seat.  Mine was yellow.  It did not have the cool steering wheel feature built into it.  There was no car seat law that I know of.  Often the cars themselves didn’t come with safety belts for the driver – let alone the passengers.

I remember black and white television and a very limited amount of channels selection.  I remember life without Sesame Street and Sesame Street without Elmo.  In fact, I remember the original cast featured only four human beings.  And I remember three different Gordons. I can remember that Sesame Street did not explain Mr. Hooper’s death until a year after the fact.

I remember the world before computers made their way into just about every home.  I remember the ancient television sized monitors unlike the flat screens of today. I remember the manual typewriter and the cool features of the new electric ones.  

I remember cameras that required film.

I do like this “Forever Young” reality show that introduces “bridging the gap” and demonstrating that we really can learn from one another regardless of age.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The World will Not End just because I Cannot Taste Cookies Anymore

Michelle can wear white and still look like a rail.  I can wear the darkest black and one can still see every cookie I have tasted throughout my life.

According to my mom (long before her dementia kicked in) my very first word was “Cookie” Even then I knew a good thing –though probably it was not the luscious chocolate chip that I prefer to bite in today – at that time it was probably a biter biscuit or some Gerber product that from an adult’s point of view seems rather flavorless.  And perhaps it was.

I was seven when Sesame Street first aired.  I suppose I still could have been an inpiration for Cookie Monster

During my lifetime I’ve encountered all kinds of cookies that bring pleasure to my pallet.  At first they did not show. I’ll admit I’ve never had the best eating habits.  For years many individuals thought I was anorexic or anemic because I was actually skinny for quite a long time. 

                                              my absolute favorite
ever taste girl scout Samoas?  They are SINFUL

I don’t think I ballooned out until my early to mid thirties.  And than it happened – just like Violet Bowregard  from Willy Wonka – when she put that gum in her mouth and plumped up in seconds (though I have never turned blue – but I’ve experienced being blue – not necessarily from the fat) nor have I been able to restore to my youthful skinny shape as oompa loompas squeezed the juice out of me (rarely have I had cookies with juice in them – in fact the closest I think I’ve gotten is applesauce – but not apple juice)

 The rest of my body doesn’t seem to be near as fond of cookies and other goodies as my pallet – especially with each passing year.

Shortly after I started my blog last year, I created this post about my lack of smell (which I think Jenna must have somehow inherited what I lost as she seems to have an overly sensitive nose) Sadly, I think my taste buds are disappearing as well (could it be all the saline that has leaked from my eyes have been a contributor?)

It hasn’t become so bad that I  no longer enjoy cookies.  But I think I’m headed there.  The sodas that I used to enjoy (which I really have tried to drink sparingly – as I know that soda is not good for any of us) taste rather dull – so really, what’s the point in drinking it now?  And that is a good thing.  

Perhaps not being able to taste anything will be a good thing.  For I will be able to do the diet thing.  I’ll be able to eat lima beans probably and they will be just as tasteless as anything else I put in my mouth.  I won’t force myself to eat so much because it taste so good and I just can’t help myself.  I’ll eat for survival and that’s it.  I’ll probably lose weight.  Perhaps I’ll even look anorexic again. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Growing Before Our Eyes

I remember the year my eldest niece turned ten.  She had requested that someone could get her a “Savage Garden” album as a gift.  Savage Garden? Really?  Hadn’t it been less than a week when she had been singing along to “Wheel’s on the Bus” and doing the actions for “Eensy Weensy Spider” and “Popcorn Popping” – okay, something for older children.  But still . . .

          “Savage Garden” was a group that I listened to.  Why would a child want to listen to that? Ellen hadn’t been six for quite some time.  She was growing up.  No longer did she watch shows like “Arthur” or “Bear in the Big Blue House”. Ellen was maturing. I don’t know when she had graduated from Disney Sing-alongs to Boy Bands.  She’d always been more sophisticated than her peers – or at least in my eyes.  Ellen was no longer the child I remember her being.

          And now the same thing is happening with Jenna. 

          I was doing dishes and had turned on the radio to drown out the sounds coming from “the Middle” which for some reason she insists watching on a daily basis (same episode) when suddenly she appears beside me dancing and singing into an imaginary microphone.

          I had heard the song before.  I had watched the video for the first time when Sunny posted it to facebook within the last two years.  I think she said her youngest daughter had been singing it and put it into Sunny’s head.  And now Jenna was singing with it – and she knew all the words!  When did my own daughter graduate from Sesame Street to Boy Bands? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Humor from Children’s Programming

          There are several programs that we know our child has seen at least ten times just this month.  It’s true that many episodes get repeated.  But just as often, many programs just start sounding the same after a while.

          I love the laughable things that are said.  Jenna and I can laugh at the same program, but usually at different parts.  And usually whatever is funny to me makes her wonder exactly why I am laughing.

          There was one time (before Jenna had started going to preschool for four days a week) when she was in my bedroom watching Sesame Street.  I had just finished folding clothes and was going in and out of different rooms and putting the folded laundry away.  So I wasn’t watching Sesame Street, but was in the room long enough to hear this dialogue between Maria and Telly.

          First she praised Baby Bear for having guessed the last sound (I think a horse) correctly.  The next sound was a “vroom, vroom . . .” like that of a motorcycle. 
          Maria asks Telly if he can guess the sound.  He thinks about it before answering that “. . . it sounds like a bunch of lactose intolerant antelope ate a bunch of cottage cheese . . .”

          Jenna didn’t see any humor in it whatsoever and couldn’t figure out why I was laughing. That wasn’t the correct answer.

          Oswald is a unique cartoon that features three friends, Oswald, a purple octopus; Henry, an uptight persnickety penguin; and Daisy – well, a daisy.  They live in a city with some odd shaped buildings like a guitar and teepee.  Other characters include Steve, a tree; Egbert and Leo (egg brothers) Madam Butterfly and her baby caterpillar, Catrina and Johnny the snowman.     

          Oswald is the peacemaker of the show. Usually resolving issues among the different characters.  Usually between Henry and Daisy.  Henry says things that make me laugh – just because he’s so self-centered and persnickety.

          Peep is a cartoon narrated by Joan Cusack.  It involves three foul: Quack – a blue duck; Chirp, a red robin; and Peep, a fairly new yellow chick.  Chirp is the know-it-all who tries to put Quack in his place, and Quack never gets it.  His character reminds me a little bit of Oswald’s Henry – only younger.

          Martha’s voice (from Martha Speaks) alone is enough to make me laugh.  I don’t know what it is about the voice – but it’s not one that I personally could never hear and be able to take it seriously.

          But I think the program I laugh the most at is “Arthur”.  Though I am guilty of having watched Oswald and Peep,  I only hear pieces of Arthur.

          Arthur:        What makes feel so stressed is –

          Buster cuts him off:  a bear?

          A:                I was going to say a test

          B:       Why worry about a test?  I think I’d be much more worried
about a bear

          Even DW (I can’t stand that whiny character) made me laugh in one episode when Pal (the dog) is trying to eat her sandwich and DW says, “Hey, I don’t go around trying to eat your dog food, do I?”

          I suppose it depends on my frame of mind.  It’s nice to be able to laugh.