Day Out With Thomas 2010

Day Out With Thomas 2010 the Celebration Tour! Thomas’s 65th Birthday

Our son has been into Thomas the Tank Engine since he was a little over 1 year old. Last year I found out about Day Out With Thomas (DOWT) after the fact and we were crushed. Well, this year I jumped on the opportunity. For those of you not in the know, DOWT is an event where an actual Thomas the Train, life sized, real working engine makes stops at area railroad stations and museums for a week long event. For a measly $18 (kids under 2 free!) you get to ride in a train car pulled by Thomas. You get your picture taken with Thomas and there are tons of other fun Thomas and train activities to do.

Whoever thought of this idea is a God! Imagine, having a literary character you love come to life! Thomas is about so much more than the toys and videos. Thomas started as a story between a father and a son. This grew into published books, then a video series, then wholesome wooden toy trains…

Thomas is void of violence. Thomas is now being used for children with autism, as they learn about feelings and emotions by watching the emotions on the different trains faces as they learn to identify what those faces mean.

Thomas is filled with great storylines about being a good friend. And I use some of the other phrases heard over and over again to motivate my son:

“Be on track and on time” helps to get him going

“You’re a very useful engine” gets him to help put toys away, help his sister, help us…

The day was beautiful. When the kids saw Thomas Zoe lost her mind, Carter just was blank in the face…it was all too much for him to comprehend as he tried to take it in. I was surprised at my own reaction as I choked back tears. Tears knowing what a special day this was for him, tears knowing how much we have gone through to have this special little boy we can give opportunities like this to. Tears for every little kid who was seeing their shiny, blue friend.

Think back to footage you have seen of teenagers loosing their minds, fainting when they saw the Beatles…now picture nearly the same thing with a bunch of toddlers over a blue engine with a cheeky smile.

I know he may not remember this early memory forever (although we do plan to go again) but so far, he has talked about it every day since.

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Hey Where’d this Black Kid Come From?

Hey kid! What'd ya never see a black kid before?

There is this thing I have been noticing. I cannot help but observe behaviors, it’s what I do. Usually it is in dogs but I have found this weird parallel between dogs and kids…anyway…so far this is not one of those times…

Where we live it is a pretty mixed neighborhood. Our block has many children, all white but the block to the south of is has many black children. And my children go to a day care at a very mixed race college so 50% of their friends at school are black. But I notice that many of the places we frequent do not have many black kids. And I notice this thing go on and can’t tell if it is a black thing or not.

Let me describe:

There is an indoor kids playground we go to that we call the BBY. It is in the burbs and usually we have the only two black kids, sometimes there is one other black kid. But there were some kids playing in a playhouse, about 3 of them, Carter walked in and they stopped and just stared at him. Now, I don’t know if they all knew each other and they were looking at him, like “Hey, who is this kid? We don’t know him.” or if they were stopped dead in their tracks because he is black.

I have noticed it many times, just cannot recall them all right now.

Then there was our Day out With Thomas up in Green Bay, WI. Hardly any other black children were there and when I got to my computer to look at the pictures from the day I spotted the “look” I am talking about.

What do you think? Is that just a look kids give each other or is that a, “Hey, where’d this black kid come from? look?

And the reviews are in…the Real L Word, is a lie!

Just when I thought I was over the heartbreak of losing my friends from Showtimes The L Word, I caught wind of The Real L Word. I watched in anticipation last night only to be let down. As a lesbian, let me set this all straight for you. Real Lesbians do not look, act or talk like that which you may see on The Real L Word…

Straight men, I hate to disappoint you.

I’ve been to LA. Hell, my partner is a true blue LA bred lesbian. She is not depicted in The Real L Word. Granted, some LA lesbians do look like the lesbians on Showtime. Some LA lesbians have super glamorous lives. I happen to know one of the top 10 lesbians in the United States (yes, there really is such a list) and trust me, I LOVE the fact that I know one. She leads a high-profile life, red carpet, A list, I’d kill to look at her cell phone directory, life. But for fun she takes her closeted lesbian lover to B&B’s and plays board games all weekend. Or invites us all over to play Wii.

I imagine the casting call for The Real L Word looked something like this:

“Wanted. Beautiful, well dressed, glamorous, sex crazed lesbians or women willing to portray a lesbian.”

To the shows credit, I am sure that the editing room has had its way with the show. I am sure that the first two hours of conversation at the backyard BBQ at Whitney’s house went more like this:

Fat ex girlfriend: “So, did you watch Oprah last week? She had hoarders on….creapy!”

Whitney: “Yeah, I caught the last half of it.”

Etc. etc…

and then after the alcohol started flowing they talk about sex. Because I have never been to a lesbian function where people immediately talk about sex. Oh, and the opening of the show where they interview each cast member and they “candidly” talk about their first experience with a woman…NEVER does it go down like that. I have never heard a group of women use the F word so much in my life. In fact, the show should be renamed to “The Real F Word”.

What upsets me the most is that producers clearly do not think the general public wants to see “Real Lesbians”. Because if they did they would show women doing more of these things:

Young Lesbians: Meeting at a bar. Awkwardly talking to and hitting on each other. Maybe having some bathroom sex, but more likely having awkward but hot futon sex. Waking up, and moving in with the girl two days later.

30 Something Lesbians: Meeting through friends or work. Having dinner, hooking up…and two weeks later moving in together. Buying a house, having kids.

40 something Lesbians: Already partnered for years…some living together as “roommates”

Again, to recap….

Showtimes “The Real L Word” = Real fake

I have a real LA Lesbian and it’s nothing like the show.

I know an A list LA Lesbian and she’s not like the show.

BUT

As a lesbian, I kinda feel like I have to watch…

but, I’m really disappointed.