Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let's all sing like the birdies sing...

We've been talking about taking Clementine to Disneyland at some point. I  would love for her to be able to go. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law just got back from Disney World with their kids, and it sounds like they had an wonderful time. I grew up near Disneyland and have been too many times to count. My dad always took me, and aside from being one of my favorite places, I was one of my favorite places to go with him.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at night, Disneyland

When my dad was still alive, he and I took my older daughters to Disney World. Looking back, I know the girls will always remember the time they spent there, especially time with their grandfather. We had a blast.

My dad is gone now, and one of the few regrets in my life is that he never got to meet our youngest, Clementine. I became pregnant with her a year after he died. I know he would have loved her, and she would have simply adored him. There are so many things I'd like her to know about him. I hardly know where to start, but share everything I can think of.

I was looking around on YouTube tonight, and came across a video of the original Enchanted Tiki Room show at Disneyland and watched it a few times. The video included the talking statues of the Oceanic (island) Gods and Goddesses that are outside situated around the waiting area. I could still recite almost all of their rhymes, which surprised even me.

Toward the end of the show, the Tiki Gods came alive and sang an ever quicker song and beat drums. When I was little, they scared me to death, and I always grabbed onto my dad.

I can't be sure, but I think that the God Tangaroa was voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft. He voiced Fritz the parrot inside the attraction, and did numerous other voices throughout the park. You might know him because he sang the song You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch in the cartoon How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Most people think it was Boris Karloff, but while Boris Karloff narrated it, he didn't sing the song. Mr. Ravenscroft may be best known to most people as the voice of Tony The Tiger. They're Grrrrrreat! He did many other voices for Disney, too. Some of the pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean, ghosts in the Haunted Mansion, and probably too many others to count.

Thurl Ravenscroft as Tony

When we took my older girls, Caroline, our middle daughter, then around 5 or so, spent most of her time in the park dragging my poor dad between Tropical Serenade (which is what a show similar to the Enchanted Tiki Room is called at Disney World) and It's A Small World, while my older daughter and I went off to ride the "big kid rides" (Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, etc). My dad was always a very good sport.

Attraction poster from here, 

The original is perfect, still there at Disneyland, and it holds so many good memories for me. Memories with my dad, and memories with my two older daughters. All good. All happy. How many things can most people say that about anything?

All happy. 

All good.


And someday, I'd very much like to opportunity to make new memories with Clementine and Dan. 

Here is that video of the original Enchanted Tiki Room Show at Disneyland. It's 17:00 long, but well-spent.

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room 
at Disneyland

Trivia: This was Walt Disney's first and original audio-animatronic project. There are about 150 different audio-animatronic characters in this show alone and the success of this show paved the way for Pirates of the Caribbean, the Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress (my other favorite with my dad), and so on.

Since all of the characters were controlled by big computers, and computers back then ran very hot, they had to air condition the building to keep the computers in working order. Thus, this was the first air conditioned attraction in the park. So, when I was little, this was where you went when it was super hot outside in the park. It was sooooo cold. Brrrrrrrr.

And yes, I probably do know a pretty ridiculously huge amount of Disney-related trivia. If one could make a living playing trivia games, I'd have it made.

(but you can't). 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A (mostly) good weekend

We've had a (mostly) good weekend.

Friday, I showed Clementine a blooming lilac bush, and asked her to smell it. Lilac is one of my favorite scents and the flowers are simply beautiful. Clementine bent down and buried her nose in the petals for a moment. Then she turned to me and said, "It smells so purple!" She's right. Lilacs do smell like purple looks. Why didn't I ever notice before?
From here^

Then Friday night, I found the shower curtain of my dreams, insofar as I might dream about shower curtains. I haven't yet, but it could happen, I guess. Anyway.

I've been looking for several weeks, and it matched all of my requirements. Not too feminine, not too masculine, not too bright, fabric, no plastic. PEVA plastics are being used as a safer alternative to PVCs, but ridding our lives of plastic (as much as possible) is still one of my long-term goals, so no plastic. Here it is:

I found it Walmart, Better Homes & Garden collection, and really like it. It's well made, matches our colors (earth tones and mossy greens and blues, to match river stone and tile), isn't too feminine, isn't too masculine, and is made from a nice heavy fabric. It has neatly sewn buttonholes at the top. The color band at the top is actually a second layer, and the medium green horizontal stripes are ribbon. The picture is from the website, because when I put it up it was late, the camera was downstairs, but the bathroom wasn't Also, I ended up getting two, because we have one of those shower rods which bows out toward the room. A regular sized curtain fit, but just barely, so we use two. They split in the middle. One neat thing about them is that since we started using two, neither the liners or curtains split at the top anymore where the holes are.

So, here's the "mostly" as in We had a (mostly) good weekend: A friend who is also a neighbor moved away on Friday; she and her husband have separated. The details aren't important. What is important is that (at least for now) their family is torn apart and we are both very sad for them and hope things work out in a way that they are all happy.
Saturday morning, Dan left early to register Clementine for summer sports, pick up the tickets to her ballet recital, and to run a couple of other errands. When he got home, we all went to run an additional few errands, stopped by the thrift store, and made it home in time to sit outside in the sun, play with the neighbor's puppy, and talk to our neighbors. The trees are finally turning green and leafy, and the grass is no longer brown. Spring has finally made it to Colorado.

Today, we went to lunch with our friend Ben, who was visiting from NYC. We took him to Conway's Redtop, a local restaurant and something of a institution around here. They serve hamburgers almost as big as a dinner plate. I had hog dogs (sans bun), and Dan joined me in solidarity, since I can't eat wheat. Clementine ate part of a hamburger, then played and goofed with a little girl whose family was also having lunch. It was good to see Ben and be able to spend a little time talking to him. I wish we lived closer. 

And that was our weekend, except for this:

Speaking of the thrift store (see above), this is what Dan gave me Friday afternoon.


It's an Ozz Franca!^ I have a soft spot in my heart (some would say head) for horrid things of a certain vintage, and this litho of a big-eyed boy fits right in, next to my terrible bellboy monkey with creepy lenticular eyes, and the piggy bank with the creepy human face (pics available on request). 
I love it. 
Ilovehim (with or without paintings of big-eyed emo kids). 
I'm lucky to be married to someone who indulges my love of vintage kitsch even though he may not like a lot of it, and I know it. 

Thank you, sweetheart, for putting up with me and even encouraging my nuttiness sometimes.