Posts Tagged ‘creative’

Childhood VII – Halloween

Halloween:
the epitome
of childhood.
An Unlimited
supply of candy.
Lugging that spooky

plastic pumpkin around. Seems as though there
is never enough space to store all that candy. A bottomless pit
of a bag is necessary to use to satisfy that unlimited sweet tooth. Returning
home, tired, late at night, weak, but most importantly, satisfied. Dumping the
pile on the living room table at seven o’clock at night. Theres no time to stop
for dinner, the trade must commence. “Will you trade me that Kit-Kat for  those
Snicker Bars?” “Can I have your Gummy Bears? I’ll give you my Three Musketeers.”
Mom plays that Charlie Brown Halloween Special as the long evening starts to unwind.
Halloween: the torture of adulthood. Waiting by the dressing room as junior tries on his
Pirate costume. Advertisements stressing the purchase of holiday decorations. Having
to come home early just to give out candy. Enjoying the special adult movie while
the kids are out. For only a few minutes, the sofa feels just so nice. Found the perfect
position on the cushion. And then it hits… DING-DONG!!! The dog starts barking
continuously as the house falls into chaos. Sprinting to the door as to not miss
another moment of the film. TRICK-OR-TREAT!!! Grabbing into the cauldron
of sugar-coated sugar-flavored sugar. Handing out the proper amount
to each little tike. Returning to the sofa, only to be forced
up repeatedly until the end of the long night
comes.

Gosh, I am going to miss those years of Halloween when I was little; to just go on a quest for candy with my buddies. It seems as though everyone was lacking the common sense that they could just eat the candy that Mommy bought at Walgreens instead of going out and getting some. Everyone went on a search to find the house that gave away those king-size chocolate bars, and I know that everyone thought in their head, “God D*mmit!” when that one family gave out caramel cubes as an excuse for candy. It was always hilarious how some people just left a giant candy bowl in front of their house with a little sign that said, “Please take two.” Eventually, someone would come around and snatch the entire bowl just for the heck of it, and that would be that. What I really hated were the candy corns that came on the shelves around October. I actually thought they were made of corn (yeah, I know), and so the idea of trying one disgusted me. It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I actually realized why so many people enjoyed them.

Probably the most important element of Halloween was how much I loved to wear costumes. I loved to dress up like my favorite superheroes when I was around five years old. I would even wear the costume when I went to sleep because I just loved being in character. I guess that is why I used to love acting when I was little, because I could have an out-of-body experience as another character. Every kid must have wanted to act. I don’t know where we all lost it: the sparks of creativity in artwork, singing, dancing, and acting. We used to love to get active and move around. That’s why they have playgrounds, so that little kids can release their energy. Anyway, that feeling just left one day without any notice. I know that feeling of creativity left a little when I was about ten.  What I really regret about Halloween is that I rarely chose a costume to wear after I lost that feeling inside. I mean, Halloween is just one day, so my parents always thought that I would have to wear the same costume next year. I think I know what it is; we are all falling to our peers, causing us to lose out costume-wearing spirit.

Decorations also played a huge part of what made Halloween so special. For our family, every year we would decorate by buying those fake spider webs that can be stretched over a bush or tree to make it look haunted. Even though it was always a huge mess to clean up afterward, it was our family tradition. My mom would always have us make decorations for the house using orange and black paper. My sister and I would cut it into different patterns to create paper lanterns and shades for the windows. Unfortunately, the paper lanterns would always deform and just fall off the string and the shades would always collapse days before Halloween. In the end, my dad would save the day and go out to buy last minute decorations for our house. I’ve always wanted to have a house that was extravagantly decorated in ornaments. I mean, to a level in which you can not even see the lawn because there are so many inflatables and what-not on the grass. We would actually spend time driving through neighborhoods during the night and hunt for houses with insane decorations.

Connor: I remember Halloween when I was a tot. I remember going to Spirit  (a costume store) with my mom and sister and picking out wacky costumes. When I was around three or four, I was Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. I loved that costume so so so much that I wore it for two Halloweens in a row! I think I liked it so much because it looked like a dog costume (sort of) and everyone knows how much four year olds love dogs! More recently, however, my costumes have deviated from Disney cartoon characters. Last Halloween was uncomfortable for me, unfortunately. Even though I was a week from turning fourteen, I felt as though my trick or treating days were coming to a close. I wore an afro wig last year, by the way. I clearly remember one year, when I was about ten, when my sister, Mia, my parents, and I were trick or treating. We walked upon this vastly decorated house with just decorations galore. It was impossible to see the stucco of the house behind all the spiderwebs and fog machines. I wanted candy badly though, so I walked up to the front door where a cauldron of candy laid next to a skeleton or something in a black cloak. My sister then came to grab candy, after seeing that it was safe. She was about seven at the time. Anyway, as she put her hand in the cauldron; that skeleton that I thought was a prop… was actually a person. The man in the costume screamed so loudly that my sister dropped her candy and pumpkin bucket. It took my parents a good twenty minutes to calm Mia back down. I was just standing there all like wow, what just happened? That night was probably the spookiest Halloween experience I ever had. Surely, Mia still remembers it vividly.

Halloween is full of just so many memories of fun, food and fright that should not be put aside just because of mere age. It really doesn’t matter how old you are, there is some way to get in the holiday spirit. Please, don’t be that shut-in sitting at home thinking, “those pesky kids…” Instead, get out and greet kids in costume at the doorstep. It will save your sanity and will save yourself from constant interruptions. Most importantly, let your inner child out! Let that energy inside come out in praise of this youthful day!

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A Collaborate Post
By Michael and Connor



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Childhood VI – Reading

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book” (Proust). Growing up with reading is something that I will cherish for a long time. I remember starting out reading books by Dr. Seuss, one of the most famous childrens’ authors of all time. I always enjoyed the illustrations on each page and how each one has a burst of creativity on it. They were the kind of images that could never escape your mind. Of course now, all the English teachers at my school criticize them by saying that they can be misleading and it is what limits the child’s creativity. Well, I completely disagree with that; children use those pictures as a guide to help them understand the reading at such an early age. They can not be held accountable for understanding every word in the text.  Anyway, it seems as though every kid in America at one time was read a picture book before going to bed or curled up in a parents lap next to a fireplace. These classic stories continue on into the later years- even after that child has grown up. Don’t think they go away forever! You might end up reading it to your child or grandchild… or better yet… see a movie based on that book! Over the years, books have been transformed into movies with an extended plot line. This weekend, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs was released as a movie; one of my favorite books to read as a child.

With no doubt, the one that the public is most excited for is the movie Where The Wild Things Are, which is released October 16th. The preview of the film looks so deep; it sends shivers down the spine… “Inside all of us is hope, fear,  adventure, and a wild thing” I’ve heard that the director added an extended plot to that movie to give it a realistic meaning.  I found out a pretty nice selection of artwork for the movie created by a large number of artists with different renditions. Click Here. Even if you are now past childhood, it really still is a movie for everyone. It’s nice to look back at those earlier years and this movie provides a key to that gate that has locked up your childhood forever. See the movie and release your inner wild thing; it has been waiting to come out all these years!

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The Real Deal On Advertising II

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I decided to post another one in my series of Real Deal On Advertising. Club Penguin posts are to come back in the New Year.

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I believe I am a pretty creative person, there is no arguing with that. Ever since I was little, I have always loved to draw, paint, build, cook, act, and sing. I was in the Art Club for every year of middle school, I participated in a ceramics class when I was about eight years old, and who could forget my lead role for the play I was in at overnight camp. My mom would tell me to keep going at my dream of being more creative. My drama teacher in high school would see me in the hallway and always encourage me to join the next play that the school was performing. And my art teacher could not stop praising me enough to continue art in the future. You might be confused what I am getting at and why this has to do with advertising.

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Well, I decided last night I would plot the three rules to follow while looking at an advertisement so that you would not fall right into their grasp and buy their product. Those rules turned into only two guidelines, and eventually those two guidelines merged into one massive rule: don’t let your mind run wild. That is a very tricky rule to follow when you are one of the most creative people in the world. Everyone telling you that you should try and be more creative in order to do well in life. Well, that rule does the opposite effect when it is applied to advertising. By letting your mind run wild, you think of the endless possibilities of things to do with some product you see on a billboard, or in a commercial. This is more common among younger children. Young children are not able to distinguish between commercials and TV programs. They do not recognize that commercials are trying to sell something. (1)

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On a regular Sunday morning, my Dad, my sister and I had this daily routine that we would go around to the stores in our hometown and look around. My father would stop at the local Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, we would then go to the Walgreen’s, the Target, or the Michael’s Craft store. When we usually go to Michael’s, it is because my sister needs some project to work on at home. I usually wander around the store and look at the different craft ideas. There is one thing that bothers me though when I walk down the aisle of the different types of clay. There is this modeling clay bag on a hook on the wall. On the package, there are always these great ideas on what to make with the clay, but they are always impractical when you actually sit down to try and make them. When looking at the picture on the bag of clay, the creativity in my mind runs wild. I really think I am able to build something like that turtle, or that fancy car, or that teddy bear. I would then beg and plead to my father to get the clay so that I could make that masterpiece. By the time I got home, I would rush straight for the bag and try and create that impossible figure that only a professional could make; only to end up in tears: not all of the colors were included in the kit, there was too much of one color and too little of another. There’s a flaw with people: they always want something to come out their own way. They want everything to be perfect. Even if I had tried to make something my own way, I would have still ended up in tears because, compared to the photograph on the bag, it is supposed to come out perfect like that. The same thing applies to you builders out there. There was this one commercial I kept seeing on television with these kids playing with these magnetized rods and silver balls. It was called Magnetix. The product showed a group of children building a giant skyscraper, and a scale model of a bridge with these magnetic rods and balls. Watching television, I actually thought I could make something like that. The thing is, the box of magnets didn’t include enough pieces to build that skyscraper. In fact, you probably needed to buy at least 30 others sets of the same thing in order to make it: a waste of time.

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The best example that I can think of for a product that is a total waste of time is a pet rock. Pet Rocks were a popular fad in the 1970’s, and finally people had the common sense to not play with a rock. Who would want to pay for a rock, and what kind of person would pay money for one when they can be found outside?  It’s like a  doll  mixed with  nature.to form a complete disaster. Being creative when looking at an advertisement makes something seem like it is the greatest product in the world; it is making it sound like you absolutely need it. You develop an idea in your head and you try to make it happen through this product. Yet, it completely fails.

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There are some pretty convincing advertisers out there. One of the ones that me and my family fall for a lot is Billy Mays. He is the man who has a large beard, and usually advertises products for home-use. His tactic for advertising is very unique: he yells at the consumers so that they buy a product. I swear, Billy Mays will go to any limit to try and sell a product. It may be one of the craziest products, yet he still advertises it. There are a lot of products out there that can be completely useless, and it is your job as a consumer to find out which of the products aren’t what they seem to be. I remember this one product, which I actually bought; which turned out to be one of the biggest pieces of junk that advertising has to offer. I was watching television when I was little, and I saw this advertisement for some slime that looked like a lot of fun. Without any thought, my mom decided to get it for me. There were so many things wrong with it. The biggest problem was that it stuck to our rug in our old house and we had to replace it. Also, after a few days the slime wasn’t sticky anymore. In fact, there was lint and dust stuck to it, which was impossible to get out. I ended up throwing that slime out in the garbage. Even later in life I still get problems with products that ruin other things in my house. My parents had to throw out their computer and replace it because the computer game I had bought at the store had a huge virus in it and it totally destroyed everything. The sad part of it is, that game turned out to be my favorite computer game of all time. Of course, I wouldn’t want to mention that game on here. My parents banned the game from the house; we aren’t allowed to talk about it. Anyway, there was this book that I have heard of about crazy inventions that ended up being completely useless. It was created by some Japanese group of people.  One of my friends had recommended it for me a long time ago, and I never got to it. These are inventions that, at first, you think are going to be very useful in every day life, yet they turn out to be completely useless when you really think about it. There is one that I see every time I look at the book. It is a t-shirt that you wear, and it has a grid on the back of it. The point of it is that you have to try and tell someone a pair of coordinates on your back and that is the area that they should scratch if you have a hard-to-reach itch. Seriously, what person would want to scratch your back? This is a perfect example of some useless invention.

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I had a couple of ideas for a step two to talk about, yet this mainly goes along with not letting your mind go wild. When you look at that slide at the end of a commercial, there are tiny bits of information that are found, along with some gigantic printed text. When you look at that screen, your mind only focuses on the larger text. The larger text usually consists of a phone number, a price for the product (not the actual price), and of course the name of the product. The reason the advertiser makes certain text bigger is because he or she wants you to think that that is important and the rest is just a jumbled up mess. Yet they have to put the small text in for legal reasons. They really don’t want you to read that. And neither do you: you want to think that that item you see in front of you is a good deal. By doing that, you are letting your mind run wild. So you show your parents just the larger text. “Mommy, mommy, look at that it is only 30 dollars for that fishing pole!” you say. Then mommy gives you a look and decides to buy it, just because she loves you, but she knows in her head that that item actually costs over 100 dollars.  I am just going to focus on that price that they give. There are so many smaller words that will throw the price off: two/three/four payments of, shipping, handling, processing and of course tax. It can be quite tricky to calculate that actual price in your head. They don’t show you have to add tax to that on that information slide. Why would they? So mommy notices that she needs to pay three payments of 30 dollars, and then another 8 dollars for shipping and handling. Then possibly another 2 dollars for tax. Wow, isn’t that fun? By not telling you about it when you are little, it is just one more lesson that needs to be taught in consumer education.

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I like being creative. It really is a skill that you don’t want to lose. I hope you thought I wasn’t saying it was bad. What I really wanted you to get out of this is that you can apply creativity to almost anything, but please don’t apply it to a consumer watching an advertisement.

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(1) “Children And Advertising.” Mediawise. 7/08/02. National Institute on Media and the Family. 30 Dec 2008 <http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_childadv.shtml&gt;.

Edited By Dublanous1

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