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other new + recent LAZE features:
o Flick: Garden State
o Flick: Napoleon Dynamite
o Flick
: The Corporation
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: Million Dollar Baby
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: I Heart Huckabees
o Flick: Coffee and Cigarettes
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: Before Sunrise
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copyright 1999-2005

not just 
kids! an ode to Saturday morning cartoons, quasi-adult style 
by Yee-Fan Sun
1 2 3

Not that I'm complaining Mom and Dad, but still: there are days when I feel a pang of nostalgia for this idea of a typical American childhood that other kids had. Don't get me wrong; I was a very happy kid, with a great family and plenty of playmates, and all the Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls a little girl could ask for. But as I've gotten older, it's gradually come to my attention that there are all sorts of things that other youngsters took for granted that I didn't discover until well after the age when such things should be enjoyed.

This is why, all grown up now, I find myself endlessly delighted by the novelty of Fig Newtons and Fluffernutter sandwiches, kid foods that never once appeared in my own childhood home. My lack of childhood exposure also explains my totally unsophisticated soft spot for fake fruit punch, the kind that begins as a pink powder in a squat plastic tub, the sort that every other kid got to drink while I was sipping the 100% pure juices my mom favored (even back in the 80s, way before "all natural" and "organic" became hip buzzwords with the mom set). Instant pudding -- a miraculous product the boy introduced me to on a camping trip just after college -- still seems like magic to me. I know it's all kind of juvenile, but I swear: it's not so much that I'm clinging to days gone by so much as reveling in those aspects of a "normal" American childhood that I missed out on the first time around.

Most recently, I've been initiated into the fine childhood tradition of the Saturday morning cartoon. Now, it's not that I didn't know Saturday morning cartoons existed -- I wasn't living in a total cave, and unlike my boy's anti-TV folks, my family actually did have a TV, of which we made ample use. But while for most kids, Saturday morning meant the chance to finally relax after a long week of school, my Saturday brought studies of a different sort, as my brothers and I would pile into the back of my parents' station wagon with our bookbags and instruments, and head off into the city for music school. Good for us? No doubt. But as a kid, it was hard not to feel a smidge of envy that my friends got to spend their Saturdays sitting around in front of the TV in their pajamas, watching the Smurfs and making their way through a big bowl of sugary cereal, while I had to slog through Mozart. By the time I was living on my own and fully in charge of my own time, I was in college -- and Saturday mornings (and uh, sometimes afternoons) were reserved for catching up on the sleep I inevitably didn't get the Friday night before.

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