Handy Manny

I stumbled across a new cartoon a few minutes ago while channel surfing: Handy Manny.

Handy Manny is geared towards toddlers and pre-K students, and features a handyman named Manuel who, along with his trusty little toolbox of talking tools, runs around town and fixes things.

In the few minutes I managed to watch this thing, Manny spent some time talking half English, half Spanish to his tools, danced to some Mariachi music blaring in his workshop, and then got a phone call to go fix something.

This show annoys me. I know the makers of the cartoon were aiming for multiculturalism and problem solving, but I can’t help feeling like they fell short of the mark. I kind of felt like I was watching a really clean, really cutesy racist joke in motion.

Meet Manny, the unskilled laborer! Watch him dance to loud Mexican music in his shop, and then run around trying to make a buck fixing things for people!

Really? They REALLY can’t see how that looks? At any moment, he was about to be joined by his friend Oscar the orange-seller and Hugo the Home-Depot loiterer. I changed the channel before they all popped open a bunch of coronas and started cooking things in foil on the BBQ.

City Moon

Yesterday was an especially stressful day. Nothing particularly huge happened, but rather a bunch of tiny, small frustrations that wouldn’t have seemed like much on their own. Put them all together—and voila! Instantly Stressed Becky.

After spending the day taking care of my mom after her rotator cuff surgery, and dealing with my teething, fussy, needy Dragonmonkey, I was ready to go home. I headed off to my car, alternately proud and embarassed by the amount of stuff I was carrying. I looked like a bag lady, but I was also proud that I managed to make it to my car in one trip by carrying the DragonMonkey in his baby carrier, stuffing his diaper bag with my purse and other various odds and ends and putting it over one shoulder, slinging the rest of the items in a tote over the other shoulder, and hanging my ever-present boppy and baby blanket precariously on the load. My left hand carried the leftover food, and the right hand had the key to the car.

So, I pretty much looked like this, but holding a baby instead of pushing a pram:

Did I mention that my mom is staying at the Marriott? And that it’s the Marriott right next to a Cal State school? And that all the cute little, nimple, lithe, nymphettes come giggling in there every night to have a couple of drinks before fluttering off for the night with their tanned, toned thighs?

ANYHOW.

So, my long, stressful day was almost over. I staggered to the car, and managed to unload everything into the front seat, the back seat, the car seat, and the trunk. Closing the door, I leaned against the car for a moment, enjoying the silence and pondering my life. It was early night, and the full moon was just rising above the horizon. I could see it peeking at me from behind some trees, bright and full. and it brought me peace.

I breathed deeply of the night air, and in the midst of the hectic city, I closed my eyes and tried to find my composure again.

The sounds of the nearby freeway became muted as I became aware of the light touch of the evening breeze.

The stress of the day began to melt from my shoulders, and I stretched my hands high above my head, taking a full, cleansing breath. I felt a sense of serenity begin to slip back into my life.

I looked at that beautiful moon, its full, strangely-yellow glow muted by the skeletal branches of the trees, and I thought back to every full moon I’ve sat there and gazed at, and it made me smile.

I thought of the beautiful crescent moon I’d stared at only the week before, and I…

Wait a second.

If I was looking at a crescent moon last Sunday evening, and today was Thursday, there was no WAY that the moon could already be full. I took two steps to the side, narrowed my eyes to see better, and …

Yup.

I’d been finding my peace by staring at the full, yellow glow of the SALE! SALE! SALE! ballooon of the nearby auto dealership.