Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Current Annoyance: Over the Top Mascara Commercials

I like slick, pretty marketing as much as the next consumer. Wait- maybe consumers don't like that. What I mean is, colorful, shiny mascara commercials are not hard on the eyes. Pretty British models with unusually large glossy lips and outrageous cat eyes getting on mopeds or walking through the city streets in skinny jeans with lots of eighties graphics flowing by? Normally I wouldn't mind it. Its not as annoying as that slob on the Trivago commercial who looks like he was out partying the night before he shot the commercial for their website- unshaven, unbuttoned shirt, bags under his eyes- just a mess. Anyway, I would normally prefer these colorful mascara commercials.

But something has started to annoy the tar out of me: The thick brushes with super duper swirl "technology" that makes your lashes 546,634,534,523,000 times larger. One formula- always a very special, top secret formula, lengthens, one thickens, one has a spacey separator- how many damn formulas can there BE? And the bottles/tubes for the mascara...while I love bright, aerodynamic packaging and they are literally marketing to ME...They are becoming completely out of control. MEGA, PUMPED UP, SCANDAL, FALSIES, this and that...
Come on- are any of these ALL THAT DIFFERENT?

Does this even look good?! It is too much. This looks like when I used to run out of eyeliner and I used a Sharpie. It was NOT fierce.
The models in these commercials look as if they are aliens/cheetahs and the mascara bottles are so large and colorful they look like a Vegas adult toy store window. Dammit, I can't find any good pictures on the Internet (and FYI none of these are my pictures, photo credit to rightful owners and all of that.) Anyway, I guess it just dawned on me how much of a complete lie these commercials are- how whenever I buy one of these mascaras they do not look like fake eyelashes, as they do on TV. Yes, I am the last person on the planet to notice, *laughs* I will now join the rest of you.
There is actually a brand called Younique that DOES look like those commercials- they don't advertise on TV though. You have to know someone. Google it- it is super crazy.
Next time we will discuss all of these "natural" commercials with acoustic guitars strumming, Lisa Loeb type voices poetically singing. Everything from cheese to cars suddenly has this strumming folk music to show "authenticity" and a DIY vibe. It is maddening.
Until next time!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Game of Crowns on Bravo

I realized that I feel like crap just watching these shows on Bravo- but if I am doing something 'productive' such as writing a review? Then I feel okay! I just happened to turn on the TV to Bravo's new show on pageant moms, Game of Crowns. First things first- all of these shows have an upbeat/club/techno song playing while they give you snippets of the location, to set up the scene. This show is no different.

Connecticut. Exterior: Big ass house, inside: Big ass house. It's eight hours until a pageant, and a blonde named Shelley with Betty Draper hair and beautiful antique sconces behind her, is practicing what she is going to say to the judges. She is standing in front of a mirror in some tie-dye nightgown, her big ol' crown and sash from another pageant she won (Mrs. America 2011) and some old lady sweater. They show us her little cheat sheet, where she has crossed things out. I tried to hit pause to see what she wrote, but the snippet was too fast. Anyway, her daughter, in a private school uniform and messy hair, comes in to ask if she can go play, in a whisper. Her mom must’ve snapped at her a thousand times by the way the girl is walking on eggshells. There goes mom talking in the mirror again. The daughter wants Gummi Bears and the mom eighty sixes that shit right away. They cut to a talking head of Shelley and it is now clear: She has a Marilyn thing going on with a strapless hot pink gown and thick crystally necklace- total Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend thing, along with the hair. Got it lady. She asks us how many kids get to say their mom is Mrs. America? I can't take my eyes off the dressing table in the background. I love this lady's decor- she has a really pretty chandelier in her room too.

Doorbell rings and 'Vanassa' is here. Oh sweetie. Why must you spell it like that? *shakes head* She comes in and Shelley tells us that when she first met her she thought she was hoochie mama with her huge boobs eight inch stilettos. She sounds like she is making excuses for mixing with her-a disclaimer for anyone who might judge her by the 'company' she keeps. Hey, I know this chick is ghetto, I am totally aware. But now they are 'friends' and they both have to show up at this Miss Tri-State pageant.

Vanassa tries on Shelly's crown and says it is way nicer than hers. Shelly deadpans "........Yeeeah" agreeing with her. Hmmm...too bitchy. Now I am liking Vanassa better.

Vanassa tells us in her talking head that she is a certified registered nurse and does anesthesia during surgeries. Hmmm. That is cool that she has a life other than pageants. Her talking head is in her show closet, and she is wearing an electric blue gown that completely covers her chest and goes off both shoulders, with sparkles on it. She looks overly made up and overly botoxed. It is hard to get past that, but she is winning me over. Ahhh shit, Shelly tells us Vanassa took time out from pageants to deal with breast cancer. Well shit, poor lady. Now she is my favorite. You guys know I had breast cancer five years ago, don't you? Well I did and it was not fun. But back to these hens.

Shelley and Vanassa bring up a third woman, Susanna. We cut to her house in Rhode Island, where she is in yoga pants - no wait, a velour tracksuit, talking about needing a cute, flowy dress for "stage." She has long dyed black hair that is parted straight down the middle, sort of unruly eyebrows, bright blue eyes. Vanassa says that Susanna is sort of a beginner- she does smaller level pageants, and that Susanna has asked for her help, being that she is new to the pageant world. He daughter holds like thirty titles and is well known in the creepy child pageant world and she is more used to that sort of scene. She thinks it would be easier to do those little sassy poses (like pouty face and the "no, no, no") for the judges than what the adult women have to do. They cut to a room that sort of looks like a store- all of the jewelry and accessories are displayed on shelves. She practices her runway walk while her husband leers at her and tells her to give it a little shake. She says she likes Vanassa showing her the ropes and giving her critiques, she appreciates it. Hmm. Okay.

Susanna shows up to some country club six hours prior to the Tri-State Pageant and starts rehearsing. The MC also doubles as the person in charge of, well, everything. She is showing what poses they can do, where their marks are. She tells them where to turn, how to model, everything. She is a jack-of-all-trades this MC. The ladies are getting ready back stage and there is a shitload of makeup back there, wow. Susanna tells someone that her hair is her best asset. It would be if she trimmed it a little bit and pressed it straighter, it is sort of frizzy. Oh shit, now she has to go to the interview portion where she tells us she is a friggin private pilot! Whoa- for reals? She isn’t sitting up straight, but damn, she speaks four languages. She tried speaking Chinese and the judges looked at her as if she were a total moron. But I am impressed. *golf clap*

Shelley and Vanassa arrive at the country club and greet Susanna, and a lady named Lynne. Shelley says Lynne is a walking Barbie. Vanassa thinks Lynne is shady and a washed up beauty queen. Whoa- harsh. She says she paid for one of her titles. Oooh, girl, those are fightin' words. Lynne has like, blue tips in her hair that I sort of like. They are very My Little Pony and you guys know I love my ponies. Anyway, Lynne seems harmless. She has a very...ahm...interesting looking husband and a daughter who favors his DNA. She has lots of sparkle and spice and flames and Chutzpa.

Cut to the Tri-state pageant. Shelley gets up to give a speech and immediately starts screwing it up- people in the audience are kind of smirking at her. They live for moments like these. She is done with the speech and on goes the pageant, with many...interesting contestants. Vanassa comes up and gives a speech on breast cancer and does a great job. Dammit...you can't hate a cancer survivor, this is no fun. The winner of the damn thing is...drumroll....Susanna! Looking sort of like Cher in a white mu mu!

The show goes onto introduce two other women, the first of whom is named Leha, who recently lost a bunch of weight and is now doing pageants, blah blah blah. She looks like a stripper with daddy issues and a controlling boyfriend who punches walls. But she has kids, is married to a cop, and apparently crazy things go down with the husband later on in the season so I am not far off in my assessment.

There is also Lori-Ann, who used to do fitness pageants and is trying to break into the regular pageants. She brings a costume over to Shelley's house for some input- and Shelley and Vanassa are like "No. A thousand times no" to her awful red glitter bikini and bat wings. Susanna lets her borrow her pale pink Native American costume. Shouldn’t this chick actually be Native American in order to borrow/wear the costume though? She is totally Caucasian. Anyway, Leha goes to Lynne's for advice on some shit also. Can't even remember what. Basically the newbies are being taken under the wings of the pros, and all seems well...until...

Susanna calls Vanassa to tell her she is wearing the same outfit as her, to the airport. She says she bought it first, so she basically gave Vanassa a heads up. But Vanassa insisted she already had her stuff laid out to wear, so she wore it as well and they got into a very trashy-ass fight in the airport. Vanassa stooped to the lowest levels of the trailer park in fighting with her, not being lady-like in the least. She went nuts over that hateful pantsuit.

Did any of you watch this mess? What did you think?

Review: Real Housewives of New Jersey

The New Ladies of RHONJ
copyright Bravo.tv.com

The show starts off with media coverage of Joe and Teresa Guidice walking out of the courthouse, with their sentencing being announced. Melissa and Joe Gorga are watching the TV and are concerned. Melissa, who is wearing a cute little French outfit, black collar/white sweater and a sort of beret, calls her sister-in-law and asks her if it is true. Teresa says it isn't, they haven’t accepted a plea deal yet. The daughter, Gia, is eavesdropping and trying to ask her mother what’s up. She says she is old enough to know what is going on.
They cut to "Three months earlier," when Dina Manzo shows up at Teresa's with a pretty purple Orchid and gives her a gift of a guardian angel bracelet to watch over her. Teresa tells Dina they are blowing all of their money on lawyers and shit.  In her talking head, Teresa is wearing an emerald green dress, which is a bit much, but she has a side part, which looks way better than the usual middle part.

Dina Manzo narrates that she is divorcing her husband, that he is buying young girls with big boobs "pocketbooks." Say what, Dina?

Melissa and Teresa meet up at the gym where their daughters are doing cheerleading. Oh no...no no...Milania is twerking. No sweetie...oh no. Teresa is egging her on and laughing. Nice.
Melissa tells Teresa that her friend Amber is having a fall harvest party and that she should bring Dina, because there might be single guys there for her.
They cut to s new chick Amber, who has pipe curls, frosted lipstick, and too much blush/bronzer on her nose. She looks completely different in the talking head than the scene at her house, where she is in a neon pink sweatshirt, where her skin is darker and she is wearing less makeup. Her husband walks in the house with a dead pig for their festival, which scares the living shit out of their little daughter, to the point of where she is crying. Amber talks about her perfect kids and they show her teaching them manners. She tells us that she and Melissa were party friends back in the day, but then they sort of got separated when Melissa 'married money' and she went to Columbia. Burn!
Back to Dina, who is telling us she is super zen, and she recently lived in Mongolia with no running water for five days and then ran away and went to a bed and breakfast. Uh, yeah! Duh! So would I. Dina seems like she is on Valium at all times. She goes to her therapists office and says that she is afraid she won't find love again, because she has no desire to move on with her life- she is still having sex with her ex-husband. What the...why is she doing that?!  She is nervous about having to get naked in front of someone new. I guess get that.
Back to Teresa, who walks in on one of the kid's cooking scrambled eggs by herself on the stovetop- whoa! Watch out there kid! You can't just go turn on the burners without mommy. Teresa is talking about some new cookbook she is doing to pay for the legal bills. The woman knows how to hustles.
Next thing you know there are all the kids, whining in chefs hats, one of them yells something about a butthole and then says something "sucks." There is a lot of zebra skin in that room. The girls all look like each other and a few of them seem very feisty and semi-aggressive.
All right, now there are some new ladies showing up on this show. Cut to two women who are twins named Teresa and Nicole- they show us a bunch of pics of them when they are kids. They looked so identical they had to wear name tags when they were kids. Te-RESS-A and her husband are the "king and queen of Little Italy"- they own a restaurant. They were divorced and then remarried. The twin was married for 14 years and recently divorced. She has a boyfriend named Bobby- she says a woman only needs two things: Dunkin Donuts and oral s*x. Whoa sister. Should that really be the quote you are known for?
Amber is over talking to the twins and they are drinking champagne and talking about the upcoming festival Amber is throwing.  Back to Dina's house and her pretty girly room and gorgeous shoe closet. Back to the twins getting ready. Melissa and Joe getting ready- Joe wants to stay home and get naked.
Cut to Amber- her daughter has makeup on, and she is telling the kids to stand up straight- she says that her kids will have everything taken away from them if they go out into this world and act like buffoons. She needs to go over and babysit Teresa G's kids and get them into shape.
Melissa talks about how Amber always had a 'vision of prosperity.' Hmmm- sour grapes, anyone? Everyone is arriving at the festival/party and Amber is very fixated on the kids behaving properly. She feels they represent her directly, which I guess is sort of true. The party looks nice- but TeRESSsa's husband is talking about getting circumcised at twenty seven, yadda yadda yadda- some joke I didn’t get. Amber says "I don’t know what book of Etiquett-cie Nicole's guest read." Nicole apparently invited like 15 couples to her party and thinks it’s perfectly okay. But Amber dear...Etiquett-cie? Did you mean to say Etiquette?
Teresa G and Dina arrive and are trying to get up the house steps in super high stilettos in the snow. I have been there and it always makes me feel like a fool. When Teresa walks in the door, everyone stops and stares and whispers. I hate when that happens.  Teresa G is introduced to everyone, so is Dina. Dina says she is antisocial and most people between old people and kids are assholes. Wow, what social grace this one has. Anyway, they ask Dina what she does and she says she works a lot, helping children with cancer- that is when Amber tells us she had breast cancer at 31. She noticed she had lumps on her right breast. In her narration scene, she starts crying and tells us about going through chemo, and how she hid her head from her husband. They show her without hair- wow. She says she was shallow before that experience, but it changed her. Wow again. Changed my thoughts on Amber. Rock on sister.
Dina asks one of the twins about being divorced, and she feels like she can relate to her. Now Amber is talking to Melissa and wondering where she went when she had cancer. Melissa says she had no idea Amber had cancer. I can’t stop staring at the white highlighter on her nose. She has been on Pinterest trying out new makeup tricks and they are not working, God bless her. Anyway, she can’t understand how Melissa didn’t know she had breast cancer, especially since Melissa sent her a Facebook message and asked her if there was anything she could do to help. back when it was happening. Melissa does not remember this whatsoever, and asked if she saved the message, and Amber said no. Hmmm. Who is lying here? Might be Melissa, because she didn’t know how to get out of it without looking bad? Anyway, she swears up and down she had no idea her friend had cancer, and she is sort of upset that Amber is making her feel bad when it was equally Amber's fault, in her opinion, that their friendship faded.
TeRESSa’s husband is quite the character- he looks like Dr. Evil, he wanted to get the hell out of that party. He thought it sucked, as the Guidice daughters would say. As they were leaving, TeRESSa said that "some little f*cking kid took my coat." Heee! I would have said the same thing.
Juicy Joe's grandmother's 80th birthday is on the horizon- they are going to invite all of their relatives over and do a big family portrait at their home. Teresa is getting her makeup done in the bathroom, the kids are screaming. All of the family start piling into the house, cakes are everywhere, Teresa is still screaming like a shrew and giving me anxiety. They are all in black for the family picture, and grandma is in red, in the middle. It is very sweet really. Joe is getting a little misty-eyed, he is the first grandson. He gives a nice speech on the balcony, looking down at all of them, about how they all did well (or 'good' as he says.) Gia is crying during his speech and it is making me want to cry. 'I love yous all'! Joe says. Awww Joe. Ohhh Gia! Poor thing. Then Joe Gorga narrates that Juicy Joe is his brother and he will always be there or something like that. These Italians, man. Gia is still crying and hugs her father, probably scared for him to go to prison. Juicy Joe tears up and tries to walk away.  One of the relatives comes over and says he loves them- I guess it is Joe's father? Then they close the scene with an ‘In Memoriam’ for who I guess is Joe's father.  How sad=(
What did you all think of this episode? Are these twins going to bring the crazy? Or will Amber bulldoze straight over everyone?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blame These Toys for My Fashion Sense Today

Did you guys have Fashion Plates? Holy Smurf they were awesome, as I have mentioned on this blog before. I got them when I was six from my Aunt Darla, who, in fact, wore a fierce white hat to her wedding, but I digress. Fashion Plates were stencils of hairstyles, tops and bottoms/shoes and you could put together outfits! There was even a tennis outfit! I didn't appreciate that outfit then, but it influenced me, because I now walk around in a tennis outfit at least once a week, and on other days I find my self wanting to wear a big floppy sunhat or a plaid jumper with boots! Okay so maybe not the jumper, but I do love plaids around Christmas.

 Ohhhhh, hold me back. Hold me back. I can barely talk about the toy of ALL TOYS: The Golden Dream Barbie Fashion Face STYLING HEAD! There were other weird looking styling heads in the late 70s, early 80s with super long necks and alien heads, but this one was so awesome! I still have a thing for pink and gold. *exhales*. ANYWAY...This particular styling head had gold wire mixed in with the hair (They called it "Quick Curl" hair) and a little curling iron (held together by a rubber hand) and you could CURL THE HAIR!! I made so many bad ass hairstyles that I nearly went into a manic overload- it was just too glorious.

Did you guys have Fresh 'n Fancy!? I had one of their makeup kits- it wasn't this one above- it was one where you actually shot creamy goo into hollow, fat, pink pencils; waited for the goo to dry, and then sharpened those suckers. The lipsticks were NEON bright, deep pink, and a glowing red. The eye pencils were super bright creamy blue and of course lavender- what else?! I also had Fresh 'n Fancy hair extension kit where you could make streaks in the extensions and stick them in your nine year old hair. Uh, YES PLEASE! Anyway, I have continued to have wayyyyyy too theatrical of make-up for everyday use, and I blame it on both this toy, and the Barbie Head- the makeup that came with it was meant for Phyllis Diller.

All right, off my chest.

Love you guys! Had to disable comments because I was getting depressed from so many people hating my guts- but for those of you who don't, thank you!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...


What's up Peeps? Haven't written in a while! Just started thinking about Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and what it was all about. What WAS it all about? I remember him talking directly to the TV, taking off his shoes, changing his sweater, and talking a lot about Make-Believe in a soothing voice.

So I researched it a little, and here is the deal. Mr. Rogers, (his name was Fred by the way) was on a live TV show in the early fifties as a puppeteer- and he used many of those same puppets on the show we all watched in later years. It was on the live show that he started wearing those famous sneakers that he always changed into, because they were quieter than loud-ass tappy shoes and didnt disturb the show. Hmm- who knew? Anyway, they never showed him on the show, he was just the guy doing the puppets. After that he did some Canadian show where they built awesome sets, like a castle and what not, and he actually brought a lot of those cool sets to the States when he decided to do his own show.

Mr. Rogers thought kids' shows at the time were too crazy and in-your-face, and he wanted to do something slower paced and more calm. He thought kids could spot a phony a mile away, so he talked in his regular voice, red his fish, and tried to be his honest self, which is what we saw.

It was in 1968 that the show started to be on in the states- it was funded by Sears. Had no idea! Thank you Sears! He sang  "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" to us as he changed into his cardigan and what not- and If you recall, there was a little red and yellow trolley that rolled by with some fast piano music, and it took us into the Land of Make-Believe. The real Mr. Rogers always liked trolleys, so he decided to have one on the show. The trolley went through a cool tunnel in the wall- I always liked that part.

There was also Picture Picture- do you remember that? It was like a screen in a picture frame where he showed us things.


There were a bunch of characters in the land of Make-Believe- the one I remember most was King Friday- he always used big words and sounded important. His wife was Sara Saturday (cute, huh?) and they had that son, Prince Tuesday. Mr. Roger's real life wife was named Sara, he named the puppet after her. Awww Freddie. I loved the castle! These images are from imgarcade.com, if you want to see more.

There was an owl named "X" in a tree, and my favorite, Henrietta Pussycat, who was a cute lil thing. She always used the word meow- such as "I need to meow meow before I meow myself to death."

I am sure none of you forgot Lady Elaine Fairchild and that little yellow tiger, Daniel.

There was also real people in that land besides Mr. Rogers- there was Lady Aberlin, who was the niece of King Friday, and Mr. McFeely who was the mailman.

Mr Rogers couldn't stand ad-libbing and was a perfectionist- I can relate. He actually guest-starred on Sesame Street once- I must have missed that!

He passed away in 2003=( One city put up this billboard:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

80's Teenagers: So Bitchen

I was a kid in the 80's, as you guys know. I always wondered what it would be like to be a TEENAGER in the 80's- and now I can: There is a book out called The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! that I am about to read, because 1) I love anything 80's and 2) The author, Tom Harvey, is very funny and very cool. I had the chance to interview him, and he let me ask him everything I have wanted to know about being a teen in the coolest decade like, ever:

Q: Who was the biggest sex symbol to you and your buddies in the 80's?

A: In terms of pure smoldering lustness (is that a word?), I definitely have to go with Kelly LeBrock. She was in The Woman In Red (1984), Weird Science (1985) and, later, the Steven Segal movie Hard To Kill (1990). With her full pouty lips and English accent, she was definitely the babe of her time! I also thought Rosanna Arquette was cute and loved her in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and The Big Blue (1988). She had a more girl-next-door look and I thought she was mighty cute.

Q:What clothing signified COOL in your teen years? For both guys and girls?

A: In terms of fashion statements, the New Wave click definitely lead the way. Even in Central California, the people who listened to Oingo Boingo, Devo, Depeche Mode, Adam and the Ants, and The B-52s stood out. Pants with zippers all over the place, black leather jackets with zippers all over the place. Girls wore tight mini-skirts with bright stripes. The Preppies, on the other hand, wore Izod polo shirts, Levi 501s, and Sperry Topsiders. I eventually morphed from being a “stoner” (long hair, Van Halen-concert-shirt-wearing) to a Prep when I got a job and was able to buy a pair of Sperrys (they were $54 and that was a lot of money).

Q:What TV shows did you love? What were some that you couldn't stand and why?

A: Early on in the decade, we watched That’s Incredible! and Real People. We also loved the HBO show, Not Necessarily The News. As I progressed into my teens, I didn’t have a lot of time to watch TV so shows like Miami Vice, Cheers, and The Wonder Years passed me by.

Q:What are your top five movies of the 80s?

A: REALLY tough question! REALLY tough, but to honor your question and answer it literally, here’s my list: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), The Goonies (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), To Live and Die in LA (1985), Top Gun (1986). I could easily come up with 2 dozen more!

Q:What is the main thing that you consider different now as far as teenagers?

A: Easily, technology. Back in the early 80s, the phone industry was regulated so we only had one phone in the house! If you wanted another phone, you had to go to PacBell and buy a brick of a phone for something completely outrageous (something like $100 to $200, and that was A TON of money at the time), then the phone company had to come out and activate another phone jack at your residence. By 1984, phones were available at the drug store and my 16th birthday present was a phone for my bedroom – still on the same one phone line we had – but that was monumental! My brother used to quietly pick up the kitchen phone and listen to me talking to girls. He’d then critique my conversation afterward! Argh!

        Or course social media keeps everyone connected all the time now so there isn’t the separation anxiety today that we felt at high school graduation back then. Once we graduated from high school, our lives REALLY changed. People went their separate ways and we never saw each other again.

Q:If you had to choose one music video to sum up the 80s in a nut shell, what would it be?

A: In my college speech class at Cal State Northridge (1988), a girl got up and talked about how music videos stifle peoples imaginations. After you watch a video and hear the song, you immediately think of the video. She was very persuasive so I tried very hard NOT to watch music videos so I could picture the music in my own mind. Having said that, My MOST FAVORITE video of all time is easily Herbie Hancock’s Rockit.

Q:What was the most overrated thing about the 80s? Underrated?

A: Overrated, wow that’s a hard one. I may get some flak for this but Mike Tyson comes to mind. The guy was just a pure fearless machine starting out. They’d ring the bell and he’d literally run across the ring swinging knockout punches until his opponent crashed to the canvas. I remember going to class (my first year at Cal State Sacramento) and talking to some guys who had gone to Arco Arena to watch the Mike Tyson/Marvis Frazier fight (1986) on the big screen. They were in line for beer when the bell rang and missed the fight! It was over after the first punch landed on poor Frazier’s nose! Of course Tyson resorted to biting poor Evander Holyfield’s ears later in his career when he actually needed strategy over pure strength (and, obviously, didn’t know anything about strategy).

        As for underrated, the better word may be misunderstood (at least on my part) and the tie goes to Metallica and U2. The mullets on both of these bands threw me for a loop! In 1986, Metallica appeared on a flatbed truck in the parking lot of Tower Records in Sacramento for an unannounced show and I remember thinking, Big deal! Buncha hardcore Metal Heads! (They’ve since become one of my favorite bands and they are EPIC in concert!) U2, prior to The Joshua Tree, didn’t do anything for me either. I guess I took notice when Bono cut the mullet and stopped tucking his jeans into his cowboy boots!

Q:What were your thoughts on the New Romantic guys, like Duran Duran and such? Was there a certain group at school that liked this style of music and did they dress a certain way?

A: The introduction of what we called “New Wave” was definitely an alternative to “heavy metal/rock.” As I fell in the latter category, we listened to individual songs (ie, I remember liking Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” and Depeche Mode’s “People Are People”) but couldn’t (or more likely, wouldn’t) admit to being a fan of these “punk rock” bands. The B-52s “Rock Lobster” was a huge hit in the early 80s and when the “punks” danced to that song, most people watched from the sidelines unsure of what to think. They were definitely their own group – the New Wavers – via zippered clothing, Converse hightops, cropped hairdos. The dudes with Mohawks and Butthole Surfer t-shirts were VERY hardcore. They’d come to school with clothes covered in random words written from permanent markers. Really “out there” for the more conservative times!

Q:What did you think of the 80's rock bands, like Van Halen, Def Leppard and such? Was there a certain group at school that liked this style of music and did they dress a certain way?

A: I took my musical cues from my brother who was two years older than me. The first concert we went to was After The Fire opening for Van Halen (now there’s a pairing) and then Night Ranger (Dawn Patrol tour) opening for Sammy Hagar (Three Lock Box tour). We definitely fell into the “heavy metal/stoner” group with our long hair, moustaches, and concert shirts with the ¾ sleeves. Since you mentioned Def Leppard, they’re one of my all-time favorites! Saw their Hysteria show front row at Arco Arena in 1988 and, 25 years later, saw their Viva Hysteria show at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. They still rock hard!

Q:I was a big WHAM! fan, but I was only a kid. What did the teenagers think of them back then?

A: George Michael of WHAM! really was a big hit. Their songs “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” and “Careless Whisper were great songs to dance to. They were definitely considered “pop” – not heavy metal and not New Wave. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t like WHAM! When George Michael went solo, I used his song, “I Want Your Sex” in my stripping mix-tape. Let’s just say it worked well!

Q:What movie really got it right, as far as portraying 80's teenagers?

A: When you think of 80s teenager movies, you have to think of John Hughes and his trilogy: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink. And while I love those three, the two movies I can watch over and over are Matthew Modine’s Vision Quest (1985) and Tom Cruise’s All The Right Moves (1983). These are clearly “guy” movies with sports and coming-of-age as central themes.

Q:What was the best 80's junk food in your eyes?

A: Back when I had an 18 year old stomach, I loved Big Macs and anything from Burger King. Also loved green burritos from Del Taco (green as opposed to red burritos, also available). As for candy, Pixie Sticks were little tubes of brightly colored pure sugar. I loved the cigar-sized Chick-a-Stick but absolutely could not stand Pop Rocks. Pop Rocks gave me a raging headache but they were a big hit when they came out. There was an urban legend about a kid’s head exploding after eating Pop Rocks and downing a soda!

Q:What were the top ten songs of the 80's in your eyes?

A: Yet ANOTHER nearly impossible question to answer! So I’m going to give you the ten that immediately come to mind in no particular order: Back in Black (AC/DC – 1980), Lucky Star (Madonna – 1984), Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood – 1984), Fascination (The Human League – 1983), Need You Tonight (INXS – 1987), Keep On Loving You (REO Speedwagon – 1981), Open Arms (Journey – 1981), Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop) (Def Leppard – 1983), Beat It (Michael Jackson – 1982), Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds – 1985). So many good songs! I couldn’t even squeeze in Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Ritchie, Air Supply, Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, etc., etc.!

Thank you Tom for answering my questions and for giving us some insight into your brain!

Buy his book here on Amazon- Again, it is called  The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! A Memoir by Tom Harvey. Here is the description below- doesn't it sound awesome?

The decade of the 1980s has been called the Decade of Decadence. Decadence is defined as "the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay" or my favorite, "unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence." For a decade that brought us Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, leg-warmers and New Wave, was it really a state of deterioration?! For one kid growing up in the Central Valley of California, it was a time of self-discovery . . . a transformation from a kid, to a teenager, to a young adult . . . his growing up years. At times utterly hilarious, at times poignant and powerful, Tom relives his teenage years in this true-to-the-last-word memoir. Where were you when John Lennon died? When the Space Shuttle blew up? When Lawrence Taylor ended Joe Theisman's career on live TV? When the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked Game 3 of the 1989 World Series? Tom will tell you where he was and what it meant to him. You'll also hear about first kisses, first loves, a joke about your Uranus, avoiding fistfights, the joys of minimum-wage jobs, college roommates, and WHOLE LOT MORE. If you're one of the 70 million Americans who can claim at least one teen year in the decade, you can relate to the era . . . if your kids can't understand your fondness for your Breakfast Club and Princess Bride DVDs, this book may teach them a thing or two about YOUR growing up years. Go ahead, say the word "bitchen" outloud. Yeah, it was a bitchen time, the Eighties . .

Til next time, folks!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stop Your Whining: Barbie isn't Supposed to Be Human. She's a FRICKIN DOLL.

I just saw a segment on The View. It was yet another study on what Barbie would look like if she were human with those proportions of hers. She would have to crawl on the floor because her feet are so small, she wouldn't be able to stand, etc etc etc. Guess what, you f*ckheads? She is a DOLL. She wasn't created to be a replica of a human for a medical class.

Most dolls are exaggerated- almost ALL of them are! What if Cabbage Patch Kids were human!? They would have gigantic heads that would be so heavy that their faces would hit the floor. What if La La Loopsy were real?! People would be blind because their eyes would be motherf-ing buttons. What if Strawberry Shortcake were real? She would be three feet f-ing tall and the constant smell of berries would bring her nausea.

Barbie is a fantasy doll. A doll who fits into cool clothes and who has cool hair. I didn't want to stretch her gold sparkly dress over wide mom hips. I didn't want to put on her metallic pink bikini on an A-cup. I wanted the bitch to look good! Not like ME, or anyone I knew. I wanted her to look fantastic. And she did.

Did Barbie cause my teenage eating disorders? Possibly. I don't know. Will have to visit a shrink. Did I think my body should look like hers in my twenties? I wished it would. But let's get real- anyone who thinks they should look like a doll is nuts in the head. Me included.

Keep Barbie the fantasy doll. She looks great in her clothes. She has waist long princess hair and feet bent to fit into pumps. Let's not be haters.