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Tag Archives: Sesame Street

This blog is brought to you by the letter ‘S’*

It’s great to see José enjoy the toys and movies that Jess and I loved growing up. Mom kept most of the books and toys from our childhood. Before Jess left for Colombia, she dug through the boxes of toys and books in Mom’s basement and picked out some for José’s room. His coloring table is a small round table that I used to host tea parties on for my Cabbage Patch Kids and most of my collection of Berenstain Bears books now have a home on his bookshelf. I can’t wait until he’s old enough so we can play with all my old Legos!

Bert and ErnieOne of Jess and mine’s favorite things was listening to the record Bert and Ernie’s Sing-Along. We would often put on the record player set up in our playroom and sing and dance along to the silly songs. The premise of the record is that Bert is taking a bath when Ernie comes in…with a piano! He wants Bert to participate in his sing-a-long, but Bert just wants to have a nice quiet bath. His bath is anything but quiet as more people and monsters from the Street come into the bathroom. The songs they sing range from classics, like Old McDonald Had a Farm and She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, to songs written just for the album, like Living Hand in Hand (my personal favorite). Jess and I would keep ourselves entertained for hours listening to that record. But we grew up and moved out on our own and eventually the record player got packed up.

I searched for the record in CD format for years, but to no avail. Maybe at one point it had been recorded onto a tape but even those were a rarity. It wasn’t until just a few years ago when I was searching online when I found out that the good people who bring us Sesame Street was going to release the CD, along with two other Sesame Street oldies. I snatched a copy up the day it came out and called Jess. That’s how excited I was and I knew she would be, too.

Jess has the copy of the sing-a-long in her car and José asks for certain songs from it. He’s still working on his English, but he’s getting better about it every day and he tries really hard to sing all the words in English. He likes Old McDonald Had a Farm and at the end of the song when the Sesame Street gang slows down and sings, “E-I-E-I-O”, he closes his eyes and deepens his voice. It is both the cutest and funniest thing to see and hear.

Monster at the EndAnother thing that Jess and I loved growing up was the Little Golden Book called There’s a Monster at the End of This Book. It starred none other than Grover. It’s a pretty basic premise: Grover is afraid of the monster at the end of the book and tries to stop the reader from turning the pages of the book. It’s still in print and I am excited when I see parents buying it for their kids. I actually don’t know if José likes the book; I just know that it’s on his bookshelf.

One thing I knFollow that Birdow he loves, though, is a favorite movie of mine and Jess’ called Follow That Bird. It’s a musical about Big Bird being adopted by a family of Dodos. When he runs away to go back to Sesame Street, the gang takes different routes to try to find him. At the same time, the stubborn Miss Finch searches for Big Bird so she can return him to the Dodos and the Sleaze brothers (one of whom is played by Dave Thomas) want Big Bird for their carnival. What ensues is a lot of hijinks, including Bert and Ernie flying upside-down to get Big Bird’s attention. Much to the dismay of Bert, Ernie sings about an upside-down world:

Come fly with me in an upside-down world.

There’s so many strange things to see.

There’s upside-down people who walk down the street,

Upside-down shoes on their upside-down feet,

In an upside-down world.

In an upside-down world.

(Bert, talking) Ernie, I don’t feel so good.

(Ernie) Wheee!

It’s fun to be in an upside-down world

There’s fish that fall out of the sea.

There’s upside-down clocks that make everyone late.

Upside-down food that won’t stay on your plate

In an upside-down world.

In an upside-down world.

There’s so many strange things all over town,

It all looks so funny that I’ve got to frown.

‘Cause a frown is a smile when it’s turned upside-down,

In an upside-down,

What-side-down?

Oops-side-down,

Whoops-side-down,

Upside-down world!

It’s a fun song to sing, which Jess and I often did. As it turns out, not only does José like the movie, that’s his favorite part of it! It’s probably because it all takes place in an airplane and he loves airplanes, but we often hear him singing the song to himself. Well, we hear him sing the second verse over and over (and over and over) to himself. We even listen to the soundtrack in the car when José asks for it.

I love being an aunt and getting to relive my childhood through someone who sees all of it as something new and exciting!

*The letter ‘S’ is for singing, silliness, and Sesame Street.

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in About me, Everyday Life

 

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The real world – puppet style

For my last birthday, Fred bought tickets to see the play Avenue Q.  In short, it’s Sesame Street in the real world.  The play is done with puppets and humans.  Many of the puppets have Sesame Street counterparts, like Rod and Nicky who are the alternative Bert and Ernie.

Fred and I had never seen the play before but I had the soundtrack which I’d purchased based on a friend’s recommendation.  I hadn’t really listened to it but once I found out we were going to see it, we started playing the CD.  We couldn’t stop laughing.  “What Do You Do With a BA in English?/It Sucks to Be Me” quickly became one of my favorite songs.  The first part is a solo by Preston, a puppet just out of college and starting out on his own for the first time.  It goes:

What do  you do with a BA in English?
What is my life supposed to be?
Four years of college
And plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree.
I can’t pay the bills yet
‘Cause I have no skills yet.
The world is a big, scary place.
But somehow I can’t shake
The feeling I might make
A difference to the human race.

Oh, how true his words ring!  What does one do with a BA in English?  Teach or work in a bookstore; those are the only two options I’ve been able to think of.  (Later in the show one of the puppets gets fired from her assistant teaching position and gets a job at a chain bookstore.  She reflects, “I’m making as little as ever.”  Word, sister.)

The second part of the song has the characters lamenting why each of their lives suck.  It culminates when the super of the building, Gary Coleman, comes out and says why his life sucks.  The other characters agree, “It sucks to be you!”  Check it out on YouTube!

Of course, there are other great songs on the album (“Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” is another favorite) but it would be easier if you just run out and get the album yourself.  You won’t regret it.

When the day finally came to go see Avenue Q, I was extremely excited.  I knew what to expect music-wise but seeing a play and hearing a play are two different things.  There were so many visual jokes throughout the show.  For instance, there are two screens that hang above the stage and at different intervals will have cartoon pictures and kids shouting out what those pictures are.  “One, two, three, four, five nightstands!” the kids shout while five cartoon nightstands appear on the screen, one by one.  Then, one by one each nightstand disappears until only one is left.  “One!” the kids shout.  “One nightstand!  One…night…stand!”  This is something that isn’t on the soundtrack and can only be appreciated when viewing the live production.

At the end of the night, Fred and I continued to laugh through the hour-long drive home.  It was a great present and I can’t wait to go see it again!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Entertainment

 

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