Category Archives: “The Jetsons” cartoon

Connections: the past with the future

Standard

When I heard that there were two days in a row, celebrating subjects of interest

to me, I was determined to make a ‘big stretch’ and connect the dots. The first day

is based on an animated cartoon t.v. series about the future. It was shown awhile

back, where some of the inventions and special effects have come true. The second

day is one celebrating how we separate our words, making our sentences flow by

using special symbols to separate the words. I think this form of language is swiftly

diminishing, since so many people text, rather than email. While computer emails

have replaced fashioned letters. I am hard pressed to figure out how the celebration

of the first Jetson’s animated cartoon series and the subject of punctuation go together.

 

Traveling into the future with the Jetsons. . .

 

Happy September 23rd: Celebrating the Jetsons!

 

Today, September 23, 2014 is the 52nd Anniversary of the original premiere of the

futuristic, science fictionalized cartoon with child Elroy,  dog Astro, the maid Rosie,

the teen-aged girl named Judy being raised by their parents, Jane and George Jetson.

Here are some interesting facts I found out about this cartoon television series. Did

you know the first two years of “The Jetsons” were shown during “prime time t.v.?”

During 1962 and 1963, this was shown after dinner, after the news during that coveted

time slot of “prime time.” The number of shows totaled 75 episodes and three full-length

feature films. While my children were babies, during the years of 1985-1987, additional

Jetsons cartoons were produced. They are syndicated and repeated over many years after

their original showings.

 

The cartoon series was based loosely on the family in the comic strip, “Blondie.” The father

is drawn tall, lanky and has a tyrant of a boss, named “Mr. Spacely.” Of course Dagwood

Bumstead had a cranky, short-tempered boss, too. I had not put these two together, so

there is another ‘connection,’ that will form a new impulse from one brain wave to another.

(Or one synapse to another!) The setting for the creative cartoon is an imaginary time in

the future, when there would be space vehicles from home to work, transportation, when

there woud be pollution, so there would be little outdoor activities, along with moving

sidewalks (glad we know we have those, at least) and robotic maids. (We have some

versions of automation that could resemble the work provided by Rosie.)

 

The Jetsons family lives in a place called, Skypad Apartments. Their city is called, “Orbit

City.” George’s workplace is called “Spacely’s Space Sprockets.” The apartment building

was designed to remind you of the Seattle Space Needle. There are vague references to

how one gets in and out of the atmosphere, which is supposed to have air pollution.

The people wear space helmets while transporting around the city and various other

buildings. You probably may remember George’s space vehicle turning into a brief-

case.

 

In promotional information provided for the setting and relationships in the scripts,

the ages and some of the individual interests and details are given. This is something I

was not aware of, since I don’t think we knew their ages. The plots of the shows may

have revealed many of this, but my mind was intrigued with the idea of an actual

script and characteristics given for each character.

 

By the way, “T.V. Guide’s list of the 25 Greatest Science-Fiction Legends” considers

“The Jetsons” to be one of those famous influences and includes them in the top 25.

 

George is 40 years old, while going to work he wears a suit and tie, similar to some of

our fathers representing the period that the series was shown on television. Occasionally

at home, the family wears leisure suits that resemble jogging suits with some interesting

shoulder pads.

Jane’s outfits always seem very ‘hip’ with some points on her cuffs and shoulder pads.

Jane is given the age of 33 years old. She portrays an active homemaker participating in

clubs such as the Galaxy Women’s Historical Society.  Jane’s details include liking and

enjoying artwork. Her favorite artists are “Leonardo de Venus” and “Picasso Pia.”  Judy

is a ‘typical’ depiction of a teenager of 15 years old. She attends Orbit High School,  likes

to shop, likes talking about clothes and is often on her telephone. There is a cool futuristic

‘digital’ diary she has; which reminds me of today’s cell phones and computers. Elroy

attends Little Dipper School. He is 6 1/2 years old and is studying some serious subjects.

He studies Space History, Astrophysics and Star Geometry. He enjoys playing with his dog,

Astro, who talks without his “r” sound.

Later during the 80’s additional series, there was an interesting creation of an alien, who

is named, “Orbitty.” Elroy’s playmate has spring-like legs since there were some robotics

involved in this guy who changes colors with his moods.

 

 

 

Moving on, possibly the way the world revolves. . .

to September 24, 2014.

 

Traveling into the distant past. . .

when punctuation was important to use. . .

 

This is the Tenth Anniversary of one of my personal favorite subjects:

Happy National Punctuation Day!

 

There is a man who was concerned about our nation’s ability to spell,

use proper grammar and punctuation. His name is Jeff Rubin. He has

had for some time, wanted people to let him know when they hear of

punctuation errors in their every day lives. He also wishes that the various

spokemen and women, along with newscasters, would be more aware of

their correct usage of these.

On 9/24/04, the first annual National Punctuation Day came about!

There is still an ongoing debate whether or not, Punctuation and even,

Spelling are current and relevant. Currently, with texting, few uses of

full sentences and other forms of communication, using ‘short-cuts,’

slang and abbreviations it may seem to be a ‘lost art.’ One that parents

and teachers alike, may just give up on!

 

But definitely not on September 24th!

 

Teachers usually like to be ‘sticklers’ for these since they were made to,

while young and in school. In college, there was a debate about the

Spelling book, whether lists to be memorized were worth the time and

sometimes crying children, who were just not born spellers. There are

a few natural spellers, a few natural history or social studies ‘geniuses,’

along with those who can understand all levels of mathematics, including

algebra and trigonometry. In each classroom, the strengths and weaknesses

are easily determined by testing, but sometimes figuring this out, may create

biases. We need to make all subjects of learning interesting and bring the

‘fascination’ back into each subject. Games can be played, along with other

means of making learning ‘hands on’ and more ‘experiential.’

 

One suggestion in Rubin’s request in how you may celebrate punctuation

is to get an old-fashioned newspaper and circle the punctuation forms, by

children. They may like taking a red crayon and circling all the commas, periods,

exclamation marks, colons and semi-colons. Adults may be excited to circle the

misspellings and the mistakes made in usage of punctuation.

 

I have seen misspellings in the schools listed on snow days and the political polls’

results shown below the television shows. I have heard poor grammar on t.v.

shows. It upsets me most when the newscasters use either poor grammar or

show a lack of understanding what they are reading on their teleprompter.

Mispronunciations occur across all levels of education, due to possibly lack

of using the dictionary and reading the way the words are supposed to be

pronounced.

 

The Huffington Post had a great article to celebrate this holiday last year,

9/24/13. It was called, “6 Common Punctuation Mistakes that Drive Us

Crazy.”

Here they are with no details given here, I see that I am over my 1000

words again… This article had me laughing out loud, they composed a

funny article and you must try to look it up:

“1. The misused apostrophe.

2. The ubiquitous exclamation marks.

3. The crazy comma.

4. The misplaced semi-colon.

5. The quotation marks.

6. The blurring of ‘text talk’ with real writing.”

 

 

Okay, not going into how, but  I am guilty of #s 2, 3 and 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

Standard

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’?

 

Post #300! Mom’s Subjects of Interest

Standard

It is never boring talking to my Mom! Over the course of this weekend,

we have talked about a multitude of diverse subjects and some flitting

memories included. I am always very tender while visiting my mother’s

senior living apartment, in my approach to her, most of all, but the

others who live there, too.

I heard right away at Friday’s dinner hour, two of her favorite people

who sat at the “regular” dining had been moved due to physical and

mental setbacks to the assisted living part of the building. She had

been given 3 new tablemates, a couple who were named Marie and

Lou, ages 97 and 92. Of course, I was happy to hear they had been

married 70 years!! I was not asking any personal questions, a little

“jet lagged” from the rush hour traffic on I-71 north from Delaware

up to Cleveland.

The other woman, Peggy, was so lively, also in her 90’s. I feel a little

bad for my Mom, though, since she will be “only” 84 and wish she

sat with “younger” people, so less chance of future grieving due to

loss of her new friends.

Here is a random list of our subjects covered on our walks with the

dog and meeting people in the hallways and dining room:

1.  World’s Fair in New York, 1939. (Now, if this is not the correct date, I

will tell you that I don’t go around trying to “verify” my Mom’s memories!)

I remembered the one in the sixties that we had gone to and reminded

her that I still have a precious necklace with the wing of an iridescent

blue and black butterfly’s wing encased in a clear plastic globe that has

the date of the World’s Fair on the other side. (Was it ’63 or ’64?hmm…

wish my memory was able to instantly recall dates!)

2.  Opera. Mom loves operas and can tell you the famous opera singers’

names and the different titles of the operas that she either listened to

on the stereo or radio. She also attended a few, different places all around

the world. Her after college(post graduate) European trip included

dancing in a cabaret with black men and seeing operas. She is happy

to tell more details upon asked!

3.  Gigolos. There are many in the world, Mom says, who know how to

say the right things to seduce women. Lots more on this subject was

covered until she got bored with the topic!

4.  Plane or Air travel.  She had written down the date. 1897. She said,

“It took eight years after an alien airship landed on the desert, exploded

and burned to a crisp, in Aurora, Texas for us to have any airplanes up

off the ground.” Again, I don’t use fact checks on the pearls that just roll

off my Mom’s tongue!

5.  From there, “The Jetsons” had so many more inventions than we have

even now! You, kids, were so entranced with the possibility of getting in

a little airship and going to play at your neighbor’s house. Your Dad was

so interested in how we would have our own, too.”

My Mom’s memories and thoughts rumble around, percolate and

she admits are not all so easily expressed. She told me that she carries

on conversations with her little dog, Nicki and my deceased Dad. But

those flitting memories and ways her mind wanders are fascinating,

at least to me!

Here are some of the “pearls” or “golden nuggets” from the other

“travelers” in her senior living apartment building “world.”

1.  “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” as I am being introduced.

2.  “What?! Are you in kindergarten?” When a good looking 70 + year old

man met me. When I responded back, “Why, I have three children and six

grandkids!” He playfully shot back, “Well, shame on you marrying a man

with all those kids! Were you in high school?”

3.  “You can see where she came from,” as a woman meets me side by side

with my mother, walking down the hallway.

4.  “You look exactly like your mother and have her sweet disposition,

too.”

We both looked at each other, stifled a smirk, because we know we are

too spunky and a little bit wild to be considered “sweet!”

The most covered and discussed subject is food and the dining room

service.

The residents, upon meeting each other, whether hours before dinner,

while entering or exiting the dining room, all ask what they may be

ordering, what the three entrees of the day are and if, one may be more

edible or more special than the others.

My Mom imparts a few of these culinary thoughts to you and me:

“Don’t worry about eating vegetables, that elderly couple (in their 90’s)

tell me they stopped eating them at age fifty and look how long they

have lived since then!”

“You can order three desserts, two to eat right now, and one to eat

while watching television! If it is pie, they wrap it up on a plate with

Saran Wrap, if it is ice cream they put it in a Styrofoam cup with a

lid, and if it is cake they put two paper plates cupped over it so the

frosting doesn’t get all stuck, like it would if they used plastic wrap!”

My Mom told me this morning, as I left to stop in the Pub, write this post, and

then afterwards, I will proceed to pick up a tray and fill it with all sorts of

breakfast “goodies,”

“I would wear pajamas all day long, if I could get away with it!”

On that subject of “dress code,” not sure if I told you in the early summer,

there is a large sign by the entrance, simply two words:

“No shorts!”

When I asked the dining room director, Christina, she chuckled and told me

that, “A number of men wore their boxer shorts to breakfast upon arriving

here, not realizing it was totally inappropriate! I would just turn them away

with my finger pointing at their lower extremities, shaking my head. The

women were ‘scandalized!'”