The other day one of my best friends happened to post this wonderful 1988 clip from Sesame Street on Facebook featuring the talented Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin arriving at Sesame Street with a special gift for Oscar the Grouch (Caroll Spinney).
But there is a catch. You see Joel and Matlin happen to be “Grouch Groupies” and when Billy finds himself with a worn out piano the two give it as a gift to a grouch and in this case it’s Oscar’s turn! Matlin and Joel also sing…a Grouch version…of Joel’s 1977 hit “Just the Way You Are”!
This time of year makes me nostalgic for vinyl records. Back when I was a kid, my mom always had music playing in our living room during the holiday season — sometimes we listened to the radio, but more often than not she would pull out her favorite records and play them on the living room stereo while we were in the house. Sometimes it was Christmas music but sometimes it wasn’t. Whatever it was, it was always family friendly and my sister and I enjoyed it. I’ve always associated listening to records with happy times and being around family.
I spent some time the other evening organizing my record collection. It’s very small — somewhere around 60 records or so — but it’s pretty specific in nature. I enjoy records that remind me of my childhood, and most of the ones I own do that in one way or another. I can’t think of much that reminds me of my childhood more than the Muppets and Sesame Street, which is why I picked these up throughout the years. Some of them like the movie soundtracks have since been released on CD, but many of them have not nor is it likely they ever will be released digitally.
I have always enjoyed the act of putting a record on the turntable and listening to it. It feels so… intentional, I suppose, when compared to simply having music on in the background of your car or blaring from a television in the next room.
I ran across this framed picture for $4.99 while out thrifting. My wife said if I brought it home I would have to sleep on the couch. I considered it. Then I suggested maybe we could have another kid so that we could hang this in the child’s nursery.
The doctor says to continue applying ice and pressure to make the swelling go down.
I had this same playset when I was a kid and I remember, along with my sister, spending a lot of time playing with it. I may have been a little younger than my daughter is now (she’s eight), but when I saw one for sale recently at an antique mall it brought back so many good memories that I decided to bring it home and see if my daughter might enjoy it as much as I did.
Morgan spent a few minutes checking things out. She opened everything that opened, moved everything that moved, and eventually emptied everything out.
Once everything was out, she began putting items one by one into each room, moving them around and arranging things the way she wanted them. Once she had everything “just so” she began playing with the included figures. Unfortunately, and this reflects a deficiency on my part, she did not know who all the characters were. I figured this out when I saw Cookie Monster in Big Bird’s nest, Mr. Hooper in Bert and Ernie’s apartment, and Oscar the Grouch running the general store.
Sadly her interest in the toy was short lived and the lure of iPads and digital cable eventually pulled her back. For thirty minutes or so, Morgan had a good time exploring and I had a good time reminiscing.
I loved both Little Golden Books and Sesame Street as a kid and was tickled to run across this stack of them in a local book store. The artwork both in and on these books was appealing to both kids and adults — bright and colorful without being too busy. I didn’t buy the stack, but I did sit down for a few minutes in the kid’s section of the store and flip through them all.