Might They Be Giants?

So, A2C and I were guitar window shopping in NYC. We were near Sam Ash, when I recognized this guy on his cell phone. First, I saw the glasses, then the hair, then the smile. “Hmmm…”, I thought, “That guy looks like John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants.” The more I looked at him, the more I was convinced. So, I stealthily stalled at the Sam Ash window to wait for him to get off the phone.

Well, A2C, being the modest one, was like, “you’re not going to bother him, are you?”, not really asking a question. I was like, “but it’s John Flansburgh. I’ve been listening to hi stuff since 1990! He’re right here! He’s only in one of the most important bands in the 20th and 21st century! He… Okay, I guess not.” We walked on.

I’m so sure it was him. I can’t believe I saw John Flansburgh!!


puff the magic dragon

I’m a TV addict. Sit me in front of a set, and you’ve lost me. I’m in my own world: just me and whatever is on. Time freezes for me, and easily an entire day can pass without my even noticing, until late in the night when my stomach is growling, and there’s a cold sweat beading on my brow.

This is one of the main reasons I don’t have a TV today. I’d spend all my time in front of it. So instead, I spend all my time in front of the computer. I’ve rationalized this since I feel that the online medium is what McLuhan would call a “cool” medium, one in which the viewer is a participant. So this is better than merely being spoon-fed on a “hot” medium like broadcast television.

Ahem. Every once in a while, I’d catch a “Puff the Magic Dragon” TV special, and I was hooked. Man, the very idea of a dragon being your friend was the coolest thing since preformatted floppies. I also got (and still have) a Puff story book. I think it’s based on the first cartoon. It’s got images and music from the cartoon.

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, the song for which Puff is named has always been under fire for being a “drug song”. Well, apparently, that just isn’t so. Okay, now you might say, “Riiiight!, as if the songwriter is gonna ‘fess up to writing a drug song.” The article points out that Mary, of “Peter, Paul and Mary”, said that if Yarrow had wanted to write a drug song, he would’ve written a drug song. Yarrow’s quote is the best:

When ‘Puff’ was written, I was too innocent to know about drugs. What kind of a meanspirited SOB would write a children’s song with a covert drug message?

I managed to find a few of the cartoons on DVD, but it’s out of stock, or unavailable in many places. Too bad 🙁

Anyone else old enough to remember this, or am I *that* old?



Once, I was trying to describe the handwriting method I learned in gradeschool. I don’t know how the conversation started, but I’m sure it was somehow related to my completely crappy handwriting.

Anyway, when I was growing up in IL, we were taught the D’Nealian handwriting method. No one had ever heard of it, and I was starting to think I made it up. Well, thanks to Google, I’ve found a few things about it. Here’s a link to a school’s page that is using the system. Be sure to check out the image of the sample script.

What did you learn as a kid?