Friday, May 25, 2012

Big shot.

I gotta say, I do love some old-school 1970-something Billy Joel.
It has a waaaay about it - d
on’t know what it is...

The later stuff, Uptown Girl, Rhythm of Dreams, and the dreaded We Didn’t Start the Fire, all that I can do without. But songs like It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll to MeJust the Way You Are, and Scenes From an Italian Restaurant still send me back to the backseat of our old brown bomber of a car from when I was a little girl.

I loved hearing those songs on the radio, and loved hearing my parents sing along to them. Sure, I enjoyed hearing My Life as the opening credits rolled to Bosom Buddies.
I also recall doing a very bad jazzercise routine to Pressure.

For my ninth birthday I received the album Glass Houses from my Uncle Bob, my music mentor. If Uncle Bob gave it to me, it had to be a cool album. Years later I found out that Uncle Bob had re-gifted Glass Houses to me after getting it from an ex-girlfriend as a Christmas gift.

But no matter – my record collection was relatively small at this point, a bunch of Stones albums, some Beatles, some K-Tel compilations from Woolworths and Get Lucky by Loverboy were are a nice start, now it was time for Billy to join the gang.

This album covered is forever ingrained in my brain. Like if you say Billy Joel to me I see him standing in front of a glass house about to throw a rock. The way they shot him for the cover makes him appear much taller than he is in real life - and I liked that he was wearing black leather gloves along with his black leather jacket – very Italian-tough-guy to my nine year old self.

And on the back of the album there was Mr. Joel, with a nice head of hair, staring up at me with his big brown eyes through the hole he had just made in the glass house. But he changed from his tough guy outfit into a suit - he probably stole the suit from the guy who lived in the glass house. I had a whole scenario built up in my head.

Side one of Glass Houses rocked my world with songs like, You May Be Right and Don’t Ask Me Why. Nothing on the flip side really thrilled me like side one did.

Although, in later years, side two would become an experimental playground for me.

Flash forward and I am twelve and not so into Billy Joel anymore. Now I was obsessed with Run DMC, LL Cool J and Whodini. I thought maybe I could be an expert rapper, mix-master, and scratcher – and I used side B of Glass Houses to practice and refine my mad skillz.

I wrecked many a record needle, trying oh so hard to make that wiki-wikki-wikki sound happen just like Jam Master Jay. Over and over again up in my little pink room, I spun side B wrecking it beyond repair. But did you really want to listen to Sleeping With the Television On or C'etait Toi? (I told you there was nothing good on the flip side.)

My last memory of Glass Houses was of my father, bursting in my room as I scratched too loudly for the millionth time. How annoying, Jesus, who could blame him as he snapped the album off of the turntable and broke it over his knee (yes, just like in the movies) and walked out without saying a word.

Instead of a house being shattered with a rock my Billy was busted on bended knee.

Don’t ask me why.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sit, stay.

As a little girl I never really wanted a dog, asked for a dog, or thought about a dog - so it was a complete surprise to me when one Saturday afternoon my parents brought me home - a dog.

"Muffin" (secretly I would have rather had baked goods) was a wild, high strung, pretty cocker spaniel with a laundry list of issues. She ate anything and everything including:

Food off the kitchen table/counter
My family took a million pictures when I was a kid.
This was the only one I could find of
Muffin from 1978, my brother Mike dragging her
while she ate a clothesline.
An exercise bike
My Barbies
Phone cords
My brothers He-Man toys

Yes, tires. How this dog didn’t die within a week of living with us I have no idea. Muffin also peed and pooped in every room in the house despite much poochy potty training. She was frantic and scared easily and would drag me down flights of stairs as I held onto her leash.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

She sure was a pretty dog, so she had that going for her. Honey golden coat, big, maudlin eyes, and ears that looked like she was fresh out of the beauty salon with a perfectly coiffed perm.

My mom decided that before we got rid of Muffin as a last resort she would try taking her to obedience school. She would take her in the evenings and on the weekends, trying to whip her into shape before my dad literally whipped her for pooping in the living room again.

Muffin barely passed the class - I remember nervously watching her during the test at the end when my mom told her to “sit” - she needed to stay seated for ten seconds - at eight she was up and chasing her tail. Everybody laughed, except my mom.

She got a big blue ribbon at the end of the class and I remember my mom let her eat it as a reward.

Two weeks later we gave Muffin away, to a group of nuns who lived in a convent. No joke. Lord knows they would have more patience with her than we did. I predicted many chewed up habits and crucifixes in their future as I stood on my front porch waving goodbye to the station wagon full of nuns driving away with my wild eyed pooch.

Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray is a stay-put primer for concealers and eye shadows that Muffin could have taken a tip or two from.

Why? Because it knows how to STAY PUT.

I never thought I needed a primer for my concealer and shadow until I tried this for the first time. My eye shadow stayed so vibrant and pretty all day, there was a noticeable difference.

It comes in a neutral nude shade that flatters everyone and even helps fight signs of aging, which anyone’s peepers could surely use, right?

When I look at my bottle of Stay Don’t Stray on my vanity every morning I can’t help but think of Muffin, not staying but straying.

Poor Muffin.

On the other hand..poor nuns. I wonder how many Hail Mary’s and Our Father's were interrupted by her incessant barking.

I also wonder how many nuns were driven to drink large amounts of wine - to go along with their Muffin.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Life is a mystery.

Of course I was excited when I head that Madonna was putting out her first fragrance - for years I have waited to smell just like her!

Here is what I imagined Truth or Dare would smell like:

Strike a pose.
Gay dancers
Platinum hair
Beauty Marks
Fishnet stockings
Pointy boobs
English accents
Sean Penn
Warren Beatty

I adore Madge, and have always held her high on my list of pop icons, fashion icons, and everything else in life icons.

I changed my clothes on the school bus in eighth grade so I could dress like her (my parents would not let me leave the house looking like that.) I took voice lessons so I could (attempt to) sing like her. I drew a black dot above my lip so I could have a fake mole like her (mine looked more like a gypsy-mole you would have slapped on your face as part of your Halloween costume. Sexy.) If I could have crawled inside Madonna and become Madonna, I totally would have done that too. I love every incarnation of her – let the haters hate; I think Madonna is awesome.

So perhaps I am a little biased, thinking that her perfume, is also, awesome.

And I also enjoyed a nice old-fashioned game of truth or dare back in the day…

I would always choose “dare” praying I would be dared to make out with the cute boy. Instead I was usually dared to do things like take off my shirt and run around the outside of the house in a circle banging a pot with a wooden spoon in my bra.

Not exactly the dare what I was hoping for.

Holy water.
Her Madgesty's fragrance, Truth or Dare (DARE!) is a mix of sensual and floral notes and is sexy and completely feminine - Gardenia, tuberose and jasmine layered with with subtle hints of amber and vanilla. Don’t get me wrong though...this is definitely not one of those sugar cookie concoctions - this scent is very adult, confident, and intoxicating - just like the woman behind the fragrance!

The bottle looks like its wearing a little Pope hat - naturally! Very Gothic and pretty in bright white and gold.

So…truth or dare? This time, TRUTH.

Truth is, when I spray this perfume on, I feel really good.

I also feel really good when I have to take a break from washing to dishes to dance like a maniac in my kitchen to Like a Prayer.

Madonna just makes me feel good.

And truth ain’t so bad – truth coulda saved me back in the day from banging a pot with a spoon in my bra in front of a bunch of people.

But looking back, dare was way more fun.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bracelet breakout.

Hooray for a lifelong battle with weight – anybody with me?

Hip! Hip! Hips! (The PITS!)
Rah! Rah! Rah! (Feel BLAH!)
Sass! Sass! Sass! (BIG ASS!)

On days when I am feeling bloated, plump, or not-so-attractive common sense would tell me to do something obvious - like wear black, forgo horizontal stripes, or just shut up and put on some damn Spanx.

But some days my common sense chip gets turned off, and this is how my mind operates.

DISCLAIMER: this has nothing to do with reality; this is just what goes on inside of my head. Get ready - it’s weird.

Quick and easy ways to look skinny:
Again - this is not reality - please see disclaimer above.

Carry a large purse – this will play tricks with people’s minds. Big purse? Small woman. I am a master of illusion.

Don’t wear flat shoes – duh, put on some heels. My legs are now longer, therefore, I am thinner.

Looking slim & trim with my boyfriend,
er, brother, Mike.
Don’t wear a bracelet – OK, this one is even confusing to me, and it is my mind that tells me NOT to do this. Don’t ask me why, but on some days a bracelet can make me look really, really, really fat. A bracelet has that power. Lord.

Have big hair – The eighties served me well, my big hair has always balanced me out. Big on the top = small on the bottom. Naturally.

Don’t have a pimple – Having a pimple and feeling fat go hand in hand for me. This one I have no control over. Well, maybe I do – I probably got the pimple by stressing out over how fat the bracelet made me look. Stupid bracelet.

Hey, while we're at it, let’s also hear it for a lifelong battle with acne - Zit! Zit! Zit! Ahhh...screw it.

As an adult I keep thinking maybe I can close this chapter of my book but alas, every couple of months I get a pimple that I think is the mother-of-all-pimples. Until the next one comes along...

A few weeks ago one appeared overnight on my chin, as if by magic.
Black magic.

I went to the drug store and was on the hunt for something that would get rid of this monster ASAP.

As I perused the packaging of all of my options I landed on one of my favorite brands, Neutrogena. The name of the product included everything that I wanted - Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel – the package said it “visibly reduces breakouts in eight hours.” Eight hours? That sounded pretty damn good.

I got home and washed off the mountain of makeup that I had caked on and put on a dab of the gel on the spot. I then counted forward in my head eight hours.

Fast forward eight hours and I still had a pimple, but a little less angry of a pimple. And with continued use that nasty zit was gone within a couple of days. Even though it contains salicylic acid it wasn’t too drying, like other acne products have proven to be.

This stuff is good, it works and the price is reasonable.

Unlike that voice in my head that tells me not to wear the bracelet.