The most innapropriate christmas cartoons evah (Part 1)

Last week, the hub and I were wrapping Christmas presents and trying to find something to watch on Instant Netflix. We’re going through Breaking Bad withdrawal and so we were thumbing through the Netflix menu, tweaking like a couple of crackheads, trying to find anything that would take our minds off the mind-blowing season 3 finale we had just witnessed. Trying to get our minds off of meth and into the spirit of the Holiday, we found some old Christmas cartoons from the 1930s — the very compilation my brothers and I used to watch when we were kids. What a treat! I thought. What a fun memory! When June is older, we can watch these Christmas classics together. What a great new family tradition. Pleased with myself, I pressed play.

What I then witnessed were some of the most offensive and tasteless cartoons in the history of cinema. And I’m gonna break it down for y’all. 

Let’s start with this treasure:

You know it’s going to be good when it opens on an orphanage.

The basic premise is this – there’s a bunch of little kids (girls, I think, but it’s kind of ambiguous) in a dilapidated orphanage and they wake up on Christmas morning. Overjoyed at the promise of presents, the gender-bending orphans leap out of bed and dance around the room, singing jubilantly about Santa Claus. How sweet!

The first disturbing thing about this video is that there is no parental presence at all. Obviously they’re orphans, but there’s no headmaster or any kind of authority figure whatsoever. The place is clearly run by children, who are just dancing around and tearing their stockings off the walls, and you get a definite Lord of the Flies vibe. There’s also a baby running around and tripping over her distressingly long nightgown. One of the kids is probably nursing this baby, for all we know. So the kids grab their stockings and unwrap their presents, and while this is happening you have this ominous feeling that something terrible is about to occur. And it does.

CHILDHOOD. RUINED.

One by one, each child’s sole Christmas gift breaks, falls apart, or is otherwise damaged beyond repair. There is a full thirty-second montage of orphans enjoying their presents and then sobbing miserably when they are destroyed by their own enthusiasm. In the most heartbreaking scene you’ll ever see in your life, (fast forward to 2:13 if you want your spirit to be forever wounded) one of the orphans hugs her teddy bear so hard the stuffing falls out and her toy is reduced to a formless lump of skin. She kills her toy. SHE KILLS IT WITH HER LOVE.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the director of this piece thought it would be a good idea to pan around the room and show all of the orphans wailing in tandem, clutching their broken presents, their battered Christmas tree drooped over in the background. I can’t find a screencap of the image, but it’s reminiscent of the scene in Gone with the Wind where the Union invades Atlanta and Scarlett is trying to find Doctor Meade amidst the devastation. The director zooms out and, at once, the fall of the South is apparent.

Merry Christmas, kids!

I’m not sure what to take away from this initially — that Santa is a giant, orphan-hating dick? That he purposefully gave them the shittiest presents ever? Or maybe Santa just skips over orphans on Christmas, as punishment for being poor.

Try not to be so poor next year, kid.

So far, Christmas is a disaster and Santa hates orphans. How can this cartoon possibly redeem itself?

Enter Grampy.

Grampy is an inventor and a professor, as evidenced by the sign on the side of his stagecoach. I’m pretty sure Grampy is a “professor” in the same way that Dr. Mary from Frasier had a doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks. Grampy rides around town in a stagecoach and sings about Christmas, as professors do, and during his ride he overhears the cacophony of wailing orphans. What the eff? thinks Grampy, and he pulls over at the Oprhanage to have a look. He peeks in and sees the kids — still wailing, except now they are trudging slowly back to bed and pulling the covers over their heads to cry separately. Seriously.

Grampy might be a lunatic, but he’s not heartless. He sees the crying orphans and he just can’t abide. So he puts on his thinking cap and has a fantastic idea…an idea that involves a B&E.

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife

Most people would knock and enter someone’s home through the front door. Not Grampy! Grampy breaks right the fuck in, laughing maniacally the entire time. And it’s not creepy at all, because he’s whimsical. Again — where are the parents? Oh right, they’re orphans.

Anyway, Grampy breaks in and proceeds to upturn every shelf in the kitchen. He empties all the cupboards and drawers and puts all the silverware and plates and kitchen appliances in the center of the room in a big Hoarders-style pile. Grampy is completely oblivious to the fact that if the children were to walk in the kitchen and find a hysterically-laughing stranger in there, they would probably be rightfully upset. Thankfully, the kids are all crying too hard to even notice Grampy at all.

So Grampy continues to wreck the kitchen and the children are still crying in their beds. Then, systematically, he breaks every single one of their posessions and remakes it into a toy. While it’s oddly sweet that Grampy takes the time to make them presents, and as a viewer you’re starting to feel relieved that the kids will get some Christmas toys they’ve so wrongfully been deprived of, I’d like to remind you that these kids are poor as shit. And some psycho just broke in their house and destroyed all the things they need for their livelihood – like their washing board. And their dishes. And their sewing machine. And their clothes.

The hell is that?

As the pièce de résistance in his spectacular Christmas felony, Grampy impersonates Santa Claus. You know, the man who couldn’t be bothered to leave them nice presents to begin with. In a fit of emotion, Grampy even rips off part of their ceiling to make himself boots and forces his hand through a thick blanket to fashion himself a coat. (Orphans don’t need blankets, right?) With this gesture, his fraud is complete. Santa’s back, kids. And now you have no silverware.  

Blanket, you say? NOT ANYMORE! Santa needs a coat!

Ultimately, the children stumble out of bed, see their new presents, and go absolutely apeshit. They ride around on their new toys and then dance ritualistically around their new makeshift Christmas tree, and the cartoon ends on a joyous note. I bet it’ll be totally awkward the next day when they realize that Santa not only is the neighborhood lunatic, but he broke in their house and destroyed everything they own, but that’s neither here nor there. For now, Christmas has been saved. The spirit of Santa will live on. Or should I say, the spirit of Grampy.

OR SATAN. 

Creepiest. Christmas. Ever.

In which I reminisce about being a racist stalker

June and I hung out all day in the loft yesterday because my husband works and I don’t have a car. I guess I could go outside with her stroller but it’s in the trunk of our car and also it’s cold outside. So we stayed in the loft and played with her light-up snail that’s annoying as shit.

This bastard.

I confess that I have the TV on sometimes when the baby and I are in the loft. No, she doesn’t watch it. She’s not allowed to look at the screen either because I’m like High Expectations Asian Father in that I don’t want it rotting her brain and giving her ADHD. I, on the other hand, already have ADHD, so when she’s nursing or otherwise completely occupied, I flip channels for something to watch.

We actually came across an old 90’s movie today called Opportunity Knocks. I hardly remember the movie now, but I used to watch it all the time back when Blockbuster was still a thing and my dad took my brothers and I out to rent movies every Friday night. I should have just bought it. I don’t know why I didn’t.

Anyway, this movie sucks and makes no sense. It’s basically just an excuse for Dana Carvey to do a bunch of racist impressions (that I’m sure I thought were hilarious in fifth grade). But I used to love it and everything else he acted in because I used to be obsessively in love with Dana Carvey. Not only would I rent all his movies from our Blockbuster, but I actually would print pictures of him off the Internet and paste them in a scrapbook. Seriously. I had this photo album where I’d post old family pictures and totally hilarious 90s catchphrases that I saw on the Internet (like this), and in the very back of the scrapbook there was a two-page spread of Dana Carvey pictures, like some psychotic ex-girlfriend voodoo shit. I even remember which picture I thought was the dreamiest:

This was in the middle of the scrapbook. And it was huge. 

So far, June does not seem to give a shit about Dana Carvey, which is cool with me because he’s not really that cute anymore and kind of looks like a fifteen-year-old lesbian.

Super cute, you guys! 

I was a fucking dork when I was a kid. I literally cringe when I think about all the dumb things I used to think were so cool. For some reason, I brought the Dana Carvey scrapbook to school and would show my friends how dreamy he was and talk about how I was seriously going to marry him when I turned 18. I don’t remember their reactions but they were probably like, you’re a total idiot n00b.

(Side note — I cannot wait to see what kind of boys my daughter is going to crush on. I can’t wait to see the person she’s going to be in general, really, and I have to stop myself from wishing she’ll hurry up and get bigger so we can bond over this type of thing. I heard a saying once that is so true — that babies are like presents that open very slowly, and I have never, ever been good at waiting to open my presents. She sat up by herself the other day and I was like HURRY UPPPPPPP I want to see the person you’re going to become! Start talking! I don’t want to be one of those “cool moms” who try to seduce their daughter’s boyfriends or something, but if we could bond over our mutual 90’s-era-Dana-Carvey crush, I think that would make me the happiest mother in the world.)

Probably every kid thinks he or she has the monopoly on what is culturally relevant and cutting edge, now that I think about it. I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV when I was younger, but one day (I probably “rebelled” and turned it on, I don’t remember) I saw the music video to Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” and I thought this made me the most hip person in the history of the world. I would go around being like, so have you seen Soundgarden’s new music video? Yeah I thought it was pretty great. I saw it on MTV when my parents were sleeping, so, you know, I’m pretty cool or whatever.

I was also stupid as hell. Seriously, I was not smart. When I was five or six I was obsessed with the Babysitters Club series and all its characters — especially Claudia, who was funky and wore bizarre dangly earrings and loved to draw. Claudia was Japanese-American, which was like a martian as far as I was concerned, and I used to pray that God would make me Japanese-American too so I could be funky and exotic and good at drawing (racist much?). When it became painfully clear that God was not going to turn me into a Japanese girl, I literally would stand in the bathroom with the lights off  so that my hair would darken (my hair bleached in the sun). And if that were’t the most retarded thing you’ve ever heard, while I was standing in the bathroom with the lights off, praying to God that He would make me Asian, I would tape my eyes back to make them squint, like a Japanese persons’. MOST RACIST LITTLE KID EVER. And I seriously thought that if I did that long enough, I would look as authentically Japanese as Claudia Kishi.

Claudia’s dad was probably like this though

Let’s just hope June has her father’s genes.

Things that suck about being post-partum

June is no longer an infant and it rules. I’m sure I’m going to look back on her infancy and get all teary-eyed and yearn for those days of yore. That’s why I made this list:

Things that suck about being post-partum: 
My body proportions are completely out of whack.
Breastfeeding makes your boobs look huge (or maybe they just make my boobs look huge, I have no clue). For this reason, my enormous rack creates the illusion that I have a really tiny head. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror I see:

Yeah, GET REAL, Barbie! Unless you’re Post-Partum Barbie or something. Then you’re a little too real.
And not only do you have a huge rack and a shrunken head, you still have a big floppy pregnancy gut hanging off your midsection and a shitload of extra skin. Oh, and your feet grew a full size during pregnancy. So have fun looking like Pale Man.

“Aren’t you glad you have your body back?” UM, NO. 

I don’t have an excuse to get fat anymore.

I gained 35 pounds when I was pregnant, and the last 10 pounds I gained is what I like to call “Taco Weight.” When I was pregnant, we didn’t eat out very much at all. But every once in a while we would drive to our parents’ houses in the Chicago suburbs for a visit, and with traffic the ride would take usually two hours or so — which was an hour longer than my tolerance for not eating, so I’d insist we swing by Taco Bell for a “snack.” Sure, it wasn’t really healthy, but it’s not like I wouldn’t gain weight anyway, right? If I gained five pounds because of umbilical fluid, or five pounds because of two Chalupas, who would ever know the difference?

I had the baby five months ago, and now the difference is painfully clear. The weight you gain from growing a placenta and developing umbilical fluid — that goes away. The weight you gain from eating Chalupas? That sticks around. On your ass. Probably forever, since I don’t exercise. So now I’m fat and the worst part is that I can’t even blame the baby. I’m fat because I eat Taco Bell, not because I’m pregnant. Baby’s out. Taco Weight is still hanging around. The jig is up.

Also, Taco Bell meat looks like June’s poop. So it’s not even as enjoyable as it once was (lie).

Picture this inside a diaper. 

You get a monster period.
I don’t want to get all graphic on this blog, and normally I wouldn’t talk about my bodily functions and fluids because that’s fucking disgusting, but I have to bust a myth here. When you give birth, you don’t just push out the placenta and that’s it. You bleed. For WEEKS. And it’s not just some “spotting” like everyone is going to tell you beforehand — you get a SIX-WEEK-LONG MONSTER PERIOD.

 What I didn’t anticipate was having to wear ADULT DIAPERS until J was two weeks old, and then bleeding steadily for a month after that. Like, damn, enough already.

Like this. For six weeks. 

Some people I know only bled for a week or two. And by “people I know” I mean random bitches on WebMD.

You cry — a lot.
Crying is probably my least favorite thing to do besides passing kidney stones. I’ve found that motherhood messes with your hormones in a major way, but at no time is it more intense than in the first two weeks of your baby’s life. By some miracle I did not have postpartum depression, and yet I would start tearing up if my husband made fun of me for putting potato chips on my chicken salad sandwich. Everything makes you cry like a bitch. Baby smiles up at you? Cry like a bitch. Husband falls asleep while you stay up and nurse? Cry like a bitch. Milk stains all over your adult diapers? Cry like a bitch.

And God forbid you’re ever exposed to something in the postpartum period that reminds you of your baby. On a trip to Target when June was still an infant, I made the colossal mistake of wandering through the book aisle. I saw a book that my mom used to read to me when I was little and I made the EVEN MORE COLOSSAL MISTAKE of opening it up and skimming through.

More like CRY LIKE A BITCH FOREVER

I literally panicked and ran home so I could watch my baby sleep before she GREW UP AND LEFT MOMMY FOREVER. This book is the saddest shit in the world and I have no idea why parents want to read this to their children — as though the thought of them growing up and leaving home and never coming back to visit is something you want to drill into their subconscious every single night. Plus how can you even read this to your kids without sobbing uncontrollably? Because I sure can’t. The baby grows up and becomes a man! He rocks his mother when she’s super old! And then he sings the song to his own baby daughter! I CANT EVEN. 

“As long as I’m living my baby you’ll WAHHHHHH…”

If I could even read this book long enough to deconstruct the thing, I would be really weirded out by the whole thing. This mom raises her son like a single parent — the dad is never mentioned anywhere in the book — and the son is pretty much a thankless turd throughout. He trashes her house and is loud and obnoxious and shit. Doesn’t stop her from crawling in his bedroom when he’s fifteen and rocking him like an infant. And this continues well into adulthood. She drives over to his house and climbs in his bedroom window and rocks him to sleep, WHEN HE’S FORTY. No wonder he moves away and doesn’t come back home to visit until she calls him up and is like hey, I’m gonna die soon. It’s a weird, weird family dynamic. I still cried. 

You turn into a dairy cow.
I was lucky enough to successfully breastfeed June, and it’s been incredibly gratifying to see her plump up, knowing that it was my body — all mine! — that nourished her to the pinnacle of health. That said, every time she latched on for the first three weeks I wanted to kill myself. Breastfeeding was an excruciating nightmare where I literally felt like my nips were on fire and I winced whenever she eyed my boobs. And the pain isn’t the half of it.

This is what happens when you google “milk explosion.” Trust — this is not a milk explosion. You’ll soon know what a real milk explosion is. 

Until your milk “regulates,” you’re going to be soaking wet every time you hear the baby cry. Or whenever you think about your baby. Or for no reason at all. I have no idea if this is something that happens with the first baby only, or if it lessens with every subsequent baby, but there came a time when I was so sore and leaking so much milk into my nursing bras that I literally just sat upstairs in the loft with no clothes on and watched Keeping up with the Kardashians and iced my boobs with bags of frozen vegetables. I don’t even remember where the baby was.

So keep that in mind, future-self. When you get misty-eyed and baby-hungry, remember the boobs. Remember the nipple-fire and the lanolin cream and calling your lactation consultant like ten thousand times. Remember the NO SLEEP and the monster periods and wringing milk out of your yoga pants.

And then remember getting pregnant means having an excuse to eat tacos, and get pregnant anyway.

**No I’m not pregnant. 

Meth, milestones, and public breastfeeding

My husband and I are bona fide hermits, especially on the weekends. Our favorite pastime, second only to drinking beer/eating pizza, is finding new TV to watch on Instant Netflix. We’re addicted, and even more so since we’ve discovered the mind-melting awesome that is Breaking Bad. Every night this week we’ve stayed up until midnight watching this damn show. And after every episode we kept saying, Just one more. Just one more hit! It’s exactly like being addicted to meth. I’d imagine.

So that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing all week. We finally finished the third season on Friday night, which meant we had no idea what to do with ourselves for the rest of the weekend since season 3 is the last season that streams on Netflix right now. Fortunately we have a child that needs to be changed and played with and occasionally fed, so that gave us something to do while we endured Breaking Bad withdrawal and racked our brains for something else to watch.

While we were tweaking like a couple of meth-heads, here’s another thing that happened:

Oh hey Bruce Willis, what’s up?
The baby is sitting up — unassisted, for the most part! Four days ago she could hardly balance herself enough to sit upright for longer than a minute or two, and I had to supervise her constantly so she wouldn’t fall forward on her face at a moment’s notice. That was four days ago. Now she can sit on the floor and play with her toys like a real live little girl. Her favorite thing to do now is to sit in front of a spread of toys and pick them up one by one and lick them, so that’s what she did while we found a movie to watch. 

(We ended up going with Bad Teacher, by the way, which was a terrible non-movie that tried entirely too hard. I guess they thought that vulgarity would be funny just for vulgarity’s sake, and I’m not really sure why because this isn’t Victorian England and hearing a grown woman say the world ballsack has no shock value to it anymore. Plus Cameron Diaz is starting to look like someone’s mom, so we didn’t really buy into her whole sexed-up, frat-boy persona.)

I still totally look 25, right? RIGHT YOU GUYS?!

We also made a special trip to grandma’s house, went to the library, and ate at a new sushi restaurant in our town’s business district. I took a picture of the food before I ate it so I can relive the memory anytime I want.

(Oh, and I actually fed the baby in public successfully for probably the first time ever. For the record, I cover up in public when I’m breastfeeding because I don’t like strange grown men staring at my fun-bags. I would love one of those Michelle-Duggar style nursing covers, since whenever I try to discreetly feed my baby, she always manages to unlatch at the worst possible moment and reveal my boob to anyone who happens to be looking over at us. And since she has a habit of grunting and screaming if she doesn’t get the boob in her mouth fast enough, she pretty much guarantees that everyone in our proximity will be looking over at us. Not cool, baby.

I don’t agree, however, that because I’m nursing I should retreat to a dark corner or something. Sometimes that’s what I do because that’s what makes me comfortable personally, but I’m so over the notion that I’m supposed to remove myself from society completely and feed her in a bathroom or something. And yes, there are people who totally think that’s what needs to happen, like the owner of this shop in Dekalb, IL who kicked a nursing mother out of his store because she was breastfeeding, calling it a “disgrace.” Seriously. I’m willing to bet this homeboy isn’t going to kick someone out of his store who happens to be wearing a low-cut shirt or a push-up bra, but nursing mothers are “obscene” and his “rights” are being infringed on, and God, and the Bible. Makes total sense. I so desperately wish I would have been nursing at the time of this protest so I could have joined these ladies and owned this guy with his non-logic.

And for the record, I have fed June in a bathroom before — but only because we were in Mass at the time and I’m a total breastfeeding novice. For the first few months of breastfeeding at least there is screaming and crying and finagling and re-arranging and milk squirting everywhere, and I felt like it was just a common courtesy to do that somewhere other than a quiet church. But I still hated it. Feeding a baby next to a toilet is effing disgusting, and I would pray to the baby Jesus that there weren’t poo particles floating around infecting my child with E-Coli. My point is that choosing to breastfeed is cost-friendly, emotionally beneficial, nutritious, and it’s been proven to reduce the risk of about a million diseases, including SIDS. Mothers need to not be shamed into thinking it’s unnatural or deviant or that it’s on par with taking a shit.

That’s my spiel, as the Jews say.)

Anyway. Right now I just drank a bunch of caffeinated iced tea, so I’m all hopped up and queuing up a bunch of songs on a YouTube playlist (that’s what poor people do, instead of buying them off of iTunes). My music playlist right now is wack. I have no discerning palette whatsoever, so I literally just listen to anything that sounds catchy. Right now on my YouTube channel I’m listening to a compilation of the White Stripes, Beyonce, and a bunch of random shit (like this song by Enya). I used to listen to this song all the time when I was five or six. On the weekends I would steal this CD from my mom and blast it in our living room and run around in circles pretending I was a ballerina. As though ballerinas just run around waving their arms in the air and yelling the lyrics to “Orinoco Flow.”

LET ME SAIL, LET ME SAIL, LET ME CRASH UPON YOUR SHORE

And that was the weekend.

Lou offers his expertise

Lou: You should cool it with those animated gifs. Your blog is starting to look like something from the mid-nineties.

Me: I like using gifs, they’re hilarious! Did you see the one of Elaine going, “How ’bout it sucked“?? How funny is that!

Lou: Maybe you can get one of those songs to loop in the background of your website, too. Or you can link to your Myspace page. Grandma.

Me: I hate you.

[12/3/2011]