In fact, all of Walk Off The Earth's stuff is fantastic. (You might remember them from their Gotye cover that went viral.) I bought their four-song album R.E.V.O. on iTunes - which includes Gang of Rythm - and it's been on continuous play ever since. (John's favorite was Summer Vibe, until he discovered their new Taylor Swift cover yesterday. Now he's playing that non-stop. Eesh. We're turning into total fanboys over here!)
Hold the phone - Summer Vibe has a video?! How did I miss that?? Ok, one more:
This is perfect for those of you surrounded by snow right now. Ahhh - just imagine the warm ocean breezes. Can ya feel it? Well, CAN YOU?
I'm sure a lot of you have already seen this, but in case you missed it, check out this 1981 magazine ad for LEGO:
found via Make
In addition to being an adorable blast from the past, I thought this was relevant considering how many of you mentioned before that it didn't seem like gender-specific toys were such a big deal back when we were growing up - that the issue of gendered play is one that seems to be drawing harsher lines now than it did back then. I'm sure that varies drastically by experience, but at least this ad seems to bear out that girls weren't expected to just wear pink tutus and play princess back in the 80s. (Like a lot of you, I played with my brother's Star Wars toys and Laser Tag as much as I did My Little Ponies and Rose Petal Place dolls. [Remember those?])
Which is the perfect segue into...
A Day in the Life of a Professional Party Princess:
found via Mental Floss
Mary Alice Legrow is a graphic novelist in her thirties whose publisher went out of business, forcing her to find a new source of income. So she became a professional party princess.
I first learned about Legrow through a lengthy forum thread where she answered questions about her unusual new job, and I was struck by both her clever writing and her refreshingly level-headed perspective. She speaks frankly about the "cult" of princess, shares funny and sometimes tragic stories about both the kids *and* the parents, and basically tells you everything you never thought to ask about the world of children's party entertainment. Plus the illustrations she draws to go with her stories are fantastic.
And lest you think Legrow is perpetuating harmful stereotypes, allow me to submit the following entries from her "Day of Sparkling" schedule post:
Paint a little boy like a skull. Put pink glitter on him as per his request. Listen to his mother insist that his sister get something "pretty" instead of a similar skull. Little girl is unmoved, wants skull with white glitter. Watch mother become totally exasperated and desperately wave the princess and flower queen sample page of face-painting pictures in front of her daughter's face. Daughter insists on skull and refuses to even compromise by getting a pink and black skull face.
Paint girl with scary skull face. Secretly high-five her when mother isn't looking.
Glitter crown headbands are distributed and donned by the females. The boys refuse to wear them. Cinderella sits on the crowns, saying she doesn't want any boys to be king of the superheroes. The boys push Cinderella over in an attempt to claim the crowns.
Cake and ice cream. All girl attendees are incensed that there are too many Spiderman plates and not enough princess plates. Cinderella declares she wants a Spiderman plate because he's cool. All girl attendees are incensed that they were not given Spiderman plates first.
There's more, but you get the idea.
Upon looking for the original forum link I discovered Legrow has conveniently compiled all of her answers on her new site, The Princess For Hire, where they're broken into fourteen chapter posts. The next time you're looking for good reading material, I HIGHLY recommend them all. (I think she's making them into a book, which is a fantastic idea. I'd buy that sucker in a heartbeart.)
Oh, and as a result of that original forum thread NPR actually did a story on Legrow, so when you're done with her blog head over to their article to watch a short video of her in action. But seriously, don't watch the video first. That's like watching the movie before reading the book!
Ok, I think that's enough goofing off for your Friday afternoon. Back to work, you!