Category Archives: Children

Uptown girl

When we were young, my sister and I spent many a fun-filled afternoon playing “camping” with our Barbie dolls — and our brother’s GI Joe action figures — in our family’s formal living room.

(Other than Christmas, it was the best use of that room.)

The green carpet was obviously the grassy forest floor. We used Kleenex as sleeping bags. And Dr. Seuss books tilted open were the perfect tents. Plus, GI Joe had a jeep, so there were lots of four wheelin’ and other shenanigans.

Those were simpler times. Barbie wanted simpler things.

Today’s doll?

barbie camping

Embarrassing.

Catty, or not

Unless you have been avoiding social media, you have no doubt heard the shocking revelation from Sanrio that Hello Kitty is, in fact not a kitty:

“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

hello kittyNow, I could point out the obvious flaws in their argument — six of them to be precise — those very un-little-girl-like whiskers that stick out of Hello Kitty’s face.

How many little girl characters sport whiskers?  If they have a hormonal imbalance, maybe…but that’s not the stuff of your typical cutesy cartoon world.

But instead, let’s focus on the bigger question —

WHY?

Why pick now to drop this bomb?  It has been 40 years since this very pink, very catty property was introduced — why pick now to draw this line in the litter box?

If this distinction mattered that much to Sanrio and to its legion of crazy cat lasses and ladies, they should have made it abundantly clear four decades ago.

Meow.

 

 

Yellow means caution

Have you seen a yellow ribbon on a dog’s leash while out in your neighborhood? It’s not a fashion statement.

It means a whole lot more.

The Yellow Ribbon Project is a quick visual signal that a dog needs a little extra space. It’s for your — and the dog’s — protection.

Read all about it below:

yellow ribbon project
Please be aware and share!

Schooled

kidnapped for christIf you subscribe to Showtime, I encourage you to watch the documentary Kidnapped for Christ, currently available OnDemand.

The film centers on a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic that advertised itself as a rehab center for troubled US teens.  The filmmaker, an evangelical school student, was allowed complete access to the teens there and, during production, uncovers disturbing information about the school’s “behavior modification program.” She also learns that some students had been kidnapped from their homes with their parents’ full knowledge and permission.

Her commitment to the project eventually morphs into a determination to help these abused teenagers — one in particular who wants to leave the school where he is essentially being held prisoner.

This story is heartbreaking and, I learned, just one case among thousands around the world.

It is a must-see.

 

That’s life

Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood has received enormous attention and near perfect reviews.

image

It should.

The fact that it was 12 years in the making is epic enough. That the same actors gathered together to recreate this family each year…so the passage of time Is made all the more authentic by every bad haircut, each pop culture reference.

But Boyhood’s true appeal lies in Linklater’s choice of subject matter: the simple, day-to-day ups and downs of a family doing their best to juggle school and jobs and divorce and remarriage and financial worries and love and loss.

Chances are, at certain points in this movie, you will recognize yourself or your family.

And it will make you smile.

Big time nostalgia

This morning many New Yorkers were puzzled by the presence of a particularly prodigious Rubik’s Cube, floating along the Hudson River on a barge.

RUBIKSCUBE

Or maybe not. (They live here….they’ve seen everything by now.)

The colossal cube was created by the Liberty Science Center in neighboring Jersey City as part of their weekend-long celebration of the popular game’s 40th birthday.

While you are recovering from that punch to your sense of time and space, think about this —

What other games from our childhood deserve to be made ginormous and set afloat on a nearby body of water?

Easy Bake Ovens?  Troll Dolls?  Pet Rocks?

Cast your vote in the comments!

 

 

Sock it to me

I am old enough to recognize the sock puppet toy peeking down at us from a high shelf at the pet store —

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Lamp Chop

I used to watch her on Saturday morning television when I was a little-bitty thing.

I’m kinda surprised she is still around, but according to the Google machine, the daughter of Lamp Chop’s creator still performs with the puppet, mainly for the military.

In fact, Lamp Chop was given a field promotion to three-star general.

Hooah!