Things I Never Understood About Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

This morning, of all things, I awoke with the “Ana, Prince & Daniel” song stuck in my head.

Anyone? Anyone?

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?

It went a little something like this:

Ana, Prince, and Daniel
Ana, Prince, and Daniel
Daniel, Prince, and Ana are near
Ana, Prince, and Daniel
Ana, Prince, and Daniel
Daniel, Prince, and Ana are here.

Brilliant, right? I thought so. (I really wish I could find a YouTube video of it, but alas, it was not meant to be.)

ANYhoodles, for some weird reason, that song was stuck in my head this morning. I know… I had the same reaction.

Oh, Jack…

It was weird because…

A. Why Mr. Rogers?

B. Why that song?

C. Why, after not having heard that song for some 25 years, would it be stuck in my head?

My brain is sometimes a frightening and unsettling place, my friends.

Anyway, it got me thinking about Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and his Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and all the things I found so strange about it as a child.  Things like…

  • Mr. McFeely. Really? That’s the name you’re going to go with? For a children’s television show? Umm… I think maybe revisiting that decision might be a good idea.
  • King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday and Prince Tuesday: Why those days? Why not Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday? I really would like an explanation for this, because even as a child, I wished they would introduce a whole gaggle of prince and princesses that had the names of the other days of the week.
  • Purple Panda: That thing was just weird. Like… really, really weird. I felt like I was on an acid trip every time that thing came on the show.

See what I mean?

  • Lady Elaine: First of all, where is all of this aristocratic, blue-blooded, mumbo-jumbo coming from, Mr. Rogers? This here’s ‘Merica. Anyway, that puppet truly freaked me out. She looked like a witchy school marm. Whenever she was on, I always thought, “Ugh. Lady Elaine. That b****.” Only, in my child-like innocence it was more like, “Big Meanie Head.”
  • Daniel Striped Tiger: First of all, I could never figure out why they pronounced his middle name as “Stripe-Ed”. Dudes, it’s “striped”, one syllable. Get it straight. Secondly, why was he so freakin’ shy?! He was afraid of everything! I remember even as a child thinking, “Oh, for crying out loud, Daniel. GET OVER IT!”
  • Bob Dog: Seriously. Don’t even get me started on that dude.

Seriously, Bob Dog? Seriously?! You stupid animal…

Apparently, I was quite the snarky, cynical child. I bet my siblings loved watching TV with me. What can I say? I guess I’m a realist. OOH! Maybe this is where my disdain for all Fantasy/Sci Fi started! YESSSS… Let’s go with that. (Thanks, Mr. Rogers…) Because honestly, I loved the opening and closing sequences when Mr. Rogers would talk about “real-life” and have heart to heart discussions with the kiddos, but once that trolley left his house, I was all, “Aw, crap. Now I have to sit through this? MER.”

Clearly, I was the weirdest child ever.

Did you guys ever have TV shows that just bewildered you? Or things about the shows you loved that you just didn’t understand? I demand to hear all about these things forthwith.

And…..GO.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Why Holocaust Remembrance Day Matters

Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sundown. It’s a day to remember and reflect upon the fact that 6 million Jews were persecuted, tortured, and killed some 70 years ago.

Most of us will go through our day totally unaware that it is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Most of us won’t notice the footnote on our calendar. Even if we do, most of us won’t take the time to care. Because, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t really affect us, does it? We’re not Jewish. Heck, some of us don’t even have Jewish friends or neighbors. Sure, anti-Semitism is a horrible thing, but it’s something that affects people in Europe or the Middle East. Not here at home. And yes, the Holocaust is just about the worst atrocity ever committed in human history but… it was more than 70 years ago. And there are committees and clubs and museums set up to commemorate these occasions, so let them do the remembering, and let us get on with our lives. “Never forget.” Okay, we won’t, but right now we have laundry to do and TV to watch so… could we please move on?

That’s the attitude of many people on these types of days – these so-called “holidays” or “specialty” days. Even worse, on a day such as this, we don’t get the day off and there are no special sales at the mall and it’s not really an adequate excuse to fire up the grill so… what’s the point in acknowledging it? Plus, it’s not nearly as fun as National Pi Day (which, in all honesty, seems to get more attention on Twitter than this day does) and it’s kind of depressing so… just leave us alone about it.

Well, I would, except… I can’t.

I can’t forget.

I can’t forget the amount of college students in my freshman history course who legitimately didn’t know what the Holocaust was.

I can’t forget the gaggle of athletes at the student union, arguing over who started World War II, finally settling on the idea that it was, in fact, the Jews.

I can’t forget my boss’s comment while haggling on the price of a product that he would have to “Jew him down” – in reference to getting the manufacturer to drop his prices.

I can’t forget the comment from Middle Schoolers about how another teacher had a “Jew Nose”, and the subsequent horror by that same teacher that she might look like a Jew.

And I can’t forget standing in the Hall of Remembrance at The Holocaust Memorial Museum as a teenager, overwhelmed and brought to tears by what 6 million Jews had endured.

I’m appalled even as I type this. I don’t know when or how this type of bigotry became socially acceptable. Most people don’t realize what they’re saying or suggesting. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, some form of anti-Semitism is perfectly and socially acceptable. Why?

We become enraged when black men are targeted by white cops. We’re appalled when a gay couple can’t purchase a cake for their wedding. We’re disgusted when Muslim women are harassed for wearing hijabs in public. But Jews? Instances of anti-Semitism rarely make the news and when they do, it’s widely ignored by the public. Instances of anti-Semitism are simple misunderstandings at best, nuisances on the nightly news at worst. Why is this perception okay?

It’s not, and that’s why this day matters. It’s necessary to reflect upon the attitudes and complacency that allowed the Holocaust to occur in the first place. It’s necessary to remember what happened to those 6 million Jews and to teach our children about what happened, so we can ensure that nothing like this never happens again – in the Jewish community or any other community. Never forget. That’s why this day matters.

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.” — Deuteronomy 4:9

Help! I’m Leaking Money!

Oh. My. LAWD.

My bank account is leaking like a sieve.

At this point, it seems futile to try and stop it.

I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain the universe is conspiring against me –  requiring major payments for things that have been put on the back burner for far too long, while other regularly-scheduled major payments are due at the EXACT SAME TIME.

Which means, I’m living WAY beyond my means at this point. Thank God for savings, but I am NOT a spender and this is just making me crazy-nervous.

Between car repairs and insurance premiums and bigger-ticket necessities… It’s just harrible. Plus, on top of all that, I missed a day of subbing thanks to the stupid vertigo, and right now I only have a few more subbing days lined up, and… well… let’s just say I’m working on my deep breathing exercises.

I hate money. Why was I not born independently wealthy? Why am I not the princess of some obscure European country nobody talks about or cares about? Why did I have to choose two of the lowest paying professions in the history of professions? Why is my checkbook not bottomless? Why is life so HARRRRRRDDDDD? WWWWHHHHHYYYYY????

*sigh*

*whimper*

*sob*

Ahem.

Okay, I’m over it.

I’m off to pay for more stuff.

Wheeeee! This should be fun…

Heads up

Okay, kids. Here’s how it’s going to go down.

I’m going to be doing some… “maintenance” on the blog. I’m hoping there will be very few glitches during this time, but if there are, please be patient. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and quickly, but if not, you’ll know what the deal is.

This “maintenance” will be taking place within the week, so I’ll keep you posted about anything you need to be aware of. Also, if you notice anything quirky, or something not working quite right,  or anything missing, please bring it to my attention so it can be dealt with forthwith.

Alrighty? Cool. You guys are the best.

Things I do not understand about Europe

Hold on tight, because I’m about to show my “Stupid American” roots here. Not that we’re stupid. Just confused. We’re confused, okay? Not stupid. Definitely not stupid. Maybe if your continent could KEEP IT TOGETHER and stop getting all up in each others’ bidness (not NOW… I’m talking in centuries past, people) we wouldn’t be so confused…

ANYhoodles, here’s what I don’t understand:

  • What the heck is up with Holland? What the hell IS Holland anyway? I just had a conversation with a friend about how Holland was the same thing as the Netherlands. And she was like, “Nooo… Denmark is the same thing as the Netherlands.” And then I was like, “Wait, is Holland even a country?” So, then I had to look it up because I am a stupid American who knows nothing about Europe and how it works. Turns out, Holland is just part of the Netherlands. Like, a province. Apparently, it kind of works like the whole “UK vs. Britain” thing. But then I was left with the question of, “So… Denmark and the Netherlands… Totally separate countries, right?” CORRECT. The people of Denmark are Danish, the people of the Netherlands are Dutch… NOT to be confused with Deutschland, which is really just the German word for Germany. Got all that? Yeah, me neither.
  • THE Royal Family. Why do all Americans think that THE Royal Family refers to the British Royal Family? There are royal families all over Europe, people. Why should the Brits get all the attention? The other royal families are just as special as the British Royal Family.  When you refer to THE Royal Family, please designate WHICH Royal Family you are referring to.

Why should the British Royal Family just get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under their big feet? The other royal families are just as cute as the British Royal Family, right? The other royal families are just as smart as the British Royal Family, people totally like the other royal families just as much as they like the British Royal Family, and when did it become okay for one royal family to be the boss of everybody because that’s not what Europe is about!

(Mean Girls? Anyone? ANYONE? You people are hopeless…)

  • Speaking of the British Royal Family… what’s up with the titles? Why the Queen of England, but the Prince of Wales? What about Scotland and Northern Ireland? Do they not count? How did they decide on Prince of Wales? What’s the significance there? Also… why Duke of Cambridge or Duchess of Cornwall? Cambridge and Cornwall? Are these places? What is the significance of Cambridge and Cornwall? WHY ALL THE AMBIGUITY! If you’re going to hand out titles, could you please EXPLAIN yourselves? BECAUSE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
  • Slovenia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia… and all the other ones I may have missed. Um… how do I put this… WHAT THE WHAT?! I’m sure it has something to do with the whole “Eastern Bloc”, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” thingy… but I’m at a loss. They’re all separate now… but did they used to be squished together into one identity? I should figure this out. I should brush up on my history. (Is it bad that I’m partially Slovenian, and I don’t even understand the how or where or why of my mother-land? Would it be my mother-land? Or my father-land? Or since I wasn’t born there does it really have no bearing on anything what-so-ever? I’m so confused. See? This is why I could never be president…)
  • I DO know this: Switzerland is NOT Sweden and neither one of those is Denmark! Why do Americans confuse these three?! Why would Sweden EVER be confused with Switzerland? Is it the “S” in the name? C’mon, people. Really? Also, IKEA… NOT a Danish company! Stop being all like, “Oh, the Danish IKEA company.” WHAT? NO. IKEA is Swedish, dammit! LEGOS is Danish. Get it straight. Why is that so confusing? Ugh… stupid Americans. (What? I’m including myself in that insult…)
  • Russia. Nevermind. I don’t have the energy. Don’t get me started on Russia…

So, my European friends… you ‘splain yourselves? Kay. Awesome. Thanks.

Things that made me go, “Hmm…” – Week 23

Last week, I said it was week 23, when really, it was only week 22. I realize such a misstep probably screwed up all of your weeks, so I apologize for the inconvenience. But really, am I the “week keeper” now? C’mon, peeps. C’MON.

You see what I just did there? I attempted to divert your attention from the fact that I have literally nothing to write about today. (And when I say, “literally”, I literally mean literally. Not figuratively-literally, but literally-literally. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?) It’s been one of those weeks. Between self-diagnosed panic attacks disguised as vertigo, to babysitting the 2nd grade class from hell… it’s just been one of those weeks.

But… I know you’re all super excited so I’ll just pull things out of thin air as I go along. Let’s get started, shall we?

*crickets*

Hang on… let me check Twitter. Maybe there’s something there…

  • Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president today. After which, everyone yawned and spent the next hour surfing the internet for “real news”.

Okay, BuzzFeed… let’s see what you have… and I swear to GAWD, it better be more interesting than what Twitter had to offer…

NOPE. NOTHING.

Facebook? Pinterest? No. You know what? I’m not even going to bother with you two. You’re already on my “suck” list.

Okay, Annie. C’mon. There’s gotta be something you can talk about. ANYTHING. FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, WOMAN. THINK OF SOMETHING.

  • Ooh! Selfies took a huge hit this week. Everyone was all, “Selfies bad!” And then everyone was like, “Ooh! I agree!” And then some people were like, “Psh. Selfies are SO passe`.” But still others were like, “Well, I dislike them so much I’m going to dedicate an entire newspaper editorial to them!” And the Kardashians were all…

And I’m just sitting here thinking, “Duh. Double chins, anyone? How is this news?”

*sigh*

People are dumb.

  • Ladies! I came across THIS brilliant website this week:  www.rosegal.com  Um, vintage-inspired looks? Crazy low (and when I say low I mean, “Holy crappers! What is with these prices?!) prices? FREE shipping worldwide? Um… just go. Go there now. Guys, you can go too… if you’re into women’s clothing. Otherwise, stay here.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow is going to live off $29.00 in food stamps for a week. In case you’re curious as to how that will work out for her, let me let you down easy: She’ll probably craft some healthy, vegan, gourmet meals for her two adorable, perfectly coiffed children while using the leftovers to fertilize her naturally sustainable garden, thereby discovering a new species of plant that is not only high in anti-oxidants but also stops the aging process. Because she is Gwyneth Paltrow, and she is still better than you.

And….

Nope. That’s it. I’m out. I’m done. I’m spent. (See? I told you it was a particularly uneventful week. This is why I need your help, peeps! If you see something funny, amazing, and cool… TELL ME, dammit! Don’t make me beg… jerks.)

Okay, so then… over n’ out, good buddies. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

The Real Neat Blog Award… Starring June Cleaver

index

Okay, so more than a week ago, I was nominated by the Baffled Baboon for “The Real Neat Blog Award” (and yes, when I read that phrase, I can only hear it in a Beaver Cleaver voice: “Gee, Wally. That’s a real neat blog you have there.” Did I ever tell you about the time I actually MET June Cleaver? It was pretty epic. But that’s a story for another time…)

HOLY DIGRESSION, BATMAN. What the heck was that?

Where was I? Okay… um… “The Real Neat Blog Award”. Nominated by The Baffled Baboon. (Which is another “real neat” blog, by the way, so you should go check that out, because it’s “real neat” and she talks about monkeys a lot… and she’s super funny… which is “real neat”, you know?)

ANYhoodles… just as I was getting around to writing about “The Real Neat Blog Award”, I was nominated again by Lisa over at Real Mom of Long Island. (Again, another “real neat” blog because she’s both really funny and quite insightful and her life as a mom pretty much needs to be made into a TV show… so, it’s “real neat”.) Which, just solidified the fact that I need to get around to actually writing about it. SO, without further adieu… Here are the rules:

1) Put the award logo on your blog.

2) Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3) Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4) Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5) Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Here are the 7 (Now 14) questions that i need to answer:

First from Baffled Baboon

1. If you could travel back in time, what event would you want to witness?

Um… er… hmm… Good grief, that’s a tricky one. Um… Okay, got it. The end of World War II in 1945. From the parades and celebrations of our troops coming home, to the news reels of Jewish prisoners being released from the concentration camps. How amazing would it have been to witness that sort of victory? Pretty epic. (Not epic like meeting June Cleaver, mind you, but still… pretty epic.) 

2. Have you ever been pulled over by a cop?

Hahahahahaha! NO. Dude, I haven’t even gotten a parking ticket. Wait. No. No, I HAVE gotten a parking ticket, but it took me nearly 30 years to accomplish that one, so I’m not planning on getting pulled over anytime soon. Unless the cop is hot. Then we’ll see.

3. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

SAMMICHES! Also? Sandwiches. Seriously. Is there anything better than a sandwich? Putting all your favorite ingredients in the same place in a handy, easy-to-hold, easy-to-carry contraption like that? It’s sheer brilliance. What’s not to love?

4. What was the last lie you told?

Seriously? I lie to children on a near-daily basis. It would clearly be impossible to keep track of them all. Although, if I really had to dig, it was probably when I told little Miss 2nd Grade Sassy Pants that her getting two guinea pigs for Easter was pretty much the coolest thing ev-ER. (When everyone knows it was really that one time I met June Cleaver…)

5. If you could be any age for a week, what age would you be?

Twenty-five. That was the age I was when I married the ass-hat, and I obviously want a do-over. Plus, it was a pretty good age all around.

6. What is your worst habit?

I chew gum. A LOT. I think it’s become a nervous habit. I apologize if it grosses you out. I’m trying to cut back. I swear.

7. If a baboon were to hypothetically knock on your door and hypothetically ask for some money to hypothetically build a hypothetical time machine, how much hypothetical money would you hypothetically donate?

One MILLION hypothetical dollars. It’s not every day a talking baboon comes around asking for hand outs. That’s pretty epic. (Again, not meeting June Cleaver epic, but pretty epic.)

AND… from Real Mom of Long Island

1. What is the best thing you love about where you are from?

The lakes and the trees. You literally (the British pronunciation, not the American one) cannot go a mile without tripping over a lake here. They. Are. Everywhere. And they are pristine and gorgeous. After spending a week out west, I was homesick for all the lakes. I love me a good lake. And the trees? Again. They’re EVERYWHERE around here. As far as the eye can see. It’s sheer perfection. Plus, it’s pretty remote, so if you ever want to get lost, this is the place to do it.

2. Where did your blog name come from?

Where DID my blog name come from? I don’t know. I think I based it on how I was feeling after that Harrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad thing happened. My emotions were all over the place, and I knew I would have to go Under and Over, Around and Through a lot of things to get to the other side. But now I’m here… so… YAY!

3. What is your dream job?

Helping others. It would literally be doing some type of charity work – helping, serving, raising awareness and funds for causes I hold near and dear to my heart. Helping people in war-torn, developing countries. Getting food, clean water, medical supplies, building shelters and schools for people that need it the most. Promoting educational causes, working with and inspiring kids, and speaking out against injustices. And then? Writing about it, speaking about it, and getting other people to care about it. Also? Doing a lot of traveling in the process. Honestly, nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than when I’m able to help someone else and bring a smile to their face. 

4. Favorite book?

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?! Hello?! Bloggity peeps… c’mon. We’ve covered this, have we not?

5. Which single person has inspired you the most in life?

OOH! I know this one! JUNE. CLEAVER. (Okay, not really. But I don’t have a better answer at this time…)

6. What do you love most about yourself?

Um… the fact that I once met JUNE CLEAVER?! Okay. Not really. I guess I like that overall, I’m a really happy, fun, optimistic person. And I’m feisty. You can’t really get me down too easily, and if you do… I won’t stay there.

7. Dream Vacation?

AFRICA. Africa, Africa, Africa. I have wanted to go there since I was a little girl. The people? The animals? The scenery? The customs? *sigh* I think I would instantly fall in love and never want to come back.

Got all that? Good. I now nominate the following:

The Neurotic Logic

yellow. fever.

Sane Teachers

My Friday Blog

Shop Girl Anonymous

Single Family Asylum

Beautiful Insanity

Goodbye Whoopee Pie

Whew! Okay. Now for YOUR questions…

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love June Cleaver?
  2. Your mom just called. What do you do now?
  3. Where in the world IS Carmen San Diego?
  4. Coffee or Tea?
  5. Are you as cool as I am? If so, why have we not met yet?!
  6. Feet. Do they gross you out as much as they do me?
  7. A Prince song comes on the radio. Do you turn the station or turn it up and jam out?

Okay, that’s it. That’s all I have. Have fun. Be good. Let people with lots of groceries go in front of you in the check out line. Especially if they bear a striking resemblance to June Cleaver. Because… you know.