Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thomas the Train Wreck

I've been carrying this load for a long time. So now, it's rant season.

I think Thomas and Friends is a load of fat crap!

It's marketed for toddlers, but exactly what does it teach during a child's formative years? That you should be insecure and constantly fight for your right to be 'a very useful engine'??? That kind of theme has child labor brainwashing written all over it.

Why should a child be exposed to tank engines bickering and cheating and grandstanding and lying all for the sake of earning the satisfaction of a porky boss aptly named 'The Fat Controller'?
Some smart ass is going to say that the underlying theme here is obedience. That Thomas and Friends shapes children to be respectful to their parents and submissive to their every whim.

Well, count me out! I'm probably a horrible parent for not asking my kids to go and fetch me stuff from here and there. In fact, I must be a downright horrid mother for not pitting my sons against one another. I mean, that's what I see in Thomas and Friends every episode --sibling rivalry. A little competition is fine as long as its constructive. But every goddamn day on the freaking Island of Sodor???!!!Ok, I may be overthinking again. That's how I am. But if it's values I want to get out of a toddler-skewed TV show --and I say his while holding in a massive upchuck of hyperacidic puke-- I'd rather stick with Barney.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I've become one of those people who are incessantly pissed off by the lack of dog parks in this country.
(In fact, I may just join PAWS soon so hang on to your WTFs)

The trigger to my latest episode of pissery was Alpha's first birthday.  You know me, I always make birthdays special.  Be it for kids, for hubby, and yes... be it for doggie.  So I was planning some sort of picnic at a park.  And that's when the reality of it all hit me --pets here are HOUSE pets.  They should stay HOME.  Going out for short walks is the only leeway for these poor things.  But other than that, they're not going anywhere.
But thanks to my relentless researching, I found...TA-DAAAH!... Bonifacio High Street!  One of the few (very FEW) places here that welcomes dogs in their sprawling greens and even within the shops of the stretch's mall.  How invigorating!

So off we went there for Alpha's birthday and the bitch had a blast.
So did my boys upon seeing the numerous breeds of lovely dogs romping freely in the area.

The nice part is that I didn't spend a single cent on this endeavor.  Just gas.  And Alpha's cake is a homemade curnocopia of her favorite foods which she totally ate up --figuratively and literally.

Success is a doggone birthday and a doggone inexorable planner.  So there!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


If there's one thing kids can never get enough of, it's clay!

For us, it's gotta be blocks and blocks of Sculpey Clay from Polyform.  For a whole bunch of powerful reasons.

Clay is obviously a child's creativity channel.  With vivid imagination and crazy hands, who knows what he can accomplish with a host of these colorful babies?  And with Sculpey, the colors are just boundless.  Just as boundless as the gratification that comes with it.

Given that, clay also becomes very practical.  It can be any toy your child wants it to be at any given time.  Sculpey takes it up a notch, too.  It has clay that you can shape and bake in your very own oven so that your child's masterpiece hardens to last forever.  Whoa!  It's like he's made his own toy!

And lastly, clay is soothing.  A tantrum can easily be dashed into oblivion as soon as a child starts squeezing a lump in his hands.  And since Sculpey stays soft longer than any other clay, it's the longer-lasting, focus-teaching, age-appropriate stress ball.

We get our Sculpeys from Hobbes and Landes. It's a little pricier than other brands but you can't scrimp on super.  Come on, you know your kids will love to get their hands on these!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Of Originality, Maturity, and Parakeet Porn

Three new CG animation films.

Featuring three different breeds of animals.

Riding on one story line.

Animal sex.

Ok, that's low of me. It's more about preserving life by mating. Forcibly, however, given a variety of situations. Did I make it worse?Rio, by Blue Sky, talks about a macau who thought he was the last of his kind. Then finds out there's a chick of his same breed and he sets off to look for her --with the intention to mate with her. Buuuut he's not her type. At first, of course.

Newt, by Pixar, is about 2 endangered blue-footed newts who have to mate in order to extend their lineage. And they have to do it in captivity. Again, the chemistry doesn't work out for these two players in the beginning.

Alpha and Omega, by Crest, plays up the mating thing along with pedigree differences thrown in. The girl wolf is an Alpha female (the compete snob from the highest order of the pack) and the boy wolf is an Omega male (the lowest low-life in the wolf pack). Naturally, they don't immediately cilck. Both wolves are also in a facility that aims to have them mate for specie preservation.

So anyway, Pixar decided to just pull out and cancel Newt because of the storyline sameness issue. Blue Sky quietly proceeds with its material. While Crest has just about hyped Alpha and Omega to the hilt --with a trailer and a website to boot. I do feel bad about Pixar. I'm sure Newt would've been great. But Crest is a newbie in the CG animation game (in my opinion anyway) and it does deserve a right to shine. Blue Sky, I'm lukewarm about parakeet porn, I'm sorry. lol!

One former boss once told me that there are no original ideas. It's only how it is said that makes it original. So I wouldn't have minded if all three films stuck to their guns and fought it out movie versus movie versus movie. More fun for kids that way. And if you look at the heart level of it all and ditch the monetary returns angle, these movies are being made FOR kids anyway.

I guess it's obvious that I'm not that squeamish about the mating storyline since I don't mind it being told three times. I'm sure each will be handled discreetly and hopefully, beautifully. Just like in Pixar's UP when Ellie couldn't have a baby. It took a while for me to explain that to the kids, but that film sequence was poetic and beautiful that it didn't jar their young minds. Kids are more mature than we think, you know. And of course, t's all in the brilliance of storytelling, and Pixar has always been good at that.

So Crest, with Pixar out of the picture, it's all on your shoulders now --you better make my 3D money worth it, darn it! *waves clenched fist in the air*