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Behind the Fairy Tale: Mary Poppins

mary-poppins-logo

Note: I realize Mary Poppins is not a fairy tale, but it is Disney (sort of) so it fits with my “Behind the Fairy Tale” series.  For more Disney-fied tales, see the Disney tab up top.  

Mary Poppins.  I know I saw the movie when I was a kid, but before all this anniversary stuff, the only thing I really remembered were the songs that never leave your brain (SPOON FULL OF SUGAR SING ITTTTT!!!!) and, of course, those animated penguins.  They were the first things I mentioned when my Things informed me that their high school would be doing a production of the Mary Poppins Broadway musical.  I asked if they would be playing penguins.  I continued to ask this long after they repeatedly informed me that there were no penguins in the musical.

mary poppins penguins

The forgotten stars of Mary Poppins . . .

And that’s in spite of this being based on the Disney movie, which was based on the book by P.L. Travers.  If you didn’t realize Mary Poppins was a book, you aren’t alone. I didn’t either, and I am an English major and worked in libraries for years.  Once I figured this out, though, it led to a rabbit hole of research since before the musical there was a movie and before that there was a book and before that there was a grumpy old lady that Walt Disney pestered for, I’m not kidding, twenty years before finally allowing him to make a movie.  I used to get paid for this sort of research, but then they told me what to research and I didn’t even get to choose what my exhibits were called.  Or take credit.  So get ready cause this is gonna be a doozy.

The original book was based upon the early 1900s and written in 1934, the Disney movie was released in 1964, and the Disney theatrical musical created in 2006.  In honor of the anniversary of Mary Poppins, Disney has released a bunch of merchandise as well as a sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, due for release on December 19th.  Believe it or not, Disney didn’t just pull this sequel out of their . . . mouse hats, there is actually a series of these books.  I’m a bit confused as to what anniversary we’re celebrating here, though, since neither the book or movie has an even-numbered anniversary, according to the dates I’ve found.  No matter – nothing dampers Disney’s spirit.  I mean NOTHING.

mary poppins returns poster

She’s baaack . . .

I figured I would start with the musical, as it was the latest one released.  My beautiful daughters naturally got starring roles.  Thing One was a doll, and Thing Two a table.  Well, to be technical, Thing Two worked as crew, and got to animate the table as she was the only one small enough to fit inside of it.  She sat under that table on stage for thirteen minutes while waiting for her chance to make it collapse, then magically straighten on cue.  I heard this took a few tries since according to Thing Two, actors are really clueless about how to do their jobs.  Like not get seen until they are supposed to be seen (if you can see the audience, they can see you).  As for crew, they are never supposed to be seen, yet accomplish so much detail.  The special effects were very impressive, and included that table repairing itself and dishes flipping back to their spots (usually) on Mary’s command, a flying kite, music and lights on cue, smoke that sort of worked, and much more.

Thing Two table

Thing Two is available for weddings and other events.

So I got a look at both backstage and on stage this time, as Thing One performed her swan song performance as a high school senior (I have no idea how this happened, or how her sister got to be a freshman. I guess I slept a lot.)  Unlike the years she played a part in the chorus (you probably remember her as the famous spoon in Beauty and the Beast), she didn’t have to rehearse nearly as much, and yet got her name in the main cast as a china doll that Mary Poppins brings to life, along with some other toys, in order to scare the living crap out of the children who don’t treat their toys well.  Between this musical and Toy Story, I’m starting to wonder if I should keep my doll collection.

clown

The dolls were led by a guy like this. Run!

Anyway, she got a lot more noticed this time (her doll zombie act was unparalleled, unless you count that incredible table), and she got to play another small role as a banker.  The father in the story is a banker named, wait for it, Mr. Banks and he sings a lot about order and precision as well as constipation, judging from his attitude for much of the play.  He also has a wife with the awesome responsibility of finding a nanny so she can host dinner parties, and two fairly awful children.  They can’t seem to keep a nanny long, so Mary Poppins flies in on her umbrella to help them straighten up their crap.

I realize I am biased here, but all the students did an amazing job of carrying out this production.  The many musical numbers have unbelievably complicated choreography, including a ton of lyric memorization, hand motions, tap dancing, singing, jumping around, and generally encouraging heart attacks in the very young (and old just watching them).  You probably remember these songs (“Spoon Full of Sugar”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Chim Chiminy Bang Bang”, etc.) but did you remember “Step in Time”?  Cause that one went on for like fifteen minutes of Chimney Sweep frantic tap dancing and singing.  A few times the audience thought it was the end and tried to do an ovation, since surely these kids were going to drop right on the stage, but nope, it just kept going.  This is especially impressive when you consider that chimney sweeps had a high rate of lung disease.

chimney sweep real

Come on, dude! Step in time!

Yet the songs never seemed pointless, and all flowed seamlessly along with the story.  A spoonful of sugar helps unpleasant stuff  like medicine, cleaning, and national news go down easier.  Supercali- you get the idea – means you can do anything in Scrabble and win, cause creativity man. Mary Poppins and her pal Bert use these moments to teach the children how to be more human in imaginative ways. I joke about “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, but it’s actually a very moving song, sung throughout the musical both as a happy tune and a somber melody about making the most of your lot in life, even as someone stuck cleaning out chimneys, and seeing beauty through the smoke and ashes.  It is also a reminder that these people exist in the shadows, helping the rest of us with what we take for granted.

My favorite song, “Feed the Birds”, is the most real, though, and sung by the old, homeless Bird Woman who comes to the steps of the cathedral everyday to sell bread crumbs to feed the birds.  Don’t just walk by her!  Give the woman some tuppence, you jerks!  Yet we do walk by, don’t we?  Mary Poppins encourages the children to see the dirty old woman and chimney sweep as real people, deserving of our attention.  It was reportedly Walt’s favorite song as well, and even the original author liked it.  The soft, pleading melody makes me cry every freaking time.

bird-lady-of-central-park-hal-norman-k

Real “Bird Lady of Central Park”. Picture taken by Hal Norman K.

Mary Poppins brings the children into an imaginative world that exists right inside our own, whether they are jumping into a painting or flying up a chimney or just watching her drag coat racks and more out of her purse, just like a real mom.  She teaches them kindness and morality, but not in a didactic, sickly sweet way.  She is still proper and firm, and knows how to get the kids, and adults, in order.  She does things just as she wants them, always in control of every situation.  When the mother asks for references, she says “I make it a point never to leave references” (a line used in both the movie and the book) and her confidence just stuns the mother into silence. I’d love trying that at an interview.  When the kids continue to act bratty, she even leaves for a while, letting them try it out with the father’s former nanny, whose references included gulags.  The kid actors did a great job of showing absolute terror and begging for forgiveness.  Mary returns, of course, and banishes the old nanny in a singing contest, as one does.

It isn’t only the kids she’s trying to reform, though, but the father.  This story is rather old hat by now (think “Cats in the Cradle”), but was newer back when the movie was first produced.  Even the book, while wildly different in areas I will later show, points out that time is fleeting.  Children grow, imagination dwindles, life sets in, and cynicism grows.  The usual work ethic encouraged in adults, especially fathers, keeps them from the joy of knowing their own families and home lives.  Mr. Banks figures this out when he stands by his principals, nearly loses his job, but finds his family in the process.  He even sings and dances at work, proving that Mary Poppins’s songs can warp anyone’s brain cells.

The ending is bittersweet, as Mary Poppins has to leave, having accomplished what was needed.  Also, she promised to leave when the wind changed direction.  As she travels by umbrella and wind, she probably has to catch it at the right time to get where she’s going next.  It’s cheaper than airline fare at least.

mary poppins man lightning

This method of travel not recommended during certain weather conditions . . .

The musical ends with one last song, “Anything Can Happen if you Let It”, and then a rousing chorus in which every kid gets a chance to come back on stage (including my doll), take a bow and once again dance like wild maniacs.  Crew does not get acknowledged on stage, something that may change by senior year if my Thing Two, who is a star of Debate, has any say, though that might be difficult as they are supposed to also control the lights, etc.   It was a great time for all, though, and prompted me to see what was behind this musical tale.  Since I’ve gone on a long time already, stay tuned for more “Behind Mary Poppins”.

~Alice

Alice Awarded

WordPress just warned me that they have a new editor planned. WHY?  I just now figured out this one and it’s been . . . a while.

Speaking of WordPress, long ago in blogland we used to pass around these blog awards and I would collect them obsessively and call them “blog bling”.  I also considered stealing a certain one, since all you have to do – technically – is copy / paste it off a more fortunate person’s blog.  That would be the Freshly Pressed award that I eventually got by insulting the editors of WordPress in a post.  There’s a bit more to it than that, but no matter now since it is passe because they have Editor’s Choice or something like that.  I don’t know much about it since I don’t have a lot of blog friends competing for it.  So big deal, cause this award’s name is not nearly as stupid, (I do not think of a mammogram when I hear it) so I reject it, unless some editor wants to give it to me.  I’m RIGHT HERE guys, and you know WordPress I noticed when you never responded to my suggestion that my booger post be given an award.  Do you not read your tweets?  I find this unprofessional, WordPress. 

I was getting somewhere, oh yeah, I was given the Liebster award by blogger anupturnedsoul.   I forget who or what a Liebster is, but this one award is super cool because it asks lots of bizarre questions  and I love answering questions that concern myself.  (You should check her blog out cause she likes me, which makes her amazing and crap.) So here goes! 

liebster-aware-discover-new-blogs

What is a question? What does asking questions mean to you? 

A question about a question?  It’s like an English major wrote this.  Or a philosophy one, since it was taken from The Philosopher’s Magazine.  

What is a question?  That’s easy.  A question is the answer on the game show Jeopardy.  What does asking questions mean to me?  Asking questions is a great way to learn something new and / or annoy another person.  Like when I asked this nun in my college class repeated stupid questions like “Do you have more than one color of habit, like for special occasions?”  She was very patient.

What is an answer?  What does an answer mean to you? How far will you go to get an answer?

Haha, I did not see this one coming.  Naturally an answer is a question on Jeopardy, which I almost never get right.  Like who cares where Monaco is, it’s like the size of Dallas or something.  An answer means someone has actually solved something, like say the Trump investigation.  There are no more answers, only questions like WHYYYYYY?  How far will I go for an answer? Wikipedia.  See above for question definition.

What would you do first in this situation?

what-would-you-do-first-from-brightside-me (1)

Each option has an interpretation attached to it which you will find by clicking over to : What Would You Do First in This Situation? The Result Can Reveal a Lot About You – there are additional questions asked by the site which are: How accurately do these characteristics describe your personality? Do you agree or disagree with all the descriptions?

This one annoyed me, because how can it be a personality test when most answers just mean you’re kinda dumb?  If you do anything besides go to the tea kettle (does anyone still have one of these?) you are risking a fire.  The baby’s fine in the crib another minute, the dog has already ruined your furniture, and the corded phone (we still had one of those until recently) call is probably a telemarketer cause those are the only people who call on a home phone.

But these guys say “If you’ve chosen the kettle, it can mean that you’re a passionate and rather quick-tempered person. You make decisions quickly without doubts, and nothing will stop you from achieving your goal.  You can quickly get bored with monotony. You care about your safety and don’t like surprises. It’s easier for you to follow a clearly defined plan without unexpected twists and turns.”

Yeah, I care about safety, like not having the surprise of a fire, though you know not having things on fire can be rather monotonous so maybe I should have let the kettle go after all.  Cause I cannot decisions to save my life, which is why maybe I should have chosen the baby because then I’m a calm and resourceful person who sacrifices myself for others (like in a fire) and enjoys quiet evenings with my family which I should note does not include a baby.  Yet if you pick the baby up first and then go to the kettle and the dog, you burn the baby and get its head chewed off by the dog.  I’m assuming you’d still be holding the baby since it’s not going to just get calmed in its crib fast enough for you to escape the fire, the rabid dog, or that relentless ringing.

It’s possible I have overthought this question.  Nah!  Okay so if I choose the dog it means I’m a material girl who doesn’t like a mess, and if I choose the phone I’m a great communicator who can multitask (not likely with a corded phone) in which case why didn’t I grab the dog, the baby, the kettle, and then answer the phone?  The answers have no questions and the questions no answers and we’re right back to question one!

How would you convince me that you are real and not in my dreams? (borrowed from Philosophy Cambridge Interview Questions)

I’m not real.  This is a dream.  Or IS IT?

alice taylor quote
I totes need this pin.

What is your favorite word?  (Q borrowed from English Cambridge Interview Questions) Why is it your favorite word?

Once upon a time, whence I covered 50 Shades of Crap, my blog’s top search word for the year according to Google was “crack whore”.  This is not my favorite word, though, nor is crap, no matter how many times I use it.  It’s a tough choice, but I think my favorite word is “stabby”, as in “I feel stabby today”.  It may not be in the Oxford English Dictionary yet, but if they added “hangry” I think they can add “stabby.”

Also, since this is borrowed from interview questions, what kind of interview asks what your favorite word is?  Are they wondering if you will blurt out “stabby” like I just did, so they know you’re a serial killer and can casually mark through your name on their list?  I’m so curious.

What does the following illustrated story mean to you? If you’re not sure – What was the first thought which popped into your mind about it?

zen-speaks-carrying-a-woman-across-a-river-tsai-chih-ching-and-brian-bruya

Oh, wise Tarzan, er Tanzan, teach me more about how to avoid sexual harassment lawsuits!  I mean, the first thought that popped into my head was “Oh like that monk is so great.” cause that’s how my mind works.  Actually, though, I think it’s trying to say that the student was worrying about the teacher mucking up his mind cause his was mucked up – ie get the two-by-four out of your eye before you pick at mine, you brat.  I count people who go through youth books line by line looking for subversive material among these.

Which god or goddess from mythology would you be and why? (Q borrowed from a comment on anupturnedsoul’s blog – Two Narcissists in a Relationship? – a personal story)

Ooh, I know this one!  Nemesis.  She’s not as well known as say, Zeus, but I like her cause she’s the Greek goddess of revenge.  Her job is to exact revenge for “hubris” against the gods, or in valley girl speak “She like thinks she is like SO GOOD.”  Some people say you shouldn’t want revenge and you should live well, blah blah, but I think that’s because they couldn’t get away with it and besides, if I was Nemesis, this would be my job.  Like, nothin’ personal.  Hey, did you just run over your neighbor’s cat and think nothing of it cause you are so special with your corvette?  Sorry, but Whiskers is going to haunt you for the rest of your life, buddy.  Turn around – Whiskers.  Go to bed – Whiskers.  Take home a date – Whiskers on the couch waiting with his red, creepy eyes.

Not that I’ve though much about this.

taylor tied to tracks
Taylor is Nemesis’s representative on Earth, I think.

 If you could be someone else, real or fictional, for a day, who would you be and why? What would you learn from being them? (Q inspired by Fandango’s Provocative Question #1)

Last question, you guys!  I would be Donald Trump. No wait, hear me out!  I would grab my buddy Mike Pence and we would travel to Antarctica to visit with the penguins and those Eskimo guys.  We’d miss the plane back – I’d only have to tell Mike that there was a woman on there if he protested.  Then I’d go back to being me, and Donald and Mike would learn to live with the Indigenous peoples until they kick them out within days and then they would learn to live with penguins.  Sorry, Donald, you don’t always get to be in the middle.  You have to share warmth like all the other Emperor penguins.  And outside people would be all “Yay!” until we get someone else stupid in office.  What would I learn?  In Trump’s brain, I’d probably have lost information more than gained it.  I am willing to take the risk for my country.

Okay, so that’s the end I promise!  Anyone still with me?  I am supposed to ask eight questions of someone else, but my brain is fuzzy.  I don’t know eight bloggers, but anyone reading I would LOVE to see answer these questions cause they are so fun.  I’m going to check out anupturnedsoul’s other nominees and their answers.  

Stay tuned as I explore the many bizarre versions of Mary Freakin’ Poppins!

~Alice

 

Remember how I said goodbye, forget that.

Hello?  Is it me you’re looking for?  Lionel Richie maybe?  Where is he anyway?  Alive, hopefully, or this is is awkward.

Good news, I am alive!  I thought about making a post so many times.  I had so many post  ideas – they were great posts, wonderful posts.  I  was going to review stuff like hurricanes. I hear they’re wet.  Or maybe just movies. I did review a few with the help of my Things and tiny wooden people.  You can see them if you look back.  Also, I got a lot of prep stuff for reviews like beauty masks (there are pictures I promise I will show one day including one with me wearing, I am not making this up, a penguin on my face) and make up and movies, etc.

The Things and I played with the prep stuff, but then did nothing with it.  It takes time to take pictures of little peg people and we were like, busy.  Or they were with school, and activities and staring at their laptops and stuff.  I was busy contemplating the universe, or possibly hoping my meds would work and then we got Netflix along with Amazon Prime, and the streaming Roku thing we already had, and that was that.  I’m not sure how Roku, or streaming, or Netflix works. I have multiple degrees, but those are in useful crap like liberal arts.  So I figure it’s like electricity – little fairies carrying T.V. programs and such fly across invisible wires to my television.  Well, sometimes.  Sometimes the fairies get lazy and I have to call those Internet people.  Freaking fairies.

I’m not actually stupid, I just don’t like researching electronics.  Just in case you recently got here and don’t know me.  Also the Things are my children.  And I have mythical friends named Sad Pony and Squirrel.  They say I’m sane.

What was I going to say here?  Hang on, there’s a point, unless you’re my husband in which case you gave up a while ago.  Oh, right, about the Things, and if you just got here, etc.  I recently – I think it was 2018 – said that I should start over with a new blog because I had changed so much in the last year and blah blah pretentious blah.  So I did start over, and then did nothing.

And then I realized that I hadn’t ever really changed after all.  I’m still Alice, and as far as I can tell, I pretty much still have the same personality as long as I am taking the right meds, etc., that I did when I was twelve.  Maybe this should have changed by now, I’m not sure, but I don’t really care cause I think it’s okay as it is.  Also, the whole idea of trying to make a blog where I only review things because that would be more organized was a bad idea.  I’m not organized.  It’s just not happening.

I pondered whether I should give up the whole blogging thing cause I was no longer funny, or no one wanted to read it, or if after forty I should do stuff like normal adults.  Whatever that is.  Cleaning, I think, and working a normal 40 hour job in which I get roughly 3 hours of work done a week and spend the rest of the time wishing I was at home.  Instead I am ferrying high school students (TWO of them) around and watching TV and buying health products cause I’m sure I’ll go to the gym if I have the right leggings.

But the blog posts never go away – I still write them in my head all the time.  That’s why my counselor originally said to write it down, since my angst according to her was funny.  Yes, this has all been a mental health exercise for me.  Yay you, reader.  I hope there’s a reader or two.  But I guess that’s not the most important thing, since I used to write like crazy even when my only readers were my best friend and this Indian guy who liked very large American women in patriotic bikinis.

So I’m going to do that again!  Uh, blog that is!  And I’m going to do it back on Aliceatwonderland cause I’m Alice, and on this blog you just know I’m Alice and that’s why.  Also I understand more of how to use this blog format.  So I’m back here.  If you followed the link, you found this post and a big sense of deja vu.

So I spent all that blathering to say I’m going back to my old blog and leaving Alice Reviews, though I’ll eventually transfer posts over before I abandon it, and I am going back to blogging.  I promise I will post at least once every 3 months or so!  Also, I will try to read blogs if they interest me. I have a short attention span (think reality TV) so I’ll do my best and all.  

I hope to just have some fun and maybe get out some more angst and that sort of thing.  If someone still wants to read, come on over.  I might even wear a patriotic bikini.  

 

~Alice

The Blob

You may have heard of The Blob.  It’s an old horror flick about, well, a blob that goes around sucking people into it.  There are several iterations of the same villain, such as The Creeping Terror, which was so scary that the actors would willingly help out by climbing into it.  But the Blob I’m talking about is like me, cause that’s how I feel when I have little energy but am still expected to do things.

Meet Blob.

Blob is the result of years of art class. Say “Hi!” Blob.

I spent a while thinking of what color to make Blob.  First I considered black, but I’m not that far gone, and Blob is not emo, just blobby.  So then I considered other colors like yellow (too sunshiny), brown (too poopy), red (too bloody), pink (too frilly), and gray (too bland).  I finally settled on lavender, cause it looks grayish, but with bits of purple trying to poke out.

I don’t feel that sad most of the time now.  I know I can do things, heck I even make plans sometimes to do the things.  But then this inertia sets in and my body says “Haha brain, yeah we like sitting.”  An object at rest tends to stay at rest, especially if said object is me, and it doesn’t really have anywhere it HAS to go other than dropping and picking Things (ie children) up at school.  So after said chore is done in the morning, it’s easy to drop back into bed, but not easy to get out.  So I sort of have to slime my way.  Here it is in four simple steps.

The key is sliming out slowly. Yes that’s a bed he’s sliming out of.

I used a similar method for getting out of bed when I was very sick with pneumonia. I’m not that sick now, though I am getting over yet another respiratory infection and the antibiotics that treat it by making me all nauseous.  But really, this was happening before any other physical cause.  So I’m thinking blob might be a slight lack of motivation on my part.

I can blob my way to the kitchen, sliming around, grabbing a bowl I keep clean, avoiding the pile of dirty dishes, and then sliming back to my computer where I do important business.  Like surfing the internet or drawing blob pictures.  But inevitably I will need to do something like say – those dishes.  Or the laundry. Or get those groceries.  Or maybe try to join a gym because I am very out of shape and exercise gives you energy, right, if you can get enough energy to do it!  The gym is, literally, one block away from me.  And it’s open 24 hours a day.

But it’s never that simple!  You can’t go to gym until you have clothes to wear to the gym.  So you slime over and wash clothes.  And yay you have a shirt, an exercise squeeze-you-too-tight bra and yoga pants that show all the wrong curves!  Great.  Missing just one thing.  Something you really ought to have a lot of no matter what you do.

Where is the UNDERWEAR???

It is really bad for me to lose something important like underwear, especially when it is really hard to find underwear that fits right.  As of late, it has been harder than buying jeans, and nothing should be harder than that.  So I tried on type after type  until finally finding one with no elastic in the waistband at all (as it should be) and of course they don’t have my size, which is monster size according to Wal-Mart.  Keep in mind I wore a size 8 when I was 5’7″ and 130 lbs.  That is considered X-large right there.  I have to wonder what really obese people wear, cause while overweight, I still consider myself relatively normal.  I guess they have to follow Babar the elephant.

This is where I am heading.

I don’t want to have to go to the Big Store with Babar.  I don’t trust stores that let in elephants who steal the purses of old ladies.  So that means I must try to not get any bigger.  Or blobbier.  So after all that laundry and underwear searching (Alice does not go commando), I am way too exhausted to think about the gym.  I’ve also worked up an appetite.

Speaking of appetites, another thing I could do to improve energy is to not eat so much not nutritious food.  They say eating healthy (green) things makes you have more energy, or some such nonsense.  So I make a pledge to find out what food constitutes healthy that I can force myself to eat.  This lasts five minutes until my husband brings home Cocoa Crispies cereal.  Really?  What was I supposed to do?  They were THERE.

NOMMMMMMMM!

So I have these two creatures I have to face: motivation and self-control.  You might have met these two before if you’ve read my blog in the past.  They have names.

Pony sat on my motivation.

 

Squirrel has amazing self-control. He only ate 500 nuts this morning before puking.

I’ve been slightly blobby for a while now, but I always had somewhere I had to be in the past.  Someone to check to make sure I was not blobbing 24/7.  I don’t have a parent or a boss standing over me now, so that someone is going to have to be – yikes – me?  They say pick a friend and ask that friend to hold you accountable for doing stuff, but yeah, I don’t have a lot of friends, and those I do have I don’t dislike that much.  Also some of them have blob issues as well.

Have any advice for blobs?  Feel free to offer it in the comments below!  I will slime over and read them – eventually!

 

~Alice

Putting the “Dis” back in Disability

Am over at Merbear’s site today . . . come see!

WTF Are They Saying Songs: Come On, Eileen?

I have been singing along to the radio my whole life, despite not knowing what the lyrics, and sometimes even the titles, are most of the time. This is not my fault as the singers are often not clear, and DJs rarely help as they are too busy talking about fascinating stuff like their toenail clippings, just because they can (I want to be a DJ).  Anyway, some songs I have sung the wrong way for years.  Sure I could look it up on that newfangled Google or look at a lyric video, but some of those translations are done so badly I could do just as well myself.

So I will.

One of my favorite songs from the 80’s is “Come on, Eileen” sung by the Dexys Midnight Runners.  You remember that group right?  Me neither, thanks Google.  Anyway, this song is a classic example of not understanding what the heck the singer is saying.  I mean I really don’t understand ANYTHING except most of the main chorus and, ironically, the nonsensical “Too ra loo ra too ra loo ra yay” part.  I can imagine the group think that day.

Guy 1: We need something to go after “Come on, Eileen”.

Guy 2: Why not just drink some more and slur the lines again?

Guy 3: We could always use “Wo wo wo” or “Na na na”.

Guy 1: Been done.  What’s that on the telly?

Guy 2: Buncha puppets on a kiddie show babbling.

Guy 3: Bloody brilliant! Let’s use that.

So they solved that part fine, and they knew they wanted to talk about this Eileen chick who wore that dress and was dirty.  They could have said “Come on, Eileen go take a bath” but the too ra loos were too good to pass up I guess.  All that was left was to drink heavily, strap on some overalls before remembering their shirts (see the video) and sing!  I have written the lyrics to the best of my understanding while playing the song over and over.  Good luck.

Blame these guys.

Come on, Eileen

Poo ol Johnny raid

I sat upon the radio

But the billion hearts is unknown

Our mother’s strange

Saddle on who’s them

Who’s crumb? (Who’s crumb?)

So brittle (So brittle!)

Now I must say “cold and never”

Come on, Eileen

Too ra loo ra too ra loo ra yay!

Gonna sing this like a boner!

 

Chorus: (sort of understandable – sobriety break?)

Come on Eileen (oh I swear)

By all means

At this moment, you mean everything

You wore that dress

I confess but you’re dirty

Oh, come on Eileen!

 

These people round here

But now I suck

I’m on my face

So it’s time to wonder

What pride is

But blah blahhh

Blah blaaaahddy

We are just so young and clever (What’s that for?)

Too ra loo ra too ra loo ra yay

I hope it’s true foreverrr

 

Come on Eileen

(Oh I swear) By all means

Oh come on let’s

take off everything!

You and that dress (I confess)

Sassafrass

Oh come on Eileen

 

Lots more too la roos

and Oh Eileens

 

And that is all I’ve got.  When it came to the “blah blahs” I honestly, after multiple times listening, could not make out anything approximating any word in this language.  I’m not saying I got the lyrics right, but if you do go and look up lyrics, you’ll often find out that the ones you thought they were saying probably made more sense than the ones they actually sang.

Speaking of nonsensical (too ra loo ra!), here’s the video.

Truly fascinating.  It starts out with what looks like old footage of girls going gah gah over some guy.  The video does write out (literally) the first line which is “Poor old Johnnie Ray”.  I’m not sure who Johnny Ray was, or is, but girls dug him and one put his name on her shoes (that’s devotion).

So you might think – this song is about Johnny Ray?  No?  Well maybe about the old pictures of two children (labeled “me” and “Eileen”).  Not sure, because we switch to the 80’s (I think?) with a bunch of hairy guys wearing only overalls and playing banjos, fiddles, and – an accordion?  How did hillbillies get to the city?  Did they hit a bubbling brew?  Whatever happened, now they’re here singing on a street corner and oh look, that must be Eileen coming by with a friend and a baby stroller and – how nice they are trying to assault her.

Look at that armpit hair! Come on, Eileen!

“Ohhh Eileen, come on!  You’re so dirty!”  I can’t imagine why she would want to get away from them.  Those “too la roos”?  They turn out to be a gang rallying cry as they all get together and run up behind her and one of them grabs her and – suddenly she likes him?

And what did it all have to do with Johnnie Ray?  WHYYYY?

I don’t have answers, folks, cause I didn’t even try to look them up (saying they were there).  Maybe it’s better not to know.  I certainly liked “She Bop” a lot better before I found out what that one was about (Cyndi didn’t need a guy cause – um – magazines) and the music is great so I guess it doesn’t matter.  It’s just more thoughts that rattle around my head while I mindlessly sing along.

Too-ra-loo!

 

~Alice

Kentucky Fried Crisis!

Have you heard the news today?  They say that danger’s come our way.  It’s a real land of confusion alright, what with all those wars and famines and politicians, but today our old reliable Facebook News had some real news people care about, news to unite all walks of life.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has run out of chicken. 

Yup, you heard right.  Now this is happening in the U.K., not here, thank gawd, but what a terrifying prospect!  So much so that it naturally made international news.

Count on CNN, you guys.

Our media sure savored this little news bite, alright.

And we thought all those hurricanes were bad!

A wing and a prayer!  Get it?  I guess I can see this appearing on CNN Money, since KFC is bound to be losing it’s chicken butt over this shortage, which is causing stores to close all over the U.K.   But that’s not the only problem they face.

There are some super angry Brits over there.  Observe.

There are some marvelous quotes in here.  “It’s a chicken place, so they should have enough chicken,” says one boy.  That’s so cute how kids think logic should apply to real life!  Other people took to Twitter with their annoyance over having to drive to multiple locations to find chicken.  Multiple locations.  They do have other chicken places in the U.K. right?  Or is this chicken just so filled with artery clogging goodness that our mother country is addicted?

If Brits act like this, you realize we in the U.S. are in deep, deep trouble.  As one commenter said, “There would be rioting in the streets over here.”  I don’t doubt it.

KFC is deeply apologetic for causing so many in the U.K. to go without the two of the most important food groups (salt and grease).  Here’s a sign from one of the restaurants.

 

No compromising on quality for us!

So just how did they run out of chicken?  As the sign mentions, the chain just got a new supplier called DHL who promised to “re-write the rule book and set a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC in a sustainable way”.  Jolly good job, right oh, I say!  DHL explained that “due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed.”  Operational issues, eh?  As in what type of operational issues?  Is it because some employees are still teething?  That does hurt.  Or have employees been stealing the chicken for themselves?  Shoving it down their pants and making a run for it?  There is clearly more to this story than they are telling us, people.

I mean it is super hard to round up chickens, kill them, and dump their body parts in a truck and deliver them to 900 stores! But I wonder if this could have anything to do with their new spokesperson, Reba “Colonel” McEntire.  I mean, she was the obvious pick for a new Colonel Sanders, what with the natural resemblance.  But some people are not at all happy with this and have complained.  No, really.

Reba, is that you?

Because this is a feminist issue!  Reba is the first female Colonel Sanders, ya’ll!  Well, sort of!  Because while some praise her for, as one article puts it, “shattering the grease-soaked napkin ceiling,” others are upset cause the colonel can’t just be a woman, but must be a woman pretending to be a man.  So, like, the colonel is now transgender then?  I thought he was an real life man who’s been dead for over 30 years, but apparently not.  He’s a character.  Or she.  Or however the colonel chooses to identify, for chicken is fluid.

So I think the problem is clear.  Colonel Reba here has taken all the chicken.  Because feminism.  But KFC will make things right, though it may be over a week.  Hang tight.  And as another commenter said, “Prayers”.

~Alice

 

V-DAY is HERE

V-Day?  What could that mean?  Vaccinate day?  Venereal Disease day?  Happy New Year?  Okay, it’s not Happy New Year, since you could say I missed that one.  Along with January.  And most of February so far.  But hey, I couldn’t miss the most important of days, which is of course Valentine’s Day – though it might involve the other two v days, depending on how you celebrate it.

Or if you celebrate it!  I decided to google “Valentine’s Day is . . .” and it turns out people – this will shock you – think it kind of sucks.  The first thing I got was “Valentine’s Day is Coming Memes”.

I got very excited about this, especially the article that promised to warm my icy heart.  With memes.  You might be doubtful about this, oh ye of little faith.  But I dideth click on one.  There were a lot of super funny memes, like the one where the guy from that office show says yes he has a date for Valentine’s Day and – wait for it – that date is February 14th.  Do you get it?  It took me a second, and then I just sat there laughed hysterically.  My heart is melted!

Okay I did like this one.

Valentine’s Day always makes me pee a little.

So that was from Bridget (@bridger_w) who took that little snapshot at a Rite-Aid.  I now know what to get that special someone.

No more time for “Valentine’s is Coming” memes, though, cause it be right here mah peeps (check out my inclusive language). The second thing to pop up was how much people love this holiday cause it makes them feel super close to their significant other, especially when that other buys them that freaking enormous diamond ring from Jared cause even young children know that Dad is gonna score when he gets their Mom that ring from Jared!  And there was nothing at all disturbing about that commercial that played roughly a million times!

Haha, I’m lying of course, because the sentence to pop up next was really “Valentine’s Day is overrated”.

If you’d like to know four, five, ten or even fourteen reasons why this holiday is overrated, all you have to do is google.  I can summarize them all for you, though.  Valentine’s Day is overrated because it’s a way to make people feel guilty if they don’t get suckered into paying money to retailers in order to prove love to that special person.  It also makes people feel lousy if they don’t have someone to make them get suckered into paying money to retailers in order to prove love.  This is totally different than Christmas, or birthdays, or anniversaries, etc. because it falls on February 14th.  Look!  I have a date for Valentine’s Day!

In light of all this negativity, I decided to look up the origins of Valentine’s Day. For all you naysayers out there, it turns out that this holiday is just oozing with happy and love and well this came up first.

Ah those romantic Romans!  Executions!  That’s just amazing.  Two different guys named Valentine get executed on the same day (different years – did he remember or was it luck?) by this Claudius guy, so the Catholic Church martyrs them with St. Valentine’s Day.  Clearly the next logical step was to make this day about love and chocolate too, just like Easter!

Chocolate Bunny?

So there you go, a special Valentine’s Day post.  In case you are planning a hot date, don’t forget that once again the perfect movie is out just in time for this day of love and torture!

Classy as ALWAYS

Yours truly,

Alice

P.S. Tomorrow the candy is 50 percent off.  True love waits.

Angsty Christmas songs for the young scamp

I have a guest blogger today, my daughter, the one and only Thing Two.  She has her own blog now, but it’s private so I’m showing you a bit today.  How about some angsty Xmas songs from one who knows best, a teen?

Hoo boy, Christmas. Wow, what a wonderful holiday. I can’t wait for my seasonal depression to consume me this holiday. What joy this holiday brings, I wait every year despite the knowledge that my emotions are going to plant sharp, welcoming needles for every step I take. Wait, that’s everyday… Christmas is basically every day. Christmas is literally just a pointless, commercial black hole that everyone falls into. At least Hanukkah has a meaning, December 25th isn’t even Jesus’s birthday. Dec 25 was probably the day Jesus was betrayed by freaking Judas. Anyway, I’m an angsty millennial person, and there are songs for that (that was an intro? That was like choking on sprinkles.)

 

7. All I want for Christmas is you- My Chemical Romance

Now, you’re looking at the title and saying to yourself “That song is not angsty, it’s a Christmas classic!” Well, that’s because of it being a cover, but how can a cover be angsty? Just listen to Gerard Way’s vocals. It only takes him about twenty seconds till he starts to scream angerly into his mic. After you hear this… it’s unhearable. You’ll start to believe the way Gerard sings the song is the original way, which in my opinion is far superior to how it is originally sung. The original keeps the same tempo and style the whole way through, while this one spices it up. It’s good to have an overused song get a more grungy feel, it gives hot topic something to play on the holidays.

6. Don’t Shoot me Santa- The killers

You better have a good reason for Santa to put down that ak-47. Now this cheerful tune is a classic for all years round, just be careful cause saint nick has a bullet in his gun.

“Oh, Santa
I’ve been killing just for fun
Well, the party is over kid
Because I, because I got a bullet in my gun
(A bullet in your what?)
Don’t shoot me Santa Clause
I’ve been a clean living boy
I promise you, did every little thing you ask me to
I can’t believe the things I’m going through”
Well, what positive vibes I’m getting from those lyrics. Well, in Germany they have Krampus…so I guess the emos have this Santa. First of all, what did this kid do that was so terrible the death penalty was fair? And why is Santa the one doing this? I infer this song takes place in Texas, cause everyone and their tapeworms have guns in Texas, and the death penalty is welcomed in any county (except Austin). In a literal and metaphorical sense, this song is angsty all the way.  In a metaphorical sense, it’s the angstiest. Now, what makes a song quote on quote”angsty” is a thick metaphor hidden beneath it, and lyrics that sound like they’d be on a scene kid’s myspace. This song is one of the most meaningful on this list. The boy in this song is feeling guilty about something is admits to, and he had no reason to do it. Santa represents everyone he loved and who was close to him. He fears that the one thing he did is going to make everyone turn on him, and he becomes a target. Or in another sense, this is someone struggling with intense anxiety, fearing everything they do is wrong and they will be terrible judged, when really its just a small mistake. D e e p

5. Santa stole my Girlfriend – The Maine
Santa really needs to calm down. He’s gone off the rails…too many kids asked for Nintendo switches. Santa doesn’t have the money for that. He tried to become a hitman and murder some kids that wanted the switches, but it just made it worse. Mrs.clause divorced him…he has to find a new one. That’s why he stole a girlfriend.
” I saw them dancing under mistletoe
Thought it was nothing but I guess I didn’t know
(I guess I didn’t know)
That there was something going on with them
Santa, you player, I thought we were friends”
The meaning of this one is pretty obvious, guy loses the girl to a way better guy, end of story. Just…why use Santa? Santa didn’t deserve to be framed.

4. Yule shoot your eye out- Fall out Boy
Me and fall out boy, we’ve got some good memories. Like the time I ate icing from a cup during an existential crisis while listening to a whole album, yep, good times. Fall out Boy is actually one of my favorite bands…so let’s see what they have to offer.
“One awkward silence
And two hopes you cry yourself to sleep
Staying up, waiting by the phone
And all I want this year is for you to dedicate your last breath to me
Before you bury yourself alive
Don’t come home for Christmas
You’re the last thing I want to see
Underneath the tree
Merry Christmas, I could care less”
I can feel the emo in me try to break free. I feel like this song is how the Republican party feels about Trump right now. This is the one song you would hear at some sort of angry poetry slam. If I was at an angry poetry slam, I’d read this and dedicate it to ajit pai (while writing this, my auto-correct wanted to correct “pai” to “pain” and I couldn’t agree more). I’m afraid Ajit Pai is going to be the one thing I despise under my tree this year.

I attempted to play this song on the ukulele… I regretted even trying.
3. Merry Christmas kiss my a**- All time low
This song is also one I’d like to dedicate to Ajit Pai. If this title alone doesn’t spell angsty, I don’t know what angst is anymore.
“And I hope you’re happy with yourself
‘Cause I’m not laughing
Don’t ya think, it’s kind of crappy
What you did this holiday?
When I gave you my heart
You ripped it apart
Like the wrapping paper trash
So I wrote you a song
Hope that you sing along
And it goes Merry Christmas
Kiss my a**”
Don’t break up with any of the All time low members… actually, please don’t date them at all. I Don’t even have to analyze this song… it speaks for its self.

2. Merry merry merry frickin Christmas-  frickin A
It just gets better and better, doesn’t it? I actually really adore this song. I listen to it every year, and it still makes me want to sit in my grandma’s hallway attempting to avoid my family.
“Schools out, Christmas break
Home for the holiday’s meatloaf and fruitcake
Off to grandmas, it’s so boring
Screaming kids and grandpa’s snoring
My aunt Margaret’s lost her mind
She’s trippin’ on a train set, have another box of wine
It’s gonna be a merry merry merry frickin’ Christmas
I must be on Santa clauses sh**list
The tree, the gifts, the mistletoe kiss
Shoot me now I’m sick of all my relatives
Have a merry merry merry frickin’ Christmas”
There’s also another version of this song, but I prefer this one since its more angsty. I know who is on Santa clauses sh**list though…(hint: his name happens to rhyme with pit die).
Note: the only video I could find of this version was Ouran high school host club… which I doubt you’d want to watch a whole bunch of highly romanticized gay boys dance around ( i actually used to watch that anime and I don’t know why) so…enjoy a harry potter version.

1. This Christmas (I’ll burn it to the ground)- Set it off
Oh Set it off, I loved you in 5th grade…now I’m not too sure. My and my friend both used to listen to this and talk about how much we related to it, which sounds psychotic but aren’t all 5th graders psychotic? I believe 5th grade was when I watched Minecraft videos and read creepypastas… I also had really edgy characters I made (one was literally named “blood stitch” and if I told you the story of that character, I would physically not be able to talk about it cause of how pure blooded cringe it is). My point is, this song is edgy, I’m still edgy, let’s listen to some edge.
“Oh my God, it’s here, this awful time of year
How I hate the snow is falling
Wealthy neighbors bragging about the gifts they’re getting
Hey Jack! They say, let me take a guess now! You’re getting K-Mart clothes again!
And then, I had a revelation!
This is my chance to sew their lips clean shut with fear
Because…
This Christmas, I’ll burn it to the ground!
This Christmas, Santa’s skipping town!
This Christmas, everything will change, when they see the flames
This Christmas day!”
You’re probably magically wearing black now. Just accept it, this song has the power to make Michelle Obama want to burn down her vegetable stash in anger.

Last Christmas I was emo, now it’s coming back. I blame this list for that.
Merry Christmas to all and to all an angsty night

 

Ohhhh . . . Christmas Tree?

Don’t you just love Christmas trees?  I do.  Especially those trees decorated by people with Martha Stewart obsessions.  Some of them look better than the department store trees, many of which are decorated with near soccer size giant shiny balls (now be mature).

Even I could decorate fast with balls this big.

The decorations on this tree match, and were probably put up earlier than three days before the actual holiday.  But that’s not how we roll here.  The Things and I have each gotten one ornament every year, a tradition started when Thing Two was eighteen months old, and on the naughty list. She loves how I tell this story every single year as I put up the ornament her Grammy and I bought for her.

Never gets old!

You’ll also notice other people tend to fluff up the tree and straighten out the branches.  Not us!  Since Thing Two (who is awesome!) was the one to actually drag the tree in and put it up,  I can’t complain.  Still, this is definitely not one to go before the window, with its lovely branches and twinkling lights informing criminals that yes, we have lots of material goods!  No, ours is the slightly tilting tree, held up first by a trashcan (never say Thing Two is not inventive) then by a tree stand meant for a living tree. My husband did some handy work, and lo, we had a tree that stood up without a trash can.

Thanks, honey!

Next came the decorating.  This is serious business, so here are some tips.  Tip 1: Make sure you have ornament hangers ready.  Don’t let them get tangled up, though!

They came out of the box like this.

Tip 2: For a truly pleasing display, make sure you put the tinsel on first, draping it nicely on the tree.  Next place the ornaments on the tree with careful precision.  You don’t want your tree to look like someone just tossed the ornaments up there willy-nilly!

Thing One hung many of the ornaments while I stayed on untangle hanger duty.

Tip 3: Don’t forget to have use proper ornament placement, so that each ornament is just the right distance apart, thus making a pleasing design for the eye and insuring that every ornament is seen.

Perfect.

Tip 4: Last but not least, don’t forget the Christmas star or angel at the top of the tree!  This decoration shows the true spirit of this season of love and harmony.

He’ll do.

Our ornament collection is extensive. Many collected over the years, some given to us by slightly off friends and relatives, and some that we’re not sure about.

Like scary hobo Santa here.

There’s also that special ornament that makes you smile each year.  In the slightly-off relative category comes this mermaid, given to me by my cousin.  The rest of the family have no idea how she was made, or bought, but several of us got one, in various hues.  We call her the pregnant mermaid.

Mystery solved! Mermaids are mammals.

All attempts are made to keep ornaments in pristine condition.  Some, though, still manage to break.  For instance, we have a famous ballerina girl whose arm has broken over and over.  Her arm is now bandaged carefully by scotch tape, and she’s quite happy with that. We don’t know what happened, but we suspect Elton John might be responsible.

Ballerina girrrrrrrrrrl – wait her hand is missing too.

The tree is important, but don’t forget to hang the stockings or you don’t get any loot.  We have special stocking hangers.  Two have decorations, but for the other two, we have to improvise.  Thing Two knew just what she wanted on her stocking hanger.

When I think Christmas, Sith Lord always comes to mind. Note his apprentice behind him, Penguin Skywalker.

There are occasional accidents on the decorating job.  I attempted to use a cute little porcelain doll with ice skates on one of the hangers.  It turns out ice skates aren’t the best at keeping a highly breakable doll steady.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

It was unfortunate to lose the doll, but we are a family of scientists, so Thing Two couldn’t resist further investigating the inner workings of this doll.  After removing her stuffing and discovering her exoskeleton, she decided to make her own little doll of horrors.  I had nothing to do with helping her, of course, because I am a mature adult.

Exhibit One

We invited Thing One to the lab, but she ran away shouting “Nooo!  I still haven’t recovered from Toy Story!”  This did not deter our scientist, who worked with the wire skeleton some more.

Nightmare on 34th Street.

I might have gotten off track there.  The fallen decoration was put to rest, and we stood back to admire our tree.  It might not put the “k” in “kuality” but it’s good enough for us.  I know the true meaning of Christmas anyway – Things!

Oh Christmas tree, how screwy are your branches!

Merry Holidayz!

~Alice and her Things