Tuesday, May 31, 2011

As Bugs Bunny Would Say, 'What A Maroon'

Here I've been talking up NJ's love of Sesame Street and Elmo, in particular, for so long, and now there's this from the totally rational, thoughtful and commonsensical Ben Shapiro:

The book, published by Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins is perhaps at its most condemnatory when accusing the creators of Sesame Street of attempting to brainwash young children. It quotes Mike Dann, one of the show's founding executives, saying it "was not made for the sophisticated or the middle class".

Early episodes featured the character Grover breaking bread with a hippie. Oscar, who lived in a rubbish bin, was supposed to address "conflicts arising from racial and ethnic diversity."

"Sesame Street tried to tackle divorce, tackled 'peaceful conflict resolution' in the aftermath of 9/11 and had [gay actor] Neil Patrick Harris on the show playing the subtly-named 'fairy shoeperson'," notes Shapiro.

I've been duped by plush puppets. Man, is my face red! (Embarrassed red, not fellow-traveler red, I swear.)

What are we to do with this rogue's gallery of Destroyers of the American Way?

Never puts his hand over his heart when 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is played.
Why, just look at how green this one is! Any doubt that he's a filthy tree-hugger?
'H' is for 'health care.' I guess he also has a 'D' for 'death' and a 'P' for 'panels' handy, too.
Hey, Oscar, get out of the trash can and get a job!
Is this guy's cape ... pink? Hmmmm.
But NJ's heart will hurt the most when she finds out that her favorite Muppet is part of this America-hating cabal:

OK, Elmo, let's see your birth certificate!

I just hope the Wiggles don't turn out to be a terrorist sleeper cell. (Although, frankly, I wouldn't put it past them.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chewing Gum For The Eyes

We've been dipping our toes into the kids'-television waters lately, and I'm finding them to be chilly.

NJ is watching a few minutes in the morning, between breakfast and day care, and another stretch some evenings before dinner. Altogether it's not even pushing 30 minutes total, yet. NJ has three favorites, at this point:

The Wiggles
Sweet Virginia, do I have a healthy dislike for these New Zealand blokes. They're very annoying -- each has a trademark sweater color, they have vaguely dopey looks on their faces all the time, and their songs are The. Worst. Go on -- click on one of those videos and listen to the songs for at least a minute. Then, try to get it out of your head for the rest of the day. (SPOILER ALERT: You won't be able to.) The Wife takes NJ upstairs in the mornings while she gets dressed, usually around the time I'm pouring my first cup of coffee before heading down to the office. When NJ starts saying "wee-guls" and heads to the bedroom stairs, I quicken my pace, too -- in the other direction.

Yo Gabba Gabba
Another dad told me about this show, and while I've only seen it once ... I think it may be my favorite. Lend your eyes and ears to this and tell me that's not, if nothing else, interesting. As your lawyer, I advise you to start watching Yo Gabba Gabba heavily.

I, for one, welcome our new green-striped overlords.
Sesame Street
Still ranked No. 1. NJ loves the Cookie Monster, Ernie and Big Bird, but her favorite is still the little red dude. I like to bring NJ down here to the office to watch Sesame Street clips online, because you can hunt for some compelling special guests.

Still the one.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Light And Dark

Not much posting here lately, I know. NJ has been busy, though -- she's been very affectionate lately, and on the flip side has been very tantrumy when something outrageous happens, like she doesn't get a second cookie or isn't lifted up onto the breakfast nook bench fast enough. Or get her shoes on her feet in a timely fashion. Or take her shoes off her feet in a timely fashion. Or ... well, you get the idea. She turns 21 months old today, but the Terrible Twos are alive and well at Casa de NJ.

It's been a back-and-forth week here weather-wise, and lots of light and dark because of what's going on at our house, and that theme is enough for me to hang this flimsy excuse of a blog post on. Today it's gray and rainy, but yesterday was a perfect Spring day that saw us heading to the playground at Green Lake to catch up with our PEPS friends. Of course, all the kids look adorable and in good health and cute as the cutest buttons ever buttoned. NJ particularly enjoyed her time on the swing.

Somebody's got a new favorite hat ...
The weekend before featured an equally nice day, so the fam headed to Gas Works Park for some fresh air and leisure time.

Every day should be like this. Every single one.
And on Mother's Day we went to the beach at Golden Gardens, where it was cool but still very nice.

Not pictured: NJ's experiment with a Hitler mustache made of damp sand.
The sunlight you see in these pics stands in stark contrast to today's winter-once-more gray skies, or the interior of our house this past week (up until Friday evening). We're getting the house painted, and all the windows -- all of them -- have been taped and papered up. It's been a little crazy-making for me, working at home; I've felt a bit like a terrorist in a safe house (minus the porn and Navy SEALs). The first day of blacked-out windows, NJ noticed right away and kept pointing to the windows and exclaiming, "Dark!" The second day she'd apparently had it explained to her by The Wife. When she said, "Dark!" I agreed heartily and then NJ looked at me with a serious look on her face, leaned forward and opined, "Paint the house. Paint the house."

The kids' picnic furniture I assembled yesterday is not seeing any action today, other than rain.
She's stringing together lots of words into phrases and sentences these days, but doesn't use them for long and resists Dad Solo's nostalgic "Hey, remember when you used to say "Paint the house," like a day ago?" attempts at recreating the very near past. Still, it's a lot of fun hearing what comes out of her yap. Yesterday she sat in my lap and watched an Elmo video on this computer, and at one point she looked up at me and, very seriously, issued two sentences of pure gibberish (except for "Elmo"). She arched an eyebrow and gave me a "Right?" look before turning back to the screen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Bib And A Rib

After her introduction to barbeque in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. a couple of weeks ago, this past weekend NJ learned to eat ribs. What follows are some photographs of her with greasy hands, a greasy face, and a couple of ribs in the aforementioned greasy hands and face. And no, there's no barbeque sauce -- she's a toddler, not a heathen.

So, just eat the soft outside, right?
When Daddy eats a rib, he looks all dog-dumb and glassy-eyed, so I guess that's what you're supposed to do. Full speed ahead!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we go.
Hmmmm ... a little chin-stroking contemplation is in order, I do believe.
It's good! I like it. The skin is crunchy and peppery, and yet the meat isn't tough or overdone. It's a tangy, succulent taste treat. I give it four dirty diapers out of five!
Back off, Zeus! Don't even think about it.
(Not pictured: "Cookie ... one?")