Repost: It’s Official. I am Really Only Five Years Old

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Thanks to Final Jeopardy tonight, I now have a certain theme park’s certain ride’s song stuck in my head.  Thanks to this repost from the early days of the Jukebox, y’all can suffer along with me.  Consider Super Chicken an extra gift.  You’re welcome.

Although I got the initial inspiration for today’s post from Dan and Val, really, you all have no one to blame but me. I take full responsibility for inflicting this on my poor, innocent readers. I’m sorry.

Except for the part where I’m really, really not.

I am well aware that I am one of, maybe, five people on the planet who actually like this song. But “It’s A Small World” will always be a sweet and special experience for me. As a little girl, I was enchanted by the dazzling array of cute, chubby-faced dolls dancing in native costumes from around the world, singing about how “It’s the world that we share, and it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.” As a not-so-little girl, I am still enchanted, in spite of the fact that the whole thing is kind of cheesy, and my awareness that the world is not such a happy, dancing and singing kind of place. Maybe I still love this ride because of those things. Because even if the world is kind of screwed up, it’s nice to be able to disappear into a magical place where people really do get along and live in peace. It’s nice to believe that this kind of world is still possible.

(Yeah, it’s that same song, over and over, for 10 plus minutes, but this is how I’ve always experienced it. With some updates after the ride was renovated.)

This next clip is a reminder of when I used to watch cartoons instead of football on Sundays. It’s also an example of the surreal and stupid genius of Jay Ward (you know, the guy who blessed us with Rocky and Bullwinkle?). There is no other reason for it. It does, however, feature one of my favorite cartoon songs ever.

There’s a lot of Super Chicken cartoons available at YouTube. I’ll bet there’s some George of the Jungle and Tom Slick, too. These were a big part of my formative years.

There. I’m not sorry for still loving any of this. (But you might be. Feel free to not watch the Small World clip at all. I totally understand people’s aversion to this song.) And consider yourselves fortunate that I didn’t decide to post any Schoolhouse Rocks shorts.

“Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me”

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Avast, me hearties!  It’s once again International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  So let’s hoist sail, and find some villages to plunder.

Okay, so I kinda suck at talking like a pirate.  But I’ve been listening to this little ditty my whole life, so that’s gotta count for something.

This version is obviously from some Disney television special in the 60s or 70s.  It features clips of the ride from before it changed.  Before Disney got a little worried about the animatronic pirates chasing the animatronic ladies, probably in order to animatronically rape and ravage them.  (Disney addressed this by putting trays of food in the ladies’ hands, and saying the pirates were probably hungry.)

This was also before Disney started basing movies on what is really one of the most popular rides at Disneyland.  (More recent updates have been to add lots of references to Captain Jack Sparrow, and a couple of animatronic Johnny Depps to the ride.)  It’s also the last ride Walt Disney had anything to do with, opening just a few months after he died.  What really gets me is how detailed and fun it is to look at.  Pirates of the Caribbean is the longest ride in Disneyland (from sit down to disembark, not line time), but you never get bored.  It’s probably the most fully realized and intricate ride in the park.  (If you want to take the ride, click here.  But it really is long.)  I always make sure to ride this one at least once whenever I visit.  It’s especially good after you’ve been walking around all day and need a rest.

Happy Halloween!

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I’m the first one to admit that Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.  I enjoy giving candy to the little monsters and superheroes and princesses that show up at my front door, but that’s about it.  I don’t dress up anymore (ghost socks don’t really count).  But I like scary things.  Our family went to the Universal Halloween Horror Nights a couple of years ago, and while it was kind of fun (we got to walk right next to the house from Psycho), people dressed up as “creepy” monsters jump at you from behind things just gets old after a while.  That’s not genuinely scary; that’s just getting startled.  A lot.  It’s a little bit like having my cat drop down on my head from the shelves that sit behind my computer chair.  Repeatedly.  Not so much fun.

But really, genuinely scary things–movies, books, songs–can be fun in the right doses.  As a kid, I read the books about haunted houses and ghosts. There’s some Stephen King novels that still make me a little nervous.  And Edgar Allen Poe’s stories freak me out.  I slept with the lights on for a solid week after I saw Blair Witch Project.  The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity are good spooky fun.  And I’ll never forget the feeling I got after I watched The Ring on cable and the phone rang.  (It was my dad, I think.)  That’s fun.  You know it’s not real, but you still can’t help looking over your shoulder, just in case.  I’m still spooked by the classic creepy household things: dark corners and unexpected noises . . . mirrors at night . . . rocking chairs.  Closets must be kept closed at all times (that’s practical, too; keeps the cats out).  Curtains and blinds stay shut after sunset.  Just in case, you know.

I love a good ghost story.  One of my personal favorites is the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.  It’s not scary (although when I was a kid, there were these screaming heads that jumped out from behind everything; I hated them), but it is fun.  Some of the best F/X in the park.  It’s hard to find good video of it, though, because it’s so dark (this was pretty much the best one I found, because it uses a track from an album about the ride as narration).  But it’s one of the best rides in the park, full of fun and music.  So hop in a Doom Buggy and enjoy the ride.

It’s Official. I am Really Only Five Years Old.

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Although I got the initial inspiration for today’s post from Dan and Val, really, you all have no one to blame but me.  I take full responsibility for inflicting this on my poor, innocent readers.  I’m sorry.

Except for the part where I’m really, really not.

I am well aware that I am one of, maybe, five people on the planet who actually like this song.  But “It’s A Small World” will always be a sweet and special experience for me.  As a little girl, I was enchanted by the dazzling array of cute, chubby-faced dolls dancing in native costumes from around the world, singing about how “It’s the world that we share, and it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.”  As a not-so-little girl, I am still enchanted, in spite of the fact that the whole thing is kind of cheesy, and my awareness that the world is not such a happy, dancing and singing kind of place.  Maybe I still love this ride because of those things.  Because even if the world is kind of screwed up, it’s nice to be able to disappear into a magical place where people really do get along and live in peace.  It’s nice to believe that this kind of world is still possible.

(Yeah, it’s that same song, over and over, for 10 plus minutes, but this is how I’ve always experienced it.  With some updates after the ride was renovated.)

This next clip is a reminder of when I used to watch cartoons instead of football on Sundays.  It’s also an example of the surreal and stupid genius of Jay Ward (you know, the guy who blessed us with Rocky and Bullwinkle?).  There is no other reason for it.  It does, however, feature one of my favorite cartoon songs ever.

There’s a lot of Super Chicken cartoons available at YouTube.  I’ll bet there’s some George of the Jungle and Tom Slick, too.  These were a big part of my formative years.

There.  I’m not sorry for still loving any of this.  (But you might be.  Feel free to not watch the Small World clip at all.  I totally understand people’s aversion to this song.)  And consider yourselves fortunate that I didn’t decide to post any Schoolhouse Rocks shorts.

Country Bears Jamboree

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So my dad’s in the hospital.  Nothing life-threatening, thank goodness, but it means my mind is elsewhere tonight.  He’s been having some health issues lately.  And I’ve been having some issues dealing with the fact that my parents are getting old.  Because I live with my dad, caregiving is going to naturally fall to me, and I’m not so sure I’m up to it.  Music always soothes the hurts and makes troubles seem smaller.  Too bad i can’t stop my brain.

Since it won’t stop, I’ll take my brain back to my childhood.  Back to before my father stated fobbing us off onto my aunt for the annual trip to Disneyland.  My daddy was about six-foot then and kinda skinny, but he could pick my up by my ears* so I thought he was the strongest man in the world.  I was still pretty tiny–5, maybe 6–and I remember sitting on his lap at the Country Bear Jamboree (back when Disneyland was more than just one long commercial for whatever the studio had in the theaters).  I miss that attraction, the same way I miss the old America Sings attraction.  A chance to sit down in a nice air-conditioned room and listen to some of the music that helped define America.  Anyway, at the Jamboree, we’d listen to the old country tunes they played snippets of.  Dad was a Tex Ritter fan, so that meant I knew all the words to “Blood on the Saddle” when it came up.  But what I remember most clearly is him tapping his feet and bouncing me along with “Devilish Mary” (it’s the last song of the clip).  I was never very devilish (kinda strange is more like it), but that was my name and he gave it to me.  So here’s to my dad, who’s still the strongest man in the world.

*It’s a fun trick to do with kids that are small enough not to catch on: Cup you hands around their ears and have them grab your forearms, then lift them up, bearing most of their weight with your arms.  They’ll think you picked them up by their ears.  I couldn’t get enough of it when I was a kid.