patsyporco

The Band Concert, Starring Mickey Mouse

In Disney, Donald Duck, Humor, Mickey Mouse, The Band Concert on February 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Like David Letterman, I’ve always rejected the idea of permitting guest hosts to fill in for me. I suspect that he didn’t allow it for fear that his guest hosts would outperform him. That’s why I haven’t done it. However, since Hell has officially frozen over, I’ve rethought my policy.

hell-froze-over-funnysigns.net (photo from http://www.funnysigns.net/hell-freezes-over/)

My childhood, and current, friend, Andi Stein, is an expert on all things Disney. She’s made it her life’s work to visit every Disney park in the world, she teaches a “Deconstructing Disney” class at California State University, Fullerton, and she has even written a successful book about Disney, Why We Love Disney: The Power of the Disney Brand.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Mickey Mouse movie, The Band Concert, Andi wrote an article reminding old Disney fans of this funny movie and introducing new Disney fans to it. She has even included the original movie in her post. I had never seen it, and once I put my imagined sophistication aside, I found myself laughing out loud at its craziness and originality.

So, without further ado, I introduce you to Andi Stein, Disney aficionado and good friend. Please click on the picture below to read her article. And feel free to contact her to discuss anything Disney-related. I just know she’d love that.

The Band Concert

 

Happy VD

In Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

valentine-day-clip-art-valentines-day-clipart copyOne of the benefits of being married is that you always have a valentine on February 14. The irony is that many long-married couples ignore the day completely. Restaurants are packed and charge diners top dollar; price-gouging is rampant for flowers, cards, and candy; and forced romance is, well, forced. It’s a relief to have a permanent valentine because it eliminates the pressure that singles experience.

For instance, back when my husband and I first started dating, he went to a friend’s house to watch a football game with a bunch of guys. The sister of the host announced that she made homemade chocolates; she then proceeded to guilt all of the guys into ordering her very expensive candy. So, months later, on Valentine’s Day, my husband took me to the movies. While we drove there, he handed me the box of candy. Each piece was a work of art. When we got to the theater, he gallantly opened my door. As I got out of the car, I forgot that I had the box of chocolates in my lap. The box fell to the ground and the handmade chocolates scattered all over the parking lot. I was horrified. My husband was appalled that he had been robbed by his friend’s sister only to have his clumsy girlfriend ruin his gift. I haven’t gotten handmade chocolates since.

This reminds me of another story about presents given by a love-addled guy to his girlfriend. Years ago, I had a Saturday job in the circulation department of a local newspaper. I worked with other women, counting money and answering phone calls from disgruntled subscribers. Our office was separate from the newsroom. While I only worked on Saturdays, the other employees worked full-time and took turns working on Saturdays. On one occasion, I was working with a young woman whose desktop was overflowing with cards, small stuffed animals, and flowers. One of the columnists walked through our office on his way to the newsroom. When he saw her desk, he asked, “Are all of those gifts from your boyfriend?” She said that they were. He then asked, “Is he in the service?” She shook her head and said, “No, he’s in jail.” That flustered the writer, who smiled and made a quick getaway. We all thought that this was hilarious. Later, one of the women pulled me aside and said, “I wonder what he would have done if he learned that her boyfriend was actually her half-brother?” True story. Honest to God.

While that story has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, it had to be told. But, back to today. My husband and I are going to a Mardi Gras party tonight. I was thinking of taking heart-shaped cookies to the party, as a nod to the holiday. That’s about the extent of our celebration of the day. However, tomorrow, when all heart-shaped boxes of candy are 75% off, that’s when we’ll celebrate. Married couples know that love isn’t restricted to a specific day, and we’re patient enough to wait for markdowns.

Amelia Bedelia, Crack Open A Book

In Books, Children, Humor on January 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I’m so excited! Next Saturday, my husband and I are going to an Amelia Bedelia birthday party, at a local branch of our library,* with the three children I used to nanny for. I enjoyed Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia books back in the 1960s and early 1970s, and I think it’s wonderful that kids of this generation love them, too. (In my continuing effort to coin a phrase that will outlive me, here goes: “If you want to build a bridge to span generations, construct it from books.”)

I’ve always loved libraries. They were a place of wonder and awe. There were so many books and so little time to read them all (I think this phrase has already been coined). And, as I got older, the library became an even more integral part of my life, and the lives of all students. Libraries were the only place to do research, so we all had to visit them fairly regularly.

When the Internet took over the world, I used to scoff when people said that all of their research was done online. How could you do real research without entering a library? Well, it turns out that you can, but I still don’t think it counts as much as getting dressed and then walking, biking, or driving to a building where you would spend hours first locating your research materials (via a card catalog, librarian suggestions, or huge books that functioned as indexes to magazine/newspaper articles). Only then were you able to go on a physical search for your needed books, microfilm, magazines, and newspapers, which you would either check out—if they weren’t labeled “For Reference Only,” which meant that they weren’t to leave the library—photocopy, or take notes from. That was research.

Today I read a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Nancy Roman, about her love of libraries  (https://notquiteold.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/the-worlds-best-invention/), and my memories of libraries-past came flooding back to me (albeit in bits and pieces. I do have brain atrophy, after all.**) I remembered being taken there, going myself, and then taking my son when he was a child. My favorite memory of taking my son was the day that, when he was about four or five, he raced by the main desk on the first floor and yelled hello to neighbors who were at the other end of the library. The librarian, Maddie—who knew Luke well from his frequent visits—turned to me and said, over the long desk, “Luke’s mother, why is Luke running and yelling in the library?” I don’t think I laughed then, but I laugh every time I remember it now.

Anyway, after reading Nancy’s post, I commented:

Libraries were always a magical place for me, too. Public libraries spawned a love of reading for so many who would ordinarily not have access to unlimited books of every genre. I have to congratulate modern librarians for keeping up with the times, though. Their dedication to obtaining Internet access, the latest print books, electronic books, audio books, music, etc., has kept libraries relevant. And their creative, entertaining, educational, and interactive children’s programs never fail to attract large audiences. Three cheers to librarians for ensuring the continuation of this wonderful institution! Because of them, children will continue to have cherished memories of visiting the library.

Which brings us back to the Amelia Bedelia party. What am I going to wear? Whatever it is, it has to give a subtle nod to Amelia’s inability to understand idioms. Maybe I should wear one of the outfits she put on the chickens that she was told to dress? I’ll think about it as I’m dusting the house. Now where did I put the talcum powder?

* AMELIA BEDELIA BIRTHDAY PARTY

Saturday, January 31, 2015
2:00 – 4:00 pm
All Ages

Peggy Parish’s beloved book character “Amelia Bedelia” is turning 52! Children are invited to celebrate her birthday and enjoy a piece of her birthday cake. Activities will include puppet and magic shows and face painting with Sunny the Clown. Registration is required and available online or by calling 203.899.2790 ext. 15903.

SoNo Branch Library 10 Washington St. South Norwalk, CT  06854 203.899.2790

Illustration by Barbara Siebel Thomas
** https://patsyporco.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/my-new-excuse-for-everything/
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