MST3000 and Other Hallowed Family Traditions

Lately, we’ve been watching episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (aka MST3K, formerly on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Network) 2-3 nights a week. We’d enjoyed (and occasionally taped) it back in the 90s, but recently broke out the VHS tapes now that the girls are old enough to get the humor. They’ve enjoyed them so much that — after exhausting the taped episodes — we’ve begun to invest in the Rhino boxed sets, and have just placed our first DVD order of “uncollected” episodes with Cheezyflix.com.

I know, we’re obsessive, but I’ve always felt that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing A LOT.

Anyway, last night’s episode was The Starfighters (A early 60s film about USAF pilots flying F-104 jets starring former Congressman Bob Dornan), and I don’t think I’ve seen them laugh that hard in years (and we laugh a lot). It was full of hilarious riffs from Mike and the ‘bots (If you don’t know what I’m writing about, click HERE for an almost complete MST history), and caused me to consider adjusting my personal MST3K Top Ten. Anyway, the whole thing reminded me of a few other non-traditional family traditions we’ve continued this past year, including watching 60s TV series on DVD, building gingerbread houses, photographing rainbows, and celebrating birthdays with mini-donut cakes.

I’ve written a previous post about our watching all 138 episodes (sequentially) of the Get Smart TV series last year, but we’re also working through multiple seasons of That Girl, Wild, Wild West (just picked up season 4), Andy Griffith, and Dick Van Dyke. Sometimes it seems as if the 1960s never ended in our house (which was built in late 1963). Not that Wild, Wild West is high culture or anything (despite Ross Martin’s best efforts), but it’s really too bad that my girls won’t be able to watch current television series with their pre-teens and teens. Besides the current network stuff that is a little too mature, the reality shows will undoubtedly have a much shorter shelf life than the scripted shows I grew up with. But I digress.

Here’s our most recent rainbow photo (above), shot in December looking across from our front yard. We’ve been shooting (and chasing) rainbows since our honeymoon in 1987.

Another hallowed tradition is the early birthday morning donut “cake,” complete with candles. We started this one when Emily was really small, maybe three or four. She loves little powdered donuts (which amazingly hasn’t effected her svelte teen figure), so I had the idea to build a tower of them for her. We now do it for all five family birthdays, and it really is fun. It’s much easier to stack a donut cake in the early morning than baking a traditional one, and we now mix in some cinnamon minis with the powdered ones. We still do traditional birthday cakes for the afternoon and evening celebrations (we tend to have multiple parties for each birthday), so we enjoy the best of both worlds.

Emily’s most recent donut cake (above) and mine (below). We’re both December birthdays, and, yes, my candle count is highly inaccurate.

My most recent donut cake

We inherited (OK, stole…) our gingerbread house building tradition from our friend Cinda Webb, who invited us over for a pre-Christmas family house-raising several years ago. Since then, we’ve built a whole neighborhood of them, usually over the Christmas holiday break. This past season, Emily had a couple of friends (Lauren Hoeneke and Jennette McCurdy) over for her own house party.

(left to right, above) Lauren, Emily, Erin and Jennette get started on the roofs.

Work ceases when the decorators (above) become aware of the photographer.

That’s all the tradition I have time for right now. We’re off to the USC Trojan Huddle (their spring football scrimmage) and Galco’s Soda Pop Shop up in LA (home of hundreds of classic and kooky brands), which just happen to be two more family traditions.

craig hodgkins

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~ by Craig Hodgkins on April 19, 2008.

4 Responses to “MST3000 and Other Hallowed Family Traditions”

  1. Aww, Jennette McCurdy is adorable. I remember her back in Malcolm In the Middle. She’s got great comedic talent. I laughed like crazy during iCarly’s fencing episode when she said, “Boogie Bear, Boogie Bear Two, and Boogie Bear Three: the Return of Boogie Bear.” Thank you for posting the pictures.

  2. Yep, Jennette is a sweetheart, and a very talented young lady.

  3. you know jennette mccurdy?? she is so awesome! i would love to meet her she is an amazing actress and icarly is my favorite show! tell her hi for me! πŸ˜‰

  4. Yes. Yes. OK.

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