Category Archives: “Despicable Me 2”

The Man Behind, “Happy”

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I like to serve breakfast for the M & M girls, while they sit

and watch “Dora the Explorer” and “Bubble Guppies.” This is always

before we head off, with bellies full, for adventures! I sat on the

other side of the room, watching my little dining room television,

sipping on my coffee and eating my hot breakfast.

I like to reflect on this t.v’s history and share with you, it

includes being in my youngest daughter’s old bedroom in the house

we sold, along with her University of Dayton dorm room! I was

watching, CBS Sunday Morning. The next guest ‘up’ for an interview

was Pharrell Williams.

The girls jumped up, luckily with no waffles and syrup dripping all

over them, to dance to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.” I had not

read much about his background, so I was thrilled that they were

going to share personal details about someone who I have admired

since the first Awards’ ceremony held in 2014, along with his

participation in the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration.

This interview held genuine ‘gold nuggets’ to share about his life!

If you caught the broadcast, this may remind you of how far this

man has come! Another great interview, with Oprah, shows more of

his sincere and humble side. The cameras ‘roll’ while he cries

tears of joy, watching how people all around the world, take their

video cameras (or cell phones) and film themselves dancing in the

streets to the song he wrote, “Happy.”

Pharrell was 41 when he was honored to be chosen to write the

theme song and perform for the “Despicable Me 2” movie. The first

animated children’s film has a great story line about children in

an orphanage and a ‘grumpy’ irritated man and his ‘minions.’ These

adorable children and ‘minions’ bond, long before the older man

realizes how much he cares about the three little ones. I have

covered the first movie in another post but look forward to seeing

the second one, in DVD form.

Pharrell had been singing for quite some time, from early childhood

up through his high school years. He released his first single in

2003 and his first Cd, in 2006. His childhood friend, Shay Haley and

he had formed a band, “The Neptunes.”

It had not worked out at first. Maturity and disparate personalities

held their progress back.

He also has a partner, Chad Hugo, who together they labeled their

production team currently as, “The Neptunes.” They produce hip hop,

soul and R & B musical style record albums. They also have

come up with fashion designer labels, selling clothes that reflect

their unique style.

Now, Chad Hugo, Pharrell Williams and Shay Haley perform as a

group called, “N.E.R.D.” playing rock, funk and hip hop music.

In 2006, Pharrell was noticed and making friends with famous people

like Justin Timberlake. But he still felt his Cd just sat there,

‘spinning its wheels.’

He really wasn’t ‘discovered’ until he sang, “Happy!” I like the

rhythm and blues, easy-going tone that resembles a combination of

Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Any age will enjoy this pleasant

song, no matter what genre you usually listen to.

His fashion statement, wearing a Smokey the Bear hat in all the

Awards shows, became popular. Some people feel that “anything

Pharrell touches, turns to gold.”

His story goes back to a spotted high school career of C’s, D’s

and F’s. He was friends with someone who he tried to ‘play out’

in a band, under the name of “The Neptunes.” Shay and his musical

struggles were not horrible, but he was not an ‘overnight success,’

as he had hoped. The friend and he parted ways, before his solo Cd

came out. Now, they are inseparable. Changes had to occur, within

himself.

When he completed his Cd in 2006, Pharrell wondered what was

wrong? Why didn’t he just make it ‘big time?’ He was not in the

current frame of mind, he was a little depressed.

Pharrell Williams felt his first solo Cd was a ‘failure.”

After much thought and consideration, he chose to become a better

person. He set aside his ‘ego.’ He felt by studying greats, giving

specific credit to Stevie Wonder, it helped him to figure out why

others were successful.

Pharrell saw that Stevie Wonder’s songs carried uplifting messages

and were of a positive nature. Deep contemplation is part of his

new persona. He depicts a calm, thoughtful man in interviews.

This is apparent in his carefully chosen words to answer questions.

The song, “Happy,” floundered until he ‘took it to the streets,’

letting others jump and dance around, while he sang and did the

same. It is a real experience, authentic in its tone. Pharrell’s

video for the cover song, “Happy,” was completed in November, 2013.

He doesn’t mind being called, “The Happy Man.”

There is a little bit of philosophy and introspection by Pharrell

Williams of his ‘sudden’ fame. How he feels about the hard work it

took for him to get to where he is today. Seven years from the first

Cd’s release:

Pharrell considers himself, “so thankful.”

He feels nervous to try and analyze, “Why?”

He considers himself “lucky” and feels his “stars have aligned.”

His words impart newfound ‘wisdom’ to those who have dreams.

Pharrell seems to show a mixture of faith and deep thinking,

along with allowing the universe to flow around us.

“Don’t try to figure out how to make money.”

In other words, do what you love and enjoy. He gives

the thoughts to go after what you wish, but don’t

have expectations of how it will come about.

If you should happen to find things fall into place,

’embrace it.’

“And don’t give yourself too much credit–

because it is not all you.” (I love this one!)

Pharell W. used a metaphor in his parting thoughts:

“It’s not the kite– it’s the air.”

Trip to the Kingdom

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In the course of my Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of the

company of my two grandsons from my oldest daughter. They are

adorable, as all children are when related to yourself! I play the car

game, “My father (or mother, grandfather, uncle…) owns a grocery

store and in it, he sells… ” and we give a beginning letter or the first

letters of the product or item. We were heading for a 20 minute

away Burger King play area. They love the crowns and they were

getting strawberry milkshakes. Mom (my oldest daughter) gave

the “okay” since they had already eaten supper!

That night, we were teaching the four year old that the letter “C”

doesn’t just make a “K” or “S” sound. We told him that it can make

a “ch” blend sound. I gave him that explanation as a “hint” when he

had asked, “Is it edible?” So precious,to think they can learn such

things so young, don’t you think? And, he was off asking about was

it a drink or was it candy?, etc.  By the time we told him about the

“ch” sound he asked, “Is it chicken?”  We were so proud of him!

But then when I said, “No but you are getting this!” When I gave

him another hint, “It could be white, orange or yellow,”  he lost

track of the letter and shouted, “Mac and cheese!”

And, my word was ‘cheese’ so we gave him ‘credit.’ We play taking

turns guessing. Otherwise, his older brother, age 8, Skyler, would

“win” all the time!

We had driven halfway down the road and Micah said, “We saw

two movies, Nana, in this month.”

I asked, “Which ones and give me your reviews.” Skyler chuckled

but Micah asked, “What’s (has trouble with r’s) ‘bevoos’, Nana?”

I replied, “Tell me what they were and whether or not you like

them. Reviews mean, if you could tell a friend, would you say

you liked them?”

Micah asked Skyler, “Which one do you want me to tell her about?”

Skyler answered, “Whichever one you want!”

Micah said, “Nana, you would LOVE the movie, “Despicable Me 2!”

“Why did you like it so much?”

He thought a minute, “Because the bad guy isn’t as bad as he was

in the first one. This time you know he is not so mean, he likes the

little kids a lot.”

He added, “It is so funny!”

I asked, “Micah if you could give it stickers would you give it 3 or 4?”

He said, “Well, Nana it should get 10 stickers!” (So cute, huh?)

Next Skyler told me all about the movie, “Monsters University.”

He really liked it because it “is not for babies. It was very smart

and had a lot of fun things. A boy when he is on a school field

trip, rode a bus to visit the Monsters, Inc. company. There he

sees a guy named Frank who is able to be a good ‘scarer.’

Then, the boy grows up wanting to become a scarer, too. Did

I mention he is a boy monster? Anyway, he goes to college

called Montsters University. His roommate is named Randall

Boggs and looks like a chameleon monster that is like one of

those guys on that show you like, Big Bang Theory. What are

they called?”

I said, “They are scientists but can be considered ‘nerds’ or

they also are “Trekkies” like your Poppy in Dayton.”

Skyler said that he liked all the guys like Sulley who is kind of

rude and “obnoxious.”  He added, “This is a mature movie, not

for babies.”

I questioned a little about the old characters from the first movie

then asked, “What would you say for a rating system? I usually

use the newspapers to rate using four stars as the best… How

many would you give this one?”

“Nana, you have to give it 10 stars, because it is at least as good

as “Despicable Me 2!”

To summarize, both those mentioned animated movies should get

as many stars as possible and they are highly recommended by a

four and eight year old I know!

We arrived at the play area, snagged their shakes and I bought a

complete meal, Whopper Jr., onion rings with zesty sauce and a

large iced vanilla coffee. The boys took their shoes off, stopped

and asked, “Can we take our socks off, too?”

“Sure, we will use wipes after you play and clean up before you

go home.”

They proceeded to ask me to take a picture of them with their

crowns on their heads. I sent it to their mother and stepdad,

to their aunt (my youngest daughter who called them “precious”

in their crowns) and since Lenny had been texting me, I sent

him a picture, too. He pronounced them “fine looking kings!”

Lenny told me to tell them “hi” from him.

Next time they got out of the play area, having been down the

slide and making friends with other children, they asked about

the picture, I showed them the texts back to them. Skyler read

them to Micah.

“Mommy says, ‘awww!'” and repeated Aunt Felicia’s words to

Micah, but when he got to Lenny, I had to tell them that he is

who I am seeing now.

MIcah groaned, “What happened to Mark?”

I repeated what I told him a few months back, that we had

retried and made an attempt to be boyfriend and girlfriend,

but once all the effort to “catch me” was over, he turned out

he wanted to be with his ex-girlfriend of more years.

I explained that sometimes the longer time you are with a

person, the better you like them.

Skyler, a little too wise for his age, added, “My big sister

Breanna, for example went back to her old boyfriend

since he lives closer and is more convenient to where

she is now. (His half sister is a high school graduate

and off to Dayton to work and lives too far to see

her local boyfriend here in Delaware.)

The analogy was sort of enought to satisfy them

and answer the question.

But both boys came to a very nice and sweet conclusion:

“Lenny better be good to you, Nana! We don’t want you

to cry!”

On our way back to their house, we played “My father owns

a grocery store” and Skyler ‘stumped us.’ Turns out I could

think of tons of fruits and foods with the first letter “A” but

could not think of any vegetables. Micah “gave up” fairly

quickly but I kept racking my brain (feeble as it is sometimes!)

When he gave me a “hint” which we allow one for adults and

3 for kids, Skyler said, “You need them to make guacamole!”

Oh!  I forgot that he would know that avacados are a vegetable!

And I forgot that avacados are in his range of knowledge, too!

On the way to and from the kingdom of play and fun, we had

the most amazing conversations.

Relationships are always so special when children are in the car

and we are’media free’and captivated by their thoughts, vivid

imagination and conversation.

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