When Nate and I were on our walk last weekend, we somehow got on the topic of shows we used to watch when we were kids and I mentioned that Talespin was one of my absolute favorites. My dad had eight or so VHS tapes that each had two or three episodes on them and they were awesome.
Anyway, talking about Talespin made it so that the theme song lodged itself nicely in my brain for approximately a week.
I’d also forgotten how fantastic Don Karnage was. He was always my favorite.
Hahaha, I found this movie terrifying as a kid as well.
Edit: aaaaaand of course they’re making a sequel this year. Nothing is safe. Humans are terrible.
For some incredibly random reason, this little rhyme popped into my head this afternoon and I couldn’t get it out.
Did any of you guys ever sing this in elementary school? I remember G.E. and I sang it quite a bit. It was about as rebellious as you could get in a Catholic elementary school.
The “Missouri” version is most similar to what we sang.
Elementary school, man.
Man, this brings back a lot of memories.
Back when Beanie Babies were a huge thing, I (read: my dad) had a huge collection of them and we were super serious about collecting and preserving them and seeing if we could find any rare ones. We had hangtag protectors, we had display cases for some of them, and when McDonald’s had the Teenie Beanie Babies going on, we would go there as often as possible to get all the Teenies.
Hell, we had catalogs that detailed all the rare Beanies, mentioned pricings for different conditions and different generation tags, and talked about all the rare and different versions of some of the Beanies that had been produced. I would read that catalog every morning when I was at my dad’s house on the weekends.
I remember I always wanted a Caw, but they were like $300 back in the day and I never got one, haha.
It is November 20th today.
As you may or may not know (depending on how long you’ve followed my blog and/or how much attention you pay to past blogs), November 20th is the birthday of the person known as Lead.
Lead, for those of you who don’t know, is the nickname I use for the person that I had a massive, massive, massive crush on all throughout the end of elementary school, junior high, and high school (and it would have started earlier, I’m sure, except he didn’t come to Moscow until 5th grade).
I have long since ceased giving a single fart about this guy, but just the date “November 20th” brings him back into my memory because he was a serious part of my existence for about seven years of my teenage life.
Today, that also brings up something that I’ve come to realize about my mad obsession with this dude that I’ve never really shared. This is a realization I made a long while ago—like, 8th grade, maybe—but was one I kind of kept inside hoping that it wasn’t true, because that truth was more pathetic than frantically stalking a dude for the sake of true love.
(At least, that’s what my 14-year-old brain convinced me of).
This realization? I wasn’t obsessed with Lead because I was in love with him or was soul mates with him or any of that lovey nonsense. I was obsessed with him because I wanted to be him. He was everything I wish I was, especially in junior high and high school when I was so painfully apathetic about, well, pretty much everything but Lead.
The guy was popular. The guy was good-looking. The guy was athletic. And most of all? The guy was smart.
Like… S M A R T.
I don’t know if he actually had a genius-level IQ, but I’m 99% convinced of it. Super smart. He put everyone else at that garbage bag of a school to shame with what he could do with his mental prowess and how easily he seemed to do it. He got a full ride scholarship to some school in Montana after he graduated, but I’m sure if he didn’t take that he could have easily gone to MIT or Harvard or Oxford or something like that. And he would have blown those fuckers away at those schools.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted to be that smart. I probably could have faked my way through high school a lot better if I’d given a crap (I think my cumulative GPA at the end was like a 3.5), but it would have taken work. I would not have been able to do it with the ease he seemed to do everything.*
This is the Amateur Hour psych student in me, but I think I hid my jealousy of him with admiration. I thought, “hey, if I can’t be this guy, maybe I can get him to like me. If he likes me, that means I’m good enough to at least be liked by a dude of this caliber. So let’s do that!”
Anyway. I know, I know, stupid shit. But I figured I’d mention it now that I’m so far removed from him that I don’t even think we’re Facebook friends anymore. Or at least, I’m no longer obsessively checking his Facebook like I used to. Haha.
*Yes, I know I might be wrong about this. He made it look like it was easy for him. Maybe it wasn’t. But goddamn, he sure made a convincing argument that getting through school was as easy for him as slicing butter with a hot knife.
I remember when Tamagotchis were a thing, yo. I think they came out in 1997 in the US. My friend Emily and I needed them, haha. I think either my mom or dad bought me mine from JC Penny. Mine was the “yellow w/ orange” color, Emily’s was the “purple w/ magenta” color.
We took them everywhere.
I eventually amassed at least nine digital pets during elementary school—I had a few Tamagotchis, I had this one bear Tamagotchi knockoff, I had a Dinkie Dino (my favorite), and a whole bunch of others.
Sadly, I lost the giant keychain of them on the airplane back from California. ‘Twas a sad day. I wish I still had all of those, they were great.
So I totally forgot to mention this when I found it a month or so ago as I was cleaning out the crap in my closet, but I found a story I wrote way back in 4th grade.
It’s a bag of trash and there’s 52 pages of it, but I’mma type it up all pretty and post it for you as a blog at some point down the road, ‘cause that’s what my blog is for: humiliating myself.
I wrote a lot of really crappy poetry in junior high.
And since I have nothing interesting to say today (what else is new?), you get said crappy poetry.
Enjoy the cringe.
My chicken longs
For a pair of tongs
To pull it out of the pan.
If it were alive
It would strive
To get out of the pan if it could.
It would, if…
It had a head, some feathers, and a knife.
And I said to my chicken,
“Hey, get a life!”
Go to the John
Puddin’ and pie
Hung the wash
And now it’s dry.
Wish he still had both his eyes
You might believe this guy is great.
Can’t you hear?
Sleigh bells, jingle jangle!
Home again, jiggitty jig.
What to do?
But what the hey!
Jam on biscuits.
Say that again, randomizer.
I wasn’t paying…
Jelly, jelly, jelly…fish!
Looming through the deep
Glowing as it creeps.
Has no brain, no heart, no lungs
Last low tide on a rock it clung
Hung there for 2 minutes or 3
Released it’s suction, now it’s free.
Jelly, jelly, jelly…fish!
He will sting you if you wish.
You shan’t be deceived by the dawn or the night,
Dream small and live large shall be of your might.
Take the sin from your mind and replace it with hope,
Give much of your laughter to repel hatred’s rope.
Hold your love dearly or it might slip away,
Like shepherds with sheep so they don’t go astray.
Live your life with a purpose and not an excuse,
Make sure that your hands get a lot of good use.
Live without judging, but have lots of bliss,
Don’t go off the path and be taken amiss.
Be prepared to find pain and not simply power,
Don’t just smell the roses, stop and kiss a flower.
When the Bulls Come Out
When the sun goes down and the bulls come out,
The moon does shine without a doubt.
All sheep walk on a moonlit path,
While parakeets take a moonlit bath.
The stubborn boar is in this, too,
He lives right by the rendezvous.
The mighty bear, the timid snake,
All come running to partake.
This joyous fest, one time a year,
Rises past the Troposphere.
The stars shine brightly down on them,
All is peaceful, no mayhem.
The from the distance comes a noise,
Which made all the animals poise.
Then out came man, oh yes indeed,
Riding on his noble steed.
He cleared out all the trees and grass,
All creatures did run, so now, alas,
The moon does shine without a doubt,
When the sun goes down and the bulls come out.
I TOLD YOU
Today’s post is another one of those “why have I never shared this with you people?” posts. Ready?
So when I was a kid/tween/teen, I went to Linda Canary’s art camp during the summer. Art camp was two weeks of artistic freedom and bliss—it involved everything from clay to oil pastels to soapstone carving to batiking to plaster mask making. It also involved a lot of shenanigans in tree houses and in Paradise Creek.
I’ve talked about all that before. But anyway.
Linda was really good with kids and gave the camp a fairly loose structure. However, the one thing that we were “required” to make every day was a mandala.
For 20 minutes or so, we would go in the art studio and make mandalas based on whatever mental image or journey Linda would guide us on. During this time of quiet (it really was the only quiet part of the day, haha), Linda would play music over the stereo. Lots of Enya, lots of Deep Forest, lots of instrumental music.
One song she played a few times for us was called Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. It’s from 1973 and is nearly an hour long song filled with a ton of instruments and interesting musical transitions. Give it a listen. It’s quite awesome.
Yes, the intro part was used in the Exorcist. The rest is so much better.
Y’all thought I was done with the obnoxious home movies yet?
Y’all thought wrong.
Here’s another “series” which is really just two videos titled “Hiking with Altoids” and “Hiking with Altoids II.” I’m a little bit older in these—sixth grade or so, probably.
For whatever reason, Altoids were what was happening in 6th grade. Everyone had a tin of them, we traded flavors, and we had competitions over who could hold the most Altoids in their mouth without freaking out over how strong the taste was. We pretended they were drugs.
Catholic school kids gone bad.
Our family also happened to live in a house with a back yard that ran right up against the U of I arboretum. Which, of course, was a perfect place for a lot of my nonsense movies.
So enjoy Hiking with Altoids and Hiking with Altoids II.
Yeah, this was what I did with my spare time.
So last weekend y’all got The Grandpa Twins. This weekend it’s Coo News at 8:30, aka “The Most Depressing News Channel Ever.”
Not sure what a coo is? Read this.
That “accent” I’m using is how coos talk.
Also, sorry about it getting all warbly at the end. This was at the very end of the tape.
So if you remember, about a month ago I mentioned that I bought a nice cheap (~$50) video camera from Amazon. At the time, I said that the main purpose for my purchasing this video camera would be revealed later.
It’s later, so here we go:
I have hours and hours of old videos I made when I was a kid and was obsessed with my mom’s camcorder. Because I’m too cheap/embarrassed to take these videos to any sort of film/camera place to have them converted to DVD and/or mp4 type thing, I’m going old-school high-quality and will be using the video camera to record the videos playing on the TV so that I can then transfer them to my computer and keep them safe forever (some of the old tapes are really close to breaking).
Anyway, several of these videos contain episodes from a series called The Grandpa Twins. The grandpa twins were two sock puppets (in the loosest sense; I just stuck plain old socks on my hands without any embellishments) who were quite gay and who had incredibly weird adventures.
Let’s make that series the first set of videos I re-record, shall we?
And because this blog is like an extension of my existence, y’all get to experience this nonsense.
These episodes were completely unscripted; I came up with a random theme at the intro and then just went with it. I was also somewhere between 8 and 10 years old (based off the hairstyle and that freaking Simba shirt that I would never take off), so there’s that as well. Yes, there’s paint on everything. Art rules.
So for your enjoyment and my embarrassment, I present the thrilling* saga** of The Grandpa Twins.
- #1: Macky and Goosey
- #2: Goosey’s Music Festival
- #3: Goosey’s Accident
- #4: Macky’s Rap Song
- #5: Goosey’s Writing
- #6: Accident
- #7: Goosey’s First Cold
- #8: Macky’s Crystal Ball
- #9: Goosey Shrinks
- #10: Macky’s Garden
- #11: Goosey and the Manhole
- #16: The Apple Fight (fun fact: this was actually the first one I made)
- #17: Slug
** not really
So you all should love it when I have absolutely nothing to blog about, as that usually results in me dredging up some embarrassing piece of nonsense that I wrote/drew/acted in the distant past in order to fill the day’s blog post quota.
Example: Today’s post, in which I scan the pages of a children’s story I wrote in first grade. It was a coo story, because I was all about the coos back then. I wrote/illustrated the story in first grade, but in 1997 (fourth grade? Third grade? I dunno), I made a “fancy” copy of it where I typed out everything in Word and re-drew the illustrations to make it look better than the original first grade scrawl. I also made all the “official book info” by copying almost directly from the inside page of a Babysitter’s Club book.
So enjoy. (Note: their names are pronounced “heeb,” “OH-lay,” and “peeb”)
Plots are hard when you’re a first grader.
So I still feel like about 27 different layers of garbage, so I’m going to post stuff that reminds me of random nonsense from ye random olden days.
- I played a lot of this. I still suck at basic math.
- This one, too.
- This song and music video will always remind me of 10th grade, since we’d always turn on MTV during Sports Med (yes, I took Sports Med. I have no idea why) and this was a popular vid back then.
- This show was always on late at night when I was a kid and spent Friday and Saturday night at my dad’s condo. Does anyone else remember this?
- Space Ghost: Coast to Coast was always a late night thing, too. I did not understand that show as a kid.
- Oh, Cartoon Network. I miss the way you used to be.
I was digging through a drawer of all my old notebooks/papers/whatever/crap ‘cause I needed to find something specific for reasons I won’t go into here.
But at the bottom of the drawer, I found the one old journal I kept from first grade. I wrote a lot in first grade. A lot. I probably had over 20 journals full of coo stories (what’s a coo?). Granted, my writing was HUGE back then and I padded the stories with a lot of illustrations, but it was still quite a lot of writing for a first grader, in my opinion.
So in the spirit of nostalgia, have some scanned pages of the notebook I found today.
So here’s a video I’d completely forgotten I’d uploaded to YouTube (I found it after logging onto my old AntarcticaFreak account).
This is my mom filming me doing stuff with stencils (??). Also, animals. The kitty is Baby Slick, and the dog is Mindy. This was our house in Troy.
Do you sometimes really miss parts of your past for no real reason? Not, like, particular events or days or anything like that, but routines or schedules that you remember you used to have at various points in life that you don’t have anymore.
I miss my past sometimes.
I don’t know why I felt like saying that. It’s not like my present is bad or anything—it’s the opposite, in fact!—but I just every once and awhile really, really miss the way things used to be.
Yeah. Sorry. Don’t have much to say today.
Man, my mom had like 12 of these videos for me when I was a kid. I remember this one especially, probably because I used to go to Disneyland with my dad and grandma way back when, so I could recognize a lot of things from this.
As many of you know, I went to a Christian elementary school. We had an hour set aside for “religion” study every day, went to church every Friday morning, and had Bible-themed Christmas plays every December and Bible-themed spring plays every April or so.
Every once and awhile, we’d have an event (a BBQ, a “party”, a something-or-other) that required us to be at school during non-regular hours. To entertain us (i.e., to keep us all in the same room), our teacher or principal would opt to play a TV show or movie on our little TV-on-a-roller-cart. Being a Christian school, we never got to watch anything but—you guessed it—Christian-themed shows! The most popular one for us was Veggies Tales, but I was never really into them at the time. The one that I enjoyed (though “enjoyed” is a relative term) was called McGee and Me!
It’s basically about this kid, Nick, who has a drawing of his come to life and together the two of them get into all sorts of “you can get out of this by being a good Christian” mishaps. Actually, they were mishaps you could get out of by just being a good person, but they made sure to add “God” and “Jesus” in there because you can’t be a good person without those two guys in your life, right?
Example: the episode “Beauty in the Least” is about Nick’s Romanian pen pal coming to visit unexpectedly during Thanksgiving. Romanian Pen Pal is, according to Nick, super annoying and plan-ruining when he’s not in pen-pal-letter form, so Nick is a jerk to him and the poor dude gets upset (understandably). But through the guidance of God and the “love thy neighbor as thyself” idea, Nick realizes that he’s been a jerk and does his best to make it up to Romanian Pen Pal and his father. So like I said, it’s basically a “be a good person, dammit” show with a Christian bend. I always enjoyed it, though. It was better than Veggie Tales.
Here, have a link to the first part of this episode on YouTube, in case you were a ‘90s Christian kid and you want to nostalgia yourself to death just like I did tonight. That’s the whole reason for this post, haha.
So today I spent a lot of time packing for the move (when am I not packing for a move?) and I came across an old story I’d written in a journal in first grade. I’d like to share it with you because a) I want to demonstrate that my writing ability has in fact not improved since first grade and b) I have nothing else of interest today.
I remember we had to write a story about Halloween for this particular writing assignment, but other than that it was pretty open. My incredibly creative title for this thing was “The Poisonous Pumpkin.”
Once there was a boy named Jacob. His dad said, “Son, we are moving to Pennsylvania! But first we must buy some pumpkins, for it is getting close to Halloween.”
“Okay,” said Jacob. “Give me some money and I’ll got to the store and buy six pumpkins.”
“Okay,” said his dad. “Here’s six dollars, one for each pumpkin. Put on your coat.”
“Alright,” said Jacob. “Bye!”
Soon he got to the pumpkin selling place. “Here’s six dollars for six pumpkins!” said Jacob.
“Okay,” said the pumpkin seller. “Pick your pumpkins.”
So Jacob found the best six pumpkins. He was about to go home when he saw a pumpkin with a scary face and lips already carved out. He put back one of his pumpkins and took that one.
When he got home his dad had already packed. “Come on, son!” he said. “Put your bike and the pumpkins you bought in the back of the car. By the way, that’s a very strange pumpkin you bought.”
“I know,” said Jacob. “It was already carved. Can you believe it?”
“Now son, don’t start making up stories.”
“Now let’s go!”
So they got into the car and drove off. Finally they reached Pennsylvania. Jacob got out of the car. “What a house!” he said.
“Don’t forget the pumpkins,” his dad said.
“I won’t.” He opened the back door of the car…”Dad?” asked Jacob.
“The pumpkin with the face already carved out…”
“Yes?” said his dad.
“Is the window open?” asked his dad.
“Yes,” replied Jacob.
“Well, it probably fell out the window.”
“But we didn’t hit any bumps!” said Jacob.
“Yes we did,” said his dad. “The gravel road.”
“But those were just little bumps,” said Jacob. “Even I barely felt them.”
“Oh, let’s just forget about the pumpkin.”
The next day Jacob woke up. [best line in this whole damn story.]
“Come on Jacob!” Said his dad. “You don’t want to be late for the first day of school.” Jacob got up, got dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast. Jacob saw the old dry leaves out the window and remembered the crackling he heard that night. But before he could say anything to his dad, the school bus arrived.
“Hurry!” said his dad. Jacob got his backpack and ran outside. But the poisonous pumpkin was watching behind a bush. He knew that when Jacob got home he would have a friend with him, and that he could poison Jacob’s friend.
When Jacob did get home, he did have a friend named Andrew with him. Andrew was spending the night.
“Let’s go upstairs and play,” said Jacob.
“Okay,” replied Andrew.
They played until it was time for dinner. When Jacob and Andrew and his dad went to bed, the door opened.
“Did you hear that?” said Andrew.
“I sure did,” replied Jacob. “My dad’s asleep. Let’s go down and see!” They went downstairs, turned around, and looked out the door. There was the poisonous pumpkin with a can of pop and an ax in his vines.
“Run!” said Jacob. Jacob and Andrew ran as fast as they could, but the pumpkin came after them, waving its ax.
“Dad!” yelled Jacob. “The pumpkin’s alive!”
Suddenly, the as slipped from the vines and flew in front of Jacob. He quickly grabbed it. Then he ran after the poisonous pumpkin. The poisonous pumpkin was drinking his pop and spitting poison at Jacob. One shot almost hit him. After a long time of running, the pumpkin got tired. Soon, it collapsed. Jacob chopped him up and burned him. The poisonous pumpkin was never heard of again.
Riveting. Man, that plot skips around like a scratched CD and then just crashes and burns, doesn’t it? Also, I love how the pumpkin has to infuse pop with the poison in order for it to be effective. And that he needed an ax, too, like as a backup. Way to write a villain, Claudia.
There are indeed illustrations for this, but they’re even more embarrassing than the writing, so you don’t get those.
Throughout my childhood (and early adulthood), I was really into movie-making. I would find something that could be filmed for multiple episodes and then make a series out of it.
The most recent example, in 2006, was a series called “Wacky Peter.” It followed the adventures of one of my Lego men (Wacky Peter, obviously) and all his usually fatal adventures.
I spent hours making these videos over the summer. I hung out in the playhouse in our backyard (which was my bedroom back then) and would make recordings all day.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I was digging through all my old VHS tapes and found the Wacky Peter ones.
Here are some of the episode titles: