28 June 2006

Driving Under the Influence of the Internet

We've been on the road a lot this past month, short trips here and there, and we're getting ready for the big trip of the summer, a too-many-miles-to-count-right-now trip where we'll end up by the ocean for a week. Our last trip sped along in part because of the musical influence of the internet. Scrivener, seeing the sorry state of affairs on Politica's lastFM profile (the Wiggles were number one for the week after Curious Girl had gotten to have her preferences playing while we were in the car), wrote to suggest a) leaving the iPod playing all night to reset the profile to better tunes and b)getting The Bottle Let Me Down, which we got on e-music. And I got Ralph's World's Green Gorilla, because Annika likes Ralph's World, and Ralph came to the hospital once to play for Annika; I figured that if Moreena and Annika like the music and Ralph came to play for Anni, the least I could do is buy the CD. We all enjoyed both CDs, and it was great fun to have quality new tunes in the car that came with nice associations with my blogging buddies. I've even been humming a couple of those songs on my own. I also got a copy of Free to Be You and Me. CG's class sang the title song in her spring show, and I correctly figured that she'd like the CD. Little did I know how much she would love the Marlo Thomas/Mel Brooks version of the babies' dialogue that follows. The CD is oddly dated, and I always wonder whether material like this reinforces the stereotypes it's trying to break, but still, it's kind of fun the first 47,000 times through (CG likes to listen to new things over and over and over) And it did remind me of my youthful optimistic feminism, when I believed the ERA would pass and end sexism in the US forever and lead to a woman president while I was in college or grad school. Ah, youth.

We have a They Might Be Giants kids' CD to break out for the next trip, but I'm wondering what the rest of you enjoy listening to. Any other recommendations for us? (Moreena had a nice post about music once, and Robin had one a while back, too).

I also have questions about car games.
I love playing car games. Curious Girl is a little young for them, so at the moment she entertains herself in the car with music (hence the iPod Wiggles prominence noted above), and she also likes to play with a little LeadPad in the car. She likes to play baby/hospital/hair salon/puppy/kitty a lot, orchestrating roles for us, and mostly I go along since if she's happy in the car for hours on end, we're all happy. Politica and I usually play the liscence plate game, and lately we've started playing an alphabet game with CG as long as she'll stay in. We each name a word that starts with a sound, and then Politica or I use them in a sentence, with bonus appreciation for using more words with the right sound (Annabel, alligator, apple. Annabel gave the alligator her apple for an appetizer.). Last night we were listening to Red Grammer's song "One in a Zillion" (whose lyrics go through adjectives A-Z to describe someone) and I thought "hey! that could be a fun car game!" (Yes, I was a Girl Scout leader for many years. I like activities.) Other things we like to do in the car are ranking conversations (name the 3 best swimming holes you've ever been to; name the 3 best meals you've had; top three places you'd like to visit in the US, that sort of thing).

I'm wondering what car games my readers think are fun. Leave a comment so we can all have more fun. Because, you know, we'll be reading it on the internet, so it must be true.

13 comments:

liz said...

CDs: Beethovan's Wig (the first is the best, but the 2nd and 3rd are good too.)
Really Rosie (Carol King sings Maurice Sendack's words)

Car games: Botticelli. You announce the first letter of the last name of a person you are thinking of (let's say "B"). The person can be living, dead, or even fictional as long as you are pretty sure the other person(s)(here after known as the guesser) has heard of them. The guesser asks "Is this person a [insert career title here, ie: composer] and you say "No, it's not Brahms." then they have to guess again. They have to specify a career in their question and they can only ask the same career a max of 3x in a row (but they can come back to it later). If you can't answer with a specific name, they have to say which composer (or whatever) they were thinking of and then they get to ask a yes or no question designed to eliminate classes of people (female? Living? Fictional? In the arts?)

Complicated? Yes. But good for hours in the car and very good training for crossword puzzlers.

Scrivener said...

Oh, that's Politica who is my lastFM friend! For a while she was my only friend on lastFM, and I didn't even know who she was!

I'm glad you guys liked _The Bottle Let Me Down_. You owe an indirect thanks to Dr. MMMMMmmmMMmm(m) who introduced me to it.

Scrivener said...

We play a lot of "I'm thinking of an animal that starts with" and the first sound of an animal's name. I don't really know many of those car games beyond that. We keep trying to play "I spy" but that must only work when you have long stretches of flat highway and can pick an object way ahead. Whenever we play now, someone picks a color and by the time they've said it, we've zoomed right by whatever they were spying.

liz said...

We also have The Bottle Let Me Down. Muffin Man is particularly fond of "Don't Wipe Your Face on Your Shirt".

And we have Free to Be, You and Me too. I had it as a kid and loved it. Muffin Man likes the baby dialog too.

Scrivener said...

Have you listened to the Jack Johnson soundtrack for Curious George? If I had it to do over again, I might just download a few tracks from it, instead of buying the whole CD, but I did get it at a sale price, so whatever. There are some really sweet songs on it.

I like No! quite a bit, which is the TMBG that you have I assume? Dan Zanes' stuff is usually quite good. We also have an album called It's a Puzzle that I got a while back, but it was too old for the kids then (they didn't really get the humor). They're starting to like it now.

What, CG doesn't like Spoon?

Piece of Work said...

We love the Curious George soundtrack, all of it. And we (by we, I mean the kids, since I tired of this about 678,456 listens ago) still love Free to Be. The liscence plate game is fun, but we can't play it very well in California--you just don't get many different plates in this big state. At least not like we used to on trips in the East. I packed my grandmother's suitcase was a good one, but right now I'm forgetting how to play. Guess that's not much help.

jo(e) said...

POW: It goes, "I packed my grandmother's suitcase and brought an avacado, a brush, a candy cane, a dish, an envelope ...."

Each person has to add an item that could fit into a suitcase AND repeat the other items AND they have to be in alphabetical order. But otherwise, the items don't have to make a whole lot of sense.

There are about a million versions of the alphabetical order game.

Scrivener said...

I like that grandmother's suitcase game!

jo(e) said...

My favourite of the alphabet games used to be the one where for each letter, you have to think of a person's name and a whole sentence that matches them. Like: "Mel makes martinis" and "David dances dizzily." It's always fun if you can use names of people you know and make them appropriate to that person.

timna said...

I think our all-time favorite CD in the car was Red Grammer's one with "I think you're wonderful" on it. It's still one of my favorite CDs...

Arwen said...

We love with great love the They Might Be Giants kid's CD, and Ripley will regularly entertain us by doing his rendition of the "Robot Parade" song.

We also enjoy "Singing in the Bathtub" by John Lithgow. And Raffi's Baby Beluga.

One of the things that was deeply awesome on our recent trip was Crayola's colour magic stuff - it is really cool and magical, because you have invisible inks that all fade into some crazy saturated colours but don't get all over the place. Anyway, that was fun and portable because it doesn't cause huge mess.

My dad and I used to tell stories a sentence at a time, alternating. Or we'd make up stories to entertain each other: or sometimes he'd tell funny stories from his childhood that wouldn't come up, otherwise.

Arwen said...

((And there's always the fun game, "Are we there yet?")) *g*.

Lisa said...

My little brother and I used to listen to "heidi" over and over and over again...also the Beegees, but that's when he would start to dance in his car seat.