Monday, November 24, 2008

The 50s were a different time

I’m always surprised at the posts that generate a lot (relatively speaking) of comments on this blog. So since you all seem in agreement with me about the questionable judgment of the man with the yellow hat and his compatriots, I have to tell you all to make sure you go read the original Curious Georg stories. I try to get at least one CG book out of the library every time I go, and recently checked out both the very first Curious George as well as Curious George Takes a Job.


First of all, in the first book, I discovered that after the man with the yellow hat monkey-napped George from his African jungle home and spirited him away back across the ocean to his house in the Big City, George smoked a pipe. Very casually. Before bed. And, interestingly, this was not one of the things George does out of curiosity that results in people losing their candy businesses, or getting fired from their newspaper delivery jobs, or losing their apartments to fire. Smoking “a good pipe” was just something men with yellow hats – and therefore monkeys – did before bed to relax. It was quite startling to my modern, politically correct sensibilities.

But even more startling was how George got tossed in jail for calling the fire department under false pretenses. It was an innocent mistake; George wanted to try the phone because it looked like fun and accidentally called the fire department. (The man with the yellow hat had of course gone out and left a wild monkey uncontained and alone in his apartment, because, as we have established, the man with the yellow hat is not so bright.) And they threw him in jail! Jail! Fortunately, the jailer was also not so bright, and George handily escaped. But still! Jail! Without even the appearance of a trial!

And did you know that George breaks his leg and has to go to the hospital in Curious George Takes a Job? This is fine in and of itself; it was apparently revolutionary at the time to let kids know what would happen to them in the hospital. But here’s the thing; after George heals, the nurse gets him up and goes to get the man with the yellow hat, saying, “Now, be a good monkey and don’t get into trouble while I’m gone.”

And what does George do? Nearly overdoses on ether that someone had left lying around on the floor. Seriously! The nurse and the man with the yellow hat find George passed out on the floor next to the open ether bottle and have to put him in the shower to wake him up.

And then the man takes George to a movie studio and they fake a documentary of his life. Because, why not?

Friday, November 21, 2008

A few things that I shouldn't care about

Jack is currently a big fan of Curious George, and I have to say I’m right there with him. Curious George is adorable. Nevertheless, I still find myself expecting logical behavior from the human characters in the show, and getting frustrated with their failures. Take a recent episode in which George bought some candy from a new candy counter at Mabel’s department store. After his purchase, the woman who ran the counter asked him to mind the shop for her while she ran out to get some supplies. George, always helpful, agreed, but when a sudden glut of customers surprised George, he ended up handing out free samples to appease them.

And so, when the owner returned to her candy counter, she discovered that George had free-sampled her right out of business. She was pretty upset with George. I, however, felt that she was really the one responsible for the loss seeing as how she had left a monkey in charge of her candy counter. I mean, he did the best he could.

I had to make dinner, so I didn’t get to see the end. I assume it all worked out and she didn't lose her business. But still, anyone who’d leave an untrained monkey in charge probably doesn’t deserve her own business anyway. A trained monkey – now that’s something else.

You know what else bugs me? The Three Bears. Not the story itself, but the flawed physics inherent to the plot. See, Papa Bear’s bowl had the most porridge, Mama Bear’s had the middle amount, and Baby Bear’s had the least. Based on the properties of heat transfer, therefore, Baby Bear’s porridge should cool the fastest, but it is Mama Bear’s porridge that Goldilocks finds too cold while Baby Bear’s is “just right.” That drives me crazy. Every time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Testing… testing... is this thing on?

Uh… hi. I am going to pretend that it has not been nearly a month since my last post and just proceed as if nothing ever happened.

Except that I can’t do that, because I have to mention the two major childhood events that happened since I last posted. Events like this:

Jack turns 2

And this:

First Trick-or-treating

Yes, that’s right, Jack turned two during my hiatus, and then he went and trick-or-treated for the first time. I should mention that for the actual trick-or-treating, he wore black clothes under the costume, but he refused to let me take his picture then.

He’s actually been getting pretty bossy in general these days, with commands like, “Mommy stand right there. Mommy sit down. Mommy sit down on couch. Mommy put hair down. Mommy put glasses on. Mommy stand up. Mommy stand up! MOMMY STAND UUUUUUPPPPPPP!!!!!”

And my clothes! He’s been really really picky about my clothes. Well, with his clothes too, if you define “picky” to mean “doesn’t want to wear pants,” but with me, it’s not that he wants me to go pantsless, it’s that he wants me to wear pants of his choosing. And shirts, too. In fact, it started with a sweatshirt of Andrew’s that I was wearing because it was handy and I was chilly. Next thing I knew, “Mommy take shirt off! Mommy not wear THAT SHIRT!” He became quite hysterical. At first, I wrote it off to his normal post-nap crankiness, but then it happened again, with that same sweatshirt, and I wondered if maybe, just maybe, the shirt was too nerdy for him. This particular sweatshirt, you see, bears the slogan, “There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t.”

We ultimately decided that it’s not the nerdiness, but the fact that the shirt was Andrew’s that bothered him. But then again, tonight he wanted me to take off my comfy pants and put back on my jeans, so who knows. Maybe he just hates change.

So, yeah. Two. Check out the cake I made! From scratch! I divided the eggs and everything!

2nd birthday cake

Jack was less thrilled by it than I had hoped, but it was still fun. I don’t know that I’d do it again, though. Cakes, as it turns out, are a lot of work.

As for the trick-or-treating, I had been worried that he would refuse to wear the costume, so we’d been talking about Halloween for weeks. He seemed interested when I brought it up, but any time I asked him if he wanted to try the costume on, he declined. I think it all clicked, however, on October 30th, when we were in the car and I told him about trick-or-treating again. “And then they give you candy!” I said. Jack seemed unimpressed. “Do you know what candy is, Jack? M&Ms are candy!”

Well. That got a reaction. Having tried M&Ms for the first time only a few weeks before, Jack was finally on board with this whole trick-or-treating thing. So when, at 5:45 on October 31st, I told him it was time to get ready to go, he threw his hands in the air and cried out, “Yem-ems!”

Thank heavens he got some.

blue jack-o-lantern

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Have you ever gone through a period of time where the idea of turning on your computer is absolutely repulsive to you? I have.