Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I got sucked into the 80s-90s kids tv vortex.

Penny would be proud...
 Years of fine-tuning my morning routine have made me realize that sleep is more important than style, therefore I no longer dress to the nines to head to the office. It's not like I resemble a refugee, I just don't always take the additional time to apply makeup or allow my hair to take on any look other than a pony tail. [Tangent: At work, no one really sees me but the walls of my cubicle and my little homie that sits on top of my monitor.]
I lose everything, yet somehow I have kept up with this thing for about 8 years.
Thankfully, the elevator doors are mirrored in my office building, so during that 30 second ride to my floor, I can do last minute hair check and make sure I don't have toothpaste on my neck (I am not sure how it gets there, but I always find it too late in the day). Today, during that ride I looked at myself and thought, "Man, this week I am like the gray ranger." Yes, that's a Power Rangers reference. I have worn predominantly gray everyday this week, and because I am inherently 12 years old, of course I assume that people in my office are thinking I lead a double-life as the fictitious gray ranger.
This is my night job...oh yeah, by the way, I also can walk when I morph.
[Tangent: OK. Confession time: I was about 12 when Power Rangers reached their crazy assault on popular culture, but I still watched it because 12-year-olds have ridiculous amounts of downtime. Because I was old enough to know better, I saw the obvious racial undertones (the yellow ranger was Asian and the black ranger was creative!) and was unnerved that no one ever witnessed them morphing and then fighting off giant robots, or even noticed that a group of teenagers only stuck to their respective color palettes. Also, as a media savvy (read: watched WAY too much TV) child, I was able to spot a cheap knock-off.  When Wikipedia'ing the show to jog the neurons, I discovered that when Power Rangers aired in Malaysia they bleeped the word 'morphin' as part of an anti-drug campaign. Amazing.]

After having this mighty morphin thought process at 8:45 AM, and after having a friend email me the lyrics to the Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose theme song after I used the term "ran that crazy train off the tracks", [Tangent: Yes, I know Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose (aka the Nashville based PBS show that featured the lady from Jellybean Junction) is a bit of a deep cut...that's why I got so excited that friend spewed out that reference so casually. Nothing makes me happier than an obscure reference. His mention of it also made me remember that I took a painting class in college with the guy that played the professor from Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose, who apparently is not a professor at all and instead a happy hippy in overalls. This was a big brush with fame for me. This tangent just made me realize why I am single.] all signs were pointing to, "YES! I need to write a tangent-filled blog about old kids shows!"

My mind is like a piece of fly paper, and things get stuck in there never to be removed, among these things are everything I've ever watched on television. [Tangent: I think that is a great argument for why kids SHOULD absolutely watch makes you wise!] Anything in my daily life can somehow be related to some obscure piece of nostalgia. Example: I hear someone mention the politics of South Korea, and to myself I am singing the excerpt from the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego theme that says, "stole their Seoul in South Korea." [Tangent: Those boys in Rock-a-pella loved a good pun and may or may not be inadvertently responsible for the all A Capella station on my Pandora radio.]

I touched on Ghostwriter the other day, but really, that and several other awesomely terrible PBS shows consumed way too much of me and my sister's respective youths, mostly because we only got five patchy channels on the TV in our bedroom and PBS always came in clear as a bell. As a kid, I so badly wanted to wear a pen around my neck and communicate with a supernatural orb via my carefully crafted penmanship with my racially diverse posse. That just seemed like a good time. Again, Ghostwriter was a case of distance giving perspective, because as I searched the ends of the internet for video of the streetwise Lenni character singing the white girl inspiration rap 'You Gotta Believe' [Tangent: Thanks a lot Eddie5001 for taking down your youtube profile and removing the only known evidence of this video and thus ruining my evening!], I came to realize that If I found it, I could only be let down. What seemed totally cutting edge when I was 12, would likely seem like a complete waste of 1 minute and 20 seconds today.

Thankfully, to my youtubing delight, the KIDS Incorporated (K-I-D-S!)  theme is still readily available, and so is this 'jam' from the Mickey Mouse Club spin-off band called simple The Party. [Tangent: I am getting flashbacks of having a humongous crush on the band's token redheaded fella. Who doesn't love a ginger?]  By the way, you are welcome!


  1. if you are feeling a little less gallant-and a little more diabolical-the next time you are wearing grey, you can claim to be channeling one of those greyish-silvery ninja-esque guys the Power Rangers always had to beat up before the big monsters got there. remember them?

  2. i just want you to know that i can sing them themes to mrs cabobble's caboose AND jellybean junction. and somehow i never knew those were nashville based.

    did you watch kid songs? i used to be OBSESSED with it. and zoom. i might still have an episode taped where the original cast came back.

  3. Thank you for all of these flashbacks. Also, I loved your friend's amazing Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose rant today too, mainly because I didn't grow up in Nashville so I had no idea what he was talking about and assumed it was just another random piece of ol' TG's awesomeness.

  4. Omg thank you for the Carmen Sandiego song!!

  5. other forgotten gems:

    Today's Special
    3,2,1 Contact
    You Can't Do That On Television
    Mr Wizard's World
    Banana Man

  6. I didn't forget Today's Special...that ones on the back burner. Trust that it will make an appearance. Also Rae- you were in that art class with me, I am ashamed I never pointed it out to you. Also, yes my sister and I would heckle the kid songs kids, despite secretly being jealous of their talent.

  7. You just blew my mind. For the past 20-ish years I totally forgot Mrs. Cabobble's Caboose existed, yet I knew the whole theme song and even remembered that episode... and cannot believe the professor went to MTSU.

    And Rock-a-pella, omg. I got all excited recently because Carmen Sandiego was on some random cable channel, but then it turned out to be some new updated animated version that was really lame, not a game show, nothing like the computer game that I wasted hours playing (educational hours!) because my computer took forever to read the 12 floppy disks it required.

    Kudos to the person who remembered Kidsongs.

  8. I'm producing a 50th anniversary special for Nashville Public TV. We're looking for folks who grew up with WDCN/NPT, like yourself.

    Since you're a Nashville Native, would you mind helping us spread the word to anyone you can think of? Mrs. Cabobble and NPT would be eternally grateful!

    Ed Jones
    Nashville Public Television
    615.259.9325 ext. 253


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