Sunday Night

wpid-20150830_200656-1.jpgShhhh!

Me and Daryl are watching Fear the Walking Dead.

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Last One, I Promise

Please permit me one final homage to the Season 5 Premiere of Game of Thrones.  Diehard fans love the opening title theme and the model depiction of the lands of Westeros and Essos.  I’m hoping you enjoy the Game of Thrones theme done in Legos.

I present to you A Game of Legos.

I swear, it’s out of my system.  Tomorrow, back to regular programming.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Now that we’re through with the holiday season preliminaries of Halloween and Thanksgiving, the Christmas advertising season is running full tilt.  From now until after New Years Day, you’ll be hard-pressed to see a television advertisement that doesn’t feature jingling bells, huge red bows, and snippets of seasonally appropriate songs.  Some are new, but some return like old friends, long lost relatives that pop in for the holidays.

hershey kiss christmasSince 1989, the Hershey company has been running an adorable holiday commercial featuring the iconic Hershey kisses arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree and performing a hand bell arrangement of We Wish You A Merry Christmas.   I remember the first time I saw it.  I was enthralled.  What a cute and clever way to advertise the wee bits of foil-wrapped mass produced what-passes-in-these-parts-for-chocolate treats.  It’s one of those commercials you look forward to seeing every Christmas season, where conversation stops while everyone in the room listens, faces shining with nostalgic smiles.

But then…(you knew there was a but then, didn’t you?) last year K-Mart rolled out a new holiday commercial which, at least in my personal Top Ten List of Holiday Commercials,  has completely eclipsed anything Hershey, or anyone else for that matter, ever considered putting out on the airwaves.

Ladies, I imagine you know what I’m talking about (gentlemen, just chat amongst yourselves).  Perhaps they were simply attempting to shake the negative image earned in part by a sentiment oft-repeated in the movie Rainman, namely that “K-Mart sucks.”  I don’t know, I don’t care.  Just know that I am ever thankful to the marketing geniuses at K-Mart for this little gem of advertising.  Here, take my money.

Merry Christmas, girls.

Still Celebrating

I received an unexpected delayed birthday gift yesterday.  When I arrived home from work, there was a box in the driveway.  I assumed that it was for Mr. R.   Have I mentioned that he has lost his wedding band?  We’ve turned the house upside down but to no avail so he’s resorted to ordering a replacement.  But alas, it was not his new ring.

wpid-img_20141103_175052-1.jpgI couldn’t figure out why he was so excited for me to open the box, but I soon found out that it was a surprise he ordered for my recent birthday.  I was thrilled when I uncovered my very Daryl Dixon figure from Pop! Television.  Mr. R. on the other hand was fit to be tied.  It seems Daryl was an afterthought, an extra purchase intended to boost the order total and thus receive free shipping.  The main item, still a mystery to me, was not included in the box.  Which means…My birthday isn’t over yet.  Yippee for me!

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Sonic Highways

sonic-highwaysHave you guys been watching the HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways?  It’s an 8-part documentary series by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (and Nirvana, she said unnecessarily) which he describes as “a love letter to the history of American music.”

The premise is this: The Foos travel to eight different American cities, get together with musicians representative of that region, and ultimately collaborate to write and record a new song at one of that city’s signature recording studios.  The end of each episode premieres the song from that city.  All the songs will comprise the Foo Fighters’ new album, Sonic Highways.

Last night, we watched the episode from Nashville that we DVRd Friday night.  I was particularly interested in this episode since I grew up in Tennessee and have been to Nashville on numerous occasions.  It’s only as an adult that I have developed a deep appreciation for the unique culture Nashville represents.

I found this episode absolutely riveting.  Grohl and friends sat down with Zac Brown, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and many others to get a sense of what music means in Nashville.  Without exception, they were told that the music is “all about the story.”

Grohl stated that he was drawn to the ‘outsiders’ of a situation and thus gravitated toward Zac Brown and Willie Nelson.  Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris described how Willie had trouble ‘making it’ in Nashville as a clean-cut, buttoned-down artist, and so returned to Texas where he let his hair grow out and was able to be himself.  It’s there where, as they put it, “he found his congregation.”

The Nashville episode resulted in the song Congregation,  which was recorded at Southern Ground Studio, an historic recording studio (originally a Cumberland Presbyterian church and later the home of Monument Records) now owned by Zac Brown.  One especially intriguing part of the show was Brown and his people showing off some of the treasures they uncovered at the studio after they acquired it.  There were entire filing cabinets full of documents and recordings from many of the greats, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Roy Orbison to Willie Nelson.

I love this series and what they’re attempting to do.  It reminds me that the roots of music are so much deeper than we normally take the time to appreciate.

Egypt has pyramids, Brazil has rain forest…

We have music.

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That Really Chaps My Behind

Don’t you absolutely hate when strangers get all up in your business in the name of moral vanity?  Remember when Nanny Bloomberg decided that large soft drinks are bad for us, so he got legislation passed prohibiting their sale in New York City?  Because obviously we are not capable of making good decisions on our own.

I stopped by the supermarket one day after work to pick up some microwave popcorn.  My students had earned Fun Friday and I planned to show a movie and give them popcorn.  The woman in front of me at the checkout stand saw the boxes in my hands and said, “Oh, you shouldn’t buy that.  I saw a report on television that said it’s bad for you.”

Let me tell you, if I hadn’t been exhausted and ready to just get home, I would have gone back and grabbed five more boxes.  I come from a long line of Scotch-Irish ancestors who don’t cotton to being told what to do and how to do it.  I simply narrowed my eyes and glared at her until she turned back around.

breaking badMr. R. and I came late to the Breaking Bad party.  We’d heard all the fuss and had kind of ignored it until last Christmas.  We both had some time off and thought maybe we’d check it out on Netflix.  A week later we were completely caught up to the middle of the final season.  By the time the last half of the final season ran, we were sitting on the edge of the sofa biting our nails along with the rest of the planet.  That scene with Walt and Hank in the garage?  “…tread lightly…”  Holy schneikes!

When the Breaking Bad collectible figures came out last week, Mr. R. sent me a text with a photo of them stating that he knew what he wanted for Christmas. I mentioned that he might want to write a letter to Santa.

breaking bad toysThen…dunh-duhn-DUNH!  Some panty-waste do-gooder mom from Florida (and I take extreme exception as I am a mom from Florida) took it upon herself to start a petition demanding that Toys R Us remove the figures from store shelves.  And guess what?  Toys R Us caved.

Here’s the thing.  They aren’t toys meant for kids.  They’re collectibles for adult fans of the show who are historically willing to drop lots of money on such items.  And clearly Breaking Bad is not a kids’ show.  But keep in mind, the show does nothing to glamorize or glorify drugs or their use.  If anything, it serves as a cautionary tale testifying to the fact that there are no short cuts in this world.  If you don’t like the figures, don’t buy them.  I don’t see you having fits over Grand Theft Auto.  Now here’s the hard part–supposing little Johnny accidentally wanders into the Breaking Bad section and wants to buy a Jesse Pinkman, you, his parent, tell him, “No.”  Scary, right?

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston tweeted some comical sentiments about the whole fiasco, but fellow Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul decided to do something about it.  He started his own petition to convince Toys R Us to keep the collectibles on store shelves.  I signed it as quickly as I could.  If you’re of like mind, click on the link and sign it, too.

The world needs fewer nannies.