Friday, June 6, 2014

Reflections of the way life used to be.

Nothing says '80s graduation better than sepia toned high school seniors tossing their caps in the air. Right?

This isn't a yearbook - this is REFLECTIONS ~ A MEMORY BOOK

I think it was a little extra freebie giveaway that came with my class ring. A freebie that I took on as a serious senior project.

With this being high school graduation season looking through turning through the pages of Reflections made me reflect even more...on my high school experience, movies and music of the '80s, and how much time and effort I put into crafting my own reflection-perfection.

There was a place to put all of those little cards with peoples names on them 
that you got with your graduation announcements.

A place to put your senior photo and write your class motto.
(We had a motto? I guess we had a motto.)

A place to write fond memories of your teachers, like dreamy Mr. Olson...

               I was in the drama club which according to this photo had 900 members. 
Also, that's me as a big-haired Helen Keller.

There were pages for photos.
Me and a group of girls in boxer shorts singing "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" (shudder) and receipt from a motel my friends and I liked to frequent at the beach. 
Yep. Memories.

I wasn't very good keeping up with the news/world events.

But I did know a lot about "Fads"
We ate Doritos.

I loved R.E.M., Rocky Horror, Bill and Ted, Little Shop and Remote Control.

I loved this stuff too.

This proves that stuff was way cheaper and that I was a skater-girl poser.

 Graduation. Donatello's and afterwards Steve's house for a party.

My Hollywood ending.
It's funny those tracks say "Hollywood" - I was heading from sunny Tampa, Florida to snowy Bend, Oregon. 

I do love the image and how I didn't crowd it with a bunch of crap. I was excited. I was scared. I was leaving my boyfriend and my friends. I was terrified.

My favorite part of this page is the quote I cut out from Sassy magazine that says, "I know a guy in Oregon. He's very into nature. A very simple and beautiful man." 

This was all I really knew about Oregon at 18. A quote from Sassy magazine. I swore I'd move back to Florida. Or New York. Or Hollywood; even though I'd never been there.

Like the newspaper clipping says, high school is history. I had big plans. 

I wonder if seniors today still sign each others yearbooks? Or are their yearbooks on an tablet or a phone? I hope not. 

Whatever the case I'm pretty sure they don't have Reflections, A Memory Book to reflect upon. Poor things.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The ballad of the power ballad.

You love a good ‘80s power ballad, right? Every Rose Has its ThornLove Bites, I Wanna Know What Love Is, I Can't Fight This Feeling, pretty much anything by Heart, etc. 

But what do you do when it’s fallin’ apart? And you knew it was gone from the very start? 

You close your eyes, and you dream of these underrated, awesome, dramatic kinda/sorta hits of the decade.

“When You Close Your Eyes” – Night Ranger.
Sister Christian be damned, this is by far my favorite Night Ranger song.

The guitar lick at the beginning, the dra-ma-tic  video with the couple who looks a little too old to be going to the prom, the guys in the band with better bangs than I had, and…a monkey? Yep, a monkey drinking coffee. It's the '80s. Oh and the girl longingly looking out the window with a houseful of kids, reminiscing about what could have been…sigh. I just love this song you guys.

Favorite line: Naturally, the “I remember we learned about love in the back of a Chevrolet…well it felt so good to be young, feels like yesterday” part.

“The Search is Over” – Survivor.
Oh my goodness Survivor, who knew you and your Eye of the Tiger tough-guy ways had a soft side?

The video kind of had a creepy vibe with him constantly lurking over his "friend" sleeping in bed. Come on you idiot -- she's hot! She likes you! The search is over! SHE WAS WITH YOU ALL THE WHILE.

Favorite line: “So if you ever loved me, show me that you give a damn, you'll know for certain the man I really am.”

Anything off the "Air Supply’s Greatest Hits" tape.
If you say you didn't have this cassette tape in 1983 I'm sorry, I don’t know if I believe you.

It’s hard to choose just one song off of a greatest hits compilation because all of them are truly…great. I know, I know…sap-city, but great in their own Air Supply way! Even the Nights are Better, Every Woman in the World, Here I Am, and the incomparable Making Love Out of Nothing at All. 

This video...holy crap. Really bad acting! Photographs coming to life! Smoke machines! Jumpsuits! Mullets! Afros! This video has everything! 

The only thing that would make it better would be if they got that monkey from the Night Ranger video!

Favorite line: But I'm never gonna make it without you, do you really want to see me crawl? And I'm never gonna make it like you do, making love out of nothing at all."

Did you love any of these as much as I did? *sigh* These songs still yank my whammy bar and strike the ultimate power ballad chord in my heart.

And I'm not ashamed to admit that Night Ranger one can still make me cry. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Let it go.

I’m pretty good about getting rid of things when I’m done with them. Not great, but pretty good.

Like I love selling/donating clothes that I don't wear anymore that have been stuffed into my closet, making glorious room so I can actually slide the hangers back and forth -- such a novelty!

And I'll gladly toss away food-encrusted cookie sheets from the drawer under the stove and stained towels from hair dye from my linen closet. 

But you guys, some things are hard for me to get rid of. I’m not talking about things like dairies or photo albums -- those stay. I’m talking about things like this:

Simple clogs.

These were purchase in the ‘90s right out of college after realizing I was not a Birkenstock kind of a girl –- perhaps I could pull off these hippie clogs? I wore these everywhere. To death. The lining is torn out and the leather is pretty worn and they don’t smell the greatest. But they are SO COMFORTABLE. Now they sit by the sliding glass door off the kitchen and everyone in the family wears them if they need to run the recycling out or walk the dog around the block. They are the family clogs, and I will never throw them away.

Gap t-shirts.

Again, purchased loooong ago, basic t-shirts in black and white. These are stretched out, stained and friggin' huge but comfortable. I would get rid of these before the clogs but I really hope I don’t have to ever make that choice.

This "salad."

OK, this is from last Sunday and was served with our Easter dinner. It's something my mom made that involves a packet of orange Jello mix, cottage cheese, mayonnaise and canned mandarins/pineapple (don't judge it, because you haven't tried it.) It's one of those weird concoctions that when served on a holiday it is deemed "salad." I refuse to throw this away, I will finish every last bite. And with the mayo/cottage cheese combo I better get busy on this delicious SALAD (that tastes like a creamsicle) before it spoils.

Pretty in Pink cassette tape.

I no longer own a cassette player and my car doesn't have one. I keep this on my bookshelf –- it’s the last thing I see before I go to sleep/first thing I see when I wake up. I will most likely be buried with this. That's not weird, right? 

Oh, and this:

Cheerleader lamp.

My childhood lamp that sat on my nightstand -- Mom made it for me in her '70s ceramics class. It was supposed to look like me, with the brown hair and eyes and, um, enthusiasm for cheerleading? No...I never had that. There must not have been a lamp shaped like a candy bar or Carvel soft serve cone for her to paint, so I got the cheerleader. 

Like I said I don't really hang onto things so I don't know how this bulky, fragile lamp managed to make the cut moving from New York, to Florida to my garage here in Portland. But it did. 

And I'm glad it did. I really don't mind seeing that smiling face a few feet in front of me when I open up the door off the living room that leads into my highly disorganized garage. 

I have two boys who are not at all interested in my old "young-mom-as-a-cheerleader-if-she enjoyed cheerleading" lamp. But it's been with me almost my whole life, and I'm not getting rid of it.

To conclude; I would choose the lamp over the clogs, t-shirts, the creamsicle salad and (gulp) the cassette tape. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Can o' color.

Mondays are my day off of work and if you know me, you know I cherish them to pieces. 

You said it, Garfield.
I don't have to go to work. I don't ever have to hear anyone say "Somebody's got a case of the Mondays" or have un-funny Monday office-related banter with anyone.

Some Mondays I get nothing done. I watch three hours of the Today Show and start daydreaming about what I'm going to make for dinner. 

Some are super productive, like today. Here's what I did after I dropped the boys off at school/before I picking them up at 2:00:

Worked out 
Cleaned two bathrooms 
Wrote two blog posts
Called Grandma ("Looorri...How's my beautiful baby girl?")
Took a shower/shaved my legs (This is huge.)
Walked to the grocery store and bought groceries (Dinner! Tacos!)
Colored my hair

Well...I kind of colored my hair. 
Not really. It didn't work.

Nice? Sure. Easy? Absolutely.
100% Gray Coverage? NO WAY JOSE.

I don't know if this is possible but I think it made my hair more gray than it was before.


I was mad! I know it was like a $5.99 box of root touch up 
but it took time...precious Monday/day off/I-could-be-watching-Hoda-and-Kathie-Lee-time.

Thank goodness I keep this little can on hand:

Rita Hazan Root Concealer is awesome. And weird. When I use it I always feel like I'm using spray paint and tagging my head. Or using the worlds tiniest fire extinguisher. 

It truly covers the grays; what was once used as a touch up between hair color appointments has now become a staple. 

A little spritz on my part and I say, "Gray?!? What gray?!?
I don't really say that but I totally will if you want me to...

It's not cheap, $25 for a small can of it at Sephora but I only need a tiny bit to cover up the offensive area, it really lasts a long time. And unlike the boxed stuff I know it works.

Rita Hazan, I don't know who the hell you are, but thank you. 

And box of color, I'm off to Fred Meyer with my receipt in hand like a crazy lady, attempting to return an empty box and get my money back.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A love letter to my MTV VJ's.

It’s no secret that I loved my MTV. 

I’ve written posts about early ‘80s videos and the influence and obsession that Music Television became for me. Now, while listening to the oldies station, I still see the videos that I watched over and over again on MTV frame for frame in my mind.

Along with those videos that had the rock stars the channel itself also had its rock stars.
Their names were Martha, Mark, Alan, JJ and Nina and they were my heroes.


I recently finished reading their book, VJ and I loooved it.

If you watched MTV obsessively like myself or even just a little bit, read this book. It’s like being a fly on the wall during the most exciting time of music and television.

Here are my pre-teen memories of the original five, and why I adored/loved/wanted to be each of them:

Martha Quinn.
I have to start by saying Martha was my favorite. I think a lot of that began with the fact that she grew up in Ossining, New York and so did I. When people would ask me where I’m from and I'd say Ossining, "you know, where Martha Quinn is from." After getting over the fact that she was my hometown hero, she remained my favorite -- Martha had moxie. I loved watching her interview David Lee Roth, Boy George and Bob Dylan. I loved her wearing red tights, big sweaters and Boy Scout uniforms. I just loved my Martha Quinn.

Mark Goodman.
Mark Goodman was so foxy to me. His hair reminded me of my own -- in my pre-teen brain we made a very cute couple and all the rock stars/girls at school were jealous of. Mark had a sexy voice and when he stared at me through the screen saying, "That was Adam and the Ants with "Dog Eat Dog" my heart skipped an Adam and the Ants style drum beat. I remember him sitting in the little red diner booth on the set interviewing Madonna, talking to her about her music and sense of fashion, then they went into the video for "Borderline" and I wished so badly I could be her and date him. *sigh*

Alan Hunter.
Alan was funny. And he wore a lot of vests. And suspenders. He was like the comic relief of the VJ's -- you felt like he was having a conversation with you, like he was your pal. I remember him reporting the MTV News quite a bit, telling me where I could see Triumph in concert and encouraging me to send a postcard to the MTV studios to win the "Lost Weekend With Van Halen" contest.

JJ Jackson.
Oh how I looked forward to my Triple J time! When I think of JJ I think of him in a red and black leather jacket/pant combo alla Michael Jackson. I remember him interviewing Robert Plant, unmasking KISS (!) and talking about the importance of getting my MTV in stereo and getting my home "components" in order. 

Nina Blackwood. 
Nina was so hot! That raspy voice, the cool clothes, the black eyeliner, the shiny lips, the trademark hair...Nina was so cool. She interviewed Rick Springfield, Missing Persons, Frank Zappa and I'm pretty sure John Cougar and Brian Adams were in love with her. She could seamlessly transition from the videos for "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads into "Allentown" by Billy Joel which was no small feat. 

Thank you MTV and thank you VJ's -- you are my, along with a million other kids of the '80s, music television touchstone. 

In my mind there were no other VJ's after you. You youngsters can have your Kennedy, Carson Daly and your Downtown Julie Brown...wubba, wubba, whatever. 

To me, nothing is as good as the originals.

Love, Lori

Friday, March 7, 2014

You were born! Take this stuff!

A few weeks ago I celebrated my birthday.
And you know, I love birthdays.

Out with the family, lunch with some friends from work, drinks with the girls a week later, pizza, Thai food, foofy lattes, pastries, cake…life is full. And so am I.

Below is my yearly list I lovingly refer to as “Free Shit I Get on My Birthday.” 

You should take advantage of this stuff too. Because you were born and duh, because IT’S FREE!

Aveda Lotion.
My favorite freebie this year because it smells fantastic and it was a full-size freebie. I don’t know what I did to get on Aveda’s good list but whatever it was must have been pretty great. They gave me a choice of getting some of their pure essential oils mixed in with massage oil, getting an atomizer full their pure-fume, or this hydrating formula lotion. I went with the lotion because how often are people giving me massages, and I have enough perfume. The oil I chose is their “invigorating” mix of peppermint and citrus because Lord knows, I could use some help getting invigorated. 

Aveda Hairspray.
And while I was there they also gave me this control force hairspray. I gotta admit, I felt kind of bad leaving with a pretty bag full of great product. I also had a lovely cup of tea while I browsed, and a complimentary hand massage (seriously.) 

Brow Wax.
Did you know that you can get a free eyebrow wax at the benefit counter during the week of your birthday? I do it every year. They do a great job and I love their products and their kitchy packaging. If you don’t mind sitting in the middle of a department store getting waxed and tweezed while strangers and possibly your ex-boyfriend walk by you (of course) then this is for you. Oh, and it’s free.

Mascara & Lipstick.
Every year I look forward to my birthday treat from Sephora, signing up to be a member of their Beauty Insider program gets you a goodie on your special day. This year’s kit was from Make Up For Ever, a great mascara and lipstick combo. Love the neutral color of the Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick and the Smoky Extravagant Mascara is perfect for my purse. I kind of feel like Sephora and I broke up since I went part time at work, I don’t get in there as much as I used to. But they still give me little gifts. Holla. 

See, there are so many benefits to having birthdays.

And if you go out to dinner on your big day for God's sake, let someone know. 
Because you'll totally get a free mud pie

Friday, February 21, 2014

Little brown book.

A few weeks ago Portland got hit with a snow/ice storm that kept us pretty much indoors Thursday through Monday. When we did venture out we played in the snow, we stayed in and watched a lot of movies, and of course ate a ton of cookies/popcorn/drank gallons of hot chocolate.

One day we also got motivated, and threw away a lot of garbage, rearranged some furniture and cleaned. I worked off some of those cookies. I vacuumed and dusted. Let's just say it's been a while since that happened.

While in the kitchen standing on a chair to reach a new light bulb in a high, high cabinet above the fridge (convenient) I unearthed this gem:

Who remembers these?

I was 13 years old, it was the end of 8th grade.
Yearbooks were not available to us in middle school so we all passed these
little puppies around to get each others "autographs."
The inside is like a little origami festival, after someone would
sign I'd fold the pages all pretty like this:

Within these colored pages we would tell each other to have a good summer,
get each others phone numbers and write sweet sentiments such as:

And also this:

Lots of friends wanted me to "KIT" (Keep In Touch):

And Loved Me Like A Sister...
Some expressed themselves musically.

Some were not very good writers, and wanted to tell me so.

Some were just...strange.

Some were total buzz kills.

Some wanted to be friends, but not too good of friends.
And then there's this -- thanks Ann.

Here's what happens when you let your teacher's sign your book.
Honestly...I preferred this type of math.
Stay sweet.