Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Polly-O String Cheese | Pizza With Nuthin'

"Gimme a pizza with nothin'" vintage commercial
for Polly-O String Cheese.

The other day my husband was peeling apart a string cheese. We are regular consumers of low-fat string cheese sticks because they're the perfect quick snack. 

I'm a rebel when it comes to devouring a string cheese -- I nibble or bite into it.  My husband, on the other hand, slowly peels back each piece the way string cheese was meant to be eaten. Whenever I see him do this, I tease him. He's not much of a jokester, but on this particular occasion he put on his best New York accent and said, "Hey, gimme a pizza with NOTHIN'" (hold the sauce, hold the crust) and I quickly caught on and replied in a gruff old man voice, "NUTHIN?"  

I had completely forgotten about this gem of a 1980s commercial for Polly-O String Cheese. If you're about 34+ you may remember it, if not, click the YouTube video below and view the vintage Polly-O string cheese commercial. It's hard to believe we were just kids when string cheese first came out.

Two Polly-O String Cheese trivia tidbits for ya:

1. I went to school with a relative of the Polly-O String Cheese family on Long Island, blogged about her haunted house a while back here and here.

2. I learned that the kid in this video is named Vinny Caravella, founder of this video game website called GiantBomb.com.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ethan Hawke & River Phoenix in Explorers

The young, late River Phoenix, Ethan Hawke
and Jason Presson star in Explorers.
In the 1980s, I was mesmerized by "boy movies" like Explorers, NeverEnding Story, Weird Science, ET and Stand By Me. Sure, it helped that the teen male actors were adorable, but the allure was deeper than that. It gave us girls a peek at the secret lives of boys. How they talked when we weren't around. How they thought. How they joked. What their bedrooms looked like ... everything!

Sure I had a brother, but he was four years younger and still played with cap guns and GI Joes when I was 12, so he didn't really count. It was the life of preteen and young teen boys that peeked my curiosity. I'm sure most guys would admit films like Explorers and Weird Science depicted the life of boys as way more sci-fi/action/adventure than reality, but still ... 
The 1985 movie, Explorers, captured the
imaginative world of cute boys.
Basically Explorers focuses around three cute young teen boys portrayed by Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix (their first feature film) and somewhat unknown actor, Jason Presson. I thought Jason was extraordinarily special. His voice was noticeably deeper than the other stars. Slightly schlubby, he was cute without trying. His wavy hair didn't fall the way Ethan's and River's did and he seemed deep, dark and secretive.

Sorry for getting slightly off-topic... Basically Ethan Hawke's character Ben has a vivid dream about traveling through space in a special space ship. He consults his friends and they get to work putting Ben's dream into action. Explorers is obviously a fantasy film most youngsters would get excited about. You know, one of those movies you wish could really happen, but can't. 

Here are some bullet points about Explorers and a video clip of the Explorers trailer featuring Ethan, River and Jason.
  • Explorers was written by Eric Luke and directed by Joe Dante.
  • Explorers hit theaters on July 12, 1985 and suffered from
  • The DVD version of Explorers cut two scenes from the original theatrical version, but threw in an additional scene missing from the box office release.
  • Writer Eric Luke appears in the film as one of the boy's teachers. 
  • Amanda Peterson also stars in the film as a pretty 12-year-old prior to her role as Cindy in Can't Buy Me Love.

View or watch the trailer for Explorers staring Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson here:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kajagoogoo Too Shy Shy Hush Hush Eye To Eye

England's Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" rocked my world in 1983.
For some odd reason I cannot get this Kajagoogoo song, "Too Shy" out of my head. Before you can say you've never heard of Kajagoogoo, you'll have to click the YouTube video below. I promise if you were alive in 1983, one listen to this British new wave band's "Too Shy" will bring you right back to the roller rink days of the mid 1980s.

Though this one-hit-wonder only reached #5 on the 1983 Top 100 Billboard chart, Kajagoogoo nailed it with this totally tubular new wave jam.  Sing it with me, "Hey girl, move a little closer ... You're too shy, shy, hush, hush eye to eye..."

Check out the 1983 video for Kajagoo's "Too Shy"

Grease & Taxi Star Jeff Conaway Dies

Grease star Jeff Conaway dies at 60.
In the summer of 1978, I was five.  I remember we (my parents, aunts and uncles) were spending the weekend at my grandparent's Catskills summer house in upstate New York. Grease was like the biggest movie during the summer of 1978. I wish I could say this was the very first film I'd ever seen in the theater, but it wasn't. We saw Starwars in 1977 and I was bored to tears.

Yesterday, we learned Grease star Jeff Conaway -- he played Kenickie -- died at age 60. Conaway died of pneumonia. It was no secret that Jeff had an addiction to pain killers. He suffered from pain due to an accident and relied heavily on his pain medication.

Jeff Conaway's dependence on pain killers was such a struggle, he told Howard Stern he tried to commit suicide 21 times. We had watched Conaway decline on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Rehab. We watched him grow close to celebrity therapist Dr. Drew and hoped he'd somehow kick his intense, relentless addiction.

It's especially sad for me to see another actor from my childhood gone. Grease was a special movie for me as a kid in the 1970s. I joked for years about how the only reason I agreed to see this "grown up movie" was because of the carnival scene below. At age five, I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to catch it. I cried the entire ride home because I slept through what I deemed as my only reason for seeing Grease

View the famous Grease "We Go Together" carnival scene here:

Then of course there was Jeff Conaway in the hit show Taxi. I loved Taxi. What kid in the late 1970s didn't? Conaway was perfect as struggling actor and cab driver, Bobby Wheeler. He was tall, handsome and so very  New York.  My condolences to Jeff's family and friends. His struggle and pain are over. RIP Jeff! We will always remember you as the wisecracking Kenickie and adorable Bobby.

View a scene from Taxi staring Jeff Conaway as Bobby.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Sinful Career Choice At Age 12

Yet another Catholic school horror story 
for your reading pleasure.
In this post on Wednesday, I promised to fill you in on this horrible forced career discussion I had with a fifth grade nun. Here ya go...

Eighth grade was a monumental year. As a Catholic school kid it meant graduation and confirmation. Big and exciting changes for a kid. Part of the confirmation process required each kid to survive an interview with an assigned random teacher. I was sent to speak with a 70-year-old fifth grade nun, Sr. Frances Dorothy.

I was sweaty and nervous. Sitting on a hard, creaking wooden chair next to her hulking metal desk, I tugged on my black snug-fitting polyester uniform skirt. Sitting meant the skirt would rise a bit above my knee and I dreaded her putrid frown. I did my best to brush off and flatten my goldenrod button-down blouse and hideous skirt-matching black polyester vest. No lie, I looked like a fat bumblebee. Only I wasn't  young and adorable like that little bumblebee girl in the Blind Melon video.

Not quite as cute in my yellow and black school uniform.

She rattled off several standard questions, which I answered as best I could. Things were going rather smoothly until we hit upon a question I wan't quite prepared for. "Have you thought about your future? What career path do you see yourself following?" Lady, I'm 12 -- I had late birthday syndrome making me younger than my classmates. What the hell kind of question is that? 

Sitting as straight as I could--posture was important to nuns--I told her the truth. We were taught as Christians that lying was a sin. It was always a no-win for me. My truths always got me detention. Kinda like the time I got busted for fessing up to forging Alfred's mom's signature on his failing quiz to protect him from getting in trouble -- the things we do for love.  

I longed to be a television actress. I felt movies would be too difficult to land, but maybe the chubby sidekick on a show or cute high school guy's younger sister. Ya know, like Tracey Gold in Growing Pains? I was going to make it. I attended Hofstra University's summer drama camp that past summer. I had talent. Not. 

I'd be happy just playing the chubby sidekick.

I blurted out my career plans as Sr. Frances remained still and tight-lipped. She cleared her throat and began to tell me how my career choice was sinful. It was a selfish world filled with money, backstabbing and booze. She reprimanded me and suggested I do some serious soul searching and find a more respectable career like nursing or teaching. 

Flustered and panicked, I began defending myself saying I would make large donations to Catholic charities. I told her many celebrities like Oprah and Bill Cosby help others. She didn't want to hear another word about it. The subject was changed and she shooed me out of her classroom. 

If Sr. Frances was alive today, I'd like to tell her I had four children's books published, but guess what? She'd be disappointed that they were all about, gasp, CELEBRITIES. Hey, if you can't be one, write about one. Right?

Thirsty for more tales from an EIGHTH grade nothing? Here's a diary entry from back in the day. Bonus picture of what I looked like that year. Ick.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Most Painful Breakup

Getting dumped sucks.

One of my favorite bloggers, Jules, the cool chick behind Mean Girl Garage recently reflected back on a college romance gone wrong when her boyfriend cheated on her. Now, although I don't have actual proof that my college boyfriend cheated on me, one thing I can relate to is the feeling of heartbreak.

She is happily married today, as am I, but one thing's for sure, you never forget the most painful breakup. We've all been there and it downright sucks. I'm not gonna lie. It's just a pain you never want to experience again. Obviously no relationship is infallible and nothing is a sure thing. I just honestly hope I never have to revisit that deep, dark emo place ever again.

Although Jules' guy flat out admitted he cheated and fell for someone new, my situation was slightly different. My college boyfriend and I were together for 3.5 years. I was certain he was the one. He was artistic. He was cool -- born and raised in NYC. He was extremely intelligent. He was that guy you could ask random questions and like some sort of human Wiki, he had the answer. I was beyond smitten and it sucked.

We survived a somewhat long distance relationship. We met at a university an hour from my childhood home on Long Island. He excelled. I failed. He stayed. I left. I transferred to a less intense major at a small private college. Somehow we managed to stay together and spent the next three years worth of weekends together. I basically ruined his college experience to be honest. Whatever... 

Once we graduated, his family wanted him to get his own place. I wasn't ready to move out. I was working part-time for a publisher three days a week at a whopping $10 an hour. I just didn't know how I'd swing renting a place in Manhattan without a full-time gig. He was working in a museum gift shop also earning $10 an hour while trying to secure something having to do with his major. Even though it was 1997, there was no way a couple with a combined income of like $1500 a month could swing a place in NYC. 

My folks weren't keen on the idea of us living together. There was no talk of marriage and they brought up weird scenarios like if we bought a couch together, who would keep it if we broke up? I panicked and pressured him. Things began to take a turn for the worst. I could feel him slipping away and tried to hold on by giving him an espresso machine as a late Valentine's Day gift. I should have realized he was hours away from dumping me when he kept saying he couldn't accept such a gift.

I remember the night like it was yesterday. Our final weekend together. We spent Friday night at a TGI Friday's and he left rather early on Saturday. He told me he had to work that Sunday. We usually kept in touch, but this weekend, nothing. Saturday night and all of Sunday came and went. My calls went unanswered. By midnight on Sunday, I knew it was over. I could just feel it. He had ignored all of my "pages" as this was before cell phones. 

Finally around 1 AM, I got the call. He was quiet. He began telling me he was talking to his friend and well, he no longer wanted to be with me. He didn't want to marry me and it would be best if we end it. I discovered somehow that he "met" a new girl from his new job rather fast. My guess is he was seeing her on the side, though I'll never truly know. Honestly at this point in my life, I'm so in love with my husband that I really don't care. 

The pain I felt those next few months was unbearable. I had lost my best friend and it hurt so deeply. Every morning, I'd ride the train to work and go over all of the mistakes I had made in our relationship. Behind dark sunglasses, my eyes would be pink and swollen with tears.

I felt so empty, alone and betrayed. The truth is it hurt because I didn't get to do it first. I had wanted to end things and just kept thinking maybe it would get better. It never really did. I think I reached a point where I was more in love with the idea of him than him. I think for me, it was the rejection. It killed me that someone didn't want to be connected to me anymore. That was what broke my heart.

How about you? Breakups are something almost everyone has in common. We've all been the dumpee or dumper at some point...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1970s Vintage Fisher-Price Medical Kit

Fisher-Price Medical Kit from 1977.
I was never one of those kids who wished they were a doctor and I honestly don't recall ever claiming, "When I grow up, I want to be a nurse." Stay tuned - Friday I will 'fess up about an 8th grade career goals discussion gone wrong thanks to Sr. Frances Dorothy.

Remember this vintage doctor kit toy?

Yeah, so I never planned on pursuing a job in the medical field. However in 1977, I friggin' LOVED this Fisher-Price Medical Kit. Ah empowering one to play doctor with a cute young neighbor boy -- okay, so maybe we didn't have a cute neighbor boy, but just go with it... Toys providing the "power to pretend" were always my favorite kind of toy growing up. We could always rely on Fisher-Price to do just that.

I remember gripping the plastic handle of my Fisher-Price Medical Kit and toting it from my little brother's room to mine. After all, I believe this actually was his vintage doctor toy and not mine. Proudly I would unveil each colorful doctor instrument one by one. Carefully placing the orange, blue and yellow stethoscope around my neck, I would lay out the plastic thermometer, blood pressure monitor gauge thingie, and medical knee reflex hammer jammy and prepare to give free check-ups to all of my ailing stuffed animal and Barbie doll patients. Oh what fun!

 Today's Fisher Price Medical Kit
available at Toysrus.com

Today's Fisher-Price Medical Kit goes for $14 and is obviously much more modernized and although it includes a cool Band-Aid and environmentally-friendly tote bag instead of the bulky plastic case, I still say the 1970s or 1980s version was much cooler. What do you think? A quick search on eBay prices this vintage bad boy at $35. 

View this vintage commercial spot for the Fisher-Price Medical Kit.

*Photo credit: Vintage Fisher Price Medical Kit item is currently unavailable, but please visit the link to see other items for sale by this Etsy user. Her photos: http://www.etsy.com/listing/52847749/vintage-fisher-price-medical-kit

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bubble Burger 1970s Hamburger Gum

Bubble Burger by Fleer was the coolest burger style gum.

In 1978 I was in second grade. Every day after school, I would stop at the local candy store on my way home and purchase bubblegum shaped like a burger. The gum was called Bubble Burger and it was sold in small plastic cases that resembled a Styrofoam fast-food takeout burger.

Marketed by Fleer, Bubble Burger was the coolest gum to a seven year old. There was something special about buying gum that looked like juicy, flame-broiled cheeseburger in a tiny plastic box. I would keep the small plastic burger cases and use them in my doll houses and with my Barbies.

PS This isn't the first time I've blogged about gum. Remember my post about Freshen-Up squirt gum and Hubba Bubba?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Village Lip Lickers | Lip Balm or Gloss in a Tin

Lip balm in a tin -- Village brand Lip Lickers in fruity flavors.

Who remembers Lip Lickers? These fun moisturizing lip balms or lip glosses came in a rectangular tin with a sliding cover. You could slide the top to open, then slide it back to seal and toss it in your pocket or Jordache purse. These cute lip balms were a must-have for us 80s girls. Village Lip Lickers lip balms came in a variety of tasty flavors such as watermelon, grape, strawberry and more. Unlike Bonne Bell's Lip Smackers, the allure was the little shiny tin. We girls love tins!

Village Lip Lickers Lip Balm also
came in tins with two separate flavors.

Something about the font or logo always reminded me of the olden days. I could imagine purchasing this lip gloss at Nel's Mercantile store on Little House on the Prairie. Makes sense seeing as this 1979 product hailed from Minnetonka, Minnesota which is a mere three hours away from Laura Ingall's Walnut Grove. I can also picture this lip balm in a tin sold today in Cracker Barrel country stores along i95.

Did you or your sisters own one of these nifty tins of Lip Lickers Lip Balm? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rolodex, The Soap Dish & Other Obsolete Items

We already know that paper checks, fax machines, dial-up internet service have already become obsolete, but what about some of these every day items? Think about it... Can you name something you no longer need?

Rolodex replaced by technology.

Remember The Rolodex?

Some of you younger folks may be asking yourselves, "What is a Rolodex?" or maybe, "What is a Rolodex used for?" That saddens me. When I first began my career, a Rolodex was key. This office supply was a status symbol now replaced by LinkedIn. 

The Rolodex is/was a rotating filing system that stored one's contacts. We would keep business cards stapled to each small index-type card or neatly jot down a person's contact info and file it under a fitting initial. Today with email contact lists and cell phones, there truly is no need for the bulky plastic Rolodex. Now on that rare occasion that I see a Rolodex cluttering up someone's desk, I giggle. 

Bar Soap vs. Shower and Body Gels

Shower Gel & Body Wash vs Bar Soap? No Need For The Soap Dish

While showering today, I realized that we're using bar soap and a soap dish. I wondered if most others are using body wash or shower gel. If so, this means they no longer require a soap dish thus leading to a possible extinction of soap dishes. A quick Google search led me to an article in the Portland Tribute which said 83% of men still prefer bar soap. This article is almost three years old so I'm not sure how shower gel and body wash rank today. What are you using?

Remember disposable ashtrays?

Disposable Ash Trays

It's difficult to imagine a time when smoking was permitted in restaurants and bars. When I lived in Manhattan, New York City passed the smoking ban in 2003, with New Jersey following three years later --banning smoking in bars, clubs and restaurants in 2006. I recall reading many articles about the ban, however one stood out most in my mind. 

The reporter behind the article, spoke to a company that distributes and sells disposable style ashtrays. The business owner talked about how he was dealing with dozens of cancelled orders and feared the smoking ban would eventually put him out of business.

Although I agreed with the ban, my heart sank for this business owner. Imagine producing an item no longer needed? It happens every day and it takes creativity and passion to reinvent oneself. Sure, folks could purchase disposable ashtrays for backyard parties and outdoor weddings and events, but the demand for these tin ashtrays would never be the same. 

CD, DVD and bookshelves
will become obsolete!

Book Shelves, CD & DVD Racks & Stands Become Extinct

With today's Kindle and Nook book technology replacing the old fashioned bound book, will there still be a need for actual book shelves? As we continue to fade out CDs and download our iTunes and digital music, what will we need with CD stands? With the growing increase in DVR (more than 40% of Americans subscribe!), Hulu and streaming Netflix (20+ million Netflix subscribers!) popularity, who needs a DVD stand? This standard piece of living room and den furniture will surely fade away as did the old time record player cabinets of my youth.

GPS is already becoming obsolete.

Remember Maps? Remember GPS?

When we were kids our folks paid a visit to AAA before any road trip. They'd map out our drive and provide us with colorful maps and paper info. Today, who needs a map when you have a GPS? Better yet, who needs to purchase a Garmin or navigation system when you have navigation already on your cell phone? Not to mention, so many people break into your vehicles to steal your GPS and you have to constantly update the software - it's such a waste. My DROID does it all!

No need for an alarm clock or a wrist watch.

Remember Land Line Phones, Watches & Alarm Clocks?

Speaking of mobile phones - there's a good chance you no longer even have a land line. Though it could be wise to have an old-school dial corded phone hooked up through the phone company in case of a natural disaster. I don't have one, but when I lived in the city, this sure came in handy during 9/11 and the black out. Voice over IP or VoIP went down, but the old school AT&T phone line service was uninterrupted allowing me to connect with family and friends. 

My cell phone has replaced my need for wrist watches. I haven't worn a watch in years, a quick check of my mobile phone is all I need. Several months ago my mom said she needed an alarm clock. What's that I thought? My phone is my alarm clock and I even have a docking station to resemble an alarm clock!

Nothing I've said in this post should come as news breaking or surprising, just simple observations ... As a lover of all things retro, I am not saying these tech items are awesome replacements, just that these particular items have been replaced, thus changing our personal work and home landscape. I'm sure I've missed a ton of obsolete household items and things we no longer need. Can you help name some in a comment below? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Romper Room Magic Mirror Never Saw Me!

Romper, bomper, stomper boo...

Kids growing up in America between 1953 and 1994 happen to all have one thing in common. At some point in our lives we watched Romper Room and we all had one simple wish. We just wanted to be given a shout out by the show's host or teacher. Were you lucky enough to be seen through that damn Magic Mirror? Because I sure as hell wasn't.

Romper Room was an educational show, which went through a variety of different pretty female hosts or teachers. They would read books out loud, partake in crafts, play music, play and basically just make learning fun. Any average American kid would kill for a chance to appear on the fun-filled show or possibly the next best thing -- be included in the Magic Mirror shout out list. It was like Barney, only cooler.

At the end of each episode, the instructor, be it Miss Molly, Miss Barbara, Miss Nancy, Miss Sally, Miss Mary Ann, Miss Florence, etc., would look into her over-sized, cutesy handheld magic mirror and finish the show with a sing-song rhyme of, "Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?" Names like Michael, David, Dana, Edward, Margaret, Justin, Rick, Mark, Matthew, Bonnie, Anthony, Tammy, Gregory, Mary, Jane, Amanda, Julie, Beth, Keith, Robert, John, Jennifer, Amy, etc. would follow ... where the hell was "Ally" or "Allyson?"

See me in your Magic Mirror please!

After such constant disappointment, I reached a point where I wanted to knock out that ridiculous-looking Doo-Bee bumble bee character along with all of those smiling kids. They were all so freakin' happy. Well after waiting an entire episode hoping to hear my name, I was left frustrated and jealous. Oh whatever, I'm over it now. I just wanted to make you guys laugh. Enjoy these clips and see if they include your name in the magic mirror call out.

1970s Romper Room host sees almost everyone (but me) through her Magic Mirror in this video clip. 

1980s Romper Room video clip that damn Magic Mirror never sees me!

1984 Romper Room video clip, check it out, still no Magic Mirror shout out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My First BF | Joseph Esturo Spy vs Spy Video

My high school love, Joseph Esturo, had big dreams. When we were 15, he told me he wanted to become a poet. I laughed at him and told him he wouldn't be able to support himself financially as a poet. Yeah, just call me a dream crusher.

He adored The Cure so much so that I would joke that he loved The Cure more than he loved me. Joe owned everything Robert Smith had ever recorded. He collected photos, magazines, books, everything and anything.

Joe had big hopes. He hoped to make music people could actually relate to. He hoped to record an album. He hoped to record a video. The other day I received a text message and link to his very first real video. I couldn't help but smile. Joseph Esturo's dreams are now reality and I'm so proud of him. He followed his heart and made it happen.

Joe's melodic, emotional sound is reminiscent of the music we once loved. Sure to make your skin tingle, "Spy vs Spy" is a track you will want to hear again and again. Check out his first single, "Spy vs Spy" a melodic tease from his upcoming independently released EP, Anyone's Guess on Igloo Records in stores late summer, 2011.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yesteryear's Slang, Awesome. Today's Slang, Not So Much

I have to admit, it's crazy how many people search for old-school slang and hit upon my blog. I thought I was the only word weirdo who cared. We've covered '50s slang here '70s slang here, 80s slang here, '90s slang here and more slang here. Here are the latest overused slang terms you may or may not have incorporated into your daily conversation. Maybe you love 'em. Maybe you hate 'em. Feel free to add your own in the comment section. 

Epic - Meaning something great, terrific, awesome. "That new Band of Horses album is epic, man. Check it out!"

Not the actual dictionary meaning, mind you. Can someone tell me when the word "epic" became so popular and so overused? This word needs to just go away already. It's been around since about 2004 and once a word is used in commercials and films, you know it's just bad news. 

Epic fail - Meaning a massive disaster. "That date with Jimbo was an epic fail.  He picks his nose at the dinner table!"

To elaborate even more on the tedious use of the word epic, the phrase "epic fail" needs to hold hands with epic and jump off of an epic sized cliff together. Enough. 

Fail - Used by itself means somewhat of an epic fail, but not as much. Typically the word is used underneath an ironic or awkward photo or video. There are many FAIL websites, cake fails and more. The word just needs to retire to the rest home ...

Just sayin' - When one wants to vent or comment on something, yet kinda feels guilty doing so, they tend to end with "just sayin.'" For example, "Oh man, she dumped you? Hmm. That chick sucked anyway. Just sayin'." This term may have experienced increased usage after episodes of MTV's Jersey Shore. Snooki loves, just sayin'. This phrase is so retro, we were using it as kids. I must confess, I love sayin' it. Just sayin'.

At the end of the day also known via text as ATEOTD - This annoying slang phrase has been around forever. I can't really pinpoint when I first heard it, but I can assure you it was in the work place. "At the end of the day" was often used in the office by cheesy sales guys. "At the end of the day, we can be proud that we put together a quality ad campaign. No smoke and mirrors here."

I'm going to blame JWOWW of MTV's Jersey Shore for this overused term which should have stayed at the office. Overused, time to quit this one.

IDK - Text term for "I don't know." "IDK what movie I want to see, do you?"

IDK is mostly used by young folk. My cousins who also love to use the term KK instead of OK. Why? I don't get that one to be honest. I have never once found a reason to text someone IDK. Have you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rob Lowe's Brother Chad Lowe in TV Sitcom Spencer

With all of the excitement centered around Rob Lowe and his new Stories I Only Tell My Friends biography, I am reminded of the somewhat forgotten Lowe brother, Chad Lowe. Yes, we've heard about Chad and his addictions, split from Hillary Swank, marriage to Kim Painter, new baby Mabel, etc. but wait, what about Spencer, his awesome short-lived sitcom of 1984?

Watch the opening credits of Spencer with Chad Lowe!

Chad Lowe appeared as Spencer in the 1980s sitcom Spencer long before his Life Goes On days. I remember so little about this show, but know I loved it so very much. My buddy, Serena had a huge crush on him and we never missed an episode, um all five?! I did some research on this forgotten show and thanks to the good folks at SkoolDays.com I learned that Spencer barely survived one season with Chad Lowe.

Who knew Chad Lowe was such a weenie even back then! Rumor has it he was arguing over creative control, money and more! It was his first sitcom -- he should have been basking in the glory. I know I woulda! I now remember the show randomly becoming Under One Roof staring Ross Harris as Spencer.

Friday, May 6, 2011

TV's Best '80s Moms!

Totally Awesome Working Sitcom Moms From The 1980s!

My mom is awesome. Back in the '70 and '80s most of my classmates had stay-at-home moms. They attended class trips, daytime performances of our class plays and rescued their kids whenever they left their homework or lunches at home. Oh how I wished I could be Kathy S. as her mom raced into school carrying every kid's dream lunch of a McDonald's Happy Meal while I suffered through my PBJ.

Seriously though, I love my mom. I envy her for balancing a career, a house, two children and various pets. As an adult, I view working moms as Super Moms. Heck, as an adult, I see that just being a mom in general forces a woman to develop these super human powers. Remember, my blog is a retro blog and this post is from my perspective as a kid. Today, I myself am just a measly freelance writer working from home without any children of my own. In other words, please do NOT think this is a dig at stay-at-home moms.

As for my own Super Mom, I've already told you about her here, here, here and here. This Mother's Day, I've decided to profile a handful of my favorite television moms -- you know, moms from old '80s TV shows I thought were super cool. Moms I would have hired to take over for my mom if she suddenly decided to quit on us.

Family Ties - Elyse Keaton 
Meredith Baxter or Meredith Baxter-Birney was one of my favorite moms. This former hippie turned self-employed architect, treated each kid with love, respect and understanding. Aside from her one-week gambling addiction, she was nearly the perfect on-screen mom. I won't lie, I was slightly surprised when actress Meredith Baxter revealed to the world that she is in fact a lesbian. I admire her courage and think she's even cooler now for coming out!

Growing Pains - Maggie Seaver
As an insane Kirk Cameron fan back in the days, I realized I've blogged about this show way too manymany, many times. So much so, that Kirk Cameron is an actual keyword used in my SEO for this retro blog. Pathetic, right? Anyway, Maggie Seaver was the coolest. She's the sitcom mom I most related to. Why? As you may or may not know, like me, the Seavers lived on Long Island. This was a huge thing to me. It was rare for one of my fave shows to take place on my very own stomping grounds. Aside from that, Maggie was a journalist -- this was my dream job as a kid, heck, still is even though I had my own fifteen minutes of fame here and there as a kid reporter for Long Island Newsday and as teen magazine associate editor.

Kate & Allie - Kate McArdle and Allie Lowell 
As a kid, Kate (Susan Saint James) and Allie (Jane Curtin) impressed me big time! I can't put my finger on it, but this show remains one of my all-time fave '80s sitcoms. No, it's not the obvious Ally-name thing, but perhaps the fact that back in those days, I seriously didn't know many single moms. I was fascinated by what I considered two strong women making it on their own and the blending of two families under one roof. Other than the Brady Bunch, you didn't really see that back then. Remember this was before Suzanne Somers' show, Step By Step! Kate & Allie had an awesome brownstone apartment in Greenwich Village (Yey, New York!) and their three kids were New York area child stars in real life. Yup, Ari Meyers, Fred Kohler (he even went to school with NYC friends of mine!) and Annie Broadway star Allison Smith were all east coast kids like me.

Facts of Life's - Edna Garrett
Although Edna (Charlotte Rae) wasn't the traditional biological sitcom mom, she was still an amazing mother figure to all of her Eastland girls. On the rare occasion we were treated to an episode featuring Blair, Jo, Natalie or Tootie's real moms, we most likely found them annoying or judgmental. Edna always offered advice and unconditional love and helped solve problems probably better than most mothers. It's easier to take on that role when the child isn't biologically your own, right? Edna went on to open the famous Edna's Edibles and the girls were able to work for her and continue their mother-daughter roles as they grew into adulthood. 

Roseanne - Roseanne Conner 
I've blogged about Roseanne in the past and loved many things about the way this particular mom ran her household. Roseanne Conner worked low-paying jobs, dealt with jerky bosses and truly represented an entire class of moms we rarely got a glimpse of back in the late 1980s. She wasn't glamorous, she was real. Not to mention, she was chubby like me, and that's something you rarely see with TV moms. They're always these perfect Hollywood thirty-or-forty-somethings. Roseanne was honest, blunt and verbally kicked her kids' asses when they messed up. This late '80s, early '90s mom was a true breath of fresh air and a sign of the times compared to the early 1980s.

How about you? Any sitcom moms you liked best back in the day or today as a mom yourself relate to?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Banned From Selling Lemonade?

About a month ago there was a story on our local news station about some how a group of children were banned from hosting a lemonade stand on their parent's property. In fact, the kids claim they were raising money for an ill child. Apparently HOA rules strictly forbid vending of any kind from their townhouses. Wonder if this goes for Lia Sophia parties and girl scout cookies as well? Hmm. 

Now, I agree with this rule to an extent, but wow. For example, I've always hated those professional garage sales -- you know you've witnessed this too ... that front lawn and driveway cluttered with crap for sale every single day for weeks on end. Really, I've seen this in New Jersey, New York and around the corner from my dad's house here in Florida. In this case, however, we're talking about little kids doing something we've all done. Sell lemonade!

Lemonade stands are like a rite of passage for every child in America -- at least that's how it was growing up in the '70s and '80s. Back then, it was my main means of earning a living during those hot Long Island summers. The Lemonade stand was always much more fun that delivering papers (ugh, sweaty with actual physical labor involved) or babysitting (ugh, dealing with parents' rules like, the kids are only allowed to watch The Cosby Show, deeming Growing Pains as "inappropriate" - so Kirk Cameron's character Mike had a friend named Boner, whatever!)

I loved hosting lemonade stands! Sure sweating balls whilst standing behind a cheap-ass folding table balancing what felt like a 100 lb Tupperware pitcher filled with citrusy goodness and a stack of waxy floral Dixie cups (remember those?!) praying a passer-by grew tiresome. But I was my own boss! 

I could open and close whenever I felt like it. Nobody could question me on how in G*d's name one toddler could possibly knock off an entire plate of brownies in three hours. Um, hello! Seriously, people. Entertaining your rug rats for endless hours at a time builds up an appetite. Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway, as cranky as I am about people not following the rules of a town house or condo, I believe some rules are meant to be broken. Let a kid have a lemonade stand once in a while. Although maybe ask them to refrain from shouting, "LEMONADE HERE! GET YOUR ICE COLD LEMONADE HERE!" I can see how that would grate on my nerves after about an hour, especially if working on a freelance assignment. 

Click here for last month's news story about the children selling lemonade in Palm City, Florida and to view the video.


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