Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three things: two funny one not

1. Last Friday I attended my nephew's preschool graduation. Have I ever told you that I am a sucker for graduations? Weddings and graduations. I will cry like a baby at both of these even if I don't know anyone involved. You just need to know that. It is not a strength of mine, and in fact is something I knowingly mock myself about as the tears are rolling! So here I am at a preschool graduation telling my hubby about how stupid it is that we have a graduation for preschool. There should really only be a graduation from high school and college, in my opinion. I think all the graduation from preschool and kindergarten and elementary school and Jr. high is all just a money-making ploy to get people to buy more crap, like cards and decoration and grad robes, etc. Yes, all the preschoolers had bought their own grad robes, that will not fit them in about 3 months?!?! Anyway, there I am complaining about how redonkulous this all is and my eyes are filling with tears as the little ones are singing about friendship, and the ABC's. Sheesh! I tell ya, I am such a sap!

2. At this graduation the teacher had the children come up and asked them for their name and what they wanted to be when they grow up. A few of the children said doctors, animal doctors, singers... you know the typical cute responses. What did my nephew say? Well it went some thing like this:
"And what's you name?"
"And what do you want to be when you grow up?
I laughed so hard. So did everyone else. It was an honest and sincere answer, and I am sure Kaison had no idea why everyone was laughing, because he really believes right now in his heart that he will one day be a ninja, master of martial arts and powerful fighter! Kids are fantastic, their world so simple, and full of infinite potential and imagination! Ninja!!! Duh! Why didn't I study that?!?!? That job rocks!!! And I hear the benefits aren't bad either :)

3. In response to this my hubby said, "I hope someone caught that on tape, so that one day if he is failing a class in high school we can show him this tape and tell him 'Kaison, Ninjas do no fail history, bring up those grades.'" But the sad truth is that this idea of Ninja will transform and shift until it finds a realistic counterpart, which in my neighborhood means gang member/cholo. No longer something noble, and worthy of respect. Not something you achieve through hard work and training, but something that rules by fear, that forces "respect"through violence, that perverts honor. Isn't that what Satan does, he takes things we dream of and perverts them, and defiles them so that we don't even recognize the innocence anymore. Why can't Kaison be a Ninja? God made a shepherd a king, a murderer the leader of the exodus, a virgin the mother of God... He can help Kai do the impossible, and I will pray that this dream not be perverted by the one who seeks to destroy. Go Ninja! Go Ninja! Go! (Turtle power anyone?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Confession: Nanalan'

Well it has been one week and a few days since I finished my last final. I should be looking for work, but alas, I can't seem to find the motivation. It's not like I am just sleeping all day long. In fact, I can't seem to sleep. A bit of insomnia I guess. Jonathan thinks that it is due to me not going to bed early enough, but I think it is that I am not completely burned out from an exhausting (both physically and mentally) day at school. But I have been busy making stuff (necklaces, actually, I will try to post photos of them soon), and cleaning, and balancing my finances (it had been a while since I'd done that- never fun to wait that long to figure out how poor you really are). And while I've been bustling about, I have been reunited with an old love of mine. Here comes the confession, are you ready for it... I LOVE children's programming on PBS, well just in general. I love love LOVE children's television. 

I think this passion started late for me. I don't remember watching much TV when I was a kid, and I really didn't like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (booooring- BUT I love it now!), or Sesame Street. I did watch those, at least enough to recall the pinball numbers reference in The Family Guy from Sesame Street. And I did watch enough Reading Rainbow to know the theme song by heart. "Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high..." You know you love that song. But it wasn't until I was too old for those shows that I really started eating them up. I could not get enough Fraggle Rock! "Dance your cares away, clap clap,  Worries for another day, Let the music play, clap clap, Down at Fraggle Rock!" 

But it seems that as I get older, I like the show for the even younger audiences, like between the ages of 2-5. I loved Teletubbies. There I've admitted it! I know all the teletubbies' names. And I love It's a Big Big World, In Between the Lions, Clifford, etc. I think this love began during the summers, when I had loads of free time, and it wasn't a safe neighborhood to just go around running and playing, so I was stuck inside. I remember waking up and watching Under the Umbrella Tree on the Disney chanel followed by Dumbo's Circus, and Adventures in Wonderland. As I got older, I continued to watch the children's programming before I left for school in the morning. I remember in high school I hated watching the news, so I watched just long enough to get the weather forecast then promptly switch over to PBS and watched Zaboomafoo, everyday. I can't explain it, I just love this stuff. And now with some free time on my hands, I have rekindled this passion.

This week I was introduced to the world of Nanalan', starring Mona and Nana and Russell the dog. Meet Mona:

This show is fabulous!!! I can't explain to you how much I love it. It is a cross between Homestar Runner and Mrs. Doubtfire. It is about this almost-3-year-old girl and her adventures everyday at her Nana's house. At the end of the episode her mother comes to pick her up from work. Mona speaks in grunts and partial phrases. She express surprise and awe at the simplest things, and makes mistakes (like being too aggressive out of sheer excitement when she gets to play with Nana's pet bird). The entire show is a bright and colorful puppeteer's heaven. I am realizing that I really love shows with puppets! 

I think I love this show so much because it reminds me of my youth. Mom had to work. I understand, and I am so grateful for the sacrifice she made, going back to work when I was just six weeks old. And more importantly, I am so proud of her! Of her dedication to her work, for achieving so much and being so damn good at her job. For putting in those rough hours and coming home to go to work yet again making us kids a meal and dealing with disciplining. I am so so proud of her, for doing it all, and doing it with grace. She is my hero! And, you know what, I was not tarnished, or ruined, or neglected because of her time away from me. Maybe that is why I love Nanalan' so much. It more closely reflects the lives of modern children. 

I have noticed this trend as more and more shows have a single parent. It isn't something explicitly explained or mentioned, it just simply is. It is a natural part of the world, both in our "real" world and the TV world. And while this world is not ideal, the beauty of these shows is that the world is still special and exciting and fun! It is still good. It is simple, and safe, and still a world I want to live in. These shows promise adventure, and remind me that the world is magical to an open and innocent mind. I am addicted. There I've confessed, and it feels good!