Thu, 30 November 2006
What better way to spend a Thanksgiving than by going to Disneyland? Well actually there must be dozens of better ways. The place was packed like a glass slipper on the foot of Cinderella's stepsister. But that didn't deter Zephyr and his "big sister" Ellie from spending a full day there, and we do mean a full day - from 9:00 a.m. until nearly time for the RV to turn back into a Thanksgiving pumpkin. They found the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride to be totally remodeled to pay homage to the movies that pay homage to the original version of the ride. The newly revamped Space Mountain was also back in operation after too long in inoperation, and the Haunted Mansion was given a complete makeover for Yuletide.
Santa Monica and Venice
A couple of days later, we took a stroll, for the first time ever, from the Santa Monica Pier (where we rode the roller coaster) to Venice Beach, soaking up the colorful atmosphere of street performers, arts and crafts vendors and inline skaters skating in anything but a line.
The Three Little Pigs
For no particular reason, we decided to present "The Three Little Pigs" this week, or as we call it, "The Pee Little Thrigs". That's because we thought it would be fun to tell the story in spoonerisms, a type of slip of the tongue (or "tip of the slung") that involves switching the first letters between two words. Thus, "hung out the flags" becomes "flung out the hags". Spoonerism was named after Rev. William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), an instructor at Oxford University. Telling fairy tales laced with spoonerisms was popularized by comedian Archie Campbell (1914-1987), writer and star of the TV series "Hee Haw"; it was also used by the dwarf Doc in the Disney classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" (more correctly Dwarfs). Hey! We knew there was a logical reason we decided to do it this week!
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Dennis: the narrator, Hester the 3rd Pig (also the Brick Seller), Kimberly: mother pig and Lester the 1st Pig (also the straw seller) , Zephyr: the wig bad bolf, Jester the 2nd Pig (also the stick seller) Goza
Mon, 27 November 2006
Thanks to all who voted for us last round we netted a whopping 1/3 of the votes and we have made it to round two of the Pickle Tales storytelling contest.
For this round we were issued 3 sound effects and told to come up with a story. So, we told the "Fiddlestick Family and the Eggs" a traditional folktale from the Ozarks that we just made up.
Listen to the six stories in this round. Some of the other stories may be "PG-13" (ours is "G").
One of the stories in this round will be eliminated (we are hoping it won't be us!). Voting happens today Nov. 27th through the 30th (ends at noon Eastern) at Podcast PickleYou can also get there by going to the Podcast Pickle homepage, then looking under Forums > Podcast Discussion > Pickle Tales Round II.
Thanks for your support,
Dennis "Pa Fiddlesticks", Kimberly "Ma" and Zephyr the narrator and "Cousin Clem"
Category:general -- posted at: 7:05 PM
Thu, 23 November 2006
It's Cool to be Kind!
Welcome to our ThanksGIVING episode! This week we are focusing on putting the "giving" in Thanksgiving and spreading Random Acts of Kindness.
Last week we talked about the Green RV in which college students travel the country, usimg their life on the road to find their road in life. This episode expands on that as we talk about the Extreme Kindness Tour. In 2002 four young men from Canada decided to hit the road on a 3 month Extreme Kindness Tour. Find out about what they did to promote kindness and "pay it forward".
We've also got some other stories about people who have made a difference in the world by focusing on "paying it forward", including Larry Stewart of Lee's Summit, Missouri who decided at Christmas time in 1979 to take $200 out of his bank account and anonymously pass it around to those who were less fortunate than himself. He has been known only as the "Secret Santa" as he continued his giving spree throughout the years, giving more and more. He is now dyeing of cancer and has decided to reveal his identity so that others may continue his legacy. His story was in the news this week.
Also find out a bit about Podcamp West; and Zephyr tells his tale about his run-in with mall security while trying to give out "Free Hugs" in Massachusetts.
The Lion and the Mouse
In the spirit of giving and doing for others we bring you the Aesop fable about the unlikely acts of kindness between a lion and a mouse. A mouse promises to help the fierce lion if only the lion won't eat him. But how will the mouse repay the lion?
Folklore and Philanthropy Lesson Plans
Round II of the Podcast Pickle Storytelling Contest
Thanks to those who voted in round I of the Pickle Tales Storytelling Contest. THANKS to you we've made it to round II and have been issued a new challenge! This time we have to tell a story incorporating 3 sound effects selected by the folks at Podcast Pickle. Come find out how we did it in the never-before-heard "folktale" from the Ozarks that we just made up. Enjoy "The Fiddlesticks Family and the Eggs" and 5 other stories and vote for your favorite November 27th-30th.
What will YOU do to pass along kindness? We'd love to hear about it. Leave us comments and we'll share your random acts of kindness with the world. Remember, it's cool to be kind!
Dennis (the narrator and hunters), Kimberly the "mouse", and Zephyr the "lion" Goza
Thu, 16 November 2006
Define your own road in life!
Road Trip Nation
We're revisiting our roots and catching up with old friends in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we stopped in at San Jose State University to attend a presentation about Roadtrip Nation, a PBS program that dispatches teams of 3 college students to travel the country for 6 weeks in a green RV exploring career options by interviewing prominent personalities in business, entertainment, law, public service, and other fields. The team of students we met today interviewed the CEO of Starbucks and leaders of other well-known businesses, as well as stand-up comic Wanda Sykes and talk show host Wendy Williams. And their experience on the road this summer has given them valuable insight into what directions their own lives should take.
This week, we present a story about someone else who had to courageously forge her own path: The Song of Mu Lan, a folk tale from China. (Which we've been performing onstage as part of our production "Daring to Dream".) It's the saga of a teenage girl who disguises herself as a man in order to join the army and fight in place of her ailing father, thus preserving family honor. And according to tradition, she served her country extremely well and even became a high-ranking officer.
We don't know for certain whether The Song of Mu Lan is a true story, but it was written as a poem about 1500 years ago. The name "Mu Lan", which is translated as "Magnolia", means literally "wood flower", a very appropriate name for a person who appeared as delicate as a flower but turned out to be as durable as wood.
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
Mon, 13 November 2006
Recently we entered our story "Simple Ivan" in an online contest for storytelling podcasts. It was judged on creativity, writing, and skill of production. And we are happy to announce that it has been selected as one of 12 finalists. Now listener votes will determine if it moves to the next round.
Six of the twelve stories have already been released in episode "A" and were voted on Nov. 6th-10th. "Simple Ivan" is a part of the "B" group that was released today, Nov. 13th. Voting for this round will end on Nov. 16th at noon (ET).
Anyone can listen and vote. Some of the stories may be "PG-13".
If you would like to participate in the voting process you will need to register at http://www.podcastpickle.com (it's painless). You'll see the log in/sign up box on the top right of the page. Then go to the forum to vote for your favorite story (under "Podcast Discussion").
And so long as you are there, why not to add us http://activated.podcastpickle.com to your favorites and leave us your comments.
Voting for this round ends Nov. 16th at noon (ET). The top six stories will go on to the next level.
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:39 PM
Thu, 9 November 2006
It's National Geography Week and Children's Book Week, November 12-19. And we have just the tale to celebrate both occasions: Hansel and Gretel (a la Lemony Snicket meets Wizard of Oz).
We are back in San Jose, having been to Sacramento to appear on the ABC-affiliated show Sac and Company and to Modesto to perform at the library this week. We'll tell you a bit about the inner workings of a live TV show. And right now Zephyr is helping pull apart Callson Manor, the haunted house he worked at last week, while we babysit the property at night.
Nominated for Storytelling Podcast Award!
Our story "Simple Ivan" has been selected as one of 12 finalists in the Pickle Tales "Tell Me a Story" Podcasting Competion. Now listener votes will determine if it moves to the next round.
Register with Podcast Pickle so you can participate in the voting process November 13-16!
And so long as you are at it be sure to add us to your favorites http://activated.podcastpickle.com and leave us your comments.
Please check back for more information and links November 13th.
Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel get ditched in the woods and have to escape an evil hag who lives in a sweet house and find their way back home. In our version they meet a few other storybook characters who give them some bad directions along the way.
National Geography Week
We've been traveling full time since 1992 and have had more than our share of bad directions. Nowadays, we use GPS, computer map programs and Google Maps on our cell phone to get where we are going. But way back when we started touring, we had to rely on people to give us directions. It's amazing we got anywhere! Hardly anyone knows the name of the streets in their hometown. And we have repeatedly scratched our heads after hearing "Well, you turn left at the old Jones place and if you come to the train tracks you've gone to far!". And "Just turn right at the corn field." We'd like to point out that we are in Kansas and surrounded by cornfields but don't have the heart.
So bottom line, study those maps and read those street signs so you can help someone find their way. And if you want to get anywhere, learn your geography and how to use a GPS! Or else you will have to leave some bread crumbs!
Children's Book Week
Zephyr has been reading the entire "Series of Unfortunate Events" to mom and dad this month. And in this episode Dennis recounts his encounter with Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket).
Reading out loud is an excellent way to celebrate Children's Book Week. We hope you'll celebrate by following a map to your local library to see what special events they have planned. And while you are there, check out some childrens' books. Especially in the folktale section (Dewey Decimal 398.2).
And be sure to get a copy of "Tales from Under the Crevice" or the sequel "Tales from Under the Nook" by our resident young author Zephyr Goza at your library or bookstore, or online at CreviceTales.com.
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
Thu, 2 November 2006
Do you know the way to San Jose? We hope so! Cuz that is where we are podcasting from this week.
San Jose is home of the Rosicrucian Museum and burial site for many of the Donner party, pioneers who struck out on the Oregon trail, took a wrong turn and got stuck for the winter.
Mummies, tombs, and hieroglyphics!
At the Rosicrucian Museum, the curators who were decked out in full Egyptian regalia (since we visited on Halloween), led us on a tour of an ancient tomb replica. The hieroglyphs at the tomb's entrance welcome visitors who brought the deceased food. Hey, you get hungry when you're dead and have to wait 20 years before entering the afterlife! Once inside the tomb we learned that the East wall represented birth and life since the sun rises in the east. The south wall depicts scenes of hunting and fishing portraying the deceased as being very skilled. The wall to the west is where the sun sets and so upon it we see the dead meeting the gods of the afterlife. And upon the north wall is a scene of judgment including a scale with a heart weighed against the feather of truth. And on the ceiling was the goddess who eats the sun and gives birth to the moon and then eats the moon and gives birth to the sun each day. Wonder if she gets a tummy ache?
The ancient Egyptians believed that whatever is depicted in hieroglyphics becomes true and therefore heiroglyphs were very sacred. And because of this power, only a few scribes were trained in the art. To become a scribe you had to be a boy and a rich one at that. Then you had to attend school, where you get to sit for eight hours copying the same text over and over. And if your teacher felt you weren't quick enough they would beat your back. If you were dedicated and studied hard enough you would become a scribe, one of the most prestigious positions in the Egyptian society.
You can visit the Rusicrucian Museum online at http://www.egyptianmuseum.org and find a virtual tour and an audio tour that you can download. Better yet visit it in person whenever you are in San Jose.
The Rosicrucian Museum is located in Rosicrucian Park, a picturesque facility encompassing an entire city block. It's the world headquarters of the Rosicrucian Order, a mystical society dating back to antiquity. Many notable historical figures are said to have been Rosicrucians, including Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin. The French impressionist composer Claude Debussy was a member of the order, and his music reflects its mystical nature.
Isis and the Seven Scorpions
While we were at the Rosicrucian Museum we learned this story and thought we'd share it with you. Isis, accompanied by her seven scorpions, makes her way to a town in the Nile Delta. The scorpions Petet, Tjetet, and Matet led the way, Mesetet and Mesetetaf walked beside her, while Tefen and Befen brought up the rear. Upon their arrival to town a noblewoman refused to give them shelter, which angered the scorpions. Meanwhile, a peasant girl offered her humble dwelling to Isis who was seeking refuge. However, the scorpions decide to teach the noble woman a lesson by poisoning her son with their venom. Distraught, the noblewoman seeks help for her dying son. Find out what happens to the boy, what Isis does, and what becomes of the noblewoman and the peasant girl.
"Isis and the Seven Scorpions" reminds us of another folktale with seven little guys who care for a maiden...
And here is another Egyptian story incase you missed it back in August: Rhodopis, the Egyptian Cinderella.
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza