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.

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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.

I “literally” need an answer to this question. Like… “literally”.

How do you pronounce the word “literally”?

I mean… literally. How do you pronounce it?

I’m asking because, quite frankly, I need to know and I’ve been obsessing over this for the past week.

Previously, I always pronounced it like it was spelled. Lit-ER-all-y. That “er” sound was very pronounced. You know, like a pirate.

But, over the past week, I’ve randomly started saying it without the “er” sound, so that I pronounce it “lit-trally”. Take the “er” out and you have a completely different word.

So, WHICH IS IT?

Does it have something to do with different accents? Do people from different places pronounce it differently? Is it a matter of personal preference? I suppose I could look it up in the dictionary, and find out the answer for myself but… nah. I’m too lazy. Besides, that’s what you people are for.

So, which is it, peeps? Inquiring minds want to know.

5 Things You Need to Know

  • First of all, what is the deal with Word Press’s new posting page? Why is the title all the way at the top and the post area way at the bottom? Do I need to adjust my screen? Is there something wrong with my browser? Did they do this on purpose? If so, WHY? It looks stupid. Plus, it’s confusing. I don’t understand. I also don’t like change. This is going to take me a good two weeks to get over. Thanks, Obama.
  • Secondly, why can’t I stop acting like a girl? Seriously. It’s becoming a problem, peeps. Yesterday, I went for a walk in my wellies, right? (Just to clarify, it was not raining yesterday. It was beautiful and sunny and warm. However, considering the fact that 3 feet of snow are still in the process of melting, there has been an overabundance of mud, slush and puddles, making walking both hazardous and messy. Thus, the need for wellies.) Anyway, because I am SUCH A GIRL, I find myself coming across 10 inch deep puddles, (That’s only a slight exaggeration. You can’t make this stuff up.) and mentally calculating how to strategically get around them without walking in the muddy goo to my left or climbing over the snow pile to my right. And it became this weird girly dance of splayed arms and jazz hands as I tried to jump from one relatively dry patch to the next just to avoid the puddle. Not once did it occur to me that I could WALK THROUGH THE PUDDLE. Heck, I could have gone all Gene Kelly on its ass:

But because I’m SUCH A GIRL, I’m all, “Ooh! Must not get muddy! Must avoid all the mud! Must avoid all the water! Must stay dry and prim and proper. We mustn’t mess our pinafores!” Ugh… I so annoy myself sometimes. There’s a reason they MAKE rubber boots, Annie. USE THEM. Even I can’t hide the disdain for myself…

  • Thirdly, are people bothered and/or offended by my use of the word “wellies”? Is the term “wellies” only used by Brits? Are Americans only allowed to use the terms “rubber boots”, “rain boots”, or “galoshes”? Galoshes aren’t even the same thing as wellies, are they? Galoshes are more like… overshoes, right? Wellies are like… boots. So, I guess galoshes wouldn’t work, but what about rain boots? Do people silently judge me for using the term “wellies”? Do they find me uppity for using the word “wellies”? Do they think I’m trying to be British? Did I just inadvertently offend a ton of readers simply for using the word, “wellies”? “Wellies” is just much more fun to say… especially when you put a little cockney spin on it. I mean… what’s not to like? It’s a GREAT WORD. Whatever. You keep judging. I’m going to keep saying “wellies”… (and then silently berating myself for unintentionally seeming uppity.)
  • Fourthly, can we just talk about how adorably funny 4th graders are? They’re hilarious. Like yesterday, when I gave them a timed-test on their multiplication tables, (they were practicing the nines) and went over the answers with them, a bunch of hands went up in the air and they all had the same concern.

“But you didn’t check our answers,” they said.

“Yes, I did.” I said.

“No, you didn’t,” they said. “How do you know they’re right?” they said. 

To which I responded with a blank stare, not quite understanding the question.

“Because… I was listening to the answers Skipper gave and they were all correct…”

“But how do you know that? You didn’t check them!”

“Because I’m a teacher… and if I didn’t know my multiplication tables, then I shouldn’t be teaching…”

“So, you just… know the answers?”

“Yes. I just know the answers.”

“Whoa. You’re like… really smart. Where did you go to college?”

As though I’m in the running for Mensa because I know my multiplication tables. I seriously adore kids. They’re so awesome.

  • And finally… I really need to get my car in for an oil change and so they can figure out why my “blower”… (What do you call that thing? A fan? My AC? My heater? I DON’T KNOW. The thing that blows the air around in your car. Yeah. That thing.) won’t blow unless it’s turned up to 3 or higher. But, I’m totally avoiding it because…
    • a.) How do you explain that to a mechanic without sounding like a total moron when you don’t know the correct terminology?
    • b.) I hate calling them on the phone because not only am I afraid of using the phone, but I’m also afraid of them not understanding me and me not understanding them and it all turns into this big awkward conversation after which I have to bring the car into the shop so they can see the face of the idiot girl they were talking to on the phone. OH GAWD. I sometimes seriously hate life. It is so freakin’ awkward…

Anyone want to make that phone call for me? Like… a guy? Who they’ll take more seriously… because… you’re part of the same club n’ stuff?

*sigh* Life is hard.

So… anyhoodles… that’s what’s new with me. I’m going to go make an awkward phone call now. Wish me luck.

Gif Sources: haroldlloyds.tumblr.com, www.reactiongifs.com, 

When wellies are the answer.

30 minutes ago, while I was attempting to catch up on my reading, and debating what to have for dinner tonight or if I should just skip it altogether, the following word popped into my head.

WELLIES.

And I was like, “What, brain? What are you talking about now? Wellies? That’s not even a thing. Shut up, brain. I’m trying to read.”

Five minutes later, there it was again.

WELLIES.

This time I was a little less combative and a little more diplomatic. “Fine, brain. Wellies. Great. It’s a fun word. And yes, a type of footwear. Awesome. Fantastic. Moving on.

And then I sat up all straight and proper like.

“WELLIES? Like, as in Wellingtons? Like, as in the thing the Australians were harassing Finella Cholmondely-Smythe for wearing? (Which isn’t even a real thing… or person. As in, it doesn’t exist.) Like… RUBBER BOOTS?”

And then my whole body started tingling.

And my brain started yelling.

“WELLIES! Annie, do you know how long you have wanted a pair of these? Do you remember how you put it off because, it wasn’t that muddy and they weren’t that necessary? Have you SEEN the adorable patterns they now come in? ANNIE! Were you NOT just wondering how to enjoy this ridiculously warmish, melty, muddy weather without having to put your clod-hopper winter boots on?! ANNIE. Are you listening? WELLIES. WELLIES ARE THE ANSWER! Amazon Prime. NOW. They’ll be here by Thursday. GO.”

Oh, I am on it, brain. I’m on it like marmalade on toast. (Which is totally weird because I hate marmalade.)

I don’t know why I’m so thrilled about this. Nor do I know why I felt the need to share it with you all. I also don’t understand why my brain functions the way it does. But I LIKE it. I’m totally ordering the best bad-ass pair of wellies I can find. Watch me.

Babysitting Gig

I have to babysit 17 third graders this afternoon.

I would call it “subbing” but since I’m only there for two hours, I don’t think a whole lot of teaching will be done. Instead, we’ll probably read through a “Weekly Reader”, work on cursive, and I’ll try to keep the boys from ending up in a hog-pile in the middle of the classroom floor. That’s not subbing… that’s babysitting. But the pay is decent, so I’ll take it.

I’m not even going to dress in my trademark “teacher chic”. (Yes, there is such a thing and I invented it, so there.) Instead I’ll just wear my skinny jeans, boots, and a boat neck “favorite tee” from GAP. It really doesn’t matter if I’m only there for two hours anyway. However, I will be wearing contacts and eye makeup for the first time in… a month, maybe? I figure if I ease into it and take it off as soon as I get home, my skin can’t completely flip out and wage an all-out holy war on me. We’ll see.

But 2 Hours? You know how fast 2 hours goes when you’re in a classroom? If I blink, I’ll miss it. Why am I even bothering?

Oh… money… that’s right.

The Curious Thing About Mouth Breathers

If there’s one thing I hate more than anything else in the world, it’s mouth breathing.

Have you ever met a mouth breather? Is it not just…

EW?

I don’t want to offend all the mouth breathers out there, but it’s kind of a major issue for me so… just close your mouths. Please.

The fact that I have been forced to be a mouth breather for the last week has been nearly unbearable. My mouth is always dry, I look like a complete and total moron, and any time I forget what I’m doing and decide to close my mouth like a normal person, I’m left gasping for air. It’s ridiculous. And no amount of cold medicine has been helping my case. Right now, this is me:

Hot, right? I know.

Yesterday, things came to a head when I went to lunch with my brother and I became suddenly aware that not only was I going to have to breathe with my mouth open, but eat with my mouth open. I’m not sure why this was suddenly such an issue because clearly I have been getting sustenance for the past week and I must have been eating with my mouth open since I didn’t once pass out from lack of oxygen. But suddenly, having someone in close proximity while trying to eat in this fashion was… harribly, harribly (yeah, I’m just going to say it with an “a” now… it’s so much more fun that way) torturous. No one wants to eat with a mouth breather. NO ONE. I don’t care how compassionate and charitable you are. Nobody wants to see that. It’s gross. I should know. I used to be married to both a mouth breather, and someone who chewed with their mouth open (same person, by the way… just so we’re clear) and it was disgusting. I once threw my fork at the guy in the middle of lunch because it was all…

Thus, I suddenly became aware that because of this dang cold, I had become the person worthy of chucking a fork at. So, once lunch came, I tried to be as discreet as possible. First, I tried chewing with my mouth closed, but I was forced to come up for air every 10 seconds or so, and it resulted in lot of unattractive gasping and spitting. So, I tried it with my mouth open just a sliver so I could quietly take in oxygen while eating. (Do you know how hard that is when the sliver of mouth left open for oxygen intake is suddenly blocked by pieces of food you are trying to both chew and breathe around? Do you know what that’s like? It’s not good, peeps.) To top it all off, my brother thought this would be a great opportunity to catch up on the Key & Peele videos he had not yet shown me.

Um… NOT okay.

Pretty much lunch ended up being like this:

*sigh*

Somehow, I managed to hide all this disgustingness (whatever, I’m totally making that a word right now…) from my brother, so lunch wasn’t a total waste. But it got me thinking…

What do heads of state and assorted dignitaries do when they have a cold, and are forced to dine with other heads of state and assorted dignitaries? (Obviously, I have way to much time on my hands if I have time to wonder about these things. Either that, or I’m just really creative and fun. Let’s go with the latter.)

But seriously… say President Obama comes down with the head cold from hell (much like mine) but is also slated to dine with the Queen of Denmark. What does he do? Is a doctor whisked in at the last minute to clear his sinus passages so he doesn’t offend the Danish Monarchy with his mouth breathing? Or does he simply grin and bear it, and try to eat as quietly as possible while breathing through his mouth (provided the Queen doesn’t have any Key & Peele videos to show him)?  Personally, I would choose the former, but what if you’re new to the whole “head of state” thing, and are not aware that whisking in a doctor is an option? How many heads of state and assorted dignitaries are mouth breathing at state dinners? When there is a lull in the conversation, is their an underlying chorus of mouth breathing? Do the other heads of state and assorted dignitaries simply smile understandingly and pass around some Sudafed under the table? Do they attempt to ignore it while screaming in their heads, “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, MAKE IT STOP!”? I mean.. assuming heads of state and assorted dignitaries are humans and not androids, this must have come up at some point, right? Or would it be so harribly offensive that those with the head cold must cancel their appearance at the state dinner that has been scheduled for the past six months? Or do they keep doctors on call specifically for this reason? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!

In other news… is it totally weird that I wonder about these things? Other people wonder about these things, don’t they? I mean… they must, right? Who doesn’t wonder about these things?! Androids, that’s who.

Gif Sources: imgur.com, gif.mocksession.com, cheezburger.com, sites.localhost,