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Life Rocks When You Have New Socks!

Life Rocks When You Have New Socks!




When your socks are falling apart or have a few holes in them, go out and get some new ones. I just got new socks after wearing out my previous purchases of a year ago. I slapped on the new cotton beauties and it was like I was just given some candy. I became so happy that I couldn’t stop jumping around. Walking around was more fun and it looked as if I was a meandering clod who didn’t know what was going on. New socks rock!

Every day, I wake up and there is another number added to the days we count until that particular month is over. Sometimes we count up to twenty-eight and sometimes we get as far as thirty-one. Life is so fun. It’s like I live in a movie. There’s a part of St. Pete that looks like Hill Valley, the infamous city of “Back to the Future.” I go to work at a coffee shop. It’s the same thing every week. Norm the mailman comes by to say hello and give us the latest New Yorker. The crazy rent-a-cop watching the parking lot next door bangs on the window for me to fetch him something. An older man named Don comes by at the same time as always to get a cup of coffee with a shot of Irish cream syrup in it.

“Socks 2”

If I play the theme from “Ghost World,” it’s like I’m thrust into that Daniel Clowes/Terry Zwigoff film. It’s a very interesting song to carry out daily activities to. I go home and the cat welcomes me and then tries to run away. The computer invades my life as I see which of my buddies are on that I even want to talk to. I want to get some fun e-mail but it’s just a bunch of junk. December and 85 degrees out during many of the days this month, the weather compels me. I miss chucking snowballs at cars. I want to wear snow pants and make weird, squishy noises with them. Florida is great as long as an alligator doesn’t chomp off your face, though.

Christmas is gone and life is much better. I slept and woke up to paint. I made some real food to eat. I didn’t just eat ice cream and cookies. I do like getting toys, though. I’m going to run away from this entry for a few minutes and be amazed at the many little trinkets I’ve come to own over the twenty short years my tiny self has been around. Garbage Pail Kids cards, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and comics adorn my apartment. Whee! I feel like Scrooge McDuck when he rolls around in all of his money.

Music is playing. I love music. I’m a big ska kid but I’m into punk, surf, swing, polka, and damn near anything. I guess everyone listens to music. I am lame for even bringing up my preferences. I’ve been listening to The Broadways, They Might Be Giants, Telegraph, The Impossibles, Sinatra, and Louis Prima. If I don’t have any music playing at night, I can’t fall asleep. I’d need a big galoot to punch my lights out if I didn’t.

I turn on the TV and Dexter’s Laboratory is on. I wish I didn’t waste so much time in front of the idiot box Filo T. Farnsworth had a hand in inventing. I’m addicted to watching cartoons and a few other programs. My favorite show is Northern Exposure. Even though I’ve seen every episode of it at least twice, I live my life around that show. I got into it when I was 13. For those of you not familiar with it, NX is about a New Yorker who is forced to become the doctor of the fictional small borough of Cicely, Alaska. The town is filled with all sorts of characters that include an ex-con DJ at the local AM radio station, a no-holds-barred female bush pilot, an ex-astronaut and a young filmmaker. There were 110 episodes of this brilliant program.

This entry has had some pretty sporadic writing on a wide variety of subjects. I hope you don’t hate me. I can be a pretty annoying jerk sometimes. I love you. Happy New Year! Here comes 2002! Good-bye.

12-29-01

Categories
Music Reviews

Toon Tunes

Toon Tunes

Action-Packed Anthems

Funny Bone Favorites

Kid Rhino

Proving once again that Rhino excels not only at archiving decades worth of popular music, but decades of popular culture as well, these two discs (each sold separately) collect a total of 72 themes from some of your favorite cartoons, from the early days of television to today.

Action-Packed Anthems features 36 themes from super-hero, action-adventure, and mystery shows, including all-time classics like the unforgettable themes from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, Speed Racer, Spider-Man, Space Ghost, and Superfriends, and modern favorites like Batman: The Animated Series, The Tick, The Powerpuff Girls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It ends up being the more diverse of the two discs, going from the (fairly tepid) J-pop of “Sailor Moon” and Disney-riffic stuff like “Duck Tales” and “Tale Spin” to the ’70s pseudo-funk of “Hong Kong Phooey” and hoary classics like “Popeye The Sailor” and “Mighty Mouse.” The disc is pretty satisfying, though if they were going to expand the definition of this disc to include shows that were more comedy than adventure, I wish they’d included “Inspector Gadget” (which instead appears on the other disc) and “Freakazoid!,” which is criminally the only of the ’90s Spielberg/Warner Bros. cartoons missing from both discs. Really, I wouldn’t have minded missing such lesser fare as “The Hardy Boys,” “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan,” or “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” if it meant that these two super-catchy classic themes could have been on this disc. For that matter, I’d have skipped duplicative themes like “The New Scooby-Doo Movies” (a less clever version of the original) and “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest” in favor of including a few more shows. Still, Action-Packed Anthems is a solid disc that mostly sticks to the original versions you’re familiar with from television (though “Superfriends” seems to be some extended remix kinda gig, if memory serves me right).

Funny Bone Favorites doesn’t fare quite as well, unfortunately. It’s still a solid collection with a really good mix of stuff, from classics like the themes from The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and George of the Jungle to modern favorites like the themes from Dexter’s Laboratory, Animaniacs, Johnny Bravo, and The Ren & Stimpy Show, but it suffers on a few points. First is a seeming over-reliance on Bullwinkle-related music — the disc not only includes the themes from The Bullwinkle Show and its antecedent, Rocky and His Friends, but also the themes from such segments as “Fractured Fairy Tales,” “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties,” and “Peabody’s Improbable History.” I’d have been happy with just “Bullwinkle” and perhaps “Rocky” to represent the (admittedly groundbreaking) show, to give other shows a shot at representation. Likewise, as the series is entitled Toon Tunes, I’d have skipped over themes from non-animated shows like The Mickey Mouse Club, The Banana Splits, and The Bozo Show. While all are classics (especially the ever-catchy Banana Splits theme, I’d rather see them on a separate disc of non-animated favorites, maybe alongside music from the great Sid & Marty Krofft shows of the ’70s, for example. My biggest problem, though, is when the CD doesn’t stick to the original TV versions of the themes. The most glaring example of this is the theme from Tiny Toon Adventures, which appears in a version that must have been on a Tiny Toons CD in the ’90s, made obvious when the characters sing “and this afternoon-y we’re invading your CD,” as opposed to the original “and in this cartoon-y we’re invading your TV.” The version’s also twice as long as the original, meaning that, again, room that could have been given to represent another show was squandered (though admittedly, hearing the Tiny Toons sing in foreign languages is amusing). I could quibble with the inclusion of the theme from The Pink Panther, too — the music was written for the live-action movie, not the cartoon — but it’s more identified with the cartoon, so I’m inclined to let it slide.

All this may sound like a rare misstep for Rhino, but the quality otherwise is top-notch, with excellent masters (on both discs) making most of this material sound far better than it ever did on TV, and more than making up for any shortcomings. Frankly, only nostalgia connoisseurs like myself would even notice most of the things I point out in this review — the average fan will simply love these discs, and as well they should, because quibbles aside, they’re great. Hearing themes from The Yogi Bear Show and The Magilla Gorilla Show straight from the original shows, complete with endorsements intact, is endlessly fascinating, and all in all, it’s wonderful that this material is being preserved. Pick these up and relive part of your childhood — no matter what your age, these discs should bring a smile to your face.

Rhino Records, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025-4900; http://www.kidrhino.com

Categories
Music Reviews

Dexter’s Laboratory

Dexter’s Laboratory

The Musical Time Machine

Kid Rhino

If you’ve never seen Dexter’s Laboratory on Cartoon Network, you’ve been missing one of the most inventive, witty, and fun shows on the air. Dexter is a boy genius obsessed with science. He’s built a massive hidden laboratory in his suburban home. He’s smart enough to rule the world, but for the intrusions of his carefree (and more-than-slightly dense) older sister, Dee Dee. Dee Dee blithely skips through life, destroying all of Dexter’s creations in her wake. Meanwhile, their parents remain blissfully ignorant of all their children’s shenanigans, trapped in a Ward & June Cleaver time warp all their own.

Dexter’s Laboratory: The Musical Time Machine brings much of the fun of the series to your CD player. The centerpiece is an audio episode of the show called “The Musical Time Machine,” in which Dee Dee absconds with Dexter’s newly-invented time machine and wreaks havoc with musical history. She influences musicians throughout history with a melody she made up, which you end up hearing in just about every musical style imaginable. Dexter gives chase, of course, to hilarious effect.

Also noteworthy is “Lab-retto,” which, as the name suggests, is an opera featuring telling the story of Dexter’s birth. The CD also includes the show’s distinctive main and end title themes and two songs from memorable episodes, “Golden Diskette” (from the episode of the same name, which answered the musical question “What if Bill Gates were Willy Wonka?”) and “Breathe in the Good Sunshine.” All in all, it’s a worthwhile purchase for fans of the show. If you are not a fan (yet), what’s wrong with you? Catch an episode or two, and I’m sure you’ll be running out to pick up a copy of Musical Time Machine, too. Kid Rhino, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025-4900, 1-800-432-0020; http://www.rhino.com, http://www.cartoonnetwork.com