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.

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.

Crabby Ms. Evans

For the first time in a very, very long time, I literally (in this context, we’re using the British pronunciation of the word…) feel like doing nothing.

And by nothing, I mean that staring at a wall in silence seems like it would be a little too much to undertake at this point in time.

I never feel like doing nothing. I always have to be doing something. And now?

Nope. Nothing. Not a single solitary thing do I feel like doing.

The 3rd graders I had today pushed every one of my buttons… and then a couple I didn’t even know existed.

They were belligerent, disrespectful, and waaaaaaaaay out of line.

They refused to listen, threw things when they didn’t get their way, mimicked and mocked any adult that dared to call them on their behavior, told bald-faced lies and then cried and threw complete temper tantrums when privileges were revoked.

I’m not the kind of teacher that typically yells, but by the end of the day, you bet your ass I was yelling. By that point, I was no longer taking the diplomatic approach of pulling the student aside and talking to them calmly about their behavior. Nope. When it got to the point of infraction after infraction after FREAKIN’ INFRACTION by the same students, I just used my noisy, angry, “you have GOT to be kidding me with this” teacher voice to tell them in no uncertain terms that they “Need to fix it NOW otherwise you can have a long chat with the principal”. I was flipping cards left and right. They were losing privileges left and right. By the time the buses came, I was like, “Go. Leave. I’m done.”

I HATE being that teacher. Especially when there were some kids who were REALLY on  top of it today. They were following directions. They were being respectful. They were doing what they were supposed to be doing. And yet, they were forced to sit through all my lectures and reprimands. And yes, I made sure the kids who were doing their jobs got extra privileges and kudos from me, but I just felt horrible that a half dozen kids could ruin the day for everyone involved.

*sigh*

So, if you don’t mind, I’m spending the rest of my evening stress-eating and staring off into space.

Kids these days…

Dorks will be offended by this post. Consider yourselves warned.

The other day, while out for coffee, my friend uttered a sentence that should never have been uttered.

“Ooh! The new Hobbit movie is coming out on DVD!”

I think the look I shot her was akin to the following:

Um… What?

Just… NO.

What about my personality suggests I would have any interest what-so-ever in the new Hobbit movie?

I then told her I had only seen the first Hobbit movie, and I only went because it procured me a bag of buttered popcorn. I even slept through a good portion of it.

To which she responded with an excited, “Oh! Did you see it with your brother?”

Um… no. Because my brother is awesome and not a complete and utter dork.

It’s possible that I hate all sci-fi and fantasy more than I hate both awkward conversational transitions and bar soap. So… basically, my hatred for all types of sci-fi and fantasy is so intense that it results in physical manifestations. Like… shaking uncontrollably, screaming obscenities, and throwing any and all items in the immediate vicinity. (Occasionally, I spew vomit and my head rotates a full 360 degrees, but hopefully my handlers have managed to calm me down before I get to that point.)

I literally can’t stand it. Sci-Fi and fantasy are loved by dorks around the world. Me? I abhor it. And by abhor, I mean I wish to abolish it from the face of the earth so it can no longer plague our fair society with its rubbish.

Lord of the Rings. (Seen all three. Hated all three. Poked an eye out for each one I had to watch, and then ran out of eyes so I shot myself in the foot instead. I am now blind and feeble thanks to those stupid movies.) The Hobbit. (See above.) Star Wars. (I tried to watch one once. I got 15 minutes into it and fled the room in tears because it was THAT STUPID.) Star Trek. (Couldn’t watch the originals, and only got through half of the remake before shooting myself in the other foot.) LARPing. Comic-Con. Cosplay. Any and all RENAISSANCE FAIRS.

Something about watching actors tromp around on film in costume and pretend to be other-worldly beings enrages me. Watching otherwise normal adults play dress-up themselves and pretend to other-worldly beings also enrages me. Why I can’t just shrug it off and be like, “That’s cool” is a wonder to me. It just drives me crazy. We are grown-ass adults, people! Are we not past the “dress up and play pretend” phase???

The thing is… I don’t have a problem with dorks in general. We’re all dorks about certain things. Take me, for instance. I’m a total book dork. Dorks are awesome. I’m pretty sure it says somewhere in the Bible that dorks shall inherit the earth. I mean, if it weren’t for dorks, we wouldn’t be as technologically advanced as we are today. Dorks kind of run the world. But when that dorkiness seeps over into sci-fi and fantasty? No. Not acceptable. Basically, you lose all your credibility as a dork, and you just become a weirdo in my mind. (I’m sorry… that was harsh. I still love you. You are allowed to love as many LOTR and Hobbit and Star-type-thingys as you want. But I cannot and will not condone the behavior.) The problem is… all of my friends are dorks. Which, because of numbers alone, makes them normal and me the outcast. And it’s not as much fun to mock the rest of the group when you’re the outcast of the group. *sigh* Such is my life. I literally can’t escape the dorkiness… it’s all around me… and it’s making me crazy.

Certainly, I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Or maybe I am. Maybe I just enraged all the dorks of the world to such an extent that they now feel the same way about me as I do about their hobbies…

Sorry, dorks.

You’ll get over it.

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Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…” – Week 20

Okay, kids. If I’m being honest, I really had nothing to go on this week. I think it’s the funk I’ve been in… I just couldn’t pull it together enough to find brilliant, amusing and thought-provoking material. Thus, the reason this post jumps from current events, to the inane, to commentary on modern art. But hey, at least it’s something. The hoops I jump through for you people… the least you could do is act grateful…

ANYhoodles, here’s a run-down of the things that made me go, “Hmm…” this week:

  • President Obama telling Prince Charles that Americans like the British Royals far more than they do their own politicians. To which Prince Charles replied, “Oh, I don’t believe that.” before shifting the topic to his visit to Mount Vernon. Two things I feel the need to mention here:
    1. DUH. Can you blame us? Our politicians are pretty much… well… harrible. So, there’s always that to contend with.
    2. AWKWARD TRANSITION ANYONE? There’s pretty much nothing worse than awkward transitions. I mean… nothing. Granted, what was Prince Charles supposed to say to that? I mean, I suppose he could have always given a cheeky, “I know, right?”.  (Actually, that would have been fantastic if he had responded with a big ol’ “I KNOW, RIGHT?” Bwahahahahaha! Seriously. That would have made my entire year if that had been uttered, but alas, it was not meant to be.) Instead, the most awkward transition ever was uttered by bringing up Mount Vernon. I wonder if President Obama was like, “What the hell?! Did you hear what I just said?”
  • Sweat Pants. Are people really upset about sweat pants? It was a joke, you idiots. Good grief. Could we please get a sense of humor? (And Eva, please don’t apologize for making a joke. It just means the idiots win.)
  • Proof that I am the clueless friend. Especially that last part. I truly don’t know what that means.
  • Additional proof that at least half the world’s population is full of bullshit:
  • And finally, this brilliant tidbit from Prager University explaining why modern art is so bad, and why I hate it with the passion of a thousand burning hell fires. (You’re welcome to disagree, but he makes some excellent points…)

Alright, bloggity peeps. That’s all I have this week. If you have suggestions for next week, toss them my way. Seriously. No lie. Just do it. Why? Because I asked you and I’m pretty. Like you need another reason?

Over n’ out, good buddies.

Oh GAWD… Am I One of THOSE Girls?

I took another subbing gig with my 4th graders this week.

This time, instead of teaching math and science (Which was brutal, by the way because I am neither mathematically nor scientifically-minded, and trying to teach some of the math concepts to these kids was… well… awkwaaaaard. Good thing I could distract them with my brilliant humor, and encourage them to “work together”. That always comes in handy…) I get to teach language arts, health, and social studies, which I’m much more suited to.

But as soon as I took the gig, I started freaking out because in a couple of these classroom scenarios I may have to do some co-teaching.

There are two major problems with this:

  1. I hate when other teachers can watch me teach. It’s horrifying. I have this irrational fear that any senior teacher can at any moment yank my license from me for no other reason than the fact that the lesson didn’t “go so well”. I feel like I’m still student teaching, trying to earn approval from my cooperating teacher and snag that “A” I’m so desperate for.
  2. The other teacher in the 4th grade… is a guy.

That second point, shouldn’t even be an issue. And yet it is. Because somewhere in these 30 years of existence I have developed this aversion to working with members of the opposite sex.

Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, I am totally horrified that I just admitted that.

This aversion is completely ridiculous because I adore men and I think they’re funny and brilliant and awesome and I totally appreciate them…

It’s just that…

I get all…

Scared.

There. I said it. Scared. I get scared and nervous and freaked out…

AND I DON’T KNOW WHY.

I never used to be like this.

Ever.

NEV-ER.

In high school, college and grad school the majority of my classmates and professors were men… and they loved me. Most of my bosses have been men… and they loved me.

Also, just to clarify, I’m not trying to be all…

“Oh… people love me… I’m so awesome…” I just mean that typically I had a great working relationship and rapport with the guys I worked with.

But somewhere, between then and now, things have changed… and not for the better.

I could blame it on the divorce and the fact that my whole life and everything I knew to be true about it were ripped out from under me in such a malicious fashion that perhaps my aversion to working with men was understandable, but this started before the divorce. Even when I was married, I started to avoid interactions with men, and totally freak out and clamp up anytime I was around them. I mean… what the hell?!

What I do know is this: While I was married, my husband liked to argue… about everything. I don’t know why, and I don’t know that he did it on purpose. However, I do know that no matter what came out of my mouth it would be contradicted. If I said it was cold outside, he’d say it wasn’t. If I laughed about the absurdity of a situation, he’d tell me it wasn’t that unusual and probably wasn’t something I should laugh about. If I told him how I felt about an issue as a woman, he’d counter it with how other women felt about the issue, thus nullifying my opinion. It was exhausting. It got to the point that I was censoring everything that came out of my mouth because I no longer trusted my own thoughts and opinions. If my own thoughts and opinions were constantly being contradicted, I was obviously wrong… right?

I also know that my husband loooooooved to be the center of attention. And he loved to hear himself talk. And he loved being adored and flattered. So, as was my natural tendency as an introvert, I let him be the center of attention and do all the talking while I just sat back and only spoke when spoken to. I didn’t realize this was happening at the time, but looking back, I may as well have put on a burqa and called it a day, because I was slowly allowing myself and my personality to be diminished because of my husband’s natural proclivities.

Annie, you were such a dumbass… (The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?)

I don’t know. Could being in that kind of relationship have caused my current aversion to working with males? I don’t know. I’m just asking questions here, peeps. Be cool. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, honestly. Because I don’t like it. I hate it. And quite frankly, it’s just stupid. I know it’s unreasonable and silly, but it happens without me realizing it. I just get all… weird.

……………………………………………………………………………………

Oh, good gawd… Am I irretrievably screwed up? Am I like… a girl with baggage?

Oh, GROSS.

(Insert full body shiver here.)

Gif Sources: www.reddit.com, realitytvgifs.tumblr.com