Posted on November 22nd, 2012 1 comment
Seems like just yesterday I was writing the 2011 Thanksgiving post, and here we are a year later…2012, the end of the world if you’re a Mayan, the last year before we hit the “teens” to everyone else.
The Teens…remember how your grandparents used to talk about being alive in “The Teens & Twenties”. Bet you never thought you’d be able to say the same, did you?
As Thanksgiving is a time for family and being thankful for what we’ve got, it’s also a time reflection, and memories.
I’m sure you all have your great memories of this fun holiday. Mine have to do with everything from giant family and friend gatherings at show-offy relatives’ houses, to quaint, personal dinners at South Jersey diners with my parents. One particular diner dinner stands out…when a sudden snowstorm shut almost everything down, but the diner on Tilton Road in Northfield, NJ stayed open…and honored our reservations. There were only two other families in the restaurant, but they stayed open anyway, and it was loads of fun for everyone including the people working there. Sounds kookie, but it’s true. That was in the late 1980s.
Of course here in the subtropics of South Florida, we don’t have to worry about snow storms shutting anything down. As a matter of fact, things kind of empty out down here as so many people leave the area to go “home” for the holiday. A lot of restaurants are actually closed here today, while up north Thanksgiving is one of the biggest restaurant sales days of the year.
It’s about 72° here, and the sun is shining. Later we’ll take the 53 Chevy Hot Rod out for a drive, maybe take the pooch (Snoopy-Cookie) to the park. We’re having dinner at home, the traditional turkey set up, just my wife and me, very nice and intimate. Today’s cocktails will be Kahlua and cream with a touch of cinnamon, in keeping with the Tiki-Turkey tradition. We’ll watch Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Special as we both have all of our lives, and be thankful for the wonderful things we have: nice weather, a fun house with a Tiki bar, a kool car, goofy pets, and most of all, each other.
Happy Thanksgiving, swingers!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the kitchen at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar
Posted on December 13th, 2009 4 comments
It has come to my attention that there are still segments of the general population who are not hip to the most famous Cartoon Christmas special ever laid down with ink, A Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Well, if you’ve seen it, it’s now your responsibility to spread the good word. If you haven’t seen it, then read on children and I’ll give you the why’s of why you should, and soon.
On October 2, 1950, a young cartoonist named Charles Schultz hit the world with what would become one of the most famous cartoon strips of all time, Peanuts. It became so popular that in 1965 CBS broadcast the first of a long series of Peanuts specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas. The basic idea was to take Schultz’s panels and turn them into animation. Easier said than done. They did it on a shoestring budget. They used real children (some who couldn’t read) for the voice-overs. They used cool jazz for the soundtrack at a time when kids were listening to rock. They didn’t have enough dough to finish editing the project correctly, which gives the whole thing a kind of choppy, home-movies feel. And it’s fantastic.
I first remember seeing this toon when I was just a little kid, around the age of Charlie and his gang. I kind of remember feeling I was a lot like him. Turns out most kids felt that way at some point or another, which is probably what makes it so successful. Every year we’d wait for shows like this to come on, because if you missed it, that was it. There were no video tapes, no DVDs, no TiVo, and no streaming video. You stayed home that night and watched the show.
(No spoilers, don’t worry) The story is about poor ole Charlie Brown, a kid that nothing good ever happens to, and his dog Snoopy, the coolest kid in town. Charlie is depressed about Christmas, because it’s always such a disappointment to him, and because it’s so commercialized. He enlists the help of his ‘friend’ Lucy, who convinces him to direct the school Christmas play. Of course nothing goes the way he wants it to. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what happens.
The network execs fully expected it to be a flop. Instead, it became one of the most beloved Christmas stories ever aired, winning an Emmy and Peabody award in the process. The incredible soundtrack my jazz virtuoso Vince Guaraldi includes the infamous “Linus and Lucy” (aka the Peanuts theme, you know it, you’ve tried to play it every time you were near a piano) plus the most jazziest of versions of “Oh Christmas Tree” ever to come off the keys. The jokes are great, the story is great, and the way it’s drawn, acted and edited makes it feel like you’re in another place, another time watching this classic.
Airing Tuesday, December 15th, 8/7C on ABC
By the way…my dog’s name is Snoopy.
-Tiki Chris Pinto (AKA Mack, AKA Zoot, Awe forget it!)