Oh, Now #BearStack Makes Sense


Cartoon Network has been airing a promo of sorts that shows three bears (white, brown, and Panda) accompanied by a catchy tune, stacked on each other traveling through various universes of the CN lineup and concludes with #BearStack.

While amusing, because I love the silly scenes and the art style of the bears, I didn’t quite get what they were going for. Was a new game coming? A new app? Some special summer event?
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What’s The Smallest Check You’ve Ever Received?



It may seem like a ridiculous question in the age of direct deposits, but there are situations you won’t have that convenient option. Like the one thing everyone loves to be summoned for, jury duty. I have to say I was in no hurry to cash my measly $6.00, because it felt a little embarrassing. At the same time it’s like hey, money is money no matter how small the amount. And this check was a sort of compensation for honorably participating in the judicial process. Something I would be willing to do again, just hopefully not any time soon (plus construction in the downtown area is madness).
The attitude or belief that money is money is still something I hold on to…well maybe to a lesser extent after today, when I received an even smaller (yes, less than six dollars) check in the mail. I had completely forgotten about the possibility of even receiving one. So, when it appeared in my mailbox, not knowing how much could be contained, my eyes lit up. I won’t go into the specifics, but the amount was laughable and that’s what I did when my eyes scanned across to it. I still appreciate it of course, but I think I’m going to have to pair this one with some larger deposited funds, otherwise the trip to the bank will end up costing me more.

Now, I’m asking others to have a laugh and share “what’s the smallest check you’ve received” and how did you feel about it?

Discovering Stromae and Learning Languages


Buzzfeed featured this brilliantly crafted commentary on social media from Stromae, “Carmen.”


My significant other found the video on Facebook and thinking I would like the song, shared it with me. I enjoyed not only the music, but the full package of artwork and theme. Seeing it was written and directed by French animator and comic writer Sylvain Chomet (known largely for animated films: The Illusionist and The Triplets of Belleville) was a bonus, and won more points with me. “Carmen” piqued both our interests in Stromae, but I became distracted and didn’t look further. My SO did and before I knew it, linked me to another song this time, “Tous Les Mêmes.” This video served as the catalyst for me diving into his work as well as background. I assumed he was French, from both of these songs, but learned Stromae (a stage name) is instead Belgian and a lovely blend of Flemish and Rwandan that latter proving to be significant in how he approaches his music. I soon realized I didn’t know much about Belgium or how strong of a French presence it has. For whatever reasons, when I thought of the country, I thought German or Dutch and almost never French.
After my latest reading endeavor, this felt a little less happy coincidence and more dancing in the realm of uncanny, as if both the reading and my listening to his music were fate.

While “Carmen” is fantastic, my favorite song of Stromae’s is actually this one, “Papaoutai”


As it turns out, we both lost our fathers at young ages, anything touching on the relationship of father and child usually speaks to me. The video is done in such an illustrative fashion that those without French fluency, or any French understanding can still get an idea of what the song is about. I love the combination and all the videos I’ve watched so far use different styles of short film in the telling of stories. It’s refreshing to see someone in a more popular genres of music being an artist and not just an entertainer which has become so common in the United States. A few articles mentioned that scientists have gone into researching the decline of Pop Music over the years and it’s not just in our imaginations.  The genre has actually been dumbing down. I assume physical record sells have also declined resulting in a stronger push for record companies to make that money. Leaving us with commercialism and repetition over talent and artistry. Fortunately, not everyone interested in making music is behind the cheapening of it and continue to treat it as a craft.

I haven’t analyzed Stromae’s lyrical content, yet. But even if he didn’t have the most in depth lyrics, he’s singing in French (and quite possibly bits of other languages). By him doing this, English speaking listeners such as myself, or others who don’t know French can pick up pieces subconsciously. Many songs have catchy hooks, that are clear and repeated and it presents the language in a more interesting way. Since French happens to be one of the languages I’m learning, I plan to make a conscious effort of looking up his lyrics while listening to the songs and focusing on natural pronunciations. If I want to be really ambitious, I can work on translating them into English myself instead of shortcuts. This article highlights eight tips for learning language through songs and music. Even though it specifies English, most of the tips make sense and should be applicable to learning others.

So, while social media poses threats of doom and gloom if we let ourselves get too absorbed, it still has productive uses. Like introducing me to an array of artists I might not have discovered any time soon. And by being open to this discovery, much like reading, I can get sucked into new worlds giving me the opportunity to learn about myself and others along the way.

From ‘Bad Seeds’ to Harvey Beaks!


A new animated series of unlikely friendship is coming to Nickelodeon March 29, and I am both curious and excited because the creator is none other than Cartoon Network’s Chowder fame, C.H. Greenblatt.


Twice I encountered promos for Harvey Beaks. After seeing characters Fee and Foo, I was reminded of Panini from Chowder. I quickly Googled to discover if Greenblatt was in fact behind it. Much to my relief that is the case. The name Harvey Beaks was a little foreign because in the past it was plugged under the name Bad Seeds, trademark issues led to this change.
I wrote a post last year bemoaning the fact that Nickelodeon had been lacking in having quality series as part of their regular programming. It seems they may have been waiting until 2015 to start changing. Being a longtime fan of Chowder, I have reasonable expectations, but will keep my mind open since it looks like the tone and desired audience is that of a younger age group than, arguably, Chowder was. I hope this show will be a catalyst in bringing something fresh to Nick’ and getting them to reconnect with their 90s selves as both innovators and promoters of animation.

For a glimpse of 24 beautiful Harvey Beaks’ backgrounds, and more info on the art department, check out the Cartoon Brew link.

Don’t forget to tune in or set your DVRs to meet Harvey Beaks 3/29 at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) (6 p.m. CT)

Willow Smith Mental Magic


Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if some of us could pull a Willow Smith and regulate time with our minds…
And that’s the reason we look so much younger than we actually are?

Excited About Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent?


I might be. I was in the middle of a conversation that led to me needing to do a quick search on IMDb.com. When the page loaded, I saw this…

Screen capture

Screen capture

My jaw dropped and a little squeal came out. I recognized Louis Garrel, and I’m not ashamed to admit I turn into a teenybopper at the sight of him. He’s my French heartthrob, and one of the only actors capable of evoking that kind of response. Probably because I don’t have the chance to grow tired of him since he stays in French independent film roles almost exclusively.
Anywho, it was a good play on IMDb’s part to feature him in the trailer still and as the movie’s promotional photo on its profile page, since people who enjoy his work will take notice, as I did. What delighted me most was discovering he’s not even playing Yves Saint Laurent (Gaspard Ulliel, who’s probably a heartthrob to others, is), Garrel’s playing Jacques de Bascher. However, I don’t know much about Laurent’s back story or the significance of Bascher within it, so it could just make practical sense. All I know is that beforehand, I wouldn’t have noticed the film until I did an updated search on Garrel’s acting credits. I’m also not that familiar with Bonello’s work, but am certainly intrigued.
The other pleasant surprise was that Léa Seydoux will also be in the film via the role of Loulou de la Falaise. My first introduction to her came in the form of Christophe Honoré’s La Belle Personne*, a film I’ve seen about three times now. I am hoping for some interactions between the two because their onscreen chemistry makes me giddy.


Not much Garrel airtime in it, but the trailer was fun to watch. I have no idea if there is to be a wide North American release, but hoping on it considering all the accolades and praise the film’s received so far, and there are still a few American film festivals it will be showcased. In the meantime, I’ll be conducting some more research and keep my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to see the film much sooner than later.

*For a review written as elegantly as the film itself and spoiler free, I encourage you to click the link.

Man Seeking Woman: Like a Traib Wreck or Is a Traib Wreck?


All over the Internet praise has been sung about one of FXX’s latest comedies Man Seeking Woman. A comedy that has set itself apart from other notable FX programs like Married or You’re the Worst because of its, often amusing, use of surrealist elements.

I started watching as soon as it premiered because I kept seeing teasers and Eric André (Mike) blew up Twitter about it. I admit I have a soft spot for both him and Jay Baruchel (Josh Greenberg), thus, the idea of the two together in a new series was appealing regardless of its content. I watched the first episode and thought okay, that was kind of weird, but let me see where this show goes. By the second, I had to ask myself is this like a train wreck…in that I’m in shock it happened and just can’t bring myself to look away…Or is it actually a train wreck of a show, trying to do too much too soon? No one else seems to have any doubts, it’s almost as if some conspiracy is going on pushing this show to every possible person that would watch it, but maybe other comedians genuinely like it (or MSW has a really great PR team, also probably true). I’ve read it referred to as brilliant, witty, original, amazing, hilarious, pure genius etc.

Now, seven episodes in and a couple of rewatches I think I have established my thoughts on it. It’s at least some of those things. The synopsis on IMDb describes it as the following: “A naive romantic goes on a desperate quest for love when his longtime girlfriend dumps him.”
Which does little in preparing the viewer for what they’re going to find themselves getting into. Man Seeking Woman finds absurd ways to illustrate the mundane experiences of millennials while conveying truths many of us are already or would be thinking in similar situations. Like insecurity when dating someone you think is “out of your league” expressed by his new girlfriend having a close friend that’s a Japanese penis monster. Or having to attend a destination wedding that you know your ex significant other will also be attending, in Hell.

If life operated even a little like it does in Josh and Mike’s world, then maybe some of us would be able to navigate the social aspects of it a little better or have rational fears of being insane. This comedy definitely aims to give its audience something fresh and entertaining. And I sure get a kick out of watching it. The show has already been given the green light for a second season, since viewers are clearly tuning in, and people are rejoicing. So, if you want something humorous and downright weird, give Man Seeking Woman a watch and see what all the hubbub is about. Otherwise, don’t. My IMDb rating? 6.5-7/10

*Traib is the title of Episode 2 and probably one of the simplest things that made me laugh the hardest.