Saudade

Genealogy Coming Soon

What to do when you start with a pile of old documents and photos? I’ve been exploring my family history lately and been frustrated by lack of online sources, so I decided to start posting information in the hopes of being contacted by someone who can fill in the blanks. I’ve already learned so much on my own.

My paternal family history is something of a mystery. My grandma’s birth parents died in Germany after World War 1 when she was a toddler. She was adopted and brought to America in the 1930s. I know a bit about her adopted family, but very little about her birth parents. It’s even more difficult because all their records are in Germany.

My grandpa saved very little in the way of family photos. Thankfully, my grandma saved basically everything. We have six or seven different photos of my great grandmother’s headstone. Unfortunately, I learned this morning that it’s likely the cemetery she’s buried in was abandoned.

Maybe someday I can go to Germany and search for records of my distant relatives, but for now I’ll focus on what I can find in old photo albums. I hope you’ll find it as interesting as I do!

My High School Years in Film: 1996

I thought it would be fun to do an overview of movies that came out while I was in high school. The first video covers August to December 1996, when I entered high school as a freshman at Maine West in Des Plaines, Illinois. Yeah, it’s blatant nostalgia, even though the ’90s was a lousy decade to be a teenager. What were your favorite films from the late ’90s?

A Little Halloween: A Charming Halloween Poem

This short film by iLL WiLL PrEss creator Jonathan Ian Mathers came out last October, and is a charming addition to the holiday. Mathers is the brains behind Foamy the Squirrel and Neurotically Yours. He began created flash cartoons in 2002 and has spun that into a steady gig.

I loved these cartoons when I was in college, but lost track of them over the years. I was surprised/delighted to see this Halloween short on Amazon.com.

A Little Halloween is an animated poem about a goth girl named Pauline who tries to cast a spell to make Halloween last year-round, the only time she feels accepted.

Instead, the spell spawns “Pum’Kin Guy,” an anthropomorphic pumpkin with an attitude and a Brooklyn accent. Pum’Kin Guy is Pauline’s only friend and constant companion, listening to her and protecting her from other people’s taunts and jeers.

You can rent the video on Amazon for $1.99 or watch it for free on YouTube.

Retro-Futurism

I don’t talk about it much, but I was a big science fiction fan as a kid and I love retro-futurism, atompunk, raygun gothic, and all those related genres. This is a neat video with Bruce McCall, an illustrator who creates what he calls “faux-nostalgic art”, or art that longs for a past that never existed. Think of how people in the 1930s imagined the ’90s. I thought we’d have flying cars and colonies on the moon by now. Instead, we’re still obsessing over celebrities and fake news or whatnot. Ah well.