Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kid Stuff: Happy Presidents Day

We celebrated this holiday early, on account of Mom having Keno tonight.  I should mention that it's a presidential-themed Keno - Evite said to bring a $15 gift that reminded you of one of our presidents.  Something with peanuts for Jimmy Carter, something cherry-flavored or -scented for George Washington, a really nice cigar for Bill Clinton - you get the idea.  At press time, I am torn between a gift card to a local nursery (for Bush) or fifteen dollars in quarters (for Obama - it's "change," get it?), but the ultimate winner probably will be a bottle of wine, for Jefferson.  Allow me to explain:  I'm in the middle of Benjamin Wallace's "The Billionaire's Vinegar," a book about the history of the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction, which bottle - allegedly - was purchased by Thomas Jefferson when he was living in France but never made it to his doorstep.  (It's a great book - touches on the idiosyncracies of Jefferson's personality, the history of the wine auction business at Christie's and on the history of winemaking in general.  Thus, I am flagging this post as a "thing I'm digging"; also putting it under the "adult party planning" category, because, seriously, how fun and totally wacky is a presidential-themed gift swap?)

The kid celebration actually started the Friday before last, when Mom was able to bribe the kids (with movie theater-sized boxes of candy) into multiple viewings of "Schoolhouse Rock." For Parker, this was followed by a bedtime reading of "John, Paul, George and Ben," which is one of our favorite books, (1) because it's silly and clever and (2) because both kids are obsessed with the Beatles, so they enjoy the play off of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Parker was also briefly obsessed with presidential politics, after his preschool teacher (I guess this time last year?) asked the students to draw their favorite presidents.  Most drew Obama, being the most recent president in their short lifetimes - and, inexplicably, most of them drew him wearing shorts.  Guess he has a rep as being "the cool prez" with the kids.  Parker went his own way and drew Abe Lincoln.  In lieu of a stovepipe hat, he gave him a tall shock of black hair, like Kramer on Seinfeld.  When asked, Parker informed us that that was his "hat hair."  (Ohhhhhkay, tall hat, tall hair - got it.)

Later, when pressed, Parker informed us that "George Washington was the first president, Obama is the president now, and Lincoln is in the middle somewhere."

Connor's interest remains focused on TJ, because he is a cousin on my dad's side.  Apparently one of his classmates disputed this fact, and so somewhere (probably in the same drawer as the tall-haired Lincoln pic) I have a cartoon that Connor drew in either first or second grade, featuring a family tree that is an actual tree.  Connor is climbing the tree and yelling down, "Are you sure that he's in here?"  I am at the bottom of the tree shouting, "Yes, he's your cousin."  The caption reads:  "Thomas Jefferson is my cousin.  Really, he is.  I know this because my mom told me."
So, I'm thinking of building on the presidential Keno momentum next year and adding to the Schoolhouse Rock/storybook repertoire a dinner consisting of peanut butter and jellybean sandwiches and cherry pie.

I failed to mention the second half of our Prez Day celebration.  Mom happened to catch the end of "SNL Best of Amy Poehler" and taped a (fairly tame but hilarious) Sarah Palin rap by Ms. P. featuring an intro by Palin herself, which I showed to both boys . . . at their request, MULTIPLE TIMES.  Backup singers/dancers consisted of Jason Sudeikis playing Todd Palin (in a snowmobile suit) and Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg as Eskimos.  The lyrics were all too good for me to play favorites, so here they are in the entirety:

 My name is Sarah Palin, you all know me

Vice prezzy nominee of the GOP
Gonna need your vote in the next election
Can I get a 'what what' from the senior section

McCain got experience, McCain got style
But don't let him freak you out when he tries to smile
Cause that smile be creepy
But when i be VP
All the leaders in the world gonna finally meet me

How's it go eskimo
Tell me what you know eskimo
How you feel eskimo
(Ice cold)
Tell me tell me what you feel eskimo
(Super cold)

I'm Jeremiah Wright cause tonight I'm the preacha
I got a bookish look and you're all hot for teacha
Todd lookin fine on his snow machine
So hot we gonna need a go between
In wasilla we just chill baby chilla
But when I see oil let's drill baby drill

My country tis of thee
From my porch I can see
Russia and such

All the mavericks in the house put your hands up
All the mavericks in the house put your hands up
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up
When I say 'Obama' you say 'Ayers'
Obama. (Ayers.) Obama. (Ayers.)
I built me a bridge - it ain't goin' nowhere.

McCain and Palin, gonna put the nail in the coffin
Of the media elite
(She likes red meat)
Shoot a mother-humpin moose, eight days of the week
[Three gunshots]
Now ya dead, now ya dead,
Cause I'm an animal, and I'm bigger than you
Holdin' a shotgun walk in the pub
Everybody party, we're goin on a hunt
La la la la la la la la

[Six gunshots]

Yo, I'm Palin, I'm out

Our viewing of Amy's rap was accompanied by a discussion of why politicians go on "SNL," and how the right (or wrong) skit can make (or break) a campaign.

I was most impressed by the fact that Amy was close to nine months pregnant when she did the rap (quite believably).  Parker was most impressed by the visual of Amy Poehler popping a pretend cap in a guy in a moose costume, who does a spectactular pratfall.  So impressed was he by this segment that he drew me a picture of Amy Poehler shooting a  bipedal moose.  The moose has a beard and a mustache, because we are going through a phase where we put beards and mustaches on everything.  Parker made point of telling me that the woman in the drawing is Amy Poehler "because if it was Sarah Palin then she would have a ponytail and glasses, Mom."  (Among other details, I like the moose's FINGERS, as well as the smile on his face as he is being shot at close range.)

Happy Presidents Day, everyone!

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