Tag Archives: holidays

Tuesday musings – Happy New Year!

“All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.” — Steven Spielberg

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” — G.K. Chesterton


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I have a beef with Jurassic Jimmy

Disclaimer: I am an Episcopalian with a great respect for science. If you believe the world was literally (rather than metaphorically) created in six days 6,000 years ago, you may wish to stop reading at this point, as I will be talking about evolution. Caveat lector. 


The toy store where I’m working during the Christmas season has a wonderful line of friction-powered vehicles made by WOW Toys (http://www.wowtoys.com/). Among them are a garbage truck named Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred, a tractor named Harvey Harvester, and construction vehicles named Dudley Dump Truck and Dexter the Digger. Bright colors, sturdy materials, gender-diverse people to go in them, no batteries required. Apart from the lack of racial diversity and the fact that they’re manufactured in China (though designed in Great Britain), I have no complaints. There are even vehicles targeted to girls, although there’s certainly nothing to stop you from buying your little girl a Fireball Frankie instead of a Whiz-Around Amy. I considered one of their vehicles for my toddler-age niece but settled on other gifts instead.


But then, there’s Jurassic Jimmy. A jeep piloted by a Cro-Magnon man (at least I think he’s Cro-Magnon; he doesn’t look Neanderthal to me), with a trailer behind and a space in the trailer for a cute little purple Apatosaurus. I grew up watching and enjoying “The Flintstones,” and later, “Dinosaurs,” but Jurassic Jimmy still annoys me. You see, most boys and many girls in WOW’s target demographic (ages 1 1/2-5) think dinosaurs are incredibly cool. Said children also ask a lot of questions, and may well get around to asking whether dinosaurs and humans were ever around at the same time. A thoughtful parent will say, “No,” and give a preschool-appropriate explanation of the different theories why dinosaurs became extinct, then conclude by saying that human beings have only been on Earth for four and a half million years. The child will listen to his (I’m being presumptuous and assuming it’s a boy simply based on my own experience) parent, then look at his toy, and experience some cognitive dissonance.


I should probably be equally annoyed by George’s Dragon Tale, which has a knight and – you guessed it – a dragon. But for some reason, I’m not. Maybe I read too much medieval literature in college.

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Filed under Holidays, Popular Culture

Sappy Cat Blogging

The Jingle Cats purr-forming “The Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker:

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Filed under Animals, Holidays, Sappy Cat Blogging

Retail rant

OK, so I got a seasonal retail gig working in a toy store to supplement my jobs. It’s a lot of fun; how many workplaces let you play with toys all day? But there are some things that irritate me.

1. Yes, we encourage kids to play with the toys. Please remind any children with you that this is a place of business, not their playroom. Do not let them take over floor space with the toys or leave them where someone can trip over them. Do not let them put things in their mouths.

2. We are not babysitters. Please keep at least one eye on your child while you shop.

3. If your toddler needs a diaper change, please go take care of that, THEN finish your shopping. (This happened today. I could smell the child four feet away, and I have a cold at the moment.)

4. Put your phone away while I’m checking you out.

5. Hand your money or credit card to me. Do not leave it on the counter for me to pick up. (When did this become acceptable?)

6. Yes, we offer complimentary gift wrapping. Feel free to take advantage of it when the store is NOT crowded.  (Sidebar: I am the world’s worst gift-wrapper, even when not handicapped by the cats.)

7. Do not give me a vague description of what you’re looking for and then seem offended when I have no idea what you’re talking about.

8. Do not ask for something you “saw on TV” without giving me a product name. I realize each commercial kills 1,000 brain cells, but surely you still have enough to take notes.

9. Do not joke, “I guess it’s free!” if you don’t see a price tag on something.

I’m fortunate to have a great manager and good coworkers, and most of our customers are nice, but some behaviors just annoy me.




Filed under Holidays, Work

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to post “In All Things Give Thanks,” as performed by Freddie Fender, but I can’t find it on YouTube or anywhere else, except for a Tex-Mex Christmas album I listen to every year. If anyone can find it, I’d be grateful.

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Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything

Happy All Hallows’ Eve!

A little different from your usual Halloween offerings.

The Scottish border ballad “Tam Lin,” as performed by Fairport Convention:

You’ll find different versions of the lyrics here: http://www.tam-lin.org/tamlin1.html

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Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything