Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Exploitation Of Rudolph, It’s Animagical!

I repost this every year, but I thought I would post it when it's actually on TV...that would be tonight.

It’s that time of year when those famous Rankin-Bass cartoons and stop-motion puppet (Animagic) specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (which is on tonight) and Frosty can be seen on TV as frequently as wreaths on long-haul truckers’ rigs. I think the only person that comes close to having produced more Christmas fare than Rankin-Bass was Johnny Mathis, who I’m pretty sure just released his 100th Christmas CD, or something close to it. The ABC Family Channel usually airs most of the Rankin-Bass productions all December long and my girls watched a few of them last night. Among them was ‘Rudolph’s Shiny New Year’ and ‘The Christmas without a Santa Claus.’ It got me thinking that at a certain point, the Animagic Christmas treatment may have been stretched a little too thin.

Obviously, ‘Rudolph’ is as much a part of the holidays as Bing Crosby. It has to be good television for it to have been broadcast over network TV for the last 42 years. Although I seriously doubt that there has been an American child named Rudolph since the first airing of the special in 1964. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with that classic. It’s the other Rudolph shows that prove maybe there can be too much of a good thing. Apparently, Rudolph has to find Baby New Year after he runs away in ‘Rudolph’s Shiny New Year.’ It seems the little baby ran away because he was embarrassed by his big ears. Of course, Rudolph could sympathize (as could I, unfortunately) because he has that nose and all, but really, is that worth an hour children’s program?

Then there’s the very confusing ‘Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July,’ which just leaves me speechless. I’m still not sure what it was about but it featured Frosty for the first time as a stop-motion puppet. Should this be aired in the summer or in December? Combining the two seems to make as much sense as having Hank Williams, Jr. do a slow and reverent version of ‘Away in a Manger.’ Although if Hank did cover a version of it, please let me know so I can add it to my collection. At least Rudy was left alone for a while until ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys’ came along. That was done digitally though so I won’t consider it for the sake of this post.

There were however, several holidays that Rankin-Bass apparently chose to have Rudolph not celebrate. Maybe they figured having a reindeer and snowman enjoy the 4th of July together was the bottom of the barrel. Think of all we missed if they had decided to continue milking Rudolph. There could have been ‘Rudolph’s Thanksgiving’ where he has to coax Tom the Turkey back to the turkey farm so he can be euthanized and ‘processed’ for Thanksgiving dinner. What about ‘Rudolph’s Haunted Halloween’ where he befriends a ghost who is afraid of dark haunted houses but has to haunt someone before he gets his official ghost status? Yep, they cook up a scheme with Yukon Cornelius to pretend to be scared by the timid ghost. It sounds a lot like Casper, but Casper is friendly and this ghost is timid. Trust me, if just for litigation purposes only, there is a difference in the two.

Rudolph would shine (if you’ll pardon the phrasing) in ‘Rudolph and the Leprechaun.’ In that one Rudolph searches for the pot of gold that Louis the Leprechaun lost in a cock-fighting bet. ‘Rudolph’s Meaty Memorial Day’ would follow the reindeer as he rounds up enough meat for Santa’s big ‘Start of Summer BBQ.’ Unfortunately, Santa feels like grilling venison this year. The hour long finale to the Rudolph dynasty would be ‘Rudolph’s Long Lazy Labor Day,’ where he sleeps all weekend before escorting the kiddy elves to their first day of school. Oh the mayhem that could ensue in that one. Wow!

As you can see, while he may have been exploited after the success of his original holiday special, it could have continued and been much worse. The lackluster Rudolph sequels seem to have done little to tarnish the little misfit’s street credibility though. They are making Rudolph themed everything these days. I actually saw a Rudolph version of Monopoly the other day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go open another roll of Rudolph toilet paper for the twins.

**The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile’s useless observation for the day: Have you noticed in the original ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ that all of the hands on the puppets are dirty? Especially Santa’s. I don’t know why this is, but you can only watch something so many times until you start looking at things other than the plot…

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's That Time Of The Year (Officially)

I say “officially” because I have been celebrating all month. But I see others celebrating it, so I guess it's official. What time of the year am I speaking of? Why, it's “Throw Out The Leftovers Day.” I've got a whole side of turkey that would disagree. I'm just kidding, well it is Throw Out The Leftovers Day, but I'm really speaking of that Jolly Christmastime, also known as “That time of year when I can wear a Santa Suit and prance around (do people still prance anymore) singing Elvis Christmas carols.”

I love this time of year. I am writing this as I sit next to a raging fire (I should really turn around because my right side is getting tan...bada bing). I'm drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas songs. In about 30 minutes I'll be drinking fire and sitting next to the egg nog (that's a joke...not a funny one...well it made ME laugh, but then so does someone running into a bush).

You might be asking yourself why I wrote this. It's a good question. I'm certainly not getting paid to write this, if that wasn't clear enough. I'm writing this to ask your apologies. Well, not for what I did do, but for what I may do (with the exception of me trying on that leisure suit in the 7th grade). This blog will probably have a lot of yuletide references during the next month...so I apologize now.

With the exception of Christmas Eve, because that's my birthday. There was really no reason to say that, I just wanted to let you know. BWAHAHAHAHAHA.   

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

It's here. It's here. I'm not sure if that's actually what they call today or not, but it SHOULD be called that. I am going to write my local member of congress and suggest that he pushes legislation (or litigation - I'm not that particular) to make it so. After all, I'm sure it will be a welcome respite from all the economy and Brett Favre stuff.

Speaking of nothing in particular (wow, what a great segue)  The president pardoned 2 turkeys at the White House earlier today in the annual event that has taken place since at least Harry Truman. Gerald Ford even pardoned a turkey. It's name was Nixon. Seriously folks, these are the jokes...The pardoned turkeys will get to live out the rest of their lives at the turkey farm
praying to God that their tags marking them as special, untouchable turkeys never come off strutting around knowing that they have been spared, though I bet it will make it hard for them to forge meaningful long lasting relationships. "I swear Tom, every time I get close to another Jenny, she disappears..."

While I can't believe it's already here, I love this day. There's just something about knowing the work week is prematurely over, tomorrow is nothing but food and 45 of my closest relatives (at least 60% of who I can now call by their correct name) and then Christmas decorating. Oh and the annual turkey marathon of leftovers. Then there's the airing of "It's A Wonderful Life." I'm pretty sure that every time "It's A Wonderful Life" airs that an NBC accountant gets his commission.

I read recently about the original Thanksgiving and it has really changed my approach to the holiday. I've got one word for you: LOBSTER. Yes, lobster may have been served along with other shellfish at the first Thanksgiving dinner. Since it's too late this year, next year I am proposing that my family reenacts that first Thanksgiving, complete with lobster for everyone. Although, there was no pumpkin pie at that meal, so maybe I'd better go with a hybrid new and old celebration next year. Then again, do lobster and pumpkin pie really go well together? It's bad enough that everyone gets tired after the big meal. Do we really need them getting sick instead?

Well, happy Thanksgiving to all of you. May your bellies be full and your fortunes be fuller. Wow, that was lame. Ignore that...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I wonder if there is still time...

This is a repost (a very, very, very tasty repost!!)

While perusing around online this morning, I came across a mention of a new take on turducken, which is odd considering that turducken itself is a new take on something. This creation was called turgooduccochiqua. 

Now here is where I need to you to follow closely, because things are going to get confusing fast. A turgooduccochiqua is: a quail stuffed inside a cornish game hen that is inside of a duck, which resides in a chicken that is nesting inside of turkey. But hang on there because we aren't finished yet. All of those fowl ingredients (Get it? Fowl as in foul?) are then stuffed inside of a goose, which really brings that phrase from "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" that says "the goose is getting fat" to mind. Though in this case the goose is getting morbidly obese, but that's no fun to think about when eating. Oh yes, as if that wasn't enough meaty goodness for you, apparently the whole frankenbird is lined with bacon between all of the layers.
Ok, that was me allowing you to catch your breath and truly savor the ramifications of such a delicious food concoction. It might just be the greatest newly devised food of this new century and quite possibly the best offered since the Campbell's Soup Test Kitchen gave us the green bean casserole with those Durkee Fried Onions on top or even spam or maybe even bacon salt.

One thing is clear however, we need to encourage Americans to keep experimenting in such bold culinary fashion. After all folks, America is a country founded by explorers and pioneers and that spirit needs to be nurtured. In the kitchen. 

To say that I enjoy food is about as much of an understatement as saying that Copacabana is a good song (it's one of the greatest songs ever with its drama and anguish and suspense all set to a disco beat - to help you with the understatement comparison). All of this cramming of other meats into dead turkeys makes my mind wander dreamily to other food cramming and stuffing possibilities.

Could you just imagine the Scallshrobster? You're right. You probably can't because I haven't told you what it is. It's shrimp stuffed inside scallops that yes, are stuffed into lobster. Then there's the Cheese Hamfurter. This one is pretty self-explanatory. It's a hot dog stuffed inside a hamburger. You'd think this one would be a no brainer during America's Christmas - The 4th of July. Well actually, I guess December 25th is America's Christmas, but just saying "America's Birthday" seemed so bland and trivial.

Oh, how about the Keyconut Pie? A layer of coconut cream pie on top of a layer of Key Lime pie. This one might be an acquired taste, but then so is the music of The Ray Conniff orchestra and chorus and I've learned to love it. I am sure there is something involving bacon that could be thought up, but then bacon tastes good on pretty much everything. 

Cheese, another addiction of mine, would also be a good universal food pairing candidate. Wait a minute that could give us Chacon Bombs. Little cubes of cheese wrapped inside little strips of bacon and rolled together - hence the bomb label. Well, that and the fact that bombs can kill you, though perhaps just a little quicker than downing several chucks of cheese and bacon at the same time.

I would love to continue this fantasy stroll down the lane of crazy food hybridization, but 1. I don't think I used hybridization correctly just now, and 2. I am getting very, very hungry. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Autobiography

I can’t drive, so it actually will not contain an auto…But I am thinking of writing a biography.  Why not!  Politicians write one when they are a Presidential hopefuls.  I figured why not change it up.  Since I haven’t written a book and no one knows who I am, that’ll be how I introduce myself.  And I’ll probably have a recipe for something bacony in it.  I wasn’t typing balcony, I do mean “bacon-y.” Presidential hopefuls don’t have that in their biographies!

Biographies don’t contain “facts,” right?  I figured it would be more readable if it contained “facts – in name only.”  I’d call it a fact, but it probably wouldn’t be “factual” at all.  Or maybe they would be someone else’s facts.  Hey, I like that idea!

I read that Mark Twain has his autobiography coming out in just a few weeks.  I quickly had to run to Wikipedia to see if he was actually dead.  He said that he would release it when he’s been dead for a hundred years.  That solved that little mystery.  Time Magazine (I look at it for the pictures) said it was a pretty neat (pretty neat…that all I could come up with?) autobiography.  He doesn’t follow any set timeline.  He just flows from one story into another.  I’m thinking of doing that in my biography, too.

So, let’s review: my biography won’t have facts, or if they do, they’ll be someone else’s facts and it won’t be in chorological order.  That’s a good starting point.  Oh, I almost forgot: my biography will have a bacon recipe. 

Now I shall begin my autobiography.  It will be leather bound and contain 1000 pages.  I’m not sure if I’ll use 1000 pages, so a bunch of pages may be stick figures.  It will start when I was the ripe age of 13.  Back when I was a doctor, at the age of 13…(bet you can’t wait to read the rest of it).

Thursday, November 11, 2010


There’s nothing more intimidating than a blank page.  Well, that and a bunch of ninjas in an alley.  Or how about ninjas in an alley singing Neil Diamond? That would be intimidating…or funny.  See, that helped get over my fear of the blank page.

So now there is writing on my page…and Neil’s Cracklin Rosie in my head.  Really, that’s the song I get stuck with?  No wonder why I’m a bit loopy.   Well that and the barrels of coffee I drink.  We were actually at Target yesterday (great segue, huh) buying coffee and creamer.  We spent $28 dollars on it.  3 different types of coffee and 2 different flavors of creamer.  I should mix them all together and get Pumpkingmochacoconutmacaroon.  I wonder how that would taste…

Since I’m mixing things together, I want to write a few words about the greatest mix ever (well aside from the Lady Gaga/Michael Buble duet CD):  the Turducken!  It’s almost time of the year for it.  I’m thinking of dropping the chicken from it and replacing it with red meat.  It would be called the Turduckcow.  I think that would be turductasty tasty.  And fried, with bacon.  That would the ultimate tasty meal.  Oh, and topped with cheddar cheese! 

I should have stopped writing after the first paragraph.  Because now I’m hungry AND have Neil Diamond stuck in my head.  Maybe I’ll go take a nap and clear my thoughts.  Wait, can’t do that, I have drank way too much caffeine…

**sorry, this was a pointless post**  ;-)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Stream of Consciousness – Derailed

I haven’t written in a while, so today seem like a good time.  I’m still trying to get my writing mojo back.  I hope it returns before my verbal abilities come all the way back.  But to try and get over the funk my writing has taken since the stroke, I’ll just keep on writing…

That’s it, that’s all I wanted to say.  That was a joke – not a funny one, but a joke nonetheless.  So, I will write about nothing and see what river my stream of consciousness heads down.  I may be mixing metaphors but I’ll throw out my anchor and see what comes up.  It’s like the highway of life; you never know when you’ll find a piece of chocolate.  Alright, enough whacking the metaphors like a weed-eater.

Before the stroke, writing was my craft.  It was how I made a living and it was the way I spent my downtime.  To try not to write it would like Obi Wan Kenobi saying “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” times 100.  It’s a force and I can only submit to it.  It probably does not help that I’m reading a biography of Mark Twain.  He WAS a writer!  Perhaps I’ll start reading something about a dad who stays home and makes waffles for breakfast everyday…

But that would be boring, unless you have the audiobook of it and were listening to it while trying to fall asleep.  Although, may I suggest a Racheal Ray cookbook for that?   You probably are thinking rather than writing about writing why don’t I actually write.  Uh, because I have to figure out what that means first.  It seems like my stream of consciousness has hit a sandbar.  Though I figured this was a better way to spend 15 minutes than by playing FarmVille on Facebook.  However, if you play FarmVille, I need gas for my tractor.  And that is not a metaphor…