Category Archives: stereotypes

Humor Comes in All Sorts of Packages

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Sometimes there are things you may “think,” but you would never

put into words. You may even admire the one who seems to have

listened to that impudent ‘voice in your head.’ You may, on the other

hand, cringe and think, “Oh no! That is way too blunt!”

 

Comedy is often built around those ‘cringe-worthy’ moments.  I

laugh at movies, which if someone were to actually DO the things

which are depicted in the movies, I may actually display a face

full of horror.  I may be outwardly ‘aghast’ but I also might be

laughing on the inside, too.

 

In Shakespeare’s time, his plays often added humor sometimes

displaying a bit of ‘sauciness.’ While taking a high school English

‘mini-course,’ we studied Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” The school

administration encouraged our teacher, Mr. Billman, to send home

parents’ permission slips before we read and discussed this rather

controversial book. It makes me smile a little to think we needed

permission to read this bawdy collection of tales. They are considered

‘classics.’ This book has been on some lists for ‘book-burning,’ too.

 

When the history of ‘drag queens’ is studied, you learn that the

ones who were “dressed as girls” became called, “drags.” While

those who were wearing men’s (otherwise known as ‘boys’)

clothing were named, “drabs.”

 

Women dressed as men, sometimes in the most interesting

situations. In the movie, “The Year of Living Dangerously,”

Kevin Costner’s character has a ‘male’ friend, a photographer.

Linda Hunt won Best Supporting Actress in her male role.

 

In the movie, “Yentl” Barbara Streisand portrayed a young man

in this Jewish story. It was unusual in that it was considered to be

a “romantic musical drama comedy” movie released in 1983.

 

In the more recent 2012 movie, Glenn Close depicted the main

character and title role in, “Albert Nobbs.” She was nominated for

Best Actress in this movie, along with Golden Globe and SAG’s

but did not win in her fascinating portrayal of a man.

 

Women were not often ‘allowed’  in stage productions, due to the

impropriety.  So, the original ‘drag’ performers were considered

‘normal,’ while performing in traditional plays. Their wardrobe

choice would fit the role they were playing. This made men wearing

women’s clothes, considered ‘appropriately attired.’

 

In the making of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life, in the movie,

“Amadeus,” there are several scenes where the fine, classical and

renowned musician is carrying on with people of questionable

sexual orientation.

 

Funny. how when the black and white movie, with Tony Curtis,

Jack Lemmon and the gorgeous, Marilyn Monroe cane out in 1959,

no one made a big deal about men hiding in women’s clothing,

from the Mob. The same theme came into play, in the television

series, “Bosom Buddies.” This resulted in giving us the famous,

funny and talented actor, Tom Hanks.

 

There are many other examples of men dressing up like women

which makes the audience laugh.

 

Why does it bother some people then, to go and see a Drag Queen

or a comedy performance with men dressed as women? I guess

this is up to each person’s level of Comfort Zone.

 

There may be some of Mary Nolan’s humorous comments listed

in this post which you may not like. You may even consider them

‘distasteful.’ I hope you will laugh instead. But, at least I gave you

‘fair warning’ of the content in the remainder of this post.

 

I edited out a few of this transgender Columbus native’s raunchy

descriptions of famous people and left the more ‘palatable’ ones

here.

 

There is something to be said about bluntness and edginess. I am

one who doesn’t believe in censorship. What I hear in a comedy

sketch or stand up routine performed in a local tavern, bar, film or

comedy club is usually off-color but comical, one way or another.

 

I have to admit, I may like ‘shocking’  or ‘bawdy’ content. Now, be

honest: Have you ever laughed at “Bridesmaids,” “American Pie”

or “There’s Something about Mary?”

 

This is not “R-rated”nor even “PG 13,” so hope you find something

to laugh out loud about. But if not, this is fine. Humor is like food

and other ‘tastes:’ To each his own!

 

Each of these comments were published in the January, 2015,

“Outlook” magazine.  These are taken from Mary Nolan’s column,

“Reading is Fundamental.” The main readership of this monthly

publication  comes from  the culture of Ohio’s  LGBT  and  Ally

community. You can find this in the lobby of our Delaware County

District Library and other central Ohio locations. It is free to all.

 

1. About John Boehner-

 

“Hey John, skin cancer called and it doesn’t want you either!”

 

2. About Taylor Swift- (appearing with the Victoria Secret models

in her own white outfit, circlet of white feathers on her head and

angel wings):

 

“It’s like the cast of “Glee” gang-banged a bag of sugar-coated

rainbows and the offspring was the most nauseating collection

of happy teen angst.”

 

3. About Kim Kardashian-

 

“I’m all for big (“a- – – -“) behinds, but this girl makes Ohio

bottoms look slightly less hungry.”

 

4. About Nick Jonas- (appearing in a photo without a shirt on):

“Nope, not gonna try to read this one except to say that he was

talentless in the group, Hanson.”

 

5. About Johnny Manziel-

“Nice work in that first start. Helen Keller did a better job of

finding the mark.”

 

6. About Mike DeWine- (on the subject of legalizing same sex

marriage):

“Fiscal responsibility apparently stops when it comes to a couple

of queens getting hitched.”

 

7. About Sherri Dribblelipz-

“I’m all for French broads and their hairy bodies, but for Christ’s

sake, would it kill you to take a weed whacker to them pasty white

airplane pillows? It’s like this: whatever happened to Baby Jane?

I don’t care!”

 

8. About Rosie O’Donnell-

“She’ll huff, she’ll puff and she’ll blow all of your interest in her

out the window.”

 

9. About Suze Ormon- (financial advisor)

“I’d rather get stock advice from the guy who sells drugs in a gay

bar bathroom stall.”

 

10. About Jesse Tyler Ferguson-

(From “Modern Family,” where he is the thinner man in the gay

couple and has red hair):

“For the love of everything unholy, flesh colored beards have never

been and never will be attractive!”

 

11. About Bianca Del Rio-

“Bianca calls her bit the “Rolodex of Hate.” It’s more like the

“Rolodex of Repeat.” She’s had the same material for her entire

40-year career! Speaking of which, Bianca, what were the 70’s

like?”

 

I used to listen to RuPaul, a famous Drag Queen, actress and

author. She made the rounds on talk shows and often appeared

in comedy skits. You can see him in such family movies as,

“The Brady Bunch Movie” and “Brady Bunch Sequel.”

His two books were published and had good sales.

RuPaul’s two books are called,

“Letting It All Hang Out” (an autobiography)

and “Workin’ It.”

 

Here are three RuPaul quotes for you to read:

 

~”When you become the image of your imagination,

it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”

 

~”If you don’t love yourself, how the H- – – you gonna

love someone else?”

 

~”We all come into this world naked.  The rest is all drag.”

 

Viva le difference!

 

Celebrating with Buckeyes

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I could ‘subtitle’ this post: “Partying with the Younger Crowd.” We

were going to a big Sugar Bowl party.  I was excited to be included

by my youngest daughter. I would be rooting for Ohio State Buckeyes

to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. Both my brother and my friend

who works at the Columbus Dispatch at the Sports Desk felt we had

little chance of winning but both texted me frequently over the eve.

 

I was the D.D. for the after New Year’s Eve party celebration in the

basement of a fun, pizza serving bar called “Zeno’s.” My youngest

daughter and I were coming off a high from just having watched a

finely written and acted movie called, “The Imitation Game.”

 

We had followed my junk food movie snacks up with a stop at Ruby

Tuesdays for a nice, healthy salad bar.  She is one of the healthy,

gluten-free, fresh ingredients, low sugar, group of smoothie-drinking

vegetarians who sometimes include fish or eggs in their diets.

 

We found first rate Columbus parking, in a No Towing area. Unlike a

late arrival friend who had to literally walk a mile to the bar!  (Later,

we drove her back and discovered she was not kidding!) We waded

through the first packed floor of varied ages. I noticed there were a

couple of men I would have to stop with me and flirt with them. We

sallied forth to our destination. There were only a handful of fellow

workers from the restaurant. I was the one who spotted the string of

white Christmas lights and plugged them in, I checked out the three

steps in the women’s bathroom, leading upward from the sink to sit

on a ‘throne.’ When I later reported this bizarre restroom, I was told

by a tall, lanky man that the same situation is set up in the men’s

room.  He had me imagine men stooping down to not hit their heads

on the short ceiling level. Standing up has its down sides, at times.

 

I ordered a seltzer water with a slice of lime in it from Jessie, a

patient barkeep. We were amidst the fellow servers of an upscale

restaurant, where they had all worked New Year’s Eve. Their one day

off having planned and gathered extra money to reserved their own

‘place under the sun’ or ‘spot under the rafters’ of a stomping and

exuberant crowd of Buckeyes upstairs. We became more excited as

our numbers increased. I like to develop characters and watch other

people so here are some of my impressions of the young people.

 

There was one older woman who had had no children and was their

appointed “Mother Hen” named Mary Beth. There was a man in his

forties with a nice head of hair, a Steve Martin look-alike. Barry stayed

involved in the Beer Pong activities, writing competitors’ names and

scores on a paper taped to the painted cinder block wall.

 

Here is a list of real names, inspired by Famous People:

1. Mariah- She is wispy and sweet, telling people about their ‘aura’s’

and their ‘spirits.’ Wait for the most unlikely love story to be shared

by her and a man named, Grant. Mariah says the surprise ending was

more on her part, than his. They have plans to marry next year, 2016.

 

2. Whitney- She is a petite, blonde young girl who is also matched with

an equally unlikely man who is possibly the polar opposite of her.

She is so open and forthcoming, hugging me immediately upon being

introduced by youngest daughter. Whitney is a server who brought the

next party-goer who sounds like he walked out of a soap opera. . .

 

Chance- This thirty year old man is tall, has his head shaved close in

a nice way like a service man. He looks like he belongs in a computer

lab. He was quiet and polite, his conversation and stationary stance

unusual amongst the sports fans. In over four hours, he spent barely

moving except to jump up and down for joy at any progress the Bucks

were able to make. He stood still and tall, his shoulders slim and his

waist narrow, hands in his pockets. He probably is composing a musical

or writing a book in his head. I was unable to break his ‘code of silence.’

Imagine this, who can get almost anyone to blab their life’s secrets.

 

4. Gabriella (aka “Gabby”)- Dark wavy hair, engaged with the ‘boys’ in

Beer Pong, winning at least two rounds. She was bubbly and warm,

hugging many people in the room. She appeared like a soccer player

in her build and like several of my daughter’s outgoing friends.

 

5. Grant- He shared a funny love story which melted my heart. I sure

do love men who are open and not guarded. He did describe himself

as a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ in high school. I shared about my Science Club

group and my view of being rather ‘nerdy,’ too. He has thick wavy hair,

was wearing a sweater. Not the typical red or gray OSU t-shirt party-goer.

 

 

Now, for the Exotic Names:

1. Yonida- born and raised through her toddler years in Albania, she is

very “American” in her word phrasings and her appearance. She is a

close friend of my youngest daughter, the two of them meeting at a

Fourth of July (2014) party. Although Yonida works at another upscale

restaurant, everyone in this crowded basement with the big screen t.v.

and one woman bartender bar had invited a few extras. Yonida liked

the idea of my getting them in the tunnel, Whitney, Yonida and Felicia,

to take a picture. Since the hallway was brick with wooden paneling

and held a few photos of OSU greats, including Woody Hayes.

So, as most young people do, they decided to ‘look tough’ and pose in

this rugged setting. It is the hall directly under the Zeno’s bar.

 

2. Jose- The older bus ‘boy’ who helps the waitstaff by clearing tables

and makes jokes that get the servers rolling. I think it is the Spanish

accent, we had a long and convoluted conversation with my usage of

Spanish phrases interspersed with English. How do you say, “party?”

Fiesta!

 

3. Zeke (Ezekial) came from New York, learned from one of the best,

(the upscale restaurant’s owner of several unique and individual

restaurants) how to be a hand-crafted, fresh-flavored Chef. He reminded

me of my son, the one who cooks for Son of Thurman, here in Delaware.

Zeke admitted to two of Felicia’s friends and to me, “I have a crush on

your daughter.” He is not Italian or Greek but has the dark, brooding

look and is actually Jewish in descent, but not in practice.

 

4. Jade- She does not want to be a server forever, she proclaimed this

as soon as we started chatting. She is a petite, long-haired sensitive

young woman who thinks she wants to be a teacher someday. She has

two years of art college and has a Yoga Instructor license. She is one who

admires my youngest daughter’s business acumen and wished she had

completed her art college. She will go back and get a Bachelor’s degree,

she says in teaching Art. I believe in her, I can see the potential of her

truly making her ‘mark’ in the world. I told her there are many children

who need art, since it is one of the most fun places to be, especially those

who don’t ‘test’ well or are floundering in their reading skills. She told me

that she is worried (as so many of my fellow bloggers are) at the way that

schools take funding away from worthy projects and subjects such as Art,

Music and Gymnastics. Literature is not always valued as it should be.

You can tell, I spent a lot of time talking to Jade! She was an ‘old soul.’

 

Love Story:

“First Impressions Mix-Up”

 

Grant led with the simple truth of, “I guess you must believe in the fact

that people should not judge a book by its cover.” He went on to say that

Mariah seemed very confident, ‘clique-ish’ and ‘snobby.’ Grant gave me

what he considered a ‘valid’ example,

“I sat beside her one entire day of orientation and she did not even turn

her head in my direction. Not even once.”

 

Grant told me, when I told him I had a smart, funny son who sometimes

was like him. I mentioned that Jamie is quiet until you get to know him.

This helped Grant to open up more to say,

“I guess it is true, we sometimes ‘carry a chip on our shoulders,’ maybe

due to actions of others, that remind us of someone from our past. I

was predicting and stereotyping since she is ‘drop dead gorgeous.'”

“Mariah seemed to look right through me,” was another response,

he shared with me.

 

Before I share how these two got together, I will contrast Mariah’s image

of Grant. Mariah felt he was,  “stuck on himself” and “almost arrogant.”

She does not remember ever sitting next to him at orientation. She is a

little embarrassed to be asked about her memory of their restaurant

orientation. It is part of what people ask her now that they are engaged.

She admits, she may have been ‘distracted,’ since she was ‘getting over

someone else.’

 

Mariah is an out-going young attractive woman, who may have intimidated

Grant. Grant is also a nice looking young man who is very intelligent but may

have a negative self image.

 

It was funny since Grant also exuded confidence and was polite as to call me,

“Miss Robin,” along with calling the other older server, “Miss Mary Beth.”

 

So, here is the hilarious and simple way the two young people found each

other as told by Mariah:

“Three months after we had worked together, Grant was standing by the

coffee station, cleaning all of its parts in boiling water. It was the end of the

shift, I approached Grant and said verbatim,

“Hey Grant, do you want to come to our rolling party in the PDR?”

 

“Grant stopped what he was doing, looked at me intensely (Mariah still talking)

and said,

‘Did you say ‘robot party’ because I am IN!!  And where is the PDR?'”

 

Mariah rolls her eyes, glancing at Grant who is talking to Zeke.

“Honestly, how can a man work as a server for OVER Three Months

and not know about rolling silverware or the Private Dining Room? I

was just using a fun tone trying to get him back there to join us in

rolling silverware!!”

 

Grant told me his version,

“So, I am already cleaning an area, while the girls are supposed to be

rolling silverware, and Mariah asks me to a party. What was I supposed

to think? I got excited, maybe she was into science fiction and would be

having a robot party. I was serious. No, I had no clue about when they

go into the Private Dining Room their abbreviated way of saying this. Nor

did I know about their calling this process,  a ‘party.'”

 

Grant felt she was so friendly and cute, standing there that he went

back to the PDR and sat right next to her, asked her several questions

about where she grew up and her high school, this helped finally to

‘melt the ice’ between them. They fell for each other after that.

 

Mariah saw him as a very articulate and interesting man, someone

who would be a nice change from the athletic guys. She felt ‘bossed

her around’ and were ‘very pushy’ in their personal behavior. She

finished the story with her own warm summary to me,

 

“It’s a shame because we lost three months to spend time together.

But, for me (Mariah), the lessons are:

‘Everyone has an interesting potential,’ and ‘Don’t be closed to

opportunities to connect.'”

The end or beginning of Grant and Mariah’s Love Story.

 

The end of my well spent four and a half hours can be summed up as

having been engaged in lively discourse and rowdy team spirit. I had

eaten six (or 8?) wings, half were medium hot wings and half were

pineapple teriyaki.

A young man, not named above, had a few so I lost count of my basket

numbers.

I had a few sips of my youngest daughter’s mixed drink, but had a 2nd

water with lime and hydrated. It was surprisingly hot in the basement.

Some were playing beer pong, some were swearing, others were shouting

in their excitement (we won by a very close score) and when a manager

stood by me, I exclaimed,

“You have an incredible work group gathered here, this shows such a

great team spirit. I get the feeling you all become ‘family’ and a lot has

to do with the leadership, an equal amount has to do with such amazing

people you chose to be employees.”

He smiled and nodded. Then Greg said,

“The corporation is run by someone who worked his own way up through

the ranks. He is very encouraging of self-growth and hopes everyone will

find their own paths.”

 

I hope you had a fantastic New Year’s Eve! The sports ‘after party’ was

a great outing. I enjoyed the time with family, friends and Mom this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughter with Others

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When my Mom gets her large package of humorous emails, she

likes me to read them aloud to her. Some of these she has already

sorted through, deciding which ‘belongs on Robin’s blog,’ while

others she has ‘censored’ or marked ‘just plain stupid.’ I read her

all the Thanksgiving funnies, throwing them into my folder to

save for 2015, while I found a few that were for men to make fun

of women and some of women to make fun of men. It made sense

for me to publish them as a whole, saying this thought:

“Can’t we (girls and boys) all just get along?”

 

This is for the Ladies’ First:

1.

“A man came home from work and found his three children outside,

still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and

20 wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife’s car was open and so was the front door to the

house. There was no sign of the dog.

When he entered their home, he found an even bigger mess.  A lamp

had been knocked over and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the family room, the t.v. was loudly blaring on the cartoon channel.

The toys and various items of clothing were strewn everywhere.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the

counter and the refrigerator door was open wide. The dog food had been

spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table and a small pile

of sand was spread by the back door.

The man of the house walked quickly through the rooms, scanning for

any signs of his wife. He climbed up the stairs to the second floor,

getting nervous, almost frantic. He stepped over toys and more piles

of clothes. . .

He was worried that she might be ill or that something serious may

have happened.

When he got outside the closed bathroom door, there was a small

amount of water. At last! Some sign or explanation!

When he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more

toys thrown over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and there

was tooth paste smeared over the floor length mirror and on the walls.

When he rushed out of the bathroom into the next bedroom, he found

his wife curled up in bed in her pajamas, reading a paperback book.

 

He looked at her bewildered and had to rein in his voice from his

impulse to yell at her,

“What happened here today?”

She looked at him and smiled,

“How was your day?”

He ignored the question and repeated his own question.

She gave him a big smile then and answered,

“You know every day when you come home from work and you ask

me ‘What in the world do you do all day?”

“Yes,” her husband answered in an incredulous voice.

She answered,

“Well, today I didn’t do it.”

 

This is for “idiot” bosses, either female or male:

2.

“People gathered for a goodbye luncheon for an old and dear

coworker who was leaving the company due to ‘downsizing.’

As we were leaving the restaurant, the manager commented

cheerfully,

“This was fun. We should do this more often.”

The comment was met with stunned silence. Not another

word was spoken.

The coworkers all just looked at each other, with that ‘deer in

the headlights’ stare.

We got into our cars not knowing how to take the comment.”

 

This is for the Men, who so to speak, get the ‘last word in.’

3.

“During a recent woman’s medical examination, a British doctor

says,

“Your heart, lungs, pulse and blood pressure are all fine.

Now, let me see the part that gets you ladies into all kinds of

trouble.”

The woman started to take down her knickers, but was stopped

by the doctor interrupting this procedure by saying,

“No, no! Just stick out your tongue!”

 

This is for all of us coffee drinkers, who could not maintain our

sanity or attention to details without it. Thanks, Maxine!

4.

“I don’t know what I’d do without my morning coffee. . .

probably Twenty-five to Life in the state penitentiary.”

 

This is for all of those who enjoy little tyke’s who say the ‘darndest

things:’

5.

“A minister was presenting the Children’s Sermon and asked the

children if they knew what the word, “resurrection” was.

Asking questions in front of the whole congregation, with only

the kids up in front,  may lead to some ‘dangerous’  or ‘sketchy’

answers, but this one really does take the cake!

Finally, after the children were restless and looking around and not

answering the minister, one boy raised his hand. He pronounced his

answer loudly and clearly:

“I don’t know what ‘resurrection’ is but I do know that if it lasts more

than four hours you are supposed to call a doctor.”

 

Laughter and tears ensued, rolling in the aisle commenced. . .

 

It took over ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough

for the Adult Sermon to be preached.”

 

In this post I have written today, although I feel the jokes are quite

amusing,

I wish to let you know they each have a stereotype in them.

You know I believe in fairness, equality and making everyone feeling

comfortable here

on this blog. . .

I usually worry about these things, edit and make them fit everyone

and never show a lack of respect for most people. I even have had to

apologize.

Sorry, this time. . .

I am going to “Let it go.”

 

Waffle Mornings

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Throughout my childhood, there were moments in time which are

treasured. Seems a little ‘simple’ or holding little ‘value,’ but our

mornings where my Mom and Dad were not going to work nor

preoccupied with their lives, were extra special. The old waffle

iron being pulled out, placed on the counter, close by to the sink

and all the ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder and soda,

milk, butter and eggs being lined up meant this had the glowing

potential of becoming a morning of serendipity. Those mornings

are permanently engraved in my mind with the cross-hatched

imprint of homemade waffles. Mmm! My Aunt Amy always sent

us a nice bottle of maple syrup from Chardon, Ohio.

This past Thursday morning, while many families were finishing

their preparations for their Thanksgiving meal and others were

on the road traveling on crowded byways and arriving at their

destinations Mom and I were getting our breakfast prepared.

We cooked up in the toaster, four store-bought frozen blueberry

waffles, put butter  on each one, allowing them to melt into those

little square pockets and poured some real maple syrup over them.

Mom and I settled in for a huge treat, it was the morning of the

annual event:

The 88th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mom and I enjoyed so much of the floats, musical presentations

and the marching bands. She is often amazed and surprised with

the unique balloon floats, which she exclaims and pronounces so

many of them, “my favorite one of all!”

I have a few notes down, which Mom supervised, since she felt she

should have her hand in their choices. After all, she probably has

seen a few more than I have over all the years. Although, I did remind

her that her treats on Thanksgiving morning were baking up some of

those orange glazed and vanilla frosted cinnamon rolls by Pillsbury,

not usually did she have time for waffles on Thanksgiving. Although,

there was one year that I got rather annoyed at my brother, Randy,

my Mom and Dad for being side-tracked by the Waffle House on a

Thanksgiving Day… but that is all in the history of our family, no

real need to dwell on that!

It has been 40 years of having Hello Kitty in the Macy’s parade. It

has been 45 years since Royal Caribbean has been part of the parade.

We took a moment to discuss and remember my Mom’s father and

her step-mother, who we were told to call “Aunt Vergene,” having

their honeymoon on a Royal Caribbean cruise. They has quite some

adventures with trips to places all around the world, their favorites

possibly being the Alaska trip and the Scandinavian one where my

Grandfather was able to see the fjords. (My Grandmother had passed

away long before their marriage and trips, since this is important to

my family history and the fine example of love shown by both of them.)

Mom liked the Peter Pan musical presentation, with children from the

Broadway production. There also was a commercial about the current

upcoming television production to be seen on December 4, 2014. The

cast includes Minnie Driver and Christopher Walken. I thought the

previews looked quite good and think J. M. Barrie’s tale of Peter Pan

is always a timeless treat to watch.

Mom worried about the underdressed New York City Rockettes and

yet, thought their little ‘bathing suits with gift bows’ were ‘cute.’

I am not sure what Meghan Trainor sang, need to go check: “Lips

Are Moving.” Mom said she liked that Meghan looks like a ‘nice,

healthy girl,’ and she also did not ‘mind the style of her singing.’

It was a rocking and rapping song, which was pleasant sounding.

In the little bits of her comments, she told me,

“I always love pink flamingos, they make me smile!”

“I remember the Sea World in Florida, this float captures all the

colors and beauty of the sea.”

“I love the movement and impressive activity of this band, along

with its music.”

“I remember this group, what are they called?” I answered her,

“This is the KISS band with Gene Simmons as the lead singer.”

“Oh, this is nice to hear their songs.” (The medley was a nice one,

which I may add, I was impressed that there was only one tongue

presentation. I read in the papers, the next day, there were ‘no rules

or restrictions formally given to the members of KISS.’)

 

We were both surprised that Paddington the Bear had his first time

appearance in 2014. This British icon so sweetly floated as a balloon

with his familiar blue coat, big, red hat and suitcase in hand. He looked

like he was ready to rush off and enjoy a wonderful day in England.

Paddington is one of the most recognizable children’s book characters.

It was fantastic to see him join the Parade. Next year, in 2015, will be

released the bear’s first full-length animated movie, produced by the

Weinstein Group. Not only fun and sweet memories attached, but it

never hurts to have some advertising for the upcoming movie.

During the commercials, Mom was enthusiastic about the upcoming

holiday release of Stephen Sondheim and others’ “Into the Woods,”

movie musical. With Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendricks,

and Johnny Depp playing the character of the Wolf, she was wishing

to go to see this at the theater. She waited about five minutes, with

a serious look on her face, which usually accompanies an abstract or

somber thought. I could relate to her fears expressed in this comment,

“Although, I am not sure I could sit for two or more hours without

having to use the bathroom.”

We decided we could wait until the library has this, possibly in time

for my July, 2015 vacation. We have been making a rather long list of

current movie releases, hoping to be able to watch them next summer.

The most outstanding and magnificent dancers, we felt were the Beijing

Traditional Dancers. Their float was financed and backed by the “Sino-

American Friendship Association (or Organization). It included lots of

color and the Great Wall of China in the design of the float.

I would say the ‘close second’ place Float of the morning was the one

which held the Cirque D’ Soleil crew of jugglers, athletes, dancers and

performers called appropriately: “Dream Seekers.” This float was

touted as the ‘biggest float of the parade.’

Sabrina Carpenter sang on the Pirate Ship with playful words, “I’m

Ready to Fly,” which is a beautiful song with her voice exhibiting

dulcimer tones. I will need to check her out sometime soon, to see

or better yet, hear her other songs she sings. She is young and was

born on May 11, 1999. I am giving you a prediction:  Sabrina will

go far in the musical world!

A funny but serious group of “48 Mammas” were dancing to the

song, “We’re Not Going to Take It.” They were promoting the great

message of being Against Ageism. They were all representing the

controversial subject of age discrimination. There were some dancers

who had walkers, others who had canes but they were a lively group.

Mom leaned over towards me saying,

“They may be representing those who are disabled but they would

not be able to endure the pain of walking the whole course of the

parade, if they were truly ‘handicapped.'”

There is a group I hope you have not heard of, but you may already

know of this extremely ‘cute’ and ‘popular’ British singers: The Vamps.

We thoroughly enjoyed this pleasant singing young band. The young

people along the parade route were screaming, as if they were the

famous Beatles of the 60’s. Since they are out of England, they have

not appeared, as far as I know, on any of our 2014 award shows. Not

yet! Their float was futuristic, with a Hess brand truck launching a

rocket.

The newest balloon float, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger,

along with the Spiderman entry would be so fun to go and see the

early morning balloon ‘blowing’ pre-Parade moments. I think if I

lived closer to New York, (oh, and had extra money to ‘blow’) I sure

would take my grandchildren to this special ceremony and watch

the preparations. This was mentioned by the announcers of the Macy’s

Thanksgiving Parade as a valuable and memorable family time.

 

Of course, many children get excited each year to see the final float

with reindeer and Santa Claus. It means it can’t be long till Christmas!

 

It may seem rather strange to celebrate holidays with television events,

but those mornings where my own three children and I would get all

wrapped up in blankets, eating waffles or sweet rolls, while watching

the annual parades are priceless memories.  After all, television was

something that kept my generation, the first to be able to really watch

all the parts of the world right out of our own living room, happily

entertained. It is hard to explain this phenomena, where many of my

grandchildren take for granted their ability to view the world from

their computers and cell phones.

 

It was very enjoyable to see the 88th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with

my Mom this year through her ‘fresh’ older eyes. Along with pleasant

promises of the next event to celebrate:  the Annual Parade of Roses.

 

 

 

Movie Opinions Vary

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It all comes down to trusting the reviewer, I feel. So, I am going to tell you about

several movies I was discouraged about, disinterested in or would not recommend

to a friend. I used to really like getting Siskel and Ebert’s annual movie review books.

My father knew how I liked to study and read about current movies, along with

looking up older ones, too. This was a guaranteed Christmas book for several years

in a row, along with a few others from my parents. I still have “S & E’s” final review

compilation from the last year they were both alive together.

 

I wish I could ask them what they think about, “Gone Girl.”

 

I went to see the movie last night that had been given ‘rave reviews.’ Which is why

I started this post using the suggestion either you have come to know me and would

believe me.  Or you may wish to still try one of these movies. They are not all from

2014, but no endings or many surprises will be revealed.  I feel knowing some of the

facts still won’t necessitate my having to give you a *Spoiler Alert.*

 

My youngest daughter and I went to see the movie, “Gone Girl.” We paid an exorbitant

amount of $9.75 each for this. I could not wait until it came to our local Strand Theatre

which is showing two family shows and one that I am not familiar with. On the “CBS

Sunday Morning Show,” yesterday they featured the author, Gillian Flynn, along with

Ben Affleck and the director, David Fincher. The author emphasized she would still

continue writing but felt this was her ‘shining moment.’ She was enthusiastic with her

having her book on the Best Seller List since 2012. Ms. Flynn was pleased  with the

excellent director and outstanding cast following her  script/screenplay. It was exciting

to listen to her confidence. It is always nice when someone’s life falls into place. It gives

every writer hope for their own being well-received. She had other books do well, but

this movie is something she felt possibly would be her “best” book in her entire life.

I started getting  ‘pumped up’ for later that evening.

 

I left the library and waited until my youngest daughter called, since she had gone

into Martini’s Restaurant to work. Knowing if it were ‘slow,’ she would be ‘cut from

the floor.’ (Server slang for being sent home with lack of tables to wait on.)

 

We met in the middle, she driving from east side of Columbus, my heading south

from Delaware. I expected the snacks to be priced high, so I put a candy bar and a

bag of Smart Pop, Cheddar Cheese flavored, in my purse. I NEVER do this to the

local movie theater. I don’t feel any twinges of conscience for this action at the Rave

Cineplex. We did not make the matinee show, which would have been only $5.

We started chattering, as we ‘hit the ladies’ room’ before entering the theater. Then we

watched a slew of advertisements for television shows on the big screen. We saw several

good promotions for Diet Coke and movies that were coming soon. We did not see any

trailers for the next two on our October list, (“The Judge” and “The Best of Me.”)

 

I will say that as we left “Gone Girl,” someone told us it was exactly like the book. If you

loved or liked the book, go ahead and watch this movie. If you did not read the book nor

know the plot, I recommend you stop, look it up, and think about how you want to feel

after you leave the theater. We both, (Felicia is 28 years old and I am 58), felt it was

depressing, had no redeeming value nor were any of the three main characters ones

we cared about.  Yes, that includes Ben Affleck!   We liked the character of the female

police officer in charge of the investigation of the missing woman, we also got teary-

eyed, because there is a very nice sister of Ben Affleck’s character.

 

We compared this to the overwhelmingly sad and horrible feelings we felt when we

finished the movie, “Prisoners.” Again, that movie had great actors and actresses, Hugh

Jackman and Terrence Howard included.  If you enjoyed that particular movie, then

you may enjoy this one. (But I will wonder if you would please tell us WHY you liked it?

in the comments’ section.)

 

Another movie we had watched, so excited because of the leading male actors and the

(again) positive reviews was Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie, “The Wolf of  Wall Street.”

We were so thankful we picked that out of the Redbox, which cost only $1 plus tax.

We watched the beginning, really liking the characters, including the inept one, Jonah

Hill, who is usually funny. By the middle of this long, seedy, and terrible movie with

excessive (but not amusing) debauchery happening, we resorted to fast-forwarding

it to the end.  You really would not be exaggerating if you said you needed to take a

shower afterwards. We hoped to find some redeeming value. If you know the true story

behind this one, you will know there is a slightly ‘good’ ending.

 

It was NOTHING like the pleasant plot with some amoral acts, but mainly fun pranks

while major laws were being broken in, “Catch Me If You Can.” In “The Wolf of Wall Street”

movie, laws are broken, which isn’t what upset us. My youngest daughter and I hated the

fact Leonardo DiCaprio’s character claims, while narrating scenes, when he saw his future

wife, he said he fell in love with her and would treasure her always. His character and

Jonah Hill’s character both went overboard on drugs and prostitutes. (All of this was

included in the advertisements or movie trailers, but we had hoped it would be BEFORE

he got married and had a child with the woman  he claimed was ‘the love of his life.’)

 

I am not going to be a fan who recommends, “Saving Mr. Banks,” either. The title is

misleading, the age group I would suggest seeing this is far higher than 10-12 year

olds. It is like “Bambi,” with its ‘out of the blue’ death and attempted suicide scenes.

It is a forced movie, with wonderful acting by Emma Thompson playing P.L. Travers

and Tom Hanks, as Walt Disney. The scenes of P.L. Travers’ childhood are immensely

tragic. You wonder what kept her going through her life, motivating her to write such

great books. My favorite character is the chauffeur played by Paul Giamatti. I think my

fellow blogger, “Belsbror,” mentioned this months ago, taking his daughter to it and

getting up to leave before it ended.

 

I watched the awful “August: Osage County” movie on Friday, having been on a long

library ‘wait list.’ Again, like “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Wolf on Wall Street,” this

was nominated for Academy Awards for Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, along with

“Best Picture of the Year.” If you enjoy Tennessee Williams’ plays and movies, some

which have been entertaining but very dramatic and highly emotional, then you are

in for a ‘treat.’ This was the style of the writing by Tracy Letts, who won a Pulitzer

Prize in 2008 for the book. Otherwise, I guess I had hoped it would be like a country

edition of “On Golden Pond.” That movie had dramatic performances but I actually

liked a couple of the crotchety characters. I did not relate or like ANY of the main

characters, especially disliked Meryl Streep’s character, who has cancer. I felt the

audience should at least feel sympathetic towards her (but I didn’t). My favorite

character was the unassuming Native American, played by Missy Upham, who is

hired to be the family’s housekeeper. In a mean comment, during the course of

the movie, Meryl Streep’s character calls her an “Injun.”

 

I may have to tell you in this conclusion, that I am not a fan of the “Twilight” movies,

along with the “Hunger Games” books or movies. My good friend, Diane S. and I

got up and left during the premiere of the first “Hunger Games.” She had a daughter,

at the time, ‘stuck’ in Africa for almost 4 years. She had been trying to adopt a boy

who she had fallen in love with as a baby, when she was a volunteer there. When the

12 year old African American character gets shot by another young person, in the

first movie, Diane burst into tears. I have never seen it nor the other ones since then.

It is a shame, since I do like the main character’s actress, Jennifer Lawrence. I would

highly recommend you see her in the complex but funny movie, “Silver Linings Playlist.”

or the dark and realistic movie she is in called, “Winter’s Bone.” Also, she does well in

the Oscar nominated movie, “American Hustle.”

 

It makes me think of the melancholy song, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” sung by

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in 1972. (More recently performed by the group,

“Simply Red,” in 2009.) You know some of my opinions but we may have to agree

to disagree, on some of my negative reviews of some ‘popular’ movies. If you wish to

give your opinions, I do embrace freedom of speech and do not like censorship.

Please let us know about any or all of the above movies, which I could not find any

redeeming qualities. I am discouraged by this discovery, believe me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

Famous T. V. Dads

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Famous television fathers were quite conventional, sometimes filling

current stereotypes, but they usually seemed above normal in their

tolerance and patience. We were talking at Friday’s midpoint mark, in

the breakroom about how we may have formed misconceptions about

the way dads should act from watching these early family shows. After

all, most of us did not have traditional fathers, who would go to work in

suits and ties, come in cheerful, pull out a newspaper and quietly unwind.

I am sure my father wished he could have been ‘so lucky!’

My family consisted of two bread-winners and the three of us children,

were often in the winter months the last ones picked up at our baby-

sitter’s house. I remember looking out of Mrs. Boos’ picture window

into the darkness, wondering which day it was that Mom was doing her

oracle debates, drama or Spanish club meetings? I would sigh with an

almost exasperated ‘whoosh!’ when I finally saw her station wagon’s

headlights in the driveway. Mrs. Boos had two sons who played with my

brothers, occasionally I would join in or get a chance to sit on Diana’s

bed, her teenaged daughter and look at pictures of the Beatles or the

Dave Clark Five, or sometimes there would be magazines full of fashion

and hairstyles. My Mom was pleased when Diana went to Kent State

University and invited me to spend “Siblings Weekend,” as Diana’s baby

‘sister,’ Robin.

When we got home, my Dad, usually, would be home shortly, pulling off

his tie, after he took off his jacket, asking what he needed to do to ‘pitch

in.’ Spoiled me, made me think all fathers were like this. Today, Saturday,

June 14th, 2014, they had on the CBS Morning Show, a segment on the

percentage of fathers in the fifties, sixties and seventies that helped out

in child-rearing responsibilities. Sadly, they still said in the more recent

years the percentage of household responsibilities, even with working

moms being in the majority, it is still not a 50/50 deal.

Anyway, Melvin’s Mom and Dad were more like my parents, sharing the

chores and also, enjoying family times together. He admitted most of

his African American friends had either a limited amount of fatherly

involvement or none.

Tammy said that her mother had stayed home, whenever she would ask

for help inside the house, her father was quick to remind her, “You don’t

work.” She was dismayed at this behavior, remembering, even as a young

girl in her imagination, “I won’t stand for this in my adult life!” (Tammy

and Mike have been friends since childhood, “fence post buddies,” but have

never tied the knot.) She certainly is open that she doesn’t even have a

joint account with Mike, they just split the bills and love each other. She

is an independent woman, almost the ‘polar opposite’ from the parents

she dearly loves.

Trevinal said his parents are more together now, but in his childhood his

father sounded like my first husband, wished for dinner on the table,

kids cleaned up and early to bed, and lots of time watching his favorite

sports shows on television. There is a whole different love that he and his

wife share, more understanding and encouragement. He is so ‘blessed,’

he says to have someone who believed in his ability to think. The family

cannot believe that he is in Nursing School, working fulltime to pay his

bills and rising far above the expectations of Special Education. He feels

that by meeting the ‘right’ woman to share his life is a ‘daily blessing.’

His being in his thirties, reminds me of my own son, and I also remind

him of my belief in his ability to be a good father, when the time comes.

Here are the above persons’ and other coworkers, along with family

members who have cited some excellent, funny and different television

situational comedies for “Best Examples of Television Fathers:”

1.  My favorite father of all time, is from the show, “My Three Sons.” This

show allowed a non-traditional father, in amongst the ‘drones’ that I

found on other television shows. The combined household of widower,

played by Fred McMurray, his brother, who was the boys’ Uncle Charlie,

and the three rowdy boys always made me admire the patience, fortitude

and compassion showing what I considered “true family values.”

 

That is not to say, I didn’t laugh at the antics of Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas,

John Forsythe  (“Bachelor Father”) or Brian Keith (“Family Affair.”) I also liked

“The Ozzie and Harriet Show,” an almost first time reality show, since the family

was played by actual family members. I liked the sense of humor and the handsome

boys in this one! (Diana, my babysitter’s daughter, also had a few articles in her

teen magazines which featured the Nelson boys, especially the “cute” Ricky!

 

2.  Hugh Beaumont, who played the Dad on “Leave It to Beaver,” was the one

that my coworker, Mark, listed as his favorite. The different ways that influenced

his choice was first he liked that Beaver’s mother wore an apron, like his mother

did, daily. Also, that the father character hardly ever yelled, even under stressful

times.

3.  Tammy said the whole family in her household liked, “The Danny Thomas

Show.” I still like that Marlo Thomas was an independent woman, not hurrying

into marriage until she fell in love, in real life, with the talk show host, Phil

Donahue. I also personally enjoyed the fact she is a columnist in my “AARP

Magazine.” Tammy said she liked Danny Thomas, since he presented a few

shows, mentioning different cultures. I would have to check this out, but do

support and believe in St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Marlo has said that she

got her Dad’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which carries her through

tough times.

4.  Trevinal still remembers almost every show that “Family Matters” had

on television. He has found this to calm him, looking at Urkel’s silly dress

code, high water pants and his often expressed question, “Did I do that?”

The sense of humor and the family were something he admired and felt

that Urkel’s character was one that gave him confidence when he made

mistakes, throughout many of his years,  in life.

Trevinal’s words are very powerful, expressing this to me:

“Whenever Urkel goofed up, people would roll their eyes, sometimes

bellow at him, but always forgive him. That is how I wish to be when I

am a father.”

Reginald VelJohnson, who played the father in “Family Matters,” is

in one of my youngest daughter’s favorite shows, “Hart of Dixie.”

(Rachel Bilson and Tim Matheson play doctors on that country

setting show.)

Trevinal also noted that Urkel was a neighbor,  the family next door’s kid,

but he became part of the family and included, whether wanted there or not,

anyway.

5.  Keith told me, laughing, while lifting a box in the aerosol room, in what we

call the “Bomb Shelter,” that his favorite father character was Archie Bunker.

That show was called, “All in the Family,” where all sorts of issues popped up,

Archie sticking his neck out, saying all kinds of bigoted or prejudiced comments,

but usually backing down on them. Meeting people of all ethnicities, while they

were in an urban setting, with his wife being accepting, his daughter also very

open minded and often, Rob Reiner, playing “Meathead,” took the brunt of

Archie’s anger. I asked why he thought of this character? He told me, a little

bit sheepishly, that his own father was ‘backwards’ and ‘ignorant’ like Archie

had been. This made him become aware that there were other perspectives

on people. I appreciated Keith’s candor. He also added his parents were from

Kentucky! He added this with a laugh, like that explained everything!

He also said he respected the actor, Carroll O’Connor,  who had gone on to

play a cop, with a black partner, in the show, “The Heat of the Night.”

6.  My son, James, joked that he liked Homer Simpson, for the same reason

that Keith liked Archie Bunker. He said they were the ‘opposite of everything

he hoped for in a father.’ He also said that making mistakes for Homer, making

poor judgments, did make him feel more comfortable in his own parenting

skills.

7.  My oldest daughter said she liked Patrick Duffy, in the show, “Step by Step.”

She had a crush on him, from early days of watching, “Dallas,” and also had

a young ‘crush’ on Cody, the cousin who lives in a van in the driveway on this

sit-com. I liked it because Suzanne Somers was a hairdresser, average single

mother, who found a man with children to marry. I think the idea of stepkids,

appealed to me, also in ‘The Brady Bunch.”

When I mentioned my oldest daughter’s opinion, the men still were ‘hooting’

and ‘hollering,’ in a playful manner. They said she ‘made’ the show, “Three’s

Company,” and still looks great to this day.

8.  No one named, “Father Knows Best,” but all cited this as their 2nd and 3rd

choice of Best Television Father.

9. Charlene, whose young son, Ian, was in on my ‘Opinion Poll’ on Thursday,

had said she loved, “Wonder Years.” Since the mother character is on our

favorite soap opera, (Allie Mills), she remembered to point out she is good in

“The Bold and the Beautiful.” She also mentioned that the Dad on “Wonder

Years,” had to tackle difficult teen subject matter, since the boys grow up on

that show, from junior high through high school. I have to check out the dates,

be back to tell you the years: 1988 until 1993. The father’s character was

played by Dan Lauria. The couple who ended up taking the show into the

more mature theme included Danica McKellar and Fred Savage as “Winnie

Cooper,” and the kid next door, “Kevin Arnold.” In the Arnold family, the

mother stays home while the father worked. An interesting fact that I found

out was, Danica’s sister could have won the part of “Winnie,” the directors

say it was a ‘toss up’ between Danica and Crystal McKellar.

10. My mother loved the shows with Bill Bixby, including his role in “My

Favorite Martian” and “The Hulk.” But when I would come home from

junior high and high school, I would have the lights off, my Mom sitting

on one end of the sofa with her feet up on an ottoman, watching, “The

Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” When I overheard that song on the radio

and recently, on a commercial, I would almost “tear up.” Mom was much

more tired when I was that age, she would not volunteer to be coaches,

helpers or club counselors at Westlake High School. She would be the

chaperone, with my Dad by her side, for dances. That was as much energy

as she could ‘wrangle up,’ in her forties. I love Harry Nilsson’s song, the

memory of her sometimes lightly snoring, until the song would play

and she would sit up, watch and share those moments. My one brother

would be in track, (Spring), water boy in basketball, (Winter) or in

Cross Country, (Fall). This was ‘our time.’ The song began with these

words: “Let me tell you about my best friend,…” (The song includes

the father saying, “My pride and joy.”)

By the way, the jingles or songs for television would make an excellent

memorable post. When we were noticing the songs, we all agreed that

the piano playing and the off-key singing by Edith Bunker, played by

Jean Stapleton, was iconic: “Those Were the Days.”

That “Wonder Years” song, “I Get By With a Little Help From MyFriends,”

is legendary. We were nostalgic, reminiscent of family shows when there

weren’t as many choices on television and everyone’s family gathered together

to watch the shows. Even the commercials were memorable.

10.  The last contributor to this post on television fathers was my youngest

daughter’s suggestion of “Little House on the Prairie.” She enjoyed the setting

out West, through tough times, settling and learning how to live as a family

in a different time period had intrigued her.

She grew up watching this in reruns on Nickelodeon. This television

dramatic series ran from 1974 until 1983. (She was born in 1985.)

She reminded me that she read most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books,

after I introduced them to her. She felt Michael Landon portrayed a

very charismatic and dynamic father. I am happy that she remembered

him in this role. (His personal life, somewhat like the much admired

Bing Crosby; left much to be desired. I feel the same about Eric Clapton,

Robin Williams and Bill Cosby. Troubled, but still admired for their

personal talents and  the ‘body of their works.’)

What was your favorite television father?