I can’t remember at what age I stopped believing in Santa Claus, but I know there was certainly an absolute end date and that was the Christmas of Grade 4. My family went back to Peru for the first time since moving to Canada and my father told us we weren’t getting anything at Christmas because there wouldn’t be any money for presents. I remember being upset about it and he said “when we go to Peru, you’ll see people who have nothing.” I’ve always remembered that.
This week, The Lonely Island released a music video for a song that was cut from their new movie, Popstar. The deleted scene for the song, “Fuck Off,” shows Conner4Real (Andy Samberg’s Bieber-esque teen idol character) joyfully belting out the most over-the-top expression of teenage angst possible.
The song is an incredible parody, not least because Samberg and company have caught onto a melodic phenomenon that has plagued the airwaves for the past several years, which they use to great effect at the song’s 40 second mark.
I like to call this melodic snippet the “Millennial Whoop.” It’s a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale, typically starting on the fifth. The rhythm is usually straight 8th-notes, but it may start on the downbeat or on the upbeat in different songs. A singer usually belts these notes with an “Oh” phoneme, often in a “Wa-oh-wa-oh” pattern…
I will be writing a series of blog posts about the books I read with my 9 year old daughter. (I’m not going to discuss the books I read with my 6 year old son, unless you want to hear about how I had to insert dinosaurs and Transformers into the Velveteen Rabbit because the thought of a stuffed bunny coming to life was too boring).
I read my daughter Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when she was in Grade 1. Over the summer she read the next book on her own and I stopped reading to her at bedtime but she devoured books regularly. She’s in Grade 4 now and leading up to Halloween I thought she might like Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always, which was one of my favourite books when I was a kid younger.
My latest piece for Fanbros.com is a review of Telltale Games’ Minecraft:Story Mode. For my review, I recruited my own in-house Minecraft expert, my 8 year old daughter, Ava. (Spoiler alert, if your kids love Minecraft, they’ll love this too!).
For my daughter’s 7th birthday, I ordered Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Charlotte’s Web from my local independent bookstore, R&R Books in Oakville.
While I could’ve gone to Chapters and probably picked up a copy of Charlotte’s Web with Dakota Fanning’s picture on the cover, I certainly couldn’t have found a copy from the first print year, 1952. Although not a first edition, it’s still very cool (and it only cost $7).
In some ways, shopping at R&R reminds me of 84 Charring Cross Road where Helene Hanff would request books and Frank Doel, owner of the antique bookshop, Marks & Co., would hunt down unique copies. R&R have hunted down affordable firsts for my collection like Breakfast of Champions and an American hardcover version of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
When I arrived at the bookstore, I saw a beautiful box set of the Harry Potter series. I briefly considered it, but it was too expensive and I wasn’t sure if my daughter would even be interested in the series. I saw a cheaper box set of the first three books that was more in the budget.