Archive for the ‘Phineas and Ferb’ Category

epcot[ATTENDED: November 3, 2014] Epcot

For day two we planned to go to Epcot.  We figured there is a lot of walking (the World Showcase is apparently a one mile loop in and of itself).  And we figured we would go in the morning and do a few things, return to the hotel in the afternoon and then go back to the park at night.

And then T. threw up.  She had a stomach virus that started at 1AM.  We felt terrible.  But at he same time, we also knew that we had paid a lot of money for this trip.  So, we pressed on to Epcot anyway.  Clark was especially looking forward to seeing the big ball (not even sure if he knew what it was), so we made poor T. schlep out to Epcot.  And she repaid us by getting sick in the park twice.

We didn’t have a lot planned for Epcot.  We knew we wanted to do Soarin’ (which we had never done because the lines are always so long).  We had just read about the people dying and getting sick on Mission: Space, so we quickly nixed that.  We had a FastPass for the Nemo show, but opted against it.  So, it proved to be a pretty quiet day after all. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: stickman2JUSTIN ROBERTS-“Pop Fly” (2008).

popflyThis is a wonderful pop song from Justin Roberts.  Roberts is regarded as a top-notch children’s song writer.  I hadn’t heard him before, but i was totally sold by this one.

It’s a poppy almost dancey song–it certainly makes you want to move around, anyway.  There’s a catchy acoustic guitar and a fast beat and Roberts’ voice is really solid and warm.  Interestingly I didn’t even realize this song was about baseball when I heard it on the radio (I missed the song title).  I was totally hooked by the pa pa pa pa pa pa chorus.

And there’s a great third section of the song that changes the mood but not the tempo.  This reminds me a bit of Ralph’s World, but a bit…more full, perhaps?  Or maybe like something from Phineas and Ferb.  I’m going to have to check out more from him.

Oh, and the video, while cheaply made, is quite funny when the chorus kicks in.

[READ: April 8, 2014] Stickman Odyssey, Book 2

I enjoyed Book 2 of this series more than Book 1. It felt like it had a little more plot and was a little less slavish to the original myths.  or maybe I just like quests.

The story starts in the middle, with Nestor having captured Zozimos and having tied him up for failing to avenge Sticatha (which was Nestor’s plan all along).  He says that Zozimos has been doing nothing all this time. But Zozimos says no, he has been on an epic adventure.

Which brings us to where book one left off.

Praxis (the strongest man in the world) Atrukos (a guy who looks like a frog) and Zozimos set off to find a piece of the sky.  In book one, Praxis had knocked a piece of the sky out when he hurled a cyclops at it.  He wanted to retrieve it to prove to his love that he was actually a worthwhile person.  This story is left all of a sudden (in a very funny way) so they can help Atrukos with the witch who cursed him before Book 1 even started.  That’s when Nestor captured Zozimos, as he was on his way to help Atrukos. (more…)

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fivedials_no28SOUNDTRACK: PHINEAS AND FERB-The Twelve Days of Christmas (2010).

phineasWhile The Bird and the Bee has become my new favorite serious version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, this Phineas and Ferb version is my new favorite silly version of the song.  Sure it’s especially funny for fans of the show but, as anyone who has seen the show knows, Dr. Doofenshmirtz is comedy gold and so his wishes for Christmas and his updates and concessions (and the fact that he is a traditionalist) absolutely make this worthy of repeat listens.

[READ: December 19, 2013] Five Dials Number 28

Five Dials #28 is vaguely thematic–about heroes.  Some items are literal (the writers-as-heroines drawing), some are speculative (my favorite conceit–the stories of quickly killed side characters in movies), and some are unrelated at all–the guy who helped out Will Self.  This issue was launched from Sydney, Australia.

CRAIG TAYLOR-A Letter from the Editor: On Heroes and Convicts
Taylor talks about everything mentioned above and then talks about Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore and his primer on modern art: The Shock of the New (which has an accompanying documentary series). (more…)

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[ATTENDED May 18, 2012] One Hot Summer

IMG_7665My five-year old daughter Tabitha was in her second recital last night.  Last year she performed in one routine and this year she moved up to two–a ballet routine and a tap routine.

And my little girl got to lead the group out on stage!

She performed in two routines, “Ice Cream Ballet” (to the tune of Frank Mills’ “Music Box Dancer”) and “Hot Dog!” (the closing theme from the Mickey Mouse Show).

As with last year, I have no intention of critiquing any performances on the stage tonight.  Every girl and boy tried his or her best and they all did better than I could do.  However, I want to make some general observations about the performance.

This year’s theme was all about summer, so imagine my surprise when the first act was a dance routine set to “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper!  I feel like one of the big things that the dancers need to learn is to really exaggerate your excitement on stage–really get into it.  I know it is very hard to let loose in this way (although I noticed some of the boys really got into it), but if you just think about the sentiment of “Schools Out” you’d expect these kids to be wildly excited–exaggeratedly so. (more…)

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greatSOUNDTRACK: PHINEAS AND FERB-“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (2010).

pfholidayThis song takes the music of We Wish You a Merry Christmas and modifies it to fit the show.  Several characters get a verse, with my favorite coming from Isabella:

Oh, come tell me what’cha doin’ / All my relatives just flew in /From Mexico and Jerusalem / For the holidays
Both Christmas trees and menorahs / It can be confusing for us  / When we break into a chorus / Of “olé” (¡Olé!) and “oy vey” (¡Oy vey!)

Although I usually find Doofensmirtz’ lines to be the best, I don’t care for his verse–it is forced and not terribly funny.  But that is more than made up for with the end as it revisited the beloved figgy pudding:

All: We wish your every endeavor
Makes this the best Christmas ever
And we’re all so glad that we will never
Mention figgy pudding…

Dr. DoofenshmirtzOh, great. Well now we’ve mentioned it.
Major MonogramYou know, no one would have noticed if you’d have just kept your mouth shut.

We recently added the entire Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites album to our Christmas music collection.  Thanks, Swampy.

[READ: end of 2011-beginning of 2012] Great Expectations

I started this book over a year ago–Christmastime 2011 and I finished it in January of this year.  And I imagined writing a grand, eloquent post about the book, so I bided my time, and have now delayed for almost a year and have basically forgotten everything significant I thought about saying about it.  Never put anything off in the hopes that genius will strike.

So I read this book because my former coworker Stephanie talked about how much she liked it.  I had never read any Dickens before (possibly Tale of Two Cities but that would have been in High School and doesn’t count).  And Nick Hornby raves about Dickens in the pages of The Believer, so it seemed like a time to try him out.  Back when I was in college I joined a book club and received The Oxford Illustrated Dickens–30-some volumes of all of Dickens’ work in beautiful hardcover editions.  And I have lugged them with me to all my homes.  And now I have finally read one.

I was as surprised by how surprised I was by the story.  I knew the very basic outline and character names (thanks South Park), and from what I knew of Dickens, I thought I had the whole story figured out pretty early on.  But no, there was more afoot than I would have ever guessed.

So, the story: Phillip ‘Pip’ Pirrip is a blaksmith’s apprentice.  He was orphaned as a young babe and is currently living with his (terribly mean) older sister and her husband, a kindly blacksmith named Joe Gargery.  One dark and spooky night (as only existed in 19th century England), Pip is out in the swampy foggy graveyard visiting his parents’ graves when he hears a fight.  Two convicts have escaped from a prison ship and are fighting amidst the marshes.  The “winner,” spies Pip and threatens him–unless he brings a nail file and food, he will kill the young boy.  Pip is freaked and runs home to steal one of Joe’s files and a piece of pie that his sister has baked.  The next day the police capture the criminals, and the one whom Pip helped gives Pip a long look and says that he stole the pie, which lets Pip off the hook from his sister’s wrath.

Meanwhile, up the road a piece, there’s an old dilapidated house with an old dilapidated woman living in it.  She is Miss Havisham.  The delightful thing about Dickens is that Miss Havisham is crazily over the top and yet, because of the time it was written, she is totally believable.  (She may indeed have been based on someone Dickens knew).  No one like Miss Havisham could exist now–she would be institutionalized in a heartbeat, but back then, this woman could be head of a household and have servants and simply be spoken of as a bit odd.  For odd she is. (more…)

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3rdSOUNDTRACK: PHINEAS AND FERB-“I Really Don’t Hate Christmas” (2009).

doofenI have grown to love Phineas and Ferb ever so much  in the past year.  Holy cow it makes me laugh so much  that I would totally watch  it even without the kids around.

This song, sung by the evil Dr Doofenshmirtz, explains how he has a backstory that makes him hate every holiday except Christmas–he just has a burning indifference to it.  The song is catchy and funny.

Of course since he is an evil scientist, he finds a reason to hate Christmas and launch his naughtyinator.  When carolers come to his door and repeat over and over that they want figgy pudding, he begins to get quite annoyed.  And we get this hilarious exchange:

CAROLERS: (singing) We won’t go until we get some, we won’t go until we get some….

DR. DOOFENSHMIRTZ: What? Are you threatening me? How dare you! No one barges into my home and demands desserts! What sort of plan is that anyway? “Let’s go to a stranger’s house, sing songs to him, and refuse to leave unless he hands us a food dish no one’s prepared since the 16th century!”

Just in time for the holidays:

[READ: December 20, 2012] Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

Clark was more excited for this book than I was!  As soon as he saw it, he grabbed it and ran into his room to read it (for which I was both proud and a little annoyed as I wanted to read it).  I’m not sure how much he could have enjoyed it as it is all about going on a date, but he seemed to like it.

It’s not all about a date though.  It begins with Greg reminiscing about his time in the womb (a very odd thing for Clark to read, I’m sure).  rtHis mom listening to Mozart and just how much he could hear while in there.  Then he talks about his life as a wee one, which is very funny–he learned how to take the batteries out of the remote so his mom couldn’t put the educational shows back on (he’s also annoyed that Manny gets to watch whatever he wants now–no educational TV for him).

But Manny doesn’t come out on top all the time–there’s the boy who acts like a vampire at Sunday School and scares Manny to bits.  This may be why Manny only has imaginary friends (well, that and the fact that their mom reads Manny the children’s book she wrote about the boy who used to bite Greg–it  terrifies Manny).  Of course, the imaginary friends get in trouble for all the things Manny does (maybe Manny does come out on top all the time after all).

One of the funnier aspects of the Wimpy Kid series is the locations that they go to.  Like Corny’s, the family restaurant where the key is fun (not food), and the first time they went Greg almost sat on a PB&J sandwich that was never cleared away.  (And wait till you see what the family next to them are doing!). (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: PHINEAS AND FERB-The Twelve Days of Christmas (2009).

12daysTo get you in the mood for the holidays, I present The Phineas and Ferb Twelve Days of Christmas.  Each character gets a wish, even Perry.  And of course, Ferb’s wish on the 12th day is great.

Obviously, Doofenschmirtz is the comic relief of the song (although most of the wishes are funny in themselves).  Doofenshmirtz hilariously wishes for the entire tri-state area and then slowly backs down to one state, admitting he was overreaching at the beginning.

I can’t find a video from the show, but there are plenty cobbled together on YouTube.  Like this one.  Enjoy!


[READ: July 2012] Time Surfers series

We’re still working through all of the different Tony Abbott series.  And this series, Time Surfers, is another early collection of eight books about young kids going on adventures.  This series was also difficult to find (although it has recently come back into print (with much better illustrations).  The think I have yet been able to figure out about Abbott’s earlier series–they seem like he planned to do more.  Or more specifically, they seem unfinished.  I wonder if he gave up or if the publishers gave up on him.

So this series seems to have a few arcs in it.  New villains emerge, which is interesting, although as C. pointed out, what happened to Vorg from the first four books, he just seemed to go away.

Book #1, Space Bingo starts the series in an interesting way (Tony Abbott’s exposition is always interesting–indeed all of th ebooks open up with a scene the seems to be one thing but is revealed to be something else).  Ned Banks has moved to a new city far away from his home and his best friend.  He has to start a new school and he’s not too happy about it.  His sister has been calling him Nerd instead of Ned and the nickname is starting to spread, especially since such bad luck things are happening to him in school.  So he does what any clever kid would do–he creates a communicator (and tells his best friend Ernie how to make one) so that they can talk to each other whenever they want (and not have phone charges!).  When Ned turns the communicator on, however, it opens a time portal in his closet and two kids from the year 2099 come flying out. (more…)

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