Friday, November 30, 2012

You 'da bomb.

One of the greatest Christmas gifts I ever received, or ever will receive, is the same "greatest Christmas gift" memory as millions of others of you have.

I was nine years old...


Finally a system to replace Pong. I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome from furiously spinning that doorknob-sized control dial over and over again. It was time to graduate to a joystick.

Combat was the first game we had for the Atari, because, well, it came free with the system. I can still hear the “ch-ch-ch” sound of those square little tanks slowly crawling across the television screen. Space Invaders was next, which was a huge step up from Combat. But my game - the game I can say with full confidence that I truly mastered - was Kaboom.

The gist of Kaboom was this - you had to catch live bombs that a mad prisoner was dropping from above into three buckets of water to extinguish them. Maybe that prisoner spoke to my future taste in bad boys wearing stocking caps or my future personal venture into a life of crime, but whatever the draw was, I was really, really good at Kaboom.

In the nineties, whenever the annoying phrase “the bomb” started coming out of everyone’s mouths, my mind raced back to my little Kaboom prisoner dropping all those lit bombs into my water buckets.

Needless to say I was thinking about my Kaboom guy A LOT in the nineties. Too much.
I hadn’t thought about him in a while - until recently.

A few weeks ago my friend Laura shared her product-love of Boscia’s B.B.

Now I have been seeing and hearing about these “B.B.” beauty products everywhere, they are kind of like a cross between a tinted moisturizer and a foundation with some extra benefits. This one interested me particularly because it claimed to do a lot of stuff I like:

Reduce fine lines - sure.
Help prevent breakouts - yep.
Protect my face with SPF - what the hell, why not.
One shade fits all - sold.

I happily try Laura’s B.B. Now after hearing her say the name of the product over and over again, as I understand it the "B.B." stands for BEAUTY BOMB.


I buy a tube of my own bomb. Suddenly the prisoner is back in my head again on a loop.

When I go to Sephora to buy it I explain to the girl at the cash register my correlation between this product, the word bomb, and the Atari game Kaboom. She looks at me confused and hands me my card back. As I leave I realize she wasn’t even born when Atari existed and has no idea what I’m talking about.

I feel old, but happy with my purchase.

As I put on my makeup in the morning my thoughts again race back to Kaboom, to the water sloshing out of the three buckets, to the prisoner dropping the bombs faster and faster.

Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. This product is the bomb!

The coverage is great, thicker than a tinted moisturizer and a nice creamy change from my Bare Minerals foundation, which don’t get me wrong, I still love.

So I’m talking to Laura the other day and start raving about how much I love the bomb, and how the bomb is the bomb, and "don’t you remember Kaboom" when she says:

“It’s a BALM Lori, not a BOMB. A beauty balm. That is what the B.B. stands for. Balm.

You 'da balm.

No wonder I confused the Sephora girl so much.

Well – eff it – I’ll continue to call it my beauty bomb.
Because it is the bomb.
Of balms.

Halloween 1988.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tools of the trade.

During my teenage years I spent a lot of time in my room at my desk.

Not studying, writing letters to pen-pals, or reading Great Expectations for the third time, oh no, no, no.

My little white desk in my room served a dual purpose:

Make Up Station
Hair Salon

In retrospect it really was a beautiful piece of furniture that deserved much better treatment. Part of a set from Ethan Allen with matching dresser and nightstand, its drawers did not hold paper, pens and paperclips - but did hold eye liner pencils, extra cans of Stiff Stuff and banana clips.

The finish on it eventually became permanently stained light pink and bronze, splotchy war wounds of 80’s cosmetics that you couldn’t scrub off with Comet.

Which must have been really good for my skin.

There were two tools that I no longer own, but when I think back to my tedious getting-ready-for-school-ritual I can’t picture my morning routine without them. When we would go on a family vacation and I was without these things I was like a lost kid in a department store - nervous and quite scared.

Curly Top Diffuser Dryer.

My Curly Top hairdryer made me feel extra special and super cool because I was the only member of my gang to own one! I was also the only member of my gang who had curly hair so in retrospect, this made sense. Shaped like a mirror, a fan, or as I liked to think of it - a giant lolly - my Curly Top was a hair-dryer and a diffuser combo - it was two, two TWO THINGS IN ONE. Well actually three, as it also made an awesome pretend microphone to belt When Doves Cry into.

Clairol True-to-Light Make Up Mirror.

This illuminated mirror was my pride and joy - every morning I felt like a movie star in her dressing room surrounded by lightbulbs. The mirror had four settings to choose from so you would get the appropriate amount of light to apply your make up:


Back in the day this was all very high tech, as little colored shades of plastic moved in front of the light circles as you changed the settings. From what I remember "office" had a lovely light pink glow to it. Now I didn't work in an office at sixteen, but I sure liked to envision a bunch of sexy secretaries using this setting before taking the morning train and working a nine-to-fiver.

Eventually these trusty tools did retire to my personal Beauty Graveyard.

I sold the movie star mirror for a buck in our garage sale before we moved away from Florida. But old Curly Top? I still had that magic-microphone through college – and was able to introduce my new hippie flat haired friends to it.

You’re welcome, Oregon.

Majored in Curly.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Emotional rescue.

In the early 80's, there were two things that were very important to me - both began with the letter "M":

Mick Jagger.

I watched videos like a madwoman on MTV and memorized them like I memorized song lyrics.
When I heard the song on the radio or on one of my albums I could replay the videos in my mind along with the music. It was like I had a television chip implanted in my brain with one awesome channel on it.

One hour a week I would put the song and the video in my head on a loop.
That hour was called MASS. We were Catholic, so my major zone out times started at the gospel and ended at the sermon. Bonus zone out times included baptisms of babies, confirmations, and midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Only in my mind, the videos started out as they were on MTV, then veered off into my own little fantasy world. Most ended with Mick and I getting married or doing the deed. I had snuck downstairs at three a.m. enough times to see various Porky's movies on HBO to have a general idea as to what "the deed" actually was.

And Mick and I did the deed. A lot.

Start Me Up.

In my church-fantasy the rest of the band wasn't there - it was just Mick singing to me in that tight, lavender t-shirt and white pants combo, jumping and posing around me like he does at the beginning of the video. We would both giggle and flirt and he would sing to me- he would grab me and pull me close, put his hands on his hips and tell me how I'd made a "grown man cry." I would also make his "eyes dilate and lips go green." Then that part at the end - about making a "dead man cum" - I made a mental deal with God that if I didn't sing that part in my head during church it was ok. But every time I got to that part of the song in my head sitting on that hard pew I struggled, quite a bit.

It's Only Rock and Roll.

Oh my God they are wearing sailor suits - even Charlie. In my version I envisioned myself in a little navy and white sailor suit with long legs like a pony dancing with Mick. At the end of the video the circus tent they are playing fills up completely with bubbles.

I like it.

Like it.

Yes I do.

I was horsing around with the rest of the band, we were all throwing foam at each other, when Mick and I get into a little playful tussle of our own. Then a major make out session begins. The other members of the band disappear under the bubbles and Mick and I make out for the remainder of the sermon. I mean the song. Hello, sailor.

Emotional Rescue.

Didn't need to go too far in my mind during this one. Mick was my "knight in shining armour," coming to my emotional rescue. Creepy weird video where the band is seen all x-ray like and Mick is singing falsetto. I was all computerized too (I looked good) and there was lots of crawling in dark rooms involved in this one. Mick crawling toward me, me crawling toward Mick, more make outs, more colored lines and falsetto uh-hoo, uh-hoo-hoo, uh-hoo-hoo-hoo's.

On Christmas and at Easter - and whenever else I manage to drag myself out of bed on a Sunday morning to get to church - I still think about Mick, all these years later. Mick and Mass go together.
The thing about Catholic Mass no matter where in the world you go, it is the same, consistent always. The welcome, the readings, the gospel, the sermon, the communion, the end. It always feels like coming home to me.

Having Mick come to my Emotional Rescue in my head during the sermon also feels like coming home.
Lord, (and Mick) hear my prayer.

You can't always get what you want.

But if you try might find... get what you need.