Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Now FTB gotta a crappy (non-anamorphic widescreen) DVD release a few years ago, but the new 25th Anniversary DVD is given a proper anamorphic transfer, and the picture quality is considerably better, too. The colors are reasonably bright and vivid throughout, and this is the first time since the movies release that one has been able to watch it in widescreen. But let’s get on with the plot.
"You wanna put that thing where??"
Follow That Bird is a road movie starring one of Sesame Street's best known residents, the perpetually six year-old Big Bird. It follows his attempts to find his way back home, after a nosy social worker (named Miss Finch), convinces him to move in with a family of Dodo birds in Oceanview, Illinois. Miss Finch assumes since Big Bird is surrounded by a bunch of Puerto Ricans, Blacks, number loving vampires, wooly mammoths, furry blue cookie addicts, and homos named Ernie and Bert; instead of other birds, there is no possible way he could be happy. The only problem is the Dodo family (whose two children happen to be aptly named Donnie and Marie), turn out to be a bunch fucking morons, who are ten times worse than any of the freaks you might encounter on Sesame Street. And despite trying his best to enjoy his new surroundings, Big Bird quickly becomes homesick and decides to hitch a ride on the midnight express and find his way home. Upon hearing this, all his friends band together and head out across America to find their beloved Big Bird; of course hijinks ensue.
There are also plenty of cameos along the way, Dave Thomas and Joe Flaherty (of SCTV fame) play the Brothers Sleaze; two bumbling grifters who exploit children and run a third-rate carnival. Chevy Chase also makes and appearance as a idiotic news anchor and Sandra Bernhard as a bitchy waitress in a grouch diner. John Candy (also of SCTV fame) shows up to play a policeman, and we are also treated to a song from cocaine, country superstar Waylon Jennings.
Now, adults may not find Follow That Bird as entertaining as they did when they were children, but if you now have little ones of your own, they’re assured to love it. And the absolute best thing about this DVD is, although Elmo is featured prominently on the cover, that annoying little menstrual rag is almost completely absent from the movie (he’s only seen once in the background) and for that reason alone, FTB deserves 5 out 5 beers!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
So, inevitably your asking: Notelgge, when will my little angel’s first pearly whites start to poke through? Well don’t worry, as usual, Pater’s Potpourri is here with everything you need to know. Most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, but your child's chompers may appear as early as 3 months or as late as 14, depending on such factors as whether you and your baby’s mom are related (just fucking around with that last part, don’t send me any letters). Typically, babies get their teeth in pairs. First come the middle two on the bottom. A month or so later, the two above those arrive.
Tooth eruption (when the tooth moves through the bone and gum) tends to occur more at night than during the day, so your baby may be more irritable then.
Ear pulling can also herald emerging teeth. Pain from the jaw often gets transferred to the ear canal. But, as with all things baby, it is never a definite; tugging can also be the sign of an ear infection.
Personally, I knew something was up when my little girl would start to suck on her bottle, than immediately pull away and cry. It turns out the activity of sucking puts uncomfortable pressure on the gums and ear canals. Which is really shitty when your kid is used to drifting off to slumber-land with a bottle in their mouth. Fortunately, there are dozens of remedies for teething children. But you may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your child. The pressure of an emerging tooth is often relieved by counter-pressure, so teething babies often want to chomp on things. Plastic teethers seem to be popular, but my daughter has yet to take to these. And I know my generation grew up with these things being thrown in the freezer, but doctors now warn that frozen toys may be too harsh on an infant's sensitive gums, opt for the refrigerator instead. Some people swear by carrots, and frozen bananas, but don’t be an idiot. They may appeal to a baby's intense urge to chew, but when gnawed on long enough they can break apart creating a choking hazard. And sure, maybe grandma used to rub a little whiskey on your old-man’s gums, but I wouldn’t recommend that either. Even tiny amounts of alcohol can be poisonous to a baby.
A lady my baby’s mama works with swears by a wet, frozen washcloth (leave one end dry so the baby can get a good grip). The thick fabric feels good, and the icy cold numbs sore gums. Others swear by topical oral anesthetics like Ora-jel, but I found these to be useless. I even tried it on myself as a matter of science. It gave the effect of rubbing cocaine on ones gums, and as far as I’m concerned children don’t need that sensation till they go to college.
In my experience, when my daughters gums are hurting (and when they are she becomes inconsolable), the best trick is a popsicle and infant acetaminophen. The sweetness is an instant distraction, and the icy cold numbs the gums until the baby Tylenol has a chance to kick in. It works like magic every time. I go for a fruit juice pop like the ones they got at Trader Joes. At least this way my baby’s teeth won’t rot out of her head before she can even walk. I definitely recommend giving it a try.
In summation, from what I’ve read the teething process lasts about two years, but after the first few teeth come in, the process tends to be much less painful. Whether that’s true or not I have yet to find out, but for all of our sakes, I hope it’s true.
This is Notelgge, signing out. Peace and love.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Since my daughter is now showing a greater interest in the books and stories I read her (shrilling in delight at the mere sight of a book), I decided to make this post of the literary sort and focus on one of my favorite childhood books; The Little Golden Book classic, Hansel and Gretel. As far as I can tell this book is out of print and if I had to guess one reason why, I would have to say it had something to do with the books dark nature. Which is a real shame considering it has some beautiful art work by renowned children’s artist Eloise Wilkin, not to mention the story just kicks ass.
It’s one of those old-school stories that isn’t worried about scarring children. As far as I’m concerned, children have it way too easy these days. They live in a hermetically sealed bubble that doesn’t prepare them for the real world. We didn’t have plastic safety scissors when I was a kid, or car safety seats for fucking school-aged children, or the v-chip, or any other of the crap that is turning America’s children into a ineffective group of plump vaginas, but somehow we all survived.
The story of Hansel and Gretel is one of those rare books that give children an unapologetic glimpse of the world. It’s a story that lets children know the world is full of evil, and you better be on your toes if you expect to make it out in one piece. I’m not advocating we leave our children to the wolves, by any means, but the sooner you show them our society isn’t all Elmo and apricots; the better off they’ll be. But once again, I digress.
Hansel and Gretel is a medieval fairytale, recorded by the Brothers Grimm, about two young children who out smart a witch. The story starts in the cottage of a dirt-poor woodcutter, as his evil-bitch of a wife convinces him to abandon his children in the woods, as there is not enough food to feed the whole family. Proving once again, some simple motherfuckers will do anything for the pussy.
The next day the evil stepmother leads the to children out into the woods to die, but Hansel, being smarter than the average German boy, leaves a trail of pebbles back to the house enabling him and his sister to find their way home. The stepmother, being dumb as shit and angry as hell, attempts the same plan again This time Hansel (being fresh out of rocks) leaves a trail of bread-crumbs that get eaten by birds, leaving the two children lost in the woods.
Unable to find their way home, Hansel and Gretel wander around the forest (hungrier than hostages) until they stumble across a candied gingerbread house, which they begin to eat . Unbeknown to them it is the house of an evil old witch who eats children. She lures them inside, only to throw Hansel in a cage and force Gretel to do housework. The witch feeds Hansel the “best kind of food” with the intention of fattening him up, while Gretel is left to do housework all day. Seeing how the witch’s eyesight is pretty bad, she feels Hansel’s finger daily to see if he is fat enough to eat yet, but Hansel (showing his ingenuity again) holds out a chicken bone instead of his real finger, and buys himself some time. Eventually the witch gets tired of waiting and says fuck it, and has Gretel light the oven to cook her brother. After a while, the witch tells Gretel to check if the fire is hot enough and Gretel replies she doesn’t know how. The witch calls her stupid and puts her own head in the oven (not one of her better ideas) in an attempt to show Gretel how. But wouldn’t you know it, quicker than flies Gretel comes up behind her, kicks her in, and slams the door shut; burning the old bitch to a crisp. After Gretel lets her brother out of his cage, they fill their pockets with jewels from the witch’s hoard and decide to find their way home. Coincidentally, as they wonder through the forest, they happen to meet their ecstatic father who has been searching for them tirelessly. They are informed that their evil stepmother has gone away forever (one gets the feeling she was actually the witch, but it is never stated outright), and seeing how they are now rich they can all live happily ever after.
According to Wikipedia Hansel and Gretel is one of the first cases of industrial espionage. Supposedly, “during medieval times when the story happened, the patent system was not in place yet and all trade secrets were handed down as family lore. Allegedly, the recipe for gingerbread was one such trade/family secret and the villagers sent out two children, i.e. Hansel and Gretel, to spy on the woman who owned the recipe. The children were caught by the woman and incarcerated but well fed. The villagers, however, came to their rescue and in the process killed and burned the baker. The tale was spun as a cover-up for the crime.” I don’t know whether this story is true or not, but its interesting none the least, and a perfect ending to this post. Five out of five beers.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sure it looks really nice, but I can’t say I see any vast improvement in this movie (visually) from Wall-e or Cars. In my opinion Pixar phoned this one in. Aside from Wall-e, I really feel the company has been on a slight downward spiral. What could we expect though with the imperialistic Disney Satanists now at the helm (Disney purchased Pixar in 2006). They ruined their own animation empire, so I guess they figured it was time they ruin someone else’s. Undoubtedly, your children will love it, but as parents (who inadvertenly have to watch these movies anyway) we deserve more.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
This is one of my favorite movies (children’s or otherwise), and is the brainchild of Don Bluth (one of the truly great animators, as far as I’m concerned). It saddens my heart to know there is a whole generation out their right now, completely unaware of this great visionary. Bluth was originally an artist at Disney (his mark is evident in films like Disney’s Robin Hood and The Sword in The Stone) and he is also the creative force behind the arcade classic Dragon’s Lair, which you are likely familiar with if you ever spent anytime in an arcade during the early eighties (if not, you probably occupy a cave in Afghanistan).
This movie is based on Robert C. O'Brien's award-winning book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. It centers on Mrs. Brisby (a timid widowed mouse) seeking the aid of a colony of super-intelligent rats (that she unknowingly has ties to), to help relocate the Brisby family's home, under emergency conditions when her son Timmy is too ill to move. The movie is suspenseful and somewhat dark, but the in my opinion, the best children’s books often are; including intense scenes of animal cruelty and experimentation. It’s not the often sugar-coated world of a Disney movie princess, but instead a more realistic painting of a person (or mouse rather), dealing with real problems, made even more poignant (in my eyes at least) by our country’s current state of affairs. I think the story is more than capable of standing on its own as a classic, but it’s the animation that makes this movie truly great.
If you or your child are unfamiliar with Don Bluth and his work, I feel it’s high time you become acquainted, and what better place to start than The Secret of NIMH. Five out of five beers.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Baby crap is pretty strange, the consistency changes a lot, as does the color and texture. Its like a stinky ass present from your great aunt with dementia, you never know what you are gonna get. The flavors are as follows:
Meconium: Your baby's first turd is a greenish-blackish goop that looks like tar. It's composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus: intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water. Meconium is almost sterile and has no odor. It’s thick and goopy but, surprisingly, doesn't stain (sorry, no finger painting). It will take a day or two to pass. After that the poops will be transitional --maybe greenish and yellowish at the same time, and highly variable in consistency.
Breast-Fed Crap: If you breastfeed, your baby will have mustardy yellow poop with a highly variable consistency, sometimes it will look curdy like scrambled eggs, other times it will be seedy (like your baby has been living on a diet of sesame seeds, its fucking weird). Very watery poop in breast-fed babies may look like diarrhea to the layman, but on the contrary, is perfectly normal. And as mentioned in a previous post (Battle of the Butt Wipes) breast-fed shit has next to no odor (thank God).
Bottle-Fed Shit: Bottle-fed poop is usually more brown in color, as well as more odorous (a lot more odorous). Its texture and consistency is also highly variable, but it seems to lean towards a pudding of some sort.
When a Baby Starts Solids: From what I hear, I haven’t reached this stage in fatherhood yet, solid foods will make your baby's shit change radically. You'll see a lot of what the baby eats again in its diaper (“reruns”) and his/her movements may be highly irregular as baby’s intestines learn to digest new foods. And if I had to guess, I bet the odor will increase ten fold, based on previous experience. Baby shit, like vampires, seems to get stronger with age.
So, as you can see, you never know what your gonna get. You might get explosive bowel movements ("projectile poopy") every 20 minutes, or no poop for days (beware when it finally comes). Some babies poop in their sleep, some as they nurse. Some worry their parents for weeks and then have five explosive shits in half an hour (oh joy!). Fortunately, as your baby's intestines mature, it will probably crap less frequently. Try not to worry too much about your baby having "regular" bowel movements. My daughter once went four days without so much as a fart. As long as the baby seems happy, it's probably pooping the number of times it needs to.
Well, I hope you have found this tutorial as cathartic as I have, and I look forward to “shooting the shit” with y’all again real soon. Until next time, this is Notelgge, peace.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The only book I found of any significance was The Expectant Father by Arim A. Brott, and Jennifer Ash. And although this is definitely the best book out there for soon-to-be fathers, sadly, I still found it lacking. It was sugar coated and watered down (but at least it didn’t make the assumption that all people having a baby are married), I like my info like my booze--100 proof.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list. It’s the shit that no one tells you, the shit you won’t find in any book, raw and uncut. Feel free to comment and add to it. Because fatherhood is a wild ride, and sooner or later we all need fucking help.
1. YOUR SEX LIFE IS OVER (at least for a little while)
"Anyone got another quarter?"
You’ll be jacking off A LOT! Sure you may have been going at it like a couple of velociraptors in heat before the baby came, most likely your chick was hornier than a dog with two dicks, but that’s all over now. As a matter of fact, for the next couple of months, her snatch is going to look like a pound of ground round that had a firecracker in it. And after that, the baby is sure to get in the way of any love making attempts (trust me, I know). So essentially, you’ll be back to dating Rosie Palm and her five sisters. My suggestion is you start visiting youporn and xtube, two totally free sites where you can view porn till your little hearts content and your hand is sore.
2. OLD HAGS WANNA TOUCH YOUR BABY
"What's your name cutie?"
All the guys at work kept telling me how lucky I was, to be having a kid, because chicks love babies. “Wait till you go to the mall,” they said. “You’ll have to fight them off with a stick!” What they failed to mention was, I’d have to fight them off with a stick because, they’d look like they starred in Night of the Living Dead. Trust me, it’s never the swimsuit model with the low cut blouse and the enormous tits that wants to come over and pinch your baby’s cheeks. It’s the crusty old cunt with three teeth and a moustache. And they never ask, they just come over and do it like it’s their god given right, just because they’ve been around since Moby Dick was a minnow.
3. BABIES HAVE PROJECTILE SHIT
"Yummy! Yum! Yum!"
Yes, just like The Exorcist, only it comes out the other end. At first I thought my child was special, like a mutant or something, and maybe I would be able to exploit this uncanny ability for profit. But after talking to a few of my friends with kids, I found out this is actually quite a common occurrence. Kids across America are squirting hot mustard, for distance, as we speak. Why does no one tell you these things? It’s like there is some big conspiracy to cover the truth up about babies. Maybe they’re scared people will stop reproducing if they know the truth, and it will be the end of the human race. I don’t know. But like I said, tell me your stories. I know there is some shit I missed, so comment away. Until next time, this is Notelgge signing out, peace.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
"Who wants a moustache ride?"
But homosexual undertones aside, this show managed to meld two of my favorite genres together seamlessly, sword & sorcery with Star Wars-esque sci-fi. The only other show to successfully do this would be Thundarr the Barbarian (which unfortunately, at this time, has still yet to be released to DVD). Another interesting fact is, both of these shows only lasted two seasons. Although Masters of the Universe had a highly prolific run consisting of two seasons of 65 episodes each, Thundarr only boasted a paltry 21 episodes total. Perhaps it was a right-wing conspiracy, like Jerry Falwell’s persecution of the gender-bending Tinky Winky. But I digress. At any rate, I was totally obsessed with He-Man as a kid. I had all the toys. And I was thrilled when they released the show on DVD.
He-Man originally aired in 1983, and was created by Filmation (the same guys to bring us Fat Albert and Star Trek The Animated Series). It was a daily syndicated series based on the line of toys from Mattel. Many critics have put He-Man on blast for being nothing more than 30-minute toy commercials, with cheap animation. I happen to disagree, I think He-man has pretty good stories for an 80’s cartoon (you ever seen a episode of Care Bears, now that’s a bunch of crap) and the synth score is hella tight. Sure, Filmation may have cut corners by rotoscoping and re-using the same animated sequences over and over again, but you would have to be blinder than the bastard child of Helen Keller and Ray Charles, not to appreciate those long establishing shots in which the camera would slowly pan across a wide, extremely detailed, background painting. Those paintings were sick and you know it! They’d make Frazetta proud.
“Filmation also pioneered other animation technologies, including backlighting effects for the first time in American animation (they were already in use in Japan), including moiré effects to represent energy fields; a technique that was later used in He-Man. They also pioneered a unique method of generating 3-D vehicle animation by filming white-outlined black miniatures against black backgrounds using a computerized motion-control camera and high-contrast film, then printing the negatives onto acetate frame-by-frame to create animation cells which were then hand-painted. This produced a dynamic, three-dimensional effect which had never been seen in cell animation before and predated the modern use of 3-D computer animation for vehicles in 2-D animated productions (although it had a distinctive "flicker" to it as some of the painted lines went in and out of visibility as the miniatures moved).”
"Ouch, these tights are riding!"
I feel He-Man is pretty timeless (well, maybe not timeless, but it’s held up pretty well to this point), and even though I have yet to watch it with my own daughter, I have watched with my niece and nephew (9 and 4 respectively) and they both loved it. The stories also feature a moral lesson at he end of ever episode (something that was very prevalent during the eighties), I suppose in an attempt to tone down the rabid homosexuality that persists throughout, and keep the Christians at bay. And what kid couldn’t use a little morality these days. And for those of you pussies out there that think He-Man is too violent, that was just some nonsense cooked up by bored housewives in the 80’s, who had nothing better to do with their time when they ran out of cooking sherry to drink. The average Sponge-Bob episode has more violence than a He-Man cartoon. And I picked up The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe at Walmart for 5 bucks. It features five of the best episodes from season one, five of the best episodes from season two, and all-new documentary featurettes that shed some light on the making of this classic animated series. So, all in all (even though this show is gayer than cum on a sailors moustache), I have to give The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, five out of five beers.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
"Rotten meat anyone?!"
Therefore, the undeniable lesson of this book is, one must conform to social pressure or terrible things will happen to you. And in the end, not only will you eat the rotten shit the government feeds you anyway, but you’ll like it. Hell, you’ll love it! So, essentially this book is 1984 for children. But for those of you who prefer not to read between the lines, I guess this book is about the importance of getting your kids to try new foods, because they might actually like them. Either way this is a great book for children and the fourth bestselling children's book of all time.
Pretty impressive seeing how the book only uses a combination of 50 different words, being: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you, fuck. Just kidding, fuck isn’t in there, but it should be!
At any rate, every kid deserves a least one Dr. Seuss book, and I can’t find one reason why it shouldn’t be this one. As such, five out of five beers. And remember, Big Brother is watching.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Thankfully Christian Jacobs (frontman for the cult band The Aquabats), and Scott Schultz (singer for the indie-pop band Majestic) pooled their money together and got this show off the ground.
With guest stars like Rhazel, Elijah Wood, Jack Black, and The Roots; an opening theme song (a kind of Hawaiian twang) that sounds strangely familiar to the begining of the Pee Wee’s Playhouse theme, art segments by Mark Mothersbaugh (lead singer of 80’s new wave band Devo) who has composed for everything from Rugrats to Rushmore, and a local L.A. club DJ (Lance Rock) for a host--Yo Gabba Gabba is definitely the freshest show around for pre-schoolers and their hipster parents. Part HR Puff ‘n’ Stuff, part Dee Lite, part Sesame Street, part hip-hop beats, part old-skool video game graphics--how can you not like a kids show, that has a title, that sounds like it should be a Ramones’ song.
Five out of five beers!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This two disc collection not only has some of the greatest Betty Boop cartoons, but what many would consider the greatest cartoons, ever (Betty Boop or otherwise)! These of course are Betty’s, pre-Hays code, cartoons. Filled with jazz, drug references, surreal images and sexual overtones. After the Hays code (a lame-ass code created in the mid-30’s to censor movies and cartoons) Betty went from a free spirited, scantily clad, Jazz Baby, to a frock toting hausfrau-secretary type. The later cartoons are absent of Koko the Clown and Bimbo (Betty’s sometimes doggy boyfriend and confidant), and are instead filled with sorry-ass characters like Grampy the stupid inventor and Pudgy the annoying dog. If I had to pick the highlights from this collection, I would stick with:
- I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You
- Snow White
- Betty Boop’s Bamboo Isle
- The Old Man Of The Mountain
- Minnie The Moocher
But for the sake of brevity, I will focus mainly on Snow White for this review. In my opinion this is the best of the Betty Boop cartoons (and it came out 4 years before Disney's version). It’s far reaching influence can be seen in creations as diverse as The Nightmare Before Christmas to Ren & Stimpy. From it’s beautifully rendered ink wash backgrounds (in the mystery cave) to it’s smooth as silk rotoscoping this cartoon has much to offer. It wields rotoscope (a technique invented by Max Fleischer) with Jedi like precision. Via it we can see Koko the Clown moon walking, a la Cab Calloway, numerous years before Mike (may he rest in peace) was even a money hungry twinkle in papa Joe Jackson’s eye.You wanna talk street cred? As far as I know, this is the only cartoon that features a song (St. James Infirmary Blues) about a girl who died of a cocaine overdose. The film has even been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Not to mention Betty was the first cartoon to be drawn in a truly female fashion (titts, hips, ass and curvy legs); before this female characters were basically carbon copies of their male counter parts with eyelashes and a skirt (e.g. Minnie Mouse). I suppose I could go on and on with how great this cartoon is, and why you should watch it, but I prefer to let it talk for itself. So, here is a link without further adieu, Snow White. And of course it gets 5 beers!